While serving as governor of Utah, I pushed for civil unions and expanded reciprocal benefits for gay citizens. I did so not because of political pressure—indeed, at the time 70 percent of Utahns were opposed—but because as governor my role was to work for everybody, even those who didn’t have access to a powerful lobby. Civil unions, I believed, were a practical step that would bring all citizens more fully into the fabric of a state they already were—and always had been—a part of.
That was four years ago. Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love.
All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution, or a town hall. This does not mean that any religious group would be forced by the state to recognize relationships that run counter to their conscience. Civil equality is compatible with, and indeed promotes, freedom of conscience.
Religious freedom is not just for heterosexuals – we should not deny anyone the right to make a lifelong commitment to another person in front of God if that is what they believe and that is what their church allows.
– Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary and member of the British Conservative Party, supporting Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposal to legalize same sex marriage in Britain. The first parliamentary vote on the proposal, in the House of Commons, will be held on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in France:
The French National Assembly has approved the most important article of a bill to legalise same-sex marriage.
Deputies voted 249-97 in favour of redefining marriage as being an agreement between two people – not just between a man and a woman.
You would think that Barack Obama would be able to learn from some of his mistakes. Here was one such mistake. Obama invited Rick Warren, an anti-gay rights pastor, to deliver the invocation at his first inaugural.
And now, he has done it again, by selecting Rev. Louie Giglio, from Atlanta. Here is what Giglio said as part of a sermon in the 1990s:
In [the sermon], Mr. Giglio cites Scripture in saying that homosexuality “is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin in the word of God.” He warned against gay rights. “That movement is not a benevolent movement,” he said. “It is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society.”
You can listen to the entire sermon here.
It seems to me that Obama should insist on some sort of explanation from Giglio as to his current views before allowing him to speak at the inauguration. It probably won’t help, but you should sign this petition at the White House.
Update: Well, I was wrong and it didn’t take long for the pastor to remove himself from the event.
- White House Has No Comment on Anti-Gay Inaugural Pastor Choice (my.firedoglake.com)
- White House Mum On Inaugural Benediction Speaker’s Past Comments On Gays (buzzfeed.com)
- Inaugural Benediction To Be Delivered By Pastor Who Gave Vehemently Anti-Gay Sermon (thinkprogress.org)
- Is Obama pulling another Rick Warren? (salon.com)
- White House petitioned to replace ‘antigay’ Pastor Louie Giglio at second Obama inaugural (miamiherald.typepad.com)
For the very first time in the US, voters in two states, Maryland and Maine, approved gay marriage. Washington votes by mail and the votes are not yet tabulated, but it is likely that it too will approve.
Welcome to liberal America.
Today, same-sex couples are marrying, under the law, in Massachusetts. Some gays are actually having children born to them. We’ve been asked to change their birth certificates to remove the phrase “mother” and “father” and replace it with “parent A” and “parent B.” It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact. Every child has the right to have a mother and father.
More info on the Minister who seems to change his position unexpected (to himself). Bizarre.
Update: More from Andrew Sullivan.
More videos of Mitt Romney’s refusal to recognize the rights of gays and lesbians or claiming to support such rights and then turning his back are available here . They are part of the Mitt Gets Worse campaign, which shows the contrasts between the current republican party and its presidential candidate and those who help care about all Americans, like the very effective project to help gay teens in distress called It Gets Better.
The “Mitt Gets Worse” campaign, launched Wednesday by the Courage Campaign Super PAC and American Bridge 21st Century, is a compilation of video testimonies from people who describe Romney as insensitive and willing to put his political ambitions ahead of equality. The campaign’s website also features video of Romney discussing LGBT rights as far back as 1994, when he ran unsuccessfully for US Senate.
(via Andrew Sullivan)
- ‘Mitt Gets Worse’ Project Warns Of Romney’s Anti-LGBT Record (thinkprogress.org)
- Super PACs say Mitt Romney would roll back LGBT protections in new attack (boston.com)
- New Anti-Romney Campaign Sees Activists Warning “Mitt Gets Worse” (queerty.com)
- Mitt Romney’s Gay Rights Record Targeted In ‘Mitt Gets Worse’ Campaign (ontopmag.com)
- WATCH: “Mitt Gets Worse” Points Out Romney’s Devolution On Marriage Equality (queerty.com)
Most Norte Americanos will no doubt be shocked to learn that their neighbors to the south have implemented what in many ways is a model of modern democratic practices.
Indeed, in this year when the United States is engaged in a ferocious campaign for the presidency, the question that ought to be asked is: How does the U.S. electoral system compare to Mexico’s? I undertook a comprehensive study of the electoral systems in North America, and the good news is that the United States came in third. The bad news is that there are only three countries in North America.
In particular, the Mexican approach to campaign finance could not stand in starker contrast to our own.
Each of Mexico’s main political parties receive approximately $24 million of public financing for a three-month campaign. They can also receive 10% of their funds from supporters, but no one can give more than $71,000. In contrast, in the United States, there will be an estimated $6 billion raised privately, and with the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money. Major contributors could have extraordinary access and substantial influence over public policy. Some would define that as corruption on a scale that even the drug cartels couldn’t compete.
Other aspects of the Mexican system may generate unintended consequences.
IFE actively registers about 95% of 77 million eligible voters and gives each a biometric, photo ID card, which Mexicans use as a primary identification.
…the more they remain the same. Obama spoke out in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. At the same time, a woman in Lincoln, Nebraska, offered this rather incoherent ramble in opposition to a proposed LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance there:
At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has pledged to support an amendment to the United States Constitution defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. And yesterday, Romney said that he even opposes civil unions:
My view is the same as it’s been from the beginning. I don’t favor civil unions if it’s identical to marriage, and I don’t favor marriage between people of the same gender. If a civil union is identical to marriage other than with the name, why, I don’t support that.
Mitt Romney has been forced to say, ‘Look, I overstepped my bounds here. I went outside the parameters here. I went off the reservation with this hire. The pro-family community has called me back to the table here. Called me back inside the borders of the reservation.’
– Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, bragging about the departure from the Romney campaign of an openly gay conservative foreign policy adviser, Richard Grennell. I guess that Mitt’s Etch-a-Sketch must be broken.
- Open thread for night owls: Delusional hatemonger Bryan Fischer, the media and discourse (dailykos.com)
- AFA’s Bryan Fischer Declares ‘Huge Win’ Over Romney Spokesperson’s Resignation (thinkprogress.org)
- CNN contributor and homophobe Bryan Fischer declares ‘huge win’ against gay Romney staffer (dailykos.com)
Omaha is considering the adoption of an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting gays and lesbians. Check out the wacko “christian” testimony against the proposal.
- Omaha Nondiscrimination Protections Face Proposed Limitations (thinkprogress.org)
- Nebraska Churches Buy Full-Page Ad To Oppose LGBT-Friendly Nondiscrimination Protections (thinkprogress.org)
- Nebraska Bill Would Block LGBT Protections In Omaha Anti-Discrimination Law (queerty.com)
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that Proposition 8, amending the California Constitution by eliminating the previously determined right to same-sex marriage under California law, was unconstitutional under the United States Constitution. The decision was made on narrow grounds.
Essentially the majority rules that, because California has previously allowed same-sex marriages, Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because it eliminated a previous right to same-sex marriages. The majority ruled that there was no rational basis for treating same-sex married couples differently that opposite-sex married couples since existing domestic partnership law in California gave each and every right other than the right to use the term “marriage” to same-sex couples. In effect, the majority concluded that the only effect of Proposition 8 was to denigrate the status of same-sex couples by denying their relationships the term of “marriage.” This, the majority concluded, was not a rational basis for Proposition 8. In the words of the court:
[b]y using their initiative power to target a minority group and withdraw a right that it possessed, without a legitimate reason for doing so, the People of California violated the Equal Protection Clause.
More from Jonathan Turley here.
You can read the decision here.
Tomorrow, sometime around or before 10 am, west coast time, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will release its opinion regarding California’s proposition 8.
I will go out on a limb and predict that the court will conclude that (i) Judge Vaughn Walker, the trial court judge, was not required to recuse himself from the trial merely because he may or may not be gay, (ii) the backers of Proposition 8 were entitled to defend the proposition given that both the California Governor and it’s Attorney General refused to do so, and (iii) Judge Walker’s decision that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional is correct. More info here. In any event, it would be reasonable to expect an immediate appeal to the US Supreme Court or a motion for rehearing en banc.
We shall see. The West Hollywood City Hall will be a crowded place in the morning.
- California gay wedding ban ruling due Tuesday in Proposition 8 case (mercurynews.com)
- Ruling Expected Tuesday On Federal Proposition 8 Appeal (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- Gay-marriage backers eagerly await appeals court’s Prop. 8 ruling (latimesblogs.latimes.com)