spooky_nine: (KD - The Prince - Rainbow 1)
Fed Judge Rules Prop. 8 Unconstitutional

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) ― A federal judge has ruled that California's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, known as Propostion 8, doesn't pass scrutiny under the U.S. Constitution because it violates the 14th Amendment.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the measure banning same-sex marriage is "unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses."

Gay rights advocates were quick to hail the decision.

"This ruling is an historic milestone for millions of loving families, for all who have fought to realize the dream of equality under the law, and for our nation as a whole," said Rick Jacobs, spokesman for the Courage Campaign, a gay and lesbian rights organization.

But Walker 's decision issued Wednesday afternoon is only the first word in the landmark case.

Attorneys on both sides had said an appeal was certain if Walker did not rule in their favor. The case would go first to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals then the U.S. Supreme Court if the high court justices agree to review it

Walker's ruling comes in response to a lawsuit brought by two same-sex couples and the city of San Francisco that seeks to invalidate the law as an unlawful infringement on the civil rights of gay men and lesbians.

Proposition 8 outlawed gay marriages in California five months after the state Supreme Court legalized them. It passed with 52 percent of the vote in November 2008, following the most expensive campaign on a social issue in U.S. history.

Anticipating Walker's decision, lawyers for the coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored Proposition 8 in 2008 filed a legal brief asking Walker to stay his ruling overturning the ban so same-sex couples can not marry while an appeal is pending.

"Same-sex marriages would be licensed under a cloud of uncertainty, and should proponents succeed on appeal, any such marriages would be invalid," they wrote.

Walker presided over a 13-day trial earlier this year that was the first in federal court to examine if states can prohibit gays from getting married without violating the federal constitutional guarantee of equality.

Supporters argued the ban was necessary to safeguard the traditional understanding of marriage and to encourage responsible childbearing.

Opponents said that tradition or fears of harm to heterosexual unions were legally insufficient grounds to discriminate against gay couples.

This is an amazing milestone, but I won't quit feeling apprehensive until all appeals are exhausted and everything is said and done.
spooky_nine: (Abstinence Doesn't Work)
When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite

Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual.

Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century), and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar was conducted with their right hands joined, holy vows were exchanged, a priest officiatied in the taking of the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was celebrated afterwards. These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the First (867-886 CE) and his companion John.

Such same gender Christian sanctified unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12thand/ early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (‘Geraldus Cambrensis’) recorded.

Same-sex unions in pre-modern Europe list in great detail some same gender ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century rite, "Order for Solemn Same-Sex Union", invoked St. Serge and St. Bacchus, and called on God to "vouchsafe unto these, Thy servants [N and N], the grace to love one another and to abide without hate and not be the cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God, and all Thy saints". The ceremony concludes: "And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded".

Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic "Office of the Same Sex Union", uniting two men or two women, had the couple lay their right hands on the Gospel while having a crucifix placed in their left hands. After kissing the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.

Records of Christian same sex unions have been discovered in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St. Petersburg, in Paris, in Istanbul and in the Sinai, covering a thousand-years from the 8th to the 18th century.

I concur!

Mar. 6th, 2009 11:58 am
spooky_nine: (slowpoke)
Economy enters same-sex marriage debate
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -- The nation's economic crisis is now playing a role in the debate over same-sex marriage.

Supporters of same-sex marriage point to its economic benefits, both for those getting married and for states that sanction it. Opponents, however, say same-sex nuptials will actually "devalue" the institution and cost society more in the long run.

In Minnesota, the issue has even split two openly gay lawmakers, and for the purposes of this story, the two men agreed to sit down together for a joint interview.

Minnesota state Sen. Scott Dibble is one of those lawmakers. Dibble, a Democrat, is proposing one of two marriage-equality bills in the state Senate and says now is as good a time as any to propose gay marriage legislation because there is also an economic aspect to the debate. Legally married couples, he says, are generally in better financial shape overall.

"We're in a time of economic crisis, and it's difficult for everyone," Dibble says, "more difficult for those families that don't have access to those basic provisions for economic security."

He says examples include the joint ownership of property; joint credit; the ability to share health-care benefits with a partner; and inheritance rights.

"People are beginning to understand that the rights and benefits and responsibilities and economic relationships that couples have with each other as a result of marriage or marriage-type laws are really basic to our ability to be able to provide for each other," he adds.

"It's really coming to light in context of this economic difficulty that we're in the midst of."

State Sen. John Marty has also introduced a bill that would create gender neutral marriage laws. He agrees on the timing aspect.

"The bad economy makes it more important than ever that we address this," Marty says.
Don't Miss

* California court hears same-sex marriage arguments
* U.S. sued for same-sex marriage benefits

"We want to be doing this now because of the fact that it's not only the right thing to do but because a same-sex couple needs the health-care benefits. They need the equal protection now because their families are hurting just the same as every other family is."

Amy Johnson, executive director of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality group OutFront Minnesota, says that in the long run, routine rights that married couples may take for granted amount to all sorts of hidden costs for coupled but not legally married homosexuals.

"There are real costs to not being married that take away our disposable income," Johnson says, but she stresses that first and foremost is the argument of basic fairness.

"It really is a civil rights issue and an equality issue," she adds. "I would love for the conversation to stay focused on that. [But] to the extent that dollars resonate with some people, fine, I'll take your vote, even if you're not really understanding [the larger argument]."

But that's not the only way the economy has been leveraged in the debate over gay marriage.

Gary Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law who researches sexual orientation law and public policy, says the state itself would see a "noticeable economic benefit" from legalized same-sex marriage.

Since a specific analysis of Minnesota has yet to be completed, Gates uses findings from other states and compares them to Minnesota's roughly 15,000 same-sex couples. He guesses the state could see as much as $10 million in additional revenue over the first three years.

"Right now, so few states provide for marriage for same-sex couples that there is a kind of marriage tourism that goes on," Gates explains.

In other words, states that legalize same-sex marriage -- and that are among the first to do so -- would see the biggest uptick in tourism due to couples from neighboring states making the trip to say "I do."


Nov. 26th, 2008 08:10 am
spooky_nine: (slowpoke)
Judge overturns Florida ban on adoption by gays

(CNN) -- A Florida circuit judge Tuesday struck down a 31-year-old state law that prevents gays and lesbians from adopting children, allowing a North Miami man to adopt two half-brothers he and his partner have raised as foster children since 2004.

"There is no question, the blanket exclusion of gay applicants defeats Florida's goal of providing dependent children a permanent family through adoption," Judge Cindy S. Lederman wrote in her 53-page ruling.

"The best interests of children are not preserved by prohibiting homosexual adoption."

The state attorney general's office has appealed the decision.

Lederman said there is no moral or scientific reason for banning gays and lesbians from adopting, despite the state's arguments otherwise. The state argued that gays and lesbians have higher odds of suffering from depression, affective and anxiety disorders and substance abuse, and that their households are more unstable.

Lederman said the ban violated children's right to permanency provided under the Florida statute and under the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. Whether the ban violated the state's equal protection clause by singling out gays and lesbians should be considered, she said.

Lederman's ruling paves the way for Martin Gill to legally adopt the two half-brothers, ages 4 and 8, whom he has cared for since December 2004, the American Civil Liberties Union said.
spooky_nine: (Default)
Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'
(CBS) BERKELEY, Calif. A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.

Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS station KPIX-TV in San Francisco that military leaders had considered, and then subsequently rejected, building the so-called gay bomb.

Edward Hammond, of Berkeley's Sunshine Project, had used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a copy of the proposal from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.

As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior."

The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon.

"The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistibly attractive to one another,"
Hammond said after reviewing the documents.

"The notion was that a chemical that would probably be pleasant in the human body in low quantities could be identified, and by virtue of either breathing or having their skin exposed to this chemical, the notion was that soldiers would become gay," explained Hammond.

The Pentagon told KPIX-TV that the proposal was made by the Air Force in 1994.

"The Department of Defense is committed to identifying, researching and developing non-lethal weapons that will support our men and women in uniform," said a DOD spokesperson, who indicated that the "gay bomb" idea was quickly dismissed.

However, Hammond said the government records he obtained suggest the military gave the plan much stronger consideration than it has acknowledged.

"The truth of the matter is it would have never come to my attention if it was dismissed at the time it was proposed," he said. "In fact, the Pentagon has used it repeatedly and subsequently in an effort to promote non-lethal weapons, and in fact they submitted it to the highest scientific review body in the country for them to consider."

Military officials insisted Friday to KPIX-TV that they are not currently working on any such idea and that the past plan was abandoned.

Gay community leaders in California said Friday that they found the notion of a "gay bomb" both offensive and almost laughable at the same time.

"Throughout history we have had so many brave men and women who are gay and lesbian serving the military with distinction," said Geoff Kors of Equality California. "So, it's just offensive that they think by turning people gay that the other military would be incapable of doing their job. And its absurd because there's so much medical data that shows that sexual orientation is immutable and cannot be changed."
spooky_nine: (lying government)
Science told: hands off gay sheep
Experiments that claim to "cure" homosexual rams spark anger
"SCIENTISTS are conducting experiments to change the sexuality of 'gay' sheep in a programme that critics fear could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans.
The technique being developed by American researchers adjusts the hormonal balance in the brains of homosexual rams so that they are more inclined to mate with ewes.
It raises the prospect that pregnant women could one day be offered a treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual. Experts say that, in theory, the 'straightening' procedure on humans could be as simple as a hormone supplement for mothers-to-be, worn on the skin like an anti-smoking nicotine patch.
The research, at Oregon State University in the city of Corvallis and at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, has caused an outcry. Martina Navratilova, the lesbian tennis player who won Wimbledon nine times, and scientists and gay rights campaigners in Britain have called for the project to be abandoned.
Navratilova defended the 'right' of sheep to be gay. She said: 'How can it be that in the year 2006 a major university would host such homophobic and cruel experiments?' She said gay men and lesbians would be 'deeply offended' by the social implications of the tests.
But the researchers argue that the work is valid, shedding light on the 'broad question' of what determines sexual orientation. They insist the work is not aimed at 'curing' homosexuality."

queer news

Nov. 27th, 2006 03:29 pm
spooky_nine: (kali)
anderson cooper is gay?! when did this happen?

also, greg thinks homosexuality is a choice. :( i'm disappointed.
spooky_nine: (abstinence doesn't work)
Gay animals 'come out' in Oslo exhibition
"Breaking what is taboo for some, the Oslo Natural History Museum is currently showing an exhibition on homosexuality in the animal kingdom.
Organisers say it is the first of its kind in the world.
'As homosexual people are often confronted with the argument that their way of living is against the principles of nature, we thought that ... as a scientific institution, we could at least show that this is not true,' exhibition organiser Geir Soeli tells AFP.
'You can think whatever you want about homosexuals but you cannot use that argument because it is very natural, it's very common in animal kingdom,' Mr Soeli adds.
From beetles to swans and creatures considered to have a more macho image, such as lions and sperm whales, homosexual behaviour has been detected in 1,500 species."

my favorite quote?
"...[T]he exhibition has sparked consternation in conservative Christians.
A Lutheran priest said he hoped the organisers would 'burn in hell,' and a Pentecostal priest lashed out at the exhibition, saying taxpayers' money used for it would have been better spent helping the animals correct 'their perversions and deviances'."
spooky_nine: (abstinence doesn't work)
i thought this was amusing...

Lev 19:28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I [am] the LORD.

but the bible also says:

Lev 19:19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

Lev 19:27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

the bible is really the only part of christianity i have a problem with. it just isn't relevant anymore.
spooky_nine: (Default)
Marriage is love.


spooky_nine: (Default)

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