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GLAD Sues Social Security Administration For Lesbian Widow Social Security Benefits - VIDEO

Tevyaw Baker

On Monday, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a lesbian widow seeking parity of Social Security benefits for married same-sex couples, reports Washington Blade.

The litigation was filed by GLAD in the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island on behalf of 56-year-old Deborah Tevyaw, who was denied spousal disability benefits and a lump sum death payment from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

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In 2005, Tevyaw was married in Massachusetts to Patricia Baker. Baker died in 2011 following a battle against lung cancer. In her final months, she lobbied for the legalization of gay marriage in Rhode Island, testifying on the issue before the state Senate.

However, despite the legality of the marriage, Tevyaw was denied benefits upon her Baker’s death. The SSA at first asserted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) blocked her from receiving benefits. However, even after the Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the law was unconstitutional, the SSA allegedly continued to deny Tevyaw benefits on the basis that Rhode Island wouldn’t have recognized her marriage at the time of Baker’s death.

Tevyaw has since been living on a monthly income of $732 and was forced to sell her home she owned for more than 38 years because she can’t afford the mortgage.

In a statement, Tevyaw said:

“I’ve lost my wife and my best friend, and Social Security has made that so much worse by telling me that in their eyes, I was not Pat’s wife. Not only is that hurtful and insulting, it has meant that I am living in poverty. I am not looking for a handout; this is money that Pat earned through hard work.”

The lawsuit also notes Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee’s executive order on May 24, 2012 recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages and contends the directive should apply to Tevyaw’s marriage even though Chaffee signed it before Baker’s death.

SSA spokesperson William “BJ” Jarrett said the agency agrees the issue behind the lawsuit “deserves additional consideration. He added that the SSA plans to review its policy manuals based on analysis of Rhode Island state common law.

Watch a 2012 interview with Tevyaw and Baker, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Bigoted Christian Baker Attends Anti-Gay Conference, Explains What's Wrong With The U.S. - VIDEO

Melissa klein

Melissa Klein, co-owner of an Oregon bakery that last year refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, broke down in tears last week during a panel at the anti-gay Values Voter Summit, reports TPM.

Values Voter Summit (VVS) is an annual conference and who's who of anti-gay bigots organised by the Family Research Council, which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

ValueIn January 2013, the Kleins declined to make a wedding cake for Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman who responded by filing a civil rights complaint against Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Officials in Oregon eventually ruled that the bakery violated Cryer’s and Bowman’s civil rights. The Klein’s took the decision to close down their shop rather than do business with gay couples.

Talking at VVS about how she loves to be involved in (heterosexual) customers’ weddings, Klein said:

“For me personally when I would sit down with them I just would want to know everything about her wedding. I'd want to know about the flowers, her dress, the centerpieces, her colors, the way her hair is going to be. I would even want to talk about 'where are you going on your honeymoon?'"

Klein’s husband Aaron added:

“To be told they’re going to force me to convey a message other than what I want to convey — it flies in the face of the Constitution. It’s a violation of my conscience. It’s a violation of my religious freedom. It’s horrible to see your own government doing this to you….We had to shut the shop down. Melissa does very limited cakes out of our house. I mean we're facing in excess of $150,000 of damages for this, just for simply standing by my first amendment rights."

Following her appearance at Values Voter Summit, Klein yesterday took to Facebook to quote anti-gay activist Rick Warren's explanation of the “two huge lies” contemporary culture has embraced:

“Our culture has accepted 2 huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. Second is that to love someone means that you must agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

Watch Melissa and Aaron Klein at the VVS last week, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Hate Group World Congress Of Families Launches Petition Against Human Rights Campaign - VIDEO

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The World Congress of Families (WCF) has issued a petition demanding that Human Rights Campaign (HRC) stop its “hate-filled” attack on the listed hate group's important work of denying gay people their rights and spreading anti-gay bigotry around the world.

The WCF petition follows a September HRC report that exposed some of the most vitriolic activists in the U.S. promoting anti-gay bigotry abroad including Benjamin Bull, Peter La Barbera, Sharon Slater, Mat Staver, Robert Oscar Lopez, and of course the “work” of the WCF.

Despite the relentless and dangerous hatred spewed worldwide by these and other groups and individuals - stand up Scott Lively - the WCF petition demands that HRC be nicer in future and vows to continue its global anti-gay mission.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6ea1768970b-800wiRevealing that WCF and their ilk are actually the victims in all of this -  a common theme among anti-gay bigots - the petition argues that “the HRC’s hate report has helped make clear to the global community what is at stake, it has revealed that HRC and its allies view traditional religious views on sexual morality and marriage as ‘hate’, it has taken the mask off of the new face of cultural imperialism.”

Despite the WCF’s claims to have “consistently denounced hate and violence,” it is one of the most influential groups in the U.S. promoting and coordinating anti-LGBT bigotry, ideology and legislation abroad.

According to Ty Cobb, HRC Foundation’s director of Global Engagement, the WCF:

"Coordinates a dangerous group of activists spreading anti-LGBT rhetoric and promoting laws and policies that criminalize LGBT people and the speech of those who support them.

"They praise Vladimir Putin as the standard-bearer for traditional ‘family values’ and honored a Nigerian activist who claims LGBT advocates conspire with the terrorist group Boko Haram with a ‘Woman of the Year’ award.  

"Their advocacy abroad harms LGBT people from Russia to Nigeria and beyond.  Hate is not an American value, and we must expose and work to stop the World Congress of Families and their extremist allies.”

The WCF intends to bring its annual convention to Salt Lake City in 2015.

Read the HRC reports The Export Of Hate and watch a report on a protest outside a WCF conference in Melbourne, Australia, AFTER THE JUMP...

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MEXICO: 30,000 March Against Same-Sex Marriage In Coahuila - VIDEO

Anti-gay marriage march Mexico

Around 30,000 people have taken part in a protest against the legalization of same-sex marriage in Coahuila state, Mexico, reports SDGLN.com.

By a margin of 19-1, the Congress of Coahuila voted for marriage equality of September 1st. The new law, which alters more than 40 parts of the state's Civil Code, came into effect one week after the vote.

MarriageThe protest march in the capital city of Saltillo was organized by Casa de Rescate "Cristo Vive,” an evangelical group modeled on anti-gay religious groups in the U.S.

At the head of the march was a huge banner that read “Rescuing The Family.” Protesters were heard to chant “true love is found in mom and dad.”

According to El Universal, Casa de Rescate Pastor Carlos Pacheco quoted the usual, well-worn passages from the bible to condemn LGBT people and same-sex marriage.

Same-sex marriage is currently also legal in two other Mexican states, the Federal District (which includes Mexico city) and Quantana Roo. Coahuila borders the U.S. state of Texas.

Watch a Spanish language news clip on the legislation approving same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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CALIFORNIA: Police Investigate 'Nasty' Homophobic Slurs At Gay Wedding, Locals Come To The Rescue - VIDEO

Oscar De Las Salas and his partner of seven years, Gary Jackson

Police have announced that they intend to investigate after Arizonans Oscar De Las Salas and Gary Jackson had their August 17th California wedding ruined by homophobic slurs coming from the balcony of a nearby condo complex, reports ABC 10 News.

De Las Salas, Jackson and thirty guests had gathered in Centennial Park, Coronado to exchange vows. However, cellphone footage shows the officiant standing in front of the couple while someone is shouting the words "homos" and "go home homos."

De Las Salas has since received a call from Coronado police who are aiming to determine if the attack was free speech or threatening speech and a hate crime.

CaResponding to Jackson, who said that the abuser “took a chunk of what should have been a beautiful day and turned it into something nasty and full of hate,” Coronado local Alisa Kerr and a group of her friends have offered to throw the couple a vow renewal party.

"We wanted to make it right," said Kerr. “We didn't want that to be a reflection of Coronado. We take a lot of pride in being helpful, kind, generous and accepting. Let's celebrate their love and show them people are one thing that makes Coronado a special place to be."

Kerr added that Loews Coronado Bay Resort, several bands and restaurants and a wedding planner have volunteered their services.

De Las Salas has received more than 2,000 supportive emails since the initial report.

Watch his reaction on being told about Kerr’s offer, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Black Pastors Invoke Martin Luther King, Form Alliance Against Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO

Stacy swimp
(Pastor Stacy Swimp)

A coalition of black pastors and supporters has said it will file legal briefs in more than 80 court cases involving lawsuits to legalize same-sex marriage, reports The Detroit News.

Flint, Michigan Pastor Stacy Swimp said at a press conference yesterday that he also wants to see a boycott against black-owned media and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for supporting marriage equality.

The press conference was organized by the coalition and right wing legal groups Thomas More Law Center which is filing the briefs on the pastors’ behalf.

Swimp announced that the coalition’s members will speak out against judges who have ruled in favor of lifting voter-approved bans on gay marriage.

Claiming that marriage was defined by god, Swimp argued that the Constitution does not indicate “that equal justice under the law is relative to marriage redefinition."

Invoking Martin Luther King and with a massive lack of insight that prejudice exists outside the vacuum of his own little world, Swimp also announced on Facebook that he is "compelled to fight against the injustice of redefining marriage and against any and all false comparisons of sexual orientation to being Black- anywhere and everywhere that this hijacking of civil rights is taking place."

However, Benjamin Todd Jealous, the president and CEO of the NAACP said:

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people.”

Watch Swimp launch his defense of "traditional marriage," AFTER THE JUMP...

(Photo by Stacy Swimp.)

Continue reading "Black Pastors Invoke Martin Luther King, Form Alliance Against Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO" »


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