Clinton Condemns International Homophobia

November 30, 2009

by Kerry Eleveld | The Advocate

On the eve of World AIDS Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday made the strongest statement yet by an administration official that the United States will not tolerate efforts to criminalize homosexuality among countries that receive U.S. funding to combat HIV/AIDS.

“Obviously, our efforts are hampered whenever discrimination or marginalization of certain populations results in less effective outreach and treatment. So we will work not only to ensure access for all who need it but also to combat discrimination more broadly,” she said during a press conference in which officials also announced that the XIX International AIDS Conference, set for 2012, will be held in United States — the first time the conference has been held here since 1990. “We have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide.”

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Pastor Rick Warren Responds to Proposed Antigay Ugandan Legislation

November 30, 2009

by Lisa Miller | Newsweek

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the bestselling book The Purpose Driven Life, drew fire last year when he was invited to give the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration. His support for Proposition 8 in California, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman only, and his anti-gay-marriage views concerned many in Obama’s base.

Now Warren’s on the defensive again, this time for his affiliation with Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan pastor who has endorsed proposed legislation in Uganda that makes certain homosexual acts punishable by life in prison or even, in some cases, death. Ssempa has made appearances at Saddleback and has been embraced warmly by Warren and his wife, Kay.

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Christian Leaders’ Stance on Civil Disobedience is Dangerous

November 30, 2009

Los Angeles Times editorial

Philosophers have argued for centuries over whether it is ever justifiable to break the law in the service of a higher cause. The question acquired a new complexity with the advent of societies such as the United States, in which laws were enacted by elected representatives and not decreed by a monarch or dictator.

Few today would criticize civil rights activists, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., for participating in or condoning the violation of laws that perpetuated white supremacy — with the understanding that they would face punishment for their actions. But such civil disobedience is rightly regarded as the exception that proves that the proper redress for unjust laws lies in legislation or in court rulings based on the Constitution.

That cautious approach has been thrown to the wind by Christian religious leaders who, even as they insist on their right to shape the nation’s laws, are reserving the right to violate them in situations far removed from King’s witness.

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New Jersey’s Marriage Moment

November 30, 2009

New York Times editorial

There can come a moment in a politician’s career when doing the right thing requires summoning the courage to buck strong voter sentiment. The drama over same-sex marriage in a lame-duck session of the New Jersey State Legislature is not that kind of moment.

Doing the right thing — promptly enacting legislation discarding inadequate civil unions in favor of full marriage equality for same-sex couples — requires no gargantuan amount of courage or risk-taking on the part of rank-and-file New Jersey legislators or their leaders.

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Argentine Judge Suspends 1st Gay Marriage

November 30, 2009

from the Associated Press

An Argentine judge has overturned a ruling that would have allowed the first gay marriage in Latin America.

The official court Web site says national judge Marta Gomez Alsina ordered the wedding blocked until the issue can be resolved by the Supreme Court.

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A Surprisingly Dark Day for Gay Rights in New Jersey

November 30, 2009

by Tom Moran | The Star-Ledger

NJ State Sen. Loretta Weinberg

Support for gay marriage in Trenton is draining away like water from a tub as nervous legislators scurry towards safer political ground.

“I can’t say I’m confident now,” says Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), a lead sponsor. “I think we still have a pretty good chance. But people are getting nervous and weak-kneed.”

Bad as that sounds, know that Weinberg is spinning this as best she can. Several other senators, supporters and opponents, say the movement is all but dead.

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Benefits for Same-Sex Partners are Expanding

November 30, 2009

by Ashley Surdin | Washington Post

With public attention focused largely on battles over whether gay couples should be able to marry, a less-noticed movement to grant health and other benefits to same-sex partners is gaining significant ground across the country in courtrooms, in legislatures and at the ballot box.

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