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04/19/2007


Democratic Arizona Senator To Gay Colleague: 'Act More Gay'

Senator Cajero BedfordNot all gay men are the obviously-gay Jack McFarland stereotypes, but this little-known fact came as a complete surprise to Arizona Democratic Senator Cajero Bedford when her colleague Senator Steve Gallardo came out of the closet.

She was so surprised by it that in a closed-door caucus meeting amongst the Democratic Senators she told him that he should, "act more gay," unaware that humans in general exhibit a wide variety of behavioral patterns.

She then proceeded to question Gallardo's integrity, even going so far as to call for a vote to oust Gallardo as the Senate's minority whip because him being in the closet was a matter of "honesty." The vote failed at 8-3.

Bedford, who is evidently utterly in the dark about gay rights in her own state, said that she questioned his honesty because,

"Why was he hiding it? It wouldn’t have made any difference."

Of course not. Because being gay doesn't have any detrimental impact on the lives of Arizona citizens.


Three New Lawsuits Seek the Freedom to Marry in Arizona and Indiana

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Rob MacPherson and Steven Stolen, plaintiffs in the ACLU Indiana suit.

Yesterday we reported that the ACLU filed a lawsuit in Florida demanding recognition of gay marriages from out-of-state.

Also filed yesterday were two others, in Arizona and Indiana.

ArizonaflagFreedom To Marry has details, on Arizona:

Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Majors v. Roche - in Arizona on behalf of seven same-sex couples - and the surviving spouses of two other same-sex couples - seeking the freedom to marry or respect for legal marriage licenses received in other states.

"Every day that same-sex couples in Arizona are denied marriage, the government sends a message that their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect," Lambda Legal Senior Council Jennifer Pizer explained.

The plaintiffs include married same-sex couples, couples who want to marry in Arizona, and individuals whose same-sex spouses have passed away without Arizona ever respecting their status as a married couple. The lead plaintiffs are Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey (pictured), who are both in their 70s and have been together for more than 55 years.

IndianaAnd Indiana:

Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Baskin v. Bogan -on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Indiana.

The plaintiffs include: Rae Baskin and Esther Fuller, who have been together for 24 years; Bonne Everly and Linda Judkins, together for over 13 years; and Dawn Lynn Carver and Pamela Eanes, together for 17 years. All of the couples are unmarried.

The named plaintiff, Rae Baskin, explained, "We just want what everyone else has in Indiana – a real, honest and legal marriage. We are a family. Esther loves me unconditionally and I can’t imagine life without her.”

And today comes news that the ACLU has filed ANOTHER, separate lawsuit in Indiana:

The American Civil Liberties Union, The ACLU of Indiana, along with attorney Sean Lemieux of the Lemieux Law Office in Indianapolis, have filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of 15 plaintiffs seeking the freedom marry in Indiana.

The suit seeks to stop the state from enforcing the current discriminatory law, to require the state to recognize marriages that have taken place outside of Indiana and to allow same-sex couples to wed in Indiana.

These lawsuits around the country are proliferating so quickly it is becoming increasingly challenging to keep track of them all. But we'll do our best!


The Real Reason Arizona's Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill Was So Bad

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BY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

When Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed an odious discrimination bill that would have allowed private individuals and companies to deny service to and otherwise discriminate against gay persons, most people breathed a collective sigh of relief. Many Republicans were happy to erase this stain from their brand, though conservatives in several states have other plans. Most Americans were just happy Jim Crow was not coming back.

Not everyone was so pleased. The right wing was, of course, up in arms. But few of us spend much time worrying about what Michelle Bachmann or Rush Limbaugh think. Then there was George Will, a conservative commentator without the Hellfire that rises from much of today's extreme right. Mr. Will coats his comments with his particular brand of amiability and an aw-shucks attitude in a bow tie. But his words were the most malicious.

WillHere's what he said in reaction to the veto:

It's a funny kind of sore winner in the gay rights movement that would say, 'A photographer doesn't want to photograph my wedding -- I've got lots of other photographers I could go to, but I'm going to use the hammer of government to force them to do this.'... It's not neighborly and it's not nice. The gay rights movement is winning. They should be, as I say, not sore winners.

He characterizes us as winners, which is both a half-truth and red meat for his conservative audience. We have not won anything. Sure, we are racking up notable victories, but you can still be fired in 29 states simply for being gay and I cannot marry the man I love in 33 states. Yet arguing that the fight is already over heightens the feverish paranoia of his readers and listeners; that is, he is warning conservatives that the gays already took marriage away from you and now they're coming for something more.

He also characterizes gays as childish, as ungrateful "sore winners" who do not know how to be neighborly, mature, and adult about things. This may sound peevish and petty, but it also fits within a long standing conservative narrative about gay people as unserious, untrustworthy, small, and entirely hedonistic, just like children.

Mr. Will's greatest sin, however, is in his offensive misconstrual of the substantitive fight. To him, we have a choice between this or that photographer -- "I've got lots of other photographers I could go to" -- suggesting that mere choice is the paradigm for equality. This is the grave error libertarians commit, as well. Equality is barely half a loaf if its pinnacle is the ability to choose. True equality is also about equal dignity, about not being treated like a second-class citizens simply because of who you are. Avoiding state sanctioned discrimination because you may have another choice does not change the underlying fact of discrimination.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Real Reason Arizona's Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill Was So Bad" »


Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Makes Big Announcement: VIDEO

Brewer

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer will not run for reelection, the announced on Wednesday, CNN reports:

Her announcement comes amid questions about whether she could legally seek another four years in office.

As Arizona secretary of state in 2009, Brewer automatically succeeded Janet Napolitano as governor when the Democrat became President Barack Obama's homeland security secretary. Arizona is one of a few states without a lieutenant governor.

Brewer sought and won a full term in 2010 and hadn't ruled out trying again.

But Arizona law dictates that a governor can't run for more than two consecutive terms, and a partial term is counted as a full term. In other words, Brewer's time in office before she was elected in 2010 would count as a full four-year term.

Watch her make the announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

Brewer vowed to work until the last minute: "Both my pen and my veto stamp have plenty of ink."

Continue reading "Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Makes Big Announcement: VIDEO" »


In Vetoing Arizona's SB 1062, Jan Brewer Rejected a Bill That Her Own Staff Helped Write

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's staff helped write the anti-gay 'religious freedom' bill SB 1062, the AP reports:

Press_brewerArizona Gov. Jan Brewer's staff worked with proponents of a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gays before the legislation was introduced in January, according to emails released by her office. The meetings between Brewer's legal counsel and policy director came as the Center for Arizona Policy tried to make changes to a bill that was vetoed last year to make it more palatable to the governor.

Of course, following outrage from corporate America and the public, Brewer vetoed this bill as well.

The AP adds:

Center for Arizona Policy president Cathi Herrod blamed the bill's fate on opponents who misrepresented what it does. "I believe the veto was politics at its worst,' Herrod said Monday, "The veto was of a bill that did not exist and the 1062 opponents were able to make the bill about something it was not."

She acknowledged she worked with Brewer's staff on the bill. "The governor's officer raised several questions about the language, we had thorough discussions about the language and changes were made to the language based on those discussions," she said...

Herrod's group wields great power among Republicans who control the Arizona Legislature. The social conservative group backs conservative Christian legislation and is opposed to gay marriage and abortion.

Wonderful, efficient use of taxpayer money.


Michele Bachmann is Tired of the Gay Community 'Bullying' the American People: LISTEN

M_bachmann

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) gave an interview to talk show host Lars Larson at CPAC and expressed her anger about the failure of Arizona's anti-gay 'religious freedom' bill, saying that the gay community has been getting their way by intimidating politicians, Right Wing Watch reports.

Said Bachmann:

“There’s nothing about gays in there, but the gay community decided to make this their measure. And the thing that I think is getting a little tiresome is the gay community have so bullied the American people and they have so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them and they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere. Well, not with the Constitution you don’t."

She added:

"If you want take away my religious liberties, you can advocate for that but you do it through the constitutional process and you don’t intimidate and no politician should give away my religious liberties or yours."

Listen, below:


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