Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for September, 2011

The Daily Agenda for Thursday, September 1

Jim Burroway

September 1st, 2011

Civil Partnerships Go Into Effect: Liechtenstein. Last June, voters in the alpine principality between Switzerland and Austria voted overwhelmingly to allow civil partnerships for same-sex couples. The new law stops short of marriage equality — registered same-sex unions are still barred from adopting children and from access to reproductive services through the country’s health plan — but it does provide for inheritance, social security, pensions, immigration and naturalization, and tax law recognition for same-sex couples on par with married heterosexual couples. That law goes into effect beginning today.

Federal DADT Court Case Resumes: Pasadena, CA. Lawyers for Log Cabin Republicans return to court today to present oral arguments in the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell case before three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The argument is over whether the federal law banning gay men and women from serving openly in the military is (or was) unconstitutional. A lower court said it wasn’t, but the Justice Department appealed. DADT is slated to officially become history on September 20, and so you might wonder why they are still fighting in court. The problem is that while Congress has repealed the law, the repeal did not include an anti-discrimination provision preventing a future president from re-imposing the ban via Executive Order. And with most of the GOP line-up contending for the party’s nomination for 2012 promising to “repeal the repeal,” DADT’s demise may end up being a mere hiatus. Oral arguments begin this morning at 9:00 a.m. PDT at the 9th Circuit Court House in Pasadena.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Atlanta, Ga (Black Pride); Calgary, AB; Cardiff, Wales; Duluth, MN; Essex, UK; Québec City, QC; Leicester, UK; Oakland, CA; Reading, UK and Scarborough, UK.

Also This Weekend: Burning Man, Black Rock Desert, NV and Southern Decadence, New Orleans, LA.

North Carolina Awake!: Gastonia, NC.
The Liberty Counsel is continuing its series of “Awake!” conferences with a meeting this evening at Bethlehem Church in Gastonia, NC because, of course, “There’s a war waging:”

Christianity is under attack in our schools, workplaces, and governments. Silence is a decision to stand with the enemy. Inaction is a deathblow to the God-honoring principles our country was created to allow each citizen to enjoy.

Speaking at tonight’s conference will be Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver, along with Rick Green, who is a member of fake-historian David Barton’s WallBuilders. The North Carolina legislature is expected to take up a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality in this session.

Lily Tomlin: 1939. She began her comedy career as a stand-up comedian in the 1960s when she quickly landed a spot on NBC’s Laugh-In. Her many memorable characters quickly became the stuff of pop culture: Earnestine, the nasal, nosy, and obnoxious telephone operator who epitomized the bureaucratic condescension of the old Ma Bell monopoly (“We don’t care, we don’t have to…we’re the phone company.”); Edith Ann, the five year old girl sitting in an oversized rocker with her observations of the crazy crap the adults around her were pulling (and always ending her monologues with “…and that’s the truth. Phhhht!”); And Mrs. Judith Beasley, the prim and proper “tasteful lady.” In 1977, she became the first woman to appear solo on Broadway with Appearing Nitely, and in 1985, she starred in another one-woman Broadway show, The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, written by her long-time partner, writer-producer Jane Wagner. In 1980, Tomlin appeared in the hit movie Nine to Five, with Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Dabney Coleman, and she hit movie pay dirt again in All of Me with Steve Martin.

Tomlin and Wagner have been together since 1971, and while their relationship was never much of a secret, the press remained pretty mum. When Tomlin officially came out in 2001, it hardly seemed necessary. “Everybody in the industry was certainly aware of my sexuality and of Jane… In interviews I always reference Jane and talk about Jane, but they don’t always write about it.”

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. PLEASE, don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

Liechtenstein Voters Approve Civil Partnership Law

Jim Burroway

June 19th, 2011

With a 74% turnout, Liechtenstein voters overwhelmingly approved a new Civil Partnership law for same-sex couples today with a 69% to 31%. The proposed law stops short of marriage equality however: registered same-sex unions are still barred from adopting children and from access to reproductive services. But it does open up inheritance, social security, pensions, immigration and naturalization, and tax law for same-sex couples to an equal status to married heterosexual couples. The new law takes effect on September 1, 2011.

Liechtenstein parliament approves same-sex partner recognition

Timothy Kincaid

March 21st, 2011

The tiny alpine country of Liechtenstein has made good on its promise to recognize same-sex couples. In a unanimous decision, the parliament approved the establishment of partnerschaftsgesetz, a legal status akin to the registered partnerships in its neighbors, Switzerland and Austria. (

By unanimous vote of twenty-one members present, the Parliament of the Principality of Liechtenstein has approved on second reading the law that allows civil unions between same sex. The first steps began in about 2009 when Aurelia Frick, Minister of Justice, announced that it will present a bill to that effect.

The law does not mirror marriage, disallowing adoption or reproductive rights, but does provide parity for inheritance, social security law, in occupational pension plans, the Immigration and Naturalization law, tax law and other public law.

The parliament also amended the bill to bring forward the start date from January 1, 2012 to September 1, 2011. However, within 30 days after the publishing of the law, opponents may subject the law to referendum.

Prior to passage, Catholic Archbishop Wolfgang Haas conservative asserted pressure saying, “the practice of homosexuality is objectively a grave sin” and that recognition of same-sex couples would be a scandal. Catholics and conservatives fought the bill in the public forum through letters to the paper and debate. But while about 80% of Liechtenstein’s residents are affiliated with the Catholic Church, the parliament’s unanimous decision – in a country where legislative representation is about 1 to 1,400 – may suggest little appetite for an *anti-gay referendum.

(much thanks to Jutta Zalud for bringing this to our attention)

* It is worth noting that Switzerland, Liechtenstein’s neighbor with which they are closely politically tied, is the only country to enact partner recognition through referendum, passing a similar registry in 2005 by 58%.

Liechtenstein introduces same-sex couple bill

Timothy Kincaid

April 22nd, 2010

From the Italian site Queerblog (Google translation):

Aurelia Frick, Minister of Justice of Liechtenstein, had promised that by summer 2010, the Principality will give itself a law that recognizes same-sex couples. Now the Government submitted the bill to Parliament which is expected to be treated de facto unions to heterosexual marriages as regards inheritance, social security, retirement pensions, immigration and naturalization, and other tax matters. Remain outside the law and adoptions that access to artificial insemination.

I am not certain whether this is a civil marriage bill, allowable on the same terms as heterosexual marriage, or if it is just the granting of limited rights to de facto couples.

Guess Who Else Isn’t On Board With the U.N. Resolution to Decriminalize Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

December 5th, 2008

Mark, at Slapped Upside the Head, has a good take on yesterday’s news that the Vatican is opposing a U.N. resolution calling on member states to rescind laws outlawing homosexuality — which in some countries includes the death penalty. We discussed the Vatican’s intrinsically disordered logic here. Mark has his own take here.

There are a lot of countries which have already signed on to the declaration, including: Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Uruguay, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Those last three are rather surprising. Also surprising co-sponsors are three African countries: Gabon, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. That’s quite an impressive list.

So, who’s missing? Well, let’s see. Oh look: the United States and Australia.