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Posts Tagged ‘same sex marriages’

Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a bill last Monday making Washington the  seventh state to legalize gay marriage. But on Friday in New Jersey, Gov. Chris  Christie vetoed a bill passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature that  would have made his state the eighth.

Instead, the eighth state to legalize same-sex marriage may soon be Maryland,  where former vice president Dick Cheney reportedly lobbied Republican state  legislators to help pass the bill Friday — a similar version of which passed  the state senate last year.

The ongoing debate on same-sex marriage cuts across religious and political  lines. Govs. Gregoire of Washington and Christie of New Jersey , for instance, are both Catholic, but Mr.  Cheney is Methodist; Ms. Gregoire is a Democrat, but the two men are  Republicans.

With allegiances on the matter often unpredictable and with 30 states having  passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as heterosexual only, plenty  of conflict is yet to come. If the nation is lucky, many citizens will soon  conclude that both sides in this particular conflict are wrong.

New Jersey already offers civil unions to same-sex couples, but a review  commission has found the law less than effective, and several couples have sued,  contending it does not deliver the “marriage equality” that the state Supreme  Court had mandated.   The point of a same-sex marriage bill is that no matter how carefully civil  unions are observed, a “separate but equal” approach to marriage is not, in the  end, equal at all.

But some jurisdictions that have passed same-sex marriage laws have created a  new group of second-class citizens — religious conservatives.

When the District of Columbia’s council took up a same-sex marriage bill in  2009, the American Civil Liberties Union joined others in urging the council to  provide a religious exemption, but the council refused, insisting their intent  was to require that “every third party” recognize same-sex marriage as  legitimate.

Although black Protestants had also prominently opposed the law, the  consequences are easiest to measure through the experience of the Catholic  Church. Catholic Charities had to end its 80-year-old foster care program rather  than be forced to violate its doctrine by placing children with gay couples, and  it discontinued health insurance for its employees rather than be required to  extend benefits to gay spouses

The way out of this irreconcilable conflict between individual liberty and the  free exercise of religion is for government to offer civil unions only, for all  citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, and to leave “marriage” to the  church, temple, synagogue or mosque — where it has been administered for  millennia

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12051/1211393-152.stm?cmpid=bcpanel1#ixzz1mv7ZFq8v

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Justice Department Will No Longer Defend Law Blocking Military Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

The Obama Administration will no longer defend legislation in court banning same-sex couples from receiving military and veterans benefits.

The benefits in question, according to Holder, are “medical and dental benefits, basic housing allowances, travel and transportation allowances, family separation benefits, military identification cards, visitation rights in military hospitals, survivor benefits and the right to be buried together in military cemeteries.”

To read full article CLICK HERE

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