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'Religious Freedom' Rallies Barely Conceal Anti-Obama Activism

Opponents of contraception access this weekend held “religious freedom” demonstrations across the country to protest the Obama administration’s new rules ensuring contraception coverage in health insurance plans. In one of the rallies last month in Washington D.C. in front of the White House, speakers including Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition and Lila Rose of Live Action denounced the Obama administration for their purportedly “tyrannical” insurance mandate.

The keynote speakers at the White House rally was none other than Father Marcel Guarnizo, whose claim to fame is denying a lesbian parishioner communion at her mother’s funeral and refused to attend the burial ceremony. Fr. Guarnizo said that pro-choice and pro-gay equality politicians are “unfit to rule” and are “not worthy of a democratic vote.” He went on to maintain that American democracy is on the brink of collapse and told attendees to “vote this man out of office in November.”

He also had harsh words for Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who championed his state’s marriage equality law, claiming that they are more than unfaithful Catholic “lost sheep” but “wolves who are plotting and working specifically against the common good and the Church.” “Those people need to be castigated publicly by the shepherds of the church,” Guarnizo said.

Also appearing was American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who warned that legal abortion and gay rights is provoking God’s “judgment and wrath” on America. 

Harvey: California Promotes 'Child Endangerment' and 'Psychiatric Malpractice' by Limiting Ex-Gay Therapy

Linda Harvey of Mission America is still incensed by California’s new law preventing minors from undergoing pseudo-scientific sexual orientation conversion therapy, and on her radio show this weekend she called it a “fascist” law that is “banning heterosexuality.” She suggested that parents and counselors work to break the law, which she said would be more loving to gay or lesbian youth.

This SB 1172, passed in California, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, bans all counseling that would reduce or eliminate same-sex attractions and especially they ban this for minor who are people under the age of eighteen. So that means that parents, if you have a child who has come to you and said they have same-sex attractions and they think they are gay, and many kids with all the propaganda that is very one-sided are believing that the were born that way if they feel that way, but it’s the blessed parent who at least gets a chance to counsel them differently. Hopefully your response will be one that is, ‘I love you no matter what but this is wrong,’ so the two things at the same time, ‘but I will help you to find the counseling you need.’ California is basically banning heterosexuality. So for these children, if a child has been persuaded that they are born this way, that they have same-sex attractions, and you as a parent want to take them to a counselor, no licensed, professional counselor in the state of California is now going to be able—unless they break the law. Perhaps some of them will have a conscience on this and think differently and think that maybe their responsibility to their client on this as in other areas of counseling and that the client might want to have a choice in the matter as they do in other areas of counseling, they’re not supposed to counsel anything but ‘oh no, homosexuality, you must embrace that.’ It’s so anti-choice, it’s so rigid, it’s so fascist, this is just the same old stuff you get from the supposedly tolerant folks, tolerance is actually intolerance, inclusivity is actually exclusivity.

She also argued that the resounding criticism of ex-gay therapy by the country’s major medical and counseling organizations is “baloney” because she knows “tons of ex-homosexuals.” According to Harvey, the only reason such counseling doesn’t work for some people is that the clients simply aren’t working hard enough to change their sexual orientation because they think it is “too tough.”

Harvey later lamented that school counselors in California will not tell gay and lesbian students to change their orientation, warning of “child endangerment and child corruption” along with “educational malpractice” and “psychological malpractice” in California schools.

‘There’s no such thing as change.’ That’s baloney. I know tons of ex-homosexuals and people that have been ex-homosexuals for twenty years or more, I know ex-transgender people. The fact that a few people try it and it doesn’t work or they give up doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for some people, and that’s true of all counseling. How many people do you know who throw their hands in the air and say ‘oh this is too tough’ and they are just more comfortable where they are even if it’s painful. That is human nature, that is what people do all the time, so it is not going to be any different in counseling. Think about school counselors, every single high school and middle school have counselors on site, in California if a child confidentially comes to them and says ‘I’m struggling with—I think I might be homosexual,’ this person is going to have to say, ‘great, then you’re born that way.’ This is child endangerment and child corruption and I think it is educational malpractice, it’s certainly psychiatric malpractice.

Todd Akin Arrested on May 9, 1987 with Radical Anti-Abortion Group

In September we broke the news that Todd Akin was arrested for blocking access to a women's health clinic. We posted a video showing Akin speaking freely of his arrest but he refused to provide any details ... So we had to go find them ourselves.

Wilson: Gays Seek to 'Redefine All of Life'

American Family Association’s Buster Wilson never misses an opportunity to promote baseless, strange and bizarre conspiracy theories, which made his Friday radio program quite comical, as he ironically dedicated his segment to promoting intellectual and rational discussion, something he says the mean folks at ‘Big Gay’ refuse to do!

One of my big pet peeves is that people on the left, people in Big Gay, people like Southern Poverty Law Center, people like that, they do not have the capacity—I supposed because they never do—it’s either they don’t have the capacity or they absolutely have no desire, to literally try and have any kind of intellectual conversation about these issues that we all talk about and sometimes disagree on. There is no ability to reason, no ability to have sane conversation, it’s just name calling and personal attack.

Later, Wilson responded to latest Gallup polling on the number of people who openly identify LGBT by arguing that the gay community is attempting to “redefine all of life” and undermine the freedom of speech and religion.

They’re not that many in the population, we are changing the definition of marriage, we are changing rules regarding religious freedoms and freedom of speech, we are called hate groups and everything simply because we do not want to redefine all of life for 3.4 percent of people who for the last four, five thousand years were not accepted in the way they want to be accepted.

Joel Gilbert Swings a Florida Voter

Papers in Florida have been reporting recently on a curious DVD that has been turning up in mailboxes across the state. The video is none other than Joel Gilbert’s “Dreams From My Real Father,” a “documentary” narrated by a fictional Barack Obama claiming that Obama’s mother’s marriage to Barack Obama Sr. was a sham meant to cover up her relationship with labor activist and communist organizer Frank Marshall Davis, the president's "real father." Gilbert previously boasted that he sent the DVD to a million households across Ohio, but declines to divulge who is paying for his marketing campaign.

On Friday, Palm Beach’s WPTV reported that Gilbert’s film has managed to swing at least one Florida voter.

When Ron and Judy Cindrick received what was billed as "a must-watch DVD" in their mailbox, they decided to see what "Dreams from My Real Father" was all about.

Judy said what she saw shocked her.

"I was absolutely appalled when I began to watch this and they began to show pictures of Barack Obama's mother, his supposed mother, naked," she said.

Ron said watching the pseudo-documentary turns his stomach, and his vote. He believes the Obama conspiracy-type film has to be politically motivated.

"I am a registered Republican, and as of today, I will vote for Barack Obama after receiving this DVD," said Ron.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the film has also been showing up in mailboxes in Nevada and New Hampshire. In an interview with a Florida radio show on Saturday, Gilbert claimed a version of the film on Netflix Instant Play has been watched by 200,000 people.

Michael Brown: Obama is a 'Religious Apostate' and a 'Disciple of Saul Alinsky'

Michael Brown in his latest column argues that President Obama is not a Christian because he supports gay equality and opposes the criminalization of abortion, and is “more a disciple of Saul Alinsky than of Jesus.” He compares Obama negatively to Martin Luther King, Jr., whom he said was a “great unifier” while Obama is the “great divider.”

Actually, King was not seen as a unifier during the highly contentious and divisive civil rights movement and not a popular figure, in fact in 1966 he was viewed unfavorably by 63 percent of Americans. King was neither a moderate nor religious right activist, as Brown suggests. In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail he sharply criticized religious “moderates” and he later spoke out against “the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism,” hardly “unifying” positions. And Brown himself may have found problems with King over his support for Planned Parenthood and his work with openly gay activist Bayard Rustin.

According to CNN writer John Blake, President Obama is “a religious pioneer” who, in the opinion of some scholars and pastors, is “also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.” To be candid, and with due respect to the office of the president, Obama should be viewed as a religious apostate more than a religious pioneer. He has shown an extraordinary disregard for society’s most innocent and vulnerable members (babies in the womb), he has misused the Bible to defend the radical redefinition of marriage, and he has trashed religious freedoms with his health care mandates to the point that groups as disparate as Hobby Lobby and Catholic hospitals are suing the government. This is hardly the legacy of a religious pioneer.



Putting aside the fact that “the religious right” is used as a term of disparagement in contrast with what Blake calls “progressive Christianity,” the truth is that conservative Christians lead the way in worldwide humanitarian relief efforts, they continue to build hospitals and orphanages and schools in many nations, they are active in drug and alcohol rehab programs in the inner cities of America, and they are at the forefront of the pro-life, pro-adoption movement.

As for their opposition to gay activism, it is the natural offshoot of their belief in marriage as defined by Jesus Himself (one man and one woman joined together for life), it is in keeping with their high esteem for sexual purity, and it is in harmony with their wholly justified concerns that homosexual activism is the principle threat to our freedoms of conscience, religion, and speech. From a biblical perspective, President Obama is on the wrong side of these critically important issues.



But Barack Obama is no Martin Luther King, as our president has proven himself to be a great divider whereas King was a great unifier. And King, for his part, would not have shouted “amen” to the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s mentor, whose often shrill version of black liberation theology formed the ideological basis of Obama’s Christianity. With spiritual foundations like that, it is no wonder that the president could make the obscene comparison between “Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf” and gay marriage.



In that regard, Obama is more a disciple of Saul Alinsky than of Jesus.

Schlafly: Senate Should Move to Expel Al Franken

Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly believes that Al Franken never would have been elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008 if Minnesota had a voter ID law and that there is now “reason enough for the U.S. Senate to use its constitutional power in Article I, Section 5 to unseat Franken.” Franken won by a mere 225 votes against incumbent Norm Coleman, but Schlafly says in her latest column that it's because felons cast illegal votes to push him over the top and that only Voter ID laws, which she claims are beloved by minorities, can remedy the situation.

Schlafly cited a report by the right-wing organization Minnesota Majority; however, the study has been largely dismissed as “frivolous” by experts, who also note that voter ID laws will do nothing to stop convicted felons from voting illegally and that the report’s “data include cases associated with the 2010 election, and are not limited to cases involving felons who voted illegally.” People For the American Way’s report The Right to Vote Under Attack also observes that Minnesota’s “Supreme Court wrote in its decision affirming Franken’s victory that neither Franken nor his opponent claimed voter fraud took place and ‘found no allegations or evidence of fraud or foul play and no evidence to suggest that the Election Day totals from the precinct are unreliable.’” Not to mention, how would Schlafly know that nearly every single felon who voted in Minnesota supported Franken?

As we approach a major national election, we hear warnings about many kinds of vote fraud and possible recounts that might delay confirmation of who are the victors. We also hear from deniers who insist that vote fraud is a figment of the imagination of Republicans. It isn't; vote fraud is real.

Many instances of registration fraud schemes were carried out by ACORN, and some members were even tried and convicted. Although ACORN announced it was closing its doors, it reemerged under new names.

It's common knowledge that there are more registered voters in Philadelphia than there are people living in Philadelphia, because dead and moved-away voters have not been stricken from the list. Similar accusations have been made in a dozen other states. In Minnesota, we were entertained for weeks with news of the recounting of votes in the 2008 Minnesota election for U.S. Senate. Al Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes out of three million cast.

After all was said and done, Minnesota discovered that 289 convicted felons had voted illegally in Hennepin County, 52 had voted illegally in Ramsey County, and many others voted illegally who were dead or who voted multiple times. That is reason enough for the U.S. Senate to use its constitutional power in Article I, Section 5 to unseat Franken.



Minorities are actually among those most eager to implement photo ID. Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young said, "You cannot be part of the mainstream of American life today without a photo ID." The sponsor of Rhode Island's photo ID law was Harold Metts, who is the only African-American in the state senate.

Just think of all the many occasions when we all must show photo ID: when stopped by the police for a traffic violation, to make a credit card purchase, to check in for any medical treatment, to check into a hotel room, or to board an airplane. Isn't it just as important to assure that only American citizens are allowed to vote, and to prevent non-citizens from canceling out your vote, and to prevent crooks from voting twice or voting in the name of a dead person who is still registered?

When your vote is nullified by illegal votes, you are cheated just as much as if you were denied the right to vote.

The Circuit Court's DOMA Decision and the 2012 Election

Mitt Romney has made clear that his judicial nominees would not protect Americans' rights like the Second Circuit did yesterday.
PFAW

Corsi: Obama Practicing 'Taqiyya' and Sending 'Secret Communications' to Muslims

In an interview with VCY America’s Vic Eliason, Jerome Corsi argued that President Obama is a secretly gay Muslim who is practicing “taqiyya” to conceal his Muslim faith. Corsi has earlier claimed that Obama was married to his male Pakistani roommate and joined Trinity United Church of Christ because of its “Down Low Club” to have sex with other men whom he later had killed, according to Corsi’s anonymous “sources.”

He appeared on Eliason’s show to discuss his new WorldNetDaily article which says Obama wears a Muslim ring, and Corsi told Eliason that Obama is using the ring to send “a secret communication, like it’s a wink-wink and ‘I’m with you,’” to Muslims. “In Islam, taqiyya which is a practice, is OK for believers in Islam to mislead infidels,” Corsi asserted, “in Islam the high point of taqiyya would be to communicate to believers that that’s what you’re doing and that’s what I think this ring could easily do.”

Corsi went on to maintain that Obama is not a Christian but a Muslim who is “ushering in radical Islam through the Muslim Brotherhood,” and also gay.

Unfortunately, Corsi had a bad connection and parts of the interview are difficult to make out, but listen as Corsi charges Obama with practicing taqiyya and working with the Muslim Brotherhood.

It’s almost like it’s a secret communication, like it’s a wink-wink and ‘I’m with you.’ In Islam, taqiyya which is a practice, it is okay for believers in Islam to mislead infidels. So in other words you can lie, you can say you’re Christian if that serves your purposes and in Islam the high point of taqiyya would be to communicate to believers that that’s what you’re doing and that’s what I think this ring could easily do.



I don’t see anything in the way Obama lives, the way he professes through his actions and his life that would indicate to me that he is a Christian. He joined Trinity Church but as I pointed out he joined Trinity Church for political reasons and I’ve been writing extensively about Obama being a homosexual, and there are people at Trinity Church going on the record saying he is homosexual and the whole deal with Rev. Wright [inaudible] had what he called a ‘Low Down Club’ [sic] of men in the congregation who were having sex with other men and found them wives so they can continue to live a life of duplicity, pretending to be married. Obama I think joined Rev. Wright for the utility to him not because it reflected an epiphany or a conversion.

[Inaudible] He doesn’t even seem to have any attachment to the fundamental principles of Christianity, when you listen to somebody like George W. Bush it was obvious that George W. Bush was a Christian, he understood the principles of Christianity, he had accepted Jesus Christ into his life [inaudible], and I don’t see any indication that Obama has done any of that. Then look at Obama’s behavior, as you pointed out earlier Obama does nothing with national prayer day, he does not have a Christian congregation in Washington, he would occasionally go to a Christian church service, and yet he has Ramadan dinners in the White House and seems to be very conversive in all the Muslim holy days [inaudible]. On June 4, 2009 I was in Israel at the time, and Obama said he experienced Islam on three continents.

Obama’s policies in the Middle East are very much antagonistic to Israel; he backed the Arab Spring, which I do not think is a democracy movement. Obama is ushering in radical Islam through the Muslim Brotherhood. Judging by his policies, I would say Obama at least is comfortable with and has much more of a shift toward Islam, he always has, he did in Chicago. Whereas I don’t see any indications that Obama lives a life of a Christian.

Has the Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrated the Romney Campaign?

Anti-Muslim activists on the Right have consistently warned that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the Obama administration. But if their unhinged McCarthyism is to be believed, then Mitt Romney’s campaign has been penetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood as well, as Romney’s campaign has named George Salem, Samah Norquist and David Ramadan “National Co-Chairs of Arab Americans for Romney.”

Pamela Geller labeled George Salem’s Arab American Institute a “nototrious anti-Israel Israel [sic] organization” composed of “Islamic supremacists” and led by a “Jew hater.” She even suggested that the AAI seeks “Jewish annihilation” by backing Mideast peace efforts.

Geller, Frank Gaffney, Robert Spencer, William Murray, Andrea and James Lafferty and others sent a letter to Edwin Meese demanding he withdraw his endorsement of Virginia Del. David Ramadan because of his purported ties to Muammar Gadaffi and “radical views,” including his support for the right to build the Park 51 Islamic Community Center. James Lafferty said Ramadan is an “extremist” who should not even “be allowed to continue to live in the United States,” and Geller said he is a “stealth jihadist” and a “Muslim Brotherhood plant.”

Perhaps no chair of Romney’s committee is despised more than Samah Norquist, wife of conservative leader Grover Norquist. Glenn Beck and Jerry Boykin have said that Norquist is a lackey for the Muslim Brotherhood and according to anti-Muslim activists like Gaffney and David Horowitz, Norquist secretly converted to Islam and joined the Muslim Brotherhood at the behest of his wife. Conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell wrote in a report for the American Conservative Union that she is “certain that Mr. Gaffney’s hatred [for Norquist] is further fueled by the fact that Grover is married to a Muslim-American woman (who also has worked for the United States government in very responsible positions, I might add!).”

Of course, these spurious claims against Ramadan, Norquist and Salem are just as baseless and wrong as their attacks against the Obama administration and the Muslim-Americans serving in it.

But while extremists like Geller, Gaffney, Horowitz and others are quick to attack Obama with such bogus charges, for some reason it seems unlikely Romney will receive similar treatment.

Elizabeth Warren Ad Warns of Republican Senate Influence On Supreme Court

People For the American Way has been stressing the enormous importance of the Supreme Court in the next election, emphasizing that if Mitt Romney is elected, he has promised to nominate extreme right-wing judges who will limit our civil liberties and rescind equality measures. In a new ad, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren echoes these concerns, warning that a Senate dominated by Republicans has the potential to approve a justice that would help overturn Roe v. Wade. Warren’s opponent Scott Brown has already voiced his support for Justice Antonin Scalia, naming the ultra-conservative judge as his favorite on the Supreme Court. We cannot afford to elect candidates like Mitt Romney or Scott Brown, who are sure to nominate and confirm justices that will take us back in time and turn back the progress we have made on behalf of women’s rights, worker’s rights, voting rights, and more.

PFAW

Harvey: Feminists and Democrats are 'Making a War on Women'

Expounding on her belief that feminism is a pagan philosophy that promotes witchcraft and is “destructive to the church,” Linda Harvey of Mission America told listeners yesterday that feminism is trying to “disguise” their “sexual permissiveness agenda” as “concern about harming women” and “human rights.” She argued that feminists and their allies in the Democratic Party “are the ones truly making a war on women” by opposing the criminalization of abortion. She added that “homosexuality, wasteful government spending, dependency on welfare, our weak national defense and many of the other items the Democratic Party proudly stands for” also harm women, and that “every liberal woman” is at war with God’s design.

Harvey: Anyone who is genuinely objective cannot miss the fact that life does indeed begin at conception and that true human equality should make us value all human life from that time forward. Those who don’t don’t really have a human rights agenda, they have a sexual permissiveness agenda, that is the actual priority of most feminists even as they try to disguise it as concern about harming women. It’s another lie. The Democrats are the ones truly making a war on women, right from targeting and killing babies in the womb, female and male, abortion hurts women. So by the way does homosexuality, wasteful government spending, dependency on welfare, our weak national defense and many of the other items the Democratic Party proudly stands for. Back when I was a feminist there was a war going on, but it was me, a war with myself and with how God created me, and that in my opinion is what is taking place in the hart, mind and soul of every liberal woman.

Jeffress: 'Cult' Member Romney Still Better than Obama, who has his 'Fist in the Face of God'

After Mitt Romney secure the Republican nomination, prominent Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress has said that Christians should vote for the Mormon candidate over President Obama since he “espouses unbiblical principles.” Such a sentiment is striking since Jeffress attacked Romney’s Mormon faith in the 2008 and 2012 primary elections, hoping that the GOP would nominate an evangelical Christian like Rick Perry over Romney as Mormonism is “a heresy from the pit of Hell.” Now, Jeffress is rallying evangelical support for Romney, despite his prior warning that electing a Mormon will lead to God’s judgment.

Jeffress told Janet Mefferd, who has also criticized Romney over his faith, that it is still better to vote for Romney, even though he is a member of a “cult” and “false religion” that believes in a “multiplicity of gods,” than Obama because of his stances on marriage equality and abortion rights. The pastor said defeating Obama is even worth potentially giving Mormon missionaries a tool to bolster “legitimacy of their faith” and make more converts.

I still think there are concerns out there among evangelicals about voting for a Mormon. I’ve made peace with it; the way I’ve made peace with it is to make it very clear on programs like yours that Mormonism is a cult, it is a false religion, Mormons worship a multiplicity of gods, they deny the Bible, in fact they think the Bible is so error-filled there had to be a second book of revelations. I want to make it very clear that I don’t believe Mormonism is Christianity but I do think that in this case it is better to vote for a non-Christian who supports biblical principles like life and marriage than voting for a professing Christian like Barack Obama who absolutely repudiates what Jesus Christ said about some key issues.



I don’t want to minimize the Mormonism issue. I had probably the most well-known pastor in America say to me last week; you know one concern is the mission implications of this, Mormons are so involved in missions overseas, they’ll be able to point to a Mormon president as legitimacy of their faith. So I think we need to be clear that Mormonism is a false religion that leads people away from rather than toward the true God, but having said that we are making this choice in spite of that.

He warned that America is “about to go over the moral and spiritual cliff from which there is no return” if Obama is re-elected, asserting that his administration is “openly involved in high-handed sins” and shaking its “fist in the face of God” on matters like same-sex marriage.

You know in the Old Testament the Bible had what it called high-handed sins, sins that were like a clenched fist in the face of God. We are now seeing an administration that is openly involved in high-handed sins: the embracing of gay marriage. A friend of mine said to me recently, ‘think about this just ten years ago if a pastor or a sandwich company were to say marriage is between a husband and a wife, a man and a woman, no one would have batted an eye at that, but today that is labeled as hate speech,’ now what has changed? It’s not the Bible or the message that has changed, it shows what has happened in our culture. I know this sounds alarmist but I believe we are at the precipice, we are at a tipping point in our country right now, we are about to go over not the fiscal cliff, we are about to go over the moral and spiritual cliff from which there is no return, and that is why it is imperative for Christians to get out and vote in this election.

Another Federal Court Strikes Down DOMA

A conservative George H. W. Bush nominee on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals authored a strong decision today declaring section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Earlier this year, a federal district court judge in Connecticut, that one a Bush-43 nominee, also declared the law unconstitutional. So did a unanimous panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case before the 2nd Circuit was that of Edith Windsor, an octogenarian in New York who lost her wife in 2009; they had been together for forty years. The New York Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Windsor, described her case in a press release this summer:

Windsor and Spyer lived together for more than four decades in Greenwich Village. Despite not being able to marry legally, they were engaged in 1967. In 1977, Spyer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and Windsor helped her through her long battle with that disease. They were finally legally married in May 2007.

When Spyer died in 2009, she left all of her property to Windsor. Because they were married, Spyer's estate normally would have passed to Edie as her spouse without any estate tax at all. But because of DOMA, Windsor had to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes. Payment of the federal estate tax by a surviving spouse is one of the most significant adverse impacts of DOMA since the amount owed, as was true in this case, is often quite substantial.

"Edie Windsor, who recently celebrated her 83rd birthday, suffers from a serious heart condition," said Roberta Kaplan, a partner at Paul Weiss and counsel to Windsor. "Because the District Court's ruling in her favor is entitled to an automatic stay of enforcement, Edie cannot yet receive a refund of the unconstitutional estate tax that she was forced to pay simply for being gay. The constitutional injury inflicted on Edie should be remedied within her lifetime."

The 2nd Circuit opinion leaves no ambiguity as to the discriminatory harm done by section 3 of DOMA. Ian Millhiser at Think Progress pulls out this paragraph of the decision:

[W]e conclude that review of Section 3 of DOMA requires heightened scrutiny. The Supreme Court uses certain factors to decide whether a new classification qualifies as a quasi-suspect class. They include: A) whether the class has been historically “subjected to discrimination,”; B) whether the class has a defining characteristic that “frequently bears [a] relation to ability to perform or contribute to society,” C) whether the class exhibits “obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group;” and D) whether the class is “a minority or politically powerless.” Immutability and lack of political power are not strictly necessary factors to identify a suspect class. Nevertheless, immutability and political power are indicative, and we consider them here. In this case, all four factors justify heightened scrutiny: A) homosexuals as a group have historically endured persecution and discrimination; B) homosexuality has no relation to aptitude or ability to contribute to society; C) homosexuals are a discernible group with non-obvious distinguishing characteristics, especially in the subset of those who enter same-sex marriages; and D) the class remains a politically weakened minority.

That’s an unambiguous indictment of DOMA and of all laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians. Nevertheless, House Speaker John Boehner, who has now spent $1.5 million taxpayer dollars in an attempt to defend DOMA, is likely to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. But the easier option, as PFAW president Michael Keegan points out in a statement today, would be for Congress just to repeal DOMA. It’s done enough harm to millions of people like Edie Windsor, and its effects will become clearer as more and more gay and lesbian couples are allowed to marry, and find that their marriages aren’t recognized by the federal government.

PFAW

Appeals Court Strikes Down Discriminatory DOMA, Congress Should Repeal It

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages sanctioned by the states, is unconstitutional.

Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, issued the following statement:

“Every federal court that has reviewed DOMA’s section 3 has found that it violates our constitutional principles. This should be no surprise. DOMA hurts gay and lesbian married couples by denying them some of the most basic protections of marriage, and it does so for no reason but prejudice against LGBT families. Our Constitution guarantees all Americans equal protection under the law, and DOMA clearly violates that principle.

“House Speaker John Boehner has wasted nearly a million and a half taxpayer dollars on defending this indefensible law. I am confident that the Supreme Court would not let DOMA stand, but I hope that they never have to review it. Most Americans don’t want to hurt their gay and lesbian neighbors, and we’ve seen over and over again that DOMA does real harm to real people. Congress must recognize the harm that DOMA has done and repeal it before it hurts more legally married Americans.”

A People For the American Way petition calling for the repeal of DOMA has gathered over 200,000 signatures.

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Robertson: Gays and Liberals 'Don't Want Freedom' but 'Want a Dictatorship'

The 700 Club today reported on Gallaudet University’s suspension of their chief diversity officer for signing a petition to put Maryland’s marriage equality law on the ballot. Gay rights advocates, including the leaders of Marylanders for Marriage Equality and Gov. Martin O’Malley have said that they strongly disagreed with Gallaudet’s decision, but host Pat Robertson tried to claim that the university’s move was representative of the entire left and the gay rights movement. “The left wants a dictatorship,” Robertson claimed, “they don’t want freedom.” The anti-gay televangelist argued that “they want a dictatorship where they control, which is what you had in communism, a small group ran the government for their ends and for the ends of their friends, and that’s what the gays want, they want everything now in their favor.” Robertson concluded by saying that “God Almighty has the final vote.”

Watch:

New Jersey Legislature Poised to Pass a Resolution Calling for a Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United v. FEC

 Today, the New Jersey legislature is poised to pass A.R. 86, which calls for a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC.

Diallo Brooks, Director of Field Mobilization at People For the American Way issued the following statement:

“The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and related cases have opened the floodgates to corporate and special interest spending in our elections, placing our democracy on the auction block for the highest bidder. Citizens United must be overturned. The American people understand this and are taking action through their local and state governments, by calling on Congress to send the states an amendment to overturn this terrible decision. Today, New Jersey will join a growing chorus of voices demanding that this necessary change becomes a reality.”

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United in 2010, the movement to pass an amendment overturning the decision has grown across the United States.

  • Over 300 cities and towns across the country have passed resolutions of support.
  • 8 state legislatures have either passed amendment resolutions or called on Congress via sign-on letters (HI, NM, VT, MD, CA, RI, MA, and CT.)
  • Voters in Montana and Colorado will vote this year on resolutions challenging Citizens United.
  • 2,000 public officials have signed on to support an amendment, including President Obama, 98 Members of the House, and 29 Senators (list visible at www.United4ThePeople.org) • Fourteen resolutions were introduced in the House and Senate of the 112th Congress. • The 2012 Democratic platform supports and amendment. • 1.9 million Americans have signed petitions calling for an amendment. Coalition partners include: The American Dream Movement of Cape May County, BlueWaveNJ, Food and Water Watch, Free Speech For People, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 877, New Jersey Common Cause, New Jersey American Federation of Teachers, New Jersey Communications Workers of America, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey MoveOn Councils (Mid-Jersey, Essex, Hudson), New Jersey Main Street Alliance, New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, New Jersey Sierra Club, New Jersey Tenants Organization, New Jersey Work Environment Council, New Jersey Working Families Alliance, Public Citizen, South Jersey Democracy is for People, United Steelworkers District 4, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey For more information, visit www.United4ThePeople.org or www.PFAW.org/GovernmentByThePeople. ">www.United4ThePeople.org)
  • Fourteen resolutions were introduced in the House and Senate of the 112th Congress.
  • The 2012 Democratic platform supports and amendment.
  • 1.9 million Americans have signed petitions calling for an amendment.

Coalition partners include: The American Dream Movement of Cape May County, BlueWaveNJ, Food and Water Watch, Free Speech For People, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 877, New Jersey Common Cause, New Jersey American Federation of Teachers, New Jersey Communications Workers of America, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey MoveOn Councils (Mid-Jersey, Essex, Hudson), New Jersey Main Street Alliance, New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, New Jersey Sierra Club, New Jersey Tenants Organization, New Jersey Work Environment Council, New Jersey Working Families Alliance, Public Citizen, South Jersey Democracy is for People, United Steelworkers District 4, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey

For more information, visit www.United4ThePeople.org or www.PFAW.org/GovernmentByThePeople

Romney Distorts His Record As Governor

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney continued to sell himself as a turnaround artist and savior of the economy—a former CEO whose stellar business acumen will create an abundance of jobs (12 million in four years, to be exact), champion small businesses, and improve the middle class.

But what Romney failed to mention is that when he inherited Massachusetts’ damaged economy in 2003, he was unable to spur the economic growth he had promised in his gubernatorial campaign. And it doesn’t stop at an unsuccessful economic policy. Many of the “accomplishments” that Romney touted last night, such as his education policies and his advocacy of women in the workplace, were futile as well. If we delve deeper into Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts and look past the lies he spouts, we can foreshadow what a Romney presidency would look like. And it’s not a very promising vision.

Last night at the debate, Romney promoted his five-point plan, alleging that he “knows why jobs come and go.” He claimed that he knew “what it takes to get this economy going.” But does he? Here is how Romney’s leadership played out in the Massachusetts economy from 2003 to 2007:

  • In Romney’s four years as governor, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 in job growth. Jobs growth over that period was a pitiful 0.9 percent.
  • Massachusetts only gained one percent in payroll jobs under Romney, compared to 5.3% in the nation as a whole.
  • The net number of jobs added during the four years Romney was in office was 24,400 – a fraction of the total of about 200,000 lost during the recession.
  • Manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts declined by more than 14 percent, the third worst record in the country. The loss was double the rate that the nation as a whole lost manufacturing jobs.
  • Massachusetts infrastructure accrued a $20 billion deficit of overdue maintenance by the end of Romney’s term, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayer’s Foundation.
  • Between 2003 and 2005 the median hourly wage for Massachusetts workers fell 5%–the largest decline in the country during that period.
  • Under Romney, Massachusetts had the 3rd highest rate of domestic out-migration.

Though Romney assaults Obama’s economic record, job growth in the U.S. has been swifter under Obama than job growth in Massachusetts under Romney.

Romney also likes to flaunt the education policies he put in place in Massachusetts. Last night at the debate, he boasted about his John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, which he claimed would send the top quarter of each high school class to the Massachusetts college of their choice tuition-free. But this is not the full picture. Here is the reality of Romney’s education policies in Massachusetts, according to a report in the Boston Globe:

  • Romney’s valued John and Abigail Adams Scholarships cover only tuition at state colleges, not fees , which account for more than 80 percent of yearly costs at some schools. Just a quarter of the recipients actually choose to attend state colleges.
  • Massachusetts students regularly score at the top on national and international tests. But that achievement is largely due to the state’s 1993 landmark education reform law.
  • Mitt Romney campaigned for governor in 2002 in favor of eradicating the nation’s first bilingual education law and instead immersing non-English speakers in classrooms where only English would be taught.
  • In 2006, three years after the law Romney campaigned for went into effect, new state tests showed that 83 percent of students learning English as a second language in the third through twelfth grades could not read, write, speak or understand English well enough for regular classes after their first year in Massachusetts schools.

When asked about pay equity, Romney highlighted his efforts as governor of Massachusetts to hire women to work in his administration. However he does not have a history of appointing women to high-level positions in the private sector, nor did he appoint many women to judicial positions:

Romney’s record in Massachusetts related to women’s health is also not very encouraging:

  • Romney vetoed a bill to require hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims.
  • Romney vetoed $35,678 for early breast cancer detection and research.
  • Romney vetoed $2.8 million for cervical and breast cancer treatment.

Romney is right that his record as governor of Massachusetts shows us a lot about how he would act as president. But he’s intentionally misleading voters about what that record is.

PFAW

Debate Exposes Importance of Supreme Court to Working Women

The discussion of Lilly Ledbetter highlights the threat to working women that Mitt Romney's Supreme Court would pose.
PFAW
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