Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired last Tuesday by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
Cochran has been a firefighter since 1981 and was appointed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as U. S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D. C. In 2010 he returned to serve as Atlanta’s fire chief.
After 34 years of service he must have done something pretty bad to get fired, so what was it? Did he let someone’s house burn down? Nope. Did he suddenly get incompetent at dealing with his staff? Did he launch an unauthorised, bold new plan to reform the fire service in Atlanta? No, and no.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
On 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.
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:
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.
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 email@example.com