Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Oh please - NOM wants people to thank Mike Pence

National Organization for Marriage has a new blog post Tuesday titled Thank Governor Pence for Defending Religious Freedom! NOM's president, Brian Brown, has some interesting ideas about Indiana's new RFRA:
The law simply reiterates citizens' constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion and proposes that the government only be allowed to inhibit it if they can demonstrate a compelling government interest and do so in the least restrictive means possible.

Yet, the same-sex 'marriage' lobby is running around spreading outright lies — parroted by the media — that this very limited and common sense legislation amounts to a license to discriminate and persecute homosexuals.

Tony Perkins: "Christians would never deny ... services"

Tony Perkins
Apparently we now have a new form of business license “Religious Business.”

On Tuesday Tony Perkins sent an email to supporters reacting to Indiana Governor Mike Pence's news conference. Perkins, leader of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, has some interesting ideas about what constitutes discrimination.
The governor addressed the complete falsehood that RFRA is about denying people a seat in a restaurant or a room at a hotel. Christians would never deny people these services but being forced to participate in a ceremony that violates religious beliefs is completely un-American and uncivil. We must ensure that religious business owners are not forced by the government to participate in a same-sex ceremony. What RFRA is intended to do is to protect people from government discrimination. However, until we see the wording of his proposal, the impact on religious businesses and churches is unknown.

[ICYMI] Go figure: Ryan T. Anderson schooled by Michael Steele

This clip featuring Ryan T. Anderson, Dan Savage and Michael Steele is from Monday's night's All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC. Anderson is no match for either Savage or Steele (religious fundamentalism makes smart people stupid). Savage reminds us that the intent of Indiana's law was to make it possible for businesses to discriminate against gay people, particularly gay couples seeking wedding services.

Pence: "I abhor discrimination"

If you believe Governor Mike Pence of Indiana is this all one big misunderstanding — one fueled by shoddy reporting. In spite of the law's text Pence insists that the Indiana law does not give anyone the right to deny services. Technically he is correct in that the law provides only an affirmative defense to charges of discrimination. However, the net result is the same.

Pence is calling for a legislative fix. Other than recalling the law the only way to “fix” this is to identify sexual orientation and sexual identity as protected classes in Indiana. I doubt that is going to happen.

Gov. Pence claims that the law has been “smeared.” Pence now claims that he is offended. It remains to be seen if Indiana's Republicans will offend our collective intelligence with a “fix” that is nothing more than window dressing.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Anderson: "Tim Cook got it all wrong"

Ryan T. Anderson
Ryan T. Anderson
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has stirred up the religious right with his OpEd in the Washington Post titled; “Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous.” Cook makes the point:
A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. Some, such as the bill enacted in Indiana last week that drew a national outcry and one passed in Arkansas, say individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law.

Will Indiana really "clarify" its "religious freedom" act?

The AP is reporting that Indiana's Republican legislative leaders have said Monday that they are working on adding language to a new state law to make it clear that it doesn't allow discrimination against gays and lesbians. This follows a terrible performance on television on Sunday by Governor Mike Pence.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

On ABC's This Week, Gov. Pence confirms the bigotry behind Indiana's new law

On ABC's This Week host George Stephanopoulus was unsuccessful at getting Indiana Governor Mike Pence to answer simple yes or no questions. Pence offered four arguments:
  1. That the bill has been “shamelessly” misrepresented in the media.
  2. That the bill is the same thing as the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  3. That the bill is the same as the one that Barack Obama voted for as an Illinois state senator.
  4. That tolerance is a two-way street.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Gov. Pence: You pretty much know that you're a schmuck when NOM sings your praises

Mike Pence
Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage, has Reverse Midas. Everything he touches turns to shit. This we know. NOM is also a reliable reverse barometer of what is acceptable in polite society. These days when one receives intense devotion from NOM that's usually a pretty good sign that one needs to do some serious thinking. From a blog post early this evening Brian Brown wants to personally thank Governor Pence. Oh how Brown just gushes with approval of Indiana's License To Discriminate.

Presbyterian Churches Receive Letter Warning of Arson

This printed letter seems to be making the rounds in Missouri. The letter warns that any church accepting same-sex marriage will be burned to the ground. Last week, the Presbyterian Church (USA), or PC(USA), officially voted to recognize marriage equality as a denomination.

It's that time of year: Focus on the Family attempts to undermine GLSEN's Day of Silence

On April 17 thousands of students across the country will participate in the student-led Day of Silence with organizational assistance from GLSEN. The objective of the DoS is to demonstrate the silencing effect that bullying has on LGBTQ students.  

On April 16, in an attempt to counter the message of the Day of Silence, Focus on the Family is organizing their Day of Dialog (very original, right?). According to the Parent/Pastor Guide:
Are the Christian teens you know prepared to respond when their biblical beliefs are challenged at school? When you consider that about 90 percent of school-age children attend public schools, it’s a crucial question. Often students hear a message contradictory to—and sometimes even ridiculing — what they learn in church and at home, especially when it comes to issues surrounding relationships and sexuality.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ryan Anderson defends Indiana's new anti-gay law with half-truths

Ryan T. Anderson
Ryan T. Anderson (a professional Defender of the Faith™) takes to the Heritage Foundation blog (Daily Signal) with Indiana Protects Religious Liberty. Why That’s Good Policy. According to Anderson:
In a victory for religious freedom, earlier today Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., signed into law the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This is good policy that protects the fundamental freedom of Indiana citizens from unnecessary and unreasonable government coercion.

The Indiana law is based on the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act—a law that has served the American people well for more than 20 years.

Two children (6 and 13) dead, one wounded in Florida gunfight

In Hudson, FL a 13-year-old boy shot his brothers while arguing about food, killing his 6-year-old brother and wounding a 16-year-old boy before killing himself inside their mobile home near Tampa, authorities said.

It seems that we will never learn. A gun in the home is far more likely to kill an innocent family member than a felon. At least these WMD should be secured. The parents should be prosecuted for child endangerment but TIFF (This Is Fucking Florida).

Robby George is promoting a new book

Robert P. George
The conservative Catholic blog, First Things, carries a post by Princeton Professor Robert P. George. The presumed Opus Deist is co-founder of National Organization for Marriage and Witherspoon Institute among many other things.
I was recently interviewed by C-Span about my book Conscience and Its Enemies. For any readers who might be interested, here’s the video.
There is no reason to embed the video here; you can watch it at link above. A transcript is also available (it's an all-caps horror). There was one section that drew both my attention. What follows is a copy of the comment that I posted at First Things. Comments are moderated so I was on my best behavior (in spite of the fact that Robby was in his usual full-of-shit mode).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

AFA off on another anti-gay tirade

Certified anti-gay hate group, American Family Association, is mad as hell that NBC has a new show with positive, normal portrayals of gay people. AFA's One Million Moms persona claims that it was the reason that The New Normal was canceled (actually it got the ax for low ratings). Now, claiming that “NBC did not learn their lesson,” AFA is after One Big Happy. According to AFA/OMM:
NBC's "One Big Happy" is attempting to desensitize America and our children. This new show is damaging to our culture and harmful to our society for a number of reasons. This program glamorizes one night stands, n-dity, homosexuality, and foul language (such as v-gina and b-tch).

Time to check in on Starbucks

On April 9 I estimate that shares of Starbucks (SBUX) will be trading about 10% to 15% higher than when National Organization for Marriage started its Dump Starbucks campaign except … that will be after a two-for-one stock split. In other words Starbucks shares will have far more than doubled in value over the three years of NOM's misadventure. Once again proving that Brian Brown has Reverse Midas. Conclusion: God likes Starbucks.

NOM has ceded even the pretense of honesty

Is that in lavender?
National Organization for Marriage has launched it's marriage march website. Once again NOM is misleading donors and potential participants claiming that this action will somehow influence the Supreme Court of the United States as they deliberate the marriage cases beginning on April 28.
The 2015 March for Marriage is our last, best opportunity to reach the U.S. Supreme Court before they decide whether marriage as it has existed throughout our history is unconstitutional. For months, activist federal judges across the country have issued illegitimate rulings redefining marriage against the will of 50 million state voters and legislators who voted to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Please join us on April 25 for this critical March for Marriage to tell the U.S. Supreme Court to reaffirm the legitimacy of state marriage laws.

If the California "murder the gays" guy wanted 15 minutes of fame - mission accomplished

Murder Victim

Matthew G. McLaughlin, a lawyer working out of a strip mall in Huntington Beach California, is the author of “The Sodomite Suppression Act” which he hopes to put before the state's voters in 2016. Basically this would deputize the entire state to participate in the murder gay people. For a $200 investment (the filing fee) Mr. McLaughlin has received a considerable amount of attention. Now the venerable New York Times has picked up the story. For the Times this is more about California's broken initiative system. As they point out:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

AFA Newspaper ad is more about donors than appealing to the Supreme Court

Part of the graphic atop AFA's ad in the Washington Post
The anti-gay hate group, American Family Association, has placed an advertisement in the Washington Post directed to the attention of the Supreme Court. The advertisement is titled “As you deliberate on marriage remember whose idea it was in the first place.” The ad concludes with a quote from scripture; “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh.”

Richard Land in abject hypocrisy

Richard Land
Prominent Baptist leader, Richard Land, is is the president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Yesterday on AFR (American Family Association radio) Mr. Land said:
Either you believe the Bible and you do not accept the morality of homosexual behavior, and you do not accept homosexual marriage or you have taken a position that you're going to decide which parts of the Bible you're going to accept, and which parts you're not going to accept.
It's that last part (about selective observation) that is puzzling. Apparently Mr. Land puts to death children who are insolent, adulterers and brides who are not virgins. Bacon and eggs anyone? What? Mr. Land doesn't keep Kosher?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Indiana's license to discriminate bill moves forward

On Monday the Indiana House passed a bill, allegedly to protect business owners who do not want to provide services for same-sex couples. A version was previously passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, and Republican Governor Mike Pence, a Republican, has indicated support for it.

It is amazing to know that we would be, officially, second class citizens. Actually, it is disgraceful. The insidious part is that the business owner doesn't have to post a sign. He or she can just turn away gays on a whim without society knowing that he or she is a bigot.

Making the right wing rounds - Employee's open letter to Home Depot

My first reaction to Timothy Noffsinger's open letter to Home Depot was that he was a poor performing employee who was trying to make it more difficult to terminate him. The North Lakewood, Colorado employee claims (in big red letters) that “the Home Depot preaches evil to employees.” I could literally throw a dart at the five page rant and hit a colossally ignorant bit of homophobia. Nevertheless Mr. Noffsinger is becoming [the next] [big thing] [in right wing] Christianity.

The evil that seems so upsetting to Noffsinger is respect for coworkers and customers (even for him) which is what Home Depot is really trying to accomplish, That improves productivity and profitability.

Perhaps there is a Chick fil A nearby with a job opening because Tim is clearly miserable at THD. Although … if he got canned there might be a job at NOM or FRC just waiting for someone like him.

NOM enabling the Jannuzzi grift

The unmanned desk that writes blog posts
When Patricia Jannuzzi thought that she was being terminated from her job as a teacher at a Catholic school the first things that she did were to get a lawyer and then beg for money. She has already raised $28,620 with a goal of raising a total of $100,000. Today, National Organization for Marriage is asking people to help Ms. Jannuzzi reach her goal.

In point of fact, Ms. Jannuzzi is still on the school's payroll through August; something that NOM seems to have forgotten to mention. According to her family she has been advised that she will not be rehired for the fall term. Perhaps she should simply look for another job. According to NOM's Brian Brown:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Batcrap Sunday: "The Sodomite Suppression Act" Bill Text

Operating from a small, nondescript office in a strip mall, Huntington Beach attorney Matt G. McLaughlin has permitted his personality disorder to get the better of him. Along with a check for $200.00 he (or it) has submitted the paperwork to get his Sodomite Suppression Act on the ballot.

The proposed bill imposes the death sentence for gay people, specifying bullets to the head. Allies would be fined $1 million per "propaganda" incident and/or imprisoned for ten years. The law would deputize the entire population to round up the gays and their allies. The text of the law must be posted in every classroom in the state as well, presumably to reduce "recruitment."

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's spring - Time for the right wing freak-out over the Day of Silence

On April 17 thousands of students across the country will participate in the student-led Day of Silence with organizational assistance from GLSEN. The objective of the DoS is to demonstrate the silencing effect that bullying has on LGBTQ students. Day of Silence is an elegant and peaceful means of generating awareness.

Texas sues United States over same-sex marrage benefits

Texas sued the United States on Wednesday, challenging Department of Labor rules that require the state to recognize same-sex couples who were married in another state.

Attorney General Ken Paxton claims that extending Family and Medical Leave Act benefits to same-sex couples would violate the Texas Constitution.
Paxton sued the United States and the Department of Labor in Federal Court.

The Department of Labor recently changed its definition of what a spouse is  under the FMLA to recognize same-sex unions from out-of-state. Set to begin on March 27, the rule requires employers to allow the same FMLA leave rights given to heterosexual couples.

Paxton argued a mix of state's rights and an unfair economic burden on Texas employers.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Another absurd threat of resistance - this time from Mat Staver

Mat Staver
Mat Staver is head of the anti-gay hate group Liberty Counsel. Today he is threatening civil disobedience if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality:
Civil disobedience has a long and noble history in Western culture, and we will need a primer on it if, as seems likely, the Supreme Court rules against natural marriage in June.
Same-sex marriage is as natural as traditional marriage. It unites two people in matrimony.
Of course, civil disobedience is not justified just because we disagree with a human law, but only when that law conflicts with a higher revealed or Natural Law. 

No NOM - Marriage equality is not Dred Scott and giving you money won't affect the Supreme Court in any way whatsoever

No NOM, it's Sandford
Today, in an email blast and blog post, NOM's Brian Brown wants to convince us that marriage equality is the next Dred Scott v. Sandford (which they misspell throughout as “Sanford”). They further claim that donating money to NOM will cause us to avoid the next Dred Scott decision (by which they mean national marriage equality).

It is important to note that National Organization for Marriage exists for a singular purpose; To impose the teachings of the Catholic Church on United States law in order to ban same-sex marriage. They spend most of their energies trying to obfuscate that simple truth while offering no compelling reason to thwart marriage equality. How same-sex marriage affects Brian Brown or Mrs. Brown or their children has never been explained. However, NOM's folks feel that they are engaged in a holy mission which permits dishonesty in defense of the faith. And dishonesty from NOM is a substance that has been in no short supply.

Having failed at marriage discrimination Ryan Anderson attacks ENDA via Witherspoon

Ryan T. Anderson
Ryan T. Anderson wants us to know Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Are Not Like Race: Why ENDA is Bad Policy. ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, has been in the works (with and without prohibitions for discrimination in the basis of gender identity) since 1994. It was last introduced in 2013 when a watered down version was passed in the Senate but couldn't get out of committee in the House. Off topic, if we want workplace protections then we must first change the makeup of Congress. Mr. Anderson seems to be seeking another anti-gay issue to replace marriage discrimination.

By now Mr. Anderson's Catholic boilerplate has a familiar ring to it:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Alabama Gov. to SCOTUS: Gay Marriage Destroys 'The Rights of Children'

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (AL.com)
Attorneys for Alabama Governor Robert Bentley filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court on Tuesday. Therein they told the Court that Court that same-sex marriage is a social experiment that undermines the rights of children. They further assert that marriage is a natural reality and that same-sex marriage destroys the “rights of children to be connected to their biological parents.”

This is the same unoriginal religious boilerplate that we have been seeing in legal briefs for as long as marriage equality has been fought in the courts. It has been used to thwart equality, whether legislatively or through the ballot. And, in fact, it constitutes the Governor's losing argument at the US District Court.

FRC's Schwarzwalder is easily confused

Rob Schwarzwalder is senior vice president of Family Research Council. I was surprised that he stuck around after essentially getting demoted from number two guy to number three after Jerry Boykin joined the anti-gay hate group. Ol' Rob is fired up about an article in the right leaning Federalist titled Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting by Heather Barwick. The subtitle is “I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost.”

The piece goes on to inexplicably oppose the recognition of same-sex marriage. According to Schwarzwalder:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

In Alabama Judge Granade won't bend yet Liberty Counsel proclaims victory

Yesterday Federal District Court Judge Callie V.S. Granade denied a request from Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis that she stay her order due to the conflicting order from the Alabama Supreme Court. The judge, who was appointed by George W. Bush with the blessings of Alabama's two Republican senators, concluded that Davis was unlikely to prevail on appeal. Granade also noted that Judge Davis failed to offer a substantive argument that lifting the stay would do irreparable harm.

Enter Liberty Counsel, the anti-gay hate group. According to them:

Monday, March 16, 2015

$300 undershirts, $800 jeans and the opinions of Messrs. Dolce and Gabbana are equally irrelevant

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the Italian fashion designers, made some outrageously offensive comments to Italian magazine Panorama over the weekend about children born through IVF, or in vitro fertilization. They called them "children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteruses for rent, semen chosen from a catalog."

Why do we give a flying fuck? Although gay and once (at least through 2005) life partners, the two men are simply regurgitating the teachings of the Catholic Church which is the source of their stupidity.

In response Elton John immediately called for a boycott of Dolce & Gabbana. You know what? I don't give a rat's ass about what he has to say either. He entertained at Rush Limbaugh's wedding. How outrageous was that?

John Eastman writes of defiance in Witherspoon's blog

John Eastman
John Eastman, chairman of National Organization for Marriage, seems to be expecting the other shoe to drop this summer; The Supreme Court concluding that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. Yesterday, Mr. Eastman decided to vent his frustration in Witherspoon Institute's blog, Public Discourse.

John Eastman has inadvertently become a champion of marriage equality. He is responsible for diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly a million or more, from NOM to lawyers (including himself). In the IRS case alone, NOM spent $700,000 to receive a $50,000 settlement. That's the kind of math that an equality minded person can learn to love. NOM's case was based upon hyperbole and conspiracy theory. It is clear from emails that were cited in briefs that NOM knew all along that the IRS was guilty only of an inadvertent disclosure. Eastman's judgment has been questionable at best. Yet onward Christian soldiers they went.

Friday, March 13, 2015

"DEPORT HIS ASS!" Unless ...

Making the rounds in right wing Christian circles is a petition in opposition to the deportation of Mennonite pastor (in training) Max Villatoro. According to Fox News Villatoro, 41, is now sitting in detention and facing deportation. He was among the more than 2,000 people arrested last week as part of a five-day nationwide operation, nicknamed "Cross Check," targeting convicted criminals living in the country illegally.

Villatoro has a 1999 conviction for “tampering with records,” for trying to obtain a driver’s license illegally and a 1998 DWE (presumably without a diver's license as well).

The Christian right has been vociforous in their opposition to the Obama administration's immigration policies, usually incorrectly referring to them as “amnesty.” But it's OK to harbor an illegal immigrant with two felony convictions because he shares your religious beliefs?

Cardinal Newman Society compiling a companion shit list

The Cardinal Newman Society has taken another step to demonstrate its displeasure with corporations that support same-sex marriage. On Wednesday I wrote about the efforts of the ultra-orthodox Catholic organization to ostracize executives who support marriage equality. They called upon Catholic schools and colleges not to honor any executives or board members of the nearly 400 corporations that signed onto an amicus brief in support of equality.

Now, Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, has posed an additional threat. Reilly said, in a statement to Breitbart News:

The always entertaining Christian Family Coalition gets it all wrong again

Anthony Verdugo apparently eating a microphone
Anthony Verdugo, head of Florida's Christian Family Coalition, is like a tormented dog chasing its tail. It never accomplishes anything and there is no discernible end to the creature's whirlwind. Unfortunately Mr. Verdugo does not pause to respond to email. Indeed I have some unanswered questions for him.

Last night Verdugo sent an email to supporters titled “HB 7013 News Update.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015

ADF's perverse plan

ADF keeps losing discrimination cases but they have a different agenda. Alliance Defending Freedom represents Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals, the Kentucky print shop that refused to print “Pride” T-shirts in 2012. The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission ruled that the shop unlawfully discriminated based on sexual orientation which is prohibited. The ruling means that Hands On may not discriminate in the future and that its employees will have to undergo diversity training.

ADF refers to the diversity training as “reeducation.” Get it? ADF will likely appeal. However, winning an appeal may not be the real objective.

Nothing new in a disappointing "Utah Compromise"

Last night the Republican majority Utah legislature passed a non-discrimination/religious liberty bill that has come to be known as the Utah Compromise. The bill bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual identity in employment and housing while protecting religious institutions, their affiliates (like schools and hospitals) and the Boy Scouts. All are free to discriminate. The bill does not address discrimination in public accommodations. This bill has been passed because the Mormon Church shrewdly wanted it to be passed. The bill affords more protection to their enterprise than to LGBT citizens. Utah is a theocracy.

Poor "You" NOM

NOM is out with a new money-beg titled You. According to the National Organization for Marriage they are at an economic disadvantage:
So far, we've raised over $62,000 online toward our $100,000 match. That's significant, but still leaves a huge amount that we have an opportunity to claim...

The hard left that wants to redefine marriage is backed by billionaires like George Soros, Paul Singer and Tim Gil. They have a seemingly unlimited stream of resources to throw behind their radical agenda. They have the backing of Hollywood and the media, which gives their ideology billions of dollars in free advertising.

NOM has YOU.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sean Fieler continues to fund Regnerus' junk science

Mark Regnerus
Mark Regnerus
According to a report filed with the Internal Revenue Service, Sean Fieler's Chiaroscuro Foundation provided Austin Institute with $250,000 in 2013. Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture is just another Witherspoon Institute. Indeed, Luis Tellez, the Opus Dei numerary who co-founded Witherspoon with Robert George, is also on the board of Austin Institute.

Austin Institute has provided a base for Mark Regnerus. Regnerus, of course, is the author of the thoroughly discredited study, funded by Witherspoon, which claimed that gay couples were inferior parents without actually studying gay couples and their children.

The Cardinal Newman Society seeks to ostracize corporate America's supporters of marriage equality

Cardinal Newman Society

The ultra-conservative Cardinal Newman Society takes note of the fact that 379 businesses have signed onto an amicus brief in support of marriage equality. They assert that this is “contrary to constitutional, civil, natural and divine law and conflicts directly with Catholic teaching and the position of the U.S. Catholic bishops.” Therefore they seek vengeance:
The Cardinal Newman Society therefore urges Catholic schools, colleges and universities to refrain from all honors—including public recognition, honorary speaking platforms, and honored positions on boards and committees—for board members and senior leaders of these 379 corporations and business groups.

Oklahoma bill changing the issuance of marriage licenses moves forward

The Oklahoma state house has approved a bill that would remove the state from the issuance of marriage licenses. The burden would now shift to clergy who would issue a marriage certificate. The measure passed by 67 to 24 and now moves to the state senate for consideration.

This appears to be an attempt to make it more difficult for same-sex couples to marry. If passed, the law might be a clear violation of equal protection that affects not only same-sex couples but those who do not subscribe to religion.

Stemberger and mania vs. Florida GOP

Updated to include AFA's participation: Well this should be fun. This came in at 11:00 PM last night. Florida's leading homo-bigot, John Stemberger of Florida Family Policy Council, is having a late night fit over the removal of the homosexual preclusion from Florida's adoption laws. Stemberger, you will recall, is so homophobic that he started an alternative Boy Scout program to prevent his sons from having to mingle with some gay boys. The most entertaining part of this is that Stemberger feels betrayed by Florida Republicans who control both houses of the state legislature:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Once again the US Senate welcomes a hate group leader

On Wednesday, March 11, Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, will be testifying before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs on the topic of “Protecting Religious Freedom Abroad.” The chairman of the committee is Lindsey Graham. Does Chairman Graham not know that Mr. Perkins has direct ties to the Klan?

Monday, March 9, 2015

ASA brief slams Regnerus again

Mark Regnerus' professional organization, the American Sociological Association, has filed an amicus brief in the current marriage cases before the Supreme Court. Not only does the ASA assert a scholarly consensus about same-sex parenting, they dismantle, by name, Regnerus' study. This is the second time that ASA has done this. In 2013, they filed a similar brief in United States v. Windsor.

Ideally this commentary would be irrelevant to 14th Amendment issues identified by the Court. However equality opponents suggest that one of the reasons to oppose same-sex marriage is that gay couples are crappy parents. Not only is this untrue, it ignores the simple fact that kids are being raised by gay couples and they are greatly benefited if their parents are married. Nevertheless, according to the current amicus brief:

Ryan Anderson doesn't like corporations trying to influence SCOTUS

Ryan T. Anderson
But amicus briefs from conservative Catholics are just fine I suppose.

379 major companies signed on to an amicus brief for the Supreme Court in advance of its deliberations in the marriage cases which are scheduled for oral argument on April 28. Ryan T. Anderson, a professional Defender of the Faith is not pleased. According to Anderson:
There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires the states to redefine marriage, and big business should not lobby the Supreme Court to say otherwise.

Catholic bishop claims that gay couples raising children are not parents

Bishop Kevin Doran
Bishop Kevin Doran
Kevin Doran, the Bishop of Elphin (northern Ireland) seems to think that gay people who raise children are not their parents. Doran's sentiment is unlikely to be unique within the Catholic hierarchy. A radio interviewer reminded Bishop Doran that gay couples in Ireland were already raising children. His reply?
But they’re not parents. They might have children but, that’s the point, people who have children are not necessarily parents.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Same-sex marriage "offends" Rand Paul

Rand Paul

Rand Paul, the faux libertarian, conspiracy theorist ophthalmologist turned US senator and (remarkably) possible presidential candidate is “offended” by same-sex marriage. In an interview on Fox News (where else?) on Friday Paul told Bret Baier:
I’m for traditional marriage. I think marriage is between a man and a woman.

Ultimately, we could have fixed this a long time ago if we just allowed contracts between adults. We didn’t have to call it marriage, which offends myself and a lot of people. But I think competing contracts that would give them equivalency before the law would have solved a lot of these problems and it may be where we’re still headed.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Oregon school caves to ignorant parent and removes tolerance banners

In Beaverton, Oregon students at Five Oaks Middle School put up banners promoting tolerance. According to the AP a parent who wished to remain anonymous said he emailed the principal to complain about the signs which he felt were inappropriate.

The parent said the school isn't open to other beliefs and ways of life, such as celebrating Christmas, so this sign shouldn't be allowed either.

The 300 GOPers who support marriage equality

More than 300 prominent Republicans have signed onto an amicus brief supporting marriage equality. The brief, organized by Ken Mehlman, has been submitted to the Supreme Court in consideration of the four marriage cases that it will hear this term. Oral arguments in these cases will be heard on April 28.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Following NOM's logic "Sister Wives" should cause us to consider banning heterosexual marriage

National Organization for Marriage is desperate for a winning argument. Around NOM-world the theory goes that equal measures of fancy footwork and prayer will change the outcome at the Supreme Court. I think that Brian Brown really believes the bullshit that they use to troll for donations.

The “throuple” that NOM pictures in their missive is obviously a stunt to gain attention. Three lesbians claim to be married to each other by way of a commitment ceremony. So what? The other is three gay guys in Thailand. Who cares? Both stories are via the trashy New York Post, Anyway, by that logic Sister Wives should serve to ban traditional marriage. NOM is making the argument that the very existence of plural marriage (notwithstanding its lack of recognition) disqualifies the participants, and those similarly situated, to a legally recognized marriage. There goes traditional marriage.

Prestigious independent survey shows 56% of Americans support the freedom to marry

“The General Social Survey is conducted by NORC, an independent research organization based at the University of Chicago, with funding from the National Science Foundation. It is a highly regarded source of data about social trends because of its long-running and comprehensive set of questions about the demographics and attitudes of the American public.

“Data from the 2014 survey was released this week, and an analysis of its findings on gay marriage was conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the General Social Survey.”

In 2012 the same survey showed support at 48% so it has increased by eight percentage points or 17% — depending upon how you view the statistics.

Read the full story at the AP.

NOM front group honors Roy Moore with an award

“Four things about homosexuals piss me off”
On Wednesday the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) announced that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore would receive their first ever “Letter from Birmingham Jail Courage Award” in recognition of Justice Moore’s  defense of traditional marriage.

Washington AG's statement on Barronelle Stutzman/Arlene's Flowers

Barronelle Stutzman
Washington Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, has issued a statement on the Barronelle Stutzman matter. The full decision by the judge makes for interesting reading. It is very thorough. Elane Photography v. Willock serves as precedent. ADF also represented Elane Photography. You may recall that was the New Mexico photographer who refused to take pictures of a lesbian commitment ceremony. That made its way through the courts until the Supreme Court declined to hear the case about a year ago.

Note that only 3% of Stutzman's business involves weddings. She could opt out with little effect. I am increasingly convinced after reading the opinion which cites some of the testimony that Stutzman was looking for a same-sex wedding that she could decline in order to be in exactly the position she is in. When Washington became an equality state, ADF likely trolled wedding vendors, giving them an opportunity to be martyrs for the faith. AG Ferguson writes: