BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service
The Republican-led committee of the Missouri legislature discussed a proposal Wednesday to impeach Democratic Governor Jay Nixon because he issued an executive order allowing same-sex couples who have obtained marriage licenses in other states to file joint state tax returns in Missouri. Rep. Nick Marshall, who introduced the resolution, said he did so because Nixon “usurped the people and their authority to determine their constitution.” Voters in 2004 amended the constitution to ban same-sex marriages. The St. Louis Dispatch noted that the resolution has little time to advance, given the legislature adjourns in four weeks. Earlier this month, a Missouri judge denied a petition for a temporary restraining order to block Nixon’s directive. The judge will hold a hearing on the challenge May 2.
LET THE SIGNING BEGIN:
An LGBT group in Ohio earned a go-ahead to begin collecting signatures to put a ballot measure before voters to repeal the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The Ohio Ballot Board announced Tuesday that FreedomOhio can begin collecting signatures the more than 385,000 signatures it needs. A spokesman for the group told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that FreedomOhio is working with other gay groups to determine what ballot to shoot for.
‘VOTING ON PEOPLE’S RIGHTS’:
Openly gay U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane held a two-hour-long hearing Wednesday on two lawsuits seeking to strike the state’s same-sex marriage ban. The Oregonian newspaper said McShane asked attorneys whether voters should get another vote at the ballot box "before the court steps in." Sheila Potter, representing the attorney general, who says the ban is unconstitutional, replied, "We are asking you to make a statement that we don't get to vote on peoples' constitutional rights." Basic Rights Oregon has a proposed initiative in the works to put a repeal measure on the ballot in November. The group has said it will drop that plan if the court strikes the ban as unconstitutional before May 23, an important ballot measure deadline.
ABOUT THOSE MARRIAGE PLANS:
McShane said he would hold a hearing May 14 on whether the National Organization for Marriage qualifies to intervene in the lawsuits to defend the ban since the attorney general has declined to do so. NOM has complained publicly that there are “serious ethical questions” about whether McShane should be presiding over the two marriage lawsuits because he is gay. “Judge McShane is in the same position as the two gay men challenging the marriage amendment, raising troubling questions about his impartiality," said John Eastman, an attorney for NOM. In court Wednesday, Judge McShane addressed that suggestion. According to the Oregonian, McShane said he and his partner “have no plans to get married.”
TINY TOWN FIGHTS BACK:
Latta, South Carolina, population 1,410, is fighting to keep its openly lesbian 20-year veteran police chief. Many people in town believe Mayor Ed Bullard fired Crystal Moore because she is gay. On Tuesday, the town council voted unanimously to block Bullard from replacing Moore during the next two months. That followed a vote last week to hold a referendum June 24 on a new structure for government that would enable the town council to hire Moore back. WPDE News reported that a standing room only crowd turned out for a council meeting to show their support for Moore.
‘THE NAACP FOR GAY PEOPLE’:
In an interview with Jo Becker, author of the controversial book Forcing the Spring, NPR’s Terri Gross mentioned that Chad Griffin is now head of the Human Rights Campaign, which is, “you know, a big gay rights group.” “Exactly,” said Becker. “It’s the NAACP for gay people.”
© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.
Posted Apr. 24,2014 at 7:31 AM EST by Lisa Keen in Gay Marriage, Jay Nixon, Michael McShane, News, NOM, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina |
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Fifty-eight mostly gay conservatives including Peter Thiel, Andrew Sullivan, and Ken Mehlman have signed a statement denouncing "some supporters of gay equality" for being intolerant of people who do not see gays as equal citizens.
They point by example to Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, who took actions with his donation to Proposition 8 specifically intended to harm others, and then resigned when those actions were exposed and they did not fit the corporate culture of the company at which he was employed. The signatories seem to suggest that there was an organized campaign to get rid of Eich ("scalped by gay activists" as Sullivan put it) even though the mass disgruntlement seemed to come mostly from people on Twitter and social media reacting to the news, the two developers who brought up Eich's donation in the first place, and OkCupid, which took the boldest step of blocking Mozilla's browser Firefox.
Says the statement, in part:
The signatories of this statement are grateful to our friends and allies for their enthusiasm. But we are concerned that recent events, including the resignation of the CEO of Mozilla under pressure because of an anti-same-sex- marriage donation he made in 2008, signal an eagerness by some supporters of same-sex marriage to punish rather than to criticize or to persuade those who disagree. We reject that deeply illiberal impulse, which is both wrong in principle and poor as politics.
...There is no evidence that Brendan Eich, the Mozilla CEO who resigned over his $1,000 donation to California’s Proposition 8 campaign, believed in or practiced any form of discrimination against Mozilla’s LGBT employees. That would be a very different case. He was pressured to leave because of personal political action he took at a time when a majority of the American public shared his view. And while he acknowledged the pain his donation caused, he did not publicly “recant,” which some suggested he should have done as the price of keeping his job.
Much of the rhetoric that emerged in the wake of the Eich incident showed a worrisome turn toward intolerance and puritanism among some supporters of gay equality—not in terms of formal legal sanction, to be sure, but in terms of abandonment of the core liberal values of debate and diversity.
Sustaining a liberal society demands a culture that welcomes robust debate, vigorous political advocacy, and a decent respect for differing opinions. People must be allowed to be wrong in order to continually test what is right. We should criticize opposing views, not punish or suppress them.
We prefer debate that is respectful, but we cannot enforce good manners. We must have the strength to accept that some people think misguidedly and harmfully about us. But we must also acknowledge that disagreement is not, itself, harm or hate.
As a viewpoint, opposition to gay marriage is not a punishable offense. It can be expressed hatefully, but it can also be expressed respectfully. We strongly believe that opposition to same-sex marriage is wrong, but the consequence of holding a wrong opinion should not be the loss of a job. Inflicting such consequences on others is sadly ironic in light of our movement’s hard-won victory over a social order in which LGBT people were fired, harassed, and socially marginalized for holding unorthodox opinions.
It's unclear where the fingers are pointing here because gay activists did not get Eich fired. As our Ari Ezra Waldman explained in a piece earlier this month, gay groups were not in this fight - Eich was brought down simply because he took actions that made him unfit to lead a unique community like Mozilla.
Read the full statement HERE.
Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 9:00 PM EST by Andy Towle in Brendan Eich, News, Republican Party |
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When the ACLU challenged Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban last summer, the trial was originally scheduled to be held this June. However, the ACLU this week filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge John Jones to rule without a trial .
From the ACLU of Pennsylvania:
A trial became unnecessary after the commonwealth stated that it will not call any experts to counter the plaintiffs’ argument that there is no rational reason why lesbian and gay couples are excluded from marriage, nor does it plan to dispute the specific harms caused to the plaintiffs by the marriage ban. All legal papers in the case will be filed by May 12, meaning a ruling could come at any time after that date.
The commonwealth filed its own motion for summary judgment on Monday.
Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 8:30 PM EST by Christian Walters in ACLU, Gay Marriage, Pennsylvania |
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Billy Eichner is the host of Billy on the Street, a comedy pop quiz show on fuse where the titular host accosts New Yorkers with random trivia questions for the chance to win cash prizes, all amidst madcap antics such as destroying a car with Lindsay Lohan or panicking over the end of How I Met Your Mother at strangers while accompanied by Neil Patrick Harris. Despite the show having made it to its third season, an interview on Vulture.com notes that it hasn't gained much traction with gay audiences.
Eichner's thoughts in part on why:
There’s still a lack of awareness about the show in certain mainstream circles, and outside of the independently, culturally minded urban gay man, the general gay population is out there watching Bravo, and I’m not on Bravo. I’m actually in the comedy community much more than I am in the gay community at this point in terms of my public persona — I don’t mean in my personal life. And I think the comedy community is largely a heterosexual community, although it's getting a little bit more gay.
You can read the interview at Vulture.com and watch a new clip in which Amy Poehler masquerades as Pitbull AFTER THE JUMP...
Continue reading "Billy Eichner and Amy Poehler Play Pitbull Prank on New Yorkers: VIDEO"
Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 8:00 PM EST by Christian Walters in Amy Poehler, Billy Eichner, News, Television, Video |
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In response to AHF president Michael Weinstein referring to Truvada as PrEP as a "party drug", Mr. LA Leather Eric Paul Leue created a petition on Change.org to have Weinstein removed from his position. Having drawn both commendation and condemnation for speaking against Weinstein and in favor of PrEP - with some condemnations levied at Leue more baseless than others - Leue took to Huffington Post to explain his background, his views, and why he chose to target Weinstein with a petition. His explanation is difficult to sum up in a single quote so the full editorial should be read regardless of whether one agrees with him or not, but in part:
The petition I launched is titled "Remove Weinstein." I have nothing against Weinstein as a person, nor do I mean to devalue his past achievements or the AHF in general. I simply question his role as a leader of an HIV organization and as an influential public figure on HIV issues.
Dialogue would unite everyone over our common goal of preventing HIV transmission, providing accurate information to the public, and alleviating HIV-related stigma and discrimination. The question is: Why is Weinstein not interested in participating?
Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 7:30 PM EST by Christian Walters in AIDS/HIV, Truvada |
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MSNBC host Ronan Farrow used a segment of his show to discuss NYT reporter Jo Becker's new book Forcing the Spring: The Fight for Marriage Equality which has come under heavy criticism for a narrative advocates have called absurd, distorted, and just plain wrong.
Becker is asked if she regrets any of the language she used, including comparisons of AFER's Chad Griffin to Rosa Parks, and starting the book with "this is how a revolution begins" as if the movement for marriage equality began when AFER took up the Prop 8 case.
Becker regrets none of it.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Continue reading "NYT Reporter Jo Becker Defends Marriage Equality Book in Grilling from Ronan Farrow: VIDEO"
Posted Apr. 23,2014 at 7:00 PM EST by Andy Towle in Books, Gay Marriage, Jo Becker, News, Proposition 8, Ronan Farrow |
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