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

Judge lifts Prop. 8 stay – gay marriages on hold

Posted: August 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Judge lifts Prop. 8 stay – gay marriages on hold

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…


Captain Jonathan Hopkins, West Point Grad, Hero, Fired By DADT – Lez Get Real

Posted: August 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Captain Jonathan Hopkins, West Point Grad, Hero, Fired By DADT – Lez Get Real

For 9 years, Captain Jonathan Hopkins studied, trained, and served the military as an unquestionably outstanding serviceman. "Hopkins graduated #4 out of 901 commissioned officers in West Point’s Class of 2001, where he was also ranked #1 militarily," Melanie Nathan writes. But regardless of his exemplary record, heroic service, and unequaled dedication to the military, he was honorably discharged this week because he is gay. He says that his commanding officers were "almost seemed like they regretted having to" discharge him.

On The Rachel Maddow Show, Hopkins spoke frankly about life in the military under DADT. "Judging people based on their performance is what has always mattered in the military, whether we were overturning segregation, or integration of women, or with this issue. That's what matters to keeping soldiers alive." Hopkins says he will be doing what he can to help repeal the "self-destructive" policy.

Read brief source…


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

Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on COSTA RICA : Gays Unite Against Referendum on Civil Unions – IPS ipsnews.net

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: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Little Women: Early puberty and what it means for girls

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: , , , , , | Comments Off on High court upholds Mexico City same-sex marriage law – LGBTQ Nation

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: , , , , , | Comments Off on KTAR.com – AZ gay marriage ban in trouble?

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…


Federal judge blocks elimination of domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian Arizona state employees | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News

Posted: July 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Federal judge blocks elimination of domestic partner benefits for gay and lesbian Arizona state employees | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News

Arizona, in its shining, enlightened governance, has been temporarily blocked from enacting "a provision eliminating domestic partner health benefits for gay state employees…while retaining spousal health benefits for heterosexual workers" introduced in September "as part of a last-minute budget deal." In his ruling, Judge John W. Sedwick wrote, "there is 'an inherent inequality' in allowing some employees to participate fully in the State's health plan, while expecting other employees to rely on other sources, such as private insurance or Medicaid."

State attorney Charles Grube argued "maintaining the same benefits for gay employees that their heterosexual co-workers will continue to receive would endanger other state services." Y'know, just like how the Catholic Church can't offer benefits for anybody if gays can marry.

Read brief source…


French National Assembly approves ban on face veils – latimes.com

Posted: July 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on French National Assembly approves ban on face veils – latimes.com

In what I hope will be judged by history as one France's most idiotic moves ever, "The French lower house of Parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing face-covering veils in a public place," Alison Culliford reports. "[T]he ban would affect only an estimated 1,900 of the millions of Muslim women in France," like Kenza Drider, an outspoken critic who said, "The government can accept my decision or not, I am not an outlaw. If I’m fined by the police, I will take it to human rights in the name of my freedom."

French politicians are calling the ban a victory for "values of freedom against all the oppressions which try to humiliate individuals." Y'know, like the freedom to choose one's own clothing. If the new ban survives a test of constitutionality, wearing a veil (a niqab) and "covering one's face in a public place will be subject to a fine of about $185 or community service."

Read brief source…


‘What Would You Do If a Gay or Lesbian Were In Your Shower?’ and Other Pentagon Survey Questions – Political Punch

Posted: July 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘What Would You Do If a Gay or Lesbian Were In Your Shower?’ and Other Pentagon Survey Questions – Political Punch

The Pentagon angered GLBT groups by spending $4.5 million on a survey they called "insulting" and "derogatory." In the survey, questions are "repeatedly phrase[d]…in terms of 'if' the repeal happens," Jake Tapper writes, despite Obama's announcements that the only question is when.

One "question asks troops 'If [DADT] is repealed and you had onbase housing and a gay or lesbian Service member was living with a same sex partner onbase, what would you most likely do?' Options range from 'I would get to know them like any other neighbors' to 'I would probably move offbase.'" Servicemembers United, a lobbying group, says "In questions about how the belief that a coworker was gay or lesbian impacted the unit's morale, the 'question and its accompanying answer choices…suggest a negative impact on morale. No options are given to express a belief in a positive impact on morale.'"

Read brief source…