MONDAY, 11 MAY 2015

Celebrate me—or else

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I suspect that few reading this will have heard of the ILGA but will equally not be surprised to learn that it exists. The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) is a worldwide federation of 1,100 member organisations from 110 countries campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights.

Its European wing maps the LGBT status of every European country and from this portal you can easily access the legal summary for the UK. The latter lists the legislative objectives achieved and those still sought in these islands – in great detail.

You may be surprised that LGBT activists believe that there still are legal battles to fight. Northern Ireland still does not recognise hate crime on grounds of gender identity and has not yet legalised same sex marriage. Scotland has not yet criminalised hate speech on grounds of sexual orientation. 

But overall… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 11 MAY 2015

Overcooking the ‘equality’ cake?

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Ireland is now in the second last week of its liberal establishment’s tiresome campaign to get the country to radically change its understanding of marriage as an institution naturally fitted to the conjugal relationship between a man and a woman. All the opinion polls are still pointing to a triumph for them. But there are warnings of hubris. This morning’ mass-circulation Sunday Independent carries that warning in a no-holds-barred column by one of the country’s more open-minded journalists and TV hosts, Brendan O’Connor.

The Yes campaign, he muses, must be very nervous looking at what just happened in the UK. Everybody knew what the result in the UK election was going to be. Every poll was in agreement. Neck and neck. Hung parliament. Weeks of manoeuvring to try and create a Government. Everybody agreed. And, as usual, when everyone agrees so wholeheartedly on something, they were all wrong. The media… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

THURSDAY, 7 MAY 2015

Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum: ‘one-sided, reckless and divisive’

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On May 22 Ireland will hold a referendum on same-sex marriage. Voters are being asked to add a definition of marriage to the country’s constitution, which would make it the only one in the world to expressly guarantee the right to same-sex marriage. The clause to be inserted is: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

The Taoiseach (prime minister), Enda Kenny, has given the Yes vote his strong backing. A leading Irish journalist, Bruce Arnold, has just published an open letter to him in which he asks Kenny to think again.

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Dear Enda,

We have known each other for the whole of your political career, having first met after you succeeded your father in the by-election that resulted from his death. …

Perhaps the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

THURSDAY, 7 MAY 2015

Ireland: the forgotten battleground

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For folks in Australia and the United States, Ireland is the forgotten battleground on same-sex marriage. However, what is being proposed there is even more radical than in other jurisdictions. On May 22 the Irish will vote in a referendum to decide whether to alter their constitution to grant a right to same-sex couples to marry.

Ireland’s 1937 constitution has an extraordinarily good section privileging the family. Under Article 41, it “recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.”

Furthermore, says Article 41, the State will “protect the Family in its constitution and authority, as the necessary basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State and … pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 1 MAY 2015

A good day at the Supreme Court

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Justice Anthony Kennedy

 

As we relayed yesterday, Ryan Anderson is upbeat about the opening day of the Supreme Court hearings on whether the Constitution protects homosexual people to the extent that they should be able to marry. Here’s a bit more on that from his report at Public Discourse:

Tuesday’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court were excellent. There were so many good points made about what marriage is and why redefining marriage would cause harms.

This serious consideration of the harms of marriage redefinition stands in stark contrast to outrageous lower court rulings that had declared no rational basis to state marriage laws defining marriage as it always had been in America: a union of husband and wife.

Most importantly, it was clear that the click here to read whole article and make comments


 

THURSDAY, 30 APRIL 2015

A startling admission at same-sex marriage hearing

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The US Supreme Court yesterday began hearing oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case which may decide the fate of same-sex marriage in the United States. 

From Ryan Anderson at The Daily Signal:

One of the more startling portions of oral arguments today at the Supreme Court was the willingness of the Obama administration’s Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, to admit that religious schools that affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman may lose their non-profit tax-exempt status if marriage is redefined.

Justice Samuel Alito asked Verrilli whether a religious school that believed marriage was the union of husband and wife would lose their non-profit tax status.

The solicitor general answered: “It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is it is going to… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

THURSDAY, 30 APRIL 2015

Meanwhile, outside the court…

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There is a limit to going after people who don't agree with same-sex marriage, according to some of its supporters. This is reassuring...

Last week an Oregon judge fined the former owners of a bakery $135,000 for refusing a request to make a cake for a same-sex couple's wedding back in January 2013.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, had to shut down their business after clients withdrew patronage following a formal complaint by the lesbian couple. Their income has fallen by half and they say the fine is enough to potentially bankrupt their family of seven. 

The proposed fine will now go to state Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, who can either accept it or adjust the amount in issuing a final order, which is expected to arrive this summer, reports the Daily Signal. The Kleins have signaled they plan to appeal the judge’s ruling.

click here to read whole article and make comments

 

TUESDAY, 28 APRIL 2015

From friends of the Court: the truth about “born that way”

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The cornerstone of the same-sex marriage debate is the question of whether or not sexual orientation is a fixed and immutable characteristic. If it is, there is some justification for arguing that homosexuality is a “suspect class” which should be granted “extraordinary protection from the majoritarian political process”. 

But is it?

Professor Paul McHugh, a distinguished psychiatrist from Johns Hopkins University, addresses this issue in an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court as background for its deliberations on same-sex marriage. He concludes that the current state of scientific knowledge indicates that sexual orientation is neither a clearly definable (discrete) category or a fixed and immutable characteristic, like race and gender.

Read the complete amicus brief at this link. Below are some excerpts. The questions have been added by MercatorNet.

******

Homosexuals are a clearly defined group and they need special… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 27 APRIL 2015

From friends of the Court: overseas voices

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The United States is a large and powerful country, but it is only one of the 193 member states of the United Nations and represents only 4.4 percent of the world’s population. Surely it makes sense to ask how courts in other jurisdictions are handling same-sex marriage.

An amicus brief submitted to the US Supreme Court from the Marriage and Family Law Research Project, a research center at the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University, surveys what LGBT-friendly courts have said. It turns out that there is no global consensus.

The questions have been added by MercatorNet. For the full text, follow this link.

Who cares what foreign courts have to say? It’s irrelevant to American law.

While international legal opinion is not determinative of whether a particular US practice is constitutional, [the US Supreme] Court has “acknowledge[d that] the overwhelming… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 24 APRIL 2015

From friends of the Court: forgotten voices

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It may not be a legal argument, but it is immensely persuasive: same-sex marriage is needed because otherwise gays and lesbians cannot find happiness without being false to who they are. An amicus brief to the US Supreme Court by “same-sex attracted men and their wives” confronts this difficult question squarely. The amici are linked to the Voices of Hope project sponsored by the Church of Latter Day Saints, but their answers are secular, not religious.  

The questions have been added by MercatorNet. For the full text, follow this link

One flippant response is “gays can marry anytime, as long as they marry a woman”. Is that just obnoxious stupidity?

Underlying petitioners’ appeal is this premise: the right of same-sex attracted men and women to marry a member of the opposite sex is meaningless. … Petitioners do not argue that only some,… 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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