Equality For All

Schlafly Wonders Why Immigration Officials Didn’t Check if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Was Lying in his Citizenship Oath

Phyllis Schlafly has been on a tear after the Boston Marathon bombings, using the tragedy to call for the reinstatement of the House Un-American Activities Committee and a hold on comprehensive immigration reform.

In a syndicated column today, the Eagle Forum founder seizes on a report that some of the bombing suspects’ family members – all legal immigrants – received occasional welfare and food stamp assistance. “Tamerlan [Tsarnaev] can be said to have financed his radicalization with welfare handouts from our taxpayers,” she charges. She is also shocked that Tamerlan received a court-appointed attorney when he was charged with domestic violence in 2009.

Later in the column, Schlafly demands to know what immigration officials did when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was taking his citizenship oath “to assure that Dzhokhar was not using the Koran-authorized practice of taqiyya, i.e., tell a lie in order to advance Muslim objectives.” Officials should have been tipped off, she says, by the first name of his older brother, which is common in Central Asia.

Once admitted into the United States, the entire family cashed in on generous U.S. welfare benefits, cash and food stamps. Those receiving taxpayer handouts included the two criminal sons, both of their parents and, ultimately, Tamerlan's wife and child.

Tamerlan can be said to have financed his radicalization with welfare handouts from our taxpayers. Those were the years when Tamerlan became a more devout Muslim, gave up drinking in order to devote himself to "God's business" and sought out jihadist websites.

When accused of domestic violence against a girlfriend in 2009, he had the benefit of a taxpayer-funded attorney to get his case dismissed. Welfare was terminated only in 2012 when his wife's salary pushed their income outside of eligibility limits.

When the younger brother, Dzhokhar, was naturalized as a citizen. He would have been required to swear that he renounces "all allegiance" to any previous country and that "I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion." What did our naturalization bureaucrats do to assure that Dzhokhar was not using the Koran-authorized practice of taqiyya, i.e., tell a lie in order to advance Muslim objectives?

Why didn't our FBI recognize the signal that the older boy was named for one of the most brutal murderers in all history? The name Tamerlan is known throughout Asia as a 14th-century Muslim who called himself the "Sword of Islam" and murdered 17 million people, beheaded many and displayed their heads to showcase his brutality.

Schlafly: Immigration Reform 'Suicide' for GOP Because Immigrants Want a 'Handout'

Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly dropped by the Steve Malzberg Show on NewsMax TV recently to discuss the bipartisan Gang of Eight’s efforts on comprehensive immigration reform. Schlafly told Malzberg that creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would be “suicide for the Republican Party because they’re going to vote Democratic.” Schlafly predicts that immigrants will vote for Democrats “because they come from a country where there’s no tradition or expectation of limited government” and “think government should be there to give orders and solve their problems and give them a handout when they need it.”

Having this amnesty is suicide for the Republican Party because they’re going to vote Democratic, and that’s why the Democrats are pushing it. And the reason is because they come from a country where there’s no tradition or expectation of limited government. You know, you and I want the Constitution obeyed and we want limited government to get it off our back so that we can be a free country. But other countries don’t even have the experience. They don’t know what you’re talking about. They think government should be there to give orders and solve their problems and give them a handout when they need it.

Anti-Choice Group Using Gosnell Trial to Push TRAP Laws

The anti-choice group Americans United for Life is using the trial of Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell – accused of infanticide and causing the injury and death of several women in his care – to push for “TRAP” laws meant to shut down safe abortion clinics.

TRAP – “targeted restrictions on abortion providers”—laws are a favorite tool of anti-choice activists trying to work their way around Roe v. Wade. Passed under the guise of improving care for women, they are in fact aimed at shutting down abortions providers by burdening them with onerous and unnecessary regulations. A TRAP law in Virginia forced a respected 40-year-old abortion clinic to close this month. Last year, Mississippi passed a TRAP law aimed at shutting down the state’s only abortion clinic.

And this is exactly what Americans United for Life wants more of. In a press release today, AUL president Charmaine Yoest presents two model state-level TRAP measures, falsely claiming that her group “has led the nationwide effort to combat the reality of legalized ‘back-alley’ abortions”:

"For more than a decade, Americans United for Life has led the nationwide effort to combat the reality of legalized 'back-alley' abortions, advocating for meaningful and comprehensive regulation and oversight of abortion clinics.  And legislators across the country are responding to AUL's call to protect women from substandard abortion clinics and providers.  Over just the last three years, eight states have enacted new comprehensive abortion clinic regulations or made significant improvements to existing regulations.

"Commonsense regulations must be a national priority. Enacting medically appropriate and comprehensive abortion clinic regulations is a critical and sensible solution to the on-going problem of unsafe, legal 'back-alley' abortions, which is now better understood as a result of the horrific revelations in the Gosnell trial.  These regulations are designed to safeguard against unsanitary conditions, inferior equipment, and the employment of unsuitable and untrained personnel.  They are also intended to put an end to substandard medical practices that injure and kill untold numbers of women each year."

Of course, these laws do nothing to prevent back-alley abortions or “safeguard” women’s health. Instead, they serve to force safe clinics out of business, forcing women into unsafe practices like Gosnell’s. Gosnell’s squalid and dangerous clinic was the last refuge for many low-income women in Philadelphia. Yet AUL and its allies are trying to exploit the Gosnell story to make it even harder for women to access safe abortion care.

Schlafly: 'The Main Goal of the Homosexuals is to Silence Any Criticism'

On her Eagle Forum Live radio program last weekend, Phyllis Schlafly was joined by eminent conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Corsi, who is promoting his new book on the American Civil Liberties Union, told Schalfly that the ACLU and progressives are using the Supreme Court marriage cases as a way to enact hate speech laws and shut down churches. Schlafly agreed, saying, “I do think that the main goal of the homosexuals is to silence any criticism. Most of them aren’t interested in getting married.”

Later in the conversation, Schlafly compared a potential Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality to the infamous Dred Scott decision.

Corsi: The ACLU has been very strong behind the same-sex marriage. They have a whole section of the ACLU devoted to the LGBT agenda, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. And, Phyllis, if we get the Supreme Court saying that there’s a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, I think the next thing that’s going to happen is that we’re going to see an attempt to define hate speech, any minister or priest who from the pulpit condemns homosexual behavior from a scriptural basis or on principles of Judeo-Christian faith. And following that, the left will not only try to close that church down, but they’ll do it through pressing to take the tax-exempt status away from the church because the priest or the minister doesn’t agree with their agenda and is now engaged in ‘hate speech.’

Schlafly: Well, I do think that the main goal of the homosexuals is to silence any criticism. Most of them aren’t interested in getting married. But I think that’s what they want to do, and they’re starting out by trying it in the schools.



Schlafly: If five people on the Supreme Court are able to overturn our definition of marriage, which we’ve had for centuries, we had even before the Pilgrims landed on the Atlantic coast, there’s something wrong with our system. As Abraham Lincoln said in a famous, in his First Inaugural, in describing the Dred Scott case, probably the worst decision in history, and he said, okay, we have to accept what they decided for poor old Dred Scott. But we don’t have to accept it as a precedent and as something that will rule us forever, and we’re going to get this overturned. And if we don’t, we will be just simply subjects of what he called ‘that imminent tribunal.’ And we need to speak out. And before they hand down that decision, you need to pray that they come to the right decision and you all need to get your pastor to tell his congregation to pray for it.

Earlier this week, we reported that Schlafly is calling for a reinstatement of the House Un-American Activities Committee in response to the Boston Marathon bombings. When a caller asked why the ACLU couldn’t be tried for “subversive activity,” Schlafly repeated her demand to reinstate HUAC, and Corsi agreed.

Caller: The question I have is, how is it that no one has taken the ACLU to task in the courtroom and basically charged them with subversive activity?

Schlafly: Well, personally, Dr. Corsi, I think we need a new House Un-American Activities Committee, but I’ll let you answer your way.

Corsi: I’m in favor of it.

Employment Non-Discrimination Act to be Reintroduced in Congress

In much of our country, employers can legally fire someone simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.  It’s something most Americans don’t realize.  It’s also something most Americans believe is wrong.

Today a bill designed to address that kind of discrimination, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), is expected to be reintroduced in both the House and the Senate. This important civil rights legislation would expand current federal employment protections against discrimination – such as those based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability – to include sexual orientation and gender identity.  It is a common-sense measure that would help ensure that employees are judged by their qualifications and work performance rather than their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Yesterday People For the American Way joined with a broad coalition of organizations in asking members of Congress to become cosponsors of ENDA.  As the letter notes,

“Hardworking Americans should not be kept from supporting their families and making a positive contribution to the economic life of our nation because of characteristics that have no bearing whatsoever on their ability to do a job…Only 21 states’ laws prohibit discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation, and only 16 also do so based on gender identity, meaning that it is legal to fire members of the LGBT community in 29 and 34 states, respectively. ENDA prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in most workplaces. The time has long since come to end this injustice for LGBT Americans and pass ENDA.”

PFAW

Perkins Responds to NIH Grant with Transphobic Rant

The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins came across a story in CNSNews yesterday about a $150,000 NIH grant to George Washington University researchers who are studying “voice production and perception” among transgender people. Naturally, Perkins was outraged. In the top story of his daily email, Perkins accuses the NIH of “directing valuable resources away from treating mental illness--to enabling it in the name of political correctness.” Derisively calling transgender people “cross-dressers,” Perkins claims they “will have trouble leading ‘healthy, safe lives’ because of the emotional and physical tolls of their ‘lifestyle.”’

“The President’s priorities are as confused as some people’s gender identities,” he adds.

Taxpayers may be losing their voice in Washington, but transgenders are sure finding theirs! America may not be able to beef up defense, but apparently, it has more than enough money to fund "voice therapy" for cross-dressers. Based on the latest grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the President's priorities are as confused as some people's gender identities.

While the Obama administration claims it's too poor to staff airports or White House tours, it continues to fund projects that should have never been considered in the first place! For the next two years, the NIH is directing valuable resources away from treating mental illness--to enabling it in the name of political correctness. The long term goal of this "voice therapy," researchers explain, "is to inform and provide new directions for transgender voice care, thereby improving the lives of transgendered people who feel their voice is a great obstacle to living as their preferred gender." As part of the $152,000 program, men and women will submit speech samples for 100 listeners who will guess the sex of the speaker.  "Those male-to-female transgenders who pass as a female voice will be placed in a separate group and then compared to those who still sound like men," CNS News explains.

How is this remotely relevant to public health, you ask? Well, as far as NIH is concerned, the study will help end the "discrimination" transgenders face when "their voice does not match their preferred gender presentation." And that, researchers insist, "limits their ability to contribute to society and live healthy, safe lives." No one seems to recognize that transgenders, by their very definition, will have trouble leading "healthy, safe lives" because of the emotional and physical tolls of their "lifestyle." And no amount of taxpayer-funded speech lessons can change that.

(Emphases are mine)

PFAW Celebrates Passage of Marriage Equality Bill in Rhode Island Senate

WASHINGTON – Today the Rhode Island Senate passed a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry, setting the stage for Rhode Island to become the tenth state in the nation with full marriage equality.  A similar bill has already passed the State House and Gov. Lincoln Chafee has expressed his support for marriage equality in the past.

“Today marks an important step forward and a powerful victory for all Rhode Island families,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “As Rhode Island moves toward becoming the tenth state to allow same-sex couples to marry, the growing momentum for marriage equality nationwide is undeniable. Lawmakers in Rhode Island have come to see what people all over the country understand – that preventing same-sex couples from getting married brings serious harm to women and men in loving, committed relationships.”


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CWA's Crouse : Women's Rights Advocates are Waging the 'Real War on Women'

The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, an Illinois-based conservative group, convened a symposium in Washington earlier this month to discuss topics including “Defending Faith in an Age of Christophobia,” “The Pornography Industry,” and “Economic and Social Costs of Abortion.” 

At a panel titled “The ‘War on Women’: Myth or Reality?,” Concerned Women for America senior fellow Janice Shaw Crouse argued that it is in fact “those who present themselves as champions of women’s rights” who “constitute a very real war on women.” This “war,” Crouse declares, began in the 1960s and has “undermined and torn apart the faith, values and morality that have held together a diverse and multicultural people.”

Why, then, do we even have to ask, ‘Is there a war on women?’ The war began as early as 1960. Since then, our nation has been experiencing a harsh cultural winter. Howling winds of change, insidious myths and outright falsehoods have undermined and torn apart the faith, values and morality that have held together a diverse and multicultural people.

These myths and those attacks, those falsehoods by those who present themselves as champions of women’s rights constitute a very real war on women. It’s a senseless war, promoting casual sex, spreading the myth that women don’t need marriage, and pushing the cultural and public policies that inevitably lead women to be the majority of those in poverty. That war against women has loosened and upended many of the foundation stones of the Judeo-Christian principles.

PFAW Joins Over 80 Ally Organizations in Calling for Support of Student Non-Discrimination Act

Today People For the American Way joined with more than eighty other national and state organizations in sending a letter to all members of Congress asking for support of the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA).  SNDA, which was reintroduced in the House today by Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), would prohibit discrimination and harassment based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools. 

As the letter notes, the need for this type of legislation is profound:

“A 2011 study of more than 8,500 LGBT middle and high school students across the US found that eight out of ten reported experiencing harassment at their school within the past year based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and three-fifths said they felt unsafe at school because of who they are. Nearly three in ten skipped at least one day of school within the previous month because of concerns for their safety. Most tragically, LGBT youth face significantly increased risks for suicide related to mental health issues that often arise from poor treatment and discrimination in schools.”

Today a Florida eighth grader named Bayli put a face on these alarming numbers, telling the Huffington Post that her friends regularly face bullying because of their sexual orientation:

“Watching it tear apart my friends is what scared me the most. It's not right, I don't like it, and I don't [like seeing] my friends going through it.”

PFAW has long spoken out on the pervasive problem of bullying, including tracking the work of right wing anti-anti-bullying activists.  With the majority of LGBT young people reporting that they do not feel safe in their own schools, the need for action only continues to grow.  Discrimination and harassment of LGBT youth has no place in our nation’s classrooms. 
 

PFAW

Schlafly Cites 'Tradition' that Sodomy Is Worse than Rape

Phyllis Schlafly wants America to get “back to basics.” And when it comes to preventing “marriage mayhem,” that means talking about sodomy, which is “a central feature of same-sex marriage.”

Specifically, it means talking about sodomy in the “Anglo American legal tradition,” from its criminalization in English common law as early as 1533 through the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1986 decision in Bowers v Hardwick upholding state sodomy laws.  In Schlafly’s April 15 Eagle Forum missive she admiringly quotes from Chief Justice Warren Burger’s concurrence in Bowers, in which he quotes 18th Century commentator William Blackstone to the effect that sodomy is worse than rape:

English Common Law’s opposition to sodomy goes to the bottom of the tradition’s taproot. This progenitor of American law criminalized sodomy as early as 1533. And Sir William Blackstone, the late Eighteenth Century commentator foundational to American law, was quoted by Chief Justice Warren Burger in his concurrence in the Court’s Bowers decision: “[sodomy is] ‘the infamous crime against nature,’ an offense of ‘deeper malignity’ than rape, an heinous act ‘the very nature of which is a disgrace to human nature,’ and ‘a crime not fit to be named.’”

Schlafly doesn’t say that sodomy was punishable by death in Blackstone’s time; Burger's concurrence did note that it was a capital offence under Roman law.  But all this grand history was upended, Schlafly complains, with the Supreme Court’s “anti-tradition” decision in Lawrence v Texas, which overturned state sodomy laws and upheld the privacy and sexual freedom of consenting adults.  And that, she says, has led to the marriage equality cases currently being considered by the Court. Not surprisingly, Schlafly has strong opinions on those cases:

If the pro-homosexual rights forces win, that which is natural to the human race —marriage — is destroyed, and our venerable Constitution and legal tradition are slammed by Humanistic forces wanting to reconstruct American law and society on an anti-Judeo-Christian foundation.

Of course, Schlafly has her own “traditional” views about rape.  She has repeatedly denounced the concept of marital rape, saying that “when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about.” Last year Schlafly helped rally Religious Right support for Todd Akin when his remarks about “legitimate rape” were dooming his Senate campaign. 

Corsi: ACLU Promoting Pedophilia, Leading Us Back to Paganism

Master birther Jerome Corsi visited the Janet Mefferd show last week to promote his new book Bad Samaritans, a “scorching expose” of the American Civil Liberties Union. Like with most of his work, Corsi’s analysis of the ACLU is light on the truth and heavy on the grand conspiracy theories. He tells Mefferd that the ACLU is now promoting pedophilia “as the next sexual horizon” and seeking to indict pastors with non-existent hate speech laws. All of this, Corsi argues, means that “we’re headed right back to the paganism, maybe a broader form of paganism, that was the ancient world.”

Corsi: The ACLU has championed same-sex marriage, and along with same-sex marriage advocates, got a very effective public relations campaign arguing, you know, ‘How would you deny these two men who are in love or two women the ability to be happy,’ emotional issues. But now the ACLU is doing two things. One, they’re pushing the envelope, they’re arguing that pedophilia should be accepted next, as the next sexual horizon that is just a sexual orientation, and we should accept it as natural.

Mefferd: That’s sick.

Corsi: And they’re also arguing that any of the, the clergy, silencing the Church and ministers so that anybody who speaks out on a moral issue, objecting to, say, same-sex marriage on a moral or scriptural basis from Judeo-Christian principles, that’s hate speech and the person’s committing a crime. I mean, the left is not going to be tolerant when the window is fully pushed open and anyone who objects to their agenda is going to be suspect and silenced. And the problem is that if we continue to expand, you know, if every form of human behavior, sexual behavior, that can be imagined is all accepted and legitimated, well then we’re headed  right back to the paganism, maybe a broader form of paganism, that was the ancient world, rejected by Christianity at the fall of the Roman Empire.

Mefferd: Oh, it’s exactly the case.
 

Rios: Public Schools 'Softening Children Up' for Predators

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios claimed on her radio program yesterday that the gay rights movement is encouraging the “sexualization of our children in public schools” and “softening children up with sexual information way before they’re ready for it in order to prepare them for sexual activity, for predators.”

And even closer to home, Bobby, I think the case could be made, though I’m not sure I’ve made it on this program, that the sexualization of our children in public schools through the radical homosexual movement is really just a cousin to softening children up with sexual information way before they’re ready for it in order to prepare them for sexual activity, for predators. That’s what I think is happening in our public schools.

Rios offered her theory after a conversation with Robert Lopez, a bisexual anti-gay activist, who recalled his recent trip to France to participate in anti-marriage equality protests. Marriage equality, Lopez lamented, is “a dictatorship that is being imposed on the world.”

Those of us in the United States who are very concerned about the same-sex parenting and where that’s going are not alone. I think that there are countries all over Europe and all over the world where people feel increasingly that this is a dictatorship that is being imposed on the world. And I use the word ‘dictatorship’ very consciously because, you know, they tear-gassed children and they tear-gassed politicians who were elected officials behind me while I was at the march in Paris, and it was shameful.

Craig Parshall: Marriage Equality Victories Will Lead to 'Suppression of Speech'

Craig Parshall of National Religious Broadcasters added to the torrent of right-wing doomsday prophesies about marriage equality yesterday, claiming that a Supreme Court victory for gay rights would ultimately lead to hate speech laws wielded against Christians. In an interview with his wife Janet Parshall, a talk show host with Moody Radio, he warned that “the next victim will be not just the traditional view of marriage and the health of society, but it’s going to be the free speech rights of Christians as well.”

We have a hate crimes law on the federal level now that we didn’t used to have. It’s only been in play for a few years, but I’m already seeing indications that it could migrate toward the suppression of speech. So there’s no question in my mind that if either or both of these decisions go the wrong way, the next victim will be not just the traditional view of marriage and the health of society, but it’s going to be the free speech rights of Christians as well.

He was also upset that Justice Kennedy, during the arguments on Proposition 8, had brought up the well-being of California children being raised by same-sex couples. “There are some 40,000 children in California…that live with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think?,” Kennedy asked.

Parshall, who has previously called the children of gay and lesbian parents “victims of gay mentality,” said that in this case the views of children shouldn’t be considered. “We don’t leave it up to children to make those decisions,” he said. “Either the parents make it, or a high-level court, or society through Proposition 8 voting, has to decide those moral, societal value questions.”

(Of course, in this case, the parents are not able to make the decision to get married because they are legally barred from doing so).

The issue was, I thought, brought to a head in a very interesting, but I think wrong-headed, question by Justice Kennedy, the swing vote again, who said, ‘Well, but what about those 37,000,’ and actually, excuse me, he said, ‘the 40,000 children living in same-sex relationships in California?’ Actually, the number’s 37,000, I think he rounded it up, that’s fine. The 37,000 children. ‘What about them? They want their putative father and other significant other to be called a married couple.’ Well, number one, do they? I don’t think a survey has been made of those 37,000 children. But, number two, we don’t leave it up to children to make those decisions. Either the parents make it, or a high-level court, or society through Proposition 8 voting, has to decide those moral, societal value questions. The child doesn’t make the decision about whether marriage should be instituted for the purpose of gay parents.

Charisma to NFL Gays: Stay in the Closet!

Jennifer LeClaire, news editor of Charisma, a magazine and publishing house for Pentecostal Christians, is terrified that the gay agenda “may soon enough seep into Sunday afternoon football” and she has a message for gay NFL players: stay in the closet. Charisma’s daily email newsletter hypes her story this way:

In an age of openly gay clergy preaching the gospel, it wouldn’t be nearly as shocking to see a muscle-bound NFL pro doing a wacky dance after scoring a touchdown. But God forbid it happens.

Don't straight players ever do wacky dances? LeClaire frets about speculation that a professional football player will come out – speculation that has grown with the number of outspoken straight-but-gay-supportive players like Brendon Ayanbadejo. She insists that gay football players should stay in the closet to avoid enticing young people into a sinful lifestyle. All emphases are in the original.

Professional sports should stay out of step. If it’s not supposed to matter whether or not an NFL player is gay, then why do we need to know about his sexual orientation? The gay agenda wants us to know because it wants to shape and mold the minds of the next generation. It’s much the same as the gay superhero drama. Shining a positive spotlight on gay role models in any industry serves to validate homosexuality, which is clearly a sin.

LeClaire is worried that “CBS is reporting that a gay NFL player may soon come out of the closet, which would stir up post-season drama in more ways than one.”

When I was a kid, watching football on Sunday afternoons was a family tradition for many on my block. But as the gay agenda makes its public relations push from all sides, expect to see more gay professional athletes coming out of the closet in 2013, especially if the U.S. Supreme Court validates gay marriage at a federal level before football season begins.

In an age of openly gay clergy preaching the gospel, it wouldn’t be nearly as shocking to see a muscle-bound NFL pro doing a wacky dance after scoring a touchdown. But you can bet whoever comes out first will be the poster child for the radical gay agenda’s campaigns as they seek to make all things LGBT mainstream in a nation under God that’s divided on gay marriage.

Where will the gay agenda go next to recruit kids who are confused about their sexual identity? How should the church respond to youth who need to know who they are in Christ so they can avoid the eternal consequences of homosexual sin?

LeClaire’s message is not particularly surprising, given that she has previously warned against the perils of gay demon rape and recently denounced as anti-God “wickedness” the protection of gay people in the  Violence Against Women Act.  And it’s worth remembering that last fall Charisma publisher Steven Strang was helping Harry Jackson raise money for his not-very-successful plan to use marriage equality as a racial wedge issue against President Obama in swing states.  

What the Right Got Wrong About Marriage Equality

People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch has been closely following the Right Wing’s reaction to this week’s marriage equality arguments at the Supreme Court – which ranges from awkward homophobic discussions to outright threats of revolution.

Last night, our director of communications, Drew Courtney, went on PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton to discuss the Right’s reaction to the marriage cases. Watch it here:
 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

 

PFAW

Rallying for Marriage Equality – Day Two

What has stood out most for me from this experience is seeing the real people behind these cases. Yesterday, I waited at the Court until attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson walked down those famous steps with the Proposition 8 plaintiffs, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo. Today, I watched as Edie Windsor, at 83 years old, made that same walk, to loud cheers and applause and chants of “Edie! Edie!” In return, we all got a wave and a kiss blown our way.
PFAW

Garlow: Christians Will be 'Forced Underground' if Court Affirms Marriage Equality

In an interview with Janet Mefferd yesterday, pastor Jim Garlow elaborated on his theory that gay people don’t actually want to get married. In fact, Garlow told Mefferd, gay people want to “destroy marriage” and “force us to affirm an immoral behavior.”

Garlow further warned that if the Supreme Court affirms marriage equality, Christians will be “forced underground. Their buildings will be taken away from them, many of their rights will be taken away from them.”

Garlow: I think it’s important for people to realize what’s really at stake here. And I know this sounds sound strange, most of us assume naively that what homosexuals are actually for is marriage. And that is not true, at least not universally true. What they want is to destroy marriage.

I think Masha Gessen out of Australia was the most open one I’ve seen on it. She’s a homosexual activist and she just said bluntly, ‘Let’s face it, we don’t want marriage, we want the end of marriage.’ And that’s exactly what happened, of course, in European countries, where they changed the laws regarding what the definition of marriage is and people just stopped getting marriage. And you’d think marriage rates would go up. Instead, they dropped because nobody respects the institution anymore.

And that’s what the heart of this is, not only to end marriage, they’re not demanding marriage for themselves, they want us, to force us to affirm an immoral behavior.

Mefferd: That’s it. And the religious liberty issue, and I know you’ve been really big on this as well, I think more Christians need to understand the connection between advancing LGBT rights and retreating Christian rights.

Garlow: If same-sex so-called marriage is established as the law of the land, many of the people who are listening to my voice right now, not maybe immediately but at some point in the future, if they are followers of Christ, will be forced underground. Their buildings will be taken away from them, many of their rights will be taken away from them.

Stay in Hope: Remarks by Minister Leslie Watson Malachi on Marriage Equality

Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way, delivered the following remarks to those supporting marriage equality in front of the Supreme Court today.

I greet you as one who is humbled to stand before you on this day that will be like none other and say celebrate, be glad in it, and keep standing for and with Hope!

Why Hope? As the Director of African American Religious Affairs of People For the American Way, Hope tells us DOMA will not stand but like Goliath, will fall.

Hope says same gender couples, in committed relationships will be recognized and receive those 1100 plus benefits now denied by the federal government. Hope defends what is right, Hope unites people and families, Hope stands with us and for us, and Hope is the American Way!

Why Hope? As an organizer and ally since 1996, Hope kept us waiting for this historic day. Hope gave us a process and a lesson to never take lightly judicial nominations, to make sure voter registration and mobilization is a core value, to rejoice in victories in 2012 from the proclamation from the highest officer holder in this country – President Obama - to 4 states making it 9 states total passing pro-Marriage Equality laws, and that our work in the states is not done.  Hope hasn’t just strengthened those who have always believed in marriage equality. It’s brought others to reconsider their opposition and join us on the side of justice for all. Hope is why we have so many other new and welcomed allies for equality.

Why Hope? As a Christian, during this Holy Week, from our sacred text “hope that is seen is not hope”, so you have had and must hold on with unwavering confidence that help has arrived, is sitting in between the walls of the highest court of this nation, and speaking into existence freedom that will no longer be denied.

And finally, why Hope? As an African American woman, on behalf of the Equal Justice Task Force of African American Ministers In Action, Hope says the enemy is a liar when they say African Americans and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are two separate - even hostile – communities, for “no weapon shall be forged against us” and no wedge can be driven between those who know oppression, discrimination, denial of basic civil and human rights.  Hope connects the civil rights movement to the gay rights movement, the yesterday to today, the hopeful to the hopeless.

So Beloved, stay in Hope! Stay in Hope I say for if the Justices are about the business of justice, then they will speak against hate, division, intolerance, and barriers to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Stay in Hope for my sacred text tells us what “man meant for harm, God intends for good”.

In this pivotal moment in our country's history, we must stand on the side of compassion and equality rather than on the side of oppression and discrimination. And that’s why we’re all out here on the steps of the Supreme Court today.

I leave you with these words, stay in Hope because it was the late Senator Ted Kennedy who said, and prayerfully he won’t mind me playing with it a little bit, “ For all those whose dreams have been our concern (to defeat all forms of discrimination), the work goes on (we are not going to stop trying until gay and lesbian Americans across the country have full legal equality), the cause endures (freedom to be, freedom to love, just freedom), the hope still lives ( I say again hope still lives), and the dream (for all persons to marry the person they love) shall never die.”

Be encouraged! Have faith. Expand love. Know peace. And may Hope, which is never silent, always be with you!

 

 

PFAW

NOM's 'Historic' Fail

For weeks, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been touting the “historic” March for Marriage, telling supporters “this is our time” to "change history." A month ago he wrote excitedly about a “game-changer,” a $500,000 matching gift from one of the major donors that keep NOM afloat. Brown had been inspired by a massive turnout for an anti-marriage-equality protest  in France, and hoped for something similar in Washington. But even with big donors and heavy-weight Religious Right co-sponsors, Brown and his allies couldn’t pull it off. Not even close.

In reality, NOM’s rally had a few, perhaps several, thousand attendees.  (NOM’s Thomas Peters claims 15,000, which seems, um, generous.) And every time one of the speakers tried to make the crowd feel like part of a larger movement by talking about the 200,000 people they said marched recently for one-man/one-woman marriage in Puerto Rico, or the hundreds of thousands or millions in France and Spain, or even the 585,000 who have signed the Manhattan Declaration or the half million who marched against legal abortion, it only served to highlight how few bothered to show up in Washington. According to various speakers, the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia sent five busloads; anti-gay state senator Ruben Diaz claimed 32 buses from New York. Brian Brown gave a shout out to some Chinese Christians from Chicago.

The ethnically diverse speakers’ list was a mix of old and new, including some familiar faces on the anti-gay circuit, such as Harry Jackson, Gary Bauer, and Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats. Harry Jackson led the crowd in a chant that he said was a prayer for the Supreme Court: “Let God arise and his enemies be scattered.” Bauer delivered a blustery message to the Republican Party that if they “bail” on marriage, he’ll lead as many people as he can out of the GOP (which may not be that much of a threat). Vander Plaats urged Supreme Court justices to look to the Founding Fathers, Billy Graham, and Pope Francis. Also speaking were Doug Mainwaring, now making the circuit as the anti-equality gay man the Religious Right loves to love; Frank Schubert, the mastermind of the dishonest Prop 8 campaign and every anti-equality campaign since then; and Jim Garlow, who made a name for himself among the Religious Right with his pro-Prop 8 organizing. Garlow insisted you cannot call yourself a Christian and support the Court’s “obliterating” what he called a “core aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Garlow should have seen the packed crowd at the morning’s pro-equality interfaith service at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.) Garlow warned Supreme Court justices that they will one day stand before “the Chief Justice of the Universe” and will be held accountable if they defy His ways.

A couple of groups sent under-30 speakers to say how wrong the media is to suggest that Millennials are a lost cause on this issue.  But facts are facts, and polls show that support for marriage equality is overwhelming among under-30 Americans: 72 percent of Millennials believe same-sex couples should be able to get legally married, including 58 percent of under-30 Republicans.

Many of the speakers were on-message to the point of being boringly redundant, repeating the message on marchers’ pre-printed signs: “Kids do best with a mom and a dad” and “Every child deserves a mom and a dad.” Sometimes this came with a strong shot of gender stereotypes: mothers provide tenderness and fathers provide protection.  Brian Brown even showed a video of the Religious Right’s newest heroine, the 11-year old who testified against marriage equality in Minnesota and asked which of her parents she did not need, her mother or father. Perhaps someone could explain that no same-sex couples seeking to get married have any desire to force her to get rid of either parent.

NOM’s backers for the marriage march included the far-far-right-wing Catholic group Tradition, Family & Property, with its scarlet banners, capes, and marching band (see Adele Stan’s reminder who TFP is), Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, a couple of Catholic dioceses, the Knights of Columbus and the Institute on Religion and Democracy.  Brown gave special thanks to the Mormon-run GFC Foundation for providing grants for buses.

 

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