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Punzie
February 20th, 2007, 01:47 PM
Anglicans Rebuke U.S. Branch on Same-Sex Unions


By SHARON LaFRANIERE and LAURIE GOODSTEIN (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/laurie_goodstein/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
The New York Times

February 20, 2007


Facing a possible churchwide schism, the Anglican Communion yesterday gave its Episcopal branch in the United States less than eight months to ban blessings of same-sex unions or risk a reduced role in the world’s third-largest Christian denomination.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/02/19/world/20anglicans.1901.jpg
(Emmanauel Kwiitema/Reuters)
The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury,
right, with Archbishop Donald Mtetemela of Tanzania.


Anglican leaders also established a separate council and a vicar to help address the concerns of conservative American dioceses that have been alienated by the Episcopal Church (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/e/episcopal_church/index.html?inline=nyt-org)’s support of gay clergy and blessings of same-sex unions. Although the presiding American bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, agreed to the arrangement, some conservatives described it as an extraordinary check on her authority.

The directive, issued after a five-day meeting of three dozen top leaders of the Anglican church gathering in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, constituted a severe rebuke of the small but affluent American branch. Conservative Anglicans described the communiqué as a landmark document that affirms the primacy of Scripture and church doctrine for the world’s 77 million Anglicans, only 2.3 million of whom are Episcopalians.

“This is very, very, very significant,” said Bill Atwood, who serves as a strategist for a group of the conservative bishops. “It was either call the Episcopal Church back or lose the Anglican Communion, and the group agreed it was better to call the Episcopal Church back.”

The decision comes after years of debate and remonstrations within the Anglican Communion over whether and how to force the Episcopal leaders to conform to the wider church’s view of homosexuality — a controversy that has also enveloped other mainline Christian denominations.

Episcopalians in favor of gay rights immediately urged American bishops to reject the demands. “The American church is not going to just roll over and turn back the clock on blessings,” said the Rev. Susan Russell, an Episcopal priest in Los Angeles and president of Integrity, an Episcopalian gay rights group.

Anglican church teaching, reiterated in a series of meetings since 1998, states that sex is reserved for married heterosexual couples. The Episcopal Church directly challenged that teaching in 2003 by consecrating V. Gene Robinson (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/v_gene_robinson/index.html?inline=nyt-per), a gay man living with his partner, as bishop of New Hampshire.

The church’s bishops have also allowed priests to bless gay unions.

In response, more than a third of the other Anglican churches around the world — by some counts more than half — have curtailed their interaction with the Episcopal Church. The church has also faced an internal rebellion from nearly one-tenth of its dioceses, which have appealed to the Anglican Communion to free them from oversight by the presiding Episcopal bishop, Bishop Jefferts Schori. Several dozen more parishes have aligned themselves with bishops outside the United States whose churches are more conservative theologically.

At a late-night news conference in Dar es Salaam, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, the denomination’s spiritual leader, said the group hammered out “an interim solution that certainly falls very short of resolving all the disputes.”

Tensions ran so high at the meeting that church officials abandoned the traditional group photo of the leaders on Sunday. Even church services were a tense affair as seven conservative archbishops declined communion rather than celebrate the Eucharist with Bishop Jefferts Schori.

The communiqué yesterday detailed at length what the Episcopal Church should do to heal the rift over homosexuality. It called on the House of Bishops to adopt an explicit ban against blessings of same-sex unions and to make clear that clergy in homosexual relationships cannot be confirmed as bishops.

In June, Episcopal leaders asked dioceses to refrain from consecrating openly gay bishops, but some dioceses continued to put forward candidates.

Ten of the 110 Episcopal dioceses officially permit same-sex blessings, according to Clinton Bradley, administrator of Integrity, the gay rights group. Others allow priests to perform blessings if couples request them, he said.

To assuage the concerns of traditional American dioceses, the primates, the general equivalent of an archbishop, essentially allowed conservatives to elect their own “primatial vicar.” The vicar is to report to a council of five members, two of whom will be selected by Bishop Jefferts Schori, the communiqué states. She and the council together will decide the vicar’s powers.

Analysts described the arrangement as highly unusual for the Anglican Communion, where primates have clear lines of authority and full responsibility for their own geographical regions.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before, but then the American Episcopal Church went pretty far off the reservation, very much counter to what the Anglican Communion said was its policy,” said David Hein, a religion professor at Hood College in Maryland and co-author of the book “The Episcopalians.”

“It is an unprecedented response to an unprecedented action.”

The move at least partly satisfied the demands of conservative Episcopal leaders in the United States, who have been begging the Anglican Communion for what they call “alternative oversight.” Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, a leader of the conservative Episcopalians, said he told the Anglican primates on Thursday that Bishop Jefferts Schori was unacceptable as a leader because she supported the consecration of Bishop Robinson in 2003 and had sanctioned the blessing of same-sex unions.

How Bishop Jefferts Schori will sell the directive to Episcopal leaders is unclear. “I’ll be very eager to hear from the presiding bishop,” said Canon Jim Naughton, director of communications for the Diocese of Washington, and a liberal blogger who followed the Tanzania meeting closely. “You have to assume that she was involved in crafting this, so I think she’s asking us to trust her that she can bring this off while protecting our integrity as a church.”

The primates said their instructions were intended to reassure other Anglicans “who have lost faith in the Episcopal Church,” to minister to conservative Episcopalians who have rebelled against their leadership’s more liberal stance and ultimately to curtail efforts by bishops from other countries to take over parishes within the United States.

“If the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion,” the communiqué said.

The communiqué also attempted to settle the problem of legal battles within the Episcopal Church.

In the diocese of Virginia and several others, some congregations have voted to leave the Episcopal Church and take their properties with them. Earlier this month, the Episcopal Church joined a lawsuit to keep the properties. The Anglican leaders urged both sides to back off, saying that the lawsuits should be suspended and the congregations should take no steps to “alienate property from the Episcopal Church.”

“None of us agreed that litigation or counter litigation can be a proper way forward for a Christian body,” Archbishop Williams said at his news conference.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/20/world/20anglicans.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

lofter1
March 16th, 2007, 01:34 PM
ELTON 'TOO GAY' FOR TOBAGO

http://images.contactmusic.com/dn/elton+john+and+david+furnish_855_18091504_0_0_5087 _300.jpg

contactmusic.com (http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/elton%20too%20gay%20for%20tobago_1025198)
March 16, 2007

Church leaders in Trinidad and Tobago have banned SIR ELTON JOHN (http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/elton%20too%20gay%20for%20tobago_1025198#) from the country – in case he turns people gay.

Phillip Isaac, the archdeacon of the Caribbean country, has claimed that Elton's campness may be infectious and might tempt locals to turn homosexual if he performs at the Plymouth Jazz (http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/elton%20too%20gay%20for%20tobago_1025198#) Festival next month.

Elton was due to attend the concert (http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/elton%20too%20gay%20for%20tobago_1025198#) in April, but a clause in the immigration laws in the country means that the ROCKET MAN singer (http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/elton%20too%20gay%20for%20tobago_1025198#) could be turned away at passport control for being gay.

Archdeacon Isaac said: "The artist is one of God's children and while his lifestyle is questionable he needs to be ministered unto.

"His visit to the island can open the country to be tempted towards pursuing his lifestyle."

He added that Elton's marriage to DAVID FURNISH does not conform to "biblical teachings" and that a "man should not lie with a man".

The strong homophobic contingent on the island of Tobago has also recently bombarded local radio stations (http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/elton%20too%20gay%20for%20tobago_1025198#) with calls, demanding the singer be kept out of the country.

However, the organisers of the concert maintain Elton is still down to perform at the gig.

©2007 Contactmusic.com Ltd

Ninjahedge
March 16th, 2007, 02:08 PM
That is just silly.

If people are so phobic and insecure as to think that having a gay male IN the country would somehow "infect" others then they really need to seek help.

BrooklynRider
March 16th, 2007, 04:19 PM
I'd like to know the tourism numbers before and six months after this idiotic ban. They go into the filthy heap of hate already occupied by Jamaica.

Punzie
March 16th, 2007, 04:38 PM
If people are so phobic and insecure as to think that having a gay male IN the country would somehow "infect" others then they really need to seek help.

Their rebuttal:

"If people are so stupid and gullible as to think that having a gay male in the country would NOT infect others then they really need to seek help."

lofter1
March 16th, 2007, 06:18 PM
But if it's catching then shouldn't there be some sort of more in-depth screening / quarantine in place upon arrival in Tobago?

You know -- for those who had dinner with Uncle Joe the night before they left for Tobago? Or those who hugged their boss before the vacation? Or those who ... the list goes on and on and on.

ManhattanKnight
April 13th, 2007, 08:27 AM
April 13, 2007


2 Months After New Jersey’s Civil Union Law, Problems Finding True Equality

By TINA KELLEY

Nickie Brazier called U.P.S., where she is a driver, to add Heather Aurand to her health insurance the day after their Feb. 22 civil union in New Jersey, knowing it would save them $340 a month. But U.P.S. said no. “They said it was because we’re not married,” Ms. Brazier recalled.

Dr. Kevin Slavin was able to sign his partner up for the health plan at the hospital where he specializes in pediatric infectious diseases but soon learned that both men’s benefits would be treated as taxable income — not the case for his married coworkers — and that his partner could not collect his pension if Dr. Slavin died.

Merissa Muench of Mount Olive, N.J., said her employer of seven years, a medical sterilization office where she is a technician, told her the company did not cover civil union partners.

“It just irks me that a guy they just hired, his wife — bing! — has health insurance,” said Ms. Muench, 30, who declined to name her employer for fear of being fired. “What else does the gay American community have to do to prove that we’re worth it just as much as you guys?”

Nearly two months after New Jersey became the third state to approve civil unions for same-sex couples, many are finding that all partnerships are not created equal, raising questions about whether the new arrangement adequately fulfills the promise of the State Supreme Court ruling that led to it.

In October, the court declared that the state’s Constitution “guarantees that every statutory right and benefit conferred to heterosexual couples through civil marriage must be made available to committed same-sex couples,” leaving it to the Legislature to decide how to do it. Lawmakers rejected the option of same-sex marriage, but pledged that “civil union couples shall have all of the same benefits, protections and responsibilities under law” that married couples have.

Nevertheless, residents who work for companies headquartered in other states, and those whose insurers are based outside New Jersey, have found it difficult if not impossible to sign their partners up for health insurance. Unions and employers whose self-insured plans are federally regulated have also denied coverage in some cases. Staff members in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms have questioned partners’ role in decision-making. Confusion abounds over the interplay of state and federal laws governing taxes, inheritance and property.

Then there are cases like that of the lesbian who was told that she was likely to be denied coverage for a mammogram after she added her partner to her insurance. The insurance company changed the employee’s designation to male since there was no spot on its forms for “civil union spouse.”

Some 229 couples obtained civil unions in New Jersey in the first month they were available. Gay-rights advocates say they have collected two dozen discrimination complaints, laying the groundwork for a legal challenge to the civil union law that would essentially re-petition the Supreme Court for same-sex marriage. The highest courts in Connecticut, which established civil unions in 2005, and California, where domestic partnerships offer benefits and protections like those provided by civil unions, are already considering similar cases.

“How can you call it equal protection when you have to go through hell maybe to get your civil union recognized?” asked Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, a gay-rights group. “Why should gay couples have to take those steps? That’s not equal protection under the law. That’s why we’re fighting for marriage equality.”

As Thomas H. Prol, co-chairman of the New Jersey Bar Association’s committee on gay issues, put it, “The word’s starting to spread that civil unions aren’t working in the real world.”

State officials attribute many of the problems to unfamiliarity with the civil union law’s provisions and its interaction with dozens of state statutes governing matters like adoption, workers’ compensation and hospitalization.

They said it was far too early to judge the law a failure, and said they would work with couples and companies to resolve problems.
“This is uncharted territory, and we’re talking about an area of undeveloped law,” said J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, director of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. Told about some of the couples’ experiences, he suggested that employers whose health insurance plans were governed by federal laws, for example, should provide civil union couples with the option of signing up with a comparable plan for the same fees.

Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo, a Democrat from Essex County who was a lead sponsor of the civil union law, said he was “frustrated because the intent of the bill is not being met.”

“We’ve got a real problem, and the problem is the feds do govern some areas,” Mr. Caraballo said. “The truth is there’s nothing any of us can do about the federal law. To the extent we can make the law stronger on the state level, I assure you we’re trying it.”

Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has published a study of same-sex marriage and public opinion, said “these kinds of difficulties were inevitable” when New Jersey created a parallel institution, noting, “Whenever there’s a sort of spotty civil innovation, it takes civil society some time to catch up.”

“The state has not sent the clearest signal,” Professor Persily added. “The fact that they are given different status under law brings up the possibility that private companies will also treat them differently.”

In some cases, though, companies have adjusted quickly after receiving complaints from couples or inquiries from their lawyers, or from reporters.
Timothy Zimmer, a computer programmer who works in Newark for a Massachusetts company he declined to name, said his insurance company, United Healthcare, had told him that his partner would not be covered even if they got a civil union.

“First, the NJ civil union is not deemed to be a marriage under NJ law,” the insurer wrote in an e-mail message to him. “Therefore there is no ‘spouse’ as defined in the MA plan. The MA law recognizes marriages between members of the same sex only for marriages performed in MA between MA residents. Since the NJ members are not ‘married’ under either NJ or MA law, there is no ‘spouse’ eligible for coverage as a dependent.”

Mr. Zimmer, 52, said in an interview last week, “Apparently the civil union law gave us all the rights of marriage, except the ones we really need.”
After being contacted by The New York Times, a spokesman for United Healthcare said Monday night that the company had reviewed a bulletin on civil unions from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, consulted the employer, and decided that civil union partners in New Jersey were the legal equivalent of spouses.

“It’s kind of nice if they do say yes,” Mr. Zimmer said Tuesday. “I’m used to the no.” He was still awaiting word yesterday.

Similarly, Cookie Van Pelt of Jackson, N.J., who works for Sam’s Club, said she was told that her partner, Jean Farr, could not be covered because “their medical benefits fall under federal law, and they won’t change for us.” But John Simley, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, which operates Sam’s Club, said the company allowed employees to choose between a self-insured health plan, which is federally regulated, and a health-maintenance organization that covers civil union partners.

Such self-insured plans, which are financed by employers rather than purchased from a state-regulated insurer, have caused problems for couples. Since they are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a federal law, insurers and employers often presume that the plans are also subject to the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Sharon Mayhak said she was denied coverage by her partner’s employer, which has a self-insured plan, so she remains without insurance despite bad arthritis. (She refused to name the company.)

“The thing is my partner really likes her job, we are in our 50s, and this is not a good time to look for work,” Ms. Mayhak said a few weeks after she and her partner of 37 years were joined in a civil union. “We were told this is supposed to be equal in every way, and this is not equal.”

Ms. Brazier, the U.P.S. driver — who gave birth to twins five weeks ago and also has a 2-year-old son — remains in limbo amid mixed messages from her employer and her union. Norman Black, a spokesman for United Parcel Service, said that the company had offered benefits to domestic partners of its nonunion workers since 2004, but that hourly workers like Ms. Brazier were covered by the Teamsters under a self-insured plan.

A spokesman for Ms. Brazier’s union local said its lawyers were looking into whether it could do anything to push U.P.S. to provide partner benefits for its members.

“It’s been a strain,” said Ms. Aurand, Ms. Brazier’s partner. “We didn’t know all the loopholes — we were sure they’d let us go on.” But gay-rights advocates said federal law did not prohibit self-insured companies from providing benefits to same-sex couples. A 2006 report by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation found that more than half the Fortune 500 companies, most of which have self-insured plans, offered benefits to domestic partners.
“It’s the employer’s own choice to decide who’s a beneficiary, and the federal government doesn’t prevent employers from doing the right thing,” said Michele Granda , a staff lawyer with the Boston-based Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. “Those employers are purposefully choosing to discriminate against their employees.”

While health insurance has caused the bulk of the problems so far in New Jersey, civil union couples are also beginning to grapple with the complex interactions of state and federal laws regarding other matters. Civil union partners filing taxes jointly in New Jersey have to file federal tax returns as if they were single, then calculate what they would owe on a joint federal return to figure their state credits and deductions, said Stephen J. Hyland, a lawyer and writer of “New Jersey Domestic Partners: A Legal Guide.”
“Civil union couples will most likely be treated as if they are single for purposes of qualifying for Medicaid, which can jeopardize the couple’s home if one partner needs nursing home care,” Mr. Hyland said.

Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, although state law determines how married and civil union couples hold title to their property.

Couples who drew up the equivalent of prenuptial agreements before registering as domestic partners may need to update the agreements before getting a civil union, which offers more legal protections, said Felice Londa, a lawyer in Elizabeth, N.J.

Then there are more immediate, if mundane, matters, like Ms. Londa’s frustration while shopping for dresses with her partner of eight years for their May 6 ceremony.

“We said we’re going to have a civil union, and one said, ‘Oh, is that some kind of business dinner?’ ” she recalled the saleswoman saying. “Nobody gets it.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

ryan
April 13th, 2007, 10:01 AM
“They said it was because we’re not married,”

Ninjahedge - I'm not starting an argument, but this first line illustrates the importance of the word.

Punzie
April 23rd, 2007, 09:13 AM
The New York Times
April 23, 2007

Spitzer Plans to Introduce Gay Marriage Bill

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/nicholas_confessore/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

Gov. Eliot Spitzer (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/eliot_l_spitzer/index.html?inline=nyt-per) will introduce a bill in the coming weeks to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, his spokeswoman said Friday, a move that would propel New York to the forefront of one of the most contentious issues in politics.

Though he has long voiced support for same-sex marriage and promised during his campaign last year to introduce legislation to legalize it, Mr. Spitzer did not mention the issue in his State of the State speech in January or in remarks a week ago outlining his priorities for the remainder of the legislative session, which ends June 21.

But the spokeswoman, Christine Anderson, said that Mr. Spitzer would not back away from his campaign pledge.

“The governor made a commitment to advance a program bill, and he will fulfill that commitment during this legislative session,” Ms. Anderson said, using the term that refers to legislation introduced directly by the governor rather than through a state agency or by the Legislature.

Several states allow some form of civil unions for same-sex couples, including Connecticut, where lawmakers are debating a measure that would legalize marriage for lesbians and gay men.

Massachusetts is the only state where same-sex marriage is legal.

Any legislation to make New York the second such state would face a steep climb in Albany, a fact that Mr. Spitzer has acknowledged. Explaining why he did not include the gay-marriage bill among his post-budget legislative priorities, Mr. Spitzer said last week that he “was listing bills that I think we can and should get passed by the Legislature in the next few weeks. And so I am focusing now on politics as the art of the possible.

“I think most who are close to the issue would agree with me that it’s not likely to be passed in the next nine and a half weeks,” Mr. Spitzer added.

Legislation to allow same-sex marriage has never made it to a floor vote in either the Assembly, which has a Democratic majority, or the Republican-controlled State Senate. Sheldon Silver (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/sheldon_silver/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the Assembly speaker, has declined to take a stand on the issue. Joseph L. Bruno (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/joseph_l_bruno/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the Senate majority leader, has supported legislation to outlaw hate crimes and workplace discrimination against gays, but he remains opposed to same-sex marriage.

Even among lawmakers who say they favor the legislation, there is some division over the best strategy to get it passed. Two legislators from Manhattan, State Senator Thomas K. Duane and Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, both Democrats, have tried for several years to shepherd a gay-marriage bill through the Legislature and are trying again this year. That bill has at least 14 sponsors in the Senate and 42 in the Assembly.

If Mr. Spitzer does propose a bill, it is unclear how much muscle he will be willing — or able — to put behind it. The priorities he has outlined — such as overhauling the state’s campaign finance laws and introducing a constitutional amendment to require nonpartisan legislative redistricting — already pose a considerable challenge.

That would leave Mr. Spitzer with little political bandwidth that would allow him to build support for another controversial bill.

The governor has also had few opportunities to build bridges to constituencies that present the strongest grass-roots opposition to gay marriage, such as Roman Catholic Church (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/r/roman_catholic_church/index.html?inline=nyt-org) officials and other religious leaders. Church leaders already oppose Mr. Spitzer’s support of embryonic stem cell research, and an initiative that might have softened the blow of gay marriage — a tax credit for parents who send children to religious or other private schools — did not make it into the budget this year.

Gay-rights groups are scheduled to convene in Albany early next month for a day of lobbying, and several lawmakers and same-sex marriage advocates said they hoped that Mr. Spitzer would introduce his proposal before then.

“I don’t think the governor has dropped the ball on this,” said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, a gay-rights group. “We’ve been talking with the governor’s people about this. At every moment they have brainstormed with us in some very creative ways about how to accomplish this agenda.”

Mr. Van Capelle said he shared Mr. Spitzer’s assessment that the measure was unlikely to pass both chambers of the Legislature this year, but he emphasized that the governor’s proposal would give it strategic and symbolic weight.

Gary Parker, the founder of Greater Voices, a coalition of gay-oriented political clubs in New York City, said the fact that every statewide elected official now supports gay marriage had heartened advocates.

“During the Pataki administration, there was a lot of frustration,” Mr. Parker said. “We felt extremely stagnant and stifled. Now there is movement. And the fact that there is discussion is progress.”

Copyright 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/23/nyregion/23gay.html

ryan
April 24th, 2007, 04:46 PM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/logoprinter.gif (http://www.nytimes.com/)
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/ads/spacer.gif


April 24, 2007
Editorial
Mr. Spitzer and Gay Marriage (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/24/opinion/24tue1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin)

The news that Gov. Eliot Spitzer will soon introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage — what he calls “a simple moral imperative” — is welcome and could give new national momentum to this important cause. Mr. Spitzer would be the first governor in the nation to introduce a gay marriage bill. But if he is going to make a real difference, rather than simply checking off a box to fulfill a campaign promise, he will have to fight for the law vigorously.

Even in a progressive state like New York, this will be a steep political climb. So far, only Massachusetts has enacted a gay marriage law — after its highest court held that gay couples had a right under the State Constitution — and while there is a similar bill working its way through the Connecticut legislature, its prospects are uncertain. Civil unions or domestic partnerships involving same-sex couples are now recognized by a small but growing number of states, including Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, California, Hawaii and Maine. It is an indication of how big a challenge Mr. Spitzer faces that New York is not, and hasn’t come close to being, on this list.

Mr. Spitzer is right to be fighting for gay marriage. Civil unions and domestic partnerships are an important recognition of gay relationships by a state. But they still represent separate and unequal treatment. One federal study identified more than 1,100 rights or benefits that are accorded only to the legally married. That means that even in states recognizing civil unions and domestic partnerships, gay couples often have to use legal contortions to protect their families in ways that married couples take for granted. Gay couples may also be discriminated against when it comes to taxes and pension benefits.

The next step in building momentum for gay marriage in New York will be to get the State Assembly, which has a Democratic majority, on board. Speaker Sheldon Silver has said he will not take a stand until he talks with his fellow Democrats. But most of those Democrats have already publicly expressed support for gay marriage, so Mr. Silver has no excuse to delay. He should make it clear that he will join Governor Spitzer and press for the legislation’s swift passage.

The biggest stumbling block is likely to be, as it always is for gay rights measures in New York, the State Senate, which is controlled by Republicans. The majority leader, Joseph Bruno, has made it clear that he is against same-sex marriage, but he is also a pragmatist whose views on these issues have evolved and become more humane over the years.
Religious groups, particularly the Catholic Church, are likely to be the bill’s most outspoken opponents. It should be clear that these religious institutions have the right to refuse to marry anyone within their own religious houses. But they should not be allowed to dictate who can and cannot be married by the state.

Mr. Spitzer did not make gay marriage a priority in his first 100 days in office, and he did not mention it in his State of the State address or, more recently, when he laid out his agenda for the remainder of the legislative session. That may simply have been a pragmatic assessment that the bill would not pass right away.

Now that he is ready to move, we are eager to hear him speak out more on this issue. There will be nothing easy about championing this simple moral imperative. But it is a fight well worth the governor’s full efforts.

Copyright 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

ZippyTheChimp
April 28th, 2007, 02:11 PM
April 28, 2007

Keeping His Word, Spitzer Asks for Same-Sex-Marriage Law

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

ALBANY, April 27 — Gov. Eliot Spitzer proposed legislation on Friday that would make New York the second state in the country to legally sanction same-sex marriage, fulfilling a longtime pledge to supporters of gay rights.

Mr. Spitzer has acknowledged that he does not expect the bill to pass the State Legislature and return to his desk anytime soon. Earlier this week, he said that he would submit the proposal anyway, “because it’s a statement of principle that I believe in, and I want to begin that dynamic.”

Only Massachusetts currently allows same-sex marriages, a result of a 2004 court decision. Many states have taken steps to ban such unions through legislation or ballot initiatives, but Mr. Spitzer is the country’s only governor to propose legislation to formally legalize such marriages.

Whether or not the bill passes in these final weeks of the legislative session, Mr. Spitzer’s proposal is likely to make same-sex marriage a live issue in Albany in a way that it never was before.

Many members of the State Legislature have never taken a position on the issue, something that will be harder to avoid doing with the governor’s bill now a reality. So it was no surprise that the proposal immediately reignited what has been an emotional and bitter debate.

Gay rights advocates were effusive in their praise. “Promise made, promise kept,” said State Senator Thomas K. Duane, Democrat of Manhattan, who has introduced similar bills several times, including one this year.

Opponents lashed out, particularly from the ranks of religious conservatives. State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., a Bronx Democrat and a Pentecostal minister, said that the governor’s proposal was “a slap in the face to the millions of New Yorkers who support the moral, legal and traditional definition of marriage as between man and woman.”

A spokesman for New York State Catholic Conference, the Roman Catholic Church’s official public policy arm in the state, said that New York’s bishops would strongly oppose the proposal.

“The governor said that on Day 1, everything changes. But we didn’t think that included society’s definition of marriage and traditional morality,” said the spokesman, Dennis Poust. “We think that in his first year to try and overturn the fundamental building block of society is the height of arrogance.”

This was Mr. Spitzer’s latest foray this week into the kind of sharply ideological, red-meat issues he had largely avoided during his first few months in office. It was also one of several proposals he has made recently that have met with a palpably cold reception from one or both chambers of the Legislature.

After the Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the governor on Wednesday proposed new legislation to shore up the abortion rights guaranteed by state law. On Thursday, Mr. Spitzer asked state lawmakers to put legislative redistricting in the hands of an independent commission and to increase the pay of state judges, though the lawmakers themselves have not had a raise since 1999.

Joseph L. Bruno, the Republican majority leader of the State Senate, said: “In just the last week, Governor Spitzer has sent us bills dealing with gay marriage, abortion, court reform and reapportionment and campaign finance reform. While these proposals may fulfill campaign promises, they do not speak to the pressing needs of the majority of the people of this state.”

Mr. Bruno said lawmakers should focus on tax relief and reinstating the death penalty for killers of law enforcement officers, among other issues. Sheldon Silver, Democrat of Manhattan and the speaker of the Assembly, has not yet taken a position on same-sex marriage.

Befitting the bill’s poor prospects for passage — and the fact that the governor’s plan to propose it was well telegraphed — Mr. Spitzer did not stage any event to make his proposal. His staff issued a press release and a statement in the middle of the day, well after several gay-rights groups, alerted earlier to his plans, had issued their own statements praising the governor.

In his statement, Mr. Spitzer said that “this legislation would create equal legal protection and responsibilities for all individuals who seek to marry or have their marriage protected in the State of New York. Strong, stable families are the cornerstones of our society. The responsibilities inherent in the institution of marriage benefit those individuals and society as a whole.”

Under the bill, no application for a marriage license could be denied on the grounds that the parties were of the same sex. All rights, benefits, privileges and protections offered to spouses — including property ownership, inheritance, health care, hospital visitation, taxation, insurance coverage, child custody and pension benefits — would have to be offered to same-sex spouses, too. But no clergy member or religious institution would be required to perform such marriages.

Alan Van Capelle, the executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, a leading gay-rights group, said, “I think that most legislators are astute enough to know that this was coming. They have formed opinions. We’re going to make sure that they hear from their constituents.”

Gay-rights groups had already scheduled a lobbying day in Albany next Tuesday, before this bill was announced.

Existing legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, sponsored this year and in years past by Senator Duane and other lawmakers, has the official support of only 61 members of the Assembly and 18 of the Senate, he noted.

“I think most legislators believe this will be a difficult issue for them to vote on,” Mr. Van Capelle said. “But in reality, there is enormous support in New York State for marriage equality, from people of faith, from organized labor, from the business community.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Punzie
May 17th, 2007, 02:38 AM
The New York Times
May 15, 2007

Lawyers Argue Legal Status of Gay Unions

By JENNIFER MEDINA (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/jennifer_medina/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

HARTFORD, May 14 — Connecticut’s highest court became the first in the nation on Monday to hear arguments over whether the establishment of civil unions created a fundamentally inferior status for gays and lesbians.

But in pondering a new appeal for same-sex marriage, the State Supreme Court’s seven justices also focused on another fundamental question: whether laws that make distinctions based on sexual orientation, like those governing marriage, merit scrutiny similar to that given laws that discriminate based on race or gender.

Connecticut is one of four states — along with Vermont, New Jersey and, most recently, New Hampshire — that have established civil unions for same-sex couples. Only Massachusetts authorizes marriages for gays. Other states, like California, have similar benefits for domestic partnership.
Two years after the General Assembly here established civil unions, the Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether they fulfill the state’s constitutional obligation to treat couples equally.

Jane R. Rosenberg, the assistant attorney general who argued the case for the state, told the court that gay marriage was a policy question that should be left up to legislators and not determined by “court fiat.”

“Is the legislature constitutionally required to use the word ‘marriage’ when it’s referring to the package of rights and benefits it has given to same-sex couples?” Ms. Rosenberg asked in court. “The answer is clearly no.”

But Bennett Klein, the lead lawyer for the eight couples bringing the suit, argued in court that there were several parallels between racial discrimination lawsuits and the legal battle for gay marriage.

Marriage is “something that goes to the heart of equal protection,” Mr. Klein said during his closing argument, adding that gay couples have “the right to be part of the fabric of society when they are just the same as other couples and other families.”

Besides potentially breaking new ground on whether homosexuals deserve the same level of legal protection as blacks and women, the case is being closely watched because it presents more complicated arguments than have other cases regarding civil unions and marriage.

In New Jersey, where the Legislature created civil unions in February to fulfill a Supreme Court mandate for equal treatment, many couples have complained that they are being denied rights and benefits granted married couples, and are considering a lawsuit similar to the one here.

Four of the eight couples in the Connecticut case have had civil unions performed in the state, and the others have held out for marriage. The case is being handled by Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the same group that successfully sued for marriage in Massachusetts.

Though some state legislatures have created specific legal protections for gays in their laws against hate crimes or discrimination in housing or employment, there is no precedent in federal or the highest state courts making gays what is known in jurisprudence as a “suspect class,” like racial minorities, a category that is accorded strict legal scrutiny when laws are challenged in court. That issue was the focus of much of the three hours of argument on Monday.

The judges repeatedly asked Mr. Klein and Ms. Rosenberg whether they believed gays and lesbians had a history of long-term discrimination and political powerlessness, two elements in establishing a suspect class.

Ms. Rosenberg acknowledged that homosexuals have long been treated as inferior but said it would be difficult to say they are politically powerless in Connecticut, pointing to the civil union law passed by the General Assembly in 2004 without pressure from the courts as evidence.

She added that it was possible that the legislature would approve same-sex marriage within the next several years. (The Joint Judiciary Committee passed a same-sex marriage bill last month, 27 to 15, but legislative leaders announced Friday that they did not have enough votes in the House to pass it, so it will not come to the floor for a vote this year.)

Justice Richard N. Palmer, who was appointed by Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr., an independent, noted that African-Americans had made advances over the last several decades but were still considered politically powerless when many discrimination cases made their way through court. Then he turned to Ms. Rosenberg and asked: “Is that your argument: Give them more time and they’ll do better?”

“Yes,” Ms. Rosenberg replied.

Noting the stall in the legislature on the same issue, Justice Flemming L. Norcott Jr., also appointed by Governor Weicker, said, “If they were doing better, they would have passed that bill across the street,” prompting a wave of laughter through the packed courtroom, which is across the street from the State Capitol.

If the court found that gays and lesbians were a suspect class, the state would be required to prove that it had rational basis for making a distinction between homosexual and heterosexual couples.

In many ways, the arguments were complicated by the fact that civil unions officially bestow the same legal protections as marriage, and one judge referred to marriage itself as an “intangible” benefit. “We’re talking about a word here,” Ms. Rosenberg said. “All those benefits, at least under state law, have been granted.”

But Mr. Klein retorted that “marriage is not just a bunch of legal rights.”
“It is a status that the state confers on people,” he said. “A status that has profound personal meaning to individuals.”

Copyright 2007 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/15/nyregion/15civil.html

Punzie
June 10th, 2007, 05:40 AM
New Hampshire Governor Signs Civil Unions Bill into Law

06.04.07

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed into law last week a bill allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions which would provide for legal recognition of those relationships in the state of New Hampshire. When the bill goes into effect, New Hampshire will become the 10th state in the nation, along with the District of Columbia, that provides at least some form of state-level relationship recognition for same-sex couples.

Last month, the New Hampshire state Legislature passed the civil unions bill through the Senate by a vote of 14 to 10 and in the House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 243 to 129.

“The state of New Hampshire can now proudly be counted among the one out of every five states in this country that are leading the way in recognizing the love and commitment of all couples,” Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said in a release. “Governor Lynch and the Legislature have taken an important stand on the side of fairness, and by doing so New Hampshire is now helping move our country even closer to the realization of equality.

“This law is a significant step toward giving all New Hampshire families the rights, responsibilities and protections they need,” he added. “Thanks to the Legislature, Governor John Lynch and countless supporters of fairness across the state, all New Hampshire families will be significantly more protected by this new civil unions law.”

The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) also applauded the New Hampshire civil union law as a “step toward full equality.” “The state of New Hampshire has taken a big stride toward addressing the painful legal void in which same-sex couples and their children live,” said GLAD Executive Director Lee Swislow. “But the journey is not over until we have equality, until we have the same protections and choices as other New Hampshire citizens, until we have marriage.”

“It is my hope that New Hampshire’s successful effort will serve as inspiration across the nation that it can be done. This positive result proves that direct involvement in elections makes a real difference. Were it not for the significant support from the Human Rights Campaign, we would not be celebrating today’s victory,” said Ray Buckley, New Hampshire’s Democratic Party chair.

“This is not a state that believes in discrimination. And once people understood that same-gender couples were being denied rights like hospital visitations and the right to inherit the homes they’d shared with their loved ones—stories like that opened our eyes. And once your eyes are opened, you can’t close them again. This is the right thing to do,” said New Hampshire Senate President Sylvia Larsen, D-Concord.

Larsen noted that New Hampshire was one of the first states to oppose slavery and, later, to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. New Hampshire also is among the minority of states in amending its constitution (in 1974) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex or national origin.

Ten states plus Washington, D.C., now have laws providing at least some form of state-level relationship recognition for same-sex couples. Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey have civil unions laws similar to New Hampshire’s. California and Oregon have domestic partnership laws which grant a broad spectrum of state-level rights, benefits and responsibilities to same-sex couples (Oregon’s domestic partnership law becomes effective in January 2008). Three other states—Hawaii, Maine and Washington state—and Washington, D.C., recognize same-sex relationships and offer a handful of rights to same-sex couples (Washington state’s law becomes effective July 22, 2008). Only Massachusetts gives same-sex couples the full right to marriage, and even in Massachusetts, the federal Defense of Marriage Act has blocked same-sex couples from receiving equal federal rights, benefits and responsibilities.

© 2007 GayBusinessWorld.com; All Rights Reserved.

http://www.gaywired.com/article.cfm?section=70&id=14948

ryan
June 20th, 2007, 06:42 PM
Assembly OKs gay marriage (http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070620/NEWS01/706200390)

Cara Matthews
Albany bureau

(June 20, 2007) — ALBANY — The state Assembly approved gay-marriage legislation Tuesday by a vote of 85-61, largely a symbolic action this year to demonstrate increasing support for the measure because it has no chance of passing the Senate.

Assembly members cited personal experiences, religious beliefs, societal norms, polls, constitutional rights, the Bible and other factors to explain their votes on the bill, which would give same-sex couples the same legal status, benefits and protections heterosexual couples have. The legislation would not require members of the clergy to perform same-sex marriages.

The bill's lead sponsor in the Democrat-led Assembly, Daniel O'Donnell, D-Manhattan, said the bill has nothing to do with religion, which a number of lawmakers said was their reason for opposing it. The brother of celebrity Rosie O'Donnell, he is gay and has had a partner for 26 years.
"I do not want a seat in your synagogue, I do not want a pew in your church. I seek a license that many of you have had, some of you have had two or three times," O'Donnell said, prompting laughter at the end of a three-hour debate.

Tuesday was the first time the Assembly had voted on gay marriage. There are dozens of Assembly co-sponsors of the bill, which was proposed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

But it will go no further in 2007. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, Rensselaer County, said Tuesday that the Senate would not take up the matter by the end of the session Thursday or this year.
Massachusetts is the only state that allows same-sex marriage. Other states, such as Vermont and New Jersey, allow civil unions.

In a recent report, the Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation, a gay-rights group, and the New York City Bar Association said there are 1,324 New York statutes and regulations that confer a right or duty on married individuals.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, said he is open-minded, but his decision to vote against the bill is based on his Jewish faith.

"There are certain things that do not change for me as an individual, unless God sends me a message," he said.

Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, D-Ossining, Westchester County, said she was against the bill because she had pledged to vote based on the results of a constituent survey last fall. Constituents overwhelmingly were against gay marriage, she said.

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, D-Greenburgh, Westchester County, said opponents of the bill are sincere and passionate in their arguments. "But in the end, we are a society that prides itself on offering to all its citizens the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And a group of our fellow citizens has come to us and said we wish to pursue happiness" in ways that do no harm to other citizens.

Some of the speakers cited polling on the issue by Quinnipiac University, which found that 35 percent of New Yorkers think same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, 35 percent oppose marriage but favor civil unions and 22 percent don't want any legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
Assemblyman Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, Ontario County, said his constituents are overwhelmingly against allowing same-sex marriage. Kolb cited that, plus his upbringing and religious beliefs, in voting no.
In a memo to all Assembly members, the Catholic Conference of New York said, "Marriage is not some political term of art that can be re-imagined or redefined according to the whims of the popular culture."

"Recognizing same-sex unions will only serve to devalue marriage even more than what has already occurred in recent years ... Same-sex 'marriage' furthers a societal disconnect between procreation and marriage while promoting the notion that a nontraditional family structure serves a child as well as a traditional one. We believe this will have disastrous implications for society," the group wrote.

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, said the bill is the most important human-rights issue facing the Legislature.

Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan, said allowing gay marriage is not just about happiness. "This is about being a full human being and having the respect and ... the protection, not just for oneself, but for one's family," said Glick, who is gay.
CLMATTHE@Gannett.com

BrooklynRider
September 8th, 2007, 11:21 PM
Bar-exam flunker quits suit over gay-wed question

By Donna Goodison | Saturday, September 8, 2007 | http://www.bostonherald.com |

A Boston man has asked a federal court to dismiss his lawsuit in which he claimed that his refusal to answer a Massachusetts bar exam question related to gay marriage caused him to fail the test.

Stephen Dunne, 30, maintained that answering the essay question would have violated his Irish Catholic beliefs and First Amendment rights, because it would imply his support of gay marriage and parenting.

Filed in June against the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, his lawsuit sought to prohibit the question from being used to compute his exam score and to have the question removed from future exams.

The New England School of Law grad took the bar exam in February, scoring a 268.866 when a score of 270 was needed to pass.

In court documents, Dunne said he wanted to drop his suit because the July bar exam didn’t include what he called the “patently offensive and morally repugnant” gay marriage question. He characterized that as a “corrective action” by the board.

But in court documents filed yesterday, the board’s attorney said the board has “not agreed to limit the content” of any future bar exams. The board’s decision not to include the same question on the July exam “merely reflects their standard practice of not repeating questions on successive bar examinations,” the court filing said. The exam question read: “Yesterday, Jane got drunk and hit (her spouse) Mary with a baseball bat, breaking Mary’s leg, when she learned that Mary was having an affair with Lisa. As a result, Mary decided to end her marriage with Jane in order to live in her house with (children) Philip (and) Charles and Lisa. What are the rights of Mary and Jane?”

The board maintains that the question was a legitimate one regarding current Massachusetts law.

Dunne’s suit also challenged the constitutionality of the SJC’s 2003 ruling under which Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

Dunne’s Web site, www.christianlawsuit.com, where he outlined his case and solicited funds for his legal defense, remained active yesterday. He could not be reached for comment.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1030076

BrooklynRider
December 31st, 2007, 02:16 AM
Mike Huckabee: Homosexual behavior 'is a choice'

According to presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, homosexual behavior is a choice.

"We may have certain tendencies, but [we choose] how we behave and how we carry out our behavior," Huckabee said in an interview Sunday with Tim Russert of MSNBC's "Meet the Press."

Huckabee is known for his controversial remarks regarding homosexuality; as Russert reminded him, Huckabee once said he felt it was a "aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle."

Although Huckabee asked Russert to understand that "when a Christian speaks of sin, a Christian says all of us are sinners," he asserted that "the perfection of God is seen in a marriage in which one man, one woman live together as a couple committed to each other as life partners."

Huckabee said that he believes he has been asked more about the topic of faith than any other presidential candidate, and that he's "OK" with that.

"I've never tried to rewrite science textbooks. I've never tried to come out with some way of imposing a doctrinaire Christian perspective in a way that is really against the Constitution," Huckabee told Russert.

When Russert then asked why he would ban all abortions, Huckabee responded, "that's not just because I'm a Christian, that's because I'm an American. Our founding fathers said that we're all created equal."

He believes that a ban on abortion would not be an example of imposing his faith on Americans, but that his pro-life stance is "a human belief. It goes to the heart of who we are as a civilization."

"If you take the life and suction out the pieces of an unborn child for no reason than its inconvenience to the mother, I don't think you've lived up to your Hippocratic Oath of doing no harm," Huckabee said.

Therefore, he said he would support "sanctioning" doctors who perform abortions.

While Huckabee says he believes the government should not prefer one faith over another and that he would have no problem appointing atheists to his cabinet, he asserts in an ad that "Faith doesn't just influence [him], it defines [him]."

"At this time of year, sometimes it's nice to pull aside from all of that and just remember that what really matters is the celebration and the birth of Christ," says Huckabee. :rolleyes:

The full transcript is available here (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22409176/).

ZippyTheChimp
April 3rd, 2009, 11:19 AM
Big ruling at Iowa Supreme Court


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/nytlogo153x23.gif (http://www.nytimes.com/)

April 4, 2009


Iowa Court Says Gay Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional

By MONICA DAVEY and LIZ ROBBINS

DES MOINES — Iowa became the first state in the Midwest to approve same-sex marriage on Friday, after the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously decided that a 1998 law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

The decision was the culmination of a four-year legal battle that began in the lower courts. The Supreme Court said same-sex marriages could begin in Iowa in as soon as 21 days.

The case here was being closely followed by advocates on both sides of the issue. While the same-sex marriage debate has played out on both coasts, the Midwest — where no states had permitted same-sex marriage — was seen as entirely different. In the past, at least six states in the Midwest were among those around the country that adopted amendments to their state constitutions banning same-sex marriage.

“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution,” the justices said in a summary of their decision.

And later in the ruling, they said: “Equal protection under the Iowa Constitution is essentially a direction that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike. Since territorial times, Iowa has given meaning to this constitutional provision, striking blows to slavery and segregation, and recognizing women’s rights. The court found the issue of same-sex marriage comes to it with the same importance as the landmark cases of the past.”

In a hotel in Des Moines, several of the same-sex couples who were involved in the suit wept, teared up and embraced as they learned about the decision from their lawyers. “I’d like to introduce you to my fiancee,” said Kate Varnum, 34, reaching over to Trish Varnum. “Today I am proud to be a lifelong Iowan.”

“We are blessed to live in Iowa,” she added.

Opponents of same-sex marriage criticized the ruling.

“The decision made by the Iowa Supreme Court today to allow gay marriage in Iowa is disappointing on many levels," State Senator Paul McKinley, the Republican leader, said in a statement on The Des Moines Register’s Web site. "I believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman and I am confident the majority of Iowans want traditional marriage to be legally recognized in this state."

He added: "Though the court has made their decision, I believe every Iowan should have a voice on this matter and that is why the Iowa Legislature should immediately act to pass a Constitutional Amendment that protects traditional marriage, keeps it as a sacred bond only between one man and one woman and gives every Iowan a chance to have their say through a vote of the people."

Advocates of same-sex marriage said they did not believe opponents had any immediate way to overturn the decision. A constitutional amendment would require the state legislature to approve a ban on same-sex marriage in two consecutive sessions after which voters would have a chance to weigh in.

Iowa has no residency requirement for getting a marriage license, which some suggest may mean a flurry of people from other states.

Two states — Connecticut and Massachusetts — currently allow same-sex marriages. Several other states on the East coast allow civil unions, lawmakers in Vermont are considering gay marriage, and California allowed it until November’s election, when residents rejected the idea in a voter initiative.

A change in Iowa’s take on marriage, advocates for gay marriage said before Friday’s ruling, would signal a broader shift in public thinking, even in the nation’s more conservative middle. Opponents of same-sex marriage, meanwhile, had said any legal decision in support of same-sex marriage in Iowa would certainly trigger a prompt and sharp response among residents and, surely, state lawmakers.

The legal case here began in 2005, when six same-sex couples filed suit against the county recorder here in Polk County because he would not accept their marriage license applications.

Two years later, a local judge here, Robert B. Hanson, ruled in that case that a state law defining marriage as only between a man and woman was unconstitutional. The ruling, in 2007, set off a flurry of same-sex couples from all over the state, racing for the courthouse in Polk County.

The rush lasted less than a day in August of 2007. Although Judge Hanson had ruled against the state law, he quickly decided to delay any additional granting of licenses, saying that the Iowa Supreme Court should have an opportunity to weigh in first. In the end, about 20 couples applied before the stay was issued. Just one couple, Timothy McQuillan, then 21, and Sean Fritz, 24, managed to obtain their license and also to marry.


Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
April 3rd, 2009, 01:50 PM
You know, the one thing that annoys me is when people on one side of an argument do not have anything really solid to support their position:


“The decision made by the Iowa Supreme Court today to allow gay marriage in Iowa is disappointing on many levels," State Senator Paul McKinley, the Republican leader, said in a statement on The Des Moines Register’s Web site. "I believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman and I am confident the majority of Iowans want traditional marriage to be legally recognized in this state."

He added: "Though the court has made their decision, I believe every Iowan should have a voice on this matter and that is why the Iowa Legislature should immediately act to pass a Constitutional Amendment that protects traditional marriage, keeps it as a sacred bond only between one man and one woman and gives every Iowan a chance to have their say through a vote of the people."


that is not a valid argument.

He is pretty much saying two things:

"Majority Rules"

and an implied

"God said so"

That is not anything to do with practical issues (mainly because there aren't any). The only argument I have ever heard against gay marriage comes from the root that people feel uncomfortable with it.

I am still trying to figure out the root of this, as it seems very tangled. It may be a basic feeling of discomfort over something that is just a base urge in all humans (to copulate) and our natural instinct to try and group with like minded individuals (pack instinct). This makes the idea of someone feeling different about something that is ingrained in your person as a base drive kind of ookey. Since the majority is oriented one way (I am not saying how or why), society makes its own guidelines as to what is "normal" and what isn't.

Hell, in a society that for the longest time considered LEFT HANDED people to be freaks, it is no surprise that Homosexuality was handled with a similar, and more condemning mentality.

But this base root gets confused when things like religion get entered into it. Especially considering the individuals that feel, since they are feeling something they were told was "evil", devote themselves entirely to the pursuit of "good" things, eventually become an instrument in self denial and inherent hypocrisy. These individuals rarely think logically on an issue that is in such emotional conflict. Religious doctrine is effected, which in turn further effects our societies perception of the whole affair.

Instead of just freaks, they are now seen as evil freaks. (As if one was not enough!!!).

But how do we get away from this? Fighting rarely gets the "other side" to see things differently, AAMOF it usually gets the "other side" to retrench and become even more recalcitrant.

Again, the base question. How do we get back to the root of this and eliminate this discomfort at its source? Is there any way to get to it now that there are so many layers covering it? Can you get to the heart of the disease when there are so many secondary effects happening that ignorance of them would only hurt the patient even more?

Believing that somehow people will all of a sudden be nice and accept something they do not understand is not something I see as a viable solution or outcome. So what would work to counterbalance the root mentalities that govern our segregation, classification and ostracizing of people who are considered to be "different"?

scumonkey
April 3rd, 2009, 06:14 PM
implied "God said so"I'm sooo sick of God being used, as an excuse for the bigotry practiced, by people who think like this.
Although he's no longer our prez, I just ran across this again, and thought it relevant?


a]Dear President Bush,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people
regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and
understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment
banning same sex marriage. As you said, "in the eyes of God
marriage is based between a man and a woman." I try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the
homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus
18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination...

End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A
friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?

3. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates
a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

4. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

5. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there
'degrees' of abomination?

6. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some
wiggle-room here?

7. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though Lev. 19:25 expressly forbids this.
How should they die?

8. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

9. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to
death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep
with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can
help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

stache
April 3rd, 2009, 08:13 PM
It's all selective Christianity.

The Benniest
April 4th, 2009, 12:31 AM
Opponents of same-sex marriage criticized the ruling.
Just this morning (before 10 a.m.) I ran into sooo many people who confronted me with this subject. Most of them were furious (hard-core Christians) who are 99.99% against gays and gay marriage. Also, being that I live IN Polk County here in Iowa, you can imagine that everyone and their mom knew about the subject and was talking about it. Personally, I'm for it. I believe everyone should be able to wed, and not judged for being the same sex. I think it's down right rude.


“The decision made by the Iowa Supreme Court today to allow gay marriage in Iowa is disappointing on many levels," State Senator Paul McKinley, the Republican leader, said in a statement on The Des Moines Register’s Web site. "I believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman and I am confident the majority of Iowans want traditional marriage to be legally recognized in this state."
This makes me angry. Was there a poll taken saying the majority of Iowan's want this? If so...please, bring it on.

BrooklynRider
April 4th, 2009, 11:24 PM
I'm sooo sick of God being used, as an excuse for the bigotry practiced, by people who think like this.
Although he's no longer our prez, I just ran across this again, and thought it relevant?


a]Dear President Bush,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people
regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and
understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment
banning same sex marriage. As you said, "in the eyes of God
marriage is based between a man and a woman." I try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the
homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus
18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination...

End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A
friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?

3. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates
a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

4. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

5. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there
'degrees' of abomination?

6. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some
wiggle-room here?

7. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though Lev. 19:25 expressly forbids this.
How should they die?

8. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

9. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to
death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep
with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can
help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

I love this post!

Merry
April 5th, 2009, 12:25 AM
I love this post!

I'm glad I decided to look at this thread. That's made me LOL for a change and made my day. Thank you, Scumonkey :).

Ninjahedge
April 6th, 2009, 09:38 AM
This makes me angry. Was there a poll taken saying the majority of Iowan's want this? If so...please, bring it on.

Careful what you ask for Bennie....

There are a surprising (to some) number of homophobes out there. Asking for a vote could do the same thing that the increased voter turnout in Cali did.

Majority rule is not a healthy democracy in that, mobs are usually stupid and easily swayed. If you can get the mob to hate what you want them to hate, then convincing them of some things gets much easier......

The Benniest
April 8th, 2009, 02:02 AM
True.

Was watching the news this weekend on it and I'm pretty sure I saw that in a year Iowans will most likely get a chance to vote on a gay marriage ban.

Whoop de doo... :confused: :(

scumonkey
April 8th, 2009, 02:36 AM
Will Iowans Uphold Gay Marriage? (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/04/will-iowans-uphold-gay-marriage.html)
(Click link above for entire post with charts)

by Nate Silver @ 7:18 PM (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/04/will-iowans-uphold-gay-marriage.html)

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled today (http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090403/NEWS/90403010) that same-sex marriage is protected under that state's constitution.

As in California, there will of course be an effort to amend the state constitution to prohibit gay marriage. In Iowa, however, the hurdle to amending the constitution is fairly high: it will have to be approved by two consecutive sessions of the state legislature and then by a majority of the voters. Most likely, this means that Iowans won't vote on the issue until 2012.

This is good news for defenders of marriage equity, because while you might know it from Proposition 8's victory last year, voter initiatives to ban gay marriage are becoming harder and harder to pass every year.

I looked at the 30 instances (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defense_of_marriage_amendments_to_U.S._sta te_constitutions_by_type) in which a state has attempted to pass a constitutional ban on gay marriage by voter initiative. The list includes Arizona twice, which voted on different versions of such an amendment in 2006 and 2008, and excludes Hawaii, which voted to permit the legislature to ban gay marriage but did not actually alter the state's constitution. I then built a regression model that looked at a series of political and demographic variables in each of these states and attempted to predict the percentage of the vote that the marriage ban would receive.

It turns out that you can build a very effective model by including just three variables:

1. The year in which the amendment was voted upon;
2. The percentage of adults in 2008 Gallup tracking surveys (http://www.gallup.com/poll/114022/State-States-Importance-Religion.aspx) who said that religion was an important part of their daily lives;
3. The percentage of white evangelicals in the state.

These variables collectively account for about three-quarters of the variance in the performance of marriage bans in different states. The model predicts, for example, that a marriage ban in California in 2008 would have passed with 52.1 percent of the vote, almost exactly the fraction actually received by Proposition 8.

Unsurprisingly, there is a very strong correspondence between the religiosity of a state and its propensity to ban gay marriage, with a particular "bonus" effect depending on the number of white evangelicals in the state.

Marriage bans, however, are losing ground at a rate of slightly less than 2 points per year. So, for example, we'd project that a state in which a marriage ban passed with 60 percent of the vote last year would only have 58 percent of its voters approve the ban this year.

All of the other variables that I looked at -- race, education levels, party registration, etc. -- either did not appear to matter at all, or became redundant once we accounted for religiosity. Nor does it appear to make a significant difference whether the ban affected marriage only, or both marriage and civil unions.
So what does this mean for Iowa? The state has roughly average levels of religiosity, including a fair number of white evangelicals, and the model predicts that if Iowans voted on a marriage ban today, it would pass with 56.0 percent of the vote. By 2012, however, the model projects a toss-up: 50.4 percent of Iowans voting to approve the ban, and 49.6 percent opposed. In 2013 and all subsequent years, the model thinks the marriage ban would fail.

Ninjahedge
April 8th, 2009, 09:58 AM
One word:

TAXES.

Just tell these b00bs that if you allow two men or two women to get married, the government can take more money from them.

That will shut SOME of them up. :rolleyes:

Fabrizio
April 8th, 2009, 12:00 PM
I don't know about you girls, but the last thing I would want to do is marry a gay man.

Ninjahedge
April 8th, 2009, 12:59 PM
What if he was just, fashion conscious?

scumonkey
April 8th, 2009, 01:56 PM
more from Nate-found on his blog ...
4.08.2009

Gay Marriage in the Distict: Danger Will (and Steve) Robinson? (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/04/gay-marriage-in-distict-danger-will-and.html)

by Nate Silver @ 12:02 PM (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/04/gay-marriage-in-distict-danger-will-and.html)


#fullpost {display:none;} Andrew Sullivan has already pointed out (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/04/how-the-far-right-thinks.html) the cynicism inherent in Michael Goldfarb's eagerness (http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/04/guns_and_gays_in_the_district_1.asp) to have the Congress take up debate on gay marriage rights in the District of Columbia, something which it might wind up doing as a result of the D.C. City Council's decision (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/07/AR2009040702200.html) yesterday to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. But is the claim Goldfarb makes even correct on its surface? Is this particular permutation of the issue necessarily an electoral winner for the Republicans? That is far from clear.

Here, for your context, is Goldfarb:
The District of Columbia's Council voted today (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/07/AR2009040702200.html) to recognize gay marriages performed in other states, setting Republicans on the Hill up for a great opportunity to hit an issue that polls well. As the Washington Post puts it, "The unanimous vote sets the stage for future debate on legalizing same-sex marriage in the District and a clash with Congress, which approves the city's laws under Home Rule. The council is expected to take a final vote on the legislation next month." [...]
On [gay marriage and gun rights], Democrats in the District seem to have near religious faith in the righteousness of their cause and their prospects for victory, but Republicans should take heart: these measures are a gift. Democrats in Congress will be hard pressed to side with the District's Council on gay marriage when such measures have been soundly rejected in solid blue states like California.
Emphasis mine. What isn't clear from Goldfarb's statement is what exactly it is that polls well. The anti-gay marriage position itself polls reasonably well, but not nearly as well as it used to. Scrolling through the data at PollingReport.com (http://pollingreport.com/civil.htm): A CNN poll in December reported that 44 percent of the public supports marriage rights for gay couples versus 55 percent opposed; a Newsweek poll conducted at around the same time came up with 39 percent in favor, 55 percent opposed, and a Time poll in August actually had the gay marriage question evenly split at 47-47. For the sake of context, the roughly 40%/50%/10% undecided split is about how the pro-life position usually polls; there are now about as many people who favor legalizing gay marriage as do banning abortion.
Considering that (i) there is some opportunity cost involved to the Republicans in attempting to attack on the gay marriage issue (ii) the issue is the almost literal embodiment of the Rovian politics that the public appeared to have rejected in 2006 and 2008, and that (iii) liberals, following the passage of Proposition 8, may for the first time be at least as energized on the issue as are conservatives, it is less than obvious that a debate over gay marriage is the way back to the promised land for the GOP. The McCain campaign, of which Goldfarb was a part, performed this calculation and largely chose to pass on the issue; perhaps that was yet another in a series of poor decisions (the party base would certainly argue as much), or perhaps it was one of the few things they did right.

In fact, however, gay marriage per se is not the issue. Rather, the issue is whether the Congress, in its role as the guardian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_home_rule) of the District of Columbia, ought to have the right to override the judgment of the District's democratic institutions on the issue. Goldfarb obscures this by citing California (and does so disingenuously by characterizing Proposition 8's narrow victory as a "[sound] rejection" of gay marriage). But electorally speaking, California (which gave Barack Obama 61 percent of its vote) is closer to Alabama (39 percent) than it is to the District (92 percent). There is little doubt that a referendum to permit gay marriage would pass in D.C.; more to the point, perhaps, its democratically-elected City Council has already begun to move toward recognizing gay marriage.

What's important for our discussion is that there appears to be a decent fraction of the public that might not want gay marriage in their states, but respects the rights of other states to decide for themselves on the issue, particularly when those decisions are reached via electoral rather than judicial means. There was notably little outcry in conservative circles, certainly, when Vermont's legislature voted yesterday to override a gubernatorial veto and permit gay marriage in the Green Mountain State.

In particular, the Federal Marriage Amendment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Marriage_Amendment), which would have banned gay marriage in all states, was actually somewhat unpopular. Going back again to PollingReport.com (http://pollingreport.com/civil.htm): a Newsweek poll in December had Americans opposed to such an amendment 52-43, a Time poll had them opposed to it 58-35, and Quinnipiac had them opposed 56-38, although a Gallup poll last May had the numbers closer to 50-50.

The District of Columbia, of course, is not a state. Nevertheless, I'd guess (and this is just a guess -- I can't find any polling on the issue) that most Americans regard it as being more or less like a state, and assume that it ought to have ample discretion to determine its own affairs, instead of having those decisions be overridden by Congressional fiat. Democrats should feel reasonably happy to engage on the issue, particularly if their opponents are conservatives like Goldfarb who seem to think the last four years are some sort of very bad, very gay dream.

BrooklynRider
April 8th, 2009, 04:29 PM
I don't know about you girls, but the last thing I would want to do is marry a gay man.

We know. Why settle down when there are still so many you haven't slept with yet?

Merry
April 26th, 2009, 04:34 AM
I can't find words to describe what I thought about this :mad:.


New York archbishop says heterosexual marriage in "human DNA"

Archbishop Timothy Dolan says marriage between a man and a woman is "hard-wired". What's that mean for prominent polygamists like Jacob Zuma? Or for Jacob, son of Isaac?

The newly installed archbishop of New York (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/new-york) says heterosexual marriage is "embedded in the human DNA", and that "we're going to be in big trouble" if we mess with that.

In an interview (http://www.nypost.com/seven/04232009/news/regionalnews/tamper_with_marriage__were_in_big_troubl_165728.ht m) with the New York Post, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who was installed this month as chief of the archdioscese of New York, said:

Hard-wired into us is a dictionary, and the dictionary defines marriage as between one man, one woman for life, please God, leading to the procreation of human life. And if we begin to tamper with the very definition of marriage, then we're going to be in big trouble. We're not anti-gay -- we're pro the most basic definition of marriage.
His self-assured oration came about a week after Governor David Paterson said he would push for legislation allowing same-sex marriage (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/17/nyregion/17marriage.html?_r=1&scp=6&sq=david%20paterson&st=cse) in New York state. Dolan, who just moved to the city from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin archdiocese, pledged to challenge the move.

As a native New Yorker, I would say Dolan is showing some serious nerve mettling in the state's proud gay rights (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gay-rights) politics barely a week after moving to the city. Not a great way to introduce himself to a city that supports same-sex marriage better than two to one, no matter that he would frame his comments as "pro the most basic definition of marriage" rather than anti-gay.

A Quinnipiac University poll (http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1318.xml?ReleaseID=1285) conducted April 7 shows 46 percent of New York City residents favour allowing same-sex marriage, compared to 20 percent who want no recognition, and 27 percent who favour only civil unions.

As to his judgement that "one man, one woman for life" is the hard-wired, human definition of marriage, perhaps Dolan can advise South African president-in-waiting Jacob Zuma, who will soon have to decide (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/23/jacob-zuma-south-africa-first-lady) which of his many wives will stand beside him as first lady at international functions.

Or barring that, maybe Dolan can check his scripture before he talks about hard-wired definitions: Another Jacob, the son of Isaac, married both Rachel and Leah (http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=KjvGene.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=29&division=div1), and also had children with their servants Bilhah and Zilpah (http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=KjvGene.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=30&division=div1).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/deadlineusa/2009/apr/23/usa-catholicism

Fabrizio
April 26th, 2009, 06:25 AM
Why can't it be divided up?: the State does civil unions (including same sex).... marriage instead, would be a religious institution.

Couldn't everyone be happy with that?

For me personally, marraige should be a religious institution. Take the question up between you and your church. The state should be out of the polemic.

So I guess, in a way, I am against marriage.... gay or straight ... as a state institution.

Maybe the real problem is termonology.

--

Alonzo-ny
April 26th, 2009, 07:07 AM
I agree, Ive been arguing that exact point as long as I can remember.

Fabrizio
April 26th, 2009, 07:20 AM
And the fact that gays actually might want to abide by ridiculous ancient vows like: "till death do us part".... oh please.... it should be more like, "until I get tired of you".

BrooklynRider
April 26th, 2009, 10:46 AM
"...Archbishop Timothy Dolan says marriage between a man and a woman is "hard-wired"...

So, I guess celibate priests are anomalies and mistakes of nature, or are they just "hard"wired" for prepubescent boys?

Fabrizio
April 26th, 2009, 12:25 PM
I can't believe this.... the archbishop of New York is against gay marriage?

I'm stunned.

It almost makes me want to become a Jew, a Muslim or a Buddist.

scumonkey
April 26th, 2009, 01:44 PM
Did anyone hear that ass on tv the other day?
He claimed that if marriage was allowed between
two men, it wouldn't stop there, but that it would
then lead to marriage between 3 men...:rolleyes:

(why would any gay person want to get married through
such a bigoted institution, that is so adamantly against their very being?)

Civil union with equal rights- eff the hateful church.

lofter1
April 26th, 2009, 04:18 PM
I can't believe this.... the archbishop of New York is against gay marriage?

Oh, to go back to the days of yore ... when Francis Cardinal Spellman (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=safari&rls=en-us&q=%22cardinal+spellman%22+franny&btnG=Search) (aka "Franny") was in flower (http://www.nypress.com/article-5826-cardinal-spellmans-dark-legacy.html).



From 2002:

Two Sundays ago the rector at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Monsignor Eugene Clark, gave a homily that inspired the kind of PRIEST BLASTS GAYS headlines that New York's tabloids thrive on. Standing in for the embattled Cardinal Egan, Clark blamed the sex abuse scandal on gays, railed against homosexuality as a "disorder" and said it was a"grave mistake" to allow gays into the priesthood ...

... among the several skeletons in gay-basher (Monsignor Eugene) Clark's closet is that he in fact dutifully worked as secretary for one of the most notorious, powerful and sexually voracious homosexuals in the American Catholic Church's history: the politically connected Francis Cardinal Spellman, known as "Franny" to assorted Broadway chorus boys and others, who was New York's cardinal from 1939 until his death in 1967.

The archconservative Spellman was the epitome of the self-loathing, closeted, evil queen, working with his good friend, the closeted gay McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn, to undermine liberalism in America during the 1950s' communist and homosexual witch hunts. The church has squelched Spellman's not-so-secret gay life quite successfully ... not even 20 years ago the Times was covering up Spellman's sexual secrets many years after his death, clearly fearful of the church's revenge if the paper didn't fall in line. (During Spellman's reign and long afterward, all of New York's newspapers in fact cowered before the Catholic Church. On Spellman's orders New York's department stores–owned largely by Catholics–pulled ads from the then-liberal New York Post in the 1950s after publisher Dorothy Schiff wrote commentary critical of his right-wing positions; Schiff was forced to back down on her positions.).

In the original bound galleys of former Wall Street Journal reporter John Cooney's Spellman biography, The American Pope–published in 1984 by Times Books, which was then owned by the New York Times Co.–Spellman's gay life was recounted in four pages that included interviews with several notable individuals who knew Spellman as a closeted homosexual. Among Cooney's interview subjects was C.A. Tripp, the noted researcher affiliated with Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey of the Institute for Sex Research, who shared information that he had on Spellman regarding the prelate's homosexuality.

In a telephone interview with Tripp last week, he told me that his information came from a Broadway dancer in the show One Touch of Venus who had a relationship with Spellman back in the 1940s; the prelate would have his limousine pick up the dancer several nights a week and bring him back to his place. When the dancer once asked Spellman how he could get away with this, Tripp says Spellman answered, "Who would believe that?" The anecdote is also recounted in John Loughery's history of gay life in the 20th century, The Other Side of Silence.

"In New York's clerical circles, Spellman's sex life was a source of profound embarrassment and shame to many priests," Cooney had written in the original manuscript of his book. When Mitchell Levitas, who was then the editor of The New York Times Book Review, received the manuscript for review, he realized it was a book that would make big news; he sent the book over to Arthur Gelb, who was then the managing editor of The New York Times. Gelb assigned reporter Ed McDowell to the story. McDowell interviewed Cooney, and went about interviewing others who were relevant to the story, including church officials.

The archdiocese, however, went ballistic when presented with the information, and became determined to keep it from being published. Chief among those orchestrating the cleansing of Spellman's past sex life was none other than the current gay-basher Monsignor Clark, who, in an interview with the Times, called the assertions "preposterous," commenting that "if you had any idea of [Spellman's] New England background" you'd realize these were "foolish" charges. (I guess there are no homosexuals north of Connecticut, right?) The church sent John Moore, the retired U.S. ambassador to Ireland and a close friend and confidant of several church officials, to appeal to Sidney Gruson, then vice chairman of the New York Times Co. "The Times was going to report that Cardinal Spellman was a homosexual," Moore later told journalist Eric Nadler, who wrote a piece for Forum about the ugly little coverup, "and I was determined to stop it."

As Cooney describes it, he was soon told by his editors at Times Books that his sourcing wasn't good enough, and that the four pages would have to be cut. He could keep a paragraph that alluded to the "rumors," but he would have to state that the rumors had been strongly contested by many people–even though, in his research, that had not truly been the case. The discussion of Spellman's homosexuality in the book was reduced to mere speculation, which was branded as irrelevant:

For years rumors abounded about Cardinal Spellman being a homosexual. As a result, many felt–and continue to feel–that Spellman the public moralist may well have been a contradiction of the man of the flesh. Others within the Church and outside have steadfastly dismissed such claims. Finally, to make an absolute statement about Spellman's sexual activities is to invite an irresolvable debate and to deflect attention from his words and deeds.

The dutiful Times then had another former U.S. ambassador to Ireland and friend of the Church, William V. Shannon, review The American Pope for the Book Review. Shannon's review was scathing, attacking Cooney for even bringing the subject up at all: "Prurient interest in the sex lives of public figures serves no useful purpose."

A Jesuit priest wrote a letter to the Book Review, published a few weeks later: "Cardinal Spellman's sex life does not matter, but [his] homosexuality does... It matters to thousands of people whose jobs, relationships and whose very lives are threatened because of their sexuality, all the while being forced to view and eat the hypocrisy of their church. And it enrages people that church men and women can retain their jobs, hiding behind their clerical and religious statutes while their own people suffer persecution, disease and discrimination."

Sadly, the Jesuit's words still ring true today, almost 20 years later. While Spellman has been long dead, his legacy of hypocrisy lives on: there are closeted homosexuals–often condemning "sexual immorality" publicly while having gay sex privately–throughout the uppermost echelons of the church today. The gay movement in the past 15 years has taken on the Hollywood closet and the Washington political closet, both with dramatic success–and both those institutions have p.r. operations far more sophisticated than the Vatican's antiquated machine, which can't even seem to get the aging cardinals to attend a press conference. The media these days also has a much greater appetite for exposing sexual hypocrisy, and is no longer cowed by the Catholic Church. Going down this treacherous road of increased gay-bashing and scapegoating, the Vatican perhaps doesn't realize what it may be unleashing upon itself. If I were a closeted bishop or cardinal in America, I would be very afraid.

Michelangelo Signorile

lofter1
April 26th, 2009, 04:45 PM
The archconservative Spellman was the epitome of the self-loathing, closeted, evil queen, working
with his good friend, the closeted gay McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn ...


An exchange between Roy Cohn and his doctor From "Angels in America (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318997/quotes)" by Tony Kushner
(this takes place in the doctor's office immediately after Cohn has been told he has AIDS):



Roy Cohn: AIDS. Homosexual. Gay. Lesbian. You think these are names that tell you who a person sleeps with, but they don't tell you that.

Henry: No?

Roy Cohn: No. Like all labels they tell you one thing, and one thing only: Where does an individual so identified fit into the food chain, the pecking order? Not ideology or sexual taste, but something much simpler: clout. Not who I **** or who ****s me, but who will come to the phone when I call, who owes me favors. This is what a label refers to. Now to someone who does not understand this, a homosexual is what I am because I have sex with men, but really this is wrong. A homosexual is somebody who, in 15 years of trying cannot get a pissant anit-discrimination bill through the city council. A homosexual is somebody who knows nobody and who nobody knows. Who has zero clout. Does this sound like me Henry?


A later scene between Cohn and (the ghost of) Ethel Rosenberg, whom Cohn helped to prosecute.
Cohn made certain (via ex parte communications with the Judge in the matter) that Rosenberg would die
in the electric chair:



Ethel Rosenberg: You don't look so good, Roy.

Roy Cohn: Well, Ethel. I don't feel so good.

Ethel Rosenberg: But you lost a lot of weight. That suits you. You were heavy back then. Zaftig, mit hips.

Roy Cohn: I haven't been that heavy since 1960. We were all heavier back then, before the body thing started. Now I look like a skeleton they stare at.

Ethel Rosenberg: The shit's really hit the fan, huh, Roy? The fun's just started.

Roy Cohn: What is this Ethel, Halloween? You trying to scare me? Well you're wasting your time 'cause I'm scarier than you are any day of the week! So beat it, Ethel! Boo! Better dead than red! Somebody trying to shake me up? Hm, hm? From the throne of God in heaven to the belly of hell, you can all **** yourselves and then go jump in the lake because I am not afraid of you or death or hell or anything!

Ethel Rosenberg: I'll be seeing you soon, Roy. Julius sends his regards.

Roy Cohn: Yeah, well send this to Julius!

[Roy flips her the bird]

Ethel Rosenberg: You really are a very sick man, Roy.

Roy Cohn: I have all the time in the world.

Ethel Rosenberg: You're immortal.

Roy Cohn: I'm immortal. Ethel. I have forced my way into history. I ain't never gonna die.

Ethel Rosenberg: History is about to crack wide open. Millenium approaches.


Roy Cohn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Cohn) died in 1986 at the age of 59, single and alone (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=21562).
Publicly he claimed he had been suffering from "Cancer of the Liver"
But the real cause of death was "Complications from AIDS"

There is a dark circle in Hell reserved for the likes of him.

Fabrizio
April 26th, 2009, 05:20 PM
^ sickies

But leading a double life can also be very classy in the hands of the right person.

Merry
April 27th, 2009, 02:02 AM
Why can't it be divided up?: the State does civil unions (including same sex).... marriage instead, would be a religious institution.

Couldn't everyone be happy with that?

For me personally, marraige should be a religious institution. Take the question up between you and your church. The state should be out of the polemic.

So I guess, in a way, I am against marriage.... gay or straight ... as a state institution.

Maybe the real problem is termonology.

Marriage is a religious institution. Unfortunately, it's also a legal institution. Church and State messin' with each other again :rolleyes:.

I think marriage should become solely a legal institution and leave religion out of it completely. As a long-time, fundamental tenet of how society works (i.e. we're stuck with it), irrespective of whether its origins were religious, I think marriage should now be viewed and treated as such, without any religious interference or influence. Religious should play no part in anything to do with the law or the legal system.

Then, perhaps, everyone could potentially be happy, no matter what or who they are. Religion is no friend of equality and vice versa. Religion has the deal of a lifetime only with hypocrisy.

I hate how religion insinuates itself into our lives whether we like it or not.

Merry
April 27th, 2009, 02:45 AM
The newly installed archbishop of New York (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/new-york) says heterosexual marriage is "embedded in the human DNA",I'd like to see him prove that. It's scary enough that people like this can so effortlessly justify everything they say and be so convincing (to some of us), but they're also never held accountable to prove anything, as is required with anything scientific.


and that "we're going to be in big trouble" if we mess with that.Why? How? (just wait for it...:rolleyes:)


Hard-wired into us is a dictionary, and the dictionary defines marriage as between one man, one woman for life, please God, leading to the procreation of human life. And if we begin to tamper with the very definition of marriage, then we're going to be in big trouble. We're not anti-gay -- we're pro the most basic definition of marriage.This is just so ridiculous that it hardly warrants recognition, but again, prove it. Is he saying that human beings were hard-wired this way before religion came along to spread the word as well?

Anyway, his definition of marriage sucks. Religious zealots aren't big on progress and adaptability, are they? Too much like evolution. Please excuse my venomous sarcasm.

Fabrizio
April 27th, 2009, 03:54 AM
Progress and adaptability?

The Church has been around for 2000 years. It will still be around when we are all dried up and gone. It is against homosexuality.... always has been (so the Archbishop's remarks should not be surprising) ...and it's not going to change because in the last 20 years society has.

---

Ninjahedge
April 27th, 2009, 12:13 PM
They need to seperate Church and State.

The Church set up marriage through sociatal dictates. These eventually became law, which tied the two together.

Thing is, they should be seperated again in to legal versus moral. Legally speaking, you sign this contract, your finances are now linked, you can see them in the hospital, you get in-laws (literally) and you get taxed more.

Morally speaking, you are damned or not depending on your religious affiliation. You have a problem with that? Take it up with your pastor or change churches.

I don't know how many others feel this way, but I want homosexuals to be taxed more for their love and devotion just like everyone else. Whether they are going to hell or not for their orientation is not something I really give a hoot about. They are not hurting me, and they do not "convert" people like some crazy, well, RELIGION.

Jasonik
April 29th, 2009, 05:58 PM
Gay marriage bill passed by Senate

By TOM FAHEY
State House Bureau Chief (http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Gay+marriage+bill+passed+by+ Senate&articleId=12eb3305-7bf0-4818-9961-30e2118d94bd)

CONCORD – A bill legalizing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire passed the Senate today on a 13-11 vote.

The bill, amended on the Senate floor, draws a distinction between civil and religious marriage, and says that any two individuals have a right to join together in a civil marriage.

Last week Senate Judiciary Committee chair Sen. Deborah Reynolds, D-Reynolds, opposed the bill and voted with a committee majority that it should be killed. She said voters in her district told her they favor the legislation, and urged the Senate to vote for an amendment that was drawn up Tuesday night.

She said the wording “gives everyone in the state the right to seek a civil marriage … This is a compromise that is respectful to both sides in this debate and meets our shared goals of equality in state laws for all the people of New Hampshire. The people of this sate share the core values of equality for all, tolerance and acceptance regardless of our differences”

Republicans voted in a block against the measure, joined by Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester.

Sen. Matthew Houde, D-Lebanon, said many younger voters in the state have already concluded that same-sex marriage is acceptable, and are waiting for lawmakers to catch up to them.

“This is not a question of ‘if’ for me. It’s a question of ‘when.’ We should be eager to be on the right side of this issue,” Houde said.

Sen. Robert Letourneau, R-Derry, urged senators to reject the bill and move more slowly. "The Senate owes the people its prudence," he said.

The bill, HB 436, does not require any religious clergy to officiate at a same-sex marriage ceremony. Supporters of the bill have argued that marriage is a civil function that does not infringe on religious practice.

Opponents said gay marriage will lead to dissolution of traditional family life and societal norms.

Civil unions already sealed under existing law would convert to marriage on Jan. 1, 2011 unless couples act to change their relationship sooner.

It’s not clear how Gov. John Lynch will handle the bill. He has he said thinks the word marriage should be reserved for a traditional heterosexual relationship. He has argued that the state’s civil unions law already protects the rights of gay and lesbian couples.

Nothing requires Lynch to sign the bill into law. He can let it take effect without his signature once it arrives on his desk.

In a statement late this afternoon, Lynch said; "I still believe the fundamental issue is about providing the same rights and protections to same-sex couples as are available to heterosexual couples. This was accomplished through the passage of the civil unions law two years ago. To achieve further real progress, the federal government would need to take action to recognize New Hampshire civil unions."

The governor did not say how he would act on the bill, which passed the House, 186-179, in late March.

New Hampshire would become the fifth state in the country to legalize same sex marriage, behind Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Iowa.

The bill came to the Legislature only one year after a law allowing civil unions between same-sex couples took effect.

The two sides in the debate released polls this week that bolstered their position. A University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll, commissioned by the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, found 55 percent of respondents would approve of civil gay marriages.

The conservative Cornerstone Policy Research-Action found consensus against gay marriage in a mass phone poll of 150,000 residents. Results varied among nine Senate districts, CPR-Action said but the trend was clear.

*****

It's unclear how the NH posthumous common law marriage statute (http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XLIII/457/457-39.htm) will interact with this proposed legislation or be amended.

Ninjahedge
April 30th, 2009, 08:52 AM
Civil unions already sealed under existing law would convert to marriage

You see, this is the problem.

Somantics. The somantics of legal definition.

Our current idea of "marriage", sans religious affiliation, should be applied to the legal definition of "Civil Union" and that is that. The state should NOT be allowed to "marry" anyone, just like the Church should not be able to make a "Civil Union".

God is not responsible for visitation rights.

Merry
May 9th, 2009, 05:42 AM
The Church has been around for 2000 years.

So has the human race. Without human beings, religion would not exist. Religion is not an entity unto itself.


It will still be around when we are all dried up and gone. So, then, will the human race, along with the innate ability of all human beings to adapt, change, progress.


It is against homosexuality.... always has been (so the Archbishop's remarks should not be surprising) ...and it's not going to change because in the last 20 years society has. No one's saying it will, but religious figures such as the Archbishop are human beings too. Why should they be any different and still have so much influence under the very flawed, to say the least, umbrella of religion?

*******

I really only got into this debate because of my very strong objections to the inescapable influence of religion on every individual and so many aspects of society when some of us are not religious.

Going back to the original subject, two gay people should be able to legally become a couple and be accepted as such in the same way as a conventional married couple is. The connotations of "marriage" as we know it now are too ingrained to erase, but gay couples, and indeed any of us, should not need marriage -- as a religious institution -- as a vehicle to facilitate their union.

Bronxbombers
May 9th, 2009, 11:34 PM
I am an Evangical Lutheran from Los Angeles,CA. I am against gay marriage.

scumonkey
May 9th, 2009, 11:57 PM
I'm a Heathen from NYC, and I'm against Evangelicals

Merry
May 10th, 2009, 12:10 AM
I'm a Heathen from NYC, and I'm against Evangelicals

Touché :D.

Merry
May 10th, 2009, 06:45 AM
May 10, 2009

New York Senators Hedge on Gay Marriage

By JEREMY W. PETERS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/jeremy_w_peters/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

ALBANY — Pose the question “Would you vote to make same-sex marriage (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/same_sex_marriage/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) legal?” within the gilded State Senate chamber, and you’ll hear a lot of hedging.

Senator Vincent L. Leibell, a Republican who represents parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties, prefers civil unions to marriage. Still, he acknowledged that “society changes over time,” and said that he might not make up his mind until the last minute.

Senator James S. Alesi, a Republican from Rochester who is considered to be another potential swing vote, has issued only vague statements hinting that he is open to voting yes. But he also said, “My public opinion has not been stated yet, and it probably won’t be for a while.”

With six weeks left before the Legislature adjourns for the year, uncertainty surrounds the fate of Gov. David A. Paterson (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/david_a_paterson/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s bill to legalize same-sex marriage, and lobbying is intensifying.

The measure is expected to easily pass the State Assembly, which approved a similar bill in 2007 and has scheduled its vote for Tuesday.
That means the fate of the legislation will most likely be decided in the closely divided 62-member State Senate.

There, proponents believe they have about two dozen of the 32 votes needed for approval, including those of 19 Democrats who have signed on as sponsors of the measure.

Four of the Senate’s 32 Democrats have said they will vote against the legislation, and so far not a single Republican has publicly committed to supporting it.

Faced with these odds, gay rights groups like the Empire State Pride Agenda (http://www.prideagenda.org/), the Log Cabin Republicans (http://online.logcabin.org/) and the Human Rights Campaign (http://www.hrc.org/) have undertaken a highly methodical and personal campaign focusing on those senators from the North Country to Long Island who they believe may be open to backing the bill.

They have sent field operatives to those senators’ districts to identify constituents — straight or gay, religious or not, married or single — who are willing to make direct, personal appeals.

They have researched senators’ backgrounds, looking for inroads through any connections senators might have to gay people or to allies of the gay community. (They learned, for example, that Mr. Leibell’s law practice does estate planning (http://topics.nytimes.com/your-money/planning/estate-planning/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) for gay couples and that Mr. Alesi attends a church that blesses same-sex unions.)

Supporters of same-sex marriage have commissioned polls in more than a dozen Senate districts and have hired one of the state’s most influential lobbyists, Patricia Lynch, who has helped develop a strategy and has been meeting with undecided senators.

Those involved in the effort believe that they will have to win over about four Republican senators — a considerable challenge given the cohesion of the Senate Republican Conference.

But in a rare move for Albany, where much is decided by legislative leaders, the Senate minority leader, Dean G. Skelos (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/dean_g_skelos/index.html?inline=nyt-per), has told Republicans they should not feel bound by the party line on this issue.

Advocates of gay rights say this gives them an opening. “Republican legislators will be free to vote their conscience on this issue, without pressure,” said Jeff Cook, a legislative adviser for the Log Cabin Republicans. “And we know if people vote their hearts on this issue, we will win.”

As gay rights groups try to seize momentum from recent decisions to legalize same-sex marriage in Vermont, Iowa and Maine, opponents on the issue are working to be heard.

In New York, opponents of same-sex marriage are planning legislative outreach of their own and a rally next Sunday in front of Mr. Paterson’s office in New York City.

“There’s a fight in New York,” said Brian S. Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage (http://www.nationformarriage.org/site/c.omL2KeN0LzH/b.3836955/k.BEC6/Home.htm), which opposes such measures. “But right now they don’t have the votes in the Senate to pass same-sex marriage. And as long as we’re able to connect with voters and have them connect with their senators, then marriage will remain the union of a man and a woman in New York.”

The personal appeals undertaken by advocates of gay rights are bringing mixed results.

Senator George Onorato, a Democrat from Queens, said in an interview last week that he was unlikely to support the bill, regardless of how many people try to persuade him. “They can have all the other privileges, but not marriage,” he said.

Proponents of same-sex marriage who visited Mr. Onorato in his office in Long Island City acknowledge they have not made much progress.

“He said right off the bat that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that this is a religious issue,” said Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, 31, a child advocacy lawyer who went to the senator’s office two weeks ago accompanied by a gay man and a straight official from one of the state’s most powerful labor unions.

“I explained to him that I go to church every week and that religion teaches us not to discriminate,” Mr. Frei-Pearson said, “and that ultimately your faith should be kept separate from this decision-making process.”

He said he also tried to appeal to Mr. Onorato by explaining that he was engaged to a black woman, and that an interracial relationship like his (Mr. Frei-Pearson is white) would have been frowned upon years ago, just as many gay relationships are today.

“None of that seemed to resonate,” Mr. Frei-Pearson said.

But advocates say they have made some headway with other senators who until recently opposed same-sex marriage.

Senator John L. Sampson (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/john_l_sampson/index.html?inline=nyt-per), a Brooklyn Democrat, said last week that he had recently gone from no to undecided on the issue. “I do see it differently,” he said. “I can’t impose my own religious beliefs in a situation like this.”

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Democrat who represents parts of Westchester and the Bronx, also said she was reserving judgment on the issue.

“I always try to believe that I’m an open-minded person,” she said, adding that as a person with strong religious convictions — her father was a deacon, and her mother and sister are ministers — she found same-sex marriage to be a true test of her faith.

“This is an issue that challenges the fundamental beliefs that people have,” she said. “And it’s not easy.”

Gay rights groups are trying to ease concerns among senators who have religious objections to the legislation. They have begun referring to same-sex marriage as “same-sex civil marriage” to emphasize that the bill would not affect how religions choose to define marriage, and note that the bill contains a provision that says religious institutions cannot be forced to recognize same-sex unions.

Still, many senators remain uncomfortable. Patty Bentley, a librarian at the SUNY College at Plattsburgh, visited Senator Elizabeth Little, a Republican, with a group of students at the senator’s office in Albany last month. Ms. Bentley, a lesbian, told Ms. Little that she believed civil unions were inadequate.

When the hourlong meeting was over, Ms. Bentley said she did not know if Ms. Little could be persuaded to vote for same-sex marriage.
“I’m not sure she will,” Ms. Bentley said, “but I know she’s been willing to listen.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/nyregion/10gays.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion

BrooklynRider
May 11th, 2009, 02:27 AM
I am an Evangical Lutheran from Los Angeles,CA. I am against gay marriage.


I'm a Heathen from NYC, and I'm against Evangelicals

I'm an Evangelical Heathen and I'm against Los Angeles, CA.

Ninjahedge
May 11th, 2009, 09:50 AM
I am an Evangical Lutheran from Los Angeles,CA. I am against gay marriage.

You want a prize or something?

That was a really REALLY counterproductive, ill-placed and potentially inflammatory statement.

1. No-one here cares what your religious affiliation is, especially when followed by a comment that does not have a direct bearing on that association.

2. You are against Gay Marriage. So? What's your point? No reason why? Just stating your objection to it means we should all agree with you?

BB, I keep wondering if you are genuinely thick-headed or if you just pretend to be to get people's attention. But sometimes you really do a number.

Clue: Stop posting your 2 line witticisms on subjects that are being discussed seriously. If you have something more intelligent to say, fine, but simply declaring your own personal thought of the moment really does not contribute anything to the topic.

Fabrizio
May 11th, 2009, 09:58 AM
I'm a Heathen from Italy, and I'm against Evangelicals and people from Hoboken.

Ninjahedge
May 11th, 2009, 11:41 AM
I'm a Heathen from Italy, and I'm against Evangelicals and people from Hoboken.

I never knew you liked snuggling that much... :confused:

Ninjahedge
May 15th, 2009, 02:16 PM
Sorry I am a week behind in this, but a nice little snippet from The Daily Show last week made me laugh.

DC just put the issue up for a vote (I think it was to offically consider it or some other thing. I do not think it is allowed yet) and all but one voted for it.

Marion Barry.

Now if that was not bad enough, they played a clip of him:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=226608&title=Gaywatch---Marion-Barry

OMG, of all the people to talk of morality

BrooklynRider
May 18th, 2009, 10:05 PM
Have we posted THIS (http://vofua.blogspot.com/2009/05/pardon-intrusion-of-politics-but-it-is.html) video anywhere yet?

Thank God for the young people in this country. They ain't taking sh*t.

BrooklynRider
May 20th, 2009, 12:08 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/nyregion/20marriage.html

May 20, 2009

Gay Marriage Slow to Draw an Opposition in N.Y.
By JEREMY W. PETERS

ALBANY — Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn was feeling distressed.

The State Assembly had just voted to legalize same-sex marriage, after gay rights groups flooded the Legislature with visits, phone calls and e-mail messages. Where, he wanted to know, was the other side?

“Wake up! Where are you?” Mr. Hikind, an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, said in an interview. “It’s the bottom of the ninth, two outs, and you’re losing — big time.”

As the Legislature considers whether to make New York the next state to legalize same-sex marriage, social conservatives have been largely missing from the debate in Albany.

The interest groups working to legalize marriage for gay couples have been laying the groundwork for more than four years, lobbying lawmakers and funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to their campaigns. And last week they began running television commercials in three of the state’s largest media markets promoting same-sex marriage as an equal rights issue.

Their opponents, who are just beginning to organize, say they feel outgunned and underfinanced.

The difficulties in New York echo those that conservatives have faced throughout the Northeast. Over the last six weeks, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire have all moved to allow gay couples to wed.

The region has been challenging for opponents of same-sex marriage, in part, because the measures are being decided by state legislatures — not voter referendums where the opponents’ ability to motivate large numbers of voters, rather than influence institutional players, has been an advantage.

“It is the lack of a proposition or referendum,” the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said. “There is a disconnect within the constituencies. Many of them really have no idea how to present their grievances.”

In New York, the National Organization for Marriage, whose resources have been stretched thin from other campaigns in the Northeast, began making phone calls to recruit supporters only late last week.

The state’s Roman Catholic bishops have been somewhat distracted, too, having focused their lobbying energies this session on defeating a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse to bring civil claims, and have appeared unprepared for the battle over marriage.

“Frankly, the governor caught us all by surprise when he put this bill out there,” said Dennis Proust, communications director for the New York State Catholic Conference, the bishops’ political arm. “We weren’t expecting it.”

Other groups that typically take the lead on conservative causes, like New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and the Conservative Party of New York State, say they lack the resources to mount a broad media campaign.

And the state does not have the large numbers of evangelical Christians and Mormons that have helped fuel movements to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples in other states, like California.

“It’s been a little bit of a challenge in New York,” said Peter S. Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, the Washington-based conservative advocacy group led by Tony Perkins. “The pro-family network in New York is not as well organized as it is in other states.”

The only statewide organization dedicated to preserving New York’s marriage laws is the Coalition to Save Marriage, an alliance of conservative leaders that has no headquarters or staff.

“I wish I would have started six years ago,” said Maggie Gallagher, who founded the National Organization for Marriage, based in Princeton, N.J., in 2007. “I would have a state organization. I would have a director who’s a National Organization for Marriage person who’s directly lobbying. But that’s not where I am.”

The State Assembly passed Gov. David A. Paterson’s bill to give same-sex couples the right to wed by a vote of 89 to 52 last week, and gay rights advocates are pushing for a vote in the closely divided Senate before the Legislature adjourns at the end of June.

Supporters have a financial advantage, too. The National Organization for Marriage said it planned to spend a minimum of $100,000 on its efforts in New York, mainly on telephone and e-mail appeals to voters and the purchase of ads on Web sites. The Empire State Pride Agenda, the leading gay rights organization, is already spending at least twice that on its TV advertising campaign and has hired Patricia Lynch Associates, one of Albany’s most influential lobbying firms, for $10,000 a month.

To be sure, those advantages do not guarantee that advocates will prevail in the 62-member Senate, and supporters concede they still need several votes to pass the marriage measure.

Still, social conservatives in New York state have seemed somewhat fragmented in recent years, lacking a galvanizing issue like the death penalty, over which they waged epic battles with Govs. Mario M. Cuomo and Hugh L. Carey.

“Everybody is operating in their own stratosphere,” said Michael R. Long, chairman of the Conservative Party of New York State.

Mr. Long said the Conservative Party would do what it could with its limited arsenal: e-mail messages to legislators, news releases and a call to action on its blog.

“If I had the money or the wherewithal, naturally I’d like to be on radio or TV,” he said.

The efforts have also been hurt by the lack of a statewide political figure to lead the opposition. The state’s two senators, governor, legislative leaders and attorney general all support allowing gay couples to wed.

Even the new archbishop of New York, Timothy M. Dolan, whose upbeat personality and communication savvy suggest he could be a powerful voice on public policy, has no plans to step into the debate, his spokesman, Joseph Zwilling, said last week.

“Not at this point, no,” Mr. Zwilling said. “He’s letting the conference take their normal role,” referring to the bishops’ political arm.

Mr. Paterson said the archbishop did not raise the issue when the two met last month.

Still, there have been stirrings since the Assembly passed the marriage bill.

Hispanic churches organized a rally outside Mr. Paterson’s office in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday that drew thousands of people.

The phone solicitations by the National Organization for Marriage are focusing on districts where opponents believe senators’ positions can be influenced. Residents who oppose same-sex marriage are being asked to donate money or contact their senator.

“The other side, as far as the time they’ve spent organizing in New York, it’s clearly the case that they’re ahead of us,” said Brian S. Brown, the group’s executive director. “But we have only partially been on the field of play.” He added: “Wait till we get on the field.”

Fabrizio
May 21st, 2009, 06:49 PM
Ugh... give them the right to marry already.

How sad that gays want to mimic a straight institution.

I can remember back when gays were trend setters.

My god gays are lucky enough to be DIFFERENT with no obligation to follow established social mores like legal marriage... and yet they actually want that instead of shacking up.

Does anyone really need that kind of blessing from a government or the church?

A civil union is more than enough for any sane person gay or straight.

----

Stephen Sondhiem's wonderful homage to marriage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iiz8nql5ps&feature=related


---

MidtownGuy
May 21st, 2009, 07:44 PM
They may not need the "blessing", but they do need and want all of the same rights provided by marriage. Calling it something different like "civil union" is just semantics to assuage those who want to figure out a way to continue drawing a difference between the two. Different terminology opens the way for different treatment. By that way of thinking interracial couples should have just settled for "civil unions" too.
The word marriage has psychological connotations that "civil union" doesn't and probably never will. How romantic, declaring yourself civilly unified:rolleyes: Doesn't have the same ring, does it?
Some gays may feel no desire for such an institution, but others might and they should be able to have it. I think there's also a generational thing here...gays from your generation may like to fancy themselves as some kind of rebels who are "free" and "different" but younger gays want something else.
We know there will be snowballs in hell before Italy will make any progress in this realm, with the Pope and all that Catholic BS calling the shots there, but the momentum is different in other nations. Even Spain has legalized it.

I don't think it's fair to say that gays who are fighting for this just want to "mimic a straight institution". They want to chip away at a certain stigma and/or get the full spectrum of legal recognition no matter what state they are in, and feel it can't be done by settling for a separate terminology.

MidtownGuy
May 21st, 2009, 08:02 PM
Framing the conversation: What’s really at stake?

First, let’s be clear. This discussion is about substance— not symbols. The human stakes are enormous.
This document explains why civil marriage, and not civil unions, is the only way to make sure gay and lesbian couples have all of the same legal protections as other married couples.

Second, the discussion is about ending governmental discrimination against gay and lesbian families with
respect to civil marriage and its legal protections and responsibilities— not about any religious rite of marriage. Every faith is and will remain free to set its own rules about who can marry and on what terms.

Third, marriage is many things to many people. But it is also a legal institution in which governmental
discrimination has no place.

Let’s compare civil marriage as a legal institution to civil unions as a legal institution.

What is marriage?
Marriage is a unique legal status conferred by and recognized by governments the world over. It brings
with it a host of reciprocal obligations, rights, and protections. Yet it is more than the sum of its legal
parts. It is also a cultural institution. The word itself is a fundamental protection, conveying clearly that
you and your life partner love each other, are united and belong by each other’s side. It represents the ultimate expression of love and commitment between two people and everyone understands that. No other word has that power, and no other word can provide that protection.

What is a civil union?
A civil union is a legal status created by the state of Vermont in 2000. It provides legal protection to
couples at the state law level, but omits federal protections as well as the dignity, clarity, security and power of the word “marriage.”

What are some of the limitations of civil unions?
Civil unions are different from marriage, and that difference has wide-ranging implications that make the
two institutions unequal. Here is a quick look at some of the most significant differences:

Portability:
Marriages are respected state to state for all purposes, but questions remain about how civil unions will be treated in other states. GLAD believes there are strong arguments that civil unions deserve respectacross the country just like marriages. But the two appellate courts that have addressed the issue (in Connecticut and Georgia) have disrespected them based on the fact that their states do not grant civil
unions themselves.

Ending a Civil Union:
If you are married, you can get divorced in any state in which you are a resident. But if states continue to disrespect civil unions, there is no way to end the relationship other than by establishing residency in Vermont and filing for divorce there. This has already created problems for some couples who now have no way to terminate their legal commitment.


Federal Benefits:
According to a 1997 GAO report, civil marriage brings with it at least 1,049 legal protections and responsibilities from the federal government, including the right to take leave from work to care for a family member, the right to sponsor a spouse for immigration purposes, and Social Security survivor benefits that can make a difference between old age in poverty and old age in security. Civil unions bring none of these critical legal protections.

Taxes & Public Benefits for the Family:
Because the federal government does not respect civil unions, a couple with a civil union will be in a kind of limbo with regard to governmental functions performed by both state and federal governments, such as
taxation, pension protections, provision of insurance for families, and means-tested programs like Medicaid. Even when states try to provide legal protections, they may be foreclosed from doing so in joint federal/state programs.

Filling out forms:
Every day, we fill out forms that ask us whether we are married or single. People joined in a civil union don’t fit into either category. People with civil unions should be able to identify themselves as a single family unit, but misrepresenting oneself on official documents can be considered fraud and carries potential serious criminal penalties.

Separate & Unequal -- Second-Class Status:
Even if there were no substantive differences in the way the law treated marriages and civil unions, the fact that a civil union remains a separate status just for gay people represents real and powerful inequality. We’ve been down this road before in this country and should not kid ourselves that a separate institution just for gay people is a just solution here either. Our constitution requires legal equality for all.
Including gay and lesbian couples within existing marriage laws is the fairest and simplest thing to do.
How real are these differences between marriage and civil unions, given that a federal law and some state laws discriminate against all marriages of same-sex couples?

Would any of this change immediately with marriage of same-sex couples? Probably not, because married same-sex couples will face other layers of discrimination against their marriages. Right now, a federal law denies recognition of same-sex unions conferred by any state for purposes of all federal programs and requirements and over 30 state laws do the same. Ending discrimination in marriage does not mean the end of all discrimination, but using the term “marriage”rather than “civil union”is an
essential first step to opening the door and addressing whether continued governmental discrimination against civil marriages of gay and lesbian people makes sense.

Marriage and civil unions remain different, both in practice and in principle.

First, more than a dozen states have not taken a discriminatory position against civil marriages of gay and lesbian couples. In those states, civilly married gay and lesbian couples should be able to live and travel
freely and without fear that their relationship will be disrespected.
Second, even as to those states with discriminatory laws, legally married gay and lesbian couples from those states may well face some discrimination in some quarters, but their marriages will also be treated
with legal respect in other arenas. Marriages are far more likely to be respected by others than newly minted “civil unions.”

Using the term marriage also prompts a discussion about fairness. Allowing same sex couples to marry (rather than enter a separate status) will allow gay and lesbian people to talk with their neighbors, their local elected officials, and the Congress about whether discrimination against their marriages is fair.
Where gay and lesbian people and their children are part of the social fabric, is it right to continue discriminating against them in civil marriage? The federal government and states that have taken discriminatory positions against marriages of gay and lesbian couples could rethink those policies and go back to respecting state laws about marriage, as they have done for hundreds of years. In the end, we will not be able to have this discussion until gay and lesbian folks have what everyone else has: civil marriage.

www.massequality.org/ourwork/marriage/marriagevscivilunions.pdf (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/www.massequality.org/ourwork/marriage/marriagevscivilunions.pdf)

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 10:17 AM
After all, the overwhelming majority of couples that I know are now divorced (or wish they were). And most of them ended in very ugly, very expensive divorces. So when young friends ask me about getting married, I always tell them to just live together.

This is the 21st century....it just seems like the modern thing to do.

So I guess...well yes, of course I'm for gays having the right to marriage.

But: I'm against marriage.

Go figure.

---



We know there will be snowballs in hell before Italy will make any progress in this realm, with the Pope and all that Catholic BS calling the shots there, but the momentum is different in other nations.

So I can't get married in Italy.... boo hoo. But this is a mediterranean country with all of the mystery and contradictions that go along with it. For everything else that concerns sexuality and attitudes toward it... gay, straight or whatever (with an emphasis on the whatever), believe me, it's infinitely more progressive here.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 10:39 AM
Boo Hooo indeed. It isn't that you can't get "married" to enjoy terminology...and it isn't about you in particular. It's about gays having their legal rights recognized. Others, not you I guess, want such rights. In this regard Italy is not progressive, it is terribly and obviously regressive. Attempts there to gain legal protections have failed miserably. Just how progressive is a country that keeps electing a social throwback like Berlusconi. It's also not very progressive if you are Chinese or any other nationality trying to make a life there. If you're a gypsy they just might burn down your camp.
It's certainly not more progressive there for gays. Every August in Mykonos I meet so many gay Italians who complain about their lifestyles at home as gay men, saying how they look forward to traveling abroad several times a year just for that reason. They live hidden lives.
The fact is there are very real legal issues, some of them outlined in my previous post which you can't demean no matter how much you try. The regions in Italy which have some sort of recognition of gay unions are of mostly symbolic nature carrying no real legal provisions.
Italy, progressive? Maybe for design. Regarding tolerance of other ethnicities or lifestyles, sorry but no.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 10:43 AM
But this is a mediterranean country with all of the mystery and contradictions that go along with it.

I appreciate mystery and all that, but I'd like my legal rights to be not so mysterious, thank you very much.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 10:50 AM
Midtown: do you really understand the situation in Italy?

Meet member of the Italian parliment Vladmir Luxuria: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Luxuria



Italy, progressive? Maybe for design. Regarding tolerance of other ethnicities or lifestyles, sorry but no.


America has had slavery, segregation up until only 45 years ago , the complete right to vote only 40 years ago, racial ghettos, cities burned in protest and etc. and etc.

Italy is on a different time-line.... later than the US, and the changes sweeping Italy are at times painful, but the integration of people and races will be much, much smoother than they were in the US.


---

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 10:59 AM
I just know what I've been told by other gay Italians other than yourself, and what I observed there on my trips.
I don't think pointing out one transgender political figure indicates a national progressive attitude toward homosexuality. The lives of everyday gay men outweigh that.
Italians have always gotten a kick out of drag queens.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 11:02 AM
She is a serious politician.

--

I have lived in both countries... for gay people IMHO: it's much better here. I also have American friends who live here and feel the same way.

BTW: If you are looking for gay ghettos and lots of gay night life you won't find it here.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:03 AM
America has had slavery, segregation up until only 45 years ago , the complete right to vote only 40 years ago, racial ghettos, cities burned in protest and etc. and etc.

Segregation in Italy wasn't a problem because it has been a homogenous population. You're comparing apples to oranges. Now that Italy is having to deal with people of other backgrounds, the problems are indeed surfacing in very ugly ways.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:10 AM
I have lived in both countries... for gay people IMHO: it's better here.

Woudn't you need to be more specific, as in what region exactly? America is huge compared to Italy. In my opinion, for gays in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles and countless other progressive cities life is better for gays in America. Montana? Of course not, but places like that do not typify the majority of America. Your capital city, Rome, is a wasteland for gays. Milan is admittedly a little better.

In fact huge changes in attitude toward gays have taken place in America in the last 15 years, even in flyover country.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 11:10 AM
As I told you: Italy is on a different time line. It is now Italy's time to deal with diversity. All things considered, it is doing a pretty good job of it. I don't think there will be blood shed and years and years segregation.

-----

"America is huge compared to Italy. In my opinion, for gays in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles and countless other progressive cities life is better for gays in America. Montana?"

I judge a country on it's masses, not it's elite. I don't care about NY... we know it's "progressive".

I don't care about gay neighborhoods and locales and do not go out of my way to frequent them. I mean why would I want to?

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:15 AM
If you are looking for gay ghettos and lots of gay night life you won't find it here.

I know. We tried. A late night cab ride to Testaccio proved fruitless.

It's interesting you use the word "ghetto" to make such a thing as a gay neighborhood sound negative, but having areas where gay businesses and clubs can enjoy openness and proximity to each other is not a bad thing.
The lack of such a place in some cases might mean gays are so completely assimilated into the society that it isn't necessary, but we know this is hardly the case in Italy.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 11:16 AM
The lack of such a place in some cases might mean gays are so completely assimilated into the society that it isn't necessary, but we know this is hardly the case in Italy.

Wrong.


I know. We tried. A late night cab ride to Testaccio proved fruitless.



Clueless Americans... I should write a guide.

Was the cab driver cute? You should have offered him a drink back at your hotel.

Americans come to Italy and take a cab looking for gay life... when they are actually surrounded by it.

--

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:18 AM
I don't care about gay neighborhoods and locales and do not frequent them. I mean why would I want to?

Again, you speak for yourself and that's fine, but you are not the voice of gay Italy. Certainly not the voice of young gay Italians who want to meet each other in places other than roadside rest stops, or be able to dance together and socialize at clubs.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:19 AM
Wrong.

which part?

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 11:29 AM
Certainly not the voice of young gay Italians who want to meet each other in places other than roadside rest stops, or be able to dance together and socialize at clubs.

Man, you don't get it or understand this country.

BTW: if you're looking for a gay vacation experience, you might think about the region of Versilia.... please read:

http://www.friendlyversilia.it/en/about-us.html

But believe me... you're really missing out on the real Italy.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:37 AM
Was the cab driver cute? You should have offered him a drink back at your hotel.

Americans come to Italy and take a cab looking for gay life... when they are actually surrounded by it.Oh please, we weren't looking for a sex hookup, we were looking to dance and have fun in a club with other gays, or where we could feel comfortable as a couple.
And we were "surrounded" by what, repressed desires that needed alcohol and a private hotel room to be coaxed out?

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:42 AM
I judge a country on it's masses, not it's elite. I don't care about NY... we know it's "progressive".

Now that is precious, spoken like someone from FreeRepublic.com!
New York, LA, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco...these are not the "elite", they are a list of our large cities. And when you combine the populations of the large urban areas they do comprise the "masses".

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 11:53 AM
What I should have said was: I judge a country on it's masses. ... on the simple everyday people and their innate culture.... not by sophisticated urban centers. I doubt that you'll settle down even a second to understand this and (and it's no skin off my nose)... I know there is no way I could convince you ...you'll chafe and jump at every word... but believe me it's better here... people are more open, more tolerant... actually tolerance has nothing to do with it... it just IS.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:54 AM
Well, I looked at the link and Versillia sounds promising. I would like to visit.

However, if you're going to hold that up as an example of Italian progressiveness toward homosexuality, while trying to call New York simply an elite fluke when I list it as an area of American progressiveness, then we have a disconnect.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 11:57 AM
"However, if you're going to hold that up as an example of Italian progressiveness toward homosexuality,"

This is farm land... it's farm culture. It is provincial. And Tuscany does not "need" to be progressive toward homosexuality... it is progressive to sexuality... always has been. It is probably one of the most tolerant places on earth.



Oh please, we weren't looking for a sex hookup, we were looking to dance and have fun in a club with other gays, or where we could feel comfortable as a couple.

Then just go to any cool disco. No problem.

Again: you don't understand it here.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 12:03 PM
but believe me it's better here... people are more open, more tolerant... actually tolerance has nothing to do with it... it just IS. again, where? what main city? or what region? among what Italian masses? I guess I'm supposed to just take your word for it over every other gay Italian I've discussed it with.



I judge a country on it's masses. ... on the simple everyday people and their innate culture.... not by sophisticated urban centers.The US is a heavily urbanized country where the vast majority of people live in cities. They are the masses. I don't even know what you mean by "simple" when you refer to people.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 12:08 PM
This is farm land... it's farm culture. It is provincial. And Tuscany does not "need" to be progressive toward homosexuality... it is progressive to sexuality... always has been. It is probably one of the most tolerant places on earth.I'm happy that Tuscany welcomes gay tourists and Rome has friendly cab drivers.
What does this mean in regard to legal rights, since that is where the discussion began?

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 12:11 PM
I doubt that you'll settle down even a second to understand this and (and it's no skin off my nose)... I know there is no way I could convince you ...you'll chafe and jump at every word

Pot, meet kettle.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 12:11 PM
No, not really. I understand what you are saying but it's sure not the Italy I know. I do understand the American mentality on things however so I understand you... I've lived in both countries... and I know gay Americans here: IMHO it's much much better here.


What is funny about this is that you are the one seeking out "gay life style" (for me banal). Which sounds like a desire to NOT be integrated. And if that's what you are looking for, you will not like Italy. I'm simply seeking and advocating LIFE. Where gay straight bisexual are'nt really an issue ... it's uh... pansexuality?... Italy is the place then if that is the way one likes to live ... as I do. Homosexuality is an integral part of the culture. It is a part of it's history. And that's really my point. I just don't care about being with flocks of "gay " men. Again: why? I feel comfortable and fulfilled in the society here at large.

But believe me: if you had were here and could get into it... you'd probably appreciate what I am saying and the way things are here..

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 12:30 PM
What is funny about this is that you are the one seeking out "gay life style". Which sounds like a desire to NOT be integrated.

No, just seeking equal legal rights. That is a concrete example of integration which, again, is completely absent in Italy.



Homosexuality is an integral part of the culture. It is a part of it's history. And that's really my point.

Well, in that sense you may as well be talking about countries everywhere.
You refer to human sexual nature, and that doesn't change when you cross a national border. Men have it off, no matter where you go and we both know that.


I just don't care about being with flocks of "gay " men.
Me either. But that was never the point. You keep missing it.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 12:33 PM
I've lived in both countries

Yes, but if I may ask, roughly when was that?

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 04:09 PM
extract from a documentary about legal rights for gays in Italy, including legal recognition of same sex couples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72evoh6eAcU
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OroNSWjjyg)I look forward to viewing this film in its complete form.

Again, this is not about whether your neighbors will invite you to the village pig roast or how easy it is to get laid. It's about legal rights.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 04:38 PM
I understand what you are saying but it's sure not the Italy I know.

"Suddenly Last Winter is the story of Gustav and Luca. Their life changes when the Italian government presents a draft law that would give rights to unmarried and gay couples, prompting a wave of homophobia in Italy. The Vatican and conservatives fight against it, preaching that the end of morality and the family are nigh if the legalisation on civil unions is not blocked. Together for over eight years, Luca and Gustav want to understand the different positions and undertake a journey into a country they did not know before and did not expect to find: their own."

-from the website http://www.suddenlylastwinter.com/www.suddenlylastwinter.com/

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 07:29 PM
I'm rushing but:

The film looks good. It could also be in English, take place in the US, and work perfectly just the same. I could also find plenty of people that would give opinions completely opposite of what is found here.

My own experience: I lived together with someone in Italy for 7 years. He and his father BTW. Deep in the tuscan countryside. I know daily small town life. My companion died , quite a shock to me and my world. My friend's home was in his father's possesion but his valuable antique furnishings were left to me... in a handwritten letter that was placed in the pages of a book. Although his brothers tried to block it...the letter was judged to be a legal will and what was rightfully mine was mine. I saw no discrimination on the part of law or taking sides or corruption to let this family have it's way. That's my experience as a couple. You can of course have things notorized and that is legally binding. Benefits are of course another story and I don't have personal experience in that.

Does Italy need couples to have legal rights? Yes.... of course.

Does the US need to have gays allowed to serve in the military? Yes. In Italy it is law. Not so in the US. Why? Why can military careers be legally destroyed in the US for being gay?

The point is: every country on these issues is on a different timeline.

And actually civil unions in the US, are as far as I can see, are a rather recent development and do not appear in every state. Why is that?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_unions_in_the_United_States

And the US is much behind the rest of Europe (as is Italy) but we will get there. (See "Legal recognition of
same-sex couples" in the link above)

Also: the social ideal for that film you posted would certainly be northern Europe and perhaps Spain but not the US.

Except maybe for race relations, the US is not seen here as a social model for anything. Those days are long gone.

The Vatican: I would rather live with the Vatican in my country than with the US religous right any day. Any day.

Berlusconi: I would rather have Berlusconi than 8 years of Bush.

Sexuality: no sexuality is not the same in all countries. To think that is not very worldly. Italy is very very different than the US and IMHO sexual attitudes a million times better here. Generally men here are much more open sexually... lines between gay and straight a very blurred.

Overall being gay in Italy is a IMHO a much nicer experience. I don't live in a big city... not Milan or even Florence. I'm in a small town... and it is wonderful.... not because there is a gay neighborhood and fabulous gay locales but because the everyday people young and old are cool. This is a country not of moralists... there is a wonderful rebelous decadent streak that runs through everything. Yes, if I wanted to make a film of idiots speking garbage I could certainly find them.... but it does not represent the country that I know.

Yes Italy does need to catch up with the rest of Europe as far as legal rights go.... but then so does the US.

And please keep us posted on the plight of Second Lieutenant Sandy Tsao and First Lieutenant Dan Choi. Thanks a bunch.


--

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 09:16 PM
The film looks good. It could also be in English, take place in the US, and work perfectly just the same.Not exactly. We have several states now where gay marriage has been legalized. Italy has none. Zip. Zero. So it is not "just the same".
You might say it works the same in some American states, but certainly not in others. In Italy it currently applies across the board. If things ever change over there, in even ONE region, you might have a point. Like I said, we are a much larger and more diverse nation than Italy. Thank goodness.


I could also find plenty of people that would give opinions completely opposite of what is found here. Yes, I bet we could find people that say lots of things. Opinions are just that. Instead, let's simply deal with the facts on the ground. Legal realities.

As far as the gays in the military thing, I totally agree, but I bet America will have gay people serving openly long before Italy recognizes same sex marriages. If I'm proven wrong, nothing would make me happier and I will celebrate with the Italian gay community.


Point is every country on these issues is on a different timeline.Sure, and in the case of Italy it's behind on just about all of them except the military thing. Thankfully membership in the EU is putting pressure on it to join the 21st century when it comes to equality under the law. I hope the more progressive countries of the EU will drag it along, kicking and screaming if necessary.


The Vatican: I would rather live with the Vatican in my country than with the US religous right any day. Why? That's your opinion, but I would prefer neither. Organized religion is a menace. Just the same, in my view the Vatican still has a regressive influence on Italian society and more actual influence than Jimmy Swaggart or the Mormons have over here. I know that most Italians thankfully don't listen to the Pope when he preaches against condoms, but they evidently listened to his views on gay marriage in 2007 when DICO was defeated. I would rather have some nutjobs out in Wyoming than a Pope getting on his national bully pulpit every week and a Catholic hierarchy squashing legislation. From Wiki:

"During the 1990s a succession of civil union bills were regularly introduced and rejected in parliament, bolstered by discussion in the European Parliament on equal rights for homosexuals on marriage and adoption.

During the XIIIth parliamentary session, at least ten bills were presented (by Nichi Vendola, Luigi Manconi, Gloria Buffo, Ersilia Salvato, Graziano Cioni, Antonio Soda, Luciana Sbarbati, Antonio Lisi, Anna Maria De Luca, and Mauro Paissan). None of these ever made it to discussion on the floor of the house - not least due to the explicit influence and strident opposition of the Catholic hierarchy that was often behind the governing Christian Democrat coalition, and intervened in political discussion."

also:

...in February 2007 the government approved a draft bill to recognise domestic partnerships under the name DIritti e doveri delle persone stabilmente COnviventi (DICO) (English: Rights and duties of stable co-habitants). The bill proposed to give unmarried couples (including same-sex couples) health and social welfare benefits, and provide an entitlement to inherit after a couple has been living together for at least nine years.[2] The bill faced considerable opposition from the Roman Catholic Church,[3] and in the Senate from the majority of the right-wing opposition and even from certain elements within Mr. Prodi's own fractious coalition. The bill was eventually stopped from reaching the floor for a conclusive vote.

What's preferable about any of that, Fab? The Catholics seem to be pretty effective in getting what they want over there.


Berlusconi: I would rather have Berlusconi than 8 years of Bush.Bush never got 60 percent of the nation's vote like Silvio did. Sixty percent of your country has no problem with voting for that ridiculous man, and you want to talk about how progressive your country is on the whole? You must be joking. Bush was bad but at least we could get rid of him. Silvio is like a bad case of athlete's foot that just keeps returning. How many times are you up to now, three?


Sexuality: no sexuality is not the same in all countries. To think that is not very worldly. Italy is very very different than the US and IMHO sexual attitudes a million times better here. Generally men here are much more open sexually... lines between gay and straight a very blurred.
They blur everywhere. Sexuality has been shown to be a continuum, not a dichotomy. Dr. Alfred Kinsey (an American, gasp!!) pioneered research on the topic. I'm sure you've heard of him. As far as men being willing to engage in clandestine sex with other men, it's more the same than it is different no matter where you go. I stand by that, and the reason I know that is because I have traveled so much, not because I haven't. Go to any country and you will find men having sex with other men. The lines blur given the right set of conditions no matter the country and of course that includes the US. Any gay man that gets around the world enough will tell you that. What does differ is how comfortable they are being open about it. In Italy, that comfort level is very, very low. If you are saying otherwise, you're just not being honest.
And again, you continue to steer the discussion toward sexual availability when it is really about legal rights.


Yes Italy does need to catch up with the rest of Europe as far as legal rights go.... but then so does the US.Again, in several states we have already caught up, and the number is increasing. Please keep us posted when even one region of Italy has gay marriage. Grazie. Until then please stop carrying on about how Italy is a progressive gay utopia. It's absurd.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 09:24 PM
Fabrizio said:

"I do understand the American mentality on things however so I understand you."
"Again: you don't understand it here. "
"Man, you don't get it or understand this country."
"Midtown: do you really understand the situation in Italy?"
"Clueless Americans... I should write a guide."
I never called you an arrogant Italian, though the shoe seems to fit very well judging by the above comments.
Give it a rest. You don't have to keep attacking my ability to understand.

Something deserves returning to...Miss Luxuria.
You said "Meet member of the Italian parliment Vladmir Luxuria: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Luxuria

Interesting how that same article says this:
___________
"Although her Lazio 1 constituency was seen as a safe Communist seat, her election was not without difficulties, particularly after it was disclosed that she had been a sex worker for a time shortly after arriving in Rome due to the fact that finding a normal job is extremely difficult for a transgender individual. Clemente Mastella, chief of a more moderate party in her own coalition, notoriously called her "a ridiculous Cicciolina,". Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the Fascist dictator said, referring to Luxuria, that it was "better to be a fascist than a faggot" (meglio fascista che frocio).[4] However, Luxuria was placed second on the list of Communist candidates for Lazio, after party leader Fausto Bertinotti, which increased her chances of being elected (Italy uses a system of proportional representation).[2]

During the election, she and another candidate were attacked by a group of fifteen people, allegedly including Alleanza Nazionale politicians; they pelted her with fennel (in Italian finocchio, a word also meaning "faggot"). The politicians in question were suspended by AN; Luxuria criticized the police for the time it took for them to respond to the incident.[5]"

Her service in the Italian parliament got off to a rocky start, when in October 2006 Forza Italia MP Elisabetta Gardini insisted that she should not have been allowed to use women's washrooms in the parliament building and called for the creation of a third washroom."
_____________
Help me understand, since I am so incapable, how any of this is supposed to support your assertion that Italy is so progressive on gay issues.
She evidently (and laudably) spent much time fighting for issues regarding legal rights and equality. Working in such a resistant atmosphere as Italy, it isn't surprising there was little progress made.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 09:41 PM
The Italian people as I've been saying are much more progressive about sexuality than the average American. That is my experience, sexuality and attitides here are much healthier. It is part of the culture. David Leavitt has some writings about this too (he spends a lot of time here and has a house in Umbria).

The combination of libertine and conservative is not easy for somewone outside of the culture to understand.

Belusconi: He gets things done. People do like him here. His popularity is high. I prefer him a million times over Bush father AND son and Regan and the American Republican party. The day Berlusconi delares war or sends the world economy into a death spiral, let me know.

And yes Italy needs more gay union rights to keep us in line with the rest of the Europe... as does the US. But my bet is that civil unions, because of the EU, will cover all of Italy before the US. Though I agree same-sex marraige will take a long time here, if not never. In the meantime well uh.. yes... for a certain class of Americans Italy is a gay utopia. It has been for decades.

The American religious right over the Vatican?... Oh God no.. no... not for me.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 09:55 PM
The Italian people as I've been saying are much more progressive about sexuality than the average American. That is my experience, sexuality and attitides here are much healthier. It is part of the culture.You keep saying that with nothing to really substantiate it. Repeating something over and over again doesn't make it true.


The combination of libertine and conservative is not easy for somewone outside of the culture to understand.Again with the "understand" thing? Uggh. Whatever.


But my bet is that civil unions will cover all of Italy before the US.As I said, only if Italy is coerced by the rest of the EU, not because of its own inherent progressiveness or politics.


In the meantime well uh.. yes... for a certain class of Americans Italy is a gay utopia.If you say so, but personally I don't know why. Italian men are paradoxically effeminate considering all the faux machismo going around there. I find the way many of them groom themselves to be too self conscious, a big turn off. Over accessorized...a real man doesn't need all that.
I never hear young American gay guys say "let's go to Italy, it's a gay utopia!" You make me laugh.
Now Brazil, that country has it going on...

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 10:01 PM
Belusconi: He gets things done. People do like him here. His popularity is high. I prefer him a million times over Bush father AND son and Regan and the American Republican party. The day Berlusconi delares war or sends the world economy into a death spiral, let me know.A Bush right hand man. He didn't declare the war in Iraq, he just joined in and sent thousands of troops, the third largest contingency after the US and Britain.:p He supported almost everything Bush did. If Italy was actually a powerful country, or the world power, he probably would be declaring war. Maybe you guys could go and retake Ethiopia.
Oh, and yes he gets lots of things done, like false testimony, bribery, wiretaps, mafia collusion, corruption, attempting to reform the Italian constitution in his favor, bribery of police and judges, the list goes on. This guy is a walking scandal and even makes embarrassing blunders like Bush did. The two are like soul mates.
Glass houses, fabrizio.
The fact he is so popular in Italy convinces no one of your country's progressive nature.


The American religious right over the Vatican?... Oh God no.. no... not for me. Awww, you assign them too much power, and the country is so big I never even have to see or hear them if I don't want to. The Pope is everywhere in Italy. Yuck...and that dress he wears is over the top.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 10:07 PM
No one would go to Italy on vacation because it's a gay utopia... the knowlege of that comes with living here.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 10:12 PM
so then I'm curious, what and who did you mean when you said


for a certain class of Americans Italy is a gay utopia.?

You first said it took you a long time to figure out why...well, life is too short for that, and other countries are so much sexier. Anyway, Italians are notorious for their sexual tourism to places like the Dominican Republic, where the action is more hot.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 10:31 PM
you deleted your next post, but here's my response anyway:

The point was not that you like it, but that other Italians evidently do, and seem to find the need to go there looking for it. For them something must be lacking on the home front.
Me...you could say I'm happily "married" for 6 years.
Honestly fabrizio, I think it's you who don't get it...Italy just isn't all you crack it up to be, except of course if you're an Italian in blissful self-denial. Many of you are, but don't take that as an offense.
Your country needs to open up a bit. I hope with time that it will, and as a member of the EU I'm sure it's coming. The more progressive countries like Spain and others will help you along on that path.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 10:32 PM
Let me continue my thought from above: No one would go to Italy on vacation because it's a gay utopia... the knowlege of that and how to navigate it and how to make it work comes with living here. If I go to a very foriegn country... say... I don't know...say, Morrocco... there will be a cultural divide... things I can't see... or possibly know about. It would be arrogant of me to expect it to be a copy of the my home country ... it is a different world with a different history and way of doing things. If gay life for you in a foroiegn country means gay bars and clubs and discos you are getting a very insignificant insight into the way things are. And for me it is not the fancy places... it is the working class people the average people... what are their attitude on things. Again I've lived in both countries. For me and for what is important to me: gay life is better here. I'm using the word "utopia" figuratively and only because you used it... just said simply: for me it's just so much nicer here.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 10:40 PM
If gay life for you in a foroiegn country means gay bars and clubs and discos you are getting a very insignificant insight into the way things are.
Be civil.
Gay bars, clubs, and discos? That isn't what it means for me, that is just one small part of what many of the gay people living in countries like Italy, or Morocco, or even Egypt wish they had more of, and might be able to establish if their legal rights were protected and their home culture were more tolerant of differences. Me- I get that stuff here in New York City if I want it so I don't have to travel for it.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 10:48 PM
the knowlege of that and how to navigate it and how to make it work comes with living here. If I go to a very foriegn country... say... I don't know...say, Morrocco... there will be a cultural divide... things I can't see... or possibly know about.

Let me give you a clue...in a place like Morocco they will find you whether you are looking or not. The propositions are very blatant if you are not accompanied by a woman.
For a place like Italy, if a traveler has any questions you can just chat with a local gay person and they will show you around. We had a nice fellow in Rome show us around the scene a bit, we just weren't very impressed with what we saw.

Fabrizio
May 22nd, 2009, 10:52 PM
You are right and that's my point: there is nothing to see.

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:00 PM
We were told they've got plenty of gay saunas and dark rooms, but that isn't our scene. Why should gay people be stuck with so few options, and most of them sleazy? Oh, I forgot about the cabdriver which you so charmingly suggested we should have propositioned with liquor. LOL.
You left Italy at one point (though you still haven't said which decade) apparently young and in search of experiencing something else. Could it be that you too, a young and curious gay man, found Italy's gay life repressive and somehow unfulfilling?

MidtownGuy
May 22nd, 2009, 11:05 PM
just said simply: for me it's just so much nicer here.

I'm glad for you. For many gay Italians desiring legal rights (including marriage or at least civil unions), and a life not limited to clandestine encounters, it isn't so much nicer.

Fabrizio
May 23rd, 2009, 09:07 AM
*sigh*

With out going into a lot of detail: I lived my teens and early 20s in NYC during the 70's and early 80's... pre AIDS. This was a time that is just not comparable to today in terms of liberation. It was exhilerating. Among the financial ruin of NYC at that time, the city was for gays and everyone else, a huge crazy non-stop party. Before my time in NYC, my teens were spent in the wilds of S. Jersey.

When I moved Italy in the early 80's I found a very different scene then the one I lived in NYC. I was in a small provincial town. The equivalent maybe of a working class town in Pennsylvania, NJ or Up State NY... but without even the influence of a large city like Milan... although I could conduct my work with Florence not too far away. My point being: it was nowheresville.

Funny isn't it, that it is there that for me and my taste, I found a way of life about sexuality... an inherent DNA in the culture and the people of all kinds, that is more sensual and open...in a way that it is not in the US... not even in Manhattan. It's not about the gay club... for me it is about the local working class coffee-bar and Social Club... infinitely more interesting.

If you notice in all of this, I have never doubted your happiness and fulfillment in the US. I like the US. But for my taste, the life style for all... gay, straight... whatever... is just generally much nicer here. Is that difficult for you to hear? I'm not the first person to feel this way. And I also know Italians who can't wait to get away... and others who can't wait to come back... and the world goes 'round.

I imagine (hope) you are using hyperbole when you say: "For many gay Italians desiring legal rights (including marriage or at least civil unions), and a life not limited to clandestine encounters".

What? "a life not limited to clandestine encounters". ???

Please don't get offended if I tell you that you do not know this country... are you speaking about Iran?

In the vast majority of the US there is no recognition of same-sex couples. Do you feel particularly oppressed when you go to Miami?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_homosexuality_laws.svg

---

BTW: what is the status of civil unions in NY?

--

MidtownGuy
May 23rd, 2009, 10:11 AM
Not at all, Miami does not have the type of stigma that so many gay Italians (except you) complain of. Of course I will just accept it is different for you, but fabrizio i'm not just making this up. I really have talked to plenty of gay Italians who say the exact opposite from what you keep saying. Are they all just lying? Being drama queens? I don't think so.

Of course it will vary from town to town, but it seems my Italian friends come from a variety of regions and say mostly the same thing- a culture of machismo and Catholicism where just about the worst thing is to be called a faggot, and all of them adamant that their families and others around them shouldn't know the deal. Sexual encounters that happen mostly in places like I have previously mentioned, and more violence/harrassment of gays than you will find in other European locales (except in the east like Poland or Russia) or American cities like New York, San Fran, Miami, etc....

Since our discussion began, out of curiosity I've gone beyond the hearsay of acquaintances and ventured onto the internet to research more opinions from gays in Italy since very few of them jived with what you say. I discovered lots more opinions and experiences that mirror what I am relating to you...bashings, taunting, shame... I have also read that Tuscany is somewhat better so I'm really am glad for you that you call that region home. But for you to be so dismissive of the experience of other Italians, and carry on about an Italian culture so welcoming of gays frankly sounds just obstinate and not totally honest.

It's I that should be sighing, because you are presenting yourself as a person that's incapable of accepting the idea your country could open up some more in comparison to other places in both America and Europe. No, we just hear you go on about it being such a pansexual, progressive place. One of the most tolerant on Earth in fact. I say you are just another Italian that finds it difficult to criticise your beloved Italy. Oh well. At least I admit when things aren't totally right in America.

MidtownGuy
May 23rd, 2009, 10:19 AM
I looked at the map you linked...America has regions with legal recognition that together dwarf Italy and as I mentioned the number will be increasing rapidly. NY has legislation pending again as we speak. Italy is all grey.

Fabrizio
May 23rd, 2009, 10:23 AM
Will you please answer: does NYC have legal civil unions yes or no?

MidtownGuy
May 23rd, 2009, 10:26 AM
But for my taste, the life style for all... gay, straight... whatever... is just generally much nicer here. Is that difficult for you to hear?

Not at all, it's your opinion. In specific regards to gay legal rights and openness for gays it differs from the opinion of many other gay Italians, and so be it. I was just pointing that out, and you just keep closing your eyes and ears. I happen to love the Mediterranean lifestyle and plan on purchasing a second home in Greece so you have me all wrong. I would just appreciate a little more willingness on your part to stop conflating the issue of gay rights and gay experiences in Italy with the rest of the culture for the sake of this specific discussion.

MidtownGuy
May 23rd, 2009, 10:28 AM
Will you please answer: does NYC have legal civil unions yes or no?
http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/buttons/quote.gif (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=284943)

New York is on the verge of recognizing full gay marriage. How much would you like to bet we get it before a single region in Italy does?

Fabrizio
May 23rd, 2009, 10:29 AM
"violence/harrassment of gays"

Can we have statistics on this please? My guess it is much less in Italy than the US. Crime is generally lower here and I find my comfort level high. But I don't know. Can your friends site statistics? It is certainly not the feeling I have... perhaps in a region like Calabria or Siciily it may happen... but please tell us about .. I don't know... Alabama or Mississippi or where ever. Thanks.

----------


New York is on the verge of recognizing full gay marriage. How much would you like to bet we get it before a single region in Italy does?


So the answer is: no. You are the one making the big deal about civil unions and yet progressive NYC doesn't even have it. Of course they certainly will. But if NYC for gosh sakes has taken so long... can we give Italy a few more years?

--

MidtownGuy
May 23rd, 2009, 10:33 AM
the answer is no, but that we are closer than you.

We have Mississippi, you have Sicily. Oh well.

Now I need to cite statistics when all you have given is your single solitary opinion? Please.

MidtownGuy
May 23rd, 2009, 10:41 AM
By the way, I adore Sicily which is my favorite part of Italy. Wonderful lifestyle, with certain exceptions. No place is perfect. Except in your eyes.

MidtownGuy
May 23rd, 2009, 10:49 AM
But if NYC for gosh sakes has taken so long... can we give Italy a few more years?But why do you need a few more years if you are infinitely more progressive than us?

Alonzo-ny
May 26th, 2009, 02:34 PM
I thought California was liberal?

California backs gay marriage ban
From BBC

The court will also rule on whether existing gay marriages still stand

California's Supreme Court has upheld a ban on same-sex marriage - the latest twist in a long-running saga.

The judges rejected a challenge from gay-rights activists to overturn the result of a 2008 referendum which restricted marriage to heterosexuals.

Prior to the vote, same-sex marriages were legal for six months, during which 18,000 couples were married.

The judges said their ruling was not retroactive - meaning those couples will remain legally married.

Gay-rights activists stood outside the San Francisco court shouting "shame on you" after the decision was made public.

Tuesday's legal showdown was sparked by a 4 November vote in which Californians backed Proposition 8 - the proposal to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples - by 52.3% to 47.7%.

PROPOSITION 8
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised in California

The campaign over November's vote cost more than $80m (£51m) - the most expensive ballot measure on a social issue in US history.

But activists challenged the ruling, saying the measure violated the civil rights of gay couples.

They argued that the ballot measure revised the state constitution's equal-protection clause so dramatically that it should have had legislature approval before being put to voters.

National 'tug of war'

"Proposition 8 changes the basic nature of our government from one in which the majority protects the rights of minorities," said Shannon Minter, lead counsel for those seeking to overturn the measure.

CALIFORNIA GAY MARRIAGE

2004 San Francisco begins issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples - a move annulled by Supreme Court months later

May 2008 Supreme Court votes 4-3 to legalise same-sex marriage; introduced in June

November 2008 Voters approve Proposition 8 limiting marriage to heterosexual couples

March 2009 Civil-rights lawyers argue before Supreme Court that referendum is anti-constitutional

May 2009 Supreme Court rules Proposition 8 is constitutional

"It takes away the right to be treated with equal dignity and respect. A simple majority cannot be allowed to take any rights away from a historically protected minority," AFP news agency quoted her as saying.

But before giving their ruling, some judges indicated they would be extremely reluctant to overrule the will of the people as expressed in the vote.

The court should not "willy-nilly disregard the will of the people to change the state constitution as they have in the past", said Judge Joyce Kennard, according to AFP.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in five states - Massachusetts, the first state to legalise it in 2004, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa - but is subject to the continuing national tug of war over the issue.

Opponents who were expecting the decision in California to go their way indicated they might set their sights on seeing same-sex marriage overturned in Iowa.

DIVISIVE ISSUE

Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa
Illegal in all other states

But supporters of same-sex marriage are likely to try to force another referendum in California.

Like several other states, California allows same-sex couples to enter "domestic partnerships", which afford many of the same rights as marriage.

But activists say such partnerships are not equivalent to marriage.

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 03:15 PM
I happen to love the Mediterranean lifestyle and plan on purchasing a second home in Greece...

Gay rights in Greece:

• Greece lacks many laws, provisions and basic rights that gay people enjoy in most developed countries of Western Europe and North America and LGBT issues are a particularly rare subject of public debate.

• Police have the right to forcibly require that gay men be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

• The status of homosexuals in the Greek Military: Greek military manuals consider homosexuality a mental disease.

• Degrading phrases and mockery of gays by public and political figures is not uncommon and Greece does not have any laws protecting against anti-gay slogans or hate speech.

• Homosexuals are not allowed to donate blood or become organ, tissue or bone marrow donors in Greece.

• A Eurobarometer survey published in December 2006 showed that 16% of Greeks surveyed support same-sex marriage and 11% recognise same-sex couple's right to adopt. These figures are considerably below the 25-member European Union average of 44% and 33% respectively and place Greece in the lowest ranks of the European Union along with Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus.

• A Eurobarometer survey published in January 2007 ("Discrimination in the European Union"), showed that 77% of Greeks believe that being gay or lesbian in their country 'tends to be a disadvantage', while the European Union (EU25) average was 55%. 68% of Greeks agree that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is 'widespread' in Greece (EU25: 50%), and 37% that it is more widespread in than 5 years before (EU25: 31%). 84% of Greeks also reported not having any gay or lesbian friends or acquaintances (EU25: 65%).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Greece

---

Despite all of the above, the opinions I expressed about Italy would hold true for Greece as well. Why? I know the mediterranean.

For my taste, I prefer living in Italy, but as a gay man, if I had to choose Greece vs. the US... I'd probably choose Greece.

Strange isn't it?


--

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 03:42 PM
Nothing strange about it, you are entitled to your opinion. Let's just not confuse your opinion with what you try to represent as fact. I know all about the situation in Greece, thanks. I never tried to represent it any differently-unlike you and what you have said about Italy.

And I still say, being gay in the US is far better than in either Italy or Greece.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 03:50 PM
Now, if Italy is so "infinitely more progressive" (your words), why is there the need for so many Italian organizations fighting to end the discriminaton and intolerance there? Are they just delusional, and you possess the gospel truth? Arcigay has plenty to say on the matter which contradicts you. Anyone here can search the internet and see what I'm talking about.
Took me about 5 seconds to find not just an Italian, but one that goes by "fabrizio"! LOL, you are a piece of work. Completely in denial, and shamefully unable to admit anything negative. A different story to tell from the rosy picture you paint:
Homophobia: Death threats against the president of Arcigay Roma, Fabrizio Marrazzo

The threats reported by Fabrizio Marrazzo himself, indicating threats came through repeated phone calls and short text messages.
It was presented in Rome by Arcigay a complaint against unknown persons for death threats received in recent days, and regarding the president of the association, Fabrizio Marrazzo. It is reported by Fabrizio Marrazzo him, indicating threats came through repeated phone calls and short text messages. “The threats that have been sent have certainly troubled, myself and my dearest family, but we are not deterred by a step, in that we do for years to combat homophobia in the city of Rome.” Marrazzo, which has undertaken to place great trust in the police investigation, said that in recent years Arcigay has done many events for the civil rights of lesbians gay and trans, and has dealt with many sensitive cases, such as the murder of Paolo Seganti, the murder of Roberto Chiesa and thousands of complaints that we have received through the Arcigay’s toll-free number.

Thoudands of complaints, but according to you no problem even exists. Give us a break from your absurdity.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 03:54 PM
By the way, you should can the spiel about having lived in both countries....if the most recent time you lived in the US was the 70's and 80's, I will rightfully dismiss anything you have to say about the matter. Talk to me when you have personal experience from this century.
Thanks.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 04:07 PM
But if NYC for gosh sakes has taken so long... can we give Italy a few more years?

But why do you need a few more years if you are "infinitely more progressive"(your words) than us?

Still waiting for an answer. *crickets chirping*

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 04:24 PM
I don't understand the hostle tone.

On a personal level the peoples of countries like Italy and Greece are much more progressive on issues of gay sex. History... culture. Really. The official politics of it is something else. And you've read those Greek surveys posted above? Does it jive with the Greece you know? I don't think so.

You can post all you want about death threats against Fabrizio Marrazzo... and I can find similar stuff in the US. And probably Greece as well. So?

And please don't misquote or create words: I never said problems don't exist. I did say that IMHO gay life (life in general) is better here. And that is even despite the post about Greece.

But gee....I'f I were you, I'd think twice about buying a house in a country that is so hostle to gays. Why would you buy a house where you'll feel so uncomfortable... around so many homophobic people? Please explain.

--

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 04:57 PM
No hostility, just amazement with how obstinate and pompous you can be. You might try being a little less condescending if you expect giggles and winks.


The official politics of it is something else.Yes, and as I keep saying, this thread and my main concern is with legal rights, including marriage, not ambiguities like what you keep providing.



You can post all you want about death threats against Fabrizio Marrazzo... and I can find similar stuff in the US. And probably Greece as well. So?Well, you are the one that continually presents Italy in such a gay progressive light. Do you expect that I wouldn't want to post experiences other than your own to show a different side does exist? When I directed you to a documentary, your response is that the producers simply found a few crazies spouting rubbish. News articles are dismissed as anomalies. I guess you will say that about anything you don't feel comfortable acknowledging.
Again, "I can find similar stuff in the US" is your modus operandi whenever a critical comment is made about Italy. In my experience this is typical. It still doesn't negate what has been said, just attempts to redirect the conversation.


People are more progressive about sex. Again, this is your opinion and I don't care if you say it 1000 times (which is basically what your whole argument has consisted of). Of all the countries in Western Europe, Italy is in so many ways the least socially progressive. Especially where gays are concerned. If you want to compare it to main cities of the US like NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, etc., it is less progressive than many places here in the United States.
Now this is starting to go in circles because you do not offer anything substantive. I have offered news articles, a documentary by gay Italians themselves, legal realities, and still you provide nothing real except "IMHO".
So be it, just don't expect to have convinced anyone.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:02 PM
“Brokeback Mountain” Returns to Italian TV, This Time Uncensored

RAI Due, one of Italy’s state-owned television channels, will broadcast the complete, unexpurgated version of “Brokeback Mountain,” director Ang Lee’s acclaimed 2005 “gay cowboy” drama, on Tuesday, March 17.
The broadcast of the complete film comes three months after RAI Due showed a censored version of the film that eliminated the scenes which established that Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) weren’t just herding sheep up on the titular mountain.



That’s right – RAI Due decided that the sight of two men kissing and making love, and discreet, and un-explicit love at that -- would be too much for Italian TV viewers.

What RAI didn’t count on was an outpouring of outrage from Italy’s gay community, and the incredulous, mocking commentary in the foreign press.

“We want to know who decided to show ‘Brokeback Mountain’ ... with such blatant, 1950s-style cuts,” demanded Aurelio Mancuso, president of the Italian gay rights group Arcigay. “Who had the presumption to think an adult public could not handle the sight of kissing and intimacy between two men?”

Good question. Faced with “Brokeback” backlash, RAI Due director Antonio Marano claimed that the broadcast of the expurgated version was just a mistake; the “wrong” cassette had been played. But in saying so, Marano perhaps inadvertently revealed that “at RAI there exist censored copies of films with gay subject matter,” as Arcigay’s Mancuso observed.

He added, “We hope that Marano throws out all the tapes with cut scenes and that RAI Due can continue to make room for, hopefully even in prime time, stories about gay people.”

(The uncensored “Brokeback Mountain” will be shown at 11:40 p.m.)

Arcigay noted that there had been “thousands” of angry phone calls to RAI and letters to Italian newspapers protesting the butchered “Brokeback.”

Censorship is unfortunately nothing new at RAI. In 2003, RAI Tre took Sabina Guzzanti’s satirical revue “RAIot” off the air after one episode because she mocked then-Premier Silvio Berlusconi. Guzzanti used her experience as a point of departure for a broader critique of censorship in her scathing, and often bitterly funny, 2005 documentary film, “Viva Zapatero!”

Compared to what happened to Guzzanti, the “Brokeback” imbroglio might seem minor. But it’s not. The censorship of this landmark film is just one manifestation of the current homophobic climate in Italy, a pervasive atmosphere of intolerance fed by politicians, mainly but not solely conservatives, by the Vatican, and the media.

As anyone who’s watched Italian TV knows, it’s hardly a bastion of prudery. There’s an abbondanza of “T&A” on variety and quiz shows and much sexual innuendo. Films with sexual content are not routinely censored -- as long as the sex is of the heterosexual variety, that is.

Some commentators have scratched their heads over RAI Due’s “Brokeback” bowdlerization, noting that the film is actually pretty tame in its depiction of same-sex love. As Ryan Gilbey commented in The Guardian, “Let's be honest: as accounts of untamed desire go, ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is a little on the tepid side.”

Maybe what unsettled the censors at RAI Due wasn’t just the kisses between Ennis and Jack, or their night of mostly-veiled passion in that tent. Maybe what really disturbed them was that the film portrays a love affair, albeit a doomed one, between two regular, masculine guys – maschi. “Brokeback” realistically depicts homosexuality not as the practice of an exotic minority but as an attraction, a bond, between men who in other ways are indistinguishable from their straight brethren.

Italian TV and films just can’t seem to come to grips with that fact of life.

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 05:03 PM
^I know about this and actually I was surprised that the RAI decided to run the film in the first place.


---
Why do I think people are more progressive here? It would be a long post and I'd have to get my thoughts together but roughly: i don't live in a gay world. I have a couple of gay friends that I see because I run into them now and then. I don't do the rounds of gay places. I don't turn to the internet. My orientation in a sense is very straight. That's just the way my life is. Despite the fabulous fashion and design person that I am, as i explained I mostly hang out in a working class environment. Most of my crowd is artisans, contruction, woodworkers, plumbers electricians... every body is married... has kids or girlfriends. But I'm openly gay if the subject comes up. So I deal with people who aren't prepared... small town folk... simple people not a NY or San Fransisco crowd by any means. You would have to spend a week at my place and even meet my gay friends and hear their opinion as well.


Of all the countries in Western Europe, Italy is in so many ways the least socially progressive.

In many ways it is the most progressive. Perhaps not on paper though.

Isn't it funny that a country that is so not socially progressive is so sought after as a place to live.... and whose life style so many admire.

I don't think you understand subtext... reading between the lines... understanding that things are not always what they seem.... comes in handy in the Mediterranean countries.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:13 PM
Italy is progressive about sex as long as it's of the "tits and ass" variety.
Italians are especially disconcerted by gay men who are masculine. Maybe drag queens like Vladimir Luxuria give them a kick because it's easier for them to wrap their minds around, less nuance is involved.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:18 PM
Isn't it funny that a country that is so not socially progressive is so sought after as a place to live.... and whose life style so many admire.
By this line of thought, if the US is so unprogressive compared to Italy, why do so many people want to come here?


I was surprised that thr Rai decided to run the film in the first place.
Why, if the place is as progressive as you say? In many cases you are contradicting yourself.


I don't think you understand subtext

Tell yourself that if it makes you feel better about not being able to debate this substantively.
Again, you can keep telling me I don't understand, but I think you're the one with a comprehension deficit.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:23 PM
Italy's gay policemen join forces to come out


In a country where masculine values hold sway, gay recruits to Italy's police and armed forces have avoided going public about their sexuality for fear of suffering ostracism and forced transfers.


That is until last week, when a group of openly gay men in uniform announced they were planning to set up an organisation to combat discrimination and that they were plotting a collective coming-out event to show Italy's police chiefs and army generals that they are a force to be reckoned with.


The movement immediately found a natural front man in Fabrizio Caiazza, after it emerged the Milan traffic policeman is facing sanctions from superiors after winning a gay beauty contest.


Caiazza, 33, entered the 'Sex Factor' contest organised by UK website Gaydarnation.com earlier this year, donning his police uniform to pose for online shots in the Mr Uniform category. Beating 46,000 contenders from 162 countries, he scooped a modelling contract and a €15,000 top prize, only to be sent before a disciplinary board back in Milan for wearing his uniform without permission outside office hours.


'I know I should have asked, but it would have been a complicated request,' said Caiazza.


'This will likely finish with a simple reprimand and is all about the longstanding rules, not discrimination,' said Milan's deputy mayor, Riccardo De Corato. 'I know of no cases of discrimination occurring in the Italian police,' he added.


That did not square with Caiazza. 'Many policemen don't come out because of the enmity they would face from colleagues and the isolation they would be put in by superiors,' he said.


Caiazza said he was backing the new gay rights group announced last week, dubbed Polis Aperta, which plans its first meeting on 26 September.
'We're coming out against creeping discrimination,' said Nicola Cicchitti, an officer in Italy's tax police who is heading the initiative, which now numbers about 200 members and plans to demand official recognition from Italy's Ministry of Defence.


The new group will put Italy on a par with other European countries, particularly Spain, where organisation Gaylespol hosted a conference of 14 associations for gays in uniform this year.


'This will move Italy closer to the rest of Europe and break with absurd and still pervasive macho taboos,' said the Mario Mieli Association, an Italian gay rights group.


Vito Raimondi, a tax policeman from Turin, said the group would combat the isolation felt by uniformed gays afraid to come out. 'I was at a Gay Pride event when a colleague, who had been standing on the fringes, saw me by the stage and decided to come over to greet me. It was a great moment and the proof we must be more visible,' he said.


A member of the Carabinieri paramilitary police involved in Polis Aperta said that its website has received hundreds of emails of support.
Writing in a blog for Italy's Clubbing magazine, Caiazza has meanwhile pushed the idea of police forces using gay officers to investigate crimes involving the gay community, including gay hate crimes, which rights groups say are on the increase in Italy.


The idea won the backing of Vladimir Luxuria, a transgender former member of the Italian parliament.


'Sending gay officers to investigate hate crimes would help to encourage witnesses who might usually be afraid to talk to the police,' said Luxuria, a man who lives as a woman.


'It's time to go beyond the stereotypical view that gays can only be make-up artists or hairdressers.'

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 05:25 PM
In many cases you are contradicting yourself.

No I'm not... I'm describing a country... and here contradiction is one of the first things to learn.

"By this line of thought, if the US is so unprogressive compared to Italy, why do so many people want to come here?"

Here people attracted to the lifestyle... enjoyment. The US is certainly progressive... but sexually IMHO Italy more so.

"Italians are especially disconcerted by gay men who are masculine."

Yes. That's true... and disconserted Italian men are loads of fun.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:26 PM
Evidently you don't have a complete or realistic view about your own country. I never lived in Italy. What's your excuse?

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:31 PM
Yes. That's true... and disconserted Italian men are loads of fun.

Yes, plenty of them will screw around with you as long as it's totally secretive. Like I said before, this is the case just about everywhere.
How progressive the society is has nothing to do with that.

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 05:38 PM
zzzz...zzzz...zzzz

See you in Mykonos.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:42 PM
The US is certainly progressive... but sexually IMHO Italy more so.
Can't imagine being arrested here for kissing. Absurd.

Gay-Rights Clash Over Rome Coliseum Kiss

In ancient Rome, plenty of public kissing went on in the shadow of the Coliseum, where lips smacked on hands, cheeks, rings and even feet, as simple greetings or formal signs of submission. The place is still a notable showcase of public affection, but one specific act of passion played out near the ancient monument has added fire to a very modern debate.

On Tuesday a Rome court ordered a trial for two men arrested in July 2007 outside the Coliseum. Michele F., 36, and Roberto L., 28, contend they were caught sharing a passionate kiss; the arresting officers from the carabinieri say they were engaging in oral sex. Defense lawyers have asked for the charges of lewd public acts to be dropped, having sought in vain to get access to footage from nearby security cameras that they say would show the kiss was just a kiss.

What might otherwise be an unremarkable case about public decency has become a cause célèbre for Italy's gay rights activists, who see the decision to push ahead with the prosecution of the case as blatant discrimination. "Homosexuality is being punished," said Aurelio Mancuso, head of the Arcigay association, "not an obscene act."

The court's decision comes as Rome's gay community says it faces increased discrimination from public officials and heightened violence from local homophobic thugs. Earlier this month, two 28-year-old men who'd been holding hands were beaten by a gang shouting "Faggots Get Out of Italy." This and other attacks, including a fire in February set at the "Coming Out" gay club, have occurred in the neighborhood near the Coliseum. The road in front of the ancient monument, via San Giovanni in Laterano, has been dubbed Gay Street for the prevalence of gay clubs and bars situated there.

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1735815,00.html) has denounced the acts of violence, but gay activists remain suspicious of him because of his affiliation with the National Alliance, a party that once espoused fascist ideas. Just a month after his election in April of this year, Alemanno disparaged Rome's annual Gay Pride parade as "an act of sexual exhibitionism."

The trial in the Coliseum case is scheduled to begin in February, and the defendants face maximum prison sentences of three years. At this stage it looks like a their-word-against-ours standoff, unless the security camera footage can be marshaled as evidence for one side or the other. Defense lawyer Daniele Stoppello has demanded access to the footage, even as he conceded that since the lighting was poor, the carabinieri could arrive at a "different interpretation" of what the camera showed the two men doing. Currently it's a moot point, since the prosecuting magistrate has ruled the footage as too "complex" to be judicially relevant.


The presence of security cameras has become an issue beyond this specific case. In the wake of the anti-gay violence, Alemanno recently called for more video surveillance near the Coliseum, but gay rights groups oppose the measure as a violation of their privacy. But if what the two defendants shared was indeed just an innocent kiss, an extra camera or two might have been an invasion of their privacy that could set them free.
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1844012,00.html

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:45 PM
zzzz...zzzz...zzzz
:Dlol, you get so frustrated. Yes, you should get some rest.

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 05:47 PM
LOL. They ruin Paul Reubens career for masturbating in a movie theatre... they arrest George Michael for what? They put an undercover cop in mens room and ruin Larry Craig. Please.

Nothing will come from the above case in Rome. Nothing. There will be no arrests made... none.

In the meantime be very careful in Greece.... very careful. Oh please.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:50 PM
There will be no arrests made... none.They already WERE arrested. Try reading.


LOL. They ruin Paul Reubens career for masturbating in a movie theatre

Sure, and that is the equivalent of an innocent kiss in front of a monument, a place where straight couples pose and kiss all the time. If they had their genitalia exposed you might have a worthy analogy.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 05:53 PM
^So is this like when you said there was no fingerprinting of gypsies going on in Italy, when it was substantively documented?
Denial is more than a river in Egypt.


There is no fingerprinting of Roma going on. None.You need a reality check. I'm here to give it to you.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7500605.stm

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 05:56 PM
Arrest... yes they were arrest and not held in the meantime the issue has been dropped.

Fingerprinting was dropped too.. seen as illegal.

Things happen here, happen over there by you and everywhere.

My feeling is less here though.

Keep doing research.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 06:02 PM
So, fingerprinting was dropped. How can you drop something that you said never occurred.

Your feelings, your opinions...fine. When they don't square with facts, expect to be corrected.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 06:08 PM
So, returning to FACTS, here are some more polls for you since you seem so fond of them:

In Italy:
A Eurobarometer survey published on December 2006 showed that 31% of Italians surveyed support same-sex marriage and 24% recognise same-sex couple's right to adopt (EU-wide average 44% and 33%).[2]

Note to Fabrizio:
*Less progressive than averages from other EU nations.*

In the USA:
An ABC News-Washington Post poll, released April 30, showed 49 percent surveyed believe gay marriages should be legal, and only 46 percent said “illegal.”

Note to Fabrizio:
*Less progressive than numbers from the USA*

So, on the issue of gay equality, namely marriage, which this thread is about (if you even care to remember), people in the US are outpacing Italians by a long shot.

"infinitely more progressive" in Italy?? Not unless you want to cherry pick.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 06:12 PM
Keep doing research. I will. As long as you keep spouting rubbish.
I guess before google, people got away with your type of lies all the time.

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 06:14 PM
*Sigh*

The US fingerprints every non-citizen coming into the US.

The gypys that were fingerprinted were undocumented and not citizens. Gypys who had documents were NOT fingerprinted. In the meantime the entire issue has been dropped.

Why can the US fingerprint for protection but not Italy? Explain.

---

Those surveys: as I showed you Greece fairs even worse. Yet IMHO the Greek people are more progressive about homosexuality than Americans. And life there for gays and straight is better. I asked you: why do you want to buy a house in such a homophobic country then?

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 06:20 PM
Explain why you initially denied it even happened. I have denied nothing, and I have no desire to defend every single US policy. In fact, I'm one of the most critical people I know when it comes to our government.
There lies the difference. You can't stand to hear something bad about Italy, it's very difficult for you. Sadly, this mentality is the reason for many of Italy's problems. Keep voting for Silvio.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 06:26 PM
Those surveys: as I showed you Greece fairs even worse. Yet IMHO the Greek people are more progressive about homosexuality than Americans.

The difference: I never said Greece was more progressive for gays than the US.
You did say italy was more progressive than the US.
Understand?
I gave numbers to refute it. You gave nothing, just repeated yourself again.
This is tired and you keep going in circles.
When you present me with something real, as I have done, then I will consider you something other than a moron.

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 06:28 PM
There was such an outcry about it here that I honestly though it had not happened. I appolgize for not being better informed.

Considering that the US can fingerprint every alien with NO out cry however says quite a bit.

In the meantine perhaps Italy should continue the practise. Why not?

--

Criticizing Italy: oh my.. you don't follow my posts here.

But one thing I will tell you: The average Italian is infinitely more progressive about homosexexality than the average American No I haven't spoken to everyone... but that's my educated opinion.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 06:31 PM
I asked you: why do you want to buy a house in such a homophobic country then?
I love Greece. That doesn't mean they don't need to advance in their attitudes toward gays. Just like Italians do. I never said any different. You, on the other hand....
deny deny deny.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 06:35 PM
NO out cryOf course there has been. Nothing here happens without a few sides opining about it. I did and many others I know who are on the left have spoken against it to family, friends, our representatives...


The average Italian is infinitely more progressive about homosexuality than the average American Not according to the numbers. Please provide me with ANY numbers indicating that so we can will have something more to chew on than your opinion. Thanks.

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 06:40 PM
Criticizing Italy: oh my LOL.. you don't follow my posts here.

But one thing I will tell you: The average Italian is infinitely more progressive about homosexexality than the average American No I haven't spoken to everyone... but that's my educated opinion. I can't prove it with numbers and statistics... like Greeece... you just know spending time there. Much cooler sexually here. More progressive sexualy IMHO. If you don't feel that way...so? And actually I think I explained myself pretty well.

I respect your opinion.... and have no reason to insult you.(I saw the moron comment.) But I do feel the way I do. Your tone is just wierd like you sound threatened or something. But Americans often have a tough time if other people don't think their country is the greatest in all things.

---

Fingerprinting: I have seen no outcry... it should be on a national level... just a huge issue: could you please post some articles about it I'd apèpreciate it. What kind of prgress has been made? Keep us posted.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 06:47 PM
Meanwhile, here is another cold hard number: One MILLION Italians showed up for a rally against gay rights. You would never get that kind of number at a rally here, and this country is huge compared to Italy. This does little to back up your assertions.
So now, why don't you ONCE AGAIN just dismiss the numbers and simply repeat your personal opinion. :rolleyes: It is carrying less and less legitimacy.

'Pro-family' groups rally in Rome

Hundreds of thousands of "pro-family" protesters have gathered in the Italian capital to protest against laws giving more rights to homosexual couples.

The proposed law would allow all unmarried couples greater rights in areas such as inheritance, but stops short of legalising gay marriage.

Hundreds of activists attended a counter-demonstration supporting the law nearby, in Rome's Piazza Navona.
The divisive issue is causing problems for Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
Catholics and Communists from Mr Prodi's coalition attended both rallies, magnifying the same divides that brought down his government in February, says the BBC's Christian Fraser.
'Test of commitment'
People from around the country gathered amid a carnival-like atmosphere for Italy's first "Family Day" rally, at Rome's St John Lateran square.



Music, clowns and games kept children entertained, while older demonstrators listened to speeches by Catholic officials.



"Living together is not family," protester Anna Manara, 58, told Associated Press news agency.


"A commitment such as marriage cements the bond, while other models make it easier to be together and therefore end up making it less valuable."
Reports say between 500,000 and 1.5 million protesters turned out.
The demonstration had the backing of the Vatican and Italy's Catholic bishops, although neither was involved in organising the protest.
At the counter-demonstration across town, Italy's Minister of International Trade and European Affairs, Emma Bonino, condemned the Vatican's interference in domestic politics.
"The Pope is just stepping in politics every single day," she said.
"You are not in a position to open the news, any evening at all, without a speech from the Pope, be it on Turkey, be it on whatever."


Franco Grillini, president of Italy's main gay rights group, Arcigay, said the country was "scared of diversity".



Yet Mr Grillini said he welcomed the Family Day rally.
"It will be a big protest against us, and that is the best advertisement we could ever have."



Missing out
About 500,000 unmarried Italian couples are without shared rights or benefits.



They miss out on social benefits, property or inheritance, a situation that is now at odds with many countries in Europe.
When Mr Prodi came to power last year he promised his supporters that the government would bring in new laws to protect cohabiting couples.



But with only a razor-thin majority in the Senate, Mr Prodi needs the full support of all sides of his coalition, our correspondent says.
Recent polls showed that most Catholics in Italy are in favour of changes to the legislation despite Church opposition.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6649147.stm

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 06:51 PM
LOL.

Last line of the article:

"Recent polls showed that most Catholics in Italy are in favour of changes to the legislation despite Church opposition. "

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 06:58 PM
The average Italian is infinitely more progressive about homosexexality than the average AmericanSure, just as soon as you post something with numbers (yes, real averages or polls like what I posted) to substantiate this, I'll locate that article about fingerprinting. What have you posted...just opinion like the above quote.

With such a lack of substantiation to your argument, you're in no position to request any more articles from me.
How about this...post an article or poll with real numbers demonstrating Italians having more progressive attitudes toward homosexuals than the United States.
I'll bet you can't even find one.

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 07:00 PM
I have conducted my own survey.

---

I think most sane people would not expect me to come up with numbers but might be curious about why I feel the way i do. Gee... a different insight... it could be interesting. Hearing someone's take on a different culture is always fascinating to me. A bit about this I have mentioned in the kind of life I lead and my experiences. I'm not living by what surveys say. Surveys also say that... oh ... I don't know... that Americans have more money or whatever... but maybe I judge wealth in a different way. In the things that are important to me... I feel people are more progressive in these issues. I' no dummy and if it weren't that way I would not be living here. I do not have to live here.

--

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 07:03 PM
"Recent polls showed that most Catholics in Italy are in favour of changes to the legislation despite Church opposition. " Rather vague...I'm interested in knowing more (including some numbers please), and whether this is in direct reference to providing rights to gays or just unmarried couples in general.

In any case, getting over a million people to an anti-rights rally like that shows the country wide opposition to gay couples' rights must be huge. NOT very progressive.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 07:07 PM
Criticizing Italy: oh my LOL.. you don't follow my posts here.
I honestly can't remember many instances of that, but I haven't read every thread here obviously. Any examples you care to share?

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 07:14 PM
I think most sane people would not expect me to come up with numbers
Why not? You certainly asked me to cite statistics. What hypocrisy. Polls are conducted all the time. In fact, I already referenced some. If what you say is so true, it should be easy for you to find at least one. You can discount surveys and polls, but when you think they bear out your side of things you sure are quick to throw them around.

Fabrizio
May 26th, 2009, 07:26 PM
Oh boy.... look... forget about Italy. Please do not talk about Italy. I'm defending Italy and blah, blah, blah. I'm lying... I'm a moron.

Let's talk about Greece.

Who cares how they respond to surveys or laws on the books etc. The country needs reform on a legal level...of course it does... But AS far as I'm concerned the average Greek is much more progressive about sex than the average American. Is that contradictory? Hell yes... this is the Medittearanean....

I cannot site statistics on this issue to back up my opinion. Actually everything points to the contrary. Strange.

Now tell me that I'm defending Greece... that I can't say anything bad about Greece... I'm lying or whatever. I have no reason to defend greeece.

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 07:39 PM
Let's talk about Greece. Why? Unlike what you claimed about Italy, I never presented Greece as a place that's progressive toward homosexuality, on the contrary, I acknowledged they need to progress in their attitudes on the issue.

I just said I'd like a vacation home on one of the islands there. For all you know it's merely for the beaches and climate. Would I want to live there full time? Of course not. I love progressive New York City for all its diversity and would not like to permanently leave it. The beaches/climate here in summer...not good. Summers in the Mediterranean are of course sublime.


I have no reason to defend greeece. If you feel it somehow backs up what you said about Italy, evidently you do.

scumonkey
May 26th, 2009, 07:44 PM
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb276/scumonkey/catfight.gif

BrooklynRider
May 26th, 2009, 11:22 PM
That's a riot!

MidtownGuy
May 26th, 2009, 11:43 PM
Yes it is:D

Fabrizio: I apologize for suggesting you're a moron, it was out of line. Of course you aren't.

BrooklynRider
May 27th, 2009, 01:26 AM
Okay...

Name three people who are morons (and they can't be forum members).

Fabrizio
May 27th, 2009, 03:23 AM
But the most hilarious line of the thread is the folllowing:



I just said I'd like a vacation home on one of the islands there. For all you know it's merely for the beaches and climate.

ablarc
May 27th, 2009, 06:47 AM
We miss you guys on the other threads.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 09:27 AM
I judge a country on it's masses, not it's elite.

most hilarious, nah...you had me beat by a long shot with this. I thought you suddenly morphed into Sean Hannity.

Fabrizio
May 27th, 2009, 09:43 AM
But that's true for me.

I judge a country by what the masses are about. The simple everyday people and there lives and places. That for me is the best indication of a country and it's people.

The thing that particularly attracts me about Italy is not Milan and the international language of design... luxury and trendiness. But the fact that I can go to a simple roadside place and having a fabulous meal or see exquisite taste (or the effort ) among people "uniformed" about design. A housewife and how she ties her scarf. The farmer in his slick little Alfa.

I often vacation in a town on the Adriatic ( 50 bucks a day meals included) that is strictly middle class... along with thousands of families with kids. The experience is pleasant. The people look good... neat fashionable and trim, food is great. The hotels are modest yet attractive. I would not do the same in the states.

I love lunch at an Italian truck stop... the tractor&trailr driving guys are haveing their little glass of wine in a proper wine glass and eating little pannini with cured bresaola, aged parmesan and rucola. They're wearing shorts and clogs. It's just so cool. I get a kick out of that.

---

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 10:02 AM
LOL. You really are a piece of work. ENIT should hire you to write their ad campaigns. Everyone trim and nubile, the coastal moonlight bouncing in their eyes...

Ninjahedge
May 27th, 2009, 10:08 AM
Oh please, we weren't looking for a sex hookup, we were looking to dance and have fun in a club with other gays, or where we could feel comfortable as a couple.

Pardon me for barging in midstream...

But are you saying you feel more comfortable being separated from the rest?


And we were "surrounded" by what, repressed desires that needed alcohol and a private hotel room to be coaxed out?

I don't think that is what he is saying. I think what he is saying is that just because something is not apparent, it does not mean it is hiding. Maybe it is just, generally, more accepted and therefore does not stand out as much as it does elsewhere.


I could be wrong, of course.....

Ninjahedge
May 27th, 2009, 10:12 AM
again, where? what main city? or what region? among what Italian masses? I guess I'm supposed to just take your word for it over every other gay Italian I've discussed it with.


The US is a heavily urbanized country where the vast majority of people live in cities. They are the masses. I don't even know what you mean by "simple" when you refer to people.


I'm happy that Tuscany welcomes gay tourists and Rome has friendly cab drivers.
What does this mean in regard to legal rights, since that is where the discussion began?


Pot, meet kettle.

MTG, this post is not any comment on what you said, but how you (and Fab) are going about it.

If you see more than on e quote you want to reference, hit the http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/buttons/multiquote_on.gif tag on each of them, then hit http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/buttons/quote.gif

You get what you see above.

I think you both know how to parse, although I see Fab using " " more often than [ quote][ /quote] (remove spaces).

Just a quick FYI!!! ;)

Fabrizio
May 27th, 2009, 10:18 AM
LOL. You really are a piece of work. ENIT should hire you to write their ad campaigns. Everyone trim and nubile, the coastal moonlight bouncing in their eyes...

Midtown: you do not want to dialogue... and you sound curiously bitter.

We all know that nothing is perfect and that's not what I'm saying. That people come and note an elevated fashion sense among the people or a slimmer shape is not so unusual. I have worked in design all my life... I think my eye is rather developed.... the overall look of the people, how they present themselves is pleasing to me.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 10:24 AM
But are you saying you feel more comfortable being separated from the rest?
Personally, not at all.
I usually prefer going to mixed clubs. I hardly ever go to places like Splash and you won't see me hanging out in "gay neighborhoods" very much. Once in a while? Sure. If other gays do prefer that, it's their business. God bless 'em.
If a Latino person says they occasionally like to go to a Latino club, would you try to suggest they feel more comfortable being separated? Start trying to cast them in some sort of separatist light? Of course not! There are cultures and subcultures. Most of us navigate among them.

Ninjahedge
May 27th, 2009, 10:27 AM
And here I go doing something that I just "hinted" at you to stop MTG!!! ;)


Not at all, Miami does not have the type of stigma that so many gay Italians (except you) complain of. Of course I will just accept it is different for you, but fabrizio i'm not just making this up. I really have talked to plenty of gay Italians who say the exact opposite from what you keep saying. Are they all just lying? Being drama queens? I don't think so.

Is it possible that the reason you are hearing this from so many is that the ones you are hearing it from are the ones that did not like it and left?

Generally speaking, you do not get too many people (sadly) talking loudly about things they like. Humans are complainers, and you will hear, and remember, many more complaints than praise..

That, and kind of almost romantically, people who are happy where they are have a tendency to go elsewhere (even on vacation) less.




Back to OT, it is simple. Everyone wants to be better than everyone else. It is what humans do. Gays have the right to protest and complain and ask for equal rights, but they want just what everyone else does, to be considered to be better than those around them.

Every race, creed, color and sexual orientation (or permutation thereof) is driven by their own origins to become the better, to say that their ideas, feelings, way of living are all better than those around them.

From jobs, child rearing, government, sexual behavior, EVERYTHING.

Even if "Civil Union" were 100% the same in every way to the current legal definition of Marriage, Gays woudl still want to get "Married".

And I bet you a dollar that if Gays were the majority, you would see a lot of Heteros looking to get their "Civil Unions". ;)

Fabrizio
May 27th, 2009, 10:27 AM
The American designer Diane Von Furstenburg writing about Italy:

Italy is the only country I know where there is no sense of provincialism, because in even the tiniest towns people are interested in fashion. The street culture is based, of course, on the passeggiata -- when people go out in the evening between 5 and 7 for a walk. You see everybody -- children, grandmothers, people eating ice cream. And in every little town, you find trends because people want to look their best.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/27/style/travelers-elect-a-real-best-dressed-list-walking-the-walk.html

And it is this interest in asthetics among the... yes...non elite.... that I greatly appreciate.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 10:33 AM
Midtown: you do not want to dialogue... and you sound curiously bitter.
If you are not going to keep an objective or realistic perspective, it becomes difficult.


That people come and note an elevated fashion sense among the people or a slimmer shape is not so unusual.You have rose colored glasses when it comes to your own country.
You talk about how trim they are...never mind that 28 million Italians(almost half the population) are considered overweight by the Italian Health Ministry.
I saw plenty of fat asses when I was there, and plenty of nice bodies too. Is it hard to keep some kind of balance here? It's just reality fabrizio.
I think you don't even see it sometimes when it comes to Italy. Sometimes a foreigner notices things about a society that the locals don't really notice. I'm not bitter, but I do like to play devil's advocate when someone is so invariably one sided about their little corner of the world. I understand it, just don't expect to never hear a different impression. I hope it isn't so unpleasant for you that you just want to chalk it up to "bitterness" on the part of the objective observer.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 10:35 AM
Fabrizio...on this forum have you EVER written anything unflattering about Italy? You suggested that you do so often, I asked for some kind of example and you never got back to me. Please try to be a little more open minded and objective.

Ninjahedge
May 27th, 2009, 10:40 AM
Personally, not at all.
I usually prefer going to mixed clubs. I hardly ever go to places like Splash and you won't see me hanging out in "gay neighborhoods" very much. Once in a while? Sure. If other gays do prefer that, it's their business. God bless 'em.

Irony intended? ;)

People are pack animals. Whether we like it or not we seperate into what we find comfortable. With the removal of many environmental challanges, "comfortable" now can mean political position, not just a group of people that can hunt and farm.....

I just find it kind of sad when any neighborhood is not just influenced, but seemingly dominated by stereotypical homosexual presence. I like some spice in my food, but eating a bowl full of oregano sucks.


If a Latino person says they occasionally like to go to a Latino club, would you try to suggest they feel more comfortable being separated?

You are setting it up again, and this is where it gets touchy. Are you saying that Gays are different? Whereas a Latino club will have different drinks, music, and possibly food, will a Gay club offer you something besides a bunch of other Gays? (I am not trying to objectify Homosexuality, but are you saying that there cant be gays at a Latino club? Or a Rave? Or a Heavy Metal bar?).

The key here is the acceptance of homosexuality not as a line painted in the sand with a "gay" and "strait" side, but a general band of sexual preference a bit off center (favoring procreation in general). That band would symbolize nothing more than who you were attracted to, not the way you walked, or talked, or possibly even dressed (lets face it, if humans go on flesh, each sex has their own preferences, so there IS going to be some difference in that when it comes to sexual orientation).

I guess what I am saying is that what I would like to see would be more of a general acceptance of something that, albeit less frequently than Hetero sexual orientation, happens quite often and generally unilaterally.

Legally? Forget it. Even when everyone is "equal" we will still have people fighting ofver one perceived difference or another. Does that mean stop fighting? Not really, but it is still depressing when you thnik about it too long! :(


Start trying to cast them in some sort of separatist light? Of course not! There are cultures and subcultures. Most of us navigate among them.

I am not casting them.....


Actually, it is not the light I am casing, but the light they choose to stand in and deny at the same time. We all do this to some extent.

I guess what I am calling them is Human.

Fabrizio
May 27th, 2009, 10:42 AM
A quick one.... here I am dissuading someone from coming to my nearest large city:

"If I only had 2 weeks I'd spend more time in Rome. Today's Florence can disappoint: be prepared to for crowds, dirty streets, graffiti everywhere, hordes of street vendors. It's not the Florence of even 5 years ago. Reminds me of the decay that suddenly beset American cities in the early 1970's.

Hopefully someone will chime in who has been there recently and tell me I'm wrong. I'd love to hear that.

Rome has similar problems but it's a big city and can absorb them.

Also consider Siena and surrounding towns."

November 2nd, 2007, 04:01 PM

---

So should I criticize you for speaking well of NY?

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 11:00 AM
You are setting it up again, and this is where it gets touchy. Are you saying that Gays are different? Whereas a Latino club will have different drinks, music, and possibly food, will a Gay club offer you something besides a bunch of other Gays?

Sex is not the only thing that gays congregate for. Yes, there is gay culture...several in fact. There is even gay Black and Latino culture that share differences from the stereotypical one. You don't think there is a gay culture? Just as there can be a Latino culture at a Latino club? The music, ways of relating/socializing, the type of entertainment, style of dancing, all of these can be different in some types of gay clubs. Even among gay clubs you will find various scenes...the leather scene, the butch scene, the drag queen scene, the gym boy scene, a similar economic status...all have their own flavor...and then some gay clubs where all of these are present. For me the ultimate club would be the old Shelter, where gay and straight, femme and butch all mingled- it was really about the music and free spiritedness. I'm sad that the New York club scene has become so stratified. Limelight was another club where everyone mingled, it was wonderful.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 11:05 AM
So should I criticize you for speaking well of NY? http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/buttons/quote.gif (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=285368)

Of course not, but it would get tired really quick if that was my only viewpoint.

Ninjahedge
May 27th, 2009, 11:23 AM
Sex is not the only thing that gays congregate for. Yes, there is gay culture...several in fact.

Then tell me, besides sex, what does the "Gay Culture" have to offer that the Hetero culture either doesn't or can't offer?


There is even gay Black and Latino culture that share differences from the stereotypical one. You don't think there is a gay culture? Just as there can be a Latino culture at a Latino club? The music, ways of relating/socializing, the type of entertainment, style of dancing, all of these can be different in some types of gay clubs.

I am not getting into the outright flirting or grinding on the dance floor. I am sure that the all-Male tango might be different than the Traditional Tango, but you seem to be sidestepping what I am saying.

You are asking to be accepted because you do not believe that you are any different than the next man (or men, however you want to associate the appellation), but also making sure people recognize you are different.

You have a problem with people not seeing you as different? You think that an ordinary bar is somehow not capable of expressing and providing for all the nuances and differences you say Gays have but yet don't have when it comes to how they should be treated in society?

I am playing a bit of Devils Advocate with that, but I hope you see my gist and do not get hung up on "what does a pelvic grind have to do with equal rights??!?" But it is just odd that you are practicing this cultural doublespeak and are trying to get gays to be considered not as "normal", but different and accepted.

"Normal" just isn't good enough I guess.


Even among gay clubs you will find various scenes...the leather scene, the butch scene, the drag queen scene, the gym boy scene, a similar economic status...all have their own flavor...and then some gay clubs where all of these are present.

You are just describing sexual leanings that have little to do with actual homosexuality. It is not written that a gay man is more disposed to wearing leather chaps. And being a Drag Queen is not a question of Sexual orientation rather than a feeling of acceptance in societies social definition of gender roles. There have been strait drag queens you know.

AAMOF, I get a little put off that so many people try to put all these other sexual....."differences" in the same category almost as if enjoying being beaten (S+M) is not only linked to Homosexuality, but something to be "Proud" of?

Again, it is just people trying to not only get people to accept a difference, but eventually convince themselves that what they do is better, if not for everyone, than at least for themselves.


For me the ultimate club would be the old Shelter, where gay and straight, femme and butch all mingled- it was really about the music and free spiritedness. I'm sad that the New York club scene has become so stratified. Limelight was another club where everyone mingled, it was wonderful.

It was also where you could get quite a few substances in the fourth stall in the Mens Bathroom.

So are you comparing the "freedom" of sexual expression to the "freedom" of distilled/purified/synthed chemical substances engineered not only to change ones perception of life, but to make a quick buck off of another's suffering?

Although the LL was interesting, it seemed to just be the club for mindless self indulgence, so long as you had the money to do so (and patience to wait in line).

But that is starting to get a bit off topic!

Back to topic in that I still find it interesting to see how everyone defines "the same" so differently.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 11:38 AM
This is farm land... it's farm culture. It is provincial.


Italy is the only country I know where there is no sense of provincialism

?

^words, words, words. It could go on forever, but no thanks.

Actually I'm not very interested in debating how provincial or non-provincial Italians can be. My observation is that Italians are as varied a bunch (attitudes, style) as anyone else and are a combination just like any country. A variety from region to region. Fat pasta asses or trim asses, stylish or not so stylish, Catholic or Communist, provincial or non provincial. Clogs(yuck) or gym shoes, whatever.
How about we discuss gay marriage here, and some other thread is opened on whatever other point you were trying to make.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 11:49 AM
Ninj, my goodness just look at all of that. I've been down that road with you before and it leads to...nowhere.

Lots of goofy comparisons and you seem to be all over the place so I guess you're just bored at work. I won't even wade through all of the misunderstandings and non-analogies.

By the way...you obviously never went to the Shelter. Things in the bathroom, what? You never went there. You're just pretending to know about it or inferring from some other unrelated experience...that isn't what that club was about and if you don't want to take my word for it then so be it.
You also seem to know very little about gay life. But then why would you? How much time have you spent immersed in that culture and its subcultures? My guess would be it's all abstract and purely theory for you, just fodder for another argument. I won't indulge you. Go sell it somewhere else.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 12:18 PM
Obama to Face Gay Protest at DNC Beverly Hills Fundraiser Tonight

President Obama, the alleged "fierce advocate" for LGBT rights, is scheduled to attend a Democratic Party fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton tonight, one day after White House spokesman Robert Gibbs refused to offer any official response to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Proposition 8 in California.


A Courage Campaign-organized demonstration is scheduled to take place in front of the Beverly Hilton this evening. The group writes: "Let's take this opportunity, just one day after the CA Supreme Court makes its decision on Proposition 8, to show our President our support for his daring promise to our community and to highlight the growing movement towards FULL FEDERAL EQUALITY."


Attending the demonstration will be recently discharged (under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell') Lt. Dan Choi and other LGBT military servicemembers: "They will ask for response from President Obama to the letter signed by 136,000 people asking the president not to fire Lt. Choi by ending DADT."
How long can President Obama remain mute on his promises to the LGBT voters who elected him?

Fabrizio
May 27th, 2009, 12:27 PM
Midtown: I used the word provincial correctly.

The word can mean:

1. Of or relating to a province. (as per my post... rather than a big city)


Or: 2. not fashionable or sophisticated. (as per DVF's point in her well observed comments.)

-----



How about we discuss gay marriage here, and some other thread is opened on whatever other point you were trying to make.

Good one! ...after about the 50 posts ,or so, you too made on the subject.



----

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 12:43 PM
One considers the context in which it appeared...it was enveloped in text discussing culture and attitudes (just like DVF used it). The meaning that refers to political divisions seemed tertiary.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 12:50 PM
Good one! ...after about the 50 posts ,or so, you too made on the subject.Puzzling statement...if you go back and read, you'll see I made numerous attempts to bring us back to the subject of gay rights/legal realities while you insisted on steering us around to every component BUT that one. Bantering on about gay "ghettos", American slavery, Mediterranean mysteries, subtext, your opinion about how "nice" it is where you are....like I said before, I like my rights to be not so mysterious, and the issue here is one of rights, not any of those other distractions you presented.

195Broadway
May 27th, 2009, 12:53 PM
From post 21 on, .... a fascinating illustration of perspective. Great read. Well done.

Ninjahedge
May 27th, 2009, 01:49 PM
Ninj, my goodness just look at all of that. I've been down that road with you before and it leads to...nowhere.

Lots of goofy comparisons and you seem to be all over the place.

Can you find a nicer way to tell someone to F off?

BTW MTG, you are never going to be happy until you find what you are really looking for. You keep trying to find different things to call it, and you are always upset about it, but usually people find that the thing that they are upset about is not what they think it is and realize that they could have been much happier had they known what they were really looking for.


You aren't married yet MTG. You don't get the "yes dear" from anyone. Certainly not from me! ;)

ZippyTheChimp
May 27th, 2009, 01:54 PM
Back to OT, it is simple. Everyone wants to be better than everyone else. It is what humans do. Gays have the right to protest and complain and ask for equal rights, but they want just what everyone else does, to be considered to be better than those around them.I think you got this wrong, contradicted yourself and started to get it right, and finished up by getting it wrong again.

The overriding urge of humanity is to belong to the group, not be better than the group.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 02:50 PM
BTW MTG, you are never going to be happy until you find....you keep trying...The statement is woefully convoluted ( I really tried to figure it out, but it's the verbal equivalent of a Mobius strip) and I guess you're using "you" as an indefinite pronoun rather than presuming to have knowledge of my personal happiness?

Fabrizio
May 27th, 2009, 04:00 PM
Fascinating (and rather telling) that I am accused of stereotyping the Italian populace with a wide brush: I find they are slimmer, better groomed, more fashion conscious and be taken to task for it....yet Midtown guy can say:

• "Italian men are paradoxically effeminate considering all the faux machismo going around there."

• "I find the way many of them groom themselves to be too self conscious, a big turn off. Over accessorized..."

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 07:16 PM
The stereotyping thing...you do it so often you probably don't even realize it. If you can say Italians are "infinitely more progressive" about homosexuality (when the facts suggest otherwise), or that they are so much more stylish, trim, etc., or suggest Italian men are so hot we're all traveling there for them, then why shouldn't I put in my 2 cents to bring you back down to Earth? You need it.

You've got your bullet points there (for a list of 2), trying to make it look like I said a whole bunch of stereotypical things about Italians, but mostly what I've done is try to insert some balance to your braggadocio.
You've written more stereotypical statements than me, for sure.
Psst....I've heard people crack rude jokes about Italian women being round with hairy mustaches...is that true, OF COURSE NOT! But neither is it reasonable to make it sound like they all resemble Carla Bruni. Try to keep some sense of balance, fabrizio. A bit of humility is so much more attractive than all of that grandstanding.

You must not realize how you sound when you write things like:


" ...a housewife and how she ties her scarf. The tractor&trailer driving guys are having their little glass of wine in a proper wine glass and eating little pannini with cured bresaola, aged parmesan and rucola. They're wearing shorts and clogs."
^LMAO!
I'm sorry but quite frankly that is hilarious. If you don't see the humor there, you take yourself way too seriously. As I said, you should see about writing for ENIT.


"But Americans often have a tough time if other people don't think their country is the greatest in all things."
(another empty stereotype) Now that's rich...this is exactly what I've observed from YOU.

I have nothing against Italy, it's a fabulous place for sure, but I hate empty bragging and blind nationalism in anyone. Like I said before:

"My observation is that Italians are as varied a bunch (attitudes, style) as anyone else and are a combination just like any country. A variety from region to region. Fat pasta asses or trim asses, stylish or not so stylish, Catholic or Communist, provincial or non provincial."
The full spectrum is well represented. So why keep giving us generalizations?

To get back on topic, what originally got me going was this statement you made:

How sad that gays want to mimic a straight institution.and this stereotype:

...gay, straight or whatever (with an emphasis on the whatever), believe me, it's infinitely more progressive here. bringing us back to gay rights/gay marriage. I hope the attitude of the 69% of Italians who are against it will start to come around soon. Something tangible...like willingness to grant their gay compatriots equal rights and protection under the law. I'm just glad that polls and advancing legislation here in the US are showing a more progressive attitude than what is evident in Italy- from the right wing Prime Minister Perma-Tan Silvio all the way down to those 1.5 million hate mongers who showed up at the anti-gay march in Rome.

kz1000ps
May 27th, 2009, 08:50 PM
Maybe it's not my place to butt in, but the two of you going back and forth like this reads like neither of you are capable of admitting any wrongdoing, and will consequently keep on arguing (over exactly what I couldn't tell you) until hell freezes over.

scumonkey
May 27th, 2009, 09:03 PM
or...
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb276/scumonkey/work-gore.gif

195Broadway
May 27th, 2009, 09:09 PM
It's a story of two men, swept down the proverbial stream. One fights the current with all his might in a gallant attempt to control the situation, the other decides to enjoy the scenery as it passes by whilst gradually working his way to shore.

MidtownGuy
May 27th, 2009, 09:48 PM
the two of you going back and forth like this reads like neither of you are capable of admitting any wrongdoing, and will consequently keep on arguing (over exactly what I couldn't tell you) until hell freezes over.
aw, come on...it's been amusing at points. Something had you continue reading it... these are the feisty exchanges that bring some fire to the forum. Seriously though, I'd rather just stick to the topic and post articles/photos with an occasional comment. I did apologize for calling him a moron and admitted that was over the line- don't I get some credit?

@scumonkey: that is the most hilarious gif ever! where do you find these things? I love it, especially when the eyeball flies out of his head. Point well taken.

@195Broadway: I think we both did a little of each.

Fabrizio
May 28th, 2009, 03:15 AM
Midtown: yes indeed! ...a housewife and how she ties her scarf. The farmer in his slick little Alfa. The tractor&trailer driving guys are having their little glass of wine in a proper wine glass and eating little pannini with cured bresaola, aged parmesan and rucola. They're wearing shorts and clogs. The men in business suits on motorcycles. The women in fur coats and pearls on their bicycles. The older gentlemen and how he drapes his overcoat over his shoulders while having an espresso. The barista in his black uniform and how he prepares the coffee. The most elegant man I have ever known was an 80 year old farmer who still worked the land... father of my friend. I have a trove of these (surprisingly small town) images of style , and as a person in design I see these things and they sustain me....images from the small towns here are to me particularly rich. I get the same kind of thrill in the South of France. And these are images that I often share with design people.... and enjoy hearing theirs. Do you know the legendary fashion photo-journalist Bill Cunningham? Have you ever seen his street reports? Especially when he does Paris? They sound no different than my post above. If I could visit a small town in the US and be similarly rewarded, I'd love to hear a post about it. Why not?

These things might sound funny or puzzling to you... and well... knowing you here, I guess that's not so surprising. It's also interesting that you see this as braggadocio, grandstanding or something for the ENIT.... I think my comments above and your reaction to them, say plenty about who we are. If you were to tell me about how NY sustains your sense of asthetics I would be delighted to hear it.... it takes nothing away from me.

If you notice, your comments about the Italian males got no negative reaction from me... I won't cricize you for your observations... because they don't threaten me or what I feel... that is your take... mine is different... I'm interested to hear them and have no reason to push them away... though on somethings I might very much disagree. In the design world, big sweeping opinions about style and lifestyle are the norm.

You say may comments about Italy are unbalanced, yet I point to a post were I basically tell a poster to avoid "my city" Florence! LOL.

And BTW, that post was written in 2007... in the meantime the city has further slid down... actually it is a place I rarely visit today... I just don't like it, I think it's horribly governed... I think the condition of it is an International scandal and regularly tell people to visit somewhere else. I could go on and on about things that I don't like here... but one thing i will tell you:

Of the many things I do like, I love the sense of style, the overwhelmingly good looking people... oh and yes, the infinitely more progressive attitudes about sex.

--

Merry
May 28th, 2009, 07:18 AM
May 28, 2009

Group Begins Ad Blitz Against Same-Sex Marriage

By JEREMY W. PETERS (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/jeremy_w_peters/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

The National Organization for Marriage (http://www.nationformarriage.org/site/c.omL2KeN0LzH/b.3836955/k.BEC6/Home.htm), a conservative Christian group that has fought efforts to legalize same-sex marriage (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/same_sex_marriage/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) in California and in the Northeast, has set its sights on New York with its latest media campaign.

Beginning Thursday in the New York City and Albany markets, the organization will run a 30-second television commercial that warns of unanticipated social consequences if the state allows gay couples to marry.

Echoing a theme that was used in turning public opinion against same-sex marriage in California in a vote last fall, the commercial suggests that children will be taught about homosexuality in schools.

“And it’s not just kids who face consequences,” the narrator says over foreboding music. “The rights of people who believe marriage means a man and a woman will no longer matter. We’ll have to accept gay marriage whether we like it or not.”

The commercial closes with a shot of the Capitol as the number for the State Senate switchboard flashes on the screen. The Senate must act in the next four weeks if it is to pass a same-sex marriage bill before the Legislature adjourns. The Assembly passed the bill this month, and Gov. David A. Paterson (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/david_a_paterson/index.html?inline=nyt-per) has pledged to sign it.

The National Organization for Marriage said its initial ad spending, which includes the television commercial and a radio spot, was just over $100,000. That campaign will run through Sunday.

The group said it hopes the commercial, which is intended to raise doubts about an argument made by advocates for same-sex marriage — that allowing gay couples to marry is simply a matter of fairness and equality — will give opponents a louder voice in a debate that has been dominated by the other side.

“We need to combat the relative vacuum on our side,” Maggie Gallagher, the founder of the National Organization for Marriage, said in an interview on Wednesday. “This message is that gay marriage will have consequences. And if you oppose gay marriage, pick up the phone, write a letter, drop an e-mail, send us some money.”

Ms. Gallagher added: “Their most powerful argument is, ‘This won’t matter to you, so you can drop your opposition.’ ”

The campaign, which is part of a broader effort that includes automated phone calls in more than two dozen Senate districts and a billboard in Times Square, comes two days after the California Supreme Court upheld a ban on same-sex marriage (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/us/27marriage.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=gay%20marriage%20California&st=cse).

Advocates for same-sex marriage in New York, who have been laying groundwork for the bill for several years through grass-roots activity — like recruiting supporters who are now reaching out to senators — have spent at least $200,000 on television ads in the last few weeks. A commercial running in the Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse markets features a husband and wife who say it is unfair that their lesbian daughter cannot get married while their straight one can.

Already, the National Organization for Marriage commercial has stirred controversy. WPIX-TV in New York has refused to run the ad, the group said. Officials at the station and the Tribune Company (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/tribune_company/index.html?inline=nyt-org), which owns WPIX, did not respond to requests for comment.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/nyregion/28ad.html?ref=nyregion

ZippyTheChimp
May 28th, 2009, 08:02 AM
The rights of people who believe marriage means a man and a woman will no longer matter.Exactly what individual rights are they talking about?

In reality, what they are protecting isn't the rights of married men and women, but marriage as a religious institution. "Be fruitful and multiply" was going on long before Genesis was written. Continuation of the species isn't threatened.

It's all a crock.

I was married in an imposing building, the church of my youth. I certainly felt the weight of the experience. Waiting at the altar, my eyes drifted up to the groin vault [Freudian or what?], where herald angels converged on the center.

But it wasn't religious.

My earliest experience in the church was as a fidgety 5 year old, twisting in the pew to stare up at that kaleidoscopic scene, as my mother tried to get me to sit up straight. The weight I felt was a passage from childhood. My life would be different.

Marriage means different things to different people, but it is not meaningless.

BrooklynRider
May 28th, 2009, 08:37 AM
I'm going to channel the bitchy queen in me and ask everyone to google an image of Maggie Gallagher. What a sad sack of bitter loneliness.

Ninjahedge
May 28th, 2009, 09:32 AM
I think you got this wrong, contradicted yourself and started to get it right, and finished up by getting it wrong again.

The overriding urge of humanity is to belong to the group, not be better than the group.

I disagree Zip.

People want to be a part of the group when they are considered to be below it.

Then when they are part of the group most seek to be better in some way. People talk about "the idiots on the road" and "the way people are so rude on the street". And a lot are right, but what they are saying, in a weird dichotomy, is that what THEY are doing is right, is better, and that others should do it like they do. (The dichotomy comes in that if everyone did thnigs exactly the same, noone would be better, so saying you know or do better and expect everyone to do it your way is almost planning your own supremacies obsolescence).

Other examples are in politics, sports, music and just about every other facet in human life. We compete over everythnig from dance to log cutting.

How is our perception on how to live life, how we each live life any different?

It is what made us get better through the ages, and it is what also produces these splits and strife.

ZippyTheChimp
May 28th, 2009, 10:07 AM
People want to be a part of the group when they are considered to be below it.Well, that's obvious. But even smart people in school will often suppress their intelligence just to fit in.

The individual competition you speak of is just that, individual. Most people aren't driven by it, and maybe that's a good thing.

What's in play here is citizens wanting equal rights with all citizens.



We compete over everythnig from dance to log cutting.

It is what made us get better through the ages, and it is what also produces these splits and strife. I think what advanced civilization was the decline of isolated, nomadic existence; and the rise of the group called a city.

Interesting that your competition examples are recreational.

MidtownGuy
May 28th, 2009, 10:28 AM
Ms. Gallagher added: “Their most powerful argument is, ‘This won’t matter to you, so you can drop your opposition.’ ”Is she nuts? Never mind about equality under the law and all of that stuff...


@fabrizio: See the gif posted by scumonkey? that was you again this morning. Time to let go. Why bother at this point? Ego? A wounded sense of national pride? Boo hoo.
This delusional view of Italy...you want to keep saying how progressive your country is toward homosexuals, when every other reality points otherwise...go ahead, live your pompous myth if it makes you feel secure.
Anyone who looks at my posts on the whole style thing will see I gave a balanced point of view. Similar to the US in 2009, fat and skinny, stylish and not so much are all represented and can be observed in Italy. You just paint a ridiculous caricature that sounds like a brochure for ENIT. It doesn't really bother me, it's just laughable. Enjoy.

kz1000ps
May 28th, 2009, 10:46 AM
I did apologize for calling him a moron and admitted that was over the line- don't I get some credit?.

Haha, well then... two brownie points for you!

lofter1
May 28th, 2009, 11:46 AM
Gay Marriage involves the essential rights of bona fide citizens.

The current situation in California exposes the BS: Prop 8 and this week's CA Supreme Court ruling states that one group of gays are determined to be legally marrited because they entered into a legally sanctioned bond within the narrow window of time between the moment when the CA SC ruled marriage valid for same sex couples and the passage of Prop 8. Another group are now denied the exact same legal bond because a bit of time has passed. Unequal protection under the law.

This will go to SCOTUS. Logic & the US Constitution demand that the States can make the decision about its internal laws, but not willy nilly -- and not at the expense of denying one individual (or set of same) the same rights as other individuals.

I can't for the life of me figure why folks, no matter their sexual identity, would want to enter into such a possibly-onerous legal bond as marriage, but also can't logically understand how the US Govt (or the Government of the individual States) can play "You ... but not You" in this regard.

scumonkey
May 28th, 2009, 11:59 AM
WPIX-TV in New York has refused to run the ad, the group said.
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb276/scumonkey/applause.gif

Jasonik
May 28th, 2009, 12:47 PM
10 Reasons why Gay Marriage is "wrong"
by Mana Bear | Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 10:50pm (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=81693006561&id=651737553&ref=nf)

1) Being gay is not natural. Real people always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in the world.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Ninjahedge
May 28th, 2009, 02:01 PM
Well, that's obvious. But even smart people in school will often suppress their intelligence just to fit in.

that's because intelligence is seen as a bad thing.

Tell me, how many cartoon villains (the bosses, mind you) were portrayed as handsome, Athletic and Average intelligence in children's stories?


The individual competition you speak of is just that, individual. Most people aren't driven by it, and maybe that's a good thing.

What's in play here is citizens wanting equal rights with all citizens.

I know what you are saying Zip,but I still have to hedge a bit towards the "I am better than you" mentality on a larger scale than the individual. I have seen it with many groups believing they are morally, civically, or even evolutionarily superior to another group.

Do not get me wrong, it is stronger with some groups than others (Evangelical Christians is an example). The key is just like everything else.

Like what you said (either earlier or on another thread) some things are just engrained (prejudice). The big difference comes in how people handle it.


I think what advanced civilization was the decline of isolated, nomadic existence; and the rise of the group called a city.

Interesting that your competition examples are recreational.

They are the easiest examples. Spelling bee. Nobel Prize. Scholarship funds. Also keep in mind that many "recreational" sports were derived originally from a duty or task that needed to be performed. (Javelin, horse racing, the entire lumberjack competition....).

I know yuo like to split hairs sometimes Zip, but it only serves to confuse the issue being discussed. Do you really need me to pull up a list of othe competitions that are not strictly leisure based or do you get my point? ;)

Ninjahedge
May 28th, 2009, 02:04 PM
@fabrizio: See the gif posted by scumonkey? that was you again this morning. Time to let go. Why bother at this point? Ego? A wounded sense of national pride? Boo hoo.
This delusional view of Italy...you want to keep saying how progressive your country is toward homosexuals, when every other reality points otherwise...go ahead, live your pompous myth if it makes you feel secure.
Anyone who looks at my posts on the whole style thing will see I gave a balanced point of view. Similar to the US in 2009, fat and skinny, stylish and not so much are all represented and can be observed in Italy. You just paint a ridiculous caricature that sounds like a brochure for ENIT. It doesn't really bother me, it's just laughable. Enjoy.

Seriously MTG, WTF?

You think you are going to get someone to stop defending their point of view by calling them laughable?


News flash. That gif was both of you.

"Enjoy".

:rolleyes:

Ninjahedge
May 28th, 2009, 02:16 PM
I can't for the life of me figure why folks, no matter their sexual identity, would want to enter into such a possibly-onerous legal bond as marriage...

It is actually pretty simple.

Just about EVERY society has some form of pairing up between individuals.

Nature both supports it and despises it. Guys want to make sure they are the only ones that are having progeny, but are also looking to get as many different women as they can (biologically speaking that is). Women are looking for something similar, but they have a slightly different purpose born of our own cultural evolution. A man that can provide support for the kids.

This has gotten warped just as much as our own definitions of physical attractiveness as their direct associations have been lost, but they still remain in essence.

When you have that basic structure set up, and one groups social doctrines are dominant over others you get rules written to foster, propagate and protect them.

As things get more complicated, other rules are made to facilitate the orderly functioning of a more complex civil structure. Things like hospital visitation rights and health care were not things that were needed way-back-when. Hell, even 100 years ago they were tacitly understood.

But now all these rules were written around and along the existing accepted societal lines based primarily on a Judeo-Christian moral doctrine, and when something else comes into the mix, they just do not fit.

Combine that with peoples:

Fear of difference
Fear of change
Desire for that smidge of superiority
Ingrained dogma against "heretous" acts taught from childhood

You get a very difficult system to change "democratically".




But, to answer your question, there are legal matters involved with marriage that make things difficult if you are not married. The stronger thing is than nasty feeling of acceptance. If you are living with someone for 20 years with 3 kids, you are somehow morally inferior to a divorced (or even not!) adulterer with the same.

lofter1
May 28th, 2009, 02:27 PM
Still defies logic in many ways.

MidtownGuy
May 28th, 2009, 02:27 PM
ninjahedge:
News flash. That gif was both of you.newsflash for you...of course I knew that, it's why I said this:


I love it, especially when the eyeball flies out of his head. Point well taken.Maybe you just skimmed past and didn't get that? I think the above statement made it perfectly clear I understood it was a message to us both.:cool:

Fabrizio
May 28th, 2009, 02:35 PM
I posted a gentle post explaining my stance in legitimate response to his... which boils down to a difference of opinion. You guys tell me: http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=285470&postcount=445

Responding to this:
http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=285453&postcount=440

To my post he replies:

@fabrizio: See the gif posted by scumonkey? that was you again this morning. Time to let go. Why bother at this point? Ego? A wounded sense of national pride? Boo hoo.
This delusional view of Italy...you want to keep saying how progressive your country is toward homosexuals, when every other reality points otherwise...go ahead, live your pompous myth if it makes you feel secure.
Anyone who looks at my posts on the whole style thing will see I gave a balanced point of view. Similar to the US in 2009, fat and skinny, stylish and not so much are all represented and can be observed in Italy. You just paint a ridiculous caricature that sounds like a brochure for ENIT. It doesn't really bother me, it's just laughable. Enjoy.

geeeesh.

MidtownGuy
May 28th, 2009, 02:38 PM
and still he keeps it going...

Ninjahedge
May 28th, 2009, 05:05 PM
and still he keeps it going...

And so do you.


(And so do I!!!!! OMGWTFBBQ!!!?!)

MidtownGuy
May 28th, 2009, 05:25 PM
well you've always been that way ninj...just can't let something go...I remember a couple years back on the smoking ban thread when I would have bet you'd still be typing about it now, in 2009.

ZippyTheChimp
May 28th, 2009, 05:40 PM
I know yuo like to split hairs sometimes Zip, but it only serves to confuse the issue being discussed. Do you really need me to pull up a list of othe competitions that are not strictly leisure based or do you get my point? ;)Actually, you confuse the issue with these analogies, which we have to figure out and relate them back to the main issue.

Here's the point: What group are gays who want to codify gay-marriage trying to be better than?

Single people?

Ninjahedge
May 29th, 2009, 09:12 AM
Yes.

They want to be better than the swingers that give homosexuality a sheer "F-'em if you got 'em" reputation.

My points, however, are more along the line of saying that no matter what people get, right or wrong, it will never be enough.

So people will fight over the NAME of an institution when even the rights are the same because somehow Marriage is better than Civil Union.

This fight might even come down to the right to use a capital letter at the front of "Married" when talking about it. I would nt be surprised if, eventually, a bill is proposed to call it "Gay marriage" and people oppose it because it isn't capitalized (and even more un-surprised at the fact that that was indeed how the writers intended it!!).

meh.

Ninjahedge
May 29th, 2009, 09:13 AM
well you've always been that way ninj...just can't let something go...I remember a couple years back on the smoking ban thread when I would have bet you'd still be typing about it now, in 2009.

I found other forums to talk about that on. :rolleyes:

scumonkey
May 29th, 2009, 12:13 PM
They want to be better than the swingers that give homosexuality a sheer "F-'em if you got 'em" reputation.
BS:rolleyes:

ZippyTheChimp
May 29th, 2009, 12:24 PM
Yes.They want to be better than the swingers that give homosexuality a sheer "F-'em if you got 'em" reputation.I never realized that they were an organized group with political power.

Do they have lobbyists?

I'll bet they get all the good jobs.

Ninjahedge
May 29th, 2009, 03:19 PM
I never realized that they were an organized group with political power.

They have meetings on Thursdays at the VFW.


Do they have lobbyists?

No, but they are quite familiar with some senators.


I'll bet they get all the good jobs.

"Jobs".... yeah.

Ninjahedge
May 29th, 2009, 03:20 PM
BS:rolleyes:

Are you saying that the ones that are getting married LIKE the stereotype of being immoral sexual deviants that sleep around?

K.

scumonkey
May 29th, 2009, 03:34 PM
No - I totally disagree with your whole "straight" perspective
about what any "gay" people feel or think.
I also find some of your comments borderline offensive.:cool:
(but it's a free country- believe what you want)

Jasonik
May 29th, 2009, 04:13 PM
Not really marriage related but maybe the hunky red blooded pilot will sway some opinions. ;)

Seriously, who says this guy shouldn't marry anyone he damn well pleases? (I'm straight and I'd consider it... :o)

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/media/ALeqM5iwUPErWwf9VXV06rN3fIQ6giCKMQ?size=l
(AP Photo/Charlie Litchfield)

AF Boots Decorated Pilot for Being Gay (http://www.military.com/news/article/af-boots-decorated-pilot-for-being-gay.html)

"I will fight this in uniform and I'll fight it without," Fehrenbach said. "I swore an oath to defend and support the Constitution, I'm going to speak out and fight this until the law is repealed because it is not constitutional."

He said "don't ask, don't tell" denies American service members their constitutional right to privacy, due process and equal protection, and forces them to lie about who they are when honesty is part of the code they serve under.

Ninjahedge
May 29th, 2009, 04:29 PM
No - I totally disagree with your whole "straight" perspective
about what any "gay" people feel or think.

You still did not answer my question. The strait opinion is that gay is amoral and promiscuous.

Do you like that appelation? I would not think so. So you are now saying that all homosexuals are so pure that they somehow do not have the same kind of biased and favoritistic attitudes as every other human being on the face of the planet?

I am not talking about what a "gay" person thniks SM, but what a HUMAN BEING thinks. If you want to apply your labels to it to enable you to get defensive and take offense, that is your prerogative.


I also find some of your comments borderline offensive.:cool:
(but it's a free country- believe what you want)

The human race is still a primitive species that enjoys beating each other up and watching the same. They look at car wrecks and promote shows primarily about people being uncomfortable. They enjoy "bloopers" that show people being smacked in the nuts or bitten by animals or falling off bicycles.

To somehow say that gay men and women are SO different that they do not experience the same feelings and emotions, albeit slightly altered in directionon some, as every other human on the planet, than feel free to do so. It is a free country.

My point is that people always want to prove that they are better in some fasion. They deserve praise, attension, acceptance. It is what made us evolve, and disagree with each other. It is what makes debates. It is what makes internet forums. It is what defines politics. It is human.

God forbid anyone then points the finger of humanity at any one group that has been maligned in the past and call them out for their own failings as a species and that is somehow associated with their on special "differences" and not acnowledged as the simple onus of being human.


Whatever.

Ninjahedge
May 29th, 2009, 04:38 PM
PS, I think I need to get a beer or something before everyone yells at me now. :(

scumonkey
May 29th, 2009, 04:45 PM
You still did not answer my question.Yes I did - with the first word of my post.

The strait opinion is that gay is amoral and promiscuous.That might be your opinion, but I in the circles I hang with
(all straight- i have no gay friends) no one is of that opinion.

So you are now saying that all homosexuals are so pure that they somehow do not have the same kind of biased and favoritistic attitudes as every other human being on the face of the planet?watch yourself- you seek to put words in my mouth i never uttered or thought.

If you want to apply your labels to it to enable you to get defensive and take offense, that is your prerogative.show me where I labeled anything- you on the other hand...

To somehow say that gay men and women are SO different that they do not experience the same feelings and emotions, albeit slightly altered in directionon some, as every other human on the planet, than feel free to do so. It is a free country.There you go again:rolleyes:

My point is that people always want to prove that they are better in some fasion. They deserve praise, attension, acceptance. It is what made us evolve, and disagree with each other. It is what makes debates. It is what makes internet forums. It is what defines politics. It is human.
Your Point taken and dismissed (IMHO)!
Whatever.:cool:

scumonkey
May 29th, 2009, 04:46 PM
PS, I think I need to get a beer or something before everyone yells at me now. :(or something- and more than one! ;)
Let the (justly deserved)yelling begin! :D

MidtownGuy
May 29th, 2009, 05:15 PM
©The ninjahedge method:

Write something like: so, are you saying... *insert straw man*

Then, wait for any response at all, to which the answer is always
*another straw man or false analogy*

blather, rinse, repeat
:cool:

Ninjahedge
May 29th, 2009, 06:08 PM
©blah blah blah

Insult those that do not agree with you

Blah Blah Blah:cool:

I hope I got that right.......


Well, not really. :p

MidtownGuy
May 29th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Are you saying that the ones that are getting married LIKE the stereotype of being immoral sexual deviants that sleep around?So what is this then? Are you being serious here, I mean is that a statement anyone can take seriously? What does it even mean? Look at the other stuff you tried baiting scumonkey with too (and others)...pure foolishness.

Ninjahedge
May 29th, 2009, 10:17 PM
So what is this then? Are you being serious here, I mean is that a statement anyone can take seriously? What does it even mean? Look at the other stuff you tried baiting scumonkey with too (and others)...pure foolishness.

Not really MTG....

Sorry if I am coming off harsh, but I am just letting you know from my own experience what a lot of people around me think about this.

And not just people I have met, but others online. When I went to city data (.com) I was surprised (but not really shocked) at the really conservative and bigoted attitudes that people have to some of these things.

It is not blatant, but it is obvious in the way people address the issues. Somehow a lot still see that, even if they might accept it (so long as they don't have to deal with it) they still feel it is wrong.

Various permutations of "gods way" or other morality variants play across conversations in person and online. I was not this aware of it until after college and living away form home (Hoboken) and working in NYC. It is like leaving the house to come back and realize it stinks of cat litter/piss. You don't notice it until you have a different environment surrounding you for a while.

The other things that do not help are popular medias ways of portraying gay people. The deliberate extravagance that is shown on shows like "Top Model" where some of the judges are not only gay but flagrant (and deliberately bizarre) do not help the "average" Americans perception of the community at large.

So the problem is in generalities.

And just as a slight defense SM, (And I have not read the PM yet, so forgive me if I am stepping on any toes) most of the strait friends I have in and around the city are also not of the opinion that I expressed earlier. The ones I see this most on are the ones farther from NYC and closer to the old blue collar neighborhoods I came from.

And, in all fairness, do you think you would be friends with people that are less open and accepting of others? I always found that difficult myself, and I crave friendship very strongly (call it a weakness).

So see it as you will. My statements are generalities meant to exemplify the "average", never one that encompasses all, and definitely not one that touches either end of the spectrum when it comes to human behavior.

Maybe it is just me looking at people too much. Being sensitive to what people see and how they react to it. Maybe me, a person whose own filters have been striped off forcing me to pay attention to so many stupid little details of life has made it so I am depressed and angry at the whole human race and our own petty place on this planet.

Maybe my feelings resonate a bit too strongly with the desire to be accepted by those around me that I feel the needs of others, selfishly apply them to my own needs, and then express them both through my own lifes direction.


Or maybe I am just getting old.

MidtownGuy
May 29th, 2009, 10:27 PM
A thoughtful and candid post, ninjahedge. Thank you for sharing.

Merry
May 30th, 2009, 05:21 AM
^ I agree.


Some New York Celebs Lobby for Gay Marriage in Secret

5/29/09 at 1:30 PM

http://images.nymag.com/images/2/daily/2009/05/20090529_threeup_560x275.jpg
Maya Angelou, Cynthia Nixon, and Paul Tagliabue

Today the Times brings us word (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/nyregion/29celebrity.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion) that esteemed poet Maya Angelou, actress Cynthia Nixon, and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue have been working with the Empire State Pride Agenda to try to persuade state lawmakers to support gay marriage. Nixon is a lesbian, Tagliabue has a gay son, and Angelou just really digs equality, so they all feel a personal connection to the cause. Now, not to diminish their efforts in any way, but reading this story made us wonder whether these are really the most high-profile New York celebrities the lobbying effort has to offer. Again, no disrespect to Angelou and company, but this is a city teeming with famous stars from all walks of life. Presumably, many of them are in favor of gay marriage, and realize that their support can have an impact. So where are they?

Alan Van Capelle, Pride Agenda's executive director, tells us that there are actually more celebrities — or "people of note," as he prefers to put it — lobbying state senators out of the public eye, but "a strategic decision" has been made "not to publicize what they’re doing because we feel it has a greater impact if it doesn’t look like they’re doing it for publicity, or just so they can say they did it." This sounds counterintuitive to us — what makes celebrities unique is that they can use their mass appeal to mobilize support or sway opinions. But that can only happen if people actually know how they feel.

In fact, Van Capelle says that some celebrities — people that "most people know," some from TV or movies — have offered to do public service announcements in support of gay marriage. But the Pride Agenda has told them that it's "more important for you to pick up the telephone and call targeted members of the State Senate." The thinking is that, unlike the star-studded efforts against the Prop 8 ballot referendum in California, this fight is over the hearts and minds of just 62 state senators, not New Yorkers at large. And politicians are more receptive to celebrity overtures if it's on the down low. "I think to the extent that people are willing to take a call from someone they might see on television or in the movies," Van Capelle says, "they are more apt to take that call and have those conversations when they don't feel that that discourse is going to be written about in New York Magazine." Frankly, we're a little insulted. But we understand.

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2009/05/where_are_the_celebrities_on_g.html

MidtownGuy
May 30th, 2009, 01:38 PM
It Is Not A Matter of If, But Only A Matter of When

Russell Simmons


It is remarkable that it took only one day for our beautiful country to show its greatest potential and its greatest challenge. And that day was Tuesday. In the morning, I was inspired by the President's nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor for a seat on the Supreme Court. Yet, in the afternoon I was deeply saddened by the decision made by the California Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8.


It pains me that we have come to a point in this country where we use the ballot box to address the civil rights of our people. If President Johnson had to take a vote, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have passed. If Congress took a vote in 1920, women may still not have the right to vote today. And if President Lincoln went to the polls, blacks would definitely have endured many more years of slavery. We trusted our government to make the right decision and protect the minority, and yesterday we, as a nation, failed.


Unfortunately, most of the arguments against these monumental advancements of our country's history have been deeply rooted in religion; and in my opinion the misuse of religion. Let's remove religion from this discussion, and focus on the greatest gift religion has given all of us, the ability to love. And as an African-American, I urge my own people to take a deep look at our own struggles and not wish them upon anyone else. Simply, civil rights for all is about being connected as humans, united, tolerant, loving and brave.


We have come such a long way in this country. Let's us not stop now. Vermont and Maine have done the right thing by legalizing same sex marriage, and I am extremely supportive of my own Governor, David Paterson, to follow suit in New York.


In my heart, I know that marriage equality for every human being isn't a question of if, but only a matter of when. I ask those who feel that giving freedom to others somehow binds you, to please take a good look at what you are standing behind. It is only through opening your hearts will you be able to see that by promoting freedom for all, you are unchaining yourself. I guess I'm an optimist. I have faith in people and our government ultimately to do the right thing. And to my brothers and sisters in California, I'm there with you every step of the way until that day comes...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-simmons/it-is-not-a-matter-of-if_b_208351.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-simmons/it-is-not-a-matter-of-if_b_208351.html)

MidtownGuy
June 6th, 2009, 07:14 PM
American Progressive values at work. The momentum here in the U.S. is becoming incredible.

Gay Marriage: New Hampshire Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal


CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage Wednesday in a move that reflects the state's changing demographics from reliably Republican and conservative to younger and more liberal.
The Senate and House passed key language on religious rights, Gov. John Lynch _ who personally opposes gay marriage _ signed the legislation Wednesday afternoon.
Lynch, a Democrat, had promised a veto if the law didn't clearly spell out that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services. Legislators made the changes.
"Today, we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities _ and respect _ under New Hampshire law," Lynch said.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa already allow gay marriage, though opponents hope to overturn Maine's law with a public vote.
California briefly allowed gay marriage before a public vote banned it; a court ruling grandfathered in couples who were already married.
Lynch said it is now time for the federal government to extend full equal rights to same-sex couples.
After rallies outside the Statehouse by both sides in the morning, the last of three bills in the package went to the Senate, which approved it 14-10 Wednesday afternoon.

Alonzo-ny
June 6th, 2009, 08:02 PM
California's reversal must have been a big blow, no? Only about 15 million people make up those states, surely there needs to be alot more momentum before it happens at Federal level?

MidtownGuy
June 7th, 2009, 12:39 AM
The fight in California is far from over. Of course with NY it will be a big prize.
Plus, although the states mentioned are not huge, they all have separate state legislatures that have individually managed to pass it so the fact that there are six now is quite significant.

BrooklynRider
June 7th, 2009, 01:31 AM
Well, it's nice to see that the states that led the way in American Revolution and declared independence for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have not rested on their laurels.

scumonkey
June 8th, 2009, 07:15 PM
How good do you think the chances arefor New York to pass gay marriage, now that the repubs have taken back the State Senate? :mad:

Troyeth
June 9th, 2009, 05:21 AM
Well, it's nice to see that the states that led the way in American Revolution and declared independence for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have not rested on their laurels.

Great quote!

Of course, more work must be done.

ZippyTheChimp
June 9th, 2009, 06:27 AM
Resolution passed in the State Assembly, but will be difficult in the Senate.

Meanwhile, in a quiet landmark ruling for the state, NYS Supreme Court has granted a divorce in a same-sex marriage, recognizing that the marriage performed in Massachusetts was legal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/fashion/weddings/07FIELD.html?ref=style

Merry
November 6th, 2009, 05:48 AM
Marriage for Gays on Agenda in New York

By DANNY HAKIM

November 5, 2009

ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson said Thursday that he would include gay marriage on the agenda of an extraordinary session he is calling for Tuesday, potentially setting up the first vote on the issue in the State Senate and a dramatic floor debate.

Senate Democratic leaders could still block the issue from coming to the floor and have done so before, though it appears more likely to be put to a vote this time. Gay rights advocates, who feared holding a vote amid a Senate leadership feud this summer, cheered the governor’s action.

The measure’s chances of passing, though, are seen as far less likely. While a same-sex marriage bill has already been passed twice in the Assembly, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate. Democrats have a shaky 32-to-30 edge in the chamber, but several Democrats have said they will vote against the measure, and no Republicans are publicly supporting it.

The primary purpose of the session is to vote on the governor’s plan to reduce a deficit of more than $3 billion, but few expect the governor and lawmakers to agree on a compromise plan by Tuesday. So issues like same-sex marriage and measures to reform the pension system and public authorities are likely to dominate the session.

Selvena Brooks, a spokeswoman for Senator John L. Sampson of Brooklyn, the leader of the Senate Democrats, would not say whether the same-sex marriage measure would be allowed to come up for a vote. Ms. Brooks said Mr. Sampson was speaking with Republicans and Democrats “to move along the issue.” Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, a gay rights group, said he expected to see “the respectful debate and vote that we’ve been waiting for since June.”

But the governor has little influence over his fellow Democrats in the Senate and an increasingly strained relationship with them. The caucus is rebuffing the governor’s request to come to Albany on Monday for an address he wants to deliver to a joint legislative session, and the sides engaged in a war of words on Thursday.

Attendance on Tuesday will be mandatory, under state law, because the governor is calling an extraordinary session.

Malcolm A. Smith, a Queens Democrat and the Senate president pro tempore, said of the marriage issue, “I would assume we would bring it out for an actual vote.”

But he was uncertain if it would pass.

“Republicans who might have been supportive in the past might have been spooked,” Mr. Smith said, by the recent battle over the 23rd Congressional District in upstate New York. The state’s Conservative Party pressured the Republican candidate, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, a moderate, to withdraw, partly because she supports same-sex marriage.

Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., a Pentecostal minister and Bronx Democrat, has been the Legislature’s most outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage. In a telephone interview from Puerto Rico, where Latino lawmakers are gathering for a conference, he also cited the aftermath of the Congressional race. (The Democratic candidate, Bill Owens, prevailed over the Conservative,, Douglas L. Hoffman.)

Lawmakers, he said, “should all learn that people are fed up, the conservative movement is fed up, and they should stop playing games.”
He said he would support bringing the issue to the floor, but not until next year, when the entire Legislature will be up for re-election.

And if his fellow Democrats allow a vote this year?

Senator Díaz said he would not change parties or caucus with the Republicans in protest, but Democrats may not be able to count on his vote on any particular issue anymore.

“If they slap me in the face, they’ll be in for a surprise,” he said. “As long as my vote is needed, I have to decide who has been with me when I need them.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/06/nyregion/06marriage.html?ref=nyregion

Daquan13
November 6th, 2009, 07:50 AM
That leaves Rhode Island in the New England area, and I think it was already shot down there.

Merry
November 9th, 2009, 05:13 AM
Fate of Same-Sex Marriage Bill in Albany Unclear

By DANNY HAKIM and JEREMY W. PETERS

After a major setback in Maine last week, gay rights advocates and their opponents are shifting their focus to New York, where Gov. David A. Paterson has called legislators to Albany on Tuesday and asked them to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.

Advocates on both sides of the issue lobbied senators over the weekend, but it was still unclear on Sunday whether the measure could attract the 32 votes needed in the State Senate for approval. (The Assembly has already passed the bill.)

Only three state legislatures nationwide have voted, without the intervention of the courts, to approve same- sex marriage.

In New York, Democrats hold a shaky 32-to-30 majority in the Senate, and some senators oppose allowing the legislation to come to the floor for a vote.

Those who favor the bill say they realize they are risking another significant defeat but are determined to get legislators on record on the issue. They also say that now may be the best time to push lawmakers to take up the bill, given that next year all 212 members of the Legislature will face re-election.

Estimates vary, but supporters of the bill believe they can count on about 25 votes for the legislation at this time.

“The stakes are much higher now, following Maine, and it would be an enormous boost to the movement to prevail in New York,” said Matt Foreman, a gay rights advocate who has served as the head of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s leading gay rights group.

But, he added, “if we don’t win marriage in New York in this special session, it’s going to be a very hard lift next year.”

Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell, one of the Legislature’s few openly gay members and the bill’s lead sponsor in the Assembly, acknowledged the uncertainty, but said he supported taking a vote now. “We will never be assured in the State Senate — waiting for that is like waiting for Godot,” he said.

Mr. Paterson declined a request for an interview.

The Maine referendum, in which voters reversed lawmakers’ earlier approval of same-sex marriage, was not the only cause for concern for supporters of the bill.

During the bitter fight for the 23rd Congressional District in upstate New York in recent weeks, state conservatives pressured the Republican candidate to withdraw in part because of her support of same-sex marriage. And Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s defeat in New Jersey has complicated efforts to legalize same-sex marriage there.

Opponents of the measure in New York expressed confidence that they would prevail.

“I think we’re starting from a position of strength,” said Jason J. McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. “I don’t believe they have the votes, and it’s an act of desperation. Our position is to maintain the votes we have, and people are certainly in contact with our senators and we are encouraging that. This is not going to pass.”

Republican officials said Senator Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the Republican caucus, would allow his colleagues to vote however they wanted and would not seek a unified position. But none of the 30 Republicans have yet to commit publicly to voting for same-sex marriage, and the bill’s supporters say that Republican votes are needed for the measure to pass.

Democrats were to meet in a closed-door caucus on Monday in Albany to decide how to proceed.

“There is a school of thought which says that unless you have 32 votes, you shouldn’t pull a bill on the floor,” Pedro Espada Jr., the Senate majority leader, said in an interview on Saturday. “There’s also an equally valid school of thought that says we should put it up for a vote and live with the results.”

Mr. Espada, a supporter of the measure, said he and a number of other Senate Democrats, including the caucus leader, John L. Sampson of Brooklyn, had been discussing strategy while attending a conference of Latino lawmakers in Puerto Rico this weekend.

Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., a Pentecostal minister and Bronx Democrat who is the most outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage in the Legislature, said last week that the issue should be voted on during an election year.

If the bill comes up now, he said, “the Democratic conference would be more divided than ever.”

Senator Diane J. Savino, a Democrat from Staten Island who supports the bill, said she believed there was a 70 percent chance it would reach the floor.
“I’m pretty confident,” she said, adding, “I hope that I am right.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/nyregion/09marriage.html?ref=nyregion

Merry
November 11th, 2009, 06:08 AM
Eviscerating Rubén Díaz on Gay Marriage

Nathaniel Frank

If I were New York State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr., I would not have given that interview to the New York Times yesterday about gay marriage. Of course, Díaz may not care about being morally or intellectually consistent.

He may care only about appeasement -- of his constituents with a vacuum of moral leadership, and of his conscience with sloppy rationalizations of his own bigotry against those he claims he "loves." But the interview shows his opposition to marriage equality in New York state to be just plain stupid, and history must hold him to account.

Díaz is a staunch opponent of marriage rights for gay people, and as a Democratic state senator in a party with a razor-thin majority, his resistance gives him great power on this issue. He also has two gay brothers, a gay granddaughter and a gay chief counsel, whom he insists he loves and respects. "So how could I be a homophobe?" he says. Can he be serious? Do people really think they can seek to deny people the same rights as they enjoy, and that saying they love the people whose rights they're trying to block makes it all okay?

People are entitled to their beliefs. They are even entitled to use their beliefs as a basis for their vote to deny others the same rights as they enjoy. But if we're going to bother to have a public discussion about the merits of a proposed law, one thing people are not entitled to is a free pass when their position on said law is utterly devoid of moral or intellectual consistency.

Díaz never offers an argument against gay marriage. "The people of the nation don't want gay marriage," he told the Times. But then he argues the issue should not even come to a vote. If the people don't want equality, why shouldn't their representatives be able to express that will democratically, after debate, in the senate chamber? More to the point, why should the rights of a minority be granted only at the whim of a majority vote? Was it right in an earlier era to deny blacks and women equal rights just because the majority of the nation wished to do so?

Díaz said the vote should not come to the floor because the legislature has "more important issues to attend to." Right now I'm watching a live feed of the Senate chamber. And what are those more important issues? The senators, called together in an "extraordinary session" by Gov. David Paterson, spent the first hour grandstanding about the troops in preparation for Veterans Day tomorrow. And the last hour has consisted of a still shot of a stained glass image of scales, eagles and flowery swirls with a sign saying "The Senate Stands at Ease" while creepy flute music plays somberly in the background.

In addition to the majority tyranny argument, Díaz offers his Pentecostal religion as the reason for his effort to deny gay couples the right to marry. "My religion doesn't allow me to dance," he says, "but that does not mean I don't go to the party. My religion doesn't allow me to drink. But that doesn't mean I can't hang around with my friends. My religion is against gay marriage. It means, I don't agree with what you do. But let's go out. Let's go to the movies. Let's be friends."

Okay, where to start? It's fine, Senator Díaz, for you not to dance, but are you leading the effort to make dancing for others illegal? It's fine for you not to drink, but where is your fierce leadership on reviving that super popular and effective age of Prohibition? It's fine for you not to get gay-married, but why insist on denying others the rights you enjoy? And where is your outrage about all the Jews and Muslims and atheists who are legally allowed to get married even though, according to your religion, they're all going straight to hell? And where is your righteous effort to outlaw Jews' right to observe the Sabbath on the "wrong" day, or to keep Kosher? Might that seem a bit anti-Semitic? And maybe a bit absurd?

So, about this notion that you can ban others' rights because your religion "doesn't agree" with what they do: Have you ever given a moment of thought to how stupid this sounds? Millions and millions of people get married every year in this world. You have no idea what they all do and I bet you don't really care, so long as they're straight. But one thing you can be sure most of them do at one point or another is violate the tenets of their own (and your) religion. To be morally and intellectually consistent, don't you need to give a litmus test to all of them, about "what they do," to determine if you support their right to marry? Or just the gays?

Díaz is proud that he visits Christopher Lynn, his openly gay chief counsel, when he's in the hospital. Too bad his opposition to Lynn's right to marry could mean his partner's healthcare isn't even covered by insurance. "He is a true believer in Christian values," says Lynn by way of defense, "in treating people the way you want to be treated." What on earth is he talking about? Chris, Díaz got married, but doesn't want to let you do the same! Where are you unclear about this? The correct answer to Díaz's invitation to go to the movies even though he leads the charge against your rights is not to defend your boss as a true Christian and enjoy your double dates; it's to say, "go to hell, and find yourself a new chief counsel while you're there."

Many of my loyal readers know my approach as generally conciliatory. I have often cautioned against calling all opponents of gay rights stupid or bigoted. Indeed, most gay people have friends or family who are against granting them equal rights, and it's no easier to suddenly reject them all than it is for them to reject us. But we are fast reaching a tipping point in this dialogue when anyone who cares to pay attention can see that the old arguments against basic equality simply don't hold water (and the results in Maine don't change this -- the overall trend is going our way). Trying to prop them up in the face of this evidence is, at best, dishonest and at worst, well, stupid and bigoted.

The late Sonny Bono once told Barney Frank on the floor of Congress that he knew it was wrong to oppose gay equality, but that Bono just wasn't ready yet emotionally to grant them. This was a rare expression of honesty in the fraught debate over gay rights, but it is what we should demand of anyone who continues to stand in the way of what's right. So far Ruben Díaz fails the test.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathaniel-frank/eviscerating-ruben-diaz-o_b_352628.html

lofter1
November 11th, 2009, 11:35 AM
Seen at The Daily Dis (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/11/move-over-mary-poppins.html)h ...

Move Over, Mary Poppins

Umdiddlediddlediddleumdiddleye. Umdiddlediddlediddleumdiddleye:

Shelly Goldstein -- Stupid Callous Homophobic Hateful Legislation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnVzeGPrmiw)

lofter1
December 3rd, 2009, 07:09 PM
The (losing) argument, put forward by one clearheaded Roman Catholic ...

"We Have Nothing To Fear From Love And Commitment"

The Daily Dish (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/12/we-have-nothing-to-fear.html)
03 Dec 2009 10:13 am

A powerful, pathos-filled speech by Senator Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) before the failed vote yesterday:

VID: NYS Senator Diane Savino speaks on the Marriage Equality bill (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCFFxidhcy0)

The best account of the impact of yesterday's decisive defeat for civil rights is here. What strikes me is how many of the nay votes didn't speak at all. And how many who had privately pledged support voted no anyway. The work done with New York's GOP was particularly impressive. But one suspects that the winds blowing in the GOP today, in which any inclusion of gay people - let alone civil equality - is anathema, were primarily responsible.

It's demoralizing and dispiriting. But it is my deepest belief that every time this question is thoroughly debated, and each time we put ourselves, our dignity and our families on the line, we win even if we lose.

This is about changing people's consciousness, deep down, the prerequisite of changing the law. And sometimes simply witnessing a majority strike down a minority so emphatically makes the point more powerfully than anything else.

Civil rights movements always move forward by occasionally moving backward. And at each moment in the struggle, those unpersuaded watch us, how we respond, who we are. Anger and sadness are more than legitimate responses. But so are calm and confidence.

Daquan13
December 3rd, 2009, 10:34 PM
NY officials just killed it there.

Alonzo-ny
January 7th, 2010, 12:36 PM
http://www.thehighdefinite.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/statesmarriagecousin.jpg

OmegaNYC
January 9th, 2010, 07:24 PM
^^^

Scratch New Jersey off the list that allows same sex marriage. :mad: