NEWS ITEMS AFFECTING GAY, LESBIANS & BISEXUALS
2007 - April, May, & June
In the following, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."
News during 2007-April:
||2007-APR-12: USA: Hate Crimes legislation in House: H.R. 1592,
the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, (LLEHCPA)
is moving quickly. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on
APR-17. A sub-committee markup is scheduled on APR-18. The following week
will probably see the bill approved by the full committee and moved to the
House for a vote.
The law augments the present federal hate crimes law by adding gender,
sexual orientation, sexual identification, and disability as protected
classes. Some religious conservatives are fighting the bill because they
feel it will criminalize religious speech that deals with homosexuality.
Rev. Lou Sheldon of the traditional values coalition wrote:
"Under the cover of fighting so-called 'hate crimes,' H.R. 1592 will
be used to fund anti-Christian, pro-homosexual/drag queen materials for
children and divert scarce federal resources away from fighting
Islamic terrorism." 1
||b2007-MAY: USA: Gallup releases poll on
American attitudes towards homosexuality: Gallup released the results of
its latest poll. They indicate that support for equal rights for gays and
lesbians are "... at the high-water mark
of attitudes recorded over the past three decades. There is still
considerable public opposition to complete equality for gays, particularly
with respect to marriage." When asked if they thought same-sex
relationships should be legal, 43% were in favor in the 1977 poll; 60%
favored recognition in 2007. When asked about the morality of homosexual
behavior, 40% said these relationships were moral in 2001; this compares
with 47% this year. When asked their opinion on the
cause of homosexual orientation, 42% currently believe it is inborn; 35%
believe it is due to parenting, upbringing and environment. 2
||2007-MAY-11: India: Canadian diplomats
refused status: India has refused to grant diplomatic spousal status to
two Canadian diplomats because of their sexual orientation. According to the
Calcutta Telegraph, two spouses married to Canadian diplomats -- one gay
and the other lesbian -- were refused status. In India, same-sex activities
are a serious crime punishable by life sentences.
||2007-MAY-31: New Hampshire: A civil
unions bill has been signed into law. It takes effect on 2008-JAN-01. More
||2007-JUN-05: CA: Bill AB 43 passes the California State Assembly:
The "Religious Freedom
and Civil Marriage Protection Act" was introduced by Assemblymember
Mark Leno on 2006-DEC-04. It passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on
2007-APR-10 and was approved by the California State Assembly by a vote of 42 to
34 on JUN-05. If passed, it would change the marriage law in the state so that
any loving committed couple -- opposite-sex or same-sex -- could marry. The
bill will now proceed to the Senate. If passed, it would undoubtedly be
vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
2007-JUN-14: MA: By an overwhelming vote of 151 to 45, lawmakers in a
joint session of the Massachusetts legislature defeated the proposed
constitutional amendment to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Only
50 votes (25% of the legislators) had been needed to place it on the 2008
ballot. Supporters of restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples believed
that they had 57 votes against marriage equality. House Speaker Salvatore F.
DiMasi, Senate President Therese Murray, and Governor Deval Patrick -- along
with gay rights activists -- intensely lobbied about a dozen representatives
and senators who had previously supported the amendment but who indicated
that they were open to changing their positions. The next ballot opportunity
for religious and social conservatives to defeat marriage equality in the
state will not be until 2012. More info.
||2007-JUN-23: Canada: Anglican Church
debates blessing same-sex relationships: Considerable anxiety is being
expressed within the worldwide Anglican Communion over a decision by one
diocese of the Anglican Church of Canada to allow clergy to bless committed
same-sex relationships in some of its parishes. On JUN-21, at the church's
General Synod, an amendment to a resolution was defeated; it would have
required a church-wide moratorium on blessing such relationships. On JUN-23,
a motion to require 60% approval by delegates on matters relating to the
blessing of same-sex relationships was defeated. Only a simple majority is
now needed. A motion to refer the matter for more study was defeated. Debate
was halted late on JUN-23; a motion to continue debate was defeated.
Discussion will resume on JUN-24.
Even if the blessing of same-sex relationships is permitted by this Synod,
same-sex couples will not be able to be married in the church as
opposite-sex couples are. More details.
||2007-JUN-24: Canada: Bishops of the Anglican
Church veto blessing bill: The church door was slammed in the face of
same-sex couples when a key resolution was approved by comfortable margins
by both lay and clergy delegates but rejected by the bishops. Clergy voted
63 to 53 in favor; lay delegates voted 78 to 59 in favor. But the House of
Bishops voted narrowly against the motion: 21 to 19. Since motions require
approval by each of the three orders, it did not pass.
The resolution read:
"That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any
1. with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop, and
2. in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the
will of the parish,
to authorize the blessing of committed same-sex unions."
Loving, committed same-sex couples will continue to have their
relationship unrecognized by the Church until at least the next General Synod
in 2010. 4 More details
||2007-JUN-28: Sweden: Legislation planned to
legalize SSM: "Gender neutral" marriage legislation is expected to be
introduced by the Swedish government. Their target date for achieving
marriage equity is 2008-JAN. More details.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Rev. Lou Sheldon, "Pro-homosexual/drag queen bill on fast track in House
of Representatives," tvc-national newsletter, 2007-APR-12.
"Public Evenly Divided Over Morality Of Homosexual
Behaviors." Traditional Values Coalition, 2007-MAY-31, at:
- "India won't give diplomatic status to same-sex spouses," The Toronto
Star, 2007-MAY-11, Page A6.
- "Blessing of same-sex unions defeated," ACC Web News, 2007-JUN-24.
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
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interested in the topics included, for educational purposes only. Any
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Copyright © 2007 by the Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2007-APR-12
Latest update: 2007-JUN-30
Compiler: B.A. Robinson