TV & Radio
Schwarzenegger Mum On Gay Marriage Bill
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 15, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET
(San Francisco, California) Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has yet to publicly say whether he will sign or again veto legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry in California.
The governor's silence is uncharacteristic. In 2005 he was quick to warn he would veto a similar bill. The measure passed anyway, and Schwarzenegger rejected it.
The current bill passed the Senate a week ago. Schwarzenegger has until October 14th to sign or veto the bill.
So far the only comments on the legislation have come from the governor's spokespeople and only in response to direct questions from the media. Even so the replies have been guarded.
On Friday Schwarzenegger's office told KPIX-television that the governor hasn't taken a position yet on the marriage equality bill.
But the spokesperson noted that, "He has said in the past on this issue he will uphold the will of the people, when they passed Prop. 22."
Proposition 22 was passed by the voters in the year 2000 to stop gay marriage, but the courts have ruled it only applies to marriages performed out of state.
Supporters and foes of gay marriage have mounted massive campaigns to lobby the governor.
Last week conservative groups were in Sacramento pushing the governor to veto the bill.
Next Tuesday supporters of same-sex marriage will hold rallies across the state. One of the largest is expected to be in San Francisco at the Gay Community Center.
In addition Equality California - the statewide LGBT civil rights organization - has begun gathering names for a petition it wants to present to Schwarzenegger. It hopes to have 10,000 names on it.
"A couple thousand signatures aren’t enough. The governor’s office just won’t pay attention. That’s why we need an all-out push," the group said in a statement.
The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act,
would amend the Family Code to define marriage as a civil contract between two persons instead of a civil contract between a man and a woman.
The measure also reaffirms that no religious institution would ever be required to solemnize marriages contrary to its fundamental beliefs.
California law already permits same-sex couples to register with the state as domestic partners, affording them hundreds of state protections.
However, same-sex couples in California and their families still are not eligible for more than a thousand federal protections offered to married couples, including family and medical leave, social security benefits, long-term care insurance and the ability to sponsor a partner for immigration benefits.
Meanwhile, the California Supreme court is expected to hear oral arguments late this year or early in 2008 challenging the state's refusal to recognize same-sex marriage. (story)
Web posted at: 15:54 JST
Iowa court rules same-sex couples can marry
(CNN) -- An Iowa district court ruled Thursday that same-sex couples can marry based on the state constitution's guarantee of equal treatment, court documents show.
The ruling was in response to a December 2005 lawsuit brought by six same-sex couples seeking to wed. They were denied marriage licenses and claimed such treatment violates equal-protection and due-process clauses in the Iowa constitution.
The court also struck down a state law declaring valid marriages are only between a man and woman.
The Iowa District Court for Polk County advances the case to the Iowa Supreme Court which will make a final decision on same-sex marriage, according to Lambda Legal, a gay and lesbian legal organization representing the couples.
The 63-page ruling, written by Judge Robert Hanson states: "Couples, such as plaintiffs, who are otherwise qualified to marry one another may not be denied licenses to marry or certificates of marriage or in any other way prevented from entering into a civil marriage pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 595 by reason of the fact that both persons compromising such a couple are of the same sex."
The law describing marriage as between a man and a woman, "constitutes the most intrusive means by the state to regulate marriage. This statute is an absolute prohibition on the ability of gay and lesbian individuals to marry a person of their choosing," Hanson wrote.
Lambda says the six couples are all in long-term relationship - one couple has been together for six years, another couple has been together for 17 years.
"Three of the couples are raising children, others are planning families, and all want the responsibilities of marriage and the protections only marriage can provide," according to the organization.
"We respectfully disagree with the court's decision, and we're going to ask for a stay," said Polk County Attorney John Sarcone.
He said his office will examine whether it's best to file a motion to reconsider. But barring a change in the court's opinion, Sarcone will appeal the ruling.
Co-counsel for the plaintiffs along with Lambda Legal, Dennis Johnson called the ruling "a significant step forward in recognizing the constitutional rights of all Iowans, and it's an amazing day for same-sex couples and their families all across Iowa."
Gay and proud in Tokyo (Reuters Video 2007/08/12)
In costume for this year's Gay Pride march in Tokyo.
While it may not be the main event of the year on the global gay calendar,
organiser Takashi Nakada says it's important that gay people make themselves seen.
SOUNDBITE Takashi Nakada, parade organiser, saying (Japanese):
"In Japanese society, many gay and lesbian people still hesitate to
come out. We hope many straight people watch this parade today and find out that gays and lesbians are out there, naturally, just like straight
Japanese society, which is often seen as conservative, is undergoing an
awakening in terms of lesbian, gay and bisexual issues.
In June, Kanako Otsuji, backed by the opposition Democratic Party became
the first openly lesbian politician to run for parliament.
Although she was not successful in her attempt, her campaign did raise
awareness of gay rights in Japan.
Many of the 3,000 participants want a change in the law in Japan to
recognize same-sex partnerships.
SOUNDBITE Joe, female participant, saying (Japanese):
"Unlike some other countries, in Japan same-sex couples are not
officially recognized as spouses or domestic partners. This is causing a
serious problem because we can never treat our partners as family
For today however, these issues have been set aside as revellers party in
Daragh Burke, Reuters.
日本経済 2007/08/11 19:03
The Visible Vote '08 on LOGO online
Japanese gay woman battles for upper house seat
By Elaine Lies Reuters - July 29, 2007
TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese woman was battling to become Japan's first openly gay parliamentarian on Monday, with voting too close to call in her race for an upper house seat.
Kanako Otsuji, backed by the main opposition Democratic Party, said she hoped her campaign would raise awareness of gay rights in a society where many homosexuals remain in the closet.
"I feel we were finally able to express our feelings and turn them into votes," the 32-year-old told Japanese television.
"I really didn't hear any sort of critical voices when I was campaigning. I was welcomed warmly at my campaign stops."
Supporters waited anxiously for results late into the night at Otsuji's campaign office, located in Shinjuku Ni-chome, an area with several hundred gay bars in Tokyo's west.
Otsuji, who served as a local legislator in the western city of Osaka for four years until April, has said her decision to become a politician was inspired by the pain and isolation of the five years it took her to accept that she was a lesbian.
She revealed her sexual orientation in 2005, when already a legislator in Osaka.
In her autobiography, "Coming Out: A Journey to Find my True Self," she said: "I thought I could give courage to the most people by coming out."
If elected, she has vowed to promote a more diverse society and seek laws to prohibit discrimination, including against sexual minorities. In Osaka, she helped change laws to make it easier for same-sex couples to rent public housing.
Japanese media have increased coverage of sexual minority issues, but social acceptance remains limited and gays are still often shown as comic relief.
updated 12:36 a.m. EDT, Tue July 24, 2007
Part I: CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate transcript
COOPER: Our next question is on a topic that got a lot of response from YouTube viewers. Let's watch.
QUESTION: Hi. My name is Mary.
QUESTION: And my name is Jen.
QUESTION: And we're from Brooklyn, New York.
If you were elected president of the United States, would you allow us to be married to each other?
COOPER: Congressman Kucinich?
KUCINICH: Mary and Jen, the answer to your question is yes. And let me tell you why.
Because if our Constitution really means what it says, that all are created equal, if it really means what it says, that there should be equality of opportunity before the law, then our brothers and sisters who happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender should have the same rights accorded to them as anyone else, and that includes the ability to have a civil marriage ceremony.
Yes, I support you. And welcome to a better and a new America under a President Kucinich administration.
COOPER: Senator Dodd, you supported the Defense of Marriage Act. What's your position?
DODD: I've made the case, Anderson, that -- my wife and I have two young daughters, age 5 and 2.
I'd simply ask the audience to ask themselves the question that Jackie and I have asked: How would I want my two daughters treated if they grew up and had a different sexual orientation than their parents?
Good jobs, equal opportunity, to be able to retire, to visit each other, to be with each other, as other people do.
So I feel very strongly, if you ask yourself the question, "How would you like your children treated if they had a different sexual orientation than their parents?," the answer is yes. They ought to have that ability in civil unions.
I don't go so far as to call for marriage. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.
But my state of Connecticut, the state of New Hampshire, have endorsed civil unions. I strongly support that. But I don't go so far as marriage.
COOPER: Governor Richardson?
RICHARDSON: Well, I would say to the two young women, I would level with you -- I would do what is achievable.
What I think is achievable is full civil unions with full marriage rights. I would also press for you a hate crimes act in the Congress. I would eliminate "don't ask/don't tell" in the military.
If we're going to have in our military men and women that die for this country, we shouldn't give them a lecture on their sexual orientation
I would push for domestic partnership laws, nondiscrimination in insurance and housing.
I would also send a very strong message that, in my administration, I will not tolerate any discrimination on the basis of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
COOPER: This next question is for Senator Edwards.
QUESTION: I'm Reverend Reggie Longcrier. I'm the pastor of Exodus Mission and Outreach Church in Hickory, North Carolina.
Senator Edwards said his opposition to gay marriage is influenced by his Southern Baptist background. Most Americans agree it was wrong and unconstitutional to use religion to justify slavery, segregation, and denying women the right to vote.
So why is it still acceptable to use religion to deny gay American their full and equal rights?
EDWARDS: I think Reverend Longcrier asks a very important question, which is whether fundamentally -- whether it's right for any of our faith beliefs to be imposed on the American people when we're president of the United States. I do not believe that's right.
I feel enormous personal conflict about this issue. I want to end discrimination. I want to do some of the things that I just heard Bill Richardson talking about -- standing up for equal rights, substantive rights, civil unions, the thing that Chris Dodd just talked about. But I think that's something everybody on this stage will commit themselves to as president of the United States.
But I personally have been on a journey on this issue. I feel enormous conflict about it. As I think a lot of people know, Elizabeth spoke -- my wife Elizabeth spoke out a few weeks ago, and she actually supports gay marriage. I do not. But this is a very, very difficult issue for me. And I recognize and have enormous respect for people who have a different view of it.
COOPER: I should also point out that the reverend is actually in the audience tonight. Where is he? Right over here.
Reverend, do you feel he answered your question?
QUESTION: This question was just a catalyst that promoted some other things that wrapped around that particular question, especially when it comes to fair housing practices. Also...
COOPER: Do you think he answered the question, though?
QUESTION: Not like I would like to have heard it...
COOPER: What did you not hear?
QUESTION: I didn't quite get -- some people were moving around, and I didn't quite get all of his answer. I just heard...
COOPER: All right, there's 30 seconds more. Why is it OK to quite religious beliefs when talking about why you don't support something? That's essentially what's his question.
EDWARDS: It's not. I mean, I've been asked a personal question which is, I think, what Reverend Longcrier is raising, and that personal question is, do I believe and do I personally support gay marriage?
The honest answer to that is I don't. But I think it is absolutely wrong, as president of the United States, for me to have used that faith basis as a basis for denying anybody their rights, and I will not do that when I'm president of the United States.
COOPER: Senator Obama, the laws banning interracial marriage in the United States were ruled unconstitutional in 1967. What is the difference between a ban on interracial marriage and a ban on gay marriage?
OBAMA: Well, I think that it is important to pick up on something that was said earlier by both Dennis and by Bill, and that is that we've got to make sure that everybody is equal under the law. And the civil unions that I proposed would be equivalent in terms of making sure that all the rights that are conferred by the state are equal for same-sex couples as well as for heterosexual couples.
Now, with respect to marriage, it's my belief that it's up to the individual denominations to make a decision as to whether they want to recognize marriage or not. But in terms of, you know, the rights of people to transfer property, to have hospital visitation, all those critical civil rights that are conferred by our government, those should be equal.
COOPER: We're going to take a quick break, but before we go we're going to show another candidate video. This one is from the Clinton campaign. And then when we come back from the break, we'll see one from the -- from Senator Edwards' campaign.
CNN.com Special Report
Uncovering America - Fighting for Acceptance
A Focus on the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community
The New York Times
June 26, 2007
Poll Shows Liberal Ideas Gaining With Young People
By ADAM NAGOURNEY and MEGAN C. THEE
Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll. The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion.
In a snapshot of a group whose energy and idealism have always been as alluring to politicians as its scattered focus and shifting interests have been frustrating, the poll found that substantially more Americans between the ages of 17 and 29 than four years ago are paying attention to the presidential race. But they appeared to be really familiar with only two of the candidates, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats.
They have continued a long-term drift away from the Republican Party, and although they are just as worried as the general population about the outlook for the country and think their generation is likely to be worse off than that of their parents, they retain a belief that their votes can make a difference, the poll found.
More than half of Americans between 17 and 29 years old — 54 percent — say they intend to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008. They share with the public at large a negative view of President Bush, who has a 28 percent approval rating with this group, and of the Republican Party. They hold a markedly more positive view of Democrats than they do of Republicans.
Among this age group, Mr. Bush’s job approval rating after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was more than 8 in 10. Over the course of the next three years, it drifted downward leading into the presidential election of 2004, when 4 out of 10 members of young Americans said they approved how Mr. Bush was handling his job.
At a time when Democrats have made gains after years in which Republicans have dominated Washington, young Americans appear to lean slightly more to the left than the general population: 28 percent described themselves as liberal, compared with 20 percent of the nation at large. And 27 percent called themselves conservative, compared with 32 percent of the general public.
Forty-four percent said they believed that same-sex couples should be permitted to get married, compared with 28 percent of the public at large. They are more likely than their elders to support the legalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The findings on gay marriage were reminiscent of a survey of voters leaving the polls on election day 2004: 41 percent of 18-to-29-year-old voters said gay couples should be permitted to legally marry, according to an exit poll at the time.
In addition, 62 percent said in the current poll that they would support a universal, government-sponsored national health care insurance program; 47 percent of the general public holds that view. And 30 percent said that “Americans should always welcome new immigrants,” while 24 percent of the general public holds that view.
Their views on abortion mirror that of the public at large: 24 percent said it should not be permitted it all, while 38 percent said it should be made available, but with greater restrictions. Thirty-seven percent said it should be generally available.
In one potential sign of shifting attitudes, respondents, by overwhelming margins said they believed that the nation was prepared to elect as president a woman, a black or someone who admitted to having used marijuana. But they said they did not believe Americans would elect as president someone who had used cocaine or a Mormon.
Mr. Obama has suggested that he used cocaine as a young man. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and a candidate for the Republican nomination, is a Mormon.
By a 52 to 36 margin, young Americans say that Democrats, rather than Republicans, come closer to sharing their moral values, while 58 percent said they had a favorable view of the Democratic Party, while 38 percent said they had a favorable view of Republicans.
Asked if they were enthusiastic about any of the candidates running for president, 18 percent named Mr. Obama, of Illinois, and 17 percent named Mrs. Clinton, of New York. Those two were followed by Rudolph W. Giuliani, a Republican, who was named by just 4 percent of the respondents.
The survey also found that 42 percent of young Americans think it is likely or very likely that the national will reinstate a military draft over the next few years — and two-thirds said they thought the Republican Party was more likely to do so. And 87 percent of respondents said they opposed a draft.
But when it came to the war, young Americans were more optimistic about the outcome than the population as whole. Fifty-one percent said the United States is very or somewhat likely to succeed in Iraq, compared with 45 percent among all adults. Contrary to conventional wisdom, younger Americans have historically been more likely than the population as whole to be supportive of what a president is doing in a time of war as they were in Korea and Vietnam, polls have shown.
The nationwide telephone poll — a joint effort by the New York Times, CBS News, and MTV — was conducted from June 15 to June 23. It involved 659 adults from the ages of 17 to 29. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points for all respondents.
The Times/CBS News/MTV Poll suggests that suggests that Americans are conflicted in their view of the country. Many have a bleak view about their own future and the direction the country is heading: 70 percent said the country is on the wrong track, while 48 percent said they fear that their generation will be worse off than their parents But the survey also found that this generation of Americans is not cynical: 77 percent said they thought the votes of their generation would have a great bearing on who becomes the next president.
By any measure, the poll suggests that young Americans are anything but apathetic about the presidential election. Fifty-eight percent said they are paying attention to the campaign. By contrast, at this point in the 2004 presidential campaign, 35 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds said they were paying a lot or some attention to the campaign.
Over the past half century, the youth vote has, more often than not, gone with the Democratic candidate for president, though with some notable exceptions. In 1984, Ronald Reagan won his second term as president by capturing 59 percent of the youth vote, according to surveys of voters leaving the polls, and George H.W. Bush won in 1988 with 52 percent of that vote. But this age group has supported Democratic presidential candidates in every election since.
The percentage of young voters who identified themselves as Republican grew steadily during Reagan administration, and reached a high of 37 percent in 1989. That number has steadily declined ever since, and is now at 25 percent.
“I think the Democratic Party is now realizing how big an impact my generation has and they’re trying to cater to that in some way,” Ashley Robinson, 21, a Democrat from Minnesota, said in a follow-up interview after she participated in the poll. “But the traditional Republican Party is still trying to get older votes, which doesn’t make sense because there are so many more voters my age. It would be sensible to cater to us.”
The fact a significant number of respondents said they were enthusiastic about just two of the candidates — Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton — to a certain extent reflects the fact that both candidates have been the subject of a huge amount of national attention and have presented the country with historic candidacies: Mr. Obama is running to be the first black president and Mrs. Clinton to become the first woman. Other candidates could begin drawing attention from this group as the campaign takes a higher platform.
More significant, though, at least for Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama is the impression this group has of them. In the poll, 43 percent of respondents said they held an unfavorable view of Mrs. Clinton, a number that reflects the tide of resistance she faces among voters nationwide. By contrast, only 19 percent said they had an unfavorable view of Mr. Obama.
Marjorie Connelly, Dalia Sussman and Marina Stefan contributed reporting.
NY Times/CBS/MTV Poll (PDF)
47. Which comes closest to your view?...Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry, gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry, there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship?
3/7-11/07 All adults
Civil unions 32
No legal recognition 35
6/15-23/07 Age 17-29
Civil unions 24
No legal recognition 30
48. Do you think being homosexual is something people choose to be, or do you think it is something they cannot change?
10/5-8/06 All adults
Cannot change 53
6/15-23/07 Age 17-29
Cannot change 50
Elizabeth Edwards declares support for gay marriage
Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle Political Writer
Monday, June 25, 2007
Elizabeth Edwards, starring at the kickoff event of San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade, came out in support of legalized same-sex marriage Sunday -- taking a position that she acknowledged is at odds with her husband, presidential candidate John Edwards.
"I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me," she said. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."
Edwards' comments came after her keynote address before a standing-room-only breakfast attended by 300 people at the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, a key organization in the powerful gay political base in San Francisco.
The appearance by the candidate's wife -- witnessed by many local politicians, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, District Attorney Kamala Harris and City Attorney Dennis Herrera -- was hailed as a milestone in the 30-year history of the Gay Pride event, which had never been visited by a major presidential candidate or spouse.
California's presidential primary is Feb. 5, making it one of the earliest races in the country and a frequent stop for candidates and their families.
Edwards' embrace of same-sex marriage puts her in a position that differs markedly from her husband, the former North Carolina senator. Edwards said her husband, though having a "deeply held belief against any form of discrimination," supports gay civil unions, but does not support gay marriage.
"John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted," she said. "That's up against his being raised in the 1950s in a rural southern town. I think honestly he's on a road that a lot of people in this country are on. ... They're struggling with this. Most of the gay and lesbian people I know ... have seen their friends and family walking down that same road.
"It's frustrating, I know," she added, "but it's a long distance from where we are now to the pews of a Southern Baptist church. So, John's been as honest as he can about that."
Edwards said she has come to the conclusion that the marriage of another couple "makes no difference to me," just as it would make no difference in her opinion of a neighbor if he painted his house a different color.
"If he's pleasant to me on the street, if his children don't throw things in my yard, then I'm happy," she said. "It seems to me we're making issues of things that honestly ... don't matter."
Many at the breakfast where Edwards was enthusiastically received noted the stark differences between Democratic and Republican presidential candidates on issues that matter to gay and lesbian voters.
All Democratic candidates support the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay people in the military, while none of the Republican candidates said they would support such a change.
All Democrats also support a measure recently passed in New Hampshire that allows civil unions. But the leading candidates -- Edwards, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama -- remain opposed to same sex marriage.
Only Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Ohio, and former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska support same-sex marriage, but they are considered to have virtually no chance of winning the Democratic nomination.
In 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom decided to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of the state law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The state Supreme Court has barred such marriages until it issues a final decision in the case. That decision is still pending.
This article appeared on page A - 9 of the San Francisco Chronicle
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