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Houston Destroys HERO; LGBT Candidates Fare Better

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

The election news is in, and it’s pretty bad. But LGBT candidates won a number of races across the country.

Houston HERO

The LA Times reports on the fall of HERO in Houston:

Houston voters rejected a controversial ordinance Tuesday that would have barred discrimination against gays and transgender people, an outcome that came after an 18-month battle pitting gay rights advocates against those who believed they were defending religious liberty. The vote had been expected to be close. But with nearly 94% of precincts reporting, the measure was failing by a wide margin, 61% to 39%. Opponents of the measure celebrated, while one of its leading supporters, Mayor Annise Parker, predicted that the city’s reputation would suffer.

Opponents of the LGBT rights law won dirty. Keen News reports:

But opponents of the measure, the Campaign for Houston, portrayed the ordinance as “The Bathroom Bill” and pounded the airwaves with an ad showing a man following a young girl into a public bathroom stall. The voiceover warned that a vote for HERO would mean “any man at any time could enter a woman’s bathroom by simply by claiming to be a woman that day. Even registered sex offenders could follow women or young girls into the bathroom and, if a business tried to stop them, they’d be fined,” said the ad.

Openly lesbian Mayor Annise Parker lamented the vote:

Houston Mayor Annise Parker is blaming the rejection of an ordinance that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people on “fear mongering” and “deliberate lies” by opponents. The openly gay mayor told more than 100 people at an election night watch party in downtown Houston that the opponents’ campaign was part of an effort to demonize the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The GOP wave also threatened to take out Parker’s democratic replacement:

The Houston mayoral race appears to be headed to a run-off between Democrat and state Rep. Sylvester Turner, a LGBT ally, and Bill King, a former Kemah, mayor who has mixed feelings on the ordinance.

Voters gave a number of reasons for rejecting the ordinance:

Susan Hunter said she doesn’t know why anyone would think that men going into a women’s bathroom or swimming pool, locker room would be a good idea. Hunter said it’s not safe and people need to find another solution. Another voter, Randal Hankla, rejected the measure saying the tactics were being used to frighten people. Hankla says there’s already an ordinance in place for discrimination, so why pile on another rule or law? Jeff Jansen, who also voted against the proposal, said it was pushing a social agenda that he doesn’t agree with.

The folks over at the far-right wing site Breitbart are dancing:

This is a national game changer. Today’s vote is a massive victory for common sense, safety, and religious freedom, not just in Houston, but for all of Texas. The eyes of the nation were on Houston, and the people sent a clear message and soundly rejected this intentionally deceptive and dangerous ordinance. Millions of dollars pouring in from national LGBT extremists, an out-of-control Mayor, and a sustained media onslaught could not overcome the tireless efforts of Houston pastors and people of faith standing for common sense, safety, and liberty. I was born and raised in Houston, and I had faith Houstonians would do the right thing, and they did. This vote will impact the nation and shows, once again, that the people still support common sense Texas values.

In Kentucky, Matt Bevin, the tea party favorite, won the Governor’s race in a come-from-behind victory riding the coattails of the Davis fiasco:

Republican Matt Bevin, who exploited Kim Davis to order to galvanize evangelicals, decisively won Kentucky’s gubernatorial race tonight, defeating Attorney General Jack Conway, who had refused to defend his state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Bevin’s candidacy was heavily supported across Teabagistan.

There was a little ray of light in Utah, where it looks like there may now be an openly lesbian mayor:

Jackie Biskupski (above), a former state legislator, was leading incumbent Mayor Ralph Becker 52 percent to 48 percent by an unofficial count Tuesday, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Both are Democrats; the mayor’s race is nonpartisan. No further results will be released until after a November 17 canvass.

Also in Utah, marriage equality plaintiff Derek Kitchen was elected to city council:

Thank you! Thank you to my family for standing next to me through this campaign, for my volunteers for putting in countless hours knocking on doors, making calls, and talking to their friends. Thank you to all my supporters, your enthusiasm, donations, and moral cheers really kept me going. This has been such a positive experience for me as a first time candidate for public office. I’m happy to say that we ran a clean campaign focused on the issues and the residents of this great city. I feel honored that the residents of District 4 have put their faith in me to represent them and make important decisions on their behalf. I’m energized and excited to get to work on the salt lake city council as your next representative!

And overall, LGBT candidates themselves had a decent night:

There were anti-gay smear campaigns and surprise victories in conservative strongholds, as 30 of 48 openly LGBT candidates won election Tuesday night.

Kim Davis – Let me show you what persecution looks like

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

KimDavisABClargeON US TV today (Sept. 22), the clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to ANY couple because she didn’t believe in same sex marriage has said what hurts her most about how she has been treated since she defied the Supreme Court ruling on marriage in June – being called ‘a hypocrite’.

Kim Davis of Rowan County, Kentucky, has been jailed, received a ‘Religious Liberty’ award for fighting ‘legal tyranny’, been called ‘the bravest woman in America‘ and compared to Abraham Lincoln by her lawyer. She has also been called a martyr and a victim of anti-Christian persecutionShe even admitted denying marriage licences to friends, and receiving death threats.

All because she believes in her Christian duty to break the oath she took as a US Government official to uphold the law, in a country whose constitution explicitly forbids the primacy of any religion. The First Amendment clearly states that the US government cannot make any law ‘respecting an establishment of religion.’ In the words of the Supreme Court, this generally means that the government can’t “pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another,” or otherwise become entangled in religious affairs.

Click to continue »

‘Rainbow Profile Pictures for Sex Offenders’ – Homophobia NOT Satire

Sunday, July 12th, 2015
Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was one of 26 million people who used the rainbow filter on his profile picture. SOURCE: Facebook

IT’S LATE – my phone rings. It’s someone I haven’t heard from in a while. I answer.

His greeting is warm, but it sounds like he’s been drinking.

He chats about Facebook – he says he doesn’t use it much but he’s logged in and noticed the rainbow filter on my profile picture, the only one among his list of friends on the site.

He says he is concerned because he has just read an article claiming that sex offenders have been ordered to use rainbow profile pictures on social media so others can easily identify them as potential predators. Click to continue »

Marriage Equality Round-Up – Supreme Court Edition – June 27th

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

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


MAP: The last US marriage equality map. full story

marriage equality map

MAP: Well, not quite – we also have this beautiful, simple time lapse map. full story

Marriage Equality time lapse map

FULL TEXT: Read the full text of yesterday’s US Supreme Court Ruling. full story

GUIDE: Six LGBT advocacy organizations launched a joint website to provide answers to same-sex couples and their families as they navigate accessing the rights, benefits, and protections that marriage affords. full story


CARTOONS: Joe.My.God rounds up some of the best political cartoons full story

political cartoon - flags

CORPORATIONS: Joe also wraps up some of the best corporate responses. full story

Jello Love

CELEBRITIES: The Huffington Post rounds up some of the celebrity reactions. full story

FASHION: The Observer rounds up the response from the fashion world. full story

ICE CREAM: Ben & Jerry’s is renaming one of its ice cream flavors, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, to “I Dough, I Dough” at participating stores. full story

I Dough I Dough

MEMES: Queerty rounds up some of the best marriage equality memes of the day. full story

Obama meme

FACEBOOK: You can now rainbow your profile pic on the social media giant. full story


NATIONWIDE: The Advocate gathers some of the places that went rainbow yesterday to celebrate marriage equality. full story

Rainbow Niagara Falls

ALABAMA: The state’s Chief Justice has vowed to block US Supreme Court’s ‘illegitimate’ marriage equality ruling. full story

ALABAMA: All couples in Mobile were allowed to pick up marriage licenses once again on Friday when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. full story

ARKANSAS: Marriage equality has returned to the state as the first new same sex marriage license was issued. full story

ARKANSAS: Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state will obey the ruling. full story

COLORADO: Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol to celebrate the Supreme Court decision, full story

GEORGIA: Same sex couples married in a mass ceremony in Fulton County. full story

INDIANA: Indiana celebrates the ruling. full story

LOUISIANA: Arch-conservative Governor Bobby Jindal and GOP presidential candidate is doing what he can to stop same-sex weddings in his state. full story

MICHIGAN: See the reaction of the Michigan plaintiffs. ” target=”_blank”>full story

MICHIGAN: The Kent county clerk started taking applications for same-sex marriage licenses. full story

MISSISSIPPI: Attorney General Jim Hood is in no hurry to allow marriages in his state, preferring instead to wait until he absolutely has to. full story

NEW YORK: NYC celebrates the ruling. full story

NEW YORK: Celebration at the Stonewall Inn, where it all began. full story

PENNSYLVANIA: Great meme from Brian Simms. full story


PENNSYLVANIA: In Philadelphia’s gayborhood, there was elation over the US Supreme Court ruling. full story

TEXAS: The Dallas Voice liveblogs the various counties as they start to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples (or don’t). full story

TEXAS: Dallas County issued 170 marriage licenses on Day 1 of marriage equality in Texas, according to Dallas County Clerk John Warren. full story

TEXAS: Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said he will continue to defend religious freedom after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage. full story

TEXAS: Chad Mantooth took photos at the rally and march in Dallas celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding marriage equality nationwide. full story

TENNESSEE: The first gay marriage license was issued in Shelby County around 11:30 Friday morning. full story

WASHINGTON DC: Watch the crowd the moment they heard the news outside the US Supreme Court. full story

WASHINGTON DC: The White House lit up with the rainbow. full story

Rainbow White House

WASHINGTON DC: President Obama called Ohio paintiff Jim Obergefell to congratulate him. full story

USA: The Advocate gathers some of the best photos from DC on Decision Day. full story



MATT BAUME: Matt Baume has a new video out – what you need to know full story

SUNNIVIE BRYDUM: The Advocate reporter looks at what the ruling actually says. full story

JORDAN WEISSMAN: Justice Anthony Kennedy closes his opinion with one of the most beautiful passages you’ll likely read in a court case. full story

ZACK FORD AND JUDD LEGUM: Think Progress looks at some of the more ridiculous arguments in the Supreme Court dissents. full story

TARA CULP-RESSLER: There’s still work to be done. full story

ZACK FORD: No, the Supreme Court did not just ‘redefine’ marriage. full story


PRESIDENT OBAMA: President Obama spoke passionately on Friday morning about the Supreme Court ruling legalizing national marriage equality. full story

HILLARY CLINTON: Hillary Clinton has reflected on the just-issued opinion by the US Supreme Court on same-sex marriage, saying she is “proud” of the “historic victory” for the country. full story

TIM COOK: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do,” the Apple CEO wrote on Twitter. full story

JOE BIDEN: According to his wife: “Joe is running through the halls with a rainbow flagged tied on like a cape high fiving everyone.” full story


JOHN ROBERTS: The Chief Justice’s dissent said that the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states completely undermined America’s democratic process. full story

ANTONIN SCALIA: The Supreme Court Justice compared the ruling to a fortune cookie. full story

CLARENCE THOMAS: The right-wing justice denied that gays had their dignity taken away by anti gay marriage laws, making offensive statements about slaves and those in internment camps. full story

BOBBY JINDAL: The Louisiana Governor and presidential candidate: “I will never stop fighting.” full story

MIKE HUCKABEE: Governor Mike Huckabee didn’t waste any time in attempting to put a downer on the Supreme Court’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage across the US, branding it “tyranny”. full story

LINDSEY GRAHAM: The presidential candidate struck a conciliatory note, calling for everyone to move on. full story

RICK SANTORUM: “…leaders don’t accept bad decisions….” full story

TED CRUZ: Sen. Cruz proposed a constitutional amendment that would subject members of the Supreme Court to a retention election every eight years. full story

TONY PERKINS: The leader of the FRC says it ain’t over yet. full story

KEN PAXTON: The Texas Attorney General says the ruling will lead to more “displays of hate and intolerance against people of faith.” full story

ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM: The badly mis-named group reacts. full story

JONATHAN SAENZ: He thanks the totally unnecessary “Pastor Protection Law” for stopping the Federal Government from forcing pastors and churches to perform same sex weddings. full story

BRYAN FISCHER: The AFA’s radio host says he “saw Satan dancing with delight” and “the twin towers of truth and righteousness were blown up by moral jihadists.” full story

BRIAN BROWN: The head of NOM called the decision “completely illegitimate.” full story

JIM GARLOW: California pastor Jim Garlow on Wednesday equated reversing gay marriage gains to ending slavery full story

JOSH ROBINSON: The Minnesota Vikings player compared marriage equality to pedophilia and incest. full story

New Gallup Poll Shows Marriage Equality Support at 60%

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Gallup Poll

Last year, we reported that nationwide approval for same-sex marriage had reached an all-time high according to Gallup, which then found that 55% of Americans support same-sex marriage. Those numbers have soared even higher in the 12 months since, now reaching 60% approval on the eve of the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. As Gallup reports, support for same-sex marriage is also at an all-time high among both major political parties:

Though same-sex marriage continues to be politically divisive, support for its legal status has reached new highs among Americans of all political stripes — with Democrats at 76% support, independents at 64% and Republicans at 37%. […]

The party divide between Democrats and Republicans may hinge largely on the age groups that compose each party. Gallup has found that younger Americans are significantly more likely to lean Democratic, while older Americans skew Republican. And while majorities of each age group under 65 support marriage equality in 2015, those aged 65 and older are still more likely to oppose it. This is a new phenomenon for the 50- to 64-year-old group. Last year, just 48% of these middle-aged Americans supported legally recognizing gay marriage. But in 2015, this figure has climbed to a majority of 54%.

Authored By Sean Mandell – See the Full Story at

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Presbyterian Church Approves Marriage Equality

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Presbyterian ChurchAfter three decades of debate over its stance on homosexuality, members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Tuesday to change the definition of marriage in the church’s constitution to include same-sex marriage.

The final approval by a majority of the church’s 171 regional bodies, known as presbyteries, enshrines a change recommended last year by the church’s General Assembly. The vote amends the church’s constitution to broaden marriage from being between “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.”

The Presbytery of the Palisades, meeting in Fair Lawn, N.J., put the ratification count over the top on Tuesday on a voice vote. With many presbyteries still left to vote, the tally late Tuesday stood at 87 presbyteries in favor, 41 against and one tied.

Authored By Laurie Goodstein – See the Full Story at The New York Times

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

42% in US Think Gays Are Born That Way

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

titleA new Gallup poll shows we still have a long way to go on public education about gays and lesbians.

The Washington Post reports:

Are people born gay or lesbian, are do they become that way due to their upbringing or environment? Though opinions are changing, it turns that America is still deeply divided on this “nature vs. nurture” question. Gallup polls taken over nearly four decades show a sharp rise in the view that people are born gay or lesbian, from about 12 percent in 1977 to 42 percent in 2014. The percentage of people saying that homosexuality is due to a person’s upbringing or environment has fallen, from more than 50 percent in the late 1970s to less than 40 percent today.

Gallup Poll on Homosexuality

Unfortunately, the poll shows a bit of a drop-off since last year.

New Poll: US Marriage Equality Support At 59%

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

titleA new poll pegs US support for marriage equality at 59%.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Support for gay marriage has risen to an all-time high in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, reinforcing it as one of the fastest-moving changes in social attitudes of this generation. The new survey found that 59% of Americans support allowing same-sex marriage, nearly double the 30% support reported in 2004. Fred Yang, the Democratic pollster who conducted the survey with Republican Bill McInturff said public opinion about gay marriage is changing at a much more rapid rate than did the nation’s attitudes toward interracial marriage, which now is supported by 87% of Americans.


More than a third of conservatives now support it, and 3/4ths of Democrats do.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

US Marriage Equality Support Jumps to 63%

Friday, February 20th, 2015

titleAccording to a new poll, marriage equality support continues to increase as more and more states get it.

On Top Magazine reports:

A CNN/ORC poll released Thursday showed 63 percent of Americans support gay couples’ constitutional right to marry. According to the poll of 1,027 adults conducted February 12-15, 63 percent of Americans believe that gay couples have “a constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law as valid,” while 36 percent remain opposed. Seventy-two percent of adults under age 34 favor marriage equality. A large majority (75%) of Democrats see marriage for gays as a constitutional right, while 42 percent of Republicans agree.

Only 36% are now opposed – remarkable progress in just a few years.

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USA: New Poll Says 60% of Likely Voters Support Marriage Equality

Friday, February 13th, 2015

titleA new poll from HRC shows a heightened level of support for marriage equality among likely voters.

Politico reports:

With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to rule this spring on whether same-sex couples nationwide should have the right to marry, a gay rights organization on Friday released a new survey showing support for gay marriage at 60 percent among likely voters in the 2016 election. The Human Rights Campaign — a Washington, D.C.-based tax-exempt nonprofit that works to “achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans” — says its survey shows conservatives who claim the country will balk at court-imposed marriage rights are out of step with public opinion. The poll was conducted late last month by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. According to the survey, 60 percent of likely voters say they favor “allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally,” while 37 percent oppose allowing gays to marry.

While the poll measures likely voters vs. people in general, it’s still a great number to see.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.