Gay issues at home, school and church
(CNN) -- "Voices," a regular feature of CNN.com, compiles comments on major news issues.
Homosexuality was at the forefront of discussions this week on topics related to education, entertainment, marriage and morality. Below are excerpts from the speeches and interviews of politicians, spiritual leaders, activists and entertainers.
Trevor Potter, Republican attorney and gay Episcopalian
As the Episcopal Church prepared to discuss same-sex relationships and the possible confirmation of a New Hampshire gay canon as bishop at its national convention, Potter appeared on CNN.
" ...I think there's always going to be a difference of opinion on issues. The church was almost split by the ordination of women. ... I suspect that, if (the Rev. Gene) Robinson is confirmed (as bishop) and if the Episcopal Church decides to have some sort of a right that blesses a same-sex union, there will be people who are uncomfortable with it. But, over time, I think the church has to be true to what it sees as its prophetic mission. It has to decide how best to preach God's love and the message of Christ....We bless foxhounds. We bless houses. Why not bless people who are in a good relationship in the church and include them?"
The Vatican issued a 12-page document approved by Pope John Paul II calling on Roman Catholic lawmakers to block legislation granting legal rights to homosexual unions.
"...There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts 'close the sexual act to the gift of life.'... Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies 'must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.'
Kirk Marcolina, co-producer of 'Boy Meets Boy'
Marcolina, an executive of the gay dating show, appeared on CNN this week.
"... One of the main objectives for the show... is to really break down stereotypes about gay and lesbian people, and sort of break down the barriers between gay people and straight people.... there is an audience out there for gay and lesbian programming. And I think, really, television is just catching up to where society is today."
Sandy Rios, president of Concerned Women for America
Rios appeared on CNN to discuss a growing acceptance of gay themes in entertainment.
"... Americans are changing their attitudes. And I think the reason is that they are having such an onslaught of homosexual material...Remember when television was pretty innocent ... But suddenly we started having themes of adultery in television. ... But what they don't show is the next morning when that man goes back home to his wife and his children and looks in their faces. And in this case... they don't show what happens when gay men go from partner to partner and have their hearts broken. They don't show when they get HIV/AIDS and their friends die."
Genevieve Wood, Family Research Council
Wood appeared on CNN for a discussion about whether a school for gay students represented safety or isolation. The council promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for society.
"...We don't allow people to harass other children because of their religious beliefs or the color of their skin. We shouldn't allow them to be harassed for anything. But that ought to be dealt with in the school. We don't just say, well, we give up and pull everybody out. I would argue that a lot of homosexual activists, really what they want is for the public... to put a public stamp of approval and government funds behind creating this school, because they believe in some way that will then legitimize homosexuality."
Jeff Garber, OPUSCOMM Group
OPUSCOMM Group specializes in gay and lesbian research. Garber appeared on CNN to discuss the opening of a New York school for homosexual and transgender students.
"... If it was a perfect world, we would have an environment where no one would be harassed regardless of their sexual orientation or religious beliefs. But you can't ignore exactly what's happening in regards to harassment with the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) youth. Our recent student network poll said that ... 88 percent of GLBT youth received verbal harassment, 65 percent received sexual harassment and 38 percent skipped school..... GLBT youth, like everyone else, deserves a safe environment where they can receive an education that allows them to take their place in the community."
President George Bush
During a press conference, Bush issued the following response to express his view on homosexuality.
"I am mindful that we are all sinners. And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of a neighbor's eye when they've got a log in their own.... On the other hand, that does not meant that somebody like me needs to compromise on an issue such as marriage...I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman. And I think we ought to codify that one way or the other. And we've got lawyers looking at the best way to do that."
U.S. Rep. Janice Schakowsky, D-Illinois
Schakowsky appeared on NBC's Today Show this week.
"... I hope (Bush) is not talking about supporting a Constitutional amendment.... With all the problems we have in this country, to amend the Constitution to outlaw these kinds of loving and committed relationships is just remarkable to me. You would think people with family values would actually want to encourage these long-term commitments."