Texas officials should comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on same-sex marriage "depending on what it is they say," according to anti-gay attorney Jonathan Saenz.
Saenz is the president of the anti-LGBT hate group Texas Values, whose ex-wife famously left him for a woman. He made the statement during a committee hearing Wednesday night on a bill that would bar state officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, or recognizing their unions, regardless of whether federal courts determine the ban is unconstitutional.
Democratic Rep. Sylvester Turner pressed Saenz, who testified in favor of the bill, about whether he was advocating that state officials ignore a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
"You do believe that if the United States Supreme Court rules that something is the law of the land, that those of us within the state of Texas, should follow the dictates and operate within the parameters of whatever the law is established by the Supreme Court," Turner asked.
"Depending on what it is they say, and that's what I think is important," Saenz responded. "We don't have a law from the state of Texas that's being challenged at the Supreme Court to where the Supreme Court will be directly telling us what to do as a state. It's hard to predict what it is they're going to do. Until we see a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, I think that's when we decide what it is that Texas has to do from that point, and what options the state courts and our government has on that issue."
Turner, who's black, explained to Saenz why he think it's important for Texas to obey the Supreme Court.
"I'm just very sensitive because I know based upon my own history and the history of those who look like me, that there have been many state laws that have worked against people's interests, and it was when the Supreme Court stepped in that those laws ... conflicted with the supreme law of the land," Turner said. "So I think I would be very, very reticent to take a position that when the Supreme Court makes a ruling, whether we like it or not, that we then try to find ways to get around those laws, because history tells us that is not a good precedent."
The Texas Observer reports that Saenz was among dozens who testified for and against the bill during the nearly two-hour hearing, which you can watch in its entirety here beginning at 3:12:00 mark.
The chairman of the committee eventually left the bill pending, meaning he may or may not call it back up for a vote later in the legislative session.
Labour leader Joan Burton (right) was responding to a call by the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, for a religious “right to discriminate” for business people who had "problems of conscience" about gay marriage.
Although religious ministers will be allowed to refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, Burton was emphatic that this could not be extended to business people who refused to sell goods or services to gay couples.
Marc Benioff, the CEO of global cloud computing company Salesforce, announced that he is canceling all programs that require travel to Indiana in light of the signing of SB 101 by Governor Mark Pence. The new law allows businesses to discriminate against individuals based upon religious beliefs.
Said Benioff in a tweet:
"Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination."
We’ve made significant investments in Indiana. We run major marketing events and conferences there. We’re a major source of income and revenue to the state of Indiana, but we simply cannot support this kind of legislation...Gov. Pence says he wants to bring the tech industry to Indiana and to increase the number of tech-related jobs in his state, but he doesn’t seem to understand that a significant portion of the tech industry is gay. This is one of the most important industries in the country and he has been advocating for us to expand and invest in Indiana, but you can’t say that and then say you’re going to legalize discrimination like this. The tech industry is not going to support this kind of legislation and is going to react against it.”
Benioff also told the news outlet that Indiana would face a “slow rolling of economic sanctions” if the law was not rejected.
Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. http://t.co/SvTwyCHxvE
There is a programmer who is pranking straight men into hitting on one another all over Tinder, and it’s as hilarious as it is depressing.
If you were to ask a gay man what Tinder is, chances are he’d describe the popular matchmaking app as the straight answer to Grindr. In some ways that’s totally true. Both mobile services connect people through their smartphones for dates (ostensibly) and hookups (more commonly.)
But there are two things Tinder has that Grindr doesn’t that make the platforms fundamentally different: (legit) straight men and the women they’re pursuing. As ridiculous as many gay act in their digital pursuits of one another, we’ve got nothing on a determined straight man with a woman in his sights.
Using a series of rather easy to find exploits built into Tinder’s API, the unnamed programmer decided to have a bit of fun with some of Tinder’s more insistent men. The social experiment begins with an automated bot with a relatively simple profile that instantly responded to anyone who swiped right on it and attempted to strike up a conversation.
Rather than let the interactions stay strictly between the unsuspecting man and the automated profile, the programmer would connect two unsuspecting straight guys and let them try to work things out amongst themselves.
To be clear, the goal of the programmer’s project was never to make fun of or embarrass anyone for using Tinder. Rather, the point was to highlight the level of casual, unsolicited harassment that men often level at women in online spaces.
"They ignore all the signs, they ignore all the weird things," the programmer explained to The Verge. "When someone is so quick to meet up without any detail or know anything about the person at all — maybe it’s deserved.”
Via NYT: "Fearing that Republicans will ultimately nominate an establishment presidential candidate like Jeb Bush, leaders of the nation’s Christian right have mounted an ambitious effort to coalesce their support behind a single social-conservative contender months before the first primary votes are cast."
Microsoft's UK CMO doesn't understand why Ben & Jerry's would speak out on gay marriage. "Do you think ice-cream has got an interesting voice in gay marriage? I find that a bit of a struggle. I don’t understand why Ben & Jerry's have gone there...I wouldn’t make a different decision about my ice-cream based on my beliefs."
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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who earlier today signed the state's "license to discriminate" bill, has declared a public health emergency for a county battling what is believed to be the worst HIV outbreak in the state's history.
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