Saturday, January 17, 2015

Supreme Court agrees to rule on gay marriage / LGBT, Equality, SCOTUS

Via JMG: Editorial Of The Day

From the editorial board of the New York Times:

Justice Antonin Scalia, who has voted against constitutional protections for gays and lesbians at every opportunity, foresaw this moment more than a decade ago, when the court reversed its own precedent and banned state anti-sodomy laws.

In the 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas, Justice Kennedy wrote that the Constitution protects “adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.” The opinion said it was not deciding the question of same-sex marriage, but Mr. Scalia begged to differ. If states may not use laws to express moral disapproval of homosexual conduct, he wrote in dissent, “what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising the liberty protected by the Constitution?”


The 12 years since 2003 have seen enormous social change on this issue. Before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalized same-sex marriage in November 2003, no state permitted such marriages. Today, 36 states do, along with the District of Columbia — representing more than 70 percent of all Americans. A solid and growing majority now believes in marriage equality; among those 18 to 29, support is at nearly 80 percent.

For same-sex couples and their families, friends and communities, this moment has been a long time coming. The justices have the power and the responsibility to give meaning to the promises embedded in the Constitution, and end the exclusion and inequality of gays and lesbians in America.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Via JMG: IRAQ: ISIS Executes Two Men Accused Of Being Gay By Hurling Them Off Roof

Via Radio Free Europe:
The Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq has published photographs that appear to show a man being thrown from the roof of a tall building apparently in Mosul, as punishment for being gay. The graphic photographs were uploaded to the website on January 15 and shared on social media. One photograph, taken from the top of the building from where the man was apparently pushed to his death, shows a large crowd gathered in the public square below.
Another image shows a man with his face covered by a black balaclava, reading out the sentence imposed on the man under the IS group's version of Shari'a law. The caption to the photograph says that the verdict was issued by a Shari'a court in "Wilayat Nineveh," IS's name for Mosul and its environs.
Another image shows the victim being held by another man, apparently his executioner, on the edge of a rooftop. Text accompanying the photograph says that the man is being punished with "Hadd," meaning a punishment that is determined in the Koran and the Hadith for crimes considered to go against the rights of God. The caption noted that the man had committed the crime of the practices of the "people of Lot," a euphemism for sodomy, and that he must be killed by being "thrown from a high place."
According to the above-linked report, ISIS yesterday also stoned a woman to death after accusing her of adultery. (Tipped by JMG reader Zachary)

Reposted from Joe Jervis

David Boies: Supreme Court Will Legalize Gay Marriage

Via LGTB Nation: Thousands protest lesbian couple’s ejection from Vienna cafe for kissing

Protestors hold a poster which reads "Join us in the 21st century" during an protest in support of gay kissing, in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. The protest was called after the manager of a cafe in Vienna told a smooching lesbian couple to leave. 
Ronald Zak, AP
Protestors hold a poster which reads “Join us in the 21st century” during an protest in support of gay kissing, in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. The protest was called after the manager of a cafe in Vienna told a smooching lesbian couple to leave.

Protestors hold a poster reading " Kiss me I'm cute" during an protest in support of gay kissing, in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. 
Ronald Zak, AP
Protestors hold a poster reading ” Kiss me I’m cute” during an protest in support of gay kissing, in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015.

VIENNA — Thousands of people have gathered in front of a renowned Vienna cafe to demonstrate against the expulsion of a kissing lesbian couple.

Police estimated around 2,000 people participated in the protest Friday, forcing the closure of one downtown street. Some of the demonstrators exchanged long kisses.

The manager of Cafe Prueckel has apologized for telling the couple to leave last weekend. But the pair – Anastasia Lopez and Eva Prewein – say the demonstration is meant to draw attention to the general prevalence of discrimination against gays in Vienna.

Vienna hosts several events each year that attracts gays, bisexuals and cross-dressers from across Europe, and Austrian singer Conchita Wurst has become the figurehead for Europe’s non-straight community.

Vienna’s tourist agency has criticized the expulsions.

Flor do Dia - Flor del Día - Flower of the Day - 17/01/2015

“Amor, assim como Deus, é uma palavra que foi muito distorcida. Muita gente usa essa palavra para expressar nada. Dizem “eu te amo” quando, no fundo, sentem raiva. Mas, se pudermos ser mais honestos com o uso das palavras, reencontraremos seu verdadeiro sentido. Amor no seu estado mais puro é sinônimo de doação desinteressada; é o desejo sincero de ver o outro feliz, de ver o outro brilhar. Essa capacidade de se doar, essa capacidade de ser um canal de bênçãos para o outro, é a fragrância do divino no ser humano. É por isso que eu digo que Deus é amor, e que o amor é Deus.”
Acesse o Satsang completo:

“Amor, así como Dios, es una palabra que fue muy distorsionada. Mucha gente usa esta palabra para expresar nada. Dicen "yo te amo" cuando, en el fondo, sienten rabia. Pero si podemos ser más honestos con el uso de las palabras, reencontraremos su verdadero sentido. Amor en su estado más puro es sinónimo de donación desinteresada; es el deseo sincero de ver al otro feliz, de ver al otro brillar. Esta capacidad de donarse, esta capacidad de ser un canal de bendiciones para el otro, es la fragancia de lo divino en el ser humano. Es por eso que digo que Dios es amor, y que el amor es Dios.”

“Love, just like God, is a word that has become very distorted. Many people use the word ‘love’ to not really express anything. They say ‘I love you’ when, below the surface, they feel anger. If we could be more honest with our use of words, then we would rediscover their true meaning. Love in its purest state is synonymous with selfless giving. It is the sincere desire to see the other be happy, to see the other shine. This capacity to give of oneself and to be a channel of blessings for the other is the fragrance of the Divine in a human being. This is why I say that God is love, and that love is God.”

Killing in the Name | January 17, 2015

What does it mean to call oneself a Buddhist when these are the actions committed in the name of Buddhism? I'm sure this is a question that Muslims are faced with constantly, as they are caught in the vice between Islamic fundamentalism and international anti-Muslim fervor. . . . Ultimately, whether Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, or any other -ism, the worldwide push toward fundamentalism is also heartbreaking in that it forces those of us sustained by some sort of faith to have to say what should be obvious: these acts of violence do not speak for us.

- Nayomi Munaweera, "The Real Enemy is Religious Extremism"