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Religious Tolerance logo

News items affecting gays, lesbians, bisexuals & transsexuals

For 2007 - July, August, & September

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In this web site, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."

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News of 2007-July:

bullet 2007-JUL-17: USA: American Psychological Association reviewing policies: A six-member task force of the APA held its first session to review its 10-year-old policy concerning the counseling of gays and lesbians -- commonly called reparative therapy or conversion therapy. Gay-positive groups hope that the task force will conclude that any attempt to change a person's sexual orientation is futile. Many dozens of conservative religious leaders from groups such as the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family have written a joint letter to the APA expressing concern about homosexuals whose religious faith condemn same-sex sexual activity. More details.

bullet 2007-JUL-22: WA: Domestic Partnerships become available: Same-sex couples can register as domestic partners and receive five rights out of the 400 or so previously granted only to married couples in Washington state. Unmarried opposite-sex couples where one is 62 years of age or older can also register. More details. Almost five years later, in 2012-FEB, a bill is being processed through the state legislature to legalize same-sex marriage.

bullet2007-AUG-11: TX: Church reneges on offer to hold funeral: The High Point mega-church in Arlington TX offered to host the funeral of Cecil Sinclair, 46, who was a brother of an employee and member of the church. Cecil was a Navy veteran who served in Desert Storm and was a member of the Turtle Creek Chorale. He did not belong to a church. The High Point Church subsequently found out that Cecil was gay, and that a multi-media presentation at his funeral was to include photographs of him and his same-sex partner doing what couples sometimes do: kiss and hug. The Dallas Morning News reported:

"Nobody from the church called her or Mr. Sinclair's partner, Paul Wagner, to discuss possible changes to the service, Ms. Bowers said. 'We could have reached a compromise,' she said. 'That was never attempted.' At least some theological questions could have been worked out, she said. For instance, the family was willing to allow the church to issue an "altar call" asking people to accept Jesus at the end of the service. But it's not clear where the two sides could have found common ground on the central issue. High Point Church opposes homosexuality, and there was no way the church could host a service that appeared to endorse it, [Rev. Gary] Simons said. 'Can you hold the event and condone the sin and compromise our principles?' he said. "We can't. ...

"...  that kind of reaction is all too familiar to survivors of the AIDS onslaught of the 1980s, said Ed Young, a charter member of the Turtle Creek Chorale. Back then, having churches turn down funerals of gay men was not uncommon, he said. "It may be surprising to younger gays, because most gays think that doesn't happen any more," he said. "But it's still there."

Was there a way to avoid this conflict? 'I don't know if there is any way to prevent something like that,' Mr. Simons said. 'Whenever there is a matter of principle involved, each side thinks that it is right'." 2

bullet2007-AUG-23: VT: Same-sex marriage being studied for Vermont: Tom Little (R) is chairing the Commission on Family Recognition and Protection. They are studying whether marriage in Vermont should be expanded to include loving, committed same-sex couples. They held their first meeting on 2007-AUG-23 and dealt with administrative issues, like the organization of public meetings.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have allegedly decided to boycott the public meetings:
bulletStephen Cable, president of Vermont Renewal, said "As a result of their actions and refusal to address the issues we have raised, we are asking Vermonters to boycott the hearings and pay no attention to the [commission's] report."

bulletCraig Benson, founder of Take It to the People, promotes a plebiscite on same-sex marriage. He said: "This political farce is a waste of taxpayer's time, attention and tax money. This is the left having a dialogue with the far left while everyone else is left out." 3  More details.

bullet2007-AUG-28: ID: Republican senator charged with lewd conduct in washroom: Three term senator Larry Craig (R-ID), well known for his anti-homosexual views and voting, was arrested on JUN-11 in a public washroom at the Minneapolis airport. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge involving disorderly conduct. He was fined $575 and given a 10 day suspended sentence and one year unsupervised probation. He delivered a speech in Boise claiming that he had done nothing wrong, but was under stress because he had been "viciously harassed" by the media. He said:

"I am not gay. I never have been gay.... In June, I overreacted and made a poor decision. I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away.... Please let me apologize to my family, friends and staff and fellow Idahoans for the cloud placed over Idaho. I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport. I did nothing wrong, and I regret the decision to plead guilty and the sadness that decision has brought on my wife, on my family, friends, staff and fellow Idahoans.

The police report described a series of signals given by Craig that are commonly used by individuals seeking illicit sex. He allegedly peeked through the door crack of a stall occupied by an undercover police officer. The report said that:

"At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot.... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times."

Craig is married and has adopted the three children that his wife, Suzanne, had from her previous marriage. It is possible that Craig is telling the truth when he claims to not be gay; he might be bisexual. 4,5 An audio recording of Senator Craig's arrest in the airport washroom is online. 7 Subsequent developments

bullet 2007-AUG-29: NJ: Pavilion refuses permission for civil union on religious grounds: The pavilion in Ocean Grove, New Jersey is a popular location for wedding ceremonies. Luisa Paster and Harriet Bernstein of Ocean Grove planned to hold their civil union there. The pavilion is owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist group. They claim that its constitutional rights would be violated if it were required to permit civil unions there, since the recognition of same-sex relationships -- other than as roommates -- conflicts with Methodist doctrine. The couple maintained that the pavilion is a "public accommodation" because it is open for use to everyone else. The Association believes that the pavilion is a church. The association has mounted a case in federal court. 6 The case was resolved in 2012-JAN in favor of the lesbian couple.

bullet2007-AUG-29: IL: Lesbian priest nominated as bishop of Chicago: The Rev. Tracey Lind has been nominated as one of five finalists for the post of bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Lind is dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, OH, the author of "Interrupted by God," and is in a committed relationship with her partner, Emily Ingall. Episcopal members in the diocese will elect their new bishop by voting on NOV-10. 6 More details.

bullet2007-AUG-30: IA: Superior court judge rules that same-sex couples can marry: Judge Robert Hanson ruled that "The total exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is completely arbitrary," and "bears no discernable relation to the promotion of responsible procreation by heterosexual couples." He ordered the county to accept the marriage license applications of six same-sex couples who have been in loving, committed same-sex relationships for from 5 to 16 years. 8 More details.

bullet2007-SEP-01: ID: Senator Larry Craig may or may not resign: Craig announced "It is with sadness and deep regret that I announce that it is my intent to resign from the Senate, effective September 30." However, he is fighting the charge to which he pleaded guilty. If he can make the charge and the subsequent ethics investigation go away, it is widely believed that he may choose to not resign.

IN SEP-04, the National Republican Senatorial Committee said that it would not offer any support to Craig in a 2008 run for re-election. 9

bullet 2007-SEP-10: CA: Senate approves bill legalizing same-sex marriage: The California Senate approved bill AB-43 by a vote of 22 to 15 to substitute the term "two persons" for "man and wife" in the state's marriage law. This would allow all loving committed couples to marry, whether they are of the opposite-sex or same-sex. All 12 Republicans and three Democrats voted against the bill. The bill will now go to Governor Schwarzenegger for either his signature or his veto. is proposing a marriage amendment to the state constitution that would prohibit same-sex marriage and retain marriage as a special privilege of opposite-sex couples only. Former Assemblyman Larry Bowler who supports this amendment told Christian News Service:

"Until the people fund, qualify and pass the amendment, marriage will be threatened with destruction and eventual extinction. Even Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown have said that the Legislature has the power to abolish marriage and yank marriage rights from husbands and wives." 10


2007-SEP-12: Canada: Focus on the Family Canada accepts validity of same-sex marriage: In what may be a first for any fundamentalist or other evangelical group in North America, Focus on the Family Canada appears to have accepted the validity of same-sex marriage (SSM). Focus and other conservative religious groups have always been careful to denigrate same-sex marriage by placing the word marriage or married in quotation marks when it refers to SSM, as in same-sex "marriage." This reinforces their assertion that SSM is not really marriage; they consider it a phony form of quasi-marriage.

However, in their SEP-12 issue of Today's Family News, they mentioned Statistics Canada new report on family structures in Canada. They conclude with the statement: "And for the first time, the number of same-sex married couples will be included." Note the absence of quotation marks! This is believed to be a first for Canada among religiously conservative para-church groups; perhaps it is the first in North America. It only took them about 26 months for them to accept SSM as real marriage. We congratulate Focus. 11

A couple of weeks later, Focus responded to our Email. It appears that the lack of quotation marks was an oversight.

bullet2007-SEP-27: USA: The Matthew Shepard act passes the Senate: S. 1105 was passed. A virtually identical House bill was passed on MAY-03 by a bipartisan vote of 237 to 180. It has been attached to the Department of Defense authorization bill that is currently before the Senate. 12

bullet2007-SEP-29: Governor vetoes AB-43: As expected, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoed bill AB-43 which would have implemented marriage equality in California. 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. "American Psychological Association Reviews Policy on Counseling Gays and Lesbians," Associated Press, 2007-JUL-10, at:
  2. Jeffrey Weiss, "Church won't hold funeral for gay man," Dallas Morning News, 2007-AUG-11. at:
  3. "Vermont Panel Considers Marriage Redefinition," CitizenLink, 2007-AUG-24, at:
  4. "Larry Craig," Wikipedia, at:
  5. Tim Harper, "The strange tale of the senator, the cop and a public washroom, Toronto Star, 2007-AUG-29, Page AA1.
  6. BIll Bowman, "Judge may rule Oct. 1 on gay union motions," Asbury Park Press, 2007-AUG-28, at:
  7. "Caught on Tape: Craig's bathroom bust," KCCI, at:
  8. "Iowa judge rules gays can marry," Advocate News, 2007-AUG-30, at:
  9. Paul Kane, "Craig Considers Remaining In Senate During Legal Battle," Washington Post, 2007-SEP-05, at:
  10. Hilary White, "California Senate Votes to Impose Same-Sex 'Marriage' on State," Life Site News, 2007-SEP-11.
  11. "Canadians still value marriage," Today's Family News, 2007-SEP-12.
  12. "Senate passes the Matthew Shepard Act! One step closer to erasing hate," Matthew Shepard Foundation news release, 2007-SEP-27.

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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 © 2007 to 2012 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2007-AUG-09
Latest update: 2012-FEB-10
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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