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Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying – October 30th

Thursday, October 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.

I Totally Don’t Understand What The First Amendment Says

Joe.My.God Points out that Bryan Fischer is mixing up his lies about the First Amendment. Speaking about the Houston pastor subpoenas, he said:

“The openly lesbian mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, has issued subpoenas for 17 different forms of communication, both public and private, from pastors who oppose her ‘bathroom bill,’ the ordinance that guarantees the right of men to walk in on your daughter while she’s in the shower at the local Y. In the process, she has violated every single right enshrined in the First Amendment. She has violated the right of these pastors to the free exercise of religion, because they are motivated by their sincerely held beliefs about gender differences that come from the Creator God who made us male and female. She has violated their rights to free speech, since she wants to shut them up. She wants to penalize them for speech they have already uttered. In fact, she wants to throw them in jail, because that’s what happens to people who defy subpoenas.”

But as Joe so cleverly points out:

Fischer has apparently forgotten his regular claim that the First Amendment only applies to Congress. From his September 17th column for OneNewsNow:

First, the amendment applies only to Congress. “Congress shall make no law…” No other entity is restrained by the First Amendment. Since the amendment applies only to Congress, it is legally, historically and constitutionally impossible for a state, a county commission, a city council, a school board, a school principal, a school teacher or a student to violate the First Amendment. This is for one simple reason: none of them is Congress. Violating the First Amendment is something only Congress can do.

Fischer has also claimed that the First Amendment only applies to Christians. Congress, obviously, includes many non-Christians:

I have contended for years that the First Amendment, as given by the Founders, provides religious liberty protections for Christianity only. Most attorney types, befuddled by years of untethered Supreme Court activism, think it covers any and all religions you can name. The results of this expansive but badly misguided understanding of the First Amendment have not been too costly to this point.

What a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.

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Matthew Shepard’s Death is a Hate Crime Myth

ADF attorney Erik Stanley says the whole Matthew Shepard thing was a myth cooked up by gay activists to advance their agenda:

“It’s all part of a public relations strategy to portray gays as victims, ADF attorney Erik Stanley told those gathered at the Nashville conference, titled “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.” That strategy was put forth, he said, in the the book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s, by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, which he cited as “a playbook for how to advance the homosexual agenda.” The book is now out of print. “Think of the narrative of the Matthew Shepard crime, which has now been debunked as a homosexual hate crime,” Stanley said, as an example of what he claimed are inaccurate depictions of gays as victims. “Think of hate-crimes laws.”

Unfortunately,some on our side are taking the bait, lending these charges credence, including Andrew Sullivan, who should know better.

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Upscale Sodomites Spread Ebola At Starbucks

Pastor James David Manning, the anti-gay “christian” who regularly posts inflammatory anti-gay rhetoric on the sign at his Harlem Church, is back in our pages again:

“Starbucks coffee stores are indeed ground zero for spreading Ebola and other diseases, because of the clientele of Starbucks. Generally upscaled [sic] sodomites who frequent Starbucks, who sit there with their computers and it’s a meeting place, they exchange a lot of body fluids, hands shaken and contact. Stay away from Starbucks if you don’t want to get Ebola. And especially the Starbucks in the urban areas…”

Aside from the sheer nastiness of his allegations, there’s a danger to this man spreading misinformation on public health issues like Ebola. Let’s say it again for the record – you are highly unlikely to get Ebola from public contact – the disease is transmitted by contact with bodily fluids once a person is actually symptomatic, and even in the initial phases of symptoms, the viral count is very low, making transmission unlikely. Add to this the fact that any potential carriers of the disease are being closely monitored as they return from Africa.

It’s both irresponsible and immoral that this man is trying to spread misinformation in order to link Ebola to the LGBT community. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

If I were Starbucks, I would sue.

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Marriage Equality Round-Up – October 30th

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Gay WeddingHere’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!

Europe: The European Parliament is condemning the Russian crackdown on Non-Governmental Organizations, including LGBT ones. full story

Israel: A gay surrogacy bill passed its first reading in the Knesset this week. full story

USA: Apple CEO Tim Cook has finally officially come out of the closet. full story

USA, Arizona: Although marriage equality is finally come to Arizona, it is not recognized by the Navajo Nation. full story

USA, Arizona: The Department of Health Services is reviewing the state’s vital records law now that marriage equality is legal under a federal court ruling. full story

USA, Florida: After an appeals court rejected Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi’s request to send a marriage equality case directly to the state Supreme Court, the AG is still insisting on fast-tracking the case. full story

USA, Florida: A gay high school science teacher is asking the Brevard Public Schools to recognize his marriage. full story

USA, Florida: Edie Windsor has put together a video telling Gov. Rick Scott he should stop fighting marriage equality. full story

USA, Kansas: A federal judge has rescheduled a marriage equality hearing for 10/31. full story

USA, Kansas: One of the plaintiff couples in the Kansas marriage equality case is profiled. full story

USA, Montana:The Great Falls Tribune editorial board is calling on the Atty. Gen. to accept the inevitable on marriage equality. full story

USA, Tennessee: More than 1,000 evangelical pastors attending a conference on gay marriage were told to hold the line against the homosexuals. full story

USA, Texas: January 5 date for a hearing in the Texas marriage equality case means the US Supreme Court would likely not rule on the case until 2016. full story

USA, Texas: Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced that the city will withdraw subpoenas of five pastors in the lawsuit over the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. full story

Texas Poll Skewed By Polling Company

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

titleEven though not a single state has passed a civil unions bill in years and years, and the prospects of another state passing a civil unions bill are slim to none – at this point it’s marriage equality or nothing – some polling companies insist on continuing to ask about support for these skim milk marriages, diluting support for marriage equality in the poll numbers by giving respondents an out.

Case in point – Texas, in a University of Texas / Texas Tribune poll:

Asked whether those couples should be allowed to marry, 42 percent say yes and 47 percent say no, the poll found. When civil unions are added to the question, voters are more permissive: 39 percent say they would allow marriage, 28 percent would allow civil unions and 25 percent say they would not allow either sort of formal bond.

Look how support for marriage equality actually drops 2 points when civil unions are added to the mix. Not to mention this poll shows a much lower level of support than an April poll at 48% support.

When will these polling companies finally give up the whole civil unions thing?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Texas.

Marriage Equality Round-Up – October 29th

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Gay WeddingHere’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!

Canada: Anti-gay activist US Pete LaBabera has been detained at the border once again, and border police confiscated a DVD copy of a new anti-gay Russian documentary called “Sodom”. full story

India: A man is being charged under the country’s sodomy law after his wife caught him having sex with another man on a spy cam. full story

Italy: A new study says 54% of LGBT people in the country have suffered discrimination, putting the country ahead of only Lithuania, Croatia, Poland, and Cyprus. full story

Mexico: A global LGBT rights conference began Tuesday in Mexico City, drawing hundreds of advocates from 50 countries. full story

Uganda: A Ugandan court has dismissed criminal charges against LGBT rights activist Samuel K. Ganafa. full story

UK: Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan says she now regrets not voting for marriage equality. full story

USA: The National Organization for marriage has shifted its focus from state initiatives and lawsuits to Senate races. full story

USA: The Human Rights Campaign is also getting involved in key Senate races. full story

USA: Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, denounced ex-gay torture at the group’s Nashville convention on sexuality. full story

USA: Former Will & Grace star Sean Hayes is engaged to music producer and composer Scott Icenogle. full story

USA, California: Geoff Kors, previous executive director for Equality California and James Williamson married in Palm Springs. full story

USA, Florida: A political reporter called out Governor Rick Scott for his opposition to marriage equality. full story

USA, Idaho: The city of Lewiston is the 9th city in the state to ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation based on sexual orientation, gender identity or familial status. full story

USA, North Carolina: Another magistrate has resigned rather than have to officiate at a same sex wedding. full story

Vatican: In an apparent nod to conservative elements of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis told an audience of more than 7,000 that the Christian family and marriage :have never before been under attack like today.” full story

Anatomy of a Right-Wing Fabrication

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

IdahoTo right-wing extremists, it seemed to be just the story they were waiting for to validate their screeds against LGBT rights. But was it a true tale, or sweet little lies and distortions as tasty as (not-for-lesbians) wedding cake?

The story starts with an Idaho Christian couple compelled — forced! — to wed same-sex couples in their chapel. Exactly the scenario for which prominent opponents of marriage equality have been bracing themselves (and their followers) as more states and cities legalize same-sex marriage and adopt LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policies.

With apparent relish, the right wing has spread the tale of the Hitching Post and raised the specter of persecuted ministers, with conservative pundits such as Mike Huckabee and Todd Starnes weighing in. The Idaho chapel’s owners resolved that they would shut down before they’d give in to the city of Coeur d’Alene’s supposed mandate that they let same-sex couples get hitched at the Hitching Post or face fines or jail time.

The hitch for the Hitching Post controversy? There was no such marriage equality mandate, or threat of jail time, fines, or any sort of legal action if the Hitching Post continued to refuse service to same-sex couples.

Authored By Stevie St. John – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Idaho.

Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying – October 28th

Tuesday, October 28th, 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.

Gay Dictator Obama Will Make You a Slave to Sodomites

Rick Wiles lives in his own little crazy world:

“If the mac daddy socialist Democratic party gets an old-fashioned thumping at the polls, it still doesn’t matter. Mr. Obama will simply crack down on all opposition, use government surveillance agencies to spy on his opponents, he’ll continue to issue presidential decrees and ignore the Congress, and rule the country like a dictator. Nothing’s going to change, except that he’s really going to step it up as a dictator… We’ve been taken over by homosexuals and sodomites, and lesbians and transvestites, and a bunch of communists and socialists and atheists and God-haters. And this country is about to be judged. If you’re here when this judgment strikes, you’re going to be consumed. The Lord has told me vast numbers are going to be consumed and the survivors will be slaves. That is the future that is facing America if this country does not repent and the time is ticking away.”

Yeah, President Obama has been such a dictator – look at the way he’s gotten what he wanted every single time… wait, this is the President they also call the most ineffective and weak of all time?

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America is Following in the Footsteps of Sodom and Gomorrah

So says James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family:

“The outrageous behavior of the wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah sealed their doom. Fire and brimstone fell from the sky on both cities and utterly destroyed them. I am convinced that America and other Western nations are sliding in the same direction. We have not yet reached the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah, but that appears to be where we are headed. Many influential men and women of the judiciary are leading us toward perdition.”

Many biblical scholars agree that the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah had little or nothing to do with sexual practices, but with the horrible way they treated guests and visitors. So if that’s the case, who’s really leading the way to Sodom and Gomorrah? The gays, who marry with love, or people like you who seize every change to denigrate and belittle them?

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Judicial Bigotry is a Breath of Fresh Air

NOM’s Brian Brown is thrilled with the Puerto Rican decision against marriage equality:

“The clear logic and devotion to the truth, and the dedication to the integrity of our legal system, are a breath of fresh air compared to so many other errant decisions that have been issued over the past few months.”

Yes, if you think it’s logical to allow your own biases to guide you in skipping more than 40 years of legal developments, to grasp at the very thin straw of one anti-marriage equality decision from 1972 as the entire basis for your legal opinion.

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Marriage Equality Round-Up – October 28th

Tuesday, October 28th, 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!

Kazakhstan: An ad agency in Kazakhstan has been hit with $180k fine over a poster of two 19th Century cultural figures kissing. full story

Latvia: The country has banned Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin for saying gays should be burned alive. full story

Russia: Three young people campaigning for gay rights in Russia were met with about 100 nationalist protesters on Sunday, who threw tomatoes and shouted anti-gay abuse. full story

Taiwan: Tens of thousands marched in Taipei at Pride in support of a controversial bill on marriage equality currently awaiting debate in parliament. full story

UK, Scotland: NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has accidentally leaked data pertaining to 86 transgender patients.
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USA, Alabama: Apple CEO Tim Cook has hit out at his home state for lagging behind the majority of the US on issues of LGBT equality. full story

USA, Alabama: A woman who split with her partner after 16 years together has been denied visitation with her children. full story

USA, Idaho: Idaho officials have spent more than $80k challenging a federal judge’s decision overturning the state’s marriage equality ban. full story

USA, Indiana: Family lawyers in the state are expecting to see the first divorces of same-sex marriage couples, after marriage equality came to Indiana. full story

USA, Louisiana/Texas: The Fifth Circuit has set a January Fifth date to hear marriage equality cases form the two states. full story

USA, Massachusetts: Lasell College in suburban Boston has cancelled its annual trip to Uganda over the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act. full story

USA, Nebraska: A Catholic Archbishop has condemned Creighton University , a Jesuit university, for offering benefits to same-sex spouses. full story

USA, Pennsylvania: A methodist minister who was defrocked for officiating at his gay son’s wedding and then refrocked has won an appeal. full story

USA, Rhode Island: The state has dropped a surgical requirement, making it easier for transgender residents to change their gender designation on their birth certificates. full story

USA, South Carolina: A woman who says state officials refused to let her use her wifes family name on her driver’s license has filed a federal lawsuit. full story

USA, Tennessee: A group of evangelical Christians wwill present signatures in favor of marriage equality to a Nashville conference organized by the Southern Baptist Convention in opposition to marriage equality. full story

Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying – October 27th

Monday, October 27th, 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.

We’ll Go to Jail Rather Than Marry Gay Couples

That’s the message a group of anti-gay pastors are sending in Michigan:

“I don’t know of another example of pastors’ sermons being subpoenaed, except for in Nazi Germany and Communist Russia….”

“Let there be no doubt that, if you should decide to go forward with this grave injustice, I, every born again believer I know, as well as every pastor you see here today, shall disobey your unjust law. Here we stand, Black and White together, ready to go to jail!”

Except that there’s no law in the entire USA to send pastors to jail for not marrying same sex couples. If you are a public servant who has sworn to uphold the law, you might have to marry same sex couples if that’s the law in your state. But if you are a minister, no one is forcing you to do so, and no one wants to force you to do so.

The two cases these pastors cite are both bogus. The Idaho case involves a for-profit business. And no one was suing them. Instead, they were the ones who brought a lawsuit against the city! And guess what? Even in that case, the city said they didn’t have to marry same sex couples, even though NOT A SINGLE GAY COUPLE had asked to be married there.

And in Texas, where the city originally subpoenaed sermons from pastors, it’s in response to ANOTHER LAWSUIT BROUGHT BY CHRISTIANS AGAINST A CITY. The group is suing Houston for turning away a ballot initiative to repeal the new LGBT rights ordinance. Because the city is being sued, they have subpoenaed the documents from the meetings held with petition gatherers. And guess where these Pastors held their meetings for this political initiative campaign? In their churches.

It’s about time we set things straight here. No one is forcing these churches to do anything. And it’s the churches and right-wing Christians who are suing in these cases, not the other way around.

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If We Can’t Have Marriage to Ourselves, No One Can Have It

Idaho state Senator Steve Vick (R) is proposing that the state take civil marriage away from everyone now that gays can be in the club:

“If we’re not allowed to determine the standards for a marriage license, then maybe we should just not issue them.” he explained to WorldNetDaily. “Another potential avenue that I’m exploring is just eliminating marriage licenses in Idaho.”

Stamping his foot like a five year old. I’d like to see how that goes over with all his straight married constituents.

full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – October 27th

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Gay WeddingHere’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: The Courier Mail has finally apologized, three weeks after labeling a murdered transgender woman a “ladyboy” and a “she-male”. full story

Finland: Christian Democrat leader Paivi Rasanen says her party would not quit the governing coalition ruling Finland if MPs pass a citizens’ initiative to legalize marriage equality. full story

Kyrgyzstan: The UN human rights office is urging Kyrgyzstan to scrap a draft law punishing “gay propaganda” with up to a year in jail. full story

UK, England: Four in ten Church of England clergy now support marriage equality, a poll says. full story

UK, Scotland: Edinburgh will host one of the largest conferences for transgender and intersex people this weekend, with 150 activists from across the K. full story

USA: Prop 8 Attorney Ted Olson says we’ve passed the point of no return on marriage equality. full story

USA: Singer Dolly Parton reminds anti-gay Christians: “The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing.” full story

USA, Florida: A state appeals court will not allow Attorney General Pam Bondi to take the state’s ban on gay marriage directly to the Florida Supreme Court. full story

USA, Kansas: The husband of a state senator has started a campaign to oust a trial judge who ordered a court clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. full story

USA, Kansas: Westboro Baptist Church is seeking to intervene in a legal challenge against the ban on same-sex marriage in Kansas. full story

USA, Louisiana: About ten people showed up for the Family Research Council’s anti marriage equality rally in Louisiana. full story

USA, North Carolina: At least six magistrates have quit or announced their resignations since marriage equality became legal on Oct. 10th. full story

USA, North Carolina: 28 Republicans in the state Senate are urging state courts administrators not to punish employees who refuse to marry gay couples based on religious objections. full story

USA, Washington DC: Speaking at an HRC dinner, Singer Elton John said: “The dominoes are falling, we are winning. And we have a long way to go but we are winning and we will win.” full story

USA, Wisconsin: In the wake of the arrival of marriage equality in the state, several insurance companies are holding a special open enrollment period so same-sex couples can add spouses to their health plans. full story

USA, Wyoming: Andrew Sullivan is inexplicably endorsing a new book that paints Matthew Shepard as a meth dealer and his death as a drug deal gone bad. full story

Marriage Equality Round-Up – October 26th

Sunday, October 26th, 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!

USA: The Presbyterian Church outed a gay man and sent him a nasty letter. His reply is perfect. full story

USA: Attorney General Eric Holder says the US will now recognize marriage equality in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. full story

USA: MSNBC looks at the “religious freedom” backlash to recent marriage equality gains. full story

USA: President Jimmy Carter says he thinks states should be allowed to decide whether they permit marriage equality or not. full story

USA, Louisiana: The Family Research Council took its anti-gay show on the road, with the Duggar Family and Duck Dynasty. full story

USA, Mississippi: Attorney Roberta Kaplan discusses her latest marriage equality lawsuit with Michelangelo Signorile. full story

USA, Nevada: The Las vegas Sun has a great primer on the state of marriage equality in Nevada. full story

USA, South Carolina: A federal judge has agreed to expedite the marriage equality case in the state. full story