[Hpn] Freedom of Speech (was: Re: Petition to stop Fed Gov from banning gay marriages)
Wed, 14 Nov 2001 15:08:07 +0100
On Tue, 13 Nov 2001 15:39:25 -0800 (PST), you wrote:
>Thanx Bill for your comments on this. The "subculture"
>of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) is not
>widely known, but the National Coalition for the
>Homeless in NYC certainly does recognise us, which was
>wonderful for me while I was homeless in NYC last
What bothered me most of all was that if Greg had used the word
"nigger" or "kike" (or "black" or "jew") there would have been a
hundred *powerful* lobby groups who would have fallen on him like a
ton of bricks!
Apparently gays are still a fair target in the Land of the Free and
Home of the Brave.
Research shows that approximately 10 % of the population is gay. It's
a fact. As long as anybody practices their sexual preference with
another consenting partner who is aware of what they are doing, no-one
has the right to condemn it. My attitude is "as long as it doesn't
become compulsory ;) )
I work in Amsterdam, which has a reasonably sane and adult attitude to
sexual preferences in general, and Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution
forbids discrimination on the basis of colour, creed, religion, ethnic
origin or sexuality!
Gay marriages have been sanctioned in law for over a year and there
are no problems. Prior to this, gay people were able to make
"Cohabitation Contracts", but while this is adequate for the material
things in life, many couples wished the emotional tie of a wedding
ceremony. Incidentally, church and state are separate in the
Netherlands, so weddings have to take place at City Hall. The church
ceremony has no status in law. Many religious organisations have had a
"Gay Marriage ceremony" or blessing ritual for years.
The most important thing (for me) is that homeless people in Holland
do not have to fear that the care institutions will discriminate
against them on the basis of their emotional preference.
Surprisingly to some, my clients have no problem sharing their
dormitories with gay men or women.
Regarding transsexuals: In 30 years working with homeless people, I
have only met one female to male transsexual.
The women, as soon as the Transgender therapy has started, are
considered as women, their fellow guests are made aware of their
situation, and (almost without exception) are subsequently treated by
their dorm mates as women.
I wish "Texas Homeless Advocates" were as tolerant as Dutch homeless
Mind you, the T.H.A. probably regards Amsterdam as Sodom and Gomorrah,
so this is just grist to his mill ;)