Those opposed to equal marriage rights for same-gender couples love the slogan, "Traditional marriage is between one man and one woman," but they ignore and hide from the last word in the religious traditions upon which their entire argument is based: "Traditional marriage is between one man and one woman, once."
"God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." If God did not make Adam and Steve, then who did?
Begin Enemy Lies and Propaganda
Tallahassee—Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer released the
following statement today regarding the Department of State, Division of
Elections release of final verified petition signatures:
Contact: Katie Gordon (850) 339-7087
Feb 01 2008
Statement from Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer Regarding Ballot
Initiative for the 2008 Election
Floridians Defend Traditional Marriage
“Today is a great day for Florida. We applaud the Department of State’s certification of the Florida Marriage Amendment for the 2008 ballot, which illustrates the widespread support for the
sanctity of marriage. We are grateful for the hard work of the Florida Coalition
to Protect Marriage and the hundreds of thousands of Floridians who made their
voices heard by signing this petition. The people of Florida will have the
opportunity to vote on this important issue in November. I am hopeful we will
see traditional marriage - between one man and one woman – defended in our state
End Enemy Lies and Propaganda
Full text of the proposed amendment to the Florida state constitution:
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA THAT:
A new section for Article I is hereby created to add the following:
Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband
and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent
thereof shall be valid or recognized.
Drawn from a Feb 02 2008 article in The St. Petersburg Times
and other sources:
Florida already has a law against equal marriage rights for same-gender couples, but petition organizers say it should be put into the Constitution to protect against lawsuits or future whims of the state Legislature.
Currently, 27 states have passed constitutional bans on equal rights to marriage. Massachusetts is the only state that does not block equal rights for same-gender marriages, while a handful of states permit civil unions.
At least 60 percent of Florida voters must agree for the amendment to be added to the state Constitution.
The so-called marriage protection amendment, three years in the making, would define marriage in Florida as exclusively between a man and a woman.
The fate of the ballot initiative came down to the final hours of the deadline as state elections workers raced to verify signed petitions faxed in from 67 counties. Backers of the anti-marriage initiative thought they had enough signatures in December, but a glitch in state computers put them down by about 22,000.
To get on the ballot, a petition must get 611,009 valid signatures, which is eight percent of Florida voters who cast ballots in the last presidential election. The eight percent criteria also must be met in at least 13 of Florida's 25 congressional districts.
The anti-marriage group Florida4Marriage.org collected 649,346 signatures, according to the Secretary of State's Office. It cleared eight percent in 15 of the 25 districts.
The presence of the proposal has the potential to greatly alter voter turnout in a presidential election year. Evangelicals and social conservatives now have a much higher motivation to go to the polls.
Begin Enemy Lies and Propaganda
"I'm grateful to God first and our supporters second," said John Stemberger, an organizer for Florida4Marriage.org. "The bottom line is kids need a mom and dad. Same-sex marriages subject kids to a vast, untested social experiment."
End Enemy Lies and Propaganda
But the proposal could also spur interest from the opposition, which is vast and diverse. A pro-equality group, the bipartisan Florida Red & Blue Committee
, calls the initiative "dangerous and disingenuous."
Jon Kislak, chairman of the group, said "those pushing this amendment have had three years to collect the required number of petitions. That they met that goal literally at the final hour should send a clear message that Floridians feel the state has more important things to do than create another government intrusion into our private lives."
Under a state law that went into effect Aug 01 2007, opponents of the amendment had 150 days to contact petition signers to see if they want to revoke their signatures. Signatures are good for four years.
Begin Enemy Lies and Propaganda
The question now puts Gov. Charlie Crist, the state's top Republican
, in an awkward spot. He signed one of the petitions while running for governor
in 2006 but has since backed away from the issue.
"I'm just a live and let live kind of guy," he recently told The St. Petersburg Times.
Crist has asked the Republican Party of Florida not to devote any more money to the cause, saying that weightier issues were at hand.
But Jim Greer, a Crist ally and head of the Republican Party
, issued a statement saying the successful signature drive "illustrates the widespread support for the sanctity of marriage."
Florida4Marriage.org had raised more than $444,000 by the end of December, 2007
, the latest report available. The main donors are the Republican Party of Florida ($300,000) and Florida Catholic Conference ($45,500).
End Enemy Lies and Propaganda
Practical Tips for Gay Parents Raising Teenagers
by Tony Madril, M.S.W., B.C.D.
Jan 25 2008
Advice & Education
No doubt adolescence is tough. And for teens growing-up in lesbian and gay households, it can be even tougher. Nevertheless, lesbian and gay parents who are aware of the particular challenges their teens are likely to face can respond with a set of interventions that are meaningful as they are practical. Delivered thoughtfully, these focused actions can help lesbian and gay parents ease the stress of a sometimes burdensome period of family life.
Lesbian and gay parents can expect that their teens will face some challenging issues related to their entry into adolescence; they might also expect the possibility of their teens encountering the social stigmas often associated with children who are raised within non-traditional families. Therefore, setting a foundation of sound preparation, support and instruction can enable lesbian and gay parents to increase positive developmental outcomes for their adolescent sons and daughters.
Who am I? Do I fit in? Will someone else love me besides my parents? Can I make it on my own? Am I straight or gay? These are just a few of the questions many teenagers will pose to themselves and others during the adolescent time of their lives. Discovering the answers to these questions is, in the simplest of terms, the winning goal every teenager must score before moving on to a fully integrated adult life.
In fact, every teenager is uniquely positioned to respond to various issues of personal growth and development. Adolescence is the very time for this.
The following is a list of generally accepted principles of adolescence; identifiable tasks created to help explain what it is a teenager must address during this stage of their personal development:
• To achieve a new level of closeness and trust with peers
• To gain independence from parents and to develop a new status within the family
• To develop a sense of personal identity
• To address issues of sexuality
• To acquire a set of values and ethics to guide behavior
• To move toward autonomy in the world
Accomplishment of these monumental tasks settles upon the teenager’s development of an unwavering sense of identity, a stable sense of who they are in relationship to the rest of the world. Once they accomplish this, they are better equipped to begin addressing what will be the responsibilities and freedoms of their adult lives.
For the teen being raised by lesbian or gay parents, this process may be complicated by a fear of discrimination brought about by social stigma. Although the body of research on the psychological well-being of children raised by lesbian and gay parents is favorable (it reports no notable differences between children raised by lesbian and gay parents and those raised by heterosexuals), some teens within this group choose to hide, delay or selectively disclose the details of their family’s gender characteristics. While doing so may elicit some temporary gain, such as allowing the teenager an adequate amount of time to “come out” to peers, it also suggests that some teens raised by lesbian and gay parents are struggling with coming out to peers about their families, on the one hand, and avoiding discrimination on the other.
How can lesbian and gay parents help their teenagers resolve this conflict? That is the question. Simply put, lesbian and gay parents can help by educating themselves about the number of practical tools available to them to counteract the effects of homophobia and discrimination. For example, the following table includes several things I recommend to parents who are worried about their child being teased about having “two mommies” or “two daddies.” These interventions were adapted from research studies on lesbian and gay parenting, and from my own clinical experience working with lesbian and gay families. Together, I refer to them as the “Tasks of Adolescence for Queer Parents.” They are simply practical ways that lesbian and gay parents can proactively guide their teenagers through the complexities of adolescence.
Parental Task: To establish a pattern of warm and open communication
• Schedule time each week for you and your teen to talk and do fun things together
• Model the use of active listening skills, such as summarizing what you heard your teen say. This is especially important to remember during times of conflict
• Set the ground rule that your teen has permission to talk to you about anything without fear of consequence, as long as the information is not used inappropriately; to punish or manipulate, for example
• Let your teen know that you are aware of the possibility that, at times, she may feel uncomfortable with the idea of disclosing particular information about the family. Let her know that this is “okay,” and that you would welcome hearing about these instances should they arise. This may help to increase the likelihood that your teen will use you as a resource for dealing with a number of issues, including how to manage social stigma
Parental Task: To create a supportive social system
• As appropriate, include your teen in social settings in which your sexual orientation is affirmed by significant adults, straight and lesbian/gay alike. For example, you might introduce your teen to a straight colleague whom demonstrates strong support of lesbian and gay families. You could also invite your teen to have lunch with a group of your friends
• Create opportunities for your teen to have regular contact with other teenagers who are being raised by lesbian or gay parents, or whom live within other types of non-traditional families
• Engage your teen in the process of learning about racial and ethnic cultures and other groups of diversity different than your own
Parental Task: To teach effective coping skills and decision-making strategies
• Spend some time with your teen identifying various problematic situations that could arise, which are directly related to the family’s gender makeup. This may help them to prepare for, address and/or avoid stressful situations, which may occur outside of the home
• Engage your teen in a process of identifying and prioritizing the options and resources available to them to address these situations in the moment. Teach them to weigh the “pros and cons” of each potential decision as a means of increasing their ability to problem-solve
• Practice role playing how, in particular, your teen would go about applying these decision-making strategies to “real life” situations that involve discriminatory behavior
• As appropriate, ask your teen for his opinion about how you might go about solving some of your own mundane day-to-day problems, such as how to deal with a difficult co-worker. This will keep him in the practice of thinking strategically about the tools he can use to resolve interpersonal problems at moment’s notice
Parental Task: To consider the best time to come out to the children
• If possible, consider coming out to your children during their childhood or late adolescent years. Because younger adolescents are often preoccupied with issues of their own emerging sexuality, early and middle adolescence, (generally accepted as ages 10 – 16) may be a particularly difficult time for them to learn about the sexual orientations of their parents
Parental Task: To consider being out to the larger community
• Being out to others is generally correlated with a greater sense of psychological well-being. This also seems to be the case for lesbian and gay parents. If you are not out to the larger community, it may, therefore, be helpful to consider the implications of doing so. You would, of course want to consider the level of social stigma that exists in your community and the fact that there may be separate “pros and cons” of coming out for your children that do not exist for you
No doubt raising teenagers can be challenging for any parent. Nevertheless, lesbian and gay parents who are confronted with the vicarious effects of social stigma may, understandably, find the task even harder. At the same time, there are ways to help. First, lesbian and gay parents can equip themselves with an active awareness of the issues their child will need to address as they enter into a new realm of personal development. Second, lesbian and gay parents can study and apply various helping strategies and techniques to support their teens through the season of adolescence; including how to address the problem of social stigma should it arise.
In short, hope for healthy adolescent development for teenagers of lesbian and gay parents lies within the creation of a family environment in which communication is open and warm; parents make thoughtful and informed decisions about family matters; and teenagers are supported and taught effective coping strategies to prepare for and respond to the problem social stigma.
20 Internet Acronyms All Parents Should Know
This Wacky Het Is Against Civil Unions?
Giuliani's Startling Departure
The political website of The New York Sun reports that in a major reversal from an earlier position, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani now opposes civil unions between same sex partners.
An advance copy of an article sent to Raw Story shows that the New York Publican has backed off his earlier support for civil unions, using the opportunity presented by the passage of a law in New Hampshire's State Senate.
"In this specific case the law states same sex civil unions are the equivalent of marriage and recognizes same sex unions from outside states. This goes too far and Mayor Giuliani does not support it," the Giuliani campaign said in a written response sent to The Sun's Ryan Sager.
The Sun notes that Giuliani had said in 2004 on Fox News, "I'm in favor of...civil unions."
Sager suggests that Giuliani is staking out the position in order to secure himself among charges that he's too liberal to win the Publican vote.
"Yesterday's statement is likely to lead many observers to question whether the former mayor is concerned that his socially liberal record and positions aren't flying in the Republican primary," Sager wrote in a post on The Sun's Politics website. "While he still holds a commanding lead in the national polls, he has taken a hit over the last month or so after reiterating his support for the public funding of abortion."
An additional excerpt from Sager's article is presented below. You can read the full article at The New York Sun Politics website.
In 1998, as mayor of New York City, Mr. Giuliani signed into law a domestic partnership bill that a gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda, hailed as setting "a new national benchmark for domestic partner recognition."
Despite Mr. Giuliani's long history of supporting equal civil rights for Queers - or rather, because of it - yesterday's statement is likely to lead many observers to question whether the former mayor is concerned that his socially liberal record and positions aren't flying in the Publican primary.
While he still holds a commanding lead in the national polls, he has taken a hit over the last month or so after reiterating his support for the public funding of abortion.
"Why would you want to take a position where you are splitting hairs, when you have been so consistently on the record as for civil unions?" a Publican pollster reached for comment yesterday evening by The Sun, Tony Fabrizio, asked. "You can't turn around at the eleventh hour and say this comes a little too close to marriage and then not support it."
New Hampshire, home to the first-in-the-nation primary, is the second state - after Connecticut - to adopt civil unions strictly through its Legislature, without any order from its courts.
[GOPher Rudy Giuliani has done more public cross-dressing and drag performances than any politician in recent memory. In NYC, he lived with a couple of his gay "friends" for years. He was repeatedly supported by NYC's gay community Republicans and Democrats. So, now we know Rudy has dropped our human rights into the trash because it suited him.]