Friday, January 30, 2015

Rick Santorum to Join Tony Perkins for Some Fear Mongering

Rick Santorum
If you think that a former U.S. senator would distance himself from a certified anti-gay hate group you would be wrong. According to Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council:
Family Research Council is partnering with EchoLight Studios to host a one night only screening of EchoLight's inaugural docudrama "One Generation Away." EchoLight Studios CEO Rick Santorum and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins will co-host the simulcast that will reach churches nationwide.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Taxpayers pony up another half-million dollars fighting the inevitable

The Commonwealth of Virginia will pay $520,000 to lawyers who successfully challenged the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Because this was a civil rights action under federal law, the plaintiffs were entitled to ask the court to award attorney fees and costs. States that unsuccessfully defended same-sex marriage bans are already on the hook to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to challengers and millions more in fee requests are pending.

Nationally, in addition to more than $800,000 in fee awards and agreements on record so far, more than $2.6 million in attorney fee requests are pending, according to a National Law Journal review of federal trial court dockets. That sum does not include work on appellate litigation. The plaintiffs' lawyers in Wolf v. Walker (Wisconsin) filed a request on Dec. 12 for $1.2 million in fees and costs.

Go 'Bama! Perhaps Judge Moore wants to pay a potentially growing legal bill out of his own conservative Christian pockets. What do you say Roy?

FRC's Travis Weber still pimping the mendacious Kelvin Cochran

Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran
Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran
Family Research Council's Travis Weber is too clever by half. Were Atlanta officials circumspect in their statements regarding the termination of fire chief Kelvin Cochran Weber would claim that they were hiding something. Now that the city has issued a statement, Weber claims “Atlanta Mayor Steps up Disparaging Attacks on Chief Cochran.” Weber goes on to claim:
The fact that the city feels it needs to immediately and publicly respond to this complaint shows that the city is aware of the public importance of this debate. … The city’s behavior here is unusual because now these statements can be used against the city if it contradicts them …

Thoughts on Bryan Fischer's apparent demi demise

Bryan Fischer
American Family Association has apparently demoted their chief spokesman, Bryan Fischer. Warren Throckmorton has written that Fischer's downfall is tied to AFA's sponsorship of an RNC trip to Israel and the attention being paid to AFA as a certified anti-gay hate group. The title and subtitle of an article by Debra Nussbaum Cohen published this week in the Haaretz newspaper reads:
U.S. NGO: Evangelical ‘hate group’ funding Republican 
Shame on  the RNCNational Committee trip to Israel

Evangelical political operative planned 9-day freebie trip for national committee members, on behalf of the conservative Christian AFA group which blasts Muslims, gays. SPLC rights group staffer: Our issue is not with the trip, but with the ‘heinous beliefs’ of those sponsoring it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ADF summons the memory of MLK to make a case FOR discrimination

According to Alliance Defending Freedom, the anti-gay Christian legal firm, Martin Luther King sets an example for promoting discrimination. In a blog post last evening they write:
Last week, we celebrated the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who put his life on the line, and inspired others to do the same, for the sake of freedom. He believed in changing the attitude of an entire nation and over the years has been followed by millions of people, even after his death.
We cannot be silent. And while we likely won’t face the same sort of violent opposition as Dr. King, we must be brave and stand up to an opposition that can still be detrimental to our lives, as it is for people like:
  • Barronelle Stutzman, a florist facing two lawsuits that threaten her business …
  • Blaine Adamson, a t-shirt printer who is being sued …
  • Kelvin Cochran, Atlanta’s former fire chief who was terminated …

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Federal judge stays Alabama marriage equality for two weeks

U.S. District Judge Callie V. S. Granade refused the Alabama attorney general's request to put her ruling on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the the marriage cases in the Spring. However she did issue a 14-day stay this evening to give the state time to appeal her decision to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Fred Karger puts another dent in NOM

Fred Karger
Based on a complaint filed by Fred Karger, National Organization for Marriage is again under investigation, this time for violating California campaign finance disclosure laws. Since Proposition 8, NOM has refused to comply with regulations in numerous states. They feel that it is essential to keep the identity of their donors confidential. They might be right. However, they are still obliged to follow the law.

NOM has referred to Karger as  a “serial complaint filer.” Karger wears that as a badge of honor. The reality is that NOM is a serial flouter of the law. It's organizational hubris.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Perkins Pitches a Fit Over Alabama Decision Tossing the State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban

On Friday US District Court Judge Callie V.S. Granade struck down Alabama's same-sex marriage ban. In doing so, she noted:
Additionally, these laws further injure those children of all couples who are themselves gay or lesbian, and who will grow up knowing that Alabama does not believe they are as capable of creating a family as their heterosexual friends.

For all of these reasons, the court finds that Alabama’s marriage laws violate the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Adventures with International Healing Foundation

Richard Cohen - International Healing Foundation
Richard Cohen - International Healing Foundation
International Healing Foundation is the Maryland based reparative “therapy” operation run by Richard Cohen and Christopher Doyle. Since January 12 I have been trying to get a copy of the organization's 2013 tax filing. They have ignored my emails and telephone call. Making the filing available to the public is required by law.

Christopher Doyle
I am done. If this issue is not resolved today I will make a referral to the Internal Revenue Service. One of the scarier things that I notice on their website is that they are now accepting insurance. While Doyle is a licensed counselor reparative therapy is a thoroughly discredited practice. I'll try to find out which carrier or carriers are involved and put a stop to it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Larry Tomczak is trying to get his bigoted hate speech aired on Ellen's show

Larry Tomczak
Larry Tomczak released a 12 minute video today in response to some comments made by Ellen DeGeneres about an article that Tomczak had written. Tomczak basically repeats, in video format, the idiotic arguments that he made in his original piece at Charisma News.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Perkins produces a Florida "victim" of the gay horde

Lana Rusev - Simply Elegant Events
Note: I am researching this matter and will update this post when I find out more. Meanwhile, Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, is waving a flag and thumping a bible over some idiotic wedding planner who thinks that she is doing God's work renting out banquet furniture:
When Lana Rusev fled Ukraine, she was trying to avoid the religious persecution she’s now experiencing in Florida! The wedding planner, the latest in a long string of Christian targets, is watching with horror as the hostility she had once seen in Eastern Europe followed her to America, courtesy of Jacksonville’s radical LGBT community. Obviously when she saw the Statue of Liberty, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your yearning to violate your conscience’ wasn’t what the Ukranian had in mind.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Once again NOM claims that sending them money will influence the outcome of marriage cases before the Supreme Court

Today, National Organization for Marriage is making the dubious claim that they can somehow affect the outcome of the marriage cases now before the United States Supreme Court. And they need donations to do so.
I just don't see how Justice Kennedy, likely the swing vote, can distance himself from the strong reasoning he used in the Windsor case where he said that states have historically regulated marriage …

What this means is that we have five very short months to make our case BEFORE the Supreme Court weighs in on marriage, and we have a lot of work to do!

Will you stand with NOM today by renewing your commitment to defending marriage with a $35, $50, $100, $500 or even $1,000 or more to help us make the case for marriage BEFORE the Supreme Court weighs in on marriage in the coming months?

New Pope - Same Old Crap

Now the theologian presumes  to lecture us on foreign policy. Pope Francis cautioned on Monday that “gender ideologies” from the wealthy Western world are being imposed on developing nations by tying them to foreign aid and education, in a form of “ideological colonization.”

“A people enters with an idea that has nothing, nothing to do with the nation. … And they colonize the people with an idea that changes, or wants to change, a mentality or a structure,” he said Jan. 19 during a press conference on his return flight to Rome from the Philippines.

“They use the need of a people to take an opportunity to enter and grow strong — with the children.”

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cyborg Austin Ruse

Austin Ruse is head of the anti-gay hate group C-Fam — Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute which more accurately describes the operation than its secularized pseudonym, “Center for Family & Human Rights.” In 2013 the organization took in about $1.5 million and paid Mr. Ruse $149 thousand. During that year C-Fam had seven employees excluding independent contractors. In spite of its small size, two individuals are give the pretentious title of fellow.

Austin Ruse is a Defender of the Faith. Last week, at a Catholic website, Ruse was excoriating Gary Sinise for backing out of a Legatus event. Jeremy summarizes this matter at Good as You. There is no reason to repeat what he has written. What I found fascinating, however, was the comment thread on Ruse's polemic. One of the faithful posted a comment that homosexuality is a choice and that it is “curable.” My reply:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A decisive civics lesson in equality

Marriage Equality
Stephanie Brito writes: “About four years ago, I didn’t know that same-sex couples couldn’t marry. I was 12 and assumed that everyone could love each other and marry.

“It wasn’t until I turned 13 and began to realize that The Defense of Marriage Act, put in place before I was born, defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.

“In short, I was confused.

“That year, I came out to my friends and family and was met with mostly support.

“My mother, who didn’t understand that her 13-year-old daughter could be a lesbian, still saw that I needed her acceptance in a world where people like me didn’t have the same rights as people like her.”

Friday, January 16, 2015

Brian Brown threatens ... something to CNN

Brian S. Brown
According to CNN today:
Opponents of same-sex marriage, however, argue that anyone who thinks the fight will slowly die down is highly misguided. Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said a Supreme Court decision that reverses same-sex marriage bans will be "a frontal assault on the religious liberty of all Americans."

"There are going to be profound consequences," he said. "If the Supreme Court rules, it will be just like Roe v. Wade all over again."

Idaho taxpayers to spend $457K in legal fees to oppose marriage equality

Idaho's Constitutional Defense Fund committee has approved the latest round of legal bills in Idaho's court fight to keep gay couples from marrying.

About $400,000 is to reimburse legal fees due to the winning side (us) in litigation thus far. The committee is comprised of the governor, attorney general, House Speaker and President Pro Tem. It voted 3-1 to pay $55,000 for outside counsel to appeal Idaho's gay marriage case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.

The dissenting vote was cast by Attorney General Lawrence Wasden claiming that he does not require the assistance of outside counsel.

NOM has gone all Cochran all the time

Click to enlarge
National Organization for Marriage will end not with a bang but a whimper (my apologies to T.S. Eliot). These days they seem to think that the ouster of Atlanta's fire chief has some connection to banning same-sex marriage on behalf of the Catholic Church. Apparently prayer doesn't do much good or surely God would have guided Justice Kennedy's hand differently in United States v. Windsor.

Nevertheless, we can take nothing for granted and NOM still has the potential to be dangerous. Brian Brown still gets ink and air time. I expect NOM's folks to get nastier as they seek to define a reason for their existence. I doubt, however, that NOM has a future as a Catholic version of Family Research Council or American Family Association.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Here we go again - Christians victimized by Houston's lesbian mayor

Official seal of City of Houston
LifesiteNews' headline says it all: “Lesbian mayor who subpoenaed Houston pastors’ sermons seeks to deny them a jury trial in referendum dispute.” Oh the persecution. Once again Christians are savaged by marauding gay people.

First of all, contrary to LSN's headline, those pastors are not a party to any litigation. Secondly, the city of Houston is the defendant in this matter. Christians aren't being persecuted. Defendants usually get to choose whether they want a bench or jury trial. In this case the city's attorneys have requested a bench trial. They believe that the facts and the law are on their side. Putting the matter before a jury might introduce emotion (even some homophobia) which is what the plaintiffs would prefer. And what the fuck does the sexual orientation of the mayor have to do with any of this?

Tony Perkins likens ousted Atlanta fire chief to Charlie Hedbo

Tony Perkins
In an email to supporters Tuesday evening Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council had harsh words for Atlanta's mayor.
Whether it's a journalist in France satirically writing about religion or a fire chief in Atlanta, Georgia writing about the sacred teachings of his faith, the silencing of either is a threat to the freedoms of all. The naked truth is that the actions taken against the Chief are designed to send a message that will silence Christians and in effect force them to check their faith at the door of public service.
That's right. According to Tony Perkins they are one and the same.  A public servant is comparable to a private journalist. Sure.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

NOM is now selling Cochran's book

Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage is now giving donors of $25 or more a “free” copy of Kelvin Cochran's self-published tome, Who Told You That You Were Naked? Of course, NOM being NOM and Brian Brown being Brian Brown they have some of the facts wrong.
At the center of the controversy down in Atlanta is a man who has served as a public official with a sterling record; and who is suddenly deemed ‘unfit' for service because he wrote in a book that he believes the Biblical truth about marriage and sexuality.

The anti-gay road show moves to Atlanta

Kelvin Cochran
Kelvin Cochran, Atlanta's dismissed fire chief, claims that he was canned because of his religious beliefs. The truth is that he was terminated for his terrible judgment. Cochran wanted to impose his conservative Christian beliefs on his department. To do so he published a book that was distributed to staffers. He claims that only three copies were given to people who did not request one. If true, that's three too many. Cochran also commented to the press on his suspension last November when he was told not to do so.

Monday, January 12, 2015

TLC could have called it 'Scared Straight: Mormon'

The first thing that one needs to know about TLC's “My Husband's Not Gay” is that one must subordinate social science to superstition — down to the magic underwear. The second thing is that these guys are wed not only to women but to a language of convenience; semantics that exist only in conservative Christian circles.

You won't find “SSA” in the DSM. “Same-sex attraction” and “SSA” are contrivances. Those terms only exist in order to assert that one is not homosexual if they do not have sex with other men. As for “gay,” that's just something that they dismiss as a lifestyle. In point of fact the continuum that comprises sexual orientation has nothing to do with how, or with whom, people have sex. These people get their sociology from Mormon bishops.

Friday, January 9, 2015

ADF trots out the "they got served elsewhere" defense for Barronelle Stuzman

Barronelle Stutzman
Barronelle Stutzman
Barronelle Stutzman – owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, WA – decided that selling flowers is some sort of religious sacrament. She refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding in violation of Washington's anti-discrimination laws. Alliance Defending Freedom (the Christianist law firm) has been pimping out Stutzman as some sort of hero and as a martyr for Christ. Stutzman is neither.

Faced with a lawsuit from the couple that was turned away and an enforcement action from the State of Washington there is some potential that her personal assets are at risk. ADF's defense of Stutzman is as insulting as Stutzman's discriminatory behavior.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

They finally got around to making Atlanta's former fire chief a victim

Kelvin Cochran
In November I wrote about Kelvin Cochran, Atlanta's fire chief who was suspended for distributing a controversial self-published book to department employees. Cochran’s book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” counts homosexual acts among a number of “vile, vulgar and inappropriate” activities that serve to “dishonor God." This week we learned that Mr. Cochran has been discharged.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Florida's Catholic bishops making mischief

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement regarding marriage equality in the Sunshine State. Needless to say the ambitious celibate prelates are profoundly displeased:
How society understands marriage has great public significance. Because of this, redefining civil “marriage” to include two persons of the same sex will have far - reaching consequences in society. Such a change advances the notion that marriage is only about the affective gratification of consenting adults. Such a redefinition of marriage does nothing to safeguard a child’s right to a mother and father and to be raised in a stable family where his or her development and well - being is served to the greatest extent possible.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

NOM's Brian Brown audaciously "demands" SCOTUS to intervene in Florida

It took National Organization for Marriage a bit longer than usual to respond to events in Florida which made my state the 36th marriage equality state in the nation. I think that they needed the extra time just to type out the headline of their press release which reads:
National Organization for Marriage Says Same-Sex Marriage in Florida Is Illegitimate, Calls On Florida Officials to Enforce State Law and Demands US Supreme Court to Reaffirm Right of States To Define Marriage As Union Of One Man And One Woman
They go on from there to make the same losing arguments that they have been making since Prop 8 was challenged in court:

Monday, January 5, 2015

Publix prestidigitation

Last Thursday Publix announced that they would provide benefits to legally married same-sex couples. Headquartered in Lakeland Florida the $30 billion company operates about 1,100 stores and employs nearly 170,000 people — most of those in Florida.

What legal theory could possibly allow them not to cover their married same-sex couples?

Key West Couple Vie to be Florida's First to Wed

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones
Aaron Huntsman (left) and
William Lee Jones complete
the necessary paperwork on
Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones completed their application paperwork at Key West’s Monroe County Courthouse on Friday. They plan to wed at midnight when the current judicial stay is lifted.

In July 2014 the couple were plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging Florida's 2008 ban on same-sex marriage. Florida Keys Judge Luis Garcia ruled that the ban was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Stemberger throws in the towel on marriage

John Stemberger
In an email to supporters this morning John Stemberger, head of the Christian conservative Florida Family Policy Council, concedes that same-sex marriages will likely start in all Florida counties tomorrow. Stemberger writes:
So what will end up happening this Tuesday, January 6th?
Apart from an unexpected legal miracle, it appears that county clerks in all 67 Florida counties will begin to issue same-sex marriage licenses on this date. We do know that the clerks in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties, meanwhile, have joined clerks in Baker, Clay, and Duval counties in discontinuing all courthouse wedding ceremonies - rather than allow "gay" couples to use that service for their weddings. In other words, the clerks will take the first step of issuing the license forms but they will not conduct courthouse ceremonies solemnizing those same-sex marriages (or any other marriages) in order to respect the rights of conscience of those clerks and their employees from having to officiate over these very controversial same-sex unions.