Friday, February 27, 2015

Get real: No GOP presidential contender has the balls to support marriage equality

In spite of some speculation that Jeb Bush had evolved on marriage he made his intentions clearly known today. Sean Hannity asked Bush if he changed his position on same-sex marriage. Bush's response was “No. I believe in traditional marriage.” I never knew that supporters of marriage equality did not believe in traditional marriage as well. But I digress.

I have no idea whatsoever what the would-be Bush-the-Third thinks about same-sex marriage. What I do know, to a reasonable degree of certainty, is that nobody can get the Republican nomination without the support of the Christian right. And you sure as hell cannot get their support unless you are sufficiently (profoundly) anti-gay. That means no homosexual "marriage."

ADF claims that discrimination doesn't exist if one can be served elsewhere

Barronelle Stutzman
According to Alliance Defending Freedom, Barronelle Stutzman is off the hook for discriminating against a gay couple because she referred them to other florists who would serve them. Sorry ADF. It doesn't work that way. What? Are we going to go back more than a half century? At “restricted” hotels Jews were diverted to establishments that didn't mind a few Israelites.

ADF lawyers know perfectly well that the infraction occurs with “we don't serve your kind here.” There is no polite way, no civil way, to tell people that their patronage isn't wanted because they are gay or Jewish or African American or Muslim or any protected class. ADF makes the preposterous statement today that people should be wary of making referrals to other businesses for whatever reason. The truth is that people should be wary of discriminating against others in clear violation of the law.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A new "victim" is ripening

Jenye Knox
In October of 2011 Jenye Knox, a teacher in Union Township, NJ thought that it was a good idea to post the following to her Facebook page:
Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us?" I do not have to tolerate anything others wish to do. I do have to love and speak and do what's right!
She also wrote, among many other things, that homosexuality is a "perverted spirit" and "unnatural immoral behavior." 

Jeb Bush schedules meeting with hate group leader who has ties to the Klan

Jeb Bush has hired the snarky Tim Miller, the openly gay executive director of America Rising PAC,  as his campaign’s communications director. However, according to Salon, Bush has also scheduled a meeting with Tony Perkins tomorrow (Friday). Does Mr. Bush not know that Perkins' organization, Family Research Council is a certified anti-gay hate group? Mr. Perkins is a bigot. In addition to homophobia, Perkins has given speeches to white supremacist organizations and has direct ties to the Klan.

NOM's Brian Brown counts his "blessings" - literally

Brian S. Brown

The word “blessings,” to the devout, means God's favor or protection. To Brian Brown the word means donations to NOM's lost cause. Does Mr. Brown believe that money mailed to NOM is heaven sent? Does God get a tax deduction? Wouldn't it have been much easier for God to cause different outcomes than what National Organization for Marriage has experienced? He could have done that, right?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NOM's Brian Brown gets his wick wet over survey conducted for Family Research Council

Brian Brown, head of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage has found a new shiny object — a poll conducted for the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council. According to the poll, conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen (WPA), a majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage and a larger majority oppose the Supreme Court deciding that there is a right to same-sex marriage.

Other clients of WPA include Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), former batshit Congressman Allen West (R-Florida) and current congressmen Joe Heck (R-Nevada) and Mike Pence (R-Indiana). Other than Joe Heck there seems to be a pattern to the lack of mental hygiene of WPA's notable clients.

Todd Starnes interviews our favorite Washington State florist

Todd Starnes
According to Fox's Todd Starnes “Christian Florist Won't Play Judas by Betraying Jesus for Money in Gay Wedding Flap.” Oh my! Starnes goes on to write:
"You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver," Stutzman wrote in a letter to state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. "That is something I will not do."

Ferguson had offered to settle the case if she paid a $2,000 penalty for violating the Consumer Protection Act, a $1 payment for costs and fees, and agreed not to discriminate in the future.
"I certainly don't relish the idea of losing my business, my homes and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important," Stutzman wrote in a letter to the attorney general.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NOM: "What We're Fighting For" - to meet payroll?

NOM deserves a DNR sign on the door. According to the latest money-beg from National Organization for Marriage they are fighting for Barronelle Stutzman. Stutzman, you may recall, is the Washington State florist who refused service to a gay couple and was sued by the state. Stutzman was recently given the opportunity to settle this matter for a nominal sum but she persists. Presumably if she had a real lawyer, rather than Alliance Defending Freedom, she would have put this matter behind her but she prefers to be a martyr for the faith.

Witherspoon Institute publishes an anti-gay book

The anti-gay (and Opus Dei) Witherspoon Institute has published a book; No Differences? How Children in Same-Sex Households Fare. I am certain that it is a can't-put-it-down page turner.

No Differences has a purpose which is to trot out the discredited research of investigators (all Defenders of the Faith) who conclude that gay couples are crappy parents ergo gay marriage is a bad idea. I would note that Witherspoon financed at least one of these studies performed by Mark Regnerus. Regnerus' conclusions were so flawed that his own professional association, the American Sociological Association, took him to task with a countering amicus brief in United States v. Windsor.

We know about this book because one of its authors, John Londregan, decided to tout the tome on Witherspoon's blog. Londregan,, a professor at Princeton University, claims:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Who will be the first right wing schmuck to say that Sally Kohn is trying to turn her child gay?

Sally Kohn

On Friday, Sally Kohn had an essay in the Washington Post titled I’m gay. And I want my kid to be gay, too. Kohn's essay is really about social equality. Homosexuality should be the societal equal of heterosexuality. It makes perfect sense unless one is wed to the idea that sexual orientation is somehow a choice. Kohn writes:
If we went to college, we want our kids to go to college. If we like sports, we want our kids to like sports. If we vote Democrat, of course we want our kids to vote Democrat.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Barronelle Stutzman's biggest problem is reimbursement of legal fees - not fines and penalties

Barronnelle Stutzman
“Oh poor me. They are taking my shop and my home.” That's the gist of the right wing reaction to Baronnelle Stutzman's loss in court Wednesday for unlawfully discriminating against a gay couple by refusing them service. According to the folks at Heritage Institute's blog (Daily Signal) who interviewed Stutzman and her attorney:
In the meantime, Stutzman faces a fine of up to $2,000 for violating Washington’s anti-discrimination law and a separate fine of $7.91 (which Ingersoll and Freed say is the cost of driving to find a new florist).

What’s likely to cripple her, though, are attorney costs and fees, which Alliance Defending Freedom estimates to be seven figures.

“They’re taking everything because I disagree with their stand,” Stutzman said.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

USPC: Judge authorizes ‘personal ruin’ for Christian florist

The US Pastor Council is a Houston-based hate group. They were the folks who tried (and failed) to get a measure on the ballot to repeal Houston's anti-discrimination ordinance. Earlier in the day I wrote about a judge finding that Barronelle Stutzman illegally discriminated against a lesbian couple when she refused to sell them flowers for their wedding. As you might imagine, USPC has a slightly different take on the matter:

In federal lawsuit former Atlanta fire chief changes part of his story

Kelvin Cochran

Through Alliance Defending Freedom Kelvin Cochran, former Atlanta Fire Chief, is suing the City of Atlanta in federal court. Cochran is claiming that he was unlawfully terminated for his religious beliefs. The suit seeks Cochran's reinstatement, compensatory damages, legal fees and the usual whatever-we-can-get.

Cochran thought that it was a good idea to hand out a self-published Christian book to subordinates. Titled “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” it counts homosexual acts among a number of “vile, vulgar and inappropriate” activities that serve to “dishonor God." In another section Cochran wrote; “Uncleanness — whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”

Judge: Washington florist unlawfully discriminated against gay couple

Baronelle Stutzman
A judge in Benton County, Washington has ruled that Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlenes Flowers and Gifts violated state law when she refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. According to Judge Judge Alex Ekstrom:
For over 135 years, the Supreme Court has held that laws may prohibit religiously motivated action, as opposed to belief.

In trade and commerce, and more particularly when seeking to prevent discrimination in public accommodations, the Courts have confirmed the power of the Legislative Branch to prohibit conduct it deems discriminatory even where the motivation for that conduct is grounded in religious belief.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

83% of Alabamans now have the freedom to marry

Just massaging HRC's numbers a tad. 48 of 67 Alabama counties (72%) are issuing same-sex marriage licenses. However 83% of Alabama's populace lives in those 48 counties. Population by county is from Wikipedia.

Right on cue, Brian Brown follows Tony Perkins on Justice Ginsburg

Brian S. Brown
Astounding Indiscretion is what National Organization for Marriage calls comments from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
"Astounding indiscretion." That's how Ed Whalen, writing for NRO's Bench Memos, described United States Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg's recent remarks in an interview with Bloomberg.

In the interview, Ginsburg opined that it "would not take a large adjustment" for the American people to get used to the idea of same-sex marriage.

Of course, as you know, the Supreme Court will be considering the matter of marriage this April—so for Ginsburg to be forecasting her opinion publicly at this time is, indeed, an "astounding indiscretion."

Should we give a rat's ass that Tony Perkins is going after Justice Ginsburg?

English: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justic...
Last night Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, sent out an email to supporters titled “Questioning Ginsburg's Personal Judgment.” Perkins can question all he wants but Ms. Ginsburg is a Justice of the Supreme Court. That's not going to change. Mr. Perkins is a Klan-tied hate group leader with a mediocre intellect and waning influence. That too will not change. Nor, for that matter, is Justice Ginsburg likely to recuse herself from the marriage cases that the Court will begin to deliberate in late April. Nothing that Mr. Perkins does is going to change any of that. Perkins writes:

Is Jay Love the next "victim" of the homosexual agenda?

Jay Love
Jay Love
Former Alabama lawmaker, Jay Love, was recently contracted by Apple as a lobbyist. Love, an Alabama Republican, is about as anti-gay as every other Alabama GOPer which is to say that he staunchly opposes same-sex marriage as well as anti-discrimination laws that include LGBT citizens. Apple has terminated Love's contract. He has reportedly been replaced by Greg Jones.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A morning quickie with Michael Brown

In a post today at Charisma News Michael Brown says It's Wake-up Time, City of Charlotte. Brown is ordinarily on my “don't bother” list due to the fact that he is on the fringe of the fringe of anti-gay whack jobs. The first paragraph of the subject polemic serves as Exhibit A:
In the name of anti-discrimination, the City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina, is poised to discriminate against people of conservative moral values, also imposing the struggles of a tiny minority on every man, woman and child who lives or works in Charlotte or might happen to visit the city.
That's right. It is also “poised to discriminate against” the Klan and the entire Stormfront set and a slew of anti-gay hate groups. The oh-so-clever Mr. Brown.

Religious leaders to gather at Texas Capitol today in support of LGBT equality

Hundreds of faith leaders are expected at the Texas Capitol in Austin today to rally support for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Texans. Religious leaders from a variety of congregations will gather to call for an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The event is sponsored by Texas Freedom Network. Spokesman Dan Quinn said, “Real Texas values don't support discrimination.”

State universities rebuke Brownback on LGBT protections

Leaders at state universities including Wichita State University, University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Fort Hays State University say their policies will continue to ban employment discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Collateral damage: Alabama's captive child audience

Cute Kids
Roy Moore, a person speaking from a position of great authority as the chief justice of Alabama's supreme court, has been telling LGBT children that they are evil little perverts who do not deserve equality. Some of those kids believe Justice Moore and will suffer the repercussions of that injustice for years, maybe decades. Closeted kids are likely to echo Moore's bigotry as a means of asserting their feigned heterosexuality. One can only imagine their internal conflict. Parents of gay kids might also believe Roy Moore and treat their children accordingly.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Kate Brown on Kate Brown

Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon
Oregon's Kate Brown is the country's first openly bisexual governor. Her own words are quite eloquent:
I believe it was during my early 30’s that I figured out who, or what, I am. But it wasn’t until it was written in the Oregonian newspaper that I was bisexual that I had to face the inevitable and let those around me know. Thus began my very public coming out as a bisexual:
  • Coming out to my parents – who flew in from Minnesota “to have a talk.” Their response – “It would be much easier for us if you were a lesbian.”
  • Coming out to my gay friends – who called me half-queer.
  • Coming out to my straight friends – who never thought I could make up my mind about anything anyway.
And, most frighteningly to me:
  • Coming out to my legislative colleagues. At the beginning of the next legislative session sitting in the House lounge, representative Bill Markham, who is over 70 years old, extremely conservative, and a legislator for more than 20 years comes to join me. Over lunch he looks up to say, “Read in the Oregonian a few months ago you were bisexual. Guess that means I still have a chance?!”
Some days I feel like I have a foot in both worlds, yet never really belonging to either.
H/t WND (seriously)

Alabama taxpayers continue to pony up as Liberty Counsel makes more mischief

The anti-gay hate group, Liberty Counsel (on behalf of two Christian organizations), has petitioned the Alabama Supreme Court to issue a writ prohibiting Alabama's probate judges from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Late Friday afternoon, by a vote of 6 to 2, the court ordered the probate judges who are issuing same sex marriage licenses to respond to Liberty Counsel’s petition.

In other words, to thwart equality they are deliberately creating confusion. Together, the court and LC are making a mess that someone else will have to clean up, likely at the expense of taxpayers. And for what? That is the question that never gets answered. “Because in Massachusetts … [fill in the blank with the evil consequences]” never makes it into the right wing press releases.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Roy Moore draws support from the Ku Klux Klan ("Fudgepackers?")

I am shocked. Brent Waller, the United Dixie White Knights' imperial wizard, wrote on the Stormfront white supremacy forum: “The Mississippi Klan salutes Alabama's chief justice Roy Moore, for refusing to bow to the yoke of Federal tyranny.”

The Feds have no authority over individual States marriage laws. The fudgepackers from Hollywood and all major news networks are in shock that the good people from the heart of Dixie are resisting their Imperialist, Communist Homosexual agenda!

The Federal Government by way of its foreign masters seems set to push this abomination, on the God fearing people of Alabama.

Marriage equality seems to frustrate Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

Writing a piece titled Substituted Morality at the conservative website, Erick Erickson is befuddled by all this equality stuff. It is safe to say that he does not agree with my precept — if you don't like gay marriage then don't enter into one. Erickson is an influential figure on the right. I cannot fathom why he would waste intellectual currency on an issue that presumably doesn't affect him.
The United States Supreme Court will, by June, plunge the nation back into the throws of culture war. At least five justices will substitute their values for those of democracy, further undermining the democratic underpinnings of our republic.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Revisiting teenager Austin Wallis' dispute with his Christian school

“I don't want to be somewhere where I can be kicked out for being gay and being open about it.”

Many of you probably recall the story of Austin Wallis. In this tearful February 1 YouTube video, Austin explains that his school (Lutheran High North in Houston) was requiring him to either closet himself or be expelled. The video has now garnered nearly 300,000 views with 2,600 comments on YouTube. Austin withdrew.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ted Cruz' bill is irrelevant - He should be

Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz, along with 11 other GOPers, re-introduced the State Marriage Defense Act yesterday. According to Cruz:
Even though the Supreme Court made clear in United States v. Windsor that the federal government should defer to state ‘choices about who may be married,’ the Obama Administration has disregarded state marriage laws enacted by democratically-elected legislatures to uphold traditional marriage.
What is it with Republicans and selective observation? This is what Justice Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion in United States v. Windsor:

Name two Roy - Two of your many "homosexual" friends

Roy Moore
Appearing on Bloomberg Politics With All Due Respect
I've had many friends who are homosexual. I've treated people just like other people. This is not about how I treat people or how I go to a wedding or marriage or anything. It's about the constitution of Alabama, the constitution of the United States.
Bullshit. Roy's side-show might be stopped by a federal court tomorrow. Click on the link above to see the entire interview which is, well, interesting. In fact, take a few minutes to watch this horse's ass in action.

No Mr. Brown - NOM is not a civil rights organization

National Organization for Marriage
The mission of the National Organization for Marriage is to ban same-sex marriage on behalf of the Catholic Church. Fortunately, they seem to have failed. Again, National Organization for Marriage is a religious organization seeking to influence voters and legislatures to limit the civil rights of others based upon the teachings of the Catholic Church.

That does not define NOM as a civil rights organization anymore than the Klan.

Robert George is unhappy with a review of his book and quotes of his own words

Robert P. George
Writing on Witherspoon Institute's blog (Public Discourse), Robert George goes after law professor James M. Oleske, Jr. with a piece titled “The Oldest Trick in the Book Reviewer’s Book: On Misreading Conscience and Its Enemies.” Oleske's felony was to write a review of George's book for the Harvard Law Review. George's response is a rambling bit of sophistry that accuses Oleske of intellectual dishonesty and making an argument ad hominem (the oldest trick in the book).

The problem with all of this is that I am now reading a review of George's book that I never would have read absent George's retort. The review is introduced with its intentions:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alabama's probate judges are NOT lawyers

Alabama's probate judges, the folks caught in the middle of marriage equality, are not lawyers. Indeed there are no requirements for a probate judge in Alabama other than a) being a citizen of the state for at least a year and; b) being a US citizen for at least a day and; c) being elected to a six year term of office. That's it. Some of these people may not be college graduates. Salaries range from county to county. One can only imagine the potential for personal ineptitude in some rural counties of Alabama.

There seems little doubt that some of these folks are thoroughly intimidated by Roy Moore.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Study: LGBT teens who come out in high school fair better as adults

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adolescents who come out at school have higher self-esteem and lower levels of depression as young adults, compared to LGBT youth who don't disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity at school, according to a new study led by University of Arizona researcher Stephen Russell.

Published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, it is the first-known study to document the benefits of being out during adolescence, despite the fact that teens may experience bullying when they openly identify as LGBT.

Read more at the University of Arizona News

Once again NOM falsely associates donations with influencing the Supreme Court

National Organization for Marriage
National Organization for Marriage is at it again. In an email to supporters they are asking the faithful to send them money in order that they might have an impact on the Supreme Court which will be deliberating marriage equality in April. It seems a reasonable certainty that no amount of money donated to NOM is going to have the slightest impact on the Court.

NOM has also scheduled another one of their silly “marriage marches” — this one for April 25 in Washington, DC. The last one was pretty pathetic. However, even if they assembled a large demonstration in favor of sustaining marriage discrimination it is a reasonable certainty that this, too, will not have the slightest impact on the Court. How did that work out for them in United States v. Windsor? But some people are gullible I suppose.

Anti-gay pastor bellows his bigotry

Check this guy out. He is Pastor Jim Veitch, of Bible Truth Baptist Church in Griffin, Georgia.

Alabama's Baptist mission board "outraged" and "grieving"

Rick Lance

On Friday the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions passed a resolution reaffirming its belief that “biblical marriage,” between a man and woman, should be the only legal form of marriage.

They seem to have stopped even trying to pose an argument to explain their zeal for banning same-sex marriage.  In the resolution, the board said it's expressing “moral outrage, intense grief and strong disagreement” over the recent court rulings.

According to Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions Executive Director Rick Lance:
It is our time of opportunity to serve the Lord, even in the midst of cultural captivity. Let us continue to serve the Lord together. Let us covenant to pray for those, especially those with whom we disagree.

Alabama judges defying Roy Moore defying federal courts

AP: Jefferson County probate judge Alan King issued a license to two women shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Alabama attorney general's request to extend a hold on a federal judge's ruling overturning the state's ban on gay marriage.

And King issued the license despite Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's 11th-hour attempt to keep the weddings on hold, with an order sent to all probate judges Sunday night directing them to refuse to issue the licenses.

King says he was abiding by the federal court order from January …

Perhaps this time the bar association will revoke Moore's ticket and put an end to his Christianist sideshow once and for all.

Friday, February 6, 2015

There is no shortage of anti-gay craziness in the South Carolina legislature

Some South Carolina legislators are busy little bigots, trying to find ways to sabotage same-sex marriage in their state. Over two months have passed since South Carolina joined the 21st century. In that time nobody's traditional marriage has been affected. Moreover, don't these people have more important issues to deal with? How about education?

H.3150; Let's license discrimination:

An argument FOR equality from an Alabama pastor

Rev. Jim Flowers is rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Mobile, Alabama. Today, at, he shares some thoughts on equality. It is a good read. I was struck by one paragraph:
Given the mass exodus from mainstream Christianity over the last several decades, one would think the church and the clergy thereof would be on their knees thanking God that there are still people in the world who want the church's blessing; that for some the church is still relevant. Is the church not first and foremost in the blessing business? We should be honored.  

Christians who oppose marriage equality have gathered to pray at Alabama state house

Joe Godfrey
The prayer event is sponsored by ALCAP, an organization and ministry that lobbies the legislature on behalf of churches. ALCAP also sells anti-drug and other programs for use in public schools.

Joe Godfrey, executive director of ALCAP "As Christians, we need God's leadership on how to deal with this, whether same-sex marriages are legalized or not. The issue is not going to go away."

I would bet my flip-flops that none of those in prayer could articulate a tangible reason to oppose same-sex marriage.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Courthouse News Service uses "tranny" slur

Courthouse News Service is a widely read compilation of interesting or noteworthy case summaries. Today they are referring to transgender in the pejorative as "tranny." The LGBT community has much work to do.

Perkins fibs about support for marriage equality

I give Tony Perkins credit. Perkins, who heads the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, sure knows his audience. He knows that he has an incurious constituency. They are eager to buy whatever Perkins is selling. In an email to supporters Wednesday evening, Mr. Perkins indulges in a rant opposing marriage equality.
Thirty-three states may recognize same-sex "marriage," but not because voters asked them to! For the last several months, the Left has been trying to build this false narrative about the groundswell of support for same-sex "marriage." As we've seen from the string of activist courts, there may be a shift in the courts -- but not the court of public opinion. In fact, as Pew Research points out, support for the redefinition of civilization's oldest institution has actually dropped.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Kansas bill would allow for the criminal prosecution of teachers who distribute materials related to homosexuality

Kansas Senate Bill 56 is broadly worded to make it easy to criminally charge teachers for distributing materials that are “harmful to minors.” According to State Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook, one of the primary proponents of the bill:
Pornography and obscene materials are becoming more and more prevalent in our society and it’s all too common to hear of cases where children aren’t being protected from the harm it inflicts.
If you read the bill carefully, prohibited materials include, but are not limited to “ … acts of masturbation, homosexuality, sexual intercourse or physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals or pubic area or buttocks or with a human female's breast.” Ms. Pilcher-Cook has strange ideas about what is pornographic.

Is John Stemberger the center of the universe ... and a martyr?

John Stemberger

Late Tuesday afternoon John Stemberger, head of Florida Family Policy Council, sent out an angry email to supporters. Stemberger is always angry about something having to do with his fellow LGBT citizens. This time he is fuming about marriage equality which arrived in the Sunshine State on January 6, 2015.
At least for now, the homosexual activists - with a huge assist from the courts - have gotten their way.  In a few years, if the Florida decision isn't overturned by the US Supreme Court this summer, you and I will begin to see the tragic effects that come from such a radical social transformation.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

It's Act II for the Kleins and Sweet Cakes by Melissa

Sweet Cakes by Melissa
Enter, stage left, victims embracing each other, crying and penniless. After an Oregon board found, yet again, that Sweet Cakes by Melissa unlawfully discriminated against a lesbian couple, victimhood is sweet. Even sweeter for the conservative Christian organizations that raise money off of this fluff.

This is all well choreographed. It usually starts with the obligatory Todd Starnes BS. According to Starnes the Kleins face $200,000 in fines. It's actually up to $150,000 and I expect to see a mid four-figure penalty. Starnes goes on to claim that the government is trying to push Christians “into the closet” which is an odd abstraction to use. Then Starnes recounts all of the other Defenders of Christ who have been martyred by the homosexual agenda™. It's all boilerplate at this point. Starnes just has to remerge the paragraphs.

Predictably 11th Circuit denied a stay in Alabama - Marriages could begin on Thursday

Alabama AG Strange says that he will appeal the matter to the Supreme Court. The Court has rebuffed several similar attempts to thwart marriage equality.

NOM is selling Kelvin Cochran's book again

Brian Brown, head of the anti-gay group National Organization for Marriage is scrounging for donations again. NOM doesn't really do anything anymore except to beg for money to keep people on the payroll to beg for money and so on. Its mission is to continue to exist.

Mr. Brown asks “Have you taken this action to defend marriage?” The action that Mr. Brown is referring to is … well … you know — to send him some of your money. In return, NOM will send you a copy of Kelvin Cochran's book.

Brown doesn't indicate a minimum required to get the book. Apparently they have copies to burn. Cochran has become as irrelevant as NOM and Mr. Brown.

In Arkansas a bill is proposed to limit municipal gay rights ordinances

Bart Hester
Sen. Bart Hester
Arkansas state Senator Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs) filed a bill in Little Rock Monday (Feb. 2) that would keep cities in the state from passing civil rights ordinances that are different from the federal law.

Since LGBT citizens are the only minority excluded from federal law Hester's bill is clearly designed to target their protection. In essence it legalizes discrimination, across the state, of LGBT people and their families.

In December, citizens of Fayetteville Arkansas repealed a non-discrimination ordinance passed by the city council. In spite of the growing acceptance of marriage equality, LGBT Americans are still deprived of basic civil rights.

Charles Manson granted a marriage license

Charles Manson in 2012
As if to highlight the absurdity of gay couples – some with children – being denied marriage licenses in some locales a 26-year-old woman with the nickname Star is going to marry 80-year-old mass murderer Charles Manson.

Afton Elaine Burton and Manson got a marriage license last year to stage a wedding inside a visiting room at California State Prison, Corcoran. Where is the fundamentalist Christian outrage over this non-procreative marriage?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sweet Cakes by Melissa loses another round and is found to have unlawfully discriminated

Sweet Cakes owner Aaron Klein denied a wedding cake to a lesbian couple in May, 2013. Apparently he asks all of his customers how and where his cakes will be eaten. The couple filed a complaint, and in January 2014, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found "substantial evidence" that Sweet Cakes wasn't within their rights to deny service.

The Kleins attorneys – Alliance Defending Freedom – filed for a summary dismissal of the case citing religious freedom. Now, in an interim ruling, Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries determined, once again, that Sweet Cakes by Melissa unlawfully discriminated by refusing service to the couple.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 10. A determination will be made if the bakery owes the couple any damages.

Alabama AG claims that marriage equality would create "confusion"

Alabama AG Luther Strange
Attorneys for Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange argued  claim that Alabama would face “uncertainty, confusion and conflict” if a federal appeals court allows same-sex marriage to move forward.

The 12-page filing seeking a stay of U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade’s decisions over the last 10 days striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban argues that controversy in the state over the measure suggests there would be trouble implementing the decision. They “strangely” argue that the harms the plaintiffs would experience were “highly speculative,” and that the couple would not be adversely affected by a stay. Really? Let's put Strange's marriage on hold.

Breaking: Jews compelled to serve bacon wrapped shrimp

Mike Huckabee

When I wrote about Huckabee on Saturday I failed to state the obvious. Huckabee said that expecting Christians to accept same-sex marriage is “like asking someone who is Jewish to start serving bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli.”

If the deli is kosher (most Jewish delicatessens are not) then shrimp is not on the menu. It would be like walking into a sushi place and demanding veal scallopini.

Perhaps -Huckabee was making a comparison to the bakery that refused a cake for a same-sex wedding. Cake with custom inscriptions is on the menu. The proprietor is refusing service based on disapproval of the customer.

Perkins claims "The Kids Are Not All Right [sic]"

Tony Perkins - Family Research Council
Are some “left?” In an email to supporters Friday night Tony Perkins claims that the children of gay couples are disadvantaged. Perkins, the head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, tries to support his conjecture with amicus briefs by Katy Faust, RO Lopez, Dawn Stefanowicz and BN Klein, filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals opposing marriage equality. Klein is known on this blog by her pseudonym, Rivka Edelman. the four briefs had the same lawyer — David Boyle of Long Beach, California.

According to Mr. Perkins:
With moving testimonies, the “quartet of truth” bravely pulls back the curtain on the grief and confusion that marked their childhoods without a mom or dad.