Recently the USA finally started stepping up to the mark on gay rights at the UN.
The Vatican felt compelled to respond, through Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, who said that Catholic Beliefs on morality were being stigmatised and vilified. This is true, much in the same way as white supremacists views became stigmatised during the last quarter of the 20th century, and they made the same claims of “freedom” and “rights”.
They talk about having to close down adoption centres because they are unable to live up to the standards set by the state for adoption centres due to their beliefs taking precedent over the welfare of children in their care.
Silvano says that all people must be treated with dignity and respect, no matter their sexual orientation or behavior, but then said “But states can and must regulate behaviours, including various sexual behaviours,” followed by “Throughout the world, there is a consensus between societies that certain kinds of sexual behaviour must be forbidden by law. Paedophilia and incest are two examples.”. Just as Archbishop Nolan compared gay relationships to incest.
To all those LGBTQIA catholics out there, you cannot let these people speak for you and your faith, you are the real catholics, not people like Tomasi, Nolan and Ratzinger, they are a cancer within your church, and you are the only people who can save it from the dark place its in.
A recent poll suggests that actually the ally component of the LGBTQIA US catholic population may be in the majority within the church. Results are that 56% say gay relationships are NOT sinful, and 43% supports gay marriage.
Found via NOM
Even One News Now is reporting that they cannot in good conscience dismiss the conclusions of this study.
For those of you who do not know about Julea Ward, she was on an APA certified counselling course, and decided to throw a monkey wrench in the works when she said that she would not do her job when it came to respecting the personal life of a potential gay client. Now if you are out in the world doing junk science counselling with no accreditation from the APA, you may sadly be allowed to gay bash, however she signed up for a course in real counselling which comes under the purview of the APA. Quoting from the Ethics code the following passages stand out.
In their work-related activities, psychologists do not engage in unfair discrimination based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or any basis proscribed by law.
Psychologists do not knowingly engage in behavior that is harassing or demeaning to persons with whom they interact in their work based on factors such as those persons’ age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status.
Psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their clients/patients, students, supervisees, research participants, organizational clients, and others with whom they work, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable.
These principles have been in effect since 2002 and are freely available. If you want to be recognized by the APA as a counsellor you have to adhere to these principles. Julea Ward could have looked up the course curriculum at any time and seen these requirements. It was a course requirement to be able to treat people without bringing her own prejudices to the table.
If I were a suspicious individual, which I am at times, I would believe that this woman actually joined the program with the specific intent of trying to do a lawsuit, since it is unbelievable that she was unaware of the course requirements. She is currently engaging the known hate group, the ADF, who frequently target pro-equality situations on behalf of bigoted individuals.
As far as faith is concerned, she was questioned about her faith which seems acceptable since unless she was deliberately ignoring the course requirements, the brand of faith she had when she joined the course was more progressive than the one she has now.
The fact that the Michigan attorney general is supporting her, is yet more proof if any is needed how republican politicians feel about LGBTQIA people…
Found via that other group of hate and lies, NOM
I know this video has been around for a while, but its good to remember it when NOM tries to scrub their reputation.
Via the wonderful people at NOM Watch
These wonderful activists decided to try to get the basic human freedom of marrying the person they love. Sad to see that there were too many bigots at the licensing office in many states.
Two things stuck out to me, one was the woman in california who was so apologetic of the situation, and wrote an IOU a marriage license and said she would be honored to give them one when she could, it kinda made me cry. The other was a man saying “you aren’t helping your cause” what a little shit, and I say that with love and compassion… We will do what ever we can to raise the issue and fight for our basic human rights of equality. You wont stop us.
I wish i’d been out with these brave people, sadly obviously not in the US at the moment… more bigotry in action.
I keep hearing this as a reason why gay marriage should be stopped, because its all part of a slippery slope. Admittedly growing up in a close minded community i assumed that couples were normal, and anything else was odd. However as we grow up we change both in outlook and what we want.
I’ve evolved to the point that in many ways i’m no longer even looking for the one. I’m far from finding a life partner. I do have people who are unbelievably important to me in my life but i don’t think one person would necessarily fill all my needs. I have no plans one way or another, its all part of the journey of personal evolution.
Its a situation today where LGBTQA activists almost shy away from the Poly group because “that’s too weird” and claim that they just want gay marriage nothing more. I see it as a milestone, and also a recognition of the ways families have been throughout all time, only more openly. To quote my favorite example, the only reason that the dried up gene pool of the Royal Families of Europe have not become so inbred they cannot breed is because the royal women have been having enough affairs that new blood has sneaked into the royal bloodlines.
Husbands and Wives had Mistresses and Lovers, you did not necessarily marry who you loved, and quite commonly Husbands and Wives had Lovers and Mistresses…
I don’t want to get ENDA, Marriage equality, DADT repeal and Hate crimes and leave it at that, we need to recognize that our society is evolving to have open relationships between more than 2 people. This is not the abusive Latter Day Saint, or Islamic polygamous practice of having more than one wife, each of which is a separate often competitive relationship to the other wives.
Looking at some of my friends, i’ve seen relationships of more than the norm, and unsurprisingly given the stability of a mature adult relationship, these families are perhaps even stronger than the couples I see around me.
Its about having a group relationship. To give a basic primer, assume you have a relationship of Henry, William and Denise. This means that…
- Henry is married to William and they have a physical and emotional relationship
- Henry is married to Denise and they have a physical and emotional relationship
- William is married to Denis and they also have a physical and emotional relationship
- Henry, William and Denise all share a bed, and are a married triplet who are physically and emotionally committed to each other
While the studies showing LGBTQA parents being wonderful and capable parents are numerous, the social stigma of Polyamorous families has resulted in there not being so many studies, anecdotally from the families I know, the children are some of the most well adjusted and capable children i’ve ever seen.
I know we aren’t going to get legal polyamorous marriages tomorrow, or even when DOMA is finally struck down as evil and bigotted, but those who care about what is right, just and true, need to realize there are fights still to have.
It’ll be a while but one the day I want my child to be able to check out a book from the public library called “Charlie has a Mummy, a Daddy and a Dafu”…
I’m not a Christian. I’m not especially a massive supporter of religion in general either, though firmly of the belief that everybody needs to have a little faith sometimes – it just doesn’t have to necessarily be in a God. As such, I pass little judgement on Christianity itself, but I’m just as capable as the next person of observing the things done and the sentiments expressed by people in its name, and to compare those with the Christian teachings that, lets face it, most of us in the western world have encountered whether we’re Christian or not.
In 2003, the Episcopalian Church was the first large Christian denomination in the world to elect an openly gay Bishop, and did so in spite of a smear campaign that pandered to all the usual dirty tactics – including hugely overinflated accusations of sexual assault, which were investigated and disproved… and he was elected by a significant majority, demonstrating the majority of the denomination’s commitment to people – human beings – and no sexualities.
On New Years day this year, 2011, comes another commendable first from this same denomination – the wedding of two high-level priests, who incidentally happen to be lesbian, is thought to be a first for the US.
Meanwhile, in what must surely be a bitter pill to swallow for many viewers of the conservative current affairs channel Fox News, the US State Department has announced that Consular Report of Birth Abroad documents, and significantly, passport applications, will no longer ask for the entry of “mother” and “father”, but of the gender neutral fields “parent 1″ and “parent 2″. This move allows for the recognition of both family situations arising from such things as IVF treatment, and of course, families with same sex parents. The new passport applications will be rolled out in February.
Of course, religious right so-called “pro family groups” are proclaiming outrage and insanity at this move – nothing is unexpected about that! “Political Correctness gone mad” is the cry. They argue that this change somehow provides less information than the previous “mother” and “father” fields. This is a stance, however, that betrays the true hypocrisy of such groups. As the State Department explains, through deputy assistant Secretary of State Brenda Sprague;
These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families. … We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago.
In other words, this move from the State Department is a move that simply recognises families which already exist – what’s so wrong with that? Simply, the so-called “pro family groups” doing the complaining are very picky about which families they are in favour of. A family with LGBT parents is still a family, but religious right pro family groups would evidently prefer that it weren’t recognised as such. It’s obviously not their views on family that inform them in this, but their so-called “Christian” views on homosexuality. Such duplicity and misrepresentation doesn’t sound very Christian at all!
What can we learn from all this? What message can we take from it? What does it show? I propose that these recent events, considered together, say two important things. The first of these things is a confirmation of the old adage that “empty vessels make the loudest noise”. While these pro family groups ironically and duplicitously campaign against the recognition of those families they don’t like the idea of and practice bigotry and discrimination in the name of their religion, they claim their view to be the Christian way – it’s not. It’s simply the ideological view of the christian religious right, who in ignorance of the actual reality they face, do not espouse the view of Christianity as a whole. That much is demonstrated by the Episcopalian Church, whose most senior episcopal official of Massachusetts has spoken of the much kinder and more christian view that, “God always rejoices when two people who love each other make a lifelong commitment in marriage to go deeper into the heart of God through each other.”
Secondly, there is a message of hope, and a sign of increasing change. 25 years ago, in the middle of the 1980′s, gay people were blamed for the spread of AIDS, or the HIV virus as we now understand it. It was described as a “man made disease”, with gay people being the primary vectors through which it is spread. This of course is now recognised as nonsense, but going back 25 years ago, such ideas were exemplary of the widespread misunderstanding and vilification of gay people. Quite simply, it was not OK to be gay. These days, while LGBT people face significant inequality and outrageous discrimination in various areas, it is much more socially acceptable to be gay. We’re not quite there yet but we’re making progress, and the events and changes described in this article exemplify the positive direction in which things are moving – that the State Department would recognise same sex families in its passport applications would have been utterly unthinkable just 10 years ago.
There is hope. There is change. The generation that now finds itself all grown up has seen this change, and it’s something to celebrate. It’s not enough and there’s still work to be done, but it’s heading there. This generation of young LGBT people have every reason to hope and to believe that in continuing this work, as they grow up and live out their lives, there can be and will be full equality.
Is there an issue of “redefining marriage” in England? Charlie Butts of OneNewsNow appears to believe so. So much so in fact that he elected to write an article about it for the American Family News Network. It begs the question of who this family is – most certainly not a gay one. No, the American Family News Network is an offshoot of the American Family Association founded by the religious right conservative Donald Wildmon, dedicated to purveying “Your Latest News From A Christian Perspective”. Quite why this group feels it has a monopoly on what a Christian perspective is is anybodies guess, but that goes for many such right wing so-called family groups.
It has to be wondered whether LGBTQIA Americans are “letting the side down” at the moment, because quite evidently, this was a slow news day. There must have been very little ammunition against Gay people in America on the day of publishing for this non-story to reach our screens! Why else would the author have written about such an irrelevant story? By the authors assessment, that issue of which he writes is unlikely to amount to anything anyway, so why would the American Family News Network pay such attention to something which is nothing to do with America, and in their belief, would prove inconsequential. That there are people in the UK who would like to see same sex marriage recognised as legitimate is no secret and it’s nothing new. Indeed, if there were a story worth a mention at all, it would be that the Liberal Democrats (a party currently in Coalition Government in the UK) voted to support Same Sex Marriage as a matter of policy -That was some time ago!
Lets cut to the chase here – is same sex marriage a redefinition of marriage? Only so if you define marriage as between a man and a woman… but that is not the definition of marriage itself. Indeed, here in the UK we have civil partnerships which were incorrectly described as marriages in all but name by those that created them! Clearly then, the concept of marriage is not especially perceived as being primarily between one man and one woman, but rather, is perceived as the loving union of two people before the state. It is NOT perceived as being before God by anybody but the religious, which is why in the UK, civil ceremonies exist.
So, perhaps redefining marriage is not the issue in England. Perhaps the possible existence of same sex marriage is an issue and a more accurate way of describing that issue. Indeed, that much is true, but again, Mr. Butts has the wrong end of the stick. In fact, a 2009 Populus opinion poll, as reported by The Times Newspaper, reported that 61% of people agreed that “Gay couples should have an equal right to get married, not just to have civil partnerships”, with just 33% disagreeing. Clearly, that’s a very definite suggestion that the “redefinition” of marriage “at issue” which Mr. Butts perceives is in fact the exact opposite of the issue that actually exists in England. Englanders aren’t “fighting back the horde of ‘gay activists’ trying to advance their ‘homosexual agenda’”. Englanders in fact realise that gay people deserve the same basic opportunities and rights as straight people, and they support gay marriage. The “issue” therefor is that of bigotry on the part of so called “pro-family” groups.
I guess the term “pro-family unless you happen to be gay” is a bit less catchy, but it’s closer to the truth. It is in fact the “pro family” groups that have the issue, not the rest of society. Considering the specifics of the article in question, the case being brought to the courts regarding marriage is not purely a “same sex marriage” issue. It’s an equality issue. It’s a question of why gay people and straight people should be segregated by law. It’s a question of what possible reason there could be for denying straight people the right to a civil partnership, and by comparison, why gay people should be equally be denied the right to marriage. Mr. Butts suggests that the case reeks of judicial activism, but judicial activism is when judges step beyond the realms of their station to make a point. It is quite within their station to make judgements on points of law, and that is exactly the task before them here. The judges are required to look both at whether there is a valid reason for denying civil partnerships to straight people, and if not, whether there is therefor a reason to deny marriage to gay people too.
In any case, regardless of the outcome of the case, public and political opinion is increasingly shifting in favour of same sex marriage, because the public is increasingly realising that there is no good and wholesome reason to deny it. The only unsavoury agents in the arena on this issue are in fact pro-family groups and religious right activists baying for the ability to discriminate and segregate… to oppress and hate.
So why the interest in UK matters from an American Family group? It’s probably the same reason that Fox News recently used footage of the student protests against tuition fee rises instigated by a right wing government as a suggestion that the people of the UK were following in behind the Tea Party movement of the US. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and the student movement here has been consistently on the left, not the right. Far right groups and organisations want people to believe that they are not raving, ranting, hateful and regressive – to ensure it, they want people to believe that other major players in the world are in agreement with their views, and are prepared to lie about it and misrepresent the facts. This speaks of just how sinister they can be, and how much they are actually worth listening to.
Lies, deceit, hate, bigotry and intolerance are not pro-family. Perhaps that’s part of why gay people often make better parents.
Anybody that recognises the title of this article will instantly realise that it’s about to illustrate something ridiculous. Fittingly, it comes from Monty Python’s “The Holy Grail”; the Holy Grail, in this case, being the ‘right’ sought by some Christians to discriminate against LGBT people. It’s a cry all too familiar in the US, and recently in the UK alike, where those facing laws preventing the enactment of bigotry in the name of religion scream out “Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”, which is no less ridiculous from these religious figures, public servants and so-called ‘pro-family’ groups than it was when it came from Michael Palin’s Dennis, the infuriatingly awkward peasant in The Holy Grail.
As reported by The Telegraph, a UK based tabloid newspaper with a conservative bias, the Bishop of Winchester (the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt) chose the day after Christmas to deliver his gift of wisdom to the nation on the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘The World This Weekend’. Namely, that he notes that “The Human Rights Act is protecting the rights of minority groups while encouraging judges and politicians to discriminate against Christians”. Could he be complaining of a “war against Christmas”? Perhaps, but no. Instead, he warns us that “the death of ‘religious literacy’ among those who made and administered the law had created an imbalance in the way in which those with faith were treated compared to sexual minorities.” By sexual minorities, of course, he means gay people. Once again, a religious figure is effectively complaining that the refusal to allow Christians to discriminate against gay people is, in fact, discrimination against Christians.
There is a temptation here to pick apart his argument statement by statement – while it may sound reasoned on the face of it, it’s absolutely jam packed full of straw men. Instead though, lets go for the jugular – those things that are pretty much universal in such claims, and that which forms the basis of his argument.
Firstly, there are LGBT Christians too – and so by definition, “sexual minorities” and “Christians” are not separate, disparate groups. Support of the human rights of “sexual minorities” does not and cannot mean discrimination against Christians.
Secondly, there is an argument that people of strong faith should be able to realise their faith and live it rather than simply pay lip service to it. This is actually a very strong argument, with one flaw; where does it say in christian scripture that Christians must interfere in other people’s lives, be dismissive of gay people or refuse to provide them with services, push their beliefs onto other people, refuse to “love thy neighbor” because that neighbor happens to be gay or insist that gay people don’t make good parents? Sure, a person of conscience must of course act by their conscience – but what informs it? Certain Christians believe that God insists that man should not lie with man, but since when are genuine Christians the enforcers of Gods law rather than its adherents? A person who believes that gay sex is wrong according to their faith can live and realise that faith by not having gay sex. It’s that simple. Christian scripture actually warns against pronouncing judgement on others!
Finally, of course, there’s the issue of Human Rights itself. These are rights that each human being has by virtue of being human. Inalienable rights stemming from one’s existence as a human being. It seems to be that those that wish to create a right for the religious to discriminate against LGBT people (the right never existed in the first place – more of a wrong that was allowed to happen) either don’t understand the concept of Human Rights, or believe that they should be defined in accordance with their personal religious beliefs – it’s a little bit crazy when you really think about it.
No Reverend, religious literacy doesn’t have a place in lawmaking, except in laws directly relating to religion. Laws that public/secular services must be provided on a non-discriminatory basis do not qualify as laws directly relating to religion. They may, however, go some way to righting the wrongs of those few religious people who practice bigotry, mean spiritedness and hate in the name of their religion.
Its sad really that our third real comment on this site was from a bigot…
This is the world we face, its not full of reasonable people who do not understand, its a world that is afraid of what is different and what it does not understand. We have to fight the ignorance, and defend ourselves from the hateful.
I get to call myself a muff munching queer dyke, because those are words i own, but if you want to come on here and call me unmentionable things, then you are not welcome here….