Gene Robinson Hub




Monday Speed Read: Mary Yu, Gene Robinson, Indiana, Wisconsin, HUD Discrimination, Akie Abe, Russia

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

LESBIAN TO WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT: Yu

Washington State’s Democratic Governor Jay Inslee appointed openly lesbian Judge Mary Yu to the state supreme court May 1. In making the announcement, Inslee noted that Yu, 56, a native of Chicago, becomes the first openly gay, the first Asian-American, and the first Latina on the state supreme court. She will be sworn in next month and must run for election this fall in order to serve out the two years remaining in the six-year term of the retiring justice she is replacing. Yu has been reelected four times for her current seat on the King County Superior Court.

RobinsonGAY BISHOP ANNOUNCES DIVORCE:

The Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, announced in an email to his diocese and a column in the DailyBeast.com Sunday that he and his husband, whose civil union automatically became marriage under New Hampshire law in 2010, are divorcing. Robinson offered no details for why the couple is splitting after 25 years together, except to say “gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples.” The Episcopal denomination’s General Convention affirmed Robinson’s election as bishop in 2003.

INDIANA DECISION COMING ‘SOON’:

A federal judge in Indiana heard oral arguments for two hours May 2 in Baskin v. Bogan, a case brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of three lesbian couples in Evansville. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard Young (a Clinton appointee) said he would rule soon on a motion for summary judgment in the case, reports the Indianapolis Star, but both sides intend to appeal if they lose at this level. Such an appeal will be the first marriage ban lawsuit to reach the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. The Baskin case is one of five currently pending in federal court in Indiana.

ON WISCONSIN, ON WISCONSIN: Crabb

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb (a Carter appointee) last week denied Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s request to dismiss an ACLU-led lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on marriage licenses. The lawsuit, Wolf v. Walker, also challenges the state’s ban on civil unions and its prohibition against same-sex couples obtaining marriage licenses from other states.

COMMENT ON HOUSING SEARCH:

The Federal Register today announces the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is extending by another 30 days its public comment period on housing discrimination against LGBT people. The notice, originally published in January, says HUD is preparing to do focus group studies and is “interested in the manner in which people identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or transgender when searching for rental housing.”

JAPAN’S FIRST LADY JOINS PRIDE EVENT:

First Lady Akie Abe, wife of conservative Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, participated in the annual Tokyo Rainbow Pride parade April 27, according to Japan Daily Press. At a speech before the UNAIDS-Lancet Commission in London last February, the First Lady said, “I have made up my mind that throughout the rest of my life, I should work as a self- appointed, public amplifier, amplifying the voice of the voiceless, and the cause that in our life time we must work to end AIDS.”

RUSSIAN LGBT MARCH ALLOWED:

Russian authorities took no action May 1 to stop a contingent of 300 people marching behind a rainbow banner that said “Love is Stronger than Hate.” A report in GayStarNews.com said the march took place in St. Petersburg during a May Day parade in which many groups participated. Laws passed by Russia last year prohibit any public expression of support for LGBT people and authorities stopped similar demonstrations previously.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson to Divorce

Gay Episocopal Bishop Gene Robinson is divorcing his husband of more than two decades, he announced today in a statement to the Diocese of New Hampshire and an accompany piece in The Daily Beast.

RobinsonSaid Robinson in a statement:

“As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for us — not a decision entered into lightly or without much counseling,” Robinson wrote in a letter. “We ask for your prayers, that the love and care for each other that has characterized our relationship for a quarter century will continue in the difficult days ahead.”

He added, in the Daily Beast:

As my marriage to Mark ends, I believe him to be one of the kindest, most generous and loyal human beings on earth. There is no way I could ever repay the debt I owe him for his standing by me through the challenges of the last decade. I will be forever grateful to him, and as I tell couples in pre-marital counseling, “Marriage is forever, and your relationship will endure—whether positively or negatively—even if the marriage formally ends.”

Robinson adds that marriages face many difficulties, and both parties shoulder the burdens:

It is at least a small comfort to me, as a gay rights and marriage equality advocate, to know that like any marriage, gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples. All of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of “til death do us part.” But not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us.

My belief in marriage is undiminished by the reality of divorcing someone I have loved for a very long time, and will continue to love even as we separate. Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot. It will take a lot of work, a lot of grieving, and a large measure of hope to see it through. And that’s where my faith comes in.


Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson Leads Prayer at White House Easter Breakfast

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Gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson received an unexpected surprise at the end of Monday's White House Easter prayer breakfast when President Obama unexpectedly chose him to close the meal with prayer.

 


Gene Robinson: Religious Conservatives Are Not the Victims of Bullying They Claim to Be

In a terrific column over at The Daily Beast, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson rips apart the victimization rhetoric of religious conservative who claim providing public services and accommodations to gay people is a violation of their freedom of religion, saying "[it's] time we called out our religious brothers and sisters for misunderstanding their recently-acquired status as members of a shrinking minority as victims." 

Writes Robinson:

Gene robinsonAppeals to the courts are being made for “relief” for this violation of the service providers’ “freedom of religion” and “religious liberty,” claiming that forced compliance with such anti-discrimination laws is a violation of the providers’ free practice of their religion. Indeed, the language used in defiance of these anti-discrimination laws takes on the language of victimization. These providers feel as though they are victims of discrimination themselves based on their religious beliefs.

But I have to ask: are religious conservatives confusing the pain of finding oneself “suddenly” in the minority with actually being a victim? Both feel uncomfortable, even painful, and are fraught with anxiety. But they’re very different.

Here’s what victimization looks like: every day, especially in some places, LGBT people face the real possibility of violence because of their orientation or gender identity. Young people jump off bridges or hang themselves on playground swing sets because of the bullying and discrimination they face. In 29 states, one can be fired from one’s job simply for being gay, with no recourse to the courts. In most places, we cannot legally marry the one we love. Some of us have been kicked out of the house when we come out to our parents, and many young LGBT people find themselves homeless and on the streets because of the attitudes of their religious parents toward their LGBT children. And did I mention the everyday threat of violence?

Robinson goes on to say that “as a society, we would do well to distinguish between real victimization and the also-very-real discouragement felt by those who now find themselves in the minority”

You can read the full column HERE


Gene Robinson: 'Jesus Must Be So Embarrassed' About Religious-Based Opposition to ENDA

Gay retired Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson rips religious-based opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in a piece in the Huffington Post:

RobinsonFor instance, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is vigorously opposing ENDA, asserting that their right to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity is essential to Catholics' religious liberty. Now stop, and just take that in for a moment. A Church, dedicated to following the man known for his outreach and compassion for the marginalized, petitioning the government to be exempted from the fair treatment of marginalized and vulnerable LGBT people. It takes my breath away.

Can you imagine what Jesus might have said to St. Peter if the disciple had requested an exemption from Jesus' command to "love your enemies?!" What if disciples James and John had argued with Jesus about whether or not "love your neighbor as yourself" actually should apply to them in all cases? What would Jesus have said to the good, religious people of his time when they asked for an exemption to Jesus' command to "love one another as I have loved you," based of course upon their deeply-held, religious beliefs?

I don't know what he would have said. But the shortest verse in all of scripture probably describes what he would have done upon hearing their request: "Jesus wept."


Zach Wahls, Ella Robinson, and Other Kids with Gay Parents Speak Out in New Video: WATCH

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A new video is out from the Family Equality Council for its program The Outspoken Generation, which empowers young adults with LGBT parents to speak out about their families. These kids are proof that so-called "family values" belong to everyone.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via tncrm)

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Continue reading "Zach Wahls, Ella Robinson, and Other Kids with Gay Parents Speak Out in New Video: WATCH" »


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