Housing crisis: 14 million abandoned homes and growing

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Ontario alters gender-change rules

From Xtra Canada:  http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Ontario_alters_genderchange_rules-12641.aspx

ONTARIO NEWS / Trans people no longer require full sex reassignment surgery to get new legal documents
Justin Ling
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
What was once impossible for transgender Ontarians is now attainable in six to eight weeks for a $37 fee.
And that’s good news, say activists.
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruled in April that the Government of Ontario’s regulations on changing the designated gender on a birth certificate were discriminatory. It sent Queen’s Park back to the drawing board to come up with some new ideas.
Previously, transgender people had to undergo full sex reassignment surgery before being permitted to change their gender on birth certificates – the document that acts as a foundation for the information on all other government-issued identification. Many in the trans community thought this an unnecessary hurdle.
But now all that’s required in an application is a signed declaration and a note from a doctor or psychologist. The only caveat for changing a birth certificate is that the applicant must be 18 years of age.
The cost for editing the designated gender is $37, plus the $25 or $35 fee for ordering the new birth certificate – either short form or long form.
These changes – published to the Ontario Government Services website – came in right under the wire. The Human Rights Tribunal gave the government 180 days to edit its procedures, which meant a deadline of Oct 8. The changes went online Oct 5.
“The reaction has been positive,” says John Friesen, spokesperson to Harinder Takhar, minister of government services. “We were able to find a balance.”
He says that ministry people collected input from various stakeholder groups to try to strike a middle ground. He says the consultations were a channel for those groups to have a hand in crafting good policies.
“This is a fantastic decision,” says Susan Gapka, chair of the Trans Lobby Group, which was a part of the government consultations.
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Matthew Shepard December 1, 1976-October 12, 1998

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Gay Bashing by Churches Is Why a New Pew Poll Shows America Losing Its Religion

I would add the blatant woman hating and flat out misogyny is probably helping many women realize that they don’t need religion because there isn’t any god.

I mean if you want holidays like the end of the year shopping festival go for it but any real connection between “Christmas” and religion vanished long before they started calling the Friday after Thanksgiving “Black Friday.”

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-besen/gay-bashing-by-churches-is-why-a-new-pew-poll-shows-america-losing-its-religion_b_1951650.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


10/12/2012

A new poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals that a record number of Americans (19.3 percent) have abandoned faith and now consider themselves unaffiliated with any particular religion. According to USA Today:

This group, called “Nones,” is now the nation’s second-largest category only to Catholics, and outnumbers the top Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptists. The shift is a significant cultural, religious and even political change.

Today … the Nones have leapt from 15.3% of U.S. adults in 2007, according to Pew studies.

One in three (32%) are under age 30 and unlikely to age into claiming a religion, says Pew Forum senior researcher Greg Smith. The new study points out that today’s Millennials are more unaffiliated than any young generation ever has been when they were younger.

If you want to understand the reasons behind this trend, take a moment to read a disturbing letter that Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt sent to the mother of a gay son. In it, the holy man told the mother that her “eternal salvation” might depend on whether or not she embraced the anti-gay teachings of the Catholic Church, thus rejecting her own child. Talk about family values!

Such a callous admonition might have worked in the past, when people had little education. It might have resonated in bygone eras, when gays and lesbians were invisible and easy to demonize as the “other.” It might have held sway had the Catholic Church’s credibility not been left in tatters after the church spent more than $2.5 billion to clean up the wreckage wrought by pedophile priests and their enablers.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-besen/gay-bashing-by-churches-is-why-a-new-pew-poll-shows-america-losing-its-religion_b_1951650.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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The Resident — Is America losing its religion?

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What Does the Church Think? Women’s Rights Framed as Religious Question In V.P. Debate

From RH Reality Check:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/10/12/6-minutes-in-heaven-womens-rights-get-brief-mention-via-religious-framing-in-vp-d

by Robin Marty
October 12, 2012

Two debates into a four debate format, we have now seen all four members of the opposing campaigns debate the issues most important to the American voters.  In that total 180 minutes of debate time, topics traditionally considered to be “women’s issues” have been discussed for exactly six minutes.

That’s 3.3 percent of the total discussion.

In less time than it takes to smoke a cigarette, in less time than the federal government mandates for bathroom breaks, in less time than it takes to listen to “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones, last night the Vice Presidential candidates paid lip-service to a woman’s right to choose not just whether to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, but even the right to prevent that pregnancy in the first place with easy access to affordable contraception. Her right to do so wasn’t presented as a given — even though legally and ethically both should be. Instead, it was couched as a question of morality under a religious framing, as if Catholicism, and not a woman’s personal autonomy, should be the deciding factor of a woman’s right to control her body.

“How does your faith shape your position on abortion?” should never be a question asked of political candidates. For one thing, a person’s faith shouldn’t be an issue that voters need to be wary of when it comes to choosing a candidate to support. What a person believe personally and what is legal, what is constitutional, and frankly, what is fair and just, is how a politician needs to promise to govern.

Complete article at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/10/12/6-minutes-in-heaven-womens-rights-get-brief-mention-via-religious-framing-in-vp-d

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Obama: Romney Was Severely Kidding About Past Positions

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