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Marriage Equality: A State-By-State Guide

As North Carolinians go to the polls today to cast their ballot on an anti-gay constitutional amendment which would write discrimination into the state’s constitution and potentially harm all unmarried couples regardless of orientation, The Guardian put together an interactive feature summarizing the state of LGBT equality across America.

The infographic examines each state’s laws pertaining to LGBT persons’ right to marry, visit loved ones in the hospital or adopt a child, as well as protections from hate crimes and from discrimination in employment, housing and schools. While progress has been made, there is much work to be done.

Regardless of today’s vote, North Carolina will not be adding a dark red section to the outer ring, since state law already prohibits same-sex marriage. The proposed amendment simply inscribes discrimination into the state constitution.

Unfortunately, not all Americans have access to the all the protections and responsibilities that only marriage can provide, and this map demonstrates striking differences from state to state and region to region. That’s why we need the federal Respect for Marriage Act more than ever – to ensure that all Americans, straight and gay, are treated equally under the law.

PFAW

GOP Newsletter Calls for Armed Revolution if Obama Re-Elected

The Greene County, Virginia Republican Committee publishes a monthly newsletter for members called “The Constitutional Conservatives.” The newsletter is heavy on Tea Party rhetoric about how Obama and liberals are ruining America, and so forth. But even by these standards, an item in the March newsletter stands out.

In the “Whitehouse Watchdog” column, editor Ponch McPhee says that America cannot survive four more years under Obama, a “political socialist ideologue” who is “unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.” McPhee argues that Americans will have no option “but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November:”
We have before us a challenge to remove an ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized.
 
An individual who has come to power within a Nation which yields it’s strength over the entire world.
 
An elected leader who shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might.
 
In the coming days and weeks  ~ we the people must come to grasp as a common force, our very soul’s, that our future as a sovereign nation is indeed at risk.
 
If every single individual that you know, would contact 25 other individuals  ~ we can make a difference that will be heard across the Commonwealth and in Washington.
 
The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware  ~ that the government, their government is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November ~ This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.
The Greene County GOP apparently realizes that McPhee and the newsletter are a potential liability, judging by the disclaimer on the back page claiming that views expressed are individual only. But that’s a cop-out. They should either stand behind McPhee’s insane views about armed insurrection or find an editor who represents their real views.

 

Wisconsin Republicans Rally Against the Recall

Over the weekend, Republicans and right-wing activists gathered for a rally in Oshkosh, WI. The Oshkosh Northwestern filmed the event, and our friends at We Are Wisconsin PAC clipped some highlights (below).

The rally seems to have consisted of right-wing politicians spewing one distortion after another about the Walker administration’s policies and their opponents’ intentions. The interviews with the audience members unfortunately show a typical “tea party” misunderstanding of the issues, and that Republicans’ talking points about collective bargaining and teachers’ health benefits have taken root with at least the party’s avid supporters.

Some of the highlights included in the video above show U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde angrily railing against public unions (and completely rewriting the history of Scott Walker’s union busting in the process), a downright bizarre song-and-dance number mocking the protests against the Walker administration’s anti-middle class policies and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch noting the national importance of the recall elections. (Kleefisch begins 1:54 into the video.)

You can support PFAW’s Recall the Right campaign to send Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his right-wing cronies packing on June 5 here >>

 

 

 

PFAW

Lila Rose Pledges to 'Take Out Planned Parenthood' and Do Battle with the 'Lie of Satan'

This week anti-choice activist Lila Rose of Live Action, best known for her deceptive attacks against Planned Parenthood, is the featured guest of televangelist James Robison on Life Today, where she called for the church to “rise up” because “this is our country.” Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood has reported “a string of suspicious incidents” at their clinics “in which a woman walks into a clinic, claims to be pregnant and asks a particular pattern of provocative questions about sex-selective abortions.” While it is unclear who is behind the hoax visits, it is very similar to Live Action’s visits of Planned Parenthood clinics posing as sex traffickers, which Planned Parenthood reported to the FBI.

Just as Robison and Rose talked about how “the enemy” is trying to make Christians disinterested in politics, Rose told the audience at Awakening 2012 that she is battling the “lie of Satan” that is meant to “discourage us” because “he doesn’t want our nation to be a nation under God.” Rose also claimed that she intends to “take out Planned Parenthood” until “they are no longer operating in our communities.”

Watch:

We’re facing many challenges, I know with the election coming up with our president, we need a new president. We need to take out Planned Parenthood, we need to stop funding them, we need to make sure they are no longer operating in our communities.



The whole lie that we don’t need Christ, or that there’s no hope for us, there’s no hope for the girl that’s struggling, there’s no hope for the trafficking victim, there’s no hope for the unborn child, there’s no hope for our country, it’s a lie. I believe it’s a direct lie, it’s a lie of Satan himself, because he wants to discourage us and because he doesn’t want our nation to be a nation under God.

Mat Staver Warns Anti-Bullying Provisions Will Punish Believers of 'Normal Sexuality'

Today on Faith & Freedom, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and Matt Barber railed against Dan Savage, with Barber reminiscing that “there used to be a time when we arrested middle aged men who got their jollies talking dirty to children” and accusing Savage of trying to “poison” the minds of children. Staver warned that anti-bullying measures will even lead to students who oppose “homosexuality or any kind of deviation outside of normal sexuality” being punished and suspended from school.

Watch:

Barber: You know there used to be a time when we arrested middle aged men who got their jollies talking dirty to children, well Dan Savage does that for a living.... This is a forty-seven year-old self-identified homosexual who advocates publicly, he advocates what he calls non-monogamy, he advocates having the occasional three-way tryst, this is a guy who is a sex columnist who MTV has given a platform to reach out to our children and to put this poison in their minds.



Staver: What he has done here and what I think this really unmasks is what ultimately is behind some of these anti-bullying laws: it is reverse bullying, it is the opportunity to use a club to people who are Christians or have moral convictions with regards to homosexuality or any kind of deviation outside of normal sexuality. Anybody who believes that sexuality outside of normal sexuality with a man and a woman in a husband and wife relationship will ultimately be the target of bullying, they will be ridiculed, they will be attacked, they will be punished, they will be sent to the principal’s office, they will be disciplined, they will be suspended, they will be ultimately forced to accept that agenda and that was exactly what was unmasked here with Dan Savage.

ADF: 'North Carolina Marriage Amendment Will Help Promote' the Decline of Domestic Violence

After Ohio passed a marriage amendment in 2004, which not only enshrined a ban on same-sex marriage in the state’s Constitution but also barred legal recognition of any union outside of opposite-sex marriage “that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage,” a judge struck down part of the state’s domestic violence law because it “recognizes the relationship between an unmarried offender and victim as one ‘approximating the significance or effect of marriage.’”

Like in Ohio, North Carolina’s Amendment One similarly prohibits the state from recognizing any union besides opposite-sex marriage and could potentially have a devastating impact on domestic violence laws. Alliance Defense Fund attorney Jordan Lorence is out today with a column defending Amendment One, which voters will decide on today, and arguing that banning same-sex marriages and protections for unmarried couples, gay or straight, “would help promote” the goal of stopping domestic violence:

The distorted, fear-mongering claim that the marriage amendment will protect those who batter their unmarried partners from criminal prosecution is simply false and has been effectively refuted. This claim has not come true in any of the 30 states that have approved marriage amendments. Anyone who beats up another he lives with should be prosecuted criminally.

But there is a bigger issue here: multiple studies show that women in unmarried relationships and their children are more likely to suffer domestic violence than women married to the biological father of their children. We as a compassionate people need to warn our neighbors about living arrangements that expose them to physical harm. State authorities must prosecute batterers, but prevention is better. Approving the North Carolina marriage amendment would help promote this goal.

In an interview with the Fayetteville Observer, Republican state legislator Paul Stam said the ADF “overruled” an effort to pass “a more narrowly worded amendment.”

Senators Hear from Americans Concerned about the Courts

Senators saw the grass roots energy behind Americans’ commitment to our nation’s system of justice.
PFAW

Political Spending Resolutions Filed at 3 Corporations

Thanks to Citizens United, corporations have been spending unprecedented sums for political purposes. Short of a constitutional amendment to overturn that flawed decision, good government advocates are pressing a variety of strategies to minimize the undue influence corporations currently hold over our electoral system.

Requiring disclosure of corporate political expenditures is one powerful way to return some of the balance of influence to the American people. Activists are pressing for the passage of the DISCLOSE Act and the Shareholder Protection Act, and also submitted a record-setting action to the Securities and Exchange Commission calling for a rule requiring publicly-traded companies to disclose their political spending.

This week, the Corporate Reform Coalition is taking this call to the true owners of public corporations: the shareholders. This coalition of organizations, which includes People For the American Way, Public Citizen and others, is supporting first-time “political spending” resolutions and helping to organize rallies at the annual shareholder meetings of 3M and Bank of America, which are taking place this week, and also at Target Corporation, which will meet on June 14th.

The message is simple: Leave democracy to the people. Corporations should stop spending money on influencing our elections and focus on what they were created to do: make a profit for their shareholders. And if these corporations refuse to cease using their vast treasuries for political purposes, they at least should disclose their activities so that shareholders can make informed decisions.

These reforms speak to many Americans because so many people are shareholders. If you’ve ever bought a stock, had a 401(k) account or a pension, then you’re a shareholder – and it is your money might be spent on a candidate, cause or attack ad you don’t support, without your knowledge. We all have a right to know if our money is being spent to influence our democracy, and we should have the power to say no.

PFAW

Anti-Gay Activist Calls Bill Limiting Reparative Therapy 'Hateful Toward Children'

Last week the Pacific Justice Institute came out against legislation limiting the discredited and harmful “ex-gay” reparative therapy by decrying the bill as a “gross and outrageous violation against humanity” and an “egregious attack on children and youth,” and today Save California president Randy Thomasson is entering the fray. In an interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow, Thomasson dubbed the measure “hateful toward children” that will particularly impact “molested boys or confused boys.” Despite trying to appear as an advocate for children, Thomasson opposed legal protections for children of same-sex couples, calling them “absolute insanity,” and blamed openly gay fifteen year-old Lawerence King for his own murder by a classmate.

A family leader says proponents of a California bill are being "hateful" by preventing patients from receiving the gender counseling they may need.

Today the California Senate Judiciary Committee will consider SB 1172, a bill authored by Democratic Senator Ted Lieu that would restrict therapists from offering "sexual orientation-change" counseling even if patients are seeking such help. The bill would ban sexual orientation-change efforts for patients under the age of 18, require a consent form for adults, and penalize professionals who continue with such counseling procedures without informed consent

Randy Thomasson of SaveCalifornia.com describes the legislation as "unloving."

"It's actually hateful toward children of stopping parents from seeking help for their molested boys or confused boys, [and] stopping loving Christian professionals from helping people charitably with their hearts and professionally through their services," he explains.

Thomassson also contends the bill would stop psychologists from offering assistance to juveniles who may be struggling with homosexuality and want a way out. "Children with sexual-identity struggles get depressed by someone telling them they are locked into sexual behavior instead of informing them that they have freedom to make healthy choices," he says.

SB 1172, Thomasson warns, will "depress and harm struggling children instead of giving them a chance at freedom."

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) has alsocome out against passage of SB 1172, saying it inaccurately represents the science of sexual orientation change efforts, restricts the rights of parents in caring for their minor children, and usurps the role of mental health organizations and licensing boards in providing oversight.

North Carolinians Voting Today on Anti-Gay Constitutional Amendment

North Carolina voters today are casting their ballots on Amendment One, an extreme measure that would write discrimination into the state’s consitution and potentially take away important protections for all unmarried couples, gay and straight.

The amendment states that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic union that shall be valid or recognized” in North Carolina. It would not only deal another blow to gay and lesbian couples in the state, who are already prohibited by law from marrying, but endangers protections for all unmarried couples, including domestic violence protections and health insurance coverage.

The Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families is running a handful of powerful ads showing Amendment One’s potential devastating impact. Here are a couple:

President Bill Clinton also recorded a robocall on behalf of the anti-Amendment One campaign. You can listen to it here.

North Carolina voters can find your polling place here.
 

PFAW

Holder, Ruemmler Urge Action on Judicial Vacancies

In a summit at the White House yesterday with 150 grassroots and legal leaders from 27 states, Attorney General Eric Holder and White House Counsel Kathy Ruemmler stressed the importance of maintaining fair and effective federal courts, and criticized Senate Republicans for creating gridlock that has left one in ten federal court seats vacant.

Holder stressed President Obama’s effort to nominated qualified and diverse nominees to the federal courts. 46 percent of the president’s confirmed judicial nominees have been women and 37 percent have been people of color, more than under any other president in history. “Our people are diverse, they are qualified and they will serve the American people well in their time on the bench,” he said.

While President Obama has nominated dozens of highly qualified, diverse Americans to the federal bench, his nominees have met with unprecedented obstruction from Senate Republicans.

“Republican obstruction and these delays on the floor aren’t happenstance. They’re strategic and they’re having a devastating impact,” Ruemmler told attendees.

Ruemmler said that the conservative movement “understands the important role courts play in all of the issues we care deeply about as a country.”

Today’s summit was a sign that progressives are beginning to care deeply about the courts as well.

“This matters. This really matters,” Holder said. “This is a key legacy for any president. It’s one of the ways that a president’s success can be measured.”
 

PFAW

Right Wing Leftovers - 5/7/12

  • North Carolina voters tomorrow will decide the fate of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and all forms of civil unions and domestic partnerships.
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus today said “you can’t federalize” the marriage issue, which contradicts the stance of majority of Republicans and Mitt Romney who back a Federal Marriage Amendment.
  • The Catholic League says it convinced Delta to stop advertising on “The Daily Show,” but Delta insists the group had nothing to do with it.
  • Glenn Beck will address Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Conference in June.

Scott Lively Defends his Anti-Gay Activism in Uganda while Denying Role in Crafting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

In an interview on Friday with Janet Mefferd, Religious Right activist Scott Lively repeatedly maintained that he had no role in crafting Uganda’s Anti-Homosexual Bill, which included a provision requiring capital punishment for gay people, and lashed out at a lawsuit filed against him by Sexual Minorities Uganda and the Center for Constitutional Rights over his role in the legislation.

He reiterated his assertion that George Soros and allied “globalists” were trying to “kick off a sexual revolution” in Uganda because they were upset about the growth of Christianity in the country, and said that in response to the “flood of sexual perversion that was coming into their country” Ugandan officials “decided they have to have some kind of new law, even though homosexuality was already illegal, they needed to strengthen the law [criminalizing homosexuality] and just sort of put their foot down.” Lively said he participated in a 2009 anti-gay conference to “prepare the leadership of the country to understand what the issue was because they knew they were going to come out with this bill”:

Lively: Uganda after Idi Amin had a Christian revival, they are still having a Christian revival, the president is a Christian, his wife is a very strong Christian, Janet Museveni, and as a result of that they went from having the highest AIDS rate to having the lowest AIDS rate in Africa. And of course that began to make waves around the world and it really upset the apple cart of the globalists, the George Soros types that use the sexual revolution as a way to bring countries under their sway. So when Uganda did this, they began trying to interject themselves into the country and kick off a sexual revolution there, starting with pornography. Back in 2002, I just by divine appointment became the keynote speaker for their first national conference on pro-family issues, it was against pornography and obscenity, it was the top people of the country, Cabinet ministers, Supreme Court justices; it was quite an honor to have been there, someone else canceled out and I got a phone call asking if I would go. Because of that, some of my enemies and there’s actually a documentary that labels me the ‘father of the Ugandan pro-family movement’ as a result of that.

What I told them was what I had learned in the United States, where this was coming from, who was behind this effort in their country—which they didn’t know—and how to respond to it. So they began at that point, you know, paying attention and sure enough that was what was going on. Over the next seven years they were not able to stop the flood of sexual perversion that was coming into their country as a result of their efforts, and by this time you’ve got homosexual men from the United States and from Europe going into Uganda and messing with the boys, there was a lot of sex tourism now as a result of this. So they decided they have to have some kind of new law, even though homosexuality was already legal, they need to strengthen the law and just sort of put their foot down. So this conference in 2009, in March, was to prepare the leadership of the country to understand what the issue was because they knew they were going to come out with this bill.

Right before a commercial break, Lively suggested that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill law wasn’t as bad as reported because, according to Lively, countries in Africa tend to “have extraordinarily harsh statutes but very lenient applications in the courts”:

Mefferd: It’s very important, as you pointed out, that you opposed this aspect of the bill that would impose the death penalty on a homosexual but this is what they’ve sort of zoned in on that in some respects you’re responsible for that, isn’t that the case?

Lively: That’s true. People need to understand that even though this really sort of offends our sensibilities when we hear of a law that that’s harsh, but it’s very, very typical of Africa, African nations have extraordinarily harsh statutes but very lenient applications in the courts.

Update: Lively later said that he proposed a bill that would make homosexuals either go to so-called ex-gay reparative therapy or face imprisonment, telling them to use an Oregon law that offers people arrested for drunk driving the choice of rehab or jail time as a model:

Mefferd: When you go back to 2009 and what you actually said during the conference, was there anything that you did say at that time that gave them actual fodder for screaming and yelling, do you regret anything you said—

Lively: No, no, no.

Mefferd: Or do you stand by what you said?

Lively: First of all as regards to the bill, the bill hadn’t been written yet, I had an opportunity, I spoke to members of the Ugandan Parliament in their assembly hall, and there was several other speakers and the minister of ethics and integrity was there and he made a few comments. My suggestion was, rather than focusing on punishment, you should focus on therapy. I gave my own personal testimony, before I became a Christian, an instrumental factor was I got arrested for drunk driving and they gave me the option in Oregon of taking diversion, as they called it, or losing my license and going to jail. I chose the therapy option, it was one of the best things that ever happened, it was in that rehab center that I got down on my knees and surrendered my life to Christ, so I gave that as my testimony to the Ugandans saying this is the model you should follow, you could be the first country in the world to offer this as a standard, a national standard, that we want to help people overcome this sin.

Ex-Gay Activist Says Being Gay and Christian is 'Blackface'

The last time we heard of “ex-gay” activist DL Foster was when he told Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality that Dan Savage “should be arrested” for creating the It Gets Better Project. This weekend Foster spoke to Mission America president Linda Harvey where he equated being gay and Christian with wearing “blackface.” He said Christians who are gay or support gay rights are “deceived,” and Harvey called gay Christians a “threat” to “the entire body of Christ.”

Harvey: The threat as I see it is to the entire body of Christ but particularly both younger in the faith and younger, chronologically-aged wise, believers; our kids are being fooled like crazy about this. I’ve had people call me and tell me their son or daughter who was raised as a Christian is in college and suddenly believes he’s gay and is still calling himself a Christian. What do we do?

Foster: You know the religious gay movement is a mirror image of the political gay movement, there is little difference at all. I simply call it — homosexuality in the church — blackface . Any false movement that uses or employs false teachings is deceptive at its core and of course young people are the most vulnerable, they’re the most at risk because they’re minds have not yet matured, particularly Christian youth in our faith. Sometimes they go to churches where doctrinal issues are not taught, we issue doctrine, we think it’s bad, we try to keep our kids away from it and thus they do not grasp the fundamentals of our faith which allow them to be discerning when people bring to them false teachers like, ‘you can be gay and Christian.’ For that reason many of our young people who call themselves Christian have been deceived, this is a very serious thing because we know that the youth are not going to be the future, they are the future, so this is why it’s such an important thing to shed light into expose this so that hopefully not only Christian leaders but Christian post-secondary educators can prepare young people to deal with this threat.

Allen West Calls Obama's Meeting with Karzai his 'Chamberlain, Hitler Moment'

Last time Rep. Allen West (R-FL) appeared on Frank Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio, the congressman claimed that the “Obama administration has been absolutely horrible as far as the national security of the United States of America and the foreign policy relations in the Middle East,” saying that “we have to have a sure shift in the leadership of this country and it starts on high with President Barack Hussein Obama and we have to have him replaced.” West visited Gaffney again today, and this time went into a tirade alleging that the FBI and Defense Department are “whitewashing” their training materials and reports on terrorist attacks:

He later attacked former President Bill Clinton for appearing in an Obama campaign about the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden, saying “he let Osama bin Laden get away” and has “zero credibility there.” “Again, I think that the truth may end up coming out about how that decision was made,” West told Gaffney, “we don’t know what really happened.” He went on to suggest that Obama may not have even “made the call” as Gaffney suggested Obama would have blamed Admiral William McRaven is the mission to kill bin Laden had failed:

West even claimed that Obama’s meeting with Hamid Karzai was “a 1930s, Chamberlain, Hitler moment”:

Gaffney: Obama made a kind of, well, I think of it as a whistle-stop campaign appearance in Afghanistan to sign and obviously get our attention towards the ten year security agreement with the Afghans. Does that give you confidence that in fact we’re going to maintain the pressure on the enemy there that we’ve felt necessary to this point or are we in fact really just trying to paper over the impending surrender of the place to the Taliban?

West
: I think that right now no one is really sure, Frank. I look at what happened between President Obama and President Karzai as a 1930s, Chamberlain, Hitler moment. There is not going to be peace in our time.

Judicial Obstruction By the Numbers

Today, a few representatives from People For the American Way joined 150 Americans from 27 states at a White House summit to discuss the state of vacancies in the federal courts.

We’ll write more about the summit in later posts, but first, a summary of the problem. PFAW’s graphic designer, Nicole, put together this infographic showing how unprecedented obstruction of judicial nominees has created an unprecedented vacancy crisis in the federal courts, and slowed down President Obama’s effort to bring qualified, diverse judges to the federal bench:

(Click image for larger pdf version of the infographic.)

PFAW

Thomas More Law Center President Claims 'America Will Disintegrate' Because of the 'Homosexual Agenda' and Obama

Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center today visited WallBuilders Live with David Barton and Rick Green to publicize his group’s anti-Muslim activism and to lavish praise on Barton’s group for “giving the kind of information that people have to have to understand that is going on,” including Barton’s debunked memo calling Obama “America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President.” He said that the left’s alleged attempts to “attack faithful Christians” and support of the “homosexual agenda” are part of a “war against Christianity.” If successful, Thompson warn, “America will disintegrate”:

Just recently I recall that Dave put out a list of all the anti-Christian statements made by President Obama, I think one of the reasons for this is that we are in a culture war and the left, the far left views Christianity as the major hurdle that they have to overcome to get their agenda passed. So they do everything they can to attack faithful Christians.



It is clear that there is this culture war going on. We are at the tipping point now, we are seeing an attack on the Judeo-Christian principles, whether it’s the homosexual agenda that’s coming down, where they just eliminated the whole Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy that prevented open homosexuality in the military, whether there’s now attack [sic] on pro-life organizations because they are supporting pro-life stands and they are not going to get any funding from the government on certain social things that these organizations do like adoptions, like assisting women who have been abused. So you see this full court press against Christianity and its time for Christians to stands up and speak out. Even though a vast majority of Americans are Christen it is the people who hold the strings of power, whether it’s the mainstream media, or whether it’s the cultural elite, or whether its academia, they are waging a war against Christianity and Christians can’t stand by and be silent. We have to speak out.

I know you praise the Thomas More Law Center but I want to turn around and praise WallBuilders because you are giving the kind of information that people have to have to understand what is going on, to understand the history of our nation. They’re not teaching history anymore to show American exceptionalism, and I believe in American exceptionalism, we are the shining city on the hill, and if we don’t keep faith with our Founding Fathers, faith with the Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values that we have, America will disintegrate like every other huge power that existed in history.

Matt Barber Says Anti-Discrimination Decision is 'Setting up a Constitutional Crisis'

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show on Friday where he argued that the Obama administration is pushing America into a “constitutional crisis” following a decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that deems discrimination “against employees or job applicants on the basis of gender identity” as a “violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—specifically its prohibition of sex discrimination in employment.” Barber, who earlier called the decision a “gross abuse of power” and a sign of “Tranny Tyranny” and “homofascism,” told Mefferd that EEOC commissioner Chai Feldblum was using the case, which was “issued without objection by the five-member, bipartisan commission,” to implement the Employment Non-Discrimination Act “by executive fiat.”

Barber and Mefferd both asserted that Feldblum had once said, “gays win, Christians lose.” However, “there is absolutely no factual account of Chai Feldblum making such a statement” and Feldblum denies she ever used that phrase. Barber also dubbed Feldblum an advocate of legalizing polygamy, but she told a Senate hearing, “I do not support polygamy,” and asked her name to be removed from a petition that included support for recognizing households with “more than one conjugal partners.”

Barber: This is the Obama administration doing what we have come to expect from the Obama administration, that is ruling by executive fiat, and Barack Obama here with his EEOC is doing arbitrarily through the executive what the legislature has not been able to do for decades now and that is pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA. So this is the Obama administration just saying ‘well we’re just going to do what we do,’ he’s once again setting up a constitutional crisis here with this gross overreach in power.

Mefferd: What immediately came to mind was Chai Feldblum, because Chai Feldblum is a commissioner there at the EEOC, she was made as a recess appointment, this is the woman who co-authored or authored ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which Barney Frank sponsored multiple times and was never able to get through Congress, so you’re absolutely right. So putting Chai Feldblum at the EEOC was a really good move if Obama wanted to do this by executive fiat.

Barber: Well sure, and Chai Feldblum of course was a former Georgetown law professor, radical lesbian activist, has advocated polyandrous marriages, communal marriages if you will, involving men, women, any combination thereof. She is a radical, what I call her a sexual anarchist.



Barber: This is a tactic that she has openly, at least she has honestly and openly said that she will apply and that homosexual activists should apply, she has said that when it comes to this notion of newfangled LGBT rights, and the T in LGBT is this notion of transgender, that “gays win, Christians lose.” That when you put that up against religious liberty that the newfangled LGBT rights trump religious liberty, so this is to be expected from a Chai Feldblum led EEOC.

Mefferd: Right, you’re absolutely right about that and I’ve heard her say that at different conferences that she’s attended.

AFA Stands By Their Man: Fischer Says 'Things that A Lot of People on the Conservative Side of Things Think but They Won't Say'

Rosie Gray of BuzzFeed is out with a new profile of Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association spokesman, revealing that Fischer is a wildcard in the Religious Right movement not because of his extremist views but as a result of his readiness to broadcast them without restraint or fear of the consequences. Social conservative leaders never question or rebuke his hardline rhetoric or radical claims, chronicled almost daily on this blog, and are happy to give Fischer a platform at key events like the Values Voters Summit and appear on his radio show. As Gray writes, the leadership of the AFA is squarely behind Fischer, with Buster Wilson boasting that Fischer “will say things that a lot of people on the conservative side of things think but they won’t say.”

Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches noted in her report from October, 2010, that former AFA employees told her that “the views represented by Fischer are not only tolerated within the organization, but any opposition to its anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant invective—including reliance on white nativist sources in the AFA’s media programs—is dismissed. What’s worse, former employees say, anyone questioning such attitudes as un-Christian is denigrated, and in some cases forced out.”

In fact, the only times his columns were censored by the AFA was not due to internal disagreement but because the issues he was talking about veered outside of the group’s mission.

While the AFA did not remove Fischer’s column denying the link between HIV and AIDS from its website (which you can find here), the group expunged Fischer’s columns defending the expulsion of Native Americans from their land, demanding all immigrants to the US convert to Christianity and maintaining that African Americans “rut like rabbits” as a result of the welfare system. Again, the AFA didn’t think Fischer was wrong, but as Tim Wildmon said, they were about “topics that we wouldn’t get into.”

And what of the drumbeat volume of accusations from those to his left — including many Republicans — that he is a bigot and a homophobe?

“It doesn’t bother me because I know I’m right.”

“Eventually everybody in America is going to agree with me,” Fischer said gravely. “Either before it’s too late or after it’s too late. Because what we’re talking about is the truth.”

Fischer’s confidence has made him a compelling messenger. In 2009, Tim Wildmon invited him nearly 2,000 miles southeast to work at AFA headquaters [sic], and he and his wife Debbie moved to Tupelo. The couple attends the Hope Church, a midsize evangelical congregation on a desolate highway on the way out of town, and have two grown children, Jenna and J.D.

When the younger Wildmon took over the AFA from his ailing father in 2010, he immediately set out to boost its already-robust radio network — an effort that involved hiring rising star Fischer. AFA’s programming goes out to 200 stations across the country and pulls in between 800,000 and 1.2 million listeners a week, of whom Fischer’s show takes the majority, the group says. Buster Wilson, who hosts the show after Fischer’s, said he believed Fischer had inherited the elder Wildmon’s high-profile role in the conservative movement.

“Bryan will say things that a lot of people on the conservative side of things think but they won’t say,” Wilson said. “Or believe but they won’t speak of,” Wilson said.

...

Wildmon was careful to note that Fischer’s views, on his blog and on his radio show, do not always reflect those of AFA. He said there have been two instances in the past two years when he’s asked Fischer to take something off the site. One was a post asserting that Native Americans were “morally disqualified” from controlling territory in North America. Another was a column using the example of Magic Johnson’s health to question whether or not HIV really leads to AIDS.

Why can’t Fischer say that, but can say, for example, that Hitler was gay, or that God will cure AIDS if gays cease all sexual activity? Or that Bill Clinton is responsible for the rise in oral cancer?

“Most times his views are going to be be consistent with ours, but sometimes he’s going to stray and speak on topics that we wouldn’t get into,” Wildmon said. “I’m not distancing myself or our ministry from Bryan in the sense that he does work here, he’s on our payroll.”

Fischer said that every time something’s been taken off the blog, it’s been of his own volition.

“I made those decisions,” he said.

PFAW: White House Summit Signals Priority on Ending Judicial Obstruction

Today, representatives from People For the American Way joined with advocacy groups and concerned citizens from across the country to meet with Obama administration officials about ending the vacancy crisis in America’s federal courts.

Groups concerned about the judicial vacancy crisis issued a joint statement, which can be found here.

The White House meeting brings together 150 advocates from 27 states to discuss the vacancy crisis that is plaguing America’s federal courts. One in ten federal court seats is currently or will soon be vacant, yet Republican obstruction has caused unprecedented delays for nominees to fill those seats.

“It’s encouraging that the Obama administration is so clearly placing a priority on ending the vacancy crisis in the federal courts,” said Marge Baker of People For the American Way. “The president and Congress have a duty to work together to ensure that all Americans have access to fair and effective courts. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans have too often been shirking that duty as they seek to slow even the most basic business of Congress.

“Gridlock in Washington has resulted in gridlock in the federal courts and inexcusable delays for Americans seeking justice. Today, the voices of people who are hurt by this gridlock will be heard loud and clear in Washington.”

People For the American Way released an infographic today detailing the impact of Republican obstruction of judicial nominees:

(Click image for a larger pdf version of the infographic.)

 

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