Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
2013-MAR-26 to 31: Accelerating steps towards
marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
We use the acronym "SSM" throughout this section to represent "same-sex marriage"
We use the acronym "LGBT" to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender persons
and transsexuals. The acronym "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays, and bisexuals.
"Accelerating steps" during 2013-MAR-23 to 26 are are contained in the previous essay
2013-MAR-26: Joshua Stanton published article on Huffington Post titled: "Gay Marriage is Sacred." He writes about how people interpret the six "clobber passages" in the Bible that religious and social conservatives often use to condemn sexual minorities:
"This article is not an exercise in demeaning sacred texts, but in demanding a more forthright and consistent reading of them, for the sake of justice in our society. ... Ancient words connect us to the past so that we can understand just how much change continually takes place and has taken place over the course of history. Participating in that process of positive change is, in my view, the most sacred work that we have agency to take part in as human beings. ... Engaging with sacred texts enlivens us and opens our eyes to the wonder that is the ever-evolving world. We should not occlude or deny the existence of troubling words in our sacred texts. In fact, we should receive them as a blessing. For they show the very extent to which we need that continual change, renewal, and innovation as people, religions, and societies. ... Condemnation of gay sex is as absurd in our contemporary society as the presumption that we need to sacrifice a bull in order to pray. All the more so is the condemnation of gay marriage. Such condemnation seems to take a reductionist view of marriage altogether. Sex can deepen one's relationship but is only one component of marriage. Marriage is about profound interpersonal connection and love, not just sex. It is held sacred by our rabbinic sages, and by leaders across so many different traditions. We are seen as more fulfilled when we have a partner in life. If we are all sacred beings, if we find meaning through a life-long partnership, and if prohibitions on gay sex are rendered incoherent through the same interpretive techniques that we apply to so many other biblical passages, then how could marriage between any two people be viewed as anything other than sacred?" 1
- 2013-MAR-27: Another big day: The U.S. Supreme court heard oral arguments in the case Windsor vs. United States. It challenges the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Section 3 of DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing the marriages of legally married same-sex couples. Such couples are denied 1,138 federal benefits and protections that can only be received by opposite-sex couples. Section 3 has been found to be unconstitutional by numerous federal District Courts and both the 1st and 2nd U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal. More information.
- 2013-MAR-28: Rush Limbaugh says that same-sex marriage is "inevitable" across the U.S. He said on his radio show that conservatives have lost the same-sex marriage debate:
"This issue is lost. I don’t care what the Supreme Court does. This is inevitable. And it’s inevitable because we lost the language on this. ... As far as I’m concerned, once we started talking about gay marriage, traditional marriage, opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, hetero marriage, we lost. It was over." 9
"DTTNA37," a reader of an article about Rush in the Washington Post, posted a comment:
"95% of what the Republican Party stands for will eventually be 'lost' because conservatives have been on the wrong side of history on every social cause since our great nation started. Slavery, women rights, civil rights, the right to choose [to terminate an early pregnancy] and now gay rights. Freedom and Justice eventually prevail. Narrow mindedness will eventually lose. 9
He forgot at least a couple of other social causes: the right to purchase contraceptives, and the right for interracial couples to marry.
- 2013-MAR-28: Another sign of the times: Support for SSM is growing rapidly among young adults of all political persuasions. The main cause is that an increasing percentage of adults now are aware of a family member or friend who is openly gay. One of many tens of millions of examples across the country is that of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. (D) in New York. He revealed his support for SSM in a statement:
"My decision, which comes after years of thought and reflection on the issue, is informed by the experiences I have had with close friends, family and loved ones.
He mentioned his gay chief-of-staff Paul Del Duca, Paul's male partner, and his lesbian niece as influencing his decision, along with the legalization of SSM in new York State in 2011.
His father, state Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr, is a prominent evangelical pastor, a state senator, a Democrat, and one of the leading proponents in the state of excluding the LGBT community from marriage -- of marriage inequality. 2
- 2013-MAR-28: Some Michigan Republicans calling for resignation of a fellow Republican: Some Republicans want Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign after he added an article to his Facebook page that references the “filthy” lifestyle of homosexuals. 3 The article is available at the "Tradition in Action" web site, a conservative Catholic resource. It is titled: "Everyone should know these statistics on homosexuals." 4 The article is largely based upon statistical evidence known to be invalid. The notable feature of this event is that Republicans are attacking other Republicans for homophobia. This shows how eager some Republicans are to project a image of respect towards women and minorities.
- 2013-MAR-29: Famous singer, Marie Osmond, 53, appeared on ABC World News. She was interviewed on the "Person of the Week" segment. Discussing this week's activity at the Supreme Court, she said:
"The God that I believe in is a God of love, not fear. ... I believe in their civil rights as a mother. My daughter deserves everything she desires in life. ... I don't think God made one color flower, I think He made many." 5
Ms. Osmond's daughter is a lesbian.
- 2013-MAR-30: Susan McPherson appeared on CNN's Saturday Morning: She is Director of Global Marketing for Fenton, a company that played a major role in galvanizing public opposition to apartheid, contributed to public awareness of climate change, helped establish the Amber Alert system, etc. 6 She noted that in 2004, only 40% of American companies provided benefits to same-sex couples. By 2012, the number has risen to 75%. 7
2013-MAR: Predictions on future SSM developments:
One brave soul, Ned Flaherty of Marriage Equality USA has personally predicted the future outcome of the current discussions in 12 states which he feels will lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage during 2013 or 2014 in the following order:
"The first wave of 10 states took 22 years (1990-2012). But the second wave — 12 more states — is finishing in just two years (2013-2014). What used to average over 26 months per state is now averaging just eight weeks each. ..."
"Among America's many voter types, there are only five demographic groups left where opponents of equality still show up: less educated Caucasians (56%), the over-65 crowd (58%), Republicans (69%), evangelical Protestant Caucasians (73%), and Tea Partyists (nearly 100%). Those five are the only opponent hideouts left; every other demographic group measured in a major national poll now supports same-gender marriage. ..."
"How did the order in which states are adopting marriage equality become predictable? Each state's rank is affected by 9 key factors: neighboring states, LGBT population, current law, state constitution, voters, lawmakers, governors, litigation, and ballot questions. No single factor, by itself, guarantees success or assures failure; but when the 9 factors are analyzed together, after adjustments for legislative calendars and ballot timing, the national road map emerges. ... "
At that point, [at the end of 2014] 45% of America's citizens will live in the 22 states where lawmakers, courts, and/or voters decided to issue same-gender civil marriage licenses. 8
We are surprised by the Tea Partyists' nearly 100% opposition to SSM. We thought that the group is highly opposed to government intrusions into people's lives. This would seem to logically lead to support for marriage equality.
Flaherty appears to predict that the U.S. Supreme Court will find California's Proposition 8 constitutional, necessitating a new citizen initiative in that state to repeal Prop. 8 on election day, 2014-NOV. In 2013-JUN, the Court found that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional and same-sex marriages are underway.
Some of his predictions appear to be impossible because they would require repeal of clauses in state Constitutions. That typically takes years.
It will be very interesting to see at the end of 2014 how many of these 12 states have legalized SSM, and in what order, compared to Flaherty's prediction. His prediction of 12 additional states achieving marriage equality by the end of next year seems over-optimistic to me. But then, in politics, momentum is not the most important factor, it is everything.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Joshua Stanton, "Gay marriage is sacred," Huffington Post, 2013-MAR-26, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- Michael K. Lavers. "Prominent N.Y. same-sex marriage opponent’s son backs issue," Washington Blade, 2013-MAR-28, at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/
- Aaron Blake, "RNC official not backing down from posting on ‘filthy’ gay lifestyle," Washington Post, 2013-MAR-28, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
- The article is Frank Joseph's "Everyone should know these statistics on homosexuals," Tradition In Action, 2005-OCT-15, at: http://www.traditioninaction.org/
- "Marie Osmond talks marriage equality on ABC," Chicago Pride, 2013-MAR-29, at: http://chicago.gopride.com/
- "Meet Fenton," at: http://www.fenton.com/
- "Saturday Morning" program, CNN, 2013-MAR-30.
- Ned Flaherty, "12 States That Will Probably Legalize Gay Marriage in 2013-2014," PolicyMic, 2013-MAR, at: http://www.policymic.com
- Aaron Blake, "Rush Limbaugh: Gay marriage ‘inevitable,’ conservatives ‘lost’," Washington Post, 2013-MAR-28, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com
How you got here:
Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2013-MAR-02
Latest update: 2013-APR-13
Author: B.A. Robinson