Anti-gay protesters met with opposition at FHS
BY BRETT BENNETT Northwest Arkansas Times
A small group of anti-gay activist protesters drew a large response when they came to Fayetteville High School on Thursday afternoon.
The group, which numbered about a dozen children and adults, was from the antigay Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. They said they decided to protest FHS because it has a Gay/Straight Alliance club, and the group was in Little Rock on Thursday morning to protest the opening of the Bill Clinton Library. "We’re here because stu- dents need to understand it’s not OK to be gay," church member Katherine Hockenbarger said. "It’s not OK for a school to have a club about sex. ... That club has no place in a tax-funded institution."
One FHS sophomore said he was particularly discouraged to see children accompanying the group. "It’s sad to see these kids so young, 5 or 6 years old. They’ve just been brainwashed," FHS student Trevor Logan said.
In anticipation of the protesters’ arrival, hundreds of Fayetteville High School students stood outside the school waiting for them. Many of the students held signs or wore shirts protesting the Westboro group’s message of "God hates fags
Norway rejects full marriage equality
Lawmakers in Norway rejected a measure on Thursday that would have granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, including the right to adopt children.
According to Agence France-Press (AFP), a majority of the members of Parliament voted against an amendment to make existing marriage law "gender-neutral".
The opposition included many Christian Democrats, the party of Lutheran pastor and Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik.
The Scandinavian country currently allows same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, which carry most of the same privileges as marriage .
Maryland pastors vow to press fight against gay marriage
Inspired by the recent success of ballot initiatives amending state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage in 11 states, 70 pastors have pledged to renew their efforts to ensure that such marriages never become legal in Maryland.
Va. cop linked to ’97 D.C. gay bar attack
Ex-Marine behind Remington’s gassing joined force in 2000
By YUSEF NAJAFI
A former Marine who was given a bad conduct discharge from the military six years ago for his involvement in the tear-gas attack on a Capitol Hill gay bar is currently working as a deputy sheriff in southern Virginia.
Travis Lee Nutter is employed as a deputy in the Caroline County Police Department, located south of Fredericksburg, Va., according to Deputy Sheriff Roger Moser.
Tory candidate angers gay groups with calls for new Section 28
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
A Conservative parliamentary candidate has been slammed by gay rights groups, after apparently calling for the re-introduction of Section 28.
Michael Gove, a candidate for the Tory safe seat of Surrey Heath, sparked the row after telling the Conservative Way Forward group that he supported a county-by-county introduction of the policy.
"Those of us who want a more traditional sex education for our children should be able to choose schools that reflect our values," he said earlier this week.
"Those who want a more liberal approach to sex education for their children should follow through."
Gay Navy group tries again to win recognition
USNA alumni to find out Dec. 2 if they’re official
By JOE CREA
After a year’s worth of preparation, a group of U.S. Naval Academy graduates expressed optimism that they will soon establish the first official gay alumni chapter of any U.S. service academy.
Last Veteran’s Day, 31 gay graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy formally asked the 50,000-member Naval Academy alumni association — a nonprofit group with no direct ties to the military — to recognize a new gay alumni group.
But the board of trustees last year rejected the group’s application because alumni chapters are geographically based and board members thought the group excluded heterosexuals, according to Skid Hayworth, vice president of communications for the alumni association.
Gay marriage supporters accept ban, plan civil union push
By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI
The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Proponents of gay marriage are conceding that a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage shuts the door to state-sanctioned nuptials between gay and lesbian couples — at least for now.
But they are claiming that the ban does not invalidate the marriages of the 2,961 gay and lesbian couples who tied the knot in Oregon earlier this year, when Multnomah County briefly permitted gay marriage, before a judge stopped the practice.
Nor does it shut the door to civil unions, according to legal briefs filed with the Oregon Supreme Court by the American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday.
That contention is a scaled-back argument for gay rights advocates in Oregon, who had previously argued that marriage was the only avenue that could ensure full protection for gay and lesbian couples.
Anne Fausto-Sterling: The social good of same-sex marriage
THIS PAST SEPTEMBER I got married to another woman, one with whom I have lived intimately for more than 15 years. Obtaining the marriage license, the logistical planning, the writing of the actual ceremony, and the months of discussions between my wife and myself about the meaning of marriage, of commitment to one another, to our respective families, and to our broader community of friends, neighbors and colleagues at work, composed one of the most profound periods in my 60-year existence.
As a result, I find that I cannot empathize with those who believe that this act -- to me a deeply moral and ethical one -- was evil or immoral or in someway a threat to heterosexual marriage.
Marriage is a social good. It provides stability to the couple, to children, and to the community; it provides a social location for caring and giving, and it provides economic safety and benefits.
We opened our ceremony by recognizing the greater good: the commitment we offered to our overlapping communities, the promise to honor our elders and the children in our larger group
US bishops launch marriage initiative, approve audits
Washington, DC, (CNA/CWNews.com) - The US bishops' conference on Wednesday launched an ambitious plan to promote marriage, an institution they see as being under extreme pressure, not specifically from those who favor homosexual unions but also from the general difficulty of getting and staying married.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops also approved plans to collect more information on the clerical sex abuse scandal.
Gay Marriage Anniversary Brings New Threats From Right
by Jennifer Peter, Associated Press
(Boston, Massachusetts) The first anniversary of Massachusetts' gay marriage decision was marked with little fanfare Thursday, but both sides said it was simply the calm before a storm of new battles over the ruling's legacy.
Lawyers at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which represented the seven same-sex couples who filed the landmark lawsuit, are poised to appeal a second case to the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of out-of-state gay couples who are currently barred from marrying here.
Conservative groups, heartened by the success of anti-gay marriage ballot questions in 11 states earlier this month, are retooling their local opposition to focus on the public schools, where they say teachers now feel free to promote the gay lifestyle.
The Massachusetts Family Institute issued a pamphlet this fall, warning parents about "How same-sex marriage will affect your school." Distributed through churches and conservative organizations, the brochure shares anecdotes about how 7-year-old "Patrick" was told by his teacher that homosexuality was normal and how "Stacey," a sixth-grader, called her parents bigots after one of her teachers had said that opponents of gay marriage were bigoted.
Gay couple from Ohio find refuge in California
By Monica MehtaCORRESPONDENT
BERKELEY -- Beverly Senkowski can't go back to Ohio. A year and a half ago, she and her partner, Jacqueline Frank, decided to move from Ohio to San Francisco for a work contract for their health care business. They had intended to return in a couple of years to live near their families, which include 23 nieces and nephews.
No more. On Nov. 2, Ohio voters resoundingly passed a constitutional amendment banning not only gay marriage but also any legal status "that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."