July 31st, 2010
In 1993, the Supreme Court of Hawaii found that it was discriminatory to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. This set off a wave of “defense of marriage acts” which limited marriage to opposite sex couples in 60% of the states.
However, Hawaii was the first to amend its constitution in 1998, and their approach was different from those which would follow. It did not ban same-sex marriage or any benefits. Rather, it simply said
The legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.
And the state legislature promptly did so. But as a token effort to pretend that it was not discriminating, it created something called reciprocal beneficial registration.
This unique system would allow any two adults, be they a couple, a parent and child, bowling buddies, or anyone else, to mail a form to the Department of Health and thereby become a beneficiary of the other. Benefits are very limited and include rights, workers compensation, the right to sue for wrongful death, health insurance and pension benefits for state employees, hospital visitation, and healthcare decisionmaking.
These are not in any way equivalent to marriage. And, indeed, they seem to have been crafted specifically to deny state recognition to couples. While there are a few pass-through benefits, there are no mutual obligations of support or protection.
So this week six same-sex couples sued the state for equivalent rights. (AP)
Six gay couples in Hawaii are filing a lawsuit Thursday asking for the same rights as married couples, three weeks after Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed a same-sex civil unions measure.
The lawsuit doesn’t seek the titles of “marriage” or “civil unions” for gay partners. Instead, it requests that the court system extend them the benefits and responsibilities of marriage based on the Hawaii Constitution’s prohibition against sex discrimination.
Should Neil Abercrombie win the Democratic Primary for Hawaii Governor, he is expected to win the general election. Then the legislature will probably pass civil unions in 2011 and Abercrombie will sign such a bill. At that time the lawsuit would be dropped.
However, if Abercrombie does not win the primary, the case will probably continue to the state supreme court. His opponent Mufi Hannemann has said that he would veto such a bill, as would the Repulican nominees.
Two of the five Supreme Court Justices were part of the court when Baehr v. Lewin, the case that determined Hawaii to be in violation of its constition, was decided; both sided with equality. One justice was appointed by a Democrat, and two were appointed by Governor Lingle – who just vetoed civil unions – though only one of them is a Republican.
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.