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Old 05-01-2006, 04:38 PM   #181
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Why should any one group have to special tailor just to get the same rights?

It's absolutely arrogant to say this, and this ask "can't we all just be?"

But this off topic...
I'm agreeing with you.
I'm saying I wouldn't 'wait' for the law. I would proceed with whatever tools are available now to secure what I could, to the best that they can be.
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:45 PM   #182
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Okay, this is one intense argument...good to show off your freedom of speech

Anyway, to me being taught about homosexuality in school is not a bad thing. it encourages children who may be struggling with their sexuality to know that it is okay.
I myself am bisexual and bloody proud to have a girlfriend like mine...wouldn't trade her for the world and i couldn't be happier.
i'm still in school, and i found the hard way to acceptance of my sexuality, if it hadn't been for my girlfriend i would still be struggling now. maybe if i had been told about gay people and led to an understanding about homosexuality i would have been more open to myself then trying to push my inner feeling away like i did. i think that being bisexual, or lesbian or gay is a freedom of who you are. whether you choose to show it or not you are who you are and we all have to exsist with each other no matter how different one person is from another. i hope that when i go to college next term, that i will no longer have to put up with the homophobic behavoir i endure at my current high school.
That is my point of veiw. a little off topic, but it is still what i think and i think that that is relevant to this argument.
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:51 PM   #183
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In the 70's, the innate characteristic line of thought was essentially in its infancy. The approach used to gain acceptance for many things was with the idea of personal choice. As human sexuality increasingly found its way into the public eye, homosexuality found greater acceptance within the context of open sexual relationships (or, I should say openness about sexual relationships).


interesting how that line of thought has sort of backfired on what is now the mainstream, medical understanding that sexual orientation is precisely not a choice but innate and inborn -- i wrote a journal entry on this subject, actually. the 70s seems like such a different period of time to me, such a different world. it also seems as if many heterosexuals were experimenting with notions of personal choice in this era.
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:53 PM   #184
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Originally posted by BorderGirl


I'm agreeing with you.
I'm saying I wouldn't 'wait' for the law. I would proceed with whatever tools are available now to secure what I could, to the best that they can be.


and people do, but there are forces out there working as hard as they can to dismantle gay relationships.

just take a look at a pending law in the state of Virginia that might preclude *any* contract entered by members of the same sex.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:03 PM   #185
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Originally posted by Irvine511

just take a look at a pending law in the state of Virginia that might preclude *any* contract entered by members of the same sex.
Generally though why haven't gay couples sought out and proceeded with some of these things,
Durable powers of attorney, surrogate decisions, wills, and inheritance since they can be tailored to cover gay relationships without the need for marriage?
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:21 PM   #186
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Originally posted by BorderGirl


Generally though why haven't gay couples sought out and proceeded with some of these things,
Durable powers of attorney, surrogate decisions, wills, and inheritance since they can be tailored to cover gay relationships without the need for marriage?

yes, many have, though it is these documents and contracts that the Commonwealth of Virginia is trying to prevent same-sex couples from entering.

there are many things a same-sex couple can do, though it varies from state to state, and even from city to city, and i've heard horror stories, more so from older gay men, of spiteful families who haven't spoken to the gay children they kicked out of the house 20 years previously suddenly showing up and seizing all their assets away from their child's partner after the sudden death of their child.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:49 PM   #187
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Originally posted by Irvine511



yes, many have, though it is these documents and contracts that the Commonwealth of Virginia is trying to prevent same-sex couples from entering.

there are many things a same-sex couple can do, though it varies from state to state, and even from city to city, and i've heard horror stories, more so from older gay men, of spiteful families who haven't spoken to the gay children they kicked out of the house 20 years previously suddenly showing up and seizing all their assets away from their child's partner after the sudden death of their child.
I've heard all these stories too but other than to paralyze people or spread more anxiety I don't see how it's helpful.
That still does not answer in my mind why there seems to exist a lack of initiative on the part of partners to firm up the legalities of their relationship.
Even if it means more 'work' to make that happen.
The fact that marriage between two people of the same sex is currently unallowed does not mean you can't secure your relationship financially.
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:12 PM   #188
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Originally posted by BorderGirl


I've heard all these stories too but other than to paralyze people or spread more anxiety I don't see how it's helpful.
That still does not answer in my mind why there seems to exist a lack of initiative on the part of partners to firm up the legalities of their relationship.
Even if it means more 'work' to make that happen.
The fact that marriage between two people of the same sex is currently unallowed does not mean you can't secure your relationship financially.


wow. you have no idea what you're talking about.

most long-term gay couples DO precisely the things you talk about. they haven't always been available, especially before the mid-1990s, and such stories do more than spread anxiety, they spread awareness so that other couples might not make the same mistakes of the past.

a lack of initiative? upon what do you base this statement?
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:14 PM   #189
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Originally posted by Irvine511




wow. you have no idea what you're talking about.

most long-term gay couples DO precisely the things you talk about. they haven't always been available, especially before the mid-1990s, and such stories do more than spread anxiety, they spread awareness so that other couples might not make the same mistakes of the past.

a lack of initiative? upon what do you base this statement?
And you have it all figured out I guess?
Well help us out here wise one.
I was referring to the fact that the horror stories you bring up are all we hear sometimes.
I'm saying that despite these 'stories' which may (and should) make us anxious, gay couples can still seek out ways to secure their powers of attorney, surrogate decisions, wills, and inheritance their finances, etc. Gosh.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:35 PM   #190
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Originally posted by Irvine511




how easy for you to say. divisive? that makes me want to scream. maybe if the Republicans would stop dividing us in the first place and stop treating gay people like 2nd class citizens then there wouldn't be a need to stand up for ourselves.
One of my favorite republicans in the world is Gay. Sadly he passed away recently......

But, I digress...the republicans in MA here are on a rampage....
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:12 AM   #191
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This was such a civilized discussion, it would be nice if it could stay that way and people could stay away from attacking type language and sarcasm.
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:08 AM   #192
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Originally posted by BorderGirl


And you have it all figured out I guess?
Well help us out here wise one.
I was referring to the fact that the horror stories you bring up are all we hear sometimes.
I'm saying that despite these 'stories' which may (and should) make us anxious, gay couples can still seek out ways to secure their powers of attorney, surrogate decisions, wills, and inheritance their finances, etc. Gosh.


i'm doing my best to help you out.

i do happen to be gay, i do happen to know many gay people, and i am doing my best to educate you on the topic so you don't resort to talking about "lack of initiative" on the part of gay couples.

and what you aren't seeing is that all of the things you mention above are contracts that many states bar people of the same gender from entering.

there's no lack of initiative when you are unable to do so.

so, anyway, i'll take this as a post in support of gay marriage -- seems like a great way to solve this problem.
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:13 AM   #193
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bumping this only because I thought this was an interesting article about the legal case


boston.com

LEXINGTON -- At the center of a federal lawsuit filed last week by two sets of Lexington parents over the discussion of homosexuality in public elementary schools is the question: Do parents or public schools have the final say in deciding what morals, values, and principles should be taught to children, and at what age should those lessons take place?

As in many similar debates before it, the parents -- David and Tonia Parker and Joseph Robert and Robin Wirthlin -- have raised the issue of religious freedom. The Parkers and the Wirthlins are described in the lawsuit as devout Judeo-Christians who believe that homosexuality is immoral behavior that goes against the ''laws of the God of Abraham." They say that teachers and administrators are indoctrinating children to believe that homosexuality is acceptable by exposing children to gay-themed storybooks and other lessons in a compulsory school setting.

Invoking religious freedom in the debate can be dicey, some legal observers said. State law guarantees equality to gays and lesbians, including the right to marry.

''I think it's going to be a difficult litigation primarily because it's coming out of a state that has adopted same-sex marriage," said Mathew Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization in Orlando, Fla., that is dedicated to advancing religious freedom and traditional family values.

''Schools will argue it's just following state law. That's a strong argument for the school, and that should be a wake-up call to the other 49 states of what would happen if they legalize same-sex marriage."

The last major federal case in Massachusetts that attempted to grant parents more rights in public education on the basis of religious freedom failed. That case, which attracted considerable media attention, centered on a 1992 assembly at Chelmsford High School on sex education. During the assembly, presenter Suzanne Landolphi of Hot, Sexy and Safer Productions Inc. told graphic jokes about genitalia and other sexual topics to warn students about the dangers of AIDS.

Three students and their parents filed a $3.5 million lawsuit against Landolphi and the school. They argued in their suit that the mandatory assembly promoted premarital sex, which is ''condemned by the Holy Scriptures," and violated the parents' ''sincerely held religious values regarding chastity and morality . . . thereby infringing upon the plaintiffs' right of free exercise of religion."

But the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in upholding a lower court ruling, said in October 1995 that their civil rights were not violated, even though officials probably should have allowed students to skip the assembly.

''You can't tailor public education for each child to meet what parents want based on their personal moral or religious beliefs," said Sarah Wunsch, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, talking about how the Chelmsford decision might apply to the Lexington case. ''Education would grind to a halt."

Brian Camenker, of the Parents' Rights Coalition in Waltham, said there is a major difference between the two cases. In 1996, just a few months after a federal judge shot down the Chelmsford case, the Legislature passed the parental notification law, which requires school districts to notify parents about sex education lessons so they can pull their children out if they want. Camenker and the Lexington parents argue that the notification law should apply to discussions about same-gender parents and gay marriage, contending the talks encompass sexuality issues and not just family structures, as Lexington school officials assert.

Camenker's group is pushing for an amendment that would broaden the state notification law to discussions of homosexuality, and Camenker said he believes the lawsuit by the Lexington parents could help build momentum for passage, just as the Chelmsford case did with the original law. The Chelmsford case took place during a time when schools were starting to deal with controversial measures such as condom distribution to combat the spread of AIDS.

''The Lexington lawsuit gives a whole new light to that bill," Camenker said. ''Everybody can't do what the Parkers and Wirthlins did and go into public court."

Lexington started incorporating same-gender parents into classroom discussions of families about seven years ago in recognition that gays and lesbians had children in the school system and were volunteering in classrooms. School leaders said they want the children of gay and lesbian parents to feel comfortable talking about their families without fear of name-calling or ridicule. Sometimes the topic of same-gender parents can come up as early as kindergarten when a child might draw a picture of his or her two mothers as part of a social studies unit on families.

But the Wirthlins objected on April 6 after their son's second-grade teacher at the Joseph Estabrook Elementary School read to the class ''King & King," a fairy tale that depicts two princes falling in love and marrying. A year earlier, David Parker, whose son was then in kindergarten at the same school, was arrested for trespassing when he refused to leave school grounds until administrators promised to excuse his son from classroom discussions about same-gender parents. Parker's son had brought home a ''diversity book bag" that included ''Who's in a Family?" a book that shows pictures of same-sex parents and other types of families.

In both cases, the parents felt their children were too young to be taught about gay marriage or same-gender parents and that the teachings went against their religious beliefs.

Joseph Robert Wirthlin said, ''I feel disappointed it had to come to this. We don't want to be here, but our children deserve better."

Then he asked: ''Do parents know their children better or do school systems know their children better?
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:42 AM   #194
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Remember this? There was a ruling yesterday-the judge dismissed the suit.

Same-sex teaching upheld
Lexington parents say they'll appeal

By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff | February 24, 2007

A federal judge yesterday dismissed a suit by two couples who contended that the Lexington public school system violated their constitutional rights by teaching their young children about same-sex couples, but the ruling is unlikely to end a controversy that has roiled the district for nearly two years.

The lawyer for the two couples said they would appeal the ruling, which was praised by Lexington educators and civil libertarians but skewered by supporters of the parents. The controversy has made the affluent town a lightning rod on talk shows and on blogs and prompted the school superintendent to defend the curriculum on national television and radio programs.

In his 38-page decision, Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf of US District Court said that under the US Constitution, public schools are "entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy."

"Diversity is a hallmark of our nation," he said.

Wolf said that the couples, David and Tonia Parker and Robert and Robin Wirthlin, have the option to send their children to private schools or home-school them. He also said they can work to elect a School Committee that might change the curriculum, but that they have no right to dictate what the school district teaches.

"Parents do have a fundamental right to raise their children," Wolf wrote. "However, the Parkers and Wirthlins have chosen to send their children to the Lexington public schools with its current curriculum. The Constitution does not permit them to prescribe what those children will be taught."

Jeffrey A. Denner, who represented the couples described in the suit as devout Judeo-Christians, said they will appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston and to the US Supreme Court, if necessary.

David Parker said the dispute is really about who has the final say over what children are taught, parents or educators.

"The parents have the fundamental right to be the primary directors of their children's upbringing and moral education, and the current ruling of this court undermines and burdens parents and their parental rights," he said.

The suit also complained that parents weren't given advance notice about the lesson content, and Parker said the ruling leaves that unresolved.

Paul B. Ash, Lexington's superintendent of schools, applauded the decision.

"As much as we try to be sensitive to the parents' views, they don't have a veto over what we teach in the schools," said Ash, who has received hate mail and threats over the curriculum.

The couples sued in 2006, after Jacob Parker brought home books from the Joseph Estrabrook Elementary School about different families, including same-sex couples. One of the books in his "diversity book bag" in kindergarten was "Who's in a Family?"

Joey Wirthlin was exposed to similar material in the first grade at the same school, said the complaint. His teacher read aloud "King & King," a fairy tale about a prince who rejects his mother's entreaties to marry a princess. The prince ends up falling in love with and marrying a prince. The book concludes when the two princes kiss.

Joey Wirthlin's parents transferred him this year to the Hanscom primary school in the Lincoln school system, said David Parker.

The school district contended in court that such books promoted an atmosphere of tolerance and respect.

Lexington officials pointed out that a 1993 state law directed school systems to teach about different kinds of families and the harm of prejudice. The effort gained momentum after the state's highest court in 2003 legalized same-sex marriage.

But the Parkers and Wirthlins said in their suit that teachers were indoctrinating children to believe that homosexuality is acceptable and were doing so in a compulsory school setting.

The views of the parents and the school system first collided in April 2005, when David Parker refused to leave the school in a protest over the books. Parker was arrested for trespassing and temporarily banned from school grounds.

Brian Camenker -- president of MassResistance, a Waltham-based parents' group that sided with the plaintiffs -- denounced yesterday's ruling as "unbelievably odious and horrific."

"It reinforces the rights of schools to normalize homosexuality without parents' knowledge and consent," he said.

However, Sarah Wunsch -- a staff attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts, which filed a brief siding with the school district -- said that the lawsuit's effect was "to frighten and chill people who teach in Lexington" and that the ruling should change that.

Wolf, in the decision, said he based his ruling on a 1995 decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals on a sex-education assembly at Chelmsford High School.

The appellate court ruled that the constitutional right of parents to raise their children did not include the right to restrict what a public school can teach, even if the teachings contradict a parents' religious beliefs.

Wolf said Lexington educators could exempt some children from a lesson concerning homosexuality if they chose, but he did not define how to do that. But he said an exodus from the classroom would probably undercut efforts to foster tolerance and would deprive pupils of learning from each other.

"As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his journal, 'I pay the school master, but 'tis the school boys that educate my son,' " Wolf wrote.
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:50 PM   #195
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Wow, missed this one the first time.

Clearly the answer is, either homeschool or send them to private school if you don't like what's in the public school. That way you can raise them to be as hateful, intolerant, and narrow-minded as you are. Bravo.
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