Monday, October 30, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - October 30, 2006

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The Washington Post
A Case for Strengthening Marriage

By Leah Ward Sears
Monday, October 30, 2006; A17

For the first time in history, less than half of U.S. households are headedby married couples. And on Sept. 29, the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention released data showing that almost 36 percent of all births arethe result of unmarried childbearing, the highest percentage ever recorded.

In family law, as in the rest of American society, there is an intensifyingdebate about how we should respond to this kind of news. Should law andsociety actively seek new ways to support marriage? Or should family lawstrive to be marriage-neutral by providing more rights and benefits to itsalternatives, such as cohabitation and single parenthood?

Some family law experts argue that our most pressing need is to find ways toequally support a wide variety of family forms. For example, the respectedAmerican Law Institute, an organization of judges, lawyers and legalscholars that periodically drafts model laws and other proposals for legalreform, has proposed a new set of laws that promotes this "family diversitymodel.


The Washington Post

Va. Catholics Pushed to Support Same-Sex Marriage Ban

By Chris L. Jenkins and Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, October 30, 2006; B01

Virginia's Catholic leaders can take comfort from recent polls showing thata majority of state voters are in sync with them in supporting aconstitutional amendment to ban civil unions. What worries them is their ownflock.

A Washington Post poll conducted this month showed that a majority ofCatholic voters oppose the proposed amendment, which would ban same-sexmarriages. As a result, Virginia bishops are flexing their growing politicalmuscle in an attempt to sway more Catholics on the issue and get them tovoting booths.

"When Catholics are presented with our church's perspective on the nature ofmarriage, its relationship to the common good of society and the importanceof the proposed amendment for children and families . . . they will be muchmore likely to support the amendment," said Jeff Caruso, executive directorof the Virginia Catholic Conference.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Ireland: Age of consent for teens will not be lowered

Sunday Independent, 29 October 2006

Age of consent for teens will not be lowered


AN OFFICIAL proposal to the Government to keep the age of sexual consent at17 for both sexes is seriously at odds with public opinion which would liketo see it lowered in the face of social reality.

The Oireachtas Committee on child protection is to recommend the status quowhile a nationwide telephone poll by the Sunday Independent shows that 65per cent of the public want the age reduced to 16.

It is also known the Government would prefer to reduce the age to 16,bringing it more in line with what is commonly believed to be the reality ofsexual activity among teenage boys and girls.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the committee last Thursday.Yesterday, committee sources said the volume of submissions in favour of 17has swayed the 13-member cross-party committee towards recommending it asthe legal age of consent in its report to the Oireachtas next month.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Canadian Press, Canada, October 29, 2006

A Catholic priest to be Bloc Quebecois candidate in upcoming federalbyelection


MONTREAL (CP) - An outspoken Catholic priest opposed to his church's stanceon same-sex marriage and abortion rights will represent the Bloc Quebecoisin an upcoming federal byelection.

Despite his political inexperience and "despite fears and doubts,"Rev. Raymond Gravel was acclaimed the separatist party's candidate on Sundayfor the Nov. 27 federal byelection in the Repentigny riding of Quebec.

The 53-year-old priest said he doesn't think he will be torn between theteachings of the church and the positions of the Bloc.

"I hope not," he said.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List, October 29, 2006

Gay Mega Church Joins Mainstream Denomination by Newscenter Staff

(Dallas, Texas) The Cathedral of Hope, regarded as the world's largest gaychurch, has joined the United Church of Christ.

In a vote taken Saturday, Oct. 28, by the denomination's North TexasAssociation, the church was overwhelmingly accepted as a member church.

A special service of installation, at which the church will officiallybecome a member of the denomination, is being planned, the cathedral said ina statement on Sunday.

"This is a historic day in the life of the Cathedral of Hope," said Rev. Dr.Jo Hudson, senior pastor and rector of the cathedral.

The cathedral began in 1970 when a group of 12 people gathered to worship inDallas. It joined the predominantly gay Metropolitan Community Church, andsaw its membership steadily grow. By 2002 it had a membership of nearly2,000 people.

But it relationship with MCC soured and in 2003 it disaffiliated from thedenomination. Shortly after than it began an exploration of affiliating withthe United Church of Christ.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Trenton's cold feet over gay marriage

Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, October 29, 2006

Trenton's cold feet over gay marriage
By Monica Yant Kinney, Inquirer Columnist

Why am I not surprised that instead of thanking the New Jersey Supreme Courtfor respectfully kicking last week's gay-marriage ruling to the Legislature,politicians are instead griping about having to make difficult decisions ona deadline?

These guys are never satisfied. Had the court ruled entirely on its own,legislators would be complaining they'd been denied a say. Yet when thejustices give them a piece of the action, the pols whine that the work istoo hard and they don't have the time.

Me, I'd like nothing more than to see these chumps charged with contempt ifthey blow the 180-day deadline by one minute. If only democracy worked thatway.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

CA: FATHERS IN THE MAKING; Parents-to-be face legal maze

Los Angeles Times, CA, October 29, 2006,1,5443362.story?coll=la-headlines-nation&track=crosspromo

Parents-to-be face legal maze
By Kevin Sack, Times Staff Writer,

WHEN the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court voted to legalize gay marriagein 2003, its opinion rested squarely on the argument that determining thebest interests of a child "does not turn on a parent's sexual orientation ormarital status."

Three years later, the top court in neighboring New York also cited thewelfare of children - but took precisely the opposite stance. The statecould limit marriage to heterosexuals, the Court of Appeals ruled in July,because lawmakers "could rationally believe that it is better, other thingsbeing equal, for children to grow up with both a mother and a father."

Given those divergent rulings, it is little wonder that gays and lesbiansattempting to produce children through artificial means confront a legallandscape as varied as the 50 states.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

NJ: Opinion--It's a civil union; it's a partnership; it's not a marriage

New Brunswick Home News Tribune, NJ, October 29, 2006

It's a civil union; it's a partnership; it's not a marriage Rick Malwitz

Call it a civil union. Call it a gay union. When homosexuals enter one ofthose 'til-death-do-us-part unions they typically introduce the other personin their relationship as their partner. So let's call it a partnership. Justdon't call it a marriage. Drop the familiar language of the church (and thesynagogue and the mosque) and I'm OK with the state offering equal rights tothese so-called unions.

The state Supreme Court tiptoed around the issue last week. While thejustices were OK with affirming certain rights for homosexuals and theirunions, they stopped short of saying "I do" to calling them marriages. Ashard as it must have tried, "the court cannot find that the right tosame-sex marriage is a fundamental right under our Constitution," accordingto the majority opinion.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

WI: Editorial--Marriage amendment more un-Wisconsin than "On Wisconsin"

Oshkosh Northwestern, WI, October 29, 2006

Wisconsin has proud tradition as a progressive state that puts individualrights and protections ahead of government intercession.

That is one fundamental reason a proposed state Constitutional amendmentredefining marriage as that between a man and a woman, and nothing otherwise- a definition jeopardizing even the legal and financial decisions ofunmarried senior couples who find symbiotic solace in their golden years --deserves to be rejected by voters on Nov. 7.

To most, marriage is sacred. Wisconsin can agree on that. That is to behonored.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

NJ: Editorial-- What's in a marriage?

New Brunswick Home News Tribune, NJ, October 29, 2006

Editorial: What's in a marriage?

Shakespeare's Juliet insisted that "a rose by any other name would smell assweet," but, in light of the state Supreme Court's divided decision on gaymarriage, it is clear that Juliet was wrong. There is something in a name,and in this case that name is "marriage."

There was a wonderful clarity and reasonableness to the justices'unanimous decision that the New Jersey Constitution gave the state theresponsibility of recognizing unions between committed homosexuals. Inwriting for the majority, Justice Barry Albin outlined the broad steps towhich both New Jersey courts and legislators have gone in protecting therights of gays and lesbians, and then wrote, "There is no rational basisfor, on the one hand, giving gays and lesbians full civil rights in theirstatus as individuals, and, on the other, giving them an incomplete set ofrights when they follow the inclination of their sexual orientation andenter into committed same-sex relationships." In other words, if the statebelieves it ought to end discrimination, then it must extend its protectionsto all the areas of life it controls. This seems both obvious and impossibleto refute.


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