CommunityPam's House Blend

The gay news roundup…

1) Kerry explains his position on gay marriage in his first post-convention interview with the gay press. Apparently there were restrictions, according to the Wash Blade; Kerry’s presidential campaign negotiated a 15-minute interview with the local gay press, and a 15-minute interview with Advocate magazine. Kerry:

I think, you know, and I’ve said this before, I think marriage raises a different issue in the minds of a lot of people because of its deep religious foundations and institutional structure as the oldest institution in the world.

It is the oldest institution in the world — older than country, older than our form of government, older than most forms of government. And people view it differently.

What’s important to me is not the terminology or the status; what’s important to me are the rights. The rights. That you shouldn’t be discriminated against in your right to visit a partner in the hospital. You shouldn’t be discriminated against in your right to leave property to somebody, if that’s what you want. You shouldn’t be discriminated against if you have a civil union relationship that affords you the same rights.

Now I think that’s a huge step. There’s never been a candidate for president who has stood up and said I think we should fight for those things. And you’ve got to progress. Even that, I take huge hits for.

And you know, I stood up on the floor of the Senate and voted against DOMA because I thought it was gay bashing on the floor of the United States Senate. I was one of 14 votes. The only person running for reelection who did that.

2) Also in the Wash Blade, the damn third round of FMA is up for a vote in the house on September 30.

The move could finally put an end to more than a year of back-and-forth from House committee rooms to chambers regarding the contentious amendment’s future, marked by sharp protests, cancelled hearings, cancelled votes, bizarre alliances and an outing campaign.

But if defeated as expected, the amendment is expected to make an appearance in the campaign platforms of many conservatives and most likely on the House floor again next year, with its supporters vowing to resurrect it until it passes.

The most recent round of political posturing over H.J. Resolution 56, also known as the Federal Marriage Amendment, which Rep. Marilyn Musgrave introduced in May 2003, began Friday, Sept. 17, with both sides vowing to prevail on the vote. But despite the rhetoric, legislative experts predict a photo finish for the FMA.

Entitled “Battle for Marriage III,” the multimedia event broadcast from the First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., featured Dobson arguing that legalization of same-sex marriage would “seriously threaten religious freedom” and force schools to teach homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle.

3) More news from the Blade…

Blair wobbles on vote for civil unions. British Prime Minister Tony Blair last week delayed a vote on ‘civil partnerships’ to accommodate the born-again Christian preacher who leads Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.

Spain to approve gay marriage Oct. 1. In a plan that has outraged church leaders in this traditionally Catholic country, Spain’s Socialist government will approve gay marriage at an Oct. 1 cabinet meeting, according to a party leader, Reuters reported. “The cabinet … is going to approve the change to the civil code so that people of the same sex can marry. Why are we doing this? Because people have to be in charge of their own destiny,” Jose Blanco, a top member of the Socialist party, told participants in a rally Sunday, Reuters reported.

Manitoba became the fourth Canadian province to legalize same-sex marriage. when a judge last week declared the province’s current definition of marriage unconstitutional. Courts legalized gay marriage in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec in 2003 and in the Yukon Territory in July.

Czech Republic leaders near vote on same-sex unions. Political leaders are set to debate a new measure later this month that would allow civil unions for same-sex couples, the Prague Post reported. The measure was approved upon its first reading in June, and the debate and second reading later this month are considered important milestones for the bill, according to the Post. Christian Democrats oppose the legislation, but a top party official said the legislation likely still will be successful, the Post reported.

4) The head of Georgia’s branch of the Christian Coalition has a gay daughter. Sadie Fields, state chair of the Christian Coalition of Georgia, shepherded a constitutional ban on gay marriage through the General Assembly earlier this year — despite having a lesbian daughter.

Fields is estranged from her daughter, Tess Fields, 35, who now lives in Portland, Ore., with her partner and child, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Political Insider column on Sept. 20.

“I want to confirm my existence,” Tess Fields told the newspaper, noting that she did not want to engage in a public battle with her mother.

Contacted by Southern Voice, Tess Fields had only one statement.

“I hope that Georgians don’t let hate and bigotry divide their state the same way they have divided my family,” she said.

Sadie Fields did not respond to interview requests by press time, but told the AJC the proposed amendment “is about doing what’s right, regardless of the pain.”

5) Gay baiting in U.S. House race in TX. Houston Voice Online: Congressman Nick Lampson’s campaign to keep his seat in the U.S. House slid into the mud this week when a billboard went up overnight in Beaumont proclaiming, “Nick Lampson supports homosexual marriage. Do you?”

The billboard directs readers to a Web site, www.liberallampson.com, where the headline reads, “Why Rep. Nick Lampson is ‘bought and paid for’ by the homosexual lobby.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding