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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. 

 

 


NOM Is Near Death: HRC Reports Lack Of Funding And Support Crippling The Organization

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 1.12.17 PMThe Human Rights Campaign issued a press release today that contained results from a study they conducted on the National Organization for Marriage's funding and found the organization is rapidly losing support. HRC examined NOM's tax filings from 2013 and found that the organization's funding for the year dropped a whopping 50 percent from 2012, raising only $5.1 million in funds this year. Only two donors account for donating half of those funds alone, which indicates NOM's support base merely consists of a very few wealthy people and a minuscule amount of the general public.

The NOM Education Fund also dropped nearly $3.5 million in funding; a drop of almost 70 percent since the previous year. NOM ended the year more than $2.5 million in debt. Fred Sainz, the HRC Vice President of Communications, urges NOM to give up the ghost already.

Said Sainz:

“If I were Brian Brown, I’d be worried that my two or three mega-donors are soon going to come to terms with the fact that they’d largely be better off flushing money down the toilet.  Americans certainly aren’t buying what NOM is selling, and it’s only a matter of time before the trickle of money keeping the lights on at NOM HQ dries up.”

NOM fought to keep their 2013 990s secret however, HRC made an in-person request for the public financial documents on Monday morning and again Tuesday – in both instances, NOM didn't produce the documents. Federal law requires organizations to publicly release their 990s the same day an in-person request is made. HRC filed a complaint with the IRS in order to force NOM to abide by the law. 

Within the last year NOM suffered crippling blows to its core purpose and mission with the number of states allowing gay marriage jumping from 15 to 33 states, with 62 percent of the nation's population living in states that allow same-sex marriage. Both Democratic and Republican appointed judges are striking down marriage bans and the Supreme Court of the United States judges decreed that federal court rulings granting marriage rights to same-sex couples to become the law of the land in 11 states in the last two years: California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Recent poll results show that NOM’s radical and exclusionary brand of anti-LGBT rhetoric is falling on deaf ears. An HRC survey of 1,200 registered voters conducted June 6-10 this year by Republican pollster Alex Lundry of TargetPoint Consulting, found that the number of Americans strongly opposed to national marriage equality dropped to 28 percent. Of the people polled, only three percent would challenge the Supreme Court of the United States judges if they struck down marriage bans across the country.

NOM President Brian Brown, realizing his organization is becoming obsolete in the states, took his rhetoric to Russia to support a bill – now law – banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples or parents living in countries where marriage equality is legal. Although Brown would experience success in Russia, NOM's death knell is ringing loud and clear here in the states, but the organization continues to shuffle on like an undead zombie; aimless and spouting incoherent nonsense. 


NOM Takes Credit For Defeating Gay Republicans, Will Target Sen. Rob Portman in 2016

Brian_brown

The National Organization for Marriage is taking credit for the defeat of several openly gay and pro-marriage equality Republicans on Nov. 4. Not surprisingly, though, a closer examination of election results raises significant questions about the group's claims. NOM wrote in a press release Monday:

Through their Super PAC, the NOM Victory Fund, the nation's largest organization supporting natural marriage opposed the election of Republican US House candidates Carl DeMaio (CA52) and Richard Tisei (MA6) as well as Republican US Senate candidate Monica Wehby of Oregon. Tisei and Wehby were defeated on Election Day while DeMaio conceded defeat yesterday.

DemaioDeMaio and Tisei are openly gay, and Wehby campaigned in support of marriage equality. However, in his analysis of how same-sex marriage played in the mid-term elections, The Washington Blade's Chris Johnson notes that the candidates who defeated DeMaio, Tisei and Wehby all support LGBT rights:

One might argue conservatives were so disaffected in those races that they stayed home and didn’t provide the necessary support to overcome the Republican rivals of Democratic candidates, especially in close races like California’s 52nd congressional district, where DeMaio was ahead in the final tally and declared the loser only after the provisional ballots were counted.

But that wouldn’t explain other races in which Republican challengers who support marriage equality were able to unseat Democratic opponents in close contests. Robert Dold, a former Republican House member who came out for marriage equality after leaving office, won in his bid to unseat Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), as did Carlos Curbelo, a Republican supporter of same-sex marriage who unseated Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.).

Dold and Curbelo were backed by Log Cabin Republicans, which reported that 10 of its 16 endorsed federal candidates won their races. "Election night was a terrific night to be a Republican, and an especially good night to be a Log Cabin Republican," Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo said in a release. 

Angelo said losses by DeMaio and Tisei made the results "bittersweet," but suggested that anti-gay groups like NOM weren't any more of a factor in those races than "vitriolic Democrats who would stop at nothing to maintain the identity politics status quo that keeps them in power."

PortmanEven without Demaio and Tisei, the number of House Republicans who support marriage equality will increase to six in the 114th Congress. Meanwhile, the Senate will include at least four Republicans who support marriage equality, including Ohio's Rob Portman, who has been identified as a possible GOP presidential candidate. And that's precisely where NOM President Brian Brown says the group is now turning its attention.

"Rob Portman can forget about getting elected President of the United States," Brown said in the group's press release Monday. "If he runs we will make sure that GOP primary voters are aware of his desire to redefine marriage and his willingness to see federal judges set aside the votes of 50 million Americans who enacted marriage amendments across the country because his son is gay. Rob Portman's son has a right to live as he chooses, but that does not give his father the right to redefine marriage."

"Rob Portman can forget about getting elected President of the United States," said Brown. "If he runs we will make sure that GOP primary voters are aware of his desire to redefine marriage and his willingness to see federal judges set aside the votes of 50 million Americans who enacted marriage amendments across the country because his son is gay. Rob Portman's son has a right to live as he chooses, but that does not give his father the right to redefine marriage. - See more at: http://www.nomblog.com/39827/#sthash.hfNxvuQL.dpuf
"Rob Portman can forget about getting elected President of the United States," said Brown. "If he runs we will make sure that GOP primary voters are aware of his desire to redefine marriage and his willingness to see federal judges set aside the votes of 50 million Americans who enacted marriage amendments across the country because his son is gay. Rob Portman's son has a right to live as he chooses, but that does not give his father the right to redefine marriage. - See more at: http://www.nomblog.com/39827/#sthash.hfNxvuQL.dpuf

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