WEDNESDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2014

Why do we wildly over-estimate the proportion of gays and lesbians?

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Why do people in the United States (and probably other Western countries, as well) over-estimate the proportion of gays and lesbians in the population? Ever since 1948, when the Kinsey Report suggested 1-in-10, Americans have accepted wildly exaggerated figures. Last year, The Smithsonian, the official web magazine of the famous museum in Washington DC, even suggested that it was 1-in-5!

However, a recent government survey in the United Kingdom found that in 2013, 1.6% of UK adults identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual. This is a very small proportion of the population, but it becomes even smaller when the figures are broken up. Only 1.6% of men identified as gay; only 0.8% of women as lesbians; and 0.5% of men and women as bisexual.

The percentages varied hugely by region. In London the figure for gay, lesbians or bisexual was 3.2% but in the North East… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 2014

The weirdest-ever reason for same-sex marriage: “so I can get a divorce”

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Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham   

A Mississippi woman wants the state Supreme Court to recognise gay marriage – so that she can divorce a partner she married in San Francisco.

Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham, a 52-year-old credit analyst, who already had two children from a failed heterosexual marriage, moved to California in 2008 so that she could marry Dana Ann Melancon. But the relationship soured and they separated in 2010.

When Ms Czekala-Chatham, who now has a new girlfriend, applied for a divorce, citing adultery and habitual cruel and inhuman treatment,  she failed. The state predictably argued that Mississippi could not grant a divorce for a marriage which it did not recognise. It was a result that she found devastating. In her eyes, divorce was an important dimension of the social recognition of marriage.

“It's humiliating to know that you spend that… click here to read whole article and make comments

 

FRIDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2014

Little heroes? Or victims of an experiment?

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The skinny little kid rapping away on the stage has short spiky hair and baggy pants and jacket, just like a boy, and his voice hasn’t broken yet so it passes as a girl’s. Truth to tell, this youngster is a girl, except she thinks she’s a boy, and, well, mom is cool with that and so, it seems, is everyone at else at Camp Aranu’tiq, “a camp for transgender and gender-variant youth”, where she is performing her rap.

Alex can’t be more than eight years old, a very early stage on the journey of discovering what sexuality means, but she badly wants to be a boy and has “always felt that way”. That’s what she told her mother sometime in the last year or so.

So I went to my mom that hot day in July / with a hope in my heart and a tear… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

THURSDAY, 13 NOVEMBER 2014

Vatican hosts conference on traditional marriage next week

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This short but touching video is a promo for a major world conference in Rome next week reaffirming the beauty and wisdom of traditional marriage. The growing movement for same-sex marriage has not escaped the attention of the Vatican. One of its responses is Humanum, an international, interreligious gathering to support and reinvigorate marriage and family and social life.

The "colloquium" will bring together representatives from 14 religious traditions and 23 countries -- persuasive evidence that it is not just Christians who oppose the redefinition of marriage. The November 17-19 gathering will conclude with a joint statement on marriage.

The speakers represent both Sunni and Shi’ite Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, and Judaism as well as the Mormon church, various Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church.

Some powerful media personalities will address the colloquium. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is the former chief rabbi of the UK and a philosopher… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2014

Finally, a judge votes for democracy

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Same-sex marriage is headed for the US Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Ginsberg is reported to have said that the Court would be in no rush to decide the issue unless there was a clear division among the courts of appeals.

Now there is. 

In a two to one decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati yesterday overturned lower-court rulings in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee which had declared that bans on same-sex marriage violated the American Constitution. The US is now a patchwork quilt of laws on same-sex marriage, with 32 states and the District of Columbia permitting it and recognising marriages from other jurisdictions and 18 states banning it. The Supreme Court will have to step in to adjudicate.

This decision is a gem and merits careful study. Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton has done for the traditional… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

THURSDAY, 30 OCTOBER 2014

Who’s the bigot now?

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Increasingly it seems that the touchstone of success for supporters of same-sex marriage is shifting from accommodation and acceptance to unconditional surrender. Disagreement and criticism will not be tolerated.

In a recent speech in Washington DC Robert P. George, a professor at Princeton University in the US and vice chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom explained why.

“The whole argument was and is that the idea of marriage as the union of husband and wife lacks a rational basis and amounts to nothing more than ‘bigotry.’ Therefore, no reasonable person of goodwill can dissent from the liberal position on sex and marriage, any more than a reasonable person of goodwill could support racial segregation and subordination.”

Since they regard the definition of marriage as exclusive to a man and a woman as bonkers, it deserves no more respect than the flat earth… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 27 OCTOBER 2014

US Judge: “Marriage is the fundamental unit of the political order”

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judge JuanOn Tuesday last week, United States District Judge Juan Pérez-Giménez (pictured) handed down a ruling in a case upholding Puerto Rico's law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

This ruling is the top headline of the week's marriage news.

"Marriage is the fundamental unit of the political order"

The Carter appointee did not fail to acknowledge that his opinion runs contrary to the majority of other Federal courts that have ruled on States' marriage laws since the Windsor decision by the Supreme Court, that struck down Section III of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

But in acknowledging this, Pérez-Giménez spoke of a "misapprehension that has plagued our sister courts." Specifically, he said that all of these decisions have blatantly ignored binding Supreme Court precedent from the Baker v. Nelson decision of 1972.

Baker essentially says the U.S. Constitution is silent on the issue of same-sex 'marriage'—which is a far cry from what… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

THURSDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2014

“Celebrate same-sex wedding or go to jail”

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Here is the latest case in the United States of people threatened with legal sanctions for following their conscience and declining to be involved in a same-sex wedding. This time it is a married couple, both ordained ministers, who run a wedding chapel in Idaho. Ryan T Anderson wrote in The Daily Signal last weekend:

For years, those in favor of same-sex marriage have argued that all Americans should be free to live as they choose. And yet in countless cases, the government has coerced those who simply wish to be free to live in accordance with their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

Just this weekend, a case has arisen in Idaho, where city officials have told ordained ministers they have to celebrate same-sex weddings or face fines and jail time.

The Idaho case involves Donald and Evelyn Knapp, both ordained… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2014

Towards the Next Big Thing

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Since there always is a Next Big Thing, what is the Next Big Thing after the legalisation of same-sex marriage? Is it legalising sado-masochism? Is it recognising paedophilia as a genetic disability?

Pointing the way to the future for US law is Margo Kaplan, an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Law-Camden. Ms Kaplan is carving out a niche for herself in the increasingly significant field of “legal limitations on intimate decisions”. This effectively means constructing arguments for legalising almost any kind of sexual activity.

In the crowded field of American sexperts, why single out Ms Kaplan for attention? Because the Washington Post and the New York Times, the leading outlets for elite opinions in the United States, have published her op-eds. Presumably they believe that she is making a valuable contribution to the national debate about appropriate uses of sexuality.

It is the Times article which… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

THURSDAY, 9 OCTOBER 2014

Bakery owners face bankruptcy after a discrimination finding

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We often hear that same-sex marriage “won’t hurt you” or your beliefs, but the signs are that it does, and will. Conscientious beliefs are increasingly under assault as laws change in more states, but even without altering marriage law in a particular state citizens can be under pressure from the new ideological environment.

Oregon bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein had no problem doing business with Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman until the day in February 2013 that the lesbian couple asked Sweet Cakes by Melissa to make them a wedding cake.

That was a request the Christian owners decided they could not meet. So, instead of going to another business that would oblige them, Cryer and Bowman laid a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which decided earlier this year that the Kleins were in breach of the state’s Equality Act of 2007, designed to protect LGBT persons… 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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