Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In the News: On Not Saying Gay, Idaho Strikes Down Ban on Gay Marriage, Marilynne Robinson on Leviticus and Gays, and Cincinnati Catholic School Contract

Brief takes from recent news or commentary on the news:

At Americablog, John Aravosis notes that a CBS poll in 2010 discovered that if you ask people whether they support "Don't ask, don't tell" in the military using the word "gay," they want to end the discriminatory policy. But substitute the word "homosexual" for "gay," and they are suddenly in support of discrimination. He concludes:

People are biased against the word "homosexual." 
Who does like the word "homosexual"?  Religious right anti- civil rights activists. Why?  Because the word now has a negative connotation, whereas the word "gay" does not.

For Box Turtle Bulletin, Jim Burroway comments on the text of of Idaho Judge Candy Dale's ruling yesterday which ruled that the state ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional: he notes that Dale cites the Supreme Court statement in United States v. Virginia striking down the all-male admission policy of Virginia Military Institute,

"[T]he history of our Constitution . . . is the story of the extension of constitutional rights and protections to people once ignored or excluded. United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 557 (1996)." Slow as the march toward equality may seem, it is never in vain.

Ryan J. Reilly at Huffington Post also takes a look at Judge Dale's citations, noting that she cited Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia:

Dale cited that Scalia quote in her opinion on Tuesday, using the conservative justice's words to undermine Idaho's argument that the law was about preserving traditional civil marriage as an institution, and that any discriminatory effects of the law were incidental.
"Although the Court finds Idaho’s Marriage Laws were motivated, in part, by important governmental interests, their history demonstrates that moral disapproval of homosexuality was an underlying, animating factor," Dale wrote.

In her 57-page decision, Dale stated, "Idaho’s Marriage Laws withhold from them a profound and personal choice, one that most can take for granted. By doing so, Idaho’s Marriage Laws deny same-sex couples the economic, practical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of marriage, relegating each couple to a stigmatized, second-class status. Plaintiffs suffer these injuries not because they are unqualified to marry, start a family, or grow old together, but because of who they are and whom they love."

Here's Jayden Cameron at Gay Mystics on the news reports he's reading regarding the extension of marriage equality to Arkansas:

It's comforting to see so many lesbians rejoicing. We can be sure that many an unwanted child will now find new homes with these stalwart women, so many of whom provide families for mentally and emotionally challenged children. The unwanted ones. I know of one rare lesbian family raising seven such children, each with his or her severe developmental needs. 

For Religion Dispatches, Sarah Pulliam-Bailey asks Pulitzer-prize-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson about same-sex marriage. Robinson replies,

I’m a great admirer of the Old Testament. It’s an absolute trove of goodness and richness. But I don’t think we should stone witches. And if you choose to value one or two verses in Leviticus over the enormous, passionate calls for social justice that you find right through the Old Testament, that’s primitive.

Michael D. Clark reports for the Cincinnati Courier-Journal that veteran Catholic school teacher Molly Shumate chooses not to sign the new contract for teachers in that diocese's Catholic schools, about which I wrote several days ago. The contract tells teachers they can be fired for supporting the "homosexual lifestyle." Shumate's son Zach is gay. She says,

In my eyes there is nothing wrong with my son. This is what God gave me and what God created and someone I should never be asked to not support. If my son were to say to me, "Will you go somewhere with me that is supported or run by gays and lesbians," I would have to tell him no, according to that contract. And if my picture was taken, what would happen?

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