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Religious Tolerance logo

News of religious/ethical change, conflict and/or intolerance


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We also have a list of religious tolerance & information news for this month.
Sad to say, these are usually much shorter lists.


  • 2008-NOV-04: CA: Prop 8 narrowly passes: As of 2008-NOV-04 at 10:30 ET, the day after voting day, with all of the precincts reporting:

    • 52.5% of voters approved Prop 8
    • 47.5% were opposed.

    Chip White, the press secretary for the Yes on 8 campaign, said: "The momentum has really been with us."

    Jose Ronni Pahl, with her wife Hannah, were one of the first same-sex couples married in Santa Clara County. She said:
    "It's bittersweet right now because we just watched the first African-American president elected. We were watching it with our African-America son, there were tears coming out of our eyes, and we went to look at what's happening at 8. We're speechless right now."

    Some commentators attribute the win on Prop 8 to fear tactics used by its promoters. They invested over 30 million dollars in advertising campaigns and ran TV ads claiming that if SSM were allowed to continue, churches that refused to marry same-sex couples would lose their tax exempt status and that students in grade 3 would be taught about SSM.

    A court challenge to Prop 8 is expected.

    Meanwhile, state constitutional bans on SSM appear to be winning in Arizona and Florida. The status of an Arkansas measure that would prevent unmarried couples from adopting children or being foster parents is unknown. This measure mainly targets same-sex couples. 1,2,3,4

  • 2008-NOV-20: World: UN passes resolution against death penalty: A resolution passed at the United Nations General Assembly that affirmed a 2007 measure. Both asked all governments to establish a moratorium on executions "with a view to abolish the death penalty." It passed with 105 members in favor, 48 against and 31 abstentions. The United States, China, Iran, North Korea and Sudan all took a pro-death stance by objecting to the resolution. This places the U.S. in interesting company, with the world's most vicious dictatorships that have a proven record of contempt for human rights  5

  • 2008-NOV-21: Germany: Germany abandons attempts to ban Scientology:  During 2007-DEC, Federal and State interior ministers asked the country's domestic intelligence agency to determine whether the Church's status as an organization could be challenged.  Scientology is recognized as an organization but not as a religion in Germany.

    A 2007 annual report of a German group that tracks extremism reported that Scientology "seeks to reduce or deny basic constitutional and human rights, such as the right to human dignity, the right to self-fulfillment and the right to equal treatment."

    However, the country's intelligence agency failed to find sufficient evidence of illegal activity to make a case against Scientology.

    Erhart Koerting, Berlin's top security official, said:  
    "This organization pursues goals — through its writings, its concept and its disrespect for minorities — that we cannot tolerate and that we consider in violation of the constitution. But they put very little of this into practice. The appraisal of the government at the moment is that [Scientology] is a lousy organization, but it is not an organization that we have to take a hammer to." 6
  • 2008-NOV-25: FL: Ban on adoption by same-sex couples found unconstitutional: A child welfare judge in Florida declared the state's 31 year-old ban on adoption by homosexuals unconstitutional after a lengthy four day hearing in which decades of psychological and sociological studies were studied. Miami-Date Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman approved the adoption of two half brothers, aged 4 and 8 by Frank Gill, a gay man who had raised them as foster children for the past four years. She wrote:
    "John and James left a world of chronic neglect, emotional impoverishment and deprivation to enter a new world, foreign to them, that was nurturing, safe, structured and stimulating, They are a family, a good family, in every way except the eyes of the law." 7

References used:

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

  1. Mike Swift, "Early returns show voters favoring Prop 8," Mercury News, 2008-NOV-04 @ 8:00 PM PST, at: http://www.mercurynews.com/
  2. David Crary, "Massachusetts voters reject income tax repeal," Associated Press, 2008-NOV-04.
  3. Tamara Audi et al., "California votes for Prop 8," Wall Street Journal, 2008-NOV-05, at: http://online.wsj.com/
  4. "Election Night Results," CA Secretary of State, at: http://vote.sos.ca.gov/ 
  5. News item, the Toronto Star, 2008-NOV-21, Page AA2.
  6. Michael Fischer, "Germany drops attempt to ban Scientology," Associated Press, 2008-NOV-25, at: http://www.google.com/
  7. Carol Marbin Miller, "Judge strikes down Florida ban on adoption by gay parents," McClatchy Newspapers, 2008-NOV-26, at:  http://news.bostonherald.com/

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Copyright © 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2008-NOV-05
Latest update: 2008-NOV-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

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