I would love to see a world where homophobia was just a thing of the past; something that we read about in history books. — Sara Quin (via sadsickpeoplelikeme)
(Source: clapoverhead, via fuckyeahbisexuals)
Gallagher, Wolfson debate gay marriage -
Thursday, October 7, 2010
An outspoken advocate for gay marriage and a lobbyist against it, both former Yale Political Union members, brought their clashing views back to Yale for debate Wednesday night.
Evan Wolfson ’78, founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry, and Maggie Gallagher ’82, former president of the National Organization for Marriage, joined about 250 students and guests in Sudler Hall for a YPU debate titled “Resolved: Same-Sex Couples Should be Allowed to Marry.” After they spoke, students and guests in the audience gave philosophical arguments about the institution of marriage and shared personal anecdotes.
“[Wolfson and Gallagher] have worked against each other in the political sphere for years now,” YPU Speaker Adam Stempel ’11 said prior to the debate. “It will be interesting to see them on stage.”
In her speech, Gallagher made the distinction between “adult relationships,” which she said can be hetero- or homosexual, and marriage, which she said must be heterosexual because children need a mother and a father. She said she thinks heterosexual marriages are a crucial pillar of society.
No matter how many kinds of sexual relationships exist, she said, the definition of marriage should be kept separate.
“Homosexual people don’t make children because somebody looks kind of cute on Saturday night,” Gallagher said.
She said she does not think it should not matter to the children of gay couples whether their parents are married, or in a civil union.
Gallagher said her position is not denying equal rights, because everyone has the right to marry, so long as that marriage is heterosexual. Her argument was met by a mix of hisses and applause from the crowd.
“It is not discrimination to treat different things differently,” Gallagher said.
But Wolfson argued that denying gay couples the right to marry is discrimination, and that marriage is not fundamentally about procreation but about loving commitment. He added that several scientific studies have shown that the children of gay parents can lead happy, healthy and well-adjusted lives.
“When women began practicing law, there was no new word for lawyer, or change in what a lawyer was,” he said, likening the ongoing campaign for gay marriage to the women’s suffrage movement. “When they were allowed to vote, there was not change in the definition of voters.”
The speakers did not discuss the morality of homosexuality itself. Gallagher said she was making no moral distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex unions.
Both guest speakers presented their positions in 15-minute speeches, then addressed each other in five-minute rebuttals. Then Stempel opened the floor for questions and speeches from students and guests, which spanned both extremes of the political spectrum.
Ken Cornet, a justice of the peace in Washington, Conn. who spoke at the debate, said marriage is about more than the social advantages the government grants.
“Should my vows be ‘Does this penis take this vagina for a bundle of rights? Tax advantages?’” Cornet asked.
Cornet said he has issued marriage licenses to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and thinks same-sex commitments are compatible with the universal vows to love, honor and cherish a partner for life.
Al Riccio, a guest speaker from Southern Connecticut State University who identifies as male and transgender, said the work of the National Organization for Marriage has contributed to high suicide rates among LGBTQ teens. Children who are victims of homophobia are now a public health disaster, he said.
“If you’re concerned about children,” Riccio said to Gallagher, “it’s clear you’re only concerned about the straight ones.”
Mitchell Conery ’14, who said he has a transgender, bisexual father, said unconventional marriages damage children, who respond by trying to prove their heterosexuality and gender identity.
This event was the first YPU debate with two guest speakers in over five years, Stempel said.
At Yale, Wolfson was a speaker of the YPU and a member of the Liberal Party, and Gallagher was the chairman of the Party of the Right.
After the event, the political right held a reception in the common room of Timothy Dwight College, and the left headed to Yorkside Pizza.
When the debate ended after 10 p.m., the count among those who remained was 49 for gay marriage, 16 opposed and 7 abstaining.
Sobering facts about sexual violence:
- Rape results in 32,000 pregnancies each year. A longitudinal study in the United States of over 4,000 women followed for 3 years found that the national rape-related pregnancy rate was 5.0% per rape among victims aged 12–45 years producing over 32,000 pregnancies nationally among women from rape each year.
- In the United States, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives.
- Among high school students surveyed nationwide, about 8% reported having been forced to have sex. Females (11%) were more likely to report having been forced to have sex than males (4%).
- An estimated 20% to 25% of college women in the United States experience attempted or complete rape during their college career.
- It’s estimated that 1 in 10 women in the United States have been victims of sexual violence from their married partners.
- National data on rape and sexual assault in the United States reveal that about 1 out of 10 sexual assaults involve multiple perpetrators. Most of these assaults are committed by people unknown to their victims.
- Gang rape is often viewed by the men involved, and sometimes by others too, as legitimate, in that it is seen to discourage or punish perceived ‘‘immoral’’ behaviour among woman –such as wearing short skirts or frequenting bars. For this reason, it may not be equated by the perpetrators with the idea of a crime.
- Studies conducted mostly in developed countries indicate that 5-10% of men report a history of childhood sexual abuse.
- Studies on sexually abused boys have shown that around one in five continue in later life to molest children themselves.
- A study undertaken under the auspices of the CIA, estimated that 45,000–50,000 women and children are trafficked annually to the United States.
- The prevelance of sexual assault in medical facilities is roughly 4.4% among female patients.
- According to data from justice systems and rape crisis centres in Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru and the United States, between
- A national study of violence against women in the United States found that women who were raped before the age of 18 years were twice as likely to be raped as adults, compared with those who were not raped as children or adolescents (18.3% and 8.7%, respectively).
- Women are at increased risk of sexual violence, as they are of physical violence by an intimate partner, when they become more educated and thus more empowered. Women with no education were found in a national survey in South Africa to be much less likely to experience sexual violence than those with higher levels of education. In Zimbabwe, women who were working were much more likely to report forced sex by a spouse than those who were not. The likely explanation is that greater empowerment brings with it more resistance from women to patriarchal norms, so that men may resort to violence in an attempt to regain control.
- Sexually violent men have been shown to be more likely to consider victims responsible for the rape and are less knowledgeable about the impact of rape on victims. A further association is with adversarial attitudes on gender, that hold that women are opponents to be challenged and conquered.
- In societies where the ideology of male superiority is strong – emphasizing dominance, physical strength and male honour – rape is more common. Countries with a culture of violence, or where violent conflict is taking place, experience an increase in almost all forms of violence, including sexual violence.
- Research has stressed the importance of encouraging nurturing, with better and more genderbalanced parenting, to prevent sexual violence.
- In one population-based study, the prevalence of symptoms or signs suggestive of a psychiatric disorder was 33% in women with a history of sexual abuse as adults, 15% in women with a history of physical violence by an intimate partner and 6% in non-abused women.
- Even with counselling, up to 50% of women retain symptoms of stress.
- The average risk of HIV infection from a single act of unprotected vaginal sex with an infected partner is relatively low (approximately 1–2 per 1,000, from male to female, and around 0.5–1 per 1,000 from female to male). This risk, in fact, is of a similar order to that from a needle-stick injury (around 3 per 1,000). The average risk of HIV infection from unprotected anal sex is considerably higher, though, at around 5–30 per 1,000. However, during rape, because of the force used, it is very much more likely that there will be macroscopic or microscopic tears to the vaginal mucosa, something that will greatly increase the probability of HIV transmission.
- An important element in preventing sexual and physical violence against women is a collective initiative by men. Men’s groups against domestic violence and rape can be found in Australia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia, and in many parts of North America and Europe. The underlying starting point for this type of initiative is that men as individuals should take measures to reduce their use of violence.
- In the United States alone, there are over 100 such men’s groups, many of which focus specifically on sexual violence.one-third and two-thirds of all victims of sexual assault are aged 15 years or less.
However, the best known way to stop and prevent sexual violence is through sharing knowledge and education. Please reblog.
First Coast churches stepping up in gay rights movement -
Valerie Williams has a passion for preaching the Christian gospel and the right of gays and lesbians to marry and live free of discrimination.
It’s a message that may seem contradictory in the Bible Belt but comes naturally to Williams, the lesbian pastor at St. Luke’s Community Church in Jacksonville.
“You have all these people who have longed for a relationship with Christ and decided to take a chance and reconcile their sexuality with their spirituality,” she said.
It’s why her Riverside congregation is growing and why, she said, churches that minister to homosexuals are becoming an increasingly powerful voice for gay rights.
“We have to be part of the civil rights movement … to be able to educate the community and share God’s good news for them,” she said.
God created the rainbow so I could catwalk to heaven
OH MY GOD
Dude- Yes! haha that’s the sickest thing I think I’ve ever heard about rainbows!! lol
Immigration Bill to Include LGBTs -
Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey is expected to introduce comprehensive immigration legislation before the Senate adjourns this week for the midterm recess, according to Politico, and a source tells The Advocate that the legislation will be LGBT-inclusive.
“We fully expect that the Menendez comprehensive immigration reform bill will be inclusive of the Uniting American Families Act,” said Steve Ralls, director of communications for the pro-LGBT Immigration Equality. UAFA would allow American citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their same-sex partners for residency. “We have been in constant communication with Senator Menendez’s staff to ensure that the legislation will include lesbian and gay families,” Ralls added.
A spokesman for Senator Menendez would not confirm the report but said details of the bill would be forthcoming soon.
Ralls said the legislation would also provide a path to citizenship for the undocumented and would include the DREAM Act, which would give adolescents who came to the U.S. as children a chance to achieve citizenship through completing two years of college or spending two years in the military.
“Both would provide important opportunities for many LGBT immigrants,” he said.
The complicated legislation is not expected to move before the end of the year, but Ralls said it was nonetheless a milestone in setting the terms of the debate moving forward.
“Senator Menendez’s bill will set the stage, in this Congress and the next, for a serious debate on fixing our broken immigration system,” he said.
TRANSPRIDE: Androgyny -
When Dulcinea told me she thought I may be androgynous, part of me felt like a piece of the puzzle fell into place. And then part of me thought, what the hell does that even mean?
I knew one definition of androgyny: a person is androgynous when you can’t be sure, by looking at them, what…
(Source: iamgrey, via transpride)
A cup full of sunshine. <3