Bill to Give Gay Servicemembers Spousal Benefits Introduced

Bill to Give Gay Servicemembers Spousal Benefits Introduced

Legislation introduced in Congress on Thursday would give gay and lesbian servicemembers access to the spousal rights and benefits their straight counterparts already enjoy.

The legislation, called the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2012, was introduced by Representative Adam Smith who is a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.

“While the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was a tremendous step forward, there is more that can be done to ensure that the rights of all of our services members and their spouse, regardless of whether they are of the same-sex or opposite-sex as the service member, are protected,” said Ranking Member Adam Smith in a press release.

“What this bill does is simple: if veterans or service members have a spouse of the same-sex, then their spouse will be afforded the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. Spouses of service members should not be prevented from receiving the benefits they have earned simply because they are the same sex as their partner. This discriminatory practice must come to an end.”

The Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act of 2012 would change the definition of spouse in the relevant sections of United States code to say: ”an individual shall be considered a ‘spouse’ if the marriage of the individual is valid in the State in which the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any State, if the marriage is valid in the place in which the marriage was entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a State.”

Currently, the Department of Defense bases its definition on federal law which, per the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, bans recognition of same-sex marriages.

There is also a federal lawsuit underway that challenges this denial of benefits. The lawsuit, McLaughlin v. U.S., was filed in October 2011 and, like the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act, targets Titles 10, 32, and 38 that define married same-sex couples out of accessing any spousal benefits. Backing that lawsuit is the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. For obvious reasons, the new legislation will also be of interest to them.

Here’s what they had to say about the introduction of the Act:

“Our nation’s senior military leaders and commanders on the ground are increasingly uncomfortable with administering two classes of recognition, support and benefits for our nation’s service members – one for straight service members and a different one for their gay and lesbian peers. There cannot be two classes of service members, and this legislation addresses that effectively,” [said Executive Director Aubry Sarvis.]

“Ranking Member Smith has recognized with the introduction of this legislation today that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal – while a monumental achievement for gay and lesbian service members and all Americans – does not finish the job of ensuring full equality for these brave patriots and their families. We thank him for his leadership and urge his colleagues in both parties and in both houses of Congress to join him and us in this important fight,” said Sarvis.

Sarvis said he expects a companion bill to be introduced soon in the U.S. Senate and that SLDN, working with allies, will seek to gain co-sponsors for the legislation in both bodies.

Given that House Republicans have made concerted moves on at least three separate occasions to try and prevent same-sex marriages being carried out on bases, and have pursued several avenues to shore up the Defense of Marriage Act, it seems unlikely that this legislation will find widespread bipartisan support in the House at this time.





Upon coming to know that miscreants have attacked the Christian shrine at Holy Hill, PUCL decided to visit the spot and find out the facts. A team comprising M/s P.B.D’SA, Walter Maben, Ali Hasan and Suresh Bhat from the Dakshina Kannada unit of PUCL went to the spot at around 5 O’Clock in the evening on 26.06.2012.


The Holy Hill shrine is located on top of a small hill approachable by road from Simon Lane opposite the Capitanio High School and not very far from the Mahaveera Circle (Pumpwell Circle). The spot with its majestic panoramic view of the surrounding area is a visual treat for the visitors. The entire area of around 2.5 acres including the shrine was acquired in 1994 by the Servants of Lord Trust. The inspiration behind the latter is Mr. Paul Rodrigues, a local resident. According to Mr. Rodrigues, the shrine was constructed in 1997 and thrown open to devotees from 24th September onwards.


There is an iron gate at the entrance to the shrine proper. Flower pots kept on the parapet one side greet the visitors. At the very top there are benches and wide steps lead to a raised platform on which there is a huge 30-foot-high Cross. The Cross stands on a square pillar. In the front side of this pillar there is a glass enclosure containing a small kerosene lamp. The lamp is kept burning all the time. On all the four sides of the pillar and just below the Cross there are electric lamps in waterproof glass covers. Underneath the Cross a small prayer chamber has been built for conducting prayers during the rainy season.


According to the caretaker of the shrine, Mr. Melvyl D’Souza, the place is kept open from 6 in the morning till 7 in the evening. After 7 p.m., the gates are closed and locked. On June 24th too the same routine had been followed. But on 25th morning it was discovered that though the lock was intact, some miscreants had somehow trespassed into the property. It was found that many of the flower pots had been pushed over and many others were broken. The top cover and the sliding glass at the front end of the lamp enclosure were both found missing. Pieces of glass splinters were found strewn around on the floor. Three out of the four electric lamps had been pulled out and thrown down. The fourth one was found intact because obviously the miscreants were unable to reach it by hand.


In the meanwhile someone had informed the police about the incident. A team of policemen from the Kankanady Rural police station came to the spot, inspected the damage and heard the complaints. Even the Police Commissioner, the Assistant Police Commissioner and other top officials visited the place. According to the caretaker, the policemen even swept the floor, removed the glass pieces and replaced the broken flower pots. He is not certain as to whether the police took any photographs of the various damages. This is rather curious. Similar cases have happened during the 2008 church attacks as has been recorded by Justice (retd.) M.F.Saldanha in his enquiry report. Mr. Saldanha has emphatically written that the police were hand-in-glove with the communalists who carried out the attacks. He has described in detail how the police used to come to the spot within minutes of the attack and how they used to clean the debris with the sole intention of obliterating all tell-tale signs of attack.



Hence we are almost certain that the Holy Hill case too is a continuation of the attacks by communal forces on Christians and their places of worship. One may recall that, in the 2008 church attacks case, all the communal rowdies facing trial were later pardoned off by the cabinet of the BJP government of Karnataka while many innocent Christians who were falsely charged continue to attend courts.


While it is absolutely essential to catch the miscreants as soon as possible and punish them in accordance with the law of the land, yet it is our firm belief that punishing just the perpetrators will not guarantee an end to future communal attacks. It will not put an end to the unending series of attacks by communalists against Minorities and their places of worship. For that to happen it is very, very essential that the masterminds behind all such communal attacks are caught and punished too. Hence what is required now is an impartial judicial enquiry or a thorough inquiry by a central agency to identify and book the masterminds.


ಪುರೋಹಿತ್‌ಶಾಹಿ – ಆಮ್ಕಾಂ ಬಾಂದುನ್ ಘಾಲ್ಚಿ ಸಾಂಕಳ್.

ಪುರೋಹಿತ್‌ಶಾಹಿ – ಆಮ್ಕಾಂ ಬಾಂದುನ್ ಘಾಲ್ಚಿ ಸಾಂಕಳ್.

source – Kittall Media Network

ವಿಚಾರ್  ವೊಳಿಂತ್ ಪರ್ಗಟ್ ಕೆಲ್ಲೆಂ ಲೇಖನ್   “ಸದಾಂ ಧೊಸ್ಚೊ ದೇವ್”  ಕೊಂಕ್ಣೆಕ್ ತರ‍್ಜುಂಕ್ ಪರ್ವಣ್ಗಿ ಮಾಗ್ತಾನಾ, ದೊ. ನಾ.ಡಿಸೋಜಾನ್ ಹಾಸೊನ್‌ಶೆಂ ವಿಚಾರ‍್ಲೆಂ:

ಕೋಣ್ ಪ್ರಗಟ್ ಕರ್ತಾ?

ಸತ್ತರ್ ವರ್ಸಾಂಚ್ಯಾ ತೆವ್ಶಿಲ್ಯಾ ಪೊಂತಾಕ್ ಪಾವ್ಲೆಲ್ಯಾ ದೊ. ನಾ.ಡಿಸೋಜಾಚೊ ಭಾವಾಡ್ತ್ ಫಕತ್ ‘ಮ್ಹನ್ಶಾಪಣ್’ ಮ್ಹಣ್ತಾ. ತಾಕಾ ಚೆಪೆಂ ಉಕಲ್ಚೆ ಸವೆಂ ಮ್ಹಜಿಂ ಥೊಡಿಂ ಸವಾಲಾಂ ಆಸುಲ್ಲಿಂ. ತಾಚಿ ಜಾಪ್ ಹಾಂಗಾ ಆಸಾ. ಹೆ ಉಪ್ರಾಂತ್ ಕಿಟಾಳಾರ್ ಫಾಯ್ಸ್ ಜಾಂವ್ಚಿಂ ತಾಚಿಂ ವಯ್ಚಾರಿಕ್ ಲೇಕನಾಂ ಸಮ್ಜುಂಕ್ ಹ್ಯಾ ಸಂದರ್ಶನ್ ಉಪ್ಕಾರಾಕ್ ಪಡ್ಟೆಲೆಂ.


ಸದಾಂ ದೊಸ್ಚೊ ದೇವ್ -ದೊ. ನಾ.ಡಿಸೋಜಾ


ಸದಾಂ ದೊಸ್ಚೊ ದೇವ್

– ದೊ. ನಾ.ಡಿಸೋಜಾ

[ ದೊ. ನಾ. ಡಿ ಸೊಜಾ ಹಾಣಿ ಕನ್ನಡಾಂತ್ ಸೃಜನ್‌ಶೀಳ್ ಸಾಹಿತ್ ಮಾತ್ ನ್ಹಂಯ್ ಜಾಯ್ತೆಂ ವಯ್ಚಾರಿಕ್ ಸಾಹಿತ್ ರಚ್ಲಾಂ. ತಾಚ್ಯೊ ಕಾಣಿಯೊ ಪಿಂತುರಾಂ ಜಾವ್ನ್ ರಾಶ್ಟ್ರೀಯ್ , ಅಂತಾರಾಶ್ಟ್ರೀಯ್ ಪಾಂವ್ಡ್ಯಾರ್ ಇನಾಮಾಂ ಮೆಳ್ಳ್ಯಾಂತ್. ಹೆಂ ಲೇಕನ್ ತಾಚ್ಯಾ ಪರ್ವಣ್ಗೆನ್ ಹಾಂಗಾಸರ್ ದಿಲಾಂ. ದೊ. ನಾ. ಡಿ ಸೊಜಾಚಿಂ ಅಸಲಿಂ ಲೇಕನಾಂ ಸಂಧರ್ಬಾನುಸಾರ್ ಕಿಟಾಳ್ ಫಾಯ್ಸ್ ಕರ್ತೆಲೆಂ. ಹ್ಯಾ ಲೇಕನಾ ಸಾಂಗಾತಾ ಕಿಟಾಳಾ ಖಾತಿರ್ ನಾಮ್ಣೆಚೊ ತರ್ಜಣ್ ಸಾಹಿತಿ ಜೆ ವಿ ಕಾರ್ಲೊ ಹಾಣಿ ಘೆತ್‌ಲ್ಲೆಂ ಸಂದರ್ಶನ್ ದಿಲಾಂ. ದೊ. ನಾ ಡಿಸೊಜಾಚೆ ವಿಚಾರ್ ಸಮ್ಜೊಂಕ್ ಹೆಂ ಸಂದರ್ಶನ್ ಪೂರಕ್ ಜಾತೆಲೆಂ. ತುಮ್ಚ್ಯಾ ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಾಂಕ್ ಯೆವ್ಕಾರ್  ಆಸಾ.

ಎಚ್ಚೆಮ್ ]

‘ದೇವ್’ ಮ್ಹಳ್ಳೆಲೊ ಸಬ್ದ್ ಭಕ್ತಿಕಾಂಕ್ ವಿಶೇಸ್ ಧೊಸಿನಾ. ದೊಸ್ಚೊ, ‘ನಾಸ್ತಿಕ್’ ಮ್ಹಣೊನ್ ಬಿಲ್ಲೊ ಲಾವ್ನ್ ಘೆತ್ಲೆಲ್ಯಾಂಕ್. ಭವಾಡ್ತಿ, ದೇವ್ ಮ್ಹಳ್ಳ್ಯಾ ಫರಾ ದೊಳೆ ದಾಂಪುನ್ ಹಾತ್ ಜೋಡ್ನ್ ಮಾತೆಂ ಬಾಗಾಯ್ತಾ. ತಾಣೆ ಪಾತ್ಯೆಂವ್ಚೊ ದೇವ್ ತಾಚಾ ಮತಿ ಪಡ್ದ್ಯಾರ್ ಉದೆವ್ನ್ ತಾಚೆರ್ ಆಶಿರ್ವಾದಾಂ ವೊತ್ತಾ. ಹಾಂಗಾ ಮ್ಹನ್ಶಾ ಆನಿ ದೆವಾ ಮದ್ಲೊ ಸಂಬಂದ್ ಘಟ್ ಜಾವ್ನ್ ಯೆತಾ. ಹಾಚೆ ಭಾಯ್ರ್ ಭಕ್ತಿಕ್ ಕಿತೆಂಚ್ ಚಿಂತುಂಕ್ ವಚಾನಾ. ಪುಣ್, ದೆವಾಕ್ ಪಾತ್ಯೆನಾತ್ಲ್ಯಾ ನಾಸ್ತಿಕಾಚಿ ಕಾಣಿ ಅಂಗಾ ಸಂಪಾನಾ. ತಿ ಹಾಂಗಾ ಥಾವ್ನ್ ಆರಂಭ್ ಜಾತಾ!…..

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Fresh leaks hit Vatican

Fresh leaks hit Vatican

ROME, June 3, 2012, AFP:
Just 10 days after the pope’s butler was arrested in an investigation into Holy See leaks, an Italian daily on Sunday published fresh whistleblower letters, suggesting the scandal is far from over.

Three new documents filched from the Vatican were sent to La Repubblica by an anonymous source in another blow for the Holy See, which has played down rumours that top clerics may be orchestrating a number of informers.

“The truth can be found at the top of the heirarchy,” the source said in a letter accompanying the documents, apparently accusing one of Pope Benedict XVI’s personal secretaries, Georg Gaenswein, of allowing secrets to slip out. Gaenswein, who has access to the pope’s personal study, has been passing highly secret documents to the Holy See’s number two, Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone — some of which then ended up splashed in the media — the whistleblower said.