• Gay marriage,  Law,  Stateside

    Virginia: then and now

    It was almost half a century ago that the US Supreme Court, in the case of Loving vs. Virginia, unanimously upheld the right of a man and a woman of different races to marry by declaring state anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. One of the states which banned interracial marriages was Virginia. On April 10, 1967, Virginia’s Assistant Attorney General R. D. McIlwaine III unsuccessfully argued before the high court that the law protected the state from the “sociological [and] psychological evils which attend interracial marriages.” McIlwaine cited academic research that suggested “that intermarried families are subjected to much greater pressures and problems than those of the intramarried and that the state’s…

  • Gay marriage,  Poetry,  Women's Rights

    Irish Government Minister Unveils Monument to Victims of Pro-Life Amendment

    Guest poem by Kevin Higgins On the day of the great result in the same sex marriage referendum here in Ireland, how long will it be before this poem comes true. On a date to be confirmed, when those who remember 1983 will sleep safely in their graves, or be anxiously telling nurse about the auld ones with crucifixes they think are coming to get them a girl, today on holidays from primary school, by then grown into a Maggie Thatcher suit, will thank the Chamber of Commerce for use of their microphone as a pulled chord unwraps this thing chipped from stone in memory of those forced to change…

  • Gay marriage

    Ted isn’t celebrating

    Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a potential candidate for president in 2016, recently told a conservative conference, “We stand for marriage,” and insisted that his party not shy away from “family values.” I’d assume assume, then, that Cruz would be delighted by the news that the Supreme Court has let stand rulings allowing more people than ever to get married and raise families with full rights here in Virginia, as well as in Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin. Apparenty not. The Texas Republican called the decision “tragic and indefensible” and said he would introduce a constitutional amendment that would ensure states can ban gay marriage. Cruz told the Values…

  • Gay marriage,  Gay Rights,  Religion

    The emancipation sequence

    Further to Sarka’s excellent piece taking apart Christina Odone’s lament about religious beliefs not being given their due weight in public life, I’d like to draw attention to this in the SkepticLawyer:- Christina Odone, former deputy editor of The New Statesman, in the course of arguing that religious believers are being pushed out of public life by a new intolerance, drew attention to the Law Society revoking permission for a conference on traditional marriage to be held on its premises. Suppose it had been a conference on the need to reinstate traditional legal prohibitions on Jews. Or Catholics. Would it then have been unreasonable for the Law Society to say…

  • Gay marriage

    Houston mayor has to leave Texas to wed

    Annise Parker (right) and Kathy Hubbard Annise Parker, mayor of the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest city in the United States, had to go to California to marry her longtime partner Kathy Hubbard. The governor and legislature of Texas (and every other state that doesn’t permit same-sex marriage) should be ashamed.

  • Gay marriage,  Israel,  The Right

    Is supporting same-sex marriage “anti-Israel”?

    Here in Virginia, the Republican party decided this year to forgo a primary to select its candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. (Virginia and New Jersey are the only states that hold off-off year elections for statewide office.) Instead the state GOP held a convention at which a long-shot candidate for lieutenant governor, an African-American minister and attorney named E.W. Jackson, gave a rousing speech and received the nomination. Some of the Republicans who nominated him may be having second thoughts as Jackson’s record of over-the-top statements, especially about homosexuals, has come to light. Virginia’s Republican chairman was forced to say he disagreed with Jackson’s assertion that the…

  • Gay marriage

    Victory for same sex marriage – and some other LGBT news

    Considering the strongly felt, and expressed, views of gay marriage’s opponents, news of the bill’s final passing into law seemed to be greeted comparatively quietly – here the indifference of the media to this significant legal breakthrough comes in for some criticism. As the Washington Post observes, the British response generally has been far more phlegmatic than that of the French, who took to the streets in large numbers to protest their own gay marriage bill recently. Elsewhere news is not so positive.  An LGBT activist, Eric Lembembe, has been murdered in Cameroon, where homosexual acts are punished by jail terms of up to five years.  This is the most…

  • Gay marriage,  Gay Rights

    The House of Lords backs same-sex marriage

    The wrecking amendment has been voted down by 242 votes, despite some peers’ contorted arguments against equality. Here’s Lord Dear: Insisting the measure would overturn centuries of tradition by altering the concept of marriage, Lord Dear added: “It seeks to divide a nation with an argument that hides behind the concept of equality, when in reality it is about sameness and it stands on its head all considerations of electoral mandate.” He then went into concern troll mode: “I fear the Bill, should it become law, could well create such opposition to homosexuals in general that the climate of tolerance and acceptance in this country, that we have all championed…

  • France,  Gay marriage

    Two legal victories: Outlawing caste discrimination, gay marriage in France

    In a welcome move, the House of Lords has ruled that caste should be deemed a protected characteristic in a new clause in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.  This follows an earlier defeat for this amendment in the House of Commons. Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, commented: We are delighted that the Government has committed to ensure that discrimination against caste will enjoy the same statutory protection as other protected characteristics. Too many British citizens have suffered caste based discrimination. Our equality legislation now sends out a clear signal that it will no longer be tolerated, and offers hope to the tens of thousands…

  • Gay marriage,  Gay Rights,  Stateside

    The ultimate taboo?

    With the Supreme Court holding a second day of hearings on the question of same-sex marriage, it’s interesting to note the astonishingly fast change of public opinion in the US on the issue. Even Fox News’s conservative curmudgeon Bill O’Reilly conceded: “The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals.” Ohio’s Republican Senator Rob Portman recently joined former vice president Dick Cheney as a conservative who became an advocate for gay-marriage rights because one of his children happens to be gay. Another conservative– Senator Saxby Chambliss, a same-sex marriage opponent– also took a highly personal stand on the issue: When asked if his views had changed on gay marriage, the…