Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Conservative Columnist Kathleen Parker: "If it quacks like a duck..."

About four or five years ago, conservative columnist, Kathleen Parker, referred to the Christian Right as the "oogedie boogedie" wing of the Republican Party. Today she weighs in on Phil Robertson. The entire piece is a great read.

Some highlights:

Speaking of NOM, a torrent of email asking for money

At 8:00 AM I received their email titled Only 16 hours left. Then at 2:00 PM there were Only 11 hours left. 11? The folks at National Organization for Marriage were never very good at telling time or mathematics.

I expect to receive these missives all day long. NOM begging for money to piss away on a lost cause.
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Thousands of children to take part in massive straight-to-gay conversion event

Of course the event that I am referring to is the Rose Parade. Two men are getting married atop a giant wedding cake on the AIDS Healthcare Foundation float when it stops at the reviewing stand. The ceremony will be officiated by a Protestant Minister.

Last night the mullahs at American Family Association had their little shit fit over innocent children being exposed to the gay. The Washington Post reported that Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage issued a statement saying that children watching Wednesday’s parade “will be exposed to the spectacle of men ‘marrying’ men with the attendant public hugging and kissing.”

Monday, December 30, 2013

Duck, Duck and More Duck - Duck

Phil Robertson
The Christian right wing is celebrating the fact that A&E reversed themselves and reinstated Phil Robertson after he was suspended for voicing his racist and homophobic views. From National Organization for Marriage to FRC's Tony Perkins, they have accused GLAAD of administering a "black list." I have a simple question:

Suppose he told GQ:
Jews must convert to Christianity. They refuse to accept the good news of Jesus Christ’s salvific death and resurrection. They are "unperfected" and destined for hell until they accept Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior. The truth of His message is the only hope for the human soul.

A year-end gimme from Family Watch International

Sharon Slater, Pres.
Family Watch Int'l
Family Watch International is a small Arizona non-profit. The Christianist organization has been linked to Uganda's "kill the gays" bill as well as efforts in other African Countries to undermine gay rights. In February of this year they wrote a letter to the Boy Scouts of America essentially claiming that the gay was a dangerous communicable disease.

FWI's end-of-year gimme-money email claims that their reparative "therapy" video is a credible opus. If this infomercial is being used, as they claim, by college professors then they are likely to be at institutions like Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. Reparative therapy has been thoroughly discredited by every mainstream psychological and counseling organization. Yet they persist in order to justify discrimination based on religious belief.

NOM's goals for last year and next year

Who says that National Organization for Marriage is tediously unimaginative?
Last year
This year
Remember, your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous supporter, doubling the impact of your gift!

We have a plan. Several states are being targeted by our opponents for advancing same-sex marriage legislation . . . and NOM will be making sure that the voters in those states know what their legislators are doing, and that those legislators know how their constituents feel.
We can fight back and win back marriage in 2014... but only if we raise the needed resources now to afford us a strong start in the New Year!

PS: There are only two days left in our year-end, million dollar matching gift challenge... only two days for your gift to NOM — of any amount — to be matched, dollar-for-dollar by one of our most generous supporters and have DOUBLE the impact!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Is there much of a future for marriage discrimination?

Photo: Salt Lake Tribune
With fewer than three million citizens, Utah is our 34th most populous state. Yet it may have opened the flood gates to national marriage equality. Will this event finally turn off the spigot of money to groups like National Organization for Marriage? With less money can these groups continue to frustrate (or attempt to frustrate) equality?

Judge Robert J. Shelby
According to the FEC, U.S. District Court, Judge Robert J. Shelby, has not been a donor to any federal electoral campaign. His party affiliation, if any, is unknown. He is 43 years old and a veteran of Operation Desert Storm who once worked as a reservation clerk for a hotel. President Obama nominated Shelby in 2012 on the recommendation of Senator Orin Hatch. His nomination was supported by Utah's other Senator, the very conservative Mike Lee.

The key elements of Shelby's 53 page decision in Kitchen et al v Herbert et al are contained in the final two paragraphs.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Idiotic in support of bigotry

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Today's gimme-your-money from National Organization for Marriage instructs us with respect to the First Amendment. According to Brian Brown:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Duck Schmuck and Utah Marriage Equality

Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage is having another very bad day to cap off a very bad week. It looks increasingly like the effort to overturn California's transgender protection law (something that NOM is invested in) is doomed as the error rate for petition signatures is well beyond what is required for the petition to be valid.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Oh dear: "National Organization for Marriage Condemns Activist Court Ruling Redefining Marriage in New Mexico"

What a shock. It continues with "Once again activist judges have thrown out the historic legal understanding of marriage in New Mexico." — Brian Brown, NOM president

Mr. Brown goes on to repeat himself by rephrasing the same hyperbole three or four times. What must be burning his already singed butt is that New Mexico is 42% Catholic, compared to 25% nationally. Yet the polling favors marriage equality. When asked if citizens would support or oppose a state constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage, 54% said "no" while 38% said "yes."

One sentence is all you need to know about New Mexico

The State Supreme Court rejected an argument that banning same-sex marriage was necessary to protect “responsible procreation and child rearing.” (NY Times)

It is a preposterous argument that has never made sense and never will make sense. The Catholic Church has a religious objection. They have been making convoluted secular excuses that torture logic (and my patience).
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Out of options, NOM desperately tries to tie marriage equality to polygamy - again

The folks at National Organization for Marriage have (yet) another post in the pipeline today (not on their blog yet) disingenuously connecting marriage equality to polygamy. On Monday, I wrote about Tony Perkins mischaracterizing a federal court decision in Utal. At the risk of repeating myself, what NOM and Family Research Council are saying is that equality advocates lied when they said that marriage equality would not lead to polygamy. Ergo we are deceitful. Ergo marriage equality is baaaad. Take that you [fill in the blank]! Even if true (and it is not) it is a contorted logic chain.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dear NOM: That ship has sailed

Today, National Organization for Marriage wants you to know; GLAAD's "Only Wish": To Deny Children the Right to a Mother and a Father. They go on to explain:
…it is troubling that, this holiday season, the gay activist organization GLAAD is expressing its "Only Wish" as creating a new normal where children will be deprived of the love of either a father or a mother on a regular basis, and indeed that this situation will be rewarded and incentivized by the government.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Can one oppose marriage equality and not be anti-gay?

No. It's an idiotic question in the first place. The only reason that anyone opposes marriage equality is to impose their religious beliefs on others.

Nobody has ever answered the simple question "If two lesbian neighbors marry, how will that affect you?" What we get is drivel about the theoretic affects of changing the purpose of marriage none of which is supported by the evidence. After years of debate nobody has meaningfully argued that marriage equality affects anyone other than those thus wed. So if you oppose the happiness and security that marriage can bring to gay couples and their children then you are anti-gay.

Tony Perkins is profoundly confused - again!

Tony Perkins
In an email blast today, FRC's Tony Perkins writes (yells): “Federal Court Striking Polygamy Law One of Many Consequences of Marriage Redefinition.” Perkins goes on to explain why we are to blame for the recent decision in Utah:
Same-sex marriage advocates have told us that people ought to be able to 'marry who they love' but have also always downplayed the idea that this would lead to legalized polygamy, a practice that very often victimizes women and children. But if love and mutual consent become the definition of what the boundaries of marriage are, can we as a society any longer even define marriage coherently?

Poor Robby

Princeton professor Robert George gives an interview in the National Review celebrating the "anniversary" of his book, What is Marriage? George is the co-founder of National Organization for Marriage and the Witherspoon Institute. This book was part of a coordinated strategy to influence the Supreme Court last summer. In conjunction with the book, Witherspoon financed the thoroughly discredited study by Mark Regnerus that purports to prove, according to National Organization for Marriage, that gay couples are terrible parents. In addition to the book, co-authors Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis gave innumerable interviews and penned innumerable polemics about the evils of gay marriage.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Huckabee: God will Decide If He Should Run for President Again

Mike Huckabee
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told a group of pastors that God will decide if he should run for president in 2016. Huckabee said said that he is praying about it, and has had several groups from Iowa and South Carolina come to meet him.

In other words, if Huckabee chooses to run again the implicit claim will be that his candidacy is ordained by God. Behind that "aw shucks" country boy veneer is a toxic cynical Christianist politician. In 2010 Huckabee claimed:

Friday, December 13, 2013

NOM's latest efforts to dig out of their financial hole

Money down the crapper
At the end of 2012, on a consolidated basis, NOM had negative working capital of $2.8 million. Working capital is current assets less current liabilities. Vendors were apparently not getting paid (accounts payable had almost doubled from the prior year). I have no reason to believe that NOM's finances have improved during 2013. I am guessing, for example, that lack of money was the reason behind the termination of Jennifer Roback Morse.

Today, Brian Brown sent out the usual send-us-your-money email blast. A few things caught my eye.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

NOM's persecution challenge

Brian Brown - National Organization for Marriage
Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage writes:
I challenge any same-sex marriage activist to take to their blog or to pen an op-ed doubling down on the opinion that what cake decorators and bakers do isn't a form of artistry and doesn't deserve protections as a form of expression!
It's baloney Brian Brown. You believe your own BS. 

Oh dear - PFOX has been victimized again

The crackpots at Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) filed a sexual orientation discrimination complaint with the Department of Justice and the Department of Education against the Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Education and its School Superintendent, Joshua Starr. According to a PFOX press release:
After PFOX distributed ex-gay flyers <sic> to high school students as part of the schools' flyer <sic> distribution program for non-profit organizations, Starr publicly denigrated PFOX and former homosexuals by calling the actions of PFOX "reprehensible and deplorable" and labeling the flyer's sexual orientation freedom stance as "a really, really disgusting message."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

US Amassador presents credentials to DM Pres - not the archbishop

Amb. James "Wally" Brewster
In July, Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic referred to then nominee James “Wally” Brewster as a “faggot.” Since then Mr. Brewster was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate.  

Ambassador James Brewster arrived in the Dominican Republic with his husband, Bob Satawake, on November 26. On Monday he presented his credentials to Dominican president Danilo Medina.

Apparently Cardinal Rodríguez isn't involved in the diplomatic process. Imagine that. We await the prelate's apology to a United States of America dignitary and plenipotentiary.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Edith Windsor a finalist for Time Magazine Person of the Year

Time Magazine has announced the ten finalists for 2013 person of the year. Edith Windsor, of course, was the party before the Supreme Court in the landmark case, United States v. Windsor. Her tenacity resulted in the Court striking down Section 3 of DOMA which resulted in federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Ms. Windsor's competitors include the Pope and the President of the United States.
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Somehow NOM is going to hand control of the US Senate to the GOP

National Organization for Marriage - NOMnuts
According to National Organization for Marriage they are "striving" for GOP control of the U.S. Senate. Exactly how they intend to do so remains unexplained. Nevertheless, they are asking people to send them money (shocking, I know). Get this:
When the wrong people are elected to high office, they end up doing harm to our nation and to future generations. Not only are marriage and religious liberty in jeopardy, but President Obama has racked up unprecedented debt, is in the process of nationalizing the healthcare system, and has dramatically weakened our relations with key allies like Israel, while expressing sympathy for many of our enemies.
Who writes this crap? Someone at WND? Not a single sentence in that paragraph is true. “…expressing sympathy for many of our enemies?” Seriously?

Citizens for Community Values extends hate with AIDS fears

Citizens for Community Values is an Ohio hate group headed by Phil Burress. He is obviously not the most articulate person around. Conflating AIDS with marriage equality is idiotic and the notion that the gay community is ignoring the continuing epidemic is simply untrue. The Human Rights Campaign's issue brief is as clear as the New York Times article that Burress is referring to. Last summer Burress claimed that the Supreme Court decisions in Hollingsworth v. Perry (Prop 8) and U.S. v. Windsor (DOMA) were victories in defense of marriage.

Perkins: Opposing bigotry is "religious intolerance"

Tony Perkins - Family Research Council
Tony Perkins, head of the hate group, "Family" Research Council, has weighed in on the Masterpiece Cakes matter. As expected, a Colorado judge ruled that the bakery's owner, Jack Phillips, violated the state's anti-discrimination law when he refused to provide a wedding cake for a gay couple. According to a rather perplexing statement by Phillips:
My decision not to participate in the gay weddings is not motivated by politics, i.e., my rights, guaranteed by the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or a business decision, or hatred of gays, though I’ve been accused of all these and many other things. My decision is based solely on a desire to live my life in obedience to Him and His Word.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Where they are at

National Organization for Marriage
Last night, National Organization for Marriage posted something titled “Where We're At” to their RSS feed. By now it is probably on their blog. And a mighty exercise in delusional wishful thinking it is.

First off, Brian Brown wants everyone to know that they are at 40% of their year end goal of $1,000,000 so please send them more money to piss away on bloated salaries, payroll for people who aren't even working for NOM, expensive overseas trips to bolster Brian Brown's ego and to keep folks like Rev. Billy Owens on the payroll. Then there is this:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Christian Christman Buying Guide - HRC in Reverse

Leave it to those good Christians to come up with their own merchant rating system for faith driven consumers. Companies are evaluated based on seven criteria:
  1. Pro-life (Sanctity of Human Life) 
  2. Biblical Sexuality, Marriage and Family 
  3. Non-pornographic Materials 
  4. Wholesome Entertainment 
  5. Social Responsibility / Philanthropy 
  6. Corporate Responsibility
  7. Other

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Google's Inclusive "Nexus I Do Commercial"

I ordered a new Nexus 5 cellphone from Google this morning. Google has a promotional video on the product page. To demonstrate the true HD video, a woman "tells" the device: "OK Google, show me my wedding pictures." We are presented with a panoply of multicultural wedding videos. Included with equal prominence is a sequence providing the screen capture above.

We really have come a very long way.
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

NOM claims that "Giving Tuesday" means "Giving NOM money"

According to Brian Brown in an email blast by National Organization for Marriage:
"Giving Tuesday" is 24 hours of giving — to show that American's can open their wallets for more than just Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail "holidays." It's about supporting your favorite non-profits by donating, and getting as many other people as possible to donate along with you.
"Philanthropy" designated to prevent gay people from getting legally married is not exactly what this is all about. "Giving Tuesday" is about feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and caring for the sick. Mr. Brown's arrogance knows no boundaries.
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Dolan as Demagogue in Denial

Cardinal Timothy Dolan
By now, most people are aware of Cardinal Tim Dolan's appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday. The "repeaters" are at work today. Catholic News Agency's headline is Cardinal Dolan: Church has been ‘caricatured’ as anti-gay. CNA goes on to explain:
“We've been caricatured as being anti-gay,” Cardinal Dolan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Dec. 1, adding that “we’re pro-marriage, we’re pro-traditional marriage, we’re not anti-anybody.”
Google informs me that the definition of caricature is “make or give a comically or grotesquely exaggerated representation of (someone or something).” Oh the poor misunderstood Roman Catholic Church.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Leader of Texas "values" group: "Do laws mean anything to homosexuals?"

Jonathan Saenz
Texas Values
In 2005 about 75% of Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Eight years later we have a Supreme Court ruling in US v. Windsor striking down part 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In October two couples filed suit in federal court in San Antonio (TX Western District). The case, DeLeon et al v. Perry et al, challenges the state's ban on both in-state and out-of-state same-sex marriages.