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Ruben Diaz is Busing People to NOM's Anti-Gay Marriage March But Not Telling Them

DiazSr

The National Organization for Marriage has organized the "2014 March for Marriage," to take place on June 19th, and they toot that New York Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., a speaker at the march and a longtime anti-gay activist, is set to bring thousands of African-American and Latino constituents to Washington, DC to take part. Too bad he Diaz not mention the organization or the march in the video advertisement he's released.

Blabbeando reports:

From one of Brian Brown's increasingly desperate newsblasts:

I just recently got off the phone with my good friend, New York State Senator, Rev. Ruben Diaz, who will be speaking at the March again this year. He told me that he plans to bring down over 100 buses to the March from the Bronx this year!

He is calling it the "Second Annual Bus Vigil to Washington." He plans to depart New York at 4:00 am in a spiritual convoy of activists coming to the nation's capital to defend marriage! That's over 5,000 people — overwhelmingly Latino and African-American constituents — that a single political and spiritual leader wants to bring to Washington DC this summer!

The reality of the "Second Vigil on Wheels to Washington"? Diaz, Sr. claims:

We are offering any pastor or organization that wishes to accompany us to Washington a bus completely free of charge. Each bus holds 55 passengers and we will send the bus to any place you tell us to do so... The bus will pick you up there, will bring you to Washington and will bring you back to the same spot. And you won't have to pay for a single thing... Join us! Take advantage of the opportunity. Ask for your bus! Fill the bus! And let's go to Washington!  Let's go on a trip! Visit the monuments in Washington and testify that Jesus heals and saves and is the King we await.

Writes Andrés Duque:

This is not the first time Diaz has rallied people to anti-marriage equality demonstrations using deception. At previous rallies I have heard church leaders say that they had no idea they were being taken to such a rally and I have heard other religious leaders that they felt pressured to participate or risk losing the Senator's support.

But this is the first time Diaz has been caught at it so openly. Hilarious.

The success of Diaz, Sr.'s advertising campaign, and the sure-to-be-absurd "March for Marriage" remains to be seen. We will update you accordingly.

For now watch the ad, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ruben Diaz is Busing People to NOM's Anti-Gay Marriage March But Not Telling Them" »


Rick Santorum To March For Marriage With NOM

Brian Brown

It looks like Senator Rick "man-on-dog" Santorum is finally breaking his recent silence on gay marriage issues. Instead of borking up an interview on Fox News, Frothy Mix is instead having the National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown post an announcement to NOM's blog lauding his participation in NOM's upcoming "March for Marriage" on June 19th in D.C. From Brown's open letter:

Rick SantorumI'm thrilled to announce that my good friend and stalwart marriage, family, and life champion, presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum will be speaking at this year's March for Marriage on June 19th.

[...]

Senator Santorum is a huge addition to our already incredible speaker list that includes Governor Mike Huckabee, Archbishop Salvatore Cordielone [sic], New York State Senator Rev. Rubin Diaz [OMGSIC], and the Heritage Foundation's Jennifer Marshall and Ryan T. Anderson, among many others.

Santorum, Huckabee, Cordileone, Diaz, Marshall, Anderson..this should be quite the clown car on display, and no doubt unintentional hilarity will ensue.


Judge Dismisses Most of NOM Lawsuit Against IRS

BY LISA KEEN

CacherisA federal district court judge on June 3 dismissed most of a lawsuit by the National Organization for Marriage that claimed an employee of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service deliberately leaked a confidential tax document from NOM to a political opponent, the Human Rights Campaign. Judge James Cacheris (a Reagan appointee) said NOM failed to provide any evidence that the disclosure was deliberate and politically motivated; but, he said the IRS may bear some responsibility for the legal expenses NOM incurred as a result of that error and said that issue could go to trial.

The case was NOM v. IRS in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria. Cacheris held a hearing on the matter May 29 and issued his decision five days later.

Tax-exempt organizations, including NOM, must file annual reports (called 990 forms) with the IRS, including a Schedule B document that lists donors who have contributed $5,000 or more to the organization. The 990 Forms are available to the public as a means of evaluating the financial health and practices of organizations seeking contributions.

NOM-logoAccording to various court records, an openly gay employee of Bain & Company, a former employer of 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, contacted the IRS in January 2011, identified himself as a member of the media, and requested a copy of NOM’s 990 form for the years 2007 and 2008. Meisel’s request was forwarded to IRS clerk Wendy Peters and, within the month, the forms were sent to Meisel, including the names and addresses of donors that is normally redacted. Meisel then forwarded the 2008 form to HRC’s then campaign media director Kevin Nix. And Nix forwarded the form to a Huffington Post reporter who published an article noting that an Alabama political action committee associated with Romney made a $10,000 contribution to NOM.

KargerGay activist Fred Karger used the information to file a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging NOM had violated state laws but, as Judge Cacheris notes, NOM was “absolved” of those allegations.

NOM filed suit last October, charging IRS with unlawful disclosure of confidential tax information, but attorneys for the IRS said Peters simply forgot to redact the personal information when she complied with a public information request. It filed the lawsuit in the wake of highly publicized accusations that some IRS offices had delayed giving tax-exempt status to some organizations that had names suggesting they were engaged in political activities and, therefore, not eligible for tax-exempt status. While most of the publicity surrounded organizations with conservative terms –such as Tea Party—in their names, various investigations and reports determined that the offices also gave extra scrutiny to groups with terms like “progressive” and “medical marijuana” in them, too.

An investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration last year indicated that the IRS had applied “inappropriate criteria” in reviewing applications for tax-exempt status.

But Judge Cacheris said NOM failed to present any evidence to support its contention that the IRS clerk willfully disregarded the law, and he said evidence provided by the government “compel[s] the conclusion that Peters accidentally forwarded an unredacted copy” of NOM’s 990 Schedule B.

“The evidence is unrefuted that Peters did not know Meisel or have any connection to the HRC when she disclosed the information,” wrote Cacheris. “Furthermore, NOM has failed to produce a shred of proof that anyone at the IRS altered or obscured” the documents to cover up the error.

However, the judge found that the IRS mistake was the proximate cause of actions taken by Meisel, HRC, and others, creating some responsibility for IRS for the legal expenses NOM incurred as a result of the disclosures.

“The Government’s position that it is not responsible, as a matter of law, for the costs associated with the subsequent misuse of NOM’s confidential taxpayer information is untenable on the facts presented,” said Cacheris. Cacheris said this issue alone –what damages the government might be required to pay for NOM’s legal expenses as a result of the error-- can go to trial. A NOM press release indicates the trial date has been set for June 30.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Friday Speed Read: ENDA, Utah, NOM, IRS, Puerto Rico, Patricia Todd, Uganda, Immigration

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

Finalvote_endaTWO MORE GROUPS DISS ENDA:

The National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality Illinois issued separate statements Thursday, joining the chorus of those who say the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) “falls short.” Equality Illinois says that, while it supports ENDA, its members “strongly oppose including any exemptions that would give LGBT people less protection than other protected groups already enjoy under federal civil rights law.” NCLR said it is “confident the current discriminatory religious exemption in ENDA will not be part of the final legislation,” but added it would “not continue to support ENDA if it is not changed to be consistent with Title VII’s religious exemption."

UtahTENTH CIRCUIT STAYS RECOGNITION ORDER:

The Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed Thursday to a temporary stay of a federal district court judge’s ruling that Utah must recognize, for the purpose of state benefits, the 1,300 marriages performed for same-sex couples in the state prior to a U.S. Supreme Court stay of a decision striking the state ban. The appeals court is expected to decide by June 12 whether to grant a more permanent stay, in Evans v. Utah, until the Tenth Circuit can rule on the state’s ban, in Kitchen v. Herbert.

NOM-logoJUDGE DISMISSES MOST OF NOM-IRS LAWSUIT:

A federal district court judge in Virginia on June 3 dismissed most of a lawsuit by the National Organization for Marriage that claimed an employee of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service deliberately leaked a confidential tax document from NOM to the Human Rights Campaign. Judge James Cacheris said NOM failed to provide any evidence that the disclosure was deliberate and politically motivated; but, he said the IRS may bear some responsibility for the legal expenses NOM incurred as a result of that error and scheduled that issue for trial June 30. Story to follow later today.

RodriguezLESBIAN NOMINATED TO P.R. SUPREME COURT:

Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla on Wednesday nominated lesbian attorney Maite Oronoz Rodríguez to serve on the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. Rodríguez is director of legal affairs for the city of San Juan, served as deputy solicitor general for PR and briefly as its acting solicitor general. Lambda Legal issued a statement applauding the nomination of the “first openly lesbian judge” to the Puerto Rico Supreme Court. The nomination now goes to the PR senate for confirmation.

ToddMORE ELECTION WINNERS:

Openly gay Alabama state Representative Patricia Todd beat out two Democratic challengers in a primary race Tuesday, seeking her third term to represent Birmingham. Todd, the state’s first and only openly gay elected official, took 64 percent of the vote. And Richard Garcia was elected mayor of Long Beach, California, becoming the city’s first openly gay mayor.

Chad_griffinHRC URGES OBAMA ACTION AGAINST UGANDA:

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin sent President Obama a letter June 2, urging him to take “immediate, concrete” action to “illustrate the United States’ commitment to protecting human rights in Uganda.” Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act in February. President Obama said at the time that the law would “complicate” U.S. relations with Uganda and the administration began an “internal review” of those relations.  “Delay is putting lives at risk,” wrote Griffin. “…The world is waiting for action….”

GROUPS URGE ACTION ON IMMIGRATION:

The Human Rights Campaign and 14 other groups signed onto a letter to President Obama June 3, urging him to take “swift executive action to suspend mass immigration detention and deportations.” The letter says Immigration and Custom Enforcement “has failed to take adequate steps to protect LGBT people from abuse and inhumane isolation in detention centers….”

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Thursday Speed Read: NOM, Oregon, UCC, DeMaio, Kuehl, Utah, Aiken

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

KennedySUPREME COURT SAYS NO TO NOM:

The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday denied a request to stop same-sex couples in Oregon from marrying. The request came from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and was directed to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles motions from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. The one-sentence order Wednesday noted that Kennedy referred the matter to the full court. NOM had sought a stay of a May 19 federal district court ruling declaring Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. NOM had also asked the federal district court for the right to serve as intervenor in a case to defend the state ban after the governor and attorney general made clear they would not. NOM said Wednesday it would continue pressing its appeal for intervenor status to the Ninth Circuit.

UccUCC LAWSUIT GAINS ALLIES:

Three more religious groups joined the United Church of Christ’s lawsuit in North Carolina this week. The Central Conference of American Rabbis (2,000 rabbis), the Alliance of Baptists (130 congregations), and the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (90 congregations) signed on as plaintiffs in UCC v. Cooper, arguing that the state ban on same-sex couples marrying violates the free exercise of religion for clergy who conduct ceremonies for same-sex couples. On May 27, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper asked the U.S. District Court for Western North Carolina to delay hearing the case until after the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rules on a case against a similar ban in Virginia.

DemaioDEMAIO ADVANCES IN HIS PRIMARY:

Openly gay Republican Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio advanced in his primary Tuesday in San Diego. DeMaio came in second behind incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat, but in California’s primaries, the top two vote getters proceed to the November ballot. DeMaio received 36 percent of the vote, compared to Peters’ 42 percent, but he handily beat out two other Republicans who garnered a combined 22 percent.

KUEHL IN RUNOFF WITH SHRIVER:

KuehlOpenly gay California Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s primary for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. She will face second place Bobby Shriver on the November ballot. Kuehl earned 36 percent of the votes in the eight-candidate race, followed by Shriver with 29 percent, and openly gay former West Hollywood Councilman John Duran with 16 percent. No one’s called the race for state controller yet, but it appears openly gay former California Assembly Speaker John Perez may have secured a spot on the November ballot. Perez appears to have come in second behind Republican Ashley Swearengin.

UtahUTAH APPEALS RECOGNITION ORDER:

As expected, the attorney general of Utah filed notice Wednesday that the state will appeal a May 19 federal district court judge’s preliminary injunction requiring that Utah recognize the marriages of an estimated 1,300 same-sex couples that took place before a U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay in another district court judge’s decision striking down the state’s ban. Judge Dale Kimball (a Clinton appointee) delayed his order 21 days to give the state time to appeal his injunction in Evans v. Utah to the Tenth Circuit. A Tenth Circuit panel has already heard arguments in Kitchen v. Herbert, which challenges the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying.

AikenCLAY AIKEN BLAMES PRESIDENT:

Openly gay Congressional candidate Clay Aiken of North Carolina said in a recent interview with CNN that the buck stops with President Obama on the Veterans Administration’s failure to provide medical care to veterans in a timely fashion.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


U.S. Supreme Court Denies NOM Request to Halt Gay Marriages in Oregon

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to halt gay marriages in Oregon, The Oregonian reports:

SupremesIn a terse, one-sentence order, the court rejected a request by the National Organization for Marriage to put on ice the May 19 federal court ruling allowing gays and lesbians to marry in Oregon.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who rules on emergency cases in the western region of Oregon, referred the issue to the full court, which then declined to get involved in the Oregon case.

Read the order here.


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