WEDNESDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 2014

A deeply amoral defence of same-sex marriage

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Last week the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a district-court ruling that had struck down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. Judge Richard Posner wrote the decision, a brilliant piece of rhetoric which was studded with sparkling one-liners and dripping with sarcasm. “Hero Federal Appeals Judge Burns Down the Case Against Gay Marriage” was the headline in Gawker, a widely-read website. “A masterpiece of wit and logic,” was the verdict of Slate’s columnist.

Since the 75-year-old Posner is the most-cited legal scholar of the 20th Century and one of America’s leading public intellectuals, his views are bound to be influential as same-sex marriage heads for the Supreme Court.

But stripped of their sequinned garments Posner’s views are not as muscle-bound as they first appear.

His strength is identifying absurd inconsistencies in arguments and using them to pry open the door… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER 2014

“Parade of empathy” halted by same-sex marriage ruling

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judge feldmanJudge Martin Feldman

There’s something to be said for longevity. At 80 years of age you can say what you want to say and go down with all guns blazing. That’s my impression of a US federal judge who broke ranks with dozens of his brethren on Wednesday to defend the meaning of marriage, and ruled that Louisiana has no obligation to recognise same-sex unions as marriage.

USA Today reports:

The ruling came from District Judge Martin Feldman, 80, who was named to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan more than 30 years ago. He echoed the two judges — both in their 70s and appointed by President George H.W. Bush — who dissented from recent rulings against Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia gay marriage bans in the 10th and 4th Circuits.

There might be other septuagenarians and octogenarians in the judiciary who… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER 2014

Utah struggles to defend monogamous, man-woman marriage

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sister wivesKody Brown poses with his wives at one of their homes in Las Vegas.
Photograph: Guardian/Jerry Henkel /AP

 

The Mormon stronghold of Utah is trying to defend its laws on marriage on two fronts, same-sex marriage and polygamy, but courts are not on the state’s side. Last week federal judge Clark Waddoups finalised an order striking down part of Utah’s law against bigamy in a drawn out lawsuit by Kody Brown and his four “sister wives” against the state.

The Browns are part of a sect with Mormon roots who feature in the television show “Sister Wives”. It was after this show first went to air four years ago that the state began its investigation of the polygamist family. They are framing the issue as one of religious freedom.

Utah’s Attorney General Sean Reyes says he will appeal Waddoups’ ruling, but the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 27 AUGUST 2014

No rush to the registry office by UK same-sex couples

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gays uk
One of the first couples to take advantage of the UK law. Photo: BBC / Reuters

 

The first official count of same-sex marriages in the UK since they were legalised last year has been published, and it is a "disappointing” figure, according to British academic Mike Thomas:

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, just 1,409 same-sex couples were married in England and Wales from the end of March to the end of June 2014. This is a relatively low number in comparison to the 7,000 or so couples across the UK who entered into civil partnerships in the same period of time after they were first made available in 2005.

More seismic statistics might have been expected, given the political storm that surrounded the 2013 act that sanctioned same-sex marriage and… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 15 AUGUST 2014

States have authority to define marriage

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courtroom

 

Last week we noted an appeals court hearing where one of the three judges queried the use of the courts instead of the democratic process by gay activists promoting same-sex marriage.

This week Ryan Anderson draws attention to the decision of a judge in Tennessee which upholds that state's Constitutional authority to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman

In a post at The Daily Signal Ryan says: 

The case involved a same-sex couple married in Iowa that sought a divorce in Tennessee. Because Tennessee does not recognize same-sex relationships as marriages, it was unable to divorce the couple. Last week, Judge Russell E. Simmons, Jr., cited the Supreme Court’s decision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act case, U.S. v. Windsor, as support that Tennessee has the right to define marriage for itself. Simmons writes: “The Windsor case is… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 11 AUGUST 2014

Three ways to happiness

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Desire of the Everlasting Hills from Everlasting Hills on Vimeo.

On the Christian side, there’s often more than a smidgen of repugnant smugness in rejection of the gay lifestyle. Summed up in the slogan “pray away the gay”, Christian moral teaching is prescribed by some pastors and parents as if it were aspirin. Aspirin is no cure for wounded hearts.

On the gay side, there’s often a deep hostility towards “life-denying”, “nay-saying” Christian ethics. Gay writers sneer at the power of religion and regard it as a kind of brainwashing. That is just dumb. If faith changed geniuses like Augustine and Pascal, why can't it work today? 

What’s missing in this often vituperative clash is real people, not cardboard cut-outs but people yearning for love, meaning, transcendence and redemption from their own pettiness. This is what the deeply moving documentary Desire of the Everlasting Hills provides. In it… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 8 AUGUST 2014

Appeals judge to gay rights advocates: why use the courts?

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gays court
Photo: Al Behrman/AP

 

What the New York Times correctly calls “the steady march of judicial approval for same-sex marriage over the past year” hit a speed bump, if not a road block, this week as the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard arguments in six same-sex marriages cases appealed by four states.

Judges have been marching in lock-step to overturn democratic laws which define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. More than more than two dozen lower courts and two appeals courts have ruled that gay couples have a right to marry. Some states have fought back, including Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, whose cases came before three judges of Sixth Circuit this week.

“Who gets to decide what the definition of marriage is?” asked Aaron D. Lindstrom, solicitor general of Michigan.

And for once, it seems,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 5 AUGUST 2014

Goodbye, Mr Chips and gay marriage

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Last weekend I veged out on Saturday evening watching the 1939 film Goodbye, Mr Chips. In its day, the 1934 novel and the film were enormously popular. Robert Donat won a Best Actor Oscar for playing Mr Chips as he aged over 60 years. But the British film was also nominated in six other categories. Perhaps it would have scooped up even more Oscars if it hadn’t been competing with Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

The film is a charming depiction of Brookfield, a storybook British boys’ boarding school – a sort of Hogwarts in black and white. Life was innocent and straightforward. The important values were honour, honesty and loyalty.

A modern production would probably highlight the dark side of World War I and adolescent sexuality. But Goodbye Mr Chips, even though Britain was still licking its wounds, celebrates the uncomplicated patriotism of dulce et decorum… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 29 JULY 2014

What marriage defenders can learn from Roe

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The situation of marriage in the USA and much of the Western world today is unprecedented, the very institution in danger of collapsing into a chaos of sexual relationships of any shape or size. But looking beyond the history of marriage there is an important precedent, says Ryan T Anderson in a new article in National Review Online (registration/small payment required).

That precedent is the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, which effectively created a national regime of abortion on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy, a ruling “more sweeping and more extreme than anyone had expected.” And yet supporters of marriage can learn from the pro-life response to Roe, Anderson argues, how to effectively defend marriage in the public square.

We should not forget that more than half of Americans today are pro-life.

As American judges fall like dominoes before claims about “marriage equality” and a Roe-type… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 25 JULY 2014

If love is all that matters, why is incest still taboo?

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shadows

Image: Pixabay

 

The bizarre nature of modern logic was on display once again when an Australian judge recently compared incest to homosexuality. In dealing with a criminal case of incest between siblings Sydney District Court Judge Garry Neilson said that, just as gay sex had once been socially unacceptable, “a jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured.” The bizarreness I am referring to though, is not on the part of the judge, but rather the response to the comments by politicians and media.

First, to clarify: the case that was being tried involved a 58 year old man accused of raping his sister in their family home in 1981 when he was 25 and she was 18. The man had already pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his sister some years earlier when she was only… 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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