Tag Archives: gay marriage

Did NY same sex marriage proponents give away the farm with religious exemptions?

Posted on by

The good news is that the New York state legislature finally approved a law that will allow same sex marriage. The bad news is that in order for this great thing to happen, changes in the law will allow religious sects AND the non-church businesses they operate to discriminate against gays without any legal repercussions. In the zeal to get these new rights for the LGBT community, did proponents give away the farm?
Continue reading

Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights

Posted on by

The court decision that overturned California Proposition 8 supports the American foundation of equal legal protection and could also be applied to future questions about freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion.

Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples. (pp 135 line 3)

Prop 8 Ruling FINAL

The key part is “Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights…”

It remains to be seen if that would actually work but it would be something to try in a future complaint or law suit over religious freedom issues.

Another important point is that civil rights are not open to a popularity contest and never should be.

Religious right uses actors to expose fake problem with same sex marriage

Posted on by

A religious right front group that is against same sex marriage is going to air a commercial that not only has actors giving fake personal stories but the stories have nothing to do with same sex marriage. The group, the National Organization for Marriage, instead is smearing gays by using made up problems. The Human Rights Campaign found the audition tapes and responds to the fake ad.

Human Rights Watch response to the ad includes:

The general argument of the ad is that the push for marriage equality isn’t just about rights for same-sex couples, it’s about imposing contrary values on people of faith. The examples they cite in the ad are:

(1) A California doctor who must choose between her faith and her job

(2) A member of New Jersey church group which is punished by the state because they can’t support same-sex marriage

(3) A Massachusetts parent who stands by helpless while the state teaches her son that gay marriage is okay

The facts indicate that (1) refers to the Benitez decision in California, determining that a doctor cannot violate California anti-discrimination law by refusing to treat a lesbian based on religious belief, (2) refers to the Ocean Grove, New Jersey Methodist pavilion that was open to the general public for events but refused access for civil union ceremonies (and was fined by the state for doing so) and (3) refers to the Parker decision in Massachusetts, where parents unsuccessfully sought to end public school discussions of family diversity, including of same-sex couples.

All three examples involve religious people who enter the public sphere, but don’t want to abide by the general non-discriminatory rules everyone else does. Both (1) and (2) are really about state laws against sexual orientation discrimination, rather than specifically about marriage. And (3) is about two pairs of religious parents trying to impose their beliefs on all children in public schools.

Human Rights Campaign Exposes National Organization for Marriage’s Fake Ad for Fake Problems

That’s how these religious right ads and talking points go. They use an extreme view, claim it is a problem, and say it is being forced on them. The truth is they don’t want to abide by the same rules as others do. The religious right think they are exceptional or special.

*April 14th Update*

It seems the group behind the fake ad against gay marriage was not happy that the audition tape got out so they leaned on YouTube and the version of the auditions that I linked to was pulled off the service. They also pulled off a YouTube video of the segment from The Rachel Maddow Show that discussed the fake ad and the auditions and had used only clips of the auditions. Yes the religious asshats had a NEWS clip censored.

So I decided to edit this post and remove their fake ad and its link, so if you want to see it search for it yourself.

I can’t link to the audition tapes because that link won’t work after a while so instead use your favorite search engine with these key words: National Organization for Marriage Auditions

A version somewhere in the world should be available.

Rick Warren showing his bigotry once again

Posted on by

Usually when one causes trouble in the public arena, a good move is to lay low until the dust settles as it usually does. When the selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at Barack Obama’s inaugural caused a fire storm in the gay and liberal audiences, you would think Warren would try to say as little as possible and let the issue blow itself out. Well guess again. In a 22 minute video log posted on his church’s website, on Sunday, Dr. Warren made the issue out to be the fault of the left and “Christophobes” trying to silence his free speech rights and he tried to deny he ever equated gay marriage with incest and pedophilia.

The Rachel Maddow Show, on MSNBC, on Tuesday showed a clip of the video:


Religious bigot Rick Warren to give invocation at Obama inaugural

Posted on by

Boy do I feel like a bit of a schmuck. After praising Barack Obama’s commitment to science and facts in policy decisions, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced that Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA would give the invocation at the inaugural on January 20th. Warren is not someone a progressive person would invite. Basically, to me, he is a right wing religious tool.

As the People for the American Way put it:

It is a grave disappointment to learn that pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Pastor Warren, while enjoying a reputation as a moderate based on his affable personality and his church’s engagement on issues like AIDS in Africa, has said that the real difference between James Dobson and himself is one of tone rather than substance. He has recently compared marriage by loving and committed same-sex couples to incest and pedophilia. He has repeated the Religious Right’s big lie that supporters of equality for gay Americans are out to silence pastors. He has called Christians who advance a social gospel Marxists. He is adamantly opposed to women having a legal right to choose an abortion.

I’m sure that Warren’s supporters will portray his selection as an appeal to unity by a president who is committed to reaching across traditional divides. Others may explain it as a response to Warren inviting then-Senator Obama to speak on AIDS and candidate Obama to appear at a forum, both at his church. But the sad truth is that this decision further elevates someone who has in recent weeks actively promoted legalized discrimination and denigrated the lives and relationships of millions of Americans.

Rick Warren gets plenty of attention through his books and media appearances. He doesn’t need or deserve this position of honor. There is no shortage of religious leaders who reflect the values on which President-elect Obama campaigned and who are working to advance the common good.

People For the American Way ‘Profoundly Disappointed’ that Rick Warren Will Give Invocation

And Greg Sargent over at Talking Points Memo added:

After all, the decision really gives Warren an extraordinary platform — not to mention yet another data point supporting the bogus notion that the radical Warren is some kind of “moderate.” If the first black president doesn’t mind him giving the invocation at his historic inaugural, how bad and bigoted can he really be?

Top Liberal Group Hammers Decision For Rick Warren To Deliver Obama’s Inaugural Invocation

This is also a slap to the GBLT community so soon after the tragic passage of Prop 8 in California which Warren supported.

Mike Huckabee is a religious hypocrite

Posted on by

Mike Huckabee appeared on The Daily Show to shuck his new book “Do the Right Thing” which, when boiled down, says if we all treated others as we would like to be treated then the world would be full of snow cones and candy canes. Then he talks out of the other side of his mouth trying to justify treating gay people as second class citizens.

It’s the same old story of “do as I say not as I do” when he tries to sell his Jesus principle to the TDS audience.

Huckabee’s utopia doesn’t fit the reality of his position and host Jon Stewart shines a bright light on the hypocrisy. A video of the interview follows the transcript:

Huckabee: But the point being, in those states, Jon, an average of 68% of the voters across America have affirmed traditional marriage- it’s not that they have tried to say they’re gonna ban something, as much as they’re gonna affirm what has always been-

Stewart: California did ban it, in essence they said you can’t get married-

Huckabee: Actually, they have reaffirmed what they had done before-

Stewart: But people got married in the interim and- then they went back and said you’re not- I guess my question is…

You said, reaffirming the tradition of marriage over 5000 years, which takes it back to the Old Testament, where polygamy was the norm, not a heterosexual marriage between two couples [sic] that choose each other.

Marriage has evolved greatly over those 5000 years, from a property arrangement, polygamy… we’ve redefined it constantly. It used to be that people of different races could not… marry.

It strikes me as very convenient, to go back to the Bible and say, “Hey, man… we gotta look at the way they define marriage…” Why don’t we look at the way they did slavery, in the Bible?

Huckabee: But if we change the definition, then we really do have to change it to accommodate all lifestyles. We have to say to the guy in West Texas, who had 27 wives, that’s okay. And I’m not sure that I hear alot of people arguing that that’s a great idea.

Stewart: I don’t know why polygamy has an issue here. It seems like a fundamental human right. You write in your book that all people are created equal, and yet, for gay people, you believe it is corrosive to society to allow them to have the privileges that all humans enjoy.

Huckabee: Well, there is a difference between the equality of each individual and the equality of what we do and the sameness of what we do. I mean, the fact is, marriage is under our law a privilege; it’s not an absolute defined right.

Stewart: So what if we make it that Hispanics can’t vote?

Huckabee: Well, I don’t think that’s a really good idea. I’m not sure that we should do that.

Stewart: So why can’t gay people get married?

Huckabee: Well, because marriage still means a male and a female relationship. And until the laws are overturned, it still means that.

Stewart: I disagree. I think, you know… segregation used to be the law until the courts intervened.

(applause)

Huckabee: There is a big difference between a person being black, and a person practicing a lifestyle and engaging in a marital relationship that-

Stewart: Okay. This is helpful. This gets to the crux of it- I think it’s the difference of between what you believe gay people are and what I do. And I live in New York City, so I’m just gonna make a supposition that I have more experience being around them…

(laughter and applause)

And I’ll tell you this. Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. And the protections that we have, for religion- we protect religion- and talk about a lifestyle choice! That is absolutely a choice. Gay people don’t choose to be gay.

At what age did you choose not to be gay?

(applause)

Huckabee: But Jon, religious people don’t have the right to burn others at the stake; they don’t have the right to do anything they wish to do-

Stewart: You’re not being asked to marry a guy. They’re asking to marry the person they love.

Huckabee: But they’re asking to redefine the word. And frankly, we’re probably not going to come to terms. But if the American people are not convinced that we should overturn the definition of marriage, then I would say that those who support the idea of same sex marriage have got alot of work to do, to convince the rest of us, and as I said, 68% of the American population has made that decision.

Stewart: You talk about the pro life movement being one of the great shames of our nation. I think, if you want number two, I think it’s, I think it’s that. It’s an absolute- it’s a travesty that people have forced, someone who is gay, to have to make their case- that they deserve the same basic rights-

(applause)

Huckabee: Jon, excuse me, I respect you and I disagree with that- I really do- and one of the things that I want to make sure that people understand is that if a person does not necessarily support the idea of changing the definition of marriage, it does not mean that they are a homophobe. It does not mean that they are filled with hate and animosity-

Stewart: I was in no way suggesting-

Huckabee: No no, you were not saying that, but I think some people would like to throw the epithets at some people, whether they’re like me, or someone else-

Stewart: But it does beg the question, I have to say, and again… is “WHY?”

You know, you keep talking about, jeez, it would be redefining a word… and it feels like semantics is cold comfort, when it comes to humanity and especially someone such as yourself, who is I believe an empathetic person who is someone who seeks to get to the heart of problems, this idea that, “Jeez, I dunno Jon, definitions and society…” I mean, marriage was not even a sacrament until the 1200s…

Huckabee: Words do matter. Definitions matter. And I think that we have to be very thoughtful and careful before we say that we are going to undo an entire social structure. I mean, let’s face it, the basic purpose of a marriage is not just to create the next generation but to train our replacements. And it is in the context of 23 male and 23 female chromosomes coming together at the point of conception to create the next human life.

Stewart: I think you are looking at sexuality and not attributes, and it’s odd because the conservative mantra is a “meritocracy”, and I think what you are suggesting is the fact that being gay parents makes you not as good as others and i would suggest that a gay, loving family with a financially stable background beats the hell out of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline any day of the week.

Huckabee: I’m not gonna defend Britney and Kevin, for sure.

Stewart: But I appreciate you having the conversation and I just, uh, it’s just, it’s just wild.

Mike Huckabee on The Daily Show 12/09/2008