Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gays in America; a gay issues primer

I just want to thank Jon Stewart. If only we had more of him.

Ron Reagan also talked about several issues important to the gay community on his radio show on Air America last week, December 10th. 18:35 is where things get crazy. God bless crazy people talking about gays and people with, you know, facts on there side calling those crazies out.

And Colin Powell seems to jumping right in pushing Obama through the media. First up, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and Powell saying we need to take a new look at the policy and now.

We also have Keith Olbermann's special comment on gay marriage. And Keith talking to Candace Gingrich.

And a Newsweek cover, by Lisa Miller.
If the bible doesn't give abundant examples of traditional marriage, then what are the gay-marriage opponents really exercised about? Well, homosexuality, of course—specifically sex between men. Sex between women has never, even in biblical times, raised as much ire. In its entry on "Homosexual Practices," the Anchor Bible Dictionary notes that nowhere in the Bible do its authors refer to sex between women, "possibly because it did not result in true physical 'union' (by male entry)." The Bible does condemn gay male sex in a handful of passages. Twice Leviticus refers to sex between men as "an abomination" (King James version), but these are throwaway lines in a peculiar text given over to codes for living in the ancient Jewish world, a text that devotes verse after verse to treatments for leprosy, cleanliness rituals for menstruating women and the correct way to sacrifice a goat—or a lamb or a turtle dove. Most of us no longer heed Leviticus on haircuts or blood sacrifices; our modern understanding of the world has surpassed its prescriptions. Why would we regard its condemnation of homosexuality with more seriousness than we regard its advice, which is far lengthier, on the best price to pay for a slave?
Which then got people to actually write Newsweek. Do you think these 40,000 letter writers actually read the article? And gave it some independent thought?
I was saddened but not surprised that NEWSWEEK would run a blatantly distorted interpretation of Scripture regarding homosexual marriage. As Christians, we are taught to love the sinner and not the sin. Well, you've taken it two steps further—condone the sin and then put it into law to validate it. The Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths agree that homosexuality is a sin. All that's left are the nonbelievers and agnostics who are trying to rewrite the Bible, like Lisa Miller.
Nancy McKay-Rosa
via internet
Your cover story on same-sex marriage is shameful. Lisa Miller's misunderstanding and dismissal of Scripture is astonishing. Voters in 30 states have recognized that marriage is the bringing together of the two sexes. They understood that gender matters, and that both husbands and wives matter to society and to children. Children need both a mother and father, and two men do not make a mom. If marriage is to mean anything political activists desire, then it will ultimately mean nothing to society.
Micah Clark
Noblesville, Ind.
Thank you, NEWSWEEK and Lisa Miller, for your timely and insightful article about equal marriage. Please know that many people of faith wish and hope for a more capacious and gracious world—one in which divergent faith and beliefs are respected and are given freedom to grow. Your article provides a much-needed rebuke for fundamentalists who would seek to keep others from the love of God and from civil marriage and all the joys and trials that might result. Thank you again for your courage and your voice.
Tim Johnson
Las Vegas, Nev.
And even looking at what President-elect Barack Obama says on his Web site gives some insight. Obama has a section titled "Support for the LGBT Community" with a quote.
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007
His lists "Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples" as well as "Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage" and "Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell" among his stands. Be sure to check it out. Here.

Gay Rights Watch is a great site to keep up-to-date on what is going on.
Three-quarters of U.S. adults (75%) favor either marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Only about two in 10 (22%) say gay and lesbian couples should have no legal recognition. (Gay and lesbian couples are able to marry in two states, and comprehensive civil union or domestic partnership laws exist in only five others and the District of Columbia.)

U.S. adults are now about evenly divided on whether they support allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry (47% favor to 49% oppose).

Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults favor allowing openly gay military personnel to serve in the armed forces. (The current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law bans military service by openly gay personnel.)

And finally, we have our own gay focus here in Iowa.
DES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a pivotal same-sex marriage case that could echo throughout the nation and be far more difficult to challenge at the ballot box than a high-profile ruling in California, legal experts say.

The lawsuit, filed by six same-sex Iowa couples, pits gay rights supporters against those who argue that gay marriage threatens traditional family values.

The case, Varnum v. Brien, could make Iowa the first state in the Midwest to legalize gay marriage, says University of Iowa law professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig. Other high-court decisions favorable to gay rights advocates have come from traditionally liberal, coastal states: California, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

- Grant Schulte, USA TODAY

It may be long, it will be hard, but for the first time in this fight, I actually think most people will stop seeing me and my fellow humans in the LGBT community as second-class citizens.

Now lets get to work.

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