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Crafty_Dog
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« on: November 20, 2006, 05:21:14 AM »

All:

The following piece takes exactly the tone that one would expect from the NY Times. ?What will happen to the heterosexual children of these "parents" as they hit puberty and the behaviors that they have imprinted from their "parents" create profound problems?  And if homosexuality is genetic, then won't the children be exponentially likelier to be homosexual if both their parents are?  What madness is this?

Marc
=====================

Steve Stenzel for The New York Times
P.J., left, and her partner Vicki with David, right, and his partner Bobbie.
Vicki is holding Wyatt, age 2 1/2, and Eli, 6, is standing.

R. described himself as "a man in his 40s, voluntarily employed in the
 arts," a situation made possible, he explained, by a private family income.
His six-foot frame is fit and slim; his eyes, blue and bright. He dresses in
a cultured but casual way, an aesthetic captured in his speech, in which
phatic blips like "kind of" or "sort of" are interspersed with terms like
"Richter-esque." As in Gerhard, the German painter.

In an effort to become a parent of a sort, R., who is gay, agreed, 11 years
ago, to donate sperm to a lesbian couple aspiring to pregnancy. A few years
before, R. became friendly with a woman - white and upper class like
himself - through the gay activist world. They weren't good friends, he
said, "just friendly." The woman had a partner, a middle-class black woman,
whom R. knew less well but who seemed solid.

The couple decided that the black partner would become impregnated with a
white man's sperm so that the baby would be biracial, reflecting the
appearance of both mothers. They approached R. about being the donor. (Like
all the subjects I spoke to for this article, R. asked that I not use his
full name - R. is his middle initial.) It seemed like a good fit, R. said.
"My life and my family background and my socioeconomic position kind of
matched the profile of the nonbiological partner." R. and the white woman
even looked somewhat alike.

R. had always loved being around kids, particularly his niece and nephew,
whom he saw often. But like many gay men, R. never thought of himself as a
likely candidate for fatherhood. He always felt that parents opting to raise
a child alone were choosing a rocky road, and at the time, R. himself had no
long-term partner. He did, however, have an ex-boyfriend who had started a
donor relationship with two lesbians; it seemed to be going well. He quickly
became taken with the idea. Having a child of his own, he thought, would
mean creating a relationship more intense and involved than what he had with
his siblings' children. "I guess I felt that maybe I wanted to have some
kind of more lasting relationships in my life," he said. "I said I was
interested."

And thus began a series of conversations. R. made it very clear that he had
no ambition to be a primary parent and that he was happy to renounce his
parental rights. (The latter is crucial to many lesbian couples, allowing
the nonbiological mother to adopt and protecting her bond with the child in
the event of the death of, or separation from, the biological mother.)
Nevertheless, R. saw himself playing a significant role in the child's life.
"I saw myself holding a baby," he said. "I wanted a child to be part of my
life. I wanted to have a relationship with somebody that was in some sense
unconditional, that wasn't subject to the fading whims of friendships. And I
don't think it's because I was not finding commitment somewhere else. I
wanted to develop a relationship where I was nurturing somebody in a
consistent way. I wanted to show up and be part of a child's life in a
significant way."

R. said he felt that it would be fussy and unrealistic to insist upon
specific visitation hours, but on the other hand, he said, "I didn't want to
be someone who's wheeled out on holidays." His expectation was to see the
child a few times per month. "No one said, 'That's a problem.' Everyone
seemed to be on the same page." And so, according to R., "we went ahead and
started to try to get pregnant."

Virtually every lesbian couple electing to use a known donor's sperm pursues
one of two methods of artificial insemination. One is for the man to go to a
clinic, have his sperm harvested and then passed to the mother, usually by
doctor-assisted injection. The other, homier and cheaper course is commonly
known as the "turkey baster" or "natural" method. As R. described it, after
confirming that he was H.I.V.-negative, he simply went over to the mothers'
house and masturbated into a sterilized container. The women injected it
into the would-be mother's vagina with a needleless plastic syringe, and
voil?. It could not have been easier, R. said with a shrug. Happened on the
first or second time. Like, not a problem.


Since the 1970s, when gay men and lesbians began gaining wider acceptance,
there has been a substantial increase in the number of children being reared
by gay parents. According to the 2000 U.S. census, 34 percent of lesbian
couples and 22 percent of gay male couples are raising at least one child
under 18 in their home. Even allowing for a higher percentage of families
willing to identify themselves as gay, these numbers still represent a large
increase from the 1990 census. "It is more than just a product of better
reporting," says Gary J. Gates, a senior research fellow at the Williams
Institute, a center dedicated to sexual-orientation law and public policy at
the U.C.L.A. School of Law. "The percentage of same-sex couples raising
children more than doubled for men and increased by about 50 percent for
women. Couple that with a fairly large body of anecdotal evidence about
child-rearing among gay people, and I think that this is strong evidence of
a 'gayby' boom."

==========



Though precise breakdowns are hard to come by - demographers have yet to
track all the different types of gay families - for many gay parents, the
family structure is more or less based on a heterosexual model: two parents,
one household. Heather may have two mommies, but her parents are still a
couple. Then there are families like R.'s and his partner's that from the
outset seek to create a sort of extended nuclear family, with two mothers
and a father who serves, in the words of one gay dad, as "more than an uncle
and less than a father." How does it work when Heather has two mommies, half
a daddy, two daddies or one and a half daddies?

"People are in many cases redesigning 'family,' " says Judith Stacey, a
sociology professor at New York University. Stacey has written about gay
fathers, gay mothers, gay men who form family units with single lesbians and
lesbian couples who form households with one gay male father. As radical as
families like R.'s may seem, she says, in her experience the people
engineering them aren't motivated by ideology but by a deep, and frankly
conventional, desire to have children. "They want to have a relationship to
children," she says. "And they want to be able to create whatever kinds of
security and stability they can. They're drawing from all kinds of
traditional forms, but at the same time, they're inventing new ones."

Primary among the reasons mothers to be choose to become impregnated by a
known donor who remains part of the family is a reluctance to raise children
in the shadow of anonymous heritage. As one donor dad, an East Coast lawyer
named Guy, told me, his lesbian co-parents "felt like it was important for
their kids to know as much as they could about their story. When there's an
anonymous donor, it's not always an ideal situation for the child." As for
why lesbians often choose donor fathers who are gay, Judith Stacey and
others told me that many prefer gay men for reasons of "solidarity." "They
think that gay men will be more sympathetic, more amenable to agreements
they might create and stick by," Stacey says. And finally they - along with
the straight women who choose to use gay donors - say they feel that gay men
simply come with less baggage. Heterosexual sperm donors are more liable to
marry and father children of their own, which has the potential of causing
jealousy and competition among the children and their mothers.

While the role of the mother in gay co-parenting arrangements can, on a
day-to-day basis, be quite traditional, the father's is often part-time and
ancillary from the first. Why would any man, gay or straight, choose a kind
of fatherhood that would seem to curtail both its joys and responsibilities?
In part, the answer has to do with the fact that a gay man's options are
already somewhat limited. Though gay men can and increasingly do become
parents through adoption or by using surrogates, pursuing those avenues can
be difficult. Many (though not all) states allow "single people" to adopt,
but in practice some make it tough for gay men to do so. Surrogacy can be
wildly expensive, easily costing $100,000 or more for multiple egg harvests,
in vitro fertilization and the surrogate mother's expenses. Most of the men
I spoke to didn't want to be single parents; they cherished the idea of
fathering children with partners they knew and liked.

Frequently, gay men and women entering into co-parenting arrangements draft
some kind of document that specifies participants' roles and
responsibilities - the father's visitation schedule, how many kids everyone
plans to have together, what happens if one of the partners moves, dies or
becomes involved with a new partner. These homemade, sometimes expensively
drafted documents can run as long as 30 pages. Many agreements stipulate
that the donor will waive his parental rights, allowing the nonbiological
mother to become a legal parent. (Three states have statutes permitting
second-parent adoptions; nearly two dozen others have granted such rights
through the courts.) But generally, unless the co-parents choose to use a
clinic, a donor may relinquish his parental rights only after the child is
born. What if the father sees the child and decides he can't bear to part
with her? What if the new mothers decide he is wanted less than originally
agreed? It is not unusual, in such cases, for custody battles to ensue.

Agreeing to be a father while stepping out of the way means navigating a
thicket of emotional and legal issues. "I talk to a lot of guys who have
this offer from women," Guy, the East Coast lawyer, said. "And I always say:
'You've got to completely trust these people. Because this relationship is
going to be so tested in so many ways. If you can't talk through every
single, possible issue, this is not going to work. You've got to be able to
bring your fears to them and vice versa. "

Drawing up an agreement can have what Guy called "immense
stop-look-and-listen value." That is, it makes "you think for a minute about
what you're doing." But as he readily admitted, such documents - even when
drawn up by a lawyer - often carry little legal weight. According to Arthur
Leonard, a New York Law School professor and an expert on sexuality and the
law, families can draft as many documents as they want, but "in the eyes of
the law a parent is either the biological parent or an adoptive parent or,
in some jurisdictions, a de facto parent." At best, co-parenting agreements
serve as a way to establish intent, which state courts can choose to factor
into their decisions - or not. Charged, above all, with looking out for the
best interest of the child, judges are free to ignore even the most
well-drawn documents.

=============



Page 3 of 9)



"The law," Leonard went on to say, "has lagged far behind in taking account
of nontraditional family forms." Partly, he said, this can be attributed to
the "natural inertia in the legislative process." Legislatures on all
matters are "slow in reacting to changes in society," but in this case they
are also reluctant to offend socially conservative voters. (In the midterm
elections this month, seven states voted to ban same-sex marriage.) Finally,
Leonard said, despite the current outcry about "activist judges," many
courts are skittish about reshaping social issues from outside legislative
bodies.

A result is that gay donor dads must not only trust that their co-parents
will abide by whatever agreements they have designed but also hope that as
dads they have managed to adequately predict their own reaction to being a
parent. As Guy, who has two children of his own with a lesbian couple, said:
"A lot of guys can't do that. They think they can do it, but when the baby's
born, they really can't." In other words, a father-donor working with a
lesbian couple must make peace with the fact that he just isn't going to be
a TV dad, a heterosexual dad or a full-time gay dad. "Ideally," as Guy put
it, you need to be "willing to accept that the baby has two parents, who are
the two moms - and then there's you."


Each of the 10 gay donor dads I met with in recent months maintained a
different level of involvement with his lesbian partners and their children.
Some co-parents buy houses near one another and interact nearly every day.
Others, like Guy and his co-parents, live a thousand miles apart and arrange
visits or vacations together every few weeks or months. (When I asked Guy if
there was any downside to fathering in this way, he answered yes, missing
the kids. "They give me incredible joy," he said. But then he added, "It's
the kind of thing where it's, you know, when you miss someone, although that
hurts, it's a good reason to feel bad.") One donor dad told me that he never
had any plans to be a father. The day he realized he was gay, he said, he
felt he had been given a pass. No child-rearing. No Little League talk or
barbecues. He looked at donating his sperm as "helping my friends make a
family." But like a lot of gay donor dads I spoke to, he didn't fully
anticipate just how attached he would become. He is now thrilled to visit
with his 21/2-year-old daughter every Wednesday from 4p.m. to 6 p.m. When I
asked him what she called him, he said: "That'll be her choice. I think 'Dad'
is a word. That's a word I hope to use."

Others always knew they wanted to be fathers. Before embarking upon the
creation of his family, Mark, who works at a local museum, spent years
discussing the idea of being a co-parent with two lesbian friends, Jean and
Candi. At first, he said, the tone was " 'You know, wouldn't it be fun if we
all had kids? And then it kind of got more serious as time went on."

Mark and the mothers to be took the time to discuss every conceivable angle.
What would happen if one or another combination of parents didn't agree with
the others? What would happen if someone died? They talked about their
family backgrounds, how they had been raised, what they liked and didn't
like about their upbringing. They wrote a document in which Mark was
absolved of any financial role in the child's life. (Many co-parents put
this stipulation in their agreements; the father's sustained financial
support of the child could be used to help establish his claim to custody
should relations become contentious.) He also agreed to put the child up for
adoption by the nonbiological mother once it was born. Moreover, it was
spelled out that the child would be brought up knowing Mark was the father
and that Mark could visit as agreed upon.

At first Mark's role was circumscribed. But, he said, from the moment of
birth, "things just got a lot nicer than that." Candi had a natural
delivery, and as Mark described it to me, watching the process of birth had
a transformative effect on him: "The excitement, the fear that maybe
something could go wrong. And to watch the head crown - it was just
exciting."
« Last Edit: January 25, 2007, 12:26:38 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2006, 05:23:41 AM »

Page 4 of 9)



Mark, 48, Jean, 37, and Candi, 34, now have two children - Mark (named after
his father) is Candi's biological son, and another boy, Joseph, now 7 months
old, is Jean's biological son. For a long time Mark, who was working as a
freelance information technologist and financial consultant in Minneapolis
until he took the job at the museum, could arrange his schedule to suit the
mothers' needs. He spends time with the kids once a week, sometimes alone,
sometimes with his long-term partner, Jeffrey, who is 36 and went to college
with Candi, and sometimes with one or both mothers. The relationship among
the fathers and mothers has been a surprise benefit, he said, creating a
brother-sister feeling. Despite the fact that the mothers are still
financially responsible for the children, Mark has put them in his will.
Each birthday and Christmas, he deposits a $1,000 bond for their education.
Like any good father, he said, "I want to see them do well."


When I asked him if he ever ran into resistance from school personnel or his
own family about his less-than-conventional parenting arrangement, he told
me a story. He had taken the girls, as he calls his lesbian co-parents, to
Wisconsin to visit his mother and his sisters. "We went to a lake place over
by Wausau." He laughed. "My nephew" - his sister's son - "had a lot of
questions. He was asking my mom, 'Why does Mark have two moms?' My mom was
like, 'I didn't know what to say.' "

Mark continued: "I guess in people's minds there's a kid's cartoon drawing
of a family unit. Well, ours is the same thing. It's just that the
characters have changed a bit. People make a lot out of it, but it's really
quite simple: you've got four parents now instead of two. And they're all
together." Considering how many heterosexual parents are overworked,
divorced or otherwise unavailable, he said, in the end he advised his mother
what to say to anyone asking about little Mark: "Tell 'em he's lucky."


If Mark's role as a father comes closer than some to a traditional dad's,
that of his friend David falls squarely in the middle of the "more than an
uncle but less than a father" continuum. At 43, David works for the
University of Minnesota general counsel's office and is very serious about
furthering his acting career. (He and Mark became friendly through a theater
company Mark used to manage.) When David's friends, P. J. and Vicki, now 52
and 37 respectively, approached him about "helping them out with kids," he
was receptive, although he had reservations. The first was that he wasn't
interested in being a full-time dad. His acting career, he said, "pretty
much supersedes anything else. Spending a lot of time with little ones, that's
not where my focus is. I'm far too selfish a person." He still had plans to
leave Minneapolis for New York or L.A. to further his career. But in the
end, he agreed, with several conditions.

The major one was, as he put it, "if we do one, we're doing two." David
agreed with P. J., who didn't want to create an only child. "Nothing against
only children," he explained, "but I feel that it's important for kids to
have a sibling. I remember when I was growing up, with my brother, you just
kind of go, What's going on with Mom and Dad?" How much more, he wondered,
would a kid need an ally with strangers asking questions about his or her
unconventional family?

The mothers insisted on one other condition: until or unless David actually
left for the bright lights of Broadway, his interaction with the kids had to
be consistent. As P. J., the children's nonbiological mother, said: "I told
him you have to choose. You're either going to be in for five cents or you're
in for a buck."

David, Bobbie (David's long-term partner), P. J. and Vicki were more laid
back than were many co-parents I met. They made no legal or quasi-legal
document. They never spelled out exactly how often David would see the
children, just that it couldn't be once a week and then once a month. The
attitude shared by David, P. J. and Vicki (Bobbie, as the nonbiological
father, was the least involved in the discussions) was, as David summed it
up: "If stuff happens, then it happens; it happens in married people's
lives, it happens in straight people's lives and it happens in single
mothers'. Stuff happens everywhere, to everybody."

When I asked David whether he and his partners had gone to a doctor or used
the "turkey baster" method to become pregnant, his answer surprised me. He
looked at me with a big, devilish grin. "We did it," he answered.


David had never been with a woman, but he and Vicki decided that they didn't
want the process to be impeded by technology. Using syringes and cups seemed
inorganic and inefficient. Sperm would lose potency during each transfer. "I
wanted the numbers," David said. The first attempt resulted in an uneventful
two hours of awkward huffing and puffing. As David remembers: "We were sort
of like, O.K., then! Let's get breakfast!" But within a month, after another
try, Vicki became pregnant. "Thank God for videos," David said.

David has now fathered two children with Vicki: Eli, who is 6, and Wyatt,
who is 21/2. Being a parent has not been without its challenges. One morning
last October, Eli woke up with abdominal pains. P. J. took him to the
emergency room. The doctors found a mass in his abdomen, which turned out to
be a tumor. The diagnosis was neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer of the
sympathetic nervous system.

"At the outset," David said, "They said he was at Stage 4, high risk, which
is just about as bad as you can get." The tumor was the size of a fist and
had wrapped itself around every major blood vessel in his abdomen and
attached itself to his kidney and liver. It had also metastasized into Eli's
bone marrow and lymph nodes. At one point, the doctors gave him a 30 percent
chance of survival.

During eight and a half hours on the operating table, the doctors removed
the tumor, one of Eli's kidneys and his appendix. Soon after, he began
chemotherapy, had a stem-cell transplant and started radiation. Luckily,
David told me, the treatment took.

When the crisis first hit, everyone came together and dealt with it as a
team. Vicki quit her job to be the full-time caretaker, and as David told
me, any notion of part-time fathering went out the window. All hands were
called on deck, and everyone responded in kind. After the initial trauma,
however, when the emergency decisions and arrangements had been made and
treatment was under way, David wanted to return to his part-time role. As he
admitted later, this caused "some resentment." The mothers, or at least
Vicki, expected that David would continue to be more involved.

================


"It was tough, because I was under the impression we were all going to stand
together," Vicki told me later. "As time went on, it was: 'Well, I'm going
to work. I'm going to a play. I have this; I have that.' And so the bulk of
everything sort of fell on my shoulders." The treatment schedule was
grueling and left P. J. on her own with Wyatt; cancer was not something the
family had planned on. "You go in under the assumption that you're going to
have a healthy child," Vicki said. "Some things worked and some things didn't
work. David, the way he describes himself, he's the machine who figures
things out and gets things done; I'm more emotional; and P. J. is really
levelheaded; Bobbie's not necessarily a man of action but feels things
really deeply - we all sort of reverted to our roles and got through it." As
a mother, she felt it was her job to bear the brunt of Eli's care. But, she
said, "it would have been much nicer to have the responsibilities spread out
a little more. I think David's aware of my feelings."

David, as he explained it to me, saw things a little differently: "I'm like,
Well, at the beginning, I was needed in that role. Now that things are
together and moving, I'm pulling myself back, because I'm not - I didn't
sign on for -." He stalled. He still had his bills to pay, his house to pay
off and all his other affairs. Most significant, he said, "this wasn't a
responsibility that I necessarily took on. You know? This was where the
untraditional part of the family arrangement came into question or got
defined or whatever. Because that's not what my role is here." It was, he
said, at times, "a difficult wire to walk."

As we talked, Bobbie, who is 45 and has been David's partner for nine years,
arrived, wearing a black polo shirt. He's well over six feet tall, big like
David. His expression seemed sour, but when he smiled, he revealed a broken
bicuspid, which produced an oddly sweet effect. Unlike two of the other gay
"stepdads" I met in my research, who had described themselves as playing a
sort of "fun uncle" role, Bobbie admittedly played the family heavy. Maybe,
he said, in some ways it was his Mormon upbringing. "I just set more limits
and probably expect more out of the kids," he said.

Recently, when the entire family took a weeklong trip to the East Coast and
visited David's mother, Bobbie recalled, Eli handed an orange peel to one of
his aunts for her to throw away rather than walk 10 feet to a garbage can.
Bobbie chastised him, and Vicki took exception to that. Bobbie was left
feeling, as he put it, "disenfranchised from the family unit."

He continued: "There's definitely a pecking order. Vicki is on top, then
David, then P. J., then me." Coming last, he said, is an inherently
difficult position to maintain. If he gets too involved, he gets yelled at
for doing so in the wrong way. If he seeks distance, he gets called on the
carpet for being aloof.

"There have been a couple of times when I've been made to feel that I'm the
fourth wheel," he said. Once, he was told, "Look, you're only here because
of him" - because of David. "I was told that to my face," he said, looking
pained. "That was probably the deepest knife in the back I've ever had in my
life. That totally destroyed my entire self-image as part of the family."

As in most families, members get hurt to a degree that seems unfathomable -
they feel exiled, exact revenge, remain silent, do what they need to do,
then pick themselves up and keep going. I later learned that David never
changed diapers. When the children were with their fathers, the job fell to
Bobbie. When I mentioned the disparity, both men smiled. That's the way it
is.

For David, the admittedly vain actor, one of the supreme joys of fatherhood
is the idea that one day his sons might see him on television. He imagines
them turning on the TV and pointing him out to their friends: "There's my
dad!" Bobbie has a nearly opposite take. "A lot of what Mormonism is about
is what you're passing on to the next generation, some type of legacy,
whether emotionally or through teaching." His fondest wish is to empower his
kids, to help Eli find happiness, "after all the drama and heaviness of his
illness," to help Wyatt become, say, "a great mathematician who goes on to
become famous and prove great new theories or something along those lines."

============



Page 6 of 9)



Being a father has taught him, he said, to "look for the enjoyment in life
rather than the humor. Watching a kid discovering an anthill and watching
him spend a half-hour poking around, discovering the way ants move and walk.
It makes you stop and look at nature all over again, because you're
rediscovering it through kids' eyes."

As David listened to Bobbie describe this, he smiled very warmly. When the
kids call Bobbie Dad, he said, "I know that just fills his heart. You know?
It fills his heart." Bobbie positively beamed. "It does fill your heart
when, you know, when they call you Dad. You feel like you're a part of
something."


If David and Bobbie's experience was tumultuous but ultimately rewarding, R.'s
venture into fatherhood seemed cursed from the beginning. "I don't think any
of us expected that we would find the pregnancy happening before we actually
sat down and did a contract," he told me. "I mean, I think part of it was,
we thought, Oh, this is going to take a while. And there was just this
excitement about getting started." So R. and his co-parents began trying to
become pregnant before any papers had been drawn up. Lowering his voice and
faltering a bit, R. continued, "So it was foolish of us to kind of do that."

What happened next would have been remarkable for any family. R. took a
monthlong vacation to Australia, where he contracted hepatitis. The illness
progressed to a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barr? syndrome, and
after he returned to New York, he became fully paralyzed and lay ill in the
hospital for several weeks. He recovered, but by the time he resumed
discussions with his parent partners, more than five months had passed.

During his absence, R. said, his partners had suffered what he called
"serious amnesia." Instead of keeping to terms he had thought long-ago
settled, they now said: "No, we never agreed to these. We just said we
understand that's what you expected."

The discussions became heated and disagreeable. Someone suggested mediation.
His partners chose the mediator, a woman, he said, who had written a
parenting book in which she seemed to be saying that to give the father any
rights at all was to open the door to disaster. In R.'s view, her position
was: "If you give the guy any rights, he may want more and want to take the
child away from you."

Lawyers were hired, both prominently involved in New York's gay community.
The two lawyers had worked together on activist fronts, and because of this
shared history, R. thought his partners' lawyer would be sympathetic to a
harmonious outcome. Wrong. As R. recalled, "The first thing she said to my
lawyer was: 'Your client's not getting any rights. I just want you to know.
Whatever he thinks he's getting, he's not getting it.' "

M., the woman who carried R.'s child, told me that, in fact, she and her
partner were afraid to give R. any official access to their daughter. "The
contract we wanted him to sign really didn't give him any rights, didn't
really specify anything," she said, "because that's the advice we got from
our lawyer - no spelling out of rights." They didn't want to lay the
groundwork for him to demand custody later.

So much for brotherhood, sisterhood, gayhood - amity had curdled into
enmity. R. said his "partners" blamed him for the discord. Every time he
tried to approach them directly, he said, they refused.

Meanwhile, the pregnancy had reached the third term. R. was despondent. Over
the last nine months, his desire to be a parent had only become more ardent.
Now he had apparently fathered a child he might never get to see. His
lawyer, he said, told him: "I don't know what to say. You're in a terrible
position." R. could have insisted on his rights as a biological father. He
could have used legal precedent in New York State to press for joint custody
or, at the very least, visitation rights. But then, of course, it would have
been an awfully contentious beginning for a family. R. chose to honor the
original intent of his and his partners' undertaking. In effect, he caved
in.

After R. ceased making specific demands, tensions eased - somewhat. R. and
the mothers had a rapprochement - enough of one to allow him to be at the
hospital during his daughter's birth. But later, when she began to speak,
his daughter never called him Dad, Daddy, Father - anything of the kind.
"For a long time," he said, "I was just . . . my name." He was seldom, if
ever, allowed to be alone with his daughter. There were times, he admitted,
when he grasped the amount of full-time devotion it took to raise a child
and felt relief that the job was not his. But more often, he said, he would
observe "the physical relationship my daughter had with her mothers and feel
tremendous pain that I was never going to have that."

==============
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006, 05:25:48 AM »

Page 7 of 9)


In many respects, R.'s experience would seem to confirm the worst fears of
those - inside and outside the gay community - who think attempts to
re-engineer family dynamics in this way are doomed from the start. "I could
never get a regular schedule for visiting," R. said. "I was always kept at a
distance. I was never brought in in a way where I felt like I was being
acknowledged as really more than just a friend." This went on for years, and
he started to tear up as he described it. What pained him most, he said, was
the feeling of irrevocability, the fact that each moment was a lost
opportunity. "I was basically watching her grow up and having no control,
just watching it go by. I would see her on the street, it was like, you
know, you can imagine, I was looking at my child but not having access to
her really."

Like a lot of lesbian mothers at that time, M. said, she and her partner
were, as she put it, "kind of paranoid. We didn't want to promise a set
amount of time or, say, summer vacation or any of that stuff." She
continued: "I think one of our big mistakes in our situation was we had no
clue, all three of us going into it, and there weren't that many people for
us to talk to or things to read about it. He was just saying he wanted to be
around and be known and have a relationship. And looking back, even that
seemed scary to us."

It was a deeply painful period for R. "I mean, if I were to say anything to
people who were thinking about something like this," he said, "it would be
that with this kind of donor relationship, this web of affinity and
genetics, it's not like an article of clothing where someone gives it to you
and then it's yours and you can walk away. If you don't want to have to be
answerable to somebody, then go to an anonymous sperm bank. It's like they
wanted the privilege of being able to say to their children, 'That's your
father,' without having to really give up anything. And so, what's that
about?"

Luckily for R., things changed over time. When his daughter was 2, her
nonbiological mother became impregnated with sperm donated by a gay black
friend. She bore twins. A couple of years later, the mothers split up. A
custody battle ensued, in which the white mother tried to gain sole custody
of all three children. The judge ruled against her. The final agreement
essentially assigned the three mixed-race children to the white mother
roughly 60 percent of the time and to the black mother 40 percent of the
time.

The current family tree is a crazy circuit board: The black woman has a new
female partner. The white woman is now living with a man, and the two have
had their own child. So, as R. said, between the one child that R. has with
the black mother, the twins borne by the white mother with a black donor and
the newest, fourth, child born to her with her new male partner, all of whom
have some sort of sibling relation to one another, things can be a little
confusing. "They're quite a little petri dish of a family, as you can
imagine," R. told me. The children go from the white mother, who lives in a
SoHo loft, to their black mother, who lives in a nice, middle-class row
house in Crown Heights. On weekends, they often visit the white mother's
family's country estate. "I'd say they're like divorce kids," he said. "They've
got a family that split up; they go back and forth." But the kids love both
their mothers, and though the relationships may seem confusing to outsiders,
there is certainly no lack of people in their lives who care about them -
something many "straight" families can't claim.

How he fits in as a father is less clear. Since the mothers broke up five
years ago, R.'s relations with the birth mother - and his daughter - have
warmed. When R.'s daughter turned 6, he was allowed to see her alone for the
first time. And now? "It's a work in progress," he said. "We really enjoy
each other. There are still issues about how much I get to see her." But by
now, R.'s birth mother wants him to have a relationship with his daughter.
"My perspective has changed," she said. "It's good for her; it's good for
him; there's no reason not to. She loves hanging out with him." R.'s
relationship with his daughter's other mother remains strained. When I asked
to speak with her through an intermediary, she declined to comment.

==============



Page 8 of 9)



R. is not quite sure yet what his daughter thinks of him. He knows that she
knows he's her father. But he's not sure what that means. A couple of years
ago, he said, he took her to the Museum of Natural History. Outside, they
bought a hot dog. "She couldn't open the soda," he said, "so she asked the
vendor, 'Can you open this?' And he said, 'Well, ask your father.' So she
started hearing that from strangers at a certain point. She probably didn't
know exactly who I was."

He is still not positive to what degree any of the children in the various
branches of the family have affixed their relation to all the parents. The
white woman's twins, the ones not biologically related to him, identify him
as a "donor" - not their donor, not their father, but a title, donor, like
uncle or godparent. As for his daughter, he said, "there are many men in her
mothers' lives. There are friends; there is the donor father of his daughter's
siblings; and there is the white mother's new partner." With all of these
men in quasi-parental roles, he conceded, "I'm not sure if I'm - I can't say
honestly that I know that she's accessing anything through me that she's not
getting anywhere else."

Struggling to be precise, he said: "She recognizes me. I feel like we have a
relationship, that there's some . . . that I mean something to her, that she
recognizes an affinity that's not just: I like this guy; he's a nice guy; I
have a fun time with him. I think she sees me as being part of some kind of
heritage of hers. Now maybe that's my wanting to make a relationship where I
want there to be one, but I think that there is something there." He
mentioned that last summer his daughter and her twin brothers visited R.'s
family on Cape Cod. At the end of the trip, he was able to spend an entire
day alone with his daughter and his own family - his parents and siblings.
After the day was over, M. told him that his daughter hoped maybe next year
she would be able to spend two days there.

"So," he laughed, "who knows? Maybe in the end, all of this will be a plus.
Maybe we won't end up having that typical Oedipal hand baggage that she'll
have with her primary parents. It's been a long road. It's been very up and
down. But I got through it, and I wouldn't ever say I wish I hadn't done it.
Because it's great, actually, to have her in my life. I just" - he paused -
"would certainly have done it very differently."

It was late August on a wooden deck overlooking a quarter-acre lot in Coon
Rapids, a suburb north of Minneapolis. The deck was next to a three-bedroom
house. A big glass table was loaded with barbecue fixings of time eternal:
bean salad, chips, nuts, corn on the cob and the staple of American
child-rearing, juice boxes. The guests included two gay fathers, one gay
boyfriend-cum-stepdad, three lesbian mothers (one couldn't attend) and four
boys.

P. J., David and Bobbie's co-parent, is an X-ray technician with a bawdy and
infectious sense of humor. Mark's co-parents, Candi and Jean, one of whom is
a former prison guard, were more reserved. Eight conversations were juggled
as children came and went, screaming, laughing, crying, demanding juice
boxes, spilling juice boxes, getting sand on the frosting on their mouths
and so on. Eli arrived - post-chemo, post-stem-cell-transplant. He looked
fragile and skinny. His veins glowed slightly in the sunshine. His blond
hair was coming back, silky and short. One of his front teeth was missing,
and he gawked, open-mouthed, squinting in the sun.

P. J. told me that he seemed to have overcome most of his physical problems
in a matter of months. The emotional trauma might take longer. She recalled
his, and her, time at the hospital. "To watch your 5-year-old son staring
through a glass-pane window at a room full of other 5-year-olds playing
ball, and he can't do it. And the look of sadness on his face. Every day it
was: 'Mom, why am I here? Why do I have to do this? Why, why, why?' "

Eli had run off to play in the yard. He looked fine. Just awkward.

Mark and Candi and Jean's child, also Mark, showed up, looking still
three-quarters asleep.

"Is that the monkey shirt?" someone asked him.

No answer.

"What's Wyatt doing?"

"He's downstairs playing."

An electronic child monitor sat on the table, confirming that Wyatt was
indeed downstairs playing.

A bee buzzed. One of the mothers swatted it. "No bugs! Bugs are not
 allowed."

"I need some water."

Little Mark followed Eli to the backyard. Big Mark followed little Mark.
David followed big Mark. All of them marched past the Playskool house and a
litter of toys to the T-ball setup. Eli began to swat at a Wiffle ball.

Wyatt emerged from downstairs.

A chorus of parents began to chirp. "Hey, big guy!" "Hi!" "Hey, big guy!"
"You big guy!" "Come here, you!"

=============



Page 9 of 9)



Wyatt ran to Bobbie and gave him a big kiss and a hug. Bobbie, whom I
initially judged to be a bit dour, was clearly warmed to the quick. And it
was only at that moment that I realized he was as much a part of the family
as everyone, even if his role seemed more precarious. Wyatt made the rounds,
hugging everyone. Little Mark returned and also went around kissing and
hugging everyone. The adults cooed.


The conversation skittered and zigzagged as it does in any group of people
addlebrained by the presence of four children. Topics covered school
meetings, health benefits, the rate at which kids outgrow clothes.
Circumcision (pro or con). Potty training. Toys. Birthdays. Sibling
relations. Crying (when to ignore, when not to).

Suddenly, Eli's mother jerked up. Where's Eli? David shrugged, lazily. "He's
off being a boy!"

Wyatt nestled into her lap. "I want grape!"

"You want grape? You want some mandarin oranges, too?"

He shook his head.

"You want some cantaloupe?"

He shook his head again. "Uh-uh."

"You want some nuts?"

"Yah."

"What do you say?"

"Thanks!"

Candi turned to me. So, she wanted to know, What's this article about? I
told her it's about part-time fatherhood for gay men and how well it works
out and how it works out, period. She seemed suspicious. But . . . what's
the agenda? she asked. I laughed. Hadn't she heard? Journalists are
objective.

A bee came around the table. Eli panicked. He kept whining until it began to
seem a bit attention-seeking. David asked him to quiet down a few times and
finally told him to leave the table. Candi's attention returned to me: "Why
is this worth a story? It's not even worth discussing. We're just as
American as our next-door neighbors. You see all these families with
stepdads and stepmoms and half brothers and half sisters. What do you say
about marriages that 50 percent of the time end in divorce? Why are we so
threatening?" Most heterosexual parents, she said, marry, have sex "and then
suddenly: 'Whoops! We're pregnant!' Our families are designed. They're
conscious. They don't just happen by happenstance. We had to sit down and
say: O.K., what's your relationship to the kid going to look like? What's
our relationship to each other going to look like? What's this family going
to look like?" She didn't understand what the big deal was. "We want the
same things that every other family wants! You know? We shop at Costco; we
shop at Wal-Mart; we buy diapers. We're just average. We're downright
boring!"

Two or three Saturdays after the barbecue, back in New York, R. knocked on
the door of an East Village apartment. His daughter had been at a sleepover,
and he was picking her up for an afternoon visit. A mellow, biracial couple
answered and greeted him warmly. His daughter gathered her things, and we
were on our way.

Now 10, R.'s daughter, H., has long, frizzy brown hair and hazelnut skin.
She seemed very composed for her age. R. stopped her in the hallway. "Well,
do I get a hug?" he asked awkwardly. He stooped, and they hugged. He rolled
his eyes. "God, I wonder when I'll have to stop asking." It was mildly
humiliating, but the moment passed almost instantly, and in 10 seconds we
were outside in some of the last true summer warmth.

R. asked what she had gotten such and such a friend for her birthday. H.
shrugged: "A monkey. Well, not a real monkey. But a notebook with monkeys on
it. She loves monkeys."

H. is tall for her age. As she walked and talked, she had an adorable way of
punctuating the air with her fist every few syllables. Usually she jabbed
with her right hand, and sometimes she jabbed with her left. It wasn't a
rap-video imitation; it just seemed like her own way of being.

R. asked her, "So . . . do you have any notion of what you want to do
 today?" It seemed slightly studied. Notion. Child. Planning. Do today.

We stopped by a boutiquey snack place to get H. some gourmet hot chocolate.
She had Glac?au Vitaminwater instead. Passing some tables outside, she was
spotted by her hockey coach. He shouted several times to get her attention.
"How're you doing?" he asked. She nodded, but ever so slightly. Very cool.

He asked her again, not noticing the nod. "Hey! How're you doing?" Finally,
obligingly, H. said, "O.K." Pause. She ambled off with R.

The coach laughed. "Hey, anyone ever tell you you're a great
conversationalist?" R. said goodbye for her.

As we walked, R. repeated, "So, do you have any notion of what you want to
do today?" She said she needed to buy a present for a second friend, whose
birthday was also coming up. What did she want to get? R. asked.

Oh, maybe something by Paul Frank, she answered.

I asked who or what Paul Frank was. H. looked at me as if maybe I wasn't so
bright, but tried to explain. R. offered his two cents. "Paul Frank makes
stuff and puts his brand or whatever all over it, and then because of that,
it sells for more."

H. argued that Paul Frank's stuff was cute. R. disagreed. It was not cute.

H. disagreed. It was cute.

"I mean, come on," she insisted. "At least he's better than Hello Kitty."

"Why?" R. asked. "Why is he better than Hello Kitty?" She looked at him with
tolerant pity. "Because Hello Kitty is . . . dumb."

=========

Correction: Nov. 19, 2006

Because of an editing error, an article on Page 66 of The Times Magazine
today about gay parents misstates, in some copies, the number of states that
passed amendments banning gay marriage in the recent midterm elections. It
was 7, not 11.
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2006, 11:30:00 AM »

Gay couple awaits adoption ruling from U.S. court
The Seattle men's quest for their child's birth certificate in Oklahoma highlights how states' rules conflict.
By Nicholas Riccardi, Times Staff Writer
November 26, 2006




denver ? It was a note from the Oklahoma Health Department that started the chain of events that would propel Ed Swaya and Gregory Hampel into a federal court here.

The two men, partners for 13 years, had arranged through courts in their home state of Washington to adopt their daughter, Vivian, whose Oklahoma mother had agreed to give the baby to the two men when she was born in 2002.

When the couple asked Oklahoma to issue her birth certificate, the state sent a form with spaces for the names of the mother and father. Swaya and Hampel crossed out the categories and marked themselves as "parent #1" and "parent #2."

The state didn't accept it, and sent back the form. The couple then listed Hampel as the father and Swaya as the mother. Oklahoma rejected it, writing: "We could not establish maternity for Mr. Swaya."

Nonetheless, Oklahoma's attorney general warned that the state would have to honor the legal adoption order from Washington state.

The Legislature stepped in, passing a bill prohibiting the state from acknowledging adoptions by same-sex couples from other jurisdictions, setting the stage for a legal battle that some gay rights activists fear could become increasingly common as states seek to curtail the abilities of same-sex couples to adopt children.

Battles over such adoptions date back almost 30 years, to the Florida campaign led by singer Anita Bryant that sought and achieved that state's ban on adoption by gays in 1977. But, as with same-sex marriage, the legal situation involving adoption by gays remains fragmented across the country.

A handful of states, including Utah and Mississippi, have banned such adoptions over the years, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Other states, including California, permit such adoptions.

Courts have dealt with these bans in conflicting ways. In December 2004, a federal judge in Little Rock, Ark., struck down the state's ban on gay foster parenting and adoptions. Weeks later, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a ruling upholding Florida's ban.

Same-sex adoptions became an issue in the governor's race in Arkansas this year, where both candidates called for reinstating the state's ban. The American Academy of Pediatrics says 16 other states discussed constitutional amendments to ban gay adoption this year.

Chris Stovall, senior legal counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative public interest legal group, said legal issues surrounding adoption by same-sex couples were similar to those surrounding same-sex marriage. "These things are connected," he said. "Men and women do have different roles and contribute in different ways to the upbringing of a child."

Ken Upton, the attorney who sued Oklahoma for Swaya, Hampel and two other same-sex couples, also sees a similarity to the issue of same-sex marriage. "Foster care and adoption are what we see as battlegrounds in the conservative states," said Upton, a senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group. "That's the next frontier for people trying to attack gay people."

Each side cites studies to bolster its stand. Opponents of gay adoption say research has shown that children thrive when they have parents of each gender. Gay rights groups say the same is true of children raised by same-sex couples, and they note that many of the largest family medicine groups, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Assn., say homosexual parenting does not have harmful effects on children.

Oklahoma already prohibited same-sex couples from adopting children when Swaya and Hampel learned through an adoption agency of a pregnant 19-year-old woman in Oklahoma City who planned to put her baby up for adoption. The couple wanted an open adoption, in which the birth mother would remain a part of their child's life. The two men flew to Oklahoma for the birth, met her family and returned to Seattle with their new daughter.

But because of the law passed in response to their quest for Vivian's birth certificate, Swaya and Hampel say, they cannot return to Oklahoma for their daughter to get to know her grandfather or other birth relatives. (They have in the past flown the birth mother to Seattle.)

"This is hurting my daughter and keeping families apart," Swaya, 37, a marriage and family counselor, said.

Swaya and Hampel sued Oklahoma, joined by two lesbian couples who adopted children in other states and then moved to Oklahoma to find those adoptions unrecognized. One couple, Lucy and Jennifer Doel, adopted their 6-year-old daughter in California in 2002. In the court case, the two cited an incident in which their daughter had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and medical personnel said only the birth mother could accompany her.

Oklahoma officials could not be reached for comment last week, but in court papers they argued that their state had the right to set its own policy on adoptions by same-sex couples. They argued that the purpose of the law was "to halt the erosion of the mainstream definition of the family unit and provide the possibility for the optimal environment for the child's development in a home with a male parent and a female parent."

In May, a federal judge in Oklahoma found that the law did "little if anything to promote the traditional family unit" and attempted "to penalize the plaintiff children for the acts of their parents."

The law "in essence tells one of the adult plaintiffs, 'You are no longer the parent of your child,' " added U.S. District Court Judge Robin J. Cauthron.

On Nov. 17, the state argued before the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver that Cauthron's decision should be overturned. It could be several months before a ruling is issued.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
nicholas.riccardi@latimes.com
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2007, 12:58:27 PM »

Washington Post, Monday, January 15, 2007; B03

CUSTODY BATTLE

Woman Must Pay Child Support
A Vermont court has ordered a woman to pay child support to her former partner, who now lives in Winchester, Va. -- the latest twist in a continuing custody battle between Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller over their daughter, Isabella, 4.
Jenkins said yesterday that she has obeyed the Rutland Family Court's order, sending a $240 check by certified mail, only to have it returned because Miller did not pick it up.
Miller gave birth to Isabella after the women were legally joined in a civil union in Vermont in 2002. About a year later, Miller renounced her homosexuality and returned to Virginia.
A Virginia court granted Miller sole parental rights because the state does not recognize same-sex unions, but a state appeals court ruled late last year that jurisdiction in the case belongs to Vermont, where state courts have granted visitation rights for Jenkins.
Jenkins, who lives in Fair Haven, Vt., said she plans to ask for full custody as part for the final order dissolving the civil union.

-- Associated Press
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2007, 12:27:12 AM »


New York Times

January 25, 2007

Of Gay Sheep, Science and Peril of Bad Publicity

By JOHN SCHWARTZ

Charles Roselli set out to discover what makes some sheep gay. Then the news media and the blogosphere got hold of the story.

Dr. Roselli, a researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University, has searched for the past five years for physiological factors that might explain why about 8 percent of rams seek sex exclusively with other rams instead of ewes. The goal, he says, is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of sexual orientation in sheep. Other researchers might some day build on his findings to seek ways to determine which rams are likeliest to breed, he said.

But since last fall, when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals started a campaign against the research, it has drawn a torrent of outrage from animal rights activists, gay advocates and ordinary citizens around the world — all of it based, Dr. Roselli and colleagues say, on a bizarre misinterpretation of what the work is about.

The story of the gay sheep became a textbook example of the distortion and vituperation that can result when science meets the global news cycle.

The news media storm reached its zenith last month, when The Sunday Times in London published an article under the headline “Science Told: Hands Off Gay Sheep.” It asserted, incorrectly, that Dr. Roselli had worked successfully to “cure” homosexual rams with hormone treatments, and added that “critics fear” that the research “could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans.”

Martina Navratilova, the tennis star who is both openly gay and a PETA ally, wrote in an open letter that the research “can only be surmised as an attempt to develop a prenatal treatment” for sexual conditions.

The controversy spilled into the blog world, with attacks on Dr. Roselli, his university and Oregon State University, which is also involved in the research. PETA began an e-mail campaign that the universities say resulted in 20,000 protests, some with language like “you are a worthless animal killer and you should be shot,” “I hope you burn in hell” and “please, die.”

The news coverage, which has been heaviest in England and Australia, focused on smirk and titillation — and, of course, puns. Headlines included “Ewe Turn for Gay Rams on Hormones” and “He’s Just Not That Into Ewe.”

In recent weeks, the tide has begun to turn, with Dr. Roselli and Jim Newman, an Oregon Health and Science publicist, saying they have been working to correct the record in print and online. The university has sent responses to senders of each PETA-generated e-mail message.

Dr. Roselli, whose research is supported by the National Institutes of Health and is published in leading scientific journals, insists that he is as repulsed as his critics by the thought of sexual eugenics in humans. He said human sexuality was a complex phenomenon that could not be reduced to interactions of brain structure and hormones.

On blogs where attacks have appeared, the researchers point out that many of the accusations, like The Sunday Times’s assertion that the scientists implant devices in the brains of the sheep, are simply false.

The researchers acknowledge that the sheep are killed in the course of the research so their brain structure can be analyzed, but they say they follow animal welfare guidelines to prevent suffering.

The authors of the Sunday Times article, Chris Gourlay and Isabel Oakeshott, referred questions to a managing editor, who they said was traveling and could not be reached.

Dr. Roselli and Mr. Newman persuaded some prominent bloggers, including Andrew Sullivan, who writes an online column for Time, to correct postings that had uncritically quoted The Sunday Times’s article. They also found an ally in the blog world: a scientist who writes under the pseudonym emptypockets and has taken up Dr. Roselli’s cause. The blogger, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said a public stand could hurt his career, said he had been cheered by the number of bloggers who dropped their opposition when presented with the facts.

Ms. Navratilova, who also received a response from the university, said she remained unconvinced.

“The more we play God or try to improve on Mother Nature, the more damage we are doing with all kinds of experiments that either have already turned or will turn into nightmares,” she wrote in an e-mail reply to a reporter’s query. “How in the world could straight or gay sheep help humanity?”

In an interview, Shalin Gala, a PETA representative working on the sheep campaign, said controlling or altering sexual orientation was a “natural implication” of the work of Dr. Roselli and his colleagues.

Mr. Gala, who asked that he be identified as openly gay, cited the news release for a 2004 paper in the journal Endocrinology that showed differences in brain structure between homosexual and heterosexual sheep.

The release quoted Dr. Roselli as saying that the research “also has broader implications for understanding the development and control of sexual motivation and mate selection across mammalian species, including humans.”

Mr. Newman, who wrote the release, said the word “control” was used in the scientific sense of understanding the body’s internal controls, not in the sense of trying to control sexual orientation.

“It’s discouraging that PETA can pick one word, try to add weight to it or shift its meaning to suggest that you are doing something that you clearly are not,” he said.

Dr. Roselli said that merely mentioning possible human implications of basic research was wildly different from intending to carry the work over to humans.

Mentioning human implications, he said, is “in the nature of the way we write our grants” and talk to reporters. Scientists who do basic research find themselves in a bind, he said, adding, “We have been forced to draw connections in a way that we can justify our research.”

As for whether the deaths of the sheep are justified, he said, “why would you pick on a guy who’s killing maybe 18 sheep a year, when there’s maybe four million killed for food and clothing in this country?”

Paul Root Wolpe, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and a senior fellow at the university’s Center for Bioethics, said that although he supported Dr. Roselli’s research, “I’m not sure I would let him off the hook quite as easily as he wants to be let off the hook.”

By discussing the human implications of the research, even in a somewhat careful way, Dr. Roselli “opened the door” to the reaction, Dr. Wolpe said, and “he has to take responsibility for the public response.”

If the mechanisms underlying sexual orientation can be discovered and manipulated, Dr. Wolpe continued, then the argument that sexual orientation is based in biology and is immutable “evaporates.”

The prospect of parents’ eventually being able to choose not to have children who would become gay is a real concern for the future, Dr. Wolpe said. But he added, “This concern is best addressed by trying to change public perceptions of homosexuality rather than stop basic science on sexuality.”
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2007, 06:44:01 AM »

Former N.J. Gov. McGreevey Seeks Custody of 5-Year-Old Daughter, Child Support From Wife

Tuesday , March 13, 2007

ELIZABETH, N.J. —
Former Gov. James McGreevey, who resigned from office after revealing that he was gay and had an affair with a male staffer, is seeking custody of his 5-year-old daughter and child support from his estranged wife.

The revised divorce lawsuit by McGreevey, who resigned in November 2004, does not mention the "matrimonial settlement agreement" that McGreevey originally said had resolved all custody and support issues concerning his daughter, Jacqueline.

McGreevey's wife, Dina Matos, has 35 days to respond to the revised filing.

The papers filed last month in Union County Superior Court ask the judge to assign McGreevey custody, to award visitation to the noncustodial parent and to award him "suitable support and maintenance."

"Dina and I both seek the best interests of Jacqueline," McGreevey said Tuesday. "We're asking the court to determine what's the most appropriate balance in the child's interest."

He would not answer further questions about the exact custody arrangement he is seeking. Any payments to either party would be determined by a family court judge.

Matos and her lawyer, John Post, could not be reached Tuesday.
Matos said last month that the two "continue to have profound differences about what our daughter should be exposed to, and until they are resolved, there will be no agreement."

McGreevey and his wife have lived apart since McGreevey resigned.
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2007, 11:22:10 AM »

Officials at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Ill., have ordered their 14-year-old freshman class into a "gay" indoctrination seminar, after having them sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to tell their parents.

"This is unbelievable," said Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues for Concerned Women for America. "It's not enough that students at Deerfield High are being exposed to improper and offensive material relative to unhealthy and high-risk homosexual behavior, but they've essentially been told by teachers to lie to their parents about it."

In what CWA called a "shocking and brazen act of government abuse of parental rights," the school's officials required the 14-year-olds to attend a "Gay Straight Alliance Network" panel discussion led by "gay" and "lesbian" upperclassmen during a "freshman advisory" class which "secretively featured inappropriate discussions of a sexual nature in promotion of high-risk homosexual behaviors."

"This goes to the heart of the homosexual agenda," Barber said. "The professional propagandists in the 'gay-rights' lobby know the method all too well. If you can maintain control of undeveloped and impressionable youth and spoon-feed them misinformation, lies and half-truths about dangerous, disordered and extremely risky behaviors, then you can control the future and ensure that those behaviors are not only fully accepted, but celebrated."

He said not only is forcing students to be exposed to the pro-homosexual propaganda bad enough, but then school officials further required that students sign the "confidentiality agreement" through which they promised not to tell anyone – including their own parents – about the seminar.

Barber said that also aligns with the goals of the disinformation campaign being run by those in the pro-homosexual camp. "That's what homosexual activists from GSA are attempting to do, and that's what DHS is clearly up to as well."

The situation, according to district Supt. George Fornero, was partly "a mistake."

He told CWA, the nation's largest public policy women's organization, that requiring children to sign the confidentiality agreement wasn't right and the district would be honest with parents in the future about such seminars. But CWA noted that even after the district was caught, parents still were being told they were not welcome to be at the "freshman advisory" and they were not allowed to have access to materials used in compiling the activist curriculum.

Barber noted the damage being done is significant.

"Until DHS and other government schools across the country are made to stop promoting the homosexual agenda, kids will continue to be exposed to – and encouraged to participate in – a lifestyle that places them at high risk for life-threatening disease, depression and spiritual despair," he said.

It's not the first situation where WND has reported on schools teaching homosexuality to children.

In Massachusetts after a school repeatedly advocated for the homosexual lifestyle to students in elementary grades, several parents sued, only to have the federal judge order the "gay" agenda taught to the Christians.

The conclusion from U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf found that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality.

Wolf essentially adopted the reasoning in a brief submitted by a number of homosexual-advocacy groups, who said "the rights of religious freedom and parental control over the upbringing of children … would undermine teaching and learning…"

David and Tonia Parker and Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, who have children of school age in Lexington, Mass., brought the lawsuit. They alleged district officials and staff at Estabrook Elementary School violated state law and civil rights by indoctrinating their children about a lifestyle they, as Christians, teach is immoral.

"Wolf's ruling is every parent's nightmare. It goes to extraordinary lengths to legitimize and reinforce the 'right' (and even the duty) of schools to normalize homosexual behavior to even the youngest of children," said a statement from the pro-family group Mass Resistance.

An appeal of that decision is pending.

The judge concluded that even allowing Christians to withdraw their children from classes or portions of classes where their religious beliefs were being violated wasn't a reasonable expectation.

"An exodus from class when issues of homosexuality or same-sex marriage are to be discussed could send the message that gays, lesbians, and the children of same-sex parents are inferior and, therefore, have a damaging effect on those students," he opined.
"Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy," the judge wrote. "Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation."

And, he said, since history "includes instances of … official discrimination against gays and lesbians … it is reasonable for public educators to teach elementary school students … different sexual orientations."

If they disagree, "the Parkers and Wirthlins may send their children to a private school …[or] may also educate their children at home," the judge said.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2007, 01:57:54 PM »

Deerfield High? Yikes, my alma mater, though I'm not sure I can use that term as it was strongly suggested I leave after siccing the ACLU on them, but that's another story. Times sure appear to have changed since I was smoking dope, chugging Boones Farm and exploring various mysteries with hippy chicks in the woods behind the school.
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rogt
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2007, 06:07:15 PM »

What's the source of this?  I find it a little hard to believe that if something like this actually happened, it went down the way this article makes it out.

Officials at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Ill., have ordered their 14-year-old freshman class into a "gay" indoctrination seminar, after having them sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to tell their parents.

"This is unbelievable," said Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues for Concerned Women for America. "It's not enough that students at Deerfield High are being exposed to improper and offensive material relative to unhealthy and high-risk homosexual behavior, but they've essentially been told by teachers to lie to their parents about it."

In what CWA called a "shocking and brazen act of government abuse of parental rights," the school's officials required the 14-year-olds to attend a "Gay Straight Alliance Network" panel discussion led by "gay" and "lesbian" upperclassmen during a "freshman advisory" class which "secretively featured inappropriate discussions of a sexual nature in promotion of high-risk homosexual behaviors."

"This goes to the heart of the homosexual agenda," Barber said. "The professional propagandists in the 'gay-rights' lobby know the method all too well. If you can maintain control of undeveloped and impressionable youth and spoon-feed them misinformation, lies and half-truths about dangerous, disordered and extremely risky behaviors, then you can control the future and ensure that those behaviors are not only fully accepted, but celebrated."

He said not only is forcing students to be exposed to the pro-homosexual propaganda bad enough, but then school officials further required that students sign the "confidentiality agreement" through which they promised not to tell anyone – including their own parents – about the seminar.

Barber said that also aligns with the goals of the disinformation campaign being run by those in the pro-homosexual camp. "That's what homosexual activists from GSA are attempting to do, and that's what DHS is clearly up to as well."

The situation, according to district Supt. George Fornero, was partly "a mistake."

He told CWA, the nation's largest public policy women's organization, that requiring children to sign the confidentiality agreement wasn't right and the district would be honest with parents in the future about such seminars. But CWA noted that even after the district was caught, parents still were being told they were not welcome to be at the "freshman advisory" and they were not allowed to have access to materials used in compiling the activist curriculum.

Barber noted the damage being done is significant.

"Until DHS and other government schools across the country are made to stop promoting the homosexual agenda, kids will continue to be exposed to – and encouraged to participate in – a lifestyle that places them at high risk for life-threatening disease, depression and spiritual despair," he said.

It's not the first situation where WND has reported on schools teaching homosexuality to children.

In Massachusetts after a school repeatedly advocated for the homosexual lifestyle to students in elementary grades, several parents sued, only to have the federal judge order the "gay" agenda taught to the Christians.

The conclusion from U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf found that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality.

Wolf essentially adopted the reasoning in a brief submitted by a number of homosexual-advocacy groups, who said "the rights of religious freedom and parental control over the upbringing of children … would undermine teaching and learning…"

David and Tonia Parker and Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, who have children of school age in Lexington, Mass., brought the lawsuit. They alleged district officials and staff at Estabrook Elementary School violated state law and civil rights by indoctrinating their children about a lifestyle they, as Christians, teach is immoral.

"Wolf's ruling is every parent's nightmare. It goes to extraordinary lengths to legitimize and reinforce the 'right' (and even the duty) of schools to normalize homosexual behavior to even the youngest of children," said a statement from the pro-family group Mass Resistance.

An appeal of that decision is pending.

The judge concluded that even allowing Christians to withdraw their children from classes or portions of classes where their religious beliefs were being violated wasn't a reasonable expectation.

"An exodus from class when issues of homosexuality or same-sex marriage are to be discussed could send the message that gays, lesbians, and the children of same-sex parents are inferior and, therefore, have a damaging effect on those students," he opined.
"Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy," the judge wrote. "Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation."

And, he said, since history "includes instances of … official discrimination against gays and lesbians … it is reasonable for public educators to teach elementary school students … different sexual orientations."

If they disagree, "the Parkers and Wirthlins may send their children to a private school …[or] may also educate their children at home," the judge said.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2007, 06:32:03 PM »

Sorry, this header got cut off:

District gags 14-year-olds after 'gay' indoctrination
'Confidentiality' promise requires students 'not to tell their parents'
Posted: March 13, 2007
10:39 p.m. Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

I wouldn't rate WorldNetDaily particularly highly on accuracy, but do think that they are above making things up.  Anyway, based upon previous conversatiions I would have thought the judge's logic right up your alley.  Where am I/is he wrong?

Marc
« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 06:40:29 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
rogt
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2007, 04:04:12 PM »

Woof Marc,

I wouldn't rate WorldNetDaily particularly highly on accuracy, but do think that they are above making things up.  Anyway, based upon previous conversatiions I would have thought the judge's logic right up your alley.  Where am I/is he wrong?

Yes, I agree with the judge's statements, posted below (minus all the horseshit opinions and mischaracterizations with which they were prefraced by the article):

Quote
"An exodus from class when issues of homosexuality or same-sex marriage are to be discussed could send the message that gays, lesbians, and the children of same-sex parents are inferior and, therefore, have a damaging effect on those students," he opined.
"Under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy," the judge wrote. "Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation."

Sounds to me like he's saying that an honest discussion of gay issues in schools is "reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy" and parents don't have a right to have their kids excused from it just because it may run counter to their religious beliefs.  And it should be noted that these statements were regarding a completely different case and are not (as this article seems to imply) an endorsement of what the school did in this particular case.

Are we talking about a class devoted to anal sex techniques, leather outfits, and the use of amyl nitrate, or teaching kids that being gay is nothing to commit suicide over or beat the shit out of somebody for?  It would be nice if no such teachings (of the latter) were necessary, but unfortunately a lot of kids receive the opposite message at home or in church often enough to warrant it.

That said, what I find so unbelievable about this article is the part about making students sign some agreement to not tell their parents about being made to attend a talk given by some gay rights activsts.  I think we can believe the superintendent when he says the situation was a "mistake", since I can't imagine that any superintendent in his right mind would agree to anything like what this article is implying went down.  I'm guessing the actual agreement and the seminar's actual message is fairly honest and benign, and that WorldNetDaily chose not to publish any details because doing so would undercut the article's attempt to portray nice god-fearing folk under vicious attack from the radical gay agenda.
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2007, 04:44:09 PM »

Woof Rog:

I honest doubt that "honest discussion" is what this was about.  My strong hunch is that anything other than complete neutrality or approval of homosexuality would have been virulently slammed as "homophobic bigotry"-- not just a "don't pick on the gays" lesson in live and let live.   "The conclusion from U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf found that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality." 

"Accept and endorse"?!? 

Is this not what you want?

Marc                                                               
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rogt
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2007, 05:02:55 PM »

Woof Rog:

I honest doubt that "honest discussion" is what this was about.  My strong hunch is that anything other than complete neutrality or approval of homosexuality would have been virulently slammed as "homophobic bigotry"-- not just a "don't pick on the gays" lesson in live and let live.   

Maybe, but this article published exactly ZERO actual details, so you're basically taking their word that the seminar was some attempt to convert all these kids to homosexuality behind their parents' backs, and I see no evidence of this, at least not from that article.

Quote
"The conclusion from U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf found that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality." 

"Accept and endorse"?!? 

What you're quoting from the article here:

Quote
The conclusion from U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf found that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality.

Was NOT, repeat NOT from any statement made by this judge and is purely WorldNetDaily's interpretation of his statements, which I posted.  Is there's a transcript of the court proceedings posted somewhere in this discussion that I'm not aware of?

And WTF does "accept and endorse" mean?  I don't think kids have to be proponents of homosexuality to think there's nothing wrong with being gay, at least to the point where they don't see it as a reason to kill themselves or beat somebody else up.  Surely we can all agree on this.

If this were a case of teaching kids why it's wrong to hate somebody because they're black (or Jewish), then we wouldn't even be having this discussion. But for some reason anti-gay bigotry is still a-OK as far as a lot of people are concerned.
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2007, 08:09:50 AM »

I think it is an open question whether gay is 0% or 100% a matter of genetics or somewhere in between.  I think people should be allowed to think there is something "off" about being gay.  I think the State should stay out of the conversation our society is having about all of this, especially with children. The State is FORCE and this is a matter for people to search for truth as best they can.
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2007, 12:39:09 PM »

Nobody's saying you shouldn't be allowed to think whatever you want about being gay even if it were proven to be 100% genetic.  What kids need to be educated on is that being gay is nothing to kill yourself or beat somebody else up over.  It's possible that no amount of education will ever stop these kinds of things from happening, but without some effort to present kids with objective informations about this topic, all some of them will hear are the ignorant (mainly religious) views of their parents.  Note that there is a difference between telling kids "there's nothing sick or wrong about being gay" (objective education) and "being gay is great and you should try it" (obvious propaganda).

Being black is has always been known to be 100% genetic and there are still plenty of racists.  OTOH, being Jewish (or any religion) is 100% a matter of choice, and I'm pretty sure you have a zero-tolerance policy towards anti-Semitism.  So what's so special or scared about anti-gay bigotry that makes it untouchable by the state?
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2007, 05:42:48 PM »

I'm new here, and it's odd that my first post be on this topic...however, the topic does seem interesting.

First of all, I take a pretty libertarian attitude toward homosexuality itself...I feel what two (or more) adults do in the privacy of their own homes is their business.

However, where I take exceptions is on the point of how homosexuals and their sympathizers have taken it upon themselves to indoctrinate society as a whole, through a blitz of hollywood marketing, in particular, as well as the issue demonstrated in this article, where that agenda is using the captive nature of public school children to conduct indoctrination sessions.  It's the rather forceful nature of this indoctrination I find insulting and, quite frankly, dangerous. 

Some attempt to form a comparison between the homosexual agenda and the civil rights movement....but there is a huge difference.  Race is a static genetic state that is outside the control of the individual.  Judging someone based on their genetic makeup is fundamentally ignorant, given that it is not a factor of behavior and is not in the control of the individual. 

Homosexuality, on the other hand, is behavior....even if that behavior is rooted in genetic predisposititions it is, the activity, unlike race, is still behavior based.  Society has the right to have an honest discussion about which behaviors are acceptable and which are not.  Declaring the entire debate 'ignorant' and 'phobic' on the same standards as racially insensitive statements would be, denies the very distinct difference.

Moreover, a great deal of behavior is likely rooted in genetic predispositions...certain criminal behavior is likely rooted in genetic predispositions, for example (note, I did not compare homosexuality to criminal behavior).  The point being, however, that simple genetic predisposition does not automatically mean that a given behavior should be considered morally, ethically and legally correct.

The attempt to indoctrinate the young people of this society through a media blitz and forced indoctrination as a captive audience in public schools is an attempt to side-step the discussion entirely.  It's also this captive audience principle why certain forces in this country oppose school vouchers and school choice....they view school much as Vladimir Lenin did.

“Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever” Vladimir I. Lenin
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« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2007, 09:00:02 PM »

The videos hosted by this site present certain deep questions very clearly:

http://www.massresistance.org/media/video/brainwashing.html
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« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2007, 06:08:27 AM »

NY Times

Gay Inmates to Be Granted Conjugal Visits in California
       

 
By JESSE McKINLEY
Published: June 3, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO, June 1 — Gay and lesbian prisoners in California will be allowed overnight visits with their partners under a new prison policy, believed to be the first time a state has allowed same-sex conjugal stays.

The policy comes more than two years after a 2003 California law provided equal rights for registered domestic partners in California, including those of the same sex and non-married heterosexuals. Gay and civil rights groups had threatened to sue to permit the conjugal visits in prisons, which they say have been slow to enact changes promised by the law.

“It’s a little troubling that a state agency had to be threatened with legal action to obey state law,” said Geoff Kors, the executive director of Equality California, a gay rights organization. “There was no justifiable excuse for not complying.”

Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said the slow pace of change was due, in part, to considerations of whether allowing the visits would expose gay inmates to danger inside the prison, where they are sometimes singled out for attack. “We had to thoroughly evaluate all the security concerns,” Ms. Thornton said.

The policy change was spurred by a letter warning of legal action from the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Vernon Foeller, 40, a gay man who had been serving a 20-month sentence for attempted burglary at the state prison in Vacaville, Calif. Alex Cleghorn, an AC.L.U. lawyer, said that Mr. Foeller was eligible for a conjugal visit except that the prison system “didn’t recognize his partner as a family member.”

“They have pages and pages of regulations that must be met to permit these visits,” Mr. Cleghorn said, “and Vernon met all of these requirements.”

Mr. Foeller was released in April.

Overnight visits, which can be up to 72 hours long, have been allowed in California since the 1970s, Ms. Thornton said, and are conducted in units inside prison grounds, often trailers. While suggestive of sexual activity, the visits sometimes include several family members, including children.

“It’s not exclusive to conjugal activities,” Ms. Thornton said.

Gay and lesbian inmates were not allowed visits from their partners because only spouses were recognized as “immediate family.”

Several categories of inmate are not allowed the visits, including those on death row, sex offenders, those serving sentences of life without parole, and those who have been violent with minors or family members. Prisoners also must have been on good behavior, with no violations.

The new policy will allow only those currently registered as domestic partners to ask for the visits, and affirms that no prisoners will be allowed overnight visits with other prisoners, regardless of status.

Only a handful of states — including New York — allow conjugal visits, which some prison officials say can help reduce the stress of prison life and maintain prisoners’ connections to their families. Critics, however, have cited a variety of reasons to oppose the visits, including the potential for spreading sexually transmitted diseases and the additional cost of maintaining separate conjugal prison quarters.

Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco, called the policy change a “great leap forward” but said gay and lesbian inmates were often still the target of discrimination and violence.

“There are certain social arenas that have been insulated from social changes going on in broader society, and jails and prisons is one of those areas,” Mr. Minter said.

California has a ban on same-sex marriage, although that law has been the subject of legal battles. The California Supreme Court is currently reviewing the law’s constitutionality as part of a suit brought by the City of San Francisco and a group of gay and lesbian couples.

The policy change must be approved by the state’s Office of Administrative Law before taking effect, most likely later this year.

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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2008, 12:11:47 AM »

UK - Teachers not to assume children have hetero parents

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Don't say mum and dad... teachers told not to assume pupils have heterosexual parents

By LAURA CLARK - More by this author » Last updated at 10:48am on 30th January 2008

Teachers should not assume that their pupils have a "mum and dad" under guidance aimed at tackling anti-gay bullying in schools.

It says primary pupils as young as four should be familiarised with the idea of same-sex couples to help combat homophobic attitudes.

Teachers should attempt to avoid assumptions that pupils will have a conventional family background, it urges.

It goes on to suggest the word "parents" may be more appropriate than "mum and dad", particularly in letters and emails to the child's home.

When discussing marriage with secondary pupils, teachers should also educate pupils about civil partnerships and gay adoption rights.

The guidance - produced for the Government by gay rights group Stonewall - will be formally launched today by Schools Secretary Ed Balls.

It states that children who call classmates "gay" should be treated the same as racists as part of a "zero tolerance" crackdown on the use of the word as an insult.

Teachers should avoid telling boys to "be a man" or accuse them of behaving like a "bunch of women".

This sort of rebuke "leads to bullying of those who do not conform to fixed ideas about gender", the guidance states.

At the same time, schools should encourage gay role models among staff, parents and governors. Homosexual staff should be able to discuss their private lives after the consultation with the head teacher.

In advice to gay staff, it states: "School culture and ethos determines how open staff are about their private lives, and you should therefore seek advice and guidance from your head."

The Department for Children, Schools and Families commissioned Stonewall to write the guidance jointly with lobby group Education Action Challenging Homophobia.

It says that pupils aged four to seven should "understand that not all pupils have a mum and a dad" and learn about different family structures. Advice to teachers of 11 to 14-year-olds states: "Schools should make efforts to talk inclusively about same-sex parents, for example, avoid assuming all pupils will have a "mum and dad". "When schools discuss marriage, they may also discuss civil partnership and adoption rights for gay people."

In a section on engaging with parents, it asks schools: "Do you talk about 'parents' instead of assuming all pupils have 'mum or a dad'?" The advice goes on to urge teachers to challenge every derogatory use of the word gay to avert homophobic attitudes. Examples include "those trainers are so gay", "that pencil case is so gay" or "you're such a gay boy".

One primary teacher quoted in the guidance said: "We hear 'gay' as a term of abuse every single day. The children may not know exactly what it means, but they know they are using it as an insult. That's why we need to tackle it at this stage."

Controversy over the semantics of the word erupted two years ago when the BBC ruled that Radio One DJ Chris Moyles was not being offensive to homosexuals by using the word "gay" to mean "rubbish". The advice says: "It is important for all staff to challenge pupils, explaining the consequences of using 'gay' in a derogatory way.

"It might be time-consuming at first, but a consistent 'zero-tolerance' approach to such language is central to achieving progress and an environment in which being gay is not thought of as being inferior."

It adds: "Schools need to make it clear to pupils that homophobic comments are as serious as racist comments, and homophobic incidents are as serious as other forms of bullying."

Teachers should use every curriculum subject to nip discriminatory attitudes in the bud. English lessons for teenagers, for example, could focus on the emotions of the gay Italian soldier Carlo in Captain Corelli's Mandolin. The guidance is being published five years after the repeal of Section 28 - the law which banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

Ministers promised the move would make no difference to the teaching of homosexual matters but some critics have claimed the gay lobby is having a growing influence on pupils. Next month is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month, where pupils learn about apparently gay figures from history including Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde and James Dean.

Mr Balls, who will launch the anti-bullying guidance at a Stonewall conference today, said: "I am proud the Government and the department are being robust about this. "It is our view that every school should have a clear policy on tackling all forms of bullying, including homophobic bullying."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1770
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2008, 10:42:52 AM »

Christian couple told: 'You can't foster if you think it's wrong to be gay'

By DAVID WILKES

They are devoted foster parents with an unblemished record of caring for almost 20 vulnerable children.

But Eunice and Owen Johns have been forced to abandon their good work because they refuse to tell children as young as ten that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle.

To do so, they say, would go against their Christian beliefs.

The devastated couple withdrew an application to their council to continue as foster carers after being told they must condone homosexuality to adhere to gay rights laws.

The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation), which came into force last April, makes it illegal for any business or organisation providing a public service to discriminate against anyone because of their sexuality.

The council says its fostering panel felt it would not be following the regulations if it placed a child with a couple who could not comply with the Act.

The couple's case comes at a time when there is a chronic shortage of foster parents, who work on a voluntary basis. Around 8,000 more are needed nationally.

The couple, who have four grownup children of their own, first became foster parents in 1996 and provided weekend respite care for 18 children over the next four years at their home in Derby. They gave up fostering when a catering business they ran became too time-consuming.

They then re-applied to provide weekend respite foster care to children aged under ten when they felt they were able to devote themselves fully to the task again.

Yesterday Mrs Johns, 59, a Sunday school teacher, said: "We started going through the assessment and were told that there was new legislation.

"They were asking: "What would you do if a 10 year-old child came home and said they had been picked on because they were homosexual?"

"They said, "Do you know you would have to tell them that it's ok to be homosexual?"

"But I said I couldn't do that because my Christian beliefs won't let me. Morally I couldn't do that, spiritually I couldn'tdo that.

"I said I was there to explain that I would not compromise my faith.

"I said I would have to tell the child that as I am a Christian I don't believe in homosexuality but I can give as much love and security as I possibly can."

Mr Johns, 63, a metal polisher, said: "I would love any child, black or white, gay or straight.

'But I cannot understand why sexuality is an issue when we are talking about boys and girls under the age of ten."

Their case has been taken up by the Christian Legal Centre, which is to seek a judicial review if the council does not reverse its decision.

Religious campaigners say Mr and Mrs Johns are the victims of an equality drive which puts gay rights above religious beliefs.

Stephen Green, director of Christian Voice said: "The fostering service is in danger of losing an experienced Christian couple all for the sake of worshipping at the altar of diversity."

Sara Bolton, Derby City Council cabinet member for children and young people, said: "This is an unfortunate case. But these laws are in place for the good of the children in our care.

"We need to treat everybody fairly because we're looking after vulnerable children and therefore we need to keep strictly to the legislation and the policy."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1770
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2008, 01:43:47 PM »

No doubt which side the reporter is on  rolleyes

Slaying raises tension between homosexuals and the Sacramento area's growing Slavic evangelical ranks.
By Eric Bailey, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
March 16, 2008
FOLSOM, CALIF. -- One punch was all it took. One punch to forever divide. One punch to kill a young man.

On a hot summer afternoon along a placid lakefront in the Sacramento suburbs, Satender Singh had come with a group of fellow Fijians to celebrate his promotion at an AT&T call center. Three married couples and Singh, a lighthearted 26-year-old, drank and hooted and danced a crazy conga line to East Indian music.

An innocent outing? Not in the eyes of the Russian family a few picnic tables away.

Andrey Vusik, 29, fresh from morning church services with his young children in tow, stared with disgust as Singh danced and hugged the other men while their wives giggled. To the Russian, Singh seemed rude and inappropriate, a gay man putting on an outrageous public display.

Angry stares led to an afternoon of traded insults. As the long day slid toward dusk, the tall Russian immigrant approached with a friend to demand an apology. Singh refused. Vusik threw a single punch.

Singh's head smacked into a concrete walkway. The joyful young man with the musical laugh died four days later of brain injuries.

Now, half a year after that angry Sunday afternoon at Lake Natoma, 15 miles east of the state Capitol, the case remains anything but resolved.

Vusik, a father of three, fled the U.S. and remains a fugitive, charged with involuntary manslaughter. Authorities suspect he is on the run in Russia, and the FBI has joined the hunt. Meanwhile, a young friend of Vusik -- Alex Shevchenko -- faces trial next month on hate-crime http, accused of helping to inflame the confrontation last July 1 and then hurling a bottle as he fled.

The tragedy has exacerbated tensions between Sacramento's gay community and the region's booming population of Slavic evangelical Christians, whose most vocal congregants in recent years have mobilized on the streets and statehouse steps to protest homosexuality.

Shevchenko did not throw a punch, but he could face three years behind bars if convicted. Slavic leaders say the 21-year-old is being scapegoated. They say an isolated tragedy is being used to ostracize their community of refugees from the former Soviet Union.

"This was not a hate crime; this was a street fight," said Roman Romasco, executive director of the Slavic Assistance Center in Sacramento. "From a street fight, they try to make a big case. From a little spark, they try to make a big fire. But you cannot blame the whole community over this."

Gay rights activists in Sacramento, which has one of the larger per capita gay populations in the U.S., believe Singh's death is the inevitable result of an organized campaign of homophobia imported from the old Soviet republics.

"The roots of what these guys did to Satender Singh can be traced to what's being preached in their churches," said Jerry Sloan, founder of Project Tocsin, a Sacramento-based group that monitors the religious right. "Some sitting in those pews believe they've heard it straight from God: that homosexuality is an abomination."

With as many as 100,000 newcomers from republics such as Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, the Sacramento region has one of the nation's largest concentrations of Soviet immigrants. Most began arriving in the late 1980s -- about a third of them conservative evangelical Christians seeking religious freedom.

The influx has created a thriving Russian community with Russian-language newspapers, cable TV and radio shows, as well as 70 Slavic churches -- nearly all adherents of a fundamentalist creed that condemns homosexuality.

Those beliefs, preached from the pulpit and voiced in Russian-language media, did not attract much attention until 2005, when a vocal crowd of Slavic evangelicals mounted a protest at the state Capitol against same-sex marriage.

In the years since, they have become the most aggressive anti-gay contingent in the region. Holding signs and wearing T-shirts proclaiming "Sodomy is a Sin," they have mounted protests against state legislation, rallied at school board meetings and picketed fundraisers for politicians backed by gay-rights groups.

Sometimes their protests have taken a more personal tack.

Nathan Feldman, 30, said Slavic protesters have shoved him and spit on him at gay-pride events. Feldman said he lost his job at a jewelry store after a Ukrainian co-worker discovered he was gay and lied to get him fired. That wasn't all. A vandal scrawled graffiti on a trash dumpster outside his apartment: "Nathan Feldman, Die for AIDS."

"All of this has been going on way before Satender was killed," said Feldman, now a reporter for a gay-focused cable news show.
----------

Page 2 of 2  << back     1 2     


Local politicians have warned Slavic churches to tone down the rhetoric. State Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said in a newspaper opinion piece that "radical fundamentalists" have pinned a bull's-eye on the gay community. "Tragically now, the threat of violence has become reality, as manifested in this murder."

Since Singh's death, civil-rights groups have expressed concern that Russian enclaves in such West Coast cities as Sacramento, Portland and Seattle have become spawning grounds for virulent anti-gay sentiment.

A recent Southern Poverty Law Center report said many of the region's most vocal Slavic activists are followers of an international anti-gay group called Watchmen on the Walls. Formed just a few years ago, the group has established a potent presence among Slavic evangelicals in the U.S. and abroad.

Using battle-tinged rhetoric, the Watchmen have called for evangelicals to step aggressively into the political realm to fight what they see as a gay agenda threatening the traditional family.

They held a convention in Sacramento -- attended by several dozen devotees -- just a few months before the Singh killing.

The founders include Alexey Ledyaev, pastor of New Generation Church -- a Latvian-based denomination with more than 200 satellite congregations, including one in Sacramento -- and Scott Lively, an anti-gay activist and attorney with California roots who wrote "The Pink Swastika," a book linking Nazi Germany's Third Reich to homosexuality.

Vlad Kusakin, the host of a Sacramento Russian-language radio show and publisher of a Slavic newspaper that circulates in several West Coast cities, has appeared at Watchmen conventions.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has added the Watchmen to its list of hate groups, which includes such organizations as the Aryan Nations and the Golden State Skinheads.

"The rationale is the extreme viciousness of the group's anti-gay propaganda," said Mark Potok, director of the center's Intelligence Project.

Lively said in an e-mail that Watchmen do not promote or condone violence and are being unfairly subjected to a "hate-themed smear campaign." As for gay people, he said, "The public sympathy they enjoy as a political movement cannot survive honest scrutiny of their lifestyle or agenda."

Shevchenko's trial is set for April 29. Michael Long, his attorney, said the facts don't warrant hate-crime charges. Vusik initially asked Singh and his friends to stop their sexually explicit dancing, the attorney said, but the Fijians refused and called the Russians "white trash."

"I'm sure if it had been two straight people doing simulated sexual acts, they would have felt the same way," Long said. "This wasn't about evangelical versus gay. The Russians just wanted a peaceful picnic, and the Fijians were being obnoxious."

Singh's friends and family have tiptoed around questions of his sexual orientation. Since arriving from Fiji, he mostly stayed in the closet, gay activists say, occasionally hitting bars to dance.

His circle of friends was big and grew easily. One co-worker told mourners at a memorial service about a phone message Singh had left, a few words laced together by his lilting laugh. She vowed never to erase it.

Singh had gone to the lakefront with three couples, all straight. One of the women was pregnant.

A video shot by one of Singh's friends that afternoon shows him dancing with both men and women, grinding hips and at one point being theatrically swatted on the rear by a male friend holding a leafy stick.

Vusik, who worked in auto exports, was barbecuing with his wife, Tatyana, their children and a sister-in-law, Dasha. Shevchenko, Dasha's boyfriend, joined the group later.

Witnesses told authorities that the two camps on the shoreline traded insults for hours.

Details of the confrontation were sketched out during a preliminary hearing.

One witness said she heard the Fijians name-calling first.

Others said the Russians were the aggressors. Vusik allegedly told one of Singh's friends he wanted the "faggot" to "say sorry to me."

Late in the day, Vusik and Shevchenko approached to ask for that apology. Singh refused. Arguing erupted anew around the picnic table. Prosecutors say Vusik threw a cup of beer at one of Singh's friends, Singh stood up and Vusik punched him.

Gay activists continue to insist that the homicide was no random act of violence. Some say murder charges should have been filed. With several gay-pride events planned in the capital city in April, they worry about more trouble.

Marghe Covino, a veteran Sacramento civil rights activist and member of the Satender Justice Coalition -- formed after Singh's death -- said 60 gay people were murdered in Russia last year.

"People here feel targeted. They feel unsafe," she said. "All it will take is one more angry person to pick up a rock. Or pick up a gun."

eric.bailey@latimes.com
============

Question presented:

What I get here is the deceased was doing some pretty flagrant humping in front of the Russian's family, including young children.  Fathers, mothers, what would you feel?  What would you do?






« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 01:48:10 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Erik Lilliedahl
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2008, 06:10:29 PM »

Isn't the more disturbing issue here that a church is sanctioning hate from the pulpit?  Isn't that what we rail against in Mosques?  What's the difference between fundamentalist preaching against the western infidels and fundamentalist preaching against the abomination of peoples sex acts?  I argue the answer is actually very simple, WE all are those "western infidels"  and we can't or won't accept the brand of the Imams teachings as we know it is pure hate and manipulation and on a whole untrue.  Conversely the pure hate and manipulation being spewed from some churches in Russia and Sacramento seems to be granted credence only because it doesn't point directly at us but rather another group of people.  Intolerance is OK or at least debatable due to the target being a collective "other."  When hate and violence it directed to the collective "us" it completely unacceptable and even brushed off as insane.

I argue if Christian tolerance would have been preached its possible this assault may not have taken place.  We will never know. But being in America does allow people to have the right to dance in pretty much any manner they choose.  Nowhere is it stated we have the right not to be offended.  Therefore, attempting to stop a peaceful group from dancing in a public area just because you don't like it is a losing proposition.  Besides, if the worst thing you have to do in a day is explain to your child why two men are dancing together then you are have a fairly good day.   
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« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2010, 09:01:08 PM »

A federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday overturned California's voter-approved initiative banning same-sex marriages, in a landmark case that could force the U.S. Supreme Court eventually to decide if gays have a constitutional right to marry.


As California decides the legality of California's Proposition 8, Ashby Jones discusses the legal team of David Boies and Ted Olson, opponents in Bush vs. Gore, who spearheaded the challenge to the state's prohibition against gay marriage. Also, Rob Guth discusses the agreement among 40 billionaires, led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, to give away at least half their wealth before they die.
U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that 2008's Proposition 8 violated the constitutional guarantees to equal protection and due process because it singles out gays and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.

In his ruling, Judge Walker took issue with the argument that California voters had good reason for singling out gays when they voted for Proposition 8. "The evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples," wrote Judge Walker in a 138-page ruling.

While his ruling specifically reverses a line in California's state constitution that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, the case could ultimately rewrite marriage laws and legal protections for gays and lesbians across the nation as it makes its way through appeal.

The verdict doesn't mean that same-sex marriage can immediately take place in California. Judge Walker stayed new same-sex marriages in the state pending an appeal until at least Friday. Lawyers for the defense said they plan to appeal to the Ninth Circuit and potentially the Supreme Court.

Andy Pugno, a lawyer representing the group that put Proposition 8 on the ballot, said that on appeal he thought gay marriage advocates would have a difficult time convincing the Supreme Court to overturn a law that had been voted for by more than seven million Californians.

"Federal precedent is clear that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage," said Mr. Pugno in a statement. "To prevail in the end, our opponents have a very difficult task of convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to abandon precedent and invent a new constitutional right."

For gay-rights supporters, the victory is a vindication for an aggressive new strategy of targeting the federal courts. The approach has divided leaders, some of whom have argued that an ill-timed federal lawsuit could set back their movement at a time when only five states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage. Previously, the battle was largely waged in state courts, legislatures and ballot initiatives.

But over the last year, federal courts have heard both a challenge to Proposition 8 and to the national Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to gay couples in states such as Massachusetts where they can already marry legally.

The Proposition 8 case, known as the Perry trial after lead plaintiff Kristin M. Perry, was filed by two same-sex couples seeking to marry in California.

 
A judge toppled California's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, ruling Prop. 8 unconstitutional under the due process and equal protection clauses. Catherine Carlock speaks with people celebrating, and protesting, outside San Francisco's courthouse.

Ted Olson, a former U.S. Solicitor General under President George W. Bush, who argued the case on behalf of the plaintiffs, acknowledged the challenge of winning the case upon eventual appeal to the Supreme Court, but emphasized that he still saw a path to victory. "With this decision, we are well on our way to an ultimate victory," he said at a press conference.

His co-counsel David Boies said he didn't think the Supreme Court has any legal grounds to overturn Judge Walker's ruling, despite its conservative makeup. "This doesn't ask the court to establish a new right," he said. All the court would have to do is look at the three facts already established in the case, including that marriage is a fundamental right, he said.

The 2008 ballot initiative, one of the most expensive nonbusiness-related initiatives in California's history, won support from 52% of voters.

Its passage followed a decision five months earlier by the state's Supreme Court allowing gay marriage. In a subsequent state court challenge to Proposition 8 last year, the California Supreme Court declined to invalidate a voter initiative but affirmed the validity of some 18,000 same-sex marriages that occurred before the measure became law.

In his ruling Wednesday, Judge Walker stopped short of saying that gays and lesbians are a "suspect class" of citizens, deserving of special scrutiny in all laws like racial minorities. Rather, he said the right to marry was fundamental, and taking it away from a group of people fails the most basic legal test, known as "rational basis."

The Proposition 8 case has become a political lightning rod in this November's election and is likely to become even more of a wedge issue following Judge Walker's ruling. The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes gay marriage, has been running a "Summer Marriage Tour" in a bus across the country, which has been tracked by gay rights groups. A survey of California voters taken in June by the Public Religion Research Institute found a ballot measure similar to Proposition 8 wouldn't pass today, and that one in five people think it was a "good thing" for the state.

As the case moves forward, legal analysts say that the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court could choose to focus on a range of issues, including broad civil rights concerns or issues more narrowly specific to how Proposition 8 became law in California.

"I don't think it's a shoo-in" for an appeal of the case to win at the Supreme Court, said Marc Spindelman, a law professor at Ohio State University who has been following the case. Still, after Judge Walker's ruling, "clearly the burden of justification as a matter of practical reality is on the supporters of Prop. 8."

Some speculation about how a potential Supreme Court case might be decided has focused on Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has become a critical swing vote in recent cases that have divided the court along ideological lines. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion for the court in two other cases that affirmed some protections for sexual orientation.

Write to Geoffrey A. Fowler at geoffrey.fowler@wsj.com
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2011, 08:03:20 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316316,00.html


By Robert Roy Britt


While several studies find homosexuality in humans and other animals is biological rather than learned, a question remains over whether it's a hard-wired phenomenon or one that can be altered.

A new study finds that both drugs and genetic manipulation can turn the homosexual behavior of fruit flies on and off within a matter of hours.

• Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Natural Science Center.

While the genetic finding supports the thinking that homosexuality is hard-wired, the drug finding surprisingly suggests it's not that simple. In fact, homosexuality in the fruit flies seems to be regulated by how they interpret the scent of another.

Dramatic result

Homosexuality is widespread in the animal world. But scientists have long debated whether, in humans a "gay gene" exists.

Previous research in humans has suggested that how we interpret scents given off by another person might impact our sexuality.  In the new work, University of Illinois at Chicago researcher David Featherstone and coworkers discovered a gene in fruit flies they call "genderblind," or GB. A mutation in GB turns flies bisexual.  GB transports the neurotransmitter glutamate to brain cells. Altering levels of glutamate change the strength of nerve cell junctions, called synapses, which play a key role in human and animal behavior.

Post-doctoral researcher Yael Grosjean found that all male fruit flies with a mutation in their GB gene courted other males.

"It was very dramatic," Featherstone said. "The GB mutant males treated other males exactly the same way normal male flies would treat a female. They even attempted copulation."

Overreaction

Other genes are known to alter sexual orientation, but most just control whether the brain develops as genetically male or female. It's not known why a male brain does male things and a female brain acts in female ways, Featherstone and his colleagues say.

"Based on our previous work, we reasoned that GB mutants might show homosexual behavior because their glutamatergic synapses were altered in some way," Featherstone said. "Homosexual courtship might be sort of an 'overreaction' to sexual stimuli."

To test this, the researchers genetically altered synapse strength, independent of GB. They also gave flies drugs to alter synapse strength. As predicted, they were able to turn fly homosexuality on and off, within hours.

"It was amazing. I never thought we'd be able to do that sort of thing, because sexual orientation is supposed to be hard-wired," Featherstone said. "This fundamentally changes how we think about this behavior."

Sense of smell

The team figured fly brains maintain two sensory circuits: one to trigger heterosexual behavior and one for homosexual. When GB suppresses glutamatergic synapses, the homosexual circuit is blocked, the thinking goes.

So they did more tests. As expected, without GB to suppress synapse strength, the flies no longer interpreted smells the same way. The smells in question come in the form of pheromones, chemicals that affect sexual behavior in much of the animal kingdom.

It is not known, however, to what extent human attraction is affected by pheromones. A study in 2005 found that when smelling a chemical from testosterone, portions of the human brains active in sexual activity were turned on in gay men and straight women, but not in straight men.

But at least among fruit flies, "pheromones are powerful sexual stimuli," Featherstone said. "As it turns out, the GB mutant flies were perceiving pheromones differently. Specifically, the GB mutant males were no longer recognizing male pheromones as a repulsive stimulus."

The research was published online today by the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2012, 05:18:19 PM »

2012-06-24 3:50 PM
BioEdge exclusive:
Will gay marriage boost third-world surrogacy?
by Michael Cook | Jun 30, 2012 |
       
 The new government of French President Francois Hollande has announced that it will move soon to legalise same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption. With pressure building up in countries like the US, Australia and the UK, perhaps it is time to ask where the children for male couples will come from. This is not a question which has been very prominent in the world-wide debate, so BioEdge has done some research of its own. We sent emails to a number of IVF clinics in the US and India asking whether they were preparing for a rising demand for surrogate mothers because of the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

The answer was a resounding Yes. Of course, our survey is far from being scientific, let alone comprehensive, but it does suggest that many needy women in developing or economically troubled countries are going to be working for gay couples looking for deals on cheap gestational carriers.

“The main reason patients travel from abroad to India is for excellent personal care, expertise and lot of savings on the treatment costs,” says Dr Samundi Sankar, of Srushti Fertility Research Centre in Chennai, India. “The costs that they pay here is almost 1/5th the costs they pay for surrogacy in US and Europe.” He gets a lot of inquiries from gay couples in the US and Israel. Is he preparing for an increase in demand? “Definitely, Yes.”

Dr Samit Sekhar, of the Kiran Infertility Centre, in Hyderabad, also forecast an increase.

“Yes, we have a sizeable number of gay population that visit our clinic to have a baby using the services of an egg donor and we have seen an increase in the number of gay couples and single men approaching our clinic as soon as legitimacy to their public union is granted in their respective states or country.

“Our clinic is open to all people, whether single, straight or gay, does not matter to us. We do not advertise ourselves as being gay or heterosexual friendly. We are a clinic that specializes in fertility related treatment.”

Because most clinics accept requests from all clients – married and unmarried couples, singles, gays or heterosexual – they do not necessarily differentiate between single heterosexual and homosexual males. “Some of them project themselves as singles but we are not sure whether they are singles or gay,” says Dr Himanshu Bavishi, of the Bavishi Fertility Institute, in Ahmedabad. “[If] the law in their country does not permit gay relationship, they project themselves as single.”

There was one dissenting voice. A public relations agent for Dr Shivani Sachdev Gour, of Surrogacy Centre India, Megan Sainsbury, rebuked BioEdge for its inquiry. “We are not preparing for an expansion of services for gay couples. Why would you ask this? If same sex marriage were legalised in any country, we will support this, but do not believe this will bring on a rush of clients.”

However, about half of the contented couples featured on Dr Shivani’s blog are gay.

What about allegations of exploitation of poor women, especially in India? A couple of months ago in Ahmedabad a surrogate mother for an American woman died in the eighth month of her pregnancy. Dr Samit Sekhar, of the Kiran Infertility Centre, tackled this problem head on.

“It is difficult for a Person from abroad (journalist) to offer a correct picture of so called “reproductive tourism” in India because they have never lived here for more than a few days. Have they ever tried to stay in the house of a woman who agrees to be a surrogate mother? I am sure they would walk out after a few hours. Unfortunately the level of poverty in India especially rural India is such that surrogacy opens up a whole new window of opportunities for these women and their families.”

Comments from one of the leading infertility doctors in the United States, Dr Jeffrey Steinberg, who runs The Fertility Institutes in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, suggest that American IVF clinics are also anticipating a surge in demand for surrogates for gay couples. He told BioEdge:

“We have followed the legislation over the years related to gay marriage both internationally and nationally. What has emerged is fairly predictable trends.  When a country begins to consider legalizing gay marriage, we get a surge (primarily internet based but also by telephone) of inquiries regarding the ‘basics’ of becoming involved with an egg donor and surrogate. About 1/3 of the inquiries continue on to seek our services even before the legislation is passed; 1/3 advise us they are waiting to see what developed with legalization; and we don't hear immediately back from 1/3.  In instances where marriage is actually legalized, we get another surge of inquiries including hearing back from those that contacted us with a 'wait and see’ response. Once legalized, about 40% of the ‘new’ inquiries want to sign up, and we ultimately hear back from about 30% of the remainder.”

At the moment Dr Steinberg uses only carefully screened American surrogates -- but this could change.

“We operate a large office in Guadalajara, Mexico and have watched carefully the laws evolving. Mexico City has apparently legislated some tolerance of gestational surrogates and we are looking into this. The State of Jalisco, where our Guadalajara facility is has no laws one way or the other. We will be watching Latin America closely.”

The dynamics of the relationship between same-sex marriage and surrogacy appear to be poorly understood. There are no good statistics on the clients of the surrogacy agencies which are proliferating on the internet in countries like India, Guatemala, Cyprus, and the Ukraine. Little is known about whether surrogacy really helps women to escape from poverty or debt. Media reports have painted pictures of “baby farms” and “baby factories” in India. But there are no reliable figures available even about the number of IVF clinics there.

What is certain is that demand for cheap wombs will grow.
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« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2012, 11:52:38 AM »

This piece makes sense to me.
============================

The loss that may not speak its name
Children are not as able to adapt to "family diversity" as easily as gay activists claim.


Estimates of the number of children in the United States alone being raised by same-sex couples run to many millions. (Is this accurate?!?)  In the interests of these children we need to know how happy they are and how they are turning out. The quasi-official word on the subject comes from the American Psychological Association, which reported in 2005: “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.”

Two studies published recently in Social Science Research have shot that claim to pieces.  First, Loren Marks has shown that, of the 59 studies in the APA review, most had collected a small sample of white, well-educated, well-off lesbian parents and asked them how their children were doing.  To which the mothers replied, “Great, no problems”, or words to that effect. None of the studies compared these children to kids raised by their biological, married parents.

Second, a well designed study by Mark Regnerus, “How different are the children of parents who have same-sex relationships?” compared such children to those who grew up with their married biological parents.  He found that the young adults whose mothers engaged in same-sex relationships were significantly more likely to have received welfare; be currently cohabiting; be currently on public assistance; be currently in therapy; have had outside affairs while in a relationship; have had a sexually transmitted infection; have experienced sexual child abuse; and been forced to have sex.

How did the studies put forward by the APA get it so wrong?

Isn’t it reasonable to assume that those persons with same-sex attraction (SSA) who acquire children desperately want to believe that their decisions have not harmed their children and so they deny the obvious problems, and worse they deny their children’s pain?  They love their children and, like all parents, they want the best for them, so how can they admit to themselves -- let alone a researcher who hopes to prove that there was no harm -- that they have purposefully put their children in a second-best situation.

The children, also, are forced to deny their feelings.  They love their parents and depend on them, but they learn very quickly that their natural desire for their missing biological parent is not acceptable.  The child is not be able to voice his dissatisfaction with his situation, and at the same time will feel guilty for not being wholly grateful.  The combination of parental denial and the child’s guilt will lead the children to conclude that there is something wrong with them.

When talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell, an open lesbian whose coming out was widely publicized a decade ago, was asked what she would do if her adopted son wanted a father, Rosie replied that he had already expressed that desire.  When he was six, he’d told her, "I want to have a daddy."  Rosie said she’d replied, "If you were to have a daddy, you wouldn't have me as a mommy, because I'm the kind of mommy who wants another mommy.”  He answered, "OK, I'll just keep you."

While Rosie undoubtedly saw this as a positive affirmation of same-sex adoption, there is another interpretation. She sent her son the message that expressing his very natural desire for a father was unacceptable.

In 2004 a cover story in the New York Times Magazine, "Growing Up with Mom and Mom" featured a woman named Ry Russo-Young, who according to the headline was "raised from birth by trailblazing lesbians.”  The article showcased Ry, then 22, and her 24-year-old sister, Cade, as glowing poster children for successful same-sex parenting. Ry's mother explained, "It's like our whole lives together have been this one big, messy, incredible experiment and it worked."

And yet even in this idealized, hand-picked example, it was clear that there were many ways in which the “experiment” had failed.

Both Ry and Cade were conceived with sperm from openly gay men. Ry had had a positive relationship with her biological father until he asked for permission to take Ry to see his parents and grandmother in California. When her “mothers” refused, her father filed for paternity rights.  He made some headway in the case, but then abruptly dropped his suit when he realized that the litigation had caused him to lose Ry's affection.  When Ry talks about her biological father (now dead from AIDS), “a hint of a wistful tone creeps in” – except when her “mothers” were present, when according to the article’s author she became “almost uncharacteristically tough."

Both Ry and Cade struggled with their sexuality.  Cade came out as a lesbian while Ry was at one point "repulsed" by heterosexual relations, and afraid of the "sexist soul-losing domain of oppression" she believed it to be.  Admitting her own heterosexuality meant “growing up and away from my mothers."  Still, sometimes she still feels as though she is "passing" for straight.  The article’s author notes that, "For most of her life, Ry has been both parent and child to her mothers."

Pro-gay researchers Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz reviewed the same studies referenced by the APA and found that, contrary to the claims of the gay activists, children of lesbian parents were different; for example, they were more likely to experiment with same-sex relationships than those raised by a father and mother.

Karen Lewis provided therapy for children whose mothers divorced their fathers to live with a woman.  Several of the boys were furious at their mother's lover.  Several of the children reacted with a "brief experimentation with homosexuality." Many of them worried they might be homosexual.  In the journal Social Work she wrote:

Several girls thought they might turn to women if they did not have a satisfying relationship with a man.  One added, "that's what my mother did."  She said, in regard to her dating, if she complained to her mother about boys, "She would tell me to try girls."  This response not only sets up the daughter to fulfill her mother's prophecy; it also denies the girl maternal support in problem solving.

A study entitled, My Daddy’s Name in Donor, by Marquardt, Glenn and Clark, found that children conceived by artificial insemination by donor (AID), including those born to lesbian couples, fare worse than those raised by their biological parents on important outcomes such as depression, delinquency and substance abuse.”

Donor conceived children differ from adopted children, Marquardt and colleagues write, in that they “know that the parents raising them are also the ones who intentionally denied them a relationship with at least one of their biological parents.  The pain they might feel was caused not by some distant birth parent who gave them up, but by the parent who cares for them every day.”  When asked if they worried that their mother would feel angry or hurt if they tried to get more information about or have a relationship with the sperm donor, 44 per cent children conceived by AID for lesbian couples answered “yes”.

An article by Barbara Eisold, "Recreating Mother” gives us insight into the problems created by surrogate mothering for men in same-sex relationships.  "Nick" was conceived for a male couple, who hired a nanny to care for the boy.  When Nick was two, the couple felt that the nanny had become too emotionally involved with the family, and she was fired. They hired another nanny, who was replaced six months later by a third.  By the time Nick was four, he was suffering from profound psychological problems. He wanted to "buy" a mother.  The therapist engaged to treat him writes:

How do we explain why this child, the son of a male couple, seemed to need to construct a woman – "Mother" – with whom he could play the role of loving boy/man?  How did such an idea enter his mind?  What inspired his intensity on the subject?

The answer is tragically obvious: little boys need mothers.

These cases provide anecdotal evidence that children are not as able to adapt to "family diversity" as easily as gay activists claim.

Gay activists continue to insist that the problems faced by children raised by same-sex couples are caused by the "homophobic" society in which they live.  But why should we assume that even in a totally accepting society, permanently and purposefully fatherless or motherless children will simply “adjust”?  It is clear from case histories, even those from pro-gay sources, that the pain felt by children was deeply personal and internal – not caused solely by outside influences.  Activists can change the laws, they can modify public opinion over time, but they cannot redesign the hearts of children or restructure their fundamental needs.

The recent Regnerus study demonstrates that being raised by one’s married biological parents gives a child the best opportunity for a positive outcome and that other family structures have been shown “to fall short in significant developmental domains (like education behavior problems,; and emotional well-being) due in no small part to the comparative fragility and instability of such relationships.”  (For a case study in instability, see Rosie O’Donnell’s subsequent history.)

Same-sex parenting has intrinsic flaws and deficits that exacerbate the risks intrinsic to adoption, artificial insemination, surrogate parenting, and foster care.  Each child acquired by a same-sex couple is either fatherless or motherless because of adult decisions.  To place a child into the legal care of a same-sex couple, or for such a couple to acquire a child via AID or surrogacy, unnecessarily endangers that child by forcing him to grow up in what is unarguably a sub-optimal environment.

All the “tolerance of diversity” in the world cannot change the facts on the ground.

Dale O’Leary is a US writer with a special interest in psychosexual issues and is the author of two books: One Man, One Woman and The Gender Agenda. She blogs at What Does The Research really Say?

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« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2012, 08:42:32 AM »

California Bill Bans Gay-Conversion Therapy
By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER

SAN FRANCISCO—California's state legislature on Thursday passed the nation's first law banning professional psychological therapy aimed at turning gay and lesbian youth straight.

The legislation, which will next go to Gov. Jerry Brown for review, prevents licensed psychologists and therapists from seeking to change the sexual orientation of children under 18.

The practice, called gay-conversion therapy or reparative therapy, hits on a sensitive cultural issue in an election year during which gay rights have emerged as a flashpoint in some states. California's legislation would apply only to licensed psychologists and professional therapists, not to counseling offered by religious or community groups.

California state Sen. Ted W. Lieu, the bill's author, said the conversion treatments were tantamount to child abuse. "These attempts are quackery, and this kind of psychological abuse of children must stop," said Mr. Lieu, a Democrat.

He cited a 2009 report by the American Psychological Association that gay-conversion therapy often fails, as well as anecdotal evidence that it can lead to depression and even suicide.

Clinton Anderson, associate director of APA's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues office, said that parents and young people should avoid such therapies. While there is no evidence to support the conclusion they cause suicide, the fact that the therapies often fail to work can lead people to lose self esteem. "People report that the therapies exacerbate their own struggles and distress," he said.

Opponents of the law, including the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, say there is no scientific basis for banning such therapies. In a statement posted on the nonprofit group's website this month, member Christopher Rosik, a psychologist, said that Mr. Lieu's claims represented "rhetoric, not research," and that the legislation had a "clear intent to intimidate therapists and supplant the rights of parents."

The California Psychological Association initially opposed the bill, citing concern about the intrusion of the legislature into clinical practice, as well as about what it called "overly broad" definitions of efforts to change sexual orientation. But the group, along with other mental-health organizations, decided to back the bill after Mr. Lieu adjusted its language.

San Francisco resident Peter Drake, who underwent weekly gay-conversion therapy from 2001 to 2004, testified before the legislature earlier this year that it didn't work.

"It was an extremely painful experience," said Mr. Drake, 55 years old, who now runs a nonprofit called the COIL Foundation that fights discrimination against gays and lesbians. "I ended up getting more and more depressed," he added.

He stopped going and switched to traditional therapy instead, eventually coming out to his wife of 28 years. "I consider this reparative therapy to be malpractice," he said.

Gov. Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign the bill, veto it or allow its protections to take effect without his signature on Jan. 1. A spokesman for his office said, "We generally do not comment on legislation before the governor takes action."

Write to Geoffrey A. Fowler at geoffrey.fowler@wsj.com
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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2012, 09:17:02 AM »

www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/31/us-usa-arizona-sheriff-idUSBRE87U15O20120831
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« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2012, 11:40:38 AM »

Adoption conundrums
Rick Fitzgibbons | 6 September 2012

The science shows that children are best served when raised by their biological mothers and fathers. This is a point that I have made repeatedly in debates over same-sex marriage. But recently I was pulled up by Anne, the mother of an adopted child. She wondered if I regard heterosexual parents who adopt as being abusive.
 
The short answer is No; there is a moral difference between adoption by same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. Let me explain why in my open letter to Anne.
 
Anne, thank you for raising this issue.
 
I don’t want to complicate the issue unnecessarily, but we need to distinguish four terms: "primary-intended deprivation," "primary-unintended deprivation," "secondary-intended deprivation," and "secondary-unintended deprivation."
 
Let’s start with "primary-intended deprivation". This occurs when a child could be raised by the biological mother and father and this deliberately does not happen. This happens with IVF using donor eggs and sperm and a surrogate mother. Some governments think that this is a good, or at least permissible, situation.
 
Our second term is "primary-unintended deprivation." The most common instance of this is divorce. Divorce deprives a child of a mother or father, but this is not necessarily deliberate. One parent might even oppose separation. The death of one or both parents also causes unintended deprivation. No government welcomes the impact of divorce or death on children.
 
Now to our third and fourth terms, which are relevant to your situation. "Secondary deprivations" occur after the child already has experienced a primary deprivation.
 
A "secondary-unintended deprivation" occurs after a child already has been separated from a biological mother or father. Adoption is an example of this. No wholesome reunion with the biological mother and father is possible. What is needed is to pick up the pieces in the child’s life -- which you have done so generously. Yes, the child has been deprived of his or her biological mother and father, but you had no part in it.
 
With "secondary-intended deprivation", too, a deprivation has already occurred on the primary level, ie relating to the biological parents. But the adopting parents reinforce this pattern of deprivation. In the case of same-sex adoption, a child is deprived of two things: gender complementarity of those who raise the child and – so the research suggests -- a stable adult union.
 
With our terms defined, let us examine the specific differences among five different family structures: (1) same-sex couples creating children with IVF and surrogacy; (2) same-sex couples raising a biological child after a divorce from a heterosexual partner; (3) adoptive heterosexual couples; (4) adoptive single mothers; and (5) same-sex couples adopting.
 
(1) When same-sex couples create children with reproductive technologies, they deliberately deprive them of a biological mother or a father or both. When governments allow this, they are permitting the deliberate deprivation of a child of  a major theme of development. I would call this state-sanctioned child abuse.
 
(2) Same-sex couples raising a biological child after divorce from a heterosexual partner. This "secondary-intended deprivation" is a common scenario among lesbian couples. The child has been deprived of a father figure (or possibly a mother figure). This also deliberately deprives a child of a major theme of development. If the couple breaks up, as often happens, the child is also deprived of his or her need for a stable environment.
 
(3) Adoptive heterosexual couples. This is an example of "secondary-unintended deprivation." The primary deprivation would not be your fault. You are satisfying the child’s need for gender complementarity in its parents. Hopefully, for the child’s sake, your relationship will be stable. Most are.
 
(4) Adoptive single mothers. If the mother did not intend to be partnerless, this is a case of "secondary-unintended deprivation". In any case a single woman might marry and give her child an adoptive father as a role-mode of manhood. Of course, this is scenario is far from ideal, but it is not abusive because it is not a situation which deliberately deprives a child of a major theme of development.
 
(5) Same-sex couples adopting. This is a case of "secondary-deliberate deprivation." It deliberately deprives the child after he or she already has been deprived on the primary level. This is not a healthy situation. The government knows that a child up for adoption has already lost its biological parents. Nonetheless it permits even more deprivation – of gender complementarity and possibly of marital stability.
 
Once again, I conclude that a government which permits a child to be deprived of a major theme of development is engaging in state-sanctioned child abuse.
 
Anne, what you are doing is heroic. Are you now willing to take another courageous stand: to say Yes to traditional view of marriage as the union of a man and a woman? For the sake the next generation, I hope your answer is, “Yes.”
 
Richard Fitzgibbons is the director of Comprehensive Counseling Services in West Conshohocken, PA. He has practiced psychiatry for 34 years with a specialty in the treatment of excessive anger. He co-authored Helping Clients Forgive: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope, 2000, for American Psychological Association Books.
 
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« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2012, 09:12:19 AM »

http://www.mercatornet.com/conjugality/view/11257
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« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2012, 09:41:31 PM »

I agree with Everett about this.  I think it's particularly selfish for gay couples to intentionally have kids through artificial insemination or volunteer females carrying the child, only to give it up to two gay men.  I know of several situations of this type, and I think it is very misguided.  Even adoption by same-sex couples should be only a last resort, for the same reasons.

I'm glad to see a prominent gay person speaking out about this.  It demonstrates that the monolithic "gay community" portrayed by activists is a myth.  Those who fail to toe the party line, however - are ostracized and considered traitors by the rest of the group.  Not dissimilar to black political conservatives.

Rupert's comment about "too many children in the world" is foolish, however - IMHO. 
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« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2012, 01:01:27 PM »

The Sexual Pathology of the Libyan Attackers

Posted By Mark Tapson On September 21, 2012 @ www.frontpagemag.com

Soon after the terrorist attack that left four Americans dead in Libya, reports began coming in that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was not only murdered by the Muslim mob, but also sodomized both before and after his death, and his corpse dragged through the streets. This grotesque defilement was willfully suppressed by the mainstream media, who were focused like a laser on a much more horrific story: presidential candidate Mitt Romney talking like a conservative at a fundraiser. Thank goodness that in these difficult times we can count on the media to cover the news we really need to know.

As FrontPage Shillman Journalism Fellow Raymond Ibrahim writes,

Sexual abuse and degradation is a common tactic used against non-Muslims, especially women, as the repeatedly raped Lara Logan found… Nor are men immune from such rapes. In fact, the photos of Ambassador Stevens—stripped of clothes, bloodied and tortured right before he was killed—very much resemble the photos of Gaddafi right before he was killed. One U.S.-supported “freedom-fighter,” for example, can be seen sodomizing Gadaffi with a rod as others dragged him along.

Ibrahim finishes by noting that “the al-Qaeda affiliated men who sexually abused and killed Gaddafi are the same men who sexually abused and killed America’s ambassador.”

This revelation about the sexual denigration of the reportedly gay Ambassador Stevens raises several questions. First, when are so-called liberals going to shed the rose-tinted goggles of multiculturalism and get in touch with a righteous anger about a pathologically anti-gay, ragingly misogynist, mob culture that sexually violates and murders innocents?

When are American progressives, who whine about a mythical Republican War on Women, going to denounce this perverse sexual pathology in Arab culture? When are leftist academics, up in arms about the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogations of hardened terrorists, going to vent their fury against a culture that routinely commits sexual torture and mutilation?

Gay rights supporters work themselves into a lather over the Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain, which discriminates against neither gay employees nor gay customers. I suppose they’re unaware that most Arab and African nations walked out of an historic UN Human Rights Council debate on gay rights earlier this year, refusing to legitimize homosexuality. When are the “liberals” going to break their monastic silence about a theocratic culture that hangs gays from cranes, as in Iran, where President Ahmadinejad famously claimed they don’t have the problem of homosexuality there?

Obviously these are all rhetorical questions designed to underscore the left’s disgusting hypocrisy, because the answer to all of them is never. Breaking free of the mental bondage of multiculturalist indoctrination would cause the entire world view of leftists to come crashing down. They must cling to their delusion or risk a complete psychological meltdown.

Another question: If suspicions of Ambassador Stevens’ homosexuality are true, why did the administration send a gay man to an unstable hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism? Did it not realize that the possible discovery of his sexual orientation could have ramped up the danger for Stevens? Kevin Dujan at Hillbuzz reports that a Serbian consulate employee named Dino

told me it was no secret that Chris Stevens was gay and that “it was stupid to send him to Libya as the ambassador when he was a known homosexual.”

Dino explained in great detail that the brutal sodomizing of Stevens’ corpse was something that Muslims do to show the “utmost disrespect to the body” and that this is “a great insult in Islam” reserved for homosexuals. ”It is like making him a woman in death and he will be a woman now after life,” the Serbian explained to me.

Women should find it pretty offensive that this process of degrading a corpse through rape is considered “making him a woman in death” and “a woman after life.” Why aren’t feminists taking to the streets to condemn this misogynist barbarism? Oh, I forgot – they’re busy picketing Washington for free birth control, costumed as vaginas.

The American left, forever screaming about gay marriage, demanding free birth control, and spewing hate at conservative Christians whom they disparage as the “American Taliban,” is shamefully silent about real evil in the world, about the most intolerant ideology on the planet and one that stands in stark contrast to the tolerance they claim to revere.

A final question: President Obama proudly announced, almost three and a half years into his tenure, that he had “evolved” far enough to support gay marriage; when can we expect him to “evolve” enough to express outrage – not just a composed, rote condemnation of violence – at a culture that condemns homosexuals to a grisly death?

Some might argue that, to avoid igniting the Middle East tinderbox, the President should stay calm and not inflame matters more. Screw that. Islamic fundamentalists have dragged an American ambassador’s mutilated body through the streets, killed three more Americans, and stormed our embassies in other countries as well. It’s long past time for the President of the United States of America to present a righteous fury to the Islamic enemy, show them not one whit of deference or appeasement, and move to protect American interests and avenge American murders.

But that won’t happen, because we have a President whose sympathies lie with the Muslim fundamentalists seeking to tear down America and the West. Because of that he will excuse their torture and killing of homosexuals, their insanely hateful oppression of women, their violent disrespect toward our embassies, and their murder of Americans. We have a President who is busy yukking it up with David Letterman, partying with former drug dealer Jay-Z at a fundraiser, and basking in the adoration of the hosts on The View to give a damn about American lives or American interests.
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« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2012, 06:28:20 PM »



This is all a figment of Objectivist1's wild imagination (he's been seeing Martian's again) fueled by the "reliable" Pam Geller et al.
   

As indicated in the Libya thread, nothing in the Snoopes citation even implies it happened; nor do they say that it might have, could have, or that it is "unconfirmed".  Rather any report of it happening was clearly DENIED.  But when I googled, I did find "confirmed" on a long list of weird and wacko websites; Pam Geller on top.   


AFP said that the website report falsely quoted their news agency (regarding rape and being sodomized) and has no truth whatsoever.  They removed the report and published a clear DENIAL.

Other news accounts confirm he was "not raped".

"The hospital reported that the ambassador had bleeding in his stomach because of the asphyxiation but no other injuries."

Absolutely NO respectable source oh, I forgot about Objectivist1 and Pam Geller et al   huh  think or say or even imply that the Ambassador was raped or sodomized.

So yes, it IS a fact that it did NOT happen.

Objectivist1's article therefore is simply GARBAGE with no basis of fact.  Typical... as Crafty points out, "no source or confirmation"; just rumors and falsities; that's Objectivist1....
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« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2012, 07:56:54 AM »

The Snopes.com citation to which JDN refers doesn't use the word "unconfirmed," the actual word used at the top of that snopes post - in all capital letters, I hasten to add - is "UNDETERMINED."  This is an utterly meaningless distinction.

Furthermore, I conducted a thorough search of Pamela Geller's web site - atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com - along with a Google and a Bing search, and FOUND NO SUCH STORY USING THE WORD CONFIRMED, AS JDN CLAIMS, EITHER ON HER WEB SITE OR IN THE RESULTS FROM EITHER SEARCH ENGINE.  Quite to the contrary, Geller has an update at the top of her post from Sept. 13th referencing the rape reports clearly stating that they are UNCONFIRMED.  She also notes that the story was run by the Washington Examiner and a Lebanese newspaper.  I encourage readers to verify this for themselves.

In addition, here is a story from hillbuzz.com going into more detail about the alleged sodomization.  Again - read it and form your own conclusions:  http://hillbuzz.org/breaking-news-two-sources-in-chicago-diplomatic-circles-identify-ambassador-chris-stevens-as-gay-meaning-state-department-sent-gay-man-to-be-ambassador-to-libya-64291

The root problem here is that the Obama administration has been lying and withholding information from the beginning regarding this incident.  We now know that Stevens was tortured before he was killed.  This is not in dispute.  In light of this fact, JDN's assertion that it is a fact that Stevens was NOT raped is simply absurd.
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« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2012, 09:52:51 AM »


California has become the first state to ban the use for minors of disputed therapies to “overcome” homosexuality, a step hailed by gay rights groups across the country that say the therapies have caused dangerous emotional harm to gay and lesbian teenagers.






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“This bill bans nonscientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement on Saturday after he signed the bill into law. “These practices have no basis in science or medicine, and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

The law, which is to take effect on Jan. 1, states that no “mental health provider” shall provide minors with therapy intended to change their sexual orientation, including efforts to “change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

The law was sponsored by State Senator Ted W. Lieu and supported by a long list of medical and psychological societies, as well by state and national advocates for gay rights. Also speaking up for the ban were former patients who described emotional scars they said they were left with after being pushed into the therapy by their parents and finding that they could not change their sexual orientation or did not want to.

But some therapists and conservative religious leaders who promote methods that they say can reduce homosexual desire have condemned the new law as a violation of free choice. They say that it will harm young people who want to fight homosexual attractions on religious or other grounds and warn that it will lead more people to seek help from untrained amateurs.

The use of harsh aversion techniques, like electric shock or nausea-inducing drugs, to combat homosexual desires has largely disappeared. But during the last three decades, some psychologists have refined a theory of “reparative therapy,” which ties homosexual desires to emotional wounds in early childhood and, in some cases, to early sexual abuse.

These therapists say that with proper treatment, thousands of patients have succeeded in reducing their homosexual attraction and in enhancing heterosexual desire, though most therapists acknowledge that total “cures” are rare. But their methods have come under growing attack from gays who say the therapy has led to guilt, hopelessness and anger.

Reparative therapists, a small minority within the mental health profession, united in 1992 in the National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality, based in Encino, Calif. The group did not immediately comment on the new California law, but its leaders have previously attacked the legislation as based on politics, not science, and said they would consider challenging it in court as an unjustified intrusion into professional practice.

One licensed family therapist and member of the association, David H. Pickup of Glendale, Calif., said in a recent interview that the ban would cause harm to many who want and need the therapy.

“If boys have been sexually abused and homosexual feelings that are not authentic later come up, we have to tell them no, we can’t help you,” Mr. Pickup said.

Gay and lesbian leaders, along with major scientific groups, reject such theories outright and say there is no scientific evidence that inner sexual attractions can be altered.

“Reparative therapy is junk science being used to justify religious beliefs,” said Wayne Besen, the director of Truth Wins Out, a gay advocacy group.

The California law is a milestone, but only a first step, Mr. Besen said, because the ideas in reparative therapy have been widely adopted by church ministries and others promoting the idea that homosexual urges can be banished.

Legislators in New Jersey and a few other states have discussed introducing similar bills to ban the use of the therapy for minors, Mr. Besen said.
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« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2012, 07:46:44 AM »

Gays in the U.S. Have Largely Been on the Wrong side of this Anti-Jihad War - It's Time to Change That.

Pamela Geller - Yahoo News - November 11, 2012

Mashregh News, a government-controlled paper in Iran, recently claimed that Israel "spreads homosexuality" around the world in its quest for world domination. The article, said Chris Karnak on the gay website GGG, "reads like an article from the Nazi agitation paper Der Stürmer."

Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, an expert on Iran's treatment of minorities of all kinds, said that the piece was "against gays, against the West and anti-Semitic," and that it "legitimizes the execution of gays in Iran; they made a text not only to ridicule the West but to provide a reason why Iran executes gays."

Yet gays in the U.S. in large numbers oppose Israel, and resist attempts to stop the global jihad and Islamic supremacism that Iran so energetically promotes. Where is the counter-voice to the anti-Israel agitation in the gay community? What I find so amusing about the gay community's opposition to Israel is Israeli society's absolute embrace of the gay community. They had gays in the military before it was even contemplated in the U.S. My colorist, who is not Jewish, goes to Israel every year for their Gay Pride Parade, so fabulous is that event. LGBT rights in Israel are the most progressive in the Middle East and Asia. Out Magazine named Tel Aviv the gay capital of the Middle East. Yet gays in the U.S. largely line up with the left against Israel. They're on the wrong side. The lethal side, fatal for gays. Literally.

The article in Mashregh News was not singular. It was indicative of the sorry treatment of gays all over the Islamic world.

GayStarNews reported last June that the Indonesian city of Tasikmalaya in West Java is seeking to criminalize homosexuality, in accordance with Islamic law, sharia. Last January, three Muslims in London were arrested on hate crime charges for handing out leaflets calling for the execution of gays; one explained: "My intention was to do my duty as a Muslim, to inform people of Allah's word and to give the message on what Allah says about homosexuality."

Gays excoriate Christians for disapproving of homosexuality, but Christianity doesn't call for the execution of gays; Islam does. The holy book of Islam, the Qur'an, mandates execution for lesbians, but not for gay men (where's Irshad Manji on that?): "If any of your women commit a lewd act, call four witnesses from among you, then, if they testify to their guilt, keep the women at home until death comes to them or until Allah gives them another way out. If two men commit a lewd act, punish them both; if they repent and mend their ways, leave them alone - Allah is ready to accept repentance from those who do evil out of ignorance and soon afterwards repent: these are the ones Allah will forgive" (4:15-16).

However, the Hadith, the traditions of Muhammad that are normative for Islamic law, says that Muhammad's companions toppled a wall on gays; in our own age, the Taliban has imitated that punishment. Iran's Constitution mandates death for gays, and the Iranian Islamic regime has regularly carried out public hangings of gay men.

Where homosexual activity is legal in Muslim countries, some Muslims take the sharia into their own hands. Early in September, the Turkish Hürriyet Daily News reported: "A gay teenager was allegedly killed last month by his father and uncle in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in a murder that the boy's rich and powerful tribal family subsequently sought to cover up, according to local members of the LGBT community."

Sedef Cakmak, a Lambda member, said: "I feel helpless: we are trying to raise awareness of gay rights in this country, but the more visible we become, the more we open ourselves up to this sort of attack."

The gay community in the U.S. should be in the avant garde that is fighting for the oppressed members of their community in the Islamic world. There is no minority in the U.S. that is as passionate, as fierce, and as effective as the LGBT community. What they have achieved, in relationship to their numbers, is spectacular and unrivaled. Why would they not apply their same premise of opposition to oppression and discrimination to societies that are abhorrent and monstrous in their treatment of gays? There is no group that I would rather have shoulder-to-shoulder with me, hands down, than this effective, uncompromising movement. And what could be more crucial, and as clear-cut an issue, as life and death?

Gay activist Michael Lucas should have had an army behind him when he opposed Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, standing up, out of righteous indignation, against that event at the LGBT Center in New York. He was a hero for the cause, and yet he was met with scorn and derision by the Islamic-leftist machine, that attempts to destroy any and all voices that dare to stand for freedom, individual rights, and justice for all.

Now, many gays in America may say, "It's not our problem. Those are tribal, savage societies." Apart from the inhumanity of that position, they are wrong because the treatment of gays in Islamic lands has a lot to do with what is happening in America. We see sharia encroaching in our workplaces, our schools, and our public institutions. Does the gay community really think it is going to be exempt because it opposes Israel?

Jonathan Tobin put it well in Commentary: "The notion that those who view gay rights as the most important issue here in the West would, at the same time, support gay-bashing Palestinian Islamists in their campaign to eradicate gay friendly Israel is a caricature of the psychosis of the left."

The gay community should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with my group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (which is dedicated to defending the principle of equality of rights for all) against Islamic supremacism, sharia and the systematic slaughter of gays in Muslim countries. I urge members of the gay community to start protesting the sharia and get into the fight for freedom. Readers will weigh in in the comments section with experiences of their own of the Muslim persecution of gays, but that is not enough, not nearly enough. It's anecdoctal. We need a movement -- a real movement -- in the gay community to vocally and meaningfully oppose the most extreme and brutal ideology on the face of the earth.

Stop fighting the last war. Stonewall has been won. Sharia is this century's Stonewall.
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« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2012, 10:15:12 AM »

Sounds pretty logical to me.
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« Reply #38 on: November 17, 2012, 06:08:12 PM »

Not my point of view, but not without humor:

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6846855/gay-men-will-marry-your-girlfriends
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« Reply #39 on: November 17, 2012, 07:23:11 PM »

Crafty - that is pretty damn funny - I agree...
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« Reply #40 on: November 28, 2012, 08:43:04 AM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/us/gay-conversion-therapy-faces-tests-in-courts.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20121128
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« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2012, 11:32:43 AM »

My informed opinion on this - FWIW - is that the plaintiffs have a good case.  Neither of these practitioners is a licensed psychotherapist, and to say that their methods are unorthodox is putting it quite mildly.  I personally do not believe conversion therapy is effective, and I know for a fact that it is often very harmful (from first-hand reports of those who have undergone such treatment.)  It's based - again in my informed opinion - on a completely false premise.  While I'm not necessarily comfortable with the government banning the practice by licensed practitioners, so long as the clients voluntarily agree to such treatment, I think that the quacks referred to in this story deserve to be put out of business and sued for fraud/psychological damage.
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« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2012, 05:51:48 PM »

CNN repeating Justice Scalia's logic that he is entitled to consider gay marriage immoral.  Of course the intent and the implication is that he is prejudiced for this opinion or belief.

Yet CNN repeatedly goes after bigamists who are that way for their religious beliefs.

Why do they selectively choose to market that gay is completely ok and just another lifestyle but bigamy is somehow some sort of crime against humanity.

I hold that legislators are entitled to decide whether either is immoral and if they so choose legal.

The logic is sound to me.
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« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2012, 07:18:01 PM »

CNN repeating Justice Scalia's logic that he is entitled to consider gay marriage immoral.  Of course the intent and the implication is that he is prejudiced for this opinion or belief.

Yet CNN repeatedly goes after bigamists who are that way for their religious beliefs.

Why do they selectively choose to market that gay is completely ok and just another lifestyle but bigamy is somehow some sort of crime against humanity.

I hold that legislators are entitled to decide whether either is immoral and if they so choose legal.

The logic is sound to me.

CCP is right on this.  Recognizing life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is morality.  Opposing murder and theft is morality.  Sex in a bedroom involves privacy.  Enter any question over age or consent and privacy ends and forensics begin.  Morality legislated into law supersedes privacy in those cases; any individual right of the rapist or murderer to pursue happiness is gone.  Marriage recognition in law is public, not private.  We draw lines in law regarding morality all the time, age of consent, bigamy, polygamy, and bestiality are great examples.  You can sleep with multiple partners.  You can't be married (public recognition) to them all.  We legislate morality all the time, just argue about where to draw lines.  Recognizing a sexual relationship between two men is moral we are told but a committed threesome wanting holy matrimony is what, unnatural?  In the case of sex with animals it is just too difficult to establish consent.

The logical end result is for government to recognize no relationships, no genders, no marriages, no families, just people with addresses and incomes for the Census takers, tax collectors and community organizers.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 07:25:45 PM by DougMacG » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2012, 01:34:00 PM »

Hi Doug. 

Lets take it one step further.

The "60's left" has been the biggest proponent of free love, sex outside the marriage is no biggie, premarital sex, partners living together, the celebration of single motherhood, divorce has skyrocketed etc.

Yet we now have the same croud screaming with a media/entertainment blitzkrieg about gay marriage as just another civil rights issue.

Somehow the logic is all twisted and I can't think that it is anything more than for financial reasons.  The morality arguments just don't hold water to me.

As Rush today has elaborately described the Democratic party as basically a coalition of different intersts groups, unions, gays, minorities and women (mostly single mothers) all funneling votes and dollars to them in return for the political might of the entire national Democratic machine it all comes down to money. 

The blacks want reparations, the Latinos want entitlements, the single mothers child support because their low income jobs don't pay for more than one person, the gays want the benefits of marriage (yes I agee it is also to be considered "normal" and just an alternate lifestyle), the unions are merely money laudering operations for their kingpins and the crat party operatives etc.   
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2013, 11:48:05 AM »

Pravda on the Hudson's take on this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/us/proposed-policy-shift-on-gays-divides-scout-community.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130130&_r=0
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #46 on: January 31, 2013, 09:21:41 AM »

Another take on the Boy Scout saga

Letter to an Eagle Scout
30 January 2013
(NOTE: This letter is a response from Mark Alexander to his son, a Cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy, concerning the Boy Scouts of America national board proposal to allow homosexual Scout leaders. Alexander is both a Troop Scoutmaster and member of his area Boy Scout Executive Council.)
I received your note about news of an upcoming proposal before the Boy Scouts of America national board, which meets Wednesday, February 6th.
According to the news release regarding that proposal, "The BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation." You are correct, the removal of this restriction will permit local BSA Councils to accept homosexual members and, moreover, to invite homosexuals to serve in leadership positions at all levels of the organization.
I understand your profound disappointment in this great organization, after all you accomplished to obtain your Eagle rank. I share that disappointment as your former Scoutmaster, and many years in other leadership positions with the BSA.
A decade ago, when you first joined my Cub Scout Pack, I wrote the BSA's National Executive Board about concerns regarding advertisers in the Cub and Boy Scouting magazines. The great Scouting stories were wrapped in ads for junk food and video games.
I was struck by the fact that on the one hand, we, as leaders, were charged with encouraging our boys to develop healthy habits for life -- and on the other hand, the national organization was serving them a monthly dose of junk food and video game advertising.
The BSA responded that without those advertisers, it would be difficult to fund their glossy publications. I rebutted that this was a "Faustian bargain," that it conveyed the wrong message in every respect. I heard nothing more from the BSA.
Fast forward to the BSA news this week. In light of all the reports and litigation over the abusive predation on boys by homosexual adults in leadership positions with churches and other organizations, the notion that the BSA is considering lifting its ban on homosexuals holding such positions is mind numbing, stupefying -- in fact, shocking.
Now, clearly all homosexuals are not molesters of teens and pre-teens, but where same-sex molestation occurs, homosexuals are almost always the perpetrators. So, why would the national BSA board consider a motion to remove its national restriction on homosexual leaders, and invite avowed homosexuals to fill "select leadership" roles?
Well, for much the same reason the BSA advertised junk food and video games in its national Scouting magazines. The national BSA board includes wealthy corporate executives, who are more interested in dictating BSA policy that comports with their corporate bottom line than with the mission of Scouting. They are completely out of touch with rank and file Scouts and leaders across the nation.
Indeed, much of the pressure to put homosexuals in leadership roles is coming from two national board members: James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, who is slated to become president of the BSA national board in 2014.
Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the BSA's ban on homosexuals in 2000, these BSA board members are endeavoring to force their social agenda on 3.6 million Scouts and adult leaders. They want Scouting to comply with their corporate policies, which have adopted the homosexual agenda under pressure, primarily from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the so-called "Human Rights" Campaign.
While homosexuals account for fewer than 3 percent of the population, they have some very loud advocacy organizations.
The BSA also excludes avowed atheists from leadership positions, but David Silverman, president of American Atheists, said, "If they are considering lifting the ban on gays, that's a good thing. I would hope they remove the rest of the bigotry and admit atheists as well."
Last summer, the BSA committee charged with conducting a two-year national study and survey on the restrictions against homosexuals, affirmed by "unanimous consensus," upholding those restrictions. (Did they really need a two-year study to figure that out?) But now, a few corporate execs are attempting an end run around the local councils and all of us who are Scouting's foot soldiers, and hope for a quick sweep of the board.
So what will be the consequences if the national board approves of this measure?
The national BSA restriction against homosexual members and leaders has provided a cover policy for the 290 BSA Councils across the nation, and the more than 115,000 religious and civic groups under which BSA Troops are chartered.
Abandoning this restriction will move the cultural battlefront to the front door of every council and troop across the nation -- including their sponsors and chartering organizations. In short order, those of us who have devoted so many years to the BSA and other character-building organizations for young people, will be labeled "intolerant bigots" if we do not comport with the "gay agenda." Fact is, there is nothing "gay" about being homosexual.
The BSA celebrated its centennial in 2010, but if this proposal is approved, Scouting, as we know it today, will be fractured in some areas of the nation, and will cease to exist.
Obviously, a few elitist corporate types on the BSA's National Executive Board hail from some alternate universe. The mere suggestion of lifting the restrictions against homosexuals, particularly in leadership positions, is an insulting affront to the vast majority of Scouts, Scout leaders and parents, Scout Councils and chartering organizations.
The National Board should provide cover fire for their local affiliates, not spotlight them as targets for infiltration and annihilation. If the BSA Board is more devoted to its corporate sponsors than the organization's mission, and fears it will collapse without those sponsors, then let it fall with honor rather than decline in disgrace.
Finally, in this era when few of our national leaders abide by their oaths of office, I know you will stand firm in the oath you took upon becoming a Scout, and repeated many times on the road to your Eagle rank: "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."
And what is the Scout Law? "A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent."
Hold your ground young man!
Note: Permission granted for this letter to be forwarded to others. If you have an opinion on this matter, please contact the BSA national office at 972-580-240, or leave them a message here (http://www.scouting.org/ContactUs.aspx)
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objectivist1
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« Reply #47 on: January 31, 2013, 09:52:52 AM »

I have a couple of problems with some of the statements in this letter, though I do support the BSA's right, as a private organization, to admit/exclude whomever they want.

1)  "where same-sex molestation occurs, homosexuals are almost always the perpetrators."  Huh  That's an rather obvious fact, not sure what relevance it has to the discussion.

2) "Fact is, there is nothing "gay" about being homosexual."  This appears to me to be a judgement implying that homosexuals in general are moral reprobates.

3) "The scout oath contains the phrase "morally straight."  I see no inherent conflict here with being homosexual.  Obviously the author disagrees.

4)  "A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent." Again - there is no inherent conflict here with being homosexual.

I understand many members of the BSA board's concerns about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, for example.  I also, as mentioned above - fully support BSA's right to full self-determination in who it admits.  However - these sorts of condemnatory and degrading statements about gays in general are not what I would consider healthy discourse on the issue.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #48 on: February 21, 2013, 04:53:17 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/21/laura-bush-asks-to-be-removed-from-pro-gay-marriage-ad/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2013, 11:58:30 AM »



What would the Greeks have thought of gay marriage?
Robert R. Reilly | 11 March 2013

 

It is ironic that the proponents of homosexuality so often point to ancient Greece as their paradigm because of its high state of culture and its partial acceptance of homosexuality or, more accurately, pederasty. Though some ancient Greeks did write paeans to homosexual love, it did not occur to any of them to propose homosexual relationships as the basis for marriage in their societies. The only homosexual relationship that was accepted was between an adult male and a male adolescent. This relationship was to be temporary, as the youth was expected to get married and start a family as soon as he reached maturity.
 
The idea that someone was a “homosexual” for life or had this feature as a permanent identity would have struck them as more than odd. In other words, “homosexuality”, for which a word in Greek did not exist at the time (or in any other language until the late 19th century), was purely transitory. It appears that many of these mentoring relationships in ancient Greece were chaste and that the ones that were not rarely involved sodomy. Homosexual relationships between mature male adults were not accepted. This is hardly the idealized homosexual paradise that contemporary “gay” advocates harken back to in an attempt to legitimize behavior that would have scandalized the Greeks.
 
What is especially ironic is that ancient Greece’s greatest contribution to Western civilization was philosophy, which discovered that the mind can know things, as distinct from just having opinions about them, that objective reality exists, and that there is some purpose implied in its construction.
 
The very idea of Nature and natural law arose as a product of this philosophy, whose first and perhaps greatest exponents, Socrates and Plato, were unambiguous in their condemnation of homosexual acts as unnatural. In the Laws, Plato’s last book, the Athenian speaker says that, "I think that the pleasure is to be deemed natural which arises out of the intercourse between men and women; but that the intercourse of men with men, or of women with women, is contrary to nature, and that the bold attempt was originally due to unbridled lust." (Laws 636C; see also Symposium of Xenophon, 8:34, Plato’sSymposium, 219B-D).
 
For Socrates, the sight of beauty is not to be taken as something in itself, but as a reflection of divine Beauty and the ultimate Good toward which Erosdirects the soul. It is an error, therefore, to be diverted by the reflection in one’s search for the ultimate Good, which is the source of beauty. Beauty stirs and awakens the soul, but it is philosophy that provides the means of perceiving and coming to know the Good.
 
As a consequence of this metaphysical view, Socrates sees the erotic attraction of a grown man (erastes) for a beautiful male youth (eromenos or paidika) within the perspective of the erotic drive for wisdom. This drive will be thwarted by a life of self-indulgence and can proceed only with a life of self-discipline. Therefore, the relationship between the erastes and the eromenos should be of the older enlightening the younger in philosophical education. This means that any physical touching by the older man of the younger must be in regards to the latter “as a son,” as Socrates puts it, and not further than that.
 
What went further than that, Socrates condemned. He loathed sodomy. According to Xenophon in The Memorabilia (i 2.29f.), Socrates saw that Kritias was sexually importuning the youth of whom Kritias was enamored, “wanting to deal with him in the manner of those who enjoy the body for sexual intercourse”. Socrates objected that “what he asks is not a good thing.” Socrates said that, “Kritias was no better off than a pig if he wanted to scratch himself against Euthydemos as piglets do against stones.”
 
In Phaedrus (256 a-b), Socrates makes clear the moral superiority of the loving male relationship that avoids being sexualized: “If now the better elements of the mind, which lead to a well-ordered life and to philosophy, prevail, they live a life of happiness and harmony here on earth, self-controlled and orderly, holding in subjection that which causes evil in the soul and giving freedom to that which makes for virtue…”
 
By their chastity, these Platonic lovers have, according to another translation of the text, “enslaved” the source of moral evil in themselves and “liberated” the force for good. This was the kind of mentoring relationship of which Socrates and Plato approved. On the other hand, “he who is forced to follow pleasure and not good (239c)” because he is enslaved to his passions will perforce bring harm to the one whom he loves because he is trying to please himself, rather than seeking the good of the other.
 
In the Laws, Plato makes clear that moral virtue in respect to sexual desire is not only necessary to the right order of the soul, but is at the heart of a well-ordered polis. The Athenian speaker says:
 
“… I had an idea for reinforcing the law about the natural use of the intercourse which procreates children, abstaining from the male, not deliberately killing human progeny or ‘sowing in rocks and stones’, where it will never take root and be endowed with growth, abstaining too from all female soil in which you would not want what you have sown to grow.
 
“This law when it has become permanent and prevails—if it has rightly become dominant in other cases, just as it prevails now regarding intercourse with parents— confers innumerable benefits. In the first place, it has been made according to nature; also, it effects a debarment from erotic fury and insanity, all kinds of adultery and all excesses in drink and food, and it makes man truly affectionate to their own wives: other blessings also would ensue, in infinite number, if one could make sure of this law.” (The Laws 838-839)
 
The central insight of classical Greek philosophy is that the order of the city is the order of the soul writ large. If there is disorder in the city, it is because of disorder in the souls of its citizens. This is why virtue in the lives of the citizens is necessary for a well-ordered polis. This notion is reflected in the Athenian’s statement concerning the political benefits of the virtue of chastity.
 
The relationship between virtue and political order is, of course, par excellence, the subject of Aristotle’s works. It was a preoccupation of not only philosophy, but of drama as well. Just read The Bacchae by Euripides. Euripides and the Classical Greeks knew that Eros is not a plaything. In The Bacchae, as brilliantly explicated by E. Michael Jones, Euripides showed exactly how unsafe sex is when disconnected from the moral order. When Dionysus visits Thebes, he entices King Penthius to view secretly the women dancing naked on the mountainside in Dionysian revelries. Because Penthius succumbs to his desire to see “their wild obscenities,” the political order is toppled, and the queen mother, Agave, one of the bacchants, ends up with the severed head of her son Penthius in her lap — an eerie premonition of abortion.
 
The lesson is clear: Once Eros is released from the bonds of family, Dionysian passions can possess the soul. Giving in to them is a form of madness because erotic desire is not directed toward any end that can satisfy it. It is insatiable. “That which causes evil in the soul” – in which Plato includes homosexual intercourse – will ultimately result in political disorder.
 
For Aristotle, the irreducible core of a polity is the family. Thus, Aristotle begins The Politics not with a single individual, but with a description of a man and a woman together in the family, without which the rest of society cannot exist. As he says in The Politics, “first of all, there must necessarily be a union or pairing of those who cannot exist without one another.” Later, he states that “husband and wife are alike essential parts of the family.”
 
Without the family, there are no villages, which are associations of families, and without villages, there is no polis. “Every state is [primarily] composed of households,” Aristotle asserts. In other words, without households – meaning husbands and wives together in families – there is no state. In this sense, the family is the pre-political institution. The state does not make marriage possible; marriage makes the state possible. Homosexual marriage would have struck Aristotle as an absurdity since you could not found a polity on its necessarily sterile relations. This is why the state has a legitimate interest in marriage, because, without it, it has no future.
 
If Aristotle is correct – that the family is the primary and irreducible element of society – then chastity becomes the indispensable political principle because it is the virtue which regulates and makes possible the family – the cornerstone unit of the polis. Without the practice of this virtue, the family becomes inconceivable. Without it, the family disintegrates. A healthy family is posited upon the proper and exclusive sexual relationship between a husband and wife. The family alone is capable of providing the necessary stability for the profound relationship which sexual union both symbolizes and cements and for the welfare of the children that issue from it.
 
Violations of chastity undermine not only the family, but society as a whole. This accounts for Aristotle’s pronounced condemnation of adultery, which he finds all the more odious if committed while the wife is pregnant: “For husband or wife to be detected in the commission of adultery – at whatever time it may happen, in whatever shape or form, during all the period of their being married and being called husband and wife – must be made a matter of disgrace. But to be detected in adultery during the very period of bringing children into the world is a thing to be punished by a stigma of infamy proportionate to such an offense.” (The Politics, XVI, 18) Aristotle understood that the laws were, or should be, ordered toward the formation of a certain kind of person – toward the realization of a virtuous citizenry.
 
This is why Aristotle forbids adultery, wants to make it disgraceful in all circumstances, not only because it subverts virtue, but because it attacks the political foundations of society. Adultery becomes a political problem because it violates chastity, which is indispensable to a rightly ordered polis. There is no comparable condemnation of adultery in homosexual marriage in Aristotle because such an institution would have been inconceivable to him, as it has been throughout history until recent times. That is because it is a self-contradiction. Marriage cannot be based on an act which is in itself a violation of chastity, because something cannot be its opposite. A homosexual household would not make sense to Aristotle since it could not contain parents and all the generational relations that spring from them, which makes the polis possible. What did not make sense then still does not make sense now, and for the same reasons.
 
Robert R. Reilly is the author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind. He is currently completing a book on the natural law argument against homosexual marriage for Ignatius Press.
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