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!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

NEWS ITEMS AFFECTING GAYS AND LESBIANS

FOR 2005 - APRIL TO JUNE

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Sponsored link.

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In the following, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."

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News of 2005-APR:

bullet2005-APR-05: NH: Bishop Robinson attacked for views on Jesus: Bishop Gene Robinson is the first openly-gay bishop of the Episcopal Church, USA. In a forum on FEB-13 at Christ Church in Hamilton MA, he commented that the nuclear family is a relatively new idea and that Jesus led a nontraditional life in Palestine. He is reported to have said: "Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values and so on, this man that we follow ... was single as far as we know; who traveled with a bunch of men, although there were lots of women around; who had a disciple who was known as 'the one whom Jesus loved'; who said 'my family is not my mother and father, my family are those who do the will of God' -- none of us like those harsh words. That's who Jesus is, that's who he was, at least in his earthly life." He says that he has recently been "flooded with angry messages" from people who appear to have misinterpreted his statement; they apparently believe that Robinson was implying that Jesus was gay and/or that he was sexually active. Robinson said: "I can assure you with absolute certainty that was not my implication, and certainly not anything I ever said." 1
bullet2005-APR-13: GA: Eric Rudolph, the "Olympic Bomber" issues anti-homosexual manifesto: Rudolph pleaded guilty to the bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, GA, and subsequent attacks of a gay bar and two abortion clinics. Two people were killed; 123 were wounded. He also told authorities where he had buried over 200 pounds of explosives. In return, prosecutors agreed to not ask for the death penalty. Rudolph was given four life sentences without parole. 2 He issued an 11 page manifesto which mainly deals with his hatred of the government and of women's clinics. He apparently believes that an embryo is a human person from the instant of conception, that abortion is murder, and "...that force is justified and in an attempt to stop it."

Rudolph also had strong beliefs against same-sex behavior. He wrote in his manifesto: "Along with abortion, another assault upon the integrity of American society is the concerted effort to legitimize the practice of homosexuality. Homosexuality is an aberrant sexual behavior, and as such I have complete sympathy and understanding for those who are suffering from this condition. Practiced by consenting adults within the confines of their own private lives, homosexuality is not a threat to society. Those, consenting adults practicing this behavior in privacy should not be hassled by a society which respects the sanctity of private sexual life. But when the attempt is made to drag this practice out of the closet and into the public square in an 'in your face' attempt to force society to accept and recognize this behavior as being just as legitimate and normal as the natural man/woman relationship, every effort should be made, including force if necessary, to halt this effort."

"This effort is commonly known as the homosexual agenda. Whether it is gay marriage, homosexual adoption, hate crimes laws including gays, or the attempt to introduce a homosexual normalizing curriculum into our schools, all of these efforts should be ruthlessly opposed. The existence of our culture depends upon it. It is the duty of the state to promote the public welfare and this includes holding up values and model behaviors which tend to create a healthy society capable of reproducing itself by the natural means of the family unit. This model behavior which lies at the heart of a healthy society is the marriage between a man and a woman. To place the homosexual relationship along side of the model and pronounce it to be just as legitimate a lifestyle choice is a direct assault upon the long term health and integrity of civilization and a vital threat to the very foundation of society and this foundation is the family hearth."

"Any conscientious individual afflicted with homosexuality should acknowledge that a healthy society requires a model of sexual behavior to be held up and maintained without assault. Like other humans suffering from various disabilities homosexuals should not attempt to infect the rest of society with their particular illness." 3

bullet2005-MAY-02: CO: Soulforce plans to confront Focus on the Family: Soulforce is a non-violent, gay-positive, religious, activist organization which promotes equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations. They expect to join with "1000 people of faith from Colorado and all across the country" on MAY-01 outside the headquarters of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, CO. On MAY-02, they hope "...to deliver to [Focus founder James] Dobson and his staff thousands of letters that illustrate the tragic consequences of the anti-gay rhetoric of Dobson and other fundamentalist Christian leaders."

Rev. Dr. Mel White, Executive Director of Soulforce said: "On Monday, May 2, James Dobson has to make a moral decision. Does he welcome this delegation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people with supportive clergy and other people of faith? Or does he lock us out and force us to risk nonviolent civil disobedience and arrest? We can't just go away and ignore the terrible consequences of Dobson's ignorance and bigotry."

Reverend Robyn Murphy, staff pastor at Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church in Colorado Springs, said: "If Dr. Dobson denies the opportunity for interaction and dialogue by locking us out, he is saying that he is not open to the latest scientific and biblical evidence that homosexuality is simply another example of God's glorious and diverse creation."

"Jeff Lutes, MS, LPC, a psychologist and family counselor from Austin, TX is leading this nonviolent intervention. He said: "If we are locked out of Focus on the Family, the nation will see clearly that the truth about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people is being locked out with us....We are calling this a family intervention, as we are all really part of the same family. As a member of the human family, James Dobson is our brother who has become a dangerous and misleading force to millions. We are coming to Colorado Springs to show him that his refusal to hear the truth about God's gay children leads to wasted lives and ruined families. We pray that this time, James Dobson will hear us." 4
bullet2005-MAY-02: USA: Rumsfield v. Fair case accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court: In 1994, former Representative Gerald Solomon (R-NY) sponsored the Solomon Amendment which bars Department of Defense funds to universities who have law schools that refuse to assist military recruiters on campus. It became law. In 1997, an amendment was passed that bars funds from all federal agencies including the Department of Education. Meanwhile, some law schools have anti-discrimination policies with prevent cooperation with sexist, racist or homophobic organization. The military fits into the last category because of its "don't ask, don't tell" policy which expels military personnel who are open with their homosexuality. According to the Washington Post, no school has lost any funding so far. However, if the law were applied, an entire university could lose all federal funding because of the policies of its law college. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, PA ruled that the amendments are "a clear First Amendment impairment. [The law]...requires law schools to express a message that is incompatible with their educational objectives, and no compelling governmental interest has been shown to deny this freedom." The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will consider this case during its 2005-2006 term which begins in 2005-OCT. 5
bullet2005-MAY-03: Canada: First military wedding of a same-sex couple: Lt.-Cmdr. David Greenwood, the head chaplain of airbase base Greenwood in Nova Scotia, organized the first same-sex wedding of a military couple. Rev. Greenwood, an Anglican, said: "I looked after the co-ordination in accordance with our military policy of receiving the couple with dignity and respect." The marriage of a gay couple was performed by a United Church of Canada minister. 9
bullet2005-MAY-05: MD: Anti-Christian bias cited in homosexuality curriculum: Montgomery County Public Schools has suspended a new sex-ed curriculum which was to be evaluated in three high schools and three middle schools in Montgomery County, MD starting on MAY-09. This was done in response to U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr.'s temporary restraining order. A conservative Christian legal defense organization, Liberty Counsel, represented two conservative groups: Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and Parents and Friends of Ex-GaysBaptist Press reported that: "The curriculum -- aimed at eighth- and 10th-graders -- claims that Jesus 'said absolutely nothing at all about homosexuality' and that being homosexual is similar to being left-handed. It notes that some Baptist churches once defended racial segregation, implying that conservative Baptists today are on the wrong side of history. It also says that future generations likely will view today's traditional beliefs on homosexuality with 'astonishment' and that "religion has often been misused to justify hatred and oppression." More details. 6
bullet2005-MAY-08: USA: Author retracts beliefs about homosexuality: Martha Beck is the author of a new book: "Leaving the Saints: How I lost the Mormons and found my faith."  It alleges that she was the victim of sexual abuse. She says that the perpetrator was her recently deceased father, Hugh Nibley, a senior official in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dan Wotherspoon of Sunstone Magazine has reportedly said: "Books by apostates from the church, they come along all the time, but an attack on Hugh Nibley -- to call Hugh Nibley a pedophile and a liar, with no evidence to back it up -- of course that is going to hit the Mormon community like an earthquake."

In 1990, she and her husband collaborated on a book "Breaking the Cycle of Compulsive Behavior." They argued that homosexuality is a choice; it is an addiction that can be overcome through will power. The Washington Post reports that she now lives with a woman in a relationship that she calls "more than platonic. She said she no longer believes that homosexuality is a choice that can be overcome." 7
bullet2005-MAY-12: NB: Nebraska DOMA law was declared unconstitutional: U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon declared the state DOMA law to be unconstitutional because it denies equal protection under law to same sex couples. Referring to Section 29 in the state Bill of Rights which prevents gays and lesbians from trying to effect legislative change, he wrote:

"The court finds Section 29 is a denial of access to one of our most fundamental sources of protection, the government. Such broad exclusion from 'an almost limitless number of transactions and endeavors that constitute ordinary civil life in a free society' is 'itself a denial of equal protections in the literal sense'."

He noted that Section 29 "imposes significant burdens on both the expressive and intimate associational rights [of gays and lesbians] and creates a significant barrier to the plaintiffs' right to petition or to participate in the political process....[the ban] goes far beyond merely defining marriage as between a man and a woman....[the] broad proscriptions could also interfere with or prevent arrangements between potential adoptive or foster parents and children, related persons living together, and people sharing custody of children as well as gay individuals." 8 More information

bullet2005-JUN-14: Canada: Jimmy Swaggart criticized for homophobic remarks: On his 2004-SEP-12 program on the Omni 1 TV cable network, Jimmy Swaggart said that he would kill any gay who looked at him romantically. He said: "I'm going to be blunt and plain: If anyone ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died." He added that politicians who are undecided about same-sex marriage "all oughta have to marry a pig and live with him forever." Swaggart apologized a week later. He said:

"It's a humorous statement that doesn't mean anything. You can't lie to God - it's ridiculous.  If it's an insult, I certainly didn't think it was, but if they are offended, then I certainly offer an apology."

Swaggart told The Associated Press. "If it's an insult, I certainly didn't think it was, but if they are offended, then I certainly offer an apology." The TV network issued an apology shortly after the episode of Swaggart's program. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) said that Swaggart's language breached CAB's human rights and religious programming clauses. 10

bullet2005-JUN-17: Canada: Debate on same-sex marriage bill: Debate on bill C-38 which would legalize same-sex marriages across Canada has been scheduled to begin on JUN-17 in the House of Commons. It is unlikely to pass soon. The Conservative Party has introduced over a dozen amendments, in an apparent ploy to delay the bill's passage so that it will not be voted upon in time for the summer recess. If C-38 were passed, it would go to the Senate, where it is almost certain to pass. More details.
bullet 2005-JUN-28: Canada: House of Commons passes SSM bill: The House passed the Liberal government's SSM bill by a vote of 158 to 133. It now proceeds to the Senate. The Conservative Party senators are expected to delay final vote on the bill until the Fall by introducing amendments. However, most commentators expect that the Senate will pass the bill and that the Governor General will sign it into law during July. That would likely make Canada the fourth country in the world to make SSM available throughout the land, after the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. More info
bullet2005-JUN-29: Spain: The Congress of Deputies voted 187 to 147, with four abstentions, to legalize SSM in Spain. The key phrase in the new law sates: "Matrimony shall have the same requirements and effects regardless of whether the persons involved are of the same or different sex." The law will come into effect as soon as it is published in a government registry; this is expected sometime in the first half of July. More info.
bullet2005-JUN-30: News item about Allstate Insurance: J. Matt Barber wears many hats. He is a conservative Chrisitan, was a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division in Northbrook IL., is a drummer in his spare time, and is a journalist who writes, also in his own time, columns for various Internet web sites. One of his 2004-DEC columns attacked the concept of same-sex marriage and was picked up by WorldNetDaily, a major conservative Christian news source. He was allegedly terminated. The American Family Association has became involved on his behalf. When they mentioned his case on their web site, some 15,000 Emails were sent to Allstate. Barber said: "All of this notwithstanding, my personal faith and optimism remain intact. I always knew that people were persecuted in the workplace for their religious beliefs, but I never imagined it would happen to my family and me. Were losing our home, and we may be forced into bankruptcy; but I know that somehow, God will provide. I believe its crucial to take a stand for truth, even if that stand results in suffering in the long term." 12

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References:

  1. Michael Ireland, "Openly gay U.S. bishop denies saying Jesus was gay," ASSIST News Service, 2005-APR-05, at: http://www.assistnews.net/
  2. Daniel Yee, "Abortion Clinics on Edge After Manifesto. Abortion Clinics on Edge After Olympic Bomber Eric Rudolph Manifesto Justifying Use of Violence," ABC News, 2005-APR-14, at: http://abcnews.go.com/
  3. Eric Rudolph, "Full text of Eric Rudolph's written statement," Associated Press, 2005--APR-15, at: http://www.news-record.com/
  4. "Soulforce challenges Focus on the Family May 2," RMN Flashnet, The Reconciling Ministries Network Digest, 2005-APR-14.
  5. "Supreme Court to review law on campus military recruiting," Baptist Press News, 2005-MAY-03, at: http://www.bpnews.net/
  6. Michael Foust, "Pro-homosexuality curriculum in Md. schools blocked by fed. judge, citing anti-faith bias," Baptist Press, 2005-MAY-06, at: http://www.bpnews.net/
  7. T.R. Reid, "Daughter's Denunciation of Historian Roils Mormon Church," The Washington Post, 2005-MAY-08. Page A03.
  8. Kevin O'Hanlon, "U.S. Judge Rejects Neb. Gay-Marriage Ban," Associated Press, 2005-MAY-13, at: http://www.newsday.com/
  9. "Airbase hosts 1st military gay wedding," CBC News, 2005-JUN-4, at: http://www.cbc.ca/
  10. "Swagart's rant at gays violated broadcast code, Canadian watchdog says," Toronto Star, 2005-JUN-15, Page F2.
  11. "United Church of Christ backs gay marriage," Associated Press, 2005-JUL-05, at: http://www.usatoday.com/
  12. Judi McLeod, "Allstate Insurance unwittingly spawns anti-same-sex marriage martyr," Canada Free Press, 2005-JUN-30, at: http://www.canadafreepress.com/

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Notice:

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. sec 107: The news items contained in the above hyperlinks are provided without profit by the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance, PO Box 27026, Kingston ON Canada K7M 8W5, and are intended to be available to anyone interested in the topics included, for educational purposes only. Any editor, author, Webmaster, writer, publisher, news service, etc. that objects to being part of this listing may request that future works be excluded. We will also attempt to delete previous entries from the same source.

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Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > News > here

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Copyright 2005 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2005-APR-07
Latest update: 2005-SEP-12
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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