Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Via JMG: Ecuador Recognizes LGBT Relationships

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has announced that LGBT citizens will be able to register their relationships with the federal government.
"The LGBT community have the constitutional right to register on their union," Correa said during his weekly report. Previously, the Ecuadoran Civil Registry did not recognize these unions because they had no legal status according to law, however Correa said that from now on this right has to be respected and if denied, the authorities will take action on the matter. However, Correa said that although he supports these unions, he don't support gay marriage, which according to him corresponds to the union between a man and a woman. But he said he is committed to guarantee the rights of all Ecuadorans. Correa, a Catholic leftist, has expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage and adoption of children by gay couples in previous occasions. The Ecuadoran Constitution grants equal rights to "cohabitation partnerships" regardless if they are civil or Catholic marriages, so the LGBT community gains more legal recognition with this legislation.
Same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples or individuals remains banned in the national constitution.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: AP Reports On Seventh Circuit

Via the Associated Press:
Federal appeals judges bristled Tuesday at arguments defending gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, with one Republican appointee comparing them to now-defunct laws that once outlawed weddings between blacks and whites. Judge Richard Posner, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was dismissive when Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson repeatedly pointed to 'tradition' as the underlying justification for barring gay marriage. "It was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry — a tradition that got swept away," Posner said. Prohibition of same sex marriage, he said, is "a tradition of hate ... and savage discrimination."

Posner frequently cut off Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fischer, just moments into his presentation and chided him to answer his questions. At one point, Posner ran through a list of psychological strains of unmarried same-sex couples, including having to struggle to grasp why their schoolmates' parents were married and theirs weren't. "What horrible stuff," Posner said. What benefits to society in barring gay marriage, he asked, "outweighs that kind of damage to children?" The answer has to do with "procreation," Fisher answered. "All this is a reflection of biology," Fisher said. "Men and women make babies, same-sex couples do not... we have to have a mechanism to regulate that, and marriage is that mechanism."

The ACLU and Lambda Legal have essentially reiterated their equal protection arguments in appeals court filings, arguing that the bans deny gay couples state and federal legal protections and benefits that married straight couples enjoy. "The freedom to marry is a core aspect of personal liberty for all Americans," the ACLU said in its briefs. There was some levity during the hearing. As Samuelson struggled to offer a specific reason for how gay marriage bans benefit society, he suddenly noted a yellow courtroom light signaling his allotted time was up. "It won't save you," Williams told him, prompting laughter in court. Samuleson smiled, saying "it was worth a try."

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Flower of the Day: 08/26/14

"True service is a fragrance of the Being. It is a light that emanates from your understanding. At a certain stage of the journey, you are able to practice service as an intelligent austerity, which is a spiritual practice that purifies selfishness. You choose to create some friction in order to provoke your ‘no's’ towards love. Since it is a choice, I call it an ‘intelligent’ austerity because it is born out of your intelligence and comprehension. It is bitter medicine, but it works, so you decide to try it out."

- Sri Prem Baba

Via Daily Dharma

Give It Away | August 26, 2014

Happiness is not happiness unless it is shared. For happiness is the one thing in all the world that comes to us only at the moment we give it, and is likewise increased by being given away. 
-Clark Strand, "The Wisdom of Frogs"