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Irish Government Clarifies There Will Be No 'Right to Discriminate' Following Marriage Referendum Vote

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The Irish government has indicated that there will be no religious opt-out clause for businesses that do not want to provide goods and services for same-sex weddings, reports the Independent.

A referendum on same-sex marriage will take place on May 22nd.

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.

Earlier this month, a priest in the west of Ireland broke ranks with the Catholic church's anti-gay agenda by announcing that he will vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

In December of last year, the Catholic Church in Ireland released a manifesto explaining exactly why it is opposed to marriage equality.

Watch Burton explain why she supports marriage equality, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Phyllis Schlafly Calls on States to Ignore Pro-Equality Supreme Court Ruling - VIDEO

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Speaking on wingnut Bryan Fischer’s Focal Point yesterday, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly (below right) said that state governors should “refuse to enforce” a Supreme Court decision striking down bans on same-sex marriage, reports Right Wing Watch.

Schlafly also urged President Obama and his successor to direct the Attorney General to defy the Supreme Court ruling, insisting that the highest court in the land cannot undo laws that have stood for “several thousands of years.”

Schlafly“We just cannot live in a country where one judge or even five judges are able to change the law of our land that goes against the laws of most of our states and we’ve had for several thousands of years about the definition of marriage, that is simply not our form of government.”

Schlafly is not only an anti-gay activist - she has also been fighting the feminist movement for over 40 years.

Listen to Schlafly’s odd notions, AFTER THE JUMP...

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'Bridegroom' Creator Shane Crone Brilliantly Responds To Anti-Gay Protesters At Texas Screening: VIDEO

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A group of anti-gay protesters reportedly staged a prayer circle this week outside a screening of the film "Bridegroom" in East Texas. 

"Bridegroom," of course, is the award-winning documentary about Shane Bitney Crone and his partner of six years, Tom Bridegroom, who died in a tragic accident. Crone had no legal rights because they could not marry and was barred from attending the funeral by Bridegroom's family. He created a viral YouTube video, "It Could Happen To You," that was adapted into the movie, which premiered in 2013.  

BrideGroomOn Monday, the film screened at the University of Texas at Tyler in conservative East Texas. In a post on Instagram, Crone detailed the anti-gay protest outside:

While the film was playing, a prayer circle formed in the lobby. I watched as the small group congregated, quietly praying for the "Heavenly Father" to "help everyone inside that theatre to see the truth." Apparently a local Catholic group on Facebook had put out a call to action, urging "prayer warriors" to get down to the screening of the "controversial" film.

Crone said when he invited the protesters in for the post-film Q&A, they seemed shocked by his hospitality and apologized for the fact that he'd been discriminated against by other Christians: 

I appreciated their sympathy, however their sentiments came with a caveat: "But you have a choice to act on your impulses to sin."

And here's how Crone describes his response: 

I explained that while it's important to respect other people's views, I disagreed with the heart of their statement. "If all sins are equal, then it's hard for me to comprehend why an entire group of you would have an emergency prayer session outside of the screening of a film that tells a love story about two men. If you are willing to go to such great lengths to stop everything you're doing to try and 'save' everyone who came to the screening, shouldn't you be having these same kind of prayer circles around divorce attorneys' offices to 'save' people from acting on the sin of divorce?"

I can't understand why people go to such great lengths to shout from the rooftops that "Homosexuality is a sin and must be stopped!" when every single one of us is a "sinner" to some degree.

I am shocked by the amount of time, energy, and money people spend trying to deny LGBT people equal rights. Imagine if that same time, energy, and money were spent combatting world hunger or curing cancer; the world would be a healthier, happier place, I am sure.

Watch a report on the screening from KLTV, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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GOP Budget Amendment Upholds Religious 'Right To Discriminate' Against Gay Couples: VIDEO

On Tuesday, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced an amendment to the Congressional budget endorsing the position that businesses and organizations should be allowed to use taxpayer funds to discriminate against married same-sex couples, reports Human Rights Campaign.

InhofeThe amendment dictates that “Federal agencies do not discriminate against an individual, business, or organization with sincerely held religious beliefs against abortion [or] that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

Inhofe’s proposed amendment is seen as an attempt to undermine Barack Obama’s 2014 executive order requiring all federal contractors to adhere to LGBT nondiscrimination protections.

In a statement, Human Rights Campaign’s Government Affairs Director David Stacy said:

“With nearly 60 percent of Americans supporting marriage equality, the Senate should reject Sen. Inhofe’s effort to turn back the clock on equality.

“Senator Inhofe’s long record of opposition to LGBT rights is already notorious, but the question this week is whether the U.S. Senate rejects his extreme, anti-equality agenda.

"Sen. Inhofe isn’t even in touch with his own constituents. The Oklahoma legislature rejected more than a dozen bills aimed at harming LGBT people. Fair-minded Senators from both parties should reject this amendment.”

In 2012, Inhofe and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced a bill prohibiting same-sex marriages on military bases and allowing military chaplains to opt out of conducting such ceremonies.

Watch a Young Turks report on Inhofe using a snowball and the bible to prove that climate change is a hoax, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Alabama Bill Would Allow Faith-Based Adoption Agencies To Refuse Gay Couples: VIDEO

A bill introduced last week to the Alabama Legislature could allow adoption agencies, including those with state contracts, to refuse to place children with gay couples on religious grounds, reports Beaumont Enterprise.

AllenSponsored by Republican Senator Gerald Allen (right), the bill would also prohibit Alabama from refusing to license or contract with groups refusing services to people on religious grounds.

The bill is wide-ranging in scope as it does not specify gay couples. Rather, it allows faith-based groups to refuse services that violate any of their religious beliefs.

Allen said the bill aims to protect religious groups, including children's homes affiliated with the Baptist and Catholic churches, in anticipation that the Supreme Court could legalize same-sex marriage later this year.

Eric Johnston, an attorney who worked on the bill, said that it allows religious groups to observe their own rights and beliefs but does not discriminate against gay couples.

However, opponents claim it would provide legal cover for discrimination against a diverse array of families seeking to adopt.

Human Rights Campaign Alabama state director R. Ashley Jackson said that "decisions about prospective parents should be based on the best interest of the child, not on discriminatory factors unrelated to good parenting.”

Johnston added that legislation is likely to soon be introduced to provide civil protections to florists, bakers and others who refuse to provide services at same-sex weddings.

Earlier this week, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (above, right) said that if he didn't speak out against same-sex marriage, he'd be guilty of treason.

Watch Moore compare same-sex marriage to slavery, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Alabama Bill Would Allow Faith-Based Adoption Agencies To Refuse Gay Couples: VIDEO" »


Texas Lawmakers Debate Whether To Take Alabama-Style Stand Against Gay Marriage: LIVE VIDEO

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AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers are scheduled to debate a bill Wednesday that aims to bar county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples — even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down state marriage bans as expected in June. 

The “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act," by GOP Rep. Cecil Bell, would remove authority over marriage licenses from elected county clerks and place it with the appointed secretary of state. It would also prohibit state or local funds from being used to license, register, certify or support same-sex marriage. 

The bill is set to be heard Wednesday by the House Committee on State Affairs. You can watch a live-stream of the hearing here, but it is not expected to begin until late Wednesday afternoon.

"Should this legislation pass, and then the Supreme Court rules in favor of the freedom to marry, Texans would have to foot the bill for millions of dollars of litigation," Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith said during a press conference about the bill on Wednesday morning. 

Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, called the bill "a legislative temper tantrum" from those who refuse to accept that the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection for same-sex couples.  

"Passing the bill would put Texas on a collision course with both the United States Supreme Court and the harsh judgment of history, and in both cases Texas would fare very poorly," Miller said. 

The bill, which has 21 co-authors, is one of four anti-gay marriage bills introduced by Rep. Bell (shown above cutting cake at a rally in February to mark the 10th anniversary of the state's marriage amendment). If passed by a two-thirds majority, which is unlikely, it would take effect immediately. If passed by a simple majority, it would take effect Sept. 1, three months after the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the issue.

The bill is one of more than 20 anti-LGBT measures introduced in the Texas Legislature this year, the most in the history of any state. 

On Monday, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore spoke during a rally at the Capitol and encouraged Texas lawmakers to follow his lead and defy federal court rulings in favor of marriage equality.

A federal district judge struck down Texas' marriage ban last year, but stayed his decision pending the state's appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit, which heard oral arguments in January. The 5th Circuit has not yet ruled.   

Should you wish to contact members of the House Committee on State Affairs, their info is here


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