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Ted Cruz Insists Marriage Equality is the 'Greatest Threat' to Religious Freedom Ever: LISTEN

Screenshot 2015-05-15 03.00.24

Tet it never be said that Ted Cruz isn’t a man of strong, deeply-held convictions. In a recent interview with conservative talk show host Eric Metaxas (pictured below right), the 2016 Republican hopeful doubled down on his already rather obvious views on LGBT-identified people.

Metaxes“We are seeing today profound threats to religious liberty in America, I think the greatest threats we’ve ever seen,” Cruz reasoned when prompted to share his views on gay marriage. “We’re a nation that was founded by men and women who were fleeing religious oppression and coming to seek out a land where everyone of us could worship God Almighty with all of our hearts, minds and souls, and that is under profound jeopardy today.”

In addition to declaring that his opponents on the left were hellbent on destroying purportedly religious foundations upon which the country was built, Cruz went on to explain how in the future, churches would be forced to pay taxes as part of a larger liberal scheme. The plan, he insisted, was laid out in full last month by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli at the onset of the Supreme Court same sex marriage hearings.

“[U]niversities like Notre Dame or Georgetown and Brigham Young or any university that is founded as a Christian university, if it continues to follow biblical teachings on marriage,” Cruz intoned. [T]he federal government is asserting the power to discriminate and persecute them.”

As Right Wing Watch points out, Verrilli said no such thing.

Listen to a clip of Ted Cruz’s latest foray into the land of conservative, conspiratorial hatemongering AFTER THE JUMP...

(h/t Right Wing Watch)

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Kenyan News Org Outs Pro-LGBT Activists, Potentially Puts Their Lives At Risk

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The Weekly Citizen, a Kenyan news organization based in Nairobi, has come under fire for publishing the names and photos of twelve outspoken advocates for the country’s queer rights movement. While the number of countries that criminalize homosexuality dropping, being gay is still a jailable offense in Kenya that can carry sentences of up to 14 years in prison along with sizable fines. There is a roiling debate amongst the conservative members of Kenya’s governing body and LGBT rights activists who argue that the country’s constitution implicitly protects queer-identified people if its language is to be interpreted literally.  

That same tension between ideology and legality is what ultimately led to the Kenyan High Court’s decision to allow LGBT rights organizers to gather and form their own social programs meant to aid Kenya’s queer population.

“Every person has the right to freedom of association,” The court ruling expressed, pointing to the 36th Article of the Kenyan Constitution.  “[Including] the right to form, join or participate in the activities of an association of any kind.”

Though pro-LGBT organizers saw the decision as a victory, their hopes were shot through with worry of an inevitable social backlash that was likely to develop in response. Technically speaking, the Weekly Citizen in no way encouraged it readers to seek out the twelve activists it highlighted, but some of them saw the paper’s move as a hostile one.

"We are now walking targets," Denis Nzioka, one of those outed, explained to Gay Star News. "While some of the people on the list are open about being gay, some are not. It is putting every person's career, life and family at risk."


Number Of Countries Criminalizing Homosexuality Has Fallen From 92 to 76 Since 2006: REPORT

World map

A report issued yesterday by ILGA shows that the number of countries banning gay sex has fallen from 92 to 76 since 2006.

ILGADetailed findings in the report include:

  • There are 117 UN member countries where same sex sexual acts between adults in private are legal.

  • Among the 76 countries where gay sex is illegal, Chad introduced a new Penal Code last year punishing anyone who has sex with persons of the same sex.

  • Eight States officially legislate for the death penalty, but only five (Mauritania, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen) actually implement it.

  • Four states - Algeria, Lithuania, Nigeria and Russia - have implemented ‘propaganda of homosexuality laws.’

  • Discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation is now prohibited in 63 countries, including Chile, Samoa, Namibia and city of Buenos Aires in Argentina.

  • Seven countries have a constitutional prohibition to discrimination based on sexual orientation.

  • Hate crimes based on sexual orientation are considered an aggravating circumstance in 34 countries.

  • Incitement to hatred based on sexual orientation is prohibited in 31 countries.

  • Marriage equality is legislated for in 18 countries.

  • Joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal in 19 countries including Luxembourg, Malta, Austria and Ireland.

Report authors Aengus Carroll and Lucas Paoli Itaborahy said:

“While in 2006 – said the Authors – 92 countries criminalized same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults, we now see this number falling down to 76 countries in 2015. However, the situation is still unacceptable: more than one-third of the world’s States consider same-sex sexual activity illegal. On the other hand, although 2013 saw an alarming rise in the number of States considering a new wave of criminalization through ‘homosexual propaganda’ laws, in fact only a small number actually implemented them.”

Read the full report and see the 2015 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Map of World Laws, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Suspended Anti-Gay New Jersey Teacher Viki Knox Drops Reinstatement Bid: VIDEO

Viki knox

Viki Knox, a former high school teacher who was suspended for posting anti-gay comments on Facebook in 2011, has dropped her bid for reinstatement, reports CBS New York.

Knox’s comments referred to homosexuality as a “perverted spirit” that “breeds like cancer”.

Her attorney filed notice with the U.S. District Court in Newark on Tuesday.

Speaking to CBS 2 regarding the controversy in 2011, the former teacher’s husband Gene said:

“Everybody’s entitled to an opinion. They can persecute her, but they can’t prosecute her.”

However, Knox was suspended without pay following an investigation and resigned several months later, citing health problems.

In 2013 Knox sued the school district for religious and racial discrimination, free speech violations and denial of due process.

The lawsuit, which is continuing in federal court, seeks compensatory and punitive damages and back pay.

Watch the 2011 interview in which Gene Knox supports his wife, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Laramie, Wyoming Passes Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance: VIDEO

Wyoming

Laramie City Council, Wyoming has approved Laramie Order 1915 which will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and access to public facilities, the AP reports.

The council of the town where Matthew Shepard was murdered 17 years ago voted 7-2 in favor of the motion.

2d45feb61e914cc8ba60947c055bf952-Photo-1-324x450The Legislature had repeatedly rejected anti-discrimination bills, most recently early this year.

Jeran Artery, head of the group Wyoming Equality, said:

"What a day for Wyoming, and what a day for the city that became synonymous with Matthew Shepard's murder to now step up and do this right thing. And I would really encourage other communities across the state to follow Laramie's lead."

Matthew Shepard’s mother Judy, who is active in a Denver foundation focusing on equality issues, said she was thrilled “that Laramie's doing it, at the same time sort of saddened that the state of Wyoming can't see fit to do that as well. Maybe the rest of Wyoming will understand this is about fellow human beings and not something that's other than what they are."

Openly gay Rep. Cathy Connolly (D-Laramie) (above) said:

“Know that, in Albany County, five of six of your senators and representatives not only supported that measure, but actively, vigorously supported that measure, and we will continue to do so. My hope is from tonight that we will do so using the leadership of Laramie”

Two councilors voted against the ordinance. Both Joe Vitale and Bryan Schuster said they were concerned the ordinance caused concerns about religious freedom.

Rep. Kendell Kroeker (R-Evansville), who voted against the anti-discrimination bill this year, said “the Matt Shepard case was a tragedy, but I don't see how an anti-discrimination ordinance would have stopped somebody from committing that heinous crime."

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Phyllis Schlafly: Gay Activists Want To 'Wipe Out' Christianity - LISTEN

Phyllis Schlafly

Anti-gay wingnut and Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly has said that marriage equality advocates are trying “to wipe out the Christian religion”, reports Right Wing Watch.

In an interview with conservative radio host Chuck Wilder earlier this week, Schlafly spoke out for “harassed” business owners who have violated religious right to discriminate laws:

“Have you noticed that only Christian small-businesspeople have been harassed and sued for refusing to participate in same-sex marriages even though our fast-growing immigrant populations, you know of Muslims, Hindus and other faiths are also opposed to that concept?

“They want to wipe out the Christian religion. And most of these other religions do not recognize same-sex marriage. I assume there are some Muslim bakers and photographers and other people who have been harassed, but they’re not being attacked and they’re not being criticized.”

Hmmmm......

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

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