Saturday, June 18, 2005

Gay Marriage will be legal in New Jersey

A New Jersey Court ruled recently that New Jersey's Constitution, which in the past has been very much interpreted to strongly protect minorities, does not allow Gay Marriage. This was a widely expected decision, since groups involved in the case, such as Garden State Equality and Lambda, expected the case to travel to the State Supreme Court.
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"The dissent was strong, cogent and even a little blistering," said Steven Goldstein, head of Garden State Equality, "We believe we're going up to the Supreme Court in very good shape, particularly with public opinion on our side."
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Indeed New Jersey public opinion is one of the most supportive of gay marriage in the nation, with 55% in support of gay marriage, and a stunningly low 40% opposed.
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As John Zogby put it: “No matter how the question is worded, the answer remains the same. More than half of likely voters support allowing gay couples to marry. And a majority believe it would be better if the state stopped fighting the marriage lawsuit and use the resources to focus on problems like the economy.”
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Due to the recent ruling on same-sex marriage in New Jersey, a lot will happen in the coming weeks about this case. Thus, I am making an official "Common Sense New Yorkism" prediction. I am pretty much certain that the next gay marriage victory will be in NEW JERSEY. That's right, with strong public support, Democrat-controlled legislature as well as governor's house, it is unlikely that momentum in NJ for marriage equality can be stopped. This will also be decided by the State Supreme Court sooner rather than later, since the Supreme Court ordered the appellate courts to expediate the case, meaning that the State Supreme Court is eager to make a ruling.
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What's more is the case was decided by a split appellate panels, which as stated before guarantees that the state court will hear the case.
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Judge Donald G. Collester Jr. wrote an inspiring dissent, which summed up arguments for same-sex marriage in the best way that I have ever heard it said.
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New Jersey will be the next Massachusetts, except unlike Massachusetts, we can finally say that a majority of the public is in strong support of granting marriage equality to LGBT people.
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Quote of the week
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“While the Domestic Partnership Act gives, at some cost, many, but not all, of the benefits and protections automatically granted to married persons, we have learned after much pain that separate but equal does not substitute for equal rights. What Sarah Lael and her partner lack and seek may be summed up in the word: dignity. But there is more they will gain from lawful marriage. That something else goes to the essence of marriage and is probably best left to poets rather than judges. It is the reason that people do get married. For marriage changes who you are. It gives stability, legal protection and recognition by fellow citizens. It provides a unique meaning to everyday life, for legally, personally and spiritually a married person is never really alone. Few would choose life differently.”
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- Judge Donald G. Collester Jr. (Sarah Lael, along with her partner and Lambda Legal, brought this case to the NJ courts).
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Newsflash:
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Gay Groups Demand Scott Bloch's Ouster
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In the wake of testimony by the director of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), Scott Bloch, before a Senate subcommittee, where he said he cannot enforce government anti-discrimination regulations for gay federal employees, several major LGBT organizations are calling for his resignation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Newest Conservative hate fashion statement: Tagging Homosexuals

"We put warning labels on cigarette packs because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we 'celebrate' a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span according to the 2005 issue of the revered scientific journal Psychological Reports."-- Rev. Bill Banuchi
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Is it just me or is the right getting more and more out of the mainstream?
Don't be mistaken, many conservatives out there believe in some LGBT rights, but their alliance with radicals such as Bill Banuchi for political ends have always hurt LGBT people.
Honestly, when comparing LGBT people to a pack of cigarettes, Banuchi comes off sounding like a self-raging lunatic (Sorry if that offends some of the more sensible self-raging lunatics).
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If it was just Bill Banuchi saying this, the world would be a much better place, however we have groups such as Pat Buchanan's Christian Coalition (One of the most influential "Christian" lobbying groups... though by far it does not represent the beliefs of all Christians) spewing this type of illogical hate as well:
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"Banuchi called LGBT Pride celebrations held in New Paltz, north of New York City, and other areas of the country on the weekend "sad". He called on people to 'pray for those who are deceived by the lies of popular culture, who are caught up in a destructive lifestyle, and for the children who are being zealously evangelized by radical homosexuals.' "
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It seems to be a favorite mantra for the religious right that us gays like to "evangelize" our homosexuality on others. This absurd notion leads millions of Americans every year to develop a hatred for us LGBT people.
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If we do have some weird nationwide cult to abduct and "convert" teens into... GASP... us, then I for one have totally missed out on that.
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Such talk is long out of the mainstream.
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In an environment where 75% of Americans believe that LGBT people should be protected under hate crimes legislation, Falwell, Banuchi and their ilk should crawl back into the perverted interpretation of the Holy Bible that they have illogically developed.
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Quote of the day: "[homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven." Jerry Falwell, 1984-MAR.
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NEWSFLASH
Straight from Pam's House Blend:
NJ Constitution does not recognize gay marriage. Gay marriage is not protected by New Jersey's Constitution and will not be recognized in the Garden State unless legislators change the law, a state appeals panel ruled Tuesday. The issue will now go to the state Supreme Court because gay marriage proponents plan to appeal the 2-1 decision, and the high court must accept cases from split appellate panels. The ruling, rejecting the efforts of seven same-sex couples to marry, said legislators will have to act before such couples can marry in New Jersey.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Gay child forced to go to "Straight Camp"

This story is brought to you by Janus Online:
"A 16 year old named Zach in Bartlett, Tennessee recently came out to his parents who reacted by announcing they are sending him to an ex-gay live-in program called Love In Action, the same cult like program Peterson Toscano survived. How do we know all this? Zach has been writing about it on his blog found here on MySpace.com. To view Zach's main profile click here.
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Among the camp’s practices, posted on the blog of a youth whose parents are forcing him to attend:
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1. Kids in the program are not allowed to speak to anyone, not even their parents, for at least the first two days.
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2. Kids are not allowed to go anywhere unless they are accompanied by at least two other participants, one of which has to have at least 8 weeks of prior indoctrination.
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3. Kids are not allowed to keep a journal or a diary
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4. Kids are not allowed to discuss what goes on in the program with anyone, not even their parents
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5. Kids are not allowed to have contact with any family members other than parents, who also go through the program
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6. Kids are not allowed to have any physical contact with any human being other than a hand shake or a pat on the shoulder, and only when authorized.
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7. Kids are not allowed outside of a small geographic area within Memphis, even if accompanied by parents, without prior written authorization
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8. Kids are not allowed to listen to any music that is not explicitly Christian (Bach and Beethoven are specifically forbidden as being non-Christian)
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9. Kids are not permitted to enter restaurants that serve alcohol
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10. Kids are not allowed to speak after 9:00 p.m. under any circumstance
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11. Kids may be placed in a state of isolation where they are not allowed to communicate with one another"
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No offense to his parents, but what twisted souls to put his son through something like this. It honestly must be how Jews must have felt mentally in the concentration camps of WWII (let's not forget that homosexuals were also massacred by the Nazis however).
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The poor kid has a blog (click here).
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News Flash
Pam's House Blend has a story about plans by some conservative to tag homosexuals. Crazy quote of the day: ""We put warning labels on cigarette packs because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we 'celebrate' a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span according to the 2005 issue of the revered scientific journal Psychological Reports."-- Rev. Bill Banuchi"
We will do a feature story on this tomorrow.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Gay War Hero Discharged

Now ok, to simply build on my last post, I'm TOTALLY PISSED at the army's recent decision to DISCHARGE A WAR HERO because he happened to be gay!
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The man? Army sergeant Robert Stout.

His crime? Serving his country as himself, a gay man. I suppose now it's still regarded as a crime for a gay man to love his country so much that he would go into battle and risk his life for it, even if his country doesn't protect his rights at home.
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The army has long been a place where change comes first. Women and blacks fought long and hard for their right to serve their country, and now that fight is being taken up by the tens of thousands LGBT people in the military.
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Article here (warning, may make you want to bang your head against the wall and scream):
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"The Pentagon has honorably discharged a decorated Army sergeant, Robert Stout, awarded the Purple Heart for combat wounds received in Iraq, apparently not allowing the soldier to re-enlist because he is gay.
During his recuperation at an American medical facility in Germany this past April from his battlefield injury.
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Stout, of Utica, Ohio, publicly disclosed his sexual orientation to the Associated Press, indicating his desire to continue to serve, but not willing to re-enlist because of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban. “I know a ton of gay men that would be more than willing to stay in the Army if they could just be open,” Stout said in the news interview. “But if we have to stay here and hide our lives all the time, it’s just not worth it.' "
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Homophobia is so widespread PRECISELY because people FAIL TO ACKNOWLEDGE how much LGBT people can love their country, communities, and families so much that they would die for them. This soldier should not be discharged, but honored and be allowed to stay IN the military.
The military also continues to worsen its recruitment shortages by scaring away LGBT people interested in serving.
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NEWS FLASH
Gay Southern child is being forcefully held against his will because he is gay. Janus Online has the story. We will have more on this later. This next story warrents an entirely new post.