FRIDAY, 22 MAY 2015

Same-sex parenting studies: the re-analysis scoreboard

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Telegraph/Getty Images

 

A study going the rounds of the newsrooms this week is said to debunk, discredit and otherwise disprove the findings of the New Family Structures Study carried out by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus on the effects of same-sex parenting.

Authors Brian Powell and Andrew Cheng, sociology professors from Indiana University and the University of Connecticut, have reanalysed the NFSS data and reclassified the respondents who said they had lived with a lesbian mother or gay father for less than a year, as not "raised" by a same-sex parent (Regnerus seems to have used the term "raised" to summarise a range of exposure to same-sex parents) and even questioned the inclusion of those who spent less than four years in such a household. They then sorted the 236 subjects by the stability of their parents’ relationships and added a… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 22 MAY 2015

Gay study a “mountain of fabrication”

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Respectful conversation and smiles steal homophobes’ hearts away. That was the message of a much-ballyhooed article in America’s leading science journal, Science, last December.

Michael J. LaCour, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Donald Green, a political scientist at Columbia University reported that hostile attitudes towards gay marriage could be changed by a single face-to-face conversation with a gay person. “These large, persistent, and contagious effects were confirmed by a follow-up experiment,” the authors wrote.

Betsy Levy Paluck, professor of psychology and public policy at Princeton, tweeted that it was “the paper with the most astounding results & rigorous methods this year” – an opinion which cropped up again and again in the US media. The study confirmed that it was possible to diminish prejudice with personal contact. In other words, “coming out” works.

These results ought to have been welcomed, because they… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 19 MAY 2015

The fairest referendum money can buy

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WILLIAM MURPHY / flickr 

As Friday’s referendum on same-sex marriage in Ireland approaches, attention has turned to the funding behind the Yes campaign.

A petition has been launched which says that “this push for same-sex marriage in Ireland has not at all been a ‘home-grown’ phenomenon, but, rather, a carefully-orchestrated and massively well-funded assault on the natural family, coming from private American funding”.

In most countries funding local politics with overseas money would be as popular with voters as barbecuing puppydogs at a school fair. But not, apparently, in Ireland.

A charity founded by Irish-American businessman Chuck FeeneyAtlantic Philanthropies, cheerfully acknowledges that it has poured about US$28 million over the past 13 years into strategic LGBT campaigns in Ireland.

A columnist for the Irish Times, Breda O’Brien, was seething with rage this week at the thought of American dollars buying… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 18 MAY 2015

Two gay campaigners against same-sex marriage in Ireland

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Here are the testimonies of two men which every voter should see before going out to the polling station in Ireland next Friday. Keith Mills is gay, agnostic and a dedicated blogger on Eurovision. Paddy Manning is gay, Catholic and a celebrity blogger and political pundit.

Keith Mills believes that it’s important for him, as a gay man, to speak out about his belief that children deserve a mother and a father whenever the circumstances of life allow, since too many people are being bullied into silence. He explains that the referendum is not about equality because already, through civil partnerships, we have a means of giving gay couples legal protection and recognition – in a ceremony that is almost identical to civil marriage, right down to saying the words “I do”.
Furthermore, Paddy Manning points out that a gay or lesbian relationship is simply a different thing to a marriage. “Marriage is,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 15 MAY 2015

Ireland: Will the Noes have it?

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The question being asked in Ireland today is not whether the Government will win its ill-considered referendum asking its people to redefine marriage as a bond between people regardless of their sex, but whether it can long outlive the defeat of this proposal.

The Irish people are a warm-hearted lot but they are not irrational. Among the countries of Europe most tried by the debacle of the financial melt-down in the last decade, they were the ones who resisted the emotional response and knuckled down to sort it out. All observers now give them credit for this. The only rage which they gave vent to was in the face of another piece of gross mismanagement by their Government when it muddled its way through the realignment of the country’s water utility.

Despite what very suspect opinion polls – conducted through cell-phone users in many cases –… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2015

If ‘gay is good’, is opposing it bad?

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Many people with a religious outlook on life feel threatened by the advance of same-sex marriage. The Coalition for Marriage, a British lobby group, has just published a pamphlet listing 30 instances in which persons of faith were penalized for opposing same-sex marriage. Its claim is that:

“Redefining marriage is sold as a permissive measure, but it will quickly become coercive. In fact, it already has. Too many people have already been punished for expressing their sincere beliefs about marriage. Wherever marriage is redefined, people are punished for their beliefs.”

It’s important to place this in perspective. The jails of England or of Massachusetts are not overflowing with dissidents from a same-sex marriage ideology. But the list is still worrying. The cases range from hate mail to being fired to being forced out of business.

Supporters of same-sex marriage pooh-pooh these as tempests in a… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2015

Same-sex marriage and the ethics of harm

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What else will change if same-sex marriage is legalized? This is the question which voters in the United States and Ireland should be asking themselves. In the US the Supreme Court is studying whether to declare that access to marriage is a constitutional right for same-sex couples and in Ireland a referendum on amending the constitution will be held on May 22.

The easy answer is, Not a bit. How could marriages between two gays or two lesbians possibly harm the marriages of straight couples? This glib response has been powerfully persuasive, even for many people who support traditional marriage. Why should some people be denied the joys of life-long intimacy and companionship, however unconventional, if it will harm no one?

But smuggled into this argument is an explosive assumption: that “harm” is the standard of morality. This will certainly become a bedrock principle of future marriage… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

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


 

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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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