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Freedom to Marry Launching $1 million Campaign to Build Southern Support for Gay Marriage: VIDEO

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At a press conference on Monday, Freedom to Marry is expected to announce a new $1 million television ad campaign in Southern states in the hopes of swaying public opinion and the judges who will decide the fate of state bans on gay unions. As it stands, there are about two dozen lawsuits challenging bans on gay marriage that are pending before state and federal courts in Southern states. The Washington Post reports:

“Freedom to Marry’s national strategy has always been to build a critical mass of states and support to create the climate for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution. We don’t have to win within every state, but we have to win enough states,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.13.09 AMAtlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will join the group at its Monday press conference. The group will also try to tie same-sex marriage to the civil rights movement, by featuring Rep. John Lewis [right], the longtime Georgia Democrat who ran the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in a testimonial.

“I see the right to marriage as a civil rights issue. You cannot have rights for one segment of the population and one group of people and not for everybody,” Lewis says in the video.

Watch Lewis' video for the new campaign, AFTER THE JUMP...

Co-chairs of the new initiative will include Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), as well as Mark McKinnon, a former senior adviser to George W. Bush and Lance Bass, the ‘N Sync singer.

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Lawsuit Filed Challenging Alabama's Ban on Gay Marriage

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a suit on Thursday which seeks to overturn Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage and seeks recognition of same-sex marriages from other states, WSFA reports:

Hard_fancherThe SPLC filed the suit on the basis that Alabama's Marriage Protection Act and Sanctity of Marriage Amendment violate the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

"Alabama has created two classes of marriages within its borders and deemed one of those classes – marriages between people of the same sex – to be inferior to the other," said David C. Dinielli, SPLC deputy legal director. "This is unconstitutional."

The SPLC filed the suit on behalf of Paul Hard, who was legally married to David Fancher in Massachusetts. Fancher was later killed in a car wreck in Montgomery.

The SPLC says Hard is demanding his rightful share from the proceeds of a pending wrongful death suit and wants the State of Alabama to correct a death certificate for his late husband naming him as the surviving spouse.

Adds the SPLC:

“Alabama has created two classes of marriages within its borders and deemed one of those classes – marriages between people of the same sex – to be inferior to the other,” said David C. Dinielli, SPLC deputy legal director. “This is unconstitutional."

“The only purpose of refusing Paul the right to share in the proceeds from the wrongful death lawsuit is to punish him for having married a man, and to express moral disapproval of this choice. These purposes are improper and unconstitutional. Alabama must treat its LGBT citizens with equal dignity and respect under the law.”

Hard and Fancher were married in Massachusetts in May 2011, and Fancher died in a Prattville, Ala., hospital the following August while the two were living in Montgomery. Hard is now suing the trucking companies involved in the wreck. Fancher had collided in the dark with a large truck strewn across the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 north of Montgomery.

In Alabama, however, proceeds from a wrongful death case must be distributed pursuant to the laws of intestate succession (even though Fancher died with a will and Hard was the sole beneficiary). And because Alabama refuses to recognize lawful same-sex marriages entered out of state, current state law means that Hard cannot be deemed the surviving spouse and cannot share in the proceeds of the lawsuit.

Said Governor Robert Bentley in a statement yesterday:

"Governor Bentley will fight the merits of this lawsuit. Like most Alabamians, the Governor strongly believes in the traditional definition of marriage, as being between a man and woman. He will work every day to continue to protect the sanctity of marriage in Alabama."


Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore: Gay Marriage Threatens the U.S. Constitution – VIDEO

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Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who last week launched a personal campaign to the governors in every state to pass a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, is making the media rounds to help spread word about his crusade.

Right Wing Watch reports that Moore, who believes that marriage equality is a Satanic influence that will lead to “oppressive” government and divine punishment, told wingnut rag WorldNetDaily yesterday that the legalization of same-sex marriage threatens the Constitution:

“It’s a travesty,” Judge Roy Moore told WND on Monday about the move toward judiciary-imposed same-sex “marriages.” “The courts are exercising wrongful authority over this country.”

He said it was no less than the U.S. Supreme Court itself which, in an earlier ruling, said, “We come nearest to illegitimacy when we deal with judge-made constitutional law with no cognizable roots in the design of the Constitution.” [...]

“If marriage falls,” he said, “the institution of family upon which it is based falls.”

Then, he said, “We no longer have a Constitution. We have a government of individual men who have the power to decide what the Constitution means … .”

Last week, Moore used a speech to the Alabama Cattlemen's Association to rally support for his campaign. Check out a local news report of the story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) Slammed for Homophobic Remarks

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) is being called out for making homophobic remarks in front of hundreds of realtors at a meeting of The Alabama Association of Realtors  in Montgomery, AL.com reports:

M_rogers"At the Board of Directors meeting this morning one of our speakers made some remarks that were inappropriate and offensive to some of our members," the statement said. "Those remarks are not reflective of AAR or our policies.  Moving forward we will endeavor to prevent such inappropriate remarks at our events or meetings."

Barry Mask, executive director of the realtors association, declined any additional comment.

In the open letter to Rogers, Equality Alabama Chairman Ben Cooper wrote, "when you marginalize our community, we will not be silent."

“You allegedly joked about how nice it was to be called ‘Honey’ and ‘Sweetie’ by a woman at an Alabama restaurant rather than a D.C. men’s room,” Cooper wrote. “And you went on to mock our nation’s capitol as a ‘cross between Detroit and San Francisco’ — an obvious reference to Detroit’s racial makeup and San Francisco’s vibrant gay culture. Comments like these are racist, homophobic, and hurtful, and they will not be tolerated.”

Rogers has been invited by the LGBT rights group to a Feb. 16 Vigil for Victims of Hate and Violence at the State Capitol. We'll see if he attends.


All-Male Dancing Santa Drag Troupe Causes Outrage at Alabama Christmas Parade: VIDEO

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Back in June we posted about Alabama's all-male cheerleading team The Prancing Elites.

The group is back in the headlines after a performance in an Alabama Christmas parade over the weekend, FOX10 reports:

PrancingeliteClaudia Davis was at the parade with her daughter.  "I was outraged and appalled. I never expect anything like this at the Semmes Christmas parade," Davis said.

Like many others in the crowd Davis felt the dance group was inappropriate.

"If they were gonna put this kind of activity in the parade, they should have notified the people of Semmes so that we had a choice whether we wanted out children to attend and see something like that," Davis said.

The Prancing Elites say they were shocked at some of the remarks they heard during the parade:

"Some of them were saying stuff like Oh my God, what's that?"

Watch FOX10's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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'The Daily Show' Sends Stunt Gay Couple to Test Mississippi and Alabama's Homophobia: VIDEO

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After consulting with Nate Silver about which states will be the last to get gay marriage, The Daily Show's Al Madrigal brought a stunt gay couple to Alabama and Mississippi to see "which one of these backwoods, inbred, homophobic states will swim the longest against the tide of history."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "'The Daily Show' Sends Stunt Gay Couple to Test Mississippi and Alabama's Homophobia: VIDEO" »


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