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Old 06-11-2008, 12:16 PM   #166
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^You didn't keep track of how long I was gone. It hurts, deep, I'm not gonna lie.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:07 PM   #167
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Last time I checked

it was about 10 hours

the longest 10 hours of my life.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:21 PM   #168
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Thanks. I did, however, mean how long I was away from FYM before my return last week.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:03 AM   #169
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I hope all is well,
and that you had some fun while you were away.
Hi deep, thanks for noticing.

It was fun being away from Int and FYM for a few different reasons. One of which I was quickly reminded. All is ok, not well..anyway, thanks
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:16 AM   #170
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In the meantime...

Gay News From 365Gay.com

Quote:
Norway Parliament Approves Gay Marriage

(Oslo) The gallery at the Norwegian Parliament erupted in applause and cheers on Wednesday with the passage of legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry.

The law also recognizes both partners in a marriage as equal parents and gives lesbian couples the same access to "medically assisted reproduction" as opposite-sex couples.

Parliament voted overwhelmingly to approve the bill, despite opposition from the Christian Democrats and Progress Party.

"It is a historic day," said Labor Party member Gunn Karin Gjul who compared passage to universal suffrage which gave women the right to vote nearly a century ago.

Socialist Left Party leader Kristin Halvorsen, who serves as Finance Minister in the coalition government said the law will ensure "'equal rights" and bar all forms of discrimination.

The country already allowed gay and lesbian couples to enter into civil partnerships, but LGBT rights groups had long complained the law did not go far enough and had created two classes of citizenship - one for heterosexuals the other for gays.

The new law amends the definition of civil marriage to make it gender neutral.

Under the law the Church of Norway would be allowed to bless same-sex marriages.

About 85 percent of Norway's 4.7 million people are registered as members of the state Lutheran Church of Norway, although far fewer are active.

The church is split on the issue of gay marriage, and is likely to allow each congregation to decide whether to conduct homosexual weddings, as it did last year in allowing parishes to decide whether to accept clergymen living in gay partnerships.

Passage of the law makes Norway the sixth country in the world to approve same-sex marriages.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:21 AM   #171
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I don't know jack about Norwegian politics, but I think it's kinda ironic that a group calling itself the "Progress Party" opposed this.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:34 AM   #172
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I don't know jack about Norwegian politics, but I think it's kinda ironic that a group calling itself the "Progress Party" opposed this.
Reading about them briefly, they sound like a mixture of economic liberalism (what Americans would call "conservative"), lower taxes and smaller government, and cultural and social conservatism. Their foreign policy appears to advocate closer ties with the U.S., Israel, and NATO. In other words, they're trying to emulate the Republican Party.

Interestingly, their support in Norway is very much on the rise, with enough support that their party leader is apparently making a push to become prime minister in their 2009 parliamentary election, and their leader, Siv Jensen, is a woman. Is she Norway's answer to Margaret Thatcher?
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:22 AM   #173
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Unbelievable.

I think they should stop performing straight marriages in Hollywood CA, but what do I know...

2 counties to halt all weddings, gay or not

Marisa Lagos, SF Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

(06-10) 18:50 PDT -- County officials in at least two California counties say they'll stop performing all wedding ceremonies by next week, arguing that they don't have enough resources to marry both gay and straight couples.

Officials in Kern and Butte counties cited budget and staffing constraints as the rationale for halting the ceremonies. But clerks in other counties say that claim is specious. Some activists went further, arguing that the decision to stop the ceremonies amounts to poorly disguised discrimination against gay and lesbian couples.

County clerks are required by law to issue marriage licenses, but the offices do not have to perform wedding ceremonies. The recent state Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriages takes effect after the business day on Monday.

In Kern County, Clerk Ann Barnett announced her decision only after county lawyers told her she could not refuse to marry gay couples. Butte County Clerk Candace Grubb, meanwhile, blamed budget constraints, telling the Chico Enterprise-Record that her decision was made long before the court ruling.

In Merced County, Clerk Stephen Jones also announced that all marriages were being halted, though he later reversed his decision.
Conservative populations

Neither Barnett nor Grubb returned calls seeking comment Tuesday, nor did officials with the Alliance Defense Fund. That group, which argued in court against same-sex marriage, has urged county clerks to oppose such unions.

Both counties have conservative populations that overwhelmingly supported a 2000 ballot measure that defined marriage as between a man and a woman, a law found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on May 15. Advocates of that law are going back to the ballot in November with a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.

Gay marriage advocates said the decisions to halt all marriages in the rural counties limits options for gay and straight couples who do not want or are denied a religious ceremony.

Only a handful of people - including religious officials, state legislators, retired judges and magistrates - may marry couples under California law. County clerks also may marry couples, and they may deputize any member of the public to perform the ceremonies.

Some county clerks said the budget argument seems a stretch, though they acknowledged that both Butte and Kern counties might not have enough staff to deal with a large influx of couples.
'It's a no-brainer'

Steve Weir, Contra Costa County's clerk and president of the California Association of Clerks and Elected Officials, noted that the state allows counties to set their own fees for marriage ceremonies so they can recover the costs associated with performing the duty.

"It's a nice service that we provide to the public, and it's not costing me anything. In this day and age with the budget situation, how can you go wrong providing a public service that helps with your overhead? It's a no-brainer," Weir said. "Other folks might say you can go to another county, but that's not the point. I'm not going to say you can register to vote in Alameda County because we're not in the same political party."

Others said they doubt that the clerk's office in any rural, conservative county would be overwhelmed with gay couples come next week. Kings County Clerk Ken Baird, for example, said he would be surprised if more than a handful of same-sex couples wanted to get married there.

"Bakersfield (the Kern County seat) is not a very safe place to be out," added the Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kern County. "We are not expecting that many couples, maybe 10 or 12."
Free marriages

After hearing of the decision, Tetzlaff announced she would perform free marriages to same-sex couples until Nov. 4, when voters will weigh in the proposed constitutional amendment.

Next Tuesday she plans to offer her services to all couples getting licenses at the county building. But she said she and other gay-marriage supporters have been told that the police will not allow them to conduct the ceremonies there.

"We are looking at places nearby where we can be, and there are a number of us that are going to be supporting the couples as they go in to get their licenses," she said.

Kern County Supervisor Don Maben asked county officials Tuesday to explore other options for folks who want to tie the knot, including possibly bringing in officials from another county to perform the ceremonies. The Kern County Board of Supervisors will not take up the matter again until July, he said.

"I am concerned that this is disenfranchising all citizens from having civil marriages in Kern County," he said. "This is an 8,000-square-mile county, and there aren't a lot of opportunities (for civil ceremonies)."

Maben said he is "getting a lot of flak" for raising concerns about Barnett's decision but, that to him, it's not a gay-rights issue - it is simply a marriage issue. At least 25 opposite-sex couples who had weddings scheduled at the clerk's office are also being forced to make other plans, he said.
Options limited

In the meantime, couples wishing to get married in Butte or Kern counties could have limited options. Many churches refuse to perform gay marriages, though Tetzlaff said a number of clergy members in Bakersfield will marry same-sex couples privately. If Barnett or Grubb will not deputize her staffers or members of the public to perform the marriages, couples might have to find other public officials or retired judges who can - or leave the county, which could significantly increase the cost.

Weir, who is openly gay and plans to marry his partner next week, said while clerks are not legally bound to perform marriage ceremonies, they are public servants.

"We take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the state of California," he said. "It's a public ministerial process we perform for the public, and to a degree we have a monopoly on it - you can't go across the street to a private clerk's office."
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:12 AM   #174
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A Patrick family coming-out
Lesbian daughter buoyed by parents

By Matt Viser, Globe Staff | June 13, 2008

It was just three weeks after her father, Governor Deval Patrick, had helped keep gay marriage legal in Massachusetts. The family was at their vacation home in the Berkshires, preparing a midafternoon picnic by the pool.

Katherine Patrick walked into the kitchen, told her parents to stop what they were doing, and asked her aunt to leave the room.

"I'm a lesbian," she told them.

Her mother, expecting terrible news, nearly burst out laughing, a sense of relief coming over her.

Her father wrapped her in a bear hug and said, "Well, we love you no matter what."

Katherine Patrick, 18, recounted the experience of coming out to her parents last summer in an article published yesterday in the weekly newspaper Bay Windows, New England's largest newspaper for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. It was the first time she has granted an interview, and her dramatic media debut generated news that quickly shot across the nation on the Internet.

"It's not only something that we accept, but it's something that we're very proud of," Katherine Patrick told Bay Windows. "It's a great aspect of our lives and there's nothing about it that is shameful or that we would want to hide."

After her disclosure, she and the family declined follow-up interview requests. Local and national gay advocates immediately hailed the Patricks' story as a model for how parents should handle similar situations. Several said the news may take on added significance in the black community, where being openly gay often has an added negative stigma.

"This is a very powerful statement and image for the rest of the country to see a very public father embracing his openly lesbian daughter," said Steve Ralls, spokesman for the national organization Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. "Their story will resonate with a lot of families, from Massachusetts to Los Angeles."

The disclosure also provides a rare glimpse into the Patricks' family life. The governor and his wife, Diane, have been intensely private and particularly guarded about their children, Katherine, who graduated in 2007 from St. Andrew's School in Delaware, and Sarah, who recently graduated from New York University. Both daughters were conspicuously missing from his gubernatorial campaign, showing up only a handful of times, at his primary-night gala and on Inauguration Day.

"We live in a fishbowl and to some extent we're dealing with that," Patrick told reporters yesterday in a brief statement. "But we're proud of her, we love her, we support her, and I think that's all that needs to be said."

Patrick and his daughter are planning to march tomorrow in the Boston Pride Parade. They also marched together last year, although at the time the governor did not know that his daughter was just becoming comfortable calling herself a lesbian.

A person briefed by the family said the decision for when and how to make the announcement was entirely Katherine's. The family was not under pressure to go public, although they wanted to make sure it was done on their terms, instead of in a news story that could make it appear they were trying to hide the fact, the source said.

Katherine, who is planning to enroll at Smith College in the fall, also wanted to make the announcement before she left for college.

"She wanted to let people know because her father is obviously in a prominent position," the source said. "She didn't want to make a huge deal about it. But she wanted to let people know."

The governor's office on Monday contacted Laura Kiritsy, the editor of Bay Windows, saying the governor and his daughter wanted to meet with her that evening. Kiritsy said they didn't tell her explicitly what the interview would be about, although she said a source had told her about two weeks earlier that Katherine wanted to announce in Bay Windows that she was a lesbian.

The 45-minute interview took place at the headquarters of MassEquality, a gay advocacy organization where Katherine has been an intern since March. Diane Patrick was also planning to be at the interview, but got stuck in traffic.

"I was just happy for her that she . . . was comfortable with who she was," Diane Patrick later told the paper.

The governor has long been an advocate for the gay community and yesterday's news further cemented his popularity among gay-rights supporters.

"I think it's great," said Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality. "I am also so proud of Governor Deval Patrick. He fought his hardest for our community before he knew his daughter was a part of it. He and Diane are the parents that every gay kid dreams of having."

Katherine is the latest in a short line of relatives of elected officials whose sexuality has been brought to the forefront. Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary, who last year had a baby with her partner, became a lightning rod in the 2004 presidential debates. Chrissy Gephardt, daughter of former US representative Dick Gephardt, is a lesbian who came out publicly in 2004, when her father was running for president.

Republican Alan Keyes reportedly threw his daughter out of the house and cut off financial support after she announced in 2005 that she is a lesbian. In a dramatic statement last year, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders tearfully said he could no longer oppose same-sex marriage as he revealed publicly that his daughter is gay.

Deval Patrick told Bay Windows that his first inkling his daughter might be gay came when she started watching a show on Showtime that depicts a close-knit group of lesbians who live in Los Angeles.

"I think when Katherine started to memorize all the episodes of 'The L Word,' there was some hint that maybe she was sending us," Patrick said.

At one point during the interview, the governor started to tear up.

"Don't cry, Dad," Katherine said as she recounted her emotions as he led the fight to kill an antigay marriage amendment last year prior to her revelation. "He's done some good things. I appreciate it. Want a tissue? Oh, God. He's a crier."

"First of all, we've had so many people in our lives whom we love who are gay or lesbian, so that's not that unfamiliar to us," the governor said. "You know, I can still - because we live in Massachusetts - I can still imagine what Katherine's wedding is going to be like."

Then, as he lowered his voice, he added, "How much it's going to cost."
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:13 AM   #175
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A Patrick family coming-out
Lesbian daughter buoyed by parents

By Matt Viser, Globe Staff | June 13, 2008



Republican Alan Keyes reportedly threw his daughter out of the house and cut off financial support after she announced in 2005 that she is a lesbian.

Which member of this family needs the counseling?
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:43 PM   #176
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Let them get married, so they can be just as miserable as the rest of us!
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:30 AM   #177
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NYTimes

June 15, 2008
Gay Couples Find Marriage Is a Mixed Bag
By PAM BELLUCK

BOSTON — Four years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay couples to marry, there have been blissful unions, painful divorces and everything in between.

Some same-sex couples say being married has made a big difference, and some say it has made no difference at all. There are devoted couples who have decided marriage is not for them, couples whose lawyers or accountants advised them against marrying, and couples in which one partner wants to marry but the other does not.

But as same-sex marriage begins in California, Massachusetts’s experience may offer hints of what is to come. For example, after an initial euphoric rush to the altar, the number of gay weddings here fell sharply and has declined each year since. Of the more than 10,500 same-sex couples married here since May 17, 2004, 6,121 wed in the first six months. There were 2,060 weddings in 2005; 1,442 in 2006; and 867 in the first eight months of 2007, the most recent data show.

Gay men and lesbians say the early wave of weddings reflected “pent-up demand” from longstanding couples. The subsequent numbers indicate that “marriage isn’t for everybody,” said Mary L. Bonauto, a lawyer who argued the case that led to same-sex marriage being legalized here. And, Ms. Bonauto said, “there’s only so many gay people in Massachusetts.”

The Census Bureau recorded 23,655 same-sex households in Massachusetts in 2006.

Nearly two-thirds of the weddings have been lesbian marriages, including one between two women named Melissa McCarthy. And while nearly half of straight people marrying are under 30, more same-sex married couples of both sexes are older — nearly a third are in their 40s.

Lawyers say same-sex couples are more likely to draw up prenuptial agreements than straight couples are.

For some, the marriage learning curve is steep.

“It’s been a mixed bag,” said Jacob Venter, a 44-year-old child psychiatrist who married Billy Boney, a 36-year-old hairdresser, a month after it became legal to do so. They have disagreements over money, the in-laws and whether to adopt children or have their own.

“Nothing turns out the way you imagine,” Mr. Venter said. “There are no role models for gay marriage.”

Unlike California, Massachusetts has a residency requirement for marriage. Some couples have moved here to marry, including Lisa Forest and Ann Marie Willer, who came from Texas.

“Without having that legal recognition, we felt very vulnerable,” Ms. Forest said. “We wanted the psychological security of knowing that we’re protected if one of us were to become sick, that we would be able to transfer our assets, at least on the state level, without incurring taxes, that we’ll be able to stay together if we’re old and not able to care for ourselves.”

For many, the biggest advantages are less quantifiable.

“I feel totally different inside my skin,” said Linda Bailey-Davies, 62, who married her longtime partner, Gloria Bailey-Davies, 67. With marriage, she said, “I felt legitimate in the world.”

Heather and Adrienne Walker believe people better understand the seriousness of their relationship, recognition that is especially valuable to them as mothers of four children in suburban Natick.

“Before marriage was legal, if I called Adrienne my wife, people would say ‘Your what?’ ” Heather Walker said. “But if you say partner, they’re thinking business partner. The knowledge that we are legally married, that they can’t play a semantics game, is very freeing. There’s none of that, ‘but we really need to talk to the actual parents.’ ”

Still, some couples find few significant advantages. Many employers offered health insurance to domestic partners. State taxes can be higher for some couples, and the lack of federal recognition of gay marriage makes lucrative benefits — Social Security, federal tax breaks — off limits.

“I can’t say that anything has changed for us personally,” said David Eppley, who married Chad Garner in 2004. What has changed for gay couples is that marriage is part of the dating landscape, adding tension or romance, pressure or excitement.

“It makes me completely think differently about the relationship,” said Lance Collins, 38, a colorist at a Boston hair salon. He envisions his perfect wedding (grooms in jeans and T-shirts), but his partner does not want to marry. “I know he cares about me quite a bit,” Mr. Collins said. “I just think he doesn’t want to.”

Mr. Collins believes his partner is his ideal match because he “gets as excited about seeing me as I get about seeing him,” because “sometimes he’ll do my laundry and fold it the way I like it,” and because “he makes my coffee really well — one Equal with just a tablespoon of fat-free half-and-half.”

But their marriage chasm worries him. “Maybe I should move out and maybe that will make him appreciate me,” Mr. Collins said. “I’ve gone so far as looking for an apartment.”

While many couples want conventional marriages, some are drawing on a creative definition of family forged while living “outside mainstream society,” said Joyce Kauffman, a family lawyer and gay activist. “They’ve incorporated whatever’s outside the box into their marriage.”

Eric Erbelding and his husband, Michael Peck, both 44, see each other only every other weekend because Mr. Peck works in Pittsburgh. So, Mr. Erbelding said, “Our rule is you can play around because, you know, you have to be practical.”

Mr. Erbelding, a decorative painter in Boston, said: “I think men view sex very differently than women. Men are pigs, they know that each other are pigs, so they can operate accordingly. It doesn’t mean anything.”

Still, Mr. Erbelding said, most married gay couples he knows are “for the most part monogamous, but for maybe a casual three-way.”

Some same-sex spouses have split up, including Julie and Hillary Goodridge, the lead plaintiffs in the case that paved the way for same-sex marriage in the state.

“Lesbian and gay couples get divorced for the same reasons that heterosexual couples do,” Ms. Kauffman said. “Honestly the only thing that is different is that some people rushed to get married without thinking it through just because they could. It was an incredibly heady historical moment, and some people probably made the decision hastily.”

Rick Bettencourt, 41, married his partner of 12 years in July 2005, but by September they had broken up, and his partner is now married to another man, he said.

“I knew there was an issue with us prior to the marriage,” Mr. Bettencourt said, “but we thought maybe this is the thing that will help us stay together. Stupid, obviously. It was almost like I needed the marriage in order to consummate the relationship in order to break it up.”

Amy Bullock married in 2004 after her partner of nine years said “we’ve got to quick do it because maybe they’ll reverse” the law, Ms. Bullock recalled. They had a child and were considering having another. But five months after the wedding, “she decides she is straight,” Ms. Bullock said.

“Maybe being married triggered those feelings,” she said. “I didn’t see it coming.”

Chris Burgess, pregnant when she wed her partner in June 2004, severed the marriage in 2006 when past problems resurfaced, she said. Divorce was more complicated than “in most of our relationships, where you say, ‘O.K., you get these CDs,’ ” Ms. Burgess said. Her partner needed to adopt their son before divorcing to retain parental rights.

Now, Ms. Burgess lives with another woman and they wear rings and want children, but she says she will not marry unless federal recognition makes it economically irresistible.

“I’m kind of fine with the ‘Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie, all right we’re committed, we don’t need to get married,’ ” she said.

Ms. Bullock, who is dating another woman, is buying a duplex with her former wife so both can see their son daily. She is wary of remarrying in general, though she says marriage may have made separation more equitable.

Mr. Bettencourt and his current partner, Chris Weaver, just bought a house, but he played down a ring he gave Mr. Weaver for Valentine’s Day, telling him, he says, “I don’t want you to get concerned that I’m pushing marriage or anything.”

Some couples, including longtime partners and those with children, have rejected marriage for economic, philosophical or cultural reasons.

“I just don’t really see the point in it,” said Michelle Smith, 51, of Truro, who has two children with Terri Humes, 51, her partner of 27 years. “I don’t need that paper for any type of validation. I know what her and I have.”

Ms. Kauffman considers marriage a “patriarchal institution” that “politically, kind of makes me queasy.”

To Clint Wolbert, 28, marriage is too “assimilative.” Being gay is like belonging to an “exclusive club,” Mr. Wolbert said. “I just worry that the drive to marry will end up kind of chipping away at the culture.”

Some couples are advised not to marry for financial reasons or if they want to adopt children from foreign countries, most of which would not place children with a same-sex married couple.

Bill Brandon, a doctor who will soon marry Tedd Elison, waited several years because Mr. Elison’s job as a disc jockey seemed too unstable until he also began running a hair salon. “I wasn’t going to go through this unless he was — I don’t want to say having a real job, but more of a profession,” Dr. Brandon said.

Same-sex married couples report widespread acceptance in Massachusetts, but not necessarily out of state. At a Disney World hotel, “I got the third degree — who is Heather, is she your sister?” Adrienne Walker said.

An Atlanta pharmacy argued when Mr. Boney, filling a prescription, said that as a husband, he was covered by Mr. Venter’s insurance.

The Bailey-Davieses are so nervous about being separated if one gets sick that they rejected spending the winter in Florida. “I don’t feel safe,” Linda said. “I’d rather freeze my butt off and be with my honey.”

Jodi Sperber, who moved with her wife, Pippa Shulman, to New Hampshire, said a handyman there “could not bring himself to talk about Pippa as anything other than my associate.” But over all, Ms. Sperber said, their religion probably draws “stranger questions: ‘Why don’t you have a Christmas tree? Is it the Jewish thing?’ ”

Many couples said marriage had made relatives more comfortable with their relationships. Mr. Boney, who is black, was surprised that his “very conservative, very Bible Belt” family in North Carolina welcomed Mr. Venter, a white South African, so warmly. And when his nieces and nephews say “Uncle Jacob,” he said, it “almost brings a tear to my eye; and honey, it takes a lot to bring a tear to my eye.”

Mr. Boney and Mr. Venter remain committed to marriage despite their conflicts.

“It’s a hard commitment to make,” Mr. Venter said. But they try to settle their disagreements. “I’m more willing to figure it out,” he said. “In the past I might have just ended the relationship.”
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:16 AM   #178
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Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2008
What the Gay Brain Looks Like
By Alice Park

What makes people gay? Biologists may never get a complete answer to that question, but researchers in Sweden have found one more sign that the answer lies in the structure of the brain.

Scientists at the Karolinska Institute studied brain scans of 90 gay and straight men and women, and found that the size of the two symmetrical halves of the brains of gay men more closely resembled those of straight women than they did straight men. In heterosexual women, the two halves of the brain are more or less the same size. In heterosexual men, the right hemisphere is slightly larger. Scans of the brains of gay men in the study, however, showed that their hemispheres were relatively symmetrical, like those of straight women, while the brains of homosexual women were asymmetrical like those of straight men. The number of nerves connecting the two sides of the brains of gay men were also more like the number in heterosexual women than in straight men.

Just what these brain differences mean is still not clear. Ever since 1991, when Simon LeVay first documented differences in the hypothalamus of gay and straight men, researchers have been struggling to understand what causes these differences to occur. Until now, the brain regions that scientists have come to believe play a role in sexual orientation have been related to either reproduction or sexuality. The Swedish study, however, is the first to find differences in parts of the brain not normally involved in reproduction — the denser network of nerve connections, for example, was found in the amygdala, known as the emotional center of the brain. "The big question has always been, if the brains of gay men are different, or feminized, as earlier research suggests," says Dr. Eric Vilain, professor of human genetics at University of California Los Angeles, "then is it just limited to sexual preference or are there other regions that are gender atypical in gay males? For the first time, in this study it looks like there are regions of the brain not directly involved in sexuality that seem to be feminized in gay males."

Vilain, who studies the genetic factors behind sexuality and sexual orientation, notes that it may turn out that the brains of gay men possess only some 'feminized' structures, while retaining some masculine ones, and this is reflected in how they act on their sexuality. "We know from studies that men, regardless of their sexual orientation, retain masculine characteristics when it comes to their sexual behavior," he says. Both gay and straight men, for example, tend to prefer younger partners, in contrast to women, who gravitate toward older partners. Most men are also more likely than women to engage in casual sex, and to be aroused by visual stimuli. "So I expect that some regions of the brain will remain masculine even in gay men," says Vilain. For something as complex as sexual orientation, it's no surprise that everything from genes to gender to environment may play a role in ultimately determining your perfect partner.
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:50 AM   #179
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(AP) SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is asking California members to join the effort to amend that state's constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

A letter sent to Mormon bishops and signed by church president Thomas S. Monson and his two top counselors calls on Mormons to donate "means and time" to the ballot measure. A note on the letter dated June 20 says it should be read during church services on June 29, but the letter was published Saturday on several Web sites.

Church spokesman Scott Trotter said Monday that the letter was authentic. He declined further comment, saying the letter explains the church's reasons for getting involved.

The LDS church will work with a coalition of churches and other conservative groups that put the California Marriage Protection Act on the Nov. 4 ballot to assure its passage, the letter states.

In May, California's Supreme Court overturned a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, saying gays could not be denied marriage licenses.

"The church's teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and the formation of families is central to the Creator's plan for His children," the four-paragraph letter states.

"We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to ensure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman," church leaders say in the letter. "Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage."

California Mormons _ there are more than 750,000, according to a church almanac _ have heard and heeded similar calls from their leaders before.

In 2000, a letter from the pulpit asked members to give time and money in support of Proposition 22, a ballot measure prohibiting California from legally recognizing gay marriages performed outside the state. It passed but was later struck down by the courts.

The LDS church also fought same-sex marriage legislation in other states during the 1990s. As recently as 2006, it signed a letter to Congress seeking an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

The latest letter is a disappointment to members of Affirmation, an international support group for gay, lesbian and transgender Mormons. Last month, Affirmation called on the church not to meddle in California politics.

"This initiative will hurt so many people," executive director W. Olin Thomas said in a statement Monday. "The California law affects civil marriage; it has no effect on any religious institution or official."

Affirmation leaders are scheduled to meet with the head of LDS Family Services, a church social services agency, in August to begin a conversation meant to bridge the divide between Mormonism and gay members hurt by church teachings that homosexuality is a sin.

It will be the first meeting between any arm of the church and Affirmation, which was formed in secret in the 1970s by students at the church-owned Brigham Young University in Provo.

"We're not going to let this stand in the way," Affirmation spokesman David Melson said. "The church has said they are open to finding new avenues and new solutions to minister to gay members, and we are taking them at their word."
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:27 PM   #180
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Rather than create another thread discussing gay marriage, I will bump this one.

Interesting perspective from Justin Raimondo:-

Quote:
The recent decision by the California Supreme Court overturning a ban on gay marriage has, once again, thrust this issue into the malestrom of political debate, and, simultaneously, revived the sagging fortunes of groups on both sides.

On the liberal left, the gay marriage movement is stoking up its engines for a major push to legitimize–so they believe–homosexual relationships in a social as well as a civil sense, and make the final push for gay “equality.”

On the right, particularly the religious fundamentalist right, the scaremongering direct mail fundraisers are enjoying a major bonanza, frightening tens of thousands of little old ladies in Middle America to cough up $10, $20, and even $50 contributions to the Religious Right’s ongoing campaign to Save Marriage From Godless Queers.

Both sides are seriously deluded, albeit in different ways. Let’s start with the Godless Queers…

Far from arguing that homosexuality was the equivalent of heterosexuality, the ancient advocates of same-sex love emphasized the great gulf that separates the two. Rather than aping heterosexuals and relentlessly lobbying for the “right” to marry, Plato’s crowd sought to distance themselves from the mundane and underscore their singularity. Pausanias argues that the choice of younger men over available women is indicative of a superior moral quality, evidence of a purity that defies and transcends biology. Homosexual love, he averred, represents an improvement over nature – which is, after all, the signal characteristic of human civilization.

To the gay activists of the modern era, with their dogma of biological determinism – the “gay gene—and their ingrained egalitarianism, such an argument is inconceivable. For them, there is no choice involved: they fervently believe they are genetically determined to engage in homosexual acts. In this view, sexual orientation is like gender and race. In the context of the society in which we live, this means that it is—or ought to be—illegal to “discriminate” on the basis of sexual orientation, in the same way and for the same reasons it is now a hate crime to consider matters of race, religion, and gender in the realm of housing, employment, and socio-economic relations in general.

This orthodoxy sits atop a mountain of pseudo-science mixed with moralizing, one that asserts—without convincing scientific evidence—that sexual “orientation” is genetically determined. It is the Left-liberal version of Lysenkoism, in which ideology determines political conclusions in advance of the facts (except that Lysenko, and his Stalinist sponsors, were expressing the leftist orthodoxy of the day that men could be engineered through the power of the State.)
Taki's Magazine: Gay Marriage Sucks!


Hmm, I recall making the exact same point about the weaknesses in the left-liberal view of sexual orientation being entirely biologically determined.

As Raimondo is an out gay man, hopefully it will be possible for those within the gay community who disagree with his perspective to voice their disagreement without the predictable 'homophobic bigot' slurs.
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