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!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

NEWS ITEMS AFFECTING GAYS AND LESBIANS

FOR 2002 - JAN. to MARCH

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Sponsored link.


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News of 2002-JAN:

bulletJAN-1: DC: Health benefits for domestic partners: The Human Rights Campaign praised President George W. Bush today for signing a historic bill on 2001-DEC-21. It allows the District of Columbia government to fund a program that will give domestic partners of city employees access to health benefits.

Political Director Winnie Stachelberg said: "The president's signature culminates a huge victory that has resulted from nearly a decade of hard work on this issue by HRC and a coalition of local groups, including the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance. We applaud our allies in Congress for passing this historic legislation and President Bush for signing it into law."

In 1992, the D.C. Health Care Benefits Expansion Act was passed, giving domestic partners of District employees access to health benefits purchased at their own expense. But for nearly a decade, Congress blocked the district from using any local or federal funds to implement the law. The fiscal year 2002 District of Columbia Appropriations bill lifted the prohibition on the use of local funding for this program. The district now joins 130 other state and local governments nationwide that offer domestic partner benefits for their public employees. 1

bulletJAN-2: Saudi-Arabia: Court beheads three gays: According to CovenantNews.com: "Three Saudi men were beheaded yesterday for committing homosexual acts and 'seducing young men.' The trio were executed in the southwestern mountain resort city of Abha. They were accused of homosexual acts, 'marrying each other,' seducing young men and 'attacking those who rebuked them.' " The death penalty in Saudi Arabia is imposed for murder, rape, drug trafficking, homosexual behavior, and armed robbery. At least 81 people were beheaded in 2001. 2
bulletJAN-4: MA: Governor selects gay running mate: TVC News reported that acting Governor Jane Swift has just chosen Patrick Guerriero to be her running mate for the post of Lieutenant Governor in the 2002 election. Guerriero, formerly Swift's Deputy Chief of Staff, is openly gay.
bulletJAN-4: VT: Supreme court rejects lawsuit: The Vermont Supreme Court unanimously dismissed two lawsuits brought against the legislation that created civil unions for gays and lesbians in the state. One suit was by a group of town clerks. They charged that they had been forced to violate their religious beliefs by being required to issue civil union certificates to homosexual couples. The other was by some Republican legislators who argued that the vote in the legislature should be nullified because a group of Democratic legislators had organized an informal office pool concerning the voting on the civil union law. The "pot" was about $15.00. The suit argued that the pool gave the participating legislators an economic stake in the outcome of the vote; thus they should have excused themselves from the vote.
bulletJAN-17: CO: Homophobes vandalize church: One or more vandals forced their way into the Columbine United Church in Littleton, CO. Six bottles of bleach were poured over office furniture, carpets and equipment. A marker was used to write messages of hatred against gays and lesbians. The police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
bulletJAN-25: USA: Fundamentalist groups complain about hate-crime literature: Peter LaBarbera, spokesperson of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute, is troubled that the Bush administration has not fully dismantled what they refer to as the "Clinton-Reno hate crimes agenda." Federal government documents on hate-crimes remain available on the Internet and elsewhere. Linda Harvey, spokesperson of  Mission: America is concerned about the Department of Education's  "Safe and Drug-free Schools Program," which, among other things, promotes a safe environment for gays and lesbians free of harassment and violence. She also criticizes the Department of Justice and their procedures to train law enforcement personnel to collect hate crime statistics on gay-bashing. LaBarbera commented: "They're saying that our basic belief system is hateful and prejudicial. Adhering to traditional [Fundamentalist Christian] morality is not prejudice or hate." Mark Cowan of Focus on the Family, reported that the Department of Education did remove one publication, titled "Protecting Students from Harassment and Hate Crimes," after having been contacted by several conservative groups. 3
bulletJAN-28: USA: Democrats promote same-sex benefits: The Fundamentalist Christian group Focus on the Family commented on a decision by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). At their winter meeting, the DNC decided to promote the granting of Social Security benefits to committed same-sex partners. As expected, the reaction of gay-positive groups was positive, because the Democratic proposal would treat all committed couples, whether gay or heterosexual, equally. Also as expected, Fundamentalist Christian groups are opposed:
bulletLaura McGee, spokesperson for the Family Research Council said: "Democrats typically have championed the cause of advancing homosexual policies and practices in the workplace and across cultural divides in this country, and so this is just another advancement of their agenda."
bulletGary Bauer, spokesperson of American Values said: "This is a pernicious movement that can undermine America's foundations, and yet there are few in the political arena or virtually any arena willing to take it on."

Bauer notes that his side of the debate "...all to often seems hesitant, embarrassed and afraid to speak up."  He attributes this to the realization by conservative Christians that they would be seen as intolerant by the American public. 4

bulletFEB-3: USA: Pediatric association recommends gays be allowed to adopt: The American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded an evaluation of studies since 1980 of children in gay and lesbian families. They found that most studies found that children of gay or lesbian parents are as well adjusted socially and psychologically as the children of heterosexual parents. The Academy announced its support on FEB-3 for the right of gay men and lesbians to adopt their partner's children. Currently, three states ban such adoptions, seven states and Washington DC permit them by law or court ruling. Practices vary widely among the remaining states. Legalizing such adoptions benefits the children because it will increase access to health insurance benefits and to Social Security benefits. Dr. Joseph Hagan, chairperson of the Academy's committee on psychosocial aspects of child and family health -- the committee which drafted the policy statement -- said: "This is really about the needs of children." Reaction was as expected:
bulletPatricia M. Logue, spokesperson for the gay-positive Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, welcomed the Academy's statement. She said: "a lot of the problem out there is that people are just not familiar with our families and they operate out of fear."
bulletKenneth Connor, president of the Fundamentalist Christian Family Research Council, said that it is "regrettable that the academy has succumbed to political correctness and has abandoned substantive research." 5
bullet2002-FEB-8: USA: National Education Association adopts pro-gay plan: The NEA's board of directors adopted a plan which includes:
bulletAsking school districts to protect gay and lesbian students and staff from harassment and discrimination.
bulletAsking schools to develop accurate information for classroom discussions of sexual orientations.
bulletEncouraging staff and students to speak up when they see or experience discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The plan was developed by the Task Force on Sexual Orientation that the NEA set up in the fall of 2001. Task Force chairperson, Penny Kotterman, said: "I think it's a pretty clear signal that the organization recognizes there are some pretty serious needs for gay and lesbian children in school -- and employees...Staff do need help...They need professional development, they need good, factual data that helps them deal with these issues."  NEA President Bob Chase said "It is clear that, in too many places, students and education employees who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender face a hostile environment." According to the Associated Press: "A study last year by the University of North Carolina estimated that 5 percent to 6 percent of students 17 or younger, or more than 2 million students, are gay, lesbian or bisexual." 6

bulletI write specially to state that the homosexual conduct of a parent -- conduct involving a sexual relationship between two persons of the same gender -- creates a strong presumption of unfitness that alone is sufficient justification for denying that parent custody of his or her own children or prohibiting the adoption of the children of others.

In this case there is undisputed evidence that the mother of the minor children not only dated another woman, but lived with that woman, shared a bed with her, and had an intimate physical and sexual relationship with her. D.H. has, in fact, entered into a "domestic partnership" with her female companion under the laws of the State of California. But Alabama expressly does not recognize same-sex marriages or domestic partnerships. 30-1-19, Ala. Code 1975. Homosexual conduct is, and has been, considered abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature's God upon which this Nation and our laws are predicated. Such conduct violates both the criminal and civil laws of this State and is destructive to a basic building block of society -- the family. The law of Alabama is not only clear in its condemning such conduct, but the courts of this State have consistently held that exposing a child to such behavior has a destructive and seriously detrimental effect on the children. It is an inherent evil against which children must be protected.

bullet2002-FEB-28: NARTH sends letters to school superintendents: The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a very small, professional organization of therapists who advocate the use of reparative therapy to convert homosexuals to heterosexuality. The larger professional associations warn against such therapy as useless and potentially dangerous.  NARTH has sent a letter to over 15,000 school superintendents, promoting their belief that individuals can change their sexual orientation. 7

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Sponsored link:

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References:

  1. "Bush Praised for Signing Bill Including Domestic Partner Benefits: Historic Measure Gives Same-Sex Couples Access to Health Benefits, Says HRC," at: http://www.gaywired.com/
  2. "Saudi court beheads three gays," at: http://www.covenantnews.com/ (This is a temporary listing).
  3. Mark Cowan, "Govt. Urged to Pull Pro-Gay Materials," at: http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/
  4. Charles MiVille, "Democrats Push Same-Sex Benefits," at: http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/
  5. Erica Goode, "Group backs gays' rights to adoption. Partner's children deserve security, medical panel says," New York Times, at: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/
  6. Greg Toppo, "NEA OKs Resolution to Protect Gays," Associated Press, 2002-FEB-8. at: http://www.newsday.com/news/
  7. Chrales MiVille, "Mailing Counters Pro-Gay Propaganda," Focus on the Family, at: http://www.family.org/cforum/fnif/

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Notice:

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. sec 107: The news items contained in the above hyperlinks are provided without profit by the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance, PO Box 27026, Kingston ON Canada K7M 8W5, and are intended to be available to anyone interested in the topics included, for educational purposes only. Any editor, author, Webmaster, writer, publisher, news service, etc. that objects to being part of this listing may request that future works be excluded. We will also attempt to delete previous entries from the same source.

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Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > News > here

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Copyright 2002 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2002-MAR-3
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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