NewsThu Apr 3, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
Flurry of Homosexual Activism Across Europe
By John Connolly
April 3, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - This week has seen the success of much homosexual activism around Europe, the traditional center of the Christian West. From the Greek Orthodox Church’s internal turmoil in the face of a possible same-sex union provision to Finland’s appointment of a homosexual lobbyist as foreign minister, there have been many victories scored for homosexual activists who want to remove the family and place homosexuality on the same level as traditional marriage.
Finland appointed a homosexual lobbyist as its new foreign minister on April 1, replacing former minister Ilkka Kanerva.
Alexander Stubb, who served as a Member of European Parliament for Finland, was chosen to replace Kanerva following a scandal in which the media revealed over 200 sexually suggestive text messages Kanerva sent to a stripper.
Stubb, who turned 40 the day he was nominated for the position of foreign minister by Finland’s National Coalition Party, Kokoomus, has served as a MEP since 2004. He is the vice-president of the European Parliament’s Gay and Lesbian rights intergroup, a lobbyist body that ensures the goals of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals are implemented in the decisions made by EU institutions.
"The intergroup is thrilled for Alexander and sends him our warmest greetings," said British MEP Michael Cashman, President of the intergroup. "It has been a great pleasure working with Alexander. Finland has made a great choice."
Stubb will be sworn in on April 4.
The Greek Ministry of Justice is contemplating adopting a plan to provide for same-sex civil unions, announcing a plan on March 30 to establish a working group on the rights of same-sex couples living together.
The group would "analyze all aspects of the issue, international practice and the existing domestic legal and social framework," the Justice Ministry said in an announcement.
The 13 bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church’s standing committee on Monday said the proposed civil union law would be "catastrophic bomb" lodged in the foundations of Greek society by undermining marriage and family life. But the newly elected Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All-Greece has taken a stance much more tolerant of the measure.
"The members of the Church follow the dictates of the Bible, the rules of the Church, the order of the ecumenical synods and the holy tradition," said the Archbishop of Greece in a statement released after the meeting with the justice minister, according to the Athens newspaper Kathimerini. "As a result, there are clear limits and in respect to this matter, the Church does not have the right to ask for it to be watered down or to have any other request granted."
Minister of Justice Sotiris Hatzigakis told Ieronymos on March 13 that the government plans to allow unmarried couples to register their unions with civil notaries, making the union equal with marriage in the eyes of the state. The law would not extend to same-sex couples. However, Greek law does not define the requisite gender of bride and groom in civil unions, and several same-sex couples are planning on taking advantage of that fact in the coming weeks. Most notable among these is a Greek lesbian couple who announced plans to become Greece’s first same-sex civil union couple on March 13.
Following the provisions of the Equality Act of 2006, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has awarded grants to gay and lesbian groups among the 286 beneficiaries of the EHRC’s first round of grants.
The gay and lesbian recipients of the grants include Stonewall, the Bristol Lesbian Gay Bisexual Forum, the Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Voluntary and Community Organisations and The Lesbian and Gay Foundation.
The EHRC awarded more than £10 million to the various organizations, and said in a press release on its website that it awards grants to those organizations that are concerned with promoting equality and diversity, good relations and human rights. The release also announced a Capacity Development Program that will "plug the gaps in funding and service provision particularly in less well established areas of work relating to age, sexual orientation, religion and human rights."
"This is about helping those organizations that make a real difference at local level," said Nicola Brewer, Chief Executive of the EHRC. "They have both the knowledge and expertise to bring real benefits to their local communities. Through our unique grants program we can help ensure this good work continues. Support for these organizations is critical if we are to succeed in extending equality and fairness to all people in Britain."
See the full list of successful grant and funding applicants 2008/2009 for the Equality and Human Rights Commission:
Ireland’s plans to allow for same-sex civil unions will fall far short of demands made by gay and lesbian lobbyists, reported the Belfast Telegraph on Tuesday.
The Irish government is reportedly finalizing a Civil Partnership Bill that will grant many of the benefits of marriage to same-sex civil unions, including tax breaks, pension eligibility, and property and welfare benefits. But the lobbyists insist on the legal equivalence of full marriage rights, especially the right to adopt children, something the Irish government has not yet been willing to grant homosexual couples.
"While any legislation in this area is welcome, if these reports are true, it is of great concern that gay and lesbian people will continue not to have the same rights as heterosexual couples," said Grainne Healy of homosexual lobbyist group MarriagEquality to The Irish Times. "We will reserve judgment on the scheme until we have a chance to analyze in detail what the government is proposing, but we are adamant that the only way to achieve equality for gay and lesbian people is to allow them to marry in a civil registry office."
The Irish government has been unwilling to grant same-sex unions technical marriage status; it would require a change to the Irish constitution.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.