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04/19/2007


Georgia Senate Candidate Endorses Marriage Equality

Branko RadulovackBranko Radulovack, an underdog Democratic candidate for Georgia’s open Senate seat, gave a ringing endorsement of marriage equality in an interview with Atlanta Progressive News last week.

As a psychiatrist, I believe sexual orientation is a strong genetic component rather than a simple choice.  And, as a result, I see no basis for judging or discriminating against his or her to their sexual orientation.  I am a Christian, and as a Christian, I believe in the separation of church and state.

I don’t think our government should be in the business of discriminating against anyone because of their beliefs.  As a happily married man, I understand the desire to make a lifelong commitment to one person.  I see no legitimate reason to deny that right to someone else.  Pope Frances said, “Who am I to judge?”  That’s a strong statement and I agree with it.

Project Q Atlanta compares Radulovack’s full-throated endorsement with that of the leading Democrat in the race Michelle Nunn, who supports it on a personal level but believes the issue should be left to the states to decide. 


Judge Orders More New Mexico Counties To Issue Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples

NM marriage licensePreviously, same-sex couples in Doña Ana and Santa Fe counties were granted the right to apply for marriage licenses. Now, thanks to a New Mexico judge, another county gets to join in, Bernalillo County. Furthermore, the same judge, Alan Malott, struck down a challenge to same-sex marriage licenses granted in Santa Fe county, thus opening up the possibility for other counties to follow suit. 

Clerks in Santa Fe and Doña Ana counties were persistent that New Mexico law was actually worded in such a way that did not bar same-sex couples from getting married. Subsequent legal challenges argue that it does. Thankfully, Judge Malott sided with same-sex couples, saying that "gay and lesbian citizens of New Mexico have endured a long history of discrimination. Denial of the right to marry continues this unfortunate and intolerable pattern." Better yet, the judge's decision was set to take forth immediately upon its release. According to Action 7 News of Albuquerque, same-sex couples will be able to apply for marriage licenses as of 8 am tomorrow morning. Computers at the county clerk's office will need to be reset overnight. Judge Malott gave the reasoning for his immediate ruling in the opinion:

"There is no benefit to the parties or the public interest in having this matter progress through a lengthy path of litigation while basic constitutional rights are being compromised or denied on a daily basis."

NM same sex couples celebrateNaturally, today's ruling is drawing some harsh criticism from conservative politicians in the state. Republican state Sen. Bill Sharer said in a statement that:

"It is up the New Mexico State Legislature, with the consent of the Governor of New Mexico, to make laws and for county clerks and district court judges to abide by them. They do not make the laws. It is inexplicable how a district court just today discovered a new definition of marriage in our laws, when our marriage law has not been changed in over a century."

Someone had better tell Senator Sharer that he needs to get his facts stright, at least with that last claim, considering that marriage laws have changed, more than once, during the last century. Action 7 is currently keeping a live blog of these events, and will continue giving updates on the events of this story as they continue to come in. 


Alabama Congressional Candidate Demands His Rivals Pledge to Condemn Homosexuality, Gay Marriage

Dean-Young-Alabama-via-Facebook-615x345Dean Young is one of nine Republican candidates looking to replace veteran Republican Representative Jo Bonner in Alabama's First Congressional District. So what does a conservative candidate have to do to distinguish himself from the eight other candidates vying for the same spot?

If you're Young, you try to appear more conservative than all of the others, and then encourage all of the other candidates to follow your lead. That's precisely why he introduced the "Pledge to Oppose Gay Marriage", a six-point pledge that mandates each candidate to affirm:

"1. I believe that the only marriage is between one man and one woman.

"2. I believe the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality and thereby gay marriage. 

"3. The tenants of my church oppose gay marriage.

"4. I oppose gay marriage.

"5. As a member of Congress, I shall take active steps to oppose gay marriage.

"6. I support the by-law change to expel any member of the Republican Executive Committee who opposes the party position by supporting gay marriage."

Pledge to Oppose Gay MarriageAccording to AL.com, Young has been circulating this pledge all week long, and drafted the pledge because he believes that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is "a corruption which seeks to destroy the concept of the family." The pledge itself reads that it is “time for men and women of faith to stand for the founding Christian values and morals that made our nation great, to defend our families and the sacred holiness of marriage.”

ThinkProgress cited Article I, Section 3 of Alabama’s constitution, which says outright that: "No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles."

While participation in the pledge is purely voluntary, Young is clearly in violation of the spirit of the state Constitution, which establishes no state religion and values each citizen's freedom to choose their faith, by "suggesting that one can only be a good representative if they are part of the right kind of church." Young, on the other hand, claims to be fighting "for the rights of the American people" on his official website.

Previously, Young has condemned the Supreme Court's decision to gut DOMA, saying that:

“We have a Supreme Court that is legislating from the bench and completely out of control, destroying the Judeo-Christian culture this nation was founded on. Marriage is between one man and one woman, no matter what the Supreme Court says.”

Young is also one of two candidates in the race that include the impeachment of President Obama as part of their campaign platforms. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that, despite his radically-conservative ideas, Young seems to be doing very well. ThinkProgress reports how the Young campaign has "garnered more than 24 percent of the vote in a 2012 primary challenge to Bonner." 

"His campaign website boasts of an endorsement from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was unanimously removed by his fellow judges during a previous term for failure to comply with a court order to remove an unconstitutional display of the Ten Commandments monument from the state’s judicial building. Young currently leads the 2013 contenders in reported cash-on-hand thanks to more than $129,000 in self-financing."


90 Year Old Publicly Announces Her Support Of Her Gay Grandson - VIDEO

Chinese Grandma

While LGBT people are enjoying greater acceptance in China, many still face difficulty when coming out to their conservative and/or traditionally-minded parents. As a result, many were shocked to see a 90-year-old woman playing such a vital role in the creation of a video by PFLAG China

Upon viewing the actual video, though, the woman's comments don't prove to be all that revolutionary. Like many other grandmas the world over, all she wants is to see her grandchild meet someone nice and settle down:

"I am 90-years old. My grandson is gay. He is kind and mature. I hope he will find a boyfriend and live a happy life. And I hope our government supports him.”

PFLAG ChinaAccording to Queerty, the video's star is the grandmother of "an engineer in Fuzhou who goes by the alias Mutou". He said that, despite her message of love and acceptance, she "will have to deal with lots of pressure from strangers and relatives." Then again, senior citizens in general aren't exactly known for paying much mind to "pressure from strangers and relatives". 

"Mutou came out to his parents last year, but it was his nonagenarian nana that was the most supportive and understanding. 'She even tried to calm my parents — who were less accepting in the beginning — and asked them to take it easy,' Mutou told the South China Morning Post. 'She did it out of simple love.'"

Watch the full video AFTER THE JUMP and try not to smile...

Continue reading "90 Year Old Publicly Announces Her Support Of Her Gay Grandson - VIDEO" »


Melissa Etheridge Says Goodbye To DOMA, Pledges To Get Married; Other Celebrities Celebrate SCOTUS Decisions

Melissa etheridge

Melissa Etheridge, the famous singer and one of Hollywood's earliest gay rights activists, has confirmed that she will marry her partner of three years, television producer Linda Wallem.  

Yahoo! reports:

"I look forward to exercising my American civil liberties and getting fully, completely and legally married this year to my true love of over three years, Linda Wallem," Etheridge said in a statement.

"Once again our constitution stands strong," the "Come to My Window" singer added. "All men, and women, and everything in between are created equal."

Yahoo! also makes mention of several Hollywood heavyweights who took to Twitter to announce their excitement at the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings.

Ellen degeneresComedienne and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, an early gay rights advocate, tweeted after the ruling on Wednesday, "It's a supremely wonderful day for equality. Prop 8 is over, and so is DOMA. Congratulations everyone. And I mean everyone."

"We stand tall today. #DomaStruckDown So many fought for so long. Be proud, the prejudice are now the minority," singer and prominent gay rights supporter Lady Gaga wrote to her more than 38 million Twitter followers.

"Big news from the Supreme Court. Goodbye #DOMA #Prop8. Hello #equality," tweeted Ben Affleck, the director and star of Oscar-winning film "Argo," while actor Leonardo DiCaprio tweeted the decision was a "historic day."

Singer Cyndi Lauper, whose True Colors Fund promotes gay rights and addresses homelessness in the gay and lesbian community, said, "Both of these decisions not only impact the lives of gay couples, but of gay and transgender youth who struggle to find acceptance from their family and friends."


Ann Romney Will Not Talk About Your Family

AnnRomneyIn a Friday interview with Iowan television station KWQC, Ann Romney declined three times to state her position on marriage equality. And she declined in the most dismissive possible way, insisting that the question of lesbian mothers' ability to wed isn't important to Americans -- an assertion with the unavoidable subtext that either lesbian mothers and their friends and families don't qualify as Americans, or else that lesbian mothers and their friends and families don't care much about marriage. Cruel or presumptuous: take your pick.

The full transcript is available at KWQC. Here are some excerpts:

Anchor David Nelson:  "Here in Iowa, as you know, same-sex marriage is legal.  Do you believe a lesbian mother should be allowed to marry her partner?"

Ann Romney:  "You know, I'm not going to talk about the specific issues.  I'm going to let my husband speak on issues.  I'm here to really just talk about my husband and what kind of husband and father he is and, you know, those are hot-button issues that distract from what the real voting issue is going to be at this election.  That, it's going to be about the economy and jobs.

And, frankly, the President said four years ago that if he doesn't turn this economy around he's going to be looking at a one-term presidency.  And I frankly believe that Mitt is the person that is so going to be focused on jobs and job creation and making sure that women's economic prosperity is more certain ...

Anchor David Nelson: "Do you believe that employer-provided health insurance should be required to cover birth control?"

Ann Romney:  "Again, you're asking me questions that are not about what this election is going to be about.  This election is going to be about the economy and jobs."

Anchor David Nelson:  "Well, a Pew Research poll shows those issues are very important to women, ranking them either "important" or "very important."

Ann Romney:  "You know, but I personally believe, and this is what I'm hearing from women all across the country that they are going to look for the guy that's going to pull them out of the weeds and get them job security and a brighter future for their children.  That's the message.

Lsten, I've been across this country, I've been for a year-and-a-half on the campaign trail.  I've spoken with thousands of women and they are telling me, they're telling me a couple of things, one they say they're praying for me which is really wonderful, and then they're saying, ‘please help, please help.  We are so worried about our jobs.' So really if you want to try to pull me off of the other messages it's not going to work because I know because I've been out there."

Anchor David Nelson:  "Well, I don't want to pull you off any message.  You just told a reporter who was questioning you in Cleveland that you want women to have a secure and stable future.  I asked you about marriage and whether lesbian mothers should be allowed to marry.  Isn't marriage a part of creating a stable future?"

Ann Romney:  "You know, again, I'm going to talk to you about the economy and about job creation and about how my husband is the right person for the right time.  This is going to be an election that is very important for women, and we are going to make sure that their economic prosperity is more certain under a President Romney."


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