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04/19/2007


Marriage Equality Virtually Assured Passage in New Zealand After Winning Critical Vote

New Zealand is poised to pass marriage equality as lawmakers approved the legislation in an overwhelming vote of confidence in the second of three readings today, the AP reports:

NewzealandLawmakers supported the bill 77 to 44 in the second of three votes needed for a bill to be approved. The second vote is typically the most crucial one. The third and final vote is likely to be little more than a formality and could be taken as early as next month.

Wednesday’s vote came after a committee of lawmakers considered emails and letters from thousands of New Zealanders.

More than 200 people crammed into the Parliament’s public gallery to watch lawmakers debate the bill before they voted at about 10:15 p.m. The mostly young crowd clapped and cheered for lawmakers who spoke in support of the bill, and sat in silence for those who spoke in opposition.

The New Zealand Herald adds:

The bill is likely to return to Parliament for the committee stage at the end of the month, when MPs would pick through the legislation clause by clause.

It could be passed as soon as next month, after which there was a four-month stand-down period before same-sex and transgender marriages could take place.


New Zealand Parliament Committee Advances Marriage Equality Bill

A New Zealand Parliamentary Select Committee has advanced a marriage equality bill, the New Zealand Herald reports:

NewzealandThe Government Administration Committee said the private member's bill should progress, but with an amendment to make it clear that no minister was obliged to marry someone against their own beliefs.

The committee report said: "The bill seeks to extend the legal right to marry to same-sex couples; it does not seek to interfere with people's religious freedoms."

The Marriage Act would be amended to put beyond doubt that no celebrant recognised by a religious body or nominated by an approved organisation would have to marry a couple if it meant contravening their own, or the organisation's beliefs...

...The report also said that a majority of the select committee agreed that marriage was a human right, and that it was unacceptable for the state to deny this right to same-sex couples.

The bill passed its first reading in an 80-40 vote and will have its second reading on March 13.


Another Look At The Anti-Gay 'Fatherless Deviant' Yarn

Womens_workGarth McVicar is unyielding in his claim that same-sex marriage leads to violent crime. Though most people, including MPs, laughed at the New Zealand anti-gay activist's outrageous claim - and his various misspellings - McVicar this weekend dedicated himself anew to convincing people he's on the right track, and that gay nuptials are a detour to depravity.

In an interview with The New Zealand Herald, McVicar doubled down, saying, "If you look at the court stats, most of the crime that has been committed has been committed by fatherless kids." He also warned that gay adoption would have a similar effect, adding, "That's where it's heading - this is just another step in that politically correct journey that we've been on as a country."

Asked if two gay men, two dads, adopting would cancel out the detrimental effects, McCivar, not surprisingly, said no. Kids need a mother, as well. That's the basic formula for almost all anti-gay marriage movements. Opposition to gays raising kids is one of the main reasons the anti-marriage equality movement in France has such widespread and varied support. In France, in New Zealand and the world over, the conservative refrain remains largely the same: kids need both a mom and a dad, not two moms and not two dads. And, yes, this math also considers a single mother is less than, too.

And that's one of the subtexts that's often unexplored in these conservative arguments: the idea that a woman is not sufficient enough to raise a child alone. That women in general are not equal to men, that their power is only activated when complemented by a man's. Even then the woman's abilities are only suited for cooking, cleaning and birthing. Rational people living in this time period know that's not the case. Even still, it's this old, debunked theory that laid the seed for its more contemporary odious offshoot, the "no two dads; no two moms" meme.

When McVicar and his allies are attacking gay couples, they're also implicitly attacking women. It's hard, tiring - and tiresome - work. And yet most of the right wingers like McVicar still find time, and opportunity, to fulfill what they call their main goal: procreation. Where's Lysistrata when you need her?


NZ MP Laughs At 'Gay Marriage Causes Crime' Argument: 'Manifestly Nonsensical'

HamburglarLike so many other legislatures in the world, New Zealand's Parliament is currently considering a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage. And, as happens the world over, this legislative development has brought out some real anti-gay loons, like Garth McVicar.

McVicar, a lobbyist for the crime victims' rights group Sensible Sentencing, filed a brief with parliament in which he claims marriage equality will lead not to loving relationships, but to rampant crime.

"The marriage amendment bill will not benefit society at all and will ultimately have detremetal (sic) effect on crime at all levels," he wrote.

Kevin Hague, a Green Party MP who sits on the select committee debating whether or not to put the marriage bill to a full vote, laughed at McVicar's dubious rationale.

"Although [McVicar's complaint] echoes a number of submissions that say marriage has been the same way for a long time and that if you tamper with it there will be lots of unforeseen circumstances," he said. "I suspect that underlying this submission is a prejudice against gay people. If you break the argument down, it is manifestly nonsensical." 

Like so many of the other right wing arguments...


News: Iran, Lone Gunman, Rhode Island, 'The Gay All Black'

1NewsIcon From The Guardian, a first-hand account of growing up gay in Iran: "I struggled. I was sure that I was sick. I thought all these desires were unholy and sinful. I sought a thousand different ways to rid myself of these thoughts, but alas it was not possible. They were the inescapable desires of the body and the soul."

Nomfrance1NewsIcon Colton Brugger, the anti-gay activist who does the National Organization for Marriage's web work, designed the new webpage for opponents of equality in France. One can only assume that NOM, well aware they're facing a losing battle here, thinks their hateful ways will play better overseas.

1NewsIcon Justin Theroux looks dashing at the Calvin Klein Collection show in Italy.

1NewsIcon And here's Glee star Chris Colfer strolling around New York City.

1NewsIcon Beyoncé and Jay-Z reportedly spent $200,000 on their daughter's 1st birthday party, setting a very troubling precedent for their accountant.

1NewsIcon Destiny's Child will indeed perform during the Super Bowl half-time show.

1NewsIcon Sex and the City, drag edition.

Andrewrannells1NewsIcon An interview with gay actor Andrew Rannells about his roles on HBO's Girls.

1NewsIcon The United States is giving France tactical support in the country's battle against militants in Mali, a former French colony.

1NewsIcon Robert F. Kennedy Jr is convinced that his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated by more than one person: "The evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman."

1NewsIcon Writing in the New Zealand Herald, University of Auckland Business School professor Dr. Mike Lee opposes the campaign asking a closeted member of the All Blacks rugby team to come out: "If any All Black was to come out as a homosexual, he would probably be known as 'the gay All Black', rather than an exceptional rugby player and individual. And that could create exactly what human rights groups in New Zealand surely don't want - a step backwards to a time when sexual preference was more of a big deal."

1NewsIcon From Israel: "An Israeli gay couple married 10 months ago in New York has asked an Israeli family court to validate a spousal support agreement. Elad Aflalo Farber and Roni Farber Aflalo on Sunday asked the Ramat Gan Family Court to recognize their agreement -- the first time a legally married gay couple has done so, according to Haaretz. Previous recognitions of same-sex spousal support agreements involved common-law spouses."

1NewsIcon A great read: "The Unbearable Invisibility of White Masculinity: Innocence In the Age of White Male Mass Shootings"

Rhodeisland1NewsIcon The Rhode Islanders United for Marriage coalition will hit the ground running on Monday as they lobby lawmakers and voters to get behind marriage equality in The Ocean State.

1NewsIcon Changing attitudes toward gay people in Singapore: "A nationally representative survey in the Southeast Asian city-state found that in 2005, 68.6 percent of adults had negative attitudes toward gay people, while 22.9 percent had positive views and 8.5 percent were neutral. By 2010, fewer adults in Singapore had negative attitudes toward homosexuals (64.5 percent), while more expressed positive attitudes (25.3 percent) or were neutral (10.2 percent), the survey found."

1NewsIcon Conservative Christians in Hong Kong protested new laws that would outlaw anti-gay discrimination there. Like their counterparts here in the States, they claim such legislation would impede their free speech rights.


News: Aurora, Bieber's Blunt, Catholic Hate Group Petition, NZ

1NewsIcon Did you get a chance to see Betty White on The Tonight Show this week?

Maloney1NewsIcon Oh, look, it's anti-gay GOP House Speaker John Boehner with the new gay Congressmen Sean Patrick Maloney and Mark Pocan and their lovely husbands and families.

1NewsIcon There's currently a We the People petition demanding the White House to designate the Catholic Church a hate group because of Pope Benedict's repeated denunciations of gay people. Less than 2,000 have signed said petition, which was posted on Christmas.

1NewsIcon From NBC News: "The U.S. Supreme Court is set to tackle gay marriage in a matter of months, but legislative action this week in Rhode Island and Illinois shows that supporters aren't in wait-and-see mode. Buoyed by ballot victories in four states in November, they're now on the offensive in two more; wins would mean that more than 20 percent of Americans live in places that have approved same-sex marriage."

1NewsIcon Could the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality cases be 3-3-3, not 5-4? "Say, for example, that three justices vote to reverse on the merits, three vote to affirm based on the 9th Circuit's opinion, and three vote to dismiss the appeal on jurisdictional grounds. In that case, I would argue, Proposition 8 is dead and same-sex marriage is once again available and recognized in California. The result would be a brief per curiam explaining the disposition of votes, and at least three separate opinions – maybe even more than that – to chart the outcome. No national precedent would be set in such a case."

Soccer1NewsIcon Are fans, not players, to blame for keeping European soccer players in the closet? From The Telegraph: "Part of football's appeal is its unreconstructed, largely masculine, largely working-class attitudes. It is easy to imagine that a gay footballer would dread the reaction at away grounds were he to come out."

1NewsIcon Almost 54% of New Zealand voters support marriage equality, according to a new poll. Only 38.1% do not. Meanwhile, with regard to the always controversial right to die question, about 60% believe a terminally ill person has the right to request doctor-assisted euthanasia.

1NewsIcon Justin Bieber with a blunt.

1NewsIcon Clueless photo shoot.

1NewsIcon Christians against yoga, one of the easiest and most effective forms of exercise in the world.

1NewsIcon Three people were found dead inside a home in Aurora, Colorado, the site of last summer's deadly movie theater shooting, after local SWAT officials shot a gunman who took them hostage. One hostage escaped and called police, leading to a nearly six-hour stand-off.

1NewsIcon Either because officials thought them inappropriate or because venues backed out, about half-a-dozen gun shows within an hour drive of Newtown, CT, where the Sandy Hook shooting happened last month, have been canceled.

Rictor1NewsIcon Peter David is the straight author and comic book writer who makes sure gay heroes Rictor and Shatterstar are prominently featured in the Marvel title X-Factor. Late last year David had a stroke, and he needs your help down the road to recovery.

1NewsIcon Here's Ryan Seacrest running around shirtless in St. Barts.

1NewsIcon Advice to President Obama.

1NewsIcon The return of the Coca-Cola polar bears.


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