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Religious Tolerance logo


FOR 2003 - JAN. to MARCH

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News of 2003-JAN:

bullet 2003-JAN-16: USA: Brief filed in U.S. "Sodomy" law case: Lambda Legal, a gay positive civil rights group,  filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking them to overturn the Texas sodomy law. Ruth Harlow, the lead attorney on the case and legal director at Lambda Legal said: "Some of the most diverse and respected voices in this country are lining up to tell the Supreme Court that these laws are contrary to American values. This is a tremendously important case for gay people and for everyone who believes in basic freedoms." 1
bullet 2003-JAN-26: CA: Domestic partner bill to be introduced in legislature: Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) is expected to introduce a bill that would give domestic partners essentially all of the legal rights and responsibilities of married couples Three years ago, in Proposition 22, California voters turned down the idea of gay marriages. But there is considerable support for giving gays and lesbians rights, privileges and obligations equal to those given to married couples.
bullet Geoff Kors, executive director of the gay-positive group California Alliance for Pride and Equality, said: "This law would be truly historic for the nation. If California passes this, it sends a message to the rest of the nation."
bullet Randy Thomasson, executive director of the conservative group Campaign for California Families, criticized the supporters of the bill. He said: "I wish they'd be honest and call it gay marriage. If marital rights go to nonmarried couples, then you've really thrown mud in the face of marriage as an institution. If Gray Davis wants to go for president or vice president, he won't go for this."
bullet Lou Sheldon, of the conservative group Traditional Values Coalition said: "Homosexuality is a gender-identity disorder, and it's a gender-identity confusion, and you should not reward those behaviors with special rights." There is no record in the media accounts as to what "special rights" gays and lesbians are requesting. All the reports have them asking for equal rights. 2

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News of 2003-FEB:

bullet 2003-FEB-11: USA: Conoco Philips abandons nondiscrimination policy: Conoco prohibited internal discrimination against persons of all sexual orientations; i.e. heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals. Phillips did not. When Conoco and Phillips merged to produce ConocoPhilips, they decided to follow Philips' approach and allow discrimination based on sexual orientation within the company. In practice, this inevitably means discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Kelly Shackelford, spokesperson for the Fundamentalist Christian  Freedom Foundation urges that those who are opposed to equal rights for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals should show their appreciation by buying ConocoPhilips products. Shackelford said: "Just as a lot of conservatives and pro-family people complain when people go the wrong direction, ConocoPhillips needs to be congratulated and, in fact, more business done with them."

The decision by ConocoPhilips follows a similar move by ExxonMobil made previously. If you wish to congratulate or ConocoPhilips or send a note of criticism, you can contact them via E-mail on their Web site.
bullet 2003-FEB: USA: Holocaust museum adds homosexual exhibit: The U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, added an exhibit which shows the imprisonment of gays during the Nazi Holocaust. The exhibit makes it clear that gays were treated differently from Jews and other victims: gays were imprisoned whereas other groups -- considered sub-human by the Nazis -- were exterminated. Ted Phillips, who created the exhibit for the museum, said: "We are not attempting to equate the persecution of homosexuals with the murder of the Jews. It's a very carefully presented line of distinction because the two tragedies while having some similarities clearly are very different in scope as well." Rabbi Yehuda Levin, head of the Jewish Union is displeased with the exhibit. He said: "Even the homosexual revisionists have been forced to indicate that most of the homosexuals who were in the concentration camps -- it numbered only several thousand ... 5000 according to some estimates -- were there because of criminal misbehavior. To make them into heroes and to try to rewrite history and to try and use this as a way of 'koshering' the homosexual lifestyle is an absolute sacrilege." The "criminal misbehavior" referred to by Rabbi Levin refers to the victims' sexual behavior, which was considered a crime by the Nazis. 3
bullet 2003-FEB-18: MA: Unitarian minister refuses to sign marriage licenses: Rev. Fred Small of the First Church Unitarian in Boston, announced on FEB-2 to his congregation that he would not sign marriage licenses "unless and until the Commonwealth of Massachusetts extends to same-sex couples the benefits, protections and responsibilities of marriage. If heterosexual couples wish to legalize their bond, I will direct them to a justice of the peace. Also in Massachusetts, Citizens for Marriage and other groups are working to preserve the current ban on same-sex marriage. Gov. According to the Boston Globe, Governor Mitt Romney personally opposes same-sex marriage and would not sign legislation to legalize it. Phyllis Terrey, a lesbian member of the congregation commented: ''We're not going to read next week or next month or even next year that this has all been solved, but it still feels good to have somebody stand up for us.'' Jill-Beth Sweeney, a heterosexual member who plans to get married in the Fall said: ''We never dreamt that our wedding would be an opportunity to take a stand on an issue that's very important to us. I sort of feel like the accidental activist. I actually feel really blessed by this.'' Small will still marry opposite-sex couples; however they will have to go to a justice of the peace to have their license signed. 4
bullet 2003-FEB-19: USA: Proposed immigration law for gays and lesbians: Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has introduced a bill: The Permanent Partners Immigration Act. 5 It would allow same-sex committed partners of U.S. citizens (or of lawful permanent residents) to sponsor their partners as immigrants. Unlike Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the United States does not recognize same-sex relationships for purposes of immigration. According to the Human Rights Campaign -- a gay-positive agency: "Once the measure is enacted, binational, same-sex couples will have to meet the same requirements as binational, married couples. Some requirements include providing proof of the relationship —- including affidavits from friends and family or evidence of financial support." 6 Nadler calls the current requirement of marriage in immigration law "gratuitous cruelty," presumably because it keeps loving, committed couples from being together. Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute, a Fundamentalist Christian agency, said that the law would violate "the spirit of the Defense of Marriage Act, in which Congress made it clear that it preferred marriage as the fundamental institution that should be recognized in the law." 7

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  1. "Supreme Court urged to kill Texas' sodomy law," Associated Press, 2003-JAN-16, at:
  2. Michael Bazeley, "Bill gives same-sex couples legal rights," San Jose Mercury News, 2003-JAN-26, at:
  3. David Brody, "Homosexuals Included in Holocaust Museum," CitizenLink update, Focus on the Family, 2003-FEB-13.
  4. "Pastor won't sign marriage licenses; protest in effect until state OKs homosexual unions," WorldNetDaily, 2003-FEB-18, at:
  5. To see the bill's text and status, go to  and type HR 690 in the bill number box.
  6. "Quick Facts: Permanent Partners Immigration Act, H.R. 690," Human Rights Campaign, at:
  7. Stuart Shepard, "Immigration Proposal Would Harm Marriage," Focus on the Family, 2003-FEB-19, at:

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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 © 2003 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-JAN-17
Latest update: 2003-FEB-20
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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