Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Written by scott on July 19th, 2014

Seriously?Here’s the the latest in our ongoing series of some of the crazy things the anti-gay marriage equality opponents are saying and doing around the world.

Bsy-78iIUAAf3xcWe Need a Parade for the Straight White Guys
Tired of being un-oppressed, paid higher wages, and deferred to by almost everyone as a straight white guy? Have we got the event for you. Queerty reports: “According to the flyers, which began circulating earlier this week, the festival will take place in Goodale Park in Clintonville, OH on September 20 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free. Everyone is welcome. Beer will be available, but illegal drugs are forbidden.” So bring all your straight white friends and stand up in solidarity as an unoppressed majority!
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You Choose to Be Gay, So We Can Choose to Be Homophobes
That’s the gist of the argument by San Francisco Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who is reviving the tired old line about giving special rights for sexual “behavior”. “Instead of protecting persons, ENDA uses the force of the law to coerce everyone to accept a deeply problematic understanding of human sexuality and sexual behaviour and to condone such behaviour. The current proposed ENDA legislation is not about protecting persons, but behaviour. Churches, businesses and individuals should not be punished in any way for living by their religious and moral convictions concerning sexual activity. Eliminating truly unjust discrimination – based on personal characteristics, not sexual behaviour – and protecting religious freedom are goals that we all should share.” To which I’d simply reply “Ok so you can choose to be gay? Let’s see you try.”
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AIDS Is a Gay Disease
Some thirty years and counting into the AIDS crisis, it’s disheartening to hear that some folks still hold this view. And yet, here is a tweet from the AFA’s Bryan Fischer that manages to not only continue this malicious bit of misinformation but to slam President Obama and take advantage of the Malaysian plane crash all at the same time. “Obama politicizes deaths of AIDS researchers on Malaysian plane. We know how to stop AIDS: persuade men not to have sex with men.” Yes, Mr. Fischer, we do know how to stop AIDS – safe sex and clean needles. I always wonder how low you’ll manage to sink in your crusade against the LGBT community – you’ve reached a new low today.
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I’d Rather Die Than Let Adam and Steve Marry
So says John Stemberger, executive director of the Christian Family Coalition of Florida, in the wake of the Key West ruling for mariage equality. “This is an issue worth dying for. Every domestic partnership, every single civil union, every couple that cohabitates, these arrangements dilute and devalue marriage. This is a very sad day for Floridians. This is an entirely illegitimate process. The judge had no legal authority in this decision. He claimed in his decision that you and I and others like us are animated by animus, which is really hatred, which nothing could be further from the truth.” Wait, so you believe so strongly that gays should not be allowed to marry, but there’s no animus behind that belief? Sorry, not feeling the Christ-love here. And homophobes like you are dying off, every day and every year. That’s party of why love is winning.
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Tenth Circuit Rules Oklahoma Marriage Equality Ban Unconstitutional

Written by scott on July 18th, 2014

Oklahoma Marriage Equality Case in Legal LimboThe same panel that found Utah’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional just struck down the Oklahoma marriage equality ban.

The Advocate reports:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled Friday that Oklahoma’s ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional, and that couples should be able to wed. This is the second time a three-judge panel from the Denver-based court has found that a state’s ban is unconstitutional. In June, the same panel came to the same conclusion around Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage. According to the Associated Press, Friday’s ruling is the first time a federal appellate court ruled that the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling striking down a section of the Defense of Marriage Act also meant that states could not deny same-sex couples the right to marry. As of now, marriages for same-sex couples both in Oklahoma and Utah will remain on hold. This is the 26th consecutive federal or state court ruling to come down on the side of marriage equality since the Windsor ruling in June 2013.

Woohoo! Closer and closer to the US Supreme Court…

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Marriage Equality Round-Up 7/18/14

Written by scott on July 18th, 2014

Gay Wedding RingsHere’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Austria: Opera Singer Tamar Iveri, accused of homophobia, will now host a charity concert for LGBT rights. full story

China: A recent ruling means that transgender people can now marry, even though the legislature has not gotten around to codifying it in law. full story

India: LGBT Weekly profiles the state of LGBT rights in Assam, one of the country’s provinces. full story

Lebanon: Police are still using an invasive anal test for homosexuality that is humiliating, painful and ineffective. full story

Malta: Civil Liberties Minister Helena Dalli says she is ashamed it took the country so long to legalize civil unions for same sex couples. full story

Ukraine: More than 100 AIDS activists en-route to a conference in Australia were killed in the Malaysian Airlines crash yesterday. full story

USA: Two and a Half Men is planning a fake gay wedding plot for its final season. full story

USA, Colorado: A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple is appealing a decision against him. full story

USA, Colorado: LGBT activists held a rally to urge AG John Suthers to drop his defense of the state’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Florida: Tallahassee Mayor John Marks is speaking out for marriage equality. full story

USA, Indiana / Wisconsin: The Seventh circuit has cancelled a planned hearing for 8/13 for the two marriage equality cases, saying they will reschedule them soon. full story

USA, Missouri: A lesbian who was fired from a Catholic for pantry after marrying her partner is suing the Diocese. full story

USA, Montana: Republican Attorney General Tim Fox asked a federal court to uphold the state’s ban on marriage equality. full story

USA, Nevada: State Sen. Pat Spearman, a gay state lawmaker and pastor, officiated a same sex wedding over the weekend. full story

USA, Washington DC: Fresh off its Supreme Court win for “religious freedom”, Hobby Lobby plans to build a bible museum in the nation’s capital. full story


Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Written by scott on July 18th, 2014

Seriously?Here’s the the latest in our ongoing series of some of the crazy things the anti-gay marriage equality opponents are saying and doing around the world.

Burger King Proud Whopper Celebrates Cross-Dressers
Now that’s a leap. The American Family Association claims a rainbow-wrapped burger sold by Burger King at SF Pride somehow promoted cross-dressers, among other things: “Your celebrated promotion of cross-dressers and homosexuality is an insult to families and I find your celebration of abhorrent behaviour as a reason to dine elsewhere. I hope you will learn from this publicity blunder and realize that while most stores did not participate in the corporate-approved program, the damage has been done and affects the image of all Burger King outlets.” I guess because it was wrapped in a pretty rainbow package. so the burger was cross-dressing as a rainbow? Even for the AFA, this is pretty low – they have to know there’s a huge difference between being a “cross-dresser” and being transgender, but they willfully use this slur against the transgender community. Stay classy, AFA.
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Gays Will Be Possessed by Demons and Suffer Spiritual death
Christian conservative Gordon Klingenschmitt went on a bit of a rant against homosexuality this week: They say, ‘Oh, it’s all about love.’ No, it’s about lust, it’s about selfishness,” Klingenschmitt said. “They don’t care about the other person, they want self-gratification for themselves, contrary to their own nature, contrary to what God designed for them. And they receive in themselves the penalty for that error. The penalty for that sin is not just STDS or some biological curse, not just AIDS, but they receive into themselves the demonic spirit that rules their hearts, and with that comes ultimately the consequence of spiritual death.” of course, one could argue that a “christian” that rejects God’s teaching about love and instead preaches hatred toward his fellow man has undergone a spiritual death of his own.
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Marriage Equality Affirming Churches are Satan’s Church
John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, had some choice words for churches that welcome the LGBT community and marriage equality: “They have no allegiance to the Bible. You go back to every one of those seminaries … for a century [they] have been deniers of biblical authority, they have no relationship to scripture, they are the apostate church, they are Satan’s church.” See comment above.
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Florida Marriage Equality Comes to the Keys

Written by scott on July 18th, 2014

FloridaA judge in Key West just ruled in favor of marriage equality, one of three pending rulings in the state.

The Washington Blade reports:

A state judge in Florida issued a ruling Thursday enjoining state officials from enforcing the state’s same-sex marriage ban in the Florida Keys, but gay couples apparently won’t be able to wed anytime soon there because a notice of appeal was filed. In the latest of an unbroken string of victories in support of marriage equality, Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia issues summary judgment in favor same-sex couples in his jurisdiction challenging Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage. “This court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it is our country’s proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority,” Garcia writes.

There will apparently be no weddings in Key West for now:

Garcia enjoins the Monroe County clerk in the Florida Keys from enforcing the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the clerk must begin giving marriage licenses to gay couples no later than Tuesday. But Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has already filed a notice of appeal. The action from Bondi has made it so same-sex couples will not be able to obtain marriage licenses beginning at that time, according to Monroe County.

Not so fast, says the Sun-Sentinel:

How does Attorney General Pam Bondi’s appeal affect the ruling? “The appeal automatically stays the decision, unless the judge lifts the stay,” said Elizabeth Schwartz, the attorney in a Miami-Dade case where six same-sex couples are suing for the right to marry. “If the court decides to lift the stay, then yes, you can go and get married in Monroe County regardless of where you live.”

Former Governor Charlie Crist applauded the ruling.

On Top Magazine reports:

“This is a great step toward equality in Florida,” Crist tweeted to his more than 19,600 followers. “#LoveisLove.” Crist, who is currently campaigning for his old job as a Democrat, filed an amicus brief in support of a federal challenge to Florida’s marriage ban.

So now we wait and see if the judge lifts the automatic stay.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Florida.


“Religious Exemption” is Really “Religious Privilege”

Written by scott on July 18th, 2014

Sue O'ConnellWe have been oh so careful. How many times have we assured religious leaders that marriage equality will not mean that Catholic priests will have to start performing marriages between two lesbians? How many times have we bit our lip when a religious school has fired a gay person because he didn’t set the correct example? How many times have we crafted laws to clearly allow religious organizations an out — a way to circumvent the law because of their strongly held anti-gay religious beliefs?

We were careful because the LGBT community understood the tensions between religion and being LGB or T. Many of us are — or were — religious people. Many of us have been rejected by our faith leaders. Many of us have been rejected by our families because of their religious faith.

We grew a tolerance to the anti-gay parts of our religion, or we found a more accepting faith. We accepted our Catholic grandmother’s anti-gay sentiment as “religious conviction” even though she seemed supportive of our brother’s divorce.

Last week, the United States Supreme Court rewarded our thoughtfulness with a slap.

Authored By Sue O’Connell – See the Full Story at The Dallas Voice

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Marriage Equality Round-Up 7/17/14

Written by scott on July 17th, 2014

Gay Wedding - HandsHere’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Singapore: The country is banning an issue of Archie Comics where character Kevin Keller marries his male partner. full story

UK: 10% of LGBT people have faced discrimination when planning a funeral for a loved one, a new survey says. full story

Vietnam: A new generation pushes for LGBT rights in the country. full story

USA: The National Journal profiles several groups pushing the GOP to drop its opposition to marriage equality. full story

USA: The Advocate looks at the issue of being transgender in the workplace. full story

USA, Arkansas: Attorneys for two same sex couples asked a federal judge for summary judgment in the marriage equality case. full story

USA, Colorado: Five county clerks are asking the state Supreme Court for guidance on whether to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples now. full story

USA, Connecticut: The state Supreme Court extended some marriage rights to same sex couples predating civil unions and marriage equality there. full story

USA, Florida: We’re awaiting rulings in three separate Florida marriage equality cases, which could come down at any time. full story

USA, Indiana: The state’s brief in the marriage equality case uses the same logic that’s been shot down again and again – that regulating marriage should be up to the state, which has a legitimate interest in promoting “traditional marriage”. full story

USA, Indiana: Many couples are in limbo as they await the outcome of the appeal in the marriage equality case. full story

USA, Louisiana: Both sides have submitted briefs in the marriage equality lawsuit in the state. full story

USA, Mississippi: Waveland Mayor David Garcia has become the first mayor in the state to support marriage equality. full story

USA, Ohio: Attorney General Mike DeWine has filed a brief asking a federal judge to overturn an earlier marriage equality ruling, saying voters should have the ability to discriminate against a minority. full story

USA, Oregon: A Catholic organization has cut funding for Vox Workers’ Rights Education because the group is affiliated with NCLR. full story

USA, Utah: After an appeals court gave Utah 10 days to recognize the weddings of same sex couples who married in December, the state has appealed directly to the UZS Supreme Court. full story

USA, Washington DC: Transgender Lobby Day is over – it focused this year on pushing ENDA minus the broad religious exemptions currently in the bill. full story

USA, Wisconsin: State Senate Democrats are asking Governor Scott Walker and AG JB Van Hollen to drop their defense of the state’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Wisconsin: The Seventh Circuit rejected Wisconsin’s initial request to have the marriage equality case heard in front of a 10 judge panel along with Indiana, but said the state could file a separate request. full story


European Court Rules Transgender People Must Divorce for Gender Recognition in Many Countries

Written by scott on July 17th, 2014

Europe MapIn a terribly disappointing ruling, the European Court of Human Rights says countries that do not have marriage equality laws can force transgender people to divorce before recognizing their gender, or prevent them from marrying.

Gay Star News reports:

Married trans people living in countries without same-sex marriage must divorce if they want their true gender recognized, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. Heli Haemaelaeinen, a Finnish trans woman, lost her case yesterday (16 July). She was told she can only have her female gender recognized if she divorces her wife. The ECHR ruled there is no obligation on states without gay marriage laws to marry two people of the same gender if one of the partners is transgender. The couple, married in 1996 and have a 12-year-old child, wanted to stay together and be married.

Can you imagine being asked to make the choice between being identified as a man or a woman or being able to be married to your partner?

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Marriage Equality Decision Day Events Planned Across Florida

Written by scott on July 17th, 2014

Equality FloridaFlorida’s LGBT community and supporters are still waiting for the ruling that could change their lives.

A lawsuit was filed back in January by six same-sex couples and the Equality Florida Institute in the state courts of Miami, stating that Amendment 2 in the Florida Constitution banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Miami Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel heard arguments in that case July 2 and has yet to issue a ruling.

A gay couple in Monroe County filed a similar lawsuit against Monroe County City Clerk Amy Heavilin for refusing to issue a marriage license to the couple because of the ban on same-sex marriage.

Equality Florida and other LGBT organizations are organizing “Decision Day” gatherings across the state to celebrate the cases regardless of the decisions. There are 11 gatherings planned across Florida on the day of the decision at 6 p.m.

Authored By Christal Hayes – See the Full Story at Watermark

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Macedonia Marriage Equality Ban Advanced By Conservative Majority

Written by scott on July 17th, 2014

Macedonia – Google mapsA Macedonia marriage equality ban was advanced by the Assembly, now with a two-thirds conservative majority.

Pink News reports:

The Macedonian Assembly has approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The governing conservatives began the process to amend the constitution today, following their April election victory, which netted enough seats to secure a two-thirds majority vote. The amendment would define marriage as exclusively a heterosexual union, between one man and one woman.

Another country marches backwards on LGBT rights.

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Image via Google Maps