Boston federal district Judge Joseph Tauro ruled Thursday that the national ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional (read more). Tauro’s position is that the federal government has to recognize same-sex marriages, based upon the fact that the federal government is separate from church and state, and states have ruled, in many cases, that same-sex marriages are legal.
CBS news now reports that “The case now could move from the district court to the U.S. court of appeals for the first circuit, which includes three other New England states; it could then go to the Supreme Court. Ironically, an appeal to the decision would come from the Justice Department of the Obama administration, which wants to repeal DOMA (Defense of Marriage Acts) but must defend it so long as it remains law.” (ABC)
GLBT in the military
In the military, DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) laws are being questioned, and a survey has been issued to gauge the impact of repeal. The current DADT stigma essentially means that, as long as Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgendered people pretend that they are not who they really are, the military will accept them. If they come-out and are truthful about their sexual proclivities, then they can be court-marshaled or banned from the armed services.
A GLBT advocacy group suggests that the DADT questionnaire is offensive to gays. The group says that the question about how repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell might “affect your willingness to recommend to a family member or close friend that he or she join the military?” is “highly offensive and unnecessary. Would such a question ever be allowed to be asked about blacks, women, Muslims, Mormons, or any other minority group?” (Media-ite)
Jennifer Pizer, marriage project director of gay rights group Lambda Legal, says George has it wrong. “The basic idea here is that all government in the United States is required by the Constitution to treat people equally. And anti-gay marriage rules are not equal treatment. So if a state violates that principle, the state violates the Constitution. And if Congress violates that principle, Congress violates the Constitution.” (ABC)
Is homosexuality in the genes?
Some advocates are wondering if DNA has anything to do with someone’s sexual preference. Dr. Neil Whitehead explains DNA make up in layman’s terms, and states that, if anything, there may be a genetic mutation that affects several genes which leads a person to become homosexual, but, because the rate of homosexuality is so high, scientists are discounting the fact. No genes at this time have been identified as sexual behavior genes:
“The occurrence of same-sex-attraction (SSA) is too frequent to be caused by a faulty pre-natal developmental process, so it is not innate in that sense either.”
Whitehead states, “SSA fits much more naturally into the category of psychological disturbances and disorders, which are common by comparison.” At this stage, SSA is not considered a disorder, but it “shows that it is in the realm of traits which are less and less “genetic” and physical, and more and more “psychological”.
How many GLBTs are there?
Figures of 10 percent of the population have been routinely touted, but the studies and methods of acquiring that data are skewed. (Kaiser Family Foundation)
Some advocates say that the 10 percent number is way too high, and others say it is way too low. Regardless of whether the number is 5 percent, 10 percent or 30 percent, and whether someone is born that way or developed GLBT lifestyles due to circumstances or psychological disorders should be a mute point. Those who are GLBTs are people, and they have the right to be treated equally. If it makes it to the Supreme Court, they will surely recognize that fact too.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Inside-OUT: A Report on the Experiences of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in America and the Public’s Views on Issues and Policies Related to Sexual Orientation (November 2001), 5, 16; online at http://www.kff.org/content/2001/3193/LGBToplines.pdf (accessed October 22, 2003).