Federal Judge Rules that Kentucky Must Recognize Gay Marriages from Other States

US District Judge John G Heyburn II has ruled that Kentucky must recognize gay marriages of residents who wed outside the state.

Judge Heyburn said that last summer’s US Supreme Court ruling that struck down DOMA led to his decision.

You may remember that I predicted this would happen when DOMA was struck. A number of people told me I was daft. I have to say that I take no pleasure in being right.

I caution those who are so quick to jump on this bandwagon to think carefully what they do. We are on the edge of a precipice here. I believe that gay marriage will be as culturally damaging as widespread divorce and abortion have been. The major difference is that gay marriage comes after divorce and abortion have already blunted our consciences and torn our social constructs to ribbons. I believe the effect of gay marriage will be geometric.

Are we at a societal tipping point? I’m too close to know for sure, but I’m inclined to think that we are, at least, approaching one.

For what it’s worth, I’m going to be very stubborn about this and stick with the two-thousand-year-old teachings of the Church. I’ve had my turn at being my own God and I have reaped a whirlwind of guilt, remorse and shame for my self-deification.

As for me and my house, I’m going to follow, not lead, when it comes to Christ and the teachings of His Church. It doesn’t matter how much Kool-Aid gets dumped on my head.

From Reuters:

(Reuters) – Kentucky must recognize the legal same-sex marriages of residents who wed outside the state, a federal judge said on Wednesday in the latest of a series of rulings that expand gay rights following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year.

Four Kentucky same-sex couples who were married out of state had challenged a state law that declared such marriages void and the accompanying rights unenforceable. They did not challenge a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in Louisville said a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions including the striking down of a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year led to his decision on Wednesday.

“Each of these small steps has led to this place and this time, where the right of same-sex spouses to the state-conferred benefits of marriage is virtually compelled,” Heyburn said in a 23-page ruling.

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British Magistrate Summons Head of Mormon Church to Court Over “Fraudulent” Beliefs

President Thomas S Monson, the head of the Mormon church, has been summoned before a Magistrate in Britain. The charge is that the teachings of his faith are fraudulent and that religious leaders can be prosecuted for teaching these beliefs and then asking for donations.

The charges were originally filed by Tom Philipps, a former Mormon bishop, stake president and area secretary who has evidently decided that he no longer believes the teachings he once taught. A Mormon convert named Stephen Bloor also filed a charge. Mr Bloor has, presumably, deconverted.

That, of course, is their privilege. I don’t believe in the teachings they once taught and believed, either. What I do believe is that people have the right to think whatever they want and that neither of these two men should interfere with others in this matter. I do not understand the spiteful, I’ll-burn-your-house-down crazy meanness of people who do things like this.

However, I do see a pattern of nuisance lawsuits against people of faith on both sides of the Atlantic. Being drug into court has a chilling effect on the exercise of free speech and the rights of personal religious belief. I think that is the immediate (but not the only) purpose behind these legal actions; to intimidate people of faith into backing down and withdrawing from public debate.

President Monson is an American citizen who lives in Salt Lake City, UT. I don’t know if the British government intends to make this an international situation by starting extradition proceedings. According to news stories, probably not.

President Monson is not charged with breaking American law. In fact, his work as a religious leader is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. He is not subject to this British Magistrate and her fanciful court orders. If it was me, she could just go ahead and draft up her arrest warrant. I wouldn’t be going to England.

The same procedure by which the summons was issued to President Monson was also used in the past by a Palestinian activist against the Israeli justice minister.

District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe signed this order.

From The Telegraph:

A British magistrate has issued an extraordinary summons to the worldwide leader of the Mormon church alleging that its teachings about mankind amount to fraud.
Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been ordered to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London next month to defend the church’s doctrines including beliefs about Adam and Eve and Native Americans.
A formal summons signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe warns Mr Monson, who is recognised by Mormons as God’s prophet on Earth, that a warrant for his arrest could be issued if he fails to make the journey from Salt Lake City, Utah, for a hearing on March 14.
In one of the most unusual documents ever issued by a British court, it lists seven teachings of the church, including that Native Americans are descended from a family of ancient Israelites as possible evidence of fraud.
It also cites the belief that the Book of Mormon was translated from ancient gold plates revealed to the church’s founder Joseph Smith by angels and that Adam and Eve lived around 6,000 years ago.
The document suggests that asking members of the church to make contributions while promoting theological doctrines which “might be untrue or misleading” could be a breach of the Fraud Act 2006.The Church dismissed the summons as containing “bizarre allegations” and signalled that Mr Monson has no plans to attend.It was issued in response to a private prosecution attempt by Tom Phillips, a disaffected former Mormon who now runs MormonThink a website highly critical of the church.

 

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Why Did Shirley Temple Survive the Meat Grinder of Child Stardom?

 

Shirley Temple Black is dead at the age of 85.

I watched a few scenes from her old movies yesterday, and I was astounded. When I saw these movies on tv as a little girl, I took it for granted that she could sing and dance. But when I saw the scenes with her and Bojangles last night, I realized how extraordinary she was.

How could a little child perform at that level? Shirley Temple was an incredible talent.

She was also different in another way. Almost alone among child stars, Shirley Temple grew up to be a normal adult. We are all watching the implosion of Miley Cyrus’ young life as she destroys herself publicly. We’ve seen the suicides, the lives wasted on drug addiction and the inability to form meaningful relationships with people of the opposite sex over and over again.

But Shirley Temple grew up to become a young woman who was able to have and raise a stable family and engage in productive work at an incredibly high level in the diplomatic world. She had a successful life in the ways that matter.

What made the difference?

I would guess that the major difference was her parents. I read one story talking about the fact that Shirley’s mother was always present when she was performing. The story went that the director of a film sent Mrs Temple on a brief errand, and, while she was gone, deliberately frightened little Shirley to make her cry for a scene. When Mrs Temple returned and learned what had happened, she decided to never leave her daughter alone with these people again.

Contrast that with the famous story of the director telling Jackie Cooper that his dog had died to make him cry for a scene:

When young Cooper was unable to summon tears for a big crying scene, Taurog threatened to remove the boy’s small dog from the set and take it to the pound. The incident ended with Cooper believing his dog had been shot by an armed security guard.

“I could visualize my dog, bloody from that one awful shot,” Cooper wrote. “I began sobbing, so hysterically that it was almost too much for the scene. [Taurog] had to quiet me down by saying perhaps my dog had survived the shot, that if I hurried and calmed down a little and did the scene the way he wanted, we would go see if my dog was still alive.”

Only after doing the scene as best he could did Cooper learn that his dog was unharmed. He also saw Taurog, the guard and Cooper’s grandmother grinning over their successful deception.

“Later, people tried to rationalize to me that I had gained more than I lost by being a child star,” Cooper wrote. “They talked to me about the money I made. They cited the exciting things I had done, the people I had met, the career training I had had, all that and much more….

“But no amount of rationalization, no excuses, can make up for what a kid loses — what I lost — when a normal childhood is abandoned for an early movie career.”

It is worth noting that Jackie Cooper had a relative there when this happened — his grandmother. But instead of protecting her grandson, she allowed what happened and seemed to enjoy it.

The emotional abuse Jackie Cooper endured, bad as it was, was nothing compared to what Corey Feldman, and, according to books and testimonies by a number of former child stars, many others, have endured. Corey maintains that the single biggest problem for child actors is pedophilia.

He also says that the pedophiles are often big names in the entertainment industry. The way that industry people behave when famous directors are accused of child rape lends credence to these charges.

Shirley Temple Black and her normal, productive life, indicate that it is possible for a child to work as an entertainer and come out of the experience intact. But the fact that she is so rare as to be an anomaly raises serious questions about the practice of putting underage people into that world.

We’ve all seen the shattered lives of former child actors. From River Phoenix, to Michael Jackson, to Miley the story is the same. But we keep right on, ignoring the obvious.

Are the lives of children worth the “art” of the films they help make?

More to the point, are sexual predators in the entertainment industry who abuse and violate children off limits for prosecution and the long lives in prison that they deserve?

We will only truly know the degree of child abuse in the entertainment industry when adults who work in that world grow spines and begin to out these guys instead of covering for them and defending them. From what I’ve seen, that day is a long way off.

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Diverse Coalition Unites to Defend State Marriage Laws

Oklahoma and Utah are the latest states to find themselves in the bull’s eye of court action concerning gay marriage.

Federal court justices have overturned laws, which were passed by the voters, in both states that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The court cases are now before the Tenth Circuit in Denver.

According to an article in the Daily News, diverse groups, including the attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Carolina have filed briefs opposing the decision.

“Traditional marriage is too deeply imbedded in our laws, history and traditions for a court to hold that more recent state constitutional enactment of that definition is illegitimate or irrational,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller wrote.

One of the most interesting briefs was filed jointly by lawyers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the US Conference of Catholic bishops and signed by the Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-MIssouri Synod.

“Our respective religious doctrines hold that marriage between a man and a woman is sanctioned by God as the right and best setting for bearing and raising children,” it says. “We believe that children, families, society and our nation thrive best when husband-wife marriage is upheld and strengthened as a cherished primary social institution.”

Their statement, summarized the Daily News, continues:

The coalition struck back at the notion that opposing gay marriage makes one anti-gay, irrational or bigoted.

“The accusation is false and offensive,” it says. “It is intended to suppress rational dialogue and democratic conversation, to win by insult and intimidation rather than by reason, experience, and fact.”

They say they have no ill will toward same-sex couples, only “marriage-affirming religious beliefs,” supported by sociological facts, saying holding on to the man-woman definition of marriage is essential.

The “friend of the court” brief was one of several submitted Monday by groups, professors and state attorneys general supporting Utah and Oklahoma in their efforts to persuade the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse recent rulings by federal court judges.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/religious-groups-join-forces-gay-marriage-okla-utah-article-1.1609630#ixzz2t2cytFqm

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Children Denied Coverage for Serious Medical Conditions Under Obamacare, Hospital Sues Government

Seattle Children’s Hospital has filed suit against the government over the failure of Obamacare to provide essential coverage to children.

Specifically, the insurers in Washington state’s Insurance Network are excluding major hospitals from their networks. They then deny payment for essential medical care for serious medical conditions when patients need the kind of care that only these hospitals can provide.

Seattle Children’s Hospital is ranked as one of the best hospitals in the United States. It ranked in the top twenty hospitals for 10 specialities, including a number six ranking for children’s cancer treatment. A number of Obamacare insurance providers are denying coverage for treatment at this hospital.

It seems to me that for an insurer to refuse coverage for care at hospitals like Seattle Children’s Hospital is tantamount to saying that their plan does not provide full coverage. Plans that only provide coverage for every day illnesses at second and third tier institutions should not be allowed to market themselves as full insurance coverage.

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My Job’s Not all Bad

Copyright: Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright: Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

My job’s not all bad. Some days, I get to do really nice things.

Last Wednesday was Rose Day, the day when pro life people visit the capitol and give us roses. A friend of mine brought his newborn and then caught this candid shot of me, snuggling up to that sweet baby goodness.

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Cardinal Designate Calls Homosexuality a Defect. Spanish Government Investigates.

This is the sort of story that makes you want to kiss the Bill of Rights.

Eigthy-four-year-old Cardinal Designate Fernando Sebastian answered a question about homosexuality by saying:

“… that a lot of people “complain and don’t tolerate it, but with all respect I say that homosexuality is a defective way of manifesting sexuality, because that has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation.

”He compared homosexuality to his own high blood pressure — “a defect I have that I have to correct as far as I can”. He added: “Pointing out a defect to a homosexual is not an offence, it is a help because many cases of homosexuality can be recovered and normalised with adequate treatment.”

Now, he’s under investigation by the prosecutor of the province of Malaga, Spain for “hate speech.” The gay rights group, Colegas, lodged a complaint against the Cardinal designate, for “violating the constitution’s guarantees of dignity and non-discrimination and for ‘clearly inciting hate and discrimination.’” 

Archbishop Emeritus Sebastian’s appointment as Cardinal won’t be official until February 22. Activists started a petition, which news reports say have as many as 20,000 signatures, asking the Holy Father to rescind the announced promotion.

Evidently, there’s a lop-sided kind of freedom of speech in Spain. The people who are attacking Cardinal Designate Sebastian seem to feel free to start petitions and issue allegations. But he is not supposed to hold an opinion that they disagree with.

It is sad to see Spain behaving this way. It is a lovely country that has already suffered much from dictatorial governments.

From Zenit:

Spanish prosecutors have opened an investigation into newly chosen Cardinal-desginate Fernando Sebastian Aguilar after a homosexual-rights group accused him of hate speech for calling homosexuality a “defect”.

AFP reports that the public prosecutor for the southern province of Malaga, Juan Carlos Lopez, had opened a preliminary inquiry “to clarify whether the allegations constitute a criminal offence.”

Cardinal-designate Sebastian is one of 19 new prelates Pope Francis has named to be elevated to the College of Cardinals at a consistory on February 22.

The 84-year-old archbishop emeritus of Pamplona said in a newspaper interview last month that a lot of people “complain and don’t tolerate it, but with all respect I say that homosexuality is a defective way of manifesting sexuality, because that has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation.”

He compared homosexuality to his own high blood pressure — “a defect I have that I have to correct as far as I can”. He added: “Pointing out a defect to a homosexual is not an offence, it is a help because many cases of homosexuality can be recovered and normalised with adequate treatment.”

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Abortion: Four Decades

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UN Report on Child Sex Abuse Demands the Church Change Teachings on Abortion and Homosexuality

The United Nations Committee on the Protection of the Child has issued a report on the Catholic Church and the child sex abuse scandal.

The report goes off the rails. Instead of dealing with the issue of sexual abuse of children in the serious and concentrated manner that it deserves, the committee used the report as an opportunity to demand that the Church change its teaching on abortion and homosexuality.

I have a hard time when I see people using the sexual violation of innocent children as a wedge issue to promote their unrelated agendas. I regard it as callous political opportunism that has nothing at all to do with a genuine concern for the children. I think it violates the victims all over again by ignoring them and their needs and using them as tools to “get at” someone else.

It was dispiriting, reading this report. The children this report is talking about have been subjected to the life-destroying cruelty of sexual abuse by a trusted adult. It breaks my heart to see other adults, who are supposed to be their advocates, misuse their suffering to score points for their own private agendas.

The focus of this report should have been the children and how to help and protect them.

Here is a video summarizing the report.

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Four-Year-Old Girl and Her Family Ask Belgian King to Block Euthanasia of Children

Jessicasaba

Speaking of child abuse, legislators in Belgium are moving toward passage of a law that would allow doctors to euthanize children.

It all began in 2002 with a law that allowed doctors in Belgium to kill their patients who were (a) at least 18 years old, (b) of sound mind, and (c) gave their consent. Left out of this (of course) was just how questionable “consent” becomes when families and medical practitioners go at a sick person who is probably also isolated and totally dependent on them for their emotional and physical well being.

This “right” morphed a bit in 2013 when doctors began killing people who were not terminally ill, but merely facing a disability. Now, the idea of extending this “right to die” to children and people suffering from dementia is moving toward legality.

The family of four-year-old Jessica Saba has stepped into the debate to ask King Philippe to block euthanasia for children like her. I say “like her” because Jessica was born with a heart defect that required surgery to allow her to live.

You know what that kind of surgery is, don’t you? It’s expensive.

Whereas, killing the child would be oh, so much cheaper, not to mention alleviating the “suffering” of her parents and saving the baby herself from that painful wake-up from anesthesia which any surgery patent knows all too well.

When you look at it that way, it’s a blessing to kill little kids. Who could be so cruel as to deprive them of their “right” to die?

As for those difficult dementia patients, aren’t their “useful” lives over anyway? Think how much better it would be for families if they weren’t burdened with the trouble of taking care of Grandma. As for the expense, everyone knows that end of life care racks up the bucks.

I apologize for being so sarcastic. But I am at my wit’s end with people who try to justify legalized medical murder by flinging around ridiculous arguments about how killing people is a kindness to them and their “right.”

The killing of innocents is not a “human right” and it is not a kindness.

We are creating a society where we kill everyone who does not have the capacity to actively defend their life in a courtroom. If someone who can stand upright and vocalize sophisticated arguments does not speak up for them — and in certain cases such as the judicial murder of Terry Shiavo, even if they do — they can and will be killed by doctors obeying a court order. All that needs to happen is for someone else with what the court decides is “standing” to petition the court that they want their “loved one” dead.

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I hope and pray that the lawmakers of Belgium get a grip and stop this legislation themselves. But if that does not happen, we can only hope that King Philippe will step in. I assume there will be an enormous political price to pay if he does.

That is an interesting remark, isn’t it? We have come to the place in our “civilized” Western world where the political danger lies in refusing to allow oneself to be made into the executioner of little children and helpless old people.

I do not ever take a destabilizing action in governance lightly, and I assume that is what this could be. My basic premise of governance is that a just and stable government is always the greater good. However, a government that kills its old people and little children is not just. There are times when the decision is so fraught that there truly is no other option but to take the possibly destabilizing path.

Every lawmaker from the king down who says yes to this will have done something that puts them beyond the pale of civilized behavior. Every person who lobbies for it, or votes for those who pass it, will have made themselves an accomplice to it.

If the king signs this, he will make of himself the executioner of little children and helpless old people. Could you sign it? Would you?

I hope the lawmakers say no. If they don’t, I hope the king says no.

Whatever the political consequences, they are nothing compared to the moral consequences of having said yes to this measure.

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