Monday, 31 December 2012
Saturday, 29 December 2012
Gay rights activist and actor-turned-politician Michael Cashman was awarded a CBE in Saturday's New Year's Honours.
Friday, 28 December 2012
Three polls in the last 10 days have shown strong and rapidly expanding public support for marriage equality in law - including support for same - sex weddings in Anglican churches.
The British opponents of marriage equality have been vociferous in their insistence that government proposals are in contravention of the public wishes. This is nonsense - reputable opinion polls have consistently shown that a clear majority of UK voters support the proposals for same - sex marriage. Three polls over the last week have confirmed this, once again.
A Yougov poll released last week, for fieldwork conducted 13th and 14th December, showed that 55% support "changing the law to allow same - sex couples to marry". Just 36% are opposed. The strength of support is also on the side of equality - 30% are "strongly" supportive, and 21% strongly against.
In common with regular findings from the US, support is heavily skewed by age group: only the 60+ age group is opposed, with those aged 16 - 24 heavily supportive, by 74% to 16%. Politically, both Labour and Liberal Democrat voters are strongly supportive, with Conservatives equally divided, 40%/40%. (It is likely that UKIP voters are the only significant party clearly against, but their responses are not disclosed in the cross - tabs). Together with reports of mounting rebellion in the Conservative parliamentary party, this gives the lie to Conservative claims to being the natural home for gay and lesbian voters - but I'm not going to hammer that point.
Another poll just released, focuses specifically on government proposals for same - sex marriage, in church, and the deliberate exclusion of the Church of England from this provision. This was a Comres survey conducted for the Independent, which reports
The public want the Government to go further on gay marriage by allowing Church of England vicars to conduct same-sex weddings, a poll forThe Independent reveals today. As some religious leaders used their Christmas sermons to attack David Cameron's plans, the ComRes survey suggests that the Church of England is out of touch with the public by opposing gay marriage. It defines marriage "as being between a man and a woman".
By a margin of 2-1, people oppose the Government's proposal to make it illegal for the Church of England to conduct gay marriages. Asked whether its vicars should be allowed to perform such ceremonies if they wanted to, 62 per cent of people said they should and 31 per cent disagreed, with seven per cent replying "don't know".
The Independent does not release any more detail, continuing instead with reports of the responses by some bishops to the plans, and Comres has not published any on its website. Pink News has a little more:
The idea of gay couples marrying in Church of England weddings is more popular among women with the figures 64 per cent in favour to 27 objecting. Among under 44's, almost three-quarters of people support the idea of church gay weddings. It is only in the over 65's where there is a majority in opposition, although it is not sizable - 50 per cent to 38 per cent.
Guardian / ICM
More than three in five voters support David Cameron's wish to introduce gay marriage, according to a poll conducted for the Guardian. The strong backing for a change in the law comes after the archbishop of Westminster queried the democratic legitimacy of the coalition plans.
The ICM poll conducted just before Christmas found 62% of voters now support the proposals, with half this number – 31% – opposed. Most previous polls have found opinion leaning the same way, although the two-to-one margin revealed on Wednesday is particularly emphatic.
What is most striking in this poll, is in how sharply opinion has shifted in favour, during the course of the year.
An ICM online survey for the Sunday Telegraph in March asked the identical question – which expressly reminds people that the option of civil partnerships already exists for gay couples – and established a 45%-36% lead for the reformers.
That significant hardening of opinion during the year will encourage Cameron, whose embrace of gay marriage has proved controversial, not only with religious leaders but also with the Tory backbench. And the new poll reveals a particularly significant swing towards the reform among the Tory base.
The Opponents' Claim
And yet - the opponents of equal marriage regularly trumpet the findings of their own survey, which allegedly finds that a strong majority of voters are against gay marriage.
The Government’s plan to redefine marriage in order to open it to same-sex couples could face serious opposition from the general public, according to a poll commissioned by Catholic Voices which is published today, a week before the Government begins its official consultation on the matter.
Seven out of 10 British people believe that marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong union between a man and a woman, and more than eight out 10 think children have the best chance in life when raised by their biological parents, the ComRes online survey of more than 2,000 people found. The poll also found that people think the state should promote marriage, and that most people support the idea of civil partnerships.
“The results show that most people support the idea of civil partnerships for gay people while being firm that marriage should remain between a man and a woman,” said Austen Ivereigh, Catholic Voices coordinator. “The survey also shows that most people understand marriage to be a conjugal institution, which benefits children above all.”
- Catholic Voices
How are these seemingly contradictory results reconcilable?
This merits a closer look at the details of the survey on which it was based, conducted in February 2012, and released in March. Here's the crunch question, taken from the ComRes published tables :
Q.1 Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?
There are two distinct technical problems in putting the question this way. As Anthony Wells has frequently noted at his respected blog, UK Polling Report, asking people whether they "agree or disagree" with any proposition, has a built-in tendency to produce results that favour "agree". When the question is presented as "Do you agree or disagree that gay marriage should be legally recognized", the result is likely to be completely different. A second problem is that the question on equal marriage was presented as the final statement in a series on marriage, with the preceding statements acting as a softening up process, leading to the result the survey sponsors were hoping for.
An additional, non - technical flaw lay in the presentation of the survey results. Although the questions did not in any way refer to the law, results were presented as if they represented opposition to changing the law. Here's the exact statement:
Marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman
This refers simply to "continue to be defined" - not "defined in law", as the survey sponsors have presented it, in their campaign in opposition to marriage equality. Furthermore, the application is highly selective. It has been interpreted as opposition only to same - sex marriage, but could equally be used to support a campaign to end legal divorce, or to criminalize adultery. But these are claims the so-called "Coalition for Marriage" does not make. They, and the American National Organization for Marriage, are not really interested in working to strengthen marriage, or the genuine threats to existing marriage - merely ensuring that marriage should not be extended to same - sex couples. They are not working to strengthen marriage, but to restrict and so weaken it.
Significance of these findings
What can have caused this remarkable shift? 'Nothing in particular has occurred during the year to move opinion - except the consultation itself. Before the government announced its intentions, there was very little debate about gay marriage. There appeared to be a fairly general acceptance that civil partnerships existed, and were virtually equivalent in law to full marriage - so that change was not needed. But that changed with the launch of the consultation process. Suddenly, private discussions, public debates and organized campaigns were everywhere - including the largest ever petition drive the country has yet seen.
All three of the most recent surveys are in broad agreement with the consistent findings of all previous polling research on gay marriage and the law: a clear and growing majority of the British people want marriage equality. The overwhelming support from the youngest age groups will ensure that this support will continue to grow, and is likely to accelerate once it becomes fact, and part of everyday life. This latest poll suggests that with public support also for gay marriage in the Church of England, pressure will start to build not just for gay marriage, but also for that denomination to revise its own opposition.
There is a delicious irony in complaints from the opposition that there was not proper "consultation". It is clear that there was - and it was this very process of consultation that led government to take very seriously the point made by the Church of England submission, that as the established church, legal provision for equal marriage could force it to provide for gay marriage in contravention of its own laws. It was for this reason that the Church was given a specific and very explicit provision in the present proposals, to prohibit it from conducting same - sex marriages. This has raised an outcry in some quarters over the apparent discrimination for which it has been singled out. This is not a flaw in the proposals, but in the Church itself. It can resolve the problem in one of two ways - either by taking a decision to remove its own present absolute prohibition on gay marriage, leaving decisions to local dioceses (as applies in Canada and the US), or by applying for disestablishment - removing its present privileged position in British religious life. Neither course is likely to be easy - but the problem is of the Anglican bishops' own making.
A rather different problem confronts the Conservative Party. Yet another recent poll has shown that for his clear support and vigorous action in support of gay marriage, David Cameron now has strong support from gay and lesbian British voters - but his own party is bitterly divided on the issue. He is losing support among Conservative members as party leader, the promised free vote in parliament will see many Tory MP's voting against - and on the sidelines, his party is hemorrhaging voters and members to UKIP - in part, over gay marriage. David Cameron is out of touch with much of his own party base - but that base itself is out of touch with the country as a whole, and especially with the younger voters it must attract to win in the future.
Looking ahead, the message is clear. If there ever was any doubt that the country was ready for equal marriage, the consultation process has dispelled them. Support is overwhelming and growing, across a wide spectrum of the population. There has been extensive public discussion and debate, informally, in the press, on-line, in radio and television broadcasts, and in a formal government consultation process. The opponents have had ample opportunity to make their case against, which they have done to the best of their ability, with extensive practical support from the Catholic Church. They have made their case - and lost the argument.
The British people have instead decided in favour. Equal marriage in civil law, is on its way. Equal marriage in an expanding number of churches, will follow. It's just a matter of time.
- Catholic, CoE Bishops Diverge in Response to Gay Marriage Proposals. (queeringthechurch.com)
- Equal Marriage, in Church: UK Government Proposal (queeringthechurch.com)
- Equal Marriage: the position of the Church in Wales (thinkinganglicans.org.uk)
- A Marriage Equality Tipping Point (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Three in five voters back gay marriage, new poll shows (guardian.co.uk)
- Voters back gay marriage, says poll (express.co.uk)
Thursday, 27 December 2012
|gay pride sao paulo|
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Ministry of Justice commission study to attitudes to same-sex marriage in Asia
|Taiwan Presidential Office Building|
Monday, 17 December 2012
- Pride v prejudice: AFL shows flag (theage.com.au)
The Thai government has formed a committee to draft legislation on civil-partnership law for same-sex couples.
Friday, 14 December 2012
The Swiss parliament has voted to allow gay couples to adopt each other's children. However, the motion passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday was not as liberal as the original version approved by the Senate.
The Senate had approved a motion granting adoption rights regardless of marital status or sexual orientation, as long as the arrangement was the best option for the child in question. However, the House of Representatives altered the motion – specifying that a homosexual could only adopt the child of his or her partner.
In Switzerland, gay couples in a registered partnership are not allowed to adopt children. However, Swiss law permits a single gay man or lesbian woman to do so. This peculiar situation – which essentially punishes couples who have made a formal legal commitment to each other – is what sparked gay rights’ groups to ask legislators to amend the law.
Thursday’s developments were welcome news to homosexuals interested in adopting their step-children and gaining proper parental rights. However, gay rights groups will continue to push for full adoption rights.
In Switzerland it is estimated that there are several thousand children growing up in homes headed by same-sex couples.
- Uruguay Lower House Approves Gay Marriage (itsaqueerworld.blogspot.com)
- Bishop Walter Sullivan: "A New Saint in Heaven" (saints.queerchurch.info)
- The Conservative, Catholic Case for Gay Adoption (queeringthechurch.com)
- Gays win limited support for adopting kids (thelocal.ch)
- French government approves introduction of same-sex marriage (guardian.co.uk)
- France joins queue for same-sex marriage (smh.com.au)
- Uruguay gay marriage law advances (bbc.co.uk)
Thursday, 13 December 2012
Scientists may have finally solved the puzzle of what makes a person gay, and how it is passed from parents to their children.
- Group of Scientists Believe They Have Unlocked Hereditary Question of Why People are Gay (towleroad.com)
- Your Mother Made You Gay (joemygod.blogspot.com)
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
“This survey shows that a large majority of people are in favour of equal marriage with most of those wanting to protect the freedom of religious organisations to decide whether to conduct such ceremonies.“This is why the assurances given by the Government today about the proposed legislation are so important. When religious freedom is protected, only a minority of voters agree with the opponents of equal marriage that gay people should only be entitled to civil partnerships.”
- Equal Marriage (slideshare.net)
- Gay Marriage Poll: More Americans Support Marriage Equality (huffingtonpost.com)
- Same-sex marriage is a true Tory principle (telegraph.co.uk)
- Uruguay gay marriage bill approved in lower house (queerchurchnews.wordpress.com)
- U.K. Prime Minister Cameron Pushes Plan to Allow Same-Sex Marriage (thesantosrepublic.com)
- Britain Takes Steps to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (channel6newsonline.com)
- Gay marriage plans offer 'quadruple lock' for opposed religious groups (guardian.co.uk)
- Again and Again, Statistics Tell a Positive Story About Catholics (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com)
Scientists have discovered male fish become more attractive to the opposite sex when they display gay behavior.
Uruguay has moved closer to legalising gay marriage after the lower house of Congress approved a law making all marriages equal.
- Uruguay House Overwhelmingly Approves Same-Sex Marriage By 81-6 Vote (joemygod.blogspot.com)
- Gay Marriage Bill Clears First Hurdle In Uruguay (ontopmag.com)
Volker Beck is one of Europe's leading advocates of GLBT rights. A member of Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, Beck is the father of the German Registered Partnership Act
"Human rights that do not apply to everyone are not human rights at all."
"What I Believe" (1947-1948) by Paul Cadmus (died December 12, 1999) was inspired by E.M. Forster's essay of the same name, in which the novelist expresses his faith in personal relations and his concept of a spiritual aristocracy "of the sensitive, the considerate, and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human condition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos."
More by Paul Cadmus below the fold:
Thursday, 6 December 2012
|George Platt Lynes, Gordon Hansen, c. 1952|
|George Platt Lynes, Male nude with tattoos, 1934.|
|George Platt Lynes, The Ritter Brothers|
|George Platt Lynes, Male nude Fire Island, 1952|
|George Platt Lynes, Mike Miksche 1952|
The Photographic Art of Georges Platt Lynes
The Art of George Quaintance
The Art of Konstantin Somov
The Art of Paul Cadmus: "What I Believe"
The Art of Konstantin Somov
The Art of Charles Demuth
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
Bishop Charles was the first openly gay bishop in any Chrisitian denomination.
Since 1979 he has been among a growing number of bishops who have spoken out for full and complete inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the church without restriction, recognizing their calling to ministry and rejecting the notion that a baptized homosexual must live a celibate life. In 1980, he was the recipient of the national Integrity Award. He is represented in Out in the Workplace: Gay and Lesbian Professionals Tell Their Stories.Upon his retirement in 1993, Charles publicly announced his homosexuality, becoming the first openly gay bishop of any Christian denomination. That September he sent an epistle to his colleagues in the House of Bishops that said, in part: "I have promised myself that I will not remain silent, invisible, unknown. After all is said and done, the choice for me is not whether or not I am a gay, but whether or not I am honest about who I am with myself and others. It is a choice to take down the wall of silence I have built around an important and vital part of my life, to end the separation and isolation I have imposed on myself all these years."John McNeil, former Jesuit and author of Freedom, Glorious Freedom speaks of Bishop Charles' coming out as "an extraordinary example (of the) public exposure... required... to... provide an image... of what it is to be mature as Christian and as gay" (pp.82-83). In Last Watch of the Night, Paul Monette wrote of Bishop Charles' coming out as "an important moment in gay and lesbian history, and a ringing challenge to the status quo of invisibility" (p. 304).The Sunday edition of the New York Times (October 10, 1993) as well as both gay and straight press around the country reported the bishop's action. Boston's Bay Windows editorialized: "the news of a 67 year old bishop coming out of the closet is something at which to marvel. Charles puts it less grandly, however, saying simply that it was a matter of integrity."After making his public witness Bishop Charles, who appreciates being addressed by his baptismal name, Otis, has welcomed the opportunity to share his story. Whether in an informal gathering or the pulpit, he characteristically begins, "I am a gay man, an Episcopal (Anglican) bishop, a queer who only just mustered the courage to publicly acknowledge the truth of my life."Charles has continued as an active and voting member of the Episcopal House of Bishops taking many stands on behalf of his community. In 1995, Charles co-founded Oasis/California, the Bay Area Episcopal Lesbian and Gay ministry. In 1998, Charles was appointed Interim Dean of the School for Deacons serving northern California. During this time he also served as Bishop-in-residence at the Church of St. John-the-Evangelist in San Francisco and a founding editor of Millennium3, an on-line and print publication distributed to all 13,600 Episcopal clergy. He was an Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of California until 2004.Charles is currently working on his memoirs and editing a collection of personal reflections on the contribution of entheogens as an opening to mystical experience. Since 1993 he has been a resident of San Francisco where he lives with his partner, Felipe Sanchez Paris.