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Saturday, September 20, 2003

Badger Poll (Wisconsin) shows 87% support allowing gays and lesbians to server in the military

The Capital Times reports on a comprehensive poll measuring attitudes towards a variety of issues affecting the Gay community.

The most eye opening result was the question on whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to server in the military. 87% support this, 11% oppose. Gay organizations should be capitalizing on this result, and push aggressively for the repeal of the failed Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

The poll shows Wisconsin residents oppose gay marriage (60% to 32%) and are evenly divided on the question of Civil Unions (48% support Civil Unions, 47% oppose).

from the article:

State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, the sponsor of a bill to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, downplayed the findings.

"Civil unions are a whole different deal" than marriage, he said.

Fitzgerald added, "Most people think that gays should be afforded the same legal protections as heterosexuals," but there are still distinctions between marriage and civil unions. He said he would consider supporting a bill to legalize civil unions, "but that would obviously depend on what it includes."

Senator Fitzgerald should be challenged to write a Civil Unions bill that he would support. Most of the co-sponsors of this bill designed to protect marriage are either divorced, or in the process of getting divorce. Did gays cause the breakup of all these marriages?

Friday, September 19, 2003

Hurricane Isabel

The FRC's daily bleats have gotten more shrill lately, since Ken Connor left the organization.

Today's episode kind of reminds me of when Pat Robertson predicted a Hurricane would come because of Gay Day at Disneyland.

Preparing for the Difficulties Ahead

Watching the East Coast prepare for Hurricane Isabel, I have been struck by how the situation paralleled our preparation for protecting marriage.

As Isabel churned and grew more powerful, so too the radical Left's campaign to deconstruct the family is constantly finding new allies and thus growing stronger.

Perhaps the most striking parallel is the devastation that such an event can bring forth, and the preparation needed for survival. For as a house must have a strong foundation to withstand a violent storm, so too our nation must have an equally strong moral foundation if we are to weather this impending attack on the family.

We cannot mount a successful campaign to preserve and promote marriage if we don't know what makes marriage special in the first place. An educated pro-family grassroots movement will be the decisive factor in determining our success. If every American who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman is able to personally defend that belief to his or her family, friends and neighbors, we will be successful.

EY: Wierdly enough, Ken Connor abruptly left the FRC after the organization took a position opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment. James Dobson who is on the board of directors, has been strongly advocating that amendment. Connor was always less stridently anti-gay than other FRC leaders like Gary Bauer and Janet Parshall. Now they've got this new guy, who seems to be toeing the Dobson line.

Meanwhile Peter LaBarbara - the professional anti-gay activist at the Culture and Family Institute (of the Concerned Women for America), now has gotten a job leading the Illinois Family Institute. Peter spent his time at the C&F institute flying around the country to Gay Pride festivals (such as the one held in San Francisco), and Gay Days at Disney World. He also made it a point to attend all the Bush Administration Gay Pride observances.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Gay Couple Denied Entry into US

from Andrew Sullivan's blog....

AND THE BATTLE BEGINS: A married Canadian couple have been refused entry to the United States because they refused to fill out immigration forms as separate, single people. Good for them. As marriage spreads throughout the West, this is going to become an even bigger problem. The U.S. is already a country that bans any foreigner with HIV from entering the country. We're spending $15 billion on AIDS in Africa out of "compassionate conservatism" but won't alloow a single African with HIV to visit here. Now the U.S. is going to keep gay people out, HIV or no HIV, - but only those who have decided to take responsibility for each other in marriage. (Thanks to DiscountBlogger).

EY: I have a friend who emmigrated to Canada because he can live with his foreign partner there, and his partner could not get a visa to come to the US.

The FRC vs Andrew Sullivan on a recent Canadian parliamentary vote on Gay Marriage

from the FRC's Daily Bleat

As Canada marches towards legalizing same-sex "marriages," an effort in the Parliament to preserve traditional marriage showed the nation is sharply divided on the issue. A nonbinding resolution in the legislature yesterday intended to affirm the real definition of marriage was defeated, but by only 6 votes. With 31 members not voting, the slim margin of defeat doesn't bode well for an impending effort to legalize gay "marriage" throughout the nation.

As some in Canada hail what they see as evidence of an "evolving culture," we in America need to pay attention. The Canadian effort to deconstruct marriage pales in comparison to the efforts here at home.

That's why we must pass the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would ensure that no court in America could force gay "marriages" on our nation.
The homosexual agenda consistently loses at the ballot box. Its major victories have come from our courts. By passing the FMA, we will end the tide of judicial tyranny that seeks to deconstruct marriage.

from Andrew Sullivan's blog

MARRIAGE IN CANADA: The backlash against equal marriage rights in Canada is in full swing, but the odds are still in favor of full civil rights for gay citizens. The Parliamentary vote was extremely close, suggesting the deep divisions that this subject sill arouses. But it's worth considering a little historical perspective. The vote this time was 137 - 132 against a motion restricting civil marriage to heterosexuals. Four years ago, a similar motion passed on a vote of 216 - 55. In other words, in four years, pro-gay-marriage forces have gained 82 votes, while anti-gay-marriage forces have lost 84. Polls show the under 30s supporting equal rights for gays at around the 70 percent mark. The task of the social right now - here as in Canada - is to freeze this social change before it becomes irreversible. Meanwhile, Canadian dictionaries are changing the definition of marriage. The change is already here.

EY: Andrew Sullivan is correct, the the trend in opinion on this is quite interesting. This is the only issue where the theocrats have a chance at winning, and they are fighting an uphill battle.

More on the Lindner Agenda

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - On Tuesday, August 12, Republican State Representative Arlon Linder restated his belief that gays and lesbians were not persecuted in the Holocaust, but instead served as Nazi guards at concentration camps. Lindner, who angered many Minnesotans earlier this year with similar public statements, made the comments after emerging from an exhibit on the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. When asked about the Nazi-era laws that criminalized gay behavior and sent many German gays to concentration camps, Linder responded "I've always felt that its good to have the sodomy laws."

EY: When I interviewed Lindner, he was not especially keen on the sodomy laws (which I found rather surprising). I will have to catch up with Mr. Lindner again.

Where are the Gays and Lesbians Against Immoral Lifestyles when you need them?

From National Stonewall Democrats webpage:

Anti-Gay Abstinence Activist Outed as Adulterer
LUBBOCK, TX - On Friday, August 29, Local CBS Affiliate KLBK in Lubbock, Texas is reported that anti-gay abstinence activist, Dr. Jack Clemmons, resigned as superintendent of the Lubbock Independent School District because of an adulterous affair. Dr. Clemmons, who had previously led efforts to ban safer-sex education and gay-straight alliances in his schools, had resigned in March without explanation.

KLBK has now uncovered numerous emails on school computers that reveal that Dr. Clemmons had been having an adulterous affair with an employee on school property during school time - while at the same time promoting an abstinence-only agenda. Such agendas, which are supported by the Bush Administration, restrict information for gay students and don't account for the fact that such students can't legally marry.

Dr. Clemmons had previously denied requests to allow gay-straight alliances on high school campuses, arguing that he would have also denied requests to allow a "Bestiality Club" a "gigolo club" as well as a "marijuana club," Kids for Cocaine, the Drinking Club, etc." The uncovered emails also revealed derogatory comments against African Americans.

Keith Boykin's Lecture

I went to the Alan Spear Lecture tonight. This lecture featured Keith Boykin, former special assistant to President Clinton, writer, blogger and Activist.

The most interesting discussion was about whether Gay organizations should be focusing on Gay Issues - or whether they should take on non-related issues such as the war in Iraq.

During Q&A many of the audience members expressed not being particularly interested in Gay Marriage and getting rid of discrimination against Gays in the Military as gay issues. This made me think about how often it has bothered me to see hate crimes as the top issue identified with the Gay community.

Boykin's recent column in Planet Out covers many of the issues he discussed during his lecture. On gay marriage he says:

We need to challenge the whole idea of marital privilege in the first place. What does it say about our society when two heterosexual strangers can hook up at a bar tonight, get married tomorrow and instantly enjoy more rights than two gay men who have spent 30 years of their lives together? While we're at it, why should the government be in the business of deciding that married couples get more rights, benefits and privileges than unmarried people?

EY: There is quite a bit of marital privilege - in terms of taxes, fringe benefits - and this begins to add up to real money.