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04/19/2007


Indiana GOP State Senator Mike Delph: 'Gays Don't Fight Fair'

Indiana State Senator and Tea Party member Mike Delph was disappointed by the failed measure to get a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions on his state’s 2014 ballot.

Senator_mike_delph_2014The contentious amendment, known as HJR-3, died in February in a Senate vote (keeping it off the ballot until 2016 at earliest). But still hurting from the failure, Senator Delph has written a personal column entitled, “Opponents of Christian values don’t fight fair.”

His main takeaway is:

If I have learned anything over the last months in the HJR-3 debate, opponents of traditional Judeo-Christian values don’t fight fair or with honor. They fight to win, and to date have been very successful.

After that backhanded compliment, he says that because all rights regarding marriage come from God, the government cannot create or remove any new rights regarding marriage. Thus, the government should just stay out of marriages entirely and let churches regulate it like God wants:

Rights come from God and are inalienable, meaning they cannot be taken away by man, or more important, by government… Not even courts have the power to create or remove rights. So how can a right exist that does not come from our Creator and what modern rights do we honestly believe are divinely inspired as opposed to invented and imposed by a left-wing orthodoxy?

Probably the biggest mess of all was when the government started involving itself in marriage. Tax benefits, estate planning benefits, societal legitimacy are all things traditional marriage brings participants.

Now there is evidence that not only will businesses be sued for operating according to their own faith traditions, but churches themselves can be sued if they refuse to ordain a union their God rejects.

Keep in mind that the businesses being sued for rejecting LGBT customers ran afoul of public accomodation laws and not marriage laws like Delph says, so gay marriage has nothing to do with those cases. Furthermore, there has never been one instance ever of an LGBT person trying to force a church to marry them. Never. Ever.

Fun sidenotes though: Delph’s brother Stephen is gay and Delph got punished by his own own caucus for tweeting about HJR-3's lack of votes before the news went public.

He is also “the only US politician who accepted a donation from BP's political action committee in the period after its Deepwater Horizon spill and spoke out in favor of the company in defense of its critics.”


Tuesday Morning Speed Read: Darrin Gayles, Staci Yandle, SCOTUS, Indiana, Uganda, Mike Michaud

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

NOMINEE HEARING TODAY:

President Obama’s openly gay African American nominee for the U.S. District Court in Miami goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning. A Committee spokesperson said both of Florida’s senators have indicated they support state circuit court Judge Darrin Gayles.  President Obama dropped another openly gay African American nominee for Miami in January after Senator Marco Rubio objected to the nomination.

YandleLESBIAN NOMINEE GRILLED:

President Obama’s nomination of openly lesbian African American Staci Yandle for the U.S. District Court in southern Illinois was up for a Committee vote last Thursday. But the committee held over her nomination and that of four others in a group of 10. Her nomination is now slated for a committee vote this Thursday.

REWRITING WINDSOR?

Two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee submitted questions in writing for federal court nominee Staci Yandle. Senator Charles Grassley grilled her over how she would interpret the Supreme Court’s ruling in U.S. v. Windsor, which overturned DOMA. Several LGBT legal activists said Grassley’s goal seemed to be to promote a narrow interpretation of Windsor. “They are trying to get her to say that the federalism discussion in Windsor means that the federal courts should not strike down state marriage bans – that they don’t have the authority to do so,” said GLAD Civil Rights Director Mary Bonauto.  Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry, noted that Grassley “chose not to ask about the explicit passages in the [Windsor] decision making clear that the ruling turned on equal protection, not federalism.” Lambda Legal’s Eric Lesh said Grassley has made the Windsor questions a routine line of inquiry for all federal court nominees now.

ElanephotographySUPREME BYPASS:

The U.S. Supreme Court, for two weeks in a row, has given no indication of whether it will hear a New Mexico dispute pitting New Mexico’s non-discrimination law against a commercial photographer’s claim that she has a First Amendment right to deny public accommodations to a same-sex couple based on her religious beliefs. The photographer filed Elane Photography v. Willock in November. The case was on the relatively short lists for the justices to discuss in private conference March 21 and 28. But on the subsequent Mondays, when the court announced which cases it would and would not take, Elane was not mentioned. The next conference is April 4.

IndianaSEEKING RELIEF IN INDIANA:

Lambda Legal on Monday filed an emergency motion in federal district court seeking an order that would allow a lesbian couple’s marriage to be recognized by Indiana. In the motion, Lambda adds couple Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler to the plaintiffs in its Baskin v. Bogan lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. Quasney and Sandler were married in Massachusetts last August. Quasney has late-stage ovarian cancer and is concerned that, without a court order to recognize their marriage, their children will be “denied important benefits” upon Quasney’s death and Sandler will be considered a legal stranger.

UGANDAN CHILDREN IN SONG:

Thousands of people turned out yesterday in the capital city of Uganda to stage a “thanksgiving” celebration for President Yoweri Museveni’s signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act in February. According to an Associated Press report, many in the crowd were schoolchildren “who sang and danced to anti-gay tunes that also railed” against U.S. and European countries.

HRC STAFFER JOINS MICHAUD CAMPAIGN:

The Human Rights Campaign’s associate director of communications, Dan Rafter, left that organization to take over Monday as communications director for U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s gubernatorial campaign in Maine.


Three New Lawsuits Seek the Freedom to Marry in Arizona and Indiana

Macpherson_stolen
Rob MacPherson and Steven Stolen, plaintiffs in the ACLU Indiana suit.

Yesterday we reported that the ACLU filed a lawsuit in Florida demanding recognition of gay marriages from out-of-state.

Also filed yesterday were two others, in Arizona and Indiana.

ArizonaflagFreedom To Marry has details, on Arizona:

Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Majors v. Roche - in Arizona on behalf of seven same-sex couples - and the surviving spouses of two other same-sex couples - seeking the freedom to marry or respect for legal marriage licenses received in other states.

"Every day that same-sex couples in Arizona are denied marriage, the government sends a message that their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect," Lambda Legal Senior Council Jennifer Pizer explained.

The plaintiffs include married same-sex couples, couples who want to marry in Arizona, and individuals whose same-sex spouses have passed away without Arizona ever respecting their status as a married couple. The lead plaintiffs are Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey (pictured), who are both in their 70s and have been together for more than 55 years.

IndianaAnd Indiana:

Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Baskin v. Bogan -on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Indiana.

The plaintiffs include: Rae Baskin and Esther Fuller, who have been together for 24 years; Bonne Everly and Linda Judkins, together for over 13 years; and Dawn Lynn Carver and Pamela Eanes, together for 17 years. All of the couples are unmarried.

The named plaintiff, Rae Baskin, explained, "We just want what everyone else has in Indiana – a real, honest and legal marriage. We are a family. Esther loves me unconditionally and I can’t imagine life without her.”

And today comes news that the ACLU has filed ANOTHER, separate lawsuit in Indiana:

The American Civil Liberties Union, The ACLU of Indiana, along with attorney Sean Lemieux of the Lemieux Law Office in Indianapolis, have filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of 15 plaintiffs seeking the freedom marry in Indiana.

The suit seeks to stop the state from enforcing the current discriminatory law, to require the state to recognize marriages that have taken place outside of Indiana and to allow same-sex couples to wed in Indiana.

These lawsuits around the country are proliferating so quickly it is becoming increasingly challenging to keep track of them all. But we'll do our best!


Indianapolis Bakery Refuses to Make Cake for Gay Couple: VIDEO

Indy_bakers

111 Cakery, an Indianapolis baker that "has always done business based on their Christian faith" according to FOX59 News, is refusing to make a cake for a gay couple's commitment ceremony.

111cakeryIn doing so they have stepped right into the nationwide debate about anti-gay "religious freedom" legislative initiatives that have sprung from these types of incidents around the country.

Mike Stephens and Shane Laney approached the owners about getting a pastry:

“[The owner] said, ‘We don’t do that. If I can help you with anything else, but we don’t discriminate.’ That was the end of it,” he said. “It’s disappointing.”

Said the baker Randy McGath:

“As artists, we have to find inspiration to create something special for our clients. When asked to do a cake for an occasion or with a theme that’s in opposition with our faith? It’s just hard for us. We struggle with that...There is zero hate here. This causes us to do a lot of soul searching. Why are we doing what we do? We want to show the love of Christ. We want to be right with our God, but we also want to show kindness and respect to other people.

Watch FOX59's report (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Indianapolis Bakery Refuses to Make Cake for Gay Couple: VIDEO" »


Four Couples File Suit Challenging Indiana's Law Banning Gay Marriage

Four Indiana couples - from Clark and Floyd counties - have filed the first federal lawsuit against the state of Indiana and Governor Mike Pence challenging Indiana's ban on gay marriage, Louisville law firm Clay Daniel Walton & Adams announced today at a news conference, the News and Tribune reports:

PenceAttorney Daniel Canon said during a media conference Friday that Indiana is now under leadership that says his clients do not deserve the same rights, responsibilities and privileges provided to opposite-sex couples, simple because they are in a same-sex relationships.

“All of these couples that we represent are like any other opposite-sex couples in the state of Indiana,” he said. “They live as married couples. They raise their kids together. They work and go to church in Indiana. They pay their taxes in the state of Indiana.”

Canon said that the U.S. Supreme Court, through United States vs. Windsor, ruled last year that it is unconstitutional to treat homosexual partnerships differently than heterosexual couples.

“We are asking the Indiana federal court to recognize what every other court in the country has recognized [since U.S. vs. Windsor].” Canon said. “At this point, I think, it is fairly clear that the people of Indiana can not depend on the legislature to do what is right thing to protect their civil liberties and their constitutional rights, so we have turned to the federal courts.”

Indiana's law says: “Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female. A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it is solemnized.”

The lawsuit targets that statute. Indiana's Attorney General Greg Zoeller said he would defend the law.


Anti-Gay Indiana State Senator Mike Delph Punished for Criticizing Fellow Republicans Over Marriage Ban

Delph

Indiana state Senator Mike Delph is being disciplined by Senate leadership for criticizing fellow Republicans last week for not restoring language to HJR3 that would have facilitated sending the measure to voters this fall, WTHR reports:

According to sources at the Statehouse, Long – the target of much of Delph's criticism – has decided to take the following steps to penalize the Carmel senator for his comments:

Delph will lose his leadership position as the Senate's Assistant Majority Floor Leader of Communications.
Delph will lose his title as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Delph will lose his press secretary.
Delph will be re-assigned to a new seat in the Senate chamber, alongside Democrats and away from Republican leadership.

Delph, as you may recall, made headlines for having a strong anti-gay stance despite the fact that he has a gay brother.


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