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Religious Tolerance logo


FOR 2006 - July, August, & September

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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-July:

bullet2006-JUL-07: Black pastors prepare inclusive revival: Rev. Nathan Harris of Lincoln Temple in Washington, D.C., has organized meetings at his church on JUL-11 and 12 to promote multiculturalism and inclusiveness -- specifically an end to homophobia, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, racism and sexism. He said:

"We’re in the process of making a statement in the community regarding social justice and we’re trying to keep American culture on track. The right wing has distorted the mission of the church with this undue focus on gay marriage and abortion." 1

bullet2006-JUL-07: USA: NEA endorses same-sex marriage and civil unions: The National Education Association voted overwhelmingly to endorse the legalization of civil unions and same-sex marriages. The resolution modifies Section B-10 of the NEA handbook which covers "Racism, Sexism, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Discrimination." The NEA promotes the elimination of discrimination based on "...race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification ...." The amendment reads:

"The Association also believes that these factors should not affect the legal rights and obligations of the partners in a legally-recognized domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage in regard to matters involving the other partner, such as medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration."

Jeralee Smith, a California teacher and past chairperson of the NEA Ex-Gay Educators Caucus, announced that she is considering leaving the NEA. She said:

"People who share our values, which is traditional family and a few other things, can have no integrity unless they are either active on the inside to try and change things, or they leave the union and take their money out of the union's hands.... I just think it's time for Christians to really pray about their relationship to the union and do some real soul-searching on their loyalty."

After a heated debate, the delegates decided to replace the word "tolerance" with "acceptance" in their policy statements. 2

bullet2006-JUL-07: NY & GA: Senior state courts rule against SSM: The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously overturned a trial court ruling, and sustained the a constitutional amendment recently approved to prohibit SSM. The The Court of Appeals in New York state found that the state's "one-man, one-woman" definition of marriage did not violate the constitutional rights of same-sex couples. They also stated than any changes would have to be made by the legislature. More information.
bullet2006-JUL-15: MO: Christians and hogs vs. gay campground: Cactus Canyon Campground is a clothes-optional campground 720 acre camp for gays in the Ozarks. It opened up as usual on MAY-01. A Christian group had allegedly leased the adjacent land and had hogs shipped there on MAY-02. I have not had any personal experience with hogs, but I suspect that the stench is intolerable. The campground is suing. The American Family Association, a Fundamentalist legal defense fund, has allegedly offered to represent the Christians for free. The campground folks are trying to raise money for legal expenses.

News of 2006-August:

bullet 2006-AUG-24: CA: New bills being considered by legislature: Four bills -- SB1437, SB1441, AB1056 and AB606 -- are being considered by the California legislature. Some have been approved. Mona Passignano, State Issues Analyst for the Fundamentalist Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family Action, said: "What all four bills will do, they will reinforce homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism [sic] in a positive light." One bill would prevent Californian government from doing business with any organization that does not provide equal benefits for the domestic partners and the married spouses of its employees. There is no conscience clause that would allow religious organizations to continue to discriminate against these groups. Another bill limits the expression of hatred against sexual minorities. Existing laws prohibits boards of education from adopting instructional materials that contain any matter reflecting adversely upon persons because of their race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, handicap, or occupation, or that contain any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law. Bill SB 1437 would augment this list to include race or ethnicity, gender, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion. Religious and social conservatives are concerned about equal treatment of persons of all sexual orientations, including homosexuals and bisexuals.

Passignano said that the bills:

"...They will keep people from saying anything negative about them...You cannot preach the Gospel. If you want to preach about Romans 1, you can't. Someone could say, 'That makes me feel bad.' You cannot preach what the Bible says...If you're a Christian, it's got to be alarming. If you are not a Christian, it's got to be alarming. Because what comes next? Is someone going to say, 'You can't drive a red car, that's the color of heterosexuals. You have to drive a purple car?...It's just a historical fact, but you could make Germans feel bad every time you say Nazi Germany. The (California) bills say you can't say anything negative [about sexual minorities]."

James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family said that if the bills are signed into law, the California Legislature will deliver the state's children:

 "...straight into the arms of the homosexual activist community...If these bills are signed into law, who knows what the liberal courts in California will be able to make out of this in the years to come? There goes the next generation of children...If these bills are signed into law, who knows what the liberal courts in California will be able to make out of this in the years to come? There goes the next generation of children"

Dobson has asked people to call or e-mail Governor Schwarzenegger. He said:

"If people don't hit him hard in the next two or three days we're going to see this legislation and perhaps the other three bills the law of the land." 3

For an description of various Christian interpretations of Romans 1 and other homosexual "clobber" passages in the Bible see hom_bibl.htm 4

bullet2006-AUG-24: South Africa: Cabinet approves same-sex marriage bill: The cabinet has given the green light to a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the country. If the bill becomes law, it would make South Africa the first country in Africa to give same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples. South Africa would be the fifth country in the world to attain marriage equality, after Holland, Belgium, Spain and Canada.
bullet2006-SEP-08: CA: Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 1437: Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed this bill on 2006-SEP-06. Material in public schools that denigrates people on the basis of their race, sex, color, religious belief, degree of ability, national origin or ancestry will continue to be prohibited in California. Material that denigrates people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity remains legal. The vetoing of this bill will send a strong message to the citizens of California that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons are second class citizens, not worthy of protection.
bullet2006-SEP-07: Conservative Judaism may change policy on homosexual ordination: The Associated Press reported on 2006-SEP-07 that Rabbi Jerome Epstein, executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, expects that the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards will vote in favor of permitting the ordination of homosexual rabbis in 2006-DEC. He expects a type of local option in which individual seminaries and synagogues will be able to select one of two contradictory policies. He said:
"The committee might accept - will accept, I think - two or more [policies]. ... One that actually reaffirms the current position and at least one that will liberalize it.  It could cause confusion, it could cause tremendous angst, it could cause tremendous tension, it could cause tremendous disagreement." 5

More details.

bullet2006-SEP-08: Pope Benedict XVI criticizes tolerance in Canada: Pope Benedict XVI met with Catholic bishops from Ontario. He commended Canada for its "well-earned reputation for a generous and practical commitment to justice and peace." He is impressed with the separate Catholic school system in the province. But he felt that Canada's commitment to justice has led to a "false dichotomy." Human rights have been extended too far, to allow loving, committed same sex couples to marry and receive protections for themselves and their children. He said that:

 "In the name of tolerance, your country has had to endure the folly of the redefinition of spouse and, in the name of 'freedom of choice' it is confronted with the daily destruction of unborn children.... Catholic involvement in political life cannot compromise on this principle. [In] your discussions with politicians and civil leaders, I encourage you to demonstrate that our Christian faith, far from being an impediment to dialogue, is a bridge. ... Democracy succeeds only to the extent that it is based on truth and a correct understanding of the human person. Catholic involvement in political life cannot compromise on this principle."

The pope had made similar comments to bishops from the maritime provinces and Quebec. He will meet with bishops from western Canada in November. 6

bullet2006-SEP-23: NBJC criticizes NARTH for web site article on human slavery: Gerald Schoenewolf -- a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) allegedly had an article posted to the NARTH in website circa mid-2005. It said that African Americans slaves in the U.S. "... were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa." The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is waiting for an apology. 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. Katherine Volin, "Black pastors prepare for inclusive revival: Homophobia, racism and sexism will be focus of messages delivered at Lincoln Temple," Washington Blade, 2006-JUL-07, at: http://www.washblade.com.
  2. "NEA endorses gay marriage," UPI, 2006-JUL-07, at: http://www.religionandspiritualityforum.com.
  3. "Dobson: Tell Arnold to halt 'gay' agenda. Urgent appeal as governor considers bills that deter preaching 'what the Bible says'," World Net Daily, 2006-AUG-24, at: http://wnd.com/news/
  4. Information about Bill SB 1437 is at: http://info.sen.ca.gov/
  5. "Conservative Jewish leader expects ban on gay rabbis to be lifted," Associated Press, 2006-SEP-07, at: http://news.bostonherald.com/
  6. "Pope asks bishops to lobby our MPs." Toronto Star, 2006-SEP-09

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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-JUL-09
Latest update: 2006-OCT-27
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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