DES MOINES — Three Iowa Supreme Court justices who were part of a unanimous decision last year to allow same-sex marriage may pay the price next month as voters decide whether to keep them on the bench.
A Des Moines Register Iowa Poll released Monday shows that 44% of Iowans who plan to vote in the retention election say they will vote "yes" to all three justices; 40% say they will vote to remove all three; and 16% say they want to retain some.
Scholars who study judge-selection practices said the removal of even one justice would shock judiciaries across the nation, embolden conservative activists and could open the door to changes in the way Iowa chooses judges.
Gay-marriage lawsuits escalate
By Joan Biskupic,
September 14, 2010
Lawsuits over gay marriage have escalated on the nation's two coasts, energizing advocates on both sides and bringing the legal battle over same-sex marriage closer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Final arguments in a constitutional test of California's ban on such unions were held a month ago this week. A verdict in the case heard by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco could come any day.
Last Thursday, a federal judge in Boston raised the stakes in this fractious area when he declared part of a U.S. law that refuses to recognize state gay marriages is unconstitutional. The law denies gay and lesbian couples federal benefits that go to heterosexual couples.
FAITH & REASON: Feelings on Defense of Marriage Act
MORMON CHURCH: Unequivocal position against gay marriage
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Our view on judicial independence:
Judges face reprisals for unpopular rulings
October 18, 2010
Most people go to court looking for a fair shake. But some special interest groups think they have a better idea: ensuring they'll win in court by spending big money to elect judges who agree with them and to oust those who don't.
OPPOSING VIEW: Hold judges accountable
Over the past decade, the groups' efforts to buy justice have corroded scores of state Supreme Court races from Alabama to Illinois and beyond. This election season, new twists are emerging. Social conservatives are stepping up their attacks, and special interests of all sorts are working to influence "retention" races, where judges stand for election, unopposed, and voters pick "yes" or "no."
In Kansas, anti-abortion forces want to oust four of the state's seven Supreme Court justices. In Illinois, business interests are gunning for the chief justice, who ruled to eliminate a cap on malpractice damages…
Perhaps the most pernicious campaign is in Iowa, where last year the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a law limiting marriage to a man and woman violated the promise of equal protection under Iowa's constitution.
The 7-0 ruling put the Iowa judges at the center of the nation's tumultuous battle over same-sex marriage. This fall, the Washington-based National Organization for Marriage and the political arm of the American Family Association, based in Tupelo, Miss., have joined with local groups to spend more than $300,000 to unseat three Iowa justices on the ballot next month…
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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.
[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
…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…
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.'"
GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE
Roman Catholic - hierarchy child sexual abuse “cover-ups”
ordered by Benedict XVI
to avoid public outrage & criminal charges
- falsely accused gay priests - WATERGATE?
No “Checks and Balances”
A major problem with the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church is that there are no “checks and balances.” When the necessary “checks and balances” are not in place to protect any organization, it leaves “not making waves” the rule that governs the hierarchy and opens the way to many devastating mistakes harmful to everyone and allows corruption to grow.
The following statements are harsh statements, but unfortunately they are heavily documented. (1) Benedict XVI and his hierarchy failed to protect children from child sexual abuse for decades. (2) They mistreated and intimidated the victims and their families who came to report the child sexual abuse, in order to cover up publicity of any child sexual abuse. (3) They failed to protect children by repeatedly reassigning the child sexual abusers to assignments where children would be present. (4) When the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children became public, globally, in 2002 they shifted the blame wrongfully onto gay priests.
(5) By falsely, against known research to the contrary, blaming gay priests they implicated the entire LGBT community and how they are fighting against Marriage Equality. When the scientific facts known for decades about human sexuality have been discounted with no substantiated facts given to explain why, it causes many questions whether Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s fight against Marriage Equality is more a fight to maintained the cover-up of the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children? Benedict XVI and his hierarchy need to clearly offer substantiated reasons why they are against Marriage Equality. This statement needs to be spelled out in great detail and follow Pope John Paul II’s test of truth of not separating science and religion. (6) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous public propaganda against homosexuality encourages public intolerance towards LGBTQ&I adults and children. They continue to do this even though this summer 2 major Christian denominations approved LGBT singled and partnered people for all forms of ordained ministries. (7) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous promulgation of the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings that are harmful to children in their early childhood psychological developmental years, harm that is crippling throughout their lives. They have continued this even after the beginning of the year, 2009, the Family Acceptance Project research studies had shown the negative effects caused to youths, when their sexual orientation is not accepted, having health problems, suicidal ideation, etc. They ignore all the major medical, psychiatric, psychological and social workers national and international professional associations regarding their findings regarding human sexuality and sexual orientation. WHEN DO WE START PROTECTING CHILDREN?!?!
Written by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
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
maybe, there will exist
yet fervent public conviction
most deadly of all possible
is the mutilation of
…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.
Kids Are Being Hurt !!!
The Trevor Project
Galileo facing the Roman Inquisition,
painting by Cristiano Banti
Biblical quotes used to
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)
5 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)
1 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)
5 He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.
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
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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
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.
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Ignorance About Our Government USA - Makes Us Slaves –
“…lack of civics education in our nation's schools” Knowledge is power –
Sandra Day O’Connor
October 13, 2010 – PBS NEWSHOUR
Sandra Day O'Connor on Judicial Elections, Supreme Court's New Players,
October 13, 2010
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: I had become increasingly concerned in recent years about the lack of civics education in our nation's schools.
Now, we got public schools in this country to begin with because of the concern about the need to teach young people how to be good citizens, how our government works, so that everybody could participate. That was the selling point for public schools.
In recent years, the schools have stopped teaching it. And it's unfortunate. Half the states no longer make it a requirement to get out of high school, if you can believe it. And it's -- it's really a remarkable withdrawal from the very purpose we had originally for public schools…
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: They devised a program to funnel some public money into schools based on test scores in math, science, and reading. And a school that tested adequately in those areas would get some federal money.
Now, they don't fund for history or civics. That's not part of the program. And because there's no federal money involved, many schools have opted not to teach them anymore and to work on the ones where they can get some money. And, so, that was unintended, but a consequence nonetheless.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, this is -- this is taking up a lot of your time and interest right now?
SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: It certainly is. I think it's probably the most important thing that I could possibly be doing.
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