RECENT  POSTS:  » Anti-gay clerks are going to have to do their jobs. Because of course they are. » Jeb really wants to remind voters of his anti-'same status' plan for gay couples » Maine: NOM finally forced to hand over its tiny, out-of-state, incestuous donor roll » This delusional primary: Huckabee claims 'same-sex marriage is not the law of the land' » The 'Yeah. Duh. Of course' phase of this fight » Trailer: 'Stonewall' » And now NOM is literally pleading with its (theoretical) supporters » Add 'professional advocate for anti-gay scouting' to list of bygone career choices » NOM to lasso the White House with a rosary. Or something. » NOM's new plan? To beat up its org-crushing loss until it becomes a win.  

07/15/2015

The religious anti-gay crowd: They never understood the marriage fight; now they don't understand their loss

by Jeremy Hooper

Over on the Family Research Council's blog, one of the viciously anti-LGBT group's more recent hires, Travis Weber, posts yet another bit of defiance in the wake of the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision. In this one, Travis makes the case that many churches will never accept the ruling:

[T]here is the unspoken assumption that after the Supreme Court speaks those who object to its decision will roll over and submit.

In the vast majority of cases that would be true. In this instance, however, the Supreme Court has badly misjudged the situation because its edict explicitly contradicts the teaching of the Church on matters of the definition of marriage and the dual nature of human sexuality (male/female complementarity). These are not negotiable positions. The press trumpets announcements from every wayward church but ignores the real story.

The real story is that orthodox churches have almost instantly discerned the severity of the situation but have not retreated an inch in refusing to accept the redefinition of marriage.

FULL: Obergefell Prompts Instant, Unflinching Resistance in the True Church ¿ Reaction of Tenth Presbyterian (Philadelphia) [FRC]

And then he goes on to give an example of one such church.

To which I ask: So what? The Supreme Court decision was about civil marriage equality, with religious ceremonial discussions left, as they have always been, with the churches. Some churches have and will move toward offering religious ceremonies to same-sex couples, and some will not (just as they deny ceremonies to other kinds of couples). That is not our fight. That was never the marriage equality movement's fight.

Even if every church in America vowed to deny religious ceremonies to gay couples, it wouldn't change one thing—not one word, letter, or period—about the Obergefell decision and its fifty-state granting of rights and protections. These are civil protections, independent of ancillary church ceremonies. The militant groups like FRC have never been able to accept that distinction. I'm not sure they ever will. The only difference? Our continued need to care (or lack thereof) about their grumblings and gripes.

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07/14/2015

Professionally discriminatory Americans to waste more precious mortality fighting battle we've already won

by Jeremy Hooper

Some of the funniest failed characters in all of anti-LGBTdom (Peter LaBarbera, Janet Porter, Willie Owens) are vowing to keep fighting forever to stop same-sex marriage. In :

New Coalition Pledges To Fight Gay Marriage [Texas Observer]

In an overcompensating fashion reliable of this movement, they are calling the coalition "REAL MARRIAGE." You know, just in case their seeming need to pull themselves away from their own spouses in order to focus on strangers' marriages didn't make their confidence and satisfaction with their own relational affairs seem tenuous enough.

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Audio: NOM cofounder, Princeton professor Robert George compares secret Nazi teacher to out gay teacher

by Jeremy Hooper

When teacher Margie Winters was hired at Waldron Mercy Academy in 2007, she says she told the Philadelphia area Catholic school that she is married to a woman. According to Winters, the school requested she just not discus it with parents or kids, a rule by which she says she abided. However, after some parents found out earlier this year, Winters was asked to resign from her position. When Winters refused to resign her position of nearly eight years, the school fired her.

According to Robert George, the National Organization For Marriage cofounder and Princeton University professor who conservatives consider a great scholar (he coauthored the Bush era Federal Marriage Amendment), this situation is comparable to a secret Nazi who has a personal life that's at odds with the school's teachings:

[Drew Mariani Show]

Let's first talk about Mr. George's two caveats about Naziism being different from homosexuality. What point do they serve other than to make Mr. George feel better? Because he is, indeed, comparing the two types of "personal life" behavior. Out of all the billions of things he could choose to compare to a same-sex marriage, he chose Nazism. That is a choice that few, other than hardcore anti-gay activists with deeply entrenched agendas, would even dream of making.

And since he did make it, let's talk about the obvious difference. Nazism, as an ideology and/or practice, is one that should be of great concern to an employer because it would mean an employee who has a professed refusal to acknowledge the worth and dignity of certain "undesirables." In a role of teacher, this concern would be obviously exacerbated. A person who subscribes to this set of beliefs is likely not in full accordance with the curriculum of the school. If this came to light, it likely would be of great concern to parents and faculty alike.

But being a human being who was born gay and who is lucky enough to have found a life partner to marry? That's not like being a closet Nazi. At all. In any ballpark. Again, except that ballpark that the rest of us are quickly realizing as unworthy of serious discussion among serious people, yet the one that conservative America still seems to embrace as both its present and its future.

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07/13/2015

And now we start checking 'em all off the list (#LoveWins #MoreThanMarriage)

by Jeremy Hooper

While neither of these long-sought-after LGBT rights developments, both of which broke this afternoon, are specifically related to marriage, you can be sure that the Supreme Court's ruling is a major reason why we see things falling into place in other areas:

Boy Scouts Panel Adopts Resolution To Allow Gay Scout Leaders [NPR]

Pentagon To Lift Ban On Transgender Service Members [HRC]

This summer's game-changing ruling and unbelievable outpouring of support solidified our momentum, and it also freed up space for other focuses. It's part of that psychological shift I talked about prior to the ruling. The citizens of the United States now know, without a doubt, that LGBT rights are moving forward, are winners in the eyes of the law, and earn widespread embrace upon implementation.

In this summer of blockbusters, we've all seen the #LoveWins movie play out before us. Our sails have the wind; our banks have the capital. Overdue and unjust discrimination is on notice.

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Unable to grumpily take ball and go home, Missouri county uses flags for childish marriage equality protest

by Jeremy Hooper

When it comes to making us look even better in the wake of victory, Dent County, Missouri just did the victorious equality movement a solid:

The Dent County Commission voted unanimously Monday to observe one year of "mourning” over the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision that gay couples have the constitutional right to marriage.

The observance will come in the form of lowering the flags at the Dent County Courthouse and Judicial Building to below half-staff on the 26th day of the month from July 2015 to June 2016.
COUNTY COMMISSION: Flags to fly less than half-staff over gay marriage ruling [Salem News Online]

So move over, whatever thing for which Dent County was most famous before this year. For at least the next few decades, this will be the reputation pockmark that makes every prior disaster seem like a, well—dent.

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Then you're being bad allies, Walker boys

by Jeremy Hooper

The media has found a story in the fact that Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker, who staunchly opposes marriage equality and supports measures to overturn the Supreme Court's decision, has two young and photogenic sons (ages nineteen and twenty-one) who both support marriage equality. Some have reported it positively, as a sign of the stark and inevitable rate of change even among Republicans. Others have questioned if perhaps it's an attempt for Walker to have it both ways, courting social conservative with his far-right stance while also having disagreement within his own home. Both views have merit, in my opinion.

But what doesn't hold merit and certainly doesn't deserve praise? These quips, which the Walker boys floated out to CNN over the weekend:

“We talked to him, like any family we have disagreements,” said Matt [Walker]. “He just explained his position and that was it.”

“Matt and I aren’t necessarily changing his stances on any issues,” added Alex [Walker]. “We respect his opinion on things.”

FULL:
Scott Walker’s Sons Say They Respect Their Dad’s Anti-LGBT Views, Don’t Try to Change His Mind – VIDEO [Towle]

No. No, no, no, no—a thousand times, no.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 At 1.44.30 PmFirst of all, Scott Walker's is not merely an "opinion." He has actual power, and he seeks much more of it. He's open to the idea of an amendment to the US Constitution that would ban marriages for same-sex couples. He opposes a whole host of other protections. His "opinions" are ones that would come at a great cost to the very citizens who the Walker boys claim to support. And since Dad Walker is seeking the presidency, we have to take him at his word that these "opinions" are ones that he would strive to put into policy.

Second, there is no "disagreement" on this topic. Not anymore. Marriage equality is the law of the land in all fifty states. This happened after a very lengthy national conversation with every kind of test—legislative, judicial, executive, cultural, etc.—imaginable. Civil marriage rights for same-sex couples won this debate. It is now part of the United States of America. Dad Walker might not love that truth, but it is indeed a truth. When the younger Walkers say they support it, they are simply saying they acknowledge and respect reality. There is no real disagreement anymore. That phase is done. We won.

Third, if you are not willing to try to change the stances of a father who is seeking high office, and you are in fact trying to get him elected into that very office, then your lack of effort is failing the people who you claim to support. In this case, trying to change his stance is *EXACTLY* what good allies should be trying to do. Because he's wrong. He's just plain wrong. And his wrong-headed ideas are deeply hurtful ones that seek to rollback hard-fought wins. His "stances" literally seek to take away court-tested civil rights. His "position" is not simply another side of the coin—it is the discriminatory view of a tyrannical banker who refuses to accept those coins from those people.

If this is the way the Walker sons are going to play this one, then they can certainly call themselves personal supporters of marriage equality. And that's great. It is the consensus position of their generation. It's also the only right answer.

But if they are not going to fight from within for the change they want to see in the world, then they can't really call themselves allies. My allies don't stand around with their hands in their pockets while their ringleader wages moldy "culture wars" against my family.

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Video: Focus on the Family finally owning childishness of their arguments

by Jeremy Hooper

The Supreme Court should be put in time out, suggests a Focus on the Family staffer who is as reliably qualified as most Focus on the Family staffers to make such an argument:

This isn't something I make my child do, personally. Then again, I don't want to indoctrinate the way Focus on the Family does.

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07/10/2015

National Organization For Stock Photo Models is super pumped about ongoing marriage fight

by Jeremy Hooper

The National Organization For Marriage just issued one of its near-daily fundraising pleas in which they claim to have a plan to still stay relevant even though marriage equality is the law of the land in all fifty states and federally. The plan goes something like, "Blarty blarty blah blah, smoogity boogity, give us your money (paraphrase)."

But even though everyone else knows it's over, I can't help but laugh at NOM's continued attempts to use stock photo models to represent the enthusiasm that they have never been able to achieve. To wit:

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 At 2.02.11 Pm [NOM]

Look how happy! And energetic! And diverse!

Of course the truth is anything but. When NOM holds any sort of event, the crowd is either (a) tiny or (b) bussed in from other places (usually from NY state senator Ruben Diaz' church network). And their lingering coalition is not at all diverse, but is rather made up of a dwindling (and aging) band of conservative religious people who failed to understand and/or respect civil/religious separation in this nation. And even many of those folks realize that this fight is over, even if they wish it weren't.

Why is NOM so infamous for using hilariously off-base stock photos? Easy: Because this group has been a charade from start to finish. It's always been a ridiculous political operation that did more harm to its stated cause than it ever did good. Now, in loss, you can throw a hefty dose of desperation into the mix.

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07/08/2015

Video: The one clip to share with friends who think 'religious freedom' is something other than discrimination

by Jeremy Hooper

This chilling clip of a Kentucky gay couple being denied a civil marriage license is quickly going viral. The "religious freedom" advocates surely hate that it is. If not, they should:

Put the clip behind a grainy black and white filter, and it's like watching a documentary from another time. Put the clip all over the internet, and it becomes a damning piece of evidence from our own time.

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07/07/2015

Tony Perkins: If American Christians accept SCOTUS marriage ruling, Christians will be killed elsewhere

by Jeremy Hooper

Tony Perkins is on a bit of a church tour right now, giving the same basic speech everywhere he goes. His closing message to the faithful? That if they tolerate the Obergefell decision, it's going to lead to Christians being murdered overseas:

[St Andrew Baptist Church - Panama City, FL]

No matter what anyone anywhere does to Christians anywhere, including but not limited to murder, Tony will always find a way to blame us and our peaceful inclusion within civil society for making or at least contributing to it happening. The sooner we all know and accept that about Tony, a man who still plays a role in Republican party politics and certainly in conservative media, the better we will be able to process this man's agenda and his ongoing role in American civil rights conversations.

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