As established by the traditions of Chicago politics, aldermen can assert their privilege to deny permits to businesses who want to do business in their wards. This week, Alderman Joe Moreno said that that he would invoke that privilege to deny a permit to the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, which is seeking to open a second franchise in the Windy City.
Yes, folks, it's another Tigger day. Last week, while I was talking about how straight people changed marriage so that same-sex couples now belong in it, the new French government announced that it will gender-neutralize the entrance requirements for marriage early next year, which will also grant same-sex couples full adoption rights. That would mean that twelve nations marry same-sex pairs, plus some states and provinces scattered hither and yon. In historical order, that would include The Netherlands (2001), Belgium (2003), Spain (2005), Canada (2003, in some provinces; 2005, nationally), South Africa (2006), Norway (2009), Sweden (2009), Portugal (2010), Iceland (2010), Argentina (2010), and Denmark (2012).
While Anne-Marie Slaughter was blowing away the work-life crowd last week, David Blankenhorn, in The New York Times, dropped a similar thought bomb on the LGBT world, coming out in favor—kinda sorta—of legal recognition for same-sex couples. David Blankenhorn, founder of the socially conservative Institute for American Values? I was too flabbergasted to even feel happy. What’s next? The sun rises in the west, and the mountains go dancing across the ocean?
Two days ago, I wrote that Slate’s editors should be ashamed of having published Mark Regnerus’s propagandistic tripe about his “study” comparing how children fare under intact families versus how they fare when their biological parents have a rocky time because one discovers or accepts that he or she is lesbian or gay.
When is a new study “research,” and when is it propaganda? That’s the question to ask when looking at Mark Regnerus’s “study,” released this past weekend, on children who had a parent who had an affair with someone of the same sex. Regnerus compares children who grew up in an intact household from birth to adulthood with children who started in a heterosexual marriage but who had a parent who crossed over to the gay side. And yet Regnerus is touting it as a study on the real-life experiences of children who grew up with lesbian or gay parents. Here’s what he says in Slate, of all places, which I usually respect:
It wasn't much of a surprise. Despite heroic efforts by gay-rights activists, yesterday North Carolinians amended their state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Amendment One passed by an overwhelming 22-percent margin. Gay marriage is already illegal in North Carolina by statute, but amending the constitution ensures that state courts can't overturn the law.
While you were away from your computer over the holiday break, Catholic bishops escalated the latest tactic in what we once called "the culture wars": accusing pro-diversity and gay-equality forces of religious intolerance. Here's how it works. A government—state or federal—implements a nondiscrimination law and requires all of its contractors to abide by it. But some of those contractors are religious groups—say, Catholic Charities—and refuse to abide by a nondiscrimination policy that would require them to consider same-sex couples as prospective parents for foster care or adoption. Laurie Goodstein of The New York Timesnotes:
Notwithstanding the prayer gatherings, Texas Governor Rick Perry has staked out what can be described as a moderate position on the issue of same-sex marriage, saying it should be left up to the states.
To follow up on my article about the passage of legislation granting same-sex marriage rights in New York, Thomas Kaplan has an excellent article noting the ongoing mobilization against same-sex marriage in the Empire State. Particularly instructive is how the president of the anti-LBGT National Organization for Marriage characterized the actions of New York's elected officials:
It's painful how close New York is to passing a same-sex marriage bill. The governor supports it; the state assembly supports it. Exactly half of 62 state senators support it. If one more senator would sign on, it would pass. But [after a four hour meeting](http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/new-york-senate-republicans...) discussing the bill this afternoon, Senate leaders would still not commit to bringing the bill to the floor.
Remember the Prop. 8 trial? It's still wending its slow way up the judicial ladder, and here's the latest:
Supporters of Proposition 8, California's ballot-approved ban on same-sex marriage, filed a motion this week contesting Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that the ban is unconstitutional, because he's a gay man who may have wished to marry his partner.
I wrote earlier this week that immigration activists are taking the same approach as gay rights activists in making a state-by-state push for the Dream Act. The concerns of both these groups dovetailed yesterday in an announcement by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that gay couples who are married cannot apply for permanent residency for their partners, unlike heterosexual couples, The New York Timesreports.
Left out of my piece on the Equal Rights Amendment -- a proposed constitutional amendment that would explicitly ban sex-based discrimination -- today is the interesting question of whether it would, down the road, protect the rights of LGBT Americans as well as women. The text of the 14th Amendment hasn’t changed, but contra Justice Scalia, it has been interpreted to extend equal rights to women. In the same way, an Equal Rights Amendment could grow to protect LGBT individuals.
Lisa Belkinwrites today about a new study finding not only that the sexual orientation of parents doesn't affect children's well-being but actually goes beyond that to recommend against policies that exclude gay and lesbian couples from adopting children. Florida, Mississippi, and Utah currently ban adoption by same-sex couples explicitly. An Arkansas law prohibiting unmarried, co-habitating couples from adopting passed by public referendum in 2008 is still being challenged in the courts.