sexual orientation

Elizabeth's picture

A Post-Memorial Day Call for Equality

Yesterday was Memorial Day in the United States, a day that typically means barbecues and parades and the honoring of those who serve the military while remembering those who have served and lost their lives.

Unless those who serve are gay. Because gays, lesbians and bisexuals are prohibited from serving openly, theare rendered invisible, and face losing their jobs if they are open about their sexualities. Because of the policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) more than 12,000 service members have been dismissed because of their sexual orientation since 1993 according to Lamda Legal.

Elizabeth's picture

ENDA Tabled?

Khadijah Farmer, her mom Aliyah and LGBT center's Cristina Herrara So you might have been following the ENDA stories and known that it was scheduled to come up for a vote in the House last week or the week before. And you might have noticed that that didn't happen. And you might have been waiting for news about that. I even tried to put a legislation tracker on the site so we could more easily keep up with bills like ENDA. (Aside: you'll probably have noticed that so far it is only working in Safari browser.) Even with all that, I'd noticed that, well, nothing seemed to be happening. So, I've been poking around trying to figure out what's going on, and I just came across this, from October 31, by EJ Graff at TFM Cafe:

The latest news on this front: ENDA, which had been scheduled for a House floor vote this week, has been taken off the table.

The official reason that ENDA won’t come up for vote: it’s been pushed aside by other business. The generally accepted reason is the split between the Barney Frank faction and the Tammy Baldwin faction.

My Left Hand

True or false:

left-handedness is correlated with sexual orientation.

Birth order in males is correlated with sexual orientation but not in females.

Bisexuals report higher rates of being ambidextrous than homosexuals or heterosexuals.

All quite true (see citations, below).

Neurological and psychological research is finding a lot of interesting correlations between biology and sexuality. The research is fascinating, validating and sometimes a little disturbing. Validating in that the evidence is certainly out there that our sexual urges are at least in part biological in origin. Disturbing because, in at least one citation I read, the language is loaded toward "heterosexual=normative; homosexual=deviation."

Elizabeth's picture

Quickie: Kansas Gov. Bans Bias Based on Sexuality (mostly)

This short bit from this mornings National Briefings section of the New York Times: 

 

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, signed an executive order prohibiting most state employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The order requires agencies under the governor’s direct control to ensure they have programs to prevent harassment against gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and people who have had surgery for sex changes. It covers 25,000 of the 41,000 state employees.

 

Sounds like good news in general, but a couple of questions:

 

1. Why not make the ban apply to all state employees? there are 16,000 who are left free to discriminate as they choose. What's up with that? 

 

JanieBelle's picture

Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan Seal First Same Sex Marriage In Iowa

Anéis | Rings Not wasting any time and taking advantage of a $5 waiver of the waiting period in Iowa, Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan sealed the deal on the front lawn of Unitarian minister Rev. Mark Stringer.

A few hours later, Judge Robert B. Hanson formally stayed yesterday's ruling that the law declaring that valid marriages were only between a man and a woman was unconstitutional, and that the state had no valid interest in arbitrarily discriminating against same-sex couples by denying them the right to marry.

JanieBelle's picture

Iowa Court Rules Same Sex Couples Cannot Be Denied Marriage Equality

Anéis | Rings Caught this rockin' news just before heading to bed and had to share!

(CNN) -- An Iowa district court ruled Thursday that same-sex couples can marry based on the state constitution's guarantee of equal treatment, court documents show.
The ruling was in response to a December 2005 lawsuit brought by six same-sex couples seeking to wed. They were denied marriage licenses and claimed such treatment violates equal-protection and due-process clauses in the Iowa constitution.
The court also struck down a state law declaring valid marriages are only between a man and woman.

Elizabeth's picture

The "Biology v. Choice debate" has no place in a discussion of sexual freedom and civil rights

I'm more than tired of all the uproar over whether sexuality is biologically determined or chosen. Actually, that's not true. I'm frustrated by the denial that sexuality isomplicated than that question would indicate, and the refusal to believe that the answer has no place in a discussion of rights for gays.

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