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Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Saturday, October 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.

My Argument Against Gay Marriage Totally Works Against Inter-Racial Marriage Too

John Aravosis at AmericaBlog has a great column today in which he shows how the arguments against marriage equality would have equally applied against interracial marriages. Here, he takes Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s argument and changes a couple key words:

“In 1924, Virginia voters, through their duly-elected legislators, approved legislation to define marriage as a union of one white man and one white woman. Now, with their rulings, the federal courts have again thwarted the will of the people and further eroded the authority of states to regulate and uphold our laws. and so I think about here.”

It’s as we’ve been saying all along – substitute “African American” for gay, and would any of this be ok?

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They’re About to Haul Pastors Off to Jail

Ted Cruz is all over this Houston pastors and subpoenas thing:

Christian Broadcasting Network’s (CBN) David Brody… asked whether we’ll “soon go through a period where pastors are hauled off to jail for a hate crime because they are speaking for traditional marriage,” Cruz responded by saying, “I think that is a real risk and you and I have both pointed to that risk in the past.”

Nobody’s going to jail for speaking out against marriage equality. In fact, no one’s going to jail for anything here. Check out Zack Ford’s amazing take-down of this whole right-wing freakout over the Houston subpoenas.

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We Grieve for the Children

Cathi Herrod, head of the Center For Arizona Policy, is “grieving” for kids in Arizona who are now condemned to have gay parents:

“I am heartbroken for a country and a state that has had the redefinition of marriage forced upon them by an out of control federal judiciary. In what amounts to the de-facto Roe v Wade of marriage, voters throughout the nation have watched their voices be silenced, and their votes voided. Now, Arizona’s marriage amendment and our voters are the latest victims. While the United States Supreme Court may still take up the issue of marriage redefinition, for now the courts have settled the issue in our state. Today, we grieve. We grieve for the children who now have no chance of growing up with a mom and a dad. We mourn the loss of a culture and its ethical foundation. We mourn a culture that continues to turn its back on timeless principles. But we do not despair. We do not throw in the towel. We do not give up. Just as we have worked to build a culture of life, we will focus on rebuilding a culture of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

What, did this group have some kind of secret plan to steal kids from gay families and put them into straight ones? Because short of kidnapping, whether or not marriage equality is legal in the state, same sex parents are raising kids. Marriage equality does not change this in any way. It only provides a legal framework and safety net to help protect these kids, just as marriage protects the kids in straight relationships.

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Marriage Equality Round-Up October 18th

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Here’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!

Worldwide: Despite saying they had changed their “real name” policy, Facebook is apparently still locking the accounts of some drag queens. full story

Italy: Roman Mayor Ignazio Marino has registered the marriages of 16 same-sex couples in defiance of a notice from the country’s Interior Minister. full story

Puerto Rico: Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the marriage equality case are objecting to a government request that the ruling be delayed. full story

UK: After security guard told lesbian couple that their kissing was disgusting, hundreds of same-sex couples flooded the store for a protest. full story

USA: The Human Rights Campaign has a new marriage equality map. full story

HRC Marriage Equality Map

USA: Wikipedia has a new marriage equality map, this one showing two of the three new states added yesterday. full story

Wikipedia Marriage Equality Map

USA: The federal government will now recognize same-sex marriages in seven more states: Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Nevada. full story

USA: We’re still waiting for a ruling out of the Sixth Circuit, which would affect Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. full story

USA: Here’s some guidance for same sex couples on taxes in eight of the new marriage equality states. full story

USA: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has openly endorsed allowing transgender people to serve openly in the US military. full story

USA: Megachurch Pastor Brian Houston seems to be softening his tone one marriage equality. full story

USA, Arizona: Atty. Gen. Tom Horne has indicated he will not appeal yesterday’s marriage equality ruling. full story

USA, Arizona: Meghan McCain is thrilled that marriage equality is finally come to her home state. full story

USA, Arkansas: A federal judge says she won’t delay a challenge to the state’s marriage equality the ban. full story

USA, Nevada: Resorts along the Las Vegas strip are embracing marriage equality. full story

USA, North Carolina: House and Senate GOP leaders plan to continue their appeal of a marriage equality case in the state. full story

USA, Oregon: Christian Matt Stolhandske, a marriage equality supporter, is extending an olive branch to a baker who refused to make a cake for a same sex couple, raising money in hopes of covering the fine against the bakery. full story

USA, South Dakota: A federal judge did not issue an immediate ruling at a hearing Friday on marriage equality, but promised she will “issue an opinion soon.” full story

USA, Texas: Attorneys for the city of Houston have reworded their subpoenas to more specifically request information regarding to the gathering of signatures to repeal the city’s new HERO ordinance. full story

Vatican: Pope Francis is demoting the anti-gay head of the Church’s high court. full story

Vatican: Conservative backlash is mounting against Pope Francis, in the wake of a draft report that appeared to soften the Church’s stance on gays and lesbians. full story

Wyoming Becomes the 32nd Marriage Equality State

Friday, October 17th, 2014

WyomingAnd another one – that’s three in one day as a judge in Wyoming strikes down the state’s marriage equality ban.

Think Progress reports:

Friday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl ruled that Wyoming’s statutory law banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and unenforceable. This sets up Wyoming to be the 32nd state with marriage equality, but Skavdahl stayed his decision until next Thursday, allowing the state time to appeal. The decision largely defers to the Tenth Circuit’s precedent from the Utah and Oklahoma cases, but Skavdahl did offer a bit of his own commentary. Referring to Wyoming’s claims that an abrupt implementation of same-sex marriage would interrupt the work of state agencies, he wrote, “The fact is State Defendants failed to offer even a scintilla of evidence to support their assertion that a preliminary injunction would cause such administrative nightmares.”

The Governor has said he will not appeal the ruling.

Joe.My.God reports:

“This result is contrary to my personal beliefs and those of many others. As in all matters, I respect the role of the courts and the ruling of the Court. While this is not the result I and others would have hoped, I recognize people have different points of view and I hope all citizens agree, we are bound by the law.” – Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, in a statement announcing that he will not appeal today’s ruling. That notice will be delivered to the court “no later than Thursday, October 23, 2014, at 5:00 p.m.”

Thirty Two. A week and a half ago it was 19. Do I hear 33?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Wyoming.

Marriage Equality Back on in Alaska

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Alaska MapJust hours after marriage equality arrived in Arizona, it came back to Alaska after a few days on hold.

The Washington Blade reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Friday to delay any longer same-sex marriages in Alaska following a court decision against the state’s ban on gay nuptials. In a one-page order, the court indicates a stay request by state officials submitted to U.S. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy was referred by him to the entire court, but was denied. The U.S. Ninth Circuit had issued its own temporary stay on the weddings, but that was set to expire on Friday at 3 pm unless the Supreme Court added to the delay by issuing its own stay. Now that the Supreme Court has declined to halt same-sex marriages any further in Alaska, gay couples are free to marry immediately.

The most amazing month for marriage equality since June of 2013 continues…

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alaska.

Marriage Equality Comes to Arizona

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Arizona mapAnother day, another marriage equality state. This time it’s Arizona, where a Federal judge just struck down the states ban with no stay. reports:

U.S. District Judge John Sedwick (a George H.W. Bush appointee) has struck down Arizona’s ban on gay marriage, declaring it “unconstitutional by virtue of the fact that they deny same-sex couples the equal protection of the law.”

Adds Sedwick: “The court has considered whether to stay this decision to allow defendants to appeal. It is clear, however, that an appeal to the Ninth Circuit would be futile. It is also clear–based on the Supreme Court’s denial of petitions for writs of certiorari filed inconnection with several circuit court decisions which held that same-sex marriage must be recognized in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin –that the High Court will turn a deaf ear on any request for relief from the Ninth Circuit’s decision. It is further ordered that defendants are hereby ordered to permanently cease enforcement of those provisions of Arizona law declared unconstitutional by this order. Finally, this court declines to stay the effect of this order.”

These new states are coming online so quickly it’s hard to keep up – amazing!

Find more articles and gay wedding resource in Arizona.

New Poll Refutes Purported “Drop” In Marriage Equality Support

Friday, October 17th, 2014

titleA new poll shows strong support for the US Supreme Court action on marriage equality, mirroring an earlier poll by the same organization on marriage equality in general.

ABC News reports:

Most Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll support the recent U.S. Supreme Court action allowing gay marriages to go forward in several states – including a bare majority in the 11 states in which such marriages have begun in the past week and a half. Overall, 56 percent of Americans support the court’s action, while 38 percent oppose it – exactly matching opinions on whether or not gay marriage should be legal, asked in an ABC/Post poll in June. These results reflect the public’s dramatic shift in support of gay marriage the past decade.

Even the 11 states affected by the non-decision decision show majority support, at 51%. But more importantly, this poll refutes the results of an earlier Pew Poll, which seemed to show a drop in national marriage equality support. That poll is looking more and more like an outlier.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Arizona AG Concedes That 9th Circuit Ruling Applies, Awaits Mandate

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Arizona Attorney General Tom HorneThings are moving along for marriage equality in Arizona. Republican Atty. Gen. Tom Horne just conceded that the recent Ninth Circuit rulings in Nevada and Idaho apply to Arizona.

AZ Central reports:

In legal documents filed Thursday, Republican Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne wrote that he believes a recent appeals-court ruling striking down similar marriage bans in other states applies to Arizona. But he asked U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick to wait to overturn the law until the appeals court issues its legal mandate. A mandate instructs courts to go forward with the opinion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a mandate last week within hours of ruling that marriage laws in Idaho and Nevada violated couples’ rights to equal protection under the 14th Amendment. But the court withdrew its mandate so Idaho could appeal.

Nevertheless, the ruling is expected shortly:

Sedwick could issue a ruling at any time. If he deems the law unconstitutional, Horne could then either concede and instruct county clerks to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples or appeal to the 9th Circuit.

It’s quite possible that Arizona will have marriage equality by next week, unless of course the Atty. Gen. decides to draw this whole thing out.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Arizona.

Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying

Friday, October 17th, 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.

Turning Away the Gays Is Nothing Like Turning Away the Blacks

One News Now argues that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with gays being turned away from Christian businesses:

Based in Washington, D.C., FRC’s legal expert says the LBGTQ community’s campaign to trample religious freedom — by making their demand for special privileges into a civil rights issue — has been in place for some time. He asserts that a homosexual couple having to travel across town to find a comparable service is much less of an inconvenience than losing one’s livelihood and having to find a new career. “The homosexual activists will say, ‘Oh you want to take us back to the way it was in the Jim Crow South,'” Sprigg argues. “We’re not in any way saying anything like that. The cost to the same-sex people is they go to the next business down the street.

Except when you live in a small town, and there is no other “business down the street”. Seriously, would we really say to African American couples – the cost of you being black is that you have to expect you will be turned away from some businesses. You should just go to the next business down the street? Seriously?

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Homosexuality Is a Sin And A Abomination

Hate Car in Idaho

That’s one of the lovely messages scrawled on a car in Idaho by a family that supposed to marriage equality:

The family has stamped statements that read “God isn’t dead,” “Just say no to same-sex marriage,” and “Homosexuality is a sin” among other things on their car windows. “This is kind our little way of protesting the homosexual extremist movement,” Justin said. The family says they are now being ridiculed for their beliefs, even though they have a right to freedom of expression. “We’ve had a few homosexual extremists who cuss us out and get very angry with us and threaten us,” Justin said. But the Sease family says they’re standing up for what is right, and are speaking out for others who are afraid to do the same. “If nobody else is going to do it, why not start doing it,” Melanie said. “Hopefully, other people will join us and follow us and do what we’re doing.”

it’s amazing how some people seem to enjoy putting their ignorance on display.

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New Marriage Equality Lawsuit in South Carolina

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

South Carolina MapAfter the AG indicated he would drag his feet as long as possible on marriage equality in the state, the ACLU has filed a new lawsuit.

The Washington Blade reports:

A new lawsuit seeks to compel South Carolina to comply with precedent in its judicial circuit that has established a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The 15-page complaint was filed on Wednesday by the LGBT group Lambda Legal on behalf of a lesbian couple, Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley, who applied and paid for a marriage license when Charleston County allowed same-sex marriage, but were unable to marry. In a statement, Condon said she and her partner were excited about the possibility of being wed after obtaining a marriage license and disappointed when that didn’t come to pass.

These conservative states in districts affected by the US Supreme Court non-decision are like dead men walking. It’s over, but they haven’t realized it yet.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in South Carolina.

Alaska Marriage Equality Back on Hold

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Alaska MapThe Ninth Circuit has put weddings in Alaska on hold once again until Friday as the Governor tries a hail-mary pass to the US Supreme Court.

The Washington Blade reports:

As the initial same-sex marriages took place in Alaska days after a district court ruling against the state’s ban on gay nuptials, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay halting additional weddings for the time being. According to the two-page order, same-sex weddings are stayed until Friday at 12 pm Pacific Time (3 pm Eastern Time) to give state officials the opportunity to obtain an additional stay from the Supreme Court. But if the Supreme Court declines to halt the weddings, the Ninth Circuit stay will dissolve by that deadline…

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell and Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty sought an emergency stay on same-sex marriages after U.S. District Judge U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess, who’s struck the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, refused to grant a stay on his ruling. After that denial, state officials took up the matter with the Ninth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Alaska. It’s hard to see how state officials will succeed in obtaining a stay from the Supreme Court given justices’ refusal to extend a similar stay on a Ninth Circuit decision in favor of same-sex marriage in Idaho.

Most likely this is just a bump in the road and couples will be able to marry in Alaska again shortly.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Alaska.