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NEWS ITEMS AFFECTING GAY, LESBIANS & BISEXUALS

2007 - April, May, & 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 during 2007-April:

bullet2007-APR-12: USA: Hate Crimes legislation in House: H.R. 1592, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, (LLEHCPA) is moving quickly. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on APR-17. A sub-committee markup is scheduled on APR-18. The following week will probably see the bill approved by the full committee and moved to the House for a vote.

The law augments the present federal hate crimes law by adding gender, sexual orientation, sexual identification, and disability as protected classes. Some religious conservatives are fighting the bill because they feel it will criminalize religious speech that deals with homosexuality. Rev. Lou Sheldon of the traditional values coalition wrote:

"Under the cover of fighting so-called 'hate crimes,' H.R. 1592 will be used to fund anti-Christian, pro-homosexual/drag queen materials for children – and divert scarce federal resources away from fighting Islamic terrorism." 1

More information

bulletb2007-MAY: USA: Gallup releases poll on American attitudes towards homosexuality: Gallup released the results of its latest poll. They indicate that support for equal rights for gays and lesbians are "... at the high-water mark of attitudes recorded over the past three decades. There is still considerable public opposition to complete equality for gays, particularly with respect to marriage." When asked if they thought same-sex relationships should be legal, 43% were in favor in the 1977 poll; 60% favored recognition in 2007. When asked about the morality of homosexual behavior, 40% said these relationships were moral in 2001; this compares with 47% this year. When asked their opinion on the cause of homosexual orientation, 42% currently believe it is inborn; 35% believe it is due to parenting, upbringing and environment. 2
bullet2007-MAY-11: India: Canadian diplomats refused status: India has refused to grant diplomatic spousal status to two Canadian diplomats because of their sexual orientation. According to the Calcutta Telegraph, two spouses married to Canadian diplomats -- one gay and the other lesbian -- were refused status. In India, same-sex activities are a serious crime punishable by life sentences.  3
bullet2007-MAY-31: New Hampshire: A civil unions bill has been signed into law. It takes effect on 2008-JAN-01. More details.
bullet2007-JUN-05: CA: Bill AB 43 passes the California State Assembly: The "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act" was introduced by Assemblymember Mark Leno on 2006-DEC-04. It passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on 2007-APR-10 and was approved by the California State Assembly by a vote of 42 to 34 on JUN-05. If passed, it would change the marriage law in the state so that any loving committed couple -- opposite-sex or same-sex -- could marry. The bill will now proceed to the Senate. If passed, it would undoubtedly be vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). More information.
bullet 2007-JUN-14: MA: By an overwhelming vote of 151 to 45, lawmakers in a joint session of the  Massachusetts legislature defeated the proposed constitutional amendment to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Only 50 votes (25% of the legislators) had been needed to place it on the 2008 ballot. Supporters of restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples believed that they had 57 votes against marriage equality. House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, Senate President Therese Murray, and Governor Deval Patrick -- along with gay rights activists -- intensely lobbied about a dozen representatives and senators who had previously supported the amendment but who indicated that they were open to changing their positions. The next ballot opportunity for religious and social conservatives to defeat marriage equality in the state will not be until 2012. More info.
bullet2007-JUN-23: Canada: Anglican Church debates blessing same-sex relationships: Considerable anxiety is being expressed within the worldwide Anglican Communion over a decision by one diocese of the Anglican Church of Canada to allow clergy to bless committed same-sex relationships in some of its parishes. On JUN-21, at the church's General Synod, an amendment to a resolution was defeated; it would have required a church-wide moratorium on blessing such relationships. On JUN-23, a motion to require 60% approval by delegates on matters relating to the blessing of same-sex relationships was defeated. Only a simple majority is now needed. A motion to refer the matter for more study was defeated. Debate was halted late on JUN-23; a motion to continue debate was defeated. Discussion will resume on JUN-24.

Even if the blessing of same-sex relationships is permitted by this Synod, same-sex couples will not be able to be married in the church as opposite-sex couples are. More details.
bullet2007-JUN-24: Canada: Bishops of the Anglican Church veto blessing bill: The church door was slammed in the face of same-sex couples when a key resolution was approved by comfortable margins by both lay and clergy delegates but rejected by the bishops. Clergy voted 63 to 53 in favor; lay delegates voted 78 to 59 in favor. But the House of Bishops voted narrowly against the motion: 21 to 19. Since motions require approval by each of the three orders, it did not pass.

The resolution read:

"That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any diocesan synod,
   1. with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop, and
   2. in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the
will of the parish,
to authorize the blessing of committed same-sex unions."

Loving, committed same-sex couples will continue to have their relationship unrecognized by the Church until at least the next General Synod in 2010. 4 More details

bullet2007-JUN-28: Sweden: Legislation planned to legalize SSM: "Gender neutral" marriage legislation is expected to be introduced by the Swedish government. Their target date for achieving marriage equity is 2008-JAN. More details.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Rev. Lou Sheldon, "Pro-homosexual/drag queen bill on fast track in House of Representatives," tvc-national newsletter, 2007-APR-12.
  2. "Public Evenly Divided Over Morality Of Homosexual Behaviors." Traditional Values Coalition, 2007-MAY-31, at: http://www.traditionalvalues.org/
  3. "India won't give diplomatic status to same-sex spouses," The Toronto Star, 2007-MAY-11, Page A6.
  4. "Blessing of same-sex unions defeated," ACC Web News, 2007-JUN-24.

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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 © 2007 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2007-APR-12
Latest update: 2007-JUN-30
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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