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The Big Gay Marriage Backlash Fails

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Gay WeddingFrank Schubert tried to warn us. In 2012, after voters in four states took the side of gay marriage in ballot initiatives, Schubert, a consultant working for the National Organization for Marriage, was sure they would live to regret their choice.

“A raft of problems will appear that we’ll be able to point to,” Schubert told me back then. “The truth of the matter is that same-sex marriage creates a host of conflicts with people who disagree with it. That’s just a fact. You will start to see wedding photographers sued and fined, innkeepers put out of business, churches sued, small businesses sued. Then people will say, ‘Whoa, I didn’t think this was going to happen.'” In a way, Schubert’s prediction has come to pass. But politically, it hasn’t gone down the way his side hoped.

Clashes like the ones he anticipated between venders claiming religious liberty and gay couples seeking services have indeed cropped up, though there have been only a handful and they’re not directly connected to the legality of gay marriage. But the backlash that gay-marriage opponents expected as a result does not appear to be materializing. Instead, in states like Arizona, Mississippi, and Kansas, lawmakers have largely backed down from attempts to protect religious dissenters after a national outcry branding the bills discriminatory.

Authored By Molly Ball – See the Full Story at The Atlantic

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Beware, the Marriage Equality Backlash Is Coming

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Catholic ChurchThe pendulum of politics can be fickle and cruel.

Last May, Rhode Island became the tenth state to allow for full marriage rights for same sex couples. It was a triumphant ending to a nearly twenty year struggle. Then as if on cue, the barriers for marriage equality in other states began to fall like ninepins. And by the end of 2013, eighteen states had marriage equality, nine more than a year before.

But the resistance wasn’t done yet.

In 2014, while the trend of courts striking down laws prohibiting gay marriage has continued, another more disturbing countertrend has arisen. In Kansas and Arizona, state legislatures seriously considered passing what are effectively anti-gay segregation bills which would allow businesses to deny service to LGBTQ customers based on so-called “religious liberty.”

With the equality movement making such tremendous strides so fast, it was only a matter of time before the pushback came. But the equality movement cannot fold now. They must be stronger than ever, put some of their hard-won momentum on defense, and stay the course. This will only be one of a series of battles that must be won before LGBTQ rights are fully accepted across America.

Authored By John Perilli – See the Full Story at Go Local Prov

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USA: More Prop 8 / DOMA Speculation As Ruling Nears

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

US Supreme CourtIt could be tomorrow. As we wait, once again, for a possible Day of Decision Thursday, we’ve rounded up some more analysis and speculation on the case for you.

To start, Lisa Keen at Queerty brings us her thoughts on two more Supreme Curt Justices. First, Clarence Thomas:

In his personal dissent to the Lawrence v. Texas decision striking down sodomy laws in 2003, Thomas wrote, “If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it. Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valuable law enforcement resources.” And yet he voted against striking the law. In fact, though it is a close call, his record is the worst among the conservatives on the bench.

She puts the offs of his voting for marriage equality in both cases at 1 in 6.

Next, she looks at Stephen Breyer:

It remains to be seen whether Breyer’s tough line of questioning persuaded the chief justice to consider the perils of the procreation argument. But it was a fair example of how Breyer works. He is the wonky justice comfortable sparring with his conservative colleagues. He’s done so frequently in public with the court’s most conservative member, Antonin Scalia. Born in San Francisco and raised in Massachusetts, Breyer’s liberal bent should surprise few. His voting record on LGBT-related cases tracks that of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ken puts his odds for supporting equality in both cases at 3 to 1.

Over at the Huffington Post, they are reporting on one of the attorneys in the prop eight case speculating on the possible Supreme Court decision:

Boies conceded that proponents of Proposition 8, the California law banning same-sex marriage, could end up losing because the court will rule that they were ineligible to appeal a lower court ruling that the law was unconstitutional. A victory on those grounds would be a victory for Boies and his fellow lawyer Ted Olson, but not the one they wanted. “The question is, do those people have a standing to come before the court and defend it? Under Supreme Court precedent, they probably do not have standing,” Boies said. “The court is very restrictive in terms of to whom they grant standing, and they never granted standing to private citizens who do not have a fiduciary relationship to the state. And one way that the court could solve this particular case is to hold that these people do not have standing.” Under this scenario, same-sex marriage would be made legal in California, but the issue of it is a constitutional right would be left unaddressed. Other states, in short, would be unaffected.

Over at the Washington Post,Chris Cillizza makes some interesting points about the new Pew study on media bias over the marriage equality issue. Among them:

There is a bit of chicken and egg going on here. Lots and lots of polling done over the last few months suggests that public opinion is in fact moving – across virtually every demographic measure — in favor of legalization of same sex marriage. So, while the Pew study does show real and significant opposition to allowing gay people to marry, the coverage focuses on what’s new(s), which is the movement toward legalization.

And another study, researchers at the University of California Riverside found that there will likely be little public backlash if the Supreme Court issues a positive ruling on marriage equality. UCR Today reports:

The researchers conducted online experiments in which people were asked to react to a state supreme court ruling allowing gay marriage and assigned the participants to read articles about the legalization of gay rights in Oregon, a gay pride parade and gun-control policy. A second experiment compared subjects’ reactions before and after U.S. Supreme Court hearings on California’s Proposition 8 and on restrictions on marriage recognition and benefits contained in the federal Defense of Marriage Act. There was no evidence of opinion backlash on the issue of gay marriage in either experiment. In fact, contrary to theories of backlash, experiment participants viewed gays and lesbians more warmly after the Supreme Court hearings than participants did before, the researchers found.

So we hold our collective breath again tomorrow morning at 10 AM Eastern and hope for a good set of rulings…

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Illinois, USA: Group of African American Church Leaders Vow Marriage Equality Backlash

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Group of African American Church Leaders Vow Marriage Equality Backlash in IllinoisLeaders of several Chicago-area African American churches on Monday urged state lawmakers to vote against pending legislation that would allow same-sex marriage in Illinois.

The group said the same legislators who frequent black churches for votes are turning a deaf ear to their opposition to the bill.

“We are concerned because our government is trying to legalize this conduct, especially those who seek to speak to our congregations when they are running for office,” said the Rev. Kenneth Giles of Mount Olive Missionary.

See the Full Story at NBC Chicago

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WA: Some Lawmakers Face Backlash Over Marriage Equality Vote

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Washington Senate Marriage Equality Vote BacklashWednesday’s historic Senate vote to approve same sex marriage has energized supporters, but it has also caused a backlash for some of the lawmakers who voted in favor of the bill.

Officials from the state information office said just prior to Wednesday’s vote, 2,300 calls flooded into the state capitol, with most of the calls opposing gay marriage.

“There have been some fairly profane and angry kinds of communications to members,” said Sen. Lisa Brown, a Democrat who was one of the 28 members who voted in favor of the bill.

Full Story from KOMO

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Poland: Negative Reaction to Court Ruling on Gay Widower

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Polish conservatives have long warned that cozying up to western Europe may help the country’s economy and security, but carries grave dangers of importing western values that are anathema to traditionalists. They have been proven correct by a recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled on whether a common law spouse of a deceased man could take over his rights to rent a low-cost apartment from the government of the western Polish city of Szczecin.

The common law spouse was a man, Piotr Kozak, and Polish law, which only recognizes marriage as “a union of a man and a woman,” makes no provision for same-sex couples.

After his partner’s death in 1998, Kozak was turned down by the city in his request to stay in the apartment, and his claims were rejected by a series of Polish courts before he went to the Human Rights Court (which is not connected to the European Union) in Strasbourg. There, the court found that, while protecting the family was a legitimate reason which could justify a difference in treatment, it also found that the 1953 Human Rights Convention “is a living instrument, to be interpreted in the light of present-day conditions.”

Full Story from the Global Post

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