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Guess Who's Complaining About Foreign Meddling in American Life:

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has issued this nonbinding resolution:

Resolution urging Cardinal William Levada, in his capacity has head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, to withdraw his discriminatory and defamatory directive that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco stop placing children in need of adoption with homosexual households.

WHEREAS, It is a insult to all San Franciscans when a foreign country, like the Vatican, meddles with and attempts to negatively influence this great City's existing and established customs and traditions such as the right of same-sex couples to adopt and care for children in need; and

WHEREAS, The statements of Cardinal Levada and the Vatican that "Catholic agencies should not place children for adoption in homosexual households," and "Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children" are absolutely unacceptable to the citizenry of San Francisco; and,

WHEREAS, Such hateful and discriminatory rhetoric is both insulting and callous, and shows a level of insensitivity and ignorance which has seldom been encountered by this Board of Supervisors; and

WHEREAS, Same sex couples are just as qualified to be parents as are heterosexual couples; and

WHEREAS, Cardinal Levada is a decidedly unqualified representative of his former home city, and of the people of San Francisco and the values they hold dear; and

WHEREAS, The Board of Supervisors urges Archbishop Niederauer and the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to defy all discriminatory directives of Cardinal Levada; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors urges Cardinal William Levada, in his capacity as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican (formerly known as Holy Office of the Inquisition), to withdraw his discriminatory and defamatory directive that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco stop placing children in need of adoption with homosexual households.

The San Francisco city government, it seems to me, is quite entitled to express its views on gay rights questions, and to condemn groups that, in its view, express "hateful" ideas. It's entitled to do this even when those groups are religious groups -- whether the Catholic Church, some Islamic denomination, the Church of Scientology, or any other religious group.

It's possible that expressing views on a religious group's purely theological claims (as opposed to claims related to worldly conduct that affects other people) might violate the Establishment Clause. There is even some language in the Court's opinions, which condemn "endorsement or disapproval of religion," that suggests that any condemnation of a religious organization by name would beunconstitutional. But it seems to me that the right rule is that government officials must be able to comment on religious groups when their actions touch on secular matters, for instance arguing that terrorism is antithetical to the proper understanding of Islam, or that the Catholic Church's views on adoption by homosexual couples are wrong.

Still, though the resolution is constitutionally permissible, isn't there something a bit troubling about it?

Start with the old those-Catholics-are-controlled-by-a-foreign-potentate thing that has historically often been used to discredit American Catholic politicians, and that seems to me to have no relevance to the moral issues involved here. Opposition to same-sex adoption is right or wrong with no regard to whether the leaders of the opposition are in Italy or here.

Then we have waving the bloody shirt -- the centuries-old bloody shirt -- of pointing out that Cardinal Levada's organization was once "known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition." Yes, it was (this was not the Spanish Inquisition but the "Roman Inquisition, [which] was intended to combat Protestantism, but ... is perhaps best known historically for its condemnation of Galileo"), but hasn't just a little bit of time passed since then, and hasn't the Church slightly altered the practices that gave the Inquisition a bad name?

Levada's position today is really no different than the position of any leading theologian who is helping set policy for a hierarchical church, whether a foreign or domestic one, and whether one that has a long-ago history of physical abuse of heterics or not. Over the centuries, many religious groups and organizations have done some pretty bad things; it seems to me irrelevant and, especially for a government entity, needlessly divisive to dredge up their past sins in criticizing the actions of their present leaders.

It seems to me that if the San Francisco Board of Supervisors really wanted to act as "the government of [a] tolerant community" by "treat[ing] its minority populations with care and respect" (I quote here from another recent resolution, to avoid "creat[ing] a divisive atmosphere," and to "reflect the diversity of the community," it should have avoided suggesting that serious Catholics who follow the Church hierarchy's teachings are agents of a "meddl[ing]" "foreign country," or irrelevantly faulted their cherished institutions for those institutions' centuries-old sins.

Many thanks to Marty Lederman, who pointed out the matter to me, though I should make clear that he doesn't object to the Supervisors' general criticisms, and shares their view of the merits of the policy question (though not the religious one).

David Chesler (mail) (www):
this was not the Spanish Inquisition but the Roman Inquisition

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
4.6.2006 4:14pm
Houston Lawyer:
"Such hateful and discriminatory rhetoric is both insulting and callous, and shows a level of insensitivity and ignorance which has seldom been encountered by this Board of Supervisors"

Pot, meet kettle
4.6.2006 4:22pm
Abdul (mail):
So Al Smith might as well cross San Francisco off of his list of potential sites for the next campaign tour.
4.6.2006 4:28pm
Taimyoboi:
Isn't this the same board that refused to allow the USS Iowa to moor in San Francisco because it "fired things"?
4.6.2006 4:28pm
EricK:
Considering the Catholic Churches recent experiences, maybe the San Francisco Board of Supervisors should listen a closer.
4.6.2006 4:37pm
Splunge (mail):
Hmm, let's see, ten supervisors had to meet for at least an hour to work out the wording. Say they're paid $50/hour, that's $500 there. Add in some staff time to make a few drafts, a little staff legal time to make sure it doesn't run afoul of some obscure ordinance or (vide supra) set themselves up for an easy FA lawsuit loss. Lawyers are expensive, so add in at least $1000. Then we've got copying costs down at Kinkos, maybe on some special elegant cream-colored paper stock reserved for Board of Supes pronunciamentos, followed by some more staff time folding envelopes and licking stamps. Or at least FAXing the press release over to local radio stations...

Feh. As a former San Francisco taxpayer, what I find highly objectionable is not the quotidian mindlessness of the content -- who expects politicians to be insightful or even original? -- but the spectacle of my public servants throwing away a couple grand of my money on a futile gesture that has nothing whatsoever to do with running the damn city. If I'd wanted to pay good money to watch clowns throw pies at each other, I'd've bought a ticket to the circus.
4.6.2006 4:42pm
Leland:
I think the City should withdraw funding support to the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. I think it is a reasonable approach. I also hope that the Catholic Charities maintains its policy in accordance with its teachings.
4.6.2006 4:48pm
chris (mail):
If you clean an elderly woman's yard out of a sense of charity and she starts making conditions on how you do it, it's perfectly reasonable to reply "If you tell me how to do it, I will simply stop." That's all the Catholic Church is doing here. They provide a service regarding facilitating adoptions. Now they are being told they have to go against their own religion and consider homosexual couples to be just as good parents as married hetersexual couples. So the Vatican is picking up its marbles and going home. Glad to see them grow a spine.
4.6.2006 4:51pm
Nunzio (mail):
I think the Vatican would revoke the City's right to use the name of one of their saints.
4.6.2006 4:56pm
GMW:
"WHEREAS, Cardinal Levada is a decidedly unqualified representative of his former home city, and of the people of San Francisco and the values they hold dear . . ."

Who better, I guess, than the Board of Supervisors to make this determination?
4.6.2006 5:05pm
Fub:
EV wrote:


Then we have waving the bloody shirt -- the centuries-old bloody shirt -- of pointing out that Cardinal Levada's organization was once "known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition."


The city's statement does nothing more than accurately (presumably) name the Cardinal's official organization affiliation and capacity:


RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors urges Cardinal William Levada, in his capacity as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican (formerly known as Holy Office of the Inquisition), to withdraw...


How is this different from (hypothetically) a resolution addressed to, say, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, "in his capacity as head of the Department of Defensse (formerly known as the War Department)..."?

It may sound like snarkiness, or waving the bloody shirt, but it's historically accurate, and it identifies the organization unambiguously.

It could also be taken as noting a break from the past, another way of saying "we know you're really representing the new organization and not its historical progenitor".

Not that I think for a moment they meant it that way. I'm just sayin'.
4.6.2006 5:25pm
dk35 (mail):
Well, as a former San Francisco voter (I don't live there anymore), I'm extremely proud of this resolution.

EV's comparison to attacks on Catholic politicians is nonsensical. Those attacks have traditionally been directed at Americans who run for American political office, questioning their loyalties to the US government. Here, we have a Vatican politician (i.e. a Cardinal).

And are you really telling me that if a foreign politician came to this country with the message that jews, or blacks, or white straight people for that matter, were unfit to be adoptive parents, that there wouldn't be some sort of public outrage? It's fine if EV doesn't think that discrimination against gay people isn't as morally offensive as discrimination against straight white people, but it so happens that the majority of San Franciscans disagree.
4.6.2006 5:36pm
M. Brown (mail):
I can't wait until they courageously take on some insulting Islamic policy statement they don't like.

Not holding my breath, though.
4.6.2006 5:36pm
Sydney Carton (www):
[EV: Post deleted for rudeness. Mr. Carton, you've done this in the past on other threads; please don't do it again. Keep posts polite and substantive. If you think someone's argument is unsound, point this out mildly rather than harshly -- the result is both more effective and more conducive to serious debate.]
4.6.2006 5:48pm
Tflan (mail):
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
4.6.2006 6:06pm
Tflan (mail):
Oops . . . too late,

Get the comfy chair!
4.6.2006 6:09pm
trotsky (mail):
Nearly always lost in these discussions (in S.F. or Boston) is the fact that the adoption agencies had facilitated adoptions by homosexuals for at least a decade and that the local lay leaders of the Catholic Charities almost all favor continuing to do such. It is in fact a directive handed down from Rome to cut off the queers.

And yes, that's how the Church works. But given the circumstances the "foreigner" issue seems apropos.
4.6.2006 6:20pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I suppose that, in light of the Mohammed cartoon affair, it is now mandatory that Catholics riot and break things and kill people in order to get a little respect? Break all the windows in SF city hall by hurling cans of tuna? A flying wedge attack led by Old Nuns with deadly rulers?
4.6.2006 6:25pm
DoubleDownRob:
I almost hope this gets worse. Like Nunzio said, it would be pretty funny to open the paper one morning and see that the Vatican has withdrawn permission from the Bay Area to use the name San Fransisco. speaking of which, here's a really stupid question: could the catholic church trademark the name of saints? so that their names or likenesses could be used only with the permission of the church? if that happened, what would be a good name for the now nameless city?

No one expects the San Fransisco Inquisition! Our weapons are fear, surprise, and a fanatical devotion to the notion that Barry Bonds isn't using 'roids!
4.6.2006 6:38pm
Silicon Valley Jim (mail):
Hmm, let's see, ten supervisors had to meet for at least an hour to work out the wording. Say they're paid $50/hour, that's $500 there. Add in some staff time to make a few drafts, a little staff legal time to make sure it doesn't run afoul of some obscure ordinance or (vide supra) set themselves up for an easy FA lawsuit loss. Lawyers are expensive, so add in at least $1000. Then we've got copying costs down at Kinkos, maybe on some special elegant cream-colored paper stock reserved for Board of Supes pronunciamentos, followed by some more staff time folding envelopes and licking stamps. Or at least FAXing the press release over to local radio stations...

A good point, one that I've also made about the SF Board of Supervisors. Even somebody who agreed about this or about passing a resolution that the President should be impeached should be concerned that the Board of Supervisors finds it appropriate to use resources (time, money, etc.) to do this but can't find the money (was it $100k?) to adapt the fire hydrants in the city so that the hoses from fire departments in nearby municipalities will fit.

What a bunch of maroons.

if that happened, what would be a good name for the now nameless city?

I have several that wouldn't be appropriate for this forum. Perhaps "soon-to-be-used nuclear weapons test site"?
4.6.2006 6:57pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
The Roman Catholic Church is not a country (in spite of Vatican City's status). It is a private organization with representatives in most of the countries of the world. It is sort of X.25 to the Net's TCP/IP. But both are private. Its regional franchises cover the entire territory of the US. In that sense it's domestic too.

It controls a majority of the Supreme Court... (nominally).

The SF Board of Supes are a bunch of left-wing whack-jobs (but that's another story).
4.6.2006 7:03pm
JJV (mail):
I find it interesting that San Francisco is almost childless. Its citizens believe everything the secular left believes about child and child rearing and lo and behold what do we find? Very few kids within it borders. The Catholic Church has placed and raised more kids so that they can grow up undamaged than any organization in the world. The scandal of the priests hit so hard for precisely this reason. What I note is that no one is citing any data. How do kids placed with unrelated sexual deviants do in life? Are they more likely to be homosexual? I suppose we don't care about that? Are they confused about sex roles? Again probably bigotry to ask. Do they get in more fights? Academically? I'd go with tradition myself, but if I was a policy maker I'd want to know the answers to these questions before running off in a PC knee jerk reaction to the position that of course the little abandoned boy will be fine with Bill and Steve who are a committed relationship. I would bet that most people if given their druthers (including mothers deciding whether to abort or give up their children) would want them in a traditional family. If there were no such homes available most people, again, would look at other options. Certainly if parents put in directives that in the event of their deaths children should be raised by homosexual relatives no state should oppose that. The Catholic Church however is entitled to follow its ancient wisdom rather than whatever directives the loony left has come up with this week. The Catholic Church believes about sex and sex roles what all of America believed until 15 minutes ago. That San Francisco has raised its recent preference for a celebratory attitude towards obejectively disordered behavior to a "tradition" shows how little that word means in San Francisco. For Catholics its spelled with a capital "T" and is connected to divine sanction. As for adoption and childless San Francisco, what used to be said of homosexuals now can be said of the city itself; they don't breed so they have to recruit.
4.6.2006 7:24pm
deweber (mail):
As a current Berkeley resident, I have been talking with friends about the concept of proposing that the city institute a position of Secretary of State with the responsibility of negotiation with all foreign governments(which it should be noted in Berkeley's case might include both the state and the federal governments). This would leave the city council free to do some important business. It looks now as if this same solution might be needed across the bay.
4.6.2006 7:36pm
Steve:
I find it interesting that San Francisco is almost childless.

I think this comment was supposed to go in the science fiction thread.
4.6.2006 7:38pm
Elais:
Why does the Catholic Church get to be exempt from laws regarding the adoption of children by homosexual couples? Is the church putting itself above the law? If the Catholic Church wishes to assist in legal adoption they must follow the law.


Gay couples can make excellent parents, same as heterosexuals. Why can't the church accept that?
4.6.2006 7:50pm
BruceB (mail):
"Considering the Catholic Churches recent experiences, maybe the San Francisco Board of Supervisors should listen a closer."

Yes, because as we all know, gay people and pedophiles are the same thing. (???)
4.6.2006 8:35pm
Malvolio:
Then we have waving the bloody shirt -- the centuries-old bloody shirt -- of pointing out that Cardinal Levada's organization was once "known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition."
Someone should dig up all the racist, sexist, and just plain corrupt things the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has done over its history. I would be quite a list.
if that happened, what would be a good name for the now nameless city?
In the extremely unlikely case that San Francisco were to lose its current name, it would probably revert to its previous name, Yerba Buena.
I find it interesting that San Francisco is almost childless.
San Francisco has a lower proportion of children than almost any other city, but it is far from "childless".
Gay couples can make excellent parents, same as heterosexuals.
Well, thanks for that unsupportable contribution. Presumably, anyone would include in the duties of an excellent parent providing a good role model, and if you, like the Catholic Church, regard homosexual activity as sinful, you must consider a gay parent ipso facto as bad parent.
4.6.2006 8:45pm
BobN (mail):
Posters should stop citing the "Catholic church's" objection to same-sex couples adopting children. The board of Catholic Charities supports same-sex couple adoption. So does the staff. So does the program's director. So do most Catholics in SF. So does the majority of the rest of SF's population. Polls of U.S. Catholics find a majority support adoption by same-sex couples. Cardinal Levada supported it until last month. The only consistent opponent is the now Pope.

The Pope isn't the Church.
4.6.2006 9:03pm
Cornellian (mail):
The Catholic Church however is entitled to follow its ancient wisdom rather than whatever directives the loony left has come up with this week.

Yeah, that "ancient wisdom" that's all of about a year old. The Catholic church had already been placing children with gay couples for adoption for years in SF (and Boston too) and are only now stopping because the Vatican has ordered them to do so, despite overwhelming support on the ground by the Catholics who actually run these agencies for continuing to consider gay couples. The Catholic church is entitled to adopt any position it likes (though it's not immune to the general law of the land) but don't pretend this year's position is some kind of "ancient wisdom."
4.6.2006 9:06pm
jjv (mail):
If Catholic's in a particular place think its ok to euthanize the weak or commit abortions in Catholic hospitals it does not make those positions Catholic. The faithlessness of nominal Catholics does not make that position correct. Especially, in San Francisco, it does not even make that position "courageous."
4.6.2006 11:13pm
Smitty18 (mail):
heh, they have no trouble giving citizenhip &voting rights to foreigners.
4.7.2006 12:00am
Different River (mail) (www):

But it seems to me that the right rule is that government officials must be able to comment on religious groups when their actions touch on secular matters ...


It seems to me that there is a clear distinction between a government official "commenting," and an official resolution passed by an official governmental body. In the first case, the government official is exercising his/her rights the same as anyone else could (even if more people pay attention to the official), and in the second case, it is an official act fo the government.

Recall that the Supreme Court held in Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) — that "The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion."

This resolution is clearly a violation of that neutrality.
4.7.2006 2:37am
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
You know, I don't like the "controlled by a foreign potentate" line of reasoning either. But the truth is, there is a debate within the Church, and a powerful faction-- which includes the current Pope-- DOES want to exercise a lot more control over the public acts of Catholics who work in government positions. That, after all, was what the "denying communion to John Kerry" issue was all about.

There are a lot of people in the Church leadership who are frustrated that the nominal number of Catholics in the world, including in positions of power, doesn't translate into a much more activist government role in preventing people from transgressing the current official Church teachings on issues of sexual morality and abortion.

So long as the Church is making efforts to pressure public officials who are members of the Church to act in certain ways, I think Church policy is fair game for political condemnation and even official resistance. If the Church sticks to teaching its beliefs that homosexuality and abortion are wrong and doesn't try to force people who don't agree with the Church's beliefs to conform, nobody's going to complain about excessive control from Rome.
4.7.2006 3:06am
A. Zarkov (mail):
So where is this “tolerant community?” It’s hard to find one in SF, Oakland and Berkeley. They only tolerate what they approve of.
4.7.2006 3:22am
Taimyoboi:
"Why does the Catholic Church get to be exempt from laws regarding the adoption of children by homosexual couples?"

Elais,

Is there currently a law in San Francisco mandating that same-sex couples be treated equally in consideration for adoption?

I know that Boston passed a law that led to their current brouhaha, but I wasn't aware that San Francisco did.

Which is why the Vatican is asking the San Francisco Archdiocese to act in accordance with the Catholic faith, since there is no conflict with current law.
4.7.2006 11:30am
Taimyoboi:
"'onsidering the Catholic Churches recent experiences, maybe the San Francisco Board of Supervisors should listen a closer.'

Yes, because as we all know, gay people and pedophiles are the same thing. (???)"

BruceB,

I believe EricK was referring to what happened in Boston with the Catholic Adoption programs after Boston passed a law mandating equal consideration of same-sex couples: the adoption agency folded up and Boston is now left without one of the largest, if not the largest, adoption agency in the region.

Regardless of the debate over same-sex couple adoptions, losing the Catholic Church's adoption services will have a big impact on adoptions for the next couple of years.
4.7.2006 11:37am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Yes, because as we all know, gay people and pedophiles are the same thing. (???)
Yeah, just ignore the willingness of gays to defund the ILGA rather than have them expel NAMBLA.
4.7.2006 11:42am
Taimyoboi:
"The board of Catholic Charities supports same-sex couple adoption. So does the staff. So does the program's director. So do most Catholics in SF. So does the majority of the rest of SF's population. Polls of U.S. Catholics find a majority support adoption by same-sex couples."

And

"The Catholic church is entitled to adopt any position it likes (though it's not immune to the general law of the land) but don't pretend this year's position is some kind of 'ancient wisdom.'"

Cornellian, BobN

I would think that we can distinguish between an institution's position and some individual's who act within that institution.

Merely because a number of Catholics from San Francisco support something, or even from the US for that matter, does not make it official Church policy. And even if it did, the US Catholic population only constitutes 8% of the worldwide Catholic population...

The Catholic Church isn't a democracy, and regional Catholic groups don't get to set their own policy.

Nevertheless, contrary to your assertions, it is the relatively recent approval of same-sex couples in this country that has rubbed against the grain of Catholic teaching for many centuries, not the other way around.
4.7.2006 11:46am
Kendall:
Yeah, just ignore the willingness of gays to defund the ILGA rather than have them expel NAMBLA.


Source? ILGA still exists today as a unification of 40 gay rights groups. ILGA expelled NAMBLA 12 years ago and still is being funded and still is supported by gay rights groups. I'm tired of unsubstantiated, unsourced allegations.
4.7.2006 12:33pm
Al Norris (mail):
If a person professes to be Catholic, then I would suspect that that person would believe and adhere to the teachings of that church. No less for Baptists or Jehovah Witnesses. Religion isn't something wherein one picks and chooses which parts to believe, or not believe. One takes the whole meal or one rejects it.

There has been a trend in this country, as regards Catholics, that Americans can pick and choose what parts of Catholicism they wish to partake of. This trend was being reveresed before the current Pope was elected. Catholic Universities were being told what they could teach and what they could not teach. Go with Church teachings or lose the Church's name and blessings, and funding. It is no different for Catholic Charities.

Those that can't or won't abide by these kinds of decisions can simply stop calling themselves, Catholic. Simply put, if you don't believe, then don't profess to believe.

It seems to me that on the one hand, certain people abhor the idea that people of faith would bring into their service within the government their own unique world views, and on the other hand applaud a government body for interfering with the workings of a religion.

So much for the concept of Government remaining neutral as regards religion.
4.7.2006 12:36pm
TM Lutas (mail) (www):
dk35 - At what point did Cardinal Levada become a foreign politician? Was it when he was baptized (presumably in his birth city of Los Angeles)? Or maybe when he got the original appointment in 2000 as a member of the CDF? Was it when he was made head of CDF last year? Or is it the red hat? Are all cardinals 'foreign politicians'? Please, share.

trotsky - Where there is no Rome, you'd have the wild divergence of Orthodoxy where you have to seriously inquire as to the local policy on whether a menstruating woman can enter the church. And yes, this does change from one individual church/monastary to another. No, I'm not kidding and it pisses my wife off tremendously (she's Orthodox).

In a worldwide institution, such unifying directives as necessary, more likely than not, are going to come from a foreign land. That doesn't make the Church a foreign institution any more than membership in the Anglican Communion make episcopalians members of a foreign church

BobN - While the Pope's position isn't the necessarily the Church (Popes have been wrong) he is hardly alone in his opinions on homosexual activity. Nor is he alone in viewing homosexual attraction as a burden and challenge, not something that's just a nifty variation in God's garden. Other opinions matter but they overwhelmingly support the current Pope.

Kendall - To this day, the ILGA refuses to provide documentation to the UN demonstrating that they have no pro-pedophilia groups in their membership. This is why they once again failed to regain observer status at the UN.

Al Norris - There is a bit of picking and choosing permissible in the Catholic Church. The Church itself is an umbrella organization of over 20 different member Churches. In joining the Catholic Church, you generally pick one and stick with it. One can enter any of the parishes of any member Church and fulfill one's religious obligations and it isn't unheard of for people with serious disagreements to attend liturgy in another Rite for a very long time (sometimes for the rest of the individual's life). The unity of the Church while it contains such diverse expressions of the Faith is something a lot of people aren't aware of.
4.7.2006 1:36pm
Kendall:
To this day, the ILGA refuses to provide documentation to the UN demonstrating that they have no pro-pedophilia groups in their membership. This is why they once again failed to regain observer status at the UN.

There's some truth in what you say
however I think its also reasonable that the groups not feel the need to sign such a statement. Personally if I was interviewing for a job and I was asked to sign a statement "I do not molest children or support child molestors" I'd most likely be outraged as well. I'm not a child molestor, I think pedophilia is abhorrent and even asking that question assumes enough to be repulsive.

However, with that said, Clayton Cramer contended that as a result of ILGA's attempt to sever NAMBLA from itself gay groups cut off their funds. THAT is what I'm asking for sources on.
4.7.2006 1:52pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Source? ILGA still exists today as a unification of 40 gay rights groups. ILGA expelled NAMBLA 12 years ago and still is being funded and still is supported by gay rights groups. I'm tired of unsubstantiated, unsourced allegations.
Here:

In its effort to appease the U.N., ILGA demanded that members sign a statement saying they do not condone pedophilia. Many refused on principle, and one—the Toronto-based Pink Triangle Press, which publishes three Canadian gay newspapers—was so outraged by the ultimatum it resigned. This was especially painful, because just two years earlier Pink Triangle had come to ILGA’s aid with a $10,000 donation.

By July 1996, less than half of its membership had signed the anti-pedophilia statement, and ILGA announced it would rescind the requirement. Financial concerns were a likely factor; from 1995 to 1996, revenues—largely from members’ dues and donations—had dropped from about $215,000 to about $50,000. Pink Triangle Press rejoined in 1997.
Oh yeah, from the Wikipedia article about NAMBLA:
The founding of NAMBLA (1977-1978)

In December 1977, police raided a house in the Boston suburb of Revere. Twenty-four men were arrested and indicted on over 100 felony counts of the statutory rape of boys aged eight to fifteen. Suffolk County District Attorney Garrett Byrne alleged that the men used drugs and video games to lure the boys into a house, where they photographed them as they engaged in sexual activity. Byrne accused the men of being members of a "sex ring", and said that the arrest was only "the tip of the iceberg."[9] The arrests sparked intense media coverage, and local newspapers published the photographs and personal information of the accused men.

Staff members of the gay newspaper Fag Rag believed the raid was politically motivated. They and others in Boston's gay community saw Byrne's round-up as an anti-gay witchhunt. On December 9 they organized the Boston-Boise Committee, a name intended as a reference to a similar situation that unfolded in Boise, Idaho in the 1950s. The group sponsored rallies, provided funds for the defendants, and tried to educate the public about the case by passing out fliers. It would also later spawn NAMBLA.

District Attorney Garrett Byrne was defeated in his re-election bid. The new DA said that no man should fear prison for having sex with a teenager unless coercion was involved. All charges were dropped. The few who had already pled or been found guilty received only probation.[10]

On December 2, 1978, Tom Reeves of the Boston-Boise Committee convened a meeting called "Man/Boy Love and the Age of Consent." Approximately 150 people attended. At the meeting's conclusion, about thirty men and youths decided to form an organization which they called the North American Man/Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA for short.
Keep insisting that there's no connection there--but the evidence is pretty clear on this.
4.7.2006 1:55pm
Kendall:
From earlier in the link you provided (which I ironically linked above to criticize your contention)

In response, at its world conference in New York in June 1994, ILGA voted to expel NAMBLA and two other similar groups, but it was a highly controversial decision.


The quote about groups resigning occurred A) Later B) in response to a rather insidious request. Its a little like asking someone to sign an oath of loyalty even if they're already a citizen of the United States. Individuals should be PRESUMED to be loyal citizens. Peoples hould be PRESUMED not to be child molestors without requiring denial. Pink-Triangle Press did NOT resign when NAMBLA was expelled in June 1994 and Pink-Triangle Press did NOT resign because of an effort to EXPELL NAMBLA.
4.7.2006 2:04pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Kendall writes:


There's some truth in what you say however I think its also reasonable that the groups not feel the need to sign such a statement. Personally if I was interviewing for a job and I was asked to sign a statement "I do not molest children or support child molestors" I'd most likely be outraged as well. I'm not a child molestor, I think pedophilia is abhorrent and even asking that question assumes enough to be repulsive.
The ILGA had child molester organizations within it--and while they did finally expel NAMBLA and a couple of equivalent European organizations, there was a considerable fight over it, and a number of votes by board members not to do so.

I know that a lot of homosexuals find pedophilia abhorrent. But I also know that there's a sizeable gay subculture that doesn't see pedophilia as a big deal. I also get emails from gay men who try to make a distinction between pedophilia and ephebophilia--that it is definitely not okay to have sex with five year olds--but you know, 12, 13, well, that's another matter.

NAMBLA used to march in gay pride parades in San Francisco and some other cities without opposition or protest. I've seen videos of them in San Francisco. Channel 4 in San Francisco at one point in the early 1990s went to gay bookstores there, and found that 4 out of 5 of them were carrying NAMBLA's publication the BulliTEN. When it became politically inexpedient for NAMBLA to appear in gay pride parades, suddenly there was opposition to them.

Kendall, I'll believe you when you tell me that you find pedophilia abhorrent. I would like to believe that this sentiment is universal, or nearly so, in the gay community. From the conversations that I have had, I would say otherwise. Some years ago, a gay activist lectured me about this subject saying that it was a painful subject to raise, because the gay community was "divided" about NAMBLA. As near as I can tell, that's an accurate statement.
4.7.2006 2:05pm
Kendall:
oh, I didn't respond to your background article about NAMBLA because I didn't see the point. They're a contemptible group of child molestors. And they're no longer affiliated with ILGA as of June 1994.
4.7.2006 2:05pm
Kendall:
I would like to believe that this sentiment is universal, or nearly so, in the gay community. From the conversations that I have had, I would say otherwise. Some years ago, a gay activist lectured me about this subject saying that it was a painful subject to raise, because the gay community was "divided" about NAMBLA. As near as I can tell, that's an accurate statement.


Why would anyone willingly converse with child molestors and coprophiles?
4.7.2006 2:07pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

The quote about groups resigning occurred A) Later B) in response to a rather insidious request. Its a little like asking someone to sign an oath of loyalty even if they're already a citizen of the United States. Individuals should be PRESUMED to be loyal citizens. Peoples hould be PRESUMED not to be child molestors without requiring denial. Pink-Triangle Press did NOT resign when NAMBLA was expelled in June 1994 and Pink-Triangle Press did NOT resign because of an effort to EXPELL NAMBLA.
"A rather insidious request"? You mean, after ILGA had to expel pedophile organizations, and this generated an enormous internal struggle within the ILGA about whether to do so? I just can't imagine why anyone would wonder about the ILGA when it wasn't obvious to them from the beginning that they shouldn't have pedophile organizations involved.

It isn't like NAMBLA's goals and purpose weren't blatantly obvious. That the ILGA needed to be told that it had to exclude pedophiles tells me quite a bit about the gay activist community.
4.7.2006 2:12pm
T-Web:
"ILGA still exists today as a unification of 40 gay rights groups. ILGA expelled NAMBLA 12 years ago and still is being funded and still is supported by gay rights groups."

Kendall--I gather that your statement, quoted above, was meant to prove a disassociation between gays and pedophiles. I, as someone who is generally sceptical of those who draw ties between the two, found it to have the opposite effect. It is a huge black-mark against gay-rights organizations (and, by extenstion, the gay community) that up until 1994 they willingly associated and found common cause with a bunch of child-molestation advocates. I don't know the history here so perhaps I'm missing something, but I found this very distrubing.
4.7.2006 2:13pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Why would anyone willingly converse with child molestors and coprophiles?
I don't know that I had any conversations with child molesters. I did have conversations with gay activists who were defending NAMBLA's involvement in gay parades, and NAMBLA's identification of itself as a gay organization.

I really didn't much care about what homosexuals did, until NAMBLA's involvement in the gay pride parade came up. I was genuinely surprised, because I assumed that homosexuals looked at child molesters the way straight people did. I was very surprised to find out that I was wrong. I also found that my formerly quite liberal view of homosexuality was utterly mistaken.
4.7.2006 2:15pm
Kendall:
T-Web - I agree with you that it is disgusting that a nationally respected organization like ILGA had such ties so recently. I do not make excuses for such ties and I share your revulsion at the timeline.

In truth Clayton has a small point. There is one area of commonality between gay groups and NAMBLA's position. SOME age of consent laws discriminate against homosexual couples. An example of this is Matthew Limon and his experience in Kansas. Matthew Limon was 18 when he had consensual oral sex with a 14 year old boy. If Matthew or the younger boy had been a girl he would have received about 6 months in prison. He originally got 17 years until the Kansas Supreme Court overturned it. Here's an article about that case.

While I do not support pedophilia or any form of child molestation I do question laws of that nature which treat underage heterosexual sex and underage homosexual sex differently. That does HAPPEN to be an area where NAMBLA and I think most gay groups agree. I do not believe however that most gay groups for example support the ELIMINATION of the age of consent, nor do I think most gay groups support sexual relations between very old and very very very young men.
4.7.2006 2:54pm
Leland:
Kendall wrote:

Personally if I was interviewing for a job and I was asked to sign a statement "I do not molest children or support child molestors" I'd most likely be outraged as well. I'm not a child molestor, I think pedophilia is abhorrent and even asking that question assumes enough to be repulsive.


It is fact that IGLA's previous standards did not preclude organizations like NAMBLA. So what exactly are IGLA standards now? That is what the question truly is. The fact that the question can be worded, "do you support child molestors?" is germane to why IGLA is not currently accepted by the UN. All IGLA need do is provide standards, like any other organization, that are inaccordance to the UN's standards.

I'm sure that Catholic Charities is offended for being asked to support homosexuality just as much as San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is apparently offended for associating with an organization that supports homophobia. However, neither were so offended that they were not willing to put in writing what their standards for affiliation are. I suspect it was because they were certain of their convictions.
4.7.2006 3:59pm
James968 (mail):
If I remember correctly, doesn't the Federal government claim jurisdiction in this area? In the 20th Century when local governments tried to boycott South Africa for its apartheid system, the Fed's considered this an usurpation of their right as the sole diplomatic voice for the country.

Although I think boycotting someone is in the prerogative of a local government, for them to actually contact and try and influence a the actions of a foriegn state, would IMHO fall much more into practicing diplomacy than a boycott.
4.7.2006 4:24pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

recently. I do not make excuses for such ties and I share your revulsion at the timeline.

In truth Clayton has a small point. There is one area of commonality between gay groups and NAMBLA's position. SOME age of consent laws discriminate against homosexual couples. An example of this is Matthew Limon and his experience in Kansas. Matthew Limon was 18 when he had consensual oral sex with a 14 year old boy. If Matthew or the younger boy had been a girl he would have received about 6 months in prison. He originally got 17 years until the Kansas Supreme Court overturned it. Here's an article about that case.

While I do not support pedophilia or any form of child molestation I do question laws of that nature which treat underage heterosexual sex and underage homosexual sex differently. That does HAPPEN to be an area where NAMBLA and I think most gay groups agree. I do not believe however that most gay groups for example support the ELIMINATION of the age of consent, nor do I think most gay groups support sexual relations between very old and very very very young men.
Except the ACLU's argument in Limon was that teenagers had a "due process liberty interest" in having sex with adults. Note: the 14 year old wasn't being charged--the adult was being charged.

If they wanted to make an argument for the different treatment being an equal protection argument, I can understand that, and agree. There were a lot of people who saw no reason to treat heterosexual statutory rape as a less serious crime--it isn't. But this "due process liberty interest" argument--especially in conjunction with the cases that the ACLU cited as part of that footnote--suggest that the ACLU believes in the constitutional right of minors to have sex with adults--which in practice, means the right of adults to manipulate minors into sex.

Of course, the ACLU is also defending NAMBLA in the Curley civil suit as well, so I guess that I should not be surprised.
4.7.2006 4:27pm
Kendall:
according to this article ILGA released a statement in 1990 which said "Major power imbalances create the potential for child abuse. ILGA condemns the exploitive use of power differences to coerce others into sexual relationships. All children have the right to protection from sexual exploitation and abuse."

However I think ILGA should not be an observing member of the UN for the same reason the US state department yesterday said the US will not run for membership of the Human Rights Council. It is true that ILGA has a questionable past but it is equally true the UN is riddled with hypocrisy (Syria and Sudan being members of the HRC? LIBYA? Please). ILGA's major policy mistake is valuing and wishing for UN recognition.
4.7.2006 4:32pm
Kendall:
Clayton - Where did I mention the ACLU? I didn't. I do NOT support the ACLU in the Curley decision and this is NOT about the ACLU. the topic is (I thought, and you are free to correct me) NAMBLA and gay groups. I pointed out reasonably that there is one commonality there, and that is the commonality. Your rant about the ACLU has no bearing on that. Supporting the outcome of Limon does not mean I support the ACLU's defense of Curley either, nor does it mean gay groups do. The two cases are not analogous.
4.7.2006 4:35pm
Thief (mail) (www):
I always thought it was funny that Benedict XVI tapped the Archbishop of San Francisco to head the CDF, which is responsible for determining what the official doctrine of the Catholic Church is. I'm guessing that only St. Patrick had a more difficult flock to preach to. (Yes, this is in jest.)
4.7.2006 4:38pm
Kendall:
I just reread the Limon case having noted you said it was argued on "due process grounds" apparently the Kansas Supreme Court and Limon's attorney's disagree.
In contrast, Limon does not assert a due process challenge.

Judge Green applied the lowest level of scrutiny, the rational basis test, when analyzing Limon's equal protection claim and found that the legislature "could have rationally determined that heterosexual sodomy between a child and an adult could be put in a class by itself and could be dealt with differently than homosexual sodomy between a child and an adult." 32 Kan. App. 2d at 375. Judge Green identified four interests which he believed provided a rational basis for the classification:
4.7.2006 4:44pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I just reread the Limon case having noted you said it was argued on "due process grounds"
Go back and read what I wrote. The ACLU raised that issue, but the Kansas Supreme Court chose to decide it on equal protection grounds.
4.7.2006 5:07pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Clayton - Where did I mention the ACLU? I didn't. I do NOT support the ACLU in the Curley decision and this is NOT about the ACLU. the topic is (I thought, and you are free to correct me) NAMBLA and gay groups.
NAMBLA, gay groups, the ACLU. Are these divisible? Not very easily--and the ACLU tends to be harder to divide from NAMBLA and the gay groups than dividing NAMBLA and gay groups.
4.7.2006 5:08pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):


I just reread the Limon case having noted you said it was argued on "due process grounds"
My mistake. It was argued on both due process and equal protection grounds. The Kansas Supreme Court didn't buy the liberty interest argument.
4.7.2006 5:09pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
By the way, here's the claim that the ACLU made in in footnote 13 of their Limon brief that is so worrisome:


While a teenager's constitutional rights may be more limited than an adult's in some circumstances, and while the state is more likely to have a compelling state interest that justifies intruding upon a teenager's rights, it is well established that teenagers - like adults - have a due process liberty interest in being free from state compulsion in making these types of personal decisions.
What are the other cases that the ACLU referenced with respect to this due process liberty interest?


Sexual intimacy, including same-sex intimacy, the Court explained, is protected by the same fundamental right to autonomy recognized in Griswold v.Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965) (striking down law against use of contraceptives by married couples); Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972) (extending Griswold to unmarried persons), Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) (striking down abortion restriction), Carey v. Population Services Int�l, 431 U.S. 678 (1977) (striking down restriction on the sale of contraceptives); and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992). Lawrence, 123 S. Ct. at 2476-82; id., at 2476 (characterizing these cases as "the most pertinent beginning" of its analysis).

Is there any question as to what the ACLU would consider an appropriate state law about sex with minors?
4.7.2006 5:16pm
Kendall:
NAMBLA, gay groups, the ACLU. Are these divisible? Not very easily--and the ACLU tends to be harder to divide from NAMBLA and the gay groups than dividing NAMBLA and gay groups.


Frankly that's completely ridiculous. Are you suggesting that Log Cabin Republicans are affiliated with either the ACLU or NAMBLA? I utterly and completely reject that assertion. Gay groups are as diverse as anything. Making that conflation is like saying the KKK which is a religiously based organization run by a Baptist Minister (Thomas Robb is the current National Director) which was formerly run by David Duke (a repeated strong republican candidate for national and state office) cannot be separated from Baptists or from the Republican party (or the Democrats for that matter since good ol' Robert Byrd was a Grand Wizard of the KKK which I'm sure you know and would point out if I didn't). Of course none of that is logically connectable, but its the same analogy you're making.
4.7.2006 5:33pm
dweeb:
KendallPeople should be PRESUMED not to be child molestors without requiring denial.

An organization that, in the past, contained such groups can be reasonably presumed to have lost that presumption. You can't expel an organization unless they are first a member.

If someone asks "When did you stop beating your wife?" and you respond with a "1994," then you really have no place taking umbrage with the question.
4.7.2006 5:43pm
dweeb:
BobNThe Pope isn't the Church

Actually, on matters of doctrine, especially where there is any dispute, he is.
4.7.2006 5:46pm
dweeb:
Yeah, that "ancient wisdom" that's all of about a year old.

That's like saying the Establishment clause sprang into existence with Madeleine Murry O'Hare. The doctrines in question are as old as the Church, the recent failure of some agencies of the Church to comply with them until disciplined notwithstanding.
4.7.2006 5:46pm
dweeb:
So long as the Church is making efforts to pressure public officials who are members of the Church to act in certain ways, I think Church policy is fair game for political condemnation and even official resistance. If the Church sticks to teaching its beliefs that homosexuality and abortion are wrong and doesn't try to force people who don't agree with the Church's beliefs to conform, nobody's going to complain about excessive control from Rome

Those public officials, if they disagree with the Church, are free to not belong to the Church. It's that simple. If they belong, they should adhere, and there's nothing wrong with the Church saying so. The PUBLIC OFFICIAL is fair game for BELONGING, but the internal policies of the Church are no one's business but the members, and depending on the doctrines of a given denomination, the recourse of the members may be limited to voting with their feet. Don't like it, don't worship there.
4.7.2006 5:47pm
dweeb:
EVBut it seems to me that the right rule is that government officials must be able to comment on religious groups when their actions touch on secular matters, for instance arguing that terrorism is antithetical to the proper understanding of Islam, or that the Catholic Church's views on adoption by homosexual couples are wrong.

This view can certainly not be considered libertarian.

Here's an easy test - if the Board of Supervisors had ENDORSED Church doctrine on the matter, and admonished the Archbishop to fidelity rather than disobedience, do you think there would have been a constitutional issue? The Board is presuming to dictate internal Church doctrine and governance. It's Henry VIII all over again.

I submit that the government has no more place stating whether terrorism is a tenet of Islam than it does making proclamations on transubstantiation or the 5 points of Calvinism, or whether a given animal is Kosher, or, for that matter, whether adoption by homosexual couples is objectively right or wrong. Any and all of the above involve government taking a stand on matters of metaphysical belief. The government's proper role, in any libertarian frame of thinking, is to pass laws as to what society will DISALLOW and PUNISH, morality notwithstanding. Is it objectively wrong to drive a car 100 mph? Who knows, but our government by, of, and for the people has determined that, as a society, we will punish that conduct when it is observed. Does Islam advocate terrorism? That's a question for an Imam. Will we tolerate terrorism? Will we make war on terrorists and nations that support them? That is a question of government policy.
4.7.2006 6:11pm
BobN (mail):
IGLA's "sin" was to allow NAMBLA to join and pay membership dues for a few years more than a decade ago.

The Vatican has helped perpetuate and cover-up thousands of instances of child abuse for a period of over fifty years.

Which one should lose its U.N. Observer status?

Dweeb: The Pope is not infallible in matters of policy and politics, and that's all this is.
4.7.2006 7:16pm
Kendall:
Clayton -since you now admit that the Court's logic was based on equal protection not due process and previously you said

If they wanted to make an argument for the different treatment being an equal protection argument, I can understand that, and agree. There were a lot of people who saw no reason to treat heterosexual statutory rape as a less serious crime--it isn't.


And this was precisely what the court held are you explicitly stating that you support the Kansas State Supreme Court's ruling?
4.7.2006 7:50pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
dweeb writes:

"Those public officials, if they disagree with the Church, are free to not belong to the Church. It's that simple. If they belong, they should adhere, and there's nothing wrong with the Church saying so. The PUBLIC OFFICIAL is fair game for BELONGING, but the internal policies of the Church are no one's business but the members, and depending on the doctrines of a given denomination, the recourse of the members may be limited to voting with their feet. Don't like it, don't worship there."

Sorry, dweeb. That's called having one's cake and eating it too. There's nothing wrong with a religious organization (or any other organization) saying that we are private, our positions and policies are internal, and they are nobody's business. There's also nothing wrong with an organization saying that we expect our members to follow our precepts and policies and beliefs when working for the government. But there's something terribly wrong about the same organization claiming both these things. If you want to force your members to vote a certain way, or decide cases a certain way, or conduct their public affairs a certain way, then your policies are a public issue, period, and when people fight back and try to get you to change them, they are not being bigots or anti-Catholic or in any way acting improperly.

If the Church doesn't want this type of scrutiny, it needs to stop the campaign to try and put the hammer down on its believers in public life.

One other thing-- your argument about "don't call yourself a Catholic" is one even the Church doesn't accept. The Church does not, after all, excommunicate anyone based on these things. And the reason is that the mystique of the Church's power is completely a function of its large number of members. A Catholic Church with all the "cafeteria Catholics" expelled would be a tiny sect with little influence in the world. It is important for the Church to claim those members while simultaneously condemning their beliefs. The last thing the Church leadership wants is for people who don't agree with it on sexual morality to stop calling themselves Catholics.
4.8.2006 12:54am
DoubleDownRob:
you know, we all seemed to be having a nice discussion on how silly San Fransisco is, and how draconian the Catholic church is, and then Clayton and Kendall had to come along and have a slap fight about NAMBLA and so forth, when the actual topic of this discussion has nothing to do with NAMBLA what so ever. Did that fight actually come to a resolution? i stopped reading posts by either, since they are off the topic.

I attended Catholic school for 13 years, and went through all the various and sundry classes. While I am no longer a practicing catholic, i would like to clear up a misconception or two. The Catholic Church is, actually, to a fairly significant extent, a pick and choose religion. The only things Catholics are required to believe in are what the Church refers to as "dogma". this would include things like Jesus was God's son and he rose from the dead, and so forth. There are also moral questions that are answered by dogmatic proclimations, but as i recall, not really all that many. much of it covers the differences that seperate Caholics from Protestants, for instance, belief in "trans-substantiation" (sp?), the belief that the communion host and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus when they are blessed by the priest. Furthermore, at least the last time i checked, the Church doesn't actually hate homosexuals. in fact, just the opposite. When i was last active in the church (about 5 years ago), the official policy was one of "love the sinner, hate the sin." And that policy applied to all forms of sex outside of marriage, and all forms of sex that could not result in procreation.

As with most things, if you need to make a generalization, what you are saying probably isn't true.

CC is an organization under the umbrella of the Church, and as such, the Church does have the right to issue directives to it. The question must be whether the workers at CC choose to follow those directives. As for the city, despite my previously flippant comments earlier on this board and in this post, the fact of the matter is that CC is a private organization. and as such, it ought to be able to determine what its rules and standards are, free of interference from the city. Homosexuality and adoption have become such hot button issues that it is hard to think about them without sensationalizing them. But the City ordering the Vatican around, or somehow forcing CC to allow homosexual adoption is not terribly far off from the City ordering a kosher Jewish eatery to serve non-kosher foods, because thats what most of the citizens in the city like to eat.

From some of these comments, it would seem that the City of S.F. has plenty to worry about in terms of running itself. It shouldn't be taking away time and money to run a private organization.
4.8.2006 6:03am