In this web site, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."
News of 2007-July:
2007-JUL-17: USA: American Psychological Association reviewing
policies: A six-membertask force of the APA held its first
session to review its 10-year-old policy concerning the counseling of gays
and lesbians -- commonly called reparative therapy
or conversion therapy. Gay-positive groups hope that the task force
will conclude that any attempt to change a person's sexual orientation is
futile. Many dozens of conservative religious leaders from groups such as
the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family have written a joint
letter to the APA expressing concern about homosexuals whose religious faith
condemn same-sex sexual activity. More details.
2007-JUL-22: WA: Domestic Partnerships
become available: Same-sex couples can register as domestic partners and
receive five rights out of the 400 or so previously granted only to married
couples in Washington state. Unmarried opposite-sex couples where one is 62 years of age or
older can also register. More details. Almost five years later, in 2012-FEB, a bill is being processed through the state legislature to legalize same-sex marriage.
2007-AUG-11: TX: Church reneges on offer to hold funeral: The
High Point mega-church in Arlington TX offered to host the funeral of Cecil
Sinclair, 46, who was a brother of an employee and member of the church.
Cecil was a Navy veteran who served in Desert Storm and was a member of the
Turtle Creek Chorale. He did not belong to a church. The High Point
Church subsequently found out that Cecil was gay, and that a multi-media
presentation at his funeral was to include photographs of him and his
same-sex partner doing what couples sometimes do: kiss and hug. The
Dallas Morning News reported:
"Nobody from the church called her or Mr. Sinclair's partner, Paul
Wagner, to discuss possible changes to the service, Ms. Bowers said. 'We
could have reached a compromise,' she said. 'That was never attempted.'
At least some theological questions could have been worked out, she
said. For instance, the family was willing to allow the church to issue
an "altar call" asking people to accept Jesus at the end of the service.
But it's not clear where the two sides could have found common ground on
the central issue. High Point Church opposes homosexuality, and there
was no way the church could host a service that appeared to endorse it,
[Rev. Gary] Simons said. 'Can you hold the event and condone the sin and
compromise our principles?' he said. "We can't. ...
"... that kind of reaction is all too familiar to survivors of
the AIDS onslaught of the 1980s, said Ed Young, a charter member of the
Turtle Creek Chorale. Back then, having churches turn down funerals of
gay men was not uncommon, he said. "It may be surprising to younger
gays, because most gays think that doesn't happen any more," he said.
"But it's still there."
Was there a way to avoid this conflict? 'I don't know if there is any
way to prevent something like that,' Mr. Simons said. 'Whenever there is
a matter of principle involved, each side thinks that it is right'."
2007-AUG-23: VT: Same-sex marriage being studied for Vermont: Tom
Little (R) is chairing the Commission on Family Recognition and
Protection. They are studying whether marriage in Vermont should be
expanded to include loving, committed same-sex couples. They held their
first meeting on 2007-AUG-23 and dealt with administrative issues, like the
organization of public meetings.
Opponents of same-sex marriage have
allegedly decided to boycott the public meetings:
Stephen Cable, president of Vermont Renewal, said "As a
result of their actions and refusal to address the issues we have
raised, we are asking Vermonters to boycott the hearings and pay no
attention to the [commission's] report."
Craig Benson, founder of Take It to the People, promotes a
plebiscite on same-sex marriage. He said: "This political farce is a
waste of taxpayer's time, attention and tax money. This is the left
having a dialogue with the far left while everyone else is left out."
3 More details.
2007-AUG-28: ID: Republican senator charged
with lewd conduct in washroom: Three term senator Larry Craig (R-ID), well
known for his anti-homosexual views and voting, was arrested on JUN-11 in a
public washroom at the Minneapolis airport. He pleaded guilty to a lesser
charge involving disorderly conduct. He was fined $575 and given a 10 day
suspended sentence and one year unsupervised probation. He delivered a
speech in Boise claiming that he had done nothing wrong, but was under
stress because he had been "viciously harassed" by the media. He said:
"I am not gay. I never have been gay.... In June, I overreacted
and made a poor decision. I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge
in hopes of making it go away.... Please let me apologize to my
family, friends and staff and fellow Idahoans for the cloud placed
over Idaho. I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport. I did
nothing wrong, and I regret the decision to plead guilty and the
sadness that decision has brought on my wife, on my family, friends,
staff and fellow Idahoans.
The police report described a series of
signals given by Craig that are commonly used by individuals seeking illicit sex.
He allegedly peeked through the door crack of a stall occupied by an
undercover police officer. The report said that:
"At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as
a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig
tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my
foot.... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he
moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot
which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his
hand under the stall divider several times."
Craig is married and has adopted the three
children that his wife, Suzanne, had from her previous marriage. It is
possible that Craig is telling the truth when he claims to not be gay;
he might be bisexual. 4,5 An
audio recording of Senator Craig's arrest in the airport washroom is online.
2007-AUG-29: NJ: Pavilion refuses
permission for civil union on religious grounds: The pavilion in Ocean Grove, New Jersey is
a popular location for wedding ceremonies. Luisa Paster and Harriet
Bernstein of Ocean Grove planned to hold their civil union there.
The pavilion is owned by the Ocean Grove Camp
Meeting Association, a Methodist group. They claim that its
constitutional rights would be violated if it were required to permit
civil unions there, since the recognition of same-sex relationships --
other than as roommates -- conflicts with Methodist doctrine. The couple maintained that the pavilion is a "public
accommodation" because it is open for use to everyone else.
The Association believes that the pavilion is a church. The association
has mounted a case in federal court. 6 The case was resolved in 2012-JAN in favor of the lesbian couple.
2007-AUG-29: IL: Lesbian priest nominated as bishop of Chicago:
The Rev. Tracey Lind has been nominated as one of five finalists for the
post of bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Lind is dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, OH, the author of
"Interrupted by God," and is in a committed relationship with her
partner, Emily Ingall. Episcopal members in the diocese will elect
their new bishop by voting on NOV-10.
6 More details.
2007-AUG-30: IA: Superior court judge rules
that same-sex couples can marry: Judge Robert Hanson ruled that
"The total exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is completely
arbitrary," and "bears no discernable relation to the promotion of
responsible procreation by heterosexual couples." He ordered the county to
accept the marriage license applications of six same-sex couples who have
been in loving, committed same-sex relationships for from 5 to 16 years.
2007-SEP-01: ID: Senator Larry Craig may or
may not resign: Craig announced "It is with sadness and deep
regret that I announce that it is my intent to resign from the Senate,
effective September 30." However, he is fighting
the charge to which he pleaded guilty. If he can make the charge and the
subsequent ethics investigation go away, it is widely believed that he may
choose to not resign.
IN SEP-04, the National Republican
Senatorial Committee said that it would not offer any support to Craig
in a 2008 run for re-election. 9
2007-SEP-10: CA: Senate approves bill legalizing same-sex marriage: The
California Senate approved bill AB-43 by a vote of 22 to 15 to substitute
the term "two persons" for "man and wife" in the state's marriage law. This
would allow all loving committed couples to marry, whether they are of the
opposite-sex or same-sex. All 12 Republicans and three Democrats voted
against the bill. The bill will now go to Governor Schwarzenegger for either
his signature or his veto.
VoteYesMarriage.com is proposing a marriage amendment to the state
constitution that would prohibit same-sex marriage and retain marriage as a
special privilege of opposite-sex couples only. Former Assemblyman Larry
Bowler who supports this amendment told Christian News Service:
"Until the people fund, qualify and pass the
VoteYesMarriage.com amendment, marriage will be threatened with
destruction and eventual extinction. Even Governor Schwarzenegger
and Attorney General Brown have said that the Legislature has the
power to abolish marriage and yank marriage rights from husbands and
2007-SEP-12: Canada: Focus
on the Family Canada accepts validity of same-sex marriage: In what
may be a first for any fundamentalist or other evangelical group in North
America, Focus on the Family Canada appears to have accepted the
validity of same-sex marriage (SSM). Focus and other conservative
religious groups have always been careful to denigrate same-sex marriage by
placing the word marriage or married in quotation marks when it refers to
SSM, as in same-sex "marriage." This reinforces
their assertion that SSM is not really marriage; they consider it a phony
form of quasi-marriage.
However, in their SEP-12 issue of Today's Family News, they mentioned
Statistics Canada new report on family structures in Canada. They conclude
with the statement: "And for the first time, the number of
same-sex married couples will be included."
Note the absence of quotation marks! This is believed to be a first for
Canada among religiously conservative para-church groups; perhaps it is the
first in North America. It only took them about 26 months for them to accept
SSM as real marriage. We congratulate Focus. 11
A couple of weeks later, Focus responded to
our Email. It appears that the lack of quotation marks was an oversight.
2007-SEP-27: USA: The Matthew Shepard act passes the Senate: S.
1105 was passed. A virtually identical House bill was passed on MAY-03 by a
bipartisan vote of 237 to 180. It has been attached to the Department of
Defense authorization bill that is currently before the Senate. 12
2007-SEP-29: Governor vetoes AB-43: As
expected, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoed bill AB-43 which would
have implemented marriage equality in California.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"American Psychological Association Reviews Policy on Counseling Gays and
Lesbians," Associated Press, 2007-JUL-10, at:
Hilary White, "California Senate Votes to Impose Same-Sex 'Marriage' on
State," Life Site News, 2007-SEP-11.
"Canadians still value marriage," Today's Family News, 2007-SEP-12.
"Senate passes the Matthew Shepard Act! One step closer to erasing hate,"
Matthew Shepard Foundation news release, 2007-SEP-27.
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