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    April 21, 2010

    Don't cry, Argentina's activist judges

    Posted by: Chris

    Norma Castillo and Ramona arevalo lesbian argentina gay marriage Very encouraging news out of my former home Buenos Aires:

    A judge in Buenos Aires today upheld the validity of the first civil marriage between two women, rejecting the decision of another judge, Martha Gomez Alsina, who had set aside as "null and non-existent" the marriage between the two women, the newspaper La Capital is reporting.

    This is the latest twist in quite the roller coaster ride for Norma Castillo and Ramona Arévalo, who were married after 30 years together, only to see their marriage declared "null and non-existent" by a judge acting at the behest of Roman Catholic lawyers. Now that judge's order has been struck down and a gay group is filing a civil and criminal complaint against the interfering judge for malfeasance.

    It's the same pattern that followed Latin America's first gay marriage, also in Argentina, just last December, which was also later struck down by a second judge, acting at the behest of lawyers from the Catholic Church.

    Unless jurisdiction is a loosey-goosey concept in Argentina, this sort of interference should subject the judges to ethics complaints, at a minimum. These are not appeals court judges, overturning the rulings of lower courts, but judges with entirely different jurisdiction responding to appeals to religion by a church that has no business claiming to be a moral arbiter of anything these days.

    Don't expect to hear any condemnation of this very blatant form of judicial activism from the right. Just like conservatives here in the U.S. are marshaling forces to ask unelected judges to overthrow the will of the people on health care reform and financial regulatory reform -- and just as they already did on campaign finance reform. How will Republican senators question Obama's Supreme Court pick about "judicial activism" and keep a straight face?

    According to the nationwide gay rights group, none of these annulments has any legal effect:

    The Argentinian LGBT Federation reiterated that the ruling confirmed that "no" marriage between persons of the same sex has actually been annulled in the country, La Capital reported.

    "The acts of these judges … besides being a new act of discrimination, do not bear any legal or procedural analysis," the Federation said in a statement. The group reiterated that "all marriages of same-sex couples are still valid and in force" and questioned the conflicting court rulings, saying that "being a judge does not entitle anyone to impose their religious beliefs to the rest of the population."

    "They could not cancel any of the marriages because they do not have the legal authority to do so," said Maria Rachid, president of the Argentinian LGBT Federation. The group called for a ruling by the Supreme Court in these cases so that "these judges are no longer confusing society."

    The question may be resolved before it even reaches the Supreme Court, since it appears the country's parliament may take up legislation as soon as this week that will clarify that marriage rights extend to same-sex couples.

    April 19, 2010

    Tea Partiers softer on gays than GOP

    Posted by: Chris

    Tea party movement obama gay rights
    Call it the Ron Paul wing of the Tea Party movement, but a sizable portion of the colorful, spelling-challenged protesters are at least consistent about wanting the government out of our pocketbooks and out of our bedrooms:

    In general, those who turned out for the April 15 Tea Party event tended to be less culturally conservative than national Republicans.

    Asked to rate their level of anger about 22 issues on a scale of one (not angry at all) to five (extremely angry), the issue that drew the most anger: the growing national debt. The least: courts granting same-sex couples the right to marry. Twenty-four percent said they’re “not at all” upset about gay marriage.

    Politico neatly divides the Tea Parties thusly, into Sarah Palin and Ron Paul camps:

    The results suggest a distinct fault line that runs through the tea party activist base, characterized by two wings led by the politicians who ranked highest when respondents were asked who “best exemplifies the goals of the tea party movement” — former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a former GOP presidential candidate. …

    Specifically, 51 percent of tea party activists say “government should not promote any particular set of values,” while 46 percent said “government should promote traditional family values in our society.” Compare this to national Gallup Polls, which recently found 67 percent of self-identified Republicans think government should promote such values.

    What can you say about conservatives who believe it's a betrayal for government to promote basic medical care for its citizens but who fully expect it to promote their own theological beliefs about marriage and family? That their anger underlies a deeper-seated, ugly tradition of conservative resistance? Or maybe that it's just way past time that they reread the Gospels?

    (Photo via USA Today)

    April 18, 2010

    The week on GNW (April 11-17)

    Posted by: Chris

    Here are the five biggest stories from Gay News Watch over the last week:

    1. Obama 
orders hospital visitation rights for gaysObama orders hospital visitation rights for gays: QUICK LOOK: President Barack Obama has told the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would not allow hospitals to deny visitation privileges to gay and... (MORE)
    2. Argentinian judge strikes down first gay marriageArgentinian judge strikes down first same-sex marriage: QUICK LOOK: An Argentinian judge voided last December’s civil wedding of two men, the first gay marriage in Latin America, authorities said Thursday. Magistrate Marcos Meillien declared... (MORE)
    3. Judge declares 'null' Argentina's first lesbian marriageJudge declares 'null and void' Argentina's first lesbian marriage: QUICK LOOK: Argentine Norma Castillo and Uruguay’s Ramona Arevalo, both 67 and who have been a couple for the past three decades, married on April 9 after getting the go-ahead from... (MORE)
    4. Speculation over whether high court possibility is gaySpeculation over whether high court possibility is gay: QUICK LOOK: Because for some conservative activists, being in support of marriage equality is grounds for disqualification to serve on the Supreme Court, whether or not Obama is... (MORE)
    5. Pope's 
No. 2 linking pedophilia with homosexualityPope's No.2 linking pedophilia to homosexuality: QUICK LOOK: The Vatican's second-highest authority says the sex scandals haunting the Roman Catholic Church are linked to homosexuality and not celibacy among priests. Cardinal Tarcisio... (MORE)

    And here are a few of the most popular from the last week:

    • Young 
Manhattan designer is found dead, handcuffedYoung Manhattan designer found dead, handcuffed: QUICK LOOK: A young Manhattan designer was found dead - his hands cuffed behind his back - inside his luxury Financial District apartment Monday, police said. Alejandro Bulaevsky,... (MORE)
    • Watch: 
Ricky Martin releases a naked promo videoWatch: Ricky Martin releases sexy nude promo video: QUICK LOOK: Ricky Martin has celebrated coming out with a naked video. In the two-minute clip, called My Skin Talks, Martin is seen naked save for computer-generated tattoos and... (MORE)
    • Blogs buzzing with Taylor Launter sighting at gay partyBlogs buzzing with Taylor Lautner sighting at gay party: QUICK LOOK: Twilight teen-dream Taylor Lautner has bee spotted attending a party at the home of a well-known gay socialite last weekend. We have the scoop, and the news has people... (MORE)
    • Men 
being trafficked to Scotland as gay sex slavesMen being trafficked to Scotland as gay sex slaves: QUICK LOOK: Men have been trafficked into Scotland to be used as gay sex slaves. In the first known cases of male sex trafficking to hit Scotland, two men were smuggled in from Africa... (MORE)
    • Rufus 
Wainwright claims he 'knows' 50 Cent is gayRufus Wainwright claims he 'knows' 50 Cent is gay: QUICK LOOK: Rufus Wainwright claims he just "knows" that rapper 50 Cent is gay. The Canadian musician told Details: "I love, love 50 Cent. I think he's just the sexiest, and a brilliant... (MORE)


    These were the five stories on Gay News Watch with the biggest buzz over the last seven days, along with some of the most popular stories from the last week. You can also view the stories with the biggest buzz factor from the last month or year, and the most popular from the last month or year.

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