Reaction to New York, Georgia and Washington decisions, July 2006
What's Next for Marriage?
by Pete Winn, Citizen Link, Focus on the Family, July 27, 2006
The battle to defend traditional marriage may stand at a turning point — but never have we needed a federal constitutional amendment more than now.
Wednesday's momentous decision by the Washington state Supreme Court was the seventh victory on marriage in July — and it leaves pro-family legal analysts pondering where the movement to protect marriage really stands in the aftermath of such good news. Continue
Traditional Marriage Makes Gains Across U.S.
by Wendy Cloyd, Focus on the Family, July 7, 2006
Court victories Thursday in two states have turned the nation's focus back toward protecting marriage — and there is much to be optimistic about.
Even with the highest state courts in New York and Georgia ruling in favor of traditional marriage, as they did Thursday, the battle to defend society's bedrock institution is still being fought in state and federal courtrooms nationwide. Continue
Pro-Family Leaders Praise Ga., NY Courts' Pro-Marriage Rulings
By Bill Fancher and Jenni Parker, AgapePress, July 7, 2006
Pro-family groups are celebrating two court rulings on Thursday in New York and Georgia that turned aside bids by homosexuals to legalize same-sex "marriage." While the Georgia Supreme Court's decision to uphold a referendum result banning homosexual marriage surprised few, many conservatives were both surprised and particularly pleased by the strong, pro-family wording of the New York court's ruling. Continue
The Radicals React
Gary Bauer, American Values, email of July 7, 2006
After New York's highest court rejected efforts to redefine marriage by judicial fiat, the radical Left reacted with extraordinary venom. Today's New York Times features a "news story" that should have been placed on the editorial page. Just consider these opening lines which practically romanticize the homosexual rights movement:
"Nowhere did gay marriage seem like a natural fit more than New York, where the Stonewall uprising of 1969 provided inspiration for the gay rights movement and where a history of spirited progressivism had led some gay couples to envision their own weddings someday.
"Yesterday's court ruling against gay marriage was more than a legal rebuke, then — it came as a shocking insult to gay rights groups."
When has the New York Times ever expressed such concern for the sensitivities of men and women of faith, who regularly receive "shocking insults" from our courts on a host of issues? Later in the same article, the Times noted that Joe Solmonese, president of the nation's largest homosexual rights group, "…said he was surprised that the New York decision connected the rights and responsibilities of marriage to child-bearing." Well, that is after all the fundamental issue, and child-rearing should be the paramount public policy concern.
But the most outrageous statement came from Democrat National Chairman Howard Dean, who yesterday wrote in a press release that the decision "relies on outdated and bigoted notions about families." How's that for a "shocking insult" to anyone who takes Judeo-Christian values or common sense seriously? Dean ought to apologize, but this morning I could find no statement from the other party commending the decision or condemning Dean's comments. I don't understand this silence by those in the political establishment who claim to covet the support of "values voters," the men and women who have run up the score -- 20-to-0 with an average vote of 71% at last count – on state-level marriage protection amendments across the country. Marriage and family are not partisan wedge issues, but winning issues that unite the overwhelming majority of Americans. We know Dean is speaking for the 29%. Is anyone speaking for the 71%?
January 2006 - September 2006
Banned in Boston
The coming conflict between same-sex marriage and religious liberty.
by Maggie Gallagher, The Weekly Standard, May 15, 2006
Gallagher reports on legal experts' views on the effect of marriage equality on religious organizations which oppose it. Marc Stern, counsel for the American Jewish Congress, tells her the big question is whether institutions which advocate and practice discrimination against LGBT individuals would lose their tax exemption. (No one is contending that religious organizations would be punished for refusing to marry a couple.) Go to the article.
Scholars' Conference on Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty
the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, May 2006
On December 15, 2005, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty hosted a private conference of first amendment scholars to assess the religious freedom impacts of legalized same-sex marriage. The result of the day was a series of papers, which are approaching final form, and which will eventually be published by an academic press. Continue
On Religion: Could gay acceptance just be a matter of time?
By Nancy H. McLaughlin, The News-Record (Greensboro, North Carolina), May 13, 2006
Generations to come won't be caught up in whether gay couples can be married or should be covered on a shared health insurance plan, says retired Bishop John Shelby Spong, who wrote the best seller, "Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism." Continue
Looking to Win in November, With a 2-Year-Old Playbook
By Adam Nagourney, New York Times, April 16, 2006
"In 2004, Karl Rove declared that President Bush would win re-election if Republicans turned out millions of religious and other conservative voters who had stayed home in 2000. And they did just that, with the help of voter outreach campaigns, a network of church appeals and state initiatives that would ban gay marriage.
"Yet there is a strong sense among Republicans that the gay rights issue is not as powerful as it once was... Republicans are running out of contested states where such a ballot could qualify and pass, and gay rights groups have been more aggressive in fighting these initiatives as they appear...
"Beyond that, Republican officials said candidates in culturally conservative parts of the country would try to fight efforts to allow stem cell research." Click here for the report
Feingold Announces Support For Gay Marriage
by 365Gay.com, April 4, 2006
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) has come out in favor of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Responding during a constituent meeting to a question about Wisconsin's anti- marriage ballot measure, Feingold said "“The proposed ban on civil unions and marriage is a mean-spirited attempt to divide Wisconsin and I indicated that it should be defeated.” When he finished denouncing the measure, Feingold expressed support for the right of gays and lesbians to marry." Click here for the report
Feingold comes out for gay couples
Sen. Russ Feingold, interview with Advocate.com, April 6, 2006
Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold describes the evolution of his support for marriage equality. "The subject has been coming up in the last couple of years at my town meetings, and I have always looked at people and said, 'You know, I think our society is better off if two people who love each other are together and are married.' I’ve looked right at them and said it. So I just decided to take the next step, given what’s going on in my state, and make it absolutely clear that I oppose this amendment, that this really is a civil rights issue to me." Go to the interview
Same-sex marriage battles escalate
By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY, March 24, 2006
"Gay rights advocates are pushing to legalize same-sex marriage with an unprecedented wave of lawsuits in state courts, while those seeking to ban such unions are gaining ground in state legislatures." Click here for the report.
Poll finds U.S. warming to gay marriage
Opposition off 12% since '04 -- support for adoption, military role is up nationally
By Wyatt Buchanan, The San Francisco Chronicle, March 23, 2006
"Opposition to same-sex marriage dropped sharply across the country during the past two years, though just over half of Americans still oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center released Wednesday." Click here to read the report.
New Marriage Poll Doesn't Tell Whole Story
Media failing to note that 60 percent of Americans still oppose allowing homosexuals to marry
Citizen Link, Focus on the Family, March 24, 2006
"A national poll by the Pew Forum seems to indicate that Americans are weakening in their resolve to defend traditional marriage.... Matt Daniels, director of the Alliance for Marriage, said the poll results aren't really an accurate reflection of Americans' attitudes."
Click here for the article.
Marriage Equality Moves Forward
Evan Wolfson, TomPaine.com, March 29, 2006
Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, "the gay and non-gay partnership for marriage equality nationwide," writes that he was pessimistic about moving American opinion to favor same-sex marriage. Current polling shows majorities of most groups now favorably disposed. Opinion is even moderating in the only group in which a majority strongly opposes marriage equality, white evangelical Protestants. Click here.
IRS Goes After Gay Couples
by Paul Johnson, 365Gay.com, March 2, 2006
"The Internal Revenue Service has begun warning tax preparers, businesses and state governments that same-sex couples legally married in Massachusetts or registered as domestic partners in states such as California and New Jersey must file separate income tax forms." Click here for the report.
“'The opposition to ending discrimination in marriage for gay couples does not turn on how you feel about polygamy,' Wolfson says. 'And the people who bring up polygamy are not ready to end discrimination against gay people anyway. It’s just a diversion.'” Click here for the report.
Federal Court Mulls Classroom Gay Subject Matter
by The Associated Press, February 7, 2007
(Boston, Massachusetts) Officials from a suburban Massachusetts school district asked a federal judge Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two couples who claim their parental rights were violated when homosexuality was discussed in their children's classrooms.
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf did not immediately issue a decision in the case from Lexington, but peppered lawyers on both sides with questions and said he understood the importance of the case to both parents and school administrators.
Tonia and David Parker sued after their 5-year-old son brought home a book from kindergarten that depicted a gay family. David Parker was later arrested for refusing to leave his son's school after officials would not agree to notify him when homosexuality was discussed in his son's class. Continue.
Parents rip school over gay storybook
Lesson reignites clash in Lexington
By Tracy Jan, The Boston Globe, April 20, 2006
"In a controversy with a familiar ring, parents of a Lexington second-grader are protesting that their son's teacher read a fairy tale about gay marriage to the class without warning parents first.
"The teacher at Joseph Estabrook Elementary School used the children's book, King & King, as part of a lesson about different types of weddings. A prince marries another prince instead of a princess in the book, which was on the American Library Association's list of the 10 most challenged books in 2004 because of its homosexual theme." Continue
Massachusetts 2nd-grade teacher reads class 'gay marriage' book
Administrator backs her
Michael Foust, Baptist Press, April 20, 2006
Religious right activists are criticizing a Massachusetts second-grade teacher for reading a book about gay families to her class. According to the article, "conservatives say it is an example of what happens when a state redefines one of society's most important institutions." Click here
Larry King, Janet Parshall, Chad Allen, R. Albert Mohler, and Guy Padgett, Transcript of CNN Larry King Live, January 17, 2006
Larry King's guests include conservative radio host Janet Parshall; openly gay actor Chad Allen, star of "End of the Spear," a movie favored by the religious right; R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Guy Padgett, openly gay former mayor of Casper, Wyoming, the city where Matthew Shepard was murdered for being gay.
Janet Parshall explains her views on gay marriage: "I think when two people of the same sex get together and they decide to use the moniker of a marriage I think it's a grotesque misrepresentation and actually if that union decides that they want to then adopt children because biology says they can create children then I think what you have in many respects is state sanctioned child abuse because you have purposely taken away either a momma or a daddy and mom and dad are both necessary in a child's life."Click here to read the transcript.
Who would Jesus vote for? Meet Sam Brownback
By Jeff Sharlet, Rolling Stone, January 25, 2006
Senator Sam Brownback, the Kansas Republican who, this report says, is the annointed presidential candidate of the religious right, , says, with Sweden in mind: "You look at the social impact of the countries that have engaged in homosexual marriage." (Sweden has not recognized same-sex marriage.) Then, according to RollingStone, Brownback says: "You'll know 'em by their fruits." "He pauses, and an awkward silence fills the room. He was citing scripture -- Matthew 7:16 -- but he just called gay Swedes 'fruits.'" Click here for the report.
UCC Loses Churches Gains Others In Supporting Gay Marriage
By 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff, January 20, 2006
"(Cleveland, Ohio) Leaders of the 1.3- million-member United Church of Christ are reporting mixed outcomes during the six-month period that followed its General Synod's controversial decision to affirm support for same-gender marriage equality." Click here for the report.
Religious right fixates on polygamy
Don't Do Unto Others
The difference between gay marriage and polygamy.
By William Saletan, Slate, March 23, 2006
"Uh oh. Conservatives are starting to hyperventilate again. You know the symptoms: In a haystack of right-wing dominance, they find a needle of radicalism, declare it a mortal danger to civilization, and use it to rally their voters in the next election. First it was flag-burning. Then it was the 'war on Christmas.' Now it's polygamy. Having crushed gay marriage nationwide in 2004, they need to gin up a new threat to the family. They've found it in Big Love, the HBO series about a guy with three wives. Open the door to gay marriage, they warn, and group marriage will be next. Continue
Polygamy Is 'Next Civil Rights Battle,' Activists Say
By Randy Hall, CNSNews.com, March 16, 2006
A wide-ranging exploration of the religious right's preoccupation with same-sex and group marriages. They claim their concerns stem from the Supreme Court's 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision overturning anti-sodomy laws as violating the right to privacy. (Many right-wingers reject the existence of the right to privacy, which also protects the right to choose an abortion.)
The religious right worries that Lawrence v. Texas will fast-track same-sex and polygamous unions. Mormons are currently challenging the latter's illegality. People quoted in this report: question relying on the government (rather than the Bible) to outlaw these relationships; venture a preference for polygamists because they can "procreate;" generally worry about what we're coming to. No one questions the premise that harm and danger are inherent in other people's relationships. Read the article
A marriage of many?
Is gay marriage a slippery slope toward legal polygamy, or are conservative warnings a red herring?
By Ryan Lee, Washington Blade, February 24, 2006
"Gay rights organizations have long refuted claims that acceptance of same-sex unions is a slippery slope toward marital anarchy. 'The right wing would love nothing more than for us to spend all of our airtime discussing distractions such as polygamy, bestiality and other — from their point of view — doomsday scenarios rather than engage the public about committed same-sex couples being discriminated against,' says Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, which advocates marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.