Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Suzanne Marsh (pictured) doesn’t live in the Magic Valley, but she’s excited about getting better acquainted with it. She visits at least twice a month, when she comes to take charge of the Magic Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Twin Falls. Marsh is the church’s pastor but lives in Pocatello, where she also leads another church. Ministry is a second career for the 51-year-old former certified public accountant from Pennsylvania. “I was surely making better money,” she said, “but I wasn’t meeting my spiritual needs.” Marsh was appointed by the denomination’s headquarters in Boston to lead the two churches … Marsh’s beliefs are different than more traditional religious leaders’ in Magic Valley. Marsh calls herself agnostic, someone who doesn’t believe — or disbelieve — in the existence of God/Andrew Weeks, Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (Photo from Unitarian Church of Harrisburg)
Question: Isn't it important that the minister of a church believe in God?
Oprah and I are a lot alike. Oh sure, there are subtle
differences. Even with just one name, everyone knows her. I have three
names - not counting what readers call me - yet nobody knows me. She
lives in Chicago. I live here. But other than other minor items, Oprah
and I are one of kind. She is not a lesbian. I am not a lesbian. While everyone already knew that about Oprah, I think it is important that I announce my heterosexuality. Actually,
I don’t think it’s all that important. In fact, I’m like you. I am
really weary of all the TV chatter about “a person’s sexuality.” It is
much more important to me to know whether a person is going to root for
those cheaters from Auburn in the national title game/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here. (AP file photo of Barbara Walters & Oprah Winfrey)
Question: Did Barbara Walters step across the line when she asked mega-star Oprah Winfrey about her sexuality?
Conservative religious groups are preparing a voter referendum to overturn a bill granting same-sex partners most of the rights and responsibilities of spouses.
Senate Bill 5688 passed the legislature yesterday and is headed to Gov. Chris Gregoire, who is expected to sign it into law.
Proponents say it’s a simple matter of fairness, that same-sex couples and their children deserve the same sort of protections and rights that married couples have. Opponents argue that the bill, after a trip through court, will lead to same-sex marriage.
This afternoon, Faith & Freedom’s Gary Randall emailed a note to supporters:
While the lawmakers were voting in favor of homosexual marriage in the Capitol, I and several other leaders in the faith community were meeting a few blocks away, finalizing details before filing a referendum to overturn this legislation.
…Their next step will be an easy one them. Litigate, correctly claiming there is no legal difference, then claim discrimination and it’s a done deal.
They will have successfully done an end-run on the State Supreme Court ruling which upheld DOMA and will have dismantled the Defense of Marriage Act.
If same-sex marriage becomes reality in Washington (as it has in four other states), he argues, Washington “will become a national attraction for homosexuals” from other states and countries.
More from the e-mail:
We know we will be outspent probably 6 to 1 or more on this referendum campaign, however we are equally confident, people of faith and conservatives will do all they can do to help us.
Proponents of the bill have repeatedly said they expect a referendum, and are prepared to take the debate to the public.
Voices: quotes from the House and Senate hearings on Washington’s everything-but-marriage bill for domestic partners…
Rather than try to shoehorn my lengthy print story into a blog post, here are some quotes from yesterday’s standing-room-only hearings on the “everything but marriage” law for state-registered domestic partners in Washington.
“You may not consider my family a family, but I know in my heart that they are. So will you please pass this bill, so that everyone can know that this is my family?”
-Benjamin, the 10-year-old son of one Seattle lesbian couple
“Genuine marriage has provided for the foundation of healthy and harmonious family living for civilized societies for centuries. It does not exist just for the emotional satisfaction, affirmation or validation of individuals, but for the greater good of the social order.”
-Larry Stickney, with the Washington Values Alliance
“When our kids now ask us if we’re married, we say, ‘Not in the eyes of the law, but yes, we are married in our hearts.’”
-Amie Bishop, a social worker and mother of Benjamin.
“It was said that (same-sex marriages briefly performed in Oregon) never existed. It was a devastating and humiliating experience. All of sudden, we felt totally negated, and that we and our relationship did not exist and there was no protection for us.”
-retired National Guard Col. Grethe Cammermeyer.
“They should be satisfied withthe status quo. Enough is enough.”
-a grandmother whose name I didn’t get.
“I say this respectfully, but there’s going to come a time when we’re all going to have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for things done in the flesh.”
-Roy Hartwell, pastor of a church near Olympia.
“We’re here, we’re coming, we’re voting…We’re voting in your districts … We’re voting for this.”
-David Iseminger of Seattle.
“We vote as well…We will be back.”
-Gary Randall, with the Faith and Freedom Network
(For more context on the quotes, click on the story link above.)