TV & Radio
The New York Times
December 9, 2005
Court Voids Ruling Backing Gay Marriage
By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
An appellate court yesterday reversed a lower court ruling that would have permitted same-sex marriage in New York City.
By a 4-1 majority, the appellate panel not only rejected the lower court's ruling that state law forbidding same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, but said that the state had a legitimate and rational interest in promoting heterosexual marriage.
The majority's 20-page decision offered a ringing defense of heterosexual marriage, which the court portrayed as an important way of ensuring child welfare and social stability.
"Marriage promotes sharing of resources between men, women and the children that they procreate," said the panel of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court. "It is based on the presumption that the optimal situation for child-rearing is having both biological parents present in a committed, socially esteemed relationship."
Moreover, the panel said, decisions about the legitimacy of same-sex marriage are more properly left to the Legislature.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg reiterated yesterday that he was personally in favor of permitting same-sex marriage, and that the city had appealed the lower court decision only as a way of clarifying the law.
"As I have said, this issue should be decided by the state's highest court, and I assume today's decision will be appealed," Mr. Bloomberg said in a written statement. "If today's decision is affirmed by the Court of Appeals, I will urge the Legislature to change the State's Domestic Relations Law to permit gay marriage."
Susan L. Sommer, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, confirmed that they would appeal.
The suit was filed by a gay and lesbian rights group, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, on behalf of five same-sex couples in New York City, against the city clerk, Victor L. Robles, who issues marriage licenses.
Daniel Hernandez, 48, the lead plaintiff along with his partner, Nevin Cohen, said yesterday that he was "incredibly disappointed" by the ruling.
He said it had been depressing to go to oral arguments in the case, in which the city's lawyers, arguing that same-sex marriage was against the law, "treated our relationships as though they were insignificant and not these really strong, loving relationships that people in our community have."
Ms. Sommer said that while there were other challenges to the state's marriage law pending in other jurisdictions, the decision yesterday appeared to put this lawsuit on track to be the first to reach the high court.
Because the suit argues state issues rather than federal ones, she said, it will not go to the United States Supreme Court.
The decision overturned a Feb. 7 ruling by Justice Doris Ling-Cohan of State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Justice Ling-Cohan found that state marriage law violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the State Constitution. She permanently enjoined the city from denying a marriage license to any couple on the ground that they were of the same sex, a decision that has been stayed pending the appeals.
The panel also overturned Justice Ling-Cohan's ruling that gender-specific terms in state marriage law, such as "husband, "wife," "groom" and "bride," should be construed to apply equally to men and women.
The definition of marriage now enshrined in state law, "expresses an important, long-recognized public policy supporting, among other things, procreation, child welfare and social stability - all legitimate state interest," the appellate majority said.
Ms. Sommer, the lawyer, took issue with the court's contention that marriage law was a matter for the Legislature to decide, comparing it to other civil rights issues. "If the Legislature doesn't live up to its duty, it's entirely the role of the courts in a constitutional democracy to step in and protect individuals and minorities," she said.
She said that while the appellate division might be appealing to tradition, there was nothing sacrosanct about tradition, which has evolved over time. "Not so long ago, marriage was viewed legally and culturally as a patriarchal institution in which the husband essentially owned his wife as chattel," Ms. Sommer said.
She said that to say that state law intended marriage to protect the conception and raising of children flew in the face of state law that "completely acknowledges and supports the rights of same-sex couples to rear children."
State Senator Thomas Duane of Lower Manhattan, who has sponsored a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, said yesterday that the Senate and Assembly leaders had indicated that they would not push legislation to override court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2005
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR BLOOMBERG ON APPELLATE DIVISION'S RULING IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE CASE
"As I have said, this issue should be decided by the State's highest court and I assume today's decision will be appealed. If today's decision is affirmed by the Court of Appeals, I will urge the Legislature to change the State's Domestic Relations Law to permit gay marriage."
Edward Skyler/Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
12/12 英国人の16人に1人が同性愛者？――数字の正確さをめぐり論議 - UK Today
「National Family Campaign」のヒュー・マッキニー氏は、今までの統計結果での英国総人口に占める同性愛者の割合は約１―２％であるとし、事実を誇張することは、少数派グループが政府の方針を、公正さを欠いたものに誘導する危険につながりかねないとしている。
3.6m people in Britain are gay - official
First Whitehall figure settles long-running debate
Denis Campbell, social affairs correspondent
Sunday December 11, 2005
Six per cent of the population, or about 3.6 million Britons, are either gay or lesbian, the government's first attempt to quantify the homosexual population has concluded.
Whitehall officials have answered the much-debated question 'how many of us are gay?' by declaring that the true number is one in 16.66. Previous answers have ranged from one in five to as few as one in a hundred, and many people have believed the figure to be one in ten.
Treasury actuaries came up with the estimate when analysing the financial implications of the new Civil Partnerships Act, which comes into force this month and allows same-sex partners to marry and gives them similar rights to married couples in areas such as tax, pensions and inheritance.
There are an estimated 1.5 million to two million gay men, lesbians and bisexuals in the 30 million-strong workforce, according to the Department of Trade and Industry. Given the UK population is just under 60 million, that means that the gay community has between three and four million members.
'This is a significant moment,' said Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, the gay equality campaign group. 'For the first time the government has robustly acknowledged the existence of a substantial number of gay people in modern Britain. This is welcome and long overdue.
'Historically people have got bogged down in endless rows about this with some of the more colourful gay activists insisting as many as 20 per cent of the population was gay, while people who were opposed to gay equality, such as Norman Tebbit, claimed it was one in 100. Six per cent feels like a sensible estimate.'
Publication of the figure comes as big name companies such as Barclays bank, Hilton hotels and cosmetics giant L'Oreal join the growing rush to cash in on a gay economy which is worth tens of billions of pounds. Barclays has just received research which showed that gays and lesbians enjoy a combined annual income of £60 billion.
It has recently funded 300,000 copies of a guide to civil partnerships for same-sex couples, and in February is holding workshops at branches in Brighton, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Blackpool, where staff will guide gays and lesbians through the financial consequences of marrying - and try to attract new gay customers in the process.
Barclays spokesman Michael O'Toole admitted the bank is very keen to woo Britain's gays and lesbians by portraying itself as sympathetic to gays' desire for equality. 'We want to position ourselves as the bank of choice for Britain's gay and lesbian community,' he said.
'There's more of a push going on now to enter this market of about 2.5 million adults. It's a good time to do that because civil partnerships remove a great injustice.' Staff have been advised to make gays feel as comfortable as possible 'about their personal circumstances' if, for example, they want to discuss getting a joint mortgage. Advertisements in the gay press for the workshops will reinforce that message.
The Hilton chain is trying to entice gay couples to hold their civil partnership celebrations by offering tailor-made parties and even the chance to hold the ceremony at some hotels.
Barclays' research revealed that gay and lesbian people have greater disposable income than heterosexuals. Among the 1,000 gays who took part, men had spent on average £626 and women £519 on holidays and mini-breaks. Gay men also spent more than lesbians on clothing, £374 compared with £249, as well as furniture and fittings, where they typically spent £300 to women's £263.
That reflects the fact that the typical gay man working full-time earns an average £34,168, compared to £24,783 for a lesbian. Both figures, though, are much higher than the salaries earned by the average male and female British worker of £24,236 and £18,531 respectively.
Among the respondents, 40 per cent of the women and 25 per cent of the men were professionals; 11 per cent of the women and 13 per cent of the men were managers; five per cent of the women and six per cent of the men were senior managers; and eight per cent of both sexes were clerical and office workers.
Chasing the pink pound: companies trying to grab a slice of the £60bn gay economy
Barclays bank is holding a series of seminars in cities where there is a significant gay population to explain the financial implications of civil partnerships to existing and potential gay and lesbian customers. Has paid for 300,000 copies of Get hitched!, a guide to 'gay weddings' to help explain the rights and responsibilities involved. Gives funds to gay rights group Stonewall and has floats at Pride, the big gay festivals.
Hilton Hotels is wooing gay couples to hold civil partnership celebration parties at its 70 branches across the UK; some are licensed to hold the registration ceremony itself. The Hilton Avisford Park in Arundel, West Sussex, is holding its first 'gay Christmas' break from 24-27 December for £599 a head.
L'Oréal is advertising its Hydra Energetic Daily Anti-Fatigue Lotion for men in publications such as FHM and Loaded with a man beside the words 'You think you look the business. She thinks you look overworked'. In publications such as Attitude and Gay Times, the 'she' has become 'he'. Rob Robillard of L'Oréal Paris says: 'The gay market is important to L'Oréal and our success with gay men is a key priority.'