On Tuesday, a federal judge in Kentucky struck down part of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, requiring state officials to recognize marriages performed legally in other states.
In one quote, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II explained why “tradition” was not a good enough argument for a conservative state like Kentucky to outlaw same-sex marriages:
“For years, many states had a tradition of segregation and even articulated reasons why it created a better, more stable society. Similarly, many states deprived women of their equal rights under the law, believing this to properly preserve our traditions.
The church doesn’t have the right to impose their narrow religious views on their employees, and as such they should not be allowed to discriminate against same sex marriages in a for profit school whose courses are mostly non religious. A high school is not a seminary.
A gay teacher at a Catholic high school in Southern California lost his job after his wedding pictures were published in a local newspaper, according to the teacher’s lawyer.
Ken Bencomo, 45, was fired from St. Lucy’s Priory after marrying his partner of 10 years, the San Bernardino Sun reported.
Officials were aware of Bencomo’s sexual orientation for at least 10 of the 17 years he worked at the school, according to his lawyer Patrick McGarrigle.
“The reason given was that the marriage occurred and the school’s position was that it violated church teachings,” McGarrigle said.
The firing came days after photos of the wedding appeared in a local newspaper. Bencomo and Christopher Persky, 32, were among the first gay couples to line up at the San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder’s Office to get married following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in the nation’s most populous state.
WASHINGTON — Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court denied on Sunday a request from Proposition 8 supporters in California to halt the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses in the nation’s most populous state.
Justice Kennedy turned away the request with no additional comment.
Same-sex marriage opponents had asked Justice Kennedy to step in on Saturday, a day after the federal appeals court in San Francisco allowed same-sex marriages to go forward. Numerous weddings were performed at San Francisco City Hall after the court decisions. The appeals ruling came a day after the Supreme Court declined to decide the California case, effectively allowing same-sex marriages in the state.
The opponents said the appeals court had acted about three weeks too soon. Proposition 8 supporters could continue their efforts to halt gay marriage by filing their request with another Supreme Court justice.
The president of the fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A has once again injected himself into the gay marriage debate, this time criticizing U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
Dan Cathy posted a comment Wednesday on Twitter criticizing a pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Those decisions will extend federal recognition to same-sex marriages in the states where they are legal, and will add California — the most populous state — to the 12 others in that category.
“Sad day for our nation; founding fathers would be ashamed of our gen. to abandon wisdom of the ages re: cornerstone of strong societies,” Cathy wrote, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The post was later deleted.
In his majority opinion invalidating the federal application of the Defense of Marriage Act, Justice Anthony Kennedy did more than strike a blow to a statute championed by religious conservatives. By detailing the cruel motives of lawmakers who couched their purpose in preserving the nation’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage, Kennedy’s opinion quite remarkably scolds members of Congress for using religiously based “morality” as a bludgeon to the rights of other citizens.
Obviously the Court in United States v. Windsor did not hold that Congress cannot legislate morality; it only held that this particular law violated the equal protection rights of certain citizens. But by finding that “the principal purpose” of DOMA was to “impose inequality,” the Court majority cast a dim view on efforts to legislate alleged “Judeo-Christian” morality, and to use that as an excuse for discrimination.
Indeed today’s opinion aims directly at the heart of the religious right’s operating principle that “biblical principles” must undergird all legislation. The corollary of that operating principle is that laws also must protect the “religious freedom” of those advancing “biblical” laws by depriving LGBT people of equal rights. Kennedy shot down, rhetorically at least, both those principles today.
In detailing DOMA’s legislative history, Kennedy wrote that the “interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute. It was its essence.” In other words, Kennedy rejected the notion that DOMA supporters were defending or supporting anything but discrimination.
Most of the challenges to Gay marriage amount to attempts to show some form of harm from it, and they fail. The ones outlined in this article rest on unproven assumptions or hypothetical future grievances, that could be litigated in future cases if or when they came up, which is how our body of law grows, and how we reach a happy ground that works for most if not everyone over time.
For that reason, the arguments raised by opponents in last week’s briefs could be critical. They break down into several categories:
Procreation and child-rearing: Groups defending Proposition 8, led by California’s protectmarriage.com, argue that marriage is intended largely for having children and raising them with a mother and father.
“Recognition of same-sex marriages would not promote either of the principal interests on the basis of which opposite-sex marriage is a protected institution,” says a brief submitted by the conservative Family Research Council.
Several briefs criticize the District Court’s original ruling for its emphasis on marriage as a commitment among adults. The Catholic bishops labeled that definition “incoherent” and “wildly over-inclusive.”
Special legal protections: Opponents will have a tough time winning if the justices decide that laws based on sexual orientation deserve heightened scrutiny, as have those dealing with race.
Although the high court declared bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional in its 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, opponents of same-sex marriage such as the Coalition of African American Pastors say that doesn’t set a precedent.
Others argue that gays’ sexual orientation is a choice, rather than genetically immutable. One brief tells the stories of four “ex-gays” now in heterosexual relationships.
But less than 24 hours after arriving at the retreat, she and her spouse were told to leave. The military chaplains who organized the program last month said that the couple was making others uncomfortable. They said they had determined that under federal law the program could serve only heterosexual married couples.
Lieutenant Hardy is a lesbian in a same-sex marriage who had hoped that the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2011 would allow her to fully participate in military life. But she and many other gay and bisexual service members say they continue to encounter a raft of rules and regulations barring them from receiving benefits and privileges routinely accorded to heterosexual service members.
Lieutenant Hardy had been assured by the chaplain’s office in the weeks before the retreat that she and her wife were welcome to attend. The chaplains said in hindsight that those assurances were given in error.
“I felt hurt, humiliated,” said Lieutenant Hardy, 28. “These were people I had been deployed with. And they were telling me I can go to fight the war on terrorism with them, but I can’t attend a seminar with them to keep my marriage healthy.”
Gay marriage is now legal in nine states and in Washington, D.C. But because same-sex marriages are not recognized under federal law, the spouses of gay service members are barred from receiving medical and dental insurance and surviving spouse benefits and are not allowed to receive treatment in military medical facilities. Spouses are also barred from receiving military identification cards, which provide access to many community activities and services on base, including movie theaters, day care centers, gyms and commissaries.
The wait is over: The Supreme Court announced this afternoon that it will take up the issue of gay marriage this term, agreeing to hear a pair of cases that address the matter on both a state and federal level. One stems from California’s Proposition 8 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages; the second is from New York and challenges the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Oral arguments are expected in March, with a ruling by late June.
— Breaking News Trends (@TrendingBlue) December 7, 2012
After years of watching The Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City and preferring the products of Habitat and Ikea to Adidas and Puma, you finally acknowledge that there may be trouble ahead. What to do, though? Even if you tell your parents gently that you are having issues with your sexual identity, you know that they will either pretend they didn’t hear you or that you should seek counsel from the parish priest. You might as well tell him that all this time he thought you were human you were really a horse. If he’s not actually gay himself he’ll simply say: “Take two paracetamol and lie down until the feeling goes away.”
This is why we really ought not to be surprised by the number of gay men who continue to join the Catholic priesthood. Suddenly, a lifetime of celibate service in the church becomes rather appealing. What better way to submerge your sinful sexual desires and assuage your Catholic guilt than to become a priest? After all, they never have sex so your exotic and unusual sexuality will never become an issue.
But life can rarely be compartmentalised quite as simply as that. And so from being a troubled adolescent you become an unhappy, lonely and resentful man. You continue to serve the church and care for those whom God has sent you as best you can. Inside, though, you die a little more each time the Vicar of Christ and St Peter’s successor tells the world that you are a grotesque, an abnormality, a freak show.
This is a chilling time to be Catholic and gay in Scotland. For some of the rest of us it is simply depressing. My beloved church is not enjoying its finest hour as it steps up its opposition to the SNP government’s plans to permit same-sex marriages. The church, led by Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, as wise and gentle as senior clergy come, believes that the unique importance of marriage in the world will be damaged and undermined if the gift is extended to two people of the same sex.
Knesset Rejects Marriage Equality Bill
By Lahav Harkov
May 16, 2012
“Freedom of Choice in Marriage” bill fails; Meretz calls rabbinate and halacha extremist, dark, anachronistic, chauvinist.
The Knesset voted down a bill on Wednesday that would allow same-sex, as well as interfaith couples to wed.
The legislation, by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) opens the option of civil marriages for those who may not be wed according to halacha (Jewish law), as well as those who choose not to be married by the Chief Rabbinate. It was rejected, with 39 MKs opposed and 11 in favor.
Horowitz said there are tens of thousands of homosexual couples in Israel, and his law would help them and others who cannot exercise the basic right to be married and build a family.
‘There is an extremist, dark institution deciding who may or may not get married,’ the Meretz MK said. ‘The public is sick of the rabbinate.’
According to Horowitz, coalition parties betrayed their secular voters by rejecting the bill, choosing to pander to haredi (ultra-orthodox) parties, instead.
Horowitz’s ‘Freedom of Choice in Marriage’ bill would allow for any couple that is not recognized by the Chief Rabbinate to have a civil marriage. This includes same-sex marriages, as well as marriage between Jews and gentiles. — JPost 5/16/12