Want a more thoughtful, smarter approach to sexuality and culture? Tune in on some Sundays at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific.

10 Terrified States Want Gay Marriage Ban to Stand in California – Los Angeles News – The Informer

Posted: September 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Anti-gay lawyers have their heads so far up their asses they're unable to produce substantive arguments against GLBT rights. Either unwilling or unable to acknowledge that homophobia is a losing trial strategy, attorneys general from 10 States including Wyoming, Florida, and Michigan filed an amicus brief in favor of upholding California's Prop 8 despite an earlier ruling declaring it unconstitutional.

As Patrick Range McDonald observes, among the knuckle-headed officials' arguments is tired old rhetoric linking same-sex marriage with bestiality: "If public affirmation of anyone and everyone's personal love and commitment is the single purpose of marriage, a limitless number of rights claims could be set up that evacuate the term marriage of any meaning." To anyone with half a brain, this kind of argument should be as silly as it is offensive.

Read brief source…


Judge lifts Prop. 8 stay – gay marriages on hold

Posted: August 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Last week, Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional for the should-be-obvious reason that it's an anti-gay discrimination bill. Proponents' arguments that the ruling "jeopardizes the democratic process" are forgetting that human rights aren't a democratic process, but unalienable rights that American law protects. Nevertheless, that's the argument they're using in a rambling appeal to Walker’s ruling filed before the ruling was announced.

After the ruling Judge Walker issued a stay, preventing same-sex marriages from resuming until August 18. The ban's supporters quickly appealed that ruling as well, and as the deadline quickly approaches they've become ever more anxious for a new panel of 3 Ninth-Circuit Judges, Edward Leavy, Michael Hawkins and Sidney Thomas, to extend Judge Walker's stay order. They still have no reason other than fear as to why, though.

Read brief source…


COSTA RICA : Gays Unite Against Referendum on Civil Unions – IPS ipsnews.net

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Religious groups in Costa Rica have collected 150,000 signatures (mostly at Christian places of worship) petitioning the government to put a proposed law banning same-sex civil unions to popular vote, rather than have it decided by the legislature. Discussion of passing a same-sex civil union law has been ongoing in the predominantly Catholic nation since 2006.

Alexandra Loría, one of 4 lawyers who began the petition, said the referendum was timed to coincide with municipal elections and would therefore likely get a high voter turnout. She rejects opponents' arguments that the referendum is an attempt to violate human rights. "It is about human rights, which cannot be left in the hands of a group of homophobic Catholics," Ombudswoman Ofelia Taitelbaum said, adding "we are completely against" it. Meanwhile, the Costa Rican Coalition of Sexual Diversity Organisations and Groups (CONODIS) campaigns against it, and says it will take the legal fight to international courts, if it must.

Read brief source…


Little Women: Early puberty and what it means for girls

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

No one denies children are entering puberty at younger and younger ages but, predictably, many deny the obvious ways to prepare them before and help them through the transition. As Melanie Abrahams writes, "In the spirit of 'protecting girlhood,' there’s been a lot of brouhaha over naming the culprit of early physical maturation of girls, with both obesity and environmental factors under scrutiny. But instead of pointing fingers, we need to face the facts and focus on the changing needs of girls in our lives and around the world." She goes on to offer suggestions few others have the ovaries to do.

"One of the most obvious things we need to offer to girls is early, age-appropriate, and comprehensive sexuality education. Regardless of when they hit puberty, children should know about their bodies and their rights. … Further, early puberty illuminates the crucial need to fight child marriage on a global scale." Amen at that! "[We can't] afford to simply stick our heads in the ground."

Read brief source…


High court upholds Mexico City same-sex marriage law – LGBTQ Nation

Posted: August 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

The tides are turning, and same-sex marriage is a reality. While yours truly are politically opposed to government-sanctioned "marriage" and believe the rights it grants should be legal as opposed to religiously-influenced unions in each and every case, we acknowledge the reality that the world simply doesn't function that way—at least not yet.

And that's why we're thrilled to hear that just one day after the defeat of "Proposition Hate" in California, Mexico's Supreme Court rejected the conservative federal government's challenge to a landmark law legalizing same-sex marriage back in March with a resounding 8-2 ruling. The fact is, that while marriage is largely an outmoded institution, the sentiments, feelings, and yes, the legal rights it grants to the people who want it are necessary, important, and honorable. Denying basic sentimentality of mutual love to anyone—for any reason—is shamefully fear-filled. So we say good for you, Mexico. And therefore, good for us all.

Read brief source…


KTAR.com – AZ gay marriage ban in trouble?

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Following the victory against "Proposition Hate" in California, conservatives across America are preparing to defend local challenges to their home State's bigoted bans on same-sex marriage. In Arizona, where a similar law bans gay men and lesbians from marrying their partners, GLBT activists marched to the federal courthouse in downtown Phoenix in celebration, hopeful that "the beginning of the end to discrimination" is near. "While I find marriage equality incredibly important, I think there are a lot of other issues equally important to our community," marcher Pam Weir said. "But, marriage is something that's easily accessible by the entire nation that will pave the way for all of our other rights to come through."

Lawyers at the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative law firm, say overturning Prop 8 "jeapardizes the democratic process." In reality, it's a victory against tyranny of the majority. (Watch source video from 1:52 for local report.)

Read brief source…


Judge strikes down Prop. 8, allows gay marriage in California – latimes.com

Posted: August 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians,” Judge Vaughn Walker wrote in his decision overturning Proposition 8, the controversial ban on same-sex marriage in California. He concluded that the measure, approved with voter ballot by a slim margin of 52.3%, “fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. … Because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”

Supports of “Proposition Hate” repeatedly used “think of the children”-style arguments in testimony at the 2 and a half week trial.

Read brief source…


Gay Couples Sue Hawaii | News | Advocate.com

Posted: July 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Four lesbian couples and two gay male couples are suing the State of Hawaii in an effort to obtain "the equivalent rights and responsibilities of marriage, just weeks after Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a civil unions bill passed by the state legislature," The Advocate reports. "The suit does not seek marriage rights…. Rather, it seeks equal rights and responsibilities for same-sex couples who currently are offered limited protections known as reciprocal beneficiary arrangements, available to adults who cannot marry under state law." Equal rights include access to health care and family court where the frequent deferral to the State's definition of marriage cause partners of gays and lesbians to be denied health coverage or fair resolution of issues like alimony, property division, and child custody.

"What is the excuse for withholding these other important protections?" asked Lambda Legal national marriage project director Jennifer C. Pizer. Two of the plaintiff couples have children.

Read brief source…


DOMA decisions released (ruled unconstitutional by federal court judge)

Posted: July 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

"In an enormous victory for same-sex marriage, a federal judge in Boston today (Thursday, July 8) ruled, in two separate cases, that a critical part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional," Lisa Keen reports. "Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that Congress violated the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when it passed DOMA and took from the states decisions concerning which couples can be considered married," and he also ruled that "DOMA violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment."

The ruling is expected to be appealed at the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Tauro took only 2 months to decide that "there was no justifiable reason to the federal government to treat same-sex couples [differently]." According to a report by Denise Lavoie, Nancy Gill, a plaintiff in the suit against DOMA, said she is "thrilled" with the decisions.

Read brief source…


Google to Add Pay to Cover a Tax for Same-Sex Benefits – NYTimes.com

Posted: July 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

"On Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay," Tara Siegel Bernard reports. Google says its own employees—they call themselves Gayglers—brought up the issue. "On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage." That doesn't sound fair to many people, who see Google's move as compensating for the federal government's failure to guarantee equal socioeconomic standing for GLBT employees.

Some other companies, including Cisco, Kimpton Hotels, and the Gates Foundation already do this, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Of course, the anti-gay Christian group Focus on the Family isn't happy, saying a reverse discrimination lawsuit could be forthcoming since Google's policy excludes heterosexual couples.

Read brief source…