Showing posts with label Equal Marriage Equality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Equal Marriage Equality. Show all posts

June 29, 2015

Malaysian Muslims in US Celebrate Court Decision


KUALA LUMPUR,  A US-based Muslim group with a Malaysian chapter has commended the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalised same-sex marriage throughout America.
The Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), whose founder and president is a Malaysia-born named Ani Zonneveld, cited a “gender-neutral” verse in the Quran on marriage that read: “And among the signs of God is this: that God created for you spouses from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace with them, and God has put love and mercy in your hearts, truly in this are the signs of God for those who reflect”.

“Our love for our LGBTQI siblings causes us to rejoice in today’s decision from the highest court of law in the United States, the US Supreme Court, recognizing and uplifting the constitutional mandate of equality,” MPV said in a statement yesterday, using the initials for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community.

“Muslims for Progressive Values recognises the worth of every human being as endowed by our creator. Seeking to enact justice through word and deed, MPV has worked to create inclusive spaces where LGBTQI Muslims could embrace both their faith and their sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” the Los Angeles-based group added.
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday by a 5-to-4 vote to uphold the right to same-sex marriage throughout the US, where gay people could already get married in the majority of states before the historic decision.

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was quoted by the media as writing in the majority opinion.

According to MPV’s website, MPV, which seeks to build a progressive Muslim community, has established communities in several countries, including Malaysia, and Australia.
The website also lists Zainah Anwar, co-founder of local Muslim women’s rights group Sisters in Islam (SIS), as a member of MPV’s activist advisory board.

American religious scholar Dr Reza Aslan, who has criticized the Malaysian Court of Appeal’s decision to prohibit the Catholic Church from referring to God with the Arabic word “Allah”, is listed on MPV’s scholar advisory board.

Malaysia’s Islamic authorities and conservative Muslim groups have repeatedly condemned the gay and transgender community, with news website Gay Star News reporting in 2012 assaults on transsexuals in the country.

The Malay Mail online

July 22, 2013

'Equal Protection’ As Explained by the Supreme Court it Equals Marriage Like Straights

The Court that decided Plessy
Civil Right Cases 1883
United States of America
Great Seal of the United States
This article is part of the series:

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A year ago I discussed on Facebook and blogged about what gay lawyers and others reading the constitution were saying. The words if recognized by the Supreme Court are “EQUAL PROTECTION" UNDER THE LAW (14th Amendment). They did and went beyond with the statement from Kennedy. It will equal to same sex marriage. This does not mean we don’t keep fighting, we need the pressure of the public to be a water tight case. Below with the help of a source I explain in details. It is simple now, Not complicated and all of us show know why. 
The DOMA decision had the court add a second rationale from the first which is each state deciding on their own if they want gay marriage or not. The second rationale of the decision is equal protection. In states with same-sex marriage, Washington must give the same federal benefits to gay couples as to straight couples because to do otherwise is to discriminate against the gay couples. After all, they are equally married in their states. For Washington to discriminate against them is to deny them equal protection of the laws. Such discrimination is nothing more than irrational animus — and therefore constitutionally inadmissible.
But notice what that second rationale does. If the argument is just federalism, the court is saying: Each state decides — and we, the court, are out of here. But if the argument is equal protection, one question is left hanging. Why should equal protection apply only in states that recognize gay marriage? Why doesn’t it apply equally — indeed, even perhaps more forcefully — to gays who want to marry in states that refuse to marry them?
If discriminating (regarding federal benefits) between a gay couple and a straight couple is prohibited in New York where gay marriage is legal, by what logic is discrimination permitted in Texas, where a gay couple is prevented from marrying in the first place?
Which is exactly where the majority’s second rationale leads — nationalizing gay marriage, the way Roe nationalized abortion. This is certainly why David Boies, the lead attorney in the companion Proposition 8 case, was so jubilant when he came out onto the courthouse steps after the ruling. He understood immediately that once the court finds it unconstitutional to discriminate between gay and straight couples, nationalizing gay marriage is just one step away.
So why didn’t Justice Anthony Kennedy, the traditional swing vote who wrote the majority opinion on DOMA with the court’s four liberals, take that step? Why did he avoid doing the full Roe — nationalizing the procedure in question and declaring the subject now closed? I suspect he thought it would be a bridge too far. At least for today.
But he knows that the double rationale underlying his DOMA opinion has planted the seed for going Roe next time. It was prudence, not logic, that stayed his hand. “The only thing that will ‘confine’ the Court’s holding,” wrote dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia with a bit less delicacy, “is its sense of what it can get away with.” Next case — Kennedy & Co. go all the way.
Excerpts from  Charles Krauthammer’
Adam Gonzalez
 A Very happy unmarried gay believing that even though we can’t kill homophobia that’s too bad. We could not cure bigotry towards blacks but we have a black president. As long as we get what is rightfully ours, Straights insisting on their old ideas, don’t have to love us. 

April 1, 2013

Some Straights and Gays Want Gay Rights but Not Gay Marriage.

I understand the feeling but we can’t go just by feelings at this stage of history and our lives. I don’t think I might ever marry but Im fighting for it for others.  I know that for us to get Equal Civil Rights Marriage has to be the center piece because is the center piece now, economics, family live, government, benefits, taxes, social security and inheritance that you would have to re-write a new constitution to unravel what’s been raveled for ages. We need to work with what we got and get out rights for once and for ALL.  No one is going to force anybody else to get married or get married in a religious way. So please let’s stop moaning about something that is just words but yet people give lots of importance and the government too. We need to reach the top and once there if you want to live under a rock, sounds good to me.

In my Sunday column, I explored the possible consequence of the Supreme Court's impending rulings on gay marriage: a patchwork of different laws in different states, making life very complicated for gay couples who want to move from one part of the country to another.
But the general trend of public opinion toward greater acceptance of same-sex couples is clear. And there’s one subset of the population that's especially intriguing: people who say homosexuality violates their religious beliefs yet are nevertheless inclined to allow gay unions as a matter of civil law. Call them “libertarian traditionalists”: culturally conservative in their own lives, but upholding equal rights for those who don’t share their values.
How big is this group? Perhaps surprisingly, more than 1 in 4 Americans hold those seemingly conflicted opinions – at least when it comes to the general principle of equal rights for gay couples.
In an invaluable series of recent polls, the Pew Research Center has not only tracked the sea change in public opinion on homosexuality, but has broken it down into constituent parts.
Pew polls in 2012 and 2013 found that 48% of Americans now favor allowing allowing gays and Lesbians to marry legally, compared to 43% who are opposed. (Surveys performed more recently find even higher numbers in favor. An ABC News-Washington Post poll last month, for example, found 58% supporting gay marriage.)                            
The value in the large-sample Pew surveys is the level of detail they offer. Pew found that majorities of both Democrats (61%) and independents (53%) favor gay marriage; self-identified Republicans (25%) are distinct outliers by comparison.
Pew found that “cross-pressured” opinion – people who oppose gay marriage in principle but support equal rights for homosexuals in practice – is more than a blip. Most respondents in the Pew polls (56%) say same-sex marriage conflicts with their religious beliefs; but half of the people in that group (28% of the public overall) also believe that same-sex couples "should have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.”                                          
That means more than 1 in 4 Americans are holding two seemingly contradictory ideas: that gay marriage conflicts with their religious beliefs, but same-sex couples should have the same rights as others. That pattern holds true for 29% of Republicans and 29% of evangelical Christians too.
But maybe that view isn’t as contradictory as it seems. In my column, I quoted Timothy Keller, pastor of an evangelical church in Manhattan, saying “You can believe that homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage can be legal.” Keller doesn’t favor gay marriage; he was merely describing what he called an increasingly common view among young Protestant conservatives.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s commission on ethics and religious liberty, outlined the same phenomenon in a recent interview with Politico. “Basically, they just don’t think it’s something we want to talk about,” he said of younger evangelicals. “[They say,] ‘It feels intolerant. We believe what we believe; they have a right to what they want to believe. Marriage should be a church thing, not a legal thing.’”

March 28, 2013

The Straights Began Paving The Way for Gay Marriage

A Methodist church in North Carolina is putting a moratorium on heterosexual weddings until its clergy can wed same-sex couples.
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments next week for and against the legalization of same-sex marriage, the public is increasingly coming down on the "for" side.
In fact, an ABC News-Washington Post poll released on March 18 found that 58 percent of Americans now favor the legalization of same-sex marriage, a number that leaped from just 37 percent in 2003. The shift in opinion is dramatic compared with other social issues. Public opinion on abortion, for example, has barely budged since the 1970s.
Some of the change is likely the result of more advocacy and visibility by gay Americans. But marriage itself has changed, gradually toppling the gendered roles that once defined man and wife.

"Now we're organized in a gender-neutral way," said Stephanie Coontz, the director of the Research Council on Contemporary Families and author of the book "Marriage: A History" (Penguin Books, 2006).
"It's up to the individual couple to negotiate their roles and duties," Coontz said. "It's really easy for a heterosexual couple to say, 'That's what I've got, why shouldn't same-sex couples have it?'" [I Don't: 5 Myths About Marriage]
Out of the closet
Tolerance for gays and lesbians has gone up considerably. Some of this is generational: According to the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of the Millennial generation (born after 1980) supports legal same-sex marriage, compared with 49 percent of Gen Xers (1965-1980) and 38 percent of Baby Boomers (1946-1964). The Silent generation (1928-1945) is least likely to support same-sex marriage, at only 31 percent in favor.

But support within each of those generational brackets has risen over the past decade, too. For example, in 2003, only 17 percent of the Silent generation supported same-sex marriage.
Visibility of gays and lesbians has made part of the difference. When Pew asked people who had changed their minds from anti-same-sex marriage to in favor why they'd shifted their attitudes, the most common response (32 percent) was that they knew someone who was gay and that personal relationship had altered their opinion.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio recently made headlines for altering his opinion in just this way. The senator came out in support of same-sex marriage in an op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch on March 15, saying that he'd changed his mind after his college-age son came out as gay.
Another 25 percent of Pew respondents simply said they'd grown more open or thought about it more, and 18 percent said legal same-sex marriage was "just inevitable." Another 18 percent cited love, happiness or the need for the government to stay out of relationship decisions.
As opinions have shifted, so has marriage. Getting married once meant signing on to traditional gender roles wholesale. Companies once refused to consider married women for employment, or required women who were getting married to resign. (IBM, for example, only altered this policy in 1951.) It wasn't until the late 1970s that women could sue for consortium, or the right to their husband's aid, support and companionship. Before then, a man could sue a third party that injured his wife (through medical malpractice, for example) on the grounds that her injury took away his right to consortium — she couldn't provide him with services and companionship he had rights to. But because women were legally inferior to men, a wife could not sue on behalf of her husband.
Changing marriage
It wasn't until the Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 that married couples won the right to contraception. Assisted reproduction, such as it was back then, was also frowned upon. [7 Surprising Facts about The Pill]
"In the 1950s, at least two state courts held that assisted reproduction was adultery and the child was illegitimate," Coontz said.
Laws such as this gradually got overturned, Coontz said, making marriages far less gendered. At the same time, expectations that a married couple must procreate have declined and assisted reproductive technology is far more acceptable for couples who can't have kids the old-fashioned way.
In other words, same-sex couples haven't changed marriage for straight people, as opponents of same-sex marriage often argue, Coontz said. Heterosexuals changed marriage first.
"It's the opposite sequence than what is described by opponents of same-sex marriage," she said.
Opponents of same-sex marriage tend to hold more traditional, gendered views of marriage than supporters, Coontz said. But given that heterosexuals aren't quizzed on their plans for splitting up the household chores or having babies before being handed a marriage license, it's hard to construct legal arguments around that view.
"It's harder for opponents to say every family has to have a guy who does this and a gal who does this," she said.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry on Tuesday, reviewing a federal appeals court decision that found Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, unconstitutional. On Wednesday, the Court will hear oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, a challenge against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which refuses federal benefits to same-sex couples in states where gay marriage is legal.

March 27, 2013

At The Least We Want a Decision That Shows EQUALITY for Gays

Whichever way the showdown on same-sex marriage plays out, gay and lesbian people in America will still face disadvantages and discrimination in a whole host of realms.
As the Guardian's gay rights interactive shows, hate crimes legislation applies to violence against gay people in only just over half of states, and fewer still cover crimes relating to gender identity. People with HIV/AIDS can face expulsion from school or be denied housing; men who have sex with men, even if they have never had unprotected sex, are still not allowed to donate blood. And in a majority of states – 29 of them – LGBT people can be fired from their jobs or evicted from their homes without any cause. A federal effort to protect gays in the workplace, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, has been introduced in Congress nine times since 1994 – and has never made it into law.
Given these concrete forms of discrimination, it's fair to ask why marriage has become the totemic struggle of the gay rights movement. Until the late 1990s, marriage was a minority concern among gay activists, one principally pushed by conservative voices such as the writer Andrew Sullivan (who, outrageously, told Buzzfeed this week that "the generation [of gay people] that would have most resisted this reform were dead").
There are two good reasons, though, that marriage has become the focus of our activity. The first is that a civil marriage confers a whole host of legal and economic privileges that no other social arrangement provides. This is the focus of Wednesday's hearing, US v Windsor, which contests the Defense of Marriage Act (Doma) – the national law that denies the 1,138 federal incidences of marriages to gay couples. Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in that case, was hit with a bill of over $600,000 after the death of her lawfully wedded wife, a bill she'd never have to pay if she'd been married to a man. Marriage has real consequences, and the denial of marriage rights is real discrimination.

But beyond that, the central reason that marriage has become the main struggle in the gay rights movement is that the right to marry is the principal marker of civil equality in America – as totemic as voting and much older. Hollingsworth v Perry, Tuesday's supreme court case, has hinged upon this. Nancy Cott, a Harvard professor and the author of the indispensable book Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation, testified at trial that "marriage, the ability to marry, to say, 'I do,' it is a basic civil right. It expresses the right of a person to have the liberty to be able to consent validly." The history of American equality movements is intimately linked with the expansion of marriage rights – to freed slaves, to women, to racial minorities (notably Asian immigrants on the west coast, who faced brutal exclusion in the early 20th century), to prisoners, to the mentally disabled, and to other groups for whom the ability to marry is a fundamental expression of citizenship.
That's why this week matters – and that's also why it matters that gay people not only win the right to marry, but win it in the right way. How many states allow gay marriage after the court's decision isn't the real issue; what we want is a decision that declares, once and for all, that gay people are equal under the law. That won't just open the doors to marriage equality nationwi

March 26, 2013

Since 1965 An Ocean Of Change for The LGTB Community

“This was a population too shy and fearful to even raise its hand, a group of people who had to start at zero in order to create their place in the nation’s culture,” Dudley Clendinen and Adam Nagourney wrote in “Out for Good,” their 2001 history of the gay rights movement.
WASHINGTON — The struggle for African-Americans’ rights, symbolized by the bloody 1965 Selma march, is as old as the nation. The effort for American women’s rights began at Seneca Falls, N.Y., more than 150 years ago.
In the past century in American politics, the sources of that reticence were no mystery.
Judeo-Christian teachings, interpreted as condemning homosexuality, provided the backdrop for political debate in a nation more religious than others in the industrialized world. In the United States after World War II, the American Psychiatric Association lent medical and scientific credence to those views by labeling homosexuality a mental disorder.
But cultural changes unleashed in the 1960s began to erode those barriers.
Responding to the early stirrings in major cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, George McGovern became the first presidential candidate to identify himself with the movement by permitting openly gay speakers at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.
Four years later, Jimmy Carter, a Southern Baptist from Georgia, opposed discrimination against gay men and lesbians even as he marshaled support from evangelical Christians. During his presidency, Mr. Carter’s public liaison, Midge Costanza, held the first formal White House meeting with gay activists.
But Mr. Carter lost in 1980 to an ascendant Republican Party that, under President Ronald Reagan, melded social and economic conservatism.
Before winning the White House, Mr. Reagan stood with gay activists in helping defeat a California ballot initiative that would have barred gay men and lesbians from teaching in public schools. During his presidency, however, Mr. Reagan kept his distance. Legislation extending civil rights protections to gay men and lesbians, introduced by liberal Democrats beginning in 1974, continued to languish in Congress.
The emergence of AIDS in the 1980s, however, lent the movement new energy and urgency. The epidemic propelled many closeted gay men and lesbians to begin identifying themselves publicly and raised the stakes for elected officials who were suddenly facing votes over the use of tax money to respond to a public health crisis.
Lawmakers aligned with gay activists began making alliances on Capitol Hill that had been impossible on more abstract issues of gay rights.
“When it was purely symbolic, I couldn’t get them,” Mr. Frank recalled of trying to round up supporters for gay rights. “When people’s lives were at stake, I’d get, ‘Oh, all right, I guess I have to vote with you.’ ”
Bill Clinton, the first baby boomer president, pulled the movement further into the political mainstream. He attended a high-profile gay-sponsored fund-raiser, spotlighted AIDS at his 1992 convention and promised an executive order barring discrimination against gay men and lesbians in the military.
“He brought us inside the Democratic Party,” said David Mixner, an old friend of Mr. Clinton’s from the opposition to the Vietnam War who became his adviser and ambassador to the gay rights movement.
But victories remained intermittent. Democrats lost a landslide midterm election in 1994, leading Mr. Clinton to strike a more conservative tone.
In 1996, he infuriated gay supporters by signing the Defense of Marriage Act, whose constitutionality is being considered this week in one of the same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court. The law limited the definition of marriage to unions between a man and a woman.
Mr. Clinton’s stance tracked American public opinion, which continued to distinguish gay rights from other civil rights causes. In a 1996 Gallup survey, 68 percent of respondents opposed legal recognition for same-sex marriages. In early 1997, Gallup found a mirror image on interracial marriage, with 64 percent expressing approval.
Public resistance obscured quieter advances elsewhere. Labor unions had long been the movement’s “strongest ally” in seeking protections for gay workers, said Gregory King, an official at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. And as increasing numbers of gay employees became open about their sexuality, major corporations extended benefit programs to cover same-sex couples.
“The private sector was always ahead of the politicians,” said Hilary Rosen, a Washington public relations consultant active in gay rights causes. So was popular culture, particularly television, which in recent years has presented an array of gay figures in a positive light.
Now those developments, and a rising generation of socially tolerant younger voters who do not regard same-sex marriage as controversial, have turned public opinion on its head.
In November, Gallup found that 53 percent of respondents favored legal recognition of same-sex marriages. A survey last week showed that 54 percent backed benefits for federal employees married to same-sex partners.
Such attitudes have produced a political recalibration that alters the debate, whatever the Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage rights.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, 17 years after her husband backed the Defense of Marriage Act, recently posted a video supporting same-sex marriage. No other potential 2016 Democratic presidential rival has staked an opposing view, or is expected to. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, a prospect for the Republican presidential ticket, announced that he supported same-sex marriage after learning that his adult son was gay.
The pace of change continues to surprise gay rights supporters.
In his youth, Mr. Frank said, he realized he was drawn personally to men and professionally to government. He assumed the former would impede the latter.
“At this point,” he concluded, “I think my continued sexual attraction to men is more politically acceptable than my attraction to government.”

August 6, 2012

Biblical Marriage What is it? 2Sam1:25"Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women.”

King James Bible Online

What is ‘biblical’ marriage, family?   

When questioned about the opposition his company, Chick-fil-A, has received on its position supporting the “traditional family” and opposition to marriage equality for same-sex couples, CEO Dan Cathy said, “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.”
Let’s look at some Biblical examples of marriage and family.
Approximately 4,000 years ago, Abraham — father of the Jewish and Arab people and patriarch of Jews, Christians and Muslims — and his wife, Sarah, who was his half-sister having a common father, were unable to conceive a child. Sarah told Abraham to conceive a child with her Egyptian maidservant Hagar. Hagar bore a son, Ishmael. Soon afterward, Sarah also conceived a son, whom she and Abraham named Isaac. After Isaac’s birth, Abraham banished Hagar and Ishmael into the desert.
Deuteronomy 25:5: “When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.” This applies even if the living brother is already married.
Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.”
And, 1 Corinthians 14:33-35: “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate … If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”
Do parents actually subscribe to Exodus 21:15 and 17, which dictate: “And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.”
Some biblical scholars interpret the relationships between David and Jonathan and Naomi and Ruth as romantic love. In 1 Samuel 20:16-17: “So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David … And Jonathan made David vow again because of his love for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.” When Jonathan was later killed, David bemoans his death in 2 Samuel 1:25-26: “… I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan …Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women.”
Naomi and Ruth likewise may have loved each other romantically. Ruth 1:14: “And they lift up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law, but Ruth clung unto (Naomi).” The word for “clung” in Hebrew is “dabaq,” the same word used in Genesis 2:24 to illustrate Adam’s feelings toward Eve. The vow Ruth made to Naomi is the vow exchanged in many marriage ceremonies for different-sex couples. Ruth 1:16-17: “… Where you go, I will go; where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die — there will I be buried …”
It is clear that Cathy and company selectively pick biblical texts to justify opposing basic civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. In reality, “families” come in many forms.
Warren J. Blumenfeld is an associate professor in the School of Education at Iowa State University.

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