June 22, 2013 |
Despite the conservative tilt of the Roberts Supreme Court, gay rights supporters expect the justices to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act this month. Their hopes are pinned on Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the court's usual swing vote, who has written two important pro-gay-rights opinions in the past and voiced skepticism of the law during the court's hearing in March. If he joins the court's four liberals, DOMA is history. Kennedy, however, could surprise the court watchers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 21, 2013 |
Exodus International started in Anaheim 37 years ago as a small ministry to help those struggling to reconcile their homosexuality with the Bible's teachings. It grew into the leading practitioner of the controversial "gay cure" movement, with 260 ministries around North America. While Exodus claimed to have purged thousands of people of sexual urges that tormented them, its leaders recently began expressing doubts about the mission. Last year, its president, Alan Chambers, renounced the idea that homosexuality could be "cured.
June 19, 2013 |
The Kremlin has just issued a 12-year plan to address Russia's demographic crisis - that is, its high mortality rate and low birthrate. Buoyed apparently by a recent rise in the birthrate - 1.9 million Russian children were born in 2012, compared with 1.2 million in 1992 - the country has announced that it will give bonuses to families that have more than two children and will provide better healthcare, housing and education for families. In addition to these "carrots," the government has announced some "sticks": Divorce will be taxed as an "act of hatred toward children," and a fixed sum of alimony will be demanded even of those who are poor or unemployed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2013 |
Irwin Held, whose license-plate-festooned West Hollywood beer-and-burger spot drew praise from rock stars but protests from gay rights activists, has died. He was 87. Held died Monday in his Los Angeles home, family members said. He had a kidney ailment. From 1970 to 1999, Held owned Barney's Beanery, a Santa Monica Boulevard restaurant where Janis Joplin is said to have eaten her last meal and the Doors' Jim Morrison made himself at home. But for many in a community with a large, politically active gay population, the restaurant's freewheeling feel was tainted by an anti-gay sign that Held inherited when he bought the place and for years refused to take down.
June 16, 2013 |
As the same-sex marriage debate continues throughout the U.S., another front in the battle over gay rights has emerged thousands of miles away in the East African nation of Uganda, where in 2009 a bill was drafted that would impose the death penalty for certain homosexual behavior and prison time for anyone failing to report gays to the authorities. In Uganda and throughout parts of Africa, many believe homosexuality to be an imported Western evil, part of a so-called gay agenda.
June 14, 2013 |
Given the rapidly evolving status of gay rights here in the U.S, where the Boy Scouts of America recently lifted a ban on gay youths and the Supreme Court prepares to rule on two same-sex marriage cases , John Oliver decided it was time to check up on the issue around the globe on Thursday's episode of "The Daily Show. " Operating from the assumption that our friends in Europe are “more enlightened about these issues” than Americans, Oliver was surprised to learn of the riots that erupted in Paris following the legalization in that famously sexually laissez-faire country.
June 11, 2013 |
MOSCOW - Despite opposition from human rights activists, Russia's lower house of parliament Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would ban providing children with information on homosexuality. The lower house, or State Duma, voted 436-0 with one abstention to pass the bill introduced by the pro-Kremlin United Russia political party banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” The measure still needs to go through the Federation Council, or senate, and be signed by President Vladimir Putin, but is considered almost certain to become law, possibly by the end of June.
June 9, 2013 |
As Americans await U.S. Supreme Court rulings this month on two same-sex marriage cases, June - the traditional month for weddings and pride parades - gives gay people the chance to reflect: How have their own lives and views changed since a Hawaii court ruling first thrust marriage equality onto the national stage 20 years ago? And what might a fully legal marriage mean to them? For many gay people, including for me, the weight of this prospect has taken a while to sink in. Each time a hurdle to equality is removed, I find myself looking to the next roadblock.
June 6, 2013 |
First Lady Michelle Obama has shown us all how to deal with the nastiness that has infected American politics: do not indulge it. At a fund-raiser in a private Washington residence on Tuesday night, a gay rights activist standing only a few steps away interrupted the first lady as she spoke. Michelle's reaction was immediate. She did not try to talk over the heckler or engage the person in a debate or pass it off as a joke or wait until the rant subsided. Instead, she stepped away from the microphone, walked over to the shouting woman and said, “Listen to me or you can take the mike, but I'm leaving.” And then, to the rest of the crowd, “You all decide.
May 31, 2013
Re "The long haul in Syria," Opinion, May 29 The recent successes of the Syrian army are causing some to rethink their belief that President Bashar Assad's government faces imminent collapse. Meanwhile, our government and our allies are eager to see a just and quick end to Assad's oppressive rule. Support for the rebels has been limited, as we have mainly concerned ourselves with diplomacy with the Russians. Those who want U.S. military intervention against Assad must now ask themselves: What if this regime should come out triumphant and once again become the despised but legal government of that country?