Newswise — Rockway Institute, a national center for LGBT research and public policy, has a wide range of experts available on a variety of LGBT topics. On marriage and relationships, especially the effects of legal status on same-sex relationships, we can offer the following highly knowledgeable sources: Continue reading California Same-Sex Marriage – Expert Sources
Marriage measures will be on the ballot in Arizona, California and Florida. The broad Florida proposal would ban any sort of legal recognition for couples, except male-female marriage. To pass, it must get 60 percent of the vote.
California, where same-sex couples have been marrying since June 16, is the first state where voters will be asked whether to take marriage rights away from gay couples.
Two years ago, Arizona became the first to defeat a ballot measure that included a gay marriage ban. But that sweeping proposal, similar to the one up now in Florida, would also have banned domestic partner protections, even for heterosexuals.
This year, Arizonans will be voting solely on gay marriage. That distinction hints at the challenges — and opportunities — ahead for activists determined to change hearts before Election Day.
Will voters in California or Arizona become the first to turn down an anti-gay amendment limited to marriage? California looks especially promising.
In Arizona, a Cronkite/Eight poll in February found voters supporting an amendment by 49-40 percent. A whopping 11 percent were undecided.
Antonio Medina, right, and Jorge Cerpa kiss after signing their civil contract, the first in Mexico.Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP – Getty Images file
Historical evidence demonstrates the prevalence of homosexual relationships hundreds of years ago, said Allan Tulchin of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. The ins-and-outs of the medieval relationships are tricky at best to figure out.
“I suspect that some of these relationships were sexual, while others may not have been,” Tulchin said. “It is impossible to prove either way and probably also somewhat irrelevant to understanding their way of thinking. They loved each other, and the community accepted that.”
David Buss, professor of psychology at the University of Texas and author of “The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating” (Basic Books, 2003) says that men have loved men for a very long time. There is “no reason to think that we do more now than in the past, although we are certainly more frank about it.”
“Western family structures have been much more varied than many people today seem to realize,” agrees Tulchin in the September issue of the Journal of Modern History. “And Western legal systems have in the past made provisions for a variety of household structures.”
Legal contracts from late medieval France that referred to the term “affrèrement,” roughly translated as brotherment. Similar contracts existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe, Tulchin said.
In the contract, “brothers” pledged to live together sharing “un pain, un vin, et une bourse,” (that’s French for one bread, one wine and one purse). The “one purse” referred to the idea that all of the couple’s goods became joint property. Like marriage contracts, the “brotherments” had to be sworn before a notary and witnesses, Tulchin explained.
The same type of legal contract of the time also could provide the foundation for a variety of non-nuclear households, including arrangements in which two or more biological brothers inherited the family home from their parents and would continue to live together, Tulchin said.
But non-relatives also used the contracts. In cases that involved single, unrelated men, Tulchin argues, these contracts provide “considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships.”
Costa Rica is known for being gay-friendly, offering gay-only resorts and tourism locales, gay-friendly restaurants and bars, gay clubs, and many other gay-friendly options. However, it seems that homosexual rights end where the money stops: a recently proposed law to allow gay civil unions has been greeted by religious opposition and protests.
I was driving up I-275 the other day when I saw
something that made the whole same-sex issue seem very
clear. On the back of a YWCA van was written, “More for
girls does not mean less for boys.”
When I was in high school the athletics department
seemed to have unlimited funding. In the fall it was all
about football; in winter, basketball reigned supreme. Of
course, this was boys football and basketball. Girls didn’t
do sports. Sports were for boys!
Sure, the girls had the volleyball team, but nobody
really paid any attention to it.
All of that changed with Title IX, the 1972 Federal law
that bars discrimination in all federally funded educational
activities. Suddenly schools were required to fund girls
athletics equally to boys. More importantly, the new law
forced people to confront those long-held gender stereotypes
that athletics was the domain of boys and that playing
sports was unladylike. It took legal action to force a societal
change, and there was a lot of resistance to that change (but
I don’t recall any mention of “activist judges”).
Now, nearly 35 years later, no one gives much thought
to girls being athletes, and in many cases, the girls’ teams
engender as much excitement and school spirit as the
boys’ teams. Society’s perceptions of gender roles have
changed, and continue to evolve, and we wonder what all
the fuss was about.
More for girls does not mean less for boys.
Same-sex marriage is very similar. The legalization of
same-sex marriage is a virtual inevitability. The rhetoric
surrounding efforts to ban it becomes more and more
ridiculous as one by one, the arguments against it fail to
stand up to rational debate. The recent Washington state
court ruling upholding that state’s ban on same-sex marriage
was no exception. “Under this standard, DOMA is
constitutional because the legislature was entitled to believe
that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation,
essential to survival of the human race, and furthers the
well-being of children by encouraging families where children
are reared in homes headed by the children’s biological
parents. Allowing same-sex couples to marry does not, in the
legislature’s view, further these purposes.”
Neither, it would logically follow, does allowing postmenopausal
women, infertile couples or couples not wanting
children, further those purposes..
In other words, same-sex marriage threatens the very
survival of the human species. As a columnist in the St.
Petersburg Times stated, the courts are fast reaching the
point where all that is left is to grasp at straws in their efforts
to continue to legitimize discrimination.
As in Massachusetts, ultimately it will be the courts that
demand that same-sex marriage be legalized. And until
there is a societal change in the perception of what a
marriage is, there will continue to be resistance.
We ask how same-sex marriage threatens the sanctity of
heterosexual marriage.” In reality it doesn’t challenge
heterosexual marriage. It challenges our perceptions of
what has been the “natural order” of things.
This is new, uncharted territory. It’s different, and
different is uncomfortable until it’s not different anymore.
It will take time for people to change their perceptions
about marriage, just as it took time to change their perceptions
about gender roles and girls’ athletics.
And that change of mindset must include the GLBT
community. How many of us really take same-sex marriage
seriously? How many of us really fathom the level of
commitment that marriage involves?
I have always found weddings to be deeply emotional
experiences. My niece’s wedding this past winter was no
exception, and being the first wedding of that generation of
our family, it was especially so.
I have to wonder, however, if she had married a young
woman instead of a young man, would I have had the same
feelings? Would my eyes have welled up with tears of pride
Regrettably, if I am completely honest I would have to
admit, probably not. And I don’t believe I am alone.
It’s not enough for us to “support” same-sex marriage.
We need to change our perceptions of what a marriage is.
We need to let go of our own comfort zone of what has been
familiar, and give our relationships the value they deserve.
We need to celebrate the same-sex marriages of our gay
and lesbian loved-ones with as much fervor, emotion and
tears of joy as our most beloved straight family members.