tisdag 3 november 2009

Delstaten Maine röstar om homoäktenskap idag.

Idag röstar invånarna i delstaten Maine om de ska säga ja till en könsneutral äktenskapslag. I en annan delstat, Washington, röstar folk om en partnerskapslag för samkönade par.

Från den brittiska gaysiten Pinknews

The US state of Maine will decide today whether a recent law allowing gay marriage should be allowed to remain.

Maine legalised gay marriage in May and the law was due to come into force on September 12th. However, it was shelved after religious groups announced they had collected enough signatures to push for a voter referendum on the issue.

The situation is similar to that of California, where gay marriage was legalised but the right was withdrawn in November 2008 by the state's voters....

A poll of 1,000 eligible voters in the state by Public Policy Polling last month found that 48 per cent were in favour of the new rights and 48 per cent were against it.

Det är mycket jämnt både i Maine och Washington.

Opinionsmätningarna avslöjar att det är en tydlig majoritet för homoäktenskap bland yngre människor medan andelen är färre bland äldre. Men givetvis ska man inte generalisera. En av de viktigaste i debatten har visat sig vara en 86-årig man som var med i andra världskriget, kämpade mot det nazistiska Tyskland och var en av de som befriade Frankrike. Han är republikan, ett parti som generellt är mycket konservativt.

A video clip of Philip Spooner, a soldier who fought in the Second World War, has become an internet hit after he spoke out for gay rights....

His voice frequently cracking, Spooner addressed the hall: “Good morning committee. My name is Philip Spooner. I am 86 years old and a lifetime Republican.”

He said: “I am here because of a conversation I had last June, when I was voting. The woman at my polling place asked me, do I believe in equality for gay and lesbian people.

“I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her: what do you think I fought for in Omaha Beach?”

As applause broke out, he said that equality was one of the values of the "great nation" of America and was worth dying for.

The veteran, who was present at the D-Day landing, said he and his late wife have four sons, one of whom is gay. All have served in the US military.

He said: "My wife and I did not raise four sons with the idea that three of them would have certain rights and that the fourth of them would be left out.”

"I was raised to believe all men are created equal,” he added, “and I have never forgotten that."

“It makes no sense that some people who love each other can marry and others can’t, just because of who they are."

Hela hans argumentering för homoäktenskap är här.

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