Tag Archives: gay rights

California Supreme Court Backs Gay Rights

California’s Supreme Court struck a blow for the rights of gays and lesbians by ruling the state ban on same sex marriages was unconstitutonal. “Our state now reognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person, and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation– like a person’s race or gender– does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.”

There undoubteldy will be an uproar from many sectors of the California population at the court’s decision and cries will be made that it takes away the right of people to decide what takes place in their state. As Rea Carney, of the National gay and Lesbian Task Force, put it: “Thank you California for standing up for safety, respect and dignity for our families. The high court’s decision comes down to this simple yet profound principle: all Californians should be treated equally under the law.”

The United States of America is a constitutional government because the founding fathers feared the momentary emotional feelings of a majority might transcend rights of the minority. That is why we have a supreme court.

Gay Marriage Law Sweeps Gaily Along In Norway

A new poll by the Norwegian newspaper, Vart Land, discovered an overwhelming majority of Norwegians support the proposed law that would allow gay marriage to become legal in their nation. Of those surveyed, 58% expressed support for the new Marriage Act and 31% were opposed. The remainder either were uncertain or had no opinion. Gay activist leader, Jon Reidar Oyan, said: “We in the LLH(Norwegian National Association of Lesbian and Gay Liberation) are very happy such a large majority of the population wish to put an end to the discrimination of homosexuals and our children.”

Strongest support for the measure came from left wing voters while, not surprisingly, the greatest opposition stemmed from more conservative ones. The new act will most probably take effect some time later this year.

No Gay Time For Gays In Moscow May Festivities

Gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev blasted the Moscow City hall after Mayor Yury Luzkhov’s office turned down a proposal for a gay pride parade durng the holidays at the start of May. Sergei Tsoi, a spokesperson for the mayor, accused gay rights activists of attempting to spoil a wonderful May Day labor oriented celebration by their desire to parade since such an action would mean there “could be blood, which no one wants.” His comment drew an angry response from Alexeyev who pointed out: “As if gays don’t support peace and don’t work. Don’t we pay taxes that support this government. I don’t underestand this at all.”

In 2006, Mayor Luzhkov described the idea of a gay parade as a “satanic event and his office has turned down every request by gays for a parade since then. The Moscow City Court has upheld the right of City Hall to turn down requests for parades as perfectly constitutional.

Gay Marriage Rights In Norway

Norway already has a “partnership law” that allows homosexuals to form legal domestic partnerships. It now appears gays and leslbians will be allowed in Norway to marry since a majority in parliament is expected to pass such legislation. Anniken Huitfeldt, minister in charge of children and family issues, termed the proposed law “an historic step towards equality.” As she points out, the new law can only strengthen the institution of marriage.

It always amazes me how opponents of gay marriage claim it weakens the institution of marriage. If more people get married, isn’t that what pro-marriage people desire?

Spanish Socialists Gain Victory

Sppain’s Socialist Prime Minister Jose Zapatero won a convincing general election by capturing nearly 44% of the vote. Although his party is several seats short of a majority in parliament. Nearly forty years after the death of dictator Francisco Franco, there still remain forces within Spain who want a return to the ideas of the dead leader such as ending the rights of women to control their bodies. The victory is an indication the people of Spain agree with Zapatero’s plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, introduction of social lreform such as gay marriage and cession of more power to local regions.

There are still issues remaining which must be addressed in Spain such as its large scale immigration and rights of the Basque people, but Zapatero intends to move forward in addressing the future of Spain.

Iranian Gay Teenager Faces Deportation To Death

A gay teenager who sought sanctuary in Great Britain after his boy friend back in Iran was arrested for sodomy and hung now faces the same fate if he is denied refuge in England. He came to the United Kingdom in 2004 to study and shortly after discovered what had happened to his boy friend back in Iran. Fearing for his life, Mr. Mehdi Kazemi, age 19, asked for asylum in England but late in 2007 his plea was turned down. He made a desperate attempt to evade deportation by fleeing to the Netherlands where hs is now being detained. There is a growing furor among concerned people in the Netherlands to protect the boy from certain death if he is returned to Iran.

In his letter to the British government, Mr. Kaxemi,notes, “I did not come to the UK to claim asylum. I came here to study aand return to my country. But in the past few months my situation back home has changed. The Iranian authorities have found out that I am a homosexual and they are looking for me…I will be arrested and executed like my former boyfriend.”

Peter Tatchell, of the gay rights campaign group Outrage, blames the British government for instituting policy of cutting back on the number of asylum seekers for the plight of the Iranian teenager. This is a sad story from a nation that historically has offered refuge for thousands of people who faced death or imprisonment if returned to their native land. Karl Marx must be weeping up in heaven at this outrageous example of denial of human rights.

Denmark Expands Gay Adoption Rights

New legislation that shortly will pass the Danish legislature will allow gay couples equal rights in being able to adopt children from other nations. Homosexuals who are registered as being a legal partnership already are allowed to adopt Danish children. Recent legislation now enables lesbians equal rights when it comes to issues of artificial insemination. There had been strong opposition to changes in adoption of foreign children due to fear it might lead these countries to take Denmark off the approved adoption list. However, Sweden passed similar laws in 2003 that empowered gays to adopt foreign children and it has not led to any changes in children being adopted.

The essence of adoption is providing children a decent family life. If gays or lesbians can provide such an environment then both the child and society benefit.

Moroccan Islamists Demand Homosexuals Be In Jail

A Morocco court sentenced six men to jail terms ranging from four to ten months for allegedly engaging in homosexual acts. They were charged with violating Article 489 which criminalizes, “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex.” Sarah Leah Whitson of the Human Rights Watch attacked the decision because “these men are behind bars for private acts between consenting adults that no government has any business criminalizing in the first place…The men’s rights to privacy and freedom of expression have been violated and the court has convicted them without apparent evidence.” The arrest stemmed from a video that appeared on YouTube purporting to show a private party that supposedly was celebrating a “gay marriage.” Following the arrests of the men, hundreds of men and women stormed through Ksar el-Kbir demanding punishment of the men. The mob looted a jewelry store owned by one of the defendants and trashed the house of another.

Abdelaqziz Nousaydi, a Rabat lawyer pointed out in court that no visual evidence had been introduced nor had there been any testimony from an eye witness that the men had engaged in homosexual activity. The men pleaded innocence but were convicted, apparently due to hysteria. It is fascinating the court apparently believes whatever appears on YouTube must be right. The Moroccan Constitution pledges to adhere to United Nations standards of human rights.

Gay Rights Challenged In Chile Education Dispute

Chile’s Movement for Homosexual Integration and Freedom(MOVILH) criticized their nation’s Ministry of Education’s handling of the case of Sandra Pavez, a lesbian religion teacher who was denied teacher re-certification by the catholic Church. She lost her teaching credential after Church officials learned Pavez was a lesbian even though she had been teaching religion for 21 years at a public elementary school. A 1983 Ministry of Education decree requires all religion teachers to possess an aptitude certificate issued by a religious authority. The San Miguel Appeals Court ruled against Pavez’s claim that the Church’s refusal violated her constitutional rights.

At a meeting held between MOVILH and Church authorities, the Minister of Education failed to appear and together with the lackluster support given Pavez by government officials, it is apparent they do with to challenge the Catholic Church on such issues. MOVILH notes that recently the Ministry of Education took a strong stand to protect the right of teenage mothers to attend graduation ceremonies, but on an issue of sexual rights there is an unusual silence. Education Ministry official, Maria d la Luz Silva, said the Ministry is still seeking to meet with Pavez and MOVILH before making a decision on the case. MOVILH is using this issue to fight for new legislation that would remove the Catholic Church from deciding who can or cannot teach in public schools.

The United States has been lucky to avoid such confrontations because of our historic separation of church and state. To those who wish to allow religion to enter public schools, this case should come as an awareness of things that are best avoided.

Canberra Not A Gay Place For Gay Haters!

Newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that Canberra some time next year will be the scene of the first gay union in Australia. The ACT Civil Partnership Bill which allows for formal ceremonies in which same-sex couples make a legal pledge to each other before an official is likely to be passed by the Assembly early next year. A spokesperson for the Gay lobby said, “It certainly is a landmark not only for the ACT but for the entire nation.” He assumed other states in Australia would shortly feel comfortable in allowing such same sex unions. However, some conservative groups expressed anger at the Rudd decision to support gay rights. The Reverend Fred Nile said this action cements Canberra’s reputation as a “place of vice” and called for a national tourist boycott under the slogan, “Nobody Have A Holiday In Canberra.” Reverend Nile commented, “I think it’s shocking, we should be proud of our capital. It should be a place of virtue, not of vice.”

Decency and vice certainly reside in the eye of the beholder. One can only wonder if tourists to Canberra will be walking the streets searching to discover if they could see two men or two women holding hands or if they actually went to the capital for good time. Men like the good reverend Nile make a great deal of noise concerning vice and decency, and we can assume he leads a virtuous life at all times. Unfortunately, here in America we simply have too many recent cases of preachers of virtue who turn out to inhabit the dens of iniquity not only with women, but with those of the same male sex.