Anti-gay-marriage campaign: Launched with a false story – seattlepi.com

“Religious groups such as Catholic Charities, in Boston and Washington, D.C., have had to choose between fulfilling their social mission — based on their religious beliefs — or accepting this new definition of marriage. As a result, they had to close their adoption program.”

The message: The placing of children for adoption was threatened and curtailed by adoption of marriage equality in Massachusetts.

The truth is quite different. The man who, in 2005, was chairman of the board of directors for Catholic Charities of Boston, Peter Meade, has set out, in his words, to “set the record straight.” Meade writes:

“Opponents of the freedom to marry ignore the truth and distort history when they talk about Catholic Charities of Boston and its decision to shut down its adoption services. I’m shocked and amazed that so many years later, they are making the false claim that Catholic Charities’ decision had anything to do with allowing committed gay and lesbian couples to marry.”

As the Boston Globe has documented, Catholic Charities placed 13 children with gay couples BEFORE the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The children were largely from difficult backgrounds and among those “harder to place,” in Meade’s words.

Taking up Meade’s narrative:

“We placed these children according to their needs and according to the love and stability they would receive in their adoptive homes. Most children — more than 700 — were, in fact, adopted by straight couples, but 13 over 17 years were placed in loving homes headed by gay or lesbian couples.”

Action by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in legalizing same-sex marriage, did NOT force a halt to such adoptions. The orders came from above — and from across the Atlantic.

“In 2005, tragically and out of the blue, the Vatican ordered our diocese to cease using the single criteria of ‘best interest of the children,'” writes Meade. “They ordered us to stop facilitating adoptions to qualified gay and lesbian households.

“I objected strenuously for two reasons. First and foremost, the Church hierarchy was telling us to violate the best interests of the children who were in our care. It was an arbitrary edict that, to many of us, had nothing to do with what was best for these kids and undermined our moral priority of helping vulnerable children find loving homes.”

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/connelly/article/Anti-gay-marriage-campaign-gets-launched-with-a-3944449.php#ixzz29I40qEzh

via Anti-gay-marriage campaign: Launched with a false story – seattlepi.com.

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5 Lies Maryland’s New Anti-Gay Marriage Ad Uses | Care2 Causes

1) “Marriage, the union of a man and a woman…” – Unless you live in one of America’s six states or the District of Columbia, or one of the several nations, that has legalized marriage equality. It’s about denying reality, folks.

2) “Marriage is more than what adults want for themselves, it’s also about the next generation.” – This pretends that marriage is what makes babies happen. Out-of-wedlock teen mothers bedevil this. Also, we know the “marriage is for procreation” line doesn’t hold water because we do not deny the elderly or the infertile a right to marry.

3) “Marriage provides children with the best chance of being raised by a mother and a father.” – Well, yes it would do if you only let straight people marry and then tie adoption rights to heterosexuals-only marriage, as has happened in some states.

4) “Children do best when raised by their married mom and dad.” — The implication of this non sequitur is that children need a mother and father in order to flourish. No peer reviewed, consensus-backed study has shown that the gender of a child’s parents matters, and there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that same-sex parents provide kids with just as nurturing an upbringing as their straight counterparts.

5) “Nobody is entitled to redefine marriage.” — Really, because we’ve been doing it for quite a while now. From contracting for land, to trading women for cattle, to allowing multiple partner marriages, and, yes, allowing same-sex marriage; marriage has been redefined countless times throughout the ages. Furthermore, we as a society do have the right to change what we consider a civil marriage, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to define away gay marriage rights, and therein also have a right to end the inequality same-sex couples face in tax laws, state level recognition and federal benefits, all of which are tied to marriage.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/5-lies-marylands-new-anti-gay-marriage-ad-uses.html#ixzz29HwYlpms

via 5 Lies Maryland’s New Anti-Gay Marriage Ad Uses | Care2 Causes.

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Wayne Besen: Gay Bashing by Churches Is Why a New Pew Poll Shows America Losing Its Religion

A new poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals that a record number of Americans (19.3 percent) have abandoned faith and now consider themselves unaffiliated with any particular religion. According to USA Today:

If you want to understand the reasons behind this trend, take a moment to read a disturbing letter that Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt sent to the mother of a gay son. In it, the holy man told the mother that her “eternal salvation” might depend on whether or not she embraced the anti-gay teachings of the Catholic Church, thus rejecting her own child. Talk about family values!

Such a callous admonition might have worked in the past, when people had little education. It might have resonated in bygone eras, when gays and lesbians were invisible and easy to demonize as the “other.” It might have held sway had the Catholic Church’s credibility not been left in tatters after the church spent more than $2.5 billion to clean up the wreckage wrought by pedophile priests and their enablers.

via Wayne Besen: Gay Bashing by Churches Is Why a New Pew Poll Shows America Losing Its Religion.

LGBT History Month Icon Of The Day: Matthew Shepard

Just past midnight on October 7, 1998, one of the most horrific anti-gay hate crimes in American history took place in Laramie, Wyoming. Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old college student, was abducted by two men, tied to a fence, beaten with the butt of a pistol and left to die. A bicyclist found his body 18 hours later and on October 12 at 12:53 a.m. Shepard died in a hospital with his family beside him.

Shepard’s murder sparked national attention and outrage regarding LGBT hate and bigotry. His parents, Dennis and Judy Shepard, founded The Matthew Shepard Foundation shortly after their son’s death to commemorate and honor Shepard and to “replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance,” a vision in line with their son’s dreams, beliefs and passions. In 2009, 11 years after Shepard’s passing, President Obama signed into law The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a federal hate crime law that prohibits assaults on people based on their sexual orientation, gender and gender identity.

LGBT History Month Icon Of The Day: Matthew Shepard.

Gay teen denied Eagle Scout: ‘Change is happening’ over Boy Scouts anti-gay policy – U.S. News

NEW YORK — On his 18th birthday, Ryan Andresen received a symbol of the Boy Scouts’ highest honor, which the national organization had denied him because he is gay: an Eagle Scout pin.
He got it on Monday from another Eagle Scout, Matthew Kimball, 30, who was also in his troop years ago and publicly came out as gay after learning about his fellow Scout’s plight.

“I look at it; it just gives me hope,” Andresen, of Moraga, Calif., told NBC News on Friday during a visit to New York. “I see it as there’s people out there that support me and care about me and believe that I earned it. And it also shows me that things are happening, change is happening, there’s hope in the Boy Scouts to change this policy.”

Andresen learned more than a week ago from his father, Eric, that the Scoutmaster of Troop 212 would not be signing off on his Eagle application even though he’d completed the requirements. The father said the Scoutmaster told him he was grappling with the conflict between Ryan’s sexual orientation and the policy set by the national organization that bans Gay Scouts and leaders.

via Gay teen denied Eagle Scout: ‘Change is happening’ over Boy Scouts anti-gay policy – U.S. News.

Paul Ryan On DOMA: ‘Mitt And I’ Promise To ‘Protect Traditional Marriage’ In Court | The New Civil Rights Movement

Paul Ryan told Focus on the Family president Jim Daly that he and Mitt Romney will defend DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, in the courts, and attacked President Obama for not. Ryan promised Daly that he and the Romney administration will work hard to oppose any LGBT equality measures.

Just a week ago, while speaking to supporters at a town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, Paul Ryan said that preventing same-sex marriage was part of America’s “universal human values.”

via Paul Ryan On DOMA: ‘Mitt And I’ Promise To ‘Protect Traditional Marriage’ In Court | The New Civil Rights Movement.

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Md. referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage – baltimoresun.com

Eric Lee misses the point of Question 6 in his commentary on same-sex marriage (“Protecting marriage isn’t about hate,” Oct. 2). His analogy of the vegetarian restaurant is particularly off the mark. If his favorite vegetarian restaurant starts serving hamburgers, he is under no obligation to buy or eat them.

A more fit analogy for Question 6 would be a restaurant in 1960 allowing a black couple to sit at a table with white people. Or, 10 years ago, a restaurant moving your favorite table and adding a wheelchair ramp to allow a disabled person the same right to share a meal.

Question 6 is about allowing the citizens of Maryland to enjoy the legal, government-recognized institution of marriage. It has no effect on one’s God or religion and how they define a religious marriage.

One of the longest and most stable relationships in my extended family is a same-sex union. My cousin and her partner are raising three wonderful kids who benefit from a stable, committed relationship that has all the “special qualities” and “unique gifts” Mr. Lee mistakenly credits only to heterosexual couples. This great family is always welcome at my table.

via Md. referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage – baltimoresun.com.

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NFL’s Matt Birk: Let’s protect marriage — and speech | StarTribune.com

It should come as no surprise that the National Football League supports the right of its players to share their opinions on important public matters, nor should it come as a surprise that I personally support my colleagues’ rights to voice their opinions.

But the conversation during the last few weeks on the subject of same-sex marriage has told a different story — one that appears to be drawing a false connection between supporting true American values like free speech and the institution of marriage, our most fundamental and important social institution.

I think it is important to set the record straight about what the marriage debate is and is not about, and to clarify that not all NFL players think redefining marriage is a good thing.

The union of a man and a woman is privileged and recognized by society as “marriage” for a reason, and it’s not because the government has a vested interest in celebrating the love between two people. With good reason, government recognizes marriages and gives them certain legal benefits so they can provide a stable, nurturing environment for the next generation of citizens: our kids.

via NFL’s Matt Birk: Let’s protect marriage — and speech | StarTribune.com.

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Boy Scouts Deny Gay Member Eagle Scout Rank – Poliglot

A Boy Scout just days away from his 18th birthday has been denied the organization’s highest award after revealing he is gay.

The Boy Scouts of America kicked Ryan Andresen, who has been involved in the Scouts for 12 years, out of the organization after he came out to his friends and family as gay. Andresen had met all the requirements for receiving the prestigious Eagle Award, but the scoutmaster of San Francisco-area Troop 212 refused to sign off on the paperwork designating Andresen an Eagle Scout because of his sexual orientation.

via Boy Scouts Deny Gay Member Eagle Scout Rank – Poliglot.

Washington churches told not to collect funds for gay marriage fight – The Washington Post

SPOKANE, Wash. — Churches in Washington state are being reminded that collecting money for a political cause is not OK — including a high-stakes ballot battle over gay marriage.

The state’s Public Disclosure Commission recently learned that Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima sent a letter to pastors in 41 parishes asking them to take up a special collection for Preserve Marriage Washington, the group that is trying to overturn the state’s same-sex marriage law.

via Washington churches told not to collect funds for gay marriage fight – The Washington Post.

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