Thursday, July 30, 2015

Heard about the Christian suing Ford?

Until last August Thomas Banks was an employee of Rapid Global Business Solutions, a company that essentially leases employees to Ford Motor Company. About that time, via Ford's intranet, Banks received a company newsletter. The newsletter contained an article about the 20th anniversary of Ford’s Gay, Lesbian Or Bisexual Employees advocacy group (GLOBE). Banks felt compelled to express his disapproval of his fellow LGBT workers via an online comment. This is what he wrote (the original can be seen in Exhibit 2 which is included in the court filing below):

As holy warrior, Mr. Anderson's contempt for equal treatment

If Anderson actually had a good argument then the Supreme Court might have come to a different conclusion.
Ryan T. Anderson

Marriage equality became a settled issue on June 26, 2015 by a ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States. That has not stopped Heritage Foundation's Ryan T. Anderson from advocating for opposition to same-sex marriage. The reason that Anderson opposes marriage equality and the reason that he continues to be an advocate against a settled issue is that Anderson is an ultra-conservative Catholic. The Church has told him that it is his duty to resist and oppose same-sex marriage in any way possible and he has obliged.

It is not an entirely futile endeavor. While Anderson is not going to upend marriage equality he helps to define the talking points for those people who think that a religious objection should be a valid reason for businesses to refuse service to those people they disapprove of — all packaged as “religious freedom.” When James Madison authored the First Amendment to the Constitution “free exercise” of religion meant the freedom to practice the religion of one's choice. It is carefully balanced by the Establishment Clause. However, Mr. Anderson's notion of free exercise is the right to impose the teachings of the Catholic Church on everyone else and call it “religious liberty.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Os Hillman denigrates gay people - I don't have to subsidize it

Os Hillman

The self-righteous, holier-than-thou crowd are constantly flouting laws and regulations that they do not like. Usually the excuse is framed as religious liberty. It is worth noting that we all subsidize non-profit organizations. Not only are their revenues tax exempt and tax deductible for the donors but these organizations do not pay local sales and use taxes. It is bad enough that I have to subsidize anti-gay hate groups; I draw a distinct line when a not-for-profit is actually a for-profit corporation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Exactly what is Mr. Sprigg's expertise?

Peter Sprigg

Tuesday, Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group, advises that Peter Sprigg has testified before the Massachusetts legislature as that body considers banning sexual orientation change efforts on minors. Before getting into Sprigg's testimony, what does he bring to the table? Sprigg is a Baptist minister and an employee of a hate group. What possible weight could be given to his testimony on a medical and social science matter? Where is the requisite erudition?

Another legislative schmuck - this one in Texas - claiming that Obergefell does not apply

Yee HAW - Republican State Rep. Dan Flynn of Texas
Texas state representative Dan Flynn, R-Canton, claims that the state need not issue same-sex licenses or grant such spouses benefits because the Legislature has not appropriated any money for it. In a letter to Texas AG, Ken Paxton Flynn writes:
Without revision to Texas statute, are marriage licenses issued to same-sex individuals since June 26, 2015, valid? Absent further action by the Texas Legislature, do state agencies have authority to adopt policies and procedures to grant other benefits, specifically including employment benefit programs and adoption, arising under Texas law to same-sex couples? In the event that the Texas legislature does not amend current law, what action could the federal government take to implement same-sex marriage?
How did all of these obviously unbalanced people end up in state legislatures?

Wingnut Tennessee lawmaker asks county clerks to cease issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Rick Womick
Tennessee State Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale, has sent a letter to all 95 county clerks in Tennessee urging them to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The “reasoning,” according to the letter is that the Supreme Court has redefined a legally recognized marital contract in Tennessee, making it void and unenforceable in the state. Therefore, they should ignore the Supreme Court’s decision. According to Mr. Womick:
We are going to redefine marriage as this. They don’t have the power. Only Congress and state legislators have that power to create law. These clerks, by ignoring the opinion, will be in violation of no federal law. All they’re in violation of is the opinion of individuals in black robes.
[ … ]
We will not be controlled by an oligarchy of five individuals in black robes. If you really have a problem with that, you five justices, then come down to Tennessee and try to enforce your ruling.
Perhaps Mr. Womick is willing to guarantee to pay the legal fees and penalties that a clerk would face by violating the order of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Should sexual orientation fluidity affect the politics of gay rights?

There is an important piece in New Scientist titled “Sexuality is fluid – it’s time to get past ‘born this way.’” The author, Lisa Diamond, is a professor of developmental and health psychology at the University of Utah. She is also a lesbian. According to whomever edits the site, “Gay rights shouldn't depend on how a person came to be gay, and we should embrace the fact that sexuality can change, says developmental psychologist Lisa Diamond.”