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Kentucky Activists Outraged Over Gay Conversion Billboard: VIDEO


A billboard in Louisville, Kentucky is causing controversy because of its anti-gay message. The billboard reads: "Not everyone who is gay is happy. You have options." Sponsored by Abba's Delight, a faith-based organization which helps people "who are uncomfortable with their same-sex attractions," the billboard suggests that gay conversion therapy is possible. 

My Fox Orlando reports:

The founder of the group that created the Billboard, Daniel Mingo, denies that the ad targets homosexuality. "This specifically targets people who have same-sex attractions that are unwanted," said Mingo.

Mingo maintains that the billboard is not aimed at people whose same-sex attractions bring them happiness, but his tone is tinged with moralism. Mingo's own experience found him "[walking] away from homosexuality" based on his faith. 

Chris Hartman, the director of the Fairness Campaign, is outraged by the advertisement and believes that it targets the gay community with anti-gay propaganda.

"To suggest that this organization is going to help someone is an exact obfuscation of the truth, it's the opposite; they're going to harm 90 percent of the people that walk in and out of their door," said Hartman.  "An organization like this really needs to be shut down."

Watch the news coverage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Kentucky Couples Sue for Gay Marriage License After Judge Strikes Down Portion of Ban


Last Wednesday a federal judge in Kentucky struck down a portion of Kentucky's ban on same-se marriage, ruling that the state must recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere.

On Friday, two couples filed an intervening complaint in that suit, asking Judge John G. Heyburn to extend his ruling on the same grounds - that the constitutional right to equal protection is violated by Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage - and force the state to allow them to marry.

The AP adds:

...two couples, Timothy Love and Lawrence Ysunza, who have been together for 33 years, and Maurice Blanchard and Dominique James, who have been together for a decade, want U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II to issue order the state to stop denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"To have that acknowledged, we would be elated. Obviously, there's a lot to it," James told The Associated Press. "We just want to be treated equal to our heterosexual brothers and sisters. If we can get that, we will be satisfied."

Allison Martin, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Attorney General's Office, said attorneys were notified of the injunction request Friday afternoon and were reviewing it.

An opinion from Heyburn is expected within the next 30 days.

Towleroad readers may remember that Blanchard, who is a Baptist minister, and James staged a 'pray-in' at Louisville City Hall in January 2013 where they were arrested after requesting a marriage license.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Portion of Kentucky's Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

A federal judge in Kentucky has struck down Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that the state must recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere. Heyburn did not say that Kentucky must allow same-sex marriages, however, the Courier-Journal reports:

KentuckyU.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II joined nine other federal and state courts in invalidating such bans.

Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples, Heyburn said that while “religious beliefs ... are vital to the fabric of society ... assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.” ...

...Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling throwing out the Defense of Marriage Act, Heyburn struck down the portion of Kentucky’s 2004 constitutional amendment that said “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky.”

Heyburn did not rule that Kentucky must allow gay marriages to be performed in the state.

In a 23-page ruling, Heyburn said Kentucky’s sole justification for the the amendment was that was it was “rationally related to the legitimate government interest of preserving the state’s institution of traditional marriage.”

More at the Courier-Journal...

Gay KY Couple Who Protested Marriage License Denial Convicted of Trespassing, Fined 1 Cent: VIDEO

Louisville Gay Couple

Back in January, we reported on openly gay Louisville Baptist Minister The Rev. Maurice "Bojangles" Blanchard and his partner of 9 years, Dominque James who were arrested after a peaceful "pray-in" at a county clerk's office following their denial of a marriage license. Earlier this week, the two were convicted in criminal court but received a very unusual fine for the offense. The Courier-Journal reports:

After three hours of testimony in which their lawyers hailed them for their civil disobedience, while the prosecution urged jurors to stick to the facts, Blanchard and James were convicted Tuesday of trespassing - but fined only a penny.

Blanchard called the penalty a vindication of their protest in support of same-sex marriage.

"It shows they understood what we were doing," he said after jurors returned their verdict following 90 minutes of deliberations. 

James' lawyer, Annie O'Connell, said the fine may have been the smallest ever imposed in a criminal trial in Kentucky.

Blanchard's counsel, Ted Shouse, said in court that he had never tried a case in which the maximum penalty - $250 - "was so low and the stakes were so high."

The paper reports that the jury sent a note to the judge asking if they could convict the defendants and impose no fine, but were notified that they had to fine the defendants something. 

Check out a news report of the couple's January protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Married Couple Attempts to Divorce in Kentucky

Alysha Roberto and her wife Rebecca Sue Romero are the first gay married couple to attempt a divorce in the state of Kentucky, the Courier Journal reports:

KentuckyFamily Court judges and divorce lawyers say Alysha’s petition — filed Oct. 25 in Jefferson Family Court — is the state’s first involving a same-sex couple who were married in another state where same-sex marriages are legal, and want to end their marriage in Kentucky.

Alysha’s lawyer, Louis Waterman, said they should have the right to divorce here, rather than endure the disruption and expense of going back to Massachusetts, where they were wed, and living there for one year to meet that state’s residency requirement.

The court is expected to dismiss the case because of Kentucky laws banning same-sex marriage and its recognition. Waterman says he'll appeal the case and challenge the state's anti-gay constitutional amendment.

GOP Bot Rep. Renee Ellmers Will Not Accept Obamacare Success: VIDEO


The Affordable Care Act is running into its fair share of problems in terms of its web presence due to a rush-job of a website, but overall the act appears to be succeeding at its intended job of helping American citizens find affordable health care insurance options. CNN interviewed Kentucky governor Steve Beshear about how the program was working in his home state, and evidently it's doing rather well with approximately 1,000 people signing up daily through Kentucky's own program.

When CNN then interviewed North Carolina Representative Renee Ellmers, the facts of Kentucky's success could do nothing to dissuade her from the talking point that Obamacare is "[A] failure at the greatest level and should be an embarassment to the president and his administration."

The only legitimate complaint that Ellmers used was how abominable the Obamacare website actually is. The rest of her arguments were either hopelessly vague, such as having a nameless constituent whose premiums allegedly increased by 400% - though from what to what was not disclosed - or just flat-out nonsensical. Governor Beshear made mention that Medicare took a good two or three years to work out the kinks when it was implemented 50 years ago, which Ellmers somehow twisted into indignant outrage that she is not going to wait 50 years for Obamacare to be functional.

CNN host Carol Costello deserves a fair amount of praise for holding Ellmers feet to the fire and calling out the representative's mealy-mouthed attempts at civility, responding to Ellmers' "I appreciate the governor's remarks," with an emphatic, "You don't!"

The video of the interview between Costello and Ellmers can be seen AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GOP Bot Rep. Renee Ellmers Will Not Accept Obamacare Success: VIDEO" »


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