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Culture shift re: homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.

Events during 2009-OCT illustrating
cultural shifts about sexual minorities

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See additional events during October concerning
homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, etc.

The acronym SSM refers to same-sex marriage;
GLBT refers to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual persons.

Events:

bullet2009-OCT-07: USA: Kevin Jennings appointed to Department of Education: Kevin Jennings founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). It has involved students of all sexual orientations in public schools across the U.S. Individual chapters have been very successful in lowering the level of bullying of GLBT students, and of heterosexual students who have been perceived as GLBT. Jennings has been appointed as Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education for the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. Reaction from religious conservatives was quick:
bulletCitizenLink, a service of Focus on the Family Action has expressed alarm at this appointment, suggesting that Jennings "... could be pushing more homosexuality promotion into our classrooms."
bulletAmerican Family Association wrote in their newsletter that GLSEN "... pushes so-called 'anti-bullying' policies which even GLSEN admits are really about promoting 'affirmation' of homosexual behavior in the school system."
bulletFamily Research Council concluded that "Jennings has shown a disregard for parental rights and for our children's well being, yet he is the President's choice to keep our schools safe!  Safe for sexual predators it would seem!" 1

The mainstream media seem to have ignored his appointment.

bullet2009-OCT-07: ME: Same-sex marriage fight; poll results: A bill legalizing same-sex marriage was signed into law in Maine earlier in 2009. However a petition was successfully raised to prevent its implementation and to require a "citizens' veto" referendum on election day: 2009-NOV-03.

To date we have found three recent public opinion polls taken of Maine voters on the Question 1 referendum. A majority "NO" vote of the referendum would activate same-sex marriage (SSM) in Maine; a "YES" vote would prevent the law legalizing SSM from taking effect.

Using the date in the middle of each poll, results were:

Date during 2009 Poll "NO" (pro SSM) "YES" (anti SSM) Undecided or
no answer
Margin of error
SEP-15 KOS Media 46% 48% 6% ±4%
SEP-25 Greenberg et al. 50% 41% 8% ±3.5%
OCT-04 Omnibus Poll 52% 43% 5% ±4.9%

Even though the margin of error is quite large for each of the polls, there is a suggestion that support for SSM is increasing in the state. More information.

The two sides in the fight over SSM have a war chest totaling about 4.7 million dollars. The Catholic and Protestant Christians fighting on the anti-SSM side have chosen to run a fear-based campaign that does not appear to have much validity. It may backfire on them.
 

bullet2009-OCT-17: Same-sex marriage discussion breaks Amazon system: On 2009-JUN-21, Astrin Ymris created a new Amazon discussion board to ask the question: "What religious freedoms will be taken away if gay marriage is allowed?" By OCT-17, the number of postings reached 9,999. The next posting caused the discussion to fail, apparently because the system cannot handle 10,000 or more postings. I suppose that nobody at Amazon ever thought that postings on a discussion group would ever grow that large.

According to the claims of a few persons promoting marriage equality, the postings of opponents to SSM had not been able to identify a single lost freedom, except the freedom to live in a country that reserves marriages and the benefits of marriage to opposite-sex couples. The discussion has since been restarted and is continuing to be popular.
 
bullet

2009-OCT-22: Federal hate crime bill passes Congress: After a decade-long year battle, the bill has passed the federal House and Senate on 2009-OCT-22. President Obama has vowed to sign it into law by the end of the month. It will protect every person in the U.S. from being the victim of a hate crime in eight separate ways, on the basis of their:
bullet

Race,

bullet

Color,

bullet

Religion,

bullet

National origin,

bullet

Gender, whether female, male or intersexual,

bullet

Disability,

bullet

Sexual orientation, whether they be bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual, and

bullet

Gender identity, whether they be transgender or cis-gendered

More details
 

bullet

2009-OCT-22: Resource Center for LGBT elders to be established: Health and Human Services announced a Administration on Aging grant to establish a resource center for older LGBT persons. HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the center "... will provide information, assistance, and resources for both LGBT organizations and mainstream aging services providers at the state and community level to assist them in the development and provision of culturally sensitive supports and services." The Human Rights Campaign -- America's largest group advocating equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations  -- has welcomed the Resource Center, believing that LGBT elders "... face significant discrimination from senior care providers." More info.
 

bullet

2009-OCT-28: President Obama signed the hate crimes bill into law: The law will help protect every person in the U.S. from being the victim of a hate crime in eight separate ways, on the basis of their:

bullet

Race,

bullet

Color,

bullet

Religion,

bullet

National origin,

bullet

Gender, whether female, male or intersexual,

bullet

Disability,

bullet

Sexual orientation, whether they be bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual, and

bullet

Gender identity, whether they be transgender or cis-gendered

This is the very first federal civil rights law to benefit GLBT persons.

More information.

Site navigation:

Home > Homosexuality > Status > Acceptance > here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Status > Acceptance > here

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today. 

  1. "Alert," Family Research Council," read on 2009-OCT-07, at: http://www.frc.org/
  2. Jim Brown, "Gov't springs for older LGBT population," OneNewsNow, 2009-OCT-23, at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/

Copyright © 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initial posting: 2009-OCT-07
Latest update: 2009-OCT-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

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