Movement toward same-sex marriage (SSM), LGBT equality etc.
2013-JUN: 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.
See also the previous essay describing events during 2013-MAY
- 2013-JUN-03: UK: The bill to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales has been passed with a massive majority by the House of Commons. Debate began in the House of Lords where opposition was expected to be much stiffer. So many members wanted to speak on the bill that debate was continued on the morning of JUN-04.
Lord Dear, an ex-chief constable of West Midlands, had tabled an amendment to the bill that would terminate discussion and effectively kill it. 1 The "wrecking amendment" failed by an overwhelming vote: 390 opposed to 148 in favor. This is a ratio of more than 2.5 to 1. A crushing defeat. Some commentators have concluded from the 242 vote majority by which the amendment was defeated, that the bill itself will almost certainly become law, eventually. The bill now proceeds to the committee stage. It will return to the House of Lords some weeks in the future for a final vote. See the "SSM in the UK" section.
- 2013-JUN-04: USA: Miles Unterreiner of PolicyMic wrote an opinion piece about what he thinks the Republican Party will look like in the year 2030. He suggests that same-sex marriage:
"... will become an electoral non-issue by 2030. Among millennials, the reluctance of key Republicans to embrace marriage equality seems increasingly archaic at best and hateful at worst. The longer the GOP — once the party of personal freedom — waits to endorse marriage equality nationwide, the darker the stain will be on its political record and the more voters who will remember which party, when push came to shove, stood on the wrong side of history. A Republican friend of mine recently met with a squadron of Republican bigwigs touring Silicon Valley and searching for bright young conservatives with ideas about how to best revitalize the party. Her first answer for them: support marriage equality." 2
His article was severely criticized by most of the readers who posted comments.
- 2013-JUN-06: USA: Is SSM inevitable across the U.S.? With six states legalizing SSM in six months -- three on election day in 2012-NOV by plebiscites and three in MAY by state legislators, some people were asking the question whether the legalization of SSM is inevitable across the entire U.S. like interracial marriage became in 1967. One indication of the increasing belief in inevitability was seen in the largest national group fighting to prohibit marriage equality: the National Organizations for Marriage (NOM). They felt that they had to make a case that the SSM tide was not inevitable. Pew Research Center decided to study this. They reported that:
"As support for gay marriage continues to increase, nearly three-quarters of Americans – 72% – say that legal recognition of same-sex marriage is 'inevitable.' This includes 85% of gay marriage supporters, as well as 59% of its opponents."
Segments of the population in which there is a high percentage of individuals feeling that SSM is inevitable include: 75% of women, 70% of men, 77% of whites, 76% of those 30 to 49 years of age, 74% of those 50 to 64 years of age, 82% of college graduates, 78% of those with some college education, 79% of white mainline Protestants, 71% of Catholics, and 82% of NOTAs (those not affiliated with any faith group). Surprisingly, Republicans, Democrats and Independents were in the range of 73% ±1%. Number sampled = 1,504. Margin of error = ±2.5 percentage points. 3
When the majority of those who want to exclude same-sex couples from marriage feel that SSM is inevitable, it is going to become increasingly difficult for groups like NOM to raise funds. It is one thing to ask for donations of money to prevent marriage equality from ever happening; it is another thing to as for donations to delay marriage equality for a little while.
- 2013-JUN-19: World: Exodus International apologizes for the harm it has done to the LGBT community, and closes: Exodus International was once the main promoter of reparative therapy. It was alleged to be a method of "changing" lesbians, gays and bisexuals and to persuade them to "leave the homosexual lifestyle." Like so much of the evangelical community, much of their promotional material seemed to imply that LGBT individuals could change their sexual orientation to heterosexual. In reality, the only real results were:
- A small percentage of their bisexual clients who decided to ignore their same-sex attraction and stick with opposite-sex relationships,
- Even smaller percentage of their lesbian and gay clients who decided to remain celibate and lonely for the rest of their life with no intimate loving relationship, and
- A whole lot of therapeutic failures.
Under pressure from increased support among the North America public towards equal rights for the LGB community, increasing skepticism among national psychiatric and physiology associations, and some evangelical Christians abandoning reparative therapy and "pray the gay away" ministries, Exodus International made a number of major changes in their beliefs and policies in mid-2012:
- They no longer taught that reparative therapy is effective.
- They taught than lesbian and gay adults will always have feelings of attraction to members of the same gender.
- They taught that reparative therapy can be dangerous.
- They taught that sexually active persons with same-sex attraction can still attain Heaven after death.
Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International issued a public apology titled "I am sorry." He wrote in part:
"It is strange to be someone who has both been hurt by the church’s treatment of the LGBT community, and also to be someone who must apologize for being part of the very system of ignorance that perpetuated that hurt. Today it is as if I’ve just woken up to a greater sense of how painful it is to be a sinner in the hands of an angry church.
It is also strange to be an outcast from powerful portions of both the gay community and the Christian community. Because I do not completely agree with the vocal majorities in either group and am forging a new place of peaceful service in and through both, I will likely continue to be an outsider to some degree. ..."
"Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly 'on my side' who called you names like sodomite -- or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine." 4
Less that 24 hours after the apology was posted, Exodus International announced that after 37 years of existence, it is shutting down forever. 5More info.
- JUN-24: Ireland to hold referendum on marriage equality: Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore announced that Ireland will hold a referendum on equal marriage during 2014.
Olivia McEvoy, Chair of Ireland's National Lesbian and Gay Federation (NLGF), said:
"The NLGF has always asserted that the issue of marriage equality should not require a public vote as marriage is a fundamental human and civil right that should be open to all citizens of this country. However, as the government has affirmed the need for a referendum on this issue, we will firmly give our support to the campaign to secure a Yes vote on the day of the poll. ... We take great heart from the overwhelming vote at the Constitutional Convention last April to positively affirm the right of LGBT couples to marry under our Constitution, a result consistent with numerous public opinion surveys on the issue."
Polls by Marriage Equality Ireland showed that support for equal marriage rose from 63% in 2008 to 75% in 2012. 6 That is the highest level of support for SSM of any country that we have seen.
JUN-26: Breaking news:
U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Same-sex marriage will shortly return to California, the most populous state in the U.S.!!!
The Court also ruled that the key section of DOMA is unconstitutional. Some married same-sex couples will be able to obtain the same federal government benefits and protections as have married opposite-sex couples.!!!
- JUN-26: The Human Rights Campaign has set an ambitious goal: marriage equality across the entire U.S. within five years! They hope to attain this by promoting laws for marriage equality in some additonal states. Then a lawsuit by one or more couples in a state that does not allow SSM would be appealed to a circuit court of appeals and eventually to the U.S. Supreme Court. The latter might overturn the state laws and constitutional amendments as it did in 1967 over interracial marriage. 7
- JUN-27: Rate of change: I suspect that there has never been a change of a legal, moral, ethics, civil rights struggle in the U.S. that has proceeded as rapidly as same-sex marriage has over the past few years. Some essays that we have recently created to try to understand this phenomenon are:
- Will same-sex marriage inevitably come to every U.S. state?
- JUN-27: Scottish Government introduces a Marriage and Civil Partnerships Bill: If passed into law, it would expand marriage to include loving, committed same-sex couples. Since about 75% of adults in Scotland favor SSM, it should become law. Other than the U.S., there are three predominately English speaking countries in the world which do not allow SSM: England and Wales, Scotland, and Australia. All of their Parliaments are actively debating SSM bills.
- JUN-28: CA: Same-sex couples marry in California: The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that Proposition 8 -- the citizen initiative that banned SSM in the state -- was unconstitutional. However, they stayed their decision until it could be dealt with by the U.S. Supreme Court. The latter court ruled that ProtectMarriage did not have standing to appeal the case. The Court of Appeals was expected to wait about 25 days before lifting their stay. They surprised almost everyone by lifting it after only two days, on JUN-28. Many same-sex couples, wearing only street clothes, immediately rushed to their city halls and were married today. Another rush will start on Monday, JUL-01.
Religious and social conservatives are upset.
The ProtectMarriage coalition that promoted Proposition 8 made an emergency, last ditch appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep the Court of Appeal's injunction against SSMs in place. The Supreme Court rejected the request without explaining why. More details.
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- "Gay marriage bill: Lords to debate 'wrecking amendment," BBC News, 2013-JUN-03, at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/
- Miles Unterreiner, "What Will the Republican Party Look Like in 2030? Definitely Not What It Looks Like Today," PolicyMic, 2013-JUN-04, at: http://www.policymic.com/
- "In Gay Marriage Debate, Both Supporters and Opponents See Legal Recognition as 'Inevitable'," Pew Research Center, 2013-JUN-06, at: http://www.people-press.org/
- Alan Chambers, "I am sorry," Exodus International, 2013-JUN-19, at: http://exodusinternational.org/
- "Exodus International to Shut Down," Exodus International, 2013-JUN-19, at:http://exodusinternational.org/
- Joseph Patrick McCormick, "Ireland to hold referendum on equal marriage in 2014," Pink News, 2013-JUN-24, at: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/
- David Lauter, "Gay rights groups' new goal: Nationwide victory in five years," Los Angeles Times, 2013-JUN-26, at: http://www.latimes.com/
How you got here:
Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
First posted: 2013-JUN-03
Latest update: 2013-JUN-30
Author: B.A. Robinson