Hospital Visiting Rights for Same-Sex Partners
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/25/10
President Obama is to be commended for mandating that hospitals grant visiting rights to same-sex partners. Because same-sex relationships still enjoy no nationwide legal recognition, the challenge will now be for domestic partners to identify themselves in a manner that hospital staff can recognize unequivocally and will be required to honor.

Hospitals should be required to have patients identify their domestic partners on their admission forms, and doctors should include this information in

Troop Therapy
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/24/10
SOME pizza deliverymen are safe drivers, and though it seems incredible given the recent news to the contrary, some clergymen are pious, some politicians monogamous and some car dealers honest. There are ethical Boy Scout masters, too. Yet nothing is so satisfying to the lazy mind as news that reinforces a negative stereotype.

In my progress from Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout back in the 1950s, none of the adult leaders I knew resembled the pedophile scoutmaster, Timur Dykes, who molested 17 scou

A Child's Best Interest
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/21/10
Children need loving homes. Prejudice shouldn't stand in the way of that. So it is welcome news that a state judge in Arkansas has struck down a pernicious 2008 state law that barred even qualified same-sex couples and other unmarried couples living together from serving as adoptive or foster parents.

Arkansas voters approved the measure, known as Act 1, after the Arkansas Supreme Court invalidated a regulation barring gay people from becoming foster parents. The broader ballot measure applie

A Case of Discrimination
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/18/10
Hastings College of the Law, part of the University of California, rightly prohibits student organizations from discriminating. A Christian group that bars non-Christian and gay students sued the school for denying it funding and access to its facilities. The Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in the case. It should rule in favor of Hastings.

To qualify for official recognition, and receive money from a publicly financed university, groups at Hastings are required to adhere to the school's

Telling About Gay Warriors and Asking for Votes
source: The New York Times
posted: 4/8/10
As the chief House whip fighting to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays serving in the military, Representative Patrick Murphy will never be dismissed as a naive idealist.

Wearing his paratrooper lapel pin, the husky lawmaker beards colleagues to speak firsthand of his combat time in Iraq and Bosnia and the good men and women he saw drummed from service. He tells of his days teaching constitutional law at West Point, where eventually some cadets would privately inquire whether i

Right of Passage
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/29/10
A Mississippi school board was grossly discriminatory and mean-spirited when it told Constance McMillen that she could not attend her high school prom with her girlfriend. A ruling by a federal judge that Ms. McMillen's constitutional rights had been violated is a welcome sign that gay people are continuing to make progress toward equality. It should also be a warning to school districts nationwide about the cost of discrimination.
Ms. McMillen, a senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School, h

Loosening the "Don't Ask" Shackles
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/25/10
The Pentagon is taking a major step to ease the discriminatory burdens on gay and lesbian service members by ending the pernicious use of anonymous tips and biased hearsay to drum them from the military.
With the backing of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert Gates laid down enlightened enforcement changes to provide "a greater measure of common sense and common decency" to a military burdened by the onerous and damaging "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The ch

An Openly Gay Bishop, and a Church's Message
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/23/10
Serving with an organization that works to end the harm caused by religion-based prejudice and hostility toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, I commend the Episcopal Church for its courageous move to approve the election of the church's second openly gay bishop, the Rev. Mary D. Glasspool.

Your article stated that the move may "increase the tension with fellow Anglican churches around the world that do not approve of homosexuality." That is an extraordinarily sad commentar

Your Reality TV
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/13/10
In a new poll, more than 60 percent of respondents said televising Supreme Court proceedings would be good for democracy. We agree, but the court seems determined to keep its work out of the public's eye.

Since 1988, C-Span which broadcasts Congressional debates, White House news conferences, think tank panels, and all manner of Washington necessities and some oddities has been asking the Supreme Court for access. The court has consistently refused. When the cable network asked for permis

The Battle Over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/5/10
Gen. Merrill A. McPeak tries to shift the focus of the gay troops debate to its weaker talking points, while ignoring the wealth of actual evidence about openly gay service. Shockingly, he claims that others have "avoided a discussion of unit cohesion," while he himself fails to address a single one of the dozens of studies that show no link between openly gay service and impaired cohesion.

"I believe repealing "don't ask, don't tell" will weaken the warrior culture," he writes, offering no g