Emotional Former MN Lawmaker Who Cast Anti-Gay Vote Pleads for House to Not Make Mistake She Did: VIDEO
More emotional testimony from the Minnesota Capitol marriage equality hearings today.
"I blew my vote," said former Minnesota lawmaker Lynne Osterman, describing her vote for the state's version of a Defense of Marriage Act back in the 90's.
"I didn't come to Saint Paul to single out same-sex couples and their families, but in my only term as a member," she said, her voice trembling, "I cast a politically expedient vote in favor of DOMA and I regretted that ever since. It was not in my conscience, or my own compass."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
(via good as you)
Former Ecuadorean Presidential Candidate Nelson Zavala Receives Fine, Political Rights Suspension for Anti-Gay Remarks
Former Ecuadorean presidential candidate and evangelical pastor Nelson Zavala had his political rights suspended for a year and was fined more than $3,000 by an electoral court for making anti-gay remarks during his campaign, the BBC reports:
An electoral court sentenced him for saying gays were "immoral" and suffered from "severe deviation of conduct" during the February election campaign. Lawyers for Mr Zavala, an evangelical preacher who says he can "cure" gay people, said he would appeal.
The candidate came last out of eight candidates with 1.23% of the votes. President Rafael Correa was re-elected for a third term with nearly 60% of the vote.
The ruling bars Mr Zavala from standing as a candidate, affiliating himself or being involved with a political party or movement.
The BBC add:
Gays and lesbian activists applauded the decision, which was called a "milestone".
Mr Zavala's comments in February were denounced to the electoral authorities by a number of groups.
Judge Patricia Baca Mancheno found Mr Zavala violated the electoral code, which "forbids candidates of publicly expressing any thoughts that discriminate or affect other people's dignity or utilise symbols, expressions or allusions of a religious nature."
Man Offers Graphic Description of Anal Sex, AIDS Lesions as Reason for Opposing Gay Marriage in Minnesota: VIDEO
A nut named Mike Frey wasted the Minnesota House's time today on marriage equality, offering a jaw-dropping argument against the bill, explaining AIDS and the skin lesions that accompanied it in the 80's will be back as a "health risk to the society at large" because of it.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
In a 24-karat gold wheelchair.
MTV reports that Mordekai's Ken Borochov was commissioned to design the chair:
"I certainly wasn't expecting that phone call and have never done a wheelchair but am always up for a challenge and was thrilled to create what I affectionately dubbed the Chariot, a chair fit only for a queen," Ken said in an official statement.
Logically, Ken looked first to a throne for his inspiration. He then fashioned the Chariot from tufted calf leather, inspired by classic motorcycle jackets, adding a removable leather canopy that we REALLY want to get a look at. The wheels and hardware are 24-Karat gold plated. Maybe the craziest detail of all of this, the whole business had to be completed in a single week! Well done, Ken Borochov, well done.
All Democrats and Republican Representatives Cheri Gerou and Carole Murray voted in favor of the legislation, according to LGBT rights group One Colorado.
Said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado, in a release:
“This historic victory belongs to the thousands of committed couples across the state, who have worked tirelessly for three years to make it possible for all loving families to have the protection they need to take care of one another. Across the country, we’ve seen a sea change in public opinion on this issue. A vast majority of Coloradans support providing committed same-sex couples with the security they need, and these fair-minded folks are glad to see civil unions finally passed."
One Colorado adds: "SB-11 includes commonsense exemptions for faith leaders to ensure they’re never required to perform or certify a civil union. Despite some faith-based opposition to the bill, the coalition advocating for civil unions includes more than 200 faith leaders.
Said the Rev. Nancy Bowen, executive of the Mountain Desert District of the Unitarian Universalist Association: "As a faith leader, I celebrate the passage of civil unions. We believe that our congregations should honor all that is holy and what is more holy than love? Civil unions protect our religious freedom to recognize the unions of all loving couples in our congregations. We are honored to stand with the legislature on the side of love."
As we noted earlier, hearings are underway in Minnesota House and Senate panels on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage there.
In late February when the bill was introduced, Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R) appeared at a press conference to tell the media that gay people who say they're "born that way" are lying.
"We're talking about gay marriage. We're not talking about an immutable characteristic like the color of your skin. The human genomap was completed in 2003. There is no gay gene. Okay? So the concept that you're 'born that way' and it's an immutable characteristic is an unscientific LIE. Okay? The human genomap has been completed. I urge you, as the news media, to give both sides a fair and open hearing on this debate because it has tremendous ramifications not only for our society but for our children in general."
Yesterday, as a "point of personal privelege", Gruenhagen took a moment to introduce the entire Minnesota House to his "ex-gay" friend Kevin Petersen, who helped Gruenhagen try to pass the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage last November.
Said Gruenhagen to the House:
I have a close friend here — the last couple years — his name is Kevin Petersen. Kevin, why don’t you stand up and say hi? The interesting thing about Kevin is he was active in the gay lifestyle for about 10 years, and then he left it, got married, and he now has three children. Thank you.
Watch Gruenhagen introduce his "ex-gay" buddy, AFTER THE JUMP...
(clip via think progress)