Gay Marriage and Homophobia: News, Information, Events
Muslims Join Far-Right Christians Against Gays in Scotland
I've written often about how many values far-right Christians and Muslim extremists have in common. Fundamentally speaking, both are completely opposed to the modern secular state where people can choose how to lead their own lives. Only rarely, though, does their natural affinity for each other come out in the open such that even they notice it.
Jewish Terrorists Offer Bounties on Dead Gays
Jerusalem is a city that is holy to three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Sometimes adherents of these three religious traditions manage to be civil to each other, but most to the time they are only arguing and fighting - especially Jews and Muslims. There is, however, one thing they all agree on: gays are a threat to the future of civilization and must be destroyed.
British Imam: Gays Should Be Executed
Most traditional religions disapprove, to one degree or another, of homosexuality. These same religions have also disapproved of a lot of other things, such as racial integration, equal rights for women, and democracy. The fact that a religion has disapproved of something in the past is not a good reason to continue doing so in the present, or to respect that belief if it continues today.
Anti-Gay Riots in Israel
Jewish extremists in Israel are so opposed to a planned gay pride march in Jerusalem that they are rioting in the streets. Someone even planted a bomb in front of a police station. All of this should qualify under standard definitions of "terrorism," but so far I haven't seen any news reports about "Jewish terrorists" attacking civil equality for gays in Israel. Why not?
Ted Haggard Involved with Gay Escort Man? (Updated)
President of the National Association of Evangelicals,, Ted Haggard is a vocal opponent of equal rights for gays - including on the question of gay marriage. He is also being accused of engaging in illicit gay sex by a gay prostitute who says that he has been involved in a three year relationship with Haggard. There is no direct corroboration for this story, but Haggard admits to "indiscretion."
Republican Hysteria Over Gays: Gay Man Unsuitable for AIDS Coordinator
Most people might imagine that a gay person would be an especially good choice to lead efforts to fight AIDS. Coming form a community where AIDS has done so much devastation, a gay man would surely have a lot of important insights which a straight man or woman probably wouldn't. This is not, however, what the Christian Right thinks.
Gay Marriage Fears Losing Punch
In 2004, the Republican Party got a lot of milage out of scaring voters over gay marriage. Quite a few people seem to have come out to vote for Republican candidates in order to ensure that gays would not obtain the right to marry in any form, either through court decisions or legislative action. Republicans continue to push this tactic but it isn't working as well this time around.
Conservatives Don't See Sexuality, Just the Whole Person?
Blogger Mike Rogers has been making waves by claiming conservative Republican senator Larry Craig, who frequently votes against gay rights measures, may himself be gay. Whether the claim is true or not, conservative critics are feigning outrage over this attempt to draw a man's personal, private sexual life into public debate. They are pretending to be upset over the tactic of "outing."
Houston Landscaper Won't Work for Gays
If you have a business selling your services to the public, can you refuse to work for black people? No, that's illegal racial discrimination. Can you refuse to work for Hispanics? No, that's illegal ethnic discrimination. Can you refuse to work for Jews? No, that's illegal religious discrimination? Can you refuse to work for gays? In many places, yes you can. Gays are inferior citizens.
Will Republicans Pursue Gay Purge, Witch-Hunt Soon?
The "revelation" that Mark Foley was gay has had caused significant reverberations through the Republican Party and their far-right Christian supporters. It's becoming apparent to many Christian Right organizations and leaders that Republican politicians have been tolerating the presence of gays in their midst and not doing anything to get rid of them. This has the anti-gay homophobes outraged.
Gays in San Diego Suffer Vicious Attacks
In July 2005, a man leaving the gay pride celebrations in San Diego was viciously attacked by a gang of homophobic bigots. The fact that gays have to face this sort of thing all the time is what's news and what more people need to learn - especially since the Christian Right keeps denying that it's true.
School Cancels Offensive Play about Bigotry Against Gays
Should schools permit students to have a play which deals with homosexuality in anything but a negative and condemnatory manner? That hardly seems like it should be a problem, but it does appear to be an attitude adopted by some. Students in Yakima, Washington, wanted to have a play about the murder of Matthew Shepard but it has been postponed, perhaps permanently.
Same-Sex Marriage is a Disgrace?
However much homosexuality and gay relationships are disliked in America, they are regarded with even greater distaste in African nations. However progressive a nation's politics may be, gays still tend to be treated as second-class citizens. This conflict is especially strong in South Africa where a strong tradition of equality is developing, but where animus towards gays continues to be strong.
American Airlines: No Kissing or We'll Divert the Plane!
Is kissing allowed in American Airlines planes? Well, that seems to depend on who you ask - and perhaps on who is doing the kissing. Two men, a gay couple, were taking a flight from France to New York City when some objections were raised about their "public displays of affection." Raised by another passenger? Raised by one of the employees? Again, depends on who you ask.
Anglican Church Officially Moving Towards Schism Over Gays
Anglicans have been locked in conflict for several years now over how gays should be treated; before that, they had similar battles over the status and role of women in their church - battles which have not been entirely resolved even now. Efforts to reach some sort of compromise seem to have failed and neither side is willing to back down. Now it appears that splitting up is the only recourse.
Christian Right Opposes Protecting Gays from Discrimination
A newly signed law in California extends basic civil rights protections to all gays. These protections already existed for people to protect them against discrimination on the basis of things like race, religion, and gender. Gays aren't getting anything that hasn't long been available to others, but Christian Nationalists are freaking out. Do they not believe that gays deserve civil rights?
Firefighters who Snubbed Gay Pride March to be Disciplined
Should people be allowed to refuse to provide the same services to gays or gay organizations which they otherwise might provide to others? What if one has a religious objection to homosexuality, would that make such a refusal acceptable? That's what some pharmacists in America think, but when firefighters in Scotland tried it they were punished.
GOP Candidate: Gay-Bashing Columns Were Just Satire
Stephen Laffey, Republican mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, would like to become a U.S. Senator and is running against a moderate Republican, Lincoln Chafee. Stephen Laffey has a new image problem, however: columns he wrote in college have been released and they contain some absolutely vicious gay-bashing.
Bigots Continue to Attack Rainbow Flag in Kansas
I wrote earlier about the bigoted attacks on the bed & breakfast in Kansas because the owners hung a rainbow flag out front. It wasn't meant as a statement on behalf of gay rights, but once residents discovered that it could be read that way they want ballistic. If anything, local hostility had only gotten worse even as the owners have received praise and support from around the world.
Republican Associates Homophobic Phelps with Peace Activists
Religious conservatives are outraged at the actions of Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church, picketing military funerals because he thinks the deaths in Iraq are God's punishment for tolerating homosexuality. The problem is, he's just taking their own ideology a little bit further than they do so they can't attack him head-on. So what do they do? Misrepresent what he's doing, naturally.
U.S. Military Turns Blind Eye to White Supremacists, Kicks Out Gays
In July I wrote about the military turning a blind eye to the growing numbers of White Supremacists in their ranks. They aren't allowed in and should be discharged when found, but the debacle in Iraq is causing such a need for warm bodies that rules are being bent or broken... well, not all the rules. Gays doing critical jobs will still be kicked out most ricky-tick.
Kansas Bigots Show True Colors, Equate Rainbow Flag with Nazi Flag
J.R. Knight, owner of Lakeway Hotel, Bed and Breakfast Inn in Meade, Kansas, put up a rainbow flag outside his business and next to the American flag - his 12-year-old son liked it and bought it at a museum about the Wizard of Oz. It reminded him of the movie, which is probably why the museum sold it. Local bigots see it as an endorsement of gay rights.
War in Lebanon, Israel Caused by Gays & God's Hatred of Gays
If you think the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon is due to all the usual problems with politics, nationalism, imperialism, religion, etc., you'd be wrong. The current conflict is apparently the result of increasing Israeli tolerance of dirty, nasty homosexuals. God is causing this conflict in order to prevent those silly gay people from holding a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.
Christian Right: Equal Rights For Me, But Not for Thee
There is a federal law, the Equal Access Act, which forbids schools from discriminating against student groups on the basis of religious, political, philosophical, or other content of their meetings and ideology. Christians uses this to ensure that religious groups are not denied equal access; some of these same Christians get upset when the same law is used to defend the rights of gay students.
Neo-Nazis and Christians Terrorize Gay Pride Rally
A gay pride rally held in Riga, Latvia, on July 22 was seriously disrupted by Christians, extreme nationalists, and neo-Nazis who all objected to the idea of gays seeking social and political equality. Many individuals were assaulted on the assumption that they must be gay simply because they were in the area and...
Albuquerque SWAT Rousts Queers, Claim to Fear their Leers
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the SWAT team staged a daring raid involving automatic rifles and lots of leather. Was it a new cell of Islamic terrorists? No, just a gay Pride Gym that allegedly sold alcohol without a license. Why was SWAT called in? It seems that our darling defenders in those cute blue uniforms were afraid that the gay men at the gym just wouldn't be able to control themselves.
Politician Calls for Ban on Divorce, Adultery
t's obvious to most people that if someone is interested in "protecting" marriage, the prospect of gay marriage should be the least of our worries. If anything threatens marriage, divorce, adultery, and spousal abuse have to be among the most important issues - but those who like to bash gays and strut before the electorate by opposing gay marriage have little or nothing to say on those matters.
Definition of Marriage, According to Republicans
The U.S. House of Representatives debated same-sex marriage again and, as expected, voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. It was a useless vote because the Senate has already rejected the proposal, but it allowed Republicans to posture and pretend that they were defending Chritain values by bashing gays and gay relationships. It was very instructive.
Muslim & Jewish Bigots Unite Against Queers
Muslims and Jews in the Middle East are constantly at odds with each other %u2014 but now, they have a common enemy that is allowing them to unite in the name of a higher cause. Poverty? Hunger? Education? Democracy? No, nothing so mundane and trivial. Muslim and Jewish religious leaders are united for a more important purpose: keeping queers in their place.
Gays Cannot Be Good Citizens
Attacks made by religious conservatives against gays typically suggests that the attackers don't really believe that gays should be treated as fully equal citizens, deserving of the same rights, dignity, and consideration. Most religious conservatives would deny this despite the policies they promote; a few, however, openly admit that they don't believe that gays can be good citizens.
Interracial Marriage Goes Beyond States' Rights
There doesn't appear to be any end of people who insist that the government defend "traditional" marriage in the face of social changes which are inevitably leading to greater equality for traditionally marginalized groups. For many, the equality of others means that they must vacate their own positions of privilege, and this they find intolerable.
Washington Bishop Attacks Gays
Significant segments of the Christian population in America are homophobic to one degree or another, but it's often interesting to see them display that homophobia and bigotry openly. A particularly good example was a recent sermon from a Washington DC bishop who claimed that you can't be a 'real man' if you are gay. He doesn't realize how many gay men are in his congregation.
Anti-Family Christians vs. Gay Adoptions
America's Christian Right likes to present itself as a defender of family values and strong family relationships. The truth, though, is that insofar as they are "defenders" of families, they only defend "families" which match their narrow definitions of what constitutes a family. If you don't match that definition, not only will they not defend you but they may seek to destroy you.
GOP Debating Gay Marriage Ban
The Republican Party stands firmly against legalizing gay marriage - and, in fact, most forms of providing equal rights to gays. Not all Republicans think that such discrimination should be enshrined in the Constitution, however, and there is a debate within the GOP over just how far they should go in stomping on gays in America.
Iraqi Police Executing Gays
Opposition to homosexuality in traditionalist Muslim societies runs deep - deep enough to kill, in fact. Iraqi police have reportedly executed a 14-year-old boy on the streets because of alleged homosexual activity. Other gay Iraqis have also been assaulted and murdered. Apparently, murder is less of a sin in Islam than homosexuality.
Christian Leaders: Deny Gays Equality in Constitution
Prominent Christian leaders in America are becoming ever more vocal and active in the effort to deny equal rights and liberty to gay Americans. Christian leaders are recognizing that social and cultural marginalization not only isn't working, but is in fact decreasing. All that's left to them is legal marginalization of the people they don't like.
Ohio Democrat Mike Ritter: Be Fair to Christian Homophobes
Bigotry against gays is mostly associated with Republicans, but some Democrats are eager to engage in gay bashing, gay baiting, and homophobic bigotry as well. Mike Ritter is a Democratic candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives who tried to engage in a bit of gay baiting, but it blew up in his face when gays publicized it. Ritter lost at least one major endorsement.
Bush Administration Policy: Gays Must Be Celibate
That the Bush administration is pushing abstinence-only education is not news. The fact that abstinence-only programs don't work and that their popularity is due entirely to Christian Right ideology is also not news. What may be news, however, is the manner in which the Bush administration is able to connect abstinence-only education with anti-gay policies.
North Carolina: School Rejects Gay/Straight Club
In North Carolina, the Rowan-Salisbury School Board refused to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance group to be started by students in the South Rowan High School. The school board was influenced by a demonstration made by anti-gay Christian bigots; chances are, they'll lose any lawsuit filed because court precedent on the matter is unambiguous: they have to allow such groups to form.
Gays No Different than Neo-Nazis? KKK?
Banning Irish gays from participating in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade is getting to be as much of a tradition as wearing green. This seems to be the only major Irish-pride parade where gays are banned and the reason was made by clear by chairman John Dunleavy: gays are banned for the same reasons that Neo-Nazis and the KKK are banned.
Better to be a Fascist than Gay?
As bad as being a fascist may be, at least it's not as bad as being gay, right? That's the opinion of Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and currently the standard-bearer for fascism in Italy. How many Italians will respond positively to this siren call for fascism?
Ohio Democrat Wants Death Penalty for Homosexuals
Merrill Keiser, Jr., of Fremont, Ohio, is running for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat. It's unlikely that he'll actually win the nomination of the Democratic Party, but he's making news anyway because he thinks that gay Americans should be arrested and killed. Even most far-right Republicans don't believe something so insane and hateful.
Christians Who Won't Go See Brokeback Mountain
Quite a few Christians are avoiding the movie Brokeback Mountain. Why? Well, apparently many of them fear that they will find the depiction of homosexuality as "normal" to be too tempting on a personal level: if they are exposed to homosexuality on the big screen like that, they may end up engaging in homosexual behavior themselves.
Pity Poor James Dobson, Under Fire from Christian Homophobes
Colorado is considering a new law that would allow people to more easily establish a partnership with someone which would include things like hospital visitation, inheritance, etc. Such partnerships would not be limited to gay couples, but it obviously benefits gays. James Dobson supports the bill because it does help others and would take an argument away from gay marriage advocates.
Florida: Doctor Routinely Hands Out Anti-Gay Material
Jamie Beiler, of Kissimmee Florida, got more than she expected when she visited the doctor recently. As she was leaving th offices of Dr. John R. Hartman, she was handed material that called lesbians "detestable" and "sexually impure" by a physician's assistant, Dawn Pope-Wright, who called the material "medical information."
GOP Leader Opposes Equal Rights for Gay Americans
John Boehner, Congressman from Ohio, has been chosen by House Republicans as their majority leader. Was it a coincidence that during the first ballot, there were more votes in total than Republicans present to vote? It's certainly not an accident that Boehner opposes equal rights for gay Americans.
Pastor's Arrest Over Gay Sex: Unconstitutional?
Last month I wrote about how Lonnie Latham, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church and one of the leaders of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention, had been arrested and charged with 'offering to engage in an act of lewdness' According to the ACLU, his arrest may have been unconstitutional because of recent court rulings on sodomy laws which conservatives like Latham have blasted.
Making Gay Teens Safe is 'Intolerant' Towards Christians
A few days ago I wrote about how some teachers in San Leandro High School in California got upset when they were told to put up posters which declared that the classes were safe places for gay and lesbian students. Christian conservatives have expressed outrage that gays should be told that they are safe; now, one leader is explicitly stating that safety for gays is intolerant towards Christians.
Homophobic Teachers Refuse to Declare Classes Safe for Gay Students
Trying to overcome a history of noxious anti-gay bigotry, the San Leandro high school in California authorized the creation and display in every class room of posters which showed a rainbow flag and the words 'This is a safe place to be who you are.' Some teachers objected to the message and symbols, citing their personal religious beliefs that homosexuality is evil, and refused to hang them.
Britain: Muslim Culture Festival Excludes Gay Event
All over Britain there is a national festival designed to introduce people to the variety of cultures that occur in the context of Islam. Muslims are only willing to take 'diversity' so far, however, and have banned the inclusion of gays and lesbians presenting their perspectives or experiences. Overt homophobia among British Muslims is a serious problem.
Utah Cinema Pulls Brokeback Mountain, Shows Torture Movie
The Jordan Commons Megaplex in Salt Lake City, Utah, has refused to screen the movie Brokeback Mountain because of the gay themes. This probably won't prevent people from seeing it if they really want and all the action serves to do is highlight the intolerant attitudes of anti-gay bigots.
Sharpton Criticizes Homophobic Black Clergy
There are lots of good reasons to be critical of Al Sharpton - too many, in fact, to recount here. Because of this, though, we should be willing to acknowledge when he does things right. One place where he is very right, and trying to hold other black leaders accountable, is in the are of gay rights.
Religious Discrimination is OK?
Usually religious groups don't argue that religious discrimination is OK and that religion isn't a part of civil rights, but that is just what some are doing, at least by implication. The context is the debate over how to treat gays and the story is about efforts by schools to ban discrimination against and harassment of gay students.
Michael Medved on Brokeback Mountain: No One's a Bigger Idiot?
Religious conservatives are having a hard time dealing with the popularity - critical as well as general - of the movie Brokeback Mountain. Many of those leveling trenchant criticisms against the movie haven't even seen it. Michael Medved, a movie critic, has seen Brokeback Mountain but his criticisms have an air of desperation about them.
Gay Soldier Leaving Army, Afraid for Life
One of the practical effects of the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy is that gays are in constant fear of being outed while those who violate gays' privacy, or who even attack gays, are not treated seriously. Gays in the military are second-class citizens, no matter what they do or how well they serve our country.
Muslim Leader Denounces Civil Partnerships for Gays in UK
Iqbal Sacranie, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, says that homosexuality is "not acceptable" and has denounced Britain's same-sex civil partnership law as "harmful." Somehow, I doubt he would be happy if people said that being a Muslim is "not acceptable" and Muslim immigration to Britain is "harmful." There's no moral difference between the two, though.
Suspected Lesbians Sue Lutheran School
In California, two girls were expelled from a private Lutheran school because they were suspected of being lesbians. Such private schools have broad rights to discriminate on whatever basis they see fit, but the girls are suing anyway on claims of invasion of privacy and discrimination.
Texas Christians Take Aim at Gay, Female Student Support Center
Conservative Christians are outraged that the University of Texas at Austin plays host to a student-funded center which provides counseling, workshops, and other services to gay, lesbian, and female students. The Gender and Sexuality Center receives funding from student fees and conservatives want this to end.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell... Don't Matter?
Just as America has become isolated in the West when it comes to restricting the equal civil rights of gays generally, it is becoming isolated when it comes allowing gays into the military. Australia and Canada in 1992, Israel in 1993, and Britain in 2000 all dropped bans on gays in their militaries.
Gay Marriage & Childless Marriage: Defying God's Will
A primary argument used by the Christian Right against gay marriage is that gay couples cannot have children and marriage exists for the purpose of having children. Critics respond by noting that marriage doesn't require children, but look more closely: some of these same Christian conservatives object to childless marriages, too.
Divorce on the Texan Hit List
Texas has amended its constitution to ban gay marriage, and now the sponsor of that amendment has a new target on his hit list of modern immorality: divorce. This isn't surprising, because the arguments against divorce are similar to those against gay marriage and stem from the same religious impulses. Will the new effort succeed?
Wal-Mart Unit Caters to Gay Couples in Britain
In America, Wal-Mart is regarded by religious conservatives as a bastion of traditional, family values. How will they react when they find out that a Wal-Mart subsidiary in Britain, Asda, has begun to market products to gay couples who are getting or who have gotten married?
Homophobic Taxi Driver Ejects Gay Men From Cab
If you are gay and taking a taxi ride, should you be expected to hide the fact that you are gay, even if straights don't have to hide their sexuality? That's apparently the case in Minneapolis where three gay men were tossed from a cab after one gave the other a quick kiss.
Lesbian Student Outed by School, Allowed to Sue
In California, the mother of a high school student was informed by school administrators that her daughter was a lesbian. A federal judge is allowing the girl to sue the school, ruling that such a revelation should properly have come from the girl herself. Evidence suggests anti-gay animosity on the part of the school.
Catholics Bashing Gays in Poland
In Poland, gays are increasingly under attack from Catholic politicians and Catholic religious leaders. The intolerance and vilification is exceptional even for homophobic bigots, and it's generally occurring as part of an effort to defend traditional religious morality and sexual values.
What the Ban on Gay Marriages Really Means
Several states now have constitutional bans on gay marriage, but marriage is not all these bans are about. Religious conservatives are pushing to use these bans as a basis for denying equality to gays in a variety of other circumstances, especially for example domestic partner benefits from private corporations which are less bigoted than the general public.
Ford Caves in to Homophobia, Pulls Ads from Gay Media
The Ford Motor Company has announced that it would pull all advertising from media directed at gays in America. Ford insists that this is simply a normal business decision, but the fact that it comes immediately after a threatened boycott from the American Family Association (as well as a meeting with them) suggests otherwise. Why did they give in?
Canadian Lesbians Win Discrimination Case Against Knights of Columbus
Deborah Chymyshyn and Tracey Smith tried to rent a hall for their wedding reception in 2003; unfortunately for them, the hall was owned by the Knights of Columbus. The women's marriage was perfectly legal in Canada, but this Catholic organization has religious objections to the marriage and cancelled the contract. Now, they'll have to pay for how they handled the matter.
Salvation Army Sued by Gay Jewish Social Worker
In New York, a judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by a gay Jewish worker can proceed against the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army claimed that they didn't do the awful things that are alleged but, even if they did, they're allowed because they are a religious organization. A State Superior Court judge rejected this argument.
Virginia Church Declines Further Marriages
Under the direction of Pastor David Ensign, the Clarendon Presbyterian Church in Arlington, Virginia, will stop performing marriages. Ensign will even renounce his state-conferred authority to marry couples, all as a protest against Virginia's laws which mandate discrimination against gay couples who want to marry.
Baptist Bigots Force Student Group to Disband
A group created to discuss sexuality and theology at Mercer University in Georgia has been forced to disband. Mercer is a Baptist university and the group was not officially sponsored by the university, but they were allowed to meet on campus and this was enough for Southern Baptist organization to put pressure on the university to deny the group any right to meet or use university facilities.
Gay Families Offend the Intolerant
The numbers of gay couples, including those with children, increases every year. The numbers of married gay couples also increase, though at a much smaller rate given how limited the opportunities are. How will religious conservatives deal with this? How will they handle the fact that social reality won't conform to their prejudices?
Texas: Church Houses Polling Station, Regulates Political Activity
Texas is about to vote on whether to ban gay marriage in the state constitution. Like other states, Texas allows churches to house polling stations - but at least one church has banned from its property advertisements against the ban while permitting similar signs in favor of the ban. This makes sense from a church's perspective, but is illegal for a polling station.
Christians Opposing Repeal of Gay Civil Rights Protections
Opposition to basic equality and civil rights protections for gays usually comes from the Christian Right, but Christians can be found on the other side of the issue as well. Slowly, more liberal Christians are organizing to promote the principle that gay Americans should enjoy the full civil and legal equality guaranteed all citizens under the Constitution.
Gay Marriage in Texas: Anti-Gay Bigotry and Religious Conservatism
Texans are expected to pass an amendment to their state constitution banning gay marriage. This won't be hard to achieve because turnout should be low and in such situations, it's easy for a committed group to succeed - but even if turnout were high, Texans would probably support discrimination by a large majority.
Methodist Court Defrocks Lesbian Minister
Irene "Beth" Stroud was a lesbian minister for the United Methodist Church who was defrocked in December, 2004, when a church court ruled that she had violated a rule against "practicing homosexuals" serving in the clergy. She won an appeal in May, 2005, but the church appealed to the Judicial Council which has defrocked her again.
KKK Showing Support for Gay Marriage Ban
On November 8, voters in Texas will have to decide if they want to ban gay marriage in the state. The Ku Klux Klan has come out in support of the ban and will be rallying at the Austin city hall to express this support. Other supporters find this a little disturbing - but if they are going to campaign for bigotry, they should expect bigots to come out on their side.
Gays Leechings Off of Civil Rights?
Many activists in the cause for equal civil and political rights for gays use the Civil Rights movement, which helped achieved so much for blacks, as a reference point in their own efforts. They are, after all, seeking many of the same things which blacks sought and naturally look up to what has probably been the most successful civil rights movement in American history.
Homosexuality and Atheism: A Parallel
There are a number of ways that the experiences of gays and atheists in America parallel each other. Both, for example, have the problem of living "in the closet" or "coming out" to friends and family. Both also have to contend with the fact that too many Americans consider homosexuality, atheism, or both to be completely unacceptable under any circumstances.
Author Tossed for Calling Harry Potter 'Gay'
Graham Taylor, the British cleric who created the popular 'Shadowmancer' book which has been regarded as a 'rival' to the even more popular Harry Potty books from J.K. Rowling, was tossed from a school recently. He told the children that Harry Potter is 'gay.'
Massachusetts: Catholic Church Enforcing Political Conformity
Apparently it's no longer enough for Catholic priests to agree with the Vatican that gay marriage is evil; now, they also have to agree that the state should ban gay marriage - including in those places where gays are already married, thus retroactively eliminating existing marriages for large numbers of people. One Massachusetts priest found this out the hard way.
Vouchers and Religious Schools
You may have heard about the Christian school which expelled a girl because it found out that her parents were lesbians. The girl didn't do anything wrong, but as a private school they can expel any student for any reason. I suppose that even if she had straight parents, she could have been expelled had her parents supported equal rights for gays. Do you want voucher money going to such schools?
Anti-Gay Bigots Paying for Petition Signatures
Anti-gay activists in Massachusetts are fighting hard to undermine marriage in that state. They think that they are 'protecting' marriage, but they are trying to eliminate gay marriage - and eliminating existing marriages for a class of people actually does more to harm the institution than to protect it. Unsurprisingly, they appear to be using dishonest tactics.
Penguins Adopted by Religious Conservatives
The movie 'March of the Penguins' has been very popular in America - and especially popular among conservatives, who seem to think that the film demonstrates the natural origins of their own social and political values. They don't seem to know very much about penguins generally, but ignorance has never halted good propaganda.
Anti-Gay Radicals Promote Split in Baptist Church
The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) has successfully initiated what may become a schism in the American Baptist Church. The Pacific Southwest Region has voted to split from the denomination for not declaring that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian Scripture."
Vatican Investigating Seminaries for Homosexuals
Roman Catholic leaders are stepping up their efforts to rid their church of dirty little gay priests and dissenting theologians. Their most recent move is to launch an investigation of all American seminaries of any "evidence of homosexuality" and faculty members who disagree with any church teachings. If they can end all of that in the seminaries, perhaps it won't keep popping up later on, right?
Archbishop: No Queer Priests
Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, who is overseeing a Vatican assessment of American seminaries, has declared that gay men should not be permitted in the priesthood - even if they have been celibate for many years. It is expected that the Vatican will officially endorse this view in the near future.
Anti-Gay Protesters are Really the Anti-War Left
Rev. Fred W. Phelps' far-right anti-gay church involves itself in all sorts of media stunts in order to draw attention to their anti-gay agenda. Recently they decided to protest the funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq, arguing that the death of these soldiers is God's punishment for homosexuality. One right-wing commentator is treating Phelps as a member of the anti-war left, though.
Gays to Blame for Hurricane Katrina?
There are a lot of theological reactions to the disaster which Hurricane Katrina inflicted on the New Orleans region. Just as their ancestors did thousands of years ago, many Christians see the disaster as divine retribution for some collective guilt.
Christians Should Take Control
Many in the Christian Right argue that Christians should be the ones to control society - not just politics, but all of the culture. Few of those who believe this, though, are willing to admit it openly. Most seem to realize how offensive and bigoted this is, but there are those who just don't get it.
Minnesota: Firing of Gay Teacher Upheld
Roger Franzen was campus pastor Lutheran High School of Greater Minneapolis, then later teacher and chairman of the theology department. In 1998 he came out to his family as gay (though he was married with children) and his brother informed the school, which fired him. He sued, but a state court ruled against him.
California: Children of Gay Couples Protected, Christians Furious
The California Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that gay and lesbian couples who break up must still provide child support for kids they were raising. This protects the future of such children, but the defenders of "family values" on the Christian Right are outraged. Evidently, protecting children takes a second place after beating on gays
Jewish Law, Civil Rights, and Gay Rights
Traditional Judaism is not welcoming of homosexuality. Like most traditional religious systems, it condemns homosexuality as a sin and homosexuals as violating God's will for humanity. This does not mean, however, that Jews believe that gays shouldn't be accorded the same basic civil rights as the rest of the population.
Is Your Boy Gay? How To Tell...
Religious conservatives must spend a lot of time worrying about whether their boys will grow up to be gay. I guess a gay son can't be counted upon to ensure the preservation of masculinity and masculine control of society in the future.
Army Chooses Homophobia Over Security
You'd think that with the need for soldiers in Iraq, the military would care more about soldiers' abilities than their sexuality. You'd think with a policy like "don't ask, don't tell," the military would ignore possible homosexuals who don't tell anyone around them about their sexuality. In a sensible world, you'd be right; in a GOP-run America, you'd be wrong.
Gay Rights, Special Rights, and Right-Wing Hypocrisy
One of the most common complaints that the Christian Right makes about granting basic civil rights to gays is to say that they are really "special" rights unavailable to anyone else. This is patently untrue, but it's a rhetorically powerful argument which sounds convincing to many people. It is also very hypocritical.
Fundamentalism and Fear of Modernity
It is curious that the Christian Right is so antagonistic towards homosexuals. Gays are a relatively small minority in society and can pose little threat to Christianity or Christians' lives. It is difficult to fathom, then, what it is that they fear so much. What do they imagine will happen if gays have the same rights as everyone else?
Florida: Gay Couple's Home Torched in Arson Attack
In Orlando, two men had their mobile home burned down - and this was just the latest in a long-running problem with verbal abuse and threats from people in the area. It appears that because the men were a gay couple, it was considered acceptable for Christians to harass, threaten, and finally attack them.
Jerry Falwell Encourages Abuse for Gay Kids?
Many religious conservatives really hate homosexuality and homosexuals - even more so when gays appear in their very own families. In order to keep their families sexually and morally pure, they want to send gay teens to boot camps to drive the demon of homosexuality out of them. Jerry Falwell enthusiastically endorses this tactic.
California: Opposition to Domestic Partnerships
Conservatives in California want to end state benefits and rights for "domestic partnerships" for gay couples. The state attorney general will allow the proposed constitutional amendment go to the voters, but has narrowly tailored the wording to accurately reflect the intent of the proposals - and the bigots in California aren't happy about that.
Iran: Gay Teens Executed by Hanging
In the city of Mashhad in north-eastern Iran, two gay teens have been executed. One was 18 and the other is thought to have been 16 or 17. First they were lashed 228 times, though. Not long after the execution there were howls of outrage from the Iranian parliament - not at the execution itself, but at the temerity of journalists to report it.
Canada Legalizes Gay Marriage
Finally, the Canadian government has legalized same-sex marriages. This makes them the fourth government to do so, after Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Naturally not everyone is happy about the idea of gay relationships being given the same consideration as straight ones.
Arkansas: Gay Club Burned Down
In Fayetteville, Arkansas, a gay club has been destroyed by fire. They suffered an arson attack not long ago and most suspect arson was the cause for this fire was well. If it was an arson attack because the club catered to gays, it could be part of a growing trend towards attacks on gays and gay-friendly institutions.
Cardinal: Children of Gay Couples Cannot be Baptized
As the numbers of gay couples increases, so do the numbers of children being raised by gay couples. Churches may not approve of the gay relationships, but how will they treat the children? Some Catholic prelates insist that the children be discriminated against.
Will Benedict XVI Ban Gay Priests?
There have been rumors that the Vatican is preparing a document that would ban gay men from the priesthood, even if they are willing to remain celibate. Supposedly Benedict XVI currently has it in his possession, but it's unclear what he intends to do with it.
Lipstick Lesbian vs. Radical Islam
What will it take to undermine and end radical Islam - or at least end the threat it poses to everyone else? Probably only a counter-force from within Islam will suffice and that's exactly what Irshad Manji is attempting to accomplish. As both a woman and a lesbian, she herself poses a serious challenge for all concerned.
Gay Marriage and Republican Presidents
Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is a conservative politician in a liberal state. He survives in large part because he has developed a reputation as a pragmatist rather than an ideologue, but that reputation is being put to the test because he also has hopes of becoming president - a goal he can't achieve without moving far, far to the right.
Christian Right Burns Church?
In Virginia, a United Church of Christ structure was set on fire. Why? Graffiti found in the church indicates that it was because of the recent UCC vote to support gay marriages. It would appear, then, that religious bigots in the South are starting to use violence against other Christians who adopt more liberal stances on homosexuality.
Garrison Keillor: Indifferent Bigot
A lot of people in America like Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Companion radio show, but unfortunately Keillor isn't very kind when comes to people he doesn't much care for - and that includes gays and atheists.
Gay & Atheist in the Islamic World
Neither gays nor atheists are accorded much respect in the Muslim world. The same used to be the same in the Christian world, but the Christian West has progressed to the point where there are at least pockets of acceptance and tolerance; in Islam, though, such tolerance is hard to come by. Far more common are hatred, vilification, and even violence.
Jerusalem: Jewish Extremist Attacks Gay Pride Parade
A few days ago I wrote about how Jerusalem tried and failed to ban a gay pride parade. It was an effort to appease religious conservatives. One Ultra-Orthodox man decided to take matters into his own hands and attacked the parade, stabbing three people.
Intolerance of Intolerance
Intolerance - especially religion-based intolerance - has long been a powerful force for hatred and violence in America. Tolerance of intolerance allows it to survive, even thrive, and thereby gain a stronger foothold. At some point, intolerance of intolerance may be necessary to preserve a tolerant society.
Miscegenation Laws & Same-Sex Marriage
Many people have noticed a number of parallels between laws today banning gay marriage and laws in the past banning interracial marriage. There are parallels in the arguments used, in the people making the arguments, and even in the geographic regions which most strongly support the bans.
Belfast: Christian Anger Over Gay Pride Parade
For 14 years, gays in Ireland have held a gay pride parade in Belfast - always without violence or problems. Now local Christians are claiming that because the message being communicated offends their religious sensibilities, people should be prevented from having the parade.
Spain, Canada Legalize Gay Marriage
Canada and Spain are becoming the newest countries to legalize marriage between people of the same sex. Belgium and the Netherlands were previously the only places that permitted same-sex marriage nationally.
Muslims vs. Gays in New York City
Sex and sexuality are one of the major fulcrums of the "culture war" between traditional religion and modernity. In America, this conflict is usually carried out between religious or secular progressives on one side and conservative Christians on the other. Conservative Muslims are also beginning to enter the fray, though, and this may alter the overall equation.
Florida: County Votes to Ignore Gay Pride Events
In Hillsborough County, Florida, commissioners have voted to prohibit any county agency from "acknowledging, promoting or participating" in any sort of gay pride recognition or events. They also voted to require a supermajority of commissioners' votes for this measure to be overturned.
Jerusalem to Ban Gay Pride Parade
Gay people who aren't ashamed of being gay and who don't consent to hide in closets bother many conservative religious people. So, the government officials of Jerusalem have decided to support religious bigotry by preventing gays from holding a 'Gay Pride' parade.
Defense of Marriage Act vs. Federalism
One of the arguments used by those who supported the 'Defense of Marriage Act' is that states should be allowed to make their own decisions about whether they would recognize gay marriage. The principle of federalism should keep one state from forcing all others to accept gay marriage. Unfortunately, the DOMA is achieving the opposite of federalism.
Homophobia & Anti-Semitism as Fear of Modernity
The Christian Right vilifies homosexuality to an exceptional degree. It's not imply that Christians disagree with certain aspects of gay rights or regard homosexuality as a sin - that wouldn't explain why the invest homosexuality and gay rights with the responsibility for all that is wrong with America.
What Are Gay Rights? (Book Notes)
There is a lot of debate over "gay rights," but just what are "gay rights" in the first place? Are they special rights that no one else should have access to? Are they equal rights that others already have and which have been denied to gays?
Gay Military Wedding in Canada
Canada has now had it's first gay wedding: a sergeant and a warrant officer were married at Nova Scotia's Greenwood airbase. This puts religious conservatives in a pickle because it may end up as an example of not only how gays, but also married gays, can do just fine in a nation's military. It's always such a shame when facts and reality conflict with religious ideology, isn't it?
Christians and Gay Activists in Conversation
Conservative evangelicals and gays typically exchanged very heated words - when they exchange words at all. A conservative Baptist church in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, seems to want to change that. They believe that homosexuality is a sin, yet they set up a booth at a gay pride event - not to preach, but just to hand our free water.
Italy: Gay Men Allowed to Drive
This really isn't the sort of thing that should have to be reported on, but it's true: a court in Sicily has actually had to rule that gay men are allowed to drive. Authorities had suspended a man's license when they discovered that he was exempt from military service due to his homosexuality.
Gays Should Wear Warning Labels?
Rev. Bill Banuchi, executive director of the New York Christian Coalition, has suggested that gays should have to wear "warning labels," raising disturbing parallels with how the Nazis forced "undesirables" like communists, Jews, and homosexuals, to wear colored badges in concentration camps. Banuchi denies that this is what he meant.
Marriage: Religious Rite or Civil Right?
Many people argue that marriage is essentially and necessarily a religious rite - they conceive of religion in almost exclusively religious terms and object to the intrusion of the state into a religious matter. Because of religion's traditional role in sanctifying marriages and presiding over wedding ceremonies this is understandable, but it's also incorrect.
Gov. Perry Invites Gays to Leave Texas
When Rick Perry, governor of Texas, recently signed a proposal that would define marriage as between a man and a woman, some might have thought that he wasn't considering the impact to gay and lesbian citizens of Texas. In fact, he really doesn't care about the impact on them - he'd be just as happy, if not happier, if they simply left Texas completely.
Smash Gay Marriage, Like the Fist of God!
There are several companies that provide long-distance telephone service and, at the same time, give some of what they charge customers to non-profit activities. One, "Faith, Family and Freedom," is a "Christian-based telephone carrier" run by United American Technologies in Oklahoma.
Benedict XVI Blasts Gay Marriage
Pope Benedict XVI has continued his shrill attacks on gay marriage. I say "shrill" because there is really no substance to his complaints - he throws every negative adjective in the book at gay marriage, but what's lacking is any coherent and substantive reason for civil governments to refuse to recognize such unions.
Texas Bans All Marriage?
Is it possible that in their zeal to ban gay marriage in Texas, the Christian Right has crafted a constitutional amendment that would in fact ban all marriage? That seems incredible, but it also seems possible based upon the language used.
Homophobia & Misogyny
Is there a connection between homophobia and misogyny? There are good reasons to think so: each position tends to be based upon common assumptions about the superiority of the masculine role and the inferiority of the passive, feminine role in intimate relationships.
Gays in Mexico: Coming Out and Proud
Mexico has traditionally sported a culture of hyper-masculinity which has been very harsh towards gays. Recently, though, that has begun to change. There's a section of Mexico City called the Pink Zone where numerous gay-oriented businesses are opening up. There's change in the air in Mexico.
Louisiana: Restrict Gay Books?
Alabama isn't the only state where someone has attacked the presence of "gay" books in libraries. In Louisiana, Republican A.G. Crowe has proposed that all books with "homosexual themes" be restricted to "areas designated exclusively for adult access and distribution."
Timeline of the Anti-Gay Movement
The Christian Right has been building its opposition to gay rights for a long time. Most people aren't aware of just how long ago the foundations were laid or how many deep connections exist between anti-gay leaders today and the anti-gay efforts of the 1970s.
Same-Sex Marriage: Three Points of View
One of the tactics of those who try to stop gay marriage is to misrepresent the issue by over-simplifying it. Ignoring bothersome facts makes it easier to present their preferred option as if it were the only reasonable choice.
Brazil: Paraplegic Denied Wedding Due to Impotence
Opponents of same-sex marriage sometimes argue that such marriages would be invalid because of the absence of children. Critics say that straight couples wouldn't be denied marriage for that reason, so why do it to gay couples? In Brazil, however, the Catholic church has done exactly that: denied marriage to someone for being impotent.
Flawed Originalism: Gay Marriage, Interracial Marriage
It's obvious that the arguments being used against gay marriages are often identical to those once used against interracial marriage. Among the serious problems with this is how it undermines the position adopted by man conservative originalists.
Gays in Pakistan
The government of Pakistan denies that any of its citizens are gay, but homosexuality exists in Pakistan just as it does everywhere else. Slowly, cautiously, gays there are starting to find a voice and express themselves. They risk social ostracism, arrest, and even death.
Second Class Christians: Faith, Freedom, and Intolerance
Christians are becoming more diverse in the lives they lead; this, in turn, is leading to greater tension and divisions within Christian churches. Some members seem to be becoming "second class" Christians - they are allowed to attend church, but they are denied the same rights and privileges as other members.
Definition of Marriage in 1886
Opponents of same-sex marriage like to argue that a marriage between two members of the same sex is a contradiction in terms because it does not fulfill the traditional requirements of marriage. This argument is a-historical because it ignores the ways in which the "essentials" of marriage have changed along with culture over the years - and in recent history.
People like Pat Robertson really don't like gays - but they are (in their own eyes at least) very good at spotting gays. During a commercial break in a Larry King Live episode, Robertson was caught saying that the first three questioners were all "homos." How did he know?
Southern Baptists Eyeing Homosexuality in Public Schools
The man who tried to get the last Southern Baptist Convention meeting to recommend pulling kids out of public schools has a new cause: getting the next SBC meeting to recommend that parents investigate "homosexual advocacy" at their public schools. Baptists' obsession with homosexuality is very interesting.
Tulsa Restricts Gay-Themed Kids Books
The Oklahoma government has passed a law requiring all publicly funded libraries that children's books that involve homosexuality must be placed in a restricted Adults Only section. Naturally, libraries are complying.
Linking Hatred Through Christianity
The hatred displayed towards gays in America today is disconcertingly similar to the hatred that has been used against other groups in the past %u2014 blacks in America and Jews in Germany, for example. There are a variety of connections that bind these hatreds together.
Right-Wing Attacks on Gay Rights in Spain
Spain's socialist government intends to legalize both gay marriage and gay adoption. They are experiencing a lot of opposition from both political conservatives and Catholic leaders - but will this opposition be strong enough to derail the gay-rights agenda?
Cardinal: Gay Marriage is Destruction of the World
The Catholic church is two-faced when it comes to gays in society. On the one hand, Catholic leaders insist that gays should be treated well; on the other hand, Catholic leaders treat gays as if they were carriers of some atrocious moral evil that must be eliminated.
Homophobic Spokane Mayor is Gay?
Jim West, mayor of Spokane, Washington, has long been a reliable foot soldier in the Republican war on gay rights. What the Christian Right homophobes didn't know, though, is that West has been sleeping with the enemy - working both sides of the street, so to speak. A reliable soldier in the war on gays, he has also been a reliable visitor to gay chat rooms.
Navajo President Vetoes Gay Marriage Ban
The Navajo Nation Council tried to ban gay marriage, but Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. vetoed it. This made gay Navajos happy, but the Council could still override the veto, so the debate isn't over yet.
Defrocked Lesbian Minister Wins Appeal
Elizabeth Stroud is a lesbian minister who was defrocked last year after a United Methodist court ruled that she had violated a rule against "practicing homosexuals" serving in the clergy. Now an appeals committee has overturned the verdict.
Virginia: Court Sides with Gay Adoptive Parents
Virginia will issue new birth certificates to parents who adopt a child, but the government tried to avoid doing this when it came to gay couples adopting children. The Virginia Supreme Court has struck this down. Gays can no longer adopt in Virginia, but gay couples in other states may adopt children who were born in Virginia.
Alabama: Banning Gay Books, Plays
In Alabama, Republican lawmaker Gerald Allen says that homosexuality is so awful that the state should refuse even indirect funding for any book or play that depicts homosexuality in a positive light. This affects libraries, schools, colleges, and a host of other venues.
Texas: Homophobic Parents Support Firing of Lesbian Coach
In Bloomberg, Texas, a female coach at the school was fired. The school board says that it really wasn't because she was a lesbian, but that rings hollow in light of the fact that they agreed to a $100,000 settlement with her. The town is intensely homophobic and Merry Stephens kept her sexuality secret for years because she knew what would happen if the bigots found out.
Religious Freedom in Canada
The legalization of same-sex marriage means that gay couples will have to be treated the same as straight couples. People who provide wedding services (florists, caterers, halls) won't be able to turn away clients merely because they are gay. Some are arguing that this represents an infringement upon religious liberty - but are they correct?
Vatican Condemns Gay Marriage in Spain
A recent bill would allow gays in Spain to marry and adopt children - in fact, Spain could become the first European country to do this. The Vatican is not pleased and the fact that Spain is traditionally a very Catholic nation is probably annoying them even more.
Same-Sex Marriage, Full Faith & Credit
One of the concerns of religious conservatives is that the legalization of gay marriage in one state will mean that other states will be forced to recognize the validity of such marriages, even if they aren't legal there. Trying to stop that from happening, however, will cause far more problems and injustice.
Microsoft Caves to Christian Right, Abandons Gays
Apparently out of fear of a boycott from the Christian Right, Microsoft has withdrawn its support from a bill in Washington state that would extend protections against discrimination in banking, insurance, employment, and housing to gays. So, why does the Christian Right think that it should be OK to discriminate against gays in those contexts?
Conservatives Push Anti-Gay 'Day of Truth'
The "Day of Silence" is a successful nationwide effort to educate people about the anti-gay bias that homosexuals have to endure every day of their lives. Religious conservatives are bothered by this and would prefer that anti-gay bias remain in force, so they are come up with an alternative: an anti-gay "Day of Truth" designed to promote the idea that homosexuals should be discriminated against.
Asking Scalia Indecent Questions
After a speech at NYU, a law student asked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia whether he ever sodomizes his wife. That was a very rude question - but also relevant. After all, Scalia believes that consensual sodomy should be criminalized and, hence, that law enforcement authorities can ask someone whether they have ever engaged in sodomy.
Evangelical Christians Beating Gays in the Name of God
In 2004 three men in Seattle vicious beat Micah Painter, a gay man. Why? Because their evangelical Christian background taught them that gays are evil and must be fought - an idea that they took to its logical extreme.
Canada: Religious Defenders of Same-Sex Marriage
It serves the political interests of the Christian Right to portray the debate over gay marriage as occurring between god-fearing Christians and godless secularists. The truth, however, is that there are many devout religious believers who also think that gays should be allowed to marry - they consider it a question of religious freedom as well as of civil liberties.
Saudis Torture, Flog Gays
Homosexuality is banned in Islam and, therefore, in Muslim nations. Gays are treated very harshly by civil authorities in Muslim nations. Recently, a group of men found acting like "women" at a party in Saudi Arabia were sentenced to a total of more than 14,200 lashes. The trial was held behind closed doors and the men had no defense counsel.
Pennsylvania: Objections Raised to Gay History Marker
A marker has been erected at Philadelphia's Independence Hall to commemorate the nation's first gay and lesbian civil rights demonstration which occurred on July 4, 1965. Given how far gay rights has come in 40 years, this is a significant event - but Christian groups are upset at anything that treats gay history positively.
Workplace Religion Freedom Act: Anti-Gay?
Both Democrats and Republicans are supporting an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act that would force employers to do more to accommodate religious employees. Sounds like a good idea, generally speaking, but this change has some disturbing implications.
Scottish Church Backs Gay Priests
The Scottish Episcopal Church has declared that a gay person who is sexually active is not automatically barred from serving in the priesthood. Gay rights activists are pleased, but this is sure to worse the rifts within the Anglican Communion.
Alabama Wants to Ban Gay Adoptions
Gay couples in Alabama already can't adopt children together because they can't marry. The state does, however, have provisions for single people to adopt and they want to close this possibility off from gays. Why? Because gays are just nasty and evil, of course.
Bishop Apologizes for Refusing Gay Man's Funeral
I earlier wrote about the gay bar owner denied a funeral by the Catholic diocese in San Diego; well, public pressure there caused the bishop to reconsider the decision and now he says that the decision was wrong.
Ohio: Gay Marriage Ban Protects Unmarried Domestic Violence
Ohio voters passed a ban on "gay marriage" that broadly bans any law or regulation that would provide the same status to unmarried couples as married couples have. This, according to a judge, means that domestic violence laws don't apply to unmarried couples.
Gay Rights in Michigan
Voters in Michigan passed an amendment to the state's constitution that was supposed to ban gay marriage, but critics noted that the language was much broader than that. Now the state attorney general says that the critics were right all along.
Defending Marriage Newspeak
People who want to prevent gays from marrying commonly argue that it would be wrong to adjust our conception of marriage beyond the traditional "one man one woman" paradigm. Can they, however, mount an effective argument for their position?
Catholic Funeral Denied to Gay Bar Owner
If you are a bar owner, should the Catholic church refuse to bury you? What if you are a gay bar owner? Well, that's what happened in San Diego where a very popular gay bar owner was denied burial by the Catholic church because his "lifestyle" was incompatible with Catholic "values."
Utah Needs Gay-Hating Textbooks
In Utah's Nebo School District, students are able to take a class in introductory psychology. Unfortunately for them, their texts are all woefully out of date and they can't get new ones because no modern psychology texts are sufficiently anti-gay to please the administrators.
UK: Muslims Preferred Over Gays
In Britain, it looks like the Labour Party is trying to woo Muslim voters by snubbing gays. Labour has backed a bill that would protect Muslims against discrimination but they refuse to do the same for gays - because protecting gays against discrimination would upset the Muslims they are pandering to.
Blogsnark: Parody of Marriage?
Would a "gay" marriage not qualify as a "real" marriage because "marriage" can only exist between a man and a woman? No - quite aside from the fact that many other types of marriage have existed, the "one man one woman" mantra doesn't take biological reality into account. That doesn't stop some people, though.
Virginia: Tolerance Prayer Offends Lawmakers
Conservative legislators in Virginia who have no problem with politicizing religion when it favors their causes were put in an uncomfortable position because Rev. Debra Peevey of the Journey of the Heart Ministries in Reston delivered an invocation that included a message of tolerance towards gays. What's good for the goose...
Maine: Law Would Ban Aborting Gay Fetuses
If there were a "gay gene" that could be tested for, should mothers be prevented from aborting a fetus who had it? Maine state representative Brian Duprey has written a bill that would ban such a practice, but he isn't doing it to protect gays in the future.
Homosexuality Threatens Authority of Bible
Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, has stated that the authority of the Bible is being put at risk by debates over homosexuality. I wonder if he would have said the same about debates over slavery or the status of women in society? Probably, if he had lived during an earlier age.
Christians Threaten Movie Chain Over Same-Sex Marriage Ads
Famous Players, Canada's largest movie chain, had been running a paid advertisement supporting the legalization of gay marriage. It had to be dropped, however, because of opposition from Christian groups - opposition that included threats.
Gay Marriage: Ideology of Evil
Did you realize that efforts to legalize gay marriage are part of a new "ideology of evil"? That's the judgment of Pope John Paul II in his most recent book. Apparently it isn't enough to categorize it with the "culture of death," so a new rhetorical phrase had to be found.
AARP & Gay Marriage
Did you know that the AARP is part of a conspiracy to legalize gay marriage while opposing American troops in Iraq? Sounds ridiculous, I know, but that's basically what is being claimed by a well-funded conservative group trying to undermine AARP's opposition to President Bush's plan to privatize social security.
Government Censorship of the Word 'Gay'
A federally funded conference on suicide prevention has been marked by controversy because of government efforts to remove the words "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual," and "transexual" from the program. People are scared of even acknowledging the role of Christian hate and homophobia in suicide in America.
Canada: Hutterites Oppose Gay Marriage
Canada's Hutterite community tends to keep to themselves. They don't involve themselves in political disputes an don't even normally vote. Right now, however, they are speaking out against the plans to legalize gay marriage in Canada.
Maya Keyes Kicked Out by Family
The fact that Maya Keyes, daughter of homophobic Republican Alan Keyes, was a lesbian has been known for quite a while. Now that Alan's hopeless election campaign is over, though, he feels comfortable kicking her out of the house without fear of repercussion.
Seminary President Ousted for Marrying Gay Daughter
The president of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary has been removed from office and reprimanded because he officiated at the marriage of his daughter and her gay partner in Massachusetts. The marriage was legal, of course, but also contradictory to the seminary's doctrines.
Marriage & Conservative Values
Conservatives today donâ€™t like comparisons between their opposition to gay marriage and the way conservatives in the past opposed interracial marriage. It's true that the parallels aren't exact, but the strength of the parallels cannot be dismissed. Many of the same language, arguments, and principles can be found in both positions. Why were conservatives wrong then but right now?
Sash Wearers Disqualified from Communion?
The "Rainbow Sash" movement is a group of people who wear rainbow colored sashes to signal their disagreement with the Catholic Church's policies on gays and homosexuality. Sometimes they wear the sashes to church services which gives priests and bishops a problem: should they be allowed to receive communion? Word from the Vatican now is that they shouldn't.
Christian Right Sending Funds to Canada
The American Christian Right isn't just fighting gay marriage in the United States, they are also fighting it in Canada. Afraid that the more liberal Canadian parliament will actually legalize same-sex marriage just across the border, American religious groups are sending large amounts of money north in order to stop it from occurring.
Canada: Some Muslims Supporting Gay Marriage Rights
Religious groups, but especially Muslim groups, tend to oppose gay rights and gay marriage measures as contrary to their religious principles. In Canada, though, all religious groups are faced with choosing between supporting the human rights laws which defend them or opposing those laws in the name of religious orthodoxy.
Virginia: Anti-Gay License Plates
In Virginia, the House of Delegates has passed a bill that would authorize anti-gay license plates that promote "traditional marriage." This measure is the brainchild of Scott Limgamfelter, a strong supporters of banning gay marriage in the Constitution.
Canada: Catholic Church to Fight Gay Marriage
The Canadian government is considering the legal recognition of gay marriages and the Catholic Church is gearing up for a major fight. They intend to do whatever they can in order to keep marriage away from gays. Many Canadians disagree - including many Catholic Canadians.
New York Judge Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage
New York's State Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan has ruled that marriage is a basic freedom protected by the state's constitution that all couples must have equal access to - including same-sex couples. This would mean that gay marriages should start being granted. The case was called Hernandez v. Robles.
Ex-Gay Counselor Expelled from ACA
Richard Cohen is a "reparative therapist" who seems to specialize in helping gays become "ex-gay." He is president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and the "ex-gay advisor" for Dr. Laura Schlessinger. He has also been "permanently expelled" by the American Counseling Association for serious ethical violations - back in 2003...
Conservatism, Atheism, and Gay Marriage
Can conservatives be atheists? Can conservatives support gay marriage? There is some debate among conservatives on these issues and not always a lot of consensus.
Parents Object to Rainbow Diversity Flag
Howell High School in Michigan has a Diversity Club that hung a rainbow-colored flag in order to promote diversity and tolerance. Local conservative Christians are outraged that the students would do such a thing and that the school administration would permit it.
Sikh Clergy Clamping Down on Gay Marriages
The spread of same-sex marriage in the West is having an impact on Sikh religious leaders in India: a directive has been issued forbidding Sikhs from participating in or entering gay marriages. This may cause problems for Sikhs living in more liberal nations, like Canada.
Canada Rejects Vatican Call to Halt Gay Marriages
The Vatican has called upon the Canadian government to pull back from legalizing same-sex marriages, but Canada is refusing to heed the advice. Catholic officials want the government to invoke Canada's "notwithstanding clause" that allows the passage of bills that violate The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This essentially acknowledges that prohibiting gay marriage violates peoples rights.
Discrimination Against Gays in Illinois
Has the Illinois governor signed a law that will force churches to hire homosexuals? I you read (and actually believe) what is written by religious conservatives with blogs, you'll certainly think so. This is a great example of how lies and disinformation can be spread by right-wing blogs with just a little deceptive encouragement from Christian Right leaders.
Watch Out! Lesbians in Vermont!
PBS has pulled an episode of a popular children's show about America that, when visiting Vermont, visits the homes of two lesbian couples who have entered into domestic partnerships. In her first public statements as US Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings denounced the episode, the public funding of it, and the lesbian couples. Wonderful woman, isn't she?
In case you hadn't heard, demagogues of the Christian Right have been beating the war drums against Spongebob Squarepants. It appears that this cartoon character has appeared in a music video created by a group with a radical pro-gay agenda and this outrages the far right. Well, maybe not - as usual, the Christian Right's rhetoric and the truth don't quite agree.
Maine: Bishop Could Oppose Gay-Rights Bill
In 2000, members of the Catholic Diocese of Portland helped local civil rights activists craft a referendum that would outlaw discrimination against gays in employment and housing. That referendum and another one like it were defeated, but activists are trying again with a third, worded almost exactly the same. The new bishop may not support it. Why?
Ohio: Gay Marriage Amendment vs. Domestic Violence
Voters in Ohio approved a constitutional amendment against gay marriage that denies unmarried couples anything that gives them "marriage-like status." This is having unintended consequences for unmarried couples involved in domestic violence disputes: some are claiming that since they aren't married, they can't be charged with domestic violence.
Falwell on Homosexuals and Minorities
Jerry Falwell isn't the most compassionate or tolerant religious leader, that is true, but it is amazing just how awful some of his beliefs are. When asked about his intolerance towards gays, he manages to turn things around and expound upon feelings about blacks, Hispanics, and women.
Supreme Court Won't Hear Gay Adoption Case
In Florida, it is illegal for gay couples to adopt children. The law was challenged at the Supreme Court, but the case won't be heard and the law stands. The Supreme Court refuses to hear lots of cases, but this is unusual in that they let stand a lower-court ruling that is very critical the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas ruling from 2003.
Religion & AIDS in Africa
Although many religious believers see one of the purposes of religion as comforting the sick and afflicted, when it comes to AIDS religion isn't accomplishing that goal. Christianity in particular not only isn't comforting people, but in Africa it seems to be helping the disease spread faster and farther.
Reggie White, Minister of Intolerance
I've received complaints about my 1998 article on Reggie White. At the time I was critical of the way he used his religion to bash gays, church/state separation, and more. It seems that now that he is dead, we should whitewash history and pretend that he never said anything vile. Well, I won't do it.
Radical Right Christians 'Persecuted' in Philadelphia
Have you heard about the Philadelphia 4? You should have, if you read conservative press much. They are celebrities for conservative evangelicals, arrested merely because they were expressing their Christians beliefs in the vicinity of a gay festival. Repression! Persecution! Discrimination! Bigotry! Or maybe not?
Catholic School Admits Gay Couple's Son, Outrages Parents
St. John the Baptist School in Costa Mesa, California, has decided to admit a boy adopted by a two gay men. This has outraged the parents of other students there and they want the school to admit no one except from families who abide strictly to Catholic teachings - like I'm sure all of they do. Let he who is without sin cast he first stone...
Arkansas: Gays Can Be Foster Parents
In Arkansas, a harsh law that banned either gays or anyone living in a household with a gay adult from raising foster children has been struck down. In one more respect, gay adults will be treated as equals of straights.
SSA Rejects Heterosexual Marriage Certificates
In September, 2004, the mayor of New Paltz, New York, issued marriage certificates to a number of gay couples. Now the Social Security Administration is refusing to recognize any marriage licenses from New Paltz - even those filed for heterosexual couples.
Gay Marriage Is An Attack on Society
Some might think that gay marriage is about gays having the ability to create a public commitment to one another and establish familial or kinship ties with one another in order to build a future together. The truth, at least according to Pope John Paul II, is that gay marriage is really an attack on society. How society will crumble if gays marry remains unclear.
Rainbow Sash in Minneapolis
The Rainbow Sash movement is made up of Catholics working for equality for gays within the Catholic Church. Most bishops deny people communion when they show up wearing rainbow sashes, but not Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Some Catholics have criticized him for this and even tried to block it from happening.
George W. Bush's reelection as president has already started to have one cultural effect: people are running scared from anything that is supportive of homosexuality and gay Americans. There is a feeling that if private actors don't at least ignore homosexuality, they will be subject to a government crackdown that will force them to do so.
Gay Marriage Supporters Deny Authority of God
Religious conservatives have been reacting to Canada's decision to authorize gay marriages - and they aren't happy. Their predictable complaints generally center around the fact that allowing gay marriages separates the law from their idea of a godly society.
When is a Philosopher Not a Philosopher?
Differentiating good philosophy from poor philosophy can be difficult, but it's a bit easier to differentiate between a person who doing a good job at being a philosopher and one who is merely using the label "philosopher" in order to advance their personal prejudices or agenda.
Canada: Gay Marriage Approved
The Canadian Supreme Court has, as expected, given the government approval to recognize same-sex marriages on an equal basis with heterosexual unions. Religious officials won't be forced to perform the ceremonies, though, and the House of Commons still has to give its approval as well.
Republicans Shouldn't Employ Gays?
The Christian Right's war on gays continues as the call goes out for Republican politicians to stop hiring or employing gays. Apparently being gay is so contrary to Republican principles that it isn't even acceptable to have a gay person on staff, regardless of that person's political views. Gays, you just aren't welcome.
Israel: Same-Sex Couples Covered by Common Law
The Israeli government will allow same-sex couples to be covered by statutes that regulate common-law marriages. This isn't quite the same as same-sex marriage, but it does provide a level of official recognition as well as equal treatment when it comes to property laws and taxation.
Robertson: Gays & Lesbians are Self-Absorbed Hedonists
The Christian Right really doesn't like gays. It's difficult to attack people who simply want the right to love and develop relationships with people they love, so one of the tactics of the Christian Right uses is to deny that gay relationships are about "love" in the same way that straight relationships are. Instead, they are denied legitimacy by labeling them forms of "hedonism."
South Africa: Lesbian Marriage May Be Validated
Once a bastion of racial segregation and discrimination, South Africa has not only reformed on racial matters but is actually leaping ahead on a variety of civil rights issues - including gay rights and gay marriage. The Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa has ruled that a lesbian couple has a right to marry.
Gay Muslims Speaking Out
It can be difficult to be gay in America. It can also be difficult to be a Muslim in America. Gay Muslims, however, are faced with even more problems than either group alone. They face condemnation, discrimination, and suspicion from all sides - but they are beginning to speak out and make their presence known.
South Carolina: Show Depicts Gays as Human, Outrages Legislator
South Carolina Educational Television aired a documentary about the lives of gays in the South. This program included information about how they lived and the difficulties they experience. This was far too much for one lawmaker who wants SCETV's budge cut for promoting the military homosexual agenda - you know, the agenda that includes depicting them as human beings.
Falwell: Gay Conservatives Should Leave GOP
Conservative panjandrum Jerry Falwell recently said "Well the fact that he's a gay Republican means he should join the Democratic party." Falwell also recently said that conservative evangelicals had taken over the GOP, and I guess this is an example of what that means: people who insist on living in a manner that doesn't comport with evangelicals' religious values should get out.
Christians Resisting Seduction of Gay Alexander
Was Alexander the Great bisexual? Most historians seem to think that he likely was - it's not absolute and definite, but there is enough evidence to think it likely. It's not as though this would have been a major scandal for a married man to have some homosexual interest on the side. It is, however, a scandal for this to be referenced today.
Pennsylvania: Lesbian Methodist Minister Defrocked
The Methodist Church doesn't permit "practicing" homosexuals in the priesthood - if you are gay and want to be a Methodist priest, you have to remain celibate. Rev. Irene Elizabeth Stroud in Germantown, Pennsylvania, challenged that because she is living with a woman - and she was removed from the priesthood because of it.
Alabama: Banning Books with Gay Characters
Republican Representative Gerald Allen in Alabama has introduced a bill that would ban public funding for "the purchase of textbooks or library materials that recognize or promote homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle." Must be nice to be represented by someone like him, huh?
Supreme Court Lets Gay Marriage Stand
The Supreme Court has declined to even review a challenge made by conservatives to a Massachusetts high court ruling that allows for gay marriages. Religious conservatives wanted to be "protected" from gays marrying, but the Court made it clear that there was no identifiable harm to them - they simply lacked the standing to sue.
U.S. Government Denies Validity of Transsexual Marriages?
I've written before that the "definition" of marriage as being only between "one man and one woman" poses serious problems for those whose sex is not easily categorized and for transsexuals. Now a transsexual is suing because her husband has been denied legal residency - apparently, their marriage isn't considered valid because "she" isn't considered a "she".
Minnesota: Anti-Gay Exorcism Damages Cathedral
Conflict between anti-gay Catholics and those Catholics who support gay rights has come to a head in the St. Paul Cathedral in Minnesota. After a brief confrontation, it appears that the anti-gay group Catholics Against Sacrilege performed an anti-gay exorcism that caused thousands of dollars in damage.
Unholy Rebellion of the Childless
There are growing numbers of couples in America who are voluntarily childless. They could have children, presumably, but choose not to â€šÃ„Ã® whether because of financial reasons, lifestyle desires, or a lack of interest in kids. For religious conservatives, this isn't merely a bad choice but is, instead, a rebellion against God. So what do they want to do about it?
Vermont: Gay Parents Have Same Rights as Straight Parents
Do gay couples who have children have the same rights as a married couple with children? They do if they have entered into a civil union in Vermont. At least, that's what a Vermont court has ruled, contradicting a Virginia judge who has ruled that because gay civil unions aren't recognized in Virginia, it doesn't matter what Vermont says.
Anti-Gay Bias in Topeka, Kansas
Topeka, Kansas, is most famous for the infamous "God Hates Fags" ministry of the Westboro Baptist Church. It doesn't sound like it can be a very tolerant place, but the City Council has (barely) passed a measure prohibiting bias against gays in the hiring or firing of any city employees. It's not much, but it is a step forward.
Why Does Marriage Exist?
In debates over gay marriage, most attention is paid to "gay" and too little to "marriage." Granted, opponents of gay marriage are loud and vociferous in their insistence that they are defending "marriage," but ultimately little attention is paid to what marriage really is and why it exists.
Ontario: Muslims Object Being Exposed to Humanity of Gays
Canada is a nation that has decided to promote tolerance and diversity far more than most. This is causing conflicts with some conservative citizens. Recently Muslim parents objected to the fact that their children were being shown videos that demonstrate what it is like for kids of gay parents to be teased and bullied.
The 'Gay Thing'
A lot of people are bothered by homosexuality. Reasons for this vary (at least, self-reported reasons do), but despite this variety there is a common thread of "because I don't like it, gays should go away and/or have restricted rights." It's a curious phenomenon to see someone attacking others simply because they fall in love with the "wrong" sort of person.
Study: Teens Fine With Gay Parents
One of the complaints offered by many opponents of gay marriage is that gay couples wouldn't make good parents and gay parenthood should be discouraged rather than facilitated. Unfortunately for them, data suggests strongly that gay parents are just as good as straight parents.
Pharisees Gathering Stones
One of the interesting features of the current efforts by the Christian Right to attack gay marriage is that their rhetoric about saving families doesn't match their actions. Why not, for example, invest similar attention to something like divorce or spousal abuse? These affect far more people and marriages than gay marriage ever could.
Anti-Gay Ballot Measures Coming
After the stunning success of all eleven state anti-gay ballot measures in the 2004 elections, anti-gay activists are gearing up for more measure that they hope will further restrict gays' rights in American society. If they are able to continue encouraging ignorance, hatred, and fear of gays they might be successful.
Irish Ruling on Gay Marriage
Gay marriages are legal in some parts of Canada, but not legal anywhere in Ireland. The recent marriage in British Columbia of two women, both Irish, may change things in Ireland. An Irish judge has ruled that they can try to have their union legally recognized there and they stand a good chance of winning.
Conservative Arguments Against Gay Marriage
Resistance to gay marriage in America is dependent upon religious conservatives. According to them, their objections are based upon reasonable readings of nature, history, culture, and religion - not bigotry and prejudice. Funny, but that's the same position adopted by opponents of abolition, desegregation, and interracial marriage. How good is their case?
Homophobia: Common Denominator in American Religion
Among the various Christian church and denominations in America there is a wide variety of religious practices, behavior, and even doctrines. There is, however, one thing that they all have in common - something that is shared with other religious groups as well: homophobia. Wherever you go, people hate gays.
Texas Textbooks Modifying Marriage Definition
In Texas, Christians don't want students to get even the hint of the idea that gay couples might be married - so they are insisting that all language about marriage in textbooks be transformed to ensure that it conforms to the "one man one woman" rule that they love so much.
Legal vs. Religious Marriage
Oregon voters decided to approve Measure 36 which amends the state constitution to define the state's civil marriages in a manner consistent with some religious definitions of marriage (but not others). Is this a good idea? Of course not - but those who think that the state has the authority to promote or protect their religion think otherwise.
States Reject Gay Marriage
Constitutional bans on gay marriage were on ballots in eleven states - and they passed in all eleven. Supporters of gay rights were hoping that they could win in one or two in order to prevent a complete sweep, but voters in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Utah, and Oregon chose bigotry over liberty.
Developing an African Theology?
Although African churches have not officially broken away form the Anglican Communion, they are moving in that direction. African bishops have begun talking about developing their own "African" theology and not having their priests trains in North American seminaries.
Traditional Values vs. Gay Marriage
Voters in Oregon will deciding whether to ban gay marriages. The state government website keeps lists of ballot measures along with citizen-submitted arguments for and against. One clever citizen going by the name of Dennis Moore has submitted several "interesting" arguments for why gay marriage should be banned.
Tufts Republicans: Homosexuality = Death?
Republican students at Tufts University apparently believe that homosexuality is one of the greatest threats facing America today. A group called "Article 8" held a lecture (sponsored by Tufts Republicans) claiming that homosexuality is a threat to public health and could undermine American politics.
Conservative Case for Gay Marriage
Opposition to gay marriage generally comes from conservative circles. Not all liberals support it, obviously, but the main opposition is still conservative - or conservative religiosity, to be more specific. Nevertheless, a strong case for gay marriage can be made from conservative principles.
Georgia: Christian Bigot's Gay Daughter Speaks Out
Sadie Fields, president of the Christian Coalition of Georgia, has written a nasty column for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution supporting an amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Georgia. Her daughter, Tess Fields, is a gay woman working for Planned Parenthood who has responded to her mother's vile bigotry.
Missouri: School Allows Anti-Gay Speech, but not Gay Pride Speech
A student in Missouri is being helped in a lawsuit by the ACLU. According to the student, he has been sent home and ordered to stop wearing shirts that express gay pride or pro-gay messages. At the same time, though, anti-gay and anti-gay marriage messages are allowed all over the school.
California: School Accused of Harassing Gay Students
A Los Angeles high school is being sued by gay students and the ACLLU for allowing a climate "rife with hostility" toward gay students to develop. According to the complaint, gay students are harassed not only by other students, but even by faculty members.
Irish Bishop Backs Gay Couples' Rights
Not all Catholic leaders agree with the Vatican's harsh position against gay couples. Irish Bishop of Killaloe, Willie Walsh, has said that some sort of civil union for gay couples shouldn't be a problem and may in fact be the most just course of action.
Jesse Helms' Gay Granddaughter Uses Him for Election Advantage
Jesse Helms was one of the nastiest and most vocal anti-gay bigots in the Senate. His granddaughter is campaigning to become a district judge in North Carolina. Helms doesn't know she is gay and state Republican leaders who engage in regular gay-baiting in their own campaign literature fail to mention Jennifer Knox's long-time lesbian partner. Hypocrites? You bet.
Gay Marriage and Interracial Marriage
Quite a few people have pointed out the parallels between the current bans on gay marriage and America's previous bans on interracial marriage. Opponents of gay marriage have resisted this comparison and it must be granted that the analogy is not perfect, but it is also undeniable that the similarities are far too great and significant to simply shrug off.
Should Sterile Couples Be Allowed to Marry?
Many opponents of gay marriage argue that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry because marriage is for making and raising children. If that is true, however, why are sterile couples allowed to marry? They can't procreate any more than a gay couple can. Should fertility tests become a precondition of marriage licenses?
Bush: Iraq Is Not a Big Issue, But Gay Marriage Is
Does George W. Bush think that Iraq is a "big issue"? One would assume so - over a thousand Americans have died there and he gave the order to invade. Most Americans seem to regard it as very important. Recent comments from Bush, however, suggest that maybe he doesn't.
Bush Supports Gay Civil Unions?
In a move that has surprised many, George W. Bush has come out in support of gay civil unions. He doesn't actually support their existence, but he does support the right of states to have such civil unions if that is what they wish. It's not much, but it's a step in the right direction.
Marriage Rights for Asexuals?
I've written before about marriage rights for sadists and masochists, but what about the asexual? If marriage is all about creating and raising children, it's arguable that asexual people shouldn't be allowed to marry because it's unlikely that they will bother having children.
Dobson: Gays Will Destroy the Earth
Conservative rhetoric against gays continues to heat up, just as it does during almost every election season. If one were to believe religious conservatives, gays are responsible for just about every ill that befalls America - and will be responsible for much worse if Americans don't get their act together and eliminate or repress homosexuality in some manner.
Alan Keyes: Gay Marriage Leads to Incest
Republican Alan Keyes hates gay marriage. He really, really, really hates gay marriage. Keyes hates gay marriage so much, in fact, that he's willing to claim that adoptions by married gay couples would lead to incest.
Pennsylvania: Gay Marriage Lawsuit Tossed
A judge has tossed out a lawsuit over gay marriage - but it's not quite what you may think. Two men tried to obtain a marriage license and were refused. They said that they might sue the state. Because of that, 11 state lawmakers sued the couple simply for talking publicly about getting the law changed.
Philip Jensen, Anglican Dean of Sydney, Australia, has called the Archbishop of Canterbury a "theological prostitute." That's actually one of the milder comments of his about the current state of the Anglican Communion and its leadership in Britain.
New Hampshire: No Apologies, Resignation from Gay Bishop
The Anglican report may have condemned the elevation of an openly gay man to the position of bishop, but Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson won't resign and won't apologize. He regrets the hard feelings created, but he won't back down.
Anglican Prelates Unapologetic
The Anglican church commission given the task of trying to deal with the status of gays and the Episcopal Church's decision to elevate an openly gay man to the position of bishop has finished and released its report. In the end they decided to criticize both sides, but it's not clear that anyone will budge.
Gay Marriage All About Profits?
Is the effort to legalize gay marriage just a plot to gain economic benefits that people aren't otherwise entitled to? Some think so - they argue that it's all about getting things like insurance benefits and, hence, is little more than an economic scam. Such people are so ignorant about the world around them it's hard to imagine that they could ever be brought out of their delusions.
Ireland: Lawmakers Review Gay Rights
Ireland may be a predominantly Catholic nation, but it has been making a lot of progress in areas of civil rights that have been traditionally restricted in the name of Catholic doctrine. The latest issue to come up is gay rights and the government may move to grant significant rights to gay couples.
A federal judge recently tossed out the results of a vote in Louisiana to ban gay marriage because such measures are only supposed to have one measure being voted on, not two as was the case here. Some are proclaiming this as an example of America's "liberal, activist" judiciary. Huh?
GOP Gays Sue Military Over Ban
Conservative gays have joined in the fight to end the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that forces homosexual soldiers out if their orientation becomes known. A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the Log Cabin Republicans against Donald Rumsfeld and the U.S. government.
John Kerry & Mary Cheney
Conservatives who are more commonly seen disparaging gays and gay relationships are up in arms over the fact that during the 3rd presidential debate Kerry mentioned that Dick Cheney has a lesbian daughter. Why they are so upset reveals far more about them and Republican bigotry than it does about Kerry.
Jamaican Companies Warn Homophobic Singers
Several very popular reggae artists in Jamaica have songs that include violently homophobic lyrics - lyrics that call for or praise the killings of gays, in fact. This has come to the attention (finally) of corporate sponsors who have begun to warn the artists that if this continues, sponsorships will end.
African Archbishop Attacks Episcopal Church
Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria is perhaps the most influential Anglican leader in Africa, so his new attacks on the Episcopal Church in America carry a great deal of weight. He says that the Anglican Communion is "broken" and that Episcopals have created a "new religion" for having confirmed a gay bishop.
Australia: Lesbians are Witches
The "Family First Party" in Australia appears to be a far-right political organization based around the idea that nothing is more important than the "defense" of families - and nothing is more important in the defense of families than attacks on gays.
Louisiana: Gay Marriage Ban Tossed Out
Just three weeks after 78% of voters in Louisiana voted for a constitutional amendment that would ban both gay marriages and civil unions, a judge has thrown it out. Why? Because these amendments are required by law to deal with only one issue at a time, not two.
South Carolina: Barring Gays from Public Schools
The Republican war to turn gays into second-class citizens was revealed very sharply in South Carolina where Republican Congressmen Jim DeMint from Greenville stated in a debate for a U.S. Senate seat that gays should not be allowed to teach in public schools. Who will be next - liberals? Atheists?
Episcopal Church Joining Ugandan Church
The conflict within the Episcopal Church of America is getting more serious. St. James Church in California, for example, has declared itself separated from the Episcopal Church and a part of the Ugandan Anglican Church. A Ugandan bishop has authority over them and two other local churches, not the local bishop in Los Angeles.
Boston: Students Walk Out on Paul Cameron
The St. Thomas More Society at Boston College recently showed very poor judgment in inviting Paul Cameron to give a lecture regarding gay marriage. I say that it was "poor judgment" because Cameron is a thoroughly discredited figure in the field of psychology who cannot be taken seriously by anyone who actually cares about the issues.
Violent Homophobia in Jamaica
I've written before about how bad things are in Jamaica for gays and the efforts of Peter Tatchell to end the violent lyrics in the songs of many popular reggae artists. In fact, things are probably much worse than you realize.
Alan Keyes on Gay Children
I recently reported on the stories about Alan Keyes' daughter, Maya, perhaps being gay - a curious development considering just how anti-gay Alan is. Well, there are some recent stories about Alan's reactions to questions about what he would do if he found that a child of his were gay.
The Gay Shall Inherit the Church?
Homosexuality is having a significant impact on the course of Christianity in America. Even those who object to homosexuality are being affected because, more and more, Christianity is almost being defined by one's stance on gay rights. Especially interesting is the manner in which anti-gay Christians defend themselves because it reveals how little of Christianity is in their position.
UK: Reggae Fans Threaten Gay Activist
Peter Tatchell is a gay rights activist in Britain who have been campaigning to raise awareness about some of the violently homophobic lyrics in some reggae songs - and trying to get people to do something about it so that matters change. In order to show people just how right Tatchell is, reggae fans have started threatening his life.
Spain: Gay Marriage a "Virus"
The socialist government of Spain is planning on legalizing gay marriage, something that has outraged the country's Catholic clergy. They, of course, are opposed to gay marriage - but their opposition isn't having much effect in the Spanish society, especially when they label gay marriage a "virus" that needs to be eradicated.
Oregon: Churches Coercing Parishioners into Anti-Gay Votes?
In Oregon, ballot measure 36 would amend the state constitution to prohibit gay marriages and many churches are organizing to encouraging support for it. Some, though, have been accused to coercing parishioners into supporting it.
Alan Keyes' Daughter a Lesbian?
Alan Keyes has made a name for himself by being farther to the right than most other Republicans and he is especially well known for speaking out on issues like abortion and homosexuality. He's called homosexuality selfish hedonism and would apply that label even to Mary Cheney, daughter of the vice-president. Is it coincidence that his own daughter is gay?
Austalia: Liberals Banned from Church Venue
A group of liberal Catholics that was slated to use church facilities for a meeting had to make last-minute changes. Cardingal George Pell decided that, apparently, even the possibility that someone at the meeting might stand up and disagree with current church teaching is sufficient reason to declare the entire group banned.
Bush's War on Gays Marches Forward
The Bush administration's efforts to roll back protections gays have against discrimination is proceeding on schedule, it appears. The Social Security Administration is working hard to delete from its labor contract language that prevents discrimination against people based upon sexual orientation.
Michigan: Gay Doctors Oppose "Conscience" Bill
A proposed Michigan law would allow doctors and other medical professionals to refuse to treat patients on "ethical, moral or religious grounds." Gay doctors in Michigan are working against it because they recognize it for what it is: a thinly veiled attempt to give bigots a way to avoid treating gays.
Idaho: Gay Dad Loses Again in Custody Case
A gay man in Idaho has been denied either custody or visitation with his daughters because of his sexual orientation. The Idaho Supreme Court denies that this is the case, but it's the obvious that that's the reason, even though a court-appointed counselor recommended joint custody because both parents have a positive relationship with the girls.
Marriage Rights for Sadists???
Members of the Christian Right are outraged at the idea that gays might have a right to marry, arguing that only unions that match the desires of God are appropriate. Taken to its logical conclusion, this would entail opposing many marriages, something that easily leads to parody... except that some actually do seem to believe this.
Conservatives Urge Boycott of P&G
They say that no good deed goes unpunished and that certainly seems to be the case with Proctor & Gamble. The company is opposing an anti-gay rights statute in its hometown of Cincinnati; as a consequence, conservative religious groups are calling for a boycott of P&G products.
Many Gay Anglican Bishops Remain Silent
There are evidently a number of gay bishops in the Anglican Communion - but you wouldn't know it because they are all keeping quiet instead of speaking out over the ongoing crisis over the having gay bishops and priests at all. Their silence may actually end up making things worse
Jimmy Swaggart Threatens Gay Men
Jimmy Swaggart definitely doesn't like gay people or gay marriage. On a recent program broadcast in the U.S. and Canada, he threatened not only to kill any gay person who looked at him wrong but also said that he would lie to God about how it happened. Cain, meet Abel...
New York: Gay Marriages Stand
More than 250 gay couples were married in New Paltz, New York, before state courts stopped the activity. A State Supreme Court justice has refused to nullify those unions, however, thus helping to pave the way for lawsuits that could lead to the legalization of gay marriage there.
Hawaii: Man Banned from Library for Visiting Gay Site
Should a person be removed and banned from a public area because of their views? That seems possible in Hawaii where a gay man has been banned from a library for visiting a gay website. The library claims it was "pornographic," but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Episcopal Church Sues Three Parishes
Even as Anglican Communion leaders appear to be contemplating distancing themselves from the American Episcopal Church, Episcopalian leaders are taking action against break-away parishes in America. The Los Angeles diocese bishop is suing three local parishes there.
Australia: Same-Sex Parents
Law reform researchers in Australia have concluded a study on same-sex parents and have determined that there is no appreciable difference in their ability to raise kids and the ability of heterosexual parents. Thus, laws that prevent them from adopting or receiving IVF treatments are wrong.
Pope Condemns Gay Marriage in Canada
Gay marriage is proceeding forward in Canada now that the national government will stop challenging local efforts or court decisions that legitimate such unions. The pope is not pleased about this and berated the Canadian ambassador for extending freedom to gays.
Australia: Cardinal Challenged to Debate on Homosexuality
Australia's Catholic Cardinal George Pell has been challenged to a debate about homosexuality and gay rights by lesbian activist Monica Hingston. Monica, by the way, is George's cousin. It should be a very interesting debate, assuming Pell ever accepts.
Anglicans to Boot U.S. Church?
The conflict within the Anglican Communion over the ordination of gay priests and the appointment of a gay bishop is getting hotter. Recent reports suggest that the U.S. Episcopal Church could be excluded from the Communion entirely.
Gay Republicans Feel Betrayed by Bush
There are around one million gay Republicans in America and they haven't been too happy lately. Although conservative in disposition, they haven't felt too welcome in America's ostensibly conservative party. What I wonder is, though, what ever made them think that they would be welcome there?
Gay Republicans Withhold Bush Endorsement
People who have been paying attention to the relationship between the Bush administration and gay Republicans have at least half-expected this for a while, but now it's official: the Log Cabin Republicans (organization of gay Republicans) has decided to withhold its endorsement from George W. Bush.
Anti-Gay Republican Outed as Gay, Resigns
U.S. Rep. Edward L. Schrock of Virginia is a staunch Republican who has received a score of 92% from the Christian Coalition and who has been a strong backer of the effort to ban gay marriages in the Constitution. He is also gay who has been outed because of his efforts to pick up men via a gay phone dating service.
Gay Marriage: Unlawful, Lawless
Many of those who argue against gay marriage insist that unions between people of the same sex violates some sort of natural order in the universe. Unfortunately, they aren't able to point to the existence of any such order - they just keep insisting that it exists.
Anti-Gay Invocation at GOP Convention
Major Christian Right leaders like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson may be missing from the Republican Convention in New York City, but that doesn't mean that the Christian Right isn't being represented. Sheri L. Dew is giving the invocation speech and she has some interesting views herself.
Marriage: One Man + One Woman? DNA Says No!
Scientists have traced our mitochondrial DNA back to a single ancestor 160,000 years ago - Mitochondrial Eve, the most recent woman we are all descended from. Studies of men's Y chromosome trace the most recent man we are all descended from - 60,000 years ago. Why the difference?
Virginia vs. Vermont in Gay Custody Case
One of the problems with the various Defense of Marriage Acts is that, if taken serious, they could seriously disrupt family law all across the United States. If a DOMA state refuses to recognize a gay marriage from another state, how will things like child custody or spousal support be handled?
Cheney Backs Gay Marriage "Freedom"
At one time Vice President Dick Cheney supported a "states' rights" position on gay marriage: let them approve it if they wish or not if they don't. Then he seemed to support a constitutional ban on gay marriage. Now, he is promoting gay marriage "freedom" again. What gives?
Breakaway Episcopal Priests Warned by Bishop
Conflict continues to tear at the Episcopal Church in America. Liberals and conservative evangelicals just don't get along very well anymore, and it's causing churches to break apart. In the diocese of Los Angeles, the bishop has warned priests to return to the national church or be deposed.
Former Archbishop to Provoke Controversy
George Carey is no longer the Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, but he also isn't silent either. He plans to visit America where he will bless hundreds of Anglicans boycotting a bishop who supports gay rights and progressive beliefs. Critics charge that he shouldn't interfere with church debates like this.
Openly Gay Athletes Rare at Olympics
There are, of course, gay athletes all around the world - but not many openly gay athletes, even at the Olympics. People are afraid of the reaction from peers and fans, which is a sad comment on the state of "modern" sports.
Canada: Government Won't Fight Gay Marriage
The Canadian government has reached the point where they simply aren't going to bother challenging gay marriages in the various provinces. Now, if gay couples want to wed and the local government lets them, it seems as though the marriage will go through.
Biblical Marriage Necessary for Liberty?
Christian Right opponents of gay marriage recognize that it may be one of the most important cultural issues that has faced American in quite some time. Like contraception, abortion, and no-fault divorce, it could restructure social and power relationship on a wide scale. They are right to fight it because if they lose, they will lose in more ways than one.
Psychos & Gay Marriage
Many opponents of gay marriage and homosexuality generally have long complained about the fact that in 1973 the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders. This, it is claimed, helped pave the way for the inappropriate normalization of homosexuality in American society.
Oklahoma: Gays are Greatest Threat to American Freedom
Who represents the greatest threat to American freedom today? Islamic terrorists? Overzealous government officials trying to protect us? No! It's the gays and their nasty desire to get married! At least, that's what former U.S. Representative (and current Senate candidate) Tom Coburn tells us.
God: Author of Marriage?
A common argument used by those who oppose gay marriage is that marriage is created by God for specific purposes and with a specific form in mind. Any violation of those purposes or that form is an affront to God, whom we should all honor and obey. Unfortunately, such an argument is useless when it comes to a secular state which doesn't have the authority to enforce any commands from any gods.
ABA: Ban Judges from Anti-Gay Groups?
Judges aren't permitted to belong to organizations that discriminate based upon race or sex â€” after all, they can't maintain even an appearance of impartiality if they support groups that teach and endorse such discrimination. But what about groups that discriminate against gays? Should they be classified the same way or is there something different about them?
San Francisco: Gay Marriages Declared "Null and Void"
As was widely expected, the California Supreme Court has voided the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages performed at the instigation of the San Francisco mayor earlier this year. The reason, according to the Court, is that the mayor overstepped his authority
Jamaica: If You're Gay, You're Dead
Even in the most tolerant of Western nations there is still a fair amount if discrimination and bigotry aimed at gays; in other nations, though, it can be far wore. There are quite a few places where you might be murdered if you come out as gay. Jamaica is one of them.
UK: Threat of Boycott of Liberal Clergy
Tensions are increasing in Britain over the status and future of gay clergy. Conservatives and evangelicals are increasingly upset over the what might happen and they are threatening to boycott senior liberal clergy in order to take a stand against progress.
Ohio: Extremists Seek Broad Ban on Everything Marriage-Like
If opponents of same-sex marriage in Ohio are successful, there will be a November ballot measure in Ohio that would not only ban gay marriage in the state constitution, but also every other arrangement that even looks like marriage from a legal standpoint.
Washington: Victory for Gay Marriage
In a legal victory of gay marriage, Washington State's King County Superior Court Judge William L. Downing has ruled that the right to marry extends to gay and lesbian couples.
Ban Godless Marriages
Opponents of gay marriage are largely motivated by their firm belief that such unions are displeasing to God and that only divinely-approved marriages should be permitted. How long will it be, however, before they start fighting for other kinds of limits on civil marriages based upon their beliefs about what their god wants?
France: First Gay Wedding Annulled
Frances first gay wedding was conducted by a local mayor, but now the marriage has been officially annulled and the mayor has been suspended. The national government is not at all happy about this.
Married Gay Man Having Passport Trouble
A legal gay marriage in Massachusetts is not, so far, enough to allow one of the men involved to get a new passport. According to the passport center, a marriage license for a same-sex marriage doesn't qualify as proof of a name change. Since this license is a legal document, that's a rather extreme position to adopt.
Here Comes the Gay Marriage Industry
The lines over gay marriage have been drawn and the positions are pretty firm. Perhaps more interesting than that, though, is the possibility that this is a situation that will continue for a long time, generating an industry of political activism that exists for the sake of existing, not simply for the sake of achieving political change.
GOP Anti-Gay Leader Outed
Jay Timmons is the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and has been heavily involved in fighting for a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. He is also, apparently, gay himself - something that has been revealed through the efforts of gay activists trying to "out" gay conservatives working to harm other gays in society.
Defending Marriage - ALL Marriages
Opponents of gay marriage say that such marriages must be banned in order to "save" marriage - both generally as an institution and specifically in individual cases. But what would they have done with all the gay couples who are currently married? Don't they want to defend those marriages as well?
Christians Who Hate Gays But Love Bacon
Conservative and evangelical Christians in America seem obsessed with homosexuality. They are convinced that biblical injunctions against gay sex mean that the civil law should be used against homosexuals in society. But what about the rest of the Bible - after all, there are other things condemned there as well.
Marriage Amendment Failure: Deliberate?
Far-right Republicans failed to get the anti-gay marriage amendment passed in the Senate, but is it possible that this failure was deliberate? Yes - there are god reasons to think that they never intended to succeed but, rather, wanted to fail all along.
Spain: Bishops Fighting Gay Marriage
Spain's socialist government still has plans to legalize gay marriage some time next year, but Catholic bishops are gearing up for a fight to block any such move. They insist that a marriage can only exist between a man and a woman and, because that is Catholic doctrine, it must also be the basis for civil laws which everyone must adhere to.
Future of Same-Sex Marriage
How will the debate over gay marriage proceed in the future? The most likely course of action, over the long term, is that gay marriages will be legalized and receive the same social and legal status as straight marriages. Even opponents consider this likely, though they hope to stop it.
Canada: First Same-Sex Divorce Occurring
Just as gay marriage is becoming a reality, gay divorce must also become a reality. No one expects gay marriages to last any longer (on average) than marriages for straight couples? The first gay divorce in Canada is making news because the divorce laws haven't caught up to the marriage laws.
Africans Will Leave Anglican Communion?
In the debate over whether gays should serve as clergy in the Anglican Communion, African church leaders have been among the most outspoken against gays and gay rights. There has been some question about wether the Anglican Communion would break up over this and there is some indication that they will.
Lesbian Couple to Challenge Federal DOMA
It was expected for a while and now it's happening: a gay couple married in Massachusetts but living elsewhere are going to file a lawsuit (in Florida) challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that lets states ignore valid gay marriages from other states.
Frist Reverses, Supports "Civil Unions"
In a surprise move, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has voiced his support for "civil unions" for gay couples. This was unexpected because Frist has been such a strong supporter of the anti-gay marriage amendment to the Constitution which, in some forms, would ban even civil unions.
Maryland Lawsuit Over Gay Marriage
The ACLU has launched lawsuits in Maryland to force the state to recognize same-sex marriages on the same basis that heterosexual marriages are recognized. The hope is that courts will rule laws prohibiting gay marriages unconstitutional, paving the way for legal marriages for gay couples.
Mormons Officially Endorse Gay Marriage Ban
Although there was never any doubt about where they stood, the Mormon Church has made official their opposition to gay marriage and support for a constitutional ban on it. A recent "statement of principle" explains that the church "favors a constitutional amendment preserving marriage as the lawful union of a man and a woman."
Judicial Tyranny, Judicial Activism
A common target of conservatives in America is "judicial activism" - at least, it's a target when courts strike down laws that conservatives favor. Is there any validity to the argument that it amounts to "judicial tyranny" when judges halt laws that were created via the democratic process? No - that represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how the American government works.
Adult Children of Same-Sex Couples
One of the arguments frequently used by opponents of gay marriage is that such relationships are harmful to any children who grow up in same-sex households. Therefore, society should not give any sort of sanction or approval to them because that would validate the harm experienced by the kids. Is this a valid argument?
The Homosexual Movement Has Won
Evangelical Christians and other religious conservatives are growing more and more concerned that when it comes to gay marriage, Americans will turn their backs on tradition and embrace quality for gays. Even now they are astonished at how much progress the gay rights movement has made, especially when compared to the paltry success of the Christian Right.
Consent of the Governed?
Conservatives who dislike court ruling that expand people's rights often complain about "judicial tyranny"? and argue that unelected judges are creating laws from the bench, ruling without the consent of the governed. Is this a fair criticism? No, it's not - it's just an attempt to use emotional language to distract from the real issues.
Gay Marriage in Canada's Yukon
Gay couples in Canada's Yukon Territory can now get officially married after a judge there ruled that the common-law definition restricting marriage to a man and a woman was "wrong and discriminatory."
Judge Frees Gay-Marriage Ministers
When two Unitarian ministers performed same-sex marriage ceremonies in New Paltz, N.Y., the local prosecutor actually and the gall to charge them with a crime. Fortunately, the Town Justice dismissed the charges and told the prosecutor in no uncertain terms that that was a very bad choice.
Pondering the Homocons
There are quite a few gay conservatives - homocons appears to be the new mot de jour for them - but there has been some debate about why they would actively support the Republican Party when Republicans are usually so hostile to gays and gay rights. Being conservative and gay isnâ€™t a contradiction, but perhaps being Republican and gay is.
Ex-Gay Group Seeking Influence in Schools
Desperate to turn the tide against public school programs that teach tolerance for gays, the Christian Right seems to be adopting a new strategy. Instead of simply opposing such programs, they are seeking to have ex-gay material about gays who have been "cured"? included as well. Educators don't seem very interested.
Court: Oregon Must Register Gay Marriages
For a short time, officials in Multnomah County, Oregon granted marriage licenses to gay couples - the county attorney said that refusing to do so would be unconstitutional. Now, the state has been ordered to register them - more than 3,000 in all.
Lynne Cheney: Leave Gay Marriage Decision to States
Lynne Cheney - wife of the vice president, mother of a lesbian, author of a steamy lesbian romance, and now supporter of states' rights when it comes to gay marriage. According to Cheney, states should decide whether to recognize gay marriages are not and the Constitution shouldn't be amended to stop them.
Fascism and Homosexuality
It seems absurd to think that there could be any sort of link between fascism and homosexuality - after all, thousands of gays were killed in Nazi death camps and fascist political parties typically attack homosexuality. At the same time, though, many prominent fascists have been gay. What's going on?
No Outcry for Gay Marriage Amendment
Religious conservatives have been wringing their hands over the prospect of gay marriage becoming legalizing in more jurisdictions in America and have hoped that a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage might be America's salvation. The Senate isn't moving very quickly on it because, it seems, there just hasn't been a lot of call for it.
School Rejects Clergy Presentation on Homosexuality
If a school invites people to give a presentation to students encouraging tolerance towards a minority group, should they also invite the 'other side' to give a presentation that encourages intolerance towards that group? When the group is gay students, that's exactly what some religious conservatives believe - but a Connecticut won't do it.
Gay Cleric Installed in U.K.
In 2003 Jeffrey John turned down his appointment to become the first openly gay (but celibate) Anglican bishop because of the international outcry. In 2004, he has accepted his appointment as dean of St. Albans Cathedral. There were still protests, but not enough to cause a real problem.
LGBT Kids Unsafe at School
Gay and lesbian students have long had difficulty in schools. Teasing, discrimination, and prejudice all take their toll - it's no wonder that the suicide rate among gay teens is higher than teens in general. There has been improvement in this area, but they are still unprotected in too many schools.
Presbyterian Panel OKs Gay Clergy
The Presbyterian panel 'Committee on Church Orders and Ministry' has recommended allowing for the ordination of openly gay clergy. It was a close vote and still needs to be approved by the denomination's General Assembly before it can become the new standard.
Manure Spread on Gay-Pride Parade Route
A gay pride parade in Conway, Arkansas was supposed to demonstrate that gays live in small towns, not just big cities, but they hit a snag when they found the parade route strewn with cow manure. Fortunately the roads were cleaned up in time for the parade, but the incident serves to show just how much hatred and bigotry exists in places like this.
Kerry Might Review "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
He hasn't taken a public and definitive position on the issue, but John Kerry has suggested that if he is elected president he would reevaluate the government's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? policy in the military which allows gays to stay only if they keep quiet and allows for them to be kicked out if their sexual orientation is discovered.
Gay Marriage Would Undermine Church/State Separation?
When church/state issues are raised in relation to gay marriage, it's usually to argue that bans on gay marriage serve to enshrine particular religious conceptions of marriage and, therefore, the bans violate the separation of church and state. Now I see someone arguing that legalizing gay marriage would lead to violations of church/state separation.
Catholic Hierarchy Backs Gay Marriage Ban
That Catholic leaders in America would oppose legalized gay marriage is no surprise, but it's still important to note when official statements are released on this matter. Recently, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops gave his official backing to a Constitutional ban on gay marriages
Savage: Lesbians Jealous They Don't Get AIDS
Radio host Michael Savage is well known for his hateful and bigoted comments about gays, among other groups, but recently he went even further than usual by saying that lesbians wish they got AIDS more often so that they could cash in on it.
Gay Marriage Could Save USD $1 Billion?
We hear a lot about the supposed dangers of gay marriage and how it will undermine society if is it legalized, but what about the possible advantages? A report from the Congressional Budget Office indicates that gay marriage would have a very positive impact on the federal budget, bringing in around USD $400 million each year until 2010.
UCC Church Breaks Away
The United Church of Christ is a relatively liberal denomination of loosely affiliated churches, but they too have their disagreements about the status of homosexuality. Recently, the largest UCC church in New England broke away from a larger group over questions about homosexuality and gay marriage.
Church May Fire Gay Wedded Couples
Churches in Massachusetts have been placed in an interesting quandary: if they oppose homosexuality and gay marriage, what do they do if any gay employees decide to marry? Such a marriage would be completely legal and legitimate in the eyes of the state, but it would be immoral in the eyes of the church. Can the church act against people engaged in legal activity?
Bush Snubs Gay Pride Month
June is Gay Pride Month, but President Bush has refused to issue a proclamation recognizing it as such. Some groups are planning activities, but not agency officials are able to offer any sort of official support without such a proclamation, which shows just how important it is and why people should care.
Mobs Attack Theater Over Lesbian Film
Sometimes, in India, it really doesn't pay to be different. That's a message from Hindu extremists as they force a delay in the screening of a film about two women involved in a lesbian romance. Throwing stones and damaging the theater, they claim that such a romance violates 'Indian culture.'? Evidently, throwing stones and damaging theaters is an important expression of Indian culture.
Religious Groups Oppose Federal Marriage Amendment
When a religious group is quoted on the question of gay marriage, most of the time it is a conservative group opposing such unions. There are, however, a number of religious groups which support the legalization of gay marriage and they should be heard as well.
Warsaw Bans Gay Pride Events
Mayor Lech Kaczynski of Warsaw, Poland, has decided to block all gay price marches in that city. The excuse, apparently, is the fact that anti-gay groups were going to stage a counter-demonstration. Right. A very good reason to stop the march.
Coors vs. Coors Over Gay Marriage
Pete Coors, former chairman of the Coors Brewing Company, is running for the U.S. Senate. His former company, though, it not supporting his candidacy. Pete Coors opposes same-sex marriage and gay rights, but Coors Brewing has adopted a much more gay-friendly stance in recent years.
Conservative Marriage Model Not World Norm
One of the most important features of the conservative argument against gay marriage is the idea that the one man + one woman definition of marriage is basically the only one that exists or has existed throughout history. The conservatives couldn't be more wrong - a fact which makes one wonder whether they persist out of ignorance or dishonesty.
Controversy Over France's First Gay Wedding
The mayor of the southwestern French town of Begles near Bordeaux plans on defying Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and moving ahead with France's first gay wedding. The ceremony won't be official recognized, but it will set off a storm of controversy nonetheless.
Conservative Episcopalians Uncomfortable with L.A. Bishop
The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the six-county Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese, has blessed a same-sex union between the Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd and his partner of 20 years. This, naturally enough, has resulted in quite a lot of controversy with conservative Episcopalians.
Rev. Lou Sheldon vs. The Homosexual Agenda
There are a lot of conservative religious groups that work to oppose things like gay rights. None, however, are quite as active on the question of homosexuality as Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition.
Gay Rights Activists Denied Communion
Gay rights activists who wear a rainbow-colored sash during Pentecost services were denied communion in Chicago. Apparently, some Roman Catholic leaders object to expressions of support to the gay rights movement when it occurs in the context of church services.
Canadian Anglicans to Elect New Leader
There is a deep split in the Canandian Anglican church over the status of gay priests and how homosexuality should be treated. This split is causing problems over the election of the next primate.
Judge: Homosexual Isn't Libelous Term
Not too long ago I wrote that while there was a time when the accusation of homosexuality was treated as libelous, that was slowly changing and might no longer be the case soon. Well, it seems like 'soon'? has arrived, at least in Massachusetts.
Rebecca Hagelin: Only Christianity Matters in America
One of the most common arguments behind the attacks on gay marriage is essentially theocratic in nature: our god and our religion define marriage in a certain way and it's wrong for the government to define marriage differently. There is simply no escaping the fact that this would impose a particular theological view on all Americans.
Considering Group Marriages
One of the arguments used by conservatives against gay marriage is that allowing same-sex couples to marry will only lead to groups of people marrying. For some reason, despite the ancient pedigree of polygamy and its prevalence in the Bible, such relationships still aren't 'traditional.'? The force is diminished, though, when we ask what's so bad about group marriage in the first place?
Victory for Gay Rights in Seattle
A Seattle, Washington business refused to print wedding invitations for a same-sex couple. The ACLU filed a complaint against 'Starfish Creative Invitations' with Seattle's Office for Civil Rights, accusing them of violating Seattle's Open Housing Public Accommodations Ordinance. Starfish agreed to settle rather than fight.
Australia May Ban Gay Marriage
Australia's Prime Minister John Howard has talked before about banning gay marriages, but it looks like he has succeeded in convincing enough others in the government to agree. New legislation that has been introduced would ban gay marriage and ban gay couples from adopting babies abroad.
Provincetown Reverses on Nonresident Marriages
Selectmen in Provincetown, Massachusetts, had chosen to provide marriage licenses to gay couples who came in from out of state and despite a 1913 law that bans this. Now they have given to Governor Mitt Romney's demand that they comply.
Gays Attacked at Palestinian Protest
One might think that oppressed minorities would tend to stick together and support each other, but that isn't always the case - especially when one of those minorities is the gay community. During a recent demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, members of the gay rights groups OutRage and Queer Youth Alliance were verbally abused by both Muslims and Christians.
Supporting Gay Rights is Evil
According to the new bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, supporting gay rights by trying to legalize same-sex marriage isnâ€™t simply a bad idea or contrary to Roman Catholic teaching, itâ€™s actually a way of acting â€œin cooperation with evil.â€?
Case for Gay Marriage
Same-sex marriages have begun in Massachusetts and there is no question but that the Christian Right is quite upset about it. The're still fighting to stop such marriages from occurring, but neither legal nor moral arguments are on their side. Some religious arguments might be, but American law can't be limited to the religious beliefs of some.
How Gay Marriage Impacts Straight Marriage
The Christian Right often argues that gay marriage would be wrong because it would somehow undermine that status of marriage generally. For some reason, they seem to think that something bad will happen to their own marriages if gays are allowed to marry as well. What would this concern look like if it were stated openly and clearly?
Washington Times Dismisses Gay "Marriages"?
The Washington Times, a newspaper that openly shills for the Christian Right, has made its opinion about gay marriages in Massachusetts known by insisting on putting marriage in scare quotes whenever reporting on the matter. This, evidently, is supposed to communicate the message that they aren't reporting on real or valid marriages.
GOP: Gay Republicans Not Wanted
There are a fair number of gay Republicans. Why? I don't know. I can certainly understand a person being gay and favoring fiscal or social conservatism, but the fact of the matter is that the GOP today is beholden to the Christian Right and, as a consequence, gays simply aren't welcome ore wanted. What will it take for them to recognize that?
Texas School Will Allow Same-Sex Prom Couples
As homosexuality becomes more widely accepted in society, homosexual couples are becoming more obvious and are trying to make a place for themselves in areas usually left to straight couples. One such area is the high school prom - although the Christian Right would like to keep them out, schools are having trouble siding with the bigots.
Gay Activists Attacked in Poland
Gay rights still has a lot of progress to make in Poland - when some activists tried to march through Krakow, they had to endure not only verbal abuse but also hard eggs and stones thrown at them. In America, people simply write angry letters and columns over the following week.
Federal DOMA to be Challenged
Defense of Marriage Acts have been passed on the federal level and in several states. Supporters have been concerned that it might not survive constitutional scrutiny, but that's just what lawyer Ellis Rubin from Florida is hoping for: he'll be the first to challenge it in court.
Some States May Honor Mass. Weddings
One of the concerns about same-sex marriages in Massachusetts is the status of couples from other states: if they marry there, would their marriages be recognized back home? Presumably not, thus the order from the governor not to issue marriage licenses to out-of-state couples. Some neighboring states may still recognize those marriages, though.
Papal Envoy Hints at Support for Gay Unions
Pope John Paul II has said that gays should not be allowed any kind of official union that might be considered "marriage," but Monsignor Manuel Monteiro de Castro, papal envoy to Spain, has spoken out in favor of some sort of legal recognition for same-sex couples. He doesn't think that they should be considered marriage, but he does think that the church's position here should change.
Provincetown: Same-Sex Licenses for Out-of-State Couples
A 1913 law bars marriages in Massachusetts if they wouldn't be legal in the couple's home state - a law that was originally enacted to stop interracial couples from coming to Massachusetts to marry. Selectmen in Provincetown have voted to ignore Romney's order to follow this law.
9-11 Fund Recognizes Same-Sex Couple
The 9-11 fund was created to provide compensation for those who lost their spouses in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. For the first time, though, the the lesbian partner of one of the female victims has been awarded money from the fund
Asylum Rejected for Gay Man - Not 'Effeminate' Enough
In Canada, gays can get asylum on account of persecution back home. Apparently, though, that only counts for "effeminate" gays - not gays who happen to look and act like "straight" people. Isn't that odd
Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty
The Christian Right's opposition to gay marriage is growing in its determination and intensity. Conservative and evangelical Christians recognize that allowing gays to marry legally will be a major blow to their desire to keep American society Christian in nature - thus perhaps the Freudian slip when they argue that allowing same-sex marriage would undermine religious liberty.
No Gay Adoption in Oklahoma
Should gay couples be allowed to adopt? The Christian Right certainly doesn't think so but many others think that allowing it would be an important step for gay rights in America. Many state governments, however, tend to agree with conservative Christians and Oklahoma has tightened it's laws to ensure that adoption by gay couples can't occur.
Idaho High Court Considers Gay Dad's Case
Gay parents sometimes have trouble being treated like equals - especially when it comes to custody proceedings after a divorce. In Idaho, a gay father is taking his case to the state's highest court, arguing that sexual orientation should be no more relevant to child custody decisions than a health condition like epilepsy.
Catholic Institutions in Massachusetts Grapple with Gay Marriage
It is very likely that gay marriage will become fully legal in Massachusetts soon. Everyone will have to make some adjustments, but the difficulties facing Roman Catholic institutions may be the greatest. The Massachusetts has ruled that gay couples will have to get the same benefits as straight couples. What will Catholic institutions do?
Methodists Stand Against Homosexuality
Although a lesbian pastor was acquitted at a Methodist church trial last month, this month delegates to the Methodist General Conference meeting in Pittsburgh passed a resolution which rejected the idea that any gay or lesbian should be allowed to become a minister.
Same-Sex Partner Law Expanded in Germany
Christian Right activists in America may be working to prevent gay marriage rights from even becoming a reality, but in Germany those rights are actually been expanded in order to ensure that gay couples who have civil unions also have all the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Gay Marriage Ban Fails in Kansas
Opponents of gay marriage have been mostly successful in their efforts to prevent same-sex marriage from becoming a reality - but not always. In Kansas, of all places, they have failed to get enough votes to pass an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and other forms of partner recognition.
Gay Marriage Rights: "Judicial Sin"
Robert Bork is well known in legal and political circles for his hard-line conservative views on the law. He is also more widely known as being the would-be Supreme Court Justice who was denied approval in part because of those views. Well, he hasn't mellowed any with age.
Gay Student Barred from School Elections
The Inter-denominational Theological Center in Atlanta banned a gay student from running in the election for class president because, according to the dean, he doesn't "exemplify Christian character." This might seem like an obvious case of a religious group running things according to their own religious beliefs, but the school does receive some federal funding.
Australian Prime Minister to Ban Gay Marriages?
Australian Prime Minister John Howard doesn't seem to approve of gay couples or gay marriages. Apparently, he intends to introduce measures that will prohibit gay marriages performed outside the country from being recognised in Australia - and that has supporters of equality up in arms.
Gay Republicans & George W. Bush
Although gays certainly don't constitute a very large or dominant force within the Republican Party, there are quite a few of them and their ideas have been growing in influence. They aren't content to remain meek and silent in the face of efforts to restrict their basic civil rights - and this is causing rifts between them and the Republican leadership, including President Bush.
Evangelicals Threaten to "Ruin" Church of England
Almost one year ago, Canon Jeffrey John was appointed to be Bishop of Reading. Because he is an openly gay man, this created quite a furor and he decided to turn down the appointment rather than make matters worse. That self-sacrifice didn't stop the debate however, and now it's heating up again because John has been appointed Dean of St Albans Cathedral.
Massachusetts Officials Warned About Same-Sex Marriages
Justices of the Peace in Massachusetts have been warned by Governor Mitt Romney's top legal counsel that gay marriages are coming next month - and anyone not willing to perform the ceremonies will have to resign. As officers of the state, they aren't permitted to refuse legal marriages for same-sex couples any more than they are allowed to refuse legal marriages for interracial couples.
Gays in Black Churches
Gays and lesbians have long had a difficult time in their churches - but the situation for black gays and lesbians has been even worse. It is ironic that the one group which has probably suffered the most due to prejudice and discrimination in America would also be the one to turn around and be the most prejudiced and discriminatory towards homosexuals.
Virginia Bans Same-Sex Partner Rights
Several states have passed laws banning same-sex marriage, but Virginia appears to want to stand out from the pack. Lawmakers there have passed a measure that would ban any sort of "partnership contract or other arrangements that purport to provide the benefits of marriage," thus effectively eliminating civil unions or even perhaps benefits provided by private employers for domestic partnerships.
Letting Doctors Refuse to Treat Gays
Catholic healthcare providers get a lot of sympathy for their desire to be allowed to refuse to perform certain procedures like abortions or sterilizations. In Michigan their attempts to get exemptions from the legal and ethical standards that apply to everyone else may mean that any healthcare provider will be able to refuse to treat any person on moral, ethical or religious grounds.
What is Marriage? Don't Ask Conservatives
The conservative case against gay marriage is often based in large part on the idea that there is and has always been only a single valid form of marriage: that between a single man and a single woman who live together and raise children together. Guess what? The conservative opponents of gay marriage are wrong. Indeed, they couldn't be more wrong...
Some Seek Removal of Gay Marriage Judges
Some in Massachusetts are hoping to remove the four Supreme Judicial Court justices who voted to legalize gay marriage. They haven't been able to succeed in stopping gay marriage via any other means, so apparently they figure that removing the judges will send a message to others: don't do unpopular things or you'll be kicked out.
Satire Lost on Anti-Gay Bigots
The Thames Valley District school board in Ontario, Canada, was approached by a parents' group to hald the spread of the "homosexual agenda" in schools. Unfortunately for them, they used an image from the Onion, a satire newspaper, in order to make their point!
McCarthy-Era War on Gays
The debate over whether the federal government should protect gays from discrimination or allow them to be fired from government service merely because they are gay has given rise to discussion over the government's actions in the past. It wasn't that long ago when being fired for being gay was a very real danger - explicitly gay-friendly guidelines have been around for only a decade.
Spain to Legalize Gay Marriage
In a move that is sure to outrage American conservatives even more, the new socialist government of Spain intends to legalize same-sex marriage, thus giving gays all the same marriage rights and benefits as straights. In fact, legalizing gay marriage was one of the campaign platforms of incoming Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Lesbian Partner Recognized as "De-Facto Parent"
For the first time ever, a lesbian has been given full parental rights and responsibilities for the biological child of her former partner and despite the fact that she has no adoptive or biological connections to him. This occurred in Maine where "de fact parental relationships" are already a standard matter of law, so this development isn't as strange as it might appear at first.
Gays More Popular than Atheists
There has been a lot of recent media attention on the issue of gay marriage and, as a consequence, on gays in America generally. It appears that the general public opinion of gays still tends to be negative but despite that is gradually improving. It's even gotten to the point that gays are better regarded than atheists.
Show Promotes "Cure" for Homosexuality
Casos de Familia, a talk show on the Spanish-language network Univision, in under attack for a airing program that included so-called "reparative therapy" and telling viewers homosexuality could be "cured" with religion. According to reports, hostess Judith Grace even suggested that people are gay because they were abused or raped as children.
Catholic War on Gay Marriage
Catholic legislators in Massachusetts who support gay rights are experiencing lobbying pressure from the Catholic Church unlike anything that they have ever seen before. Even the church itself hasn't gone to such lengths when it comes to issues like abortion or the death penalty.
Gay Man Denied Job as Chaplain
Should a Catholic charity be able to exclude gay men from being lay chaplains? That's being tested in Britain where a gay man that had been offered such a job had the offer withdrawn after it was revealed that he was gay and living with his partner.
Federal Government Will Protect Gays
I reported earlier about how Republican appointee Scott J. Bloch, had taken out references to sexual orientation from "a discrimination complaint form" and then determined it was legal for federal employees or job applicants to be fired, demoted, or denied jobs merely for being gay. Well, the White House has recognized this was political suicide and pressured Block to return protections to gays.
Cheney's Wife Nixes Re-Issue of Racy Lesbian Sex Novel
Because of popular demand, a publisher was planning on a reissue of a steamy sex novel written by Lynne Cheney, the wife of vice-president Dick Cheney. She, however, didn't want to see it brought back out into the public eye and so the publisher relented.
Gay Marriage Amendment: Slap at States' Rights
Bob Barr's conservative credentials are unimpeachable - there are few who have been as consistently conservative as he. That does not mean, however, that he supports efforts to amend the Constitution in order to prevent gays from being able to marry. He doesn't agree with gay marriage, but he also thinks that such decisions should be left to the states.
Anti-Jewish vs. Anti-Gay Speech: Comparison, Analysis
It has been claimed that the Christian Right's battle against gays, demonizing them at every turn, is eerily similar to the Nazi efforts to demonize Jews before World War II. Are such comparisons justified or is that just an attempt to demonize the Christian Right?
Black Pastors on Same-Sex Marriage
There is a contentious debate with the African-American community about whether gays should be allowed to marry. Many blacks are conservative on such issues and thus oppose gay marriage. Many others, however, see a similarity between this fight and the struggle for their own civil rights. Which perspective will prevail?
Same-Sex Marriages: Anarchist Plot
Did you know that the efforts to secure the right of gays to marry is not actually a civil rights movement but, rather, an anarchists' movement to undermine America's laws and society? Well, that's what Pastor Joseph Fuiten at the Cedar Park Assembly of God Church (in Bothell, Washington) thinks.
California School Rejects Non-Discrimination
Polices that prohibit discrimination against transgendered employees and students just isn't acceptable to the Westminster School District in Orange County, California - despite the fact that the absence of such policies will probably result in the loss of quite a bit of state aid.
Gay Men's Counterattack on Marriage
Tired of being denied their right to marry whom they wish, some gay men are preparing to launch a counter-attack on homophobic straight men - and they had better watch out! It could prove to be devastating.
Gay Marriage Victory: Moon Leaving US
It appears as though Rev. Sun Myung Moon is going home to South Korea. Again. Why this time? Because of the ruckus over gay marriage - he considers gays marrying to be such an abomination that it would taint the entire nation. He, being the Messiah (reincarnated) just can't stand to be anywhere near something like that.
Older News and Commentary on Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, and Homophobia
Here you will find an index of earlier stories dealing with gay marriage, gay rights, homophobia, and the Christian Right's assault on the civil liberties of homosexuals.