Washington

PFAW Action Fund Announces Young Elected Progressive Endorsements

People For the American Way Action Fund announced today the endorsements of a slate of dynamic young progressive candidates running for public office across the United States. The endorsees are a diverse mix of candidates 35 and under who are marking a new generation of progressive leadership for the future. These candidates and officials represent a vision that will benefit communities all over the country, as they fight for social, economic, and environmental justice, and equality for all.

The endorsements are part of People For the American Way Action Fund’s Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program. YEP evaluates and endorses young progressive candidates ages 35 and under in their bids for elected office around the U.S. at all levels.

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to endorse these YEP candidates for 2014:

James Albis – CT House District 99
James Albis is running for reelection to the Connecticut House of Representatives 99th District, representing East Haven. Albis has advocated consistently on behalf of the families of East Haven for better jobs, better schools, and better opportunities. In his second term as Representative, Albis worked to protect the environment, serving on the Speaker’s Task Force on Shoreline Preservation. Dedicated to supporting children and families, Albis has sponsored and voted for numerous laws that would expand family and medical leave, as well as healthcare, and to protect East Haven’s share of state education funding. Visit James Albis’s campaign website for more details.

John Paul Alvarez – FL House District 100
John Paul Alvarez is running for Florida House of Representatives District 100, representing Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Alvarez, a true Floridian born and raised in South Florida, knows first-hand about the issues facing his community and is dedicated to making Florida prosper. As a teacher, mentor, and community leader, Alvarez is a fierce advocate for public education. By fighting for the issues that matter most to students, working families, retired citizens, taxpayers, and South Florida’s most vulnerable citizens, Alvarez is determined to improve his community by creating more jobs, lowering the cost of living, and promoting equality for all. Visit John Paul Alvarez’s campaign website for more details.

Nelson Araujo – NV Assembly District 3
Nelson Araujo is a candidate for Nevada’s Assembly District 3, representing Clark County and Las Vegas. He is a native Nevadan that was born to struggling immigrant parents. Araujo, a determined leader, fought to help his family out of poverty and became the first in his family to graduate high school. As a community leader and elected official, Araujo is dedicated to stimulating job growth, providing greater healthcare access, and making higher education more accessible to everyone. We believe that with his leadership, Nevada will thrive. Visit Nelson Araujo’s campaign website for more details.

Mandela Barnes – WI Assembly District 11
Mandela Barnes is running for reelection in Wisconsin’s State Assembly District 11, representing central Milwaukee. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Barnes has done important work for Milwaukee as a community organizer and youth and development specialist. His dedication to creating jobs, reforming public education, and modernizing public transportation will serve the people of Milwaukee and strengthen the community. Visit Mandela Barnes’s campaign website for more details.

Jonathan Brostoff – WI Assembly District 19
Jonathan Brostoff, lifelong resident of Milwaukee’s East Side, is running for Wisconsin State Assembly’s 19th District representing central Milwaukee. Brostroff’s dedication to Milwaukee and experience as a legislative aide will help him lead Wisconsin toward a brighter future. Brostoff is determined to promote equal rights for all, to reinvest in public education, and to improve public transit in Wisconsin. Brostoff is a capable leader, devoted to making Wisconsin thrive for generations to come, whose real-world solutions will create progress in the state. Visit Jonathan Brostoff’s campaign website for more details.

Justin Chenette – ME House District 134
Justin Chenette is running for reelection to the Maine House of Representatives’ 134th District , representing Saco. Before being elected as state Representative, Chenette served on the Maine State Board of Education, and has carried his passion for education into the state legislature. Chenette sponsored several education-related bills including legislation to promote community service in school and require internship experiences for high school students. Chenette, who was 22 years old upon his election to the House, has already proven himself to be a tireless and dedicated advocate and an important member in the next generation of leaders. Visit Justin Chenette’s campaign website for more details.

Luke Diaz –WI Verona Alder District 3
Luke Diaz is seeking reelection to the Verona City Council’s 3rd District, representing central Verona. Diaz has made it his mission to celebrate the city’s culture by cultivating a thriving downtown in Verona, working to expand jobs, improve transit, and provide important services to the community. An experienced city councilman, Diaz is an accessible leader that is dedicated to listening to the needs of his community. Visit Luke Diaz’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Zachary Dorholt – MN House District 14B
Zach Dorholt is running for reelection the Minnesota House of Representatives’ District 14B, representing St. Cloud City, and Haven and Minden Townships. Previously elected in 2011, Dorholt has been a champion for progressive values during his time in the House. He is an advocate for women’s rights and has sponsored bills to equalize pay in Minnesota and lengthen paid maternity leave. Dorholt has also fought for public education funding and is dedicated to creating a pathway to higher education for young Minnesotans. A proven leader, Dorholt will continue to make Minnesota a better and more prosperous place for the entire community. Visit Zach Dorholt’s campaign website for more details.

Crisanta Duran – CO House District 5

Crisanta Duran is running for reelection in the Colorado House of Representatives’ 5th District, representing Denver. As chairwoman of the joint budget committee, Crisanta guided the passage of a state budget that helped protect the environment, boost investments in education and job training, provide better women’s health services, help survivors of abuse, and create a better state economy for all Coloradoans. In her position as an elected official, she will continue to build a strong progressive foundation for the state’s future. Visit Crisanta Duran’s campaign website for more details.

Daneya Esgar – CO House District 46
Daneya Esgar is a candidate for Colorado State House of Representatives’ District 46, representing Pueblo. A dedicated public servant and product of Pueblo’s public education system, Esgar has dedicated her career as a television news producer and a community organizer to improving this community. Esgar has a clear vision for the future of Pueblo, and will continue to work toward job growth and improved public education as an elected official. Visit Daneya Esgar’s campaign website for more details.

Ryan Fecteau – ME House District 11
Ryan Fecteau is a Biddeford native running for Maine House of Representatives’ District 11, representing his hometown. Fecteau has a fresh and progressive perspective on the issues affecting Maine today. As representative, Fecteau will bring strong support of public education, women’s rights, and equal opportunity for all Americans by championing for middle-class workers, seniors, and college graduates of his district. Visit Ryan Fecteau’s campaign website for more details.

Joe Fitzgibbon – WA House District 34
Joe Fitzgibbon is running for reelection to the Washington House of Representatives’ District 34, representing Burien, West Seattle, White Center, and Vashon and Maury Islands. Fitzgibbon has been a fierce advocate for undocumented students, voting for both the DREAM Act and for in-state tuition for undocumented students. A champion for equality in Washington, Fitzgibbon has le d efforts to legalize gay marriage and expand healthcare and Medicaid to help ensure safe abortion procedures. Fitzgibbon is a true progressive and will continue to work toward equality for all Washingtonians. Visit Joe Fitzgibbon’s campaign website for more details.

Chris Larson – WI Senate District 7
Chris Larson is running for reelection to the Wisconsin State Senate’s 7th District, representing Milwaukee County. In Larson’s first term as senator, he served as the Minority Leader and worked tirelessly to end marriage discrimination in Wisconsin, to promote public education, and to protect the environment. Larson has worked to stimulate job growth and to increase access to health care, proving that he is truly in-tune with the needs of his community. “Larson is a true progressive leader,” PFAW’s Political Director Randy Borntrager said. “He is clearly dedicated to his community and determined to help each person and his community as a whole.” Visit Chris Larson’s campaign website for more details.

Eric Luedtke – MD House District 14
Eric Luedtke is running for reelection to the Maryland House of Delegates’ District 14, representing Montgomery County. Luedtke, who was first elected in 2010, has already made his mark as a progressive representative for Maryland. Luedtke, a teacher by profession, has advocated for public education reform, especially advocating for equality for students with special needs. Committed to families and children, Luedtke has worked on a variety of issues, from promoting easier access to healthcare to sponsoring bills that provide greater aid and support for survivors of sexual assault. Visit Eric Luedtke’s campaign website for more details.

Stefanie Mach – AZ House District 10
Stefanie Mach is running for reelection to the Arizona House of Representatives’ 10th Distric , representing Tucson. Since she was elected in 2012, Mach has proven herself to be a fighter, both professionally and personally. In her time as representative, Mach has worked to improve public education, to make higher education more affordable, to encourage job growth and the expansion of local businesses. An advocate for women and minorities, Mach has demonstrated she is dedicated to making Arizona a prosperous community for everyone. Visit Stefanie Mach’s campaign website for more details.

Marcus Madison – OH Senate District 13
Marcus Madison is a candidate for the Ohio State Senate’s 13th District, representing Huron and Lorain counties. Madison, currently serving as a city councilman in Elyria, has already proven that he is a dedicated public servant. He is the former student body president of Lorain County Community College, and previously served as deputy field officer for Obama for America, as well as Communications Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County. A determined advocate, Madison is committed to improving public education, protecting workers, and providing sustainable jobs that will strengthen the middle class. Visit Marcus Madison’s campaign website for more details.

Aaron Marquez – AZ Senate District 27
Aaron Marquez is running for Arizona State Senate District 27, representing Maricopa County. Marquez, a captain with the U.S. Army Reserve, has been a courageous public servant both overseas and at home. Marquez is a fearless advocate for women’s rights, strong supporter of veterans, and a fighter for public education. A dedicated leader, Marquez will be a force for good in the Arizona legislature. Visit Aaron Marquez’s campaign website for more details.

Andrew McLean – ME House District 129
Andrew McLean is running for reelection to the 129th District in the Maine House of Representatives, representing North Gorham, White Rock, Little Falls, the Village and South Gorham. McLean was previously elected in 2012 and has worked tirelessly to support legislation that would protect the environment, expand healthcare, and reform gun laws in Maine. A resilient advocate, as representative McLean will continue to work on behalf of children and families in his next term and for years to come. Visit Andrew McLean’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Matt Moonen – ME House District 118
Matt Moonen is running for reelection in the 118th District in the Maine House of Representatives, representing part of Portland. Moonen has been dedicated to improving healthcare in Maine by sponsoring bills that would prohibit smoking in public places and that would expand Medicaid coverage and eligibility. Additionally, Moonen has been a fierce advocate for raising the minimum wage, passing comprehensive immigration reform, and reforming campaign finance. A true progressive candidate, Moonen will continue to make Maine an accepting and thriving place for all. Visit Matt Moonen’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Joe Neguse – CO Secretary of State
Joe Neguse, who is running for Colorado Secretary of State is the right choice for Colorado. Neguse brings with him knowledge and experience as a business attorney, member of the University Of Colorado Board Of Regents, and as a public servant. As secretary of state, Neguse will perform his duties with integrity and transparency, and will work to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to vote in Colorado. Neguse will advocate for everyone, regardless of wealth, age, or social standing. Visit Joe Neguse’s campaign website for more details.

Kesha Ram – VT House District 6-4
Kesha Ram is running for reelection to the Vermont House of Representatives’ District 6-4, representing Chittenden. Ram has worked to promote green job creation, affordable housing, and expanded access to healthcare. Both personally and in her capacity as a representative, Ram has worked to support survivors of domestic violence and is an active advocate for women’s rights. Ram is forward-thinking and dedicated, and her service will help Vermont flourish. Visit Kesha Ram’s campaign website for more details.

Laurie Anne Sayles – MD House District 17
Laurie Anne Sayles is running for Maryland’s House of Delegates District 17, representing Montgomery County. Sayles is a committed parent who has overcome obstacles to become a dedicated public servant in Maryland. A smart and capable leader, Sayles is a determined advocate for affordable healthcare, stronger public education, and accessible public transportation. As an elected official, Sayles will be a truly progressive leader for years to come. Visit Laurie Anne Sayles’s campaign website for more details.

Katrina Shankland – WI Assembly District 71
Katrina Shankland is running for reelection to the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing Stevens Point and its neighboring counties. In her one term as representative, Shankland has become a dedicated advocate for women’s rights and workers’ rights in Wisconsin. Shankland has worked to improve public education opportunities, and has been a fighter for environmental preservation and clean and sustainable energy practices. Visit Katrina Shankland’s campaign website for more details.

Alonzo Washington – MD House District 22
Alonzo Washington is running for reelection to the Maryland House of Delegates’ District 22, representing Prince George’s County. Washington, who has served in the House since 2012, already made a name for himself as a fighter for progressive values. He has sponsored and voted for bills that will increase the minimum wage, expand access to higher education, and strengthen public schools. As an important leader for Maryland’s future, Washington has and will continue to support progress in Maryland. Visit Alonzo Washington’s campaign website for more details.

Faith Winter – CO House District 35
Faith Winter, running for the Colorado House of Representatives’ 35th District to represent Westminster, is the right choice for Colorado. Winter has dedicated her life to public service, previously serving as a city councilwoman, mayor pro tem, and as the Emerge Colorado’s Executive Director, supporting women running for public office. In these capacities, Winter worked to create long-term jobs, expand affordable housing, and increase usage of sustainable energy in Colorado. Visit Faith Winter’s campaign website for more details.

PFAW

GOP State Rep: Bundy Standoff Pitted 'Freedom-Loving Americans' Against 'Government-Dependent Socialists'

Matt Shea, a Republican state representative from Washington who thinks the government is moving to establish concentration camps after forcibly disarming citizens and wants Tea Party members to stockpile ammo for the country's “inevitable collapse,”  led a delegation of state lawmakers to Nevada last month to support anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy.

In an April 26 interview with Gun Owners for America director Larry Pratt, Shea compared the fringe element supporting Bundy to the American colonists who revolted against Britain. He added that when it comes to the Bundy situation, Americans are divided between “patriots and loyalists”: “Are you a loyalist or are you a patriot? Are you a god-fearing, self-reliant, freedom-loving American, or are you a government-dependent, Constitution-ignoring socialist?”

“I don’t think it’s hyperbole or exaggeration to compare this to colonial America,” he said.

Pratt: I’m not sure it’s all that much different from what it was in colonial America, when our forefathers drew their line in the sand and fought off the world’s most powerful empire. The estimates that I’ve read of historians that have really done some digging is that maybe three percent were actively involved in the war for independence. Maybe another 10 percent, if I remember their guesstimates correctly, at least supported materially in some way –‘Use my pasture over there, you can take those crops over there,’ whatever they might have done to help. Then there was a body of opinion that was kind of undecided and there was another body, a small body probably, that was pro-Tory, pro-king. Maybe we’re not that much different than that estimated line of public opinion in colonial America.

Shea: I really don’t think we are. And I agree with the statement, you know, between three to five percent of the population is what gets actively involved to stand on that line, and then there’s just another huge swath of the population that will, you know, offer material support.

And I’ve been talking to folks recently about what really happened in Nevada, and I’ve really framed the question this way, which I think is the second thing that really relates to colonial America, and that is very simply: Are you a loyalist or are you a patriot? Are you a god-fearing, self-reliant, freedom-loving American, or are you a government-dependent, Constitution-ignoring socialist? And we really have to make that decision as individuals throughout the country.

And that’s really, I think, where we’re at and why I don’t think it’s hyperbole or exaggeration to compare this to colonial America.

Glenn Beck Struggles To Make Sense Of The Term 'Heteronormative'

Glenn Beck is oddly obsessed about a move by the state of Washington to convert all of its same-sex domestic partnerships to marriages now that gay marriage is legal in the state. Back in 2007, before the state enacted marriage equality, Washington began granting marriage-like benefits to same-sex couples (as well as to older heterosexual couples) who registered for domestic partnerships.

Operating on the assumption that same-sex couples who registered for such partnerships would have gotten married had that been an option at the time, the state will now automatically convert those domestic partnerships to marriages as of June 30 for every couple that chooses not to opt out and the domestic partnership option will be eliminated for gay couples entirely.

The way Beck and his staff see it, the state of Washington is now essentially forcing gay couples to get married against their will, which is apparently just like forcing two same-sex roommates to get married.

Beck talked about this issue on his television program last night with The Blaze's Billy Hallowell and gay writer Brandon Ambrosino. During the discussion, Ambrosino made the point that some gay couples might object to having their relationship converted to marriage because they believe that marriage is a heteronormative institution of which they do not want to be a part ... and Ambrosino's use of the word "heteronormative" completely threw Beck for a loop, as he simply could not understand the point that Ambrosino was making, which he then logically attributed to the fact that other people supposedly aren't being consistent.

"The world is such a confusing place now," Beck said. "How do you disagree with that because people aren't consistent?"

PFAW Releases New Toolkit on Getting Money Out and Voters In to Our Democracy

We believe in a democratic system where all Americans have equal access to the voting booth and can express their views on a level playing field.
PFAW

Money Out, Voters In: A Guide to Democratic Reform

Americans today face twin threats to the integrity of our democracy: unlimited spending to influence elections and voter suppression. Find out what you can do.

Hutcherson: Anti-Gay Activists Cost Microsoft Tens of Millions, Possibly Billions, of Dollars

Last year, Religious Right activists believed — without any evidence — that their boycott campaign against Starbucks over the company’s endorsement of marriage equality cost Starbucks billions. Ken Hutcherson, the Washington-based anti-gay activist and the favorite pastor of conservative leaders like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, seems to be under the impression that he dealt similar damage to Microsoft as part of his protest of the company’s pro-gay rights positions.

While speaking to a Tea Party Unity conference call, Hutcherson said that he led a mass-selloff of Microsoft stock on March 15 as a demonstration against the company’s stand for equality that cost the company tens of millions, if not billions, of dollars.

“I had Christians buying stock in Microsoft and they gave me one share and they kept the rest of their shares and gave me their proxy to go to the meetings here in Seattle and say that as stockholders we do not like the way you’re going down in our country, in our state, trying to change the laws and to push the homosexuality as a minority group,” Hutchreson explained. “I said if you guys don’t back off I’m gonna sell my stock and I’m gonna have everyone that bought sell stock; they laughed, they pooh-poohed me and they thought I was nuts so I said, alright just wait and see.”

He said that “there was a selloff of stock on March 15, $30 million in one day Microsoft lost and they have not recovered yet, someone told me the difference was $30 billion and I never can confirm that because they won’t allow that to come out.”

That would be pretty impressive if it were true.

Check a timeline of Microsoft stock for yourself.

Hutchreson started the campaign in 2008 and said he led the selloff campaign three years later.

On March 11, 2011, stock was valued at 25.68; on March 18 it was valued at 24.80. By March 25, the price was 25.62.

Today, the stock is valued at 32.43.

Washington State Moving Forward With First Steps to Overturn Citizens United

Earlier this month, a group of state legislators, led by Sen. Adam Kline and Rep. Jamie Pedersen introduced companion bills requesting that Congress pass a constitutional amendment to return the authority to regulate election spending to Congress and state legislatures.
PFAW

No, Linda Harvey, Marriage Equality Will Not Make Jesus Get Gay Married

Linda Harvey is not happy with the recent vote in Washington state in favor of marriage equality and she is even less happy with the decision by the state to revise its marriage licenses to add an option for "spouse," in addition to "bride" and "groom," allowing those who are getting married to choose which they prefer. 

In Harvey's eyes, this change undermines the "legitimacy of man-woman marriage" and, even worse, creates confusion about the Christian imagery in which Jesus one day returns to earth to marry his "bride": the church.

Well now, even though truth has not changed; marriage is still, in reality, one man and one woman, the voters' decision prompted health department officials to propose a change in language until enough people objected.  The words "bride" and "groom" were going to be replaced with "spouse A" and "spouse B" or "person A" and "person B" on marriage licenses, according to the original proposal.

That's right; on official marriage documents, the words "bride" and "groom" were going to disappear.  When advocates of homosexual marriage say how would two men or two women being allowed to marry change your marriage, here's one way.  Nonsense like this starts showing up and the legitimacy of man-woman marriage is automatically on defense against pretenders to the throne.

...

Homosexuality, far from being marriage, is always a grave sin in Scripture.

Then, speaking of brides and grooms, there's another Christian concept that illustrates the unchanging standard of man and woman as the model for marriage: in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to several times as the "bridegroom." And when he returns, he will return as a bridegroom seeking his bride: the church, which is the body of all believers, also called the Bride of Christ.  It's a beautiful analogy.

What happens to such a concept in a same-sex marriage?  Does Jesus as bridegroom seek another groom?  No, that would be a twisted and frankly offensive spin on a profound and marvelous concept.

As Christians, we must never accept the idea of same-sex marriage.  It certainly doesn't work as sound Christian doctrine and it will be shown before long not to work as revolutionary secular law either.

Ken Hutcherson is 'Sick and Tired of the Homosexuals Taking Words that God has Given Us'

Pastor Kenneth Hutcherson is blaming leading conservative groups for sidelining him in the unsuccessful campaign to overturn Washington state’s marriage equality, and while speaking to Sandy Rios and Fred Jackson of the American Family Association said that churches who aren’t involved in anti-gay campaigns are “an abomination to God.” Hutcherson also reassured Rios, who predicted that Obama will “bring in gay marriage nationally” and “human misery,” not to feel discouraged and to remember that he is the “gayest guy you know.” “I am sick and tired of the homosexuals taking words that God has given us, I am sick and tired of the homosexual community taking our rainbow,” he said, calling on the “evangeli-fish” in the Religious Right to stop being “irrelevant” and “sissified” in the culture wars.

Rios: Dr. Hutcherson, I know that it’s hard for all of us to fight human discouragement, how could we not be, you know four defeats on the marriage amendments and all the other propositions, plus we know that another Barack Obama four years I think is going to bring in gay marriage nationally and so many other things, huge debt, I think we’re going to see human misery. From a spiritual standpoint, Christians are going to suffer some real persecution, I think. So this human discouragement, there’s human reality that we have to face, but speak to us if you will as a pastor, are you there yet? Are you still filled with discouragement this morning? Are you there yet? Are you ready to speak to us as a pastor?

Hutcherson: I think the first thing we are going to have to do to really be discouraged is to speak to the church. I have been preaching and pushing and talking unity till I am blue in the face and you guys know how black I am in the face. I have continued to look that God is still on the throne, this is not a man’s decision in these elections, there is no way in the world that we should have had the votes that we had. So I am praying that we really get in the face of the church, really get in the face of the conservative leaders, really get in the face of churches. We have major churches out here that did not stand up, did not even raise a finger to defeat this whole thing on same-sex marriage and that is just an abomination to God.



Hutcherson: Don’t forget guys, when you think about pastor Hutcherson out here, think about the gayest guy you know, I am sick and tired of the homosexuals taking words that God has given us, I am sick and tired of the homosexual community taking our rainbow when God gave us that promise that He would not destroy the earth with water again. We have just become irrelevant, we are just sissified, we are evangeli-fish with no spiritual vertebrae and we need to wake up.

PFAW: Marriage Equality Victories a Watershed Moment for LGBT Americans

Washington, DC -- Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, released the following statement in response to victories of marriage equality ballot measures in Maine and Maryland, the lead for a marriage equality measure in Washington, and the defeat of a discriminatory marriage amendment in Minnesota:

"Yesterday was a great day for progressive values, and none more than the American value of equality under the law. For the first time in our history, voters accepted marriage equality at the polls, with marriage equality measures passing in two states and poised to pass in another. In a landmark victory, voters also rejected a discriminatory marriage amendment. And, for the first time in our history an openly gay American won a seat in the U.S. Senate. This is not a fluke, it is a watershed.

"Eight years ago, George W. Bush and Karl Rove hitched their reelection effort to anti-gay animus, pushing discriminatory ballot measures in 11 states in an effort to boost their own campaign. Yesterday, Americans decisively reelected the first president to publicly support marriage equality and turned out to the polls to support their LGBT neighbors.

"These votes are victories for families in Maine, Maryland and Washington who will now have access to many of the protections of marriage. But they are also victories for all Americans, who step by step are building a country where all our neighbors are treated with decency and respect. We have a lot of work left to do, but this much is clear: the politics of exclusion and discrimination is no longer a winning formula."

###

PFAW’s African American Ministers In Action Equality Task Force Supports Marriage Equality Ballot Measures

This week the Equal Justice Task Force of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers In Action released a statement in support of the marriage equality ballot measures in Maryland, Maine, and Washington and opposing a discriminatory marriage amendment in Minnesota.

“At this moment in history, it is important that we stand on the side of faith, compassion, and equality instead of on the side of discrimination and oppression,” said Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way. “We’ve seen again and again that when laws prevent gay and lesbian couples from getting the protections that only marriage can provide, all families are harmed and all communities suffer. As an African American and a woman I am frightened when one group attempts to limit or restrict the rights of others. We urge voters in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington to reject discrimination and vote to strengthen and affirm all families.”

 

###

Joseph Backholm Thinks Marriage Equality will Fail because it relies on 'Emotional Manipulation'

Celebrating his success in putting Washington’s marriage equality law up to a popular referendum, Joseph Backholm of Preserve Marriage Washington and the Family Policy Institute of Washington once again appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show and told her that he is confident of winning in November because the case for same-sex marriage, he claims, doesn’t rely on logic. Instead, Blackholm said that unlike anti-gay activists, proponents of marriage equality depend on demonizing the opposition and “emotional manipulation” to win support.

Backholm: The narrative on the other side of this issue has basically been, ‘good people support redefining marriage, bad people don’t; you’re a good person, so join us.’ So a bunch of people who—generally we consider ourselves to be kind and thoughtful and ‘live and let live’ kind of people, that’s kind of the American way—and so by virtue of that people just migrate by default to where they perceive the people to be. Their narrative depends entirely upon that, so logical discussions about this subject rarely take place with those folks. But when they happen, the logic behind their argument really does tend to fall apart. It’s also because that is what they depend on so heavily, it’s why I’m supremely confident that in the long term we win this discussion because you can’t rely on emotional manipulation forever.

Steve Pidgeon warns that Marriage Equality will make America a 'Cursed Society'

Today on Family Talk, James Dobson spoke to Republican activist Attorney General candidate Steve Pidgeon about an upcoming vote in Washington state that anti-gay groups hope will repeal the state’s law legalizing same-sex marriage. Pidgeon, a birther conspiracy theorist who has likened same-sex marriage to demon worship, is behind Initiative 1192 [pdf], which “reaffirms the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.” Along with I-1192, conservatives are also pushing Referendum 74 that would ask voters to approve or reject the marriage equality law signed in February.

He told Dobson that judges in America are creating “a form of totalitarianism” that “violates the fundamental freedoms of what it means to be an American” in order to “impose” same-sex marriage. However, Washington’s marriage equality law was passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor.

Pidgeon also described same-sex marriage as a “profanity” and an act of “desecrating the temple,” warning that people “must rise up” so America does not become “a cursed society”:

What you have, Dr. Dobson, is you have the oligarchy impressing its will upon the people. This is a form of tyranny, if you will, that even Thomas Jefferson warned us about, saying that when the court imposes its will on the public it’s an oligarchy, it’s a form of totalitarianism, where a few select people believe that their will should be imposed on the rest of us. It’s unconstitutional and more importantly it violates the fundamental freedoms of what it means to be an American to have a couple of select judges tell an entire state, ‘you can’t determine for yourself whether or not you’re going to be righteous in the sight of God or not.’



You know, this business of same-sex marriage is really not about same-sex marriage, Dr. Dobson, I mean it is about desecrating the temple.



You cannot be silent any more, there is a time when you cannot allow such a profanity to walk into the sacred assembly and now is that time.



Now is the time, this is the hour, people are being called, you must rise up and you must speak on behalf of the kingdom. This is the difference between whether or not we will be a blessed society or a cursed society, and it’s not just for you, it’s for your children and your grandchildren. You must stand and speak now.

Anti-Gay Pastor Calls Himself the 'Gayest Guy I Know'

Washington state pastor Ken Hutcherson, who is working with the National Organization for Marriage to repeal his state’s marriage equality law, recently embarked on a campaign to “take back the rainbow” from the gay community. Now, Hutcherson even wants pastors to “come out of the closet” and “shout loud and proud, ‘We are gay!’” As Hutcherson explained in an interview with the Christian Post, it is all part of an effort to retake “hijacked” words, arguing that the word “gay” is inappropriate to describe homosexuals like Dan Savage because there is “nothing gay” about them:

But the fact is, Hutcherson is not a homosexual, nor does the happily married man have a same-sex attraction of any kind. He is however, on a mission to take back words, phrases and symbols he believes groups, such as homosexuals and other liberal organizations have "hijacked" from the American lexicon.

"Seriously, I am the gayest guy I know," Hutcherson reiterated in an interview with The Christian Post.

"My frustration is that some groups have taken words and symbols away from the Church and from society in general. When I say I'm 'gay,' what I mean is that I am happy, that I am joyful and that I love people. That is precisely what a Christian ought to be so in my opinion we just need to be as gay as we can."

"Dan Savage (a pro-gay activist) says he is gay. He's not gay, not anywhere close. Yeah, he may be a homosexual but he certainly doesn't appear to be happy or joyful when he stands up in front of a classroom and uses profane language. Nope, nothing gay about that."

Ken Hutcherson: Anti-Gay Activists Must 'Take Back the Rainbow'

Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage isn’t the only anti-gay activist seeking to take the symbol of the rainbow back from the “gay lobby,” as Washington state pastor and NOM-ally Kenneth Hutcherson, who is working to overturn the state’s marriage equality law, writes today in WorldNetDaily that it is time to “take back the rainbow for God” and let “the homosexual community find a different religious symbol to commandeer.”

How did we get here? Just when was this symbol liquidated of its meaning? When was the sign pointing to God’s promise intentionally co-opted to point to a certain lifestyle choice? Let’s just say that the homosexual movement has been busy over the last couple of decades and that many of these changes have taken place without so much as a peep from the larger Christian community. Rome’s burning; Nero’s fiddling; and Christians are taking a well-deserved nap.



Yes, let’s take back the rainbow for God. Let the homosexual community find a different religious symbol to commandeer. If they were feeling congenial, perhaps the Muslims would let them borrow their crescent moon. In these desperate economic times, maybe the Wiccans would rent the pentagram to them. I don’t really care. What I want is for the Christian community to wake up, wipe the sleep from their eyes, and realize that they are in a spiritual battle that isn’t going away and has no demilitarized zones. The rainbow is a symbol, but it’s meaning points to the very character of God. So Christians …use this God-given symbol for His glory. Using it won’t make you a homosexual. It won’t make you a New Ager. It won’t make leprechauns real. But it might allow you to get into conversations with people who need to meet the very One Who gave us His promise in the first place.

Washington Anti-Gay Activist Likens Marriage Equality to Bloodletting

Joseph Backholm, the Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington and the leader of the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign to repeal Washington’s marriage equality law, appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show yesterday where he likened same-sex marriage to the medical practice of bloodletting. Just as bloodletting was once a common practice until it was abandoned for not working, Backholm claimed, so too marriage equality for gays and lesbians will eventually be rejected even in states where it is legal. He went on to argue that the movement for equal rights for gays and lesbians is not comparable to the civil rights movement because, according to Backholm, “today’s argument about the redefinition of marriage would be like the civil rights movement if the civil rights movement was an attempt to have black people be referred to as white people.” 

Backholm: Redefining marriage in this way, saying that there is no difference between men and women, that it’s not important for children to have both a mother and a father, that’s not just bad policy, it’s wrong in the eternal sense. So because it’s untrue, it will ultimately be proven as untrue and we will come around to recognize the error of our ways. We used to believe in bloodletting as good medical practice, culture has embraced a lot of things temporarily until they realized it’s based on things that are not true. This is one of those, it has to be temporary, not just because I want it to be temporary, but because it’s untrue in the eternal sense.

Mefferd: That’s a good way of saying it. They have through their propaganda and the means by which they talk about this issue in the media all the time, won a lot of people over to the cause who aren’t thinking very deeply about it, part of the way they’ve done this is talking about equality and civil rights, trying to equate it with the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. The problem is back in the 1960s when we’re talking about the mistreatment of African Americans, that was something that was wrong to do, in this case we’re talking about legitimizing immoral behavior and calling it marriage. I don’t know how you get around the immorality angle of it unless you just say it straight out, this is immoral behavior, we are not going to legitimize this as a nation.

Backholm: Sure, it’s a very fair argument and there are a lot of people within the church who are moved by that. But when we talk about the civil rights issue, the reason these are different, today’s argument about the redefinition of marriage would be like the civil rights movement if the civil rights movement was an attempt to have black people be referred to as white people.

Pastor Accuses Google, Starbucks and Amazon of 'Doing the Devil's Work' by Supporting Marriage Equality

Pastor Steven Andrew of USA Christian Ministries is leading a boycott of companies which endorsed a marriage equality bill in Washington state, including Google, Starbucks and Amazon, charging them with “working against Jesus and leading people to sin and to possibly go to hell.” Andrew, who previously claimed that “Starbucks hates God” over the company’s backing of gay rights, told the Christian Post that any company that favors marriage equality is “anti-God” and is “doing the devil's work.”

Andrew is currently involved in a boycott against Starbucks after the coffee company began supporting a gay marriage bill proposed in Washington State. He recently added a few others to the list as well, including Nike, Google, Microsoft and Amazon, asking Christians to no longer provide business to those corporations, which he claimed promoted homosexual sin.

For Andrew, his nonviolent protests did have a "biblical warrant." "Boycotting anti-God companies is one way a Christian lives out the First Commandment," the author of Making a Strong Christian Nation, told The Christian Post. "If you love Jesus, you won't give your money to those working against Jesus, our Savior."

He believed that if the stores in Sodom and Gomorrah that openly mocked God were boycotted, they could have possibly been saved. "God calls Christians and churches to not share in the sins of others. To love God is to flee sexual immorality. If we help the wicked, then God's Word says God judges us (2 Chronicles 19:2). God calls Christians to 100 percent love Him and to 100 percent oppose sin."

God also called the United States to have the fear of God as a nation, but complacency with sin did not indicate fear of God, Andrew asserted.

"Ungodly politicians, Starbucks, Nike, Amazon and others are doing the devil's work ... trying to 'change' our Christian laws into non-Christian laws ... Every Christian and church should boycott companies making light of Jesus Christ. It is unwise for a Christian to give their money to those working against Jesus and leading people to sin and to possibly go to hell."

FRC Warns Starbucks Could Wreck the Economy by Supporting Marriage Equality

Family Research Council vice president Rob Schwarzwalder yesterday called for a boycott of Starbucks and warned that the company may be endangering the country’s economic health by supporting marriage equality in Washington. “By supporting a movement that would further vitiate the already weakened family unit,” Schwarzwalder writes, “[Starbucks CEO Howard] Schultz is tacitly but actively advocating the continued erosion of the institution – the two-parent, heterosexual, traditional and complementary family unit – without which no economy or society generally can thrive.”

It’s difficult to see how ensuring that gays and lesbians have the right to marry would “vitiate the already weakened family unit” and consequently damage the economy, as studies show that marriage equality is actually a boon to the economy. Researchers have also found the legalizing same-sex marriage does not impact the divorce rate of married opposite-sex couples. But according to Schwarzwalder, marriage equality has “dangerous implications for individuals, families, and culture.”

My home state of Washington has produced some of America’s leading corporations and entrepreneurs: Microsoft and Bill Gates; the Nordstrom, Boeing and Weyerhaeuser families and their eponymously named companies; the Eddie Bauer sporting goods empire; and the nearly omnipresent Starbucks (almost 11,000 stores worldwide). Starbucks emerged in the 1970s at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. One of my sisters bought me a bag of cocoa powder from this location more than three decades ago; if I still had it, it likely would fetch a nice collector’s price.

For many years, I’ve enjoyed going to Starbucks, becoming acquainted with any number of “baristas” and drinking enough of its variously flavored beverages that “grande” characterizes my waistline as much as the size of a given drink. Even when traveling in the Middle East, the taste of a frappuccino has been a welcome reminder that one can go home again. And I’ve always been glad to go into a place that, in some ways, still reminds me of home (there’s a reason Starbucks’ interiors usually are muted; it’s a Pacific Northwest thing).

With Microsoft and several other major firms, Starbucks last month endorsed the effort of some of the Evergreen State’s leading politicians to enact homosexual “marriage.” Although this initiative passed in the state legislature and was signed into law by departing Gov. Christine Gregoire, it likely will be on the state ballot in November.

What is a bit maddening, given Starbucks’ strident advocacy for the redefinition of marriage, is CEO Howard Schultz’s claim that he is non-political. As he said just a few days ago, ”I have no interest in public office … I have only one interest, and that is I want the country to be on the right track.”



To Schultz’s credit, he authored a pledge, now signed by a fairly large group of CEOs, in which they promise, “I join my fellow concerned Americans in pledging to withhold any further campaign contributions to elected members of Congress and the President until a fair, bipartisan deal is reached that sets our nation on stronger long-term fiscal footing.”

This is admirable, and no doubt motivated by a patriotic desire to see the U.S. once again become the engine of economic growth that, for so many decades, it has been. Yet the key to a strong economy is a strong family – a family composed of a father, a mother, and children. The hard data prove it. By supporting a movement that would further vitiate the already weakened family unit, Schultz is tacitly but actively advocating the continued erosion of the institution – the two-parent, heterosexual, traditional and complementary family unit – without which no economy or society generally can thrive.

Additionally, Schultz’s decrying of divisiveness rings a bit hollow when he plunges his company feet-first into the culture wars. The effort to redefine marriage to include same-sex partners is a radical social innovation, one fraught with dangerous implications for individuals, families, and culture. Claiming to be post-political and then allowing one’s chief corporate spokesperson to say that same-sex “marriage” is “is core to who we are and what we value as a company” are assertions that don’t quite add up.

Attend a Rally to Save the American Dream this Saturday!

Events have been organized in cities and state capitols across the nation to show solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. Find the event or events nearest you.

“Rogues’ Gallery” Report Profiles Far-Right Senate Candidates

People For the American Way today released “The Rogues’ Gallery,” profiling 15 far-right Republican nominees for Congress. The report makes clear that the Republican slate of nominees is everything the Tea Party or the Religious Right could want.
Share this page: Facebook Twitter Digg SU Digg Delicious