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Gavin Newsom Deserves Credit for Marriage Equality

Monday, September 1st, 2014

California Lieutenant Governor Gavin NewsomAs the country races to the inevitable day when marriage equality is the law of the land, most of the focus has been on the plaintiffs and celebrity lawyers who have led the legal challenge to marriage bans. Lost in the shuffle has been the man who actually did something when marriage equality still seemed a faraway dream: Gavin Newsom.

As the dashing and telegenic mayor of San Francisco in 2004, Newsom simply decided to do the right thing. He declared that the city should issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples. The subsequent outpouring of joy from lesbian and gay couples — and handwringing from other politicians — changed the landscape forever. Here are five reasons why Newsom deserves to be in the front ranks of heroes when the history of marriage equality is written.

1. Newsom made marriage equality a reality for the first time.
Up until 2004, marriage equality was largely a theoretical debate. The issue had been debated in Hawaii in the 1990s, and courts in New England were grappling with it. But the actual first same-sex marriages were still three months away (in Massachusetts) when Newsom decided that the city should start issuing marriage licenses. Suddenly, the theoretical became very real, very fast.

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Marriage Equality Round-Up 9/1/14

Monday, September 1st, 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!

China: 40% of Chinese textbooks classify being gay is a mental illness, even though homosexuality was removed from the countries list of mental disorders in 2001. full story

Uganda: President Mugabe says he prefers to receive aid from China instead of from the West because China does not pressure his country to embrace homosexuality. full story

UK: 70 same-sex couples were married in a mass wedding in London. full story

UK: Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan, who voted against the marriage equality bill, now says it’s great that same-sex couples can marry in England and Wales. full story

UK: A Christian registrar who was let go after refusing to perform same-sex weddings won her case on appeal. full story

USA: After openly gay football player Michael Sam was dropped from the Rams, no other team chose to pick him up. full story

Matt Baume’s Marriage News Watch 9/1/14

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Matt BaumeAnti-gay attorneys took a beating before the Seventh Circuit last week, trying and failing to defend marriage bans before a panel of hostile judges. Now all eyes are on the Supreme Court to see which cases they’ll take up in their fall session. There’s another major marriage argument coming up in a few days. And the National Organization for Marriage still isn’t giving up in Oregon, despite having lost months ago.

Authored By Matt Baume – See the Full Story at AFER

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Hiding Bigotry Behind Specious Arguments

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

You know what I admire about bigots? And I’m not referring to the merely prejudiced, mutter-out-of-the-corner-of-their-mouth bigots, but the real wackos, the warped, scary, neo-Nazi, open Klansman, proudly sign-their-name haters.

You know what’s kinda great about them?

At least they’re candid. No pussyfooting around for them. They state their hate boldly, cast their slurs loudly and only then try to back it up with whatever false theories they believe support their irrational hatreds.

For everyone else, it’s the other way around. They timidly roll out their specious argument first, as if that were the important part, the crucial logic that made up their impartial minds, and led to their subsequent negative opinion, an unfortunate by-product.

Authored By Neil Steinberg – See the Full Story at the Chicago Sun Times

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Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/31/14

Sunday, August 31st, 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!

Australia: Protesters blocked the entrances to the World Congress of Families conference in Melbourne as it began yesterday. full story

Brazil: The front runner in the race for the presidency in Brazil has dropped her pledge to support marriage equality, claiming it was a mistake. full story

China: Hong Kong is set to hold its first international symposium on LGBT rights. full story

UK: The gay-rights group Stonewall UK held its first official meeting with the transgender community. full story

USA, Missouri: Openly gay football player Michael Sam didn’t make the final cut to join the Rams team. full story

Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Saturday, August 30th, 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.

The Sexual Anarchist Movement’s Attack on Reality and God’s Design

Matt Barber is NOT HAPPY about the non-discrimination ordinance that just passed in Fayetteville, Arkansas:

“This is the sexual anarchists’ movement’s attack on reality but more, but larger than that, attack on God’s design for human sexuality, for the, for the, for male, for female, trying to make everything gender neutral and create an androgynous society, it, uh, it, you know, running afoul, running against reality that everybody knows to be true. It’s the Emperor, the Emperor’s New Clothes meets George Orwell. What I mean by that is everybody is, is forced under penalty of law, it’s Orwellian here, to engage a delusion, a mass delusion, under penalty of law, under criminal penalty of law, we have lost our minds as a nation.”

First off, let me remind you that this ordinance has absolutely nothing to do with marriage equality and “forcing” people to treat others the same regardless of gender. This is about simple, basic human rights, including the right not to be discriminated against in employment and housing. And these folks are against even these rights for the LGBT community. Second, I am so sick and tired of these folks pontificating about what God planned for me. I am not a sexual anarchist. I am a gay man, a proud gay man, living with my husband, the man I have lived with for almost 23 years. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

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Gays Are Taking a Sledgehammer to Society

Also from Matt Barber:

“I just hope that people will recognize that when we deviate and try to redefine something that cannot be redefined — particularly when that thing, we’re talking about marriage here, is a fundamental cornerstone of any society. If we take a sledgehammer to that cornerstone, the results are disastrous and everything comes tumbling down.”

Where is your proof? In case after case and state after state, same-sex couples have married and are living married lives in their married homes as a married couple. Has the sky falling? Has there been any negative consequence at all for marriage in general that you can point you? Come back to us when you can answer that question.

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Why Didn’t the Gay Journalist Convention Include Anti-Gay Views?

Peter LaBarbera Is pissed off that the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s convention didn’t include anti-gay people on its panel:

“Even the NLGJA panel on religion and ‘gay rights’ was bereft of a traditionalist perspective, while the two openly homosexual speakers–former Episcopal Church bishop V. [Vicky] Gene Robinson and new Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA) Bishop Rev. Doctor Guy Erwin–were heralded in the program as leaders of ‘this next wave of the civil rights movement.’Both Revs. Robinson and Erwin compared opposition to homosexuality and Christian businessmen’s principled refusal to participate in ‘gay weddings’ to racist bigotry. Perhaps it is asking too much of ‘mainstream’ journalists who consider homosexuality part of their intrinsic identity (“who they are”) to cover LGBT-related issues impartially. Nevertheless, intellectual diversity and ‘opposing’ viewpoint inclusion–the watchwords of this conference and pro-LGBT advocacy in general–were in short supply at the NLGJA convention. That is a peculiar and glaring deficit for a profession that ideally is supposed to cover ‘both sides’ of controversial issues.”

So would Mr.LaBarbera also insist that the NAACP invite racists to speak at its convention?

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Marriage Equality Round-Up 8/30/14

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Gay Wedding CakeHere’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!

Online: A new app helps transgender people alter their voices. full story

Congo: A British woman visiting family was reportedly held captive by her mother because the family wanted to cure her of her lesbianism. full story

Italy: In an historic first, a judge in Italy has allowed a lesbian couple to adopt a child of one of the two women. full story

Tanzania / Zanzibar: Bryan Werner at SDGLN looks that life for the LGBT community in the two countries. full story

UK, Scotland: A group that wants independence for Scotland says it would place LGBT rights in the new country’s constitution. full story

USA: The National Organization for Marriage thinks it’s going to win at the US Supreme Court this time around. But as Pink News reports, they’re not actually even involved in any of the cases. full story

USA, Florida: Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is asking Gov. Rick Scott to stop defending the state’s marriage quality ban. full story

USA, Florida: A second state appeals court has bumped its marriage equality case up to the state Supreme Court, ignoring the request of the Atty. Gen. to wait. full story

USA, Georgia: The city of Marietta, Georgia is moving ahead with the plan to extend retirement benefits to partners of gay and lesbian employees. full story

USA, Hawaii: Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie thinks his stunning primary loss to another Democrat was due to Republicans voting in the open primary to punish him for his support of marriage equality. full story

USA, Illinois: A gay couple who was kicked out of a taxi for kissing has filed a lawsuit against the taxi company. full story

USA, Mississippi: A man who was raped repeatedly by a Baptist conversion therapy counselor purportedly trying to cure him of his homosexuality is speaking out against conversion therapy. full story

USA, Montana: Five residents of Bozeman, Montana are suing the city over the recently enacted LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance. full story

USA, Virginia: Another Virginia County Clerk has petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear the state’s marriage quality case. full story

Another Big Circuit Court Hearing For Marriage Equality September 8th

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Ninth Circuit, San Francisco - Apple MaosThe hits just keep coming. We’ve got another big Circuit Court hearing coming up, this one in the Ninth Circuit, covering cases from Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii.

Passport Magazine reports:

On September 8th the 9th Circuit Court will hear oral arguments beginning at the James R Browning US Courthouse, 95 7th Street, San Francisco. The arguments concern laws banning marriage equality in Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii. This announcement comes just days after the 7th Circuit Court agreed to hear cases concerning Indiana and Wisconsin. Since the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Seventh, Sixth, Tenth, and Fourth Circuits have heard oral arguments in marriage equality cases. The Tenth Circuit issued rulings on June 25th and July 17th in cases from Utah and Oklahoma. The Fourth Circuit issued a ruling on July 28th in a case from Virginia. All three decisions held that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.

Things are really coming to a boiling point, aren’t they? Anyone want to take odds on the US Supreme Court taking a case is next session?

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North Carolina Marriage Equality Stayed Until Virginia Decision

Friday, August 29th, 2014

North Carolina MapA federal judge just put the brakes on North Carolina marriage equality until the US Supreme Court either takes up or passes on the Virginia case.

Joe.My.God reports:

Yesterday a federal court stayed any further action on North Carolina’s same-sex marriage battle until SCOTUS rules on Virginia’s Bostic case. According to the order, should SCOTUS decline to hear Virginia’s case, the stay will be lifted. Also yesterday AFER followed Virginia AG Mark Herring and the Alliance Defending Freedom in asking SCOTUS to hear Bostic.

If the Supremes take up the case, this means no marriage equality North Carolina until next year. If it doesn’t, the stay will be lifted shortly thereafter.

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Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Friday, August 29th, 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.

All Gays Need is a Heart and Brain Transplant

Anti-gay “Christian” conservative radio host Linda Harvey picked up that old, sad, tired, stupid argument about there being no “ban” on same-sex marriage because gays can marry anyone a want, as long as that anyone is a woman. But she gave it a surprising new twist:

“They talk about laws on natural marriage as being ‘bans’ on same-sex so-called marriage. And that’s incorrect because people who are male can still marry people who are female. The only obstacle for a few people is the presence of unnatural desires. Those desires can change with a different mind and heart.”

Of course, we know that Linda Harvey wasn’t actually advocating for surgery, but even so, she’s basically saying that gays need to be brainwashed to be straight.

She also goes on to complain that retailer Target is not being inclusive of people like her:

“So where’s the inclusivity for traditional values families? Target also thinks there’s an LGBT community, but what about a Christian morals community? Do they get the fact that most people have had it up to here with pushing deviance and perversion into everyone’s lives in America? That most Americans don’t accept the idea of two men or two women being married when they are obviously not?”

Ms. Harvey has a strange idea of inclusivity, which apparently means to her that Target should turn away everyone that doesn’t believe the same thing she does. Target, on the other hand, seems to believe it should welcome everyone despite who they are what they believe.

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A Europe of F@ggots

Nikos Nikopoulos, the president of the conservative Christian-Democratic party in Greece, Is not happy about Luxembourg’s Prime Minister getting engaged to his partner. He tweeted his displeasure:

From a Europe of nation states to a Europe of…faggots!! The prime minister of Luxembourg is engaged with his darling!

Just going to show that homophobia is alive and well in Europe.

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