A statement by Rick Perry • Criticizing President Obama over a memorandum he issued today, which stated broad support for advancing LGBT rights and protecting them from violence. It explicitly mentions the efforts of foreign governments to criminalize LGBT persons (the state of affairs in Uganda the last few years being one such galling example), and states that foreign aid will be directed to promote LGBT human rights. Rick Perry (clearly attempting to spark some momentum for his flat-lined bid for the GOP presidential nomination), decided to pounce, saying further: “Investing tax dollars promoting a lifestyle many Americas of faith find so deeply objectionable is wrong. President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake.” source (via • follow)
I really want to go at this and tear apart Perry’s misunderstanding of the Constitution, civil rightsand how government works, rather than how he thinks government should work, but I have better things to do.
LONDON — A British court has ruled that a Christian couple cannot care for foster children because they disapprove of homosexuality.
Judges at London’s Royal Courts of Justice ruled that laws protecting gays from discrimination take precedence over the couple’s religious beliefs.
Eunice and Owen Johns, aged 62 and 65-years old, had previously fostered children in the 1990s, but what one social worker described as their “strong views” on homosexuality raised red flags with authorities in the English city of Derby when they were interviewed in 2007.
Eunice Johns said Monday that she was “extremely distressed” by the decision, which Christian groups also condemned.
But the judges ruled that Britain was “a secular state, not a theocracy.”
Emphasis mine, because, seriously, this is amazing.
Now we just need judges in the US to tell this to the religious nuts and refuse to back down. Laws matter, not religion, in contemporary, civilized society.
What’s that famous quote, by Edna St. Vincent Millay? Oh, yes: “I love humanity but I hate people.” It’s a sentiment that captures my normal misanthropically tinged type of humanitarianism well, but it roars apropos on some particular occasions. For example, making conversation at the pizza shop in my small village in Northern Ireland one recent evening, the topic turned to what I do for a living. Now, this simple query is usually a hard question for me to answer; when I say I’m a professor, inevitably I’m asked what I teach. When I say psychology, they giggle uncomfortably about their problems or say—as if it’s the most original line—that I’m in the right town for that. When I correct them and say I’m not a clinical psychologist, but a researcher, I have to explain what exactly I research. “Evolutionary psychology” tends to conjure up some bizarre ideas in the non-academic. And so it did on this occasion, as I struggled to articulate the nature of my profession in a cramped pizza parlor with about a half dozen locals eavesdropping on as I did so. Somehow or another, as conversations with me so often do, homosexuality came up as an example of a complex human behavior which evolutionary psychologists try to understand.
I wish I’d had a notebook in hand to scribble down the young employee’s comments word-for-word, so as to provide you with a proper ethnographic account. But here, in a nutshell, is what he very confidently said to me, flavored with the peculiar vernacular flourish found in this part of the world: “Aye. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothin’ against gay people. But what I don’t get is why they’d choose to be selfish and not ‘ave a family and kids-like which is what we’re here for, how’s you’s go against evolution by not continuin’ the line cause you’s can’t help the species without having kids. Just seems selfish-like to me.” I replied that, as a gay man myself, it’s not quite as simple as ‘choosing’ not to breed; since women are as arousing to me as that half-eaten pepperoni pizza sitting on that table over there, I said, I couldn’t get an erection to inseminate a woman for the life of me. I do, however, I continued, get a mighty erection by seeing other men’s erections, so therein—I pointed my finger to the heavens for emphasis—lies the true Darwinian mystery! I then took my pizza and left. In haste. And now I’m writing this from Ohio.