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Aug 17, 2011: Debunking Mitt Romney's Wrong Beliefs
There's a lot of news this week and almost all of it's good: from NOM's legal slapdown; to Irish protests for marriage equality; to warming attitudes in, of all places, Utah. We'll also take a look at Mitt Romney's stance on parenting, which is precisely incorrect; and the fight is on in Oregon.
I'm Matt Baume, and welcome to Marriage News Watch for August 16, 2011.
Lots of news this week from coast to coast and internationally.
On Thursday, some of the leading GOP candidates for President in 2012 met for a debate. Fox News changed the eligibility requirements at the last minute to exclude Fred Karger, the one candidate who supports the freedom to marry. In fact, in a new analysis performed by Marriage Equality USA, Karger actually outscores President Obama on LGBT issues, thanks to his vocal support for marriage and for employment nondiscrimination protection.
During the debate, Mitt Romney said, "I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad."
He's free to believe it, but that doesn't make it true.
The American Psychological Association says, "Lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children." And they're not alone. The Child Welfare League of America "affirms that lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents are as well suited to raise children as their heterosexual counterparts." And The American Psychiatric Association says, "children raised by gay or lesbian parents exhibit the same level of emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as children raised by heterosexual parents."
Then there's the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, which says, "children with gay and lesbian parents do not differ from children with heterosexual parents." And The American Psychoanalytic Association says "Gay and lesbian individuals and couples are capable of meeting the best interest of the child and should be afforded the same rights and should accept the same responsibilities as heterosexual parents."
So anyway ... Mitt's either misinformed or a bigot. Maybe both.
And speaking of people who are stubbornly convinced of their own superiority despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the National Organization for Marriage suffered a legal setback this week when the First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected their attempt to conceal the identity of anti-gay donors. The court ruled that NOM must disclose donors to a Rhode Island election campaign, as well as to a 2010 campaign in Maine. Still pending is a lawsuit concerning Maine's 2009 election, when NOM financed a ballot measure to block that state's marriage equality law. Those decisions are likely to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, in New York, a new survey shows that 55 percent of New Yorkers favor the state's new marriage equality law, with only 36% opposed. Sixty-three percent want the law to stay on the books, and only 30% of respondents said that they are less likely to vote for legislators who supported the bill.
There's even more bad news for NOM coming out of Minnesota, where the state's AFL-CIO voted unanimously to oppose a marriage ban that will appear on the 2012 ballot. And even in conservative states like Utah, emerging data shows warming attitudes towards LGBTs. A new survey shows that 42% of Utahns are more accepting of gay and lesbian couples than they were 5 to 10 years ago.
The increase in public support is probably related to new data coming out of the US Census. States are showing significant increases in the number of people who report being in a same-sex household. In Iowa, gay and lesbian households are up 76% over 2000 numbers; in Maryland, they're up 51%; in Virginia, they're up 49%.
It's possible that more LGBTs are forming relationships, but what's really behind those increases is probably more honest reporting by respondents. That is, gay and lesbian couples are increasingly comfortable being out, which helps family, friends, and coworkers understand why those couples need marriage. That openness will be crucial in all of the 2012 marriage battleground states, which as of this week will include Oregon. Basic Rights Oregon just announced that they'll begin collecting signatures in October for a 2012 ballot measure.
That's it for the week's US news, but there were a bunch of international headlines this week.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera proposed a bill this week to recognize civil unions. Four to five thousand protestors marched in Ireland to protest that country's marriage ban. A new survey in Scotland shows that 61% support marriage equality, with just 19% opposed -- that's an improvement of about 20 percentage points since 2002. Thousands marched in Prague's first Pride parade this week, despite violent demonstrations by far-right groups and condemnations by anti-gay politicians.
And in Australia, hundreds marched to demand a vote on a Green Party bill that would legalize marriage. Their efforts got a boost when the Tasmanian Labor conference voted overwhelmingly to support the measure, which is likely to be heard at the national Labor conference in December.
Those are the headlines, visit us over at MarriageNewsWatch.com for more on all these stories and more. And head over to Facebook.com/MarriageNewsWatch and hit "Like" to help us spread all this week's great news.
We'll see you next week.
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