PWN #100

The 100th edition of the Pagan Weekly News aired late this week. RevKess has been working odd hours, more so than usual, at his bills-paying-job and was completely wiped at 9am CT Tuesday the 2nd of July. Zaracon was off celebrating the birth his new grandson and unavailable to contribute to this landmark edition. The birth of a new child is truly  more important than sharing in the general news of the Pagan community. Family is one of those things that can and often does out weigh the needs of the many. Congratulations to Z, his daughter, his new grandson and indeed to the whole family!

This past week brings us a lot of news from the political and governmental realms as well as equality issues from around the world and lots of news and events from the Pagan community. We will start as we did with the archived edition of PWN and move into some of the stories that RevKess did not find time for in the broadcast.

Links

  • The Pagan community reacts to the SCOTUS decisions, an article edited by Jason Pitzl-Waters on the Wild Hunt.
  • A follow-up from June 27th on the Wild Hunt, further reactions. This article contains a segment of an email that RevKess sent to Jason Pitzl-Waters with his first thoughts and reactions to the rulings.
  • Amy Howe’s “in plain English” brief on the DOMA decision from SCOTUS.
  • T Thorn Coyle’s article on her blog from March in which she speaks about her stance on marriage equality.
  • A brief article on Doreen Valiente and how she stood in the face of resistance.
  • Phyllis Currot, Vice Chair for the Parliament for World Religions posted this to her Facebook stream on 2 july 2013: “THANK YOU – from the bottom of my heart – o everyone who helped save the Parliament by donating, by getting the word out, by sending your thoughts and prayers!! Last week we all signed the Settlement Agreement in the Barcelona case and today the Judge signed the order dismissing it. Finally, our lawyers said that we could publicly make a formal announcement that the Barcelona debt has been paid and the battle is over!
    Collectively, and from all over the world, the Wiccan/Pagan community donated over $26,000 to pay off the debt that could have bankrupted the Parliament – that’s 10% of the total debt and an incredible, strong demonstration of our community’s appreciation for CPWR and our ability to give when we are needed.! We consistently led the way in fundraising, inspiring other faith communities to organize and donate. Wiccans, Pagans, shamanic practitioners, members of every tradition around from Italy, Brazil, Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Mexico and all over South America, Canada and of course the US made generous contributions.
    I’m so proud to be a member of this amazing community and to serve as Vice Chair of the Parliament. So many more opportunities await us as we take our rightful place on the global stage of world religions. Blessings to you all and endless gratitude.”

    • Read the statement from the CPWR here.
  • The Argus has an article about Doreen Valiente.
  • Over on the blog HecateDemeter you can read on perspective on why it is not a good idea to fall into the “denial” mode when discussing your Pagan path with others. “As long as you’re denying that you worship Satan (a Christian demi-god in whom Pagans don’t even believe; Satanism is a branch of Christianity), or eat babies, or cut the eyes out of newts for your potions, you, like LBJ’s opponent, are losing.”
    • Peter Dybing has a similar post on his Pagan in Paradise blog. “The time has come for our community to engage an alternative approach to these conversations. Answering the “devil” question should be viewed as a catastrophic way forward.  Alternative responses include, “Let me explain what the Wiccans I know believe” or even better “ Let me tell you a little about what Wiccans do”.  We must as a religious community cease to respond to the outlandish if we are to be viewed as a credible religious movement by wider society.  Such responses just feed the idea that Wiccans are the “other” and not engaged in a theology that has depth and meaning.”
  • Professor Ronald Hutton takes some of his epertise on various topics to the small screen with a new 12 part series on British television.
  • Some news of the weird from Nottinghamshire in England.
  • Harvey Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk,  speaks up on marriage equality and other LGBT issues during the San Francisco Pride events.
  • The National Geogrpahic website has an article about the recently discovered moons of Pluto and their new official names, William Shatner was disappointed with the final decision.
  • The United Church of Christ (UCC) votes to divest itself of holdings in fossil fuels, make them the first Christian denomination in the US to take a stand on such ecological matters.
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) full survivor benefits for LGBT partners and families.

Music

  1. Celia (as the Trestlefoot Faerie) – I’m Not Homophobic – Naughty in Pink
  2. Leigh Anne Hussey – Harper David – Homebrew
  3. Paradiso – Truth of Nothingness – Shaman’s Trance
  4. Lorelei Greenwood – Gaullimaufry
  5. Wendy Rule – Out of the Dry Summer – Guided by Venus 
  6. Elaine Silver – Don’t You Know – Faerie Goddess
  7. Heartbeat – Creation
  8. Tuatha Dea – Hypocritical Mass – The Tribe (featuring Murphey’s Midnight Rounders)

Stories we didn’t have time for….

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PWN: SCOTUS Rulings, First Thoughts

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RevKess shares his first thoughts on the SCOTUS rulings on DOMA Section 3 and California’s Proposition 8. (Our apologies for any format errors, this was originally submitted for publication or quote for another site.)

In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS has overturned DOMA. This ruling’s immediate effect is that Ms. Windsor does not owe the IRS $300k in estate taxes. Long term effects are many. The Federal government must now recognize the legitimacy of same-sex marriage performed in any state that has legal same-sex marriage, and the District of Columbia. This recognition is for the purposes of taxes, spousal benefits for military personnel and Federal employees, property rights, etc. This does not mean that all states must now legalize same-sex marriage.

In another 5-4 decision, SCOTUS has tossed Prop8 back down to the lower court with instructions to dismiss the case. Sometime by August 1, 2013, hundred, perhaps thousands, of same-sex couples in California will be applying for marriage licenses and making their plans final and legal to be married.
Today marks an affirmation by SCOTUS that the United States is a country of freedoms and equal rights. This despite their ruling Tuesday on Voter Rights and the Federal government’s further attempts to restrict or take away other rights of US citizens. The five Justices that ruled against DOMA will go down in LGBT history as heroes. The five Justices who ruled against Prop8 will also go down in LGBT history as heroes.
As a gay man I am thrilled to hear these rulings. At the time of this writing I have not slogged through all the legalese of both opinions the dissenters, that will come after the initial euphoria has waned a bit. I can only hope that the DOMA decision will reflect well on the efforts of my state to over turn their own version of DOMA. The ban on same-sex marriage in Nebraska was a complete farce. The law was written by a woman with no legal background, the phrasing of the law was son confusing that a literal interpretation can prevent a father and son from owning a business together, let alone two men or two women getting married. After the election day that voted Nebraska’s ban of same-sex marriage into law, many voters were polled and it was learned that over 50% of those who voted for the ban thought they were voting for same-sex marriage. Such is the wonders of legalese and a lack of education. Since then, Nebraskans have been fighting for marriage equality with half-hearted attempts and full-hearted attempts. I do hope that after today those who are fighting for marriage equality in Nebraska will reaffirm their convictions and stick it to the government.
As a Pagan I am thrilled by both rulings. “All acts of love and pleasure” are the rituals of the Gods. I personally feel thatpagan marriage equality the government should have no say in whether legal consenting adults get married, regardless of their sex or sexual identity. Marriage in this context is a religious institution. How politicos view marriage is as a legal contract. If you are going to view marriage as a legal contract, then any two consenting adults should be able to enter into such a contract.
I am a legally ordained and recognized minister in the state of Nebraska, and many other states that recognize my ordination. I have been asked many times to do weddings and handfastings. I’ve not had the joy or the privilege to perform a same-sex ceremony. I have been asked, but things changed in the lives of the couples and the unions did not take place. If I were asked today to go to one of the 12 (soon to be 13) states that have legal same-sex marriage (and the District of Columbia) to perform such a glorious union, I would gladly do so. If I were asked today to do a same-sex handfasting or other such ceremony in any of the 50 states or anywhere else in the world, I would gladly do so.
I am now and always have been of the firm opinion that all adults have the right to love who they want and how they want as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others or place themselves or others at risk of undue harm.
There is still a long uphill battle in the United States for marriage equality. The provision of DOMA that allows states without same-sex marriage to ignore the validity of a same-sex marriage from a state that does still stands. SCOTUS declared Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional. The rest of DOMA still stands, which means that each state still has the right to define marriage according to its voters or law makers.
For further Pagan responses to the SCOTUS rulings, read the Wild Hunt.