29 July 2009

Latest From The Newsroom

And now, your humble correspondent brings you the news. Well, okay, at least a few bits you might have missed elsewhere.

Marriage equality will happen. It's just a matter of when and how. Support for it is growing across the country, and surprisingly, Utah is not dead last among the states in that regard. But you probably won't be surprised who is, or that Utah is close alongside and in company that won't surprise most folks who live outside Happy Valley. Details here.

In a related story, we start by reminding you of the words of a very wise and amazing man who lived about 2000 years ago. He said "By their fruits ye shall know them." Fast forward to recent years and the flurry of legislation & referenda in various states to prevent marriage equality and civil unions, to frustrate the Full Faith & Credit Clause of the United States Constitution, and in California, a religiously motivated and financed political campaign to actually strip away an existing civil right from a specifically targeted minority, something unprecedented in American history.

The fruits of all this hyperventilating effort to perpetuate prejudice? A predictable rise in the LGBT community of "minority stress," or the chronic social stress that minorities experience as a result of social stigmatization, a "direct result of the negative images and messages associated with" such political campaigns and legislation. Study participants captured things well: "The irrationality of anti-GLBT initiatives and movements is baffling, painful and scary. We are not who they say we are." And "Initiatives lead to constant painful reminders that I'm seen as less than human by our government and public laws." Mormon contributors to Prop 8, are you listening? These are some of the fruits of your efforts. Are you comfortable submitting to the Savior's test? Details here.

In our Don't Look For This In the Deseret News Anytime Soon segment, a new study in the September Journal of Modern History reviews historical evidence, including documents and gravesites, suggesting that homosexual civil unions may have existed six centuries ago in France. "Affrèrement," roughly translated as "becoming brothers," referred to a certain type of legal contract, which also existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe. This document created a legal foundation for non-nuclear households of many types and shared many characteristics with marriage contracts. These "brothers" pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et une bourse’ – one bread, one wine, and one purse, and such relationships were not confined to actual biological siblings. They held common title to property, and usually became each other's legal heir. The contracts had to be sworn to before a notary and witnesses. Does any of that sound familiar? So next time you encounter someone from the "It's never been tried in human history!" crowd, mention this.

That's it from the news room, we now return you to your regularly scheduled chaos.

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