Friday, January 31, 2014

Apparently the NOMers do not know the history of the term "state's rights"

The latest from National Organization for Marriage is titled “State's Rights and the Defense of Marriage.” Why is NOM using a loaded term (state's rights) that was used to oppose desegregation in Dixie? Are they really that dumb? I won't answer that question but before I go further, here is what Justice Kennedy included in the majority opinion in United States v. Windsor:
In order to assess the validity of that intervention it is necessary to discuss the extent of the state power and authority over marriage as a matter of history and tradition. State laws defining and regulating marriage, of course, must respect the constitutional rights of persons, see, e.g., Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1 (1967) ; but, subject to those guarantees, “regulation of domestic relations” is “an area that has long been regarded as a virtually exclusive province of the States.” Sosna v. Iowa, 419 U. S. 393, 404 (1975).

NOM desperate for a win in Indiana

National Organization for Marriage is pleading with its dwindling supporters to contact their state senators in Indiana regarding HJR3 - the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

This issue was originally voted on in 2011. To make it to the ballot, for voters to decide the matter, in 2014, it has to be passed again, by both houses of the state legislature, with the exact same language. Last week the Indiana House passed the bill with one paragraph (banning civil unions) removed from the original text.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Virginia bishops vow to defend marriage equality ban

There they go again. A couple- of ambitious priests are attempting to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else while meddling in public policy. Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Richmond Bishop Francis DiLorenzo issued a joint statement which reads, in part:
No politician should be able to reverse the people's decision. We call on the attorney general to do the job he was elected to perform, which is to defend the state laws he agrees with, as well as those state laws with which he personally disagrees.

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Docket Report

What you are looking at is the court docket for the Oklahoma marriage case. If you look at the last entry, you can see that the Utah and Oklahoma cases have been consolidated and are being fast-tracked. The last entry contains the briefing schedule. Nothing much will happen between now and February 24.

Retired chaplains anti-gay group bears false witness

An article on Charisma News is titled “Military Chaplains Demand God-Given Right to Speak Bible Truth.” In truth, this has nothing to do with serving chaplains. Rather, is just the recent look-at-us from Chaplains Alliance for Religious Freedom or "CARL." CARL, which launched about two years ago, seems to a joint venture of ADF and Family Research Council. In reality, it is an anti-gay operation in the guise of a social welfare organization. According to their leader, Ron Crews (ellipses are from the original text):

Monday, January 27, 2014

NOM: "Join Brian Brown in Salt Lake City Tomorrow"

Crazed and Glazed
Exactly what does Brian Brown propose to do in Salt Lake City tomorrow? What he is trying to do is to keep National Organization for Marriage somehow relevant. That relevance attracts donors and keeps the bishops happy. Donors and the bishops provide Brian Brown with a living.
Tomorrow, January 28th, NOM President Brian Brown will be speaking during a rally at the Capitol Rotunda in Salt Lake City as the citizens of Utah join together to stand for marriage!

Kansas and South Dakota considering preemptive anti-gay bills

Legislatures in both Kansas and South Dakota are considering bills that would allow public accommodations to discriminate against gay couples in the event that marriage equality comes to those states.

State Rep. Charles Macheers - Kansas
Rep. Charles
In Kansas Republican Republican State Rep. Charles Macheers, who’s leading efforts to pass the bill, said court decisions “demonstrate that the legal landscape is in flux.” Which translates to his fear that same-sex marriage will become legal. According to Macheers, “This bill protects religious individuals and religious entities on both sides of the issue of marriage.” It begs the question of why anyone needs "protection" from marriage. Moreover, where are these proponents of marriage equality who have a religious objection? What is this guy talking about?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Even for NOM this is remarkable

National Organization for Marriage sent out a mailer late this afternoon titled Show Him the Door! They are referring to their new shiny object, Mark Herring, AG of Virginia. I wrote about this earlier today. One paragraph really caught my attention:
The headlines nonetheless gave a cold shock. Particularly the one from USA Today which read, "Virginia won't defend its same-sex marriage ban." Well, leaving aside the cynicism or agenda-driven bias that goes into calling laws such as Virginia's marriage amendment "same-sex marriage bans," the headline nonetheless hits upon the real travesty here.

California ballot initiative to repeal transgender rights running short of valid signatures

At the current rate of validation, the referendum to overturn California's Non-Discrimination Requirements for School Programs and Activities law will not make it to the November ballot. It will fall short by nearly 20,000 signatures. I am cautiously optimistic. Cautious because, while this represents returns from 24 of California's 58 counties, it is still a very small (4.0%) sample. The counties with the least number of signatures (eg San Francisco) have submitted their validations the soonest.

NOM's impeachment delusion

NOM (as proxy for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops) is having a collective hissy fit. These are the headlines on NOM's blog:
National Organization for Marriage Calls for Impeachment of Virginia's Attorney General for Malfeasance and Neglect of Duty, Abandoning His Oath of Office and Betraying the People of Virginia
Virginia's Catholic Bishops Say Herring Should "Do the Job He Was Elected to Perform"
Former U.S. Attorney: Herring's Announcement "Impeachment Material"

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Could we please dispense with "Windsor" mythology?

National Organization for Marriage
This afternoon Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage, wrote:
2014 has started with a bang... a few days before the end of last year, an activist federal judge in Utah issued a ludicrous decision striking down that state's constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

He did this despite the Supreme Court ruling last summer (in the Windsor case) that clearly upheld a state's right to define and regulate marriage.
We see this frequently from groups like NOM and Family Research Council. It is utter nonsense. Let's examine what Justice Kennedy actually wrote, for the majority, in United States v. Windsor:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Todd Starnes tells of the persecution of those poor Oregon bakers - and then some

Todd Starnes
Todd Starnes, Fox's culture warrior du jour, writes about all those unjustly persecuted Christian victims. The florist, the baker and the picture maker. According to Starnes, “Oregon: Christian Businesses Must Follow Demands of Gay Customers.” Towards the end of the sob story (which is surprisingly accurate for the most part) Starnes cannot help himself:
Perkins told me that in many cases, gay couples are targeting businesses owned by Christians.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Striking Gay Juror in HIV Drug Case Causes Reversal - Windsor Cited

This is very interesting on many levels. This is the first case that I am aware of where United States vs. Windsor is cited for other than marriage equality issues. This establishes a powerful precedent. Via CNS, emphasis added.

Striking a gay juror from a trial over HIV drug licensing was discriminatory and requires vacating the verdict, the 9th Circuit ruled Tuesday.

In establishing that jurors cannot be overlooked based on their sexual orientation, the federal appeals court in San Francisco relied on the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act, U.S. vs. Windsor.

"Windsor requires that classifications based on sexual orientation that impose inequality on gays and lesbians and send a message of second-class status be justified by some legitimate purpose," Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.

Liberty Counsel - Mat Staver react to Florida litigation as "catastrophic"

Mat Staver - Liberty Counsel
Liberty Counsel is heavily invested in Florida's continuing marriage discrimination. The language of the 2008 amendment banning gay marriage was drafted by Mat Staver, the hate group's founder. According to Staver:
Liberty Counsel will help to defend the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment. This amendment affirms the natural created order of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Marriage between a man and a woman forms the foundation of society and provides the best environment in which to raise children. It is a fact—children do best when raised by a mother and a father.

A step towards marriage equality in Florida - Stemberger worried

Following court victories in Utah and Oklahoma six couples and Equality Florida Institute are filing a lawsuit in Florida state court in Miami seeking the freedom to marry.

The couples are from South Florida. Four of the couples are raising children, and another couple has an adult child and two grandchildren. The couples are: Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello; Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez and David Price; Vanessa and Melanie Alenier; Todd and Jeff Delmay; Summer Greene and Pamela Faerber; and Don Price Johnston and Jorge Isaias Diaz. They are represented by the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, attorney Elizabeth F. Schwartz, attorney Mary B. Meeks and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mullah Tony Perkins is wrong on the law and wrong about his faith

Not surprisingly Tony Perkins, head of Family Research Council, has added his one cent to the Oregon bakers, Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. These are the folks and the business that refused to bake a wedding cake for two lesbians. According to this evening's email blast:
Now, 12 months later, the state of Oregon is weighing in -- and not on the side of free speech and free exercise. Investigators from the state Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled late last week that the couple was guilty of discrimination and ordered the Kleins to settle. If they refuse, the Bureau threatens to bring "formal charges." Herbert Grey, the bakers' attorney, was flabbergasted. "They're being punished by the state of Oregon for refusing to participate in an event the state of Oregon does not recognize." Even the state constitution defines marriage the same way as Aaron and Melissa -- and they're being persecuted.

NOM returns to core strategy - Race baiting on MLK's Birthday

Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2012, a court document was unsealed. It was a 2009 discourse from National Organization for Marriage titled “National Strategy for Winning the Marriage Battle.” Therein they wrote:
The strategic goal … is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots …
Today NOM would have us believe that Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy is defined by discrimination. Today NOM asks; Is This Dr. King's Dream? Brian Brown, NOM's president goes on to write:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PTSD and me - and blog inactivity

I am just a bit overwhelmed due to a med change. I should be back and giving them hell by the weekend.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Our friend Tony Perkins continues to misstate the decision in Windsor

Not a day goes by when Tony Perkins isn't faced with Armageddon. I'd sure hate to be Mrs. Perkins. From today's hate mail:
The Obama administration's decision today is an effort to make law in the breach and shows contempt for the states, the federal courts, and Congress. It only adds to the administrative chaos by flouting Utah's marriage law and is in contrast to the U.S. Supreme Court's cautious approach in granting a stay in the case. The Department of Justice's announcement is doing the very thing which the Supreme Court condemned in the U.S. vs. Windsor decision - 'creating two contradictory marriage regimes within the same State.'
The really, really good news is that there isn't a damned thing that Tony can do about this. By the way, where was he when Bush was authoring all of those signing statements?

New Site - Same Bullshit

National Organization for Marriage
National Organization for Marriage has unveiled their new website today. Not much new about it. Praise for back-bencher and AC installer Randy Weber [R-TX-14] for his reverse-DOMA bill that is going nowhere. And, of course, NOM is still pushing for their so-called marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That, too, is a doomed effort but I suppose that it might inspire some donors suckers to send NOM their money.

Oh, and of course NOM is all sorts of pissed off that the Administration will recognize the marriages consummated in Utah between the trial judge's decision and the Supreme Court stay. That, too, is a fruitless enterprise.

Does National Organization for Marriage actually do anything anymore?
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Utah marriages have federal recognition despite hold

Attorney General Eric Holder is recognizing marriages of the more than 1,000 same-sex couples in Utah that took place before the Supreme Court put additional unions on hold. Holder's action will enable the government to extend eligibility for federal benefits to these couples in spite of any uncertainty as marriage equality works its way through the courts.

This might also have the effect of making nullification more difficult since that would entail taking benefits away from these couples. We should have a better idea of where equality stands by the summer when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue.

Outrage from Christian conservatives in 5 - 4 - 3…
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ADF's baker is now a 'cake artist'

Fuck You Cupcakes
In American Family Association's blog, ADF defends willful discrimination.
In the summer of 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division after cake artist Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to endorse their marriage ceremony because of his faith. Last month the Colorado Administrative Law Court ruled Phillips must provide the cakes for homosexuals and prove that he has complied with the court order. Alliance Defending Freedom on Monday filed an appeal on Phillips' behalf.
They might get away with this drivel in Christianist quarters but a judge is less likely to be swayed by such laughable demagoguery. Let's cut through the BS.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

NOM as agent of the Catholic bishops

National Organization for Marriage and the U.S. Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops are pretty much the same thing. Today they are indulging in a post that sarcastically denigrates the many, if not infinite potential combinations of sexual orientation and sexual identity that are possible in nature. I suppose that this is in support of the initiative to repeal California's AB1266 (transgender protections law) should it actually qualify for the ballot. More on that later. The post is not worthy of discussion. However the climate in which it is provided is another matter.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Referendum to Overturn Calif. Transgender Protection Law Going Nowhere

According to Focus on the Family, California Kids Privacy Measure Moves Closer to Vote. Not exactly.

According to information from the Secretary of State that was released last Friday, January 3, 2014, the random sample signature verification is at 78%. That is down a percentage point since the prior release. All reports are due in by Wednesday, January 8.

95% is required to trigger a full count. Below 95% and the ballot initiative is history — along with about $450,000, most of which came in as late reports after the September 30, 2013 quarterly report.

Last Thursday a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ordered the California secretary of state to accept about 5,000 disputed signatures. These are from Mono and Tulare counties which are verifying at rates below the 95% threshold required for a full count.
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A bit of progress with MLB Diversity Summit - Much more is needed

While I subscribe to the belief that it is correlation, in contrast to causation, last year, and the year before, I made a major stink about our exclusion from Major League Baseball's Diversity Summit.

I made telephone calls and sent a torrent of email. Ultimately, though, minorities are still defined by Executive Orders signed by Richard Nixon 40+ years ago. To gain minority status will require a rules change to the SBA 8(a) rules which govern what types of businesses are considered disadvantaged. By all rights we should qualify.


SCOTUS stays Utah marriage equality

In what is  almost an unprecedented and surprising move, the US Supreme Court has issued a stay of Utah's same-sex marriage pending the outcome of an appeals court ruling now pending in the United States Tenth District. This will not affect marriages already consummated but will halt additional marriages until the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue.

While the appeals court has expedited the briefs, it is unlikely that they will rule until the summer.

Mark Creech sees a vast left wing conspiracy

Mark Creech, executive director of North Carolina's Christian(ist) Action League has said that “homosexuality is impure, dirty and disgusting.” Creech has said many things to denigrate gay people. Now, it seems, he is upset that ABC's Good Morning America host, Robin Roberts, has come out as gay. According to Creech this was all choreographed by gay activists:
Consider. Phil Robertson is from the South. Robin Roberts is from the South. Phil Robertson is a beloved television personality. Robin Roberts is a beloved television personality. Phil Robertson attended a university in Louisiana. Robin Roberts went to a university in Louisiana. Phil Robertson is a person of devout Christian faith. Robin Roberts is someone who professes to be a person of devout Christian faith.

Coincidence? Hardly! Contrived? More than likely. Especially since Robert's "coming out" takes place in conjunction with Robertson's reinstatement.

Mr. Anderson takes the blue pill

Our friend, Ryan T. Anderson, is at it again. Last Thursday, the cuddly fundamentalist Catholic and Robby George protege explained just how naughty the courts have been in Utah, Ohio and New Mexico. "Overreach" he calls it.

To support his claims, Mr. Anderson cites a  Heritage Foundation legal memorandum by John Eastman. Among other things, Mr. Eastman is Chairman of the equally fundamentalist National Organization for Marriage. According to this memorandum on the constitutionality of marriage, marriage equality is not an issue of equal protection or due process. I forgot to mention that this memo is from last January — predating the Supreme Court's landmark decision in United States v. Windsor. Those arguments failed last June.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

In case you're bored, birthers are alive and well at WND

The narrative from World Net Daily:

Filed on appeal almost a year ago, a legal challenge against Barack Obama remains lurking in the hallways and offices of the Alabama Supreme Court, where at least two justices already have indicated an interest in the radioactive issue of Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president.

Court officials confirmed to WND today that the case brought by attorney Larry Klayman, who founded Freedom Watch, and most recently hit the headlines for a successful fight against Obama’s program run by the National Security Agency to spy on Americans, remains on the docket.

Brian Brown: The Duck Dynasty controversy proves that Americans are opposed to gay marriage

National Organization for Marriage
Here's what Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage told Newsmax:
Americans showed how much they oppose gay marriage when they overwhelmingly supported "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson through his battles with the A&E Network, says the president of the National Organization for Marriage.
Viewers of this show are not exactly a representative sample of American opinion. National polls demonstrate that a growing majority of Americans support same-sex marriage. Mr. Brown continues:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thompson: "There Will be War"

Sylvia Thompson
Sylvia Thompson
I have written about Sylvia Thompson before. She is one of Alan Keyes' lunatic bloggers. Thompson believes that race relations will never improve as long as there are "victims to be pandered to." So gays are responsible for less than ideal race relations? Black people have a monopoly on victimhood? The ironic part of this is that she is intent on portraying Christians as victims of something and she wants to be pandered to as a holier-than-thou Christian fundamentalist.

I confess that I am not fluent in Ms. Thompson's dialect of crackpot. Yet, in a piece titled Why there will be war, the gist seems to be that President Obama is morally corrupt (Thompson is also a birther) and that Fox is too far to the left.

Apparently she is also disappointed that some Christian ministers and Catholic priests are not sufficiently bigoted towards gays to suit her. According to her, Americans are darned angry (and they are not going to take it anymore). Progressives exist solely to oppose "biblical Christianity" and there is a torrent of "righteously indignant anger."

The differences between Trail Life and the Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America:

The BSA is now allowing gay boys to participate. Some will be openly gay.

The BSA has the active participation of boys and adult leaders from all faiths and no faith at all.

Trail Life USA:

TLUSA prohibits participation by gay boys. Ultimately about the same proportion of their boys will be gay as the BSA. Some will realize their sexual orientation during the year(s). All of them will be in the closet.

TLUSA is a Christian organization. Boys of other faiths would be uncomfortable. Adult leaders of other faiths are, essentially, prohibited.