Saturday, June 30, 2012

We've Been Warned (Again): Gayness Destroyed Rome!

Yep, unless they're MARRIED.  Silly Catholic Church!
From the mind of Roman Catholic ethicist Benjamin Wiker comes an interesting article about same-sex marriage and homosexuality in Ancient Rome.  He attempts (quite miserably) to prove that same-sex marriage and acceptance of homosexuality in a society leads to that society's demise, and pleads with us not to repeat the mistakes of Rome.

Wiker is a colorful character.  In 2009 he authored a book entitled The Darwin Myth: the Life and Lies of Charles Darwin, in which he claims that Darwin was part of a 19th-century conspiracy to remove God from science and tear down biblical foundations of morality.  He claimed that Darwinism (and, by extension, all of modern science and medicine, since these fields are based on the premise and findings of evolution) completely undermines the foundations of Christianity because it is "incompatible with natural law"1.  Yep, all aboard the crazy train!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

France Set to Become One Kick-Ass Country

New president, new day
»» Update added 30 June 2012

France already rocks, but it's about to turn up the volume on its coolness level.

Three-hundred forty three out of five-hundred seventy seven.  That's the official number of seats that the French Socialist Party and its fellow-progressive allies now have in the National Assembly, as a result of elections held this month.

That's a clear majority, and it means the conservatives, who earned only 223 seats, don't have enough votes to block the progressive legislative agenda of the new French government.

The French Senate, too, has a clear socialist majority, and it's all very, very good news for equality.

Interesting News Bites from Asia


TAIWAN:  TAPCPR, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, has announced that it will deliver a same-sex partnership bill to the Legislative Yuan (the Taiwanese legislature) in July of 2012.  TAPCPR has been advocating for a change in the current civil law since 2009.  Its bill will be three-pronged, covering a partnership system, legalization of same-sex marriage, and modernization of the current family code.

A same-sex marriage bill has been proposed before in Taiwan, but it met a major hurdle.  This because, according to Taiwanese law, family members of one spouse are automatically bound by law to become relatives of the other spouse's family.  The subsequent conflict over the implementation of family inheritance laws has effectively stalled that bill since 2003.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What Ever Happened to Article 26 of the Philippine Family Code?

What happened to Article 26 of the Family Code?

A few days ago I received a very good question/observation via email, so I thought I'd share it as a post.
____________________
"I'm somewhat confused about the current status of same-sex union law in the Philippines.  Technically same-sex marriage is not specifically banned or illegal, because of no law which forbids it or Constitutional amendment which forbids it. 
"However, the Family Code declares marriages to be between a man and a woman only, which on technicality actually DOES make same-sex union illegal in the country.  But then the Family Code (Art. 26) also declares that marriages conducted legally outside the Philippines shall be recognized also in the Philippines.....  If the law says that, so why would a Filipino couple married in Spain (for example) not be able to register as a proper married couple in the Philippines?  It was conducted legally, so why is this law just being ignored?
"What is correct?  Is it just me or do these laws not contradict on each other?"
____________________

For starters, if you happen to be confused:  join the crowd.  To the best of my knowledge, both of the above observations are correct and, yes, they do overlap in a contradictory manner.  In other words, it is confusing!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

P.U.S.H. Pilipinas

700 Club Asia hosts Kata Inocencio and Peter Kairuz
Right out of the gate, allow me to say that I applaud CBN Asia (Christian Broadcasting Network) and its nightly show, 700 Club Asia, for the many good works that they do, such as Operation Blessing.  There are many decent, caring people involved in the organization, and I do not doubt that they love God.

Every so often, though, like their mother ship network CBN USA and its founder, Pat Robertson, 700 Club Asia chooses to jump on the crazy train.  This is what they did during their June 11, 2012, broadcast which aired on Philippine TV network GMA.

As part of their week-long P.U.S.H. Pilipinas specials (which stands for Pray Until Something Happens, Philippines), the opening salvo was entitled "Pamilyang Pilipino, Gaano Katatag?" (The Filipino Family, How Strong Is It?).

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wedding Bells Ringing in Denmark, for Everyone!

Anxiously waiting as the final vote was tallied in parliament
Great news from Copenhagen as yesterday the Folketing, the Danish Parliament, voted overwhelmingly to amend that nation's marriage law, making it gender neutral.  The previous day (Wednesday), parliament rejected a bill that would have created a separate system of marriage for gay couples under different terminology.

With the passage of the new, gender-neutral law, same-sex couples will now be able to marry in churches of their choice, the same as opposite-sex couples.  Priests will not be forced to perform the weddings if they happen to disagree on personal grounds, however, a majority of pastors in the country do support marriage equality.  This includes a majority of priests in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to which 80% of Danes belong.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dueling Messages From the Top

The past few weeks have been interesting ones.

I'm not an American, neither am I Filipino, but I've spent quite a bit of time in both the U.S. and the Philippines.  I've been fairly amazed by the recent contrary messages on marriage equality that have been sent from the White House on one side, and MalacaƱang on the other.

President Barack Obama has announced his full support for the right of same-sex couples to marry, sending a resounding message of equality around the world.

The shockwave hit the Philippines, too.  Within hours, it seemed, MalacaƱang was sadly distancing itself from the statements coming from the White House.

Conservative Jews and French Kisses

Yesterday the Conservative faction of Judaism in North America formally endorsed marriage equality.  Oh yeah, you read that right:  the CONSERVATIVE Jewish branch!  Reform Jews, the more liberal faction of Judaism to which most Jews belong, have already been long supportive of equality.  This move by their conservative brethren was a welcomed surprise.

So much for the argument that "all major religions are opposed to same-sex marriage."  Sorry if it scares you, but there are millions of progressive Jews, Buddhists, and Christians (such as myself) who are fully and entirely supportive of equal marriage.

Also yesterday, on a non-religious note, in Paris the new French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault announced that a change in legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children will be done 'quickly' and that a draft bill is 'ready,' according to French news site Yagg.com.

The new French executors vowed to keep their campaign promise of bringing marriage equality to France, stating that they understand the urgency and importance of it.

A Socialist Party spokesperson stated that legislation will likely be presented in the National Assembly for discussion 'before the autumn,' and with it France is set to join other predominantly Catholic countries which already have marriage equality.

The French government's decision highlights the point that civil unions, which France has had since 1999, simply have not been good enough for a country that prides itself on treating everyone equally.