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Tony Perkins Believes 'True Religious Freedom' Is Only For Anti-gay Christians - AUDIO

TonyperkinsA caller on Family Research Council president Tony Perkins' radio show "Washington Watch" asked the host about his thoughts regarding North Carolina's recent challenge to that state's same-sex marriage ban. The challenge, of course, has turned previous arguments on their heads, with clergy and same-sex couples alike stating that the ban violates the church's religious right to perform the marriages they approve of. 

Perkins, ever an authority on who is deserving of what in American society, gave quite the rich reply.  

Right Wing Watch reported Perkins' statement:

...it’s like with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that we worked on in Mississippi and failed in Arizona and other places, here’s a test of what is a true religious freedom, a freedom that’s based on orthodox religious viewpoints. It has to have a track record, it has to come forth from religious orthodoxy.

You cannot point to the Christian faith and say that same-sex marriage has been a key teaching of the church. You can only point to the opposite, that the church has stood against sexual immorality in terms of sexual relations of those outside of marriage and in particular homosexual behavior. There is no place, there is nothing for them to stand on and say that same-sex marriage has standing in the orthodox Christian faith.  

The religious right prescribing who should receive religious freedom? It seems that the case out of North Carolina is keeping Perkins and others on their toes.

Listen to the audio, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Friday Speed Read: Darrin Gayles, Indiana Marriage, Mike Michaud, Clay Aiken

GaylesNOMINEE ADVANCES OUT OF COMMITTEE:

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, by voice vote, recommended the confirmation of openly gay federal district court nominee Darrin Gayles. A vote on the nomination had been scheduled for last week, but Republicans on the committee held over the vote on Gayles’ nomination and that of three others to the district court in southern Florida. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) noted Thursday that both senators from Florida have given their consent to advancing all four nominees. The nomination of a previous openly gay African American man to the federal bench in Miami was killed when Senator Marco Rubio raised objections. If cleared by the full Senate, Gayles will be the first openly gay African American male to be confirmed to a federal bench seat.

INDIANA PRELIMINARY VICTORY: Sandler

A federal district court judge ruled Thursday that Indiana’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages harms a same-sex couple “in numerous tangible and intangible ways.” In doing so, Judge Richard Young ordered the state to recognize the marriage license obtained out of state by Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler to protect Sandler’s rights to care Quasney, who is near death from ovarian cancer. The order also requires Indiana, upon Quasney’s death, to list Sandler as her spouse on the death certificate. Young ruled that he doubts Indiana’s ban “will suffer a different fate than those around the country,” where other federal district courts have consistently found them unconstitutional. Last month, Judge Young granted a temporary restraining order requiring Indiana to recognize the Quasney-Sandler marriage license obtained in Massachusetts. Lambda Legal brought the case, Baskin v. Bogan, on behalf of several couples and the court must still consider the merits of the overall challenge to the state’s ban. Lambda staff attorney Paul Castillo, said that, “while this family is experiencing urgent, life-threatening medical circumstances, they’re just one of the thousands of same-sex couples in Indiana enduring real financial and dignitary harm due to the State’s discriminatory marriage ban. Our work in Indiana is not done.  All same-sex couples in Indiana need the security only marriage provides.”

DEM POLL SHOWS MICHAUD BACK IN LEAD: Michaud

Democracy for America, a group founded by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, announced Thursday that its poll of 754 Maine voters finds openly gay U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud four points ahead of incumbent Republican Governor Paul LePage. Asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 43 percent said Michaud, 39 percent said LePage, 15 percent said independent candidate Eliot Cutler, and three percent were undecided. Michaud and LePage have been running very close in polls in the past month. A Republican-leaning polling firm, Rasmussen Reports, called the race a tie based on data it gathered between April 23 and 25 from 830 “likely voters.” A Huffington Post analysis of 10 polls (but not the Democracy for America data) estimated Michaud at 40.6 percent, LePage at 37.9 percent, Cutler at 15.9 percent.

C_aikenAIKEN MAY FACE RUN-OFF:

There are 276 uncounted ballots in openly gay U.S. House candidate Clay Aiken’s Democratic primary race against two competitors in North Carolina’s Congressional District 2. That doesn’t give second-place candidate Keith Crisco a chance to catch up to Aiken, who has a 369-vote lead. But it could give him enough to drop Aiken’s vote tally below the 40 percent margin needed to avoid a run-off. And the Raleigh News-Observer reported Thursday that business Keith Crisco has not conceded the race and that, if a run-off is necessary, it will take place in July.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Thursday Speed Read: Clay Aiken, Closeted on the Job, Heather Mizeur, Maryland, HIV Criminalization

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

AikenAIKEN VICTORY STILL PENDING:

North Carolina election officials will review the outcome of the Congressional District 2 Democratic primary race on May 15, after they’ve had a chance to tally in absentee and challenged ballots. As of Wednesday afternoon, openly gay candidate Clay Aiken, of American Idol fame, held just over 40 percent of the vote with a 369-vote lead over businessman Keith Crisco.

53 PERCENT CLOSETED ON THE JOB:

A report released Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign’s educational arm says that 53 percent of LGBT people keep their sexual orientation secret at their places of employment. According to the report, only 17 states and Washington, D.C., have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Another four states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation only. The report, “The Cost of the Closet and the Rewards of Inclusion,” surveyed 800 LGBT workers and an unspecified number of non-LGBT workers.

MizeurMIZEUR HANDLES FIRST DEBATE:

Openly lesbian Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur stayed above the fray and focused like a laser on the need to increase the minimum wage and the virtues of legalizing marijuana. Mizeur, a delegate in the state House, was participating Wednesday night in the first debate in the three-way race for the Democratic nomination June 24. Mizeur ranks behind both Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler in polls. But a transcript of the debate published by the Washington Post, indicates Mizeur managed a solid performance.

MarijuanaMARIJUANA FOR CHILDREN?

At one point during Wednesday night’s debate, Maryland gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur was questioned about her support for legalizing marijuana. She noted, among other things, that legalization could provide tax revenue to pay for a universal pre-Kindergarten. Mizeur then added that it would send “an important message about the fact that this is a substance that is arguably less harmful to the body than alcohol and tobacco.” That awkward juxtaposition of pre-Kindergarten and marijuana being “arguably less harmful” apparently prompted this question from moderator David Gregory of Meet the Press: “Are you comfortable saying to the children of this state, ‘marijuana’s okay’?” “We’re not saying that to the children of this state,” replied Mizeur, noting that, in fact, her plan calls for spending $4 million a year to make sure children know marijuana is a “a very dangerous substance for a developing mind.”

HolderREPORT URGES DOJ ACTION:

A report Wednesday from a coalition of groups working on fair treatment of people by the criminal justice system recommends the U.S. Department of Justice amend its guidelines to stop profiling of LGBT people and people with HIV by federal law enforcement agents. The “Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People with HIV,” was developed by former NGLTF Executive Director Urvashi Vaid and former AIDS Project Director at Lambda Legal Catherine Hanssens and others. DOJ announced in January it would revise its rules for federal agents to prohibit the use of sexual orientation and other characteristics to prompt investigations. In April, Attorney General Eric Holder said the department would begin to collect data on people stopped or arrested to “reduce” the possible effects of bias. But he did not make specific mention of LGBT bias. In a preface to the coalition report, former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous notes that New York City police have used “stop and frisk” practices against LGBT people. Another of the Roadmap’s authors, Andrea Ritchie, co-coordinator of the LGBT group Streetwise and Safe, said the coalition members have spoken with DOJ about some of their recommendations and look forward to conversations in the future.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Anti-Gay Ex-Drag Queen Candidate Steve Wiles Got 27 Percent of Vote in Failed Primary Bid

Steve Wiles, the anti-gay GOP candidate for the state senate in North Carolina who is opposed to same-sex marriage and is a former drag queen who went by the name Mona Sinclair, received 27.49 percent of the vote in yesterday's primary election in his very conservative District 31, but failed to win.

WilesWrote Wiles on Facebook on Sunday:

I'm impressed by the way this story was used to present me to the conservative right as a gay advocate while at the same time presenting me as anti-gay to the gay community. THAT...is talent! I am a Christian...I try to live a life that reflects my beliefs...I rarely, if ever, hit that mark! Meanwhile, I've maintained life-long friendships with a few people from the "club" days. One person springs to mind, although I will not call names, who is a former Miss Gay America, NC USofA and has performed successfully all of his adult life - he is one of the most loving men I've EVER known...Loving and accepting of everyone around him. He would do ANYTHING for his friends....I respect that in a person. He knows (and always has known) of my conservative stand on issues like gay marriage; he accepts that although he doesn't agree with me.

To some, I'll be known as a hard worker or a loving son...to some, I'll be known as someone who has always stood up for what I thought was right at the time - even if it was wrong! To some, I'll be known as a person who will ALWAYS admit my short-comings and my faults. To some, I'll be thought of as anti-gay...and to a select few, I'll just be a "fag." Know that no matter which group YOU fall into - I have no hard feelings toward you and respect, not only your opinion, but your right to have that opinion.


Wednesday Speed Read: Clay Aiken, Kathleen Kane, Brunei, Lorri Jean, Monica Lewinsky

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

C_aikenAIKEN SQUEAKS BY, BRANDON FALLS:

Openly gay candidate Clay Aiken was holding on to a slim lead at midnight last night in his bid to win the Democratic primary for the U.S. House seat for North Carolina’s Congressional District 2. The state elections office showed him just 369 votes ahead of businessman Keith Crisco. If the lead holds, he’ll have just over the 40 percent share of the vote needed to avoid a run-off. In Congressional District 12, where another openly gay candidate was running against six other Democratic candidates, Marcus Brandon fell into fourth place, with only eight percent of the vote.

KaneWALK-OUT ON IMPEACHMENT HEARING:

Democratic lawmakers walked out of a Republican-led hearing on a resolution of impeachment against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane Tuesday. Republicans sought to impeach Kane, a Democrat, because she announced last July that her office could not defend the state ban on same-sex marriage as constitutional. Democrats said the proceeding was a partisan attack.

BRUNEI BOYCOTT BUILDS:

JeanThe Human Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center had speakers at a rally Monday in front of the famed Beverly Hills Hotel. The rally was aimed at building support for a boycott of the two Los Angeles hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced on April 30 that his country would, in three phases, begin enforcing a new criminal code. The third phase, which will be enforced beginning next year, calls for people involved in homosexual relations to be stoned to death. HRC President Chad Griffin sent out a letter May 2 to various organizations with events planned at the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, urging them to relocate their events.

IT’S NOT JUST BRUNEI:

Lorri Jean, executive director of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, told Monday’s rally in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel that the problem is not “just about opposition to the Sultan and his barbarism.” “It’s about taking a stand against the religious intolerance and bigotry masquerading as religious freedom that destroys people’s lives,” said Jean. “It’s not OK in Brunei, or Beverly Hills, or Pasadena or Los Angeles.  And we must do more to stop it."

FIGHTING ONLINE HARASSMENT: Lewinsky

In a Vanity Fair article published online Tuesday, former White House intern Monica Lewinsky says she empathized with Tyler Clementi’s anguish in having his intimate relations with another man secretly recorded and held up to ridicule on social media. Lewinsky says her own public humiliation over having had a sexual affair with then President Bill Clinton prompted thoughts of suicide, too. But after hearing the news of Rutgers first-year student Clementi’s suicide, she writes, “my own suffering took on a different meaning.” “Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation.” She says she wants to “get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Anti-Gay GOP North Carolina Senate Candidate is Former Drag Queen, But is Totally Not Gay

Steve Wiles, A GOP candidate for the state senate in North Carolina who is opposed to same-sex marriage, is a former drag queen who went by the name Mona Sinclair, and he's totally not gay.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports: Wiles

“I have already apologized to the people who matter most to me for the things I did when I was young,” Wiles said this week, declining to clarify for what he has apologized. The comment was made in the last of three separate interviews. At first, Wiles denied the claim.

“That’s not me,” Wiles said three weeks ago, referring to Mona Sinclair. Wiles responded “no” when asked whether he was gay. This week, Wiles’ campaign website, Facebook page and Twitter handle were taken down.

For about 14 years until 2010, Club Odyssey on Country Club Road was a nightclub where gay, lesbian and straight clientele could spend some money on drinks, relax with friends and, weekly, watch a show with talented female impersonators.

Wiles was a frequent patron in the late 1990s, Duggins said. Around 2001 and 2002, Wiles worked for Duggins as the show director, booking performers and running the show as Mona Sinclair, the emcee. At the time, Tomlinson also knew Wiles.

More:

An online search for “Steven Wiles” and “Belews Creek,” the place he lists as his town of residence in campaign filings, turns up a link to the Miss Gay America website. Within the website, a webpage with Wiles’ name has been taken offline but the cached version was still accessible this week. The webpage lists a Steven Wiles as Mona Sinclair. It says he lives in Belews Creek and that he was a promoter of Miss Gay Eastern States America and a promoter for Miss Gay North Carolina America.

The webpage also says that Wiles was suspended for “conduct unbecoming to a promoter of the Miss Gay America pageant system,” according to the webpage, without providing more information.

Wiles explains himself in an interview with Business Insider:

"I think that everyone has their own choices to make and I'm fine with everyone making their own. For me, from a religious standpoint, just for my life, for me, it just was not something that I wanted to continue," Wiles said of his drag performances. "Of course it was an embarrassment, but you know, you move on. You live life, and you change, and you make yourself what you want yourself to be. And that's where I am now."

Wiles declined to answer when Business Insider asked whether he considers himself an "ex-gay."

"No, no, I really wont make any comments on that," he said.

Wiles posted this on Facebook early Sunday:

 


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