WEDNESDAY, 29 JULY 2015

A note to Obama: don’t lecture Kenyans on gay rights

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Dear Sir,

I must begin by congratulating you on being the first sitting American president to visit our country. It is highly unlikely you noticed it, but they renovated the highways and swept the streets for you. Never mind that a few blocks away from the highway you used, I have frequently escaped being knocked down while walking on the road, which is the only sensible place to walk if you don’t want to arrive at your destination with shoes caked with dust.

But anyway, that aside, we are Kenyans. We like visitors, and we make the living room, which is where we host them, very clean and beautiful, even if it means sweeping all the dirt and muck into the other rooms. We’ll deal with the trash when you are gone. And I hope that you were not fooled by the excellent behaviour of our leaders;… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 28 JULY 2015

Is marriage evolving? Or being dismantled?

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The campaign to redefine marriage has recently gained such momentum - with now three and soon four bills before the Commonwealth Parliament - that many think it is inevitable. This can leave those with misgivings feeling that they are already losers in a done deal.

Some think it is the inexorable progress of liberty and equality - which leaves the doubters on "the wrong side of history."

In this context supporters of classical marriage are presumed to have no real arguments to offer. So here I want to offer some reasons - not decrees from on high or from the past, not expressions of hatred or prejudice - but reasons I hope anyone can understand. I also hope these reasons prove persuasive and helpful in proclaiming and witnessing to true marriage among families, friends and colleagues.

Regardless, I hope this will help explain why Australian law has always held,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 27 JULY 2015

Monkey business at Amazon as marriage scholar’s book is published

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There’s a “one-star vs five-star” battle going on at Amazon on the page of Ryan Anderson’s newly published book, Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, the first book to respond to the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage.

With the print version not even released yet (August 31 is the date) but availble on Kindle, Anderson’s book is already No 1 Best Seller in the General Constitutional Law category at Amazon and at this moment has 222 reviews, 69 percent of which give it a five star rating while 26 percent give it one star. There’s nothing much in between. The average rank is 3.9.

However, that’s up from a couple of days ago when the average rank was 3.4, with 40 percent of 120 reviewers giving it one star. At that stage, the Heritage blog The Daily Signal reported that opponents had been working social media outlets to orchestrate a campaign of negative reviews,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 21 JULY 2015

Assessing Justice Kennedy as a marriage counselor

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Justice Anthony Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States

 

 

The Supreme Court seems to know a lot about marriage, Justice Kennedy especially. His Honor says once gays get married they’ll radiate dignity, and autonomy and spirituality. Sad to believe they’ll need all that. The wife and I destroyed each other’s dignity and autonomy right after our honeymoon. Odd thing: we’ve been happy ever since.

Year one, her chief object was to keep me from wearing cargo pants. No man was ever taken seriously wearing them, she said. Next she separated me from an old pair of wingtips and a loose fitting seersucker suit. My bow ties disappeared too.

She didn’t win much dignity or autonomy marrying me either. I made her eat Middle Eastern food and read bad poetry. My poetry. I pressured her into foreign adoption which at the time… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 20 JULY 2015

Obergefell: the states’ duty to seek rehearing

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To the Attorneys General, Governors, and Legislatures of Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky:

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the Obergefell case, purporting to overturn all state constitutional amendments and laws in your four states defining marriage as a covenant union between two people of the opposite sex.  Since then, numerous efforts have been made, urging each state to file a Petition for Rehearing of that decision, as permitted in the Rules of the Supreme Court before the deadline of Tuesday, July 21, 2015.  Apparently, to date, every such effort has been rebuffed.  In response, various of your offices have stated that such a Petition would be:  (i) unlikely to succeed; (ii) a waste of time: and (iii) a waste of money. 

We know of two draft Petitions for Rehearing that have been prepared by outside lawyers.  One of these… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 17 JULY 2015

I can’t ‘celebrate’ but it doesn’t mean I hate you

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From left to right, the car’s bumper stickers read: “Hatred is Not a Family Value,” “Celebrate Diversity” (in rainbow colors), and “Obama-Biden.”

Collectively, these refreshed my growing fear that I should soon “celebrate” certain lifestyle choices or suffer the consequences. There was once another option, but memory of it is fading rapidly like an image in my rear view mirror.

Both the imperative tone and intolerance of the bumper messages are troubling; as is the shallow and muddled thinking behind them. A polite “no thank you” is now an unacceptable response to the colorful and demanding “celebrate”. It is time we rediscovered the validity of conscientious objection.

Conscientious objection is objection to an act, not a person. Equating conscientious objection with bigotry is unkind and a particularly egregious kind of ignorance. And restricting and penalizing the exercise of religiously-informed civil rights is simply wrong -- though in modern parlance it is “evolved” behavior.

Two… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 10 JULY 2015

Public life after same-sex marriage: New Zealand

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Kawarau Bridge Bungee Jumping, New Zealand.   Helena Jinx / Flickr

 

In the marriage debate, all eyes recently have been on Ireland, where a referendum has given the government a mandate to legalise same-sex marriage, and the United States, where a bare majority of the Supreme Court has saved holdout states the trouble of asking their citizens by finding a right to gay marriage in the Constitution.

We have noted on this blog a number of legal cases and controversies related in one way or another to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in some US states and in Britain.

But what has been the broader effect in the UK, and in other countries that have taken this step? Is there evidence of the harm to democracy, to free speech and religious liberty that dissenting judges pointed to in the recent US Supreme Court decision?

click here to read whole article and make comments

 

FRIDAY, 10 JULY 2015

Public life after same-sex marriage: Canada

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Choke Hold.  Nathan Rupert / Flickr


In the second article in this series Andrea Mrozek, Executive Director of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada finds that SSM, legalised there nationally in 2005, is one of several trends affecting freedom of speech and religion.


It is the IMFC’s position that legalization of same-sex marriage (SSM) is an effect of a longer cultural trajectory away from Judeo-Christian norms. It is also a cause of new cultural and legal trends, yet the legalization of SSM must be viewed in its historical context. Many aspects of cultural change occurring now were happening before the legalization of SSM. Therefore, it is impossible to assign causation to SSM legalization.

One can assume that all the changes to family form—including no fault divorce, and recognizing common-law (de facto) relationships as being the same as marriage, alongside legalization of… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 10 JULY 2015

Public life after same-sex marriage: United Kingdom

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Video: Nothern Ireland bakery owners lose gay cake case

 

In the third and last article in this series Kathy Gyngell, co-editor of The Conservative Woman blog, finds a trend in favour of gay rights and against freedom of religious expression and conscience.

 

Once support for same-sex marriage was established in the opinion polls from 2012 onwards, courts in the UK have sanctioned case after case of intolerance of private beliefs and private behaviour. You could call it legally endorsed bullying.

From wedding cakes and bed and breakfast accommodation to pressure on Catholic adoption agencies and sex education in the classroom, public pressure and legal rulings have gone one way – in favour of gay rights and  against freedom of religious expression and conscience.

Before the legislation was enacted in March 2013, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had ruled that marriage registrars were public officials and… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 7 JULY 2015

Atlanta’s sacked fire chief: ‘I want my job back’

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Kelvin Cochran, who was fired in January from his job as chief of Atlanta's fire service after giving a book about sex to some male work colleagues, wants his job back. He has appealed his dismissal to a federal court and is waiting for his case to be heard. In the video above he talks to Kelsey Harkness of The Daily Signal about the nature and significance of his case, which is in the hands of the Alliance Defending Freedom.

If Cochran had given his workmates a really gross book about sex such as Penthouse magazine, it’s very doubtful that anything would have happened. But the book in question was one he had put together himself on the Biblical meaning of sexuality, and it mentioned at one point that homosexual activity was a sin. Some LGBT activists got wind of it and complained to his boss at Atlanta City Hall.… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

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Conjugality deals with the true nature of marriage and the challenges it faces today. Our current focus is on the campaign to legalise same-sex marriage. We'd love to get your comments and suggestions. Send an email to conjugality@mercatornet.com


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