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Dos Equis:
You can have an opinion, just so long as it's the same opinion.   ::)

Posted on: Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hawaii Democrats reprimand senator over civil-union e-mail
Party irked over senator's e-mail against civil-unions bill
By Derrick DePledge
Advertiser Government Writer

State Democrats agreed yesterday to uphold a reprimand against state Sen. Mike Gabbard, finding the senator actively worked against a civil-unions bill last session and undermined the party's platform in favor of equality and civil rights.

O'ahu Democrats voted in July to reprimand Gabbard, a prominent opponent of same-sex marriage in the 1990s, for sending an e-mail to a party activist that said he would encourage his colleagues in the Senate to oppose civil unions.

Gabbard, who said he was representing the will of his constituents, appealed to the party's state central committee. The committee narrowly voted to uphold the reprimand after a private meeting at the Musicians' Association of Hawai'i union hall.

"It was a rigorous process. It was a very tough issue, and this was the result," said Brian Schatz, chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i, who voted against a reprimand.

Gabbard, D-19th (Kapolei, Makakilo, Waikele), said the fairest way to resolve such disagreements is at the ballot box.

"I think the fairest thing to do is to simply encourage people to get involved in the process, and let the democratic process play itself out," he said. "Whether it's civil unions or any other issue or any elected official for that matter ultimately any reprimand should happen at the ballot box every election cycle."

Democrats said it is rare to discipline an elected official for actions involving a public-policy issue that's before the state Legislature. In 1999, the party's state central committee approved a resolution critical of state senators who voted against the confirmations of state Attorney General Margery Bronster and budget director Earl Anzai.

A reprimand is the least severe punishment available to the party. The senator could have faced censure or expulsion.

Debi Hartmann, the chair of O'ahu Democrats, said Gabbard distinguished himself from other Democrats who opposed civil unions by the e-mail promising to actively organize against the bill.

The O'ahu Democrats' rules committee had recommended dismissing the complaint against Gabbard, but O'ahu Democrats rejected the recommendation and opted for a reprimand.

"He said in the e-mail that he would actively work to encourage his colleagues to do something," said Hartmann, who opposed same-sex marriage in the 1990s but backed civil unions at the Legislature last session. "That's very different than a member of the Legislature voting on an issue because his constituents feel a particular way."

Mun-Won Chang, a small-business owner who lives in 'Ewa Beach, said she was against the reprimand because it could make Gabbard a hero to opponents of civil unions. She said Democrats should instead focus on getting the bill passed next session.

"We are the party of inclusion, that's what President Obama ran on, so we need to include everyone," she said. "If that's what his view is, let it be his view. And if he's representing his constituents, who are we to say 'No, you can't vote that way'?"

Several party activists, still disappointed by Gabbard's visible role against same-sex marriage in the 1990s, were upset when Gabbard switched from the Hawai'i Republican Party in 2007 and was embraced by leading Democrats. Gabbard said at the time that he did not agree with the party on all issues and specifically cited civil unions and abortion rights.

Gabbard, chairman of the Senate Energy and Environment Committee, has mostly worked on issues such as renewable energy and environmental protection in the Senate. Other than speaking out against civil unions, the senator has not been publicly vocal about social issues.

The party's platform plank on civil rights and equal rights supports "equal access to fundamental rights including but not limited to marriage, privacy, and a woman's right to choose."

The civil-unions bill that passed the state House last session would give same-sex partners who enter into civil unions the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as married couples under state law. Domestic partnerships, civil unions and same-sex marriages performed in other states would be recognized as civil unions in Hawai'i.

The bill was amended in the Senate to allow both same-sex and heterosexual couples to enter into civil unions.

The bill stalled in the Senate but remains alive for the next session that starts in January.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090830/NEWS01/908300350/Hawaii+Democrats+reprimand+senator+over+civil-union+e-mail

timfogarty:
yawn.

political parties are private clubs.   you're free to join one or not.  as a private club, they can set their own rules.   If an elected official, one who used party resources to get elected, does not follow the requests of party leadership, the party leadership can choose to sanction him.  if he doesn't like it, he is free to quit the party.

Dos Equis:

--- Quote from: timfogarty on August 31, 2009, 12:40:52 PM ---yawn.

political parties are private clubs.   you're free to join one or not.  as a private club, they can set their own rules.   If an elected official, one who used party resources to get elected, does not follow the requests of party leadership, the party leadership can choose to sanction him.  if he doesn't like it, he is free to quit the party.

--- End quote ---

I think this is crazy.  This is supposed to be the party of tolerance.  The big tent.   ::)  What a farce.

What's even more outrageous about this is Democrats knew Gabbard's history when they recruited him to switch parties AFTER he was elected.  He's the most vocal and recognizable pro-traditional marriage proponent in the state.  How shocking that he actually opposed the civil union/homosexual marriage bill after becoming a "Democrat."   ::) 

Dos Equis:
Older stories:

http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=133812.0


http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?topic=342427.0

Dos Equis:
The liberal response to opposing viewpoints:  silence them.   ::)

Lawsuit Claims College Ordered Student to Alter Religious Views on Homosexuality, Or Be Dismissed
By Joshua Rhett Miller
Published July 27, 2010
FoxNews.com


Jennifer Keeton, 24, has been pursuing a master's degree in school counseling at Augusta State University since last year, but school officials have informed her that she'll be dismissed from the program unless she alters her "central religious beliefs on human nature and conduct," according to a civil complaint filed last week.

A graduate student in Georgia is suing her university after she was told she must undergo a remediation program due to her beliefs on homosexuality and transgendered persons.

The student, Jennifer Keeton, 24, has been pursuing a master's degree in school counseling at Augusta State University since 2009, but school officials have informed her that she'll be dismissed from the program unless she alters her "central religious beliefs on human nature and conduct," according to a civil complaint filed last week.

"[Augusta State University] faculty have promised to expel Miss Keeton from the graduate Counselor Education Program not because of poor academic showing or demonstrated deficiencies in clinical performance, but simply because she has communicated both inside and outside the classroom that she holds to Christian ethical convictions on matters of human sexuality and gender identity," the 43-page lawsuit reads.

Keeton, according to the lawsuit, was informed by school officials in late May that she would be asked to take part in a remediation plan due to faculty concerns regarding her beliefs pertaining to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

"The faculty identifies Miss Keeton's views as indicative of her improper professional disposition to persons of such populations," the lawsuit reads.

The remediation plan, according to the lawsuit, noted Keeton's "disagreement in several class discussions and in written assignments with the gay and lesbian 'lifestyle,'" as well as Keeton's belief that those "lifestyles" are cases of identity confusion.

If Keeton fails to complete the plan, including additional reading and the writing of papers describing the impact on her beliefs, she will be expelled from the Counselor Education Program, the lawsuit claims.

Keeton has stated that she believes sexual behavior is the "result of accountable personal choice rather than an inevitability deriving from deterministic forces," according to the suit.

"She also has affirmed binary male-female gender, with one or the other being fixed in each person at their creation, and not a social construct or individual choice subject to alteration by the person so created," the lawsuit reads. "Further, she has expressed her view that homosexuality is a 'lifestyle,' not a 'state of being.'"

In a statement to FoxNews.com, Augusta State University officials declined to comment specifically on the litigation, but said the university does not discriminate on the basis of students' moral, religious, political or personal views or beliefs.

"The Counselor Education Program is grounded in the core principles of the American Counseling Association and the American School Counselor Association, which defines the roles and responsibilities of professional counselors in its code of ethics," the statement read. "The code is included in the curriculum of the counseling education program, which states that counselors in training have the same responsibility as professional counselors to understand and follow the ACA Code of Ethics."

David French, senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, which filed the lawsuit against Augusta State University on Keeton's behalf, said no university has the right to force a citizen to change their beliefs on any topic.

"The university has told Jennifer Keeton that if she doesn't change her beliefs, she can't stay in the program," he told FoxNews.com. "She won't even have a chance to counsel any students; she won't have a chance to get a counseling degree; she'll be expelled."

Keeton, who is not available for interviews according to French, believes that people have "moral choices" regarding their sexuality, he said.

"A student has a right to express their point of view in and out of class without fear or censorship or expulsion," French said.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/07/27/georgia-university-tells-student-lose-religion-lawsuit-claims/

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