January 21st, 2009
In 1993, Hawaii’s Supreme Court was the first to determine that it was discriminatory to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, the court did not rule immediately for marriage. The case returned to trial court to allow the State to argue whether its reasons for discrimination were justifiable within the framework of the State Constitution. This allowed anti-gay forces time to push through an amendment to the Constitution which then rendered the decision moot.
In 1998, Hawaii was the first state to adopt a “defense of marriage” constitutional amendment, which passed with 69% approval. But unlike the amendments that followed, this constitutional change did not ban same-sex marriage; rather, it stated “The legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.”
And so they did.
But Hawaii did not leave its gay people without some small measure of recognition. They created a unique system of recognition with also has not been repeated elsewhere: reciprocal benefits.
Any two adults – whether a romantic couple, siblings, friends, or any other configuration – can register for a reciprocal beneficiary relationship and receive such benefits as hospital visitation, and healthcare decisionmaking. However, unlike marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships, these are not viewed as a single legal entity and there seem to be no obligations of mutual support or protection.
But the amendment also allows the legislature to change its mind and no longer reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples. And the AP is reporting that the legislature is likely to consider just such a move this spring.
Hawaii lawmakers convene a new session Wednesday in which they expect to consider legalizing gambling, recognizing gay marriage and preserving Hawaiian lands. The session runs through May 7.
Hawaii, whose economy relies to a large extent on tourism, is feeling the economic crunch. Let’s hope that the legislature, which is almost unanimously Democratic, will decide that becoming a gay wedding destination spot could be a way to simultaneously advance personal liberties and help the financial condition of the state.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.