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Archive for the ‘Gay rights’ Category

justices, do the right thing…

In Gay rights, Marriage Equality on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 at 06:23

the prop. 8 supreme court case starts today.  let’s all hope this is the road to marriage equality and we can truly be a country in which ALL citizens have the same rights (unless they CHOOSE to lose those rights, i.e. break the law, go to jail, lose your ‘right‘ to live a free life based on  ACTIONS, not who you love or who you are).  i just don’t understand why many americans today (i believe that number is just under half, depending on which statistics you read) believe that ANY group of people (in which two consenting, of-age adults wish to marry) should not have the same rights as those who are heterosexual and against the right for ALL adults to marry.  i am sure many of these same arguments were made when it was illegal for an african american and a caucasian to marry (yep…until the 1967 court case, interracial marriage was an ‘offense’ that could lead to jail time).  what an embarrassing time in our history and almost impossible to fathom happening now   because someone was born a certain race, they have or don’t have certain rights to marry who they love.  it sounds absolutely ridiculous now, but the majority of people did not think so then.  i can only hope that those who decry the institution of marriage will forever be ruined if we allow ALL people to marry will see that, in today’s society, marriage has already been made a joke by many and the divorce rate and rate of infidelity are steadily increasing.  brittney spears’ 55-hour marriage and kim kardahian’s 2-month fiasco certainly didn’t do that (see: http://jenmc.hubpages.com/hub/Celebrity-Couples-The-Shortest-Marriages-in-Hollywood) , nor all those that marry within minutes, days, weeks, etc. of meeting each other with no more ‘difficulty’ than possibly having to wait 24 hours from issuance of a marriage license, then quickly sober up and get divorced. and, in some states, you can marry your cousin and/or you can marry at the age of 16 as long as you are heterosexual…apparently, that’s ok.   we can’t blame the ‘demise’ of the institution of marriage on gay marriage  as that has already been done by heterosexual marriage.  in my opinion, marriage is nothing more than a nice ‘tradition’ but has already been made a mockery by our society and less meaningful, in general.  those of you that want to withhold certain rights from an entire group of people just because they love differently from you is just…wrong.  that’s what it comes down to…it’s just wrong.  to me, it’s a civil rights issue and we are supposed to be a country of freedom for all.  if we truly separate church and state, then the argument of ‘traditional values’ and the bible’s definition of marriage have NO PLACE in this debate.  it seems marriage (in many cases) is more about taxes, insurance benefits, etc. than the union of two people.  from my observations, many heterosexuals live together, raise families, etc. and choose NOT to get married.  and for for those in those situations that do get married, it is often ‘practical’ reasons such as finances, insurance, etc.  to me, marriage is a piece of paper that legally binds you to a person and gives certain ‘rights’ (like the ‘right’ to certain tax breaks or insurance) and should be available to all.  as for the religious aspect, that’s for the religions to determine-NOT the government.  once again, separation of church and state, people!!!  as far as the ‘piece of paper’ and the rights afforded to couples who marry,  those are constitutional and governmental rights and should be available for all.  it really seems a ridiculous argument to be having in 2013.  sigh…

5 Possible Outcomes of the Supreme Court Prop. 8 Case

By: Stephanie Condon

The Supreme Court has the opportunity to issue a landmark ruling this year as it considers the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

It could define same-sex marriage as a constitutionally-protected right, or it could uphold the ban, setting back the gay rights movement for years. The case, however, isn’t as simple as deciding whether or not same-sex couples have a right to get married.

After the Supreme Court today hears the oral arguments in the caseHollingsworth v. Perry, it has five options to choose from. Below is a rundown of the court’s choices — whether to protect the right to same-sex marriage in 50 states, zero states, nine states or one state. There’s one last option — to punt on the decision and dismiss the case.

Same-sex marriage constitutionally protected, nationwide

In the most dramatic ruling it could deliver, the Supreme Court could useHollingsworth v. Perry to rule that marriage is a constitutional right available to all Americans, gay or straight.

“The Prop. 8 case has the potential to be the Brown v. Board of Education for gay rights,” UCLA School of Law Prof. Adam Winkler told CBSNews.com.

“The question is whether the court’s ready to do that,” said Walter Dellinger, a partner at O’Melveny & Myers who served as U.S. Solicitor General during the Clinton administration.

Dellinger noted that such a ruling would be a much larger leap than the court has taken in the past in comparable cases. For instance, when the court issued the 1954 Brown v. Board ruling, there were 17 states that mandated segregation in schools. In its 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, the court invalidated sodomy laws in 13 states. By contrast, there are currently 39 states with constitutional or statutory bans on same-sex marriage.

“There’s reason to think there may not be five votes” for that kind of ruling, Dellinger said.

While proponents of same-sex marriage — traditionally aligned with Democrats — want the court to make this move, Dellinger said, “Ironically, politically nothing would be better for the Republican Party than for the court to go all the way, which would take the issue out of politics.”

The issue has turned from a wedge issue for Democrats into a growing problem for Republicans as public support for same-sex marriage builds.

Same-sex marriage is not constitutionally protected

The second big move the court could make would be to declare that same-sex marriage is not protected by the Constitution.

Dellinger contends such a ruling could set the gay rights movement back as much as 25 years.

“You would then have a precedent that was a roadblock unless it was overturned,” he explained. “It wouldn’t stop the political movement, but the political movement is going to have some difficulty if the court rules against gay marriage because there are 30 states in one way or another that have entrenched a gay marriage ban into their constitutions, making it very hard to change the law.”

Stuart Gaffney, media director for the group Marriage Equality USA, couldn’t say specifically how his organization would respond to such a ruling but noted that in polls nationwide — and in California especially — the public is increasingly on their side. “We would certainly be keeping that in mind if we didn’t prevail at the high court,” he said.

Activists on both sides of the aisle, however, have noted the influence of the court.

“The Supreme Court decisions are not without effect in terms of the law but also in terms of legitimizing positions,” Chris Gacek, a senior fellow at the conservative Family Research Council, told CBSNews.com. “It’s like saying you have the weight of the Constitution behind you.”

Gacek and other conservatives have argued the court shouldn’t interfere on an issue decided directly by the voters, like Proposition 8.

No difference between marriage and civil unions

In a third alternative, the Supreme Court may decide that states that recognize same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships — and provide them with nearly the same benefits of marriage — cannot legitimately bar same-sex marriage.

That decision could extend same-sex marriage to California and eight other states that currently have comprehensive civil union or domestic partnership laws — and it’s the argument the Obama administration has put forward.

Winkler said it’s a “sensible argument” for the administration to argue because the government must justify its laws by pointing to valid public policy motivations.

“It’s hard to know what government interests are served by denying gay people marriage when you allow them the rights of marriage,” Winkler explained. “The only thing those civil union states do is deny them the right to say they’re married — what government interest could there be in that?”

At the same time, Winkler said it could be a “dangerous” argument from the perspective of gay rights proponents in one sense — “It could discourage other states from granting civil unions,” he explained.

Same-sex marriage is still a hotly-debated issue on the state level, of course — Colorado just this month legalized civil unions, after a years-long debate on the issue. In 2006, the state passed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

“Think of what will play out the next time a state like Colorado wants to extend civil unions but not marriage,” Winkler said. If the court takes this third option, “there won’t be that middle ground available.”

Same-sex marriage protected in California

In a fourth option, the Supreme Court ruling could apply just to California because of the case’s unique circumstances.

Voters in California passed Proposition 8, the ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage, in 2008 — after the California Supreme Court had granted same-sex couples the right to marry. That put California voters in the unique position of taking away rights granted by the court. After Prop. 8 passed, a federal court followed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said Prop. 8 was unconstitutional.

While this option wouldn’t extend same-sex marriage across the country, gay rights activists would still consider it a victory.

“Obviously, we believe that every American is entitled to the most basic freedom to marry the person they love,” Gaffney said. “While we’re very hopeful for a landmark ruling, we’re also aware there are very specific circumstances in California. Proposition 8 divided California into marriage haves and have-nots… That is a wrong that needs to be undone.”

Gaffney said that he and his husband, legally married in California, “experienced a feeling no American should have to go through… People’s marriages were put up for a popular vote.”

Given California’s large population, a ruling in favor of marriage equality there would “truly tip the balance for the freedom to marry nationwide,” he added.

Dismiss the case on procedural grounds

In yet another option, the court could decide the proponents of Proposition 8 have no standing in court and dismiss the case entirely.

Normally, California’s governor and attorney general would defend a state law in court. In this case, however, they declined to appeal the district court ruling striking down Proposition 8. Instead, supporters of Proposition 8 took it upon themselves to appeal.

Dellinger filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the Proposition 8 supporters have no legitimate reason to be in court.

“In my view, the California case was over when the two couples won their victory in the trial court, which held that they were entitled to marriage licenses,” Dellinger said. “The Supreme Court only hears cases when there are parties who have an adverse interest coming before the court… The people who sponsored the referendum do not, in my view, have a dog in that fight.”

Some gay rights advocates agree with that argument.

“To some observers it could feel like a technicality, but I believe the standing issue speaks to a fundamental point of law and principle of marriage equality,” Gaffney said. “You have to have been harmed to continue a lawsuit. Had the other side been harmed, that would have entitled them to make an appeal in this case. Marriage equality means the world to same-sex couples and their families and loved ones, and it doesn’t take away from anyone else.”

If the Supreme Court agrees that the Proposition 8 supporters have no standing, it’s not exactly clear at this point what the practical impact would be, Dellinger said. “The effect in California, whether it applies statewide and everybody in the state can get marriage licenses, or whether it applies to these two couples or two counties, all that is to be resolved subsequent to the decision in this case,” he said.

Retrieved from: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57576243/5-possible-outcomes-of-the-supreme-court-prop-8-case/

don’t say “gay.”

In Gay rights on Thursday, 31 January 2013 at 05:58

as a school employee who works with kids who, because they are not heterosexual, are kicked out of their houses, beaten, taken to “get the devil forced out of them,” etc., i find this shocking. when gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, questioning, etc. kids and adolescents have one of the highest suicide rates in the country, why would anyone out someone if they don’t want to be??? should these teachers also tell the parents if two heterosexual kids are having sex??? i guess it’s just “damaging” when it’s not heterosexual or as the bill puts it “any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.”  

this is so wrong for so many reasons…

Tennessee ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Is Back, Now Requires Teachers To Tell Parents If a Child Is Gay

By: Meredith Bennet-Smith

A controversial Tennessee bill that would stop teachers from discussing sexuality with their students has been resurrected in the state legislature, and the 2013 version includes a troubling new provision.

Nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Republican state Sen. Stacey Campfield’s measure would “prohibit teachers from discussing of any sexuality except heterosexuality in grades K-8.”

An amendment to the re-filed bill reads, in part:

“At grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.”

The proposed legislation, officially titled the “Classroom Protection Act,” was not put to a final vote at the end of last year’s General Assembly, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel, but one of its sponsors warned it would be re-filed if “alternative lifestyles” were being promoted in the state school system.

The bill’s backers are apparently still dissatisfied with the curricula in some schools, and the measure is slated to be discussed in the Tennessee General Assembly’s Education Subcommittee on Wednesday, according to the Nashville Scene.

This new incarnation of the bill retains its proposed ban on LGBT discussions in the classroom and has also added a provision that could be interpreted as forcing school authorities to inform parents if their child is gay.

School counselors, nurses, principals and assistant principals can talk to students about human sexuality if a student is “engaging in, or may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and well- being of the student or another person,” according to the bill. However, the measure provides that “Parents or legal guardians of such students shall be notified as soon as practicable of the circumstances requiring intervention.”

This wording leaves a lot of leeway for teachers and authorities to determine when and if a situation requires telling parents about their child’s sexuality, notes ThinkProgress. The site goes on to comment that being rejected by family members is a major cause of homelessness among LGBT youth. According to a study conducted in part by the Williams Institute, up to 40 percent of homeless teens identify as LGBT.

Meanwhile, a similar bill in Missouri was buried after causing a huge controversy last year. Steve Cookson, the Missouri legislator who sponsored the bill, is now chairman of the Missouri House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, according to the Kansas City Star.

Read the new amendment to the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” here.

Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/tennessee-dont-say-gay-bill_n_2582390.html?ir=gay-voices&utm_campaign=013013&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-gay-voices&utm_content=Photo

*******

SENATE BILL 234
By Campfield
AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49,
Chapter 6, Part 10, relative to the Classroom
Protection Act.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Classroom Protection
Act”.
SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10, is amended by
adding the following as a new, appropriately designated section:
49-6-1032.
(a) The general assembly recognizes that certain subjects are
particularly sensitive and are, therefore, best explained and discussed within the
home. Because of its complex societal, scientific, psychological, and historical
implications, human sexuality is one such subject. Human sexuality is best
understood by children with sufficient maturity to grasp its complexity and
implications.
(b) At grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), any such classroom
instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are
inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate
for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.
(c) LEA policies and procedures adopted pursuant to this section shall
not prohibit:
(1) Any instructor from answering in good faith any question or
series of questions, germane and material to the course, asked of the
instructor and initiated by a student or students enrolled in the course; SB0234
001988
-2-
(2) A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from
counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of
engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and wellbeing of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible
such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student’s parents
or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive
such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such
counseling has occurred; or
(3) Any school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal
from responding appropriately to a student whose circumstances present
immediate and urgent safety issues involving human sexuality. Parents
or legal guardians of such students shall be notified as soon as
practicable of the circumstances requiring intervention; provided, notice
shall not be given to any parent or legal guardian if there is reasonable
cause to believe that the parent or legal guardian may be the perpetrator
or in any way responsible for sexual abuse of the student.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require instruction relative
to natural reproduction in grades pre-K though 8.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013, the public welfare requiring it.

*******

Homophobia

By Davor Nicolas Babic

Your best friend told you he was gay
You’re narrow minded, said no way!
He’s still the same, but you turned the friendship into hate
You reject him, just because he’s not straight

Two girls together is alright
Two men in love means a fight
It is affection between two individuals
Stop the hate against homosexuals

What are you afraid of?

equality for all in 2013…

In Gay rights on Wednesday, 2 January 2013 at 12:10

homosexuality is sinful

a beautiful story of love and acceptance

In Gay rights, LGBTQI on Saturday, 17 November 2012 at 10:56

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-marra/the-beautiful-daughter-how-my-korean-mother-gave-me-the-courage-to-transition_b_2139956.html?ir=#slide=more263238

the bible and homosexuality…one author’s opinion.

In Gay rights, LGBTQI on Saturday, 17 November 2012 at 10:51

The Bible Hates Homosexuality.  So What?

By: Kate Blanchard

A student recently asked me for some advice about how to defend same-sex marriage biblically to people who insist that the Bible is against it. My basic response to such questions is, “Don’t.”

First of all, there is no “the Bible.” It is a collection of texts spanning millennia, recounted orally for centuries in multiple languages, finally written down in Greek and Hebrew by countless anonymous authors over the span of several more centuries, then further collected and translated into hundreds more languages in hundreds of stylistic versions. What we think of as the Christian Bible thus encompasses different things for Catholics, the Orthodox and Protestants. And second, there was no such thing as a “homosexual” identity or same-sex marriage when the various parts of the Bible were written (despite what some English translations say), so they can offer no explicit direction about it.

But putting such details aside, the Bible does, in fact, present a consistently disapproving picture of men having sex with men, or women having sex with women. Hebrew Scripture makes it clear that the job of human beings is to “be fruitful and multiply,” which necessitates genital contact between males and females. The Christian testament is much more ambivalent about the usefulness of genetic multiplication, but Paul’s letters nevertheless make it crystal clear that he saw male-male or female-female sex as something for pagan idolaters, not for Christian Jews or Christian Greeks. There are some fairly complicated and sophisticated theologians who make the case that Paul’s arguments about God working “against nature” might allow for same-sex marriage, but these interpretations surely fail to persuade thinkers who prioritize the plainest meaning of scripture.

This begs the question as to why we care what Paul thought, or would think, about same-sex marriage. Yes, Christians consider the Bible (whichever version they prefer) to be the inspired word of God, useful for teaching and training in righteousness. But Paul lived 2,000 — TWO THOUSAND — years ago (Moses another 2,000 before that), in what might as well have been a galaxy far, far away. Why, then, is it so important that biblical writers agree with us?

Most Christians today disagree with and openly disobey the Bible every single day: We see slavery as a crime against humanity, lend and borrow money at interest, don’t force our raped daughters to marry their rapists, wear mixed fibers, don’t cover our heads, eat bacon and sometimes even mix it with cheese, and — perhaps most shockingly, given its high priority in the Big Ten — trample the holiness of the Sabbath with reckless abandon. (Fans of “The West Wing” will remember similar observations beautifully immortalized by Jed Bartlett.) A few authors have recently conducted high-profile experiments in living biblically and found it to be much more difficult than many “Bible-believing Christians” would have us believe.

Christians with a more nuanced understanding of biblical authority may find a different type of biblical support for the dignity of same-sex marriage, such as in Genesis chapter 1, when God creates human beings “in our own image”; or from Paul’s argument that, while celibacy is the ideal for Christians, “it is better to marry than to burn.” And then there are always the overly generalized love-not-hate kinds of arguments. But all of these approaches take for granted that biblical rules can no longer be taken at face value. It is utterly futile to imagine that the biblical writers would be pleased with the concept of men marrying men or women marrying women — akin to arguing that the founding fathers of these United States would be excited to see women and African Americans voting and serving in congress. They probably wouldn’t. But so what?

Those folks, those human beings, were ahead of their time in many ways, and we can be deeply grateful that they pooled the best of their wisdom together for the benefit of posterity. But like it or not, even the most inspired human authors are still only human; not only did our intellectual and spiritual ancestors get some stuff dead wrong, but they also never thought of many of the questions that we have to deal with. When such questions arise, we must courageously stand in our own time, trusting that inspiration and wisdom are renewable resources (that “God is still speaking,” as one church puts it, even if some of us do have longstanding tradition on our side).

We must also accept that others in the future will surely decide that we, too, were wrong.

Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-blanchard/the-bible-hates-homosexuality-so-what_b_2118043.html?ir=

the real gay agenda…

In Gay rights, LGBTQI on Wednesday, 3 October 2012 at 07:09
The Real Gay Agenda

Posted by Samantha Ray (cause leader )

Your pledge matters

SIGN THE PLEDGE

This is not complicated…
1. Freedom from discrimmination in employment and housing in all 50 states.
2. The right to visit partners in hospitals.
3. The right for gay youth to grow up free from intimidation, bullying, and violence.
4. The right to serve openly and proudly in the military.
5. The right to obtain health care benefits, pensions, and social security through our spouses.
6. The right to adopt, and the right to have custody of our own children, no matter our sexual orientation.
7. Immigration rights for foreign spouses of gay Americans.
8. Inheritance rights for our partners or spouses.
9. The right to marry.
10. Equality and respect for all individuals and their families.

i am saddened and sickened that this is allowed to carry on…

In Gay rights, LGBTQI on Tuesday, 2 October 2012 at 06:20

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thor-halvorssen/united-nations-its-okay-t_b_787024.html

worry about yourself

In Gay rights, Humor, LGBTQI on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 at 06:08

let’s hope we are not old and gray and STILL fighting against the right for all consenting adults to marry regardless of whom it is they are marrying.  i mean, really, how does that affect YOU???

and another…

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