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Anti-gay marriage leader says he’s angry with judges, not couples

Opponents of gay marriage remain on the sidelines as hundreds of same-sex couples arrive at California county clerk offices to receive wedding licenses and tie the knot.

Small groups of protesters stand outside some county clerks offices but protests are minimal throughout the state. Several groups issued statements that attempted to divert attention toward a November ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage.

The executive director of the National Organization for Marriage-California says his beef is not with the couples getting married but with the judges who allowed them. (Washington Blade article)

Appeals court refuses to stop gay weddings

A conservative group’s last legal chance to stop gay marriages before the November election appears to have failed.

The Liberty Council had asked a state appeals court to block the same-sex weddings until voters could decide the issue on the November ballot.

The three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal refused the request in a brief ruling issued Tuesday, as gay marriages began in full swing around the state.

The appeals court, which had earlier banned gay marriages on a 2-1 vote, said the state Supreme Court made it clear in its May 15 decision that the weddings should be allowed. The Supreme Court overturned the appeals court’s earlier decision.

The Virginia-based Liberty Council had filed the request on behalf of the Campaign for California Families on June 12. (KESQ article)

County clerk protests California gay marriage ruling by stopping all weddings

Ann Barnett plans to stop performing ceremonies for all couples in Kern County as of June 14. She will issue the new gender-neutral marriage licenses as required by law on June 17, but refuses to preside over any ceremony because of space and staff constraints, she said in a statement.

Barnett’s announcement came after she received advice from county lawyers that she could not refuse to marry only couples of her choosing.

Barnett, who also got advice from the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian law firm, did not return multiple requests for comment on Friday from The Associated Press.

Another Central Valley clerk, Merced County’s Stephen Jones, said Friday he would end all ceremonies too, but he later retracted his statement after coming under pressure from county officials.

Jones told the AP that he was reversing course after negotiations with the county resulted in approval of another clerk position to perform weddings and some additional space. The small office performs 500 weddings a year. (PageOneQ article)

From The LA Times:

Finding common biological traits — things like hair growth patterns, penis size, family makeup — might one day shed light on the origins of sexual orientation.
By Regina Nuzzo, Special to The Times
June 16, 2008
Last month, Sen. John McCain dropped by “Saturday Night Live,” drawing laughs from his promise, if elected president, to fight expensive federal projects — such as, he spoofed, a Department of Defense device to “jam gaydar.”

That was a joke. But some scientists are, in a way, working on gaydar, the supposed ability to discern whether a person is homosexual by reading subtle cues from their appearance. Just don’t refer to it that way. The preferred term is “sexual orientation correlates.”

These scientists are searching for innate traits that might not appear to be related to sexual orientation or even to standard clichés. So measuring a subject’s shoe size is permissible; asking about ownership of Barbra Streisand albums would be cheating. Some inborn traits might be expected if homosexuality is — as most scientists believe — rooted in biology, and they might provide clues about the biological origins of sexual orientation.

Finding and solidifying these links isn’t easy. Studies contradict each other, and some promising paths don’t pan out. (A link between male homosexuality and finger lengths isn’t holding up, and a claim that gays have distinctive fingerprint ridge patterns is largely discredited.) Scientists don’t always agree on how to interpret the results, and more progress has been made with regard to men than to women.

* Big brothers. Study after study — including one of 87,000 British men published last year — has found that gay men have more older brothers than straight men do. Only big brothers count. Lesbians don’t show such patterns.

The numbers: Each older brother will increase a man’s chances of being gay by 33%, says Ray Blanchard of the University of Toronto, an expert on the “big-brother effect.” That’s not as dramatic as it might sound. A man’s chance of being gay is pretty low to begin with — perhaps as low as 2% (lowered from 10% by researchers in the early 1990s). So having one older brother ups the chance to only about 2.6%.

What it might mean: Psychological influences are probably not at work, because the pattern holds even for gay men who weren’t raised with their older brothers. Instead, the mother’s womb might be key. After giving birth to a boy, her immune system might create antibodies to foreign, male proteins in her bloodstream. Subsequent sons in the womb could be exposed to these “anti-boy” antibodies, which might affect sexual development in the brain.

Accordingly, you’d expect the percentage of gay men in a society to vary depending on demographic differences in family size: One study calculated that a one-child-per-family law would reduce male homosexuality by about 29% from current levels.

* Left hand vs. right hand. The hand you use to sign your name might have something to do with what gender you are drawn to.

The numbers: More lefties — or at least more somewhat-ambidextrous folks — crop up in the gay population than among straight people, several studies have shown. An analysis of more than 23,000 men and women from North America and Europe in 2000 found that being non-right-handed seems to increase a man’s chances of being gay by about 34%, and a woman’s by about 90%.

What it might mean: One guess is that different-than-normal levels of testosterone in the womb — widely theorized to play a role in determining eventual sexual orientation — could nudge a fetus toward brain organization that favors left-handedness as well as same-sex attraction.

Another theory is that development of a fetus might be disturbed by factors such as a mother’s illness, steering the fetus into being less than strictly right-handed — and, in some cases, less than strictly heterosexual.

It’s a politically sticky idea, says Qazi Rahman of Queen Mary-University of London. “It’s essentially saying that homosexual preference . . . is some kind of biological error,” he says. (It might tick off the left-handed folks too.)

* Hair whorl. How does your hair grow? This might reflect your sexual orientation.

The numbers: A 2004 study of nearly 500 men — 272 on Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach, popular with gay men, 200 on a beach without that reputation — found that hair on the heads of men on the gay beach was 3.5 times more likely to grow in a counterclockwise direction. (Scalp hair typically resembles a clockwise-rotating typhoon.)

What it might mean: One theory is that a single gene might influence hair-whorl direction, left-right brain organization and, somehow, sexual orientation. Exactly how it would do all this, however, is anyone’s guess.

The study, although intriguing, suffers from a lack of scientific rigor. The author walked around while on vacation, collecting hair-whorl observations on men from a discreet distance. He didn’t know anyone’s sexual orientation for sure, and didn’t objectively examine any scalps up close. Rahman’s group is attempting to replicate the results in the lab.

* Penis size. If exposure to testosterone in the womb influences sexual orientation, scientists reckon that straight and gay people would differ in body parts strongly affected by testosterone, such as the penis.

The numbers: Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in Ontario and his colleagues re-analyzed data on 5,000 gay and straight men from sexologist Alfred Kinsey’s famous files, collected from the 1930s to the 1960s. The results, published in 1999, showed that gay men had longer, thicker penises than did straight men: on average, about 6.5 inches long and 4.95 inches around when erect, versus 6.1 inches long and 4.8 inches around for straight men.

What it might mean: Scientists don’t really know. One guess is that gay men could have been exposed to an odd mix of hormones in the womb. Testosterone levels might peak early, causing enhanced penis growth, then drop off later in pregnancy — leading to some feminine characteristics.

There’s one catch: Kinsey asked his subjects to measure themselves at home and mail a postcard recording their dimensions. It is within the realm of imagination that not every man reported the perfect truth. If everyone lied, the essence of the results wouldn’t change. It’s a problem only if gay men were more factually creative than straight men.

Bogaert says that all the measures — length and circumference, erect and flaccid — seem to plausibly line up, which probably wouldn’t be the case if the men had tacked on a vanity half-inch or so. Also, a smaller, 1960s study (in which a physician did the measuring) backs up the findings. As to whether gay or straight men are more likely to exaggerate about penis size, “It would be an interesting master’s thesis project,” Bogaert muses.

However, the next frontier in this kind of research seems to lie elsewhere — with subtle differences in how gay and straight brains navigate new cities, respond to erotic movies and react to the scent of sweat and urine.

from Beacon Press

Matt Kailey lived as a straight woman for the first forty-two years of his life. Though happy as a social worker and teacher, he knew something wasn’t right. Then he made some changes. With the help of a good therapist, chest surgery, and some strong doses of testosterone, Kailey began his journey toward becoming a man.

As his body morphed and his voice dropped, Kailey began noticing subtle shifts in the way he was treated. Men suddenly stopped offering to change flat tires for him but insisted on talking to him about women and bodily functions. Women got nervous when he baby-talked to their infants but routinely asked him to move heavy things around the office. In these everyday exchanges, Kailey recognized the many ways we define what it means to be male. He also realized that, with few role models, he had to learn to accept himself as a person between two genders.

As he writes about his transition from female to male, Kailey answers all the questions you’ve ever had about what it’s like to live as a transsexual. From the fear of public restrooms to deciding whether to “pack” his pants, Kailey explains what the world looks like from his new vantage point-a position more people are discovering as gender transitions become increasingly common.

More than a memoir, Just Add Hormones is full of sound advice for those who may be questioning their gender. And through his story, Kailey offers valuable insights to the families and friends of those who have started a transition.

Funny, fresh, and incredibly candid, Just Add Hormones can help us all consider-and even laugh at-our own notions of what it means to be a man or a woman.

Matt can be reached at his website: MattKailey.com

Thanks to God Is A Dyke for this great story:

Governor Deval Patrick is Proud of His Gay Daughter

Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick’s 18-year-old daughter publicly announced that she is a lesbian, calling it a source of pride that she is ready to share with Massachusetts. Katherine Patrick went public in an interview her father arranged with the gay advocacy paper Bay Windows.

Katherine Patrick walked into the kitchen, told her parents to stop what they were doing, and asked her aunt to leave the room.

“I’m a lesbian,” she told them.

Her mother, expecting terrible news, nearly burst out laughing, a sense of relief coming over her.

Her father wrapped her in a bear hug and said, “Well, we love you no matter what.”

Katherine, who attended St. Andrew’s School in Delaware and is planning to attend Smith College in the fall, told the paper that she came out to her parents on July 3, 2007, as the family prepared for a picnic by the pool at their home in the Berkshires.

Read the interview here: Interview

Sounds like a sin convention to me. True Colors of sin.” (left as a comment from “sane Christian” yesterday…)

Usually I throw this stuff in the trash and move on, but I recognize this individual from other LGBT websites. This person spends his or her day writing comments such as these on all the “gay” websites.
My question is why they’re spending so such time surfing the web for gay websites. Seems to me they’re very infatuated with our “sin”.
You’ll notice from my bio that I’m a Buddhist, so their sin and Hell comments don’t apply to my spiritual path. I listen to a higher power…
I truly feel sorry for this person. I hope they find peace. We will never be truly free unless we let go and realize that we are all connected. You, me…everyone. Realize also that each time people write something like this they are showing the world the ugly side of individuals that warp a truly divine religion that was founded on beauty. Love powers the soul…not hate.
The Hell they speak of is not in the future…they are in their own Hell right now, spending the day writing terrible things about people they’ve never met. Again, I hope this individual finds peace and happiness. Namaste…

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