FRANCE: Senate Approves Section One Of Marriage Bill By 179-157 Vote
The French Senate today approved Section 1 of its marriage equality billin a vote of 179 to 157. Section 1 removes the requirement for different genders as a condition of the right to marry.
The bill was adopted after more than 10 hours of discussion. The National Assembly has already passed it 329-229 and according to AFP will not need to see it again.
Looks as though marriage equality is going to happen in France!
There are mostly French news reports right now so if anybody would like to fill in the details of what happens next, please feel free in the comments.
USA: Gay Couples Will Not Be Included In Immigration Reform Bill
The director of Immigration Equality said today that she does not expect that gay couples will be in included in the immigration reform bill about to be introduced in the US Senate. Michael Lavers reports at Washington Blade:“We are not expecting LGBT families to be included in the Gang of 8 bill,” she told the Washington Blade during a conference call ahead of a rally in support of comprehensive immigration reform on Wednesday that is expected to draw tens of thousands of people to the U.S. Capitol. “That in our minds means that of course the bill is incomplete.” Tiven’s comments come roughly three months after President Obama publicly unveiled an immigration reform proposal that includes bi-national gay couples.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler confirmed to the Blade that “LGBT-specific language will likely not appear” in the bill. Nadler: “This is disappointing but not particularly surprising.”
IRELAND: New From Marriage Equality
Ireland’s Constitutional Convention begins April 13th.
Brendon Ayanbadejo: Four Gay NFL Players Might Come Out Together
Via SB Nation, an interesting quote from Ayanbadejo:“I think it will happen sooner than you think. We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it. There are up to four players being talked to right now and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out.”
In today’s interview with MSNBC, host Thomas Roberts brings up the above quote and asks Ayanbadejo about his history of LGBT activism and what may happen for him next. Ayanbadejo was let go by the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, but he says that move was “just football” and unrelated to his advocacy to same-sex marriage.
Canada: House Of Commons Advances Transgender Nondiscrimination Protections
Canada has once again taken a step forward for LGBT equality ahead of the United States. In a vote of 149-137, the Canadian House of Commons approved a bill (C-279) that would make it illegal to discriminate against people who are transgender, and it would also add hate crime protections for transgender people. The bill would not have passed without 16 votes from conservatives, despite arguments from opponents that it was a “bathroom bill” and would somehow endanger children. It’s unclear how the legislation will fare in the Senate.
American Academy Of Pediatrics Backs Gay Marriage & Adoption
The New York Times reports the big news:The American Academy of Pediatrics declared its support for same-sex marriage for the first time on Thursday, saying that allowing gay and lesbian parents to marry if they so choose is in the best interests of their children. The academy’s new policy statement says same-sex marriage helps guarantee rights, benefits and long-term security for children, while acknowledging that it does not now ensure access to federal benefits. When marriage is not an option, the academy said, children should not be deprived of foster care or adoption by single parents or couples, whatever their sexual orientation.
From the group’s abstract:Extensive data available from more than 30 years of research reveal that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma. Many studies have demonstrated that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents.
Lack of opportunity for same-gender couples to marry adds to families’ stress, which affects the health and welfare of all household members. Because marriage strengthens families and, in so doing, benefits children’s development, children should not be deprived of the opportunity for their parents to be married. Paths to parenthood that include assisted reproductive techniques, adoption, and foster parenting should focus on competency of the parents rather than their sexual orientation.
Suck it, Mark Regnerus.
Here’s why Joe Jervis mentions Mark Regnerus (from ThinkProgress):
Mark Regnerus’s “family structure” study has been a hot topic since it was released in June, namely becauseeverysingleanti-gayconservativeorganizationhas cited it as evidence that same-sex couples are inferior parents. An internal audit by the academic journal that originally published it found the conclusionsto be “bullshit”because Regnerus’s criteria was whether a kid’s parent ever had a same-sex relationship, regardless of how long it lasted or what role in played in parenting. In anew interview with Focus on the Family— a group invested in continuing to cite the study to oppose LGBT equality — Regnerus admits that the foundation of his study is too weak to draw the conclusions that many have made:
- REGNERUS: I got taken to task for leaning on young adults’ assessments of their parents’ relationships. I didn’t ask them whether they thought their mom was a lesbian or if their dad was gay. Because, in part, self-identity is a different kind of thing than behavior, and lot of people weren’t “out” in that era. I think we can all think of moms and dads when we were growing up that we either knew or suspected were gay or lesbian, but never “came out of the closet,” so to speak. So, I didn’t want to make the assumption that these young adults would identify their parents as gay or lesbian, so I kept the focus on relationship behavior. […]
And when pushed, a lot of people who were critics of mine will say: “Yeah, we know that, obviously, family structure matters,” and then they’ll complain, “Why didn’t you find many stably coupled lesbians?” Well, they just were not that common in the nationally representative population. There were two cases where they said the mom and her partner lived together for 18 years. There was another several who lived together for 15 or 13 years. So, stability in the sense of long-term was not common. And frankly, it’s not all that common among heterosexual population. I take pains in the study to say this is not about saying gay or lesbian parents are inherently bad. […]
I’d be more careful about the language I used to describe people whose parents had same-sex relationships. I said “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers,” when in fact, I don’t know about their sexual orientation; I do know about their same-sex relationship behavior. But as far as the findings themselves, I stand behind them.
So, Regnerus’ study was not about parents who openly identify as gay or lesbian. It was not about same-sex couples in long-term relationships raising children together. Regnerus even admits “this is not about saying gay or lesbian parents are inherently bad,” because he knows has no foundation on which to make such a claim. This was a study about unstable couples, possibly in sham marriages, who may have dabbled in same-sex relationships outside of their original marriage at a time when there was no recognition for same-sex couples anywhere in the country. In others words, the study’s results havezeroimplication for conversations in 2012 about out, committed same-sex couples who are already raising children.
Focus on the Family may be invested in the fraudulent portrayal of Regnerus’s study, but by conducting this interview to draw more attention to it, the anti-gay organization managed to prove that the research has no applicability to the marriage equality and same-sex adoption debates to which it has been applied.
So yeah. Suck it, Mark.
Minnesota: House Homocon Robert Oscar Lopez Testifies Against Own People
Robert Oscar Lopez is one of the three homocons who filed an anti-gay Supreme Court brief against marriage equality. Today he traveled to Minnesota to once again commit a moral crime against his own family.
UPDATE: At this writing Lopez is now testifying before the state Senate, where he just declared himself to be “the gayest person in the room.”
Son of a bitch.
UK: Queen To Sign New Charter Backing Gay Rights[?]
The Telegraph reports:
In a special ceremony to mark Commonwealth Day on Sunday, she will also give a speech endorsing the new agreement which states signatories oppose “all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds”.The words “other grounds” are said to refer to sexuality however any specific references to gay people are not included to avoid antagonising Commonwealth countries that retain laws against homosexuals, according to the Mail on Sunday.The charter is the first time the Commonwealth has had a single document setting out the “core values of the organisation and the aspiration of its members”.The document includes affirmations on democracy, human rights, international peace and security as well as freedom of expression. It also contains a commitment to “gender equality” and “women’s empowerment”.The charter was agreed by all Commonwealth heads of government in December.It will be signed by the Queen in a televised ceremony at Marlborough House on London’s Pall Mall, the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat.David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouth told the Mail on Sunday: “I fail to see why the Queen needs to make a special statement on this country’s opposition to discrimination against gays and women. It is a statement of the blindingly obvious.“My worry is that the politically correct brigade will use it to silence legitimate debate about issues like gay marriage. One can’t help wondering what Prince Philip’s view would be.”Forty-one of the Commonwealth’s 54 nations retain legislation against homosexual acts. In parts of Nigeria and Pakistan those found to have taken part in gay sex can receive the death penalty, in Trinidad and Tobago it can incur 25 years in jail and life imprisonment in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Bangladesh and Guyana.Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of the gay and lesbian rights group Stonewall, described the Monarch as a “feminist icon”.He said: “This is the first time that the Queen has publicly acknowledged the importance of the six per cent of her subjects who are gay”.I know this is a huge step, but doesn’t she needs to say the word “gay” first to fully acknowledge our rights? Just saying.
Australia: Police Brutality Mars Sydney Mardi Gras
A spokesman for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras this morning sent us the below press release.Late Tuesday evening, SGLMG received and viewed footage involving NSW Police arresting a spectator with excessive force at the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade on March 2, 2013. This incident is quite distressing and our thoughts are with the individual, his family, friends and those that witnessed this. The Board and Management of SGLMG assure the community and parade viewers that we have requested a meeting tomorrow with the Minister of Police and that we are working with the state Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, MP Sydney, to have this incident investigated and addressed.
Minutes before the above statement arrived, I was tipped to the [above] video by JMG reader Dennis. While we don’t yet know the backstory regarding this young man’s arrest, I must warn you that I literally gasped when the cop slammed his head into the pavement. Unforgivable.
UPDATE: The Australian gay news site Same Same is on the story. The victim claims he was arrested for attempting to cross the road during the parade.Same Same has also been contacted by witnesses to another alleged police assault in the same vicinity on the night, with claims that a young man was punched and left bleeding after his head was smashed against concrete after he had already been handcuffed by police officers.
A witness at the scene with her two teenaged sisters says the violent actions of the officers involved left her younger siblings seriously traumatised. “They were crying while the police bashed the boy’s head into the cement,” she said. “It was horrible, disgusting behaviour.”
Another witness adds: “They picked him up by the throat and slammed him into the ground with his head hitting the ground that hard it sounded like a bowling ball hitting the ground,” she said. “This was while he was in handcuffs.”
The victim also claims the he was kicked by several officers. The Sydney Morning Herald is now reporting the story.