6th August 2003 (# 2) News Clippings Digest
- 6th August 2003 (# 2) News Clippings Digest
1. SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE (Florida) City OKs ordinance prohibiting
antigay bias; It applies to issues of work, housing and public
2. ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS Homophobic Minnesota State Rep. promises
to Holocaust Museum travelling exhibit about gays, Nazis
3. EDMONTON SUN MP against same-sex 'marriage'; In a free vote,
Dave Kilgour says institution should remain man and woman
4. DENVER POST Editorial: Don't marry church, state
5. HARTFORD COURANT Helen Ubiñas: Leave Gay Parents Alone
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, August 5, 2003
P. O. Box 1719, Sarasota, FL, 33578
(Fax: 941-957-5276 ) (E-Mail: letters.editor@... )
( http://www.heraldtribune.com )
City OKs ordinance prohibiting antigay bias
It applies to issues of work, housing and public accommodations.
By Lisa Rab, lisa.rab@...
SARASOTA - The City Commission passed an ordinance prohibiting
discrimination based on sexual orientation unanimously Monday night,
the objections of some who said it would infringe on their religious
Beginning Oct. 1, people alleging discrimination will be able
lodge complaints with a city Human Relations Board.
The ordinance outlaws discrimination based on age, disability,
gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual
and military veteran status. If the dispute cannot be resolved
mediation, the board can grant the right to sue in circuit court.
"I'm just proud to count Sarasota as just one in a host of
across this country that are recognizing how important diversity is,"
Commissioner Mary Anne Servian said.
Federal and state laws don't ban discrimination based on
orientation, but a dozen cities and counties in Florida - including
and St. Petersburg - do. Sarasota's ordinance applies only to
that occur after Oct. 1 and involve employment, housing and public
accommodations in the city.
Members of the audience applauded as the commissioners voted
measure. Outside the chambers, the Rev. Jim Merritt, who helped
ordinance, cried with happiness.
"It is such a blessing for me to see the leaders of our
endorse the idea of equality and justice," Merritt said.
But not everyone was celebrating. Esther Rachwal, who spoke
the ordinance on behalf of the Florida Family Association, said the
discriminated against Christians. People who don't "believe in the
homosexual lifestyle" should be allowed to refuse to hire people who
gay, she said.
"I think people have a right to follow their own religious
Darwin Blix, a local landlord, expressed a similar
sentiment. "I am
not in favor of the government trying to legislate its understanding
morality," he told the commissioners.
The other three people who spoke at the public hearing Monday
favor of the ordinance, which was drafted after an anti-
amendment to the city's charter passed last November with 73 percent
The new ordinance outlines how the amendment will be
example, it outlines exemptions for religious organizations and
the size of businesses that will be affected by the ordinance.
Unlike federal and state laws, which apply only to businesses
or more employees, Sarasota's ordinance applies to businesses with
more unrelated employees.
Rick Martin, an insurance agent, told the commission he would
that provision changed, because employer insurance protection against
discrimination suits would be costly for small businesses.
Merritt, who chaired the ad hoc committee of citizens that
ordinance, said they had discussed the issue extensively and felt
that the number should not be changed. The ordinance also caps
damages for discrimination in businesses with fewer than 15
St. Paul Pioneer-Press, August 5, 2003
345 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN, 55101
(Fax: 612-228-5500 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities )
Minneapolis: Lawmaker promises to visit exhibit about gays, Nazis
By David Hawley, Pioneer Press
The man who inspired efforts to bring a traveling exhibit on
persecution of homosexuals to the Twin Cities was not present when
Monday in Minneapolis.
But state Rep. Arlon Lindner said he plans to see the U.S.
Memorial Museum's "Nazi Persecutions of Homosexuals 1933-1945,"
which is on
display at the Downtown YWCA on Nicollet Mall through Sept. 26.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Lindner, R-Corcoran, who
political firestorm last March with remarks he made during debate on
efforts to repeal state human rights protections for people based on
Lindner's legislation went nowhere, but critics accused him of
questioning whether the Nazis persecuted gays.
"It's just recently that anyone's come out with this idea that
homosexuals were persecuted to this extent - there's been a lot of
of history," Lindner was quoted as saying, though he now says his
"I said I didn't believe that homosexuals were persecuted to
extent that Jewish people were," Lindner said when contacted last
was thinking more number-wise."
The local sponsors of the exhibition hope it will educate
"Aside from Rep. Lindner's statements, a lot of people of good
conscience don't know about this history," said Linnea Stenson,
director at the Steven J. Schochet Center for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual
Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her
co-sponsoring the exhibit with three others, including OutFront
Jewish Community Action and the Minneapolis YWCA.
The organizers also have invited elected officials -
entire Minnesota Legislature and representatives of city and county
governments - to attend a ceremony and reception Thursday. But as of
Monday, only a small number of officials had promised to attend,
DeGroot, executive director of OutFront Minnesota.
"To be frank, we're somewhat disappointed," DeGroot said.
Small in size, the exhibit consists of 28 panels that display
reproductions of hundreds of photographs and documents arranged in a
chronological order. It describes a purposeful effort by the Nazis
resulted in about 100,000 arrests, 50,000 imprisonments, an untold
deaths in concentration camps and such things as forced castrations.
The exhibit, which came to the Twin Cities from Los Angeles,
includes poignant personal stories, many sketched in a few
for example, is the story of Friedrich-Paul von Grosheim, a German
first arrested in 1937 during a mass arrest of 230 suspected
"He was tortured and given the choice between castration or a
concentration camp. He submitted to the operation. Friedrich-Paul
the war, but it took him 50 years to talk about his
living proof that Hitler didn't win . if I don't tell my story, who
know the truth?'"
Lindner said he accepted an invitation to tour the exhibition
Stephen Silberfarb, executive director of the Jewish Community
Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. The two plan to see the
together next Tuesday.
"We look upon this as a learning experience for everybody,
see what happens," said Silberfarb, who added that he is pleased that
Lindner is willing to tour the exhibit with him.
"I think this is a step in the right direction," Silberfarb
"Does this resolve the issues about the legislation he was trying to
No. But it's a step."
. David Hawley can be reached at dhawley@... or
. If You Go:
What: "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945," a
exhibit by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Where: Downtown YWCA, 1130 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to
Saturdays through Sept. 26
To learn more: 612-626-8387; visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial
Museum's Web site at www.ushmm.org
Edmonton Sun, August 5, 2003
#250, 4990-92 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6B 3A1 Canada
(E-Mail: sun.letters@... )
( http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonSun/home.html )
MP against same-sex 'marriage'
In a free vote, Dave Kilgour says institution should remain man and
By Ajay Bhardwaj, Edmonton Sun
Given a free vote on same-sex marriages, Edmonton Southeast
Kilgour says he would opt to keep marriage exclusively heterosexual.
"I would vote to keep marriage as one man and one woman but I
also vote, if I could, for a partnership agreement or union for same-
couples," said Kilgour yesterday.
"I think there should be two categories."
Last month the federal government handed its draft
allow gays and lesbians to marry in civic ceremonies to the Supreme
ensure it is constitutional.
Kilgour said he doesn't think the House will actually get to
the bill, because the Supreme Court could take awhile to go over the
He said marriage as an institution between man and woman has
for "eons or centuries."
"Many people have told me they don't mind having the
partnerships or unions, but they don't want to see the
applied to that," said Kilgour. He said that at a recent barbecue,
three of 125 constituents said they favoured using the
term "marriage" for a
City Coun. Michael Phair, who is openly gay, said there
to be any distinction between gay and heterosexual "marriages."
"What the federal government is proposing is to change the
legislation which deals with the civic ceremony, and it doesn't make
difference what the sex of the couple is," said Phair. He said same-
marriage is not seen as a major issue by most Canadians.
"It in no way interferes with any person who wishes to get
A man and a woman can still get married."
Kilgour spoke at a citizenship ceremony at the Heritage
yesterday in which 53 people became Canadians. He later said
strength lies in its ability to include everybody.
"I'm afraid you can be absolutely inclusive in my mind and
be," he said after the ceremony. "But some things, I don't think the
residents of my constituency are ready for.
"I'm all for being inclusive on everything else, but that's
something that at least my constituency can accept."
Pope John Paul and top Vatican officials have been speaking
months against proposals to legalize same-sex marriages in Europe,
In a 12-page document released last week, the Vatican urged
and non-Catholics alike to unite in campaigning against gay
gay adoptions, seeking to stem the widening legal recognition of
unions and the increasing acceptance of homosexual lifestyles.
Denver Post, August 5, 2003
1560 Broadway, Denver, CO, 80202
(Fax: 303-820-1369 ) (E-Mail: Letters@... )
( http://www.denverpost.com )
Editorial: Don't marry church, state
Several Colorado political leaders, including Gov. Bill
right to eschew a Vatican directive for Catholic lawmakers to
oppose same-sex marriages.
Pope John Paul II once again condemned gay marriage and issued
instructions on Thursday urging lawmakers worldwide to fight the
legalization of same-sex unions. The 12-page document instructs
politicians to vote against bills that would recognize gay marriage
repeal laws already in existence. Supporting such laws would
immoral," the instructions say.
Even though Owens, too, believes that "the formal institution
marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman," he also says he
"with John Kennedy that the Vatican should not be attempting to
politicians on how to vote on any issue."
Everybody - including the pope - is entitled to express his
opinion. But the pontiff's views should carry no more weight in the
political arena than that of any other individual.
The pope's instructions come at a time when more and more
are expanding civil liberties to accord to gays and lesbians many of
rights that married heterosexuals have enjoyed for millennia. In
countries, gay marriages have been recognized. Recently, two
provinces legalized homosexual partnerships, and the U.S. Supreme
struck down Texas' sodomy law.
The Roman Catholic Church isn't alone in opposing gay
several other Christian communions and Orthodox Jewish denominations
believe same-sex marriages are wrong. But some more liberal
do not. And therein is the problem: There is no constitutional way
impose the religious beliefs of one denomination - or even several -
entire population of the United States.
It is not The Denver's Post's function - nor the the function
government - to tell the Roman Catholic Church to solemnize gay
But since 1996, The Post has supported what we then called "domestic
partnerships in lieu of marriage," a term that foreshadowed the
"civil unions." While stopping short of conferring the sacramental
of marriage - a role that should be left to the various religions -
unions could and should clarify the status of homosexual couples in
to civil issues such as joint property, medical power of attorney,
inheritance and division of property after the dissolution of such a
Nationally, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., is pushing for an
amendment to the U.S. Constitution to say that marriage shall
of the union of a man and a woman. Musgrave applauded the pope's
although she is not Catholic.
We vigorously oppose Rep. Musgrave's amendment: The U.S
is too fine a political charter to be junked up with nuts-and-bolts
susceptible to changes in public attitudes over time. Special
have turned Colorado's state constitution into a sorry joke with a
ill-conceived amendments. We'd hate to see that happen to the
Hartford Courant, August 5, 2003
285 Broad St., Hartford, CT, 06115
(Fax: 860-241-3865 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.courant.com/ )
Leave Gay Parents Alone
The Barton-Zuckerman family is spending the week in
Mass. There are some workshops during the day. Most of the time,
is for fun: parades, ice cream and movies.
"The other night we took the girls to a Tigger movie," Penny
Barton-Zuckerman, of Mansfield, said.
Not exactly the violent atmosphere the Vatican forecast in the
proclamation against same sex couples who adopt children. But then,
suppose any of the lesbian and gay families who crowded into
this week for the eighth annual Family Week would fit the horrendous
the Vatican painted of gay couples raising children.
Much of what the church said in the recently released
to direct Catholic lawmakers preparing to deal with same-sex
pretty typical of the church's homophobic spiel. Same sex
against natural moral law." For a Catholic politician to support gay
marriage would be "gravely immoral."
But in between pages that cited human biology, the Bible, and
centuries of Catholic teaching as justification for its position,
especially troubling line: "Allowing children to be adopted by
living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these
Forget the obvious chutzpah of the church chiming in on
sexuality and violence, given the priest scandals. The point here
that the church lacks the moral authority to lift its voice on
sexuality and violence - which it does - but that it is just plain
According to many studies, kids who are raised in same sex
are no better or worse for it than if they were raised by a
family - and increasingly, fewer and fewer children are being raised
those Utopian conditions.
Opponents always bring up two things when speaking against
marriages and families: That kids will be teased because of their
homosexuality and that the children will "learn" to be gay from their
The fact is that kids will tease kids about anything, from a
backpack to biracial parents. Having gay parents makes them no more
susceptible to adolescent teasing.
And the argument that children being raised by a same-sex
means they too will be gay just isn't true. Kids don't learn their
identity from their parents. What they learn is how to work out
differences, how to accept differences - or not.
A recent study by two University of Southern California
said children with lesbian or gay parents show more empathy for
diversity and are less confined by gender stereotypes. The more
controversial part of the study went on to say that the children
are more likely to explore homosexual activity themselves. But it
say the kids will be gay because their parents are gay.
The real problems will come from those who buy into the
stance and believe a union between a man and woman somehow equals
parental success. It doesn't. A report by the American
Association found that not a single survey out of nearly 50 has found
children of gay or lesbian parents to be disadvantaged in any
respect compared to children of heterosexual parents. In fact, if
Barton-Zuckermans are any indication, life for their two adopted
better than anyone should have expected.
The Barton-Zuckermans, who met 28 years ago when they were
Zuckerman and Becky Barton, were together for 20 years before
have a family. Their first adopted child, 7-year-old Emma, is from
She was left outside a medical center as an infant. Their second
5-year-old Maya, came from Vietnam, a little girl whose teenage
in a poor, rural area and couldn't care for her.
No one can say for sure what the little girls' lives would
like had they not been adopted by the couple, but it's safe to say
these children's lives were improved by being adopted by two women
care for them and were ready and willing to love them.
But then, you don't have to go overseas to see that adopting
into loving homes, regardless of the parents' sexuality, has the
opposite consequences from those the church asserts.
"It's crazy," says Sam Cruz, a single gay father who lives in
Windsor. "There are so many gay and lesbians willing to take in
And so many children waiting for a chance at a family.
Cruz's son was in state Department of Children and Families
when Cruz became his foster father. The little boy, just 5 then,
bounced around 11 homes. He had to repeat kindergarten because he
shuffled between three elementary schools and was placed in special
education classes. He was past prime adoption age when Cruz adopted
few years later.
But last year, his son, who is now 10, was placed into
"He's bright," Cruz says proudly. Father and son celebrated
time. "We went out to dinner; we went to Golf Land, to play
and arcade games. We did lots of things."
. Helen Ubiñas column runs every Tuesday and Friday. She can
reached at Ubinas@...
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