CARSON CITY, Nev. — A proposal seeking to clear the way for same-sex marriage in Nevada was amended Friday by the state Senate in a move designed to make it more acceptable to some lawmakers who struggled with their religious convictions.
The amendment offered by Sen. Pat Spearman, a lesbian minister, states: “Religious organizations and clergy have the right to refuse to solemnize a marriage and no person has the right to make any claim against a religious organization or clergy for such a refusal.”
On one hand I get some of the arguments those who support its legalization use, such as it’s medicinal purposes. And honestly for medical purposes I fully support its legalization—but then that opens the door to my first problem with it being legal.
In this country we have a huge problem with people abusing prescription pills, many of which are obtained legally from a doctor. What many of these individuals do is network with people that share a similar addiction, locate doctors who they know hand out prescriptions like candy, then they continue to use that doctor to feed their habit. Many of these individuals also learn what to say to doctors to get the certain kinds of pills they’re after.
So, with the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, I see the same thing happening.
Continuing with the medical argument, what if people take it for anxiety? Do we allow people to smoke whenever they feel anxious? Then if that’s the case, what’s to stop people who want to smoke from simply claiming they “felt an anxiety attack coming on” just to get high?
Wouldn’t that mean people could possibly have a reason to be high at work? School? Isn’t that a little dangerous? It’s illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence–wouldn’t smoking weed constitute being “under the influence?”
The hearing of a ‘gay cure’ therapist scheduled later this month is to deviate from convention and be held in secret.
A number of complaints have been made to the General Medical Council (GMC) regarding the ‘gay conversion therapy’ techniques practiced by the Belfast-based Dr Paul Miller.
In May 2011, London-based journalist Patrick Strudwick complained to the GMC after receiving what he deemed to be ‘inappropriate’ treatment’ from Miller.
In an article written for the Guardian, he said: ‘His advice was for me to have massages with male masseurs and to stand in front of the mirror naked, touching myself, thus somehow affirming my masculinity.’
Strudwick was also made to feel decidedly uncomfortable when Miller began to discuss with him his own relationships.
Writing forPinkNews, Chair of LGBT+ Liberal DemocratsAdrian Trettsays although equal marriage campaigners are scoring big victories in France and Britain, activists in other European nations need greater support in achieving the goal.
During the past few years, rights for the LGBT community have been uppermost on the political agenda, and the debate in many countries for equal marriage has hit epidemic proportions, especially in our own.
Yet, closer to home Liberal parties across Europe can and should be giving a far greater voice and encouragement to push for LGBT rights as is currently happening in France and the UK particularly on equal marriage. Previously, European countries have been at the forefront of legislation, as in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden to name but a few with Liberal parties in all these countries passing LGBT policies since 2000.
Without doubt, however this is not happening for all our European neighbours. I was very honoured to be given the opportunity to speak to the Associazione Radicale di Cert Diritti Conference in Naples in April on the topic of equal marriage, and how the campaign has developed in the United Kingdom.
With Zimbabwe marking 33 years of independence, campaigners are using the anniversary to remind people that the country is still a long way from securing basic rights for its LGBT citizens.
Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) said in a statement: “We remain on course in our quest to achieving equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities.”
The group added: “We are concerned that the state continues to vilify our kind and actively violates and harasses our kin. As a result our community lives in fear of violence and abuse because they have witnessed abuse or encountered violent homophobic slurs. The law facilitates harassment of LGBTI individuals because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.”
When Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of the Roman Catholic Church in Durban denounced same-sex relationships in last week’s Mail & Guardian he was possibly unaware of the gay-friendly Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Napier said: “As far as the church is concerned sexual activity is for within the confines of marriage: for procreation and the building up of the relationship between the couple. You can’t practice in the Catholic Church if you aren’t married and are sexually active.”
Not only is the Braamfontein church on the campus of the University of the Witwatersrand gay-friendly, it advertises the fact on its website under the headline “ALL are welcome here”.
It goes into detail about its ministry to gay and lesbian Christians. “The church is not against homosexuals,” said Father Russell Pollitt, the head parish priest, this week. “Through baptism gay people have the right to participate fully in the life of the church. I know many homosexuals who are valuable and active members of the church.”