In another win for equality, today U.S. District Judge Richard Young struck down Indiana’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Because the judge did not stay the ruling, the Indianapolis Star reports that couples can begin getting married right away.
Not a single state marriage ban has been able to withstand a challenge in federal court in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, which struck down part of DOMA.
Jennifer Roback Morse, head of the Ruth Institute — which was formerly affiliated with the National Organization for Marriage — urged conservative law students earlier this month to resist the “pagan ideology” of the “sexual revolution” like those who resisted Nazism.
In a lecture to the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Blackstone Legal Fellowship, Morse explained that while Christianity ended slavery, the sexual revolution is now bringing it back.
“All of these issues — divorce and remarriage, abortion and infanticide, slavery, the buying and selling of human beings — all of these things, the Christian religion put a stop to. But they’re all on their way back because of the sexual revolution,” she said. “The sexual revolution is bringing back all of these points.”
“We, in fact, are on the right side of history,” she said.
Later in the speech, Morse urged the students in the audience to emulate Maximilian Kolbe and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s stands against Nazism in resisting the “pagan ideology” of the “sexual revolution.”
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association was, unsurprisingly, upset to learn that some public libraries have been stocking “The Princes and the Treasure,” a children’s book that, in the words of its author Jeffrey Miles, "tells the story of two handsome princes who go on a quest to save a princess, but fall in love with each other, get married, and live happily ever after."
Fischer tells the Christian Post that “this book is a particularly pernicious form of sexually perverse propaganda” that “no responsible library should ever include” in its collection.
He adds that parents have the right not just to prevent their own kids from reading the book but to keep it from other children who might talk to their kids about it: "Christian parents don't want to be concerned only about their own children, they want to keep this kind of warped literature out of the hands of other children as well.”
Bryan Fischer, the director of issue analysis for the American Family Association, a nonprofit Christian organization that supports traditional marriage, told CP on Thursday that "because of the power fairy tales, this book is a particularly pernicious form of sexually perverse propaganda."
"The stories and the images that children store up in their minds from fairy tales have a very powerful imprinting effect on their tender young souls," Fischer said. "And the bottom line is that no responsible library should ever include a book like this on its shelves, and no responsible school should ever use this book as a part of its curriculum."
He continued, "The reality is that no library can stock every book that's ever been published. So libraries choose all the time not to stock certain books. There's nothing wrong with parents asking the library not to stock a book of this nature."
Fischer noted that Christian parents aren't only concerned about what their children are reading, but they're also concerned about the literature that's influencing other children in their communities.
"Christian parents don't want to be concerned only about their own children, they want to keep this kind of warped literature out of the hands of other children as well," he asserted. "And if parents want this book for their children, there's nothing to stop them from going to Amazon and buying it with their own money. But taxpayer dollars should not be spent on tripe like this."
We discussed similar book censorship efforts in our recent report, “Book Wars.”
Rev. William Owens, president of the NOM front organization known as the Coalition of African-American Pastors, spoke at today's March for Marriage where he declared that he had participated in "the real civil rights movement" and "didn't march one yard, one foot for the same sex to get married."
Saying that the push for marriage equality is nothing but a "bully movement," Owens declared that the fight against gay marriage is the modern civil rights movement and, as such, activists must refuse to comply with laws recognizing it and be willing to go to jail if necessary.
"Remember," Owens said, "it took two hundred and some years for the blacks to get their freedom; it will take us time but we can't do it just making speeches and talking, we got to show our force to America, we've got to let these politicians know, these weak-kneed, back-kneed, slimy backed politicians from the president on down know that we will not take it any more":
In his speech to the March for Marriage today, National Organization for Marriage chairman John Eastman compared the Supreme Court’s decision striking down a key part of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act to the infamous Dred Scott decision.
Eastman cited Justice Scalia’s “call to arms” in his dissent to the DOMA decision, paraphrasing it as, “the court should never take away controversial issues away from the voters in this country.”
“The last time the court tried to do that a century and a half ago on the slavery question, Abraham Lincoln refused to comply,” he said.
Speaking at the March for Marriage rally today, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown declared that those fighting against marriage equality will never give up and will eventually be victorious because "we stand for the truth about marriage."
"We know that some day," Brown proclaimed, "whether it's one year, ten years, twenty years, or decades from now, people will look back at this time and remember those of us who stood up for the truth."
Then, quoting Abraham Lincoln, Brown declared that anti-gay activists "stand on the right side of history":
In a fundraising email today, American Family Association president Tim Wildmon shares “nine statements by Obama yesterday" that "made a mockery of God’s word.”
Wildmon lists such God-mocking statements as the president’s calling the overturning of DOMA “a great day for America” and noting the number of states that currently have marriage equality.
Buried in a National Catholic Register report on the biannual meeting of U.S. Catholic bishops this week is the surprising revelation that Brad Wilcox, one of the researchers behind Mark Regnerus’ infamously flawed study of same-sex parenting, admitted to attendees that most social scientists have found “no difference” between “a stable same-sex family and a stable heterosexual family.”
And when a Washington state bishop compared same-sex marriage to cohabitation, Wilcox responded that data suggests “when same-sex marriage is legalized and it is given cultural support, it will be as stable as heterosexual marriage" and that married same-sex couples “are more likely to have stable relationships when the legal regime is more supportive of their relationships.”
Following his talk, Wilcox took a number of questions from bishops on the floor of the meeting. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput asked why, if marriage is so valuable for economic success, same-sex marriage is being legalized in so many states.
"Most of the scientists would say that there's no difference ... between a stable same-sex family and a stable heterosexual family," replied Wilcox, noting that those scientists might consider stability the "key factor, not other issues that might relate to a child's well-being."
Yakima, Wash., Bishop Joseph Tyson asked why same-sex marriage is not considered by the studies Wilcox cited to be as dangerous as cohabitation.
"I think that the assumption ... is that when same-sex marriage is legalized and it is given cultural support, it will be as stable as heterosexual marriage," Wilcox replied.
"Is there data to back that?" Tyson asked.
"The data suggest that same-sex couples -- and this is really preliminary -- are more likely to have stable relationships when the legal regime is more supportive of their relationships," Wilcox replied.
This acknowledgment of mainstream social science’s assessment of gay and lesbian parenting is important coming from someone who helped to shape the Regnerus study, the discredited attack on same-sex parenting that is still cited widely by marriage equality opponents. We wrote last year:
Documents obtained by the American Independent this year revealed that the Witherspoon Institute was closely involved in Regnerus’ work through the go-between of W. Bradford Wilcox, a professor at the University of Virginia who at the time ran Witherspoon’s program on family, marriage and democracy, which had recruited Regnerus to conduct the study on LGBT parents. Regnerus in turn hired Wilcox on contract to assist him with data analysis on the study. Along with working with Regnerus on his skewed interpretation of the data, Wilcox urged Regnerus to release the study in time to influence the U.S. Supreme Court in its upcoming marriage equality cases. (Regnerus later signed onto an amicus brief seeking to influence both cases, which extensively cited his own research).
Wilcox’s remark echo the Proposition 8 trial testimony of David Blankenhorn, in which he acknowledged the stability provided by marriage for same-sex couples. Blankenhorn later became a full-fledged marriage equality advocate.
UPDATE: The bishops’ group has posted video of the conference. It’s clear from the video that Wilcox isn’t completely on board with the social science on same-sex marriage, but does acknowledge the consensus among his colleagues.
Interestingly, Wilcox did not mention same-sex marriage at all until it was brought up in the question-and-answer session.
Since last Friday’s ruling by Federal Judge Barbara Crabb that Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, hundreds of same-sex couples have lined up to get marriage licenses across the Badger State. Immediately after receiving the ruling, clerks in Dane and Milwaukee counties began issuing marriage licenses, and in both areas, facilities stayed open late on Friday and continued issuing licenses on Saturday. Officiants, including judges, ministers, and commissioners, married couples on-site at their respective county courthouses.
Similar to actions in other states where courts have struck down same-sex marriage bans, Wisconsin’s right-leaning GOP Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed multiple motions to “preserve the status quo” attempting to stop same-sex marriages from happening.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 48 of the state’s 72 counties were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the ongoing legal battle. Wisconsin’s Vital Records Office is accepting the licenses, but holding them until they receive further guidance from Van Hollen.
For its part, the ACLU filed a proposal of how to implement same-sex marriage in the state. If approved, the plan would force Governor Scott Walker, Attorney General Van Hollen, and county clerks across the state to treat all same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally under the law.
Judge Crabb is set to have another hearing on June 19th.
A District Court judge ruled today that Wisconsin’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Judge Barbara Crabb relied on equal protection law to strike down the ban:
"My task under federal law is to decide the claims presented by the plaintiffs in this case now, applying the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court," she said. "Because my review of that law convinces me that plaintiffs are entitled to the same treatment as any heterosexual couple, I conclude that the Wisconsin laws banning marriage between same-sex couples are unconstitutional."
Congratulate Wisconsinites by sharing our graphic below:
As RWW and others have documented, American Religious Right figures are part of a global anti-equality movement. Groups like the American Center for Law and Justice, National Organization for Marriage and World Congress of Families are working with right-wing movements in Europe to resist advances in LGBT Equality.
Today, Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel praises this week’s passage of an anti-marriage-equality constitutional amendment in Slovakia, where there is no legal recognition of same-sex civil unions.
While the U.S. seems bound and determined to destroy natural marriage and family, other nations around the world have figured out that radically deconstructing these fundamental cornerstone institutions – institutions necessary to the survival of any healthy society – will have devastating effects in the long-term.
Slovakia is the latest such nation. Lawmakers there have constitutionally banned counterfeit “same-sex marriage.”
...Let’s pray that this pro-family trend across the world continues. As the radical “LGBT” agenda continues to weaken America, obliterate religious liberty and hurt and confuse countless children and families, we can at least take solace in the fact that much of the world has not been duped by this demonic incursion of sexual anarchy.
While subcommittees at the Texas GOP’s convention today rebuffed hardliners by removing some especially vicious anti-gay language from the state party’s platform and keeping an endorsement of an immigrant guest worker program, the debate over both issues continues.
Brian wrote earlier today about the efforts of Texas conservatives to bring back the party platform’s previous hardline anti-immigration language , including those of Texas Eagle Forum leader and former state party chairwoman Cathie Adams, who has warned that immigration reform will bring about the End Times .
A similar battle is unfolding over gay rights. Two conservative LGBT groups that were denied permission to sponsor booths at the convention are now calling on the party to remove language from its platform that states:
Homosexuality ― We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.
While a subcommittee nixed the language today, the decision won’t be final until it’s approved by the full convention on Thursday night .
And in any case, the subcommittee appears to have kept the rest of the party’s anti-gay plank, which contains the actual policy prohibitions against equality, along with plenty of pointed scare quotes:
Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.
One activist who will be fighting for the preservation of the platform’s original anti-gay language is Adams, who told the radio station KERA that backing down on gay rights would mean that the “society is well on its way to demise.”
Cathie Adams, executive director of Texas Eagle Forum, believes the platform currently reflects a position that’s biblical.
“When a culture descends to a point where homosexuality is openly accepted as a normal behavior, then a society is well on its way to demise," she said.
UPDATE: Adams might not have to worry too much. A draft platform leaked Thursday eliminated the "fabric of society" language but added an endorsement of the discredited practive of "ex-gay" therapy.
Jim Garlow was on AFA's "Today's Issues" program yesterday to discuss his recent statement that President Obama's will be known by future generations as the person responsible for "morally and economically destroying a wonderful experiment called America."
Garlow reiterated this belief while speaking with the AFA's Tim Wildmon as he asserted that Obama's support for marriage equality in 2012 "tip[ped] the scales in a destructive direction" and thus "future sociologists will be able to outline the incredible destructive force of the dissolution of marriage" as having accelerated as a result of Obama's contribution "towards an already destabilized family unit":
On today's "Pray In Jesus Name" program, Gordon Klingenschmitt reacted to last month's ruling striking down Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage by declaring that the judge who issued the ruling was controlled by a demonic spirit that led him to "conspire against God."
As Klingenschmitt explained, whenever people "invite the Devil to rule our hearts," it results in "a demonic spirit of sexual immorality" manifesting itself through their sinful behavior. And that is exactly what happened with "tyrant" Judge John Jones III, who, driven by a "demonic spirit of pride," sought to "conspire against God" by tossing Jesus and the Bible on the ash heap of history with his marriage ruling.
But Klingenschmitt has a message for Jones: "Judge and Satan, you will end up on the ash heap of history and not Jesus and the Bible."
The American Family Association’s OneNewsNow published an article today titled “Gay agenda creeping into all curriculum,” in which MassResistance’s Brian Camenker warns that the gay-rights group GLSEN, in addition to organizing “emotionally poisonous and physically dangerous” Gay-Straight Alliances, is plotting to make kids “feel comfortable around homosexuality and those issues, feel comfortable coming out, feel comfortable taking on those behaviors, feeling comfortable with everything about it.”
The article is accompanied by an insightful reader poll:
Larry Tomczak, pastor and pundit, celebrated Memorial Day with an open letter questioning whether the country’s Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama, is really a Christian. Of course, implicit in Tomczak’s letter is his belief that only the right kind of Christian, according to his standards, is fit to be president of the U.S. The letter was distributed by BarbWire, Matt Barber’s home for commentary from the far right, which topped the letter with a photo of Obama in front of what appears to be a Koran, with a Communist hammer and sickle over one shoulder and a Muslim crescent over the other.
Tomczak, who has a habit of invoking the specter of Nazi Germany when he talks about the fight against LGBT equality, manages to avoid a Nazi reference in this letter. He does cite Obama’s support for gay rights and marriage equality as evidence that Obama is not a Christian. Of course, Obama has plenty of company. For Tomczak, the millions of Christians who support LGBT equality and reproductive choice aren’t real Christians; neither are Catholics who aren’t “born-again.” Tomczak portrays Catholic schools as suspect and not likely to have given Obama “correct instruction in the Christian faith.”
Tomczak argues that Obama’s “beliefs, policies, social leanings and character” suggest that Obama is not an “authentic, obedient Christian” and says the president’s bad example allows Catholics like Kathleen Sebelius, Nancy Pelosi, and Caroline Kennedy “to continue in their wayward paths.”
Tomczak’s arrogant letter is filled with faux humility. He starts by saying he wants to “humbly” ask Obama about his faith, signs off “respectfully,” and in between assures President Obama that he loves and prays for him. Tomczak expresses hope that [the far from orthodox] Abraham Lincoln will speak to Obama “from the grave” and tell him “to repent and begin exercising the courageous Christian leadership America needs before it’s too late.” And he ends by encouraging Obama to consult with Billy Graham in order to become an “authentic” Christian.
That would be the same Billy Graham who praised Mitt Romney’s values during the 2012 presidential campaign and took out full-page ads encouraging North Carolina voters to back a constitutional ban on marriage equality and any kind of civil union or domestic partnership. Graham’s ministry is now run by his son Franklin Graham, an anti-gay zealot who praises Russian President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay efforts, says “true” Christians cannot support marriage equality, and not only questions Obama’s faith but says his administration is “anti-Christ.”
“God Loves Uganda,” a documentary about American evangelical involvement in inflaming anti-gay sentiment in that country, made its debut at last year’s Sundance Festival and reached a broader audience through this week’s broadcast on public television. The attention from this week’s broadcast has provoked a response from the International House of Prayer (IHOP).
Filmmaker Ross Williams was given extensive access to IHOP leaders, including evangelist Lou Engle, who believes Uganda has a special prophetic destiny. The documentary includes footage of Engle at a rally with supporters of the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Act, where he tells the crowd he was “called” to encourage the Ugandan church for standing up for “righteousness” in the face of international pressure to drop the bill. IHOP now says it has never supported the anti-gay law.
Charisma Magazine’s Jennifer LeClaire writes that IHOP and Lou Engle are being “falsely accused of ‘demonizing’ homosexuals in Uganda.” IHOP’s response says that while it believes all sex outside of the marriage of one man and one woman is sinful, “We honor the dignity and rights of all whose opinion differs from ours” and that IHOP is “open to civil dialogue and mutual respect.” The filmmakers, says IHOP, “pursued a deceptive means to achieve a hateful, polarizing result.”
In fact, Engle is a remarkably polarizing figure who has frequently describes those who disagree with him on abortion and marriage as being in league with Satan in a confrontation between good an evil. “God Loves Uganda” includes footage of Engle’s pro-Prop. 8 rally in California at which he warned that allowing same-sex couples to get married would unleash “sexual insanity” and a spirit “more demonic than Islam.” In 2011, he organized an event in Detroit that was pitched to local pastors as a unity event for people of faith to pray for Detroit’s economy when its actual purpose was to “invade Dearborn” and convert followers of “demonic” Islam to Christianity.
Perhaps the most laughable statement in IHOP’s response is this:
Our primary mandate as an organization is prayer and humanitarian action; it is not political. We are not involved in U.S. politics, let alone politics in another nation.
Not involved in US politics? Where do we begin?
"The church’s vocation is to rule history with God...The same authority that has been given to Christ Jesus for overwhelming conquering and dominion has been given to the saints of the most high....We’re God’s rulers upon the earth...We will govern over kings and judges will have to submit...We’re called to rule! To change history! To be co-regents with God!"
Engle has been intensely involved in US politics, hosting “The Call” prayer rallies in election years to denounce legal abortion and politicians that support it. He worked hard to mobilize support for anti-gay Proposition 8 in California.
In 2008 he passionately opposed the election of Barack Obama and declared that by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate, McCain had “gone to war for America, for our families, and for our children. And this war, we cannot afford to lose.”
More recently IHOP and its leader Mike Bickel were at the center of organizing dominionist leaders to put on “The Awakening,” a 2011 prayer rally that served as the launch of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign. Bickel served as the event’s MC. The head of IHOP’s Tallahassee branch, Pam Oslen, was on the Perry campaign’s Florida leadership team.