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News items affecting gays and lesbians

2007 - October, November & December

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Sponsored link.


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In the following, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."

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News during 2007-Oct:

bullet2007-SEP-27: USA: Bill to protect employment gutted: As introduced, the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (ENDA), H.R. 2015, would have protected persons of all sexual orientations and sexual identities from employment discrimination. On 2007-SEP-27, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced that he was introducing new ENDA legislation that would only provide protections on the basis of sexual orientation.

On 2007-OCT-02, Equality Maryland -- an organization promoting equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations and sexual identities issued a newsletter stating:

"Late last week, leadership in the U.S. House abandoned a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) by splitting the legislation into two bills - one for sexual orientation and another for gender identity and expression." 1 More info

bullet2007-OCT-05: ID: Further developments in Senator Craig's situation: Senator Craig (R-ID) unsuccessfully attempted to reverse his guilty plea for disorderly contact in a public washroom at the Minneapolis airport. That charge involved allegations by a police officer that Craig had solicited him for sex. Senator Craig has denied being a homosexual. However, to our knowledge, he has never denied being a bisexual.

He has decided to not resign as originally expected, but to serve out his current term in the Senate.

Mike Jones from Denver, CO who is reported as calling himself a gay escort was responsible for the downfall of evangelist leader Ted Haggard. He has alleged that Senator Craig came to Denver see him in his hotel room. However, he hesitated from making the allegation on air during an interview on the "Bulldog Bill Feingold Show" on KESQ in Palm Desert, CA. A spokesperson at Craig's office said that: "Mike Jones' allegations are completely false." 2
bullet2007-OCT-10: North America: "Dear Abby" columnist supports same-sex marriage:  Jeanne Phillips, a.k.a. Abigail Van Buren, who writes the Dear Abby column, is being given an award by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) because of her support for same-sex marriage." She told the Associated Press:

"I believe if two people want to commit to each other, God bless 'em. That is the highest form of commitment, for heaven's sake."

Stephen Bennett is founder of http://TheParentsGroup.com, a conservative Christian support group for parents, family members and friends of homosexuals. They appear to recommend that gays and lesbians lead celibate lives, rather than enter into loving, committed civil unions or marriages. He commented:

"Sorry 'Dear Abby' - You are WRONG on this one! ... Jeanne Phillips (aka Abby) is opining a lot about how very little she knows. Her using buzz words as 'homophobic' and 'inclusive' and 'judgmental' are to scare people into believing she is 'right.' Homosexual family members need to be loved and be treated with respect, yet going as far out on a limb as Phillips did, is showing FALSE love and is actually harmful. We encourage families to love their 'gay' identified loved ones unconditionally, yet without ever condoning or accepting the behavior." 3

bullet2007-OCT-19: World: J.K. Rowling outs Albus Dumbledore: J.K. Rowling, 42, author of the Harry Potter series of books, started her first tour of the U.S. in seven years with an appearance at Carnegie Hall. She told the audience what some Harry Potter fans had long suspected: that she "... always felt Dumbledore was gay." He is the head of Hogwarts School. According to Rowling, Dumbledore fell in love with Gellert Grindenwald, another wizard. However, Grindenwald became more interested in the dark arts; Dumbledore was "terribly let down" and went on to destroy his rival/love. She said that that love was Dumbledore's "great tragedy. ... Falling in love can blind us to an extent." She said that he had changed the screenplay for the movie version of her sixth book "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." It had referred to Dumbledore's past female lover. She crossed it out and wrote "Dumbledore is gay" over the text. Her audience appears to have gone silent after her statement; then it erupted into applause. Rowling said that if she had know previously that the fans would accept Dumbledore's sexual orientation, she would have revealed her thoughts earlier. 4
bullet2007-OCT-13: ON: Ottawa synod of the Anglican Church of Canada backs blessing SSM: By a wide margin (177 to 97) the delegates passed a motion that would allow a priest, with the prior approval of his parish, to approach the bishop for permission to perform a blessing of a previously solemnized same-sex civil marriage where at least one spouse is baptized. This would give the married couple's parish, their priest, and their bishop separate veto power over each blessing, so that all three would have to be in agreement. However, the actual performance of same-sex marriages would still be banned. That would require agreement at the General Synod level. 5,6,7
bullet2007-OCT-19: QC: Montreal synod also backs blessing same-sex marriages: The synod of the diocese of Montréal voted in favor of a motion to bless existing same-sex marriages. It was worded very similarly to the Ottawa resolution. The clergy delegates to the synod voted 44 to 25 in favor; lay delegates voted 59 to 32. Some of the delegates who opposed the resolution required the synod to make separate tallies for clergy and laity. This forced Bishop Clarke to indicate where he stood. He voted in favor of the motion. 8
bullet2007-OCT-30: Canada: Anglican Church bishops preserve guidelines: The bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada met in London, ON to discuss a range of items. Their discussions were generally open to the public. One discussed "the issue" of homosexuality. However, Bishop Patrick Yu, suffragan (assistant) bishop of Toronto said that he could speak "on several levels [but] not in front of the press." The meeting was then held in secret. The bishops discussed whether to change a pastoral statement issued last spring that instructed clergy that they may celebrate a eucharist and intercessory prayers for a same-sex couple. However, a wedding or blessing of their relationship is forbidden.
bullet2007-OCT-31: KS & PA: Westboro Baptist Church loses court case: ABC News reported that a jury found that the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka KS had intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the family of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder when it demonstrated at his funeral in 2006. The Church protestors had carried signs with messages like "God hates fags" and "Thank God for dead soldiers." Their point is that deaths in the U.S. military are caused by God punishing the country because it tolerates homosexuality. The family was awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages and $8 million in punitive damages. The awards total many times the total assets of the church. 9

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News during 2007-NOV:

bullet2007-NOV-17: ON: Niagara diocese approves blessing of same-sex couples: Three years previously, on 2004-NOV-18, the priests and laity in the synod voted to allow blessings of previously married same-sex couples. The vote was more than 2 to 1 in favor (213 votes to 106). Their bishop, Ralph Spence, later vetoed that motion.

The issue was revisited by the diocese of Niagara in their 2007-NOV meeting. This time, the vote was over 4½ to 1 in favor (239 in favor, 53 opposed; two abstained). Bishop Spence approved the resolution. A blessing would only be done if:

bulletThe couple is married;
bulletAt least one of the couple has been baptized; and
bulletOnly if the priest agrees.

More info.

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News during 2007-DEC:

bullet2007-DEC-13: World: "Buddy G" cartoon: Donna and Margaux are parents of Buddy G. They have created a cartoon series for kids with two moms or two dads. See their home page at: http://www.buddyg.tv/home.php and a cartoon on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/
bullet2007-DEC-10: Canada: Egale Canada: This group "... advances equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-identified people and their families across Canada." They have

"... launched a national student survey to look at homophobia and transphobia in Canadian Schools. The survey targets students in grades 8 through 12 and aims to document the realities of life at school for straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two Spirit, intersex, queer, and questioning (LGBTTIQ) students, including the kids of LGBTTIQ parents.  The information from this survey will provide educators and policy makers with information that will enable them to make Canadian schools safer and more respectful places for our youth. Help us get the word out."

Their survey is available online at www.climatesurvey.ca

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References:

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

  1. "More than 90 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations tell Congress: Don't leave transgender people behind!," The Task Force, 2007-OCT-01, at: http://thetaskforce.org/
  2. Nathan Baca, "Alleged Haggard Escort: 'Sen. Craig visited me," KESQ-TV, 2007-OCT-05, at: http://www.kesq.com/
  3. John-Henry Westen, "First She Backs Abortion and Now "Dear Abby" Supports Homosexual 'Marriage'." LifeSiteNews.com, 2007-OCT-10. at: http://www.lifesite.net/
  4. "JK Rowling says wizard Dumbledore is gay," Reuters, 2007-OCT-20, at: http://news.yahoo.com/
  5. Robert Pigott, "Canada diocese backs gay blessing," BBC News, 2007-OCT=15, at: http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/
  6. Randall Palmer, "New Anglican row emerges with gay blessing request," Reuters, 2007-OCT-15, at: http://africa.reuters.com/
  7. Marites Sison, "Ottawa synod followed process, says primate," Anglican Journal, 2007-OCT-18, at: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/
  8. Harvey Shepherd, "Montreal diocese becomes second to urge same-sex blessings," Anglican Journal, 2007-OCT-20, at: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/
  9. "Jury orders Westboro Baptist Church to pay millions to father of fallen Marine," 2007-OCT-31, ABC News, at: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/

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Notice:

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 Canada K7M 8W5, and are intended to be available to anyone interested in the topics included, for educational purposes only. Any editor, author, Webmaster, writer, publisher, news service, etc. that objects to being part of this listing may request that future works be excluded. We will also attempt to delete previous entries from the same source.

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Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > News > here

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Copyright © 2007 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2007-OCT-03
Latest update: 2007-NOV-23
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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