Marriage Equality

Tea Partier: Bar Gays From Marriage Since They're A Minority

South Dakota Tea Party activist Bob Ellis railed against a federal court’s decision to strike down his state’s ban on same-sex marriage today, arguing in a BarbWire column that gay people simply aren’t suited for marriage.

Just like an aspiring fireman has to fulfill certain requirements before getting job, gay people have not met the requirements for marriage, Ellis explains: “You don’t get to call yourself a fireman just because you want to be one.” The anti-gay commentator also likens marriage equality for gay couples to passing off fake currency as real money.

After all, Ellis writes, “less than 3% of the population self-identifies as homosexual,” so they aren’t eligible to the same rights as others.

If these homosexual activists want to enjoy the benefits of marriage and all the legal protections that come with it, they need to find a suitable marriage partner (i.e. someone of legal age, not a close relative, not married to someone else, who consents, and is of the opposite sex) and marry them. These activists have deliberately chosen NOT to do that.

If you want to be recognized as a fireman, you have to complete the proper application process, fulfill the hiring requirements, and complete the proper training to become one. You don’t get to call yourself a fireman just because you want to be one.

If you want to purchase $20 worth of goods in a store, you have to legitimately earn $20 in currency and present that legitimate currency to the store. You don’t get to hand the store a gum wrapper or maple leaf and demand that they accept it as if it were $20.

Contrary to the assertions of homosexual activist and activist judges, there remain a multitude of scientific and practical reasons to oppose acceptance of this behavior. They include:

• Homosexual behavior is contrary to science (i.e. it is contrary to the obvious function of the involved body parts, and does nothing to perpetuate the organism)

• Homosexual behavior is contrary to the natural function of the body (see previous)

• Homosexual behavior is aberrant (less than 3% of the population self-identifies as homosexual)

• Homosexual behavior carries numerous and extreme health risks

BarbWire: America Facing Satanic 'Homo-Terrorist Tyranny'

The firing of Atlanta’s fire chief for promoting his self-published anti-gay book to his employees has prompted Indiana pastor and BarbWire editor Jeff Allen to publish yet another anti-gay tirade, writing in a column today that gay-rights opponents may soon face jail for defying “the emerging homo-terrorist tyranny.”

“[I]n their anti-Christ crusade to destroy, devalue and desecrate the foundational structure of the family, the homosexual juggernaut is rapidly augmenting their Leftist arsenal through a menacing cache of lawless judicial rulings and the ostensibly named anti-discrimination ordinances,” Allen warns. “Satan’s compliant foot soldiers for the cause of counterfeit marriage will never stop sadistically trampling the principles of self-governance, the First Amendment and the will of the people under their feet.”

He laments that anyone in the U.S. who crosses “these homo-pathological thugs” will face destruction because the “Baal of homosexuality is a viscerally hateful and jealous god,” and now America will experience “cultural implosion” as it becomes “nothing more than just another cautionary footnote in the annals of history.”

“Marriage equality” is their hypocritical rallying cry. But the cat has been out of the bag for a long time, and everyone is fast beginning to realize that this is the most ridiculous thing they’ve ever heard. It’s nothing more than a godless demand for unrestricted debauchery. What they really want is not equality, but absolute cultural dominance. Their unmasked agenda involves the implementation of an oppressive double standard in which their “gay” Special Rights invariably squash our all-important Civil Rights. It’s the “gay” way or the highway.

The institution of marriage is the inimitable edifice and social load bearing wall upon which any free nation and stable civil government must certainly be established. However, in their anti-Christ crusade to destroy, devalue and desecrate the foundational structure of the family, the homosexual juggernaut is rapidly augmenting their Leftist arsenal through a menacing cache of lawless judicial rulings and the ostensibly named anti-discrimination ordinances. Through these and other Statist strong-arm tactics, their wrecking ball strategy has succeeded by compelling silence, intimidating dissent and purging the country of every voice of reason. The very rights they claim to be fighting for are ironically the exact same legal protections that they ruthlessly strive to strip away from the people of faith and decency – or anyone else who might dare to disagree with the endorsement of their lascivious lifestyle. The Baal of homosexuality is a viscerally hateful and jealous god.

The militant homosexual efforts have alarmingly functioned as the caustic social acid that eats away and erodes every constitutionally-protected freedom we have ever held near and dear to our hearts. The pro-deviancy advocates claim to merely carry the mantle of freedom, but in their wake, they leave the republic ravaged and in ruins. If they have their way, the landscape of liberty will be left desolate. Satan’s compliant foot soldiers for the cause of counterfeit marriage will never stop sadistically trampling the principles of self-governance, the First Amendment and the will of the people under their feet. The examples abound, and in the cases that follow, a clear distinction will be made between the legal clamps being put on Christians and a corresponding partiality for homosexuals in similar circumstances.



Marriage vendors (florists, photographers, bakers, printers, and reception hall owners), who have sincerely-held religious or conscience objections that prevent them from participating in or endorsing faux “gay marriage” events, are targeted for personal and professional destruction. They are mercilessly saddled with hefty fines, victimized by the coordinated attacks and death threats of “tolerant” homosexual lynch mobs, forced to attend sensitivity training, demonized by the fierce backlash from an LGBT-collaborative media and coerced to violate their beliefs. Capitulation is not optional. We’re told it’s the profane price of doing business in a growing number of “Constitution Free Zones” popping up all across our country. These Christian business owners face serious consequences for their refusal to submit to the gross mutation and mockery of marriage. Their livelihood is literally placed in peril and some individuals may also face incarceration if they continue their defiance of the emerging homo-terrorist tyranny.



If nothing is done to derail the greatest modern threat to democracy, the dagger of “progressivism” will ultimately extinguish the last tortured gasps of a great nation that currently finds itself in the throes of suicidal decline. Unwavering resistance of these homo-pathological thugs is imperative or America will undoubtedly become nothing more than just another cautionary footnote in the annals of history, like every other world power before us that recklessly rushed headlong into decadence.

The abandonment of God and all moral restraint invariably leads to cultural implosion.

There are no exceptions.

Religious Right Activist Wants National Guard Deployed To Stop Gay Couples' Marriages

Anti-LGBT activist Randy Thomasson has a message for governors across America: deploy the National Guard to stop same-sex marriages.

Thomasson, who leads the right-wing group Save California, detailed his proposal last week in a memo [PDF] to “pro-family leaders concerned about marriage”:

Each governor pledges themselves to “support and defend” the plain words of their state constitution, including, in morally conservative states, the definition of marriage as only for a man and a woman. Governors raise their right hand and publicly promise to “faithfully execute” (or carry out) these written laws, as commanded by their state constitutions.

Each governor also has an administration that serves his/her pleasure that is in charge of the state’s marriage forms (licenses and applications) that county clerks use.

And each governor is authorized to call out his/her state's militia or National Guard to enforce written laws and maintain public order against foreign and domestic enemies.



Given these facts, it is state governors that are unfortunately allowing homosexual “marriages.” And given their constitutional and statutory powers, it is not good enough for governors to merely protest by appealing to a higher court the unconstitutional opinions of bad judges.

...

In view of the current crisis on marriage, a constitutional governor can and should do the following:

• Announce he took an oath to obey the constitution, not to obey a judge’s unconstitutional opinion.

• Announce that no homosexual “marriage” licenses will be issues, and no county clerk is permitted to issue marriage licenses to anyone other than a qualified man and woman.

• Utilize the support of the state attorney general (if that constitutional officer is willing to stand alongside) or use the state’s National Guard to enforce the law at county clerk’s offices. (emphasis added)

Thomasson told WorldNetDaily yesterday that Republican governors aren’t doing enough to stop clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples following court decisions striking down marriage bans, and called for governors like Phil Bryant of Mississippi to use the National Guard to prevent same-sex marriages from taking place in their states.

“The casualties will be the children,” Thomasson said. “These Republican governors, by their own actions, are telling impressionable boys and girls ‘you can aspire to have a same-sex marriage for yourselves.’”

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality similarly told WND that “if someone stood up to the homosexual lobby and the courts, they would achieve hero status.”

Some state governors, such as Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, have indicated they will file further appeals to block the same-sex marriage rulings of federal judges. But Thomasson says this is a weak response.

“They’re doing an appeal in Mississippi, but their attorney general there has said that these same-sex marriages will begin happening if their appeal to higher courts is not successful,” Thomasson said. “The governor is supposed to be a strong Christian man, so what is he going to do? Is he really going to protect marriage? As governor, he’s the head of the Mississippi National Guard. He can refuse to alter marriage certificates. He can threaten to sue county clerks for violating the state Constitution on man-woman marriage.”

Progressives have not hesitated to play power politics when it comes to getting their agendas through, he said.



“Liberals will use their executive powers to do what they believe in,” Thomasson said. “Will pro-family governors use their powers to do what they believe in, not only what they believe in but what they have sworn to uphold and defend? Do we have to pull out the oath of office and read it to them? Do we have to pull out Black’s Law Dictionary and read them the definitions of the words they promised, such as ‘defend’ the Constitution and ‘faithfully execute’ the state laws?”

LaBarbera believes it would be politically popular for a governor to push the issue and defy the federal courts as having no authority over states’ rights to regulate marriage.

“Standing up to these courts would, I think, be good politics on the right. I would love to see it happen,” he told WND. “It’s a difference between being a politician and being a statesman. I think if someone stood up to the homosexual lobby and the courts, they would achieve hero status. We keep waiting for someone and it, unfortunately, never happens. I mean, 76 percent of the people voting can be wiped out by a single federal court decision?”

Thomasson said there is a big difference between California and conservative states like Mississippi, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina, all of which have either lost traditional marriage or are one judge’s decision away from losing it.

“It’s worse than criminal, because criminals usually hurt one person at a time, but the governors, if they betray the people by their cowardice in the face of a constitutional crisis, then they hurt many people by being AWOL,” he said. “The casualties will be the children. These Republican governors, by their own actions, are telling impressionable boys and girls ‘you can aspire to have a same-sex marriage for yourselves.’”

Mike Huckabee: Ban Marriage Equality Because Bisexuals Demand Two Spouses

U.S. News posted excerpts today from an early copy of Mike Huckabee’s new book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” where the former Arkansas governor and likely presidential candidate tries to make the case for banning same-sex marriage.

Huckabee, who also spends time in the book analyzing Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s marriage and comparing the Club for Growth, one of his fiercest critics on the right, to suicide bombers, claims that the government must continue to prohibit same-sex unions because of bisexuals who, according to Huckabee, desire to have two spouses – one male and one female. “Shouldn’t a bisexual be able to have both a male and female spouse?” Huckabee asks. “Wouldn’t restricting that person access to both genders be denying the bisexual his or her marriage ‘equality?’”

Unsurprisingly, Huckabee isn’t the first anti-LGBT pundit to display his complete misunderstanding of bisexuality to defend their opposition to marriage equality.

In another excerpt, which David Catanese of U.S. News calls a “considerable concession,” Huckabee writes that marriage equality bans should remain in place because we don’t know what the future holds. “When advocates of same-sex marriage say, ‘What’s the harm?’ the honest reply is that at this point, we simply don’t have enough reliable accumulated data to be able to say,” he said.

Huckabee, of course, has repeatedly claimed in front of right-wing audiences that he knows exactly what will happen to society if same-sex marriages become legalized: divine punishment.

“There is no doubt in my mind that this country would not exist had it not been for the providential hand of God,” Huckabee said during his speech at the National Organization for Marriage’s June march against marriage equality in Washington D.C. [reordered] “And I’m also convinced that if we reject his hand of blessing, we will feel his hand of judgment.”

Huckabee similarly told his European tour group following a visit to Nazi concentration camps that “the soul of America is in real trouble” as a result of the growing movement to “tinker” with “the foundation of our society and culture: marriage.”

He warned that Americans are following in the footsteps of the Nazis by losing sight of moral principles: “when we tinker with [marriage’s] definition and decide that it can mean anything we wish for it to mean, and that rather than to take a biblical perspective we will take a very human one and we will base marriage on human experience and desire as opposed to biblical standard, then I fear that we will pay the consequences for having upended the very foundation, which is the essence of how a civilization survives.”

It’s almost as if Huckabee has one message for his fiercely conservative base and a more nuanced message for a wider audience.

Tony Perkins Regrets Direct Election Of Senators Because It Led To Gay Marriage

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who was once a candidate for U.S. Senate in Louisiana, seems upset that voters can directly elect their state’s two senators, a power that was held by state legislatures until the adoption of the 17th Amendment in 1913. Speaking on his radio program yesterday, Perkins called the amendment “one of the first places we got off in terms of how our government is functioning,” lamenting that “senators are no longer accountable to the states.”

Having voters instead of state lawmakers elect senators, Perkins lamented, “had a drastic impact upon judicial appointees that the Senate has signed off on that overturned state laws, like we’ve seen this rash of overturning these state marriage amendments, that never would’ve happened if these senators who approved these judges were still held accountable to state legislatures.”

Maybe the drafters of the 17th Amendment were just playing the long game for the radical homosexual agenda.

ADF Lawyer: Gay Rights Opponents May Soon Be 'Put In Jail For Standing For Marriage'

Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which wants to make gay sex a criminal offense, said in an interview earlier this week that gay rights advocates are planning to throw their opponents in jail.

While speaking to “Washington Watch” guest host Josh Duggar about the legal case of a Washington florist who was held in violation of the state’s Consumer Protection Act for denying service to a same-sex couple, Nimocks warned that “the persecution is only going to ramp up and it’s going to become more fierce.”

“We appreciate so many of those who are willing to stand for marriage in the face of brutal opposition and public excoriation,” he said. “I don’t think we’re far away from a day where we might see somebody being persecuted to the point of being put in jail for standing for marriage.”

NOM Warns Marriage Equality Will Lead To Community-Marriage, End Of First Amendment

National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown is furious that a gay couple who were legally married in Iowa but now live in Missouri have filed for divorce in Missouri, which a local judge has refused to recognize.

Speaking with WorldNetDaily about the case, Brown accused LGBT rights advocates of seeking to undermine the First Amendment and contended that the legalization of same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy and even marriages among “entire communities,” whatever that means.

Attorneys for the men insist their case is not about advancing the same-sex marriage movement but simply about a court’s “authority to say ‘Dissolution of Marriage granted.’”

However, Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said such divorce cases are a routine maneuver by activists seeking to change marriage laws.

He told WND the entire time the debate of marriage has been going on, “the other side has been working behind the scenes to level challenges to overturn state laws.”

“One method is to file for divorce in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage.”

In some cases judges have overruled the will of voters who defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman

“It is true that judges have … decided they’re going to force their superior moral values on the rest of the country,” he said. But “in the rush of doing so, they have not thought about the complications.”

Brown noted that humanity for millennia, up until about 15 or 20 years ago, considered marriage to be the union of one man and one woman.

But once that definition is abandoned, where are the limits? he asked.

If love the basis for the relationship, he said, why not allow “three, four, five, six, entire communities” to marry?



“If judges, including circuit court judges, around the country can create out of thin air a right to same-sex marriage, then what’s to stop them from totally undermining the First Amendment and not protect churches and organizations who know the truth [about marriage] and want to live that out?”

He said Americans should have gotten a clear view of late of how far courts are willing to go. He pointed to the Supreme Court’s refusing to intervene in a case of a wedding photographer fined by the state for refusing to memorialize with her artistic talent a same-sex wedding.

“The First Amendment also is at stake in this fight,” he said.

Rick Wiles: Justice Ginsburg 'Is One Of The Most Wicked, Vile Human Beings On The Planet'

The last time Scott Lively appeared on “Trunews,” the right-wing pastor told host Rick Wiles that President Obama is the Antichrist (a claim he later denied, but ultimately conceded, making). In an interview yesterday, the two spent most of their time attacking gay rights and predicting that the Supreme Court will soon rule in favor of marriage equality.

Wiles warned that “corrupt, perverse judges” will soon declare that “multiple people in a marriage is constitutional,” and Lively said that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg already “telegraphed” the court’s intentions to strike down same-sex marriage bans once “society is ready for it.”

“She is one of the most wicked, vile human beings on the planet,” Wiles said.

“They’re going to rule against us, they’re going to rule for homosexual marriage, that might be the last straw for America, I don’t know, but God would have to apologize for Sodom and Gomorrah,” Lively said, before insisting that despite America’s imminent destruction he won’t leave the country “until the angel comes and grabs me by the hand.”

Russia, according to the two anti-gay pundits, may be their last hope to stop “the homosexual movement” and its backers in the “New World Order.”

Lively hoped that a “coalition of conservative nations led by Russia” will emerge to stand up to pro-gay “elitists,” who then in turn will try to “collapse the current economic system” until everyone succumbs to their gay, Marxist agenda.

In Mississippi Marriage Ruling, Judge Gives History Lesson on Anti-Gay Discrimination

The federal court ruling striking down Mississippi’s ban on same-sex couples getting married is worth reading for many reasons. Paul wrote earlier at People For the American Way's blog about U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’s compelling explanation of the role of the courts in protecting Americans’ constitutional rights. The ruling is also filled with rich historical detail about the extent to which the state of Mississippi and the federal government have discriminated against LGBT citizens over the years, as well as the ways in which groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the notorious Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission used anti-gay rhetoric and innuendo in their attacks on African American civil rights leaders and institutions.

This history is an important rebuttal to bogus claims by anti-gay activists that gay people do not need to have their rights protected in law because they have never suffered from discrimination.

Quotes from the opinion, with citations removed for readability:

Any claim that Mississippians quietly accommodated gay and lesbian citizens could no longer be made in the 1960s, when prejudice against homosexuals (and other groups) became more visible during the civil rights movement. Segregationists called their opponents “racial  perverts,” while U.S. Marshals – summoned to enforce civil rights – were labeled “sadists and  perverts.” Klan propaganda tied together “Communists, homosexuals, and Jews, fornicators and liberals and angry blacks – infidels all.”

One Klan photo showed a black man touching the crotch of the white man sitting next to him, attempting to make the link between racial equality and homosexuality explicit.

Civil rights leaders had predicted the attack. In selecting the Freedom Riders, James Farmer had conducted interviews to weed out “Communists, homosexuals, [and] drug addicts.” “We had to screen them very carefully because we knew that if they found anything to throw at us, they would throw it,” he explained.

This reflected society’s notion that homosexuals were “undesirables.” It also placed civil rights leaders in the position of seeking rights for one disenfranchised group while simultaneously seeking to avoid association with another disenfranchised group. Mississippians opposed to integration harassed several civil rights leaders for their homosexuality. Bill Higgs was a prominent gay Mississippi civil rights lawyer. He was targeted for his activism, convicted in absentia of delinquency of a minor, and threatened with “unlimited  jailings” should he ever return to Mississippi.

He never did.

Reeves also discusses the case of Bayard Rustin, the openly gay African American civil rights activist who organized the 1963 March on Washington at which Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The most interesting part of Rustin’s story, though – and the reason why he merits more discussion here – is that he was subjected to anti-gay discrimination by both white and black people, majority and minority alike. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, a black Democrat, threatened to feed the media a false story that Rustin was having an affair with Martin Luther King, Jr., unless Dr. King canceled a protest at the Democratic National Convention.

Other persons within the civil rights movement were similarly “put off by Rustin’s homosexuality.” Roy Wilkins, an NAACP executive, “was particularly nasty to Bayard Rustin – very hostile,” in part because he “was very nervous about Bayard’s homosexuality.” Dr. King eventually had Rustin resign “because of persistent criticism of Rustin’s homosexuality and Communist ties and because of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell’s threat.”

Rustin reemerged years later as one of the principal organizers of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A. Philip Randolph and Dr. King wanted Rustin as the march’s chief organizer, but Wilkins pushed back “because [Rustin] was gay . . . something which in particular would offend J. Edgar Hoover.” The group ultimately “decided Randolph would be in charge of the march, that Rustin would be the principal organizer, but that he would stay somewhat in the background.”

The concern about offending Hoover was prescient, as the FBI Director and other top officials soon moved to use Rustin’s homosexuality against him. In August 1963, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and President John F. Kennedy urgently reviewed the transcript of a FBI wiretap in which Dr. King acknowledged Rustin’s homosexuality. A day later, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina “rose in the Senate to denounce Rustin for sexual perversion, vagrancy, and lewdness.” FBI “headquarters badgered the field offices for new details” of Rustin’s sex life for months.

As Reeves makes clear, this kind of persecution was not only reserved for civil rights activists.

Rustin’s story speaks to the long tradition of Americans from all walks of life uniting to discriminate against homosexuals. It did not matter if one was liberal or conservative, segregationist or civil rights leader, Democrat or Republican; homosexuals were “the other.” Being homosexual invited scrutiny and professional consequences.

These consequences befell quite a few Mississippians. Ted Russell, the conductor of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, lost his job and his Belhaven College faculty position after he was caught in a gay sex sting by the Jackson Police Department. In the early 1980s, Congressman Jon Hinson drew scrutiny for frequenting an X-rated gay movie theater in Washington, D.C., and although he won reelection, he resigned when he returned to Washington and was caught performing gay sex acts in a Capitol Hill bathroom. As early as 1950, the State’s flagship institution of higher learning, the University of Mississippi, “forced three homosexual students and one faculty member to leave the university” because it “did not tolerate homosexuality.” Lesbian instructors at Mississippi University for Women were pushed out of their jobs, while students at other Mississippi public universities were expelled for their homosexuality. A 1979 article on gay Jacksonians said “most” remained closeted because “they fear losing their jobs, friends and families.”

Reeves discusses the anti-gay actions of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which was created in 1956 to maintain racial segregation by any means necessary.

Sovereignty Commission “[i]nvestigators and local officials also targeted local blacks and outsiders involved in civil rights activities as being sexually deviant.” They singled out Rust College, a private historically black institution, on reports that instructors there were “homosexuals and racial agitators.”

Those with power took smaller, yet meaningful, actions to discourage gay organizing and association in Mississippi. The State refused to let gay rights organizations incorporate as nonprofits. The newspaper at Mississippi State University – student-led, with an elected editor – refused to print a gay organization’s advertisement notifying gay and lesbian students of an off-campus “Gay Center” offering “counseling, legal aid and a library of homosexual literature. An advisor to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded that the Jackson Police Department took “a series . . . of maneuvers to harass members of Jackson’s gay community.” “As of 1985 not a single university campus in Mississippi recognized a lesbian and gay student group.”

Reeves’s ruling also makes clear that official discrimination is not only in the state’s past.

In 1990, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a trial judge who declared that a mother, who was a lesbian, could not visit her children in the presence of her female partner. In Weigand v. Houghton, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a trial judge who refused residential custody to a father in large part because he was in a long-term relationship with another man. A dissent complained that the father’s sexuality had impaired the court’s judgment, since the child would now have to live with “the unemployed stepfather [who] is a convicted felon, drinker, drug-taker, adulterer, wife-beater, and child-threatener, and . . . the mother [who] has been transitory, works two jobs, and has limited time with the child.”

In 2002, one of Mississippi’s justice court judges, frustrated with advances in gay rights in California, Vermont, and Hawaii, “opined that homosexuals belong in mental institutions.” Although he was reprimanded and fined by the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court vacated the sanctions. It was more important for gay citizens to know that their judge was biased and seek his recusal than to “forc[e] judges to conceal their prejudice against gays and lesbians,” it wrote. The “Commission urges us to ‘calm the waters’ when, as the guardians of this state’s judicial system, we should be helping our citizens to spot the crocodiles.”

Reeves details a number of recent complaints and lawsuits challenging discriminatory treatment by state and local governments as well as legal inequities such as the fact that Mississippi law permits a single person to adopt a child but not gay or lesbian couples.

This kind of restriction was once supported by pseudoscience. We now recognize that it actually “harms the children, by telling them they don’t have two parents, like other children, and harms the parent who is not the adoptive parent by depriving him or her of the legal status of a parent.”

Reeves concludes the historical section of the ruling this way:

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” That is as true here as anywhere else. Seven centuries of strong objections to homosexual conduct have resulted in a constellation of State laws that treat gay and lesbian Mississippians as lesser, “other” people. Thus, it is easy to conclude that they have suffered through a long and unfortunate history of discrimination.

Federal Judge Gives History Lesson on Anti-Gay Discrimination

The federal court ruling striking down Mississippi’s ban on same-sex couples getting married is worth reading for many reasons. Paul wrote earlier about U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’s compelling explanation of the role of the courts in protecting Americans’ constitutional rights. The ruling is also filled with rich historical detail about the extent to which the state of Mississippi and the federal government have discriminated against LGBT citizens over the years, as well as the ways in which groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the notorious Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission used anti-gay rhetoric and innuendo in their attacks on African American civil rights leaders and institutions.

This history is an important rebuttal to bogus claims by anti-gay activists that gay people do not need to have their rights protected in law because they have never suffered from discrimination.

Quotes from the opinion, with citations removed for readability:

Any claim that Mississippians quietly accommodated gay and lesbian citizens could no longer be made in the 1960s, when prejudice against homosexuals (and other groups) became more visible during the civil rights movement. Segregationists called their opponents “racial  perverts,” while U.S. Marshals – summoned to enforce civil rights – were labeled “sadists and  perverts.” Klan propaganda tied together “Communists, homosexuals, and Jews, fornicators and liberals and angry blacks – infidels all.”

One Klan photo showed a black man touching the crotch of the white man sitting next to him, attempting to make the link between racial equality and homosexuality explicit.

Civil rights leaders had predicted the attack. In selecting the Freedom Riders, James Farmer had conducted interviews to weed out “Communists, homosexuals, [and] drug addicts.” “We had to screen them very carefully because we knew that if they found anything to throw at us, they would throw it,” he explained.

This reflected society’s notion that homosexuals were “undesirables.” It also placed civil rights leaders in the position of seeking rights for one disenfranchised group while simultaneously seeking to avoid association with another disenfranchised group. Mississippians opposed to integration harassed several civil rights leaders for their homosexuality. Bill Higgs was a prominent gay Mississippi civil rights lawyer. He was targeted for his activism, convicted in absentia of delinquency of a minor, and threatened with “unlimited  jailings” should he ever return to Mississippi.

He never did.

Reeves also discusses the case of Bayard Rustin, the openly gay African American civil rights activist who organized the 1963 March on Washington at which Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The most interesting part of Rustin’s story, though – and the reason why he merits more discussion here – is that he was subjected to anti-gay discrimination by both white and black people, majority and minority alike. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, a black Democrat, threatened to feed the media a false story that Rustin was having an affair with Martin Luther King, Jr., unless Dr. King canceled a protest at the Democratic National Convention.

Other persons within the civil rights movement were similarly “put off by Rustin’s homosexuality.” Roy Wilkins, an NAACP executive, “was particularly nasty to Bayard Rustin – very hostile,” in part because he “was very nervous about Bayard’s homosexuality.” Dr. King eventually had Rustin resign “because of persistent criticism of Rustin’s homosexuality and Communist ties and because of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell’s threat.”

Rustin reemerged years later as one of the principal organizers of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A. Philip Randolph and Dr. King wanted Rustin as the march’s chief organizer, but Wilkins pushed back “because [Rustin] was gay . . . something which in particular would offend J. Edgar Hoover.” The group ultimately “decided Randolph would be in charge of the march, that Rustin would be the principal organizer, but that he would stay somewhat in the background.”

The concern about offending Hoover was prescient, as the FBI Director and other top officials soon moved to use Rustin’s homosexuality against him. In August 1963, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and President John F. Kennedy urgently reviewed the transcript of a FBI wiretap in which Dr. King acknowledged Rustin’s homosexuality. A day later, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina “rose in the Senate to denounce Rustin for sexual perversion, vagrancy, and lewdness.” FBI “headquarters badgered the field offices for new details” of Rustin’s sex life for months.

As Reeves makes clear, this kind of persecution was not only reserved for civil rights activists.

Rustin’s story speaks to the long tradition of Americans from all walks of life uniting to discriminate against homosexuals. It did not matter if one was liberal or conservative, segregationist or civil rights leader, Democrat or Republican; homosexuals were “the other.” Being homosexual invited scrutiny and professional consequences.

These consequences befell quite a few Mississippians. Ted Russell, the conductor of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, lost his job and his Belhaven College faculty position after he was caught in a gay sex sting by the Jackson Police Department. In the early 1980s, Congressman Jon Hinson drew scrutiny for frequenting an X-rated gay movie theater in Washington, D.C., and although he won reelection, he resigned when he returned to Washington and was caught performing gay sex acts in a Capitol Hill bathroom. As early as 1950, the State’s flagship institution of higher learning, the University of Mississippi, “forced three homosexual students and one faculty member to leave the university” because it “did not tolerate homosexuality.” Lesbian instructors at Mississippi University for Women were pushed out of their jobs, while students at other Mississippi public universities were expelled for their homosexuality. A 1979 article on gay Jacksonians said “most” remained closeted because “they fear losing their jobs, friends and families.”

Reeves discusses the anti-gay actions of the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which was created in 1956 to maintain racial segregation by any means necessary.

Sovereignty Commission “[i]nvestigators and local officials also targeted local blacks and outsiders involved in civil rights activities as being sexually deviant.” They singled out Rust College, a private historically black institution, on reports that instructors there were “homosexuals and racial agitators.”

Those with power took smaller, yet meaningful, actions to discourage gay organizing and association in Mississippi. The State refused to let gay rights organizations incorporate as nonprofits. The newspaper at Mississippi State University – student-led, with an elected editor – refused to print a gay organization’s advertisement notifying gay and lesbian students of an off-campus “Gay Center” offering “counseling, legal aid and a library of homosexual literature. An advisor to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded that the Jackson Police Department took “a series . . . of maneuvers to harass members of Jackson’s gay community.” “As of 1985 not a single university campus in Mississippi recognized a lesbian and gay student group.”

Reeves’s ruling also makes clear that official discrimination is not only in the state’s past.

In 1990, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a trial judge who declared that a mother, who was a lesbian, could not visit her children in the presence of her female partner. In Weigand v. Houghton, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a trial judge who refused residential custody to a father in large part because he was in a long-term relationship with another man. A dissent complained that the father’s sexuality had impaired the court’s judgment, since the child would now have to live with “the unemployed stepfather [who] is a convicted felon, drinker, drug-taker, adulterer, wife-beater, and child-threatener, and . . . the mother [who] has been transitory, works two jobs, and has limited time with the child.”

 In 2002, one of Mississippi’s justice court judges, frustrated with advances in gay rights in California, Vermont, and Hawaii, “opined that homosexuals belong in mental institutions.” Although he was reprimanded and fined by the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, the Mississippi Supreme Court vacated the sanctions. It was more important for gay citizens to know that their judge was biased and seek his recusal than to “forc[e] judges to conceal their prejudice against gays and lesbians,” it wrote. The “Commission urges us to ‘calm the waters’ when, as the guardians of this state’s judicial system, we should be helping our citizens to spot the crocodiles.”

Reeves details a number of recent complaints and lawsuits challenging discriminatory treatment by state and local governments as well as legal inequities such as the fact that Mississippi law permits a single person to adopt a child but not gay or lesbian couples.

This kind of restriction was once supported by pseudoscience. We now recognize that it actually “harms the children, by telling them they don’t have two parents, like other children, and harms the parent who is not the adoptive parent by depriving him or her of the legal status of a parent.”

Reeves concludes the historical section of the ruling this way:

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” That is as true here as anywhere else. Seven centuries of strong objections to homosexual conduct have resulted in a constellation of State laws that treat gay and lesbian Mississippians as lesser, “other” people. Thus, it is easy to conclude that they have suffered through a long and unfortunate history of discrimination.

PFAW Foundation

Pat Robertson's Thanksgiving Message: Gay Rights Are Leading To America's Destruction

“The 700 Club” today ran a story about the religious faith of the pilgrims, which prompted Pat Robertson to warn that everything that the pilgrims and the founding fathers worked to build would be destroyed by the success of gay rights — or “aberrant lifestyles” — in the courts.

“Ladies and gentlemen, our warning should be today, we can’t lose that,” he said. “And when you have courts that are taking away the very essence of our democracy, the ground from which this great country came, when courts are saying that is unconstitutional, when they’re exulting aberrant lifestyles and saying that’s constitutional, when they’re defying the very essence of this nation, they are sowing the seeds, not of a new, prosperous nation but the destruction of the one that’s already here.”

 

Mike Huckabee: Abortion Rights Worse Than Nazi Holocaust; Gay Marriage Dooms America

After visiting Nazi concentration camps in Poland last week during “Mike Huckabee’s Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul II Tour,” the former Arkansas governor addressed his guests with a speech about “the soul of America” and its alleged social ills. Abortion rights and marriage equality, Huckabee said, rise to the top of the list of what ails the country.

He blamed the legalization of abortion and same-sex marriage on the failure of pastors to become active in politics. Huckabee said Americans have “blood on our hands” for failing to criminalize abortion and contended that reproductive freedom is much worse than the Nazi Holocaust.

Huckabee added that the country will also “pay the consequences” for trying to “tinker” with marriage and “having upended the very foundation which is the essence of how a civilization survives.”

We wonder with some sense of bewilderment, how is it possible that since 1973 alone over 55 million unborn children have died in what should have been the safest place that that baby ever experienced, the womb of its mother? How did that happen? Because our pulpits were silent and forgot and failed to teach that every human life has value and worth and there’s no such thing as a disposable, expendable human being, that all of us are created equal. Even our Constitution, our founders, acknowledge that, and our Bible affirms it. And our failure to speak it because it was a political issue will cause us one day to stand before a holy God with blood on our hands and explain why we did not cry out against that slaughter of 55 million.

If you felt something incredibly powerful at Auschwitz and Birkenau over the 11 million killed worldwide and the 1.5 million killed on those grounds, cannot we feel something extraordinary about 55 million murdered in our own country in the wombs of their mothers? Does that not speak to us? And the foundation of our society and culture, marriage, not only by which we produce the next generation but it is the entity through which God has chosen for us to create the next generation and train them to be our replacements, and when we tinker with its definition and we decide that it can mean anything we wish for it to mean and that rather than to take a biblical perspective we will take a very human one and we will base marriage on human experience and desire as opposed to biblical standard, then I fear that we will pay the consequences for having upended the very foundation which is the essence of how a civilization survives. So the soul of America is in real trouble.

Tony Perkins: Gay People Are 'Excluding Themselves' From 'Divine And Natural Reality' Of Marriage

Tony Perkins, back from the interfaith conference at the Vatican which he attended along with American anti-gay religious leaders including Rick Warren and Russell Moore, gave an interview reflecting on the experience to the National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez yesterday.

The Family Research Council president told Lopez that at the conference, “Apart from the pope, almost all of the standing ovations were received by American evangelicals.” When Lopez pressed him on whether the Religious Right should soften its stance on gay rights and marriage equality in order to build a movement going forward, Perkins disagreed.

“It is not that religious groups or groups in society are excluding particular individuals” from marriage, Perkins said, “it is that those who reject such complementarity [between men and women] are essentially excluding themselves from this divine and natural reality.”

He added that it's not insulting to imply that homosexuality is "unnatural" because "when it comes to marriage it is contrary to nature.”

Q: It seems difficult if not near impossible these days to talk about men and women and marriage without sounding like you’re excluding those who are attracted to the same sex. Is it in fact an impossible task?

A: I believe this is why the focus of the colloquium was on “The Complementarity of Man and Woman.” It is not that religious groups or groups in society are excluding particular individuals; it is that those who reject such complementarity are essentially excluding themselves from this divine and natural reality.

Q: When you talk about a natural order, isn’t there a danger of making it seem some are unnatural? That could seem the case with those with same-sex attraction and those who are not married.

A: When it comes to marriage it is contrary to nature.

Q: It still escapes a lot of people why same-sex marriage is a threat to any man and woman’s marriage or marriage itself. If marriage and family are in crisis, why not open it up to more?

A: The crisis in marriage has grown in proportion to the degree to which society has allowed it to deviate from what it was designed to be, a life-long monogamous relationship between one man and one woman.

Josh Duggar To Lead Rally Against Marriage Equality in Arkansas

Tomorrow, the Family Research Council and its Arkansas affiliate will join with Rick Scarborough’s Vision America to hold an anti-marriage-equality rally in Little Rock.

Among the speakers at the rally — which follows the state supreme court’s decision to take up a marriage case — will be Arkansas native Josh Duggar, the TLC reality show star and the executive director of FRC’s political arm.

• Mr. Joshua Duggar – Executive Director of FRC Action
• Mr. Jerry Cox – Founder and President of Family Council
• Senator Bart Hester – Arkansas State Senate
• Representative Bob Ballinger – Arkansas House of Representatives
• Pastor Happy Caldwell – Founder and President of Victory Television Network
• Pastor Derick Easter – New St. Hurricane Missionary Baptist Church

The Arkansas Family Council urges members to turn out in Little Rock:

Are you ready to make your voice heard to the Arkansas Supreme Court about the sanctity of marriage?

Are you tired of judges running roughshod over the will of Arkansas’ voters?

If you are, then I want to invite you to an important rally on the Capitol Steps in Little Rock one week from today.

On Wednesday, November 19, at 11:00 AM Arkansans will rally in support of traditional marriage. This is an opportunity for everyone—especially ministers—to make their voices heard in saying marriage in Arkansas should remain the union of one man and one woman.

Jim Garlow: Religious 'Onslaught' Needed To Fight 'Demonic' Gay Marriage

Anti-gay activists Tony Perkins and Jim Garlow, who are attending the Vatican summit on marriage this week, spoke yesterday about how the conference could create a new, ecumenical movement to combat what Garlow called the “demonic movement to destroy marriage.”

“The attack on marriage is global,” Garlow told Perkins, who was broadcasting his “Washington Watch” program live from the Vatican. “I believe it’s clearly demonic.”

Garlow, the California pastor who helped orchestrate the Proposition 8 campaign, then called for “an onslaught of people who come together of very different values” to defend marriage from Satan, repeating his frequent refrain that if he were Satan he would “want to destroy marriage” by allowing gay couples to wed.

Religious Right Activist Wants An Anti-Gay 'Uprising' If SCOTUS Rules For Marriage Equality

Phil Burress, head of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values, thinks that the American people will revolt if the Supreme Court makes a sweeping ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Speaking over the weekend with Mission America’s Linda Harvey, Burress said he feared that the Supreme Court “will force same-sex marriage on all fifty states,” adding that “the nation is not going to stand for this.”

Burress added that in the event of such a ruling anti-gay activists will be forced to reorganize and launch a new campaign to amend the Constitution: “I really believe if the Supreme Court was to rule the wrong way, I think you’re going to see an uprising and a demand for a constitutional amendment that takes this matter out of the hands of the courts and puts it back into the states.”

Burress went on to attack Sen. Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican who endorsed marriage equality after his son came out as gay, pledging to defeat to him if he runs for re-election and unite Portman’s conservative opponents around a single primary challenger.

“We did a poll of just conservatives, the values voters, dealing with just Portman,” Burress said. “Seventy-two percent of them said that they would not support Portman. If he runs, he will lose.”

He claimed that marriage equality is losing support among voters: “The reason they are losing support is because people are understanding this is not about same-sex marriage or same-sex unions anymore, it’s about persecution, it’s about suing people, it’s about forcing people to comply with what they want or else we’re going to put you out of business and if you don’t comply then we’ll put you in jail.”

Tony Perkins Will Join Anti-Gay Leaders At Vatican Marriage Meeting

Next week, American Religious Right leaders including the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore, pastor Rick Warren, Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, and Latter-Day Saints official Henry Eyring will be joining opponents of LGBT equality from around the world at an interfaith conference on the “complementarity of man and woman in marriage” hosted by the Vatican.

The conference follows a synod at which Catholic bishops considered, but ultimately rejected, proposals to soften the church’s stances on homosexuality, as well as those who have been divorced.

Although he is not listed as a speaker, another prominent American opponent of LGBT equality will also be attending the conference. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in an interview on Newsmax TV today that he plans to attend the conference in Rome and expects the Catholic Church to “make a very clear statement that pertains to marriage and what the Church views marriage to be” to provide “clarity” to the confusion coming out of the recent synod.

“I don’t see the Catholic Church making a great deviation” on the issue of homosexuality, Perkins said. “They can’t because the scripture is quite clear on the issue.”

He added that there has been “a lack of clarity” on the part of the Catholic Church that have “allowed interpretations to be made that are less than accurate.”

On his "Washington Watch" broadcast yesterday, Perkins said that he will be broadcasting live from the event next week.

Rick Wiles: On Veterans Day, Apologize To Vets For Marriage Equality

On yesterday’s edition of “Trunews,” host Rick Wiles said he intended to mark Veterans Day by apologizing to veterans for the legalization of same-sex marriage, which he said has dishonored those who died in battle.

It’s an appropriate time, Veterans Day. My heart is so broken over the immorality of this nation and the hedonistic mindset of so many people in this country. I want to go to Arlington Cemetery and go to grave to gravesite and say to those fallen soldiers, I’m sorry, we threw it away. We threw it away, you died for us, we threw it away. I want to go to those gravesites and apologize to those soldiers that we’re such a bunch of lazy, hedonistic, self-serving people in this country today that we threw away what they fought and died for. It sickens me, it sickens me that men bled on battlefields, their life poured out of them, so we would be free, so we would have a decent nation. Anybody going to tell me that the men who died in World War II were fighting for same-sex marriage? Are you really going to tell me that’s why they risked their lives and died?

The End Times broadcaster also alleged that God told him that Nazism and anti-Christian persecution are coming to America, informing him “that there would be a day that there would be a Nazi power rising up in the United States of America to snuff out the Gospel, to take over the church of Jesus Christ.

I’m saying it is here now, in 2014, this is a Nazi spirit that’s in the United States of America and thousands of churches are intimidated by it, frightened by it and being silent as this monster rises up,” he said.

PFAW Activists Protest Kentucky’s Marriage Equality Ban

People For the American Way joined local activists at a park in downtown Louisville on Friday to protest Kentucky's ban on marriage equality for same-sex couples. 

The "Love Will Win" rally came in response to last week's federal appeals court decision that upheld laws against same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Currently the Commonwealth doesn't even have to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.

Protesters are hopeful this setback will pave the way for a Supreme Court reversal, bringing marriage equality to the South and the rest of the nation.

Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, said that he’s disappointed by the decision but pleased by the prospects of getting a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I think we all knew the sixth circuit was going to rule against LGBT freedom to marry,” Hartman said. “The sixth circuit is the most overturned circuit at the Supreme Court in the entire nation."

Thus far, 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.

PFAW

Laurie Higgins: GOP Establishment Is Like Tolkein's Gollum

In a blog post today, Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute (state affiliate of the American Family Association) turns to a colorful analogy to describe the Republican Party’s internal conflicts.

Higgins contends that the establishment GOP, which worked this year to stamp out some of the more vocally extreme candidates in its ranks this year, is like Tolkein’s Gollum, so captivated by a shiny object that it ends up destroying itself and those it loves. (In The Lord of the Rings, the shiny object is the One Ring. In contemporary politics, it’s presumably voters who support LGBT equality and abortion rights.)

Just to be clear, Higgins also compares the party establishment to Cain, who in the Bible kills his brother Abel.

The GOP is slowly transmogrifying into the political incarnation of Tolkien's Gollum:

Gollum, dancing like a mad thing, held aloft the ring, a finger still thrust within its circle. "Precious, precious, precious!" Gollum cried. "My Precious! O my Precious!" And with that, even as his eyes were lifted up to gloat on his prize, he stepped too far, toppled, wavered for a moment on the brink, and then with a shriek he fell. Out of the depths came his last wail precious, and he was gone.

Illinoisans should fully expect to hear immoderates and perhaps even dispirited conservatives say, "See, Bruce Rauner/Mark Kirk-type of Republican is the only kind of Republican who can get elected in Illinois." But soon, they won't be tacking on "in Illinois."

Four years ago, the U.S. Senator-elect from Colorado, Cory Gardner, supported the Personhood Amendment and even circulated petitions to gather signatures for it. Then this year, the GOP establishment got to him. Just weeks before Gardner announced his candidacy, pro-life activists in Colorado got wind of the news that he would be renouncing his support for the Personhood Amendment.

Karl Rove deceitfully wrote this last May: "in Colorado, tea-party favorite and front-runner Ken Buck stepped aside when Mr. Gardner entered the race, recognizing he was better able to enthuse all the party." So, in May Rove implied that Buck just freely stepped aside because of his own uncoerced epiphany that Gardner would be the best candidate for "enthusing" the party.

That's interesting, because late last night on FOX News election coverage, Karl Rove boasted that his Super PAC told the Colorado GOP that no Super Pac money would got to support Ken Buck for U.S. Senate. I'm speculating here, but I suspect that Rove et al told Gardner they would support him as long as he retreated from the Personhood Amendment.

Immoderate Republicans accuse conservatives who agree with Robert George of turning on their Republican brethren and "forming a circular firing squad." But who really is Cain in this contemporary narrative? Who is Sméagol and who is Déagol?

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