Marriage Equality

Iowa Republicans Threaten to Cut Salaries of Judges Who Backed Marriage Equality

Iowa Republicans are determined to remove the nine state supreme court justices who ruled unanimously in 2009 to allow same-sex marriage in the state, and they'll try just about anything. In 2010, anti-gay groups funded a successful campaign to oust three justices in retention elections. Then Iowa anti-gay leader Bob Vander Plaats called for the remaining justices to resign. When that didn't work, state Republicans then tried to impeach them. Last year, an effort to remove a fourth justice failed at the ballot box. So now Iowa Republicans are trying a different strategy, proposing to dramatically lower the salaries of the remaining judges who were involved in the marriage equality decision. The Iowa City Gazette reports:

A handful of House conservatives want to reduce the pay of Iowa Supreme Court justices involved in a 2009 decision striking down a ban on same-sex marriages as part of an effort to maintain the balance of power in state government.

“It’s our responsibility to maintain the balance of power” between the three co-equal branches of government, Rep. Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, said Tuesday.

The justices “trashed the separation of powers” with their unanimous Varnum v. Brien decision and implementation of same-sex marriage without a change in state law banning any marriages expect between one man and one woman, added Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull.

Their amendment to House File 120, the judicial branch budget bill, would lower the salaries of the four justices on the seven-member court who were part of the unanimous Varnum v. Brein decision to $25,000 – the same as a state legislator.

It’s not meant to be punitive, Alons and Shaw said Tuesday.
“We’re just holding them responsible for their decision, for going beyond their bounds,” Shaw said.

“It’s not the merits of what they said in that decision,” added Alons. He’s trying to stop “an encroaching wave” of judicial activity including decisions on nude dancing and landowner liability – decisions the Legislature also is trying to correct through legislation this session.

The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee tells Gazette “that a plan to pay justices differently based on their role in one case would be unlikely to withstand a court challenge.”

Scarborough: Christians Will Be Persecuted and Imprisoned if SCOTUS Legalizes Gay Marriage

Last week's Tea Party Unity call ended with host Rick Scarborough announcing his hope that God will confuse the minds of the Supreme Court justices so that they will "punt" on the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases they will soon be deciding in order to give America one last chance to get "our politics right" before God's judgment rains down on us.

Saying that homosexuality and abortion are "the twin towers of evil," Scarborough declared that homosexuality is actually far more dangerous before warning that it will only be a matter of time before pastors are rounded up and imprisoned:

The twin towers of evil in America, I believe are abortion on demand and the homosexual movement ... I believe that of the two great sins of our country, the one that's the most grievous is this whole more toward the legalization of homosexuality.

In 2002, as you recall, in Lawrence v Texas the Supreme Court struck down the prohibitions in the state of Texas and applied it across the land that no longer could the citizenry declare that sodomy was a sin. You can take a position however you like on that but that law was based on a moral fabric in the country, a belief in biblical rights and wrongs. The reason I said at the time that that was a more dangerous precedent than even Roe v Wade is because of the following: I believe, as a Christian and as a pastor,  that as horrible as abortion is - and there's just no way to describe the horror of abortion - the only ray of sunshine is that at least the baby that was aborted, which is a living human being, suddenly finds itself in heaven. 

But with sodomy, it's a different sin altogether because what you do is you allow children now to be adopted into these families.  Those children are raised in the normalization of homosexuality; if they live like that and die like that and you have a biblical understanding you find yourself with children that are basically rejecting biblical truth and that has eternal implications.

Now I am fully aware that the Left monitors our calls and I have no doubt that I likely will be the subject of derision for saying something like this, but I'm praying at best God will confuse the minds of our Supreme Court that they'll simply, as Bob alluded, punt on the issue of standing and give you and I a little more time to start getting our politics right.

...

The very first thing Obama did when he got elected president was pass hate crimes legislation inclusive of sexual orientation.  The laws are now on the books to prosecute preachers who have the audacity to say in public what I just said from their pulpits.

You will find them armed with this Supreme Court ruling, if its adverse, then rounding up anyone who says otherwise and prosecuting, perhaps with fines at first but finally with jail and imprisonment.  And the laws are now, at least the foundation of laws through hate crimes legislation is in place to bring fill-scale persecution on those of us who stand for truth.

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. 

Beck: Gay Marriage Is Winning Because it is About Freedom and 'the Principle of it is Right'

Glenn Beck's position on the issue of marriage equality is kind of hard to figure out since he tends to wander all over the place as he vacillates between declaring that he doesn't care so it should be legal and fearing that if it does become legal, progressives will try to shut down churches that refuse to perform them.

On his radio program today, Beck delivered a typically stream-of-consciousness monologue where he touched on the topic again during which he proclaimed that "the reason [proponents of gay marriage] have won is because they've made it about freedom." 

Beck said that fighting against the principle of maximum freedom by saying that marriage has always been between one man and one woman is why opponents have lost and been painted into a corner as bigots "because the principle of it is right":

Mike McManus: Gays Are 'Trying to Destroy the Institution of Marriage'

On more than one occasion over the last several years, Mike McManus of Marriage Savers, often with his wife Harriet, has appeared on various Religious Right radio program that we monitor and spoken at their events.  Mostly his message has focused on the topic of strengthening the institution of marriage, but it came as no surprise to learn when he appeared on Bryan Fischer's radio program on Friday that he shares the Right's bigoted anti-gay views.

When Fischer asked him why gay couples are supposedly uninterested in actually getting married, McManus responded that they are really just interested in "trying to destroy the institution of marriage, which they can't really participate in" before declaring that gays are afflicted with a "perversion" due to having been molested as children:

Staver: Legalizing Gay Marriage Will Be 'the Beginning of the End of America'

Yet again, Liberty Counsel dedicated its "Faith and Freedom" radio program today to warning about the dire consequences that would result if the Supreme Court recognizes the constitutionality of marriage equality, with Mat Staver proclaiming that not only would it undermine religious freedom, but "a major disruption to our society [and] the beginning of the end of America":

Fischer: Bill O'Reilly Is a 'Pompous, Arrogant Windbag' Who is 'Insulting Us to Our Face'

Bryan Fischer is furious with Bill O'Reilly over his recent statement that opponents of marriage equality do nothing but "thump the Bible" as Fischer ripped into him on his radio program yesterday, calling O'Reilly "blindly ignorant" of all the non-Scriptural arguments opponents of gay marriage have made.

Fischer admitted that anti-gay activists have indeed thumped their Bibles and have done so because it contains the revealed word of God, but they have made other arguments as well, but O'Reilly - who "a lot of the times just comes across as a pompous, arrogant windbag" - has just been "completely oblivious to this." Fischer was outraged by this "insult, this ridicule, this mockery of ordinary Americans who do believe in the Bible as the revealed word of God." 

"The implication," Fischer declared, "is [that] we're a bunch of neanderthal, redneck, hillbilly Bible-bangers.  That is essentially what he is saying were are ... He's insulting us to our face": 

Barber: Tolerance of Homosexuality Is 'a Cancer That Brings Down Societies'

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber and Mat Staver once again made their case against marriage equality, with Barber declaring that tolerance "of all forms of sexual deviant behavior" is "a cancer that brings down societies" and linking it to the strange theory that gay marriage was the catalyst for Noah's flood.

That prompted Staver to chime in and remind everyone about Sodom and Gomorrah, which God had to destroy because it "had gotten to the place where men were raping men for their own self-gratification" ... with Barber adding that "it was homosexuality and cross-dressing that were central to that":

Fischer: Homosexuality Is Immoral Because God Says So

If Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus really thinks that one of the keys to moderating the GOP's  image and appealing to new voters is to get the party to stop acting like "Old Testament heretics" on the issue of gay marriage, well, good luck because how Priebus thinks that is going to be possible when you have people like Bryan Fischer in the party is beyond us.

On his broadcast today, Fischer dedicated an entire segment to making the case that God says homosexuality is immoral and that is all there is too it and so this ought to be the central argument made against it every single time.

"God's wisdom trumps man's wisdom every time," Fischer declared, "and it does so in every circumstance ... It is immoral behavior and we shouldn't have any hesitation in saying that.  We ought to have no qualms about declaring that it is immoral, sinful behavior.  How do we know that?  Because we have God's perspective, we have God's counsel, we have God's wisdom and that trumps man's wisdom.  It does not matter what man says about homosexual conduct; we know that it is immoral and sinful behavior because God has revealed that to us in his word and has revealed it to us in nature":

Barber: If DOMA Is Struck Down, 'it Will Be the Criminalization of Christianity'

Last week, Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber appeared on Steave Deace's radio program last week to discuss the Supreme Court hearings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act where he made the dire prediction that if DOMA is struck down, it will lead to wholesale persecution of Christians.

Citing the case of Bob Jones University v. United States in which the Supreme Court ruled that the IRS could revoke the school's tax-exempt status because of its racist policies, Barber predicated that if DOMA is struck down, "we automatically become the modern day racists" and that the nation would see "the criminalization of Christianity":

As soon as DOMA is overturned, the floodgates open. All of those [state] constitutional amendments are wiped out and schools like Liberty University, for instance, and private organizations with Christian ownership, we know the homosexual activists already have their gay married people planning to come and apply to Christian universities so that they will have a court challenge.  The persecution is going to run rampant if gay marriage becomes the law of the land; there is just no questioning and that is a big part of the motive behind it.

If the federal government puts its official stamp of approval on homosexual behavior and says that it's equal to, in every way, natural heterosexual behavior up to and including marriage, then that officially pits the federal government against those who hold a Judeo-Christian worldview relative to sexual morality. We automatically become the modern day racists.

It's like the Bob Jones decision that said - which was a ultimately good decision  - that said Bob Jones University could not have a ban on interracial dating.  Well, they are going to apply that same type of logic to this.  Basically, all bets are off; it will be the criminalization of Christianity.

It's the government against Christians if gay marriage becomes the law of the land and that's not hyperbole.

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.

Inside the Supreme Court, Bearing Witness to History

Yesterday, I was privileged to have been able to get a seat at the Supreme Court and witness a historic moment for equality.
PFAW

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.

Matthew Hagee: Gay Marriage Will be 'the Death of Capitalism'

On yesterday's "Hagee Hotline," Matthew Hagee warned that legalizing gay marriage would spell "the death of capitalism."

"The only relationship in natural law that can produce consumers," Hagee declared, "is the relationship between a man and a woman. When you create a society that does not recognize this relationship as the foundation of its existence and you cease to produce what is required to sustain your economy, you will not survive":

Barber & Staver Say Entire Judiciary Will Lose Legitimacy if SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality

On the latest "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Matt Barber and Mat Staver weighed in on the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage Act cases that are currently before the Supreme Court,  during which Staver declared that if the Court does not rule as he thinks it should, the Supreme Court "will have lost its legitimacy in its entirety." 

Barber agreed and took it a step further, stating that if the Court rules in favor of marriage equality, it "will be the nail in the coffin of the credibility" of the entire judicial system because it is "just absurd" to think that something that the Founding Fathers believed to be a "crime against nature" would now be ruled constitutional.

"If they go over the edge here," Barber warned, "we are no long in decline, we are in a free fall":

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