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Prop 8 Proponents Lose Battle to Try and Hide California Donors

Protectmarriage.com and the National Organization for Marriage have lost their long, irrelevant fight over disclosure of Prop. 8 campaign donors today after the Supreme Court turned away an appeal to overturn a lower court ruling in the case, the Associated Press reports:

BrownThe groups sought to conceal their past and future campaign finance records because they feared harassment of donors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them in part because the names have been publicly available for five years.

State law requires political committees to identify those who contribute more than $100 during or after a campaign, along with the donor's address, occupation and employer.

Pictured above right is NOM President Brian Brown weeping after New York lawmakers approved marriage equality in 2011. 


NOM: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Must Recuse Herself from Gay Marriage Case or Face Congressional Investigation

Ginsburg

Citing Ruth Bader Ginsburg's recent interview where she said the U.S. is more or less ready for nationwide marriage equality, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown is now demanding the Supreme Court justice recuse herself from the upcoming gay marriage cases or face a congressional investigation.

Via press release:

Federal law (28 US Code Sec. 455) requires federal judges to disqualify themselves "in any proceeding in which [her] impartiality might reasonably be questioned."

Brown1"Justice Ginsburg has made it crystal clear that she is going to rule in favor of redefining marriage when these cases come before her," Brown said. "We demand that she comply with federal law and disqualify herself as she is required to do. If she refuses, we will ask Congress to act."

Ginsburg's highly inappropriate media commentary is being used by advocates for same-sex marriage who also see it as a foreshadowing of her ruling. The Human Rights Campaign called her comments "taking a bold stand for progress and equality, stating that the country is ready for marriage equality." They are using her comments to recruit signers to a brief they plan to submit to the Court.

"The impartiality of judges is the very foundation of our legal system" said Brown. "When you have a situation where a judge has already decided how to rule on a pending case before it is even presented or argued, the integrity of the judicial system is called into question. This goes way beyond the issue of same-sex marriage and cuts to the heart of whether our federal judiciary can be trusted to fairly consider and adjudicate important issues. Ginsburg comments suggest they cannot."

Last month, the American Family Association called on both Ginsburg and fellow Justice Elena Kagan to recuse themselves from the gay marriage cases because both have officiated at same-sex weddings in the past. 


Marriage Equality Going Nationwide This Year Is Now 'More Likely Than Ever' Says HRC

Marriage

Following the news today of the Supreme Court denying a request for an extension of the stay in the ruling striking down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage, the Human Rights Campaign called the odds of SCOTUS issuing an anti-equality ruling later this year "virtually zero".

Via statement:

This may seem like a simple, procedural move -- one the Supreme Court has made in the past in cases ranging from Alaska to Florida. But, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) notes, all those denials took place before the Court had agreed to take a marriage case. The decision to allow marriages to begin in Alabama means something dramatically different now that the Supreme Court oral arguments in a marriage case are just weeks away.

"By refusing to halt marriage licenses in Alabama, the Supreme Court has telegraphed that there is virtually zero risk that they will issue an anti-equality ruling this summer," said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. "Instead, the odds of a ruling bringing marriage equality to all 50 states have increased significantly."

In light of the Supreme Court's action today, marriage equality will be the law of the land in Alabama beginning on February 9th, 2015. On January 28th, the Alabama Probate Judges Association issued guidance to all parties that, "on the occasion that the stay is lifted, same sex couples may apply for marriage licenses."

HRC congratulates the countless committed and loving couples in Alabama that will soon be able to marry.

And to the couples in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan:

Start your wedding plans now.

Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner concurs, saying Justice Clarence Thomas ended all doubt on the matter today:

ThomasIn denying the Alabama attorney general’s request to keep a U.S. district court order that strikes down Alabama’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages on hold while the state appeals, the Supreme Court — even as it considers marriage cases out of four other states — made it clear that the justices will not stop same-sex couples from marrying in the meantime when a judge strikes down a ban.

The cases the Supreme Court has agreed to hear — Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee — come out of the one federal appeals court that said bans on marriages for same-sex couples are constitutional. [...]

Given Thomas’ dissent today, the only real question left outstanding is where Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito will end up on the ultimate question. Although both dissented in the Windsor DOMA decision, neither has joined Thomas and Scalia in saying publicly that they would have granted any of the recent stay requests.

The court is expected to hear oral arguments in the cases in April, with a decision expected by late June. 

NOM meanwhile, is still grasping at straws:

Brown"A majority of the Supreme Court has cast disrepute on the impartiality of the Court by refusing to follow previous protocol and issue a stay of a lower court ruling while it is being considered by the Court," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "The issues in play are currently under review by the Supreme Court, and allowing a lower court ruling that overturns a state marriage amendment adopted by over 80% of voters is reckless and undermines the integrity of the Court. We call on the people of Alabama to continue to enforce their state marriage laws." 

"A single federal judge does not have the authority to overturn a state marriage amendment and the people of Alabama should refuse to go along with this order," said Brown. "We commend Alabama Supreme Court Justice Ray Moore for ordering state probate judges, who are responsible for issuing marriage licenses, to enforce state law limiting marriage to one man and one woman and to refuse to issue licenses that violate state law. These probate judges have sworn an oath to the people of Alabama and they must honor their oath to the people they serve."


NOM Backs Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's Unlawful Crusade Against 'Judicial Tyranny' on Gay Marriage: AUDIO

Brown_moore

On Friday, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown expressed his unwavering support for Alabama Court Justice Roy Moore's unlawful campaign to convince his state to defy a federal court ruling overturning the state ban on same-sex marriage.

Right Wing Watch reports on what Brown wrote to his supporters:

We need to stand up to this kind of bullying whenever we encounter it, but especially when it comes dressed up in the robes of the state authority. Indeed, then we shouldn't call it merely bullying at all, but assign it the true name it deserves: tyranny. [...]

Marriage Supporter, this is the kind of principled stand we need more of our public officials to take—and we need to take such a stand ourselves, too. [...]

And as we work, let's remember that we're not alone in this fight! Lately, I have had a few opportunities to meet with marriage leaders throughout the globe, such as at the recent Vatican Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman. The experiences of these countries make it clear that we have a global fight to preserve marriage, and that the biggest threats to marriage are unfortunately coming from the West — led by the United States (and the lawless actions of President Obama) but also including some countries in western Europe.

Moore, meanwhile, was interviewed by the American Family Association's Sandy Rios on Friday and talked about the similarities he sees between the gay marriage issue and Dred Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson - in that all three are instances of where the courts were in the wrong both morally and constitutionally.

Later in the interview, Rios asked Moore what he would say to Christians who are upset that he’s breaking the law by defying the federal courts. Moore replied “This is not against the law, this is for the law."

Listen to Moore's interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NOM Backs Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's Unlawful Crusade Against 'Judicial Tyranny' on Gay Marriage: AUDIO" »


Maggie Gallagher Says Only God Can Stop Gay Marriage

Gallagher

According to the Daily Beast, 2015 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the conservative opponents of LGBT rights. Though public support for gay marriage is at an all-time high, writes Tim Mak, organizations like the National Organization for Marriage see their recent spate of defeats as an opportunity to turn their focus and faith heavenward and beyond.

“Nothing is inevitable. ‘Inevitability’ is the progressive substitute for the idea of Divine Providence,” former NOM president Maggie Gallagher insisted to the blog. “Either God is in charge, or the future hasn't yet happened and is freely determined. Or God leaves us free.”

Mak points out, however, that after months of hardcore election campaigning here in the U.S., NOM finds itself woefully underfunded and in search of new social battlegrounds overseas more receptive to their ideology:

But it’s worse than “nearly exhausted”: NOM’s 2013 tax filings showed the group with more than $2.5 million in debt. And their fundraising collapsed by 50 percent from the previous year.

"They have a tough road ahead, and more and more they're being honest about that. That's becoming their new cry, now they're the David against Goliath," said Jeremy Hooper, a political consultant who has monitored the activities of anti-LGBT groups for a decade. “They're owning the fact that they're at a loss now.”

In addition to refocusing on the idea of American progressives slowly eroding the Right’s supposed rights to religious liberty, political battles abroad centered around gay rights offer conservatives the chance to contemplate just how to craft a strategy for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“I suspect the focus is going to be on 2016 and that social conservatives are going to struggle between choosing a champion and choosing a conventional ‘winner,’” said senior Brookings fellow Jonathan Rauch.

Check out the full article here.


Alliance Defending Freedom Fights For Right To Turn Away Gays In US, But Aims To Put Them In Jail Overseas

AdfThe Alliance Defending Freedom is perhaps best known in the US today for its work defending the right of businesses to discriminate against LGBT people under the guise of "religious liberty." But Media Matters reports that despite ADF's frequent characterization in the media as a mainstream Christian legal group, it is actively promoting a far more extreme agenda overseas: namely, putting gay people in jail.

ADF's support for the criminalization of homosexual activity dates back to the early 2000s, prior to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision striking anti-sodomy laws as unconstitutional in Lawrence v. Texas. The ADF submitted a 30-page amicus brief in that case, writing:

"The issue under rational-basis review is not whether Texas should be concerned about opposite-sex sodomy, but whether it is reasonable to believe that same-sex sodomy is a distinct public health problem. It clearly is."

In fact, ADF believes that the legalization of homosexual activity in the US has paved the way for same-sex marriage — which is presumably why the group is now working so hard to defend anti- sodomy laws in places like Jamaica, Belize and India, Media Matters reports:

ADF has given up on promoting anti-sodomy laws in the U.S. after Lawrence, but the group still aggressively supports imprisoning gay people around the world for having sex. It's an ugly truth about one of the right's highest-profile legal organizations. Failing to note ADF's support for anti-sodomy laws — which places it firmly on the fringe of even conservative circles — paints a grossly misleading picture of the extremism that motivates the group's anti-gay legal work.

Indeed, spotlighting ADF's efforts to criminalize sodomy overseas seems more important than ever. While the National Organization for Marriage reported a 50 percent decline in donations in 2013, ADF reported an increase of $2.5 million — for a total of $39 million, according to Towleroad's analysis of newly released IRS reports. And thanks to the prevalence of anti-gay bakeries and "license to discriminate" legislation, it's likely that amount will only go up. 

 

 


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