Friday, September 3, 2010

GOP Nominates Openly Gay Man for UTAH State Senate

Isn't this one a shocker. In Utah of all places, headquarters of the infamously anti-gay Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), the Republicans have nominated an openly gay, pro-equality man to run for State Senate. 

Mel Nimer, currently the President of the Utah Log Cabin Republicans is the GOP nominee, going against pro-LGBT Democrat Senator Ben McAdams.

EDGE Boston reports...
A gay-friendly Utah state senator who stepped in to finish the term of a fellow Democrat who left office early now faces an openly gay Republican opponent for his seat in the state’s legislative body. In a further twist, the Democrat who left office early was also gay. 

The saga began when Utah’s first openly gay state senator, Scott McCoy, stepped down late last year. His successor is state Sen. Ben McAdams, 35, who now faces a gay Republican, Melvin Nimer, 60, who is also the head of the state’s branch of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP group.

McAdams was initially expected to face a different Republican opponent, Nancie Lee Davis; however, Davis missed a filing deadline and was disqualified. It was at that point that Nimer stepped in, reported Utah news publication the Deseret News on Sept. 2.

Nimer expressed no intention of playing down his sexuality; quite the opposite, in fact. "Definitely, I’ll have that [gay] card to play, if you will," Nimer told the media. "Luckily, it’s a fairly liberal district." Questions of sexual orientation aside, Nimer opined that a GOP lawmaker would be able to relate more readily to colleagues in state government. ""As good as Sen. McCoy was and Sen. McAdams is, being Democrats, they don’t have as much influence as a Republican would have," Nimer told the media.

Though not gay himself, McAdams, who is Mormon, has won the support of the state’s GLBT community, and is seen as friendly toward the cause of GLBT equality.
Personally I think this is a wonderful opportunity for LGBT people in Utah. Because Utah is an extremely conservative state, there is really no chance that it would swing into Democratic hands based upon one district, thus, an openly gay member of the GOP in the Senate would be a much better asset to our community than a Democrat ever would be. 

Though I am not a Republican by a long shot, I feel that strategically the LGBT community must support Mel Nimer for State Senate. Though we might not like to admit it, when the LGBT community has GOP members on our side, we win hands down. 

Gay Senator Ashburn Opposes Bill Passed by California Senate Condemning Uganda

On Monday, the California Senate adopted a resolution that condemned the proposed bill in Uganda that would give the death penalty or prison to homosexuality and the American religious influences that have encouraged the introduction of this bill in the Ugandan Parliament.

The resolution passed 21-14, but one particular vote was looked at with some puzzlement by LGBT activists in California. Recently outed GOP Senator Roy Ashburn voted against the legislation ,saying that it focused to much on American religious leaders and American religious views of homosexuality than on the conduct of the Ugandan government.

First, I will provide the link to the full resolution that was passed, so that you all can read for yourself what it says.

I for one, see where Senator Ashburn is coming from, yet I believe that he gives American religious organizations to much leeway. First off, the bill does focus on American religious leaders and condemns those that have had a part in fanning the fires of anti-LGBT feeling in Uganda. This is only appropriate, because religious leaders ARE the cause of this increase in LGBT hatred and persecution. The link has been well established between American religious figures and Ex-Gay leaders and the current bill. Therefore the resolution in California is completely appropriate; too bad if religious people think that they are being attacked for their position.

I think that this resolution is actually a very good thing, insomuch that it is a condemnation for religious based bigotry in America. Many times American religious people do not like to admit that their philosophy and words have direct consequences. They say to us, oh well we are just saying what we believe, we would never advocate killing someone; that may be true, but the root of their ideas have directly contributed to violence. "Christians" - naming on religion - use the passages in the Bible stating that homosexuality is an abomination or that gay people should receive what is their due - death - and yet don't expect people to actually follow thru on such admonitions and harmful words. They assume that because of "religious freedom" that they can spout off rhetoric (often guised in scripture) that basically compares LGBT people with cockroaches that deserve to be crushed. And then they don't expect anything to come of such rhetoric.

Personally, I think that "Christians" and religious leaders in America are very naive and stupid to think that way, and as such I applaud the California Senate for giving them the credit for violence that they are due.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Should Parents Be Allowed To Foster Ignorance and Bigotry?

While I am still not surprised by what comes out of Alberta, I am surprised at how the following story is not receiving that much coverage. In all of the Google search on Alberta Bill 44 - a bill that would requires parental notification when sexual orientation, religion, or sexual matters are discussed - there were only three pages of results between last year (when the bill was introduced) and yesterday (when the bill went into effect).

The St. Albert Gazette reports....

Bill 44, which passed last year, was the province’s effort to include sexual orientation as a protected ground under its human rights legislation. But the bill included a controversial clause that requires schools to provide parents with advance notice of subject matter that deals primarily and explicitly with religion, human sexuality or sexual orientation.
The law also allows parents to withdraw their children from such teaching, without penalty, and provides a mechanism for complaining to Alberta’s human rights commission.
It came into effect Sept. 1.
“The challenge here is that this is now enacted into law. It makes it much harder to fix,” said master of ceremonies Jan Buterman.
Buterman is a transgendered person who transitioned from living as a woman to living as a man. The substitute teacher made headlines last fall after filing a human rights complaint against Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools, which had notified Buterman that he would be removed from the division’s sub list because he’d chosen to change his gender. That complaint is still winding its way through Alberta’s human rights process, Buterman said.
Regarding Bill 44, it will likely lead to some form of legal challenge when a parent complains, he said.
“It’s going to be a long slug and unfortunately what I suspect is going to happen is we’ll have weird stuff happen that does end up going before human rights tribunals. I suspect that’s what will test it in the end,” Buterman said.
The parental opt-out clause within Bill 44 is like an asterisk beside the extension of legal protection for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transidentified community, protesters said. This sends the message that being anything other than heterosexual is abnormal, they said.
University student Scott McKinney, 22, showed up at the Wednesday protest to “beef up the numbers” and show that not everyone has forgotten about Bill 44. He doesn’t think the government has demonstrated anything positive about the bill.
“Once you start getting parents to yank their kids out of everything they find uncomfortable or to sue teachers over it … that only moves us backwards in society,” he said. “The whole point of advancing is to learn new things. We want to learn about other people.”
Edmonton NDP MLA Rachel Notley called the legislation “regressive” and a black mark on Alberta’s reputation. She said it should be an obligation for children to learn about all aspects of human rights and urged students gathered to continue fighting.
“It’s not a dead issue. It’s not over,” she said. “I promise you that we will continue to fight to get this legislation changed.”
Changes brought by Bill 44 were reflected in a new education guide that was released in late June. The guide identified seven courses that require advance notice by all public, Catholic and charter schools: aboriginal studies 10; career and life management (CALM); health (in grades 4, 5 and 6); health and life skills (in grades 7, 8 and 9); religious ethics 20; religious meanings 20; and world religions 30.
David Keohane, superintendent of Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools, said the division has sent letters to parents informing them that religion permeates education within the system. Besides that, Bill 44 has just reinforced parents’ existing right to opt out, he said.
“It’s really brought to the forefront what the School Act afforded parents all along,” Keohane said.
St. Albert MLA Ken Allred, a Progressive Conservative, felt this week’s protest lacked credibility because of media stories quoting educators as saying the changes brought by Bill 44 aren’t having much impact.
“I’m amazed [that people are protesting] because I’ve read the media coverage in the last few days and everybody is saying it’s no problem,” Allred said. “That’s what I said last year. It’s a flash in the pan. It’s really not a problem.”
It’s too soon to tell from experience whether the changes will create problems, he said, but the acceptance of educators is a good test.
“If some real problems come up then we can take a look at it,” he said.
The protesters in my opinion give a very valid point,. Though I do respect the wishes of parents, by giving this parental notification when it comes to the issue of sexual orientation (an immutable class), we reinforce the concept that their is something "wrong" with being gay. It does reinforce the concept that LGBT people are not "normal".

Would we allow parents to withdraw their children from classes that have to deal with race? How about gender? Truly when does parental notification and withdrawal from classes stop? Though I have made my position on parental rights issues clear before, I will say it again. If a parent is unhappy about what is being taught in the public school...put your money where you mouth is and homeschool. That is legal in Canada, and then you will not have to worry about what your children are being taught.

Kudos to those Albertans who are still protesting and trying to give voice to the issue. Now let us in the online realm share this disturbing legislation alone, and hopefully we can also use our power to change it as well.

Lawsuit to Force State Intervention in Prop 8 Case Denied

The California Court of Appeals has denied a lawsuit that the Pacific Justice Institute filed on August 31st that would have forced the State of California (aka. Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown) to defend the lawsuit by attaching itself to the appeal that is currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. As many of my readers know, the Governor and the Attorney General have both declined to appeal the ruling of Judge Walker because they believe that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

Here is a news article detailing the suit that was brought forth by the Pacific Justice Institute from the Standard Newswire.

Here is an outline of the case from the California Courts website.

Australian Adoption Bill Clears Lower House

In the Australian state of New South Wales the proposed adoption bill... albeit with the amendments that give special rights to "religious organizations" has passed the lower house by two votes. In a 44-42 split, this was an important conscious vote by the MP's of NSW. Though the bill was unfortunately watered down, as I have written about extensively on this blog; that the lower house passed it is commendable. Full story at The Australian

 A bill that would allow same-sex couples to adopt children in NSW has been passed by the lower house of parliament by two votes
Forty-six MPs voted for the historic bill and 44 voted against it yesterday, after a two-day debate.
The bill, introduced by independent Sydney MP Clover Moore, allows same-sex couples to adopt a child together. Gay couples can already adopt in the ACT and Western Australia.
Voting on the issue in NSW was always going to be close and the result was initially unclear as a similar number of MPs filled each side of the parliamentary floor.
At the last minute, the doors were unlocked for the dissenting MP and leader of the Nationals Andrew Stoner, who was late because of a problem with the lift.
Reintroducing the bill on Wednesday, Ms Moore included an amendment that gives church adoption agencies the right to refuse services to same-sex couples without breaching anti-discrimination laws.
What do all of you think about the bill? Especially those of my readers who live in NSW? Was MP Moore's amendment a good thing? Or would you rather the bill be defeated, yet left the original language intact? 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In The Good Ole Days "She Males" Were Perverts

It is because of people like these, that we LGBT people are hurt and persecuted. We must show everyone videos like the one below, so that people can see how those who are against us truly feel. Many of our opponents may not neccessarily think the things or approve of the actions stated in this video, but what they don't realize is that the words that they say and the scripture that they use, are the kindling for the fires of hate and extremism.

Thanks to Truth Wins Out for the heads up on this disturbing event.

The Word "Gay" Is Not Politically Correct Says An Australian Principle

The popular Australian children's song "Kookaburra" aka. "Kookaburra sits in the Old Gum Tree" has been a topic of recent controversy in a Melbourne school, because the word "gay" appears at the end of the first stanza.

According to the Herald Sun...
Principal Garry Martin said yesterday he taught the lyrics to grade one pupils using an old tape of the famous song.
"It uses gay and I just suggested to kids, 'Nowadays that can mean different things, so let's just sing a fun old time'," he said.
"It was my decision to replace it. I guess that was hypersensitive of me."
Mr Martin said some children used "gay" to bully others without knowing the meaning of the expression.
 "Political correctness is to the fore in schools - what's appropriate and what isn't - and sometimes we rightly or wrongly err on the side of caution," he said.
Crusader Hillis, from gay and lesbian advocacy group the Also Foundation, said the ban was absurd."Political correctness is to the fore in schools - what's appropriate and what isn't - and sometimes we rightly or wrongly err on the side of caution," he said.
"Kids in schoolgrounds say 'That's so gay' and that's all fine. That's just the way that language is," he said.
Mr Hillis said banning words because they had multiple meanings was wrong.
"I don't think that's a very good message for kids to have, particularly when they've been working really hard to bring in respect and diversity into schools," he said.
"They're drawing attention to it and being a bit stupid."
Norman Laurie, managing director of the song's owner Larrikin Music, said the reasoning for changing the lyric was spurious.
"It's about as smart as banning Noddy books in libraries," he said.

This story brings up a good point. What is the influence of words and their meanings? When does the word "gay" become negative. If someone says "thats so gay" is that a slam against LGBT people, or can the word be thought of in a different context. Was the Principle right to do what he did, or did he overreact? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

And just for kicks I included a video of some youngsters singing the song...

Isn't Being Heterosexual Just as Much a Lifestyle Choice as Being Gay?

As promised, here is my post on the theory of "choice" when it comes to gay rights. Over and over again we hear from those who rally against us one of two things. Either 1. That we choose to be gay (a viewpoint rapidly going out of style) or 2. That we choose our lifestyle choices, that we might not choose our sexual orientation but we choose our sexual partner. Thus, because of either of these two choices, we should not be given the same rights of heterosexual Americans.

First, the concept of us choosing to be gay. I'm not going to spend much time on this, because it is rather pointless. Those who argue this line of reasoning are just plain stupid, or they have had their head in the sand for the last 30 years. So therefore, moving on to what I really wanted to talk about.

We hear those against marriage equality complain that gay people are wanting "special" rights; that they want the government to approve of a lifestyle choice. No one is forcing these homosexuals to have sex with the same gender...they could always plug their noses and do it with the other sex. To them, LGBT people asking for equal rights is like the following scenario...

Lets say that we all lived in a town where there was a Burger King and a McDonalds. For some reason, most of the town liked BK and so therefore the city government gave to its citizens coupons for half off a Whopper or Buy 1 get 1 Free. I on the other hand, and a pretty decent sized minority, liked McDonalds fact we found BK repulsive. I then petition the city council to give us McDonalds coupons as well. The Burger Kingers complain, saying that though I might not like BK as much, or that it might disgust me, if I really wanted to I could eat at BK and so therefore their is no reason to spend taxpayer dollars on giving me and friends coupons to McDonalds.

The society above, I would like to say has a Burger King normative culture; BK is the accepted norm. But what the Burger Kingers don't realize is that the logic that they use saying that i can "choose to eat at BK rather than McD's" is a logic that can be used against them.

So how does my scenario pertain to marriage equality and LGBT people. Well it boils down to this. Just like my fictitious town had a Burger King normative culture, so does our culture have a heteronormative culture. Because of this heteronormativity, people believe that LGBTs' should conform to said culture, and that if they are not, because of their choice of partner, they should not get any "coupons". This thinking is logically flawed. For if you can choose who you sleep with, then heteros can do the exact same thing. Why then are heteros getting "coupons" for their lifestyle choices?

The answer to that question is obvious. Though opponents of marriage equality want to say that it is because of the pro-creative nature of opposite gender unions, that argument falls flat, as the Prop 8 trial as well as simple logic shows. For example, are barren women automatically not eligible to get married? If you don't have children is your marriage null and void? So therefore what is the true reason why our heteronormative culture believes that we should not give any coupons to same-gender couples? It is because thats just not the way things have ever been done. Tradition is the final argument against marriage-equality, something all of us knew.

So when a friend or collegue argues that gay people make a lifestyle choice and we should not have to reward them for that, ask them "well don't heterosexuals make the same lifestyle choice?" When they say no, ask them how that is...and I guarantee you, the end answer to your logical poking will be...Tradition.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Moscow Groups File Complaint With EU Court of Human Rights

On the 24th of August, and only now being widely reported, Russian groups brought a complaint forward to the European Court of Human Rights, alleging that their right to freedom of assembly (a right guaranteed by the European Charter article 11) has been violated. The complaint was filed in response to Russian authorities denying demonstrators the right to assemble over demanding a prefects resignation for anti-LGBT policies.

According to the Moscow News

He banned demonstrations demanding his resignation and he closed their favourite club. Now Moscow gay priders are taking northern area prefect Oleg Mitvol to the European Court of Human Rights in a bid to halt a wave of homophobic feeling in its tracks.
“The organizers of Moscow Gay Pride filed a complaint against Northern Prefect Oleg Mitvol in the European Court of Human Rights on Monday, for blocking two pickets demanding his resignation,” LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist Nikolai Alexeyev said. 
Mitvol’s move against the pickets was “a clear violation of article 11, of freedom of assembly for everyone, and the European court is very strict on these issues,” Alexeyev told The Moscow News. The activists suggested a variety of different locations, which the authorities were obliged to offer them anyway and yet did everything they could to block the demonstrations, he said.
“We even have material which they distributed themselves and it is absolutely clear that it was an action…to block our protest,” he added. “We have enough proof and enough evidence, based on [precedent] and jurisprudence.”
There has only been one test case of this kind in Strasbourg, over the banned gay pride march in Warsaw. A unanimous decision found in 2007 that the 2005 ban violated freedom of assembly.
If the Court in Strasbourg affirms this complaint by the Russian activists, this could have many repercussions in Russia, especially with gay pride parades in that nation. As many of my readers know, authorities in many Russian cities (Moscow in this article) would not allow Gay Pride parades in the nation this past year, in a flagrant violation of the right of assembly.

Toronto Hosting First Ever Canadian Gay Tourism Conference

In a pretty neat move I must say,  Toronto Tourism is hosting this November the first ever Canadian Gay Tourism Conference. The conferences aim is to understand how Canada can tap into the growing LGBT tourist market. The Globe and Mail reports...
Toronto will host Canada’s first gay-tourism conference in November, as industry professionals and analysts gather to discuss marketing the country to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered tourists.
Tourist industry professionals from across North America will gather Nov. 5 in downtown Toronto to address the finer points of marketing to gay tourists, with panel discussions ranging from “Positioning Canada as a unique destination” to “Actually, there is no ‘gay market’!” Representatives from the Vancouver Olympics organizing community and Gay Whistler are slated to give a talk on “The gayest games of them all.”
The concept of gay tourism is nothing new in Canada: Cities have endeavoured to market themselves as tolerant, accessible and metropolitan destinations, aided both by large-scale Pride parades in Toronto and Vancouver and the legality of gay marriage drawing couples from the United States and elsewhere.
It’s a market Tourism Toronto has been aggressively trying to corner since the arrival of its president, David Whitaker, from Miami in 2007. And it’s a lucrative one: Travel Gay Canada – an industry organization that aims to create “increased visibility, opportunities, and programs for its members to maximize revenues through LGBT tourism” – estimates that the market is worth about $70-billion.
Whats great is that this conference will probably be welcomed in Toronto - which has a sizable LGBT population. Contrast how Canadians deal with the situation to how anti-gay foes in the United States reacted when Amtrak was attempting to promote itself to LGBT travelers.

Gay Texans Can't Divorce - Even If They Are Legally Married

Last year, as many of you know, two gay men legally married in Massachussetts filed for Divorce in Texas - the state where they had moved. The state refused to grant them a divorce, because by doing so they would "violate" the states consitutional amendment banning gay marriage - yea twisted logic I know. In October a federal judge ruled that the states refusal to grant a divorce, as well as Texas' consitutional amendment, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment. 

But today, the 5th District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state. From the Dallas Morning News
Today, the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas reversed that decision and ordered Callahan to dismiss the case.
Same-sex marriages or civil unions are prohibited by a voter-approved amendment to the state Constitution and the Texas Family Code.
The appeals court said today that the trial court had wrongly ruled that those provisions violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Additionally, Justice Kerry P. Fitzgerald wrote in the decision: "We hold that Texas district courts do not have subject-matter jurisdiction to hear a same-sex divorce case."
The two men, identified in court records as J.B. and H.B., married in Cambridge, Mass., in 2006, returned to Dallas and separated two years later. J.B., citing "discord or conflict of personalities," sued in January 2008 to dissolve the union.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott intervened in the divorce case, arguing that because Texas doesn’t recognize gay marriage, a Texas court can’t dissolve one through divorce.
But Callahan, a Democrat, rejected the attorney general’s intervention and said her court had jurisdiction to consider a divorce case "filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction."
Abbott said he would appeal the ruling "to defend the traditional definition of marriage that was approved by Texas voters."
And in arguments before the three appellate judges, all Republicans, attorneys for the state and the conservative Plano-based Liberty Institute repeated the claim that to recognize same-sex divorce, Texas would have to recognize same-sex marriage.
This my friends is another reason why we need to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. For once we eliminate that, states will have to both recognize gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions as well as allow gay divorces.

Christians Take Aim at Inclusive Ontario Education Programs

The group "Campaign Life Coalition" is calling upon the Ontario Ministry of Education to scrap the implementation of its Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy. Here is the CLC's website detailing their position. 

Some policies that the CLC complains about in their little diatribe are.

1. LGBT inclusive organizations in the school - ones that you are not forced to be in.
2. Stating that LGBT people should not be tolerated, but instead should be accepted.
3. Increasing the amount of LGBT authored materials - such as books - in curriculum.

Now let’s see the CLC's issue with each point...

1. LGBT inclusive organizations - like gay/straight alliances
This raises many serious questions for parents. Will schools ask parents for permission before sending your kids to a gay-activist group? Will you even be notified that your minor children are participating in such a group? What if your heterosexual son or daughter is just experiencing a transient period of confusion about sexuality (something that is normal for many adolescents and eventually passes without the need for intervention)? Could participation in such a group or school event actually increase his or her confusion, and become the catalyst for experimentation with homosexuality? Should schools have the right to potentially encourage children into a lifestyle that is dangerous to their health and which carries dramatically higher rates of HIV infection, anal cancers, Hepatitis B&C, chronic diarrhea and many other risks?
2. Acceptance vs. Toleration

 Does this mean that the homosexual lifestyle must be “accepted” by students as normal, natural and healthy - not just tolerated? Remember - we just demonstrated that Wynne’s EIE Strategy document encourages schools to “celebrate” the Gay Pride Parade (which is all about gay lifestyles). 
Further evidence, in the Ministry’s own words, is the fact that the EIE Strategy requires that schools “value” the “full range of our differences”. 
Will educators interpret this to mean your children must fully “value” everything about a same-sex attracted person, including their conduct and lifestyle? 
If engineering “acceptance” in students is the intent of the McGuinty/Wynne EIE Strategy that represents a frontal assault on the moral & religious values of a majority of parents, and a trampling of their parental rights. 

3. Curriculum integration - 
 This formula for judging “inclusive education” is a danger. It is a Trojan horse by which pro-homosexualist educators may attempt to justify violating the rights of parents to direct the moral or religious belief system of their own children, as it regards sexual morality 
Obviously each of these accusations are ludicrous...and shows the bigotry and homophobia of the organization itself; recognizing this charge, the organization states that they are not homophobic or bigoted because…

It (homophobia) implies that all people who hold a "negative" moral view about homosexual acts do so out of hostility or hatred, towards same-sex attracted persons. That cannot be farther from the truth for the vast majority of us who identify as pro-family. Out of genuine love for the same-sex attracted person, we want what is best for him/her physically, emotionally and spiritually. The medical, social and scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows that the homosexual lifestyle is destructive to those who engage in it.  To turn a blind eye to these facts, and simply allow, or even encourage children, to take on these risks, is very far from genuine love.  Who loves more - the parent who rigidly watches that their son doesn't cross the busy road? Or the parent who tells the child, "Go ahead, cross the road - its safe."?

And folks I will leave it at that…this organization speaks volumes for itself.  Hopefully the Ontario Government does not back down on its EIE curriculum, and instead speaks loudly about how organizations like the Campaign Life Coalition do not represent the views of true Canadians. It is sad that in such a great country - where gay marriage has been legal since 2004 - their still exists this kind of rabid anti-gay attitude.

NSW Gay Adoption Would Lead to More Abortions

Yesterday I reported on how the religious adoption agencies in New South Wales are fighting against the proposed gay adoption bill being debated in Parliament today. I also explained how MP Moore has caved to their pressure by allowing them to be exempted from this bill. Well, things are going a bit farther than they were yesterday, for now with that exemption, religious arguments are the least of bill proponents worries, as the Daily Telegraph reports...

At a rally against the Bill yesterday, Liberal Party powerbroker David Clarke and Christian Democrat Fred Nile warned abortions would increase if gay couples were allowed to adopt
"Any mother putting up her baby for adoption would never imagine that their baby would be brought up by two male homosexuals or two female lesbians," Mr Nile said.
The Premier of NSW Kristina Kennelly, though a staunch Catholic, supports the bills passage the way that it is, but her former rival is proposing an amendment to the legislation... ensure people who offer children for adoption will not face legal action under anti-discrimination laws if they refuse to let a gay couple adopt their child.
Not only are these two issues unbelievable, they show how far those who oppose gay adoptions have come. Even though the two major adoption agencies in Australia are in favor of this bill, for those in opposition to claim that this will increase the rates of abortion (since mothers will not want their children raised by the evil gays) and that parents should be able to deny that their child be put in a good home just because the leaders of the household are gay, shows the clear bigotry of these politicians.  This bill was supposed to remove discrimination in New South Wales, but if all of these amendments pass, separate but equal has won again.

Lady Gaga a Minister??

Though keeping up with pop-culture is not usually the type of fare that I write about on my blog, as i is full of rumor mongering and untruths...I could not help but discuss this article...and how, if it is true, sadly funny it is. According to British Magazine Metro, Lady Gaga is wanting to file with the state of California to become an ordained minister... rumors of which she wants to do because she wants to marry gays on stage.
"It seems there’s not much Gaga can’t do, so being involved in her fans’ wedding ceremonies is just the latest box she wants to tick.
The Alejandro singer is reportedly trying to be ordained in California, now that the state is moving towards legalising gay marriage.
She was famously against Proposition 8, that rules against same-sex marriages, and she wrote on her Twitter page: ‘At the moments notice of PROP 8 DEATH I instantly began to write music.
A source told Heat Magazine that the star has already taken an online course and is set to undertake the full paperwork to become an ordained minister."
Personally if this is true, I find it sickening. Not for Lady Gaga's sake, I mean she can marry whomever she wants, but for those couples who want to get married by her. Has marriage become a flashy sort of event, where we have celebrities officiating? Do marriages mean anything anymore? Or is this kinda going to be the gay style of the Las Vegas wedding?


Breaking News From Tasmania!!

The Tasmanian Parliament has voted to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions and legally recognized in those jurisdictions. It passed the parliament by a vote of 22-3. From ABC news...
The Tasmanian Parliament has approved laws recognising same-sex marriages and civil unions registered in other states or countries.
Only three of the 25 Lower House MPs voted against the amendment to the Relationships Act - Liberal members Rene Hidding, Michael Ferguson and Jacqui Petrusma.
Attorney-General Lara Giddings says the changes will remove discrimination for same-sex couples in registered relationships.
"This is really a small step, but a significant and important step for those people who have registered or been through a civil union process elsewhere around the world and want us to recognise that relationship as indeed being in existence," she said.
Though it is a very small Ms. Giddings stated, it is a start, especially in Australia. As the people in Tasmania realize that gay people are no threat to them, they will open up and achieve full marriage equality. Legal recognition is only the first step, but it is a necessary one, and I applaud the Tasmanian Parliament for doing the right thing in approving this bill.

Monday, August 30, 2010

In Australia, Gay Adoption Foes Win

In a very disappointing move prompted by religious adoption providers, MP Clover Moore, an Independent from Sydney has decided to amend her bill that would give gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt in New South Wales. Her amendment allows religious organizations who provide state adoption services to refuse same-sex couples children, simply because they are gay.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports....

She told the Herald she was amending the bill "in line with requests" from church adoption agencies to help ensure its passage through Parliament.
"Some members of Parliament have told me that they will not support reform without an exemption for church-based adoption agencies," she said.
"While the amendments do not reflect my strong belief that there should be no exemptions in the Anti-Discrimination Act, the bill is so important to the security of families headed by same-sex couples that I cannot risk possible defeat."

Though it is true that this legislation is very important and that there can be no possibility of defeat, caving to religious based discrimination flies in the face of what this bill is supposed to accomplish. This bill was supposed to affirm in the minds of the Australian people that gay and lesbians were equal in their parenting abilities to that of heterosexuals. By allowing the exemptions, no matter if you had the votes or not, reaffirms that sections of society can blatantly say the gays and lesbian led families are somehow inferior to "traditional" ones; and it reaffirms that they can do so legally.

Some questions also need to be addressed to adoption agencies like Anglicare; questions such as - is it better for a child to be in a foster home or an orphanage than with a LGBT led household? Is it ok for a child to not have any role models or people that love her, just so that you can enforce your beliefs? Is this truly about the children and the need for them to be raised in a "husband and wife household", or instead is it about your religious dogma and lack of thought for the children that you are supposed to be helping?

Now I know that the religious adoption agencies do wonderful work, I am not trying to slam them on the services that they do provide. But hard questions need to be asked of them, and answers must be demanded.
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