2063 posts categorized "Families"

March 26, 2015

Quick backlash to reckless Indiana 'religious freedom' law enactment

Advocate reports on the quick and harsh reactions to Indiana Governor Pence signing what is in fact a religious supremacy bill, not a religious freedom bill--unless you mean the freedom to discriminate and split apart our diverse society.

My God is not a bully. I will not worship a god who is a bully. I will not obey a bullying god. I will not attend a bullying church. I will not respect bullying clergy. I will not remain silent as religious bullies seek to impose their beliefs on others in the guise of "religious freedom" bills. I live in a religiously and culturally diverse society, where faith-based discrimination in the public square undermines the civic order and social cohesion. I will fight the bullies. I will demand that editors and reporters call religious supremacy what it is, and not let them swallow the right-wing spin about religious freedom. Please join me in this recognition and this fight to uphold secular American values.

March 24, 2015

Ghosts in the Courtroom

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(Frank Kameny; Washington Blade archive photo by Doug Hinckle)

My column this week examines the Mattachine Society of Washington's amicus brief in the marriage cases before SCOTUS--featuring newly unearthed original documents that show decades of anti-gay animus in the federal government--animus dismissed in 2013 by Chief Justice Roberts in his dissent in Windsor as "snippets of legislative history."

Cropping up again and again is Frank Kameny, original MSW founder, whose fearlessness, brilliance, and doggedness was a continued thorn in the side of those persecuting us. Bravo to Charles Francis and Pate Felts for their sleuthing, and to McDermott Will & Emery as counsel of record.

Here is the lede:

The late gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny's exhortations ring in my ears as I anticipate arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license same-sex marriages.

Read the whole thing here.

March 23, 2015

Marriage News Watch: Texas

'Religious Freedom' Bills Fail, As More People See What They’re Really About

Interesting read from The Daily Beast on the backlash to the anti-gay backlash.

(Hat tip: Robert Naylor, Jr.)

Puerto Rico drops defense of same-sex marriage ban

States propose wave of anti-LGBT bills

Many of us have been saying that increasingly, the fight for LGBT equality will be in the states. Well here it is.

March 19, 2015

D&G, call your marketing office

Can you say hypocrisy?

March 18, 2015

The sad decline of Walter Fauntroy

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(Walter Fauntroy testifies against marriage equality in 2009; photo by Metro Weekly)

WUSA9 News reports:

A bench warrant is on file in Prince George's County for D.C. icon Walter Fauntroy. The pastor and former civil rights leader is believed to be in Africa. His passport has been revoked by the U.S. State Department.

Fauntroy's disappearance has been discussed quietly around town since he apparently came close to being killed around the time of Qadafi's fall in 2011. Prior to that, I heard him give a number of delusional, self-aggrandizing speeches. He was part of the ineffectual group of ministers that opposed marriage equality in DC, and like others in that group appears to be an overcompensating closet case.

Twelve years ago I spoke to Fauntroy in the fellowship hall at Israel Baptist Church, and tried respectfully to convince him that the backers of the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment with whom he allied himself were the same people Dr. King criticized in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and that he was dishonoring his old associate Bayard Rustin in the process. I might as well have chatted up the food on the buffet table.

For years Fauntroy was a fixture at ineffectual rallies for DC Statehood. Because of his background in the civil rights movement, few criticized him publicly. His homophobia was as out of date as his boasting of his closeness to Qadafi. He lived in the past for a long time, and had many enablers. Now his mental state is in question. He has become a sad footnote in the post-Benjamin Jealous era of cooperation between the civil rights and LGBT rights movements, in which many ministers are on the side of equality, as Dr. King's widow was.

March 17, 2015

Presbyterians approve same-sex marriage

Good for them, but it comes too late to impress me. Years and years of hand-wringing and soulful discussions and hair-pulling and whatever other drama, just to end up with the bleeding obvious. How many people did they turn away in the meantime? How many gave up and left, or stayed and repressed themselves to avoid being shunned? You can't get back lost time and lost lives and loves. Sorry, but that's how it feels to me.

March 16, 2015

Laws to Stop Marriage Equality Grow Increasingly Weird

The latest marriage news roundup from AFER. Our opponents grown more desperate by the week.

March 13, 2015

Unraveling the Church Ban on Gay Sex

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(Photo of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone courtesy Huffington Post)

Gary Gutting in NYT writes:

Last month, Salvatore Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco, made controversial changes to a handbook for Catholic high school teachers in his jurisdiction. The changes included morals clauses, one of which forbids those teachers from publicly endorsing homosexual behavior. There are plausible legal and educational objections to this move. But there is a deeper issue, one that raises fundamental questions about Catholic teachings on homosexuality and other sexual matters.

The archbishop has justified of his decision on the grounds that homosexual acts are “contrary to natural law.” Unlike many religions, Catholicism insists that its moral teachings are based not just on faith but also on human reason. For example, the church claims that its moral condemnation of homosexual acts can be established by rigorous philosophical argument, independent of anything in the Bible.

The primary arguments derive from what is known as the “natural-law tradition” of ethical thought....

Bah. "Natural Law" is religious dogma in pseudoscientific drag. If Cordileone were interested in nature, he would observe the widespread presence of homosexuality to be found in it, rather than dictating to nature as he does. He is lecturing past the graveyard.

Even most Catholics ignore Church teachings on sex, which are outdated and centered on control, not understanding. The RCC morally bankrupted itself with decades of facilitation and coverup of child rapes, and worsened it by evading justice and hiding money to avoid paying judgments. Many bishops remain arrogant, corrupt, intolerant, and steeped in misogyny.

If there is a sin, it is acting like sheep when God did not make us sheep. Let the bishops get their minds around that, respect the laity and women's religious, and stop their bullying, or they will slide further into irrelevance.

March 04, 2015

Cal Thomas: gay marriage is a sign of the End Times

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(Photo credit: Liberty University)

Michelangelo Signorile went on the prowl at CPAC last weekend, and got some fun revelations from right-wing columnist Cal Thomas. I hadn't checked in with Cal in a while, but he seems even crazier than he was thirty years ago. Here's a sample:

“If you read the Scriptures, as I do, in both testaments all of these things are forecast in prophesies, in the book of Daniel and what Jesus and Paul said, so I'm not worried about it,” Thomas continued, describing his surprising reaction to the Supreme Court possibly ruling in favor of marriage equality. “I say everything is right on schedule. I’m trying to shore up my own family first and, hopefully, that will be an example to other people… If you look at not only what Jesus said, but Paul the Apostle, about what things would be like in the end times, people will be lovers of lies rather than the truth. They will elevate things that are called abomination in scripture to normality… All of the prophesies up to the final ones have come true. And that’s why I say that everything is right on schedule.”

David Koch supports marriage equality

The incongruities in the political alliance between the social right and plutocrats are illustrated in this report from Politico.

March 03, 2015

Alabama Supreme Court tries to countermand federal court ruling

This attempt at nullification will not last long. For more, check out @ChrisGeidner on Twitter.

March 02, 2015

HRC: maps of state laws and policies

As nationwide marriage equality nears, the focus increasingly turns to the state of LGBT-related laws and policies in the states. DC is in the top rank, with most of the boxes checked. There is much more work to be done in many states.

Marriage equality wins in Nebraska

February 24, 2015

National Review executive editor Reihan Salam signs marriage equality statement

Reihan_Salam
(Photo by Kris Krug)

Reihan Salam, executive editor at the conservative National Review, has signed a statement drafted by David Blankenhorn that makes the conservative case for marriage equality.

I first encountered Salam when he worked for Andrew Sullivan's blog, so I sent Andrew a congratulatory note. He replies, "Reihan was my first intern. love the guy."

The ground has certainly shifted. Hooray for us.

Discriminatory Washington state florist chooses martyrdom over $2001 settlement

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(Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)

The Blaze reports.

If the discriminators are the victims here, then erase my life.

February 23, 2015

Labor secretary announces same-sex couples will have access to FMLA

Labor Secretary Tom Perez announces a rule making to ensure access to the Family And Medical Leave Act for same-sex couples.

February 20, 2015

Texas Supreme Court: no more gay weddings

Travis County Clerk Dana Debeauvoir stated:

The Texas Supreme Court order on the Motion for Temporary Relief has stayed further proceedings in the trial court, and is not directed at the County Clerk. I have every reason to believe that the actions I took this morning were legally correct based on the trial court's order, and that the license my office issued was then and is now valid. There is no further action for me to take at this time.

Matt Baume explains the bakery wars

AFER's Matt Baume explains it all for you.

February 19, 2015

First same-sex couple marries in Texas

EEOC says Wal-Mart discriminated against lesbian

AP reports:

A federal agency says Wal-Mart discriminated against a lesbian employee who sought health coverage for her ailing wife and has ordered "a just resolution" for violating her civil rights.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ordered the retail giant to work with Jacqueline Cote of New Bedford, Massachusetts, who hopes the determination will help her pay off $100,000 in medical bills.

In a Jan. 29 EEOC ruling, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, the agency said Cote "was treated differently and denied benefits because of her sex."

Our colleague Craig Howell writes, "Now that Wal-Mart has entered the 21st century [See this and this], I hope they can settle this case promptly."

February 13, 2015

Evergreen

For all who are far from their loved ones on Valentine's Day. As nationwide marriage equality nears, there are so many for whom it will have come too late. Live in the moment, for that is the only thing of which any of us can be truly certain. Here is to lovers.

February 12, 2015

Jon Stewart on 'Wedding Crushers'

Jon Stewart takes on Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Federal judge orders Mobile County probate judge to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Campbell Robertson at NYT reports from Mobile:

A federal judge here on Thursday ordered that a county probate judge must comply with her earlier ruling and cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The federal judge, Callie V. S. Granade of Federal District Court here, wrote that the county judge, Don Davis, of Probate Court in Mobile County, cannot deny a marriage license “on the ground that plaintiffs constitute same-sex couples or because it is prohibited by the sanctity of marriage.”

The decision was an effort to clarify that Judge Davis should follow Judge Granade's earlier ruling striking down a state ban on same-sex marriage, rather than a conflicting order from the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy S. Moore.

Read Judge Granade's ruling here.

The People's Brief for marriage equality

I have signed the people's brief. Will you?

February 11, 2015

Obama: critical mass reached, time for marriage equality nationwide

Whether he evolved or revolved on marriage, the president has it exactly right now.

Obama responds to Axelrod

Justin Sink at The Hill reports:

President Obama is denying a former top political adviser's contention that he intentionally deceived voters about his position on gay marriage in an interview published Wednesday.

The president said David Axelrod, his former senior adviser, was “mixing up my personal feelings with my position on the issue” when he said Obama publicly backed civil unions rather than gay marriage because it was more politically palatable.

“I always felt that same-sex couples should be able to enjoy the same rights, legally, as anybody else and so it was frustrating to me not to, I think, be able to square that with what were a whole bunch of religious sensitivities out there,” Obama said in an interview with BuzzFeed....

“I think the notion that somehow I was always in favor of marriage per se isn’t quite accurate,” Obama said.

Unfortunately, Mr. President, we have this evidence from 1996.

It's a good thing the president isn't a news anchor.

February 10, 2015

A critical mass

May it be so.

Obama comments on the freedom to marry in Alabama

February 09, 2015

Same-sex couples get marriage licenses in Alabama

Alan Blinder at NYT reports:

The United States Supreme Court said early Monday that it would not stop same-sex marriages in Alabama, as gay couples gathered outside courthouses across the state.

Justices on Monday morning denied a request by the Alabama attorney general to extend a hold on a judge’s ruling overturning the state’s ban on gay marriage. The attorney general, Luther Strange, had asked the United States Supreme Court to halt the weddings until the justices settle the issue nationwide when they take it up this year.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore defies federal courts

Alan Blinder at NYT reports on Roy Moore's latest lawlessness:

In a dramatic show of defiance toward the federal judiciary, Chief Justice Roy S. Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court on Sunday night ordered the state’s probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on Monday, the day same-sex marriages were expected to begin here.

“Effective immediately, no probate judge of the State of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama probate judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with the Alabama Constitution or state law, the chief justice wrote in his order.

February 06, 2015

Feb. 8 - DC Wedding Expo

SameLoveSameRights

The Rainbow Wedding Network asked us to share this invitation:

You & your partner are invited to the 5th Annual 'Same Love, Same Rights' LGBT Wedding Expo in Washington DC on Sunday, Feb. 8th! Dozens of gay-friendly exhibitors will participate, eager to help you and your fiancee plan the ceremony of your dreams! Photographers, DJs, Officiants, Wedding Planners, Venues, Jewelers, Invitations & more... FREE Raffle Giveaways, LGBT-Planning Tips & Trends!

Sunday Feb. 8th, 2015
12:30-3:30pm

Maggiano's Little Italy
5333 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20015

Doors will open at 12:30pm with the raffles starting at 1:45pm. Bring your family, friends and wedding party!
Advance tickets FREE! Gay friendly wedding & travel professionals, wedding tips, amazing raffles, fashion, music & more!

FREE TO ATTEND - Couples, singles, and allies interested in marriage rights are all invited.
Please RSVP through the website! www.SameLoveSameRights.com

RainbowWeddingNetwork has produced over 100 Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expos throughout the nation! Join the Celebration! This is our 5th event in Washington DC!

February 03, 2015

Freedom to Marry runs marriage equality ad in Alabama

11th Circuit denies stay in Alabama marriage case

Also this:

February 02, 2015

Marriage Equality Watch

Matt Baume of AFER gives an update on the state of marriage equality efforts. Here's AFER's description:

Marriage could be starting next week in Alabama. Anti-gay officials are saying that they don’t have to let gay couples get married, but their reasoning isn’t exactly what you would call true. Oklahoma’s marriage equality backlash is getting dangerous, with a proposed law that would hand new victims to ex-gay predators. And the National Organization for Marriage thinks they’ll have an impact on the 2016 presidential election.

January 30, 2015

AFA tries to have it both ways with Bryan Fischer

Bryan-fischer-gay-rights

The American Family Association has written to the Southern Poverty Law Center repudiating certain statements by its longtime spokesman and talk show host Bryan Fischer, demanding that SPLC stop attributing those statements to AFA.

SPLC isn't having it:

In the Jan. 28 letter to the SPLC, AFA general counsel Patrick Vaughn listed a series of offensive comments from Fischer and said the organization “has never held these views and wishes to clarify that it still rejects such sentiments.”

Vaughn also wrote that Fischer would no longer serve as an AFA spokesperson or its director of issue analysis. However, Fischer will continue to host his two-hour, daily Focal Point radio show and write blog posts. Vaughn wrote that the AFA’s radio network provides a “diversity” of viewpoints but that Fischer’s statements do not represent the views of the AFA.

In response, Cohen wrote, “The fact that the AFA is continuing to allow Mr. Fischer to host a daily radio show and blog on its website also makes us question the AFA’s sincerity. Sponsoring Mr. Fischer’s racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred of the Muslim and the LGBT communities in the name of ‘diversity’ says as much about the AFA as it does about Mr. Fischer....

“Without ending Mr. Fischer’s talk show, without apologizing for the bigoted statements that he, Mr. Wildmon, and others associated with the AFA have made, and without making it crystal clear that the AFA will not tolerate any such statements in the future, the AFA’s 11th-hour disavowal of Mr. Fischer appears to serve only one purpose: to give the AFA a degree of plausible deniability while it continues to spew hateful rhetoric,” Cohen wrote. “It’s a shell game and a transparent one at that.”

Yes.

Meet Christian nationalist David Lane

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If you think AFA's Bryan Fischer is extreme, check out Christian nationalist David Lane, who has close ties with Republican leaders. Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch reports of Lane:

He has:

  • Argued that “homosexuals praying at the Inauguration” of President Obama in 2013 will provoke God’s wrath in the form of “car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa.”
  • Urged conservative Christians to prepare for martyrdom in their fight to “save the nation from the pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage [and] homosexual scouts.”
  • Favorably quoted a Christian author who said that “same-sex marriage practiced universally is suicide. To survive gays and lesbians are parasites, depending for their cultural survival on couples that birth the next generation.”
  • Explained why homosexuality is a threat to freedom: “Homosexuality is debauchery. God’s loyalty and fidelity — that guard the nation — make sustainable freedom dependent on seeking virtue.”
  • Said homosexuality is part of a Marxist “psychological conditioning” plot.

January 29, 2015

AFA's Bryan Fischer not really fired

RWW reports:

Bryan Fischer kicked off his radio program today by refuting reports that he had been fired by the American Family Association, explaining that he has simply given up his role as an official AFA spokesman while retaining his role as a daily radio host for AFA's radio outlet, American Family Radio.

Fischer said that his designation as an AFA spokesman while he also served as a radio host was creating confusion and resulting in the personal opinions he expressed on the radio being unfairly attributed to the AFA. As such, Fischer will no longer serve as an official voice for AFA but will continue to spew his bigotry from the AFA's radio stations.

So apparently Rachel Maddow was misled.