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Sponsored link.

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In the following, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."

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News of 2006-APR:

bullet2006-APR-06: "Brokeback Mountain" movie promoted by Wal-Mart: The American Family Association (AFA), a Fundamentalist Christian group, asked Wal-Mart to boycott the sale of the Brokeback Mountain movie, winner of three Academy awards. It describes the problems faced by two bisexual sheepherders in a homophobic socieity. Randy Sharp, director of special projects for the AFA, said:

"It wasn't even a blockbuster movie, so if Wal-Mart isn't trying to push an agenda, why would they put it at the front door?"

Kevin Haff of the Washington Blade, a gay-positive group, said:

"Actually, Randy, 'Brokeback' has made more than $165 million worldwide on a production budget of just $14 million. If that ainít a blockbuster, I donít know what is. And that number doesnít include DVD sales, which will no doubt be tremendous."


bullet2006-APR-10: USA: Gays, lesbians and bisexuals hold "Day of Silence:" The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) held a "Day of Silence" in high school campuses across the U.S. During the day, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and those who support these sexual minorities remain silent to demonstrate the oppression that they feel in school because of their sexual orientation.
bullet2006-APR-18: Same-sex couples and their children roll Easter eggs: Every Easter since 1878, an Easter egg party has been held on the White House lawn during which children push an egg with a large wooden spoon. Tickets to the event are on a first-come-first-served basis. This year, some same-sex couples and their children joined the queue for tickets and enjoyed the party along with opposite-sex couples and children. Covenant News described the event in their Abominations section under the heading "The First Family Hosts Sodomite Easter Party." Covenant News, a Fundamentalist Christian news outlet described the event as follows:

"...lewd and lascivious 'gay' groups joined the queue for tickets -- which were given out to families on a first-come, first served basis at the White House on Saturday. Despite the opposition of conservative religious groups, Bush and his wife Laura chose not to prevent the sex offenders from attending. The gay groups said their gesture was meant to make their presence felt in American society."

 AFP noted that:

"The gay parents also chose a discreet approach without any explicit protest, identifying themselves with rainbow-coloured flowers....families who signed up to attend committed not to use slogans or even wear t-shirts that could get them barred from the White House."

Jennifer Chrisler, executive director for the Family Pride Coalition, a gay-positive group, said:

"Like other parents in this country, we want to give our children the best opportunities, to shower them with love, to teach them respect and a love for the rich and diverse traditions America has to offer them." 2

bullet2006-APR-27: OR: Student barred from wearing T-shirt on "Day of Truth:" The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Fundamentalist Christian legal defense group, sponsored the second annual "Day of Truth" in high schools across the U.S. This is a response to the "Day of Silence" sponsored earlier in the month by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN). The ADF sells kits containing a t-shirt with a red "Day of Truth" insignia, a DVD and a pack of 25 information cards. The cards say:
"I am speaking the Truth to break the silence.
Silence isnít freedom. Itís a constraint.
Truth tolerates open discussion, because the Truth emerges when healthy discourse is allowed.
By proclaiming the Truth in love, hurts will be halted, hearts will be healed, and lives will be saved." 9

 with information opposed to equal rights for gays and lesbians.

A female sophomore at Springfield High School in Springfield OR had a custom-made t-shirt printed with the message: "I am a Christian, and I am against homosexuality, abortion, pre-marital sex, and drugs." She participated in the Day of Truth campaign along with several other students. The others were allowed to wear their regular Day of Truth t-shirts, but the sophomore was asked to replace her shirt.

Timothy Chandler, Litigation Counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, sent a letter to the school administrating advising them that they had violated the student's First Amendment rights. He said: "The First Amendment rights of students do not end at the schoolhouse gate. We are pleased school officials recognized that this studentís constitutional rights had been violated." The officials apologized for the error. 8

bullet2006-MAY-16: WA: U.S. Supreme Court refuses to take up child custody case: The U.S. Supreme Court decided to not review a Washington State child custody case. The state's highest court had determined that Sue Ellen "Mian" Carvin could pursue ties with "L.B", now 11 years of age. Carvin had lived with Page Britain for five years before they decided to have a child together. Britain gave birth in 1995 to L.B. who they raised together. The women separated six years later. Britain, claiming rights as the biological mother, barred Carvin from seeing their daughter. Carvin sued to gain access. This is the first case where the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt with a case involving child custody disputes between gay parents. 3
bullet2006-MAY-25: OK: State adoption law overturned: Federal Judge Robin Cauthron declared unconstitutional an Oklahoma law that banned recognition of adoptions in other states by same-sex couples. Two lesbians had adopted daughters while they lived in New Jersey. When they moved to Oklahoma, a state law negated recognition of the adoptions. Judge Cauthron determined that the law was unconstitutional. It violated the due process rights of the parents because it called for the breaking up of the family without considering the parent's fitness or the best interest of the children. State Representative Thad Balkman complained: "Itís another case of an activist judge trying to legislate from the bench. Itís unfortunate that a single judge is trying to rewrite the law." 4,5
bullet2006-JUN-02: MN: Conference petitions concerning homosexuality: The Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church passed nine petitions related to homosexuality. Victoria Rebeck, communications director for the Conference said: "The biggest news is that we had a good, respectful discussion of these very emotional issues and people really listened to each other." The closest vote was a real squeaker: 358 to 356. It involved a petition to change the definition of marriage from "a man and a woman" to "two adult persons," and to delete a sentence supporting laws that define marriage as between a man and woman. The resolutions will be passed on to the 2008 General Conference for consideration. 6 More details.
bullet2006-JUN-07: Federal Marriage Amendment resurfaces: The Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) has reappeared in the Senate. This would have been the first step that leading to the U.S. Constitution being modified to prevent same-sex couples from marrying. If implemented, it would be the first time that a discrimination clause would appear in the Constitution.

Even supporters of the FMA expected that it would fail to reach the required 67 positive votes. The Senate voted in 2004 on an identical bill; results were 50 in favor and 48 opposed. The vote in the house was 227 for and 186 against. Both were short of the two-thirds majority required for passage.

The vote this time was essentially the same. The amendment will not progress to the states. More details.

bullet2006-JUN-10: Canada: This is the third anniversary of the 2003 decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal which legalized SSM in that province. Since then, over 10,000 same-sex couples have been legally married in Canada.
bullet2006-JUN-19: Canada: Poll shows remarkable change in SSM acceptance: The Environics Research Group poll indicates that Canadians are increasingly accepting of same-sex marriage. They area also overwhelmingly opposed to reopening the matter in Parliament, as has been proposed by the ruling Conservative government. Poll results indicate that:
bullet62% of Canadian adults consider SSM to be a settled matter;
bullet27% want SSM reopened and debated once more in Parliament;
bulletOnly 38% of Conservative Party voters favored reopening the issue; 52% were opposed.
bullet59% agreed that same-sex couples should have the same right to civil marriage as opposite-sex couples. 32% are opposed. That is close to a 2 to 1 ratio.

These are truly remarkably large and rapid changes since SSM became available across Canada in 2005-OCT. 10,11 More details.

bullet2006-JUN-20: WI: Mainline churches oppose stealth constitutional amendment: In the previous two weeks, 700 religious congregations in Wisconsin have publicly opposed the proposed amendment to the state constitution to ban both civil marriages and same-sex marriages. The public will vote on the amendment in November. Early in June, the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ and the Wisconsin United Methodist Conference opposed the amendment. Scherer, a board member of Fair Wisconsin, a group working to defeat the ban, said:

"Literally hundreds of religious leaders have personally kind of pledged to oppose the amendment, t doesn't only ban civil unions for gay couples, but for anyone who's not married. For instance, two elderly people who are living together but not married. This is saying never will the government allow any type of legal relationship to allow protections to those two people."

Julaine Appling, coordinator of the Wisconsin Coalition for Traditional Marriage, said:

"The people of this state that have any idea about what the Bible says about marriage, they believe marriage is one man and one woman. And I think they'll go into the voting booth and say this is about whether a man and a woman comprise the institute of marriage, and they'll vote yes." 12

bullet2006-JUN-23:US: Episcopal church widens cracks in Anglican Communion: At their 75th General Convention in Columbus OH, the Episcopal Church took a number of actions that might be interpreted by much of the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion as promoting a schism. They elected a new Presiding Bishop who is the first female primate in the Communion. Most Anglical provinces do not even allow women to become bishops, let alone primates. They ignored the Communion's request that the Episcopal Church forbid same-sex union rituals. They passed a resolution recommending restraint when nominating future bishops who are homosexuals. However, it is not a binding requirement. Finally, the Diocese of Newark nominated four candidates for their next bishop; one is gay. More details.
bullet2006-JUN-29: US: Presbyterian church cracks open door for gay ordination: The Presbyterian Church, USA held its General Assembly in Birmingham, AL. They discussed a report issued last year by their Theological Task Force (TTF). The Assembly approved resolutions stressing unity in the denomination, and giving -- for the first time -- limited permission for local ordination authorities to ordain sexually active homosexuals. More details.
bullet2006-JUN-27: World: Archbishop of Canterbury recommends two tiers: Apparently in response to the Episcopal Church, USA's General Convention mentioned above, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, issued a six-page "reflection" proposing what he regards as the "best way forward" for the Anglican Communion. He suggests creation of a loyalty oath which apparently would be both sexist and homophobic. It would include rejection of homosexuals as priests, bishops and primates. It might even include rejection of women as bishops and primates. Those provinces who agreed with the loyalty oath would remain "constituent churches." Those who did not agree would become "churches in association." That division arguably makes a lot of sense, because it does recognize the current division within the Communion. However, he proposes that the churches in association would be denied voting and decision making power in the Communion. More details.

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The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Kevin Haff, "Kudos to Wal-Mart. Mega-retailer stands up to religious right, stocks 'Brokeback'," Washington Blade, 2006-APR-05, at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/
  2. "Gay parents quietly crash White House Easter party," AFP, 2006-APR-17, at: http://news.yahoo.com/
  3. "Justices pass on gay custody dispute; Won't bar lesbian's quest for rights," Associated Press, 2006-MAY-16, at: http://www.romingerlegal.com/
  4. "Heather Finstuen et al...." at: http://www.lambdalegal.org/
  5. "Oklahoma Federal Judge Overturns Ban On Homosexual Adoptions," Traditional Values Coalition, 2006-MAY-25, at: http://www.traditionalvalues.org/
  6. "United Methodists approve ordaining gay clergy, marriage," Associated Press, 2006-JUN-02, at: http://www.in-forum.com/
  7. "Order your Day of Truth materials now!," Alliance Defense Fund, at: http://www.dayoftruth.org/
  8. "Student barred from wearing T-shirt receives apology from school officials," Alliance Defense Fund, 2006-JUN-08, at: http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/
  9. "Day of Truth - April 27, 2006," Alliance Defense Fund, at: http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/
  10. "Canadians for Equal Marriage June 2006," Press Release, Environics Research Group, at: http://erg.environics.net/
  11. "Environics Poll: Opposition to equal marriage falls sharply; Canadians are more than 2 to 1 against re-opening," Canadians for Equal Marriage, 2006-JUN-19, at: http://www.equal-marriage.ca/
  12. Krista B. Ledbetter, "Churches line up against gay marriage ban," The Northwestern, Oshkosh, WI. Online at: http://www.religionandsocialpolicy.org/

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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 128, Watertown, NY, 13601, USA, 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 © 2006 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2006-APR-19
Latest update: 2006-JUN-21
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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