June 13, 2008
ABA Judicial Code Non-Discrimination Provision Criticized by Judge
An Oklahoma County Judge in a public letter openly criticized the addition of a sexual orientation non-discrimination provision in the ABA Model Code for Judicial Conduct. He claims that the provision, which forbids judges from joining groups that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
He claims that the provision was devised to promote a "homosexual agenda" and claims that judges must make rulings based on sexual orientation in custody hearings. See June 4 ABA Journal: http://www.abajournal.com/news.
Actually, Judge, it is generally improper to consider anything other than the best interest of the child in making a custody determination. And, a determination based solely on the sexual orientation of the parent(s) is grounds to overturn a custody decision in many jurisdictions.
The Judge went on to claim that homosexuals include "pedophiles"--a claim that is clearly untrue (pedophilia involves sex with minors, not same-sex sexual intercourse) and gays and lesbians are not simply engaged in sex with members of the same sex, either. The Supreme Court, in Lawrence v. Texas, recognized (correctly so) that sexual orientation is not simply about sexual conduct, but it includes identity, love, and much more.
The Judge's inflammatory and disrespectful remarks demonstrate, in fact, the need for such a provision in the Code of Judicial Conduct. Like any other American, LGBT individuals deserve a fair trial and they must not be discriminated against the very individuals who have sworn to uphold justice.
Same Sex Marriages in Norway
On June 11, Norway's Parliament supported a law making same sex marriage legal.
Norway is the sixth country to permit same sex marriages. See Google/Agence-France Presse Article: http://afp.google.com/