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Meet Idaho's Most Outspoken Anti-Gay Bigots and Their Hateful Truck: VIDEO

Sease

Boise, Idaho-area couple Justin and Melanie Sease are driving around in a car painted with phrases like "HOMOSEXUALITY is a sin & a abomination", "Just Say NO to Gay Marriage", and "GOD'S NOT DEAD". They say they're speaking out for others who are afraid to do the same in light of the recent arrival of marriage equality in the state, and whine to KBOI that they're being ridiculed for it:

2truck"We've had a few homosexual extremists who cuss us out and get very angry with us and threaten us."

Why are they on a crusade?

Says Justin, who claims he's "taking a stand for the Heavenly Father":

"We can never accept public homosexuality. It's wrong, and it's wrong in God's eyes first. He's very clear in the Bible. The Bible says that when homosexuality is publicly accepted, basically it spreads like a cancer....This is kind our little way of protesting the homosexual extremist movement..."

Said Melanie:

"If nobody else is going to do it, why not start doing it. Hopefully, other people will join us and follow us and do what we're doing.Most everyone who has seen our vehicles gives us a thumbs up, waves, smiles, or honks."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(h/t vocativ)

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Continue reading "Meet Idaho's Most Outspoken Anti-Gay Bigots and Their Hateful Truck: VIDEO" »


Rome Mayor Registers 16 Gay Marriages in Defiance of Italian Law: VIDEO

Marino

Rome's Mayor Ignazio Marino registered 16 gay marriages into city books today in defiance of Italian law, Bloomberg reports:

2_marino“Today is a special day that I hope will soon become a normal day,” Marino posted on his social media account along with pictures of himself wearing the mayor’s sash, posing with the smiling couples and their families inside Rome’s city hall. “How can you not call this love?” he asked in another post.

The move is controversial for a country that does not recognize same-sex unions of any kind. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano immediately responded through his own social media account, saying the mayor’s transcriptions weren’t valid.

“According to Italian law, this is not possible,” Alfano posted. “Marino’s signature can’t be a substitute for the law, all he did was give these very respectable couples his autograph.”

Watch videos of the event, as well as a "pro-family" protest outside, AFTER THE JUMP...

Marino had promised at the 20th anniversary of the first Rome Gay Parade in June that he would approve a civil union register and registration of gay marriages performed abroad.

Continue reading "Rome Mayor Registers 16 Gay Marriages in Defiance of Italian Law: VIDEO" »


Wyoming Governor: State Won't Appeal Ruling Striking Down Gay Marriage Ban

Echoing similar sentiments he made during a campaign debate this week, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead released an official statement last night saying that it would be futile for the State of Wyoming to appeal a ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban to a federal appeals court that has just struck down similar bans within the circuit.

MeadMead also said the Attorney General will file a notice saying as such. At that point the stay implemented by U.S. Circuit Judge Scott Skavdahl should be lifted and couples would then be able to marry in the...Equality State.

Mead's full statement:

The State of Utah and the State of Oklahoma defined marriage as only between a man and a woman.  The laws of these states were challenged in the federal courts.  On appeal, in each case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that the laws of Utah and Oklahoma violated the U.S. Constitution.  Utah and Oklahoma appealed these decisions to the United States Supreme Court.  The United States Supreme Court declined to hear these appeals.  Wyoming was not a party to these proceedings and Wyoming’s statute was not challenged.

Wyoming has a statute defining marriage as between a man and a woman.  Unless a statute is challenged and determined to be unconstitutional by a court, it remains in effect.  The Governor has no authority to invalidate a Wyoming statute and has an obligation to defend the laws of Wyoming.

Plaintiffs brought an action in the federal District Court for Wyoming, asking the Court to rule Wyoming’s statute also violates the U.S. Constitution.

Flag_wyomingToday, the federal district court has issued a preliminary injunction in the matter of Guzzo v. Mead. This decision allows same-sex couples to marry in Wyoming.  The Attorney General, after reviewing the ruling of the federal district court, has advised that an appeal to the very court that ruled these laws unconstitutional, an opinion that the Supreme Court declined to review, would be unlikely to succeed.

“This result is contrary to my personal beliefs and those of many others.  As in all matters, I respect the role of the courts and the ruling of the Court,” said Governor Mead.

There are complicated legal questions between the state and federal court system.  The plaintiffs have also filed a state court case, which is still active, although any decision by that court would not change the right of same-sex couples to marry.

“While this is not the result I and others would have hoped, I recognize people have different points of view and I hope all citizens agree, we are bound by the law,” said Governor Mead.

The federal court’s order, which will come into effect no later than Thursday, October 23, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., allows same-sex couples to marry in Wyoming. The District Court suspended its order to permit the State of Wyoming to appeal its decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The Attorney General will file notice with the court that the State will not appeal before that date.


With Gay Marriage Pushing Forward, Religious Conservatives Turn Attention to 'Religious Exemption' Bills

B3bpkfhtj9z3errtvn8uWith the battle against gay marriage losing ground throughout the country, some religious conservatives are shifting their attention to "religious exemption" laws.

The post-Hobby Lobby ENDA is wide open to laws like Mississippi's, or Arizona's (ultimately vetoed) bill, which allow for the denial of service to people, if it's based on religion (so, based on sexual orientation).

The AP reports

Sweeping carve-outs for faith-affiliated adoption agencies or individual wedding vendors will be an uphill battle. Public attitudes against exceptions have hardened, and efforts by faith groups in states where courts, not lawmakers, recognized same-sex unions have had little success.

Unfortunately, this may hold less true in some places. The AP article continues with a quote from Robin Fretwell Wilson, a legal specialist from the University of Illinois. She says:

Some of the states are so red — think South Carolina — that the legislature can likely lock down all kinds of religious liberty protections, even those we have not yet seen adopted anywhere, like protection for the small mom-and-pop wedding professionals, simply because they have the votes of like-minded colleagues.

Another example of Hobby Lobby-related problems presented by the article is that of Utah Republican State Representative Jacob Anderegg (pictured). The senator plans to come back to a bill he had held off on introducing for the last two years, while the fight on gay marriage was in full swing. Senator Anderegg's bill would allow clergy and justices of the peace to refuse particpation in same-sex weddings.

Said Anderegg: The bill reasserts and re-establishes fundamental principles: I have a religious objection. You can’t force me or compel me to do it." 


Governor Jan Brewer Has Meltdown Over Marriage Equality in Arizona

Brewer

Governor Jan Brewer is not happy that marriage equality has come to Arizona.

Said Brewer in a statement, following today's federal court ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban:

In 2008, Arizona voters approved a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Now, with their rulings, the federal courts have again thwarted the will of the people and further eroded the authority of states to regulate and uphold our laws.

“It is not only disappointing, but also deeply troubling, that unelected federal judges can dictate the laws of individual states, create rights based on their personal policy preferences and supplant the will of the people in an area traditionally left to the states for more than two hundred years. As Justice Scalia opined, such action is tantamount to ‘an assertion of judicial supremacy over the people’ and is an image of the judiciary ‘that would have been unrecognizable to those who wrote and ratified our national charter.’

“Simply put, courts should not be in the business of making and changing laws based on their personal agendas. It is not the role of the judiciary to determine that same-sex marriages should be allowed. Historically and traditionally, that power belongs to the states, and to the people. If society wants to recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions, that decision should be made through our elected representatives or at the ballot – not the courts.”


Federal Judge Strikes Down Wyoming's Gay Marriage Ban

Flag_wyoming

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl has struck down the state's gay marriage ban but his ruling has been put on hold until 5 pm Thursday or until the defendants have officially said they will not appeal, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.

Earlier today we reported that Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said at a debate last night that the state should not appeal.

NCLR and Wyoming Equality filed suit last week demanding that the state comply with the 10th Circuit ruling handed out earlier this year following the Supreme Court's refusal to hear its appeal.

A hearing was held yesterday.

According to NCLR:

The case was brought by Wyoming Equality and four same-sex couples who requested an immediate order directing state officials to comply with two decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit establishing that a state’s refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry violates the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court on October 6th let those appeals court decisions stand, meaning that all states within the Tenth Circuit, including Wyoming, must comply with those decisions.

The plaintiff couples are Anne Guzzo and Bonnie Robinson of Laramie, Carl Oleson and Rob Johnston of Casper, and Ivan Williams and Chuck Killion of Cheyenne, who previously filed a state-court lawsuit challenging Wyoming’s marriage ban. Also joining the lawsuit are Brie Barth and Shelly Montgomery of Carpenter, who attempted to obtain a marriage license in Wyoming after the Supreme Court decision but were refused. Wyoming Equality is the state’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Wyoming’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Its members include same-sex couples across the state. 

Each of the couples wishes to be married in Wyoming or to have their existing marriage respected by the State of Wyoming. The requested order would remain in place while the plaintiffs’ federal case proceeds.

Update: Governor Matt Mead has announced he will not appeal the ruling, saying:

"This result is contrary to my personal beliefs and those of many others.  As in all matters, I respect the role of the courts and the ruling of the Court...While this is not the result I and others would have hoped, I recognize people have different points of view and I hope all citizens agree, we are bound by the law."

Developing...

Here's the ruling:

2:14-cv-00200 #44 Wyoming Injunction & Temporary Stay by Equality Case Files


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