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New Jersey Legislature Votes In Favor Of Same-Sex ‘Civil Unions’

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

By Meg Jalsevac

  TRENTON, New Jersey, December 15, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - New Jersey’s legislature voted yesterday to label the same-sex partnerships allowed by the State’s Supreme Court earlier this year as ‘civil unions’, joining Vermont and Connecticut as the third state to legally recognize same-sex relationships as “civil unions”.  All three states officially recognize same-sex ‘civil unions’, creating a relationship status that enjoys all the civil privileges of marriage but stops short of actually being called ‘same-sex marriage’.

  As previously reported by LifeSiteNews.com, on October 25 of this year, New Jersey’s Supreme Court voted that same-sex unions were to be officially recognized by the state.  The Court ruled that “committed same sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”   The Court left it up to the legislature to determine if the unions would be referred to as ‘civil unions’ or ‘same-sex marriage’. 

  In an effort spearheaded by Senator Loretta Weinberg (D), the proposal passed the Assembly 56 to 19 and the Senate 23 to 12.  The legislation will include ‘civil union’ status in all areas of state law that pertain to civil marriage including inheritance, divorce, custody and power of attorney.

  The bill also mandates the creation of a commission to explore whether New Jersey should legalize same-sex marriage in the future.  Steven Goldstein, director of the gay rights organization Garden State Equality, said that he thought that within two years homosexuals in New Jersey would be able to get married.

  Although happy at what they see as a step to full marriage rights, some members of the homosexual community in New Jersey find the terminology ‘civil unions’ offensive.   Goldstein said, “There are huge mixed emotions.  The law didn’t go far enough and was not marriage equality.” They say that not referring to a same-sex union as a ‘marriage’ makes the union seem inferior to a legal marriage. 

  Weinberg said that she would have lobbied for calling the unions “spousal unions” instead of “civil unions” but she did not think that her fellow Senators would have voted for it.  She also said that the terminology should be changed to “marriage” once the civil unions bill is in effect for long enough to study how successful its application is. 

  On the other hand, those who defend traditional marriage believe that allowing for ‘civil unions’, even if not officially labeled as a marriage, is whittling away at the establishment of traditional marriage.  Speaking of the similar situation when Connecticut approved same-sex ‘civil unions’ in 2005, Glen Lavy, senior vice president of the Alliance Defense Funds’s Marriage Litigation Center, said that lawmakers believe that they “can protect marriage by including a statement that says marriage is only between one man and one woman in legislation that creates civil unions for same-sex couples. This is clearly naive, as proven by media reports of homosexual activist groups that are already stating that they intend to continue to push for full-fledged marriage rights.”

  Lavy continued, “No one can legitimately conclude that these civil unions are anything but marriage with a different name.  No matter what anyone calls it, marriage is, and always will be, a union between a man and a woman.”

  During Massachusetts’s legal battle over “same-sex marriage”, the Massachusetts Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a forceful statement against the institution of ‘civil unions’ saying, “Protecting marriage is more than preserving a name.”

  In 2004, the Vatican’s Cardinal Trujillo said that gay civil unions are “grave signs of dehumanization.”

  New Jersey Governor, Jon Corzine is expected to sign the new bill into law.  Corzine has said that he personally believes that marriage is between one man and one woman but that he would not oppose legislation that allowed for gay marriage should it come before him. 

  Read Related LifeSite Coverage:

  Pastor Speaks Out Against Gay-Marriage in Opening Invocation For NJ Senate Session
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/dec/06121403.html
  New Jersey Supreme Court Orders State to Give Homosexuals All Benefits of “Marriage” Except the Name “Marriage”
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/oct/06102507.html
  Lawyers’ Group Warns Civil Unions is Capitulation, not Compromise on Gay “Marriage”
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/apr/05042604.html
  First Homosexual Civil Union in U.S. Ends after Five Years
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05121605.html
“Civil Unions Do Not Belong in Constitution” Emphasizes US Pro-Family Group
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/aug/05082503.html
  Connecticut Homosexual Activists Use Civil Union Law to Push for Homosexual ‘Marriage’
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/nov/06112305.html
  Gay Civil Unions “Grave Signs of Dehumanization” Says Vatican Cardinal Trujillo
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/nov/04113007.html

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Gina Raimondo, Democrat candidate for governor of Rhode Island http://www.ginaraimondo.com/
Lisa Bourne

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Catholic school removes alumna’s photo after she endorses abortion in bid for governor

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

A Rhode Island Catholic school has removed the photo of an alumna from its halls after she endorsed abortion in her campaign for governor.

LaSalle Academy of Providence took alumna Gina Raimondo’s photo down from the school’s Wall of Notables last week after she publicly stated she does not support the Church’s teaching on life and would work to support abortion.

"You know the Catholic Church has a clear position, and I have a clear position,” the state general treasurer said, according to ABC. “And I am clearly pro–choice and as I've said, I as Governor, support the decision in Roe v. Wade."

Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin responded the same day in statement on his Facebook page.

“It is always disappointing when a Catholic candidate for political office abandons the teaching of the Church on the dignity of human life for the sake of self-serving political gain,” he said. Such actions demonstrate an inexcusable lack of moral courage.”

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“Pope Francis has explained how evil abortion really is, that every aborted child bears the face of Jesus Christ,” he continued. “Similarly, I wish to remind Catholics of the Diocese of Providence, in the clearest terms possible: Abortion is a sin, and those who provide it, promote it and support it will be held accountable by Almighty God for the unjust death of unborn children.”

Raimondo, valedictorian of the 1989 class at LaSalle Academy, made her comments at Planned Parenthood’s Rhode Island PAC’s endorsement of her candidacy September 25. She said as well that she is “more pro-choice” than Republican candidate Allan Fung, and that she opposes the Hobby Lobby ruling in support of religious freedom for employers.

According to the Providence Journal, she also said she would oppose efforts to incorporate an option in the Rhode Island health insurance exchange that would exclude abortion or contraception. Raimondo also pledged to seek repeal of a 1997 Rhode Island law banning partial-birth abortion.

Drew Lagace, La Salle’s communications spokesman, told the Providence Journal the school took the photo down and didn’t want to elaborate. But he told the local NBC affiliate, “Her statements were very bold against the Church and the teachings of the Church.”

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Last Call! Can you donate $5?

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By Steve Jalsevac

This is it!

Today is the LAST DAY of our Fall Campaign. But with only hours left to go, we still need to raise just over $40,000 to reach our goal of $150,000

Will you help us now in this 11th hour to reach our goal? 

Please keep in mind that this is just the bare minimum that we need to raise just to keep our news service going until our next campaign! 

We need everyone who has not yet made a donation to do so right now!

The last few days of our quarterly campaigns are always the most stressful times of the year. The stakes are so high, because LifeSite’s existence depends upon the success of these campaigns. <

It is also stressful because we know that we have a responsibility to reach even MORE people with the truth about life and the family, and that we need to be doing even MORE reporting on critical life and family issues.

And yet, at the same time, I am filled with peace, knowing that this work is not our own work, but God’s, and that as long as we strive to do His will, He will always provide us with everything we need!

And I also know that I can always count on our readers to come through for us, no matter how worrisome things might look.

You always have!

And in return, I pledge to you LifeSite’s 100% commitment to doing everything in our power to spread the truth and to promote a Culture of Life, no matter how heavily the odds are stacked against us!

I know we can reach our goal today. 

Of the tens of thousands that will visit our site in the next few hours, I know there are at least 1,000 readers who could chip in just $40 to bring us to our goal. I know there are just 200 people out there who could give a $200 donation and help bring us to the finish line. Or, 500 people who could donate $75. 

It wouldn’t take much if everyone pitched in a little! Whatever you can give, whether its just $5, or $5,000 - every donation counts towards our goal.

It’s all in your hands now, and we thank you for helping us continue our mission!

We will leave the thermometer up on our site for a few more days as we collect mail-in donations. Don’t forget you can also make a donation by phone. Our staff would love to thank you personally for your support. 

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A man carries a sign during Long Beach's Gay Pride parade in 2012 of Newsweek's cover declaring Obama "the first gay president." Juan Camilo Bernal / Shutterstock.com
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Obama admin files first-ever lawsuits against employers who fired transgender workers

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By Ben Johnson

The Obama administration 's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed two lawsuits against employers who fired transgender employees, claiming that the businesses violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act's prohibition of discrimination against women. Last Thursday's lawsuits are the first ever filed by EEOC over what they deem transgender employment bias.

The employment regulatory agency's Indianapolis office sued R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, located in the Detroit area, for firing “Amiee” Stephens, a funeral director who was born male and wished to perform funeral duties in female attire.

The EEOC's Miami office sued Lakeland Eye Clinic in Lakeland, Florida, for firing Michael Branson in June 2011. Branson's lawyer, Jillian Weiss, states his co-workers “snickered, rolled their eyes, and withdrew from social interactions with” Branson after he showed up at work a few months into the job in drag demanding to be called “Brandi.”

Obama officials say that firing transgender workers violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because the employers allegedly fired transgender “women” who “did not conform to the employer's gender-based expectations, preferences, or stereotypes.”

However, that pivotal civil rights law does not mention transgender people nor homosexuals and recognizes neither as a protected minority group that is accorded special rights.

Nonetheless, the Obama administration contends that transgender males are actually women, so any employer who “discriminates” against them is guilty of discrimination on the basis of sex.

The EEOC wrote in its August 20 decision in Complainant v. Jeh Johnson that “While Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination does not explicitly include sexual orientation as a basis, Title VII prohibits sex discrimination, including sex- stereotyping discrimination and gender discrimination. The term ‘gender’ encompasses not only a person’s biological sex, but also the cultural and social aspects associated with masculinity and femininity.”

In other words, males who believe they are females really are females, and they are experiencing discrimination because they do not look like “other” women.

“Moreover, we have held that sex discrimination claims may intersect with claims of sexual orientation discrimination,” the EEOC continued.

EEOC General Counsel David Lopez told BuzzFeed that the Obama administration wants “to ensure employers aren’t considering irrelevant factors, like gender-based stereotypes or gender identity, in making employment decisions.” But business owners say the image projected by outside sales representatives, front office personnel, and other employees has a real impact on the customer's comfort and likelihood to do business with a company.

Mario Diaz, legal counsel of Concerned Women for America, told LifeSiteNews that the lawsuits are the latest push by the Obama administration to further the radical homosexual and transgender political agenda without persuading the American people first.

“The mainstreaming of transgenderism is a debate that is just beginning in our culture,” Diaz told LifeSiteNews. “The American people should debate the complex issues involved, and the legislatures should act based on the conclusions we reach as a society.”

“For the Obama administration to act unilaterally, once again, to force its conclusion about sexuality and morality on the nation is beyond reprehensible,” he said.

“Nevertheless, we can’t say we are surprised. This is why President Obama appointed celebrated homosexual activist Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission back in 2010, when we sounded the alarm about the implications of such an appointment.”

Homosexual activists were thrilled. Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the homosexual lobbying group Human Rights Campaign, called the lawsuits an “historic and a giant step” that “deserves immense praise.”

The new prosecutions are an attempt to implement a December 2012 Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) drawn up by Obama administration officials making "coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII's sex discrimination provisions, as they may apply" as “a top Commission enforcement priority.”

And the Obama administration promises this is only the beginning. Robert E. Weisberg, regional lawyer for the EEOC's Miami district office, told Florida's Lakeland Ledger, "I sincerely hope that it serves as a teaching moment for the employer community on how the EEOC views the law and their intention to enforce the law — and for victims who might not have realized they have this type of relief available, to (encourage them to) come forward.”

He added that the “educational byproduct of a case like this can extend far beyond the parties in the lawsuit, which would be the real hope."

President Obama has worked like no other president to promote the redefinition of gender norms, from a biological reality to a malleable social construct.

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In late April, his administration stated that Title IX funding, intended to assist women pursue higher education, applies to transgender males, through the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development demanded that any renter who accepts Section 8 or HUD financing must rent their accommodations to homosexuals and transgender people.

In 2010, Obama named “Amanda” Simpson the Senior Technical Advisor to the Commerce Department, thought to be the first transgender presidential appointment.

Long before seeking the presidency, Barack Obama talked about aggressive federal action to promote social engineering in a 2001 interview on public radio. When conservative media outlets said this meant candidate Obama would use executive powers to promote his agenda in lieu of Congressional support, mainstream reporters such as the Associated Press and The Washington Post dismissed their claims.

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