Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bisexual Blogger: California gays should work to overturn Supreme Court ruling and start focusing on LGBT issues that actually matter

I was surfing the net today and looking at all the blog posts about California’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. The following post from a guest columnist really ticked me off:

(Edited for content length....some paragraphs deleted)

This decision does next to nothing for California gays and lesbians and causes real harm to people who believe in the "old" definition of marriage. It's nothing to be proud of.

The June weddings that can now be expected for same-sex couples all over California actually will provide little tangible advantage to anyone. California already has a domestic partnership law providing all the state benefits of marriage to same-sex couples, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act prevents all the federal benefits. Sure, gays and lesbians may get a lift in self-esteem from having their relationships declared "equal" by four jurists, but does an ego boost really outweigh the real harm caused by last week's decision?

Because there certainly are harms -- to religious liberty, to give just one example. For the past two weeks, I have been contacting "marriage equality" leaders all over California to ask about the impact of redefining marriage on religious freedom. All, including several prominent lesbian and gay legislators and other leaders, have refused to disclose their opinions, some repeatedly.

So if a traditionally religious business owner wants to extend his "marriage discount" only to couples married in his eyes, the Triangle Foundation's Sean Kososky says, "If you are a public accommodation and you are open to anyone on Main Street that means you must be open to everyone on Main Street. If they don't do it, that's contempt and they will go to jail."

No lesbian ever died a painful death because the government called her relationship a domestic partnership instead of a marriage.

Gays and lesbians should put away the champagne, work to overturn this ruling and start focusing on LGBT issues that actually matter.

The person who wrote this is a bisexual blogger, and a contributor to This person doesn't have a clue!

"Marriage Discount?" I've never heard of anything like that!

What if the person only wanted to provide a "marriage discount" to white married couples because they are the only ones married in his eyes?

ANSWER: That would be illegal, and unacceptable because we are evolving as a society and old hatred and bigotry isn't accepted by the new generation; that's what we call progress! A little over 50 years ago, interracial couples couldn't get married.....again, that's social progress.

Our nation was founded on diversity, social acceptance, and tolerance.

I certainly would never support forcing religious leaders and institutions to marry same-sex couples; this would be a clear violation of their constitutional rights. Legally, the power to marry however isn’t granted by God (or Church), but rather the state. It's a contract!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Kentucky Hate Group - Illegal Immigration—The Other Side of the Debate

This video features an area right here in Kentucky, outside of Louisville. It highlights the other side of the Illegal Immigration debate: anti-Hispanic rhetoric that has lead to a truly alarming increase in hate groups and despicable violence against Latinos. One of the most heinous crimes was that against a Latino high school student who was savagely beaten and sodomized with a pole, causing irreparable damage to internal organs.

I know. This is not something we want to face. It is hard to believe this is going on in our country. But if we stoke the fires against illegal immigrants, we need to understand the consequences: We ignite the anti-minority passions of hate groups across the country.

And I don’t know what the answer is. But I do believe we have to do more than just teach our children not to hate; we have to be active against hate in our communities and in our churches. We need to speak out to our legislators. We need to support the people in the trenches who are fighting this war, like the Southern Poverty Law Center.

SPLC has a program, Teaching Tolerance, which works in schools to combat racism and intolerance. As the video shows, there are children across the country being indoctrinated to hate. Teaching Tolerance gives children a chance—to think for themselves.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

LGBT Victory: California Supreme Court - Gay Marriage is Legal

In 4-3 decision authored by Chief Justice George, the California Supreme Court has ruled that marriage is a constitutional right same-sex couples cannot be denied! This is a major victory for the LGBT movement!

Gay marriages will begin (again) in the State of California in 30 days!

California Supreme Court: If civil marriage were an institution whose only role was to serve the interests of society, it reasonably could be asserted that the state should have full authority to decide whether to establish or abolish the institution of marriage (and any similar institution, such as domestic partnership).

In recognizing, however, that the right to marry is a basic, constitutionally protected civil right — “a fundamental right of free men [and women]” (Perez, supra, 32 Cal.2d 711, 714) —the governing California cases establish that this right embodies fundamental interests of an individual that are protected from abrogation or elimination by the state.41 Because our cases make clear that the right to marry is an integral component of an individual’s interest in personal autonomy protected by the privacy provision of article I, section 1, and of the liberty interest protected by the due process clause of article I, section 7, it is apparent under the California Constitution that the right to marry — like the right to establish a home and raise hildren — has independent substantive content, and cannot properly be understood as simply the right to enter into such a relationship if (but only if) the Legislature chooses to establish and retain it. (Accord, Poe v. Ullman (1961) 367 U.S. 497, 553 (dis. opn. of Harlan, J.) [“the intimacy of husband and wife is necessarily an essential and accepted feature of the institution of marriage, an institution which the State not only must allow, but which always and in every age it has fostered and protected” (italics added)].

One very important aspect of the substantive protection afforded by the California constitutional right to marry is, of course, an individual’s right to be free from undue governmental intrusion into (or interference with) integral features of this relationship — that is, the right of marital or familial privacy.

In light of the fundamental nature of the substantive rights embodied in the right to marry — and their central importance to an individual’s opportunity to live a happy, meaningful, and satisfying life as a full member of society — the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all individuals and couples, without regard to their sexual orientation.

In sum, we conclude that statutes imposing differential treatment on the basis of sexual orientation should be viewed as constitutionally suspect under the California Constitution’s equal protection clause.

In striking down the ban, the court said, "In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual's sexual orientation — like a person's race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Will Healthcare Inequality Strike Twice?

By: P.S. Johnson

Martin Cothran with the "Family" Foundation of Kentucky was quick to jump on this news today (below is an edited version of the email Kentucky Equality Federation on Wednesday).

Today, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that same-sex partners could not get health benefits in government or public universities because of state’s 2004 constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage.

This decision is important to the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s LGBT population because conservative groups and lawmakers in Kentucky have been closely monitoring the Michigan Supreme Court case.

The Michigan Supreme Court’s 5-2 decision affirms a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling. Up to 20 public universities, community colleges, school districts and city governments in Michigan have benefits policies covering at least 375 gay couples. Some of the plans began as far back as the early 1990s.

After the appeals court ruled in February 2007, universities and local governments rewrote their policies to try to comply with the gay marriage ban (similar to what the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville did after the Kentucky Attorney General issued a legal opinion on this issue in 2007).

Former Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo referenced the Michigan court case, in addition to the Michigan Attorney’s General opinion in his 2007 legal opinion.

Michigan’s anti-gay law, which passed 59 percent to 41 percent, says the union between a man and woman is the only agreement recognized as a marriage "or similar union for any purpose."

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Cothran apparently forgets that both Michigan and Kentucky are sovereign states within this Union. The conclusions the Michigan Supreme Court reaches have no jurisdiction here in Kentucky, and no one has any idea what the Kentucky Supreme Court would decide should the decision by Northern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky, and the University of Louisville to offer domestic partner benefits ever be challenged and heard all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

I think Rep. David Watkins (D-Henderson) did a great job of putting the "Family" Foundation of Kentucky in their place in a House Health and Welfare Committee meeting to bar Kentucky's universities from offering domestic partner benefits.

Why is a "Family" foundation so opposed to people having healthcare? Oh, wait, it is just homosexuals they want to exempt.

Monday, May 05, 2008

United Methodist Church: "homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching."

Delegates at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (held every four years to set church poliy) upheld a church law that says gay and lesbian relationships are "incompatible with Christian teaching."

Gay advocates at the conference also failed to remove a sentence from the Methodist Book of Discipline that says the church "does not condone the practice of homosexuality."

Methodist delegates retained a policy that lets pastors deny memberbeship to gays and lesbians.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Help the University of Louivsille - Office of LGBT Services

Students at the University of Louisville are really excited about establishing the university's Office for LGBT Services and making its new home in the Red Barn on the Belknap Campus. Already, it's becoming a vibrant place where students gather to work on issues and projects and guests can stop in for help or information.

Would you like to help? Their vision includes a working resource library with books, DVDs, and other materials students can check out or use. But, in a time of budget cuts, they have no funds to purchase materials. So here's how you can help...

  • Would you consider donating anything from your own library that you aren't using anymore? Books you've already read, movies you've watched a hundred times, etc? Anything LGBT-themed that would be useful to students or even just entertaining.

To make it easier to deliver any donations, the university's Human Resources Department has offered to serve as a drop-off site.

For directions to HR, go here:

If you have any question, contact the university's Office of LGBT Services by clicking here.