Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Cultural Shift On Gay Rights Issues, October 18, 2010 – NPR

NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Leah Christian, senior researcher at the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, about how public opinion has changed around gay rights issues. There has been a gradual decline in opposition to gay marriage -- from 53 percent opposed five years ago -- to 48 percent now. She explains that same-sex issues are not a big factor in the midterm elections.


Ms. CHRISTIAN: Right. And for the first time, we found that fewer than half of Americans oppose same-sex marriage.

SIEGEL: How does religious belief correlate to feelings about same-sex marriage?

Ms. CHRISTIAN: We do see strong differences by religious preference. And in particular, two groups that have moved a lot from 2008 and 2009 are white mainline Protestants and white Catholics, particularly those who attend services less frequently. So we've seen a lot of movement kind in those middle groups, where in both groups slightly more opposed than favored in '08 and '09, and now, slightly more favor than oppose…

SIEGEL: And young people, far more tolerant than older people? Or is there not that much of a difference?

Ms. CHRISTIAN: Yes. Young people continue to be in our polling far more tolerant, and you see it even by generation. We've done some generational breaks from 1996 to now, and young people have always been more tolerant. But even the older generations have become slightly more tolerant over time.
Read/listen more:

Same-sex marriage is a fundamental right
by Menachem Z. Rosensaft,
Cornell Law School, October 14, 2010
The Washington Post

New York Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino is far from alone in his bluntly stated opposition to same-sex marriage. Pope Benedict XVI recently reiterated the Vatican's uncompromising stance on this controversial topic: "The Church cannot approve of legislative initiatives that involve a re-evaluation of alternative models of married life and family," he said. "They contribute to the weakening of the principles of natural law and ... also to confusion about society's values." Along the same lines, Rabbi Noson Leiter, executive director of the ultra-Orthodox Torah Jews for Decency, has declared somewhat incongruously that "gay marriage poses an existentialist threat to religious liberty."

Regardless of anyone's religious or moral views on homosexuality, a review of the historical bidding seems to be in order. Not all that long ago, Americans also opposed marriages between Whites and African-Americans by a wide margin. In 1912, Rep. Seaborn Roddenberry, Democrat of Georgia, sponsored a constitutional amendment to prohibit interracial marriages on the ground that "intermarriage between whites and blacks is repulsive and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is abhorrent and repugnant."

…While the statistics may be interesting from a sociological perspective, we must not allow our constitutional rights to be determined by Gallup polls or popular referenda. Does anyone doubt that a majority of the good people of Virginia might well have voted to retain the ban on interracial marriage in 1967? Should the Supreme Court have deferred to prejudices that, I suspect, even most of the opponents of same-sex marriage find despicable today?

And what about the invidious 1935 Nuremberg Laws that criminalized both marriages and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Aryans in Nazi Germany? Does the fact that most Germans had no problem with this legislation make it any less reprehensible?

We must never lose sight of the fact that divisive rhetoric and demagoguery have consequences. The delegitimization or demonization of any group threatens our society as a whole. Any muddying of the separation of church and state encroaches on the religious liberty now enjoyed by all Americans. Unlike most European countries, the United States has never had an established church or religion, and most Americans like it that way just fine. "The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate," wrote James Madison in 1785 in his Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments.

Generations of immigrants, my parents and I among them, came to these shores "yearning to breathe free," and Emma Lazarus' poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty does not bestow this privilege exclusively on those of "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" who happen to be heterosexual.
Read complete article: by Menachem Z. Rosensaft is Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell Law School and Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at the Syracuse University College of Law.

This Election First Since 1990s Without A Measure To Ban Gay Marriage On Any State Ballot  
By David Crary - The Associated Press,
October 18, 2010
 The Washington Post

In state races, gay marriage resurfaces as issue

NEW YORK -- This election will be the first since the 1990s without a measure to ban gay marriage on any state ballot, yet the divisive issue is roiling races across the country during a time of tumult for the gay rights movement.

In Minnesota, New Hampshire, California and New York, gubernatorial campaigns have become battlegrounds for rival sides in the debate, with the Democratic candidates supporting same-sex marriage and the Republicans opposed.
Read more & related links:

Lawyers: Gay marriage ban aim was to deny stature,
The Associated Press, October 18, 2010
The Washington Post

SAN FRANCISCO -- Lawyers for the city of San Francisco are firing back at gay marriage opponents who want an appeals court to overturn the judge who struck down California's voter-approved ban on same-sex unions.

In a brief filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, the city attorney's office said Proposition 8's sponsors failed to make a sound case for preventing homosexuals from marrying while leaving intact their rights to raise children.

The lawyers argued that the 2008 ban's only purpose was to deny same-sex couples of "the honored stature" of marriage and to avoid having anyone "view gay relationships as 'OK.'"
Read more:

[Unsubstantiated] --- RELIGIOUS BELIEFS that gay and lesbian relationships are SINFUL or INFERIOR to heterosexual relationships
HARM gays and lesbians.
Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010

On Prop 8, it's the evidence, stupid
By Lisa Bloom
and related links:

California Prop 8, Aug, 4, 2010 - Deep misunderstanding - 
"We the People" 
means - US Constitution – DANGERS of majority rule - a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest…
by Geoffrey R. Stone 
Chicago Tribune
…The framers of our Constitution fully recognized the dangers as well as the strengths of majority rule. They understood that THE MAJORITY will sometimes act in ways that are not truly public-regarding, but are instead a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest. A profound puzzle the framers encountered was how to deal with this danger…

Sexual orientation - Internalized Homophobia
“Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 -A flashback far more severe than in Brokeback Mountain” 
GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Attachment Theory
Nothing in life is more precious than the intimate relationships we have with love ones. Healthy love relationships delight us give us confidence to take on challenges and support us in difficult times. Photo

Gay marriage ->
Restoring "Hope of Love"
To Children In Early Childhood -> Marriage Equality
March 23, 2010 – by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Marriage Equality, like Galileo, is the truth about the facts of growing up gay. Marriage Equality will not become a reality until people learn that its most vital purpose is that it restores the “hope of love” to children in early childhood – essential to their development and well-being for life. Without Marriage Equality we teach children how to hate love and how to be mean and indifferent to people as adults. With all due respect, without Marriage Equality we would teach them in much the same way as has been shown by Benedict XVI and the hierarchy, especially in their lack of care and protection of children for decades.

“Most religious denominations continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful and provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people.” 
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) 

Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth

Social Environment

Although the social environment itself has not been defined as a risk factor for suicide, widespread discrimination against LGBT people, heterosexist attitudes, and gender bias can lead to risk factors such as isolation, family rejection, and lack of access to care providers. Risk factors may interact in unhealthy ways—for example, internalized homophobia or victimization may lead to stress, which is associated with depression and substance abuse, which can contribute to suicide risk. This risk may be compounded by a lack of protective factors that normally provide resilience, such as strong family connections, peer support, and access to effective health and mental health providers. Photo

In the United States prejudice and discrimination against LGB people are widespread among individuals, and in fact, supported by many religious, social, and government institutions. Homophobia and heterosexism are terms that refer to prejudice against LGB people and reflect prevalent social attitudes that most people have internalized (McDaniel et al., 2001).  

Morrow (2004) points out that “GLBT adolescents must cope with developing a sexual minority identity in the midst of negative comments, jokes, and often the threat of violence because of their sexual orientation and/or transgender identity” (p. 91-92) and that, given the pervasive homophobia in our culture and in the families of LGBT youth, “the internalization of homophobic and heterosexist messages begins very early—often before GLBT youth fully realize their sexual orientation and gender identity” (p. 92). Morrow also says that positive role models for LGBT youth are hard to find.

Herek and colleagues (2007) describe a framework to understand the social environment for sexual minorities. The framework integrates the sociological idea of stigma with the psychological idea of prejudice. Through stigma, society discredits and invalidates homosexuality relative to heterosexuality. Institutions embodying stigma results in heterosexism, and heterosexual individuals internalizing stigma results in prejudice. The United States legal system has faced challenges by sexual minorities and sympathetic heterosexuals that have led to significant changes. However, the legal system continues to reinforce stigma through discriminatory laws and the absence of laws protecting sexual minorities from discrimination in employment, housing, and services. A minority of states had antidiscrimination laws as of 2005, and most of these only referred to employment and not to housing or services. Most religious denominations continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful and provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people.

Researchers suggest that this social environment puts stresses on LGBT people that elevate the risk of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. One study (with participants in their mid-twenties) found that internalized homophobia was correlated with depression, although not directly correlated with suicide (Igartua et al., 2003). Mays and Cochran (2001) found growing evidence that experiences of discrimination can result in mental health and general health disorders. Analyzing data from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), they compared LGB and heterosexual people’s mental health and experiences with discrimination. The MIDUS asked about the frequency of lifetime and day-to-day experiences of perceived discrimination including being denied a scholarship, being denied a bank loan, receiving poorer services at stores, and being called names. Mays and Cochran found that homosexual and bisexual individuals reported more frequently than heterosexual individuals both day-to-day and lifetime discrimination, and 42 percent attributed the discrimination at least in part to their sexual orientation. LGB individuals were twice as likely as heterosexuals to have experienced discrimination in a lifetime event and were five times more likely to indicate that discrimination had interfered with having a full and productive life. Perceived discrimination had a relatively robust association with mental disorders.

Meyer (2003) describes a social environment that is hostile and stressful for LGB people. His review of research demonstrates that social stressors are significantly associated with mental disorders and supports a model of minority stress that theorizes the higher prevalence of mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders among LGB people as “caused by excess in social stressors related to stigma and prejudice” (p. 691). Another study relates minority stressors to suicidal behavior: a study of gay men (with an average age of 38) found that three stressors—internalized homophobia, stigma (related to expectations of rejection and discrimination), and experiences of discrimination—were significantly associated with five outcomes indicating psychological distress, including suicidal ideation and behavior (Meyer, 1995).

Other studies find that internalized homophobia and conflict about sexual orientation appear to contribute to suicide risk among LGB youth. One study reported that LGB youth are at higher risk of suicide if they report high levels of internal conflict about their sexual orientation (Savin-Williams, 1990). Another study of gay men (with a median age in the twenties) found that internalized homophobia was associated with depression and anxiety, which increased suicide risk (Igartua, Gill, & Montoro, 2003). A third study indicated that positive role models and high self-esteem are protective factors against suicide in young gay men (Fenaughty & Harre, 2003).
Read more:

Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth - Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk - Mental Health America

Prepared by the 
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
for the Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Supported by Grant No. 1 U79 SM57392-02

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies, and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
Read more:

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Education Development Center, Inc.
55 Chapel Street
Newton MA 02458
877-GET-SPRC (438-7772)

Hate Crime Bill vs Attacks
But No Facts -> Fear And Ignorance
Of The Blind Leading The Blind
October 27, 2009 – Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
…So, now we have some priests, ministers and even pontiffs saying that the bible states that homosexuality is evil, in exactly the same way that they condemned Galileo because he said that the earth revolves around the sun. Their freedom of speech psychologically harms for life children who grow up gay, it evens creates a hostile social environment that physically threatens the very lives of these children. And should one of these gay children be singled out and beaten to death, the person who killed the child will be charged with a hate crime, not the preacher, priest or pontiff. Their judgment will be made by God, likely more severe than anything on earth could possibly be, because of their negligence in their duty to protect children.
The bible in fact does not condemn Galileo or homosexuality, which science reveals that are normal elements of nature and human sexuality.
ATTACKS and absolutely NO FACTS from the BIBLE or SCIENCE
Related links:

maybe, there will exist
well considered
yet fervent public conviction
that the
most deadly of all possible
is the mutilation of
child’s spirit.”

Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition
painting by Cristiano Banti
Biblical quotes used to
Condemn Galileo

Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New International Version)
5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New American Standard Bible)
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again. 

1 Chronicles 16:30 (New International Version)
30 Tremble before him, all the earth! 
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
1 Chronicles 16:30 (New American Standard Bible)
30 Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved

Psalm 93:1 (New International Version)
The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; 
 the LORD is robed in majesty 
 and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Psalm 93:1 (New American Standard Bible)
1 The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved

Psalm 96:10 (New International Version)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." 
 The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; 
 he will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 96:10 (New American Standard Bible)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity." 

Psalm 104:5 (New International Version)
5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
Psalm 104:5 (New American Standard Bible)
He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.
Read more:

Hating Gays: An Overview of Scientific Studies
by Gregory M. Herek
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

…It frequently is assumed that feelings of personal threat result in strong negative attitudes toward homosexuality, whereas lack of threat leads to neutral or positive attitudes. This perspective often is associated with the term homophobia, and it derives from a psychodynamic view that prejudiced attitudes serve to reduce tension aroused by unconscious conflicts.

Attitudes are likely to serve a defensive function when an individual perceives some analogy between homosexual persons and her or his own unconscious conflicts. Subsequently, that person responds to gay men and lesbians as a way of externalizing inner conflicts and thereby reducing the anxiety associated with them. The conflicts specific to antihomosexual prejudice presumably involve a person's gender identity, sexual object choice, or both. For example, unconscious conflicts about one's own sexuality or gender identity might be attributed to lesbians and gay men through a process of projection. Such a strategy permits people to externalize the conflicts and to reject their own unacceptable urges by rejecting lesbians and gay men (who symbolize those urges) without consciously recognizing the urges as their own. Since contact with homosexual persons threatens to make conscious those thoughts that have been repressed, it inevitably arouses anxiety in defensive individuals. Consequently, defensive attitudes are likely to be negative… - International Day Against Homophobia
Read complete article:

Is It Possible to Be Against Same-Sex Marriage Without Being Homophobic?
by Carlos A. Ball 
 Professor of Law at Rutgers University
August 24, 2010
Huffington Post
A CNN poll released earlier this month has received considerable attention because it is the first national survey showing that a majority of Americans believe that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, a rate of support for gay marriage that is double what it was in 1996. The poll was released a few days after federal Judge Vaughn Walker, in striking down California's Proposition 8, concluded that defenders of that law had failed to introduce any evidence in court that same-sex marriages harm either society or individuals.

Now that opponents of same-sex marriage appear to be in the minority and that their allegations about the purported negative consequences of same-sex marriages have been discredited in federal court, it is fair to ask whether it is possible to oppose marriage equality without at some level, whether consciously or unconsciously, being prejudiced against gay people.
Read complete article:

American Academy of Pediatrics
The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on
the Health and Well-being of Children

American Medical Association
Policy Regarding Sexual Orientation
GLBT Advisory Committee

Children with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parents
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Calls Proposition 8 Decision
“A Great Day in the Struggle for Human Rights”
August 11, 2010

Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists
Support of Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Civil Marriage

Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Marriage - Research Summary
American Psychological Association

No comments: