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Old 10-19-2009, 05:17 PM   #766
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a wonderful Arctic blast of New England clarity and fairness.


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Support Maine families: Vote 'no' on Question 1

Families led by same-sex couples are here now and need equal protection under the law.


October 18, 2009
Sometimes the law has to move quickly to keep up with a reality that has developed over time.

Maine voters will be faced with that kind of change on Nov. 3, when they are asked in Question 1 to reject a law that would extend civil marriage status to same-sex couples.

While this change in the law could seem abrupt to some Maine voters, it reflects the way people are really living now in cities and towns all over our state. That's why we urge people to vote "no," to allow this reasonable law to go into effect.

Leaders of the people's veto campaign argue that extending the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage to families headed by same-sex couples would have broad effects throughout society. We have listened to their arguments, but we just don't buy them.

While it's technically true that the law would change the wording of the definition of marriage in state statute, it would not change the institution as it exists in Maine for thousands of traditional couples. Those vows would not be any weaker if same-sex couples were allowed to take them. Marriage would remain the key foundation for creating families, with the rights and responsibilities that come with it spelled out in the law, whether those families are headed by same- or opposite-sex couples.

Limiting marriage to a man and a woman would not make families led by same-sex couples go away. It would just keep them in a legally inferior position that is inconsistent with Maine's tradition of equal protection under the law.

Gay men and women already live together, own property and have children, both biological and adopted. They hold responsible jobs, they volunteer in churches and schools – they are full members of our communities. The only thing they cannot do is form the legal partnership that gives them the advantages and duties that other couples have when they start families. The same-sex couples are not the only losers. This also puts their children at a disadvantage.


ARGUMENTS DON'T STAND UP

Treating same-sex couples fairly would have an important impact on their families, such as when one partner gets sick or dies. But it would not affect traditional couples at all.

The "Stand for Marriage: Yes on 1" campaign has struggled to come up with ways in which allowing this law to take effect would hurt traditional families. To often they have resorted to inventing scenarios to scare voters.

The most prominent has been the charge that children would be forced to learn about same-sex marriage in school. All it takes is a quick reading of the law to see, however, that there is no mention of education in it. Curriculum in Maine is approved by local school boards, and those elected officials would be under no obligation to add lessons on marriage law to their areas of study.

But that's not to say that children would be kept in the dark. They are smart, and they should be expected to notice that some of their classmates have two moms or two dads instead of one of each. This is not a function of the law, however, it is a reflection of reality. A "yes" vote won't make those couples go away. It would only make their lives more difficult.

At some point, all children recognize that everyone's home is not like their own, that different people have different values and that all families are not the same. Parents should not be afraid that what children see in school will eclipse the values that are taught at home.

Arguments that same-sex marriage would inhibit religious freedom or cause a flood of lawsuits also fall flat. The same claims were made in campaigns against Maine's anti-discrimination laws and neither of them came true. Maine has strong exemptions for religious organizations in its employment and housing laws, and the marriage law would not require anyone to preside over a ceremony in violation of his or her religious beliefs.

NO FLOOD OF SUITS

Last year, only 32 out of 1,394 civil rights complaints to the Maine Human Rights commission were based on sexual orientation, and few, if any of them, are ever likely to end up in court. The marriage statute would not provide any new grounds for lawsuits.

Although the "Yes on One" campaign says that its opposition is not based on religious objections to homosexual behavior, that's all that's left when the other arguments are disposed of. People are entitled to their beliefs, but religious teaching alone shouldn't be the basis of our law.

The vote "no" campaign makes solid arguments that hold up to scrutiny.

While the courts have become increasingly ready to extend family-law protections to same-sex partners in adoption and child custody cases, parents at the head of these families remain legal strangers to each other, causing problems that range from inconvenient to inhumane.

Maine statutes use the word "spouse" 400 times. They use the word "marital" 600 times. There is virtually no way to surgically carve out and tie together all the rights and responsibilities of marriage in a legal relationship that does what marriage does without calling it marriage.

There is also no way to provide the universally understood family status that comes with a marriage contract. Husbands and wives don't need to produce durable powers of attorney or advance directives when they pick up their children from school, visit a hospital room or make decisions at a funeral home.

Only same-sex couples are required to produce documents and jump through these legal hoops, and that is not what the equal protection clause in the state constitution promises.


Families led by same-sex partners are here now. They are part of our communities and they need and deserve the legal protections – as well as the dignity – that comes with civil marriage status.


Maine voters should recognize that even if their personal beliefs about marriage haven't changed, reality has. They should accept reality and vote "no" on Question 1.

the next big battle is in Maine. the pro-equality forces appear to be winning, for now.
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:01 PM   #767
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86-year-old WWII vet on gay marriage: "What do you think I fought for in Omaha Beach?" - Boing Boing
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:07 PM   #768
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All of those that TALK about freedom and the constitution should really watch this.

My hope is that someday those that TALK about freedom yet want to only give it to those who think and live like them will one day look in the mirror and see their own hypocricy staring back at them.
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:38 PM   #769
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still not sure what's going to happen in Maine.

can someone tell me what they mean by "teach homosexual marriage in schools" because i don't know what that means.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:03 PM   #770
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
still not sure what's going to happen in Maine.

can someone tell me what they mean by "teach homosexual marriage in schools" because i don't know what that means.
if you tell the children that gay marriage exists they will go gay.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:59 PM   #771
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I saw a commercial on tv the other day that made me really happy. It was for the various ways one can use Ontario's health care system (ERs, walk-in clinics, tele-health, etc.) and it showed people with various ailments/injuries, and sort of matched them with the service most appropriate. Near the end, it showed a couple standing near a crashed car with their arms around each other, with the implication that there had been a car accident, and they needed health services. But the couple was two MEN.

How awesome that the Ontario government can portray a gay couple in a commercial with no fanfare, no signs of "look! Here's a gay couple! We're progressive!" They were just there, part of our society, an example of people who might need health care, like everyone else. It made me proud.
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:15 AM   #772
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if you tell the children that gay marriage exists they will go gay.

It's true!!
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #773
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YouTube - MA man fired for belief in traditonal marriage


Nov 9

A manager at a Massachusetts retail store claims he was unjustly fired after he told a colleague he thought her impending marriage to another woman was wrong.

Peter Vadala, 24, told FoxNews.com he was terminated in August from his position as second deputy manager at a Brookstone store at Boston's Logan Airport after a conversation he had with a manager from another Brookstone store who was visiting the location.

Vadala claims the woman, whom he declined to identify, mentioned four times that she had married her partner. He said he then left the store briefly to visit the airport's chapel before returning.

"I found it offensive that she repeatedly brought it up," Vadala said. "By the fourth time she mentioned it, I felt God wanted me to express how I felt about the matter, so I did. But my tone was downright apologetic. I said, 'Regarding your homosexuality, I think that's bad stuff.'"

The woman, according to Vadala, then said, "Human resources, buddy — keep your opinions to yourself," before exiting the store.

Two days later, Vadala, who had been employed for just a matter of weeks, received a termination letter citing the company's zero-tolerance policy regarding "harassment" and "inappropriate and unprofessional" comments.

"In the state of Massachusetts, same-sex marriage is legal and there will be people with whom you work with who have fiancées or spouses who are the same gender," the Aug. 12 letter read. "... While you are entitled to your own beliefs, imposing them upon others in the workplace is not acceptable and in this case, by telling a colleague that she is deviant and immoral, constitutes discrimination and harassment."

Vadala disputes using the words "deviant" and "immoral" during conversations with human resources employees on the matter.

"I did say I regard that lifestyle as deviant, as in deviating from the norm, but I never, ever said to that to the [manager]," he said. "In general, I believe people don't want to hear about controversial issues like that in the workplace. They shouldn't have to."

Vadala, who has not hired a lawyer, said he is considering filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In a statement issued to FoxNews.com, Brookstone President/CEO Ron Boire said a "thorough and fair investigation" had been completed in the matter.

"We do not comment on any specific personnel issues," the statement read. "However I will say that Brookstone is an equal opportunity employer, meaning that we maintain a healthy, safe and productive work environment free from discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, or other factors that are unrelated to the Company’s legitimate business interests.

"We are proud of our diverse workforce of varying cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds."

Asked why he felt the need to comment on the woman's personal life, Vadala, who has since left the Boston area, said he felt compelled to do so.

"I see, like all real Christians, homosexuals as people who, like me, are sinners and need to be told the truth in a loving way," he said. "In this situation, I took issue with the behavior. I think it's lunacy to call that type of behavior marriage in any kind of form. I had to express that I'm intolerant of that behavior. It's a love-the-sinner, hate-the-sin kind of deal."

Vadala said he felt "intentionally goaded" by the manager to comment on her relationship.

"She knew how I felt about homosexuality," he said. "When you talk to someone about something like that, you want their support. She was kind of looking into my eyes for that social cue for me to say, 'I'm happy for you.' But I really couldn't feel happy for her."
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:29 PM   #774
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That YouTube title is incorrect: he wasn't fired for believing in traditional marriage, he was fired for telling someone she is a sinner for being born a certain way.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:30 PM   #775
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i this.


YouTube - Maggie Gallagher Speaks Her Mind
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:35 PM   #776
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That YouTube title is incorrect: he wasn't fired for believing in traditional marriage, he was fired for telling someone she is a sinner for being born a certain way.
I see what you mean, but technically he wasn't fired for that either. He was fired due to Brookstone's corporate policies (discrimination and harassment). If straight people can talk about their marriages and relationships at work then gay people are entitled to that too, equally. You can make the choice to not respond to it or to have some sort of "neutral" response-of course he's blaming her for "goading him" into commenting.

And he shouldn't comment on who "real Christians" are either. That's real according to his standards, not God's.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:20 PM   #777
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By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer – Tue Nov 10, 3:20 pm ET

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association on Tuesday voted to oppose the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and declared that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities.

The nation's largest doctors' group stopped short of saying it would seek to overturn marriage bans, but its new stance angered conservative activists and provides a fresh boost to lobbying efforts by gay-rights advocates.

"It's highly significant that the AMA as one of this country's leading professional associations has taken a position on both of these issues," said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a Washington-based advocacy group.

The health disparities measure "in the long run, will certainly help efforts to win marriage equality," Carey said.

Whether the AMA's lobbying power will hasten efforts to overturn the "don't ask, don't tell" law remains to be seen. President Barack Obama has said he is working with congressional leaders to end the policy, and the AMA's stance will likely help, although gay rights issues have been upstaged by Obama's health care overhaul battle.

The AMA's vote took place at the group's interim policy-making meeting in Houston, a day after AMA delegates voted to affirm their support for health reform.

The health disparities policy is based on evidence showing that married couples are more likely to have health insurance, and that the uninsured have a high risk for "living sicker and dying younger," said Dr. Peter Carmel, an AMA board member.

Same-sex families lack other benefits afforded married couples, including tax breaks, spouse benefits under retirement plans and Social Security survivor benefits — all of which can put their health at risk, according to an AMA council report presented at the meeting.

But Jenny Tyree, a marriage analyst for Focus on the Family Action, a conservative advocacy group, called it a health insurance problem, not a marriage problem. "We all know there are problems with health care so let's solve the problem of the uninsured, rather than messing with marriage," she said.

Doctors who pushed the group to oppose "don't ask, don't tell" say the policy forcing gay service members to keep their sexual orientation secret has "a chilling effect" on open communication between gays and their doctors.

"A law which makes people lie to their physicians is a bad law," said Dr. David Fassler, a University of Vermont psychiatry professor who attended the meeting.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:23 PM   #778
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Salt Lake OKs gay rights laws with Mormon backing
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:27 PM   #779
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How big of them...
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:26 PM   #780
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Firing him seems a little strong. Mandatory sensitivity training would have felt a little more appropriate.

At the same time, if he jumped up on a table and started breathing fire, he should have been fired.
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