A 13-year-old Jewish boy has used his Bar Mitzvah speech to call for same-sex couples in his home state of Oregon to be granted the right to marry. The US state currently only recognises same-sex marriages conducted elsewhere. Watch Duncan McAlpine Sennett take his synagogue with him as he explains why the biblical definition of marriage is nothing like what those who oppose equality say it is, and by the end you’ll be cheering him on like his local Jewish community.
After the 2012 election, right-wing activists immediately declared that Mitt Romney lost because he was not conservative enough and that Republican candidates must run to the right if they want to succeed in general elections.
Last night in the swing state of Virginia, however, two extremely conservative candidates both lost in their statewide bids, the first time since 1977 that a candidate from the party that lost the presidential election failed to win the Virginia gubernatorial race.
Not only did the Religious Right dream team in Virginia lose both races, but so did an Alabama Republican who ran even farther to the right than his conservative opponent. These defeats come at a time that the Senate is set to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with bipartisan support and two states—Illinois and Hawaii—are poised to legalize same-sex marriage.
- See more at: rightwingwatch.org
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie dropped his legal challenge to gay marriage in New Jersey today, only hours after same-sex couples began exchanging wedding vows throughout the state.
Christie’s unexpected decision to withdraw his appeal of a major case at the state Supreme Court marks the end of a decade-long legal battle. It means that a lower-court ruling allowing gay couples to marry in New Jersey stands as the law.
New Jersey is now the 14th state to legalize gay marriage, and the first to do so in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in June striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
“Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law,” said Colin Reed, a spokesman for Christie. “The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.” […]
This past weekend was the Values Voters Summit, in which the Family Research Council welcomes its fellow social conservative groups together to show how many lawmakers they can attract to such an audience. As usual, the weekend was rife with anti-choice and anti-gay rhetoric, but as Justin Snow at MetroWeekly points out, very few lawmakers mentioned LGBT issues in their speeches. Still, attendees voted that “religious liberty” was the most important issue for conservatives, a dog whistle for the arguments used to oppose most LGBT rights.
Though elected officials like Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Tim Scott (R-SC) avoided the topic of LGBT issues, plenty of others who spoke at the conference filled in the gap. Thanks in particular to coverage from People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch, here is a glimpse of what social conservatives have to say about LGBT people:
1. Marriage Equality Attempts To “Deconstruct The Very Nature Of Reality”
The National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown was adamant that marriage equality is not a “live and let live debate.” Indeed, same-sex marriage, he explained, is an attempt to deconstruct the very nature of reality, the very nature of what it means to be a human being”:
2. Boys Will Pretend To Be Transgender To Get Into The Girls’ Locker Room
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee took to the stage to rail against California’s new law protecting transgender students. He joked that if the law were in place when he was in high school, all the boys would have pretended to be transgender so they could shower in the girls’ locker room, adding, “isn’t that the craziest thing you’ve ever heard?”
Watch Huckabee’s full remarks on the Values Voter Summit website (anti-trans remarks begin around 17:23).
3. Marriage Equality Belongs “In the Dustbin Of History” With Slavery
Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel was outraged that the Supreme Court “had the audacity” to rule against the Defense of Marriage Act and imply that those who oppose marriage equality are bigoted. He compared the decision to the Dred Scott decision, which upheld slavery, and suggested that Windsor belongs in the “dustbins of history” along with it.
Watch Staver’s full remarks on the Values Voter Summit website (anti-equality remarks begin around 13:58)
Former head of the hate group Family Research Council and presidential candidate Gary Bauer uncorks some hate speech, paranoia, and overall bad craziness:
Gary Bauer yesterday marked the anniversary of the shooting at the Washington D.C. office of the Family Research Council, the group he used to lead, by asking members of his Campaign for Working Families to work against marriage equality.
He compared the attempted shooting by Floyd Lee Corkins, who was convicted of committing an act of terrorism, with the “judicial terrorism” of the Supreme Court in the two recent marriage equality cases: “while Corkins thankfully failed in his attack on FRC, five liberal justices on our Supreme Court committed an act of judicial terrorism that struck at the very foundation of our constitutional republic.”
It seems as though America is on the verge of criminalizing the Book of Genesis. And with Obamacare’s assault on conscience, the danger to religious liberty cannot be overstated.
Proposition 8 is dead.
The California Supreme Court pulled the plug Wednesday on any last hopes for anti-gay marriage proponents to resuscitate the law that banned same-sex marriage in the Golden State.
“Today’s decision reaffirms that all loving, committed couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the freedom to marry in every county across the state,” says John Lewis, Marriage Equality USA legal and policy director.
In closed session, the state supreme court “rejected arguments by ProtectMarriage, Proposition 8’s sponsors, that only an appellate court could overturn a statewide law,” the L.A. Times reported.
Proposition 8 backers are now out of legal challenges.
The Department of Defense announced a plan Wednesday to extend a range of federal benefits to same-sex spouses of military service members starting Sept. 3.
The Pentagon will extend to legally married same-sex couples the same privileges and programs that are provided to legally married heterosexual couples, including benefits tied to health care, housing, and family separation allowance, compensation paid to military members when their dependents can’t live with them at their permanent duty station.
A federal judge ruled on Monday that Ohio must recognize the out-of-state marriage of John Arthur and James Obergefell, though the limited ruling will only apply to Arthur and Obergefell’s union. Still, the court’s decision is being celebrated by gay rights supporters as a positive sign for marriage equality in the state.
What the DOMA decision does not immediately improve is the lot of same-sex couples who live in the thirty-seven states without marriage equality. Thirty-one of those states go further, with bans on same-sex marriage—their own versions of DOMA. Nor does it simplify the situations of couples who are legally married in one state but move to another where same-sex marriage is not legal. Windsor struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which dealt with the federal government, but it left untouched Section 2, which allows states to deny recognition to other states’ marriages. Indeed, the victory in Windsor was grounded in the notion that marriage law has traditionally been left up to the states. So while Justice Anthony Kennedy’s language in the opinion—his powerful invocations of dignity and respect and equal protection—will certainly give aid and comfort to anyone trying to overturn the state-level DOMAs, it doesn’t help much in the practical short term.
These “mini-DOMAs,” as the legal scholar Steve Sanders calls them this week on the SCOTUS blog, “deny legal recognition to the marriages of same-sex couples who migrate from states where such marriages are perfectly legal; some expressly purport to ‘void’ such marriages.” For same-sex couples living in “mini-DOMA states,” the uneven landscape of marriage equality means that “Windsor simply creates new legal dilemmas.”
The Obama Administration could help insure that the Windsor decision, which it applauded, helps as many couples as possible by encouraging all of its agencies to adopt a “place of celebration standard”—that is, to recognize marriages based on where they were performed rather than on where the couple resides. On immigration matters, this is the rule already; that’s why Marsh and Popov prevailed. Though they live in Florida, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, they were wed in New York, which does. Or, as Julian Marsh put it, “We are first-class citizens in New York and in the eyes of the federal government, but second-class citizens in Florida.”