Culture shift re:
homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.
Events during 2009-NOV illustrating
cultural shifts about sexual minorities
The acronym SSM refers to same-sex marriage;
GLBT refers to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual persons.
||2009-NOV-03: Election day: Referenda in Maine, Washington state and
There are at least three referenda of interest to the LGBT community:|
||Maine: A bill legalizing same-sex marriage was passed by the
legislature and signed into law. Proposition 1 was organized to give Maine
voters the ability to exercise a public veto to repeal the law.
At 9:54 PM ET on election day, results from only 132 of 605 precincts
reporting were encouraging:
||No (in favor of marriage equality) 56,659 or 50.62%
||Yes (opposed to marriage equality) 55,267 or 49.38%
But by 2:05 AM on NOV-04, with 87% of the precincts reporting, results
had turned against same-sex marriage:
||No (in favor of marriage equality) 238,585 or 47.25%
Yes (opposed to marriage equality) 266,324 or 52.75% 1
Washington State win: The legislature and governor passed an enhanced domestic
partnership law which gave same-sex couples all of the state benefits that had previously been a
special privilege of opposite-sex married couples. Conservative Christian
groups mounted Referendum R-71 to repeal the law. R-71 appears to have
been approved. with massive support in major urban counties in the Northwest
of the state and massive opposition in rural counties in the rest of the
state. The vote was 509,673 (51.1%) to 487,808 (48.9%) |
If the vote is certified, loving, committed same-sex couples would still be
unable to marry. However, if registered as domestic partners, they would
receive all of the state rights and privileges given to married couples. The
larger prize -- over 1,000 federal benefits -- remains currently out of
reach due to the federal DOMA law. 3
Kalamazoo, MI: Citizens voted on whether to add protections on the basis
of sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's nondiscrimination
ordinance. By 21:17 ET, and all but the absentee ballots counted, the
ordinance 1856 appears to have been approved. Partial vote count is 6,463 in
favor and 3,527 opposed. Janice Brown, "Yes on Ordinance 1856/One
Klamazoo" Steering Committee member said:|
"I am elated with the outcome of the election. This vote reinforces what our
campaign set out to prove -- that our fellow residents of Kalamazoo share
the belief that all people should be treated fairly and equally, including
gay and transgender people."
Rev. Matt Laney, Pastor of the First Congregational Church, said:
"Kalamazoo is a great place to live and the passage of Ordinance 1856 makes
the city an even better place. I am proud to live in a city that recognizes
that all people deserve fairness and respect."
The campaign had the endorsement of over 30 local religious, social,
business and political organizations. 2
2009-NOV-12: ON Canada: Catholic priest to
marry same-sex partner: Father Karl Clemens, now approaching 70
years-of-age had served in the Kingston ON diocese for 33 years, then moved to
Toronto in the mid 1990s to advocate for that city's gay and lesbian
community. He plans to get married his partner "Nick" on Saturday, NOV-14. He
believes that he will be the first Catholic priest to marry a man in Canada
and perhaps in all of North America. He said:|
"I'm not doing it to start a revolution, but if people want to exercise their
right, and so forth, that's terrific. ... I'm leading the way -- or pioneering
as it were -- in something that I think is very important. It's a human right.
... There will be Catholics who feel, because of thei lack of understanding,
that this is a very wrong thing and therefore will not be pleased. But those
are consequences we have to be willing to deal with because we feel strongly
about the issue at hand, which is the right to be able to enter into same-sex
2009-NOV-14: North America: Amazon lists best
book for 2009: Amazon.com lists the best books of the year annually. For
2009, they include a list of "Editors' Picks" by category and "Customers'
Favorites" by category. In both cases, they have 22 categories listed
from "Arts & Photography" to "Teens". Included is a category for "gay and
lesbian" but none for "religion" or "spirituality." 5
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"Maine Vote 2009," Bangor Daily News, 2009-NOV-03, at:
"Bilerico," "Kalamazoo residents approve nondiscrimination ordinance,"
Pam's House Blend, 2009-NOV-03, at:
"Elections: November 3,2009," Washington Secretary of State, 2009-NOV-04,
- Bryn Weese, "Catholic priest will be first to marry same-sex partner,"
Kingston Whig Standard, 2009-NOV-12, Page 9.
Amazon's website is at:
Copyright © 2009 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initial posting: 2009-NOV-03
Latest update: 2009-NOV-14
Author: B.A. Robinson