Come senators, congressmen / please heed the call
don't stand in the doorway / don't block up the hall
for he that gets hurt / will be he who has stalled
there's a battle outside / and it is ragin'
it'll soon shake your windows / And rattle your walls
for the times / they are a-changin'.
Gay marriage vote in NY... Developing...
ANGRY PROTESTS DISRUPT U2 CONCERT
Gov. Christie 'We Are Putting the
People First,' Wins Big Against
Will Delta Ban Jews Gingrich on President MD Becomes First State to
From Saudi Flights? Obama's Threat Require Environmental Literacy
Gov. Cuomo signed the marriage equality bill into law at 11:55 p.m. The law goes into effect on July 24.
There is a God.
Why aren't these people asked, "Hey (Bachmann/Palin/Obama) don't you think that all tax-paying Americans deserve to receive the same rights and recognition from the American government?" What are they going to say? No? Grrrrrrr.
Yeah, you've still got a few dead enders who think stopping gay marriage is somehow important or serious, but for the most part, even Republicans have moved on and are no longer pretending that gay marriage is going to end civilization.
"Burtka then gave the big news in a tweet to a fan. 'I've already purposed, he said yes! Thank god!' he wrote, before adding, 'he proposed to me as well. I said yes! Thank god!'
Of course, it only makes sense that the pair should be allowed to marry; together for at least five years, the pair are fathers to fraternal twins, Gideon Scott and Harper Grace, born via surrogate in October 2010.
Congratulations to the happy couple, and all the other loving pairs finally granted equal rights in New York State."
"My reaction to last night's enactment of same-sex marriage by the New York State legislature is more personal than political, so I'll defer to Andrew Sullivan -- one of the nation's earliest advocates of gay marriage -- to explain its significance. But I can't let this rare genuine political progress go unmentioned, so I will share one reaction: in 1991, when I was a first-year law student at NYU, I regularly attended, for about a year, meetings and demonstrations of ACT-UP. I was a passive observer, but very impressed and inspired by the unyielding refusal of gay men with AIDS in that era (in indispensable conjunction with lesbian activists) to passively accept their consigned fate and their status as marginalized, condemned outcasts: the expertise in politics and medicine they developed, the creative and brave civil disobedience they pioneered, and the force of collective will they mustered under the most trying of circumstances was nothing short of extraordinary.
The first meeting I ever went to was attended by Tom Duane, who spoke to the group. At the time, Duane was seeking to become not only the first openly gay man elected to the New York City Council, but one of the first openly HIV-positive candidates to be elected to any political office. Remarkably, Duane won, went on to be elected to the State Senate in 1998, and last night -- 20 years older and now a veteran establishment Democratic lawmaker in Albany -- he was at the emotional center of that vote. It's hard to describe how inconceivable such an event was back in 1991 -- it was barely the end of the Reagan era, when 'gay' and 'AIDS' were still unmentionable in much decent company and much of gay activism was more about finding a way to survive (literally) than anything else -- but the fact that this amazingly improbable event just happened should (like the events in the Middle East) serve as a potent antidote against defeatism. Significant and seemingly impossible social and political change happens more often than we think, and it happens more rapidly than we realize. Even the most momentous change is always possible if one finds the right way to make it happen."
Catholics More Supportive Of Gay And Lesbian Rights Than General Public, Other Christians | March 22, 2011
"Catholics are more supportive of gay and lesbian rights than the general public and other Christians, according to a new report released today. The new report, which is the most comprehensive portrait of Catholic attitudes on gay and lesbian issues assembled to date, also finds that seven-in-ten Catholics say that messages from America's places of worship contribute a lot (33 percent) or a little (37 percent) to higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth. ...
Nearly three-quarters of Catholics favor either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Catholics favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people against discrimination in the workplace; 63% of Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly in the military; and 6-in-10 (60%) Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children.
Less than 4-in-10 Catholics give their own church top marks (a grade of an A or a B) on its handing of the issue of homosexuality; majorities of members of most other religious groups give their churches high marks.
A majority of Catholics (56%) believe that sexual relations between two adults of the same gender is not a sin."
"Last week, our family visited New York City on vacation. As we left our hotel Sunday to come back to Maryland, we got caught up in the crowds watching the city's Gay Pride Parade. It was quite an experience. The night before, the New York State Assembly had passed, and the governor had signed into law, a bill guaranteeing marriage equality, so the crowd was in especially high spirits. The parade, as might be expected, was quite entertaining, but what impressed us the most were the spectators. Lined up five and eight deep along Fifth Avenue was a cross-section of the city's population cheering on the gay and lesbian marchers, the politicians who had pushed the bill to passage and all the straight participants who marched with them to show support for their gay neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members. The New York Police Department band was in the parade and so was a contingent fromNew York Fire Department.
In the crowd along the avenue were old people and young and folks across the ethnic spectrum as well as families and out-of-town tourists like ourselves. What seemed to most invigorate both the marchers and the watchers was a sense that American freedom had once again triumphed, and small-minded bigotry had been pushed further into the past.
As we drove back to Maryland, we realized that our state now has an opportunity to be one of the leaders in this movement toward what will eventually be accepted across the country as a fundamental human right. It's time now for us all to step up to the plate and make a real difference."
The Boulton Family, Ellicott City
Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?
By Jonathan Dudley, Special to CNN
Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough.
Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards.
I don’t doubt that the one New Testament author who wrote on the subject of male-male intercourse thought it a sin. In Romans 1, the only passage in the Bible where a reason is explicitly given for opposing same-sex relations, the Apostle Paul calls them “unnatural.”
Problem is, Paul’s only other moral argument from nature is the following: “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Few Christians would answer that question with a “yes.”
In short, Paul objects to two things as unnatural: one is male-male sex and the other is long hair on men and short hair on women. The community opposed to gay marriage takes one condemnation as timeless and universal and the other as culturally relative.
I also don’t doubt that those who advocate gay marriage are advocating a revision of the Christian tradition.
But the community opposed to gay marriage has itself revised the Christian tradition in a host of ways. For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church.
How does that sit with “family values” activism today?
Yale New Testament professor Dale B. Martin has noted that today’s "pro-family" activism, despite its pretense to be representing traditional Christian values, would have been considered “heresy” for most of the church’s history.
The community opposed to gay marriage has also departed from the Christian tradition on another issue at the heart of its social agenda: abortion.
Unbeknownst to most lay Christians, the vast majority of Christian theologians and saints throughout history have not believed life begins at conception.
Although he admitted some uncertainty on the matter, the hugely influential 4th and 5th century Christian thinker Saint Augustine wrote, “it could not be said that there was a living soul in [a] body” if it is “not yet endowed with senses.”
Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic saint and a giant of mediaeval theology, argued: “before the body has organs in any way whatever, it cannot be receptive of the soul.”
American evangelicals, meanwhile, widely opposed the idea that life begins at conception until the 1970s, with some even advocating looser abortion laws based on their reading of the Bible before then.
It won’t do to oppose gay marriage because it’s not traditional while advocating other positions that are not traditional.
And then there’s the topic of divorce. Although there is only one uncontested reference to same-sex relations in the New Testament, divorce is condemned throughout, both by Jesus and Paul. To quote Jesus from the Gospel of Mark: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.”
A possible exception is made only for unfaithfulness.
The community most opposed to gay marriage usually reads these condemnations very leniently. A 2007 issue of Christianity Today, for example, featured a story on its cover about divorce that concluded that Christians should permit divorce for “adultery,” “emotional and physical neglect” and “abandonment and abuse.”
The author emphasizes how impractical it would be to apply a strict interpretation of Jesus on this matter: “It is difficult to believe the Bible can be as impractical as this interpretation implies.”
Indeed it is.
On the other hand, it’s not at all difficult for a community of Christian leaders, who are almost exclusively white, heterosexual men, to advocate interpretations that can be very impractical for a historically oppressed minority to which they do not belong – homosexuals.
Whether the topic is hair length, celibacy, when life begins, or divorce, time and again, the leaders most opposed to gay marriage have demonstrated an incredible willingness to consider nuances and complicating considerations when their own interests are at stake.
Since graduating from seminary, I no longer identify with the evangelical community of my youth. The community gave me many fond memories and sound values but it also taught me to take the very human perspectives of its leaders and attribute them to God.
So let’s stop the charade and be honest.
Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own.
You can have as many debates about gay marriage as you want, and over the last 22 years of campaigning for it, I’ve had my share. You can debate theology, and the divide between church and state, the issue of procreation, the red herring of polygamy, and on and on. But what it all really comes down to is the primary institution of love. The small percentage of people who are gay or lesbian were born, as all humans are, with the capacity to love and the need to be loved. These things, above everything, are what make life worth living. And unlike every other minority, almost all of us grew up among and part of the majority, in families where the highest form of that love was between our parents in marriage. To feel you will never know that, never feel that, is to experience a deep psychic wound that takes years to recover from. It is to become psychologically homeless. Which is why, I think, the concept of “coming out” is not quite right. It should really be called “coming home.”
In the end, I had to abandon my home in order to find it again and know the place for the first time. I left England just after my 21st birthday for America and its simple foundational promise: the pursuit of happiness. And I gave myself permission to pursue it. I will never forget the moment I first kissed another man; it was as if a black-and-white movie suddenly turned into color. I will never forget the first time I slept next to another man—or rather tried to sleep. Never for a moment did I actually feel or truly believe any of this was wrong, let alone an “intrinsic evil,” as my strict Catholicism told me that it was. It was so natural, so spontaneous, so joyous, it could no more be wrong than breathing. And as I experienced intimacy and love for the first time as an adult, all that brittleness of the gay adolescent, all that white-knuckled embarrassment, all those ruses and excuses and dark, deep depressions lifted. Yes, this was happiness. And America for me will always represent it.
And that is why marriage equality is, to my mind, the distillation of America. If you’re a heterosexual reading this, have you ever considered for a millisecond that your right to pursue happiness did not include your right to marry the person you love? And that is why, over the centuries, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the right to marry for everyone, citizen or even traveler, as a core, inalienable right, bestowed by the Declaration of Independence itself. The court has ruled that the right to marry precedes the Bill of Rights; it has decided that prisoners on death row have a right to marry, even if they can never consummate it. It has ruled that no limitations may be put on it for anyone—deadbeat dads, multiple divorcées, felons, noncitizens. Hannah Arendt wrote in 1959 that “the right to marry whoever one wishes is an elementary human right … Even political rights, like the right to vote, and nearly all other rights enumerated in the Constitution, are secondary to the inalienable human rights to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence; and to this category the right to home and marriage unquestionably belongs.” And, of course, after a long struggle, interracial marriage was finally declared a constitutional right, in perhaps the most sweeping ruling ever, with the court declaring that civil marriage was one of the “basic civil rights of man, fundamental to our very existence and survival.” Barack Obama is a historic American figure not because he is black, but because he is the son of a black father and a white mother. He is the living embodiment of the pursuit of happiness that marriage represented.
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