Federal Court Declares California’s Proposition 8 Unconstitutional
On August 4, US District Judge Vaughn Walker overturned California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. In his 136-page decision, he ruled that the marriage ban violates the US Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. Walker wrote, “Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples. Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.” Supporters of the ban immediately filed an appeal with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Same-Sex Couples Sue Alaska Over Property Taxes
Three same-sex couples are suing the State of Alaska and the City of Anchorage, arguing that property taxes discriminate against gay couples. Generous property tax exemptions are given to married couples in the state. Even though same-sex marriage is forbidden by the state constitution, the Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that not providing equal benefits to same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The Alaska Department of Law says it has received the complaint, and will respond in due time.
Same-Sex Relationships Increase Teen Self-Esteem
According to a new University of Michigan study, involvement in a same-sex relationship boosted self-esteem in teen males and lowered internalized homophobia in teen females who identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Surprisingly, for the same teens, having an opposite-sex relationship had no effect on self-esteem, depression, or anxiety. Jose Bauermeister, Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, relates that his research group set out to determine the influence of same-sex and opposite-sex relationships on symptoms of depression, anxiety, internalized homophobia, and self-esteem. The paper will appear in the journal Youth and Adolescence in August.
Same-Sex Couples Can Thrive as Adoptive Parents
A study in the August issue of the journal Applied Developmental Science found that children adopted by gay male and lesbian couples develop just as well as those adopted by heterosexual parents. The study states, “Research suggests that family processes, such as parenting quality and attachment, are more important predictors of child outcomes than is family structure.”
Hawaii Lawsuit Seeks Equal Rights for Gay Couples
According to the Associated Press, six gay couples in Hawaii are filing a lawsuit asking for the same rights as married couples. It comes just three weeks after Governor Linda Lingle vetoed same-sex civil union legislation. The lawsuit asks the court system to extend the benefits and responsibilities of marriage to gay couples based on a state constitutional prohibition against sex discrimination.
Catholic Church Blasts Gay Priests Leading “Double Life”
The Associated Press reports that the Catholic Church in Italy has expressed anger and frustration over a magazine article allegedly showing priests frequenting gay nightclubs. Panorama Magazine interviewed several gay priests in Rome, and accompanied them on their trips to gay clubs. One priest was quoted as saying that 98 percent of the priests he knew were gay.
New Zealand School Sanctioned for Firing Gay Sports Coach
A Christian school in New Zealand has been ordered to pay compensation and apologize to a sports coach after it fired him for being gay. Middleton Grange School in Christchurch, New Zealand, also will be required to attend courses on human-rights awareness. Principal Richard Vanderpyl said he offered the man his job back, but he already had found new work at another school.