Culture shift re: homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.
Events during 2009-MAR illustrating
|2009-MAR-01: CA: Lenten retreat concludes for lesbian and gay
Christians: Fr. Jim
Schexnayder, a retired priest of co-founder of the Catholic Association for
Lesbian & Gay Ministry (CALGM) lead a three-day Lenten retreat at the
Vallombrosa Center in Menlo Park, CA. The center is owned by the San Francisco
Roman Catholic archdiocese.
|2009-MAR-01: MA: Enlarged mandate for MassEquality:
states that their mandate is: |
They have enlarged their mandate to include seeking marriage equality in all of the New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in Connecticut and Massachusetts. They have only four states to go. They state:
|2009-MAR-02: CA: Gay-positive play at
Roman Catholic preparatory school: Sacred Heart Preparatory
School in Atherton, CA describes itself as "a Roman Catholic,
independent, coed, college preparatory day school." They are rehearsing a
play "Be Still and Know" which was adapted from a 2007 novel by Alex
Sanchez called "The God Box." The novel won a Lambda Literary Award
from the Lambda Literary Foundation, which describes itself as "... the
country's leading organization for LGBT writers and readers."
|2009-MAR-10: USA: Debate at LivingVote.org:
For some months now, LivingVote.org has been discussing a debate and vote on
same-sex marriage. Their specific question is whether California Prop. 8, that
changed the state constitution to forbid same-sex marriage, should stand or be
overturned. They have broken the question down into a tree of sub-arguments
and counter-arguments. As of this date, the vote is 54% for overturning Prop.
8 and 46% in favor of retaining it. 5|
|2009-MAR-19: World: The Game of Life™ has same-sex marriage option:
This game was created by Mr. Milton Bradley in
1860. A computerized version is available online at Hasbro's Shockwave
website. 6 It guides
players to design a hypothetical path through their future life. Their website provides a
free trial version. As originally written, the game included opposite-sex
marriage or singlehood as options. It has recently been modified to allow the
player to select a third option: same-sex marriage.
WorldNetDaily, an evangelical news source, posted a negative review titled: "Game
for 6-year-olds pushes same-sex marriage." 7 Customer reviewers rate the game
at 4.15 points out of five. The response of media reviewers is mixed.
Conservative religious outlets generally describe the game as "promoting"
same-sex marriage; other outlets tend to refer to providing same-sex marriage
as an "option."|
|2009-MAR-20: VT: Activity in Vermont legislature: On
2000-APR-26, Vermont legalized civil unions and thus became the first state in
the U.S. to formally recognize loving, committed same-sex couples as more than
A bill to legalize SSM unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with a vote of 5 to 0. Sen. Kevin Mullin, (R-Rutland), the lone Republican on the committee may have committed political suicide by voting in favor of the bill.
On 2009-MAR-25, the Senate passed the bill with a vote of 26 to 4. The House is now considering similar legislation.
Also on 2009-MAR-25, Governor Jim
Douglas (R) said that he would veto the bill if it is passed by the House.
However, his veto could be overturned by the state legislature if there is a
2/3 majority in favor of the bill in both the House and Senate. 8
|2009-MAR-27: Japan: Country facilitates SSM abroad: Japan does not allow its loving,
committed same-sex couples to marry. In the past, they have not even been
willing to issue a key document necessary for its citizens to marry in foreign
countries. These documents states that a person is single and of legal age to
marry. By withholding the documents, Japan prevented
its nationals from entering into same-sex marriages. And without being
married, it was impossible to obtain visas for the partners to live together.
A justice ministry official announced on MAR-27 that such documents will now be issued. Taiga Ishikawa, leader of Peer Friends -- a gay support group in Japan -- said: "This is one step forward. Gay Japanese have suffered a disadvantage. ... they should be able to marry in some countries overseas." 9
|2009-MAR-27: USA: McCain strategist endorses
SSM: Steve Schmidt, a Republican, was John McCain's chief political
adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign. In an interview with the
Washington Blade, he expressed his support for marriage equality. He said:
"I am personally supportive of (marriage) equality for gay couples, and I believe it will happen over time. I think that more and more Americans are insistent that, at a minimum, gay couples should be treated with respect ... when they see a political party trying to stigmatize a group of people who are hardworking, who play by the rules, who raise decent families, they?re troubled by it."He believes that the Republican Party has been shrinking in recent years because of its intolerance. He said:
"One of the most tragic things in the world (is) when people are closeted and are denied their sexuality and this incredibly important part of their lives and the destructive potential of that action. I?ve come to believe over time that, as Dick Cheney said, freedom for everybody means freedom for everybody." 10
A common thread running through the stories of many supporters of gay rights is that they have a close gay friend or a homosexual relative. In Schmidt's case, it is his lesbian sister that helped mold his beliefs about same-sex marriage. Schmidt voted against Prop. 8 in California.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Copyright © 2009 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initial posting: 2009-MAR-03
Latest update: 2009-APR-19
Author: B.A. Robinson
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