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Old 03-28-2011, 11:13 PM   #706
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have more gay sex.

and answer my questions.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:19 PM   #707
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Thanks in large part to childishly sensationalistic reviews in the West, US historical journalist Joseph Lelyveld's new biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Great Soul, has been banned in the Indian states of Gujarat--Gandhi's birthplace--and Maharashtra. At issue is Lelyveld's possible implication that Gandhi may have been in love with German-Jewish architect Hermann Kallenbach, a benefactor, fellow satyagrahi, and very close associate of Gandhi's during the last decade of Gandhi's years in South Africa.

The Times of India laments:
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...The outrage, however, seems based on misunderstandings. Intimate in a typically Victorian manner, mentioning bodies, lust and slavery, Gandhi's letters to Kallenbach contain sections highlighted by reviewers who've implied that Lelyveld may have been suggesting that Gandhi was 'bisexual'. They also said remarks about indigenous Africans attributed to Gandhi showed Lelyveld's understanding of him as 'racist'. Note that the author himself disowns both interpretations. Only, our politicians aren't listening.

Largely choosing to ignore the 'racism' charge and fixated on the sexuality angle, Moily wants a ban to "protect the nation from being taken for a ride", Modi for the book's apparently "perverse writing which has hurt the sentiments of those with capacity for sane and logical thinking". Clearly, neither end of this political rainbow considers average Indian readers intelligent enough to make up their own minds about what offends or doesn't, or mature enough not to require a nanny state to burn, bury or ban books on their behalf. This politically self-serving coddling has a long history. In 1988, claiming to protect 'Muslim sentiments', the Congress government banned Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. In 2003, Taslima Nasreen's work, Dwikhandito, was banned in Bengal by a Left Front shoring up its Muslim votebank. James Laine's book on Shivaji was banned in 2004 and 2006 in Maharashtra, and Javier Moro's 'fictionalised biography' of Sonia Gandhi was targeted in 2010.

Such politics betrays an insecure touchiness about our icons that's out of place in a mature democracy professing to uphold freedom of expression. Ironically, many famous personalities themselves challenged official projections of their image in their own lives. Gandhi himself was passionately honest. He chronicled his trials with "truth" in detail, leaving diaries and letters for future generations to read and interpret for themselves. These writings provide deep and diverse insights into the complexity of the figure of Gandhi. We have seen intolerance of views with regard to other icons as well, from Netaji and Ambedkar to Satyajit Ray. Evidently, the more India marches ahead, the more illiberal its politicians seem to get.
Gay sex was decriminalized in India a couple years ago, but homosexuality does remain stigmatized, and Gujarat and Maharashtra are vocally conservative states.

I'm not really sure what to make of Lelyveld's response to his critics ("I do not allege that Gandhi is a racist or bisexual in 'Great Soul'. The word 'bisexual' nowhere appears in the book."). As far as anyone knows, Gandhi had already permanently become celibate--brahmacharya vows--by the time he knew Kallenbach (though he, notoriously, subjected himself and select disciples to eyebrow-raising 'tests' of that commitment throughout his life). And the Times does make a good point about keeping in mind the conventions of Victorian Indian English correspondence. But on the other hand, none of that rules out the possibility that Gandhi might really have been in love with Kallenbach (and vice versa)--which would, obviously, suggest a bisexual orientation as far as that goes. If Lelyveld considers that a possibility he should acknowledge it, rather than the dodge of protesting he never presents it as fact. Otherwise, why even bring up Gandhi's ardent professions of love for Kallenbach in his letters?
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:16 PM   #708
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YouTube - Zach Wahls Speaks About Family

This young man's family: not good enough for The Iron Horse.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:36 PM   #709
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"The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character."

I don't think there's anything more powerful than the testimony of children of same-sex couples, because watching it forces you to look what you're denying the value of right in the eye. If that young man has a family of his own someday he'll have more than "good enough" role models to look to.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:07 PM   #710
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"The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character."


while i wasn't raised by lesbian parents and obviously can't disagree with him on experience, i'd actually like to think that the sexual orientation of his parents likely did have an effect on the content of his character. likely, it made him a better person. why? he was obviously very, very wanted and cherished by two women who knew that the world wasn't going to be terribly kind to their family. he also had two parents who knew what it was like to be outsiders and to be publicly despised by politicians, churches, neighbors, and even family members. likely, they were able to channel a lifetime of that into creating a strong sense of empathy and basic kindness in their children. and now, as an adult, he probably has a greater appreciation for his parents and what they had to go through simply to have a family and bring him into the world. in fact, i'd go so far as to say that kids of gays and lesbians have certain advantages precisely because of his parent's sexual orientation.

and studies agree with this.

Kids with Lesbian Parents May Do Better Than Their Peers - TIME
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:30 PM   #711
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Reminds me I have to get my ass out and get a shower present for one of my friend couples.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:56 PM   #712
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while i wasn't raised by lesbian parents and obviously can't disagree with him on experience, i'd actually like to think that the sexual orientation of his parents likely did have an effect on the content of his character. likely, it made him a better person. why? he was obviously very, very wanted and cherished by two women who knew that the world wasn't going to be terribly kind to their family. he also had two parents who knew what it was like to be outsiders and to be publicly despised by politicians, churches, neighbors, and even family members. likely, they were able to channel a lifetime of that into creating a strong sense of empathy and basic kindness in their children. and now, as an adult, he probably has a greater appreciation for his parents and what they had to go through simply to have a family and bring him into the world. in fact, i'd go so far as to say that kids of gays and lesbians have certain advantages precisely because of his parent's sexual orientation.
The content of our parents' character definitely has an effect on our own, and the experiences many gay men and lesbian women have gone through just to get where they are can inform a person's character in ways that are fortunate for any children they'll have. At the same time I'd like to think that will and should change as the culture becomes more accepting, and I think I can understand why Zach Wahls wished to convey above all that his family is "just like yours." Because for him that probably feels like the recognition that's most lacking or threatened, basic validation as a family, not necessarily recognition that his parents are exceptionally wonderful individuals who got an amazing number of things right parentally speaking, or that he's an exceptionally poised and thoughtful young man etc. It makes me really angry when people use children of struggling single parents (which is not how I'd describe all single parents) as a basis for generalizing about families headed by same-sex couples; the issues that come from abandonment or from a continually overwhelmed parent are what they are, and are not "like" anything else. I've said it before, a way disproportional number of the strongest people I've ever known have been middle-aged and older gay men, because they've been forced to learn (and rose to the challenge of learning) in a far deeper way than I have that confidence comes from within and that the trust and regard of others is something to be earned and maintained, never taken for granted. One of our younger son's best friends right now is the son of a gay couple, friends of ours, from our synagogue; they had a ceremony there and are married in the eyes of our community, though the state doesn't recognize it. Being part of a supportive extended community is a very good thing for ANY child--children need to be able to affirm a "we" beyond just themselves and their parent(s); it could take many forms, but the more diversified in age, sex, and background the better. I don't really disagree with anything you're saying, but I think from where this young man stands that might not be the most urgent point. He shouldn't have to prove that they're a "better" or "more ideal" family to begin with.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:17 PM   #713
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but I think from where this young man stands that might not be the most urgent point. He shouldn't have to prove that they're a "better" or "more ideal" family to begin with.


yes, i agree, and in the highly political context of the video, he did exactly the right thing. it is much more persuasive to persuade the majority that a minority is "just like you" or "as good as you" than it is to point out differences but then argue that those differences are real and should still be celebrated as a part of the larger patchwork of humanity. it's difficult to make a two-part argument on an issue that is so charged with emotion, on both sides, so keeping it simple is the best way to go when you're trying to win hearts and minds.

however, i do think it's important to keep in mind that proving to be "good as you" often involves actually being better because you're worthiness is always in question, and will be contested by those who do assume that difference = shortcoming.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:18 PM   #714
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WASHINGTON -- Arkansas' high court struck down the state's law barring same-sex couples from adopting on Thursday. In an opinion published without dissent, the court argued that the law violated individuals' right to privacy. Supporters of the law are expected to fight the ruling.

Arkansas voters approved Act 1 as a ballot measure in 2008. It prohibits unmarried couples who live together from adopting children, in effect shutting out gay and lesbian couples, who are not allowed to marry in the state.

"Act 1 directly and substantially burdens the privacy rights of 'opposite-sex and same-sex individuals' who engage in private, consensual sexual conduct in the bedroom by foreclosing their eligibility to foster or adopt children, should they choose to cohabit with their sexual partner," concluded the court in the ruling embedded below. "The pressure on such couples to live apart, should they wish to foster or adopt children, is clearly significant."

It also argued that Sheila Cole, one of the plaintiffs in the case, was faced with a "pernicious choice" when she tried to adopt her granddaughter, who was placed in foster care because Cole was unable to adopt her. (The child was eventually placed in Cole's home.)

"[Cole] can either give up her fundamental right to sexual intimacy in her home free from investigation by the State into her sexual practices in order to adopt or foster or forego the privilege of having children by adoption or fostering," the court added. "We hold that the burden inflicted on her is direct and substantial."

LGBT and civil rights organizations immediately hailed the decision.

"The Arkansas Supreme Court has removed a discriminatory barrier for loving gay and lesbian couples who, child welfare experts agree, are equally able parents," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Too many children are in need of a loving home and the court has rightfully put their interests ahead of discrimination."


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the case on behalf of a group of same-sex couples. Rita Sklar, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, called the ruling a "relief for the over 1,600 children in the state of Arkansas who need a permanent family."

"This ban wouldn’t even allow a relative -- gay or straight -- to foster or adopt a child with whom they had a close relationship, so long as that relative was unmarried and living with a partner," she said. "The court clearly saw that this ban violated the constitutional rights of our clients and thousands of other Arkansans."

The Family Council Action Committee (FCAC), which was defending the law, expressed disappointment with the State Supreme Court ruling. President Jerry Cox called the decision a "classic example of judicial tyranny."

"We have said all along that Act One was about child welfare, and fifty-seven percent of the voters in 2008 agreed," he said in a statement. "They declared that the State of Arkansas has an obligation to adoptive and foster children to ensure that they are placed in the best possible homes. The Arkansas Supreme Court has chosen to run roughshod over the people’s will and refused to uphold a good law that protected the children in the state’s care."

This high court's decision is unlikely to stop the FCAC. Cox said that "all available options are still on the table," specifically naming the possibility of bringing the gay adoption ban back as a state constitutional amendment or exploring the possibility of passing a law through the legislature.

Mississippi and Utah are now the only two states with an explicit ban on unmarried, co-habitating couples adopting. Other states have implicit bans that don't necessarily outlaw gay adoption but make it very difficult in practice. One such state is Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is currently considering whether to derail a proposal, recommended by his Democratic predecessor, that would amend state regulations to allow same-sex couples to adopt.

As the Washington Post explains, "Currently, only married couple and single men and women -- regardless of sexual orientation -- can adopt in Virginia." The new proposal would "force state-licensed private and church-run agencies to allow unmarried couples -- heterosexual or homosexual -- to adopt children."

Gov. McDonnell must make his recommendation to the State Board of Social Services by April 16.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:17 PM   #715
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^ It's somewhat of an irony here that the Deep South actually has the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children of any region in the country.

New York Times, January 18 2011*
Quote:
...child rearing among same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gay couples in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.

The pattern, identified by Mr. Gates, is also notable because the families in this region defy the stereotype of a mainstream gay America that is white, affluent, urban and living in the Northeast or on the West Coast. “We’re starting to see that the gay community is very diverse,” said Bob Witeck, chief executive of Witeck-Combs Communications, which helped market the census to gay people. “We’re not all rich white guys.”
As the article goes on to imply, it may be that this says as much about Southern attitudes towards family and parenthood as it does about Southern attitudes towards sexual orientation--i.e., that gay and lesbian Southerners are more likely than their counterparts elsewhere to have a child with someone before they come out, partly because of greater internalized homophobia (trying to 'prove' themselves, and conceiving in the process) but also partly because of a less negative view of having children at a young, 'unsettled' age.

Let's hope this decision stands and that Mississippi and Utah will soon follow suit.


* (The article also cites a statistic that a third of lesbians and a fifth of gay men are parents...so much for assumptions that LGBT parenthood is some "fringe" phenomenon.)
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:37 PM   #716
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Former National Organization for Marriage spokesman and organizer Lou Marinelli becomes another conservative voice for same-sex marriage:
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Having spent the last five years putting all of my political will, interest and energy into fighting against the spread of same-sex marriage as if it were a contagious disease, I must admit that it is hard for me to put the following text into words let alone utter them with my own voice.

Whether it is an issue of disbelief, shame or embarrassment, the one thing that is for sure is that I have come to this point after several months of an internal conflict with myself. That conflict gradually tore away at me until recently when I was able to for the first time simply admit to myself that I do in fact support civil marriage equality. While I have come to terms with this reality internally, speaking about it, even with the closest members of my family, has proven to be something difficult for me to do. In short, if there is an issue of disbelief surrounding my newfound support for civil marriage equality, it is disbelief from those who surround me. If there is an issue of shame, it is a result of acknowledging the number of people I have targeted, hurt and oppressed. And if there is an issue of embarrassment, its roots lie in the face-to-face encounters I have had and expect to have with those with whom I once toiled over this very contentious issue. I understand that those whom I approach now are well within their right to disbelieve and question me and my motives. I accept that is the result of what I have done over the past few years and would therefore like to take this time to, as openly as I can, discuss the events that brought about my change of heart.
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As you may already know, I was the one behind the 2010 Summer for Marriage Tour which the National Organization for Marriage sponsored and operated throughout July and August last year. It was my doing when, in March that year, I approached Brian Brown, then Executive Director of the National Organization for Marriage about sponsoring and participating in a series of traditional marriage rallies scattered around the nation. In fact, the tour route itself, while chosen largely by NOM itself, incorporated as many of the sites I had originally chosen and helped independently organize. Other locations were added due to strategic, political or simply logistical purposes.

Ironically, one of the last tour stops added to the itinerary was Atlanta and I bring this site up because it was in Atlanta that I can remember that I questioned what I was doing for the first time. The NOM showing in the heart of the Bible-belt was dismal and the hundreds of counter-protesters who showed up were nothing short of inspiring. Even though I had been confronted by the counter-protesters throughout the marriage tour, the lesbian and gay people whom I made a profession out of opposing became real people for me almost instantly. For the first time I had empathy for them and remember asking myself what I was doing.
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One article I wrote, towards the end of October, 2010 caught the attention of a blogger by the name of RJ, who writes on the blog AmIWorking. He responded to my article about the homosexual agenda with an article addressed personally to me regarding marriage equality. In short, his article had the miraculous effect of instantly putting things into perspective for me. At that point, between what I had witnessed on the marriage tour and RJ’s post about marriage equality, I really came to understand that gays and lesbians were just real people who wanted to live real lives and be treated equally as opposed to, for example, wanting to destroy American culture.

...As a result of that I closed down my blog within a couple of days. That gave birth to my current endeavor, The Conservative Dispatch, which is how I occupy my time. The site is about promoting general conservative principles and is not focused solely on social issues. In December I came out in support of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I also removed the admins I had delegated my moderating duties to for my Facebook page. Having done that, I had to pick up where they left off. I was largely taken aback by the fact that the page I created had become such a hateful place. My comments and rhetoric paled in comparison to what that place had turned into. I began to understand why the gay community was out there claiming opposition to same-sex civil marriage was all about hate. I soon realized that there I was surrounded by hateful people; propping up a cause I created five years ago, a cause which I had begun to question. This would be timeline point number three.

I wanted to extend an olive branch in some way and started to reinstate those who had been banned by previous administrators of my page. I welcomed them to participate on the page and did what I could do erase the worst comments and even ban those who posted them. Also, I started regularly conversing with same-sex marriage supporters in another Facebook group. This further solidified my new perception of gays and lesbians as real people, not some faceless political opponent. That could be considered the next point on the timeline.

Lastly, I came to understand the difference between civil marriage and holy marriage as in the sacrament of the Catholic Church. Let me rephrase. I understood that but either willingly chose not to accept it or just didn’t see it. Regardless, I see it now and the significance of that is as follows: Once you understand the great difference between civil marriage and holy marriage, there is not one valid reason to forbid the former from same-sex couples, and all that is left to protect is the latter. Indeed Christians and Catholics alike are well within their right to demand that holy matrimony, a sacrament and service performed by the Church and recognized by the Church, remains between a man and a woman as their faith would dictate. However, that has nothing to do with civil marriage, performed and recognized by the State in accordance with state law.

My name is Louis J. Marinelli, a conservative-Republican and I now support full civil marriage equality. The constitution calls for nothing less.
Personally, I can't fully follow his emotional logic--shouldn't an awakening to the humanity of gay people leading to support for same-sex civil marriage also lead to support for same-sex "holy matrimony" (albeit with an understanding that it can't and shouldn't be state-mandated)?--but, his humility in acknowledging his own blind spots here is admirable.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:01 PM   #717
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Personally, I can't fully follow his emotional logic--shouldn't an awakening to the humanity of gay people leading to support for same-sex civil marriage also lead to support for same-sex "holy matrimony" (albeit with an understanding that it can't and shouldn't be state-mandated)?--but, his humility in acknowledging his own blind spots here is admirable.

he does a point-by-point retraction here:

Quote:
(1) G-A-Y's JEREMY HOOPER: On record, I'd ask you to go through the list of comments you have written/ Tweeted/ blogged/ Facebooked and repudiate any/all that you now see were objectionable.

LOUIS MARINELLI: I quoted from the research of Paul Cameron when I said that homosexuals have a shorter life-span. I must say that when I quoted this man I was not aware of his history and here and now do not wish to comment on the legitimacy or irrelevance of the man’s work as I am neither a psychologist nor does psychology interest me.

What I said, referring to the life-spans of homosexuals, I continue to believe in the following context: Any group of people that contract any viral disease more than the general public due to the nature of their lifestyle, logically, will have a life-expectancy lower than that of the general populace.

However, that kind of rhetoric, implying that gay men are unworthy of civil marriage due to any particular health issues surrounding their sexual activity was both inappropriate and offensive. It is for those reasons, that I retract this statement.


___________________________________________________________

I once wrote or implied that all homosexuals are single, even if they had at some point or another, been legally married by the state. While in the eyes of the Catholic faith, these same-sex unions aren’t recognized as marriages insofar as holy matrimony is concerned, I retract this statement now that I have been able to see and distinguish and understand the differences between religious and civil marriage.

______________________________________________________________

Any support or endorsement of what Peter LaBarbera does I retract. I have been reading via Twitter and his website what this guy has to say, and it is clear that he is just a hateful man and I would be embarrassed and ashamed to be associated with him.

Furthermore, the issues Peter takes on, even if they were true, are not in themselves valid reasons for denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage. I am aware how he was upset by my public support for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in December. His reasoning for such seemed to be something along the lines of “in order to protect marriage, you have to oppose everything homosexuals do”. If that were the case, Peter, how far should we go in restricting homosexuals’ lives?

_____________________________________________________________

As far as my comments about the hijacking of the civil rights movement, I would say that while the offenses the gay community endure from the public are similar, the issue as it pertains to the government are totally different. 



The gay community is not forced to attend different schools, drink from different water fountains, or give up their seats for heterosexuals on the bus. They are not, as black Americans are to this day, incarcerated at higher levels than heterosexuals and while I do not deny that there is violence directed towards gays and lesbians because of their sexual orientation, no one should be comparing that to the organized violence faced by the black community prior to the civil rights movement itself. 



That said, I agree that what the gay community are fighting for are their civil rights. So in that way, it is indeed a civil rights movement but not the civil rights movement. That is to say, a new civil rights movement, not an extension or continuation of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

_____________________________________________________________

Any comments I made that attacked homosexuals on a personal level, I retract. This includes calling them an abomination. I personally do not agree with homosexuality and without any shame will continue to uphold my belief that homosexuality itself presents a public health concern due to the sexual diseases that are associated with it and that spread rapidly as a result of it.

I think a lot of work needs to be done for homosexuals and heterosexuals alike, to change the culture of promiscuity in our country and we would be doing ourselves a favor to focus our energies on that instead of singling out and lying the blame on one of the many guilty parties. 

However, until the day comes that homosexual sex does not continue to spread HIV at alarming rates as it does today, I must stand by my comments that, from a public health stance, homosexuality is a harmful to society.

Having said that, the health issues facing promiscuous homosexual men is irrelevant to the issue of same-sex marriage. I was guilty of and apologize for this insensitive and inappropriate rhetoric.

___________________________________________________________

On multiple occasions I have said something to the effect of “homosexuality is wrong”. And in my opinion it is. My transition from an opponent of same-sex marriage to a supporter does not mean I suddenly think homosexuality is a good thing. 



I personally disagree with it. The same way I disagree with many other things other people do with their lives. That doesn’t give me or anyone else the right to prevent homosexuals from being homosexuals or to take away their constitutionally protected civil rights as American citizens.


_____________________________________________________________


As a supporter of civil marriage equality, any statements I’ve made in the past about not recognizing homosexual relationships for one reason or another, of course it goes without saying that I no longer stand by these comments and I apologize for the insensitivity. Same-sex couples, whether they are married, in civil unions or domestic partnerships, ought to be recognized for what they are.


_____________________________________________________________

I consider myself agnostic and while homosexual acts may very well be “immoral” in the eyes of Christian morality, I can no longer stand by any comments I’ve made in the past about the immorality of homosexuality. There are a variety of different sets and sources of morals and no one has the right to impose their set on the rest of society.


_______________________________________________________________


Once I wrote that homosexuals are deceitful people who care only about themselves or something to that effect. Honestly, aren’t we all? It was wrong for me to exclude everyone else from that description. We all lie and when it comes down to it, we will do what is best for ourselves. So throwing in a little levity, I stand by the comment but want to apologize for limiting its scope to the gay community.

_______________________________________________________________

My 3P’s video from YouTube was wrong. It may be true that at some point in time that the legalization of prostitution, the lowering of the age of consent and the legalization of polygamy may have been a part of the platform endorsed by homosexual activists in Chicago in the 1970s. However, there is no indication that any mainstream LGBT activist groups or organizations today advocate for these issues.


What’s further, from a technical standpoint alone the video was inaccurate. The platform called for the reduction of the age of consent, not the legalization of pedophilia, which is the sexual interest in pre-pubescent children. The reduction of the age of consent was about that and instead, to my knowledge, involved a reduction that would involve post-pubescent teenagers, which would not be pedophilia. 



I think this kind of rhetoric is harmful to our homosexual neighbors and I retract the statements. The entire YouTube account I used for this video, as well as others, was deleted sometime in late January, when I began to accept the fact that what I was doing was wrong.


i get a bit irritated when "health" objections to homosexuality are raised. i can agree to health objections to promiscuity or unprotected sex, but there's, first, nothing that gay people do that heterosexual people don't also do (anal sex, oral sex, etc.) and the things that drive people into promiscuity and unprotected sex are often to do with a sense of self-worthlessness, depression, and anxiety, which in many gay people are directly related to the impact of a society -- and organizations like NOM and the Catholic Church -- that tells gay people, very clearly, that they are worthless. it seems really ironic to point to health issues and then deny people the very tools (civil marriage) that would reduce the causes of said health issues (promiscuity, unsafe sex). what's more accurate to say is that certain *social networks* of people who are already isolated from the mainstream and have a much smaller network of potential sexual partners. you see this with black women often in the south where a large number of potential sexual partners are black men who have often spent time in prison where they've contracted HIV. heterosexual sex doesn't create HIV in the way that homosexual sex doesn't create HIV, it's that sex of both kinds is a very easy way (but not the only way) to transmit HIV. but, anyway ...
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:33 PM   #718
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Associated Press, April 25
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Two years after Texas became one of the last states to allow transgendered people to use proof of their sex change to get a marriage license, Republican lawmakers are trying to roll back the clock.

...One of the Republican sponsors of the legislation said he's simply trying to clean up the 2009 law in a state that bans same-sex marriage under the constitution. "The Texas Constitution," Sen. Tommy Williams said, "clearly defines marriage between one man and one woman."

The legislation by Williams, of Houston, and Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, of Brenham, would prohibit county and district clerks from using a court order recognizing a sex change as documentation to get married, effectively requiring the state to recognize a 1999 state appeals court decision that said in cases of marriage, gender is assigned at birth and sticks with a person throughout their life even if they have a sex change. Most states allow transgendered people to get married using a court order that also allows them to change their driver's license, experts said. Some advocates for the transgendered say the Texas proposal would not only prevent future transgendered marriages but also open up the possibility that any current marriage could be nullified.
Quote:
...Gov. Rick Perry's spokesman Mark Miner said the governor never intended to allow transgendered people to get married. He said the three-word sex change provision was sneaked through on a larger piece of legislation Perry signed two years ago regarding marriage licensing rules for county and district clerks. Perry, a Republican, supports efforts to "clarify the unintended consequences" of that law, Miner said. "The governor has always believed and advocated that marriage is between a man and a woman," Miner said.

Williams said he understands that some people's gender cannot easily be determined when they are born and they later have an operation that could change the originally assigned gender. "It is an emotional issue," Williams said. "I can appreciate that." But when asked about claims of discrimination, Williams insisted his goal is to simplify marriage licensing for clerks who are trying to balance the 2009 law with the 1999 Texas appeals court ruling. "They shouldn't have to resolve these issues," Williams said. "We have confused them."

...Nikki Araguz was at the Capitol last week to lobby against the legislation. Her husband, a volunteer firefighter, was killed in the line of duty in July and she is being sued by her dead husband's family over control of his $600,000 estate. Araguz had a final sex change operation in October 2008, two months after they were married, and says her husband knew and supported her. His family argues the marriage should be voided because Araguz was born a man and same-sex marriage is not legal in Texas. A hearing is scheduled for May 13. "This is crazy. I feel like this is a personal attack on me," Araguz told The Associated Press. "If this bill is passed, it essentially means women like myself who have had reconstructive surgery will not be allowed to marry their heterosexual partner."
Those poor, confused county clerks.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:33 PM   #719
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
Those poor, confused county clerks.


the way to make it clear would be to legalize same-sex marriage. problem solved.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:34 PM   #720
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well.

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California Judge's Partner Cited in Push to Uphold Same-Sex Marriage Ban
Published April 25, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO – Proponents of California's same-sex marriage ban filed a motion Monday seeking to vacate the historic ruling that overturned Proposition 8 because the federal judge who wrote it is in a long-term relationship with another man.

Lawyers for the ban's backers said in the motion in San Francisco's U.S. District Court that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker should have removed himself from the case, or at least disclosed his relationship status, because his "impartiality might reasonably be questioned."

"Only if Chief Judge Walker had unequivocally disavowed any interest in marrying his partner could the parties and the public be confident that he did not have a direct personal interest in the outcome of the case," attorneys for the coalition of religious and conservative groups that put Proposition 8 on the November 2008 ballot wrote. Proposition 8 overturned a ruling by the California Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriages.

They are now asking the judge who inherited the case when Walker retired at the end of February to vacate Walker's August 2010 decision. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals already is reviewing its legal merits at the request of the voter-approved measure's proponents.

Walker has said that he did not consider his sexual orientation to be any more a reason for recusal than another judge's race or gender normally would be. A spokeswoman said Monday that the judge wouldn't comment on the motion.

American Foundation for Equal Rights President Chad Griffin, whose group has funded the legal effort to strike down Proposition 8, scoffed at the notion that the judge's personal life could imperil his ruling.

Griffin noted that the Obama administration recently had decided to stop defending the federal law that bans recognition of same-sex marriage after determining that it, too, was unconstitutional.

"This motion is another in a string of desperate and absurd motions by the proponents of Proposition 8, who refuse to accept that the freedom to marry is a Constitutional right," he said.

Walker, a 67-year-old Republican appointee, declared Proposition 8 to be an unconstitutional violation of gay Californians' civil rights last summer. He retired from the bench at the end of February.

Rumors that the judge was gay circulated during the 13-day trial that preceded his decision and after he handed down his ruling.

Lawyers for Protect Marriage, the coalition that sponsored Proposition 8, however, did not raise his sexual orientation as a legal issue until Monday.

Protect Marriage general counsel Andy Pugno said that changed after the judge disclosed his 10-year relationship this month to a group of courthouse reporters. The issue is not that Walker is gay, but that his relationship status made him too similar to the same-sex couples who sued for the right to marry, Pugno said.

"We deeply regret the necessity of this motion. But if the courts are to require others to follow the law, the courts themselves must do so as well," Pugno added.
Indiana University Law School professor Charles Geyh, an expert on judicial ethics, said he was strongly inclined to agree with Walker that a judge's sexual orientation is irrelevant to his ability to render a fair decision.

"It really implies it would be fine if he were essentially surfing at bars and had a new partner every night because he wouldn't want to be married," he said. "I don't see that as advancing their cause."


Read more: California Judge's Partner Cited in Push to Uphold Same-Sex Marriage Ban - FoxNews.com


good thing they ban female judges from ruling on rape cases.
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