Jeff and Paul and Sandy and Kris — the plaintiffs in the challenge to California’s Proposition 8 — have released a video describing their Thanksgiving traditions and the role the holiday plays in reaffirming gay and lesbian families:
JEFF: It would be really important that is this was the year that we could finally get married, that this would be our last Thanksgiving as bachelors… In this time of Thanksgiving where we tell stories, and I think that as gays and lesbians that well tell our stories around those tables. …There’s going to be a lot of gays and lesbians with families sitting around the table, and it’s important at the end of the day that people realize that family is family — whether it’s gays and lesbians with children, like Kris and Sandy, or whether it’s opposite sex couples with kids. A family is a family and that’s the foundation and this is a day of Thanksgiving that we celebrate that.
Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court ruled that proponents of Proposition 8 may assert the state’s interest in appealing Federal District Judge Walker Vaughn’s ruling declaring the anti-gay marriage initiative unconstitutional when state officials fail to do so. The decision of whether or not to grant standing now goes back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where the appeal will take place.
The Court has also announced that it will hear the appeal of U.S. District Court Judge James Ware’s ruling “denying the Proposition 8 proponents’ attempt to have Walker’s ruling vacated” because of his sexual orientation.
The Family Research Council’s (FRC) Peter Sprigg — who has previously called for the criminalization of homosexuality — argues that the United States can stop the spread of AIDS by “[d]iscouraging anal intercourse and sex with multiple partners,” practices which he describes as “not unique to homosexual men, but more prevalent among them.”
It has just been announced that the Australian government’s plan to impose a 30% tax on big mining companies has passed through parliament’s lower house. It is also expected that it will pass the upper senate early next year.
The bill passed narrowly with 73 votes to 71 with support from the Greens, a leftist liberal party.
Analysts say, this clears the way for it to pass when it goes to the upper senate in early 2012, where the government and the Greens hold the balance of power.
The Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill will tax coal and iron profits and mining companies will have to pay about $11bn Australian dollars ($10.8bn; £6.9bn) in charges in the first three years of the tax. It has been suggested that this is the way in which all “Australians share in the bounty of the mining boom” accoridng to Wayne Swan, Treasurer.
Australia’s iron ore exports rose to a record high in September of $6.3bn Australian dollars, with the biggest demand coming from China and India.
The government says that the money raised will go towards reducing taxes on other companies, and helping the government bring the budget to surplus next financial year.
“This is a way in which all Australians share in the bounty of the mining boom,” said Treasurer Wayne Swan to Parliament.