by Don Sherfick
There's a lively debate between me and the American Family Association's Micah Clark going on at Veritas Rex, the blogsite of the Indiana Family Institute. Micah started with the usual blather blaming the Democratic leadership in the Indiana House for the death of SJR7, the so-called "Indiana Marriage Protection Amendment" to the Hoosier constitution. I countered, charging that he had only to look to himself and his forces supporting the amendment, for blowing it.
That set him off big time, with the usual flailing diatribes against "goofy gay activist rhetoric". But I expected that. What I didn't expect, and am still reeling from, is his throwing his own cited legal sources from Catholic University of American under the bus. He's denied critical links between his side's choice to cut and past SJR7 from the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, something that those sources as well as other used to support passage of SJR7. He's trying to distance himself from Senator Brant Hershman, chief legislative sponsor of the measure, who sent the Catholic University letter to scores of Indiana newspaper editorial boards. That's a pretty convoluted and desperate move on his part, but not at all untypical.
In a ruling I've been waiting for, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a student's right to wear a mildly anti-gay t-shirt in response to the Day of Silence protest. This is absolutely the right result, though I wish the ruling was more broad in its support of free speech. In this case, a student wore a t-shirt to class that said "Be happy, not gay" on the back and the school forced him to black out "not gay." The court agreed that this was a violation of his free speech rights, and they are right.
This is a guest contribution from Jimmie Ilachild
On Sun. Apr. 20 I attended a forum for candidates for the 7th U.S. Congressional District, held at Light of the World Christian Church in Indy. As you know, the 7th district covers most of Indianapolis. There were eight candidates, I believe six Democrats and two Republicans, though one seemingly conservative, even militaristic, candidate never did identify her party.
Well, other than being Friday, it is GLSEN’s National Day of Silence, a day bringing attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. In schools all over the nation students are silently protesting the ongoing discrimination, bullying, and harassment that can sometimes come along with being perceived or identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender in our school system.
I was forwarded this lovely WorldNetDaily Article link from lovely Veritas by Brandon (care to untangle that prepositional chain?), and it took me a while to figure out what, exactly, was going on. The only relevant information I could find was from the San Juan Unified School District, which had issued policy guidelines concerning the competing “Day of Silence” and “Day of Truth” events.
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: April 21, 2008 - 11:00 am ET
(Denver, Colorado) Legislation to ban discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing and credit in Colorado is expected to go to the House this week after a raucous debate in the Senate.
Colorado already makes it illegal to discriminate against gays in employment.
A recent post on Veritas Rex is headlined “No Choice for Pro-Family Voters.” It was triggered by news of a Stonewall Democrats reception for the Democratic Gubernatorial candidates. It’s understandable—if candidates take money and/or solicit votes from citizens who are gay, they can’t possibly be “pro-family.”
Odd as it may seem to these exemplars of Godliness, I have always considered myself pretty damn pro-family. (We have five kids! I couldn’t stand being any more pro-family!)
I do have a rather different take on what a real family looks like, but then, I live in the reality-based community, where we’ve noticed that families have changed since the 1960’s.
In 1960, according to the U.S. census, 44.2% of Americans lived in “Ozzie and Harriet” households, defined as a married couple living with their own children under eighteen. (Okay, so maybe mom was hitting the bottle in her suburban kitchen and dad was smacking the kids around when he came home from golfing with his buddies, but in Ozzie and Harriet time we didn’t ask impertinent questions. They were married, the kids were theirs, God was pleased. End of story.)
By 2000, however, only 23.5% of Americans fell into that category, and the folks at places like Veritas Rex who know exactly which families God values are anguishing over what went wrong.
One piece of the puzzle is pretty value-neutral: people got older. The life expectancy and average age of the population has increased, and those kids aren’t under 18 any more. More women are widowed. But there are, of course, many other factors. Growing numbers of married couples decide, for one reason or another, not to procreate. Maybe mom got the hell out of the kitchen, found out she could make a living and didn’t have to stay any longer in a sterile or miserable marriage. Maybe Dad found the courage to come out, and is living happily with his partner in Upper Sandusky.
Now it is certainly true that two-parent families have more money, and more personal resources, and that money and resources are important to childrearing. In a society that truly valued children, the census findings should motivate us to find ways to help children who are living in poverty, children whose custodial parent is overwhelmed. A number of initiatives come immediately to mind: expanded Day Care and Head Start programs, easier access to Medicaid coverage for children and pregnant women, increased educational and job opportunities for single parents.
Whatever the merits of such programs, however, they aren’t even being discussed. They cost money, and we need to save our money to make war in Iraq, and to ensure that the richest 1% of the population will continue to have tax relief. Instead, for the poor folks, George W. Bush and his administration have provided programs that “provide incentives” for marriage by those receiving government aid. (Add a breadwinner to that household, and get off the dole, you slacker!)
Leaving aside the general lunacy of this approach, you have to appreciate the irony. Marriage is the answer to all our social ills. It will provide jobs for the unemployed, make an uncaring father into an earnest and helpful mentor, improve public school test scores and keep people off welfare. (It might even cure cancer!) But don’t let those homosexuals marry! Two parent families are more financially secure, and have more resources to devote to childrearing. But don’t let homosexual partners in committed relationships adopt children!
Those who bemoan the demise of “traditional families” and “family values” refuse to admit that there are many different kinds of families, and that no one type has a monopoly on the ability to raise emotionally healthy children and contribute to the public welfare. They are too intent on seeing to it that everyone accepts their limited and limiting definition of “family.”
Real “family values” would require valuing families. Everyone’s families.
Breaking the Silence and Making Your Voice Heard
This evening was "Breaking the Silence" the culminating event for the Purdue Queer
Student Union's GAYpril of the month-long series of events both serious and fun for
the GLBT and allied campus community. While some events attracted more attention
than others this year, today was their annual celebration of Day of Silence.
I’m originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. Though it may be the Mormon capital of the world, I gotta say, SL is pretty damn progressive. Not only are there bias crime protections with in Salt Lake County, but Mayor Ralph Becker also recently introduced a domestic partner registry. Go Ralph!