Friday, July 31, 2015

NOM in a "nut" shell

Apparently Ryan T. Anderson's use of the Gish Gallup is contagious. Here's the latest from our friends at the National Organization for Marriage.
Now that the US Supreme Court has illegitimately redefined marriage, we are in a fierce struggle to protect people of faith from persecution and punishment.
When a majority of the justices come to a ruling that ruling is legitimate per se. NOM and its backers had their fair chance and they lost the argument. And by the way, just who the fuck is this “we?” NOM isn't doing much of anything except asking for money. They are certainly not providing legal services or any other form of support.

The young TFP cultists went to Tyler Texas to do ... something

Hark. A flock of red-sashed loons has been spotted in Tyler Texas to – according to them – “defend real marriage.” What the very-white, pimply, brain-washed, ultra-orthodox boys mean is that same-sex marriage doesn't count.

In truth I feel sorry for these kids. They have been so terribly manipulated by adults who have drunk the Vatican Kool-Aid. Ironically they are trying to shame gay couples, some of whom are raising perfectly well adjusted and curious children who will likely be successful in whatever they do. The TFPers will probably end up working for the kids raised by gay parents.

How does ANYONE with a functioning brain buy into this religious BS?

Rite of Exorcism

The following quotes are from a piece in the National Catholic Register, a mainstream Catholic news site that tilts towards the conservative. People like Ryan T. Anderson and Robert George devote their entire lives to this nonsense. I submit that there are no orthodox Catholic intellectuals just as there are no Hasidic intellectuals and there are no Evangelical Christian intellectuals. One cannot be an intellectually curious critical thinker and, at the same time, be a religious conservative. They are mutually exclusive conditions.

Comedy Central Confronts Insane Argument That Christianity is Under Siege by EVERYONE

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Heard about the Christian suing Ford?

Until last August Thomas Banks was an employee of Rapid Global Business Solutions, a company that essentially leases employees to Ford Motor Company. About that time, via Ford's intranet, Banks received a company newsletter. The newsletter contained an article about the 20th anniversary of Ford’s Gay, Lesbian Or Bisexual Employees advocacy group (GLOBE). Banks felt compelled to express his disapproval of his fellow LGBT workers via an online comment. This is what he wrote (the original can be seen in Exhibit 2 which is included in the court filing below):

As holy warrior, Mr. Anderson's contempt for equal treatment

If Anderson actually had a good argument then the Supreme Court might have come to a different conclusion.
Ryan T. Anderson

Marriage equality became a settled issue on June 26, 2015 by a ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States. That has not stopped Heritage Foundation's Ryan T. Anderson from advocating for opposition to same-sex marriage. The reason that Anderson opposes marriage equality and the reason that he continues to be an advocate against a settled issue is that Anderson is an ultra-conservative Catholic. The Church has told him that it is his duty to resist and oppose same-sex marriage in any way possible and he has obliged.

It is not an entirely futile endeavor. While Anderson is not going to upend marriage equality he helps to define the talking points for those people who think that a religious objection should be a valid reason for businesses to refuse service to those people they disapprove of — all packaged as “religious freedom.” When James Madison authored the First Amendment to the Constitution “free exercise” of religion meant the freedom to practice the religion of one's choice. It is carefully balanced by the Establishment Clause. However, Mr. Anderson's notion of free exercise is the right to impose the teachings of the Catholic Church on everyone else and call it “religious liberty.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Os Hillman denigrates gay people - I don't have to subsidize it

Os Hillman

The self-righteous, holier-than-thou crowd are constantly flouting laws and regulations that they do not like. Usually the excuse is framed as religious liberty. It is worth noting that we all subsidize non-profit organizations. Not only are their revenues tax exempt and tax deductible for the donors but these organizations do not pay local sales and use taxes. It is bad enough that I have to subsidize anti-gay hate groups; I draw a distinct line when a not-for-profit is actually a for-profit corporation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Exactly what is Mr. Sprigg's expertise?

Peter Sprigg

Tuesday, Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group, advises that Peter Sprigg has testified before the Massachusetts legislature as that body considers banning sexual orientation change efforts on minors. Before getting into Sprigg's testimony, what does he bring to the table? Sprigg is a Baptist minister and an employee of a hate group. What possible weight could be given to his testimony on a medical and social science matter? Where is the requisite erudition?

Another legislative schmuck - this one in Texas - claiming that Obergefell does not apply

Yee HAW - Republican State Rep. Dan Flynn of Texas
Texas state representative Dan Flynn, R-Canton, claims that the state need not issue same-sex licenses or grant such spouses benefits because the Legislature has not appropriated any money for it. In a letter to Texas AG, Ken Paxton Flynn writes:
Without revision to Texas statute, are marriage licenses issued to same-sex individuals since June 26, 2015, valid? Absent further action by the Texas Legislature, do state agencies have authority to adopt policies and procedures to grant other benefits, specifically including employment benefit programs and adoption, arising under Texas law to same-sex couples? In the event that the Texas legislature does not amend current law, what action could the federal government take to implement same-sex marriage?
How did all of these obviously unbalanced people end up in state legislatures?

Wingnut Tennessee lawmaker asks county clerks to cease issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Rick Womick
Tennessee State Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale, has sent a letter to all 95 county clerks in Tennessee urging them to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The “reasoning,” according to the letter is that the Supreme Court has redefined a legally recognized marital contract in Tennessee, making it void and unenforceable in the state. Therefore, they should ignore the Supreme Court’s decision. According to Mr. Womick:
We are going to redefine marriage as this. They don’t have the power. Only Congress and state legislators have that power to create law. These clerks, by ignoring the opinion, will be in violation of no federal law. All they’re in violation of is the opinion of individuals in black robes.
[ … ]
We will not be controlled by an oligarchy of five individuals in black robes. If you really have a problem with that, you five justices, then come down to Tennessee and try to enforce your ruling.
Perhaps Mr. Womick is willing to guarantee to pay the legal fees and penalties that a clerk would face by violating the order of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Should sexual orientation fluidity affect the politics of gay rights?

There is an important piece in New Scientist titled “Sexuality is fluid – it’s time to get past ‘born this way.’” The author, Lisa Diamond, is a professor of developmental and health psychology at the University of Utah. She is also a lesbian. According to whomever edits the site, “Gay rights shouldn't depend on how a person came to be gay, and we should embrace the fact that sexuality can change, says developmental psychologist Lisa Diamond.”

Conservative Christian groups to portray gay men as child predators in response to likely BSA announcement

Monday, the Boy Scouts of America National Council is set to officially lift the ban on openly gay adults working in leadership positions like counselors or den leaders. The new measures will also ban discrimination based on sexual orientation for employment within the organization. the Christian right is clearly its collective throat.

70 percent of Scout troops are sponsored by religious organizations. Both the Mormon Church and the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, two expressed support for the rule change while still emphasizing their right to select leaders that are in accord with their doctrine. In other words they are free to continue to discriminate.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The TFP cultists on a futile march for marriage discrimination

Tradition Family and Property Student Action. These are the lunatics you see in red sashes. TFP (The American Society for Tradition, Family and Property) is a Catholic personality cult idolizing the late Brazilian right wing activist and fascist, Plinio CorrĂȘa de Oliveira. TFP is like a merger of Opus Dei and the John Birch Society. Some of the young men (boys really) that you see in the red sashes are students at St. Louis De Montfort Academy in Herndon PA. The school, owned by TFP, is not accredited and kids spend more time in prayer than academic study.

NOM should continue to live because of vagaries in public opinion polls?

Do not resuscitate

Between loud requests for money (any amount will do) National Organization for Marriage insists that it has a reason to continue to exist. Their latest foray into the berths of the breathing is titled “That Didn't Take Long.” The gist is that there is hope for the hopeless because a couple of opinion polls suggest that support for same-sex marriage is in decline. These are folks who also fervently believe that a visit to Lourdes can cure cancer.

The truth is much simpler. The opinion of the justices of the Supreme Court is the only one that counts. Constitutionality is not subject to popularity. In fact the Court must act to protect the rights of unpopular people and unpopular causes. A constitutional amendment is not a remotely realistic proposition.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Anti-gay litigant cites nondiscrimination law as her right to discriminate

Linda Summers is suing Harrison County, Indiana for unlawful termination of employment. The reason that Ms. Summers' employment with the county ended (according to her complaint in federal court) is because she refused to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

AFA gimme flaunts intention to violate US tax code

Bryan Fischer - AFR Talk

Wednesday, the anti-gay hate group American Family Association, has sent an email to supporters asking for money to support the expansion of AFR Talk. The email, with the subject “America cannot wait - Join the voice of Christian America today!” includes the following (highlighting added):

Monday, July 20, 2015

No Mr. Brown - Obergefell is not going to be reversed

Monday, Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage, wants to convince people that the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (effecting marriage equality) is somehow fragile. He is doing so to keep his job. According to Brown, commenting on an appearance in Iowa:
Judging from the crowd reaction, which loudly cheered my every denunciation of the illegitimate Supreme Court decision purporting to redefine marriage, these activists strongly agree that the Supreme Court decision must be reversed.

They want the debate on discrimination - then let's have it

Christian conservatives are busy trying to blunt or nullify anti-discrimination laws with their version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applied on the state level. Yet, in 28 states, someone can get married over the weekend and fired on Monday morning for having done so. What is “Christian” about that?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

No Mr. Anderson - Marriage equality was never about YOU

Ryan T. Anderson

Uber Catholic, Ryan T. Anderson, is obsessed with his public persona (and fragile ego). Saturday, at Heritage Foundation's blog, he writes “Will Gay Marriage Dissidents Be Treated Like Racists?” Anderson requires parsing because, lacking persuasive skills he is inherently manipulative. A “dissident” is opposed to the policies of an authoritarian regime.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The already unhinged Janet Porter goes for meltdown

Click to enlarge
Ever since the Supreme Court ruled on Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, Christian crackpot Janet Folger Porter has been trying to convince state attorneys general to file for a rehearing. She has been writing in emails “if just ONE judge is sick, absent, or worried about their 'legitimacy,' we WIN.” Well, not exactly.

The men she is referring to are the attorneys general of Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky; Mike DeWine, Bill Schuette, Herbert Slatery and Jack Conway respectively. She goes on to write:
When our business are closed and Christianity is Criminalized, can you say you did ALL you could to stop it?

Don't think you can win? It doesn't matter. Defend us to the END.


A Month Later - an Update on the National License-to-Discriminate Act

One month has elapsed since the so-called First Amendment Defense Act (S.1598 and H.R.2802) was introduced in both houses of Congress. I have written before about this bill. While portrayed as some form of protection for people who believe that marriage is restricted to the union of a man and a woman, the reality is that it would permit wholesale discrimination by anyone who disapproves of gay people. The intent of the bill is to permit discrimination. The Christian 83% majority does not require special rights.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Thunderstorms in Miami Beach present a wealth opportunity

Imagine if I claimed to have been hit by lightning. At that very moment I saw Jesus and converted to Christianity. And, of course, the gay is gone. I am now a full-fledged white Christian heterosexual and I am entitled to every benefit that inures to the controlling majority. I'd go to Hooters but Jesus would not approve.

NOM trying to prove it has political relevance

According to National Organization for Marriage, “Iowa is Key” — send us money. They are “hard at work” doing exactly what? How are they using contributions to affect the outcome of the Iowa caucus. And so what? Brian Brown goes on to recall that Rick Santorum, their candidate won the Iowa caucus in 2012. Santorum is, and was, irrelevant. But “Iowa is key.” Seriously? With a straight face?

Ryan Anderson insists that his anti-gay advocacy is comparable to being "pro-life"

Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson of Heritage Foundation and Witherspoon Institute has a piece Tuesday in the Federalist titled “Will Marriage Dissidents Be Treated As Bigots Or Pro-Lifers?” The subtitle reads:
Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, but it could not designate abortion opponents as bigots. Will the same happen to marriage dissidents after Obergefell?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Send Perkins money - "Answer growing persecution of American Christians"

Christians are apparently a persecuted minority in spite of the fact that they comprise 83% of American citizenry. Sometimes I think that the only thing that makes these people happy is to be miserable victims. Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council is very happy with the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Monday, July 13, 2015

NOM trying to raise money off of SG Verrilli

Donald B. Verrilli
US Solicitor General
The latest polemic from National Organization for Marriage in its quest to convince people that it should continue to exist it titled “We Must Fight Back Together.” Fight back against what exactly? Gays legally marrying who would otherwise be shacking up? Children whose parents are finally married? Gay kids with a brighter outlook for the future? These folks who always have both hands out take responsibility for nothing. They are accountable for nothing.

I'm going to skip through the first part of the muck which seems to ask for money every other sentence. I want to get to the part about Donald Verrilli, Solicitor General of the United States.

NOM front group: 'We Will Not Obey Unjust Law"

William Owens struggling to get to five
In response to the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges (and, yes, this is getting very tedious) the Coalition of African American Pastors has released a statement calling for protest. We cannot discern their agenda. Do they think that Justice Kennedy will change his mind? Exactly what are they trying to accomplish?
We are calling on Christians and people of faith in all areas of society, especially those in leadership positions, to refuse to obey unjust laws that have legalized same-sex unions, and to join our movement that will take back our Constitution and our rights.

Kelvin Cochran whines: I 'absolutely' want my job back

Kelvin Cochran
Atlanta's terminated fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, might be a dim bulb but he has been well prepped and he has learned the script. Get ready for another year of whining — and then some. Cochran, you might recall, wrote a self-published book that demeaned women (thous should be subservient to men) and denigrated gays. Cochran originally claimed that he gave the book to two or three people in the department. Turns out that he gave it to about 18 subordinates. He created a disruption in the workplace that caused at least one employee to complain to a city councilman.

Friday, July 10, 2015

"They" are still bitching about marriage

I am finishing my move today (did I really need that thousand pound KitchenAid mixer?). Just glancing at my news aggregator, I cannot help but observe that the Christian right remains consumedobsessed with same-sex marriage. The energy that is not spent on the marriage itself is reserved for the right of public servants to demonstrate their disapproval by refusing to serve same-sex couples.

None of this ardor for discrimination is going to make a whit of difference. Marriage equality is the law of the land. The debate has come to and end. The issue is settled.

In contrast, the president of Fordham University (a Jesuit priest I think) set the right tone over the same-sex marriage of the head of the university's theology department. The official statement reads:
While Catholic teachings do not support same-sex marriage, we wish Professor Hornbeck and his spouse a rich life filled with many blessings on the occasion of their wedding in the Episcopal Church. Professor Hornbeck is a member of the Fordham community, and like all University employees, students and alumni, is entitled to human dignity without regard to race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation.”

Thursday, July 9, 2015

NOM's plan is "generating support" - Where?

NOM should be more careful about where they are getting their stock images:

I'm in the process of moving. Nevertheless, I did not miss the latest feel-good-send-us-money from National Organization for Marriage. According to Brian Brown, their five-point plan is generating support.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The strange fiction of marriage "resistance"

Wednesday, James Matthew Wilson writes at the orthodox Catholic Crisis Magazine a piece titled “One More Nail in the Coffin.” I refuse to debate the merits of same-sex marriage. That matter is at an end. Concluded. Done. Marriage equality is the law of the land. However, a couple of items in Mr. Wilson's article caught my attention. Mr. Wilson, by the way, is an associate professor of religion and literature in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on gay “marriage,” … all persons of good will have a moral obligation to resist its march …

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Eleven days of summer

Ryan T. Anderson
What happened is that equality opponents have come to believe their own bullshit.”

Eleven days have passed since the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges which made marriage equality the law of the land. Eleven days (including two Sundays) and Christian conservatives seem stuck in a delusional self-reinforcing bubble where perspective and critical thinking dare not enter.

Apparently if they write enough polemics castigating the Court at First Things, The Stream, Public Discourse (Witherspoon), Charisma and Daily Signal (Heritage) Justice Kennedy will change his mind? What is the point of the endless whine? Yesterday I received an email from nutty Janet Porter saying that “marriage can still be saved” if they get a petition for rehearing and engineer the recusals of Justices Ginsburg and Kagan. Simple enough. It has all the reality of clapping to bring Tinkerbell back to life.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Let us have a civil disobedience

The marriage debate is done but there are dead enders. Several conservative Christian leaders have been calling for civil disobedience in response to the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. Matt Barber entertained me with his version this morning at the Christian Post titled “Christians, It May Be Time for Civil Disobedience.” I am not sure that I understand exactly what Barber, nor any similar advocates, think Christians should disobey. There are just so many wedding vendors.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Plural marriage is irrelevant and marriage equality is done - Finished - Over

The usual suspects (From Ryan Anderson to Huckabee to Perkins et al) seem intent on continuing a debate on an issue that has been resolved. Marriage discrimination in the United States is finished. Marriage equality is the law of the land. Complaining about the five affirming justices of the Supreme Court is not going to change that. Nor is criticizing the way that the opinion was written. Nor does claiming that Justices Kagan and Ginsburg should resign because they officiated same-sex marriages in places where they were already legal. They are not going anywhere.

There does not exist coherent debate over marriage equality because it is a done deal. There are no points to be won. The controversy ended on July 26.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Second-class citizenship in one small Texas town depicts a more widespread problem for gays

On Friday, June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court announced its landmark marriage equality decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. On that same day in Granbury, Texas (population 8,800), Hood County Clerk Katie Lang refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The following Tuesday Lang announced that she would not comply with the ruling until a court told her that she was violating the law. She called the Supreme Court decision “a newly invented right.”

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The insane Janet Porter has it all figured out

Janet Porter
I just received an email from Janet Porter titled “How to Overturn the Marriage Ruling.”

Step one is simply to get Justices Kagan and Ginsburg disqualified because they were not impartial due to the fact that they officiated same-sex marriages (in states where it was legal prior to Obergefell).

Step two is to get Mike DeWine, Ohio AG, to file a motion for rehearing which the Supreme Court will accede to and voila — a 5 to 4 decision turns into a 4 to 3 reversal. Sure.

Will Mr. Perkins pay their legal fees? Bail?

Tony Perkins

Last night a breathless Tony Perkins, head of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, informed supporters by email that there are hundreds of people laying in wait to frustrate the nuptials of gay couples:
From small counties in Arkansas to busy towns in Texas, there are hundreds of people ready to defend the ground five unelected justices took from voters. The Court may have changed their definition of marriage, Kentucky clerk Chris Cockrell explained, but he isn't prepared to change his. If that means going to jail, so be it. And according to the state's ACLU, that's no empty threat. “Two things can happen if a Kentucky clerk won't issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple,” warned one [unnamed] law professor. “They can resign or go to jail.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Staver claims that gay marriage has created a climate like Nazi Germany

Mat Staver, head of the anti-gay hate group Liberty Counsel, needs a history lesson. It's no secret that many of these conservative Christians are anti-Semitic. It's a charge that they will counter by asserting their support of Israel. One thing has nothing to do with the other. Mr. Staver thinks that it is perfectly acceptable to exploit murdered Jews.

My friends over at Right Wing Watch are reporting that Staver said:

Article of faith or demonstration of disapproval?

Mr. Perkins is smiling and frowning at the same time for a reason
We don't make laws – we should not make laws – that facilitate the disapproval of a minority group.

Since last Friday's Supreme Court's marriage decision conservative Christian groups have tossed around many suggestions for “resistance” to what is now the law of the land. They are also using grassroots activism to further the First Amendment Defense Act (more on that here) which would provide express federal permission to discriminate in order to demonstrate their disapproval of gay people.

FADA is not going to become federal law (it seemingly lacks sufficient support). However, the intellectually dishonest arguments for its passage will persist. It is the argument that deserves attention.