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Israeli Court Allows Country’s Most Celebrated Gay Couple to Divorce

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

In a precedent decision, which will undoubtedly be considered good news for all Israeli same-sex couples, especially those who aren’t getting along so much any more, a family court in Ramat Gan allowed the couple Prof. Uzi Even and Dr. Amit Kama, both men, to divorce, Ynet reports.

In the ruling, first of its kind, the judge determined that the family court is “the natural forum, the proper forum in which to hear this kind of a divorce case, since the rabbinical court does not recognize same-sex marriages and views them as sinful.” The judge further ruled that the rabbinical court is too “foreign and artificial a forum” to discuss the issue of same-sex relations.

Prof. Even, 64, is a former Meretz MK, and head of the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Amit Kama, 44, is a professor of Communications at Emek Yizrael College. The two met 19 years ago, and since they live as a couple. Their struggles for the rights of same-sex couples received wide coverage in the local Media.

Even was the first openly gay man elected to the Knesset. The two have adopted Yossi, a 30-year-old man who had been living with them for almost 14 years. That adoption—although largely symbolic, given their son’s age—was also a ground breaking family cort case.

For the record, when Even and Kama met, almost two decades ago, homosexual relations were prohibited by law, and they could be subject to ten years in prison – although that was not very likely.

Now, having been the most celebrated Israeli gay couple, the two decided to go their separate ways (no idea which one of them broke the news to Yossi).

Professor Even said there was no legal way for him to turn from being married to being divorced. “This is an absurd situation and I fought it for three years,” he said. “I met someone else and I live with him. He is a foreign national and the Interior Ministry wants to deport him, which was hurting me, because I could not go on with my life without solving the problem of my divorce. They would not give him resident status, only a tourist visa, because I’m already married and there was no legal way for me to get a divorce.”

According to Even, when he approached the rabbinic court, which is in charge of marriages and divorces of Jewish residents, “it started a holy raucous. They refused to record our documents, receive the fee, schedule a meeting. They told us to wait. So we waited a few days. Finally I had enough and I took back the suit, and filed it instead with family court.”

Even suggests that the court’s decision could serve as a precedent not just for the gay community, but for the public at large. “Now we’ll wait and see if the Ministry of the Interior will endorse the decision. I’m doubtful that they will be enlightened about it.”

“Why are they having so much trouble changing my marital status? Why are they forcing me to remain married to someone I no longer live with?”

Even and Kama were married in Canada and their status was changed to married by the Israeli interior ministry. Their marriage hit the rocks back in 2009 and they’ve been living separately since. The two have signed a separation agreement which was accepted by family court in 2011. The couple then requested that the court recommend to the interior ministry to change their status from married to single.

The family court judge indeed recommended the status change, but the Ministry of the Interior refused to change the status based solely on the signed agreement, arguing they had to approach the rabbinical court. But the rabbinical court rejected their request for a ruling saying it did not have the legal framework within which to discuss it.

The family court judge who granted the couple the divorce wrote in his ruling that the various branches of the civil court are the natural forum for such a case, where there exists a long list of decisions determining the specific rights and obligations of same-sex couples.

Political Correctness Run Amok

Monday, August 6th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/political-correctness-run-amok.html

Until about a week ago, I never heard of Chick-fil-A. When I first heard the name, I thought it might be some sort of sleazy escort service.  Maybe that’s because I observe Jewish dietary laws. Keeping Kosher means not being able to eat at McDonalds or any other non kosher fast food restaurant chain. Which is what Chick-fil-A is.

Normally news about a non Kosher fast food chain of any kind is well below my radar. Why would I care after all about what its owner said? Well, in this case I do care.  The  president of Chick-fil-A who is a religious Baptist made what many have deemed to be a bigoted statement about gays. What was it he said? From USA Today:

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said this week that his privately owned company is “guilty as charged” in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit… “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…”

To say that this statement is bigoted is so ridiculous that I would have thought it was some sort of parody were it not reported as fact. But it wasn’t ridiculous to a Chicago Alderman who vowed to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening up a restaurant in his city. From the Washington Post:

Alderman Joe Moreno said Wednesday that unless the company comes up with a written anti-discrimination policy, Chick-fil-A will not open its first free-standing restaurant in the city as it plans to do.

Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel expressed similar sentiments.

I have expressed my own attitude about homosexuals many times. The short version is that it is all about Kavod HaBrios and treating all human beings with the dignity they deserve – regardless of what their sexual orientation is. The biblical injunction is against a specific homosexual act. Not against someone with the desire to commit it. Nor is it our job to find out what goes on in the privacy of anyone’s bedroom. That is only between an individual and his Maker. It is our obligation instead to judge all people favorably.

What seems to be happening here goes far beyond understanding and tolerance. It goes far beyond treating our fellow man with love and compassion – regardless of the human condition that causes man to sin against God. Is there alive a man today that has not sinned? But the agenda of some gay rights activists is not  about respecting human dignity. It is about celebrating homosexuality!

For those of us who believe in the bible that is completely unacceptable.

And yet the current climate of much of western culture is to look at it in exactly that way. It seems that almost all the reporting about Chick-fil-A  has been negative. As if to deny anyone the right to see marriage only in a heterosexual context.

This has nothing to do with the whether one agrees with that or not. It has to do with the right to express an opinion. One based on a religious viewpoint no less!

Chick fil-A does not deny anyone the right to eat in their restaurant. They have gay employees and gay patrons. I am sure that many gay people have eaten at Chick-fil-A without incident. And yet for publicly expressing a religious view that has become politically incorrect – there are people who want to harm Chick fil-A financially!

As if to put an exclamation point on this – from the Huffington Post:

(LGBT) has filed complaints against Chick-fil-A, alleging that the franchise violated the Illinois Human Rights Act when its chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, made statements against gay marriage.

This is wrong. It is political correctness run amok! And anyone with any sense of fairness should see that. The fact is that despite the current approach by media, entertainment industry, and some political figures, the American people are not in lockstep with their attempt to stifle opinions they don’t agree with.

Former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called for an “Appreciation Day for Chick fil-A” – asking people to show up to support for the restaurant chain by eating at one of their restaurants on August 1st. Needless to say they had a record  number of people showing up that day.

The Speed of Progressivism

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/the-speed-of-progressivism.html

The transformation of Chick-Fil-A from a fast food place that most liberals had never even heard of into the “Enemy of the People” is a reminder of the speed at which progressivism travels forward and backward in time. A few months ago the CEO of Chick-Fil-A would have done nothing worse than echo a consensus so mainstream that it was adopted as a campaign position by the leftiest Democrat to sit in the White House. A few months later that same position is so outrageous that it leads to mass boycotts, threats of violence and mayors of dysfunctional urban centers threatening to drive the reactionary chicken franchise out of their cities.

One of the wonderful things about progressivism is that it defies the laws of physics and history. When the Democratic Party, a once notable national party that has been turned into a red shill for the sort of people who used to hang out in cafes and plot to blow things up in between free verse recitals, adopts a progressive position, that position instantly travels backward in time to alter history and create an entirely new past.

For example when the Democratic Party decided that its future lay not with racist white gerrymandered districts but racist black gerrymandered districts, its adoption of civil rights, formerly a Republican position that good Democrats had fought tooth and nail, actually traveled back in time transforming our nation’s history.

When the Democrats belatedly decided that black people were human beings, or at least a better bet for votes than Southern white men who were in danger of deciding that they didn’t have much in common with a party of corrupt Northern elites being painted by a corrupt Northern media as saints, the energy from this decision transformed Lincoln into a Democrat, segregation into an idea that Ike and Dick came up with in between dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and the Trail of Tears, and turned the Community Organizers who had been busy torching black orphanages and Republican newspapers in New York City and Boston as part of an organized wartime campaign to defeat the Union, into a lost page of history.

Governor George Wallace, three-time Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States, said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” The real quote though it turns out is, “Progressivism now, progressivism tomorrow, progressivism forever.” History works and is revised so that the past agrees with the present.

The Democratic Party has always been at war with racism, in favor of gay marriage, illegal aliens and killing everyone over 50 to save on health care costs. The latter position hasn’t been articulated yet, but when it is, it will travel backward through time and since what will take place in the future has already occurred, it has already traveled backward in time to alter our history so that we now know that the Democratic Party has always supported killing people over 50 to save on health care costs.

This however is only a projection. History is notoriously unstable. What was the progressive pose yesterday may be an unacceptably reactionary position tomorrow. The French Revolution and the Communist Revolution and the Cultural Revolution spent a lot of time purging comrades who had failed to recognize that the new progressive position had been adopted tomorrow and had become reality yesterday and was subject to a loyalty oath today. Like Chick-A-Fil, many of them ended up being enemies of the people where they were subjected to worse things than the mayors of bankrupt cities declaring that anti-gay chicken was an unacceptable addition to the parts of their fair cities that aren’t on fire.

The Democrats borrowed their interest in black civil rights from the left, which was only working with urban minorities because it was hoping to include them in its revolutionary coalition of coal miners and lettuce pickers who would help overthrow the reactionary capitalist American Dream and replace it with a bunch of people shouting slogans and shooting each other. These days the NAACP does not look like a good bet for overthrowing America and the favorite progressive minority du jour actually keeps black slaves and hangs homosexuals.

Muslims have currently trumped blacks and gays, not to mention every other group, on the crush list of the left. And the Muslim world is one of the few places that still has slaves and kills black people in large numbers, whether it’s in the Sudan or the newly liberated Muslim utopia of Libya. The day may come when the Democratic Party and its leftist hag riders decide that slavery was progressive after all and that all men should have the right to own slaves. And then this new policy position will immediately travel backward in time and loyal comrades will turn to the little red books of DailyKos, Think Progress, the Center for American Progress and ProgressProgressProgress to learn the new official position they are obligated to learn and abide by.

Barney Frank Weds Lover in Massachusetts

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Jewish Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts Barney Frank, 72, wed his male partner of five years, carpenter James Ready, 42, in a private ceremony on Saturday, marking the first same-sex marriage conducted by a sitting US congressman.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick officiated at the ceremony at the Boston Marriortt Newton in suburban Boston.  The grooms vowed to love each other through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, as well as through appearances on Fox News, according to a report by Reuters.

Democratic congressman from Texas Al Green described Frank as “beaming”, and said he cried during the ceremony.  News media were not invited.

Frank has been openly gay since the late 1980s.  He has said he will retire at the end of his current term.  He has been a vocal advocate for legalizing same-sex marriage.

Eight of the 50 states and the District of Columbia currently permit gay marriage. Massachusetts was the first.

State Senator Storobin on Gay Marriage and Simcha Felder as an Opponent

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

In the first of a series of Jewish Press Forum videos, the newspaper recently sat down with Republican State Senator David Storobin in its Brooklyn offices. In the interview, conducted by Jewish Press editorial staffer Eli Chomsky, Storobin spoke about overturning gay marriage, the “Christine Quinn agenda,” and why it might be more difficult to face the little-known Abraham Tischler, 20, than the establishment candidate Simcha Felder (Democratic Party opponents) in this November’s general election for a seat in the State Senate’s new “Super Jewish” district. The interview and video have been picked up by several websites, including City & State and New York Observer’s Politicker blog.

Before jumping into politics, Storobin spoke about several issues that are pressing to many in New York City’s Jewish community. Although courts in New York have ruled that banning gay marriage would be unconstitutional, Storobin expressed confidence that overturning the bill in the state legislature is possible. “Almost every idea, when first presented, is thrown out and seen as impossible,” he said, “including my own candidacy.”

Gay marriage began as civil unions, then became marriage, and now it is being taught to schoolchildren, he said, and he believes it is time to take a stand. “Even if the only thing that we do is stop it at gay marriage, that already is a significant achievement.”

Asked by Chomsky about school vouchers, the state senator responded that he is very hopeful about implementing the school voucher program in New York, and that he wants to be in line with the needs of the people of his district. He said that 70-80 percent of liberals who vote Democrat support school vouchers. “Most politicians are trying to suppress this issue because it would force them to decide whether they stand with their labor union or with their voters.”

Storobin said that he chose to run for the State Senate instead of the Assembly because in the latter, he would be in the minority. “In the Senate it pays to be a Republican and my district leans more towards the Republican Party,” he said, based on the number of votes garnered by GOP presidential nominee John McCain, who won a little over 60 percent of the district in 2008. And, as Storobin pointed out, in the race for New York governor in November 2010, Carl Paladino – whose campaign featured his heavy opposition to gay marriage – lost Brooklyn by a 6-1 margin to Andrew Cuomo, but won handily in the 48th Assembly district, which includes most of Boro Park.

According to Storobin, his opponent in March’s State Senate special election, Councilman Lew Fidler, is a liberal Democrat who supports President Obama and “the Christine Quinn agenda.” Storobin noted that Felder also supports both. “People tend to assume that all frum Jews are conservative,” remarked Storobin, as if political views were all based on religious standing, “but that is not the case.” Through his past voting record, Felder has clearly demonsrated that he is no conservative, Storobin added.

Storobin said that he believes Felder is “too out of touch with the needs of the people in his district….Do the people of this district want to support Democrats so that Nancy Pelosi can become speaker? And are they going to support Barack Obama?” Storobin mentioned that Felder brought New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to a Bais Yaakov girls school and pointed to her as a role model for the students. “I bet none of the parents would agree with him,” Storobin said. “Christine Quinn’s lifestyle is not what they would choose for their girls.”

Many believe that as an Orthodox Jew, Felder may presume that he has the Orthodox vote wrapped up. But Democrat David Weprin’s loss last fall against Bob Turner for an open New York congressional seat may be instructive, political observers warn. Many Orthodox voters turned away from the Orthodox Weprin due to his strong support of gay marriage.

As to whom he’d rather square off against in November, Felder or Tischler, Storobin said, “Tischler has more conservative values, so he might be more difficult to fight with on ideological issues. I don’t disagree with Tischler nearly as much as I disagree with Simcha Felder.”

Jews Clash in Queer Toronto Over Inclusion of BDS Group in Parade

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

A Jewish gay and lesbian group has submitted a request to the Pride Toronto arbitration panel, asking the gay pride parade organizers to ban anti-Israel group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid from the festival, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

Jewish homosexual group Kulanu Toronto filed a complaint on Friday against QuAIA’s participation in the July 1 parade, stating that “QuAIA’s “behavior and rhetoric are hurtful to Jewish parade participants and to supporters of Israel”.  According to Kulanu, QuAIA’s comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa is offensive and untrue.  In an e-mail to the Star, Kulanu executive director Justine Apple accused QuAIA of “hijacking the parade with their anti-Israel propaganda,” and alienating the people of Toronto with their “hateful, hostile messaging”.

Queers Against Israel Apartheid

Queers Against Israel Apartheid

The Star reported that the dispute resolution committee will review the complaint, but may not be able to render a decision in time for the event.

Last week, the Toronto city council voted to condemn the use of the phrase “Israel apartheid,” but also granted $124,000 in funding to the pride parade regardless of QuAIA’s ability to participate.  In 2010, a decision to ban QuAIA from the annual parade was overturned due to pressure from Canadian homosexuals.  In 2011, the city of Toronto threatened to cut funding to the parade if QuAIA was allowed to participate.  In response, QuAIA pulled out of the event, holding an event in favor of BDS (boycotting, divestment, and sanctions) instead.

In January, Tel Aviv was named the Best Gay City of 2011 in an international American Airlines competition choosing the most popular destinations among LGTB tourists.

Y-Love – Jewish, Orthodox, Black… and Gay

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

New York rapper Yitz “Y-Love” Jordan, famed black convert to Orthodox Judaism and celebrated artist, has announced that he is homosexual in an interview with Out magazine.

Jordan told the magazine he hopes his announcement will not cause him to be alienated by his community, but that he no longer cares very much about what people think.  He said he will continue to infuse his music with Jewish values, with Hebrew, and will aim to bolster LGBT hip-hop fans.

Jordan is of Puerto Rican and Ethiopian descent, and completed an Orthodox conversion in 2000, going on to study at Jerusalem’s Ohr Somayach yeshiva.

“I’m ready to find a husband,” Jordan told Out. “My number one priority is to get back into dating.”

According to the interview, Y-Love tried therapy aimed at attracting him to a heterosexual lifestyle, but was not changed by it.  He was married to a Jewish woman for a short time, but the relationship ended in divorce.

Out says Jordan now calls himself “ex-Hassidic,” and no longer lives in Flatbush.  He continues to celebrate Jewish holidays.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/y-love-jewish-orthodox-black-and-gay/2012/05/16/

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