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National Groups Push Republicans To Drop Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage

The National Journal looked at several groups pushing the Republican party to drop its opposition to marriage equality by its 2016 national convention.

GopTheir article reads, in part:

“[a] group called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry is part of the effort to remove the traditional-marriage plank from the GOP platform at the Cleveland convention. Already, the group has met with state and county party officials in New Hampshire, and they're planning trips to Iowa in August and to South Carolina and Nevada in September.

...

Rather than talking about gay marriage, strategists are guiding Republicans to talk about the freedom to marry, and they cast the question in familiar conservative terms about the government's role in people's private lives.

"Use freedom language, why it's important for families, why it's inappropriate for the government to treat people differently and treating gay people as taxpayers," said one GOP gay-rights lobbyist.

The American Unity PAC, the sister group to the 501(c)(4) American Unity Fund, has spent almost $700,000 this cycle to elect Republicans who back gay rights, compared with the nearly $120,000 traditional-marriage groups like Family Research Council have doled out, and their meetings with members went from three a week last year to five per week this year.”

The article also mentions that far-right conservatives like the SPLC-certified hate group the Family Research Council and their anti-gay senatorial cohorts Ted “states’ rights” Cruz of Texas and Mike ”religious freedom” Lee of Utah all support a law overturning the Supreme Court’s ruling against section three of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act — the very decision being quoted by judges overturning gay marriage bans in several states.


Utah Files Emergency SCOTUS Request Over Gay Marriage Recognition

Utah has filed an emergency request with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor asking her for a stay of the order forcing Utah to recognize nearly 1200 gay marriages performed there, FOX13Now's Ben Winslow reports:

SotomayorIn the filing, special assistant attorney general Gene Schaerr refers to the marriages as “interim marriages” and writes that the nation’s top court is likely to take the Amendment 3 case and rule in Utah’s favor.

“Utah believes it is highly likely — and certainly likely enough to warrant a stay — that at least four Justices will vote to grant certiorari if the district court’s decision is affirmed, and that at least five Justices will agree with Judge Kelly that the district court’s sweeping legal conclusions ‘simply cannot be’ — and emphatically are not — ‘the law.’ Indeed, the district court’s misunderstanding of the legal status of a law subject to a non-final decision of unconstitutionality is so fundamentally erroneous, and arises in a context of such importance to all of the states and to this Court, that a summary reversal could well be in order,” he wrote.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Urah to recognize the marriages last Friday, and the state said it planned to appeal to Sotomayor.

Read the brief below:

Application for SCOTUS Stay Final (w Addenda) (1) by Ben Winslow


Wisconsin Democrats Ask Governor Scott Walker to Drop Defense of Gay Marriage Ban

Scott walkerA group of 15 Democratic state senators in Wisconsin sent out a letter on Wednesday urging Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to drop their defense of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, arguing it’s a waste of taxpayer money.

Last week, Van Hollen filed an appeal to U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb’s June 6 ruling that overturned the state’s ban. Walker is named defendant in the lawsuit.

The AP reports:

Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster says "Walker takes seriously the oath of office that he took to support the Wisconsin Constitution. If others do not take that oath seriously, that is their decision."

Van Hollen's spokeswoman Dana Brueck says he is fulfilling his oath and doing his job.

Arguments are set to be heard before the Seventh Circuit Court in Chicago on August 13. 


Dallas Methodist Pastor Commits Suicide To Make Statement About Homophobia, Racism, Social Injustice

A retired Methodist pastor committed suicide in Dallas on June 23rd to make a statement about racial injustice, homophobia and the death penalty, reports The Dallas Morning News.

Rev-charles-moore-327x388-1Reverend Charles Moore left a number of notes that cited as reasons for his suicide the Methodist Church’s refusal to marry same-sex couples, the death penalty and cuts to social programs.

Moore died in a strip-mall parking lot in Grand Saline, Texas, by self-immolation.  One suicide note suggests that the 75-year-old chose Grand Saline because he was troubled by his hometown’s history of prejudice he witnessed there as a boy.

In one of the notes, he wrote:

“I would much prefer to go on living and enjoy my beloved wife and grandchildren and others, but I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service.”

Moore had a history of supporting equal rights. In the 1950s and 1960s he supported the civil rights movement. In 1995, he went on a hunger strike to protest the Methodist Church’s treatment of gays and lesbians.

However, although Moore had intended his act to be a grand gesture in the manner of Buddhist monks, his suicide drew little notice, notes The Dallas News:

“A report in the Grand Saline Sun described him as an elderly man who seemed troubled. An article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph asked if he was a ‘madman or a martyr.’”


Dublin Supports Motion in Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO

Fintan warfield

A motion supporting same-sex marriage was passed on June 14th in South County Dublin, Ireland.

The vote comes following last month's announcement by the Irish government that under an employment law amendment to be passed shortly, schools will no longer be allowed to fire teachers based on family status or sexual orientation.

Openly gay mayor of South County Dublin Councillor Fintan Warfield received support for his motion to extend marriage rights to include gay and lesbian couples in next year's referendum on marriage equality, reports Pink News.

The motion was passed by 34 votes to 1.

After the vote, Warfield said:

“The LGBT community is still marginalised in the Ireland of today and we must work towards changing that. Support for marriage equality and for the passing of the referendum next spring is pivotal. This referendum is about...the LGBT community being afforded the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts. This referendum is about love. It is about two people sharing in the ups and downs of life."

Civil partnerships were introduced in Ireland in 2011.

Watch Fintan Warfield speak in favor of same-sex marriage at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis last year, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Dublin Supports Motion in Favor Of Same-Sex Marriage: VIDEO" »


Archbishop Of Finland Apologizes For 'Cruel Treatment' Of Gays

Kari Mäkinen

The Archbishop of Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran Church has apologized for the cruel treatment of gay people and other sexual minorities, reports YLE Uutiset.

Speaking at the public forum SuomiAreena, Kari Mäkinen said:

“When I think of the outside pressure and treatment that we have been guilty of displaying towards sexual minorities as a church and as a society for decades and how it still continues, I think it’s time for an apology.”

Mäkinen said he hoped his apology would encourage others to follow suit.

In June, Finland’s Parliament rejected a measure that would have legalized “gender-neutral marriage”, making it possible for same-sex couples to marry.


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