Marriage Equality

Utah Man Starving Himself To Stop Same-Sex Marriages

Right-wing advocates of “nullification” say it is a principle by which state and county officials can simply ignore federal laws and court rulings they consider unconstitutional.  A Utah man who believes a federal judge acted unconstitutionally in ordering officials to permit same-sex marriage in the state has been fasting since December 21, he says, and will keep doing so until state officials refuse to obey the federal judge.  He invokes the founding fathers in his call for nullification.

In an interview posted today on the Cultural Hall website, Meacham said it is “completely pointless” for state officials to go through the courts because they are “packed full of activist judges that don’t listen to the constitution.” He has urged state officials and county clerks to defy the order. He told an interviewer he is emulating Gandhi, and said he is willing to sacrifice his life for the cause.

Trestin Meacham is a libertarian-leaning Navy veteran who ran for the state senate in 2012 as a candidate for the far-right Constitution Party, which promotes biblical law. His online bio from Project Vote Smart doesn’t have much more information other than that he is a small business owner and Mormon, while his personal Facebook page describes his politics as “Anti-Marxist Secessionist.” (It lists joking pop culture references for his work and education.)

As a candidate he was described as a conservative blogger, though some of his blogs appear to be defunct. In his writings and postings he has demonstrated a commitment to the Tea Party’s notion that much of what the federal government does violates the Tenth Amendment. As a candidate, he argued:

For over a hundred years we have been drifting further and further from the government designed by our founders, to something more closely resembling the writings of Karl Marx …

It is the duty of the State Legislatures to stand up to the federal government and take back our God-given right of self-government laid out in the Constitution. Washington is not going to reform itself. Even if we had Ronald Reagan as President, with control of both houses of Congress, it would still be heading down the wrong path. Washington is too corrupt; it will not relinquish its unconstitutional power. Reform can only come from an outside source, that source is the states.

As a State Senator, I will oppose any further unconstitutional power grabs from Washington. I will also sponsor and support legislation, which takes back the states rightful power from our corrupt federal government.

Meacham claims federal courts decisions on gay marriage will lead to tyranny, ultimately forcing churches and LDS to officiate same-sex weddings:

I think an attack on freedom, an attack on the Constitution, affects everybody.  If a fed judge can throw out the Constitution and the will of the people then we’re really little better off than a Soviet satellite nation. Our freedom means nothing. They can do anything if they can do this.

In a 2011 comment on a story on Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, he wrote, “Our schools have always been places for socialist indoctrinations. The public school system is the tenth plank of the Communist Manifesto.” An old YouTube channel apparently created while he was serving in Korea includes birther material.

Meacham has linked to right-wing sources online promoting nullification. In today’s interview he also appealed to the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, quoting Joseph Smith saying that saints should not follow any law that violates the Constitution.

Meacham has a blog devoted to his fast / hunger strike as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The blog Meacham created to promote his fast appears to be built on the same platform as a fictional country, Kherutistan, that Meacham seems to be constructing online, complete with its own Declaration of Independence and flag. Kherutistan is a libertarian paradise, a “heroarchy” led by people of good character where the basic ground rule of living is for people to be excellent to one another.

Staver Fears Everyone Will Go Gay Under Marriage Equality

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver is warning that with full marriage equality, everyone may decide to marry someone of the same sex and society could “cease to exist” altogether. While speaking to Vic Eliason of VCY America last week, Staver said that if gay marriage becomes legal nationwide then the country could become a childless, disease-ridden dystopia:

If you ultimately promoted same-sex marriage and everyone started to go towards same-sex marriage, what would happen to society? It would just simply cease to exist. Moreover, you’d have rampant increase in diseases. Already, you have rampant increase in diseases among same-sex activities, specifically men having sex with men. Same-sex marriage, same-sex relationships is destructive to individuals and it’s destructive to our very social fabric.

He later claimed that the expansion of gay rights is encouraging pedophilia and that the media “promotes” bestiality by making sex with animals seem like “a funny thing.” “That’s how this whole homosexuality began to happen on TV,” Staver said.

Staver went on to praise India’s Supreme Court for recriminalizing homosexuality and Russian president Vladimir Putin for “defending traditional marriage and criticizing President Obama.” Staver continued, “Yet we see this president refusing to meet Vladimir Putin because of this issue. The President of the United States refuses to meet with the President of Russia because the president of Russia believes in marriage as one man and one woman, that is a perverted situation that we have.”

Of course, Staver is being dishonest: Obama actually canceled a September summit with Putin over the Edward Snowden asylum controversy. Further, Putin isn’t facing criticism because he “believes in marriage as one man and one woman,” but because his government is leading a crackdown on Russia’s gay community and rolling back the free speech rights.

“The president will meet with people such as the Iranian delegation and other terrorists from around the country, but not with someone who believes that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that homosexuality should not be actively promoted in their school systems,” Staver said.

Breaking: Judge Strikes Down Ban on Same-Sex Marriage in Utah

Adding to this week’s great news on marriage equality, today U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, which was put into the state constitution by referendum in 2004.

One of the far right’s standard attacks on the increasing number of judicial opinions striking down discriminatory marriage laws is that judges are “redefining marriage” and “usurping the legislature.”  No doubt they will do so again in this case.  Fortunately, Judge Shelby opens his opinion with a brief but important explanation of how the American constitutional system works:

The issue the court must address in this case is therefore not who should define marriage, but the narrow question of whether Utah’s current definition of marriage is permissible under the Constitution.…

[T]he legal issues presented in this lawsuit do not depend on whether Utah’s laws were the result of its legislature or a referendum, or whether the laws passed by the widest or smallest of margins. The question presented here depends instead on the Constitution itself…

In his opinion, Judge Shelby also takes apart the harmful, bogus argument that preventing same-sex couples from marrying somehow “elevate[s] the status of opposite-sex marriage”:

Rather than protecting or supporting the families of opposite-sex couples, Amendment 3 perpetuates inequality by holding that the families and relationships of same-sex couples are not now, nor ever will be, worthy of recognition. Amendment 3 does not thereby elevate the status of opposite-sex marriage; it merely demeans the dignity of same-sex couples. And while the State cites an interest in protecting traditional marriage, it protects that interest by denying one of the most traditional aspects of marriage to thousands of its citizens: the right to form a family that is strengthened by a partnership based on love, intimacy, and shared responsibilities. The Plaintiffs’ desire to publicly declare their vows of commitment and support to each other is a testament to the strength of marriage in society, not a sign that, by opening its doors to all individuals, it is in danger of collapse.  (Emphasis added.)

Congratulations, Utah!

PFAW

New Mexico Becomes 17th Marriage Equality State

It has been quite a year for marriage equality. Today the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state is required by its constitution to allow same-sex couples to marry. This means that New Mexico joins the impressive list of states that legalized marriage for same-sex couples in 2013 alone, including Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, and becomes the 17th state in the country to legalize marriage equality.

As the march toward full equality nationwide continues with today’s victory in New Mexico, the momentum is undeniable. PFAW will continue to advocate for marriage equality until every couple can access the protections necessary to take care of each other for a lifetime.
 

PFAW

Perkins: Tide Turning Against Marriage Equality

Back in June, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins pointed to the marriage equality fight in Illinois to argue that marriage equality is not inevitable:

Today, Pew Research Center did its part to dispirit supporters of natural marriage by insisting that 72% of Americans believe same-sex "marriage" is inevitable (including 85% of same-sex "marriage" supporters and 59% of natural marriage proponents). Apparently, the folks at Pew didn't survey anyone in Illinois. Advocates of same-sex "marriage" thought victory in the President's home state was "inevitable" too -- until the churches got involved.

The reality is, same-sex "marriage" is only as inevitable as we make it. If Christians play into the media's hands and adopt this defeatist attitude, then the Left is right: It is helpless. But if believers rediscover the power of the truth, they can do more than stop the dissolution of marriage (like they did in Illinois), they can "turn the world upside down" (Acts 17:6).

Of course, Illinois eventually did in fact legalize same-sex marriage. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia now have marriage equality laws, which are favored by 58 percent of Americans and a huge majority of young people.

But undeterred by the facts, Perkins said in his radio address today that “the tide may already be turning” against equality:

Plenty of states have been processing down the same-sex marriage aisle. But according to pundits, that's all about to change. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. Homosexual activists like to say that momentum is on their side. And until recently, they might have been right. Sixteen U.S. states now recognize a right to same-sex marriage. And unfortunately, the Left's success in places like Hawaii and Illinois have helped feed the lie in America that homosexual marriage is inevitable. But don't believe it, say experts. All we've witnessed lately is the Left taking advantage of easy targets. With the exception of West Virginia, none of the other 34 states are under Democratic control. That means the Left's toughest battles are yet to come. And in places like Indiana, the tide may already be turning. State liberals are rushing to play defense while a marriage protection amendment works its way to the statewide ballot. So be encouraged. Not all same-sex wedding bills are leading to wedding bells.

Indiana will vote on an amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2014, but Indiana GOP leaders are already distancing themselves from or even opposing the discriminatory initiative. While the vote is a year away, the latest polling found that most Hoosiers oppose the amendment.

Marriage equality may also soon arrive in Oregon and New Mexico (where it is already legal in some counties), which may disappoint Perkins as he tries to pretend anti-gay activists are somehow winning the fight on marriage rights.

Keyes: Gay Marriage Is 'A Social Weapon Of Mass Destruction'

In a Renew America column Saturday, Alan Keyes attacked Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney for not denouncing marriage equality strongly enough, claiming that her opposition is so weak that it will only help the gay rights movement. Keyes, like Cheney, has an openly gay family member: He disowned his daughter after she came out of the closet.

During his 2004 campaign for Senate against then-state senator Barack Obama, Keyes derided Liz Cheney’s openly gay sister Mary as a “selfish hedonist”; at the time, Liz said she would not “dignify [the remark] with a comment.”

Keyes insists that gays and lesbians do not have the right to marry because marriage is based on procreation. He slams marriage equality as a “capital injustice” as well as “a social weapon of mass destruction aimed at dissolving the existential foundation of human society, while bringing down the ideas of higher law and natural right that are the hallmarks, in particular, of the American way of life.”

Procreation is self-evidently one of those obligations. When individuals voluntarily choose to follow their natural inclination to fulfill this obligation, they do what is right, not just for themselves or their offspring, but for the species as a whole. Certain special qualities of human nature result in a capacity for self-conscious individual choice. Accordingly, for individuals who deliberately take responsibility for the consequences of procreation, what they do is not just an attribute of their species as a whole. It is their personal belonging, engendered in consequence of their personal decision to conform their way of living to the requirements of survival for the species as a whole.

But this decision is not just an invisible inner determination of their intangible will. It is expressed concretely, through the voluntarily use of their primordial natural possession: the individual physical body, insofar as it informs and is responsive to their will. The traceable connection between their will, their physical actions, and the new instance of human life that results, gives this belonging a concrete certainty that becomes the implicit paradigm for all the severable forms of human property that are grounded in natural right.

The institution of marriage is thus rooted in the natural belonging that arises in connection with accepting the obligation to perpetuate the species. The claims of natural right connected with marriage are logically connected with voluntarily fulfilling this obligation. To be sure, a variety of customs, traditions, and religious disciplines have overlaid this natural right with all kinds of conventional and legal trappings.

...

But what natural obligation is involved in homosexual relations? Even if, for argument's sake, one accepts the absurd view that the human individual's natural desire for sensual pleasure constitutes a law of nature, humanly speaking, by what reasoning could we reach the conclusion that this imperative of individual pleasure is equal or superior to the natural obligation of procreation? The latter serves and preserves helpless individual humans in their infancy. It also cultivates a capacity for self-sacrifice that contributes to the preservation of the species in innumerable ways, like providing the emotional touchstone of respect for the requirements of human social life. All of this tends to preserve humanity, in the moral as well as physical sense, from extinction.

To be sure, individual human beings who identify themselves as homosexuals may wish to take advantage of opportunities like adoption, available in today's society, to indulge the experience of "parenting." But to harness the force of law, so that this indulgence is poised to usurp the name and rights of the natural family; to abuse the respect for law in order to denigrate the choice that accepts, as a natural obligation, the God-ordained vocation of procreation; and withal to pervert the enforcement of law in order to persecute those who oppose this capital injustice – all this is worse than folly and sly selfishness. It is the deployment of a social weapon of mass destruction aimed at dissolving the existential foundation of human society, while bringing down the ideas of higher law and natural right that are the hallmarks, in particular, of the American way of life.

Too bad Liz Cheney and other such GOP candidates, who seem so determined to exploit conservative voters for political gain, only do so as a matter of personal sentiment and self-justification. Their pose would be more credible if they took the time to digest and articulate the powerful arguments that reasonably justify the decent, thoroughly American common sense of the people they are offering to represent. After all, isn't this one of the services a truly capable representative is supposed to provide?

Lopez: Gay Marriage Leads To Human Trafficking

Appearing on Sandy Rios In The Morning today, anti-gay activist/gay erotic novelist Robert Oscar Lopez criticized marriage equality advocates for their role in passing a same-sex marriage law in Hawaii, which he said is uniquely offensive because it reminds Hawaii’s large Asian-American community of post-war human trafficking.

“Look what they did in Hawaii, that’s a state where over sixty percent of the population is Asian-American; they’re the people who came from South Korea, from Japan, from the Philippines, countries that have a very, very controversial history with adoption,” Lopez said. “And the predominantly white Human Rights Campaign went to Hawaii and ripped apart that state, you heard the testimony, they took a state and they just ripped at their heart.”

Lopez explained that married same-sex couples “end up buying children overseas,” which “echoes what happened in the past with the world wars in Korea and Vietnam where children were bought and sold because of couples that maybe thought they were doing the right thing but sometimes were also collaborating with human trafficking.”

Bishop Paprocki Leads Anti-Gay Exorcism

Just as Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was signing the marriage equality bill into law, right-wing Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Roman Catholic diocese of Springfield performed an exorcism over the state to cast out what he calls the Satanic forces behind same-sex marriage.

He told worshipers that the anti-gay exorcism was to show that “the church loves homosexual persons and looks upon them with compassion.”

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Before a mostly full cathedral, the head of the capital city’s Roman Catholic flock looked both to the heavens and to Gov. Pat Quinn’s bill-signing ceremony for same-sex marriage Wednesday and uttered three words in Latin: “I exorcise you.”

With that, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki staged an unusual — and in Illinois, unprecedented — exorcism that asked God to “deliver us from evil” of a Quinn-led change in state law that will permit gay and lesbian couples to wed in Illinois despite the Catholic Church’s objections.



“The church loves homosexual persons and looks upon them with compassion,” he said.

After that introduction, Paprocki read the rite of exorcism in Latin as his voice echoed through the cavernous and ornate Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception church a few blocks from the state Capitol, where the legislation passed earlier this month.

“I exorcise you, every unclean spirit, every power of darkness, every incursion of the infernal enemy, every diabolical legion, cohort, and faction, in the name and power of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Paprocki said. “Be uprooted and put to flight from the Church of God from souls created in the image of God and redeemed by the precious blood of the divine lamb.

“Dare no more, oh cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the church of God, to shake the chosen of God and sift them like wheat,” he continued.

In an unusual use of public services, the exorcism included two armed Springfield police officers stationed inside the church vestibule where parishioners entered from the street. At one point during the service, one of the officers strode to the front of the church, though his purpose was unclear. There were no disruptions during the hourlong event.

“Be gone Satan, father of lies, enemy of human salvation,” Paprocki said later, as he began the conclusion of the exorcism. “Give way to Christ, in whom you found no trace of your works. Give way to the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church, which Christ himself won by his blood.”

Conservative Catholic Group Ties Illinois Tornadoes To Gay Marriage

America Needs Fatima, a project of the right-wing American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, is linking the tornadoes that hit Illinois this weekend to the state’s recent approval of a marriage equality bill. Robert Ritchie, the group’s executive director, is just asking the question:

Do you think the massive Illinois tornadoes are linked to the passing of the same sex “marriage” bill?

The massive tornadoes that hit Illinois after the passing of the same sex “marriage” bill, has stimulated many people to reflection.

In it, some see God’s chastisement; others see it as yet one more merciful warning from Providence; others yet deny both options and give various reasons.

What do you think?

Ritchie also offers a link to an America Needs Fatima article, “Is the Voice of God Resounding in the Recent Catastrophes,” which blames homosexuality for several natural disasters.

The Religious Right Faces String Of Election And Gay Rights Defeats, Blown Narrative

After the 2012 election, right-wing activists immediately declared that Mitt Romney lost because he was not conservative enough and that Republican candidates must run to the right if they want to succeed in general elections.

Last night in the swing state of Virginia, however, two extremely conservative candidates both lost in their statewide bids, the first time since 1977 that a candidate from the party that lost the presidential election failed to win the Virginia gubernatorial race.

Not only did the Religious Right dream team in Virginia lose both races, but so did an Alabama Republican who ran even farther to the right than his conservative opponent. These defeats come at a time that the Senate is set to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) with bipartisan support and two states—Illinois and Hawaii—are poised to legalize same-sex marriage.

Cuccinelli & Jackson Flop In Virginia

Virginia Republicans Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, two Religious Right favorites, lose their races for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. Cuccinelli’s deeply anti-choice and anti-gay record hurt him according to exit polls [PDF]: 50% of voters claimed Cuccinelli was “too conservative” and 61% of voters said they supported abortion rights. During the campaign, Cuccinelli advocated for strict restrictions on abortion clinics and the restoration of unconstitutional sodomy laws, even though some conservative activists complained that he shied away from social issues or wasn’t conservative enough.

Jackson’s attempt to downplay his extremist and bigoted rhetoric and policy positions was even more pathetic to watch, as he insisted that criticisms of his candidacy and quoting him verbatim were unconstitutional and even resorted to lying to deny making remarks that are recorded on tape. Yet, he predicted that “disenfranchised” Christians would lead him to “a stunning victory.”

Don’t expect their defeats to change the Religious Right’s skewed mindset about what it takes to win. Cuccinelli surrogate Jim Bob Duggar, who campaigned throughout the state on a Family Research Council-paid tour, claimed that the “vast majority of people in America are pro-life” and conservative voters represent a “sleeping giant.” Despite having Cuccinelli and Jackson leading the ticket, white evangelical turnout dropped seven points, from 34% to 27% of the electorate, compared to the 2009 gubernatorial race.

The Cuccinelli complain will likely complain that he was abandoned by national Republicans (even though the Republican Governor Association donated $8 million to Cuccinelli) and could have won if the “establishment” offered him more support.

Dean Young Defeated

Dean Young, an ultraconservative birther with strong support from local Tea Party groups, lost to former state lawmaker Bradley Byrne, hardly a moderate himself, in the GOP primary for a special congressional election in Alabama. Young made opposition to gay rights a central part of his campaign: he urged his GOP rivals sign a pledge to oppose gay rights and to attend a church that opposes gay marriage, compared homosexuality to murder and demanded gay Alabamians leave the state.

He is also a senior aide for Roy Moore, the Alabama supreme court justice who refused to obey a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument that he had installed in the court rotunda and warned that gay rights will destroy America. Moore backed Young’s candidacy, as did Mark Levin, Phyllis Schlafly and Bryan Fischer, who fawned over him in an interview the day before the election, where Young continued to criticize “homosexuals pretending to be married” and warned that gay rights will lead to God’s judgment on America.

Young reportedly refused to call Byrne to concede defeat and announced that he may establish a national organization.

Marriage Equality Poised To Pass In Illinois, Hawaii

Anti-gay groups have consistently cited Illinois as an example that Religious Right has become more successful in fighting marriage equality. But the state legislature approved a marriage equality bill yesterday and the governor is a vocal supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage, which means that Americans For Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera will soon live in a state with marriage equality.

With Hawaii also expected to pass a marriage equality bill this week, the success of the two gay rights measures represent big setbacks for Religious Right groups such as the Illinois Family Institute and Hawaii Family Advocates, which both employed ugly smear campaigns against the marriage bills.

Illinois to Become 15th Marriage Equality State

It’s been an exciting few days for supporters of LGBT equality. Following last night’s Senate cloture vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, today the Illinois House passed a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry, setting the stage for Illinois to become the 15th state in the nation with full marriage equality. One version of the bill has already been passed by the Illinois Senate, and Governor Pat Quinn has promised to sign it. When he does, thirty percent of our nation’s states will have marriage equality.

PFAW has been on the ground in Illinois, supporting the push for marriage equality in any way we can. In addition to providing lobbying training materials so Illinois voters could bring their support for equality directly to their elected officials through calls, emails, and in-person visits, PFAW members joined thousands of friends in the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality last month.

In what the CEO of Equality Illinois has called the “national march toward full recognition of the dignity of all gay and lesbian couples,” Illinois has brought us one state closer to full marriage equality nationwide.  And while 15 states represents real momentum, we won’t stop until every committed couple in the country has access to the legal protections they need to take care of each other and their families.
 

PFAW

Vander Plaats: DOMA Decision Provoked A 'Constitutional Crisis' Because It Defied the Bible

Leading Iowa religious right figures Bob Vander Plaats and Steve Deace got together on American Family Radio today to discuss potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates and how they can move them even further to the right, as they did in 2012.

Eventually, the discussion moved to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who provoked conservative ire when he said that the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act was appropriate and would help avert “a culture war.”

Deace said that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the case was actually “an anti-Christian polemic” that he would “expect to be reading…at Mother Jones.”

Vander Plaats agreed, saying that Kennedy had in fact provoked a “constitutional crisis” by “defying the law of nature and the law of nature’s God” and “going against the document that predates the Constitution.”

Charisma: Sandra Day O'Connor Bringing God's Judgment By Officiating Wedding For Gay Couple

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor recently conducted a wedding at the Supreme Court for Jeffrey Trammell and Stuart Serkin, and Charisma magazine is warning that as a result divine retribution is right around the corner. Charisma posted a Reuters article by Lawrence Hurley and gave it the title: “Is Judgment Far Off? Gay Wedding Ceremonies Taking Place at US Supreme Court.”

The magazine asked readers to “sound off” by responding to the question: “Is this a prophetic sign of the state of our nation? Does it bother you that gay weddings are taking place at our nation’s High Court?”

Thousands March, Demand Illinois House Vote On Marriage Equality Bill

On a cold, wet Tuesday this week, People For members joined an estimated 2,000 marriage equality supporters at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield for the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality. For two full hours prior to marching around the capitol complex, activists rallied for same-sex marriage, with major news cameras rolling.  Scores of activists, entertainers, politicians, and faith leaders called on the Illinois House of Representatives to pass SB 10, a bill legalizing marriage for same-sex couples which was passed by the Illinois State Senate early in 2013.


Highlights from the rally included out gay country singer Steve Grand performing his hit “All American Boy,” the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus and Windy City Gay Choirs, and independent artist Sonia; along with a lineup of other performers and speakers demanding that House Speaker Michael Madigan hold a vote on SB 10.  In the middle of the event, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made an appearance.  With a pen in hand, Quinn said he was ready to sign the bill into law as soon as the House passes it, evoking a roar from the 2,000 attendees.  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (daughter of the Speaker), State Comptroller Judy Barr-Topinka, and Secretary of State Jesse White all voiced their endorsements of SB 10.

But the biggest reaction of the day came from keynote speaker Bishop Carlton D. Pearson of the Churches of God In Christ, who called on the Illinois Legislature to “pass the damn bill” and foster a society of fairness, social justice, and inclusion in Illinois.  In the style of a sermon, Pearson delivered a powerful address, apologizing to the LGBT community on behalf of the evangelical Christian community for the lack of compassion previously given to them by some Christian leaders.


Following Pearson’s rousing speech, marchers funneled to the sidewalks surrounding the Capitol Building, at one point nearly completely encircling the complex with their numbers.  Check out this gallery of photos from the rally, and the recorded livestream of the event.

PFAW

Pennsylvania Republicans Seek To Impeach Pro-Gay Rights Attorney General

A Republican state representative in Pennsylvania is circulating a memo calling for the impeachment of the state’s attorney general, Kathleen Kane, for her “misbehavior in office” and “violation of her constitutional, statutory, and ethical duties.” Earlier, a Republican state senator also called for her impeachment and asked the legislature to reduce her office’s budget.

Kane recently said that she “cannot ethically defend the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s version of DOMA” because “it is wholly unconstitutional.”

The state representative proposing impeachment, Daryl Metcalfe, recently stopped an openly gay colleague from speaking in favor of marriage equality on the state house floor after the Supreme Court’s recent rulings on marriage, saying is colleague was in “rebellion against God’s law.” Metcalfe even opposed a resolution condemning domestic violence because he feared it would advance the “homosexual agenda.”

All public officials in Pennsylvania swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and laws of this Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Attorneys Act imposes a mandatory duty on the Attorney General to defend the constitutionality of lawfully enacted statutes in any challenge filed in court.

Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane recently made a public declaration that she would not defend a federal lawsuit challenging the statutory definition of marriage. Ironically, Attorney General Kane explained that she could not “ethically” defend a law that she believed to be “wholly unconstitutional,” but making such a public statement that hinders the defense of the litigation violates the ethics rules that all attorneys are bound to follow.

In the near future, I will be introducing a resolution containing articles of impeachment against Attorney General Kane. Impeachment is a rarely used, but extremely important, tool to address misbehavior in office. Attorney General Kane’s violation of her constitutional, statutory, and ethical duties cannot be tolerated if our system of government is to work properly.

Attorney General Kane’s refusal to follow the law already led to further violations of the law when the Montgomery County Register of Wills cited Kane’s decision as a reason to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. When the Commonwealth Court entered an order that stopped this practice, the Court reiterated the well-established principle that every act of the legislature is presumptively constitutional until a court declares otherwise. Attorney General Kane has created a constitutional crisis by refusing to perform her assigned role and usurping the role of the courts.

It is our duty to stop her from engaging in further misbehavior in office.

How To Make 'The Whole Homosexual Marriage Debate Go Away'

Anti-gay activists can’t be happy that polling data shows that a majority of Americans support marriage equality, and are also displeased with libertarian and conservative leaders who think it might be time for the government to get out of the marriage business altogether.

In a WorldNetDaily article about the debate on “privatizing marriage,” Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said that while heterosexual marriage should remain a government-sponsored institution, he is “fine with privatizing homosexual relationships” since gay people haven’t proven how same-sex unions “benefit society.” Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute agreed that removing a government role from marriage “capitulates” to the gay rights movement and harms children.

Herb Titus said the government should define marriage based on Leviticus and “screen out those people who were violating the rules the Bible laid down as to who could be married and who could not be married.”

But Matt Trewhella has a plan to end the debate over marriage rights once and for all.

Trewhella, the Religious Right activist who you may remember for his rant about how gays are “filthy people,” revealed that the only way to make “the whole homosexual marriage debate go away” is not through “privatization but the re-criminalization of sodomy.”

Jennifer Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, which supports traditional marriage, says privatizing marriage “doesn’t really resolve the gay marriage issue, it capitulates on the key point, which is what is the public purpose of marriage, and whether the state has any role in protecting the interests of children.”

“This is a rhetorical tactic for trying to make it go away. I don’t think it works.”

Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, said marriage deserves a privileged place in the law because it brings benefits “that are important to the well-being of society as a whole and not just a couple.”



Sprigg, a leading defender of traditional marriage, sayid [sic] he’s “fine with privatizing homosexual relationships” but rejects privatizing true marriage because of its special status.

“Society gives benefits to marriage because marriage gives benefits to society. Therefore the burden of proof is on the advocates of alternatives to marriage to prove that their relationships benefit society. I think that’s a burden of proof that same-sex marriage cannot meet.”

Morse said the libertarian idea that two or more people can make up their own “marital” contract any way they wish collides with the needs of children. Crafting intimate arrangements without guidance from God, culture or the state “just doesn’t work when you have a child,” she said. “The modern world does not know quite what to do with these helpless creatures.



Herbert W. Titus, former dean of the Regent University School of Law and Government, agrees that state and federal laws, especially no-fault divorce, have fostered social chaos but says a return to marriage laws that conform to biblical norms is the solution, not privatization.

Marriage licenses serve a useful purpose, Titus said, because they determine “if you’re entitled to a marriage certificate” and “screen out those people who were violating the rules the Bible laid down as to who could be married and who could not be married.” He cited Leviticus 18, which forbids sexual relations between close relations, family members and individuals of the same sex.

But once the law allows same-sex marriage, Titus said, “then it’s very difficult to see that there are any … barriers to marriage,” and that opens the door to sodomy and polygamy.



Conservative Protestant minister Matt Trewhella, founder of Missionaries to the Preborn, is sometimes lumped in with the advocates of marriage privatization because he tells Christians not to get marriage licenses and refuses to marry couples who do.

Trewhella regards marriage licenses as a grant of authority to marry from the state. “The state cannot grant the right to marry. It is a God-given right.”

Despite that view, Trewhella wants the state to ban same-sex marriage.

“I think the whole idea of privatizing marriage is absurd because the state should uphold and affirm the law word and created order of God regarding marriage as revealed in Scripture.”

He believes the solution to same-sex marriage is not privatization but the re-criminalization of sodomy.

“That’s what makes the whole homosexual marriage debate go away,” he said.

Cahn: Gay Marriage And Obama's Re-Election Are Signs Of The End Of America

Author Jonathan Cahn has become a star in Religious Right circles over his new book, The Harbinger, which basically claims that biblical prophecy regarding ancient Israel applies to the United States today. Cahn states that the September 11 attacks were a warning from God to repent and prophesied in the Bible. Instead of repenting, however, America is increasingly rebelling against God and Cahn predicts that such defiance will lead to the country’s ultimate destruction.

He appeared on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins yesterday to mark the anniversary of 9/11 and discuss a recent prayer gathering in the Capitol, where Michele Bachmann delivered a Cahn-like speech about how 9/11 and the Benghazi attack represented divine judgment. Cahn also spoke at the event.

After Perkins asked Cahn if the US is “responding to these warning signs of the Lord” appropriately, since Cahn of course knows exactly how God views America, Cahn responded that while America is in spiritual decline, the good news is that lots of people are buying his book!

The End Times author reiterated his claim that members of Congress are reading The Harbinger, including members he met at the Capitol prayer summit.

Unfortunately, America is still going downhill thanks to gay marriage and the re-election of Obama, so we may all be doomed anyway.

What I’ve experienced is there’s a lot of people—The Harbinger’s been spreading across the country, it’s even been reaching Capitol Hill. You and I were there on that night of prayer and several congressmen came up to me about it, so it’s been spreading on one hand. So we’re seeing prayers, we’re seeing repentance; we’re seeing much of that. But, on the other hand, as a nation since The Harbinger came out, America has continued its descent, its moral descent, rapidly. And this has affected the church. I believe, when I look back at it, it came out in 2012 and 2013, this is a real tipping point time where for the first time you have more Americans in favor of gay marriage, you have a president who was re-elected after declaring this, you have states coming forward, you have so many tipping points. I think there’s a reason why The Harbinger came out at that time because it’s a warning and it’s a wakeup call. What happens with a tipping point is things accelerate, unless there’s an intervention of God, things accelerate and I believe we’re really watching an acceleration; the Supreme Court just came out with its decision, I mean so much.

Hawaii Governor Calls Special Session on Marriage Equality

If the bill passes, Hawaii would become the 14th state to allow same-sex couples to marry. Such a victory would not only give marriage rights to committed couples in Hawaii, it would also move our nation one step closer to full marriage equality.
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