Virginia

North Carolina GOP Senate Candidate Thom Tillis Marginalizes Minority Communities

In an interview recorded in September 2012, North Carolina Speaker of the House and U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis compared the growing population of African Americans and Latinos to a stagnant “traditional population of North Carolina and the United States.”

In an interview highlighted by Talking Points Memo, which first spotted the 2012 interview, a spokesman for Tillis claimed that “traditional North Carolinians refers to North Carolinians who have been here for a few generations.”

If you listen to the full context of Tillis’ remarks, however, it is clear that he was referring to the “traditional population” as a group distinct from the “Latino population” and the “African American population.”

Right Wing Watch points out that “traditional population” and “traditional Americans” are frequently used by anti-immigrant extremists as euphemisms for “white population.” For instance, in The Social Contract, a journal founded by an influential anti-immigrant leader, the term is used in a 2012 essay by Brenda Walker when she says, “Traditional Americans are assailed by affirmative action and benefits for illegal aliens, which are not available to citizens.”

In speaking of the “traditional population,” Tillis stands alongside people like William Gheen, founder of anti-immigrant group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, who said that immigration reform would create a situation in which “traditional Americans, like those who that have been here for hundreds of years in descendancy, will no longer govern our own nation.”

It is true that North Carolina’s African American, Latino, and Asian American populations are growing faster than its white population. For instance, the Latino population in North Carolina grew by 111.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, increasing from 4.7 percent of the population to 8.4 percent. Yet Tillis has consistently worked to marginalize Latinos, by cutting spending on education, opposing healthcare reform, and supporting a restrictive voter identification law ironically called “VIVA.” That’s why People for the American Way is working in North Carolina this year to make sure Latino voters know the threat posed by Tillis’ extreme agenda.

Last year PFAW’s Spanish-language advertising helped spur turnout among Latinos in Virginia’s gubernatorial elections, and did the same in many 2012 battleground contests. As we look to the 2014 elections, Tillis’ actions and statements marginalizing the Latino community will represent a real challenge to his standing in an increasingly powerful voting bloc.

PFAW

What Cantor’s Defeat Says About Money In Politics

As the news of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s surprising loss last night to Tea Party challenger David Brat sinks in, Brat’s anti-immigrant extremism is increasingly coming into the spotlight. Today Right Wing Watch wrote that Brat actively sought out the endorsement of ALIPAC, an anti-immigrant hate group whose leader has suggested that violence may be necessary to quell President Obama’s supposed war on “white America.” Brat campaigned on the claim that a vote for Cantor was “a vote for amnesty.”

But there is another aspect to the race also worth paying attention to: Brat’s focus on corruption in Washington. This morning our friends at Public Campaign pointed out that Brat, who was vastly outspent by Cantor, consistently made speaking out against political corruption a part of his campaign. In his victory speech, Brat said to supporters: “What you proved tonight was dollars don’t vote — you do.”

The overwhelming majority of Americans (92 percent of voters, according to a November 2013 poll) think it’s important for elected officials do more to reduce money’s influence on elections — a statistic we often highlight in our work for urgently-needed campaign finance reforms. What last night’s news brings to the foreground is the obvious fact that this 92 percent cannot possibly reflect Americans of only one political leaning. A commitment to fighting corruption and the outsized influence of big money in politics is a deeply-held belief of people of all political stripes, whatever their other beliefs may be.

This morning Politico proclaimed, “Big money couldn’t save Eric Cantor.” And despite Brat’s extremism, there is something hopeful about the fact that people can fight back against the tidal wave of cash flooding our electoral system. To be sure, this outcome is the exception rather than the rule. More than nine times in ten, the better-financed congressional candidate wins. In the post-Citizens United and post-McCutcheon campaign finance landscape, to pretend that money doesn’t matter hugely in the outcome of elections — and in who has access to and influence over politicians once the election is over — is to be willfully blind.

But it’s also important to be reminded that when voters set their minds to it, they still have the power to reshape our nation — for good or ill.

PFAW

David Brat Sought Endorsement Of Anti-Immigrant Hate Group ALIPAC

David Brat’s upset victory over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in yesterday’s Republican primary in Virginia’s seventh congressional district was driven in part by Brat’s no-compromise position on immigration reform, which put him even farther to the right than the not-exactly immigration-friendly Cantor .

Among those celebrating Brat’s surprise win is William Gheen, head of the anti-immigrant hate group ALIPAC , who used some of his group’s meager funds to send out a robocall in the district in the days before the election, playing up the fear that undocumented immigrants would “vote with or against you in future elections.”

While the robocall was an independent endeavor, Brat had actively sought ALIPAC’s endorsement.

In February, Brat’s campaign manager filled out ALIPAC’s candidate survey, which asked prospective endorsees to choose between the enforcement of “immigration laws as the U.S. Constitution requires for the protection of American jobs, elections, taxpayer resources, health and lives” and immigration reform, which it said would “lead to a new voting bloc of 11-20 million illegal immigrants, which would in turn destroy any future hopes of border or immigration law existence or enforcement.” Brat chose the former, and earned Gheen’s endorsement .

Gheen — who is ALIPAC’s chief cook and bottle-washer — is a fringe extremist, even in the already extreme anti-immigrant movement. Here is just a smattering of his paranoid, racist rhetoric, that would have been easily accessible to the Brat campaign through a quick Google search:

William Gheen Robocall Warns South Carolina & Virginia Voters That Immigrants Will Take Their Jobs, Welfare And Votes

Updated

Despite his group’s perpetual financial woes, William Gheen of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC has managed to scrape together enough funds to deluge 122,000 households in South Carolina and Virginia with a robocall attacking Rep. Eric Cantor and Sen. Lindsey Graham for supporting immigration reform, Brietbart reports today.

“Remember that a vote for Cantor or Graham is a vote for tens of millions of illegal immigrants to get amnesty, jobs, welfare payments and a vote with or against you in future elections. Remember who to thank for amnesty. Thank Eric Cantor and Lindsey Graham” Gheen says in the robocall, which he tells Breitbart will reach 26,000 Republican households Cantor’s Virginia district and 96,000 in South Carolina.

Cantor, meanwhile, hasn’t explicitly endorsed immigration reform and is actuallyfundraising off the claim that he blocked reform from moving forward in Congress.

Gheen is one of the most extreme figures in the anti-immigrant movement, who has warned of a violent revolution if the immigrant “invasion” can’t be stopped and said that immigration reform would amount to “national rape.”

UPDATE: It looks like Gheen’s South Carolina calls violate state law, which of course gives Gheen another opportunity for self-aggrandizement. The State reports:

State law bans automatically dialed calls that deliver unsolicited, prerecorded consumer or political messages without assistance of a live operator, S.C. Republican Party chairman Matt Moore said in a memo sent out last month as a reminder to campaigns.

Graham’s campaign spokesman, Tate Zeigler, said of the automated calls, “We don't do illegal robo calls.”

Americans for Legal Immigration president William Gheen said his robo-calls comply with federal law. Gheen was not familiar with S.C. law. After reading it, he said he would turn himself in if any prosecutor decided to charge him.

He also said he would beat any charges.

“I feel quite confident in my ability to defeat this in a court of law,” Gheen said, adding he is defending his right to engage in political speech. “For our republic to function, people need to be able to communicate with voters.”

Gheen said he has one request for anyone who plans to arrest him: “The only thing I ask is that they do it before Election Day, please."

UPDATE II: Gheen has issued a press release hyping his own martyrdom, even though there has been no indication that he will even be charged under the rarely-enforced South Carolina law:

The President of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC William Gheen is facing possible charges and arrest after bumping into a unique, obscure, and unenforced state law banning automated campaign calls that are designed to warn South Carolina and Virginia voters about how the immigration reform amnesty plans of Senator Lindsey Graham and Congressman Eric Cantor will affect them.

...

"I know that nobody likes robo-calls, but isn't it ironic that I might be charged for violating an obscure unenforced state law curtailing freedoms of political speech while more than 12 million illegal immigrants flagrantly violate numerous federal laws designed to protect Americans from real damages?" said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "A few seconds of an annoying call is nothing compared to the millions of devastated American lives that are a result of Lindsey Graham's and Eric Cantor's support for amnesty for illegals."

Bob Marshall Reiterates Claim That Disabled Children Represent God's 'Vengeance' For Abortion

Virginia GOP state delegate and congressional candidate Bob Marshall is standing by his claim that disabled children are God’s punishment for women who have an abortion.

“Nature takes its vengeance on subsequent children,” Marshall said in 2010. “It’s a special punishment, Christians would suggest.”

Yesterday, Marshall insisted that he won’t be backing away from the comment as he campaigns for the House, and is similarly defending his suggestions that Justice Anthony Kennedy is secretly gay and that abortion should be banned in cases of incest because it could be “voluntary.”

Delegate Robert G. Marshall has said that disabled children can be God’s vengeance against women who have had abortions. He has described incest as sometimes voluntary, and he has questioned the sexuality of a Supreme Court justice who has favored marriage equality.



“For all I know, Kennedy’s a homosexual,” he said. “You can’t be doing some of these things without this kind of conclusion.”

Like many of his other comments, Mr. Marshall stands by it.

“Clearly, some of the people who are making these decisions must be rationalizing their own bad behavior,” he said Thursday.

In 2010, at an event calling for an end to state funding for Planned Parenthood, Mr. Marshall suggested that women who have abortions are more likely to face “vengeance” from “nature” in children with a greater likelihood of having developmental disabilities.

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” Mr. Marshall said.



The author of a 1989 Boston Globe column asked him about his opposition to all abortion — even in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. Mr. Marshall, then the research director for the American Life League, posed a baffling question of his own in response.

“What if incest is voluntary?” Mr. Marshall said. “Sometimes it is.”



Mr. Marshall has repeatedly introduced “personhood” bills to secure civil and legal rights for the unborn from the moment of conception. In 2012, he also introduced a measure that would require women to undergo ultrasounds before having abortions. The legislative effort created headaches for Gov. Bob McDonnell, who ultimately requested an amendment to water down the bill after the news went national and the state became the butt of jokes for late-night comedians.

Liberty Counsel Defends Christian School's Right To Demand Tomboy Student Follow 'Biblical Standards' On Gender

Yesterday, we noted that Liberty Counsel had come to the defense of a Virginia Christian school which had informed the family of an 8-year old female student not to re-enroll her next year unless she is "open to following the biblical standards" regarding her appearance and gender.

The girl's great-grandparents and legal guardians assert that she is being asked to leave the school because she is a tomboy with short hair, but yesterday the school released a statement through Liberty Counsel saying that the media reports about the issue have been false and misleading:

We are deeply dismayed over the inaccurate and public nature of this situation and the false and inaccurate reporting.

The Church and the School are limited in what can be related about this situation. With all due respect, the facts are not as S.K.'s great-grandparents have portrayed them. This matter is far beyond a simple ‘hairstyle and tomboy issue’ as inaccurately portrayed. It is not about that at all. At no time did the Church or the School state or imply that S.K. was sexually immoral or the like. Yet, reports like this have appeared in the media. The School has never told S.K. she cannot return to school.

The Church and the School have a responsibility to all students, their parents, and guardians. Parents and guardians send their children to the School because of our Christian beliefs and standards. We have a duty to create an environment that is supportive of these Christian values. We cannot have conflicting messages or standards because such conflict will confuse our students and frustrate the parents and guardians who have entrusted the education of their children to us. When elementary children and their parents or guardians express concerns regarding use of the restroom and other matters arising from the sensitive issues here, the School has a duty to address those concerns and to ensure that all interests are heard and protected in accordance with the Christian mission of the School. While we welcome all students, parents and guardians are made aware of the School’s Christian mission and beliefs. We not only have a right, but we also have a duty to uphold these Christian standards.

We deeply regret that the great-grandparents either made inaccurate statements or were quoted out of context. This public discussion is not in the best interest of all concerned. S.K. has been attending our school for several years and we had looked forward to working with her and her great-grandparents privately.”

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, who has been asked to represent the school, commented: “The Book of Proverbs says that he who states his case first seems right until another comes forth to challenge him. I think that accurately describes the misinformation that was reported regarding Timberlake Christian School. The school looks forward to working with the family and moving forward to a positive resolution.”

We are actually sympathetic to Liberty Counsel on this point because we have seen this very sort of story play out in the opposite direction time and again, as Religious Right groups gin-up a one-sided controversy about supposed anti-Christian persecution and then spread it far and wide before school officials have even had a chance to correct the record.

But, in this case, media reports seem quite accurate, as they are based upon the letter the school sent home in which school officials informed the family that the young girl would not be welcome back if she did not begin to model proper "biblical standards" of gender:

There also have been several occasions when the other students, particularly those who do not know Sunnie personally, have been confused about whether she is a boy or girl, and at times, these occasions have been troubling to Sunnie. I also understand that Sunnie is being counseled professionally regarding her identify and image in order to steer her in a particular direction to handle these identity issues.

You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian Schools is a religious, Bible-believing Institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment, and we believe that our biblical role is to work in conjunction with the home to mold students to be Christlike, On those occasions in which the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home is counter to or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle that the school teaches, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or to discontinue enrollment of a student. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, condoning or supporting sexual immorality; practicing homosexual lifestyle or alternative gender identity; promoting such practices; or otherwise having the inability to support the moral principles of the school. We base this standard on Bible principles as found in Leviticus 20:13a; Romans 1:21-27; Matthew 19:4-6; and I Corinthians 6:9-20.

However, we believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that ICS is not the best place for her future education. It seems that the school’s goals and biblical foundations are going to be in contradiction with the direction that Sunnie is heading at this point.

For this reason, we must ask that you not re-enroll Sunnie here at TCS unless you are open to following the biblical standards set forth above.

Glenn Beck, Liberty University, And The Right To Be Different

Last week, we noted that it was a little odd to watch Glenn Beck heap praise upon Religious Right activist Mat Staver not too long after denouncing anyone who supported the anti-gay crackdown taking place in Russia, given Staver's long history of anti-gay activism and support for these very sorts of laws.

On today's radio broadcast, Beck was discussing the most recent developments in the Justina Pelletier case and once again praised Staver and Liberty University, where he serves as dean of the law school. So impressed with Staver is Beck that he announced that, when he dies, he is going to leave a lot of money to LU:

This is odd for a number of reasons, most notably the fact that Liberty U has not been particularly welcoming of Mormons or Mormonism.

Beyond that, just last week Beck made a crusade out of defending a gradeschool boy who was told not to bring his "My Little Pony" backpack to school, using his entire network to support the boy and even bringing him on his television program.

"I thought it was important to send a very clear message to Grayson and everybody else that it’s okay to be different," Beck declared last week.  "It is critical that you remain different. It is critical that you say, ‘This is who I am, and if you don’t like it, go pound sand. I don’t really care.'"

This week, a similar sort of story emerged out of Virginia where a Christian school has asked a young girl to leave because she is too much of a tomboy and is not modeling a properly feminine "biblical lifestyle."

"We believe that unless Sunnie and her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education," shool officials wrote in a letter sent home with the student.

Wouldn't you know it, but this school just so happens to have a close relationship with none of than Liberty University and, according to news reports, school officials are referring any inquiries about the incident to Mat Staver's Liberty Counsel:

School officials declined a request to speak with MSNBC, referring the matter instead to Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization. Timberlake administrator Jeff Abbett did send a statement to WDBJ7, however, saying the school was “heart-broken” over the latest developments.

Will Glenn Beck come rushing to defend Sunnie’s right to be different? Or will he continue to stand with Staver and heap praise upon Liberty Counsel even as his organization defends this school's decision to refuse to allow her to attend because she chooses to "remain different"?

As we have pointed out before, Beck has a tendency to decry the very things that the people with whom he chooses to associate all vocally support, all while pretending that he doesn't even know anybody who supports those sorts of things. And this is another perfect example of Beck's myopic hypocrisy as one week he is decrying efforts by a school to force a student to conform and then, the very next week, endlessly praising someone who is defending a school that is forcing a student to conform.

Urgent Action Needed on Georgia Early Voting Bill on Last Day of Legislative Session

Updated March 21: Georgia's legislative session closed without final action being taken on HB 891. According to Facing South, "House sponsors declined to take up a vote on the revised bill, and HB 891 was dead." The report quotes Kelli Persons of League of Women Voters of Georgia, "The message here is that it's very important . . . to pay attention to what's happening at the local level," in reference to the bill's impact on municipal early voting.
PFAW

CWA: Fight 'The Homosexual Lobby' Before 'We End Up Losing Our Freedoms'

Mario Diaz of Concerned Women for America, still reeling from Virginia marriage equality advocates’ victory in federal court, warns in a blog post today that gay rights gains “are costing us our freedoms.” While Diaz doesn’t exactly explain what freedoms he lost when a judge struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, he writes that the “homosexual lobby” is “corroding our freedom.”

He claims to be upset about a pro-marriage equality petition to the appeals court and insists that conservative groups would never ask people to sign a petition to a court since they have “respect for our Constitution and the rule of law.”

Diaz might be interested to know that his own group is currently circulating a petition to “urge the Supreme Court to strike down the [Obamacare] law in its entirety.”

The anti-gay activist adds that just as the nation’s founders “defeated a great and mighty foe to establish the principles of freedom and liberty,” fellow conservatives must “stand before the challenges of our day in the same manner, knowing that truth will prevail, trusting that Providence guides and guards us through it all.”

Today’s version of the judiciary is a mere caricature of what the Founders intended.

The homosexual lobby has turned to the courts time and again to overrule the vote of the people, re-write legislation and even initiate executive action. They applaud all these efforts, even when they are costing us our freedoms.



With this new effort of lobbying the courts, the homosexual lobby aims at that which is supposed to be the benchmark of justice, impartiality. This ends-justify-the-means mentality is corroding our freedom, and we must stand forcefully against it.

We must resist the temptation to use the same tactics. Influence in the courts is brought through legal arguments and respect. Respect for our Constitution and the rule of law. The ends do not justify the means. The means matter. And no matter how dirty the other side plays, we must win in the right way.

What good is it to us to “win” an argument if we end up losing our freedoms? No, we must win with an approach that upholds the values that have made our country great. Yes, it is difficult. But it is possible. Our Founders showed us that.

Against all odds, they defeated a great and mighty foe to establish the principles of freedom and liberty we fight for today. We stand before the challenges of our day in the same manner, knowing that truth will prevail, trusting that Providence guides and guards us through it all.

We stand on the right side of history. For we stand for truth, freedom and liberty. Be encouraged!

American Decency Association: Marriage Equality Gains Mean 'We Could Be Watching The Fall Of A Nation'

The American Decency Association is adding its voice to the chorus of anti-gay activists angered by a federal judge’s ruling against Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.

In a statement yesterday, the group said that the gay rights supporters are removing God’s blessing from America and bringing down the country through “lawlessness, which defies both republic [sic] and democratic rule.”

“As the delicate balance of powers tilt we could be watching the fall of a nation,” the group warns. “Lawlessness of the heart is what has led to lawlessness in the land.”

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." The pledge has been recited countless times; yet, how many even know what a Republic is? Benjamin Franklin, upon being asked what kind of government we had after signing the Constitution replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”



Perhaps a simplistic definition of “Republic” and “Democracy” would be as follows: A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution). A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule). A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals while democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs (the public good).

We’ve seen such lawlessness, which defies both republic [sic] and democratic rule rear its ugly head most recently in the marriage issue. When the Federal Attorney General strips away State sovereignty and the State Attorney General strips away the rights of the people with no repercussion, you are left with lawlessness. Judges are to rule BY the law, not throw off their black robes, and impose their own philosophies, personal preferences, cultural ties, or political agendas. When these things happen, you have lawlessness.

Recently in Virginia an Attorney General and an activist judge, appointed by President Obama, put their personal feelings and opinions above the marriage laws of Virginia that affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In 2006 the people of Virginia, with a 57% vote, amended their constitution upholding natural marriage.



No matter which side you take, on any controversial issue, the lawlessness of our system should greatly bother you. It should raise your ire that our balanced powers are unbalanced and that the separation of the powers are not so separated. As the delicate balance of powers tilt we could be watching the fall of a nation.

Lawlessness of the heart is what has led to lawlessness in the land. It’s only God who can replace the lawless stony heart with a heart of flesh that loves Him and desires to do His will. It’s the grace filled heart that truly desires the best for every man, woman, and child. Instead of giving way to personal preference, we must once more give way to Biblical preference. If we desire to see our nation’s powers separated and balanced once more it must return to the foundation it has forsaken and the God whom it has ignored. Let us pray for God’s grace to transform the lawless heart into a grace-filled loving heart. Then as America blesses God, may God bless America again.

Religious Right Leaders Rail Against Virginia Marriage Equality Decision

A federal judge’s decision to strike down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriagehas unsurprisingly stoked the ire of conservatives.

Family Research Council head Tony Perkins offered a typical rebuke of “activist judges” and the “arrogant judiciary,” and once again warned that marriage equality will in fact lead to unprecedented inequality.

It appears that we have yet another example of an arrogant judge substituting her personal preferences for the judgment of the General Assembly and 57 percent of Virginia voters. Our nation's judicial system has been infected by activist judges, which threaten the stability of our nation and the rule of law.

This ruling comes on the heels of Attorney General Mark Herring's refusal to fulfill his constitutional duty to defend the state's marriage law. His lawlessness is an insult to the voters of Virginia who rightfully expected elected officials to uphold the laws and constitution of the state, not attack them as Herring has done.

An arrogant judiciary is only one of the major consequences of the drive to redefine marriage. Increasingly, Americans are being forced to finance and celebrate unions that not only step on free speech and religious liberty but also deny children a mom and a dad. Rather than live-and-let-live, this court by redefining marriage will create a level of inequality that has never been seen in our country as people are forced to suppress or violate the basic teachings of their faith," concluded Perkins.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Liberty University Law School, which is based in Virginia, said the judge must not have ever read the Constitution.

“This decision is outrageous and legally flawed. Judges would be well-served to read the U.S. Constitution and not invent or rewrite it,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The Constitution cannot be changed by the stroke of a judge’s pen, nor does it bow to a judge’s personal ideology. The overwhelming majority of Virginia voters who make up ‘we the people’ voted to affirm natural marriage. Same-sex marriage, as a policy matter, sends the message that children do not need moms and dads. There is ample evidence that children fair [sic] best when raised with a mother and a father. Same-sex marriage is not the equivalent of natural marriage. Judges should be careful to render decisions grounded in the Constitution and the rule of law. Otherwise, judges and courts will render themselves impotent when the people lose confidence in the judicial system,” Staver continued.

The Family Foundation of Virginia, meanwhile, blamed Valentine’s Day for the ruling, which the group says threatens “our entire social fabric.”

“The timing of this decision certainly calls into question Judge Wright Allen’s objectivity,” a Friday morning statement from the group stated. “This rushed release just prior to Valentine’s Day reeks of political show, making her ruling less a legal argument and more a press release. It’s disappointing that a federal judge would so blatantly expose her personal political agenda at the expense of not just marriage, but our entire social fabric.”



“Regardless of one’s stance on marriage, the people of Virginia were disenfranchised by this ruling as our voice and our vote that amended our Constitution have been rendered meaningless by a single federal judge with the assistance of our own Attorney General,” the Family Foundation statement read. “Protecting a timeless institution for the well-being of children was the will of the overwhelming majority of Virginians and this ruling denies this important state interest as it places the desires of adults over the outcomes of children.”

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown said the “terrible decision” must be reversed:

This is another example of an Obama-appointed judge twisting the constitution and the rule of law to impose her own views of marriage in defiance of the people of Virginia. There is no right to same-sex 'marriage' in the United States constitution. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that states have the preeminent duty of defining marriage. The people of Virginia did just that in voting overwhelmingly to affirm marriage as the union of one man and woman. That decision should be respected by federal judges and we hope that the U.S. Supreme Court ends up reversing this terrible decision. This case also leaves a particular stench because of the unconscionable decision of Attorney General Mark Herring to not only abandon his sworn duty to defend the laws of the state, but to actually join the case against the very people he is duty-bound to represent.

Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation blasted the “imperious federal judiciary” and the “liberal state apparatus,” warning that they are trying “to advance a social experiment that changes America from the nation that we know into something totally unrecognizable” and “will force you to support homosexual marriage.”

The case, if it can be appealed must be appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The problem is that appellate courts have to rule based on the record from the trial court. The record is the transcript of witnesses’ testimony and other evidence the trial judge heard.

With Virginia’s Attorney General refusing to defend the case, the case might not even be appealed and even if it is, the record may be very limited.

Once again, we see an imperious federal judiciary overruling the voters of a state to advance a social experiment that changes America from the nation that we know into something totally unrecognizable.

And with the striking down of this law, can the liberal state apparatus be far behind? That liberal state apparatus is the one that will force you to support homosexual marriage whether or not it conflicts with your religious beliefs.

Virginia Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Struck Down

On Thursday evening a federal judge ruled that Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen stayed the decision pending appeal, meaning that while the ban has been struck down, the ruling will not immediately take effect.

Close on the heels of a federal judge’s decision earlier this week directing Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages from other states, Judge Wright Allen’s decision makes Virginia the first state in the South where a statewide ban has been entirely struck down.

In the South and across the country, it’s clear that Americans increasingly believe it is wrong to block committed couples from the protections and responsibilities that only marriage can provide. As Judge Wright Allen wrote in her decision:

Our nation's uneven but dogged journey toward truer and more meaningful freedoms for our citizens has brought us continually to a deeper understanding of the first three words in our Constitution: we the people. "We the People" have become a broader, more diverse family than once imagined.

PFAW Foundation

Virginia Congressional Candidate Bob Marshall's 5 Craziest Moments

Virginia Republican state delegate Bob Marshall is preparing a bid for the House seat currently held by retiring Rep. Frank Wolf, according to a Virginia-based conservative blog. This would set up a challenge to fellow right-wing state delegate and former Clinton-hunter Barbara Comstock.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with Marshall, here is a quick refresher on some of his most extreme positions:

1. Disabled Children Are God’s Punishment For Abortion

At a 2010 press conference attacking Planned Parenthood, Marshall said that “the number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically” because “when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.” He called disabled children a “special punishment” from God on women who have had abortions.

It is no wonder that Marshall sponsored a personhood bill that would ban abortion in call cases along with some forms of birth control, one of several bills he proposed that would curtail abortion rights and contraception coverage.

2. Ban Gay Service Members From The National Guard

Marshall reacted to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell by proposing legislation to prohibit “active homosexuals” from serving in the Virginia National Guard, warning that the end of the anti-gay ban would “jeopardize our alliances,” ruin the military and possibly lead to a military draft. Marshall said that if he were in the military he wouldn’t trust gay service members because they might give him a sexually transmitted infection or harass him: “It’s a distraction when I’m on the battlefield and I have to concentrate on the guy 600 yards away, am I worrying about this guy whose got eyes on me?”

3. Anti-Gay Crusade

Marshall has staunchly defended of Virginia’s unconstitutional sodomy law, successfully pushed to block the appointment of an openly gay judge and attempted to stop the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank from flying a rainbow flag, warning that LGBT equality “undermines the American economy.”

He also complained that anti-gay activists are being treated in the same way as Dred Scott.

4. Health Care Reform Is Like Rape

In an attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act, Marshall demanded that Virginia exempt itself from the individual health insurance mandate, warning that health care reform represented “criminal activity” akin to the work of “mobsters.”

“This is a fight over whether you are a citizen or you are a serf,” he said. “It’s not your wallet that they want, it’s your soul, it’s your family.” But Marshall didn’t stop there: “Indeed, the individual mandate is not voluntary commercial intercourse; it is forcible economic rape.”

Marshall has also said that health care reform would “euthanize seniors” and “kill capitalism.”

5. Creating A New Currency

Marshall, fearing an economic collapse, called on Virginia to consider creating its own currency due to the likelihood of “a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System. He said that economic doom may be one result of the 2009 stimulus package, which he said is “as much a chain as ankle bracelets were as to African-Americans in the 1860s in this state...it is a chain of death that we’re not going to escape.”

VT and VA Senators Move Quickly to Fill Judicial Vacancies

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FRC Agrees Anti-Gay Activists Are Just Like Dred Scott

Whenever you hear about a member of the Virginia House of Delegates saying something ridiculously offensive or introducing a radical anti-gay or anti-choice law, there’s a pretty good bet that that delegate is Bob Marshall. 

So it was this week when Marshall attacked state Attorney General Mark Herring for refusing to defend Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban in court by comparing himself and fellow anti-gay activists to Dred Scott. While we weren’t surprised to hear Marshall making an over-the-top statement comparing himself to an enslaved person denied citizenship because of his race, we weren’t necessarily expecting the Family Research Council to trumpet their “good friend” Marshall’s remarks. But then we got this email from the FRC touting “The Marshall Plan…on Marriage”:

Days after announcing his refusal to carry out his most basic duty -- upholding the state constitution's marriage amendment -- Herring is facing more than criticism. Thanks to Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall (R), he may also be staring down some weighty repercussions. This week, Del. Marshall, a good friend to FRC, filed a complaint with the Virginia State Bar over Herring's refusal to enforce the will of 57% of the people. "Herring has put all of us in the position of Dred Scott, who had no right to counsel in federal court. An attorney general has a duty to support those laws that are constitutional, and an attorney general has just as strong an obligation and duty to defend laws that he has concluded are unconstitutional..."

Marshall is the “good friend” of FRC who once said that children with disabilities are God’s punishment for abortion, reacted to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, by lamenting that “it's a distraction when I'm on the battlefield and have to concentrate on the enemy 600 yards away and I'm worried about this guy whose got eyes on me,” and led the effort to defeat the nomination of an openly gay judge, questioning how he would rule in a "bar room fight between a homosexual and heterosexual."

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/23/14

  • NOM is calling for "the impeachment of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring for 'malfeasance' and 'neglect of duty' and violating his sworn oath of office to support the constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia" for not defending the state's anti-gay marriage amendment.
  • Peter LaBarbera continues his crusade against Fox News for being too "pro-gay."
  • You really have to feel for the people on Glenn Beck's staff who have to sit there and listen as he goes off on a rant about who knows what.
  • Jerry Newcombe is outraged by Lifetime's remake of "Flowers In The Attic."
  • Finally, FRC continues to pray against Obamacare: "May Americans dazzled by the false promise of lower cost or free healthcare realize that they have bought into a lie that will result in increased, taxpayer-funded abortion, but also substandard healthcare, greater cost, reduced innovation, diminished care for the elderly, fewer doctors to serve more people, longer waits for care and very soon, rationing, etc."

E.W. Jackson Complains That He Was Portrayed As A 'Nutcase' During His Run For Office

E.W. Jackson, the failed Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia last year, appeared on the AFA's "Today's Issues" program recently where he complained that the mainstream media misrepresented his past statements and record in order to portray him as a "nutcase."

Jackson said that he was "very hurt" by the supposedly unfair attacks on him "because when people say things about you that aren't true and they skew things that you said and try to turn you into a nutcase and make you seem like you're really completely outside of the mainstream of American thinking, you know that's not fun":

The reality, of course, is that what painted Jackson as a "nutcase" was not a "skewing" of his past statements, but simply quoting them verbatim.

Tea Party Nation: Pro-Choice Virginia Candidate Worse than Murderers, Rapists

A new TV ad from Jennifer Wexton -- a former state prosecutor who is running for the Virginia state senate seat that will be vacated by Attorney General-elect Mark Herring – has so upset Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips that he is accusing her of being worse than murderers, rapists, and robbers.

In the ad, Wexton says, “as a prosecutor, I put violent offenders in prison. In the Virginia Senate, I’ll fight just as hard against Tea Party Republicans who would take away a woman’s health care and her right to choose, even in cases of rape and incest.”

The right-wing Media Research Center jumped on the ad, claiming that Wexton “made a shocking comparison between violent rapists that she once tried as a prosecutor to ‘Tea Party Republicans’ in the Virginia legislature.”

This moved Phillips to post a screed on his blog, which he also emailed to his group’s members, saying that Wexton “is worse than any of the people I put away” as a district attorney in Tennessee , including those accused of robbery, rape and murder.

“During my career as a prosecutor, I sent people to prison for some horrible things,” Phillips writes. “As far as I am concerned, I would rather see one of them elected than Jennifer Wexton. That is how extreme she is and how far to the left she is.”

I was a prosecutor for ten years. I put a lot of violent offenders in prison. I sent people away for crimes ranging from Robbery, to Rape to Murder.

As far as I am concerned, Jennifer Wexton is worse than any of the people I put away.

She smears millions of Patriotic Americans who love America, freedom and liberty.

She is a supporter of the ideology that has resulted in poverty, tyranny and mass murder around the world.

What she is really saying is, “elect me so I can keep the multi-billion dollar abortion industry profitable!”

During my career as a prosecutor, I sent people to prison for some horrible things. As far as I am concerned, I would rather see one of them elected than Jennifer Wexton. That is how extreme she is and how far to the left she is.

Virginia GOP Paid $80K to Far-Right Homeschoolers' Group

In September, we reported that Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli had called in religious-right reinforcements in the form of Generation Joshua, a branch of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) that sends homeschoolers to campaign on behalf of conservative candidates across the country.

It turns out there was something in it for the homeschoolers’ group other than working to rid Virginia of the scourges of “abortion, homosexuality, and moral relativism.” Roll Call’s Political Money Line reports that the week before the election, the Republican Party of Virginia disbursed $79,500 to the HSLDA’s federal PAC .

This is a big windfall for a group that in the 2012 election cycle took in just $46,000 and spent $32,000 supporting a handful of right-wing candidates including Todd Akin and Michele Bachmann.

HSLDA is run by Michael Farris, who is also the founder and president of Patrick Henry College, a religious-right institution intended to prepare homeschoolers for leadership positions in the conservative movement. Generation Joshua is a parallel effort that has marshalled homeschooled children to campaign on behalf of far-right candidates including Bachmann and Cuccinelli.

In September, we noted some of Farris and HSLDA’s greatest hits:

Generation Joshua’s William Estrada said the youth group deserves credit for swaying former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle’s decision to veto a civil unions law and Farris successfully led the opposition to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Last December, Farris gained publicity for his drive to make sure that no gay students are attending Patrick Henry College. A Patrick Henry professor during the college's annual “Faith and Reason” lecture criticized the government for prosecuting rape, sexual harassment, child abuse and domestic violence cases.

Just this month, Farris testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to promote the conspiracy theory that the U.S. ratifying the U.N Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities would in fact lead to the banning of homeschooling.

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