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In A Stunning Display Of Hypocrisy, Sen. Ted Cruz Targets District Of Columbia's LGBT Protections

Cruz.Ted

Sen. Ted Cruz frequently rails against federal overreach and is a staunch defender of the right of states to ban same-sex marriage. 

However, Cruz now wants Congress to dictate how Washington, D.C., regulates LGBT and reproductive rights.

Cruz has introduced what are known as disapproval resolutions seeking to undo two laws passed by the D.C. Council last year. One of the laws would prevent employers from taking action against employees who use birth control or seek an abortion, while the other would remove a religious exemption to the district's LGBT protections.   

Senator Lankford Official Portrait - CopyAs hypocritical as they may be, Cruz's resolutions aren't going anywhere. In order to pass, they'd need approval from both chambers of Congress as well as President Barack Obama's signature. Rather, they appear to be more political posturing from Cruz as he prepares for a likely 2016 presidential campaign. 

The Washington Post reports: 

Although rarely successful at stopping D.C. laws, the resolutions are often more effective politically, giving members of Congress legislative records to build bona fides with constituent groups that feel strongly about the District’s often liberal stances on social issues. ... 

Freshman Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who co-introduced the measures, issued a statement Wednesday saying “what the D.C. Council has done is a major threat to the fundamental right to religious freedom for D.C. residents and organizations, and a brazen display of intolerance.”

Cruz declined to comment on the resolutions, but Lankford told WaPo the resolutions are in line with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last year in the Hobby Lobby case. In seeking to undo the laws, Cruz and Lankford have the support of anti-LGBT hate groups including the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council. 

Kimberly Perry, head of D.C. Vote, told WaPo the resolutions go against the very principles Cruz and Lankford normally champion, such as states' rights and local control:   

“Senators Cruz and Lankford’s move to disapprove a local District law is absurd and hypocritical,” Perry said. “They are now guilty of the same federal overreach they often criticize in others.”

Perry called on “every other member of Congress to step up and see this for exactly what it is — un-American and un-democratic.”

Coincidentally, Cruz appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers this week and explained his opposition to same-sex marriage: 

"Listen, I'm a constitutionalist," Cruz said. "For over 200 years, marriage has been a question for the states. Now, personally I believe in traditional marriage between one man and one woman, but if you want to change the marriage laws, the way to do it constitutionally is to convince your fellow citizens, go to the state legislature and change it. It shouldn't be the federal government or unelected judges imposing their own definition of marriage." 

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "In A Stunning Display Of Hypocrisy, Sen. Ted Cruz Targets District Of Columbia's LGBT Protections " »


Oklahoma State Rep. Wants to Require Anti-LGBT Businesses to Post Notice of Intent to Discriminate

Virgin

If you're going to side with Sally Kern, you might as well own up to it. 

Oklahoma State Rep. Emily Virgin is hoping to add an amendment to a proposed "license to discriminate" bill that would require businesses planning on refusing service to LGBT customers to first post a public notice of their intent to discriminate, The Gaily reports:

Language of the amendment: "B.  Any person not wanting to participate in any of the activities set forth in subsection A of this section based on sexual orientation, gender identity or race of either party to the marriage shall post notice of such refusal in a manner clearly visible to the public in all places of business, including websites.  The notice may refer to the person’s religious beliefs, but shall state specifically which couples the business does not serve by referring to a refusal based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or race."

“Thank you to Representative Virgin for calling out the level of segregation allowed under this legislation," said Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of LGBT advocacy group Freedom Oklahoma. "If the state of Oklahoma is going to protect discrimination, then at the very least, businesses should be required to own their bias, and post it publicly for the world to see.”

For more on the ongoing fight over LGBT rights in Oklahoma, check out KFOR's news report AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t Raw Story]

Continue reading "Oklahoma State Rep. Wants to Require Anti-LGBT Businesses to Post Notice of Intent to Discriminate" »


Matt Baume(s) Spill the Tea on Why Anti-Gay Politicians Always Brag About Having Gay Friends: VIDEO

Baume

In a new video, Marriage News Watch's Matt Baume has a late night gab with his roommates to dish on Oklahoma state Sen. Joseph Silk's belief that LGBT people "don't have a right to be served in every single store" and the wider issue of homophobic politicians like Silk always bringing up their hypothetical "gay friend" when discussing anti-LGBT views or legislation. 

Join the gaggle, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Matt Baume(s) Spill the Tea on Why Anti-Gay Politicians Always Brag About Having Gay Friends: VIDEO" »


Oklahoma House Votes To End Marriage Licenses To Avoid Issuing Them To Gay Couples

Russ.Todd

The state of Oklahoma would no longer issue marriage licenses under legislation approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday. 

The bill, which is designed so that the state doesn't have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, passed the House 67-24. 

The Tulsa World reports: 

House Bill 1125, by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell (above), would instead require those officiating marriage ceremonies to file "certificates of marriage" after the fact. Alternately, couples could file affidavits of common law marriage.

Russ said his bill is in response to county clerks who do not want to marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"This takes them out of the trap," he said.

Troy Stevenson, executive director of the LGBT group Freedom Oklahoma, issued the following statement

"This legislation puts ALL couples - who plan to marry in Oklahoma – at risk of being denied hundreds of federal legal rights and protections, if it were to become law. The federal government and other states will not be required to acknowledge these proposed ‘marriage certificates.’ This legislation will only result in mass confusion from clerk’s offices to courtrooms around the nation - while putting Oklahoma families at risk. In the past six months, the freedom to marry has been the law of the land in Oklahoma, and not a single marriage has been at risk - until now, and it is our elected officials who are creating the danger.”

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit that brought marriage equality to Oklahoma had a slightly different take

"The animus behind House Bill 1125 is a far greater concern than the content of the bill itself. Practically speaking, lawmakers are saying they so desperately want not to recognize same-sex marriages that they are willing to alter the entire marriage licensing process in Oklahoma just to give themselves an out. They're not making marriage harder for same-sex couples alone; this affects all marriage applicants. That said, if Oklahoma lawmakers wish us to jump through a different set of hurdles to marry than the present hurdles just so they can sleep better at night having done their part to fight off the inevitable growing tide of acceptance of same-sex marriage, we gay and lesbian couples, now equal under the law, will oblige.

Read the full text of HB 1125, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

HB1125 HFLR


Anti-Gay OK Senator Says He'll Always Protect Your Right To Be Homosexual (And Be Discriminated Against)

Silk

Oklahoma state Sen. Joseph Silk doesn't believe LGBT people "have a right to be served in every single store." 

However, Silk now says he'll always protect their right to be homosexual, even though he still believes the LGBT movement is "a threat to our freedoms and liberties in the United States and Oklahoma."

Silk, the author of the "Oklahoma Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015," sparked outrage this week when he told The New York Times

“The L.G.B.T. movement is the main thing, the primary thing that’s going to be challenging religious liberties and the freedom to live out religious convictions. And I say that sensitively, because I have homosexual friends. ... 

“They don’t have a right to be served in every single store. People need to have the ability to refuse service if its violates their religious convictions.”

After Silk's comments went viral, he responded with a post on his website, in which he says the bill actually "has nothing to do with" LGBT people, even though they are making themselves out to be "the only target." 

"People have a right to be homosexual and I will always protect that," Silk writes. "However that right does not give them an excuse to trample another person's right to live out thier (sic) religious beliefs in their place of business."

Silk goes on to say that the LGBT movement has "zero tolerance" for other people's rights and is "a threat to our freedoms and liberties in the United States and Oklahoma." 

"I am not questioning the rights of the LGBT movement, I believe they have the right to live how they want to live," Silk writes. "They on the other hand, are launching a massive campaign that is attempting to strip other peoples (sic) individual liberties away if they hold different beliefs...this is complete intolerance.

"Yes I did say that homosexuals do not have the right to be served in every store, just as I do not believe that I nor my family have the right to be served in every private business," he writes. "The right to provide services should be the decision of the business owners. We need to keep our country free and stop this radical, intolerant, movement."  

Based on his statements, it's safe to assume Silk doesn't want any LGBT customers (or even their allies) at the business he manages, which is called Beavers Bend Getaways and consists of luxury vacation properties in the Broken Bow Lake area of Oklahoma. The Facebook page for Beavers Bend Getaways, owned by Silk's father, is here


Oklahoma Lawmakers Advance Anti-Gay Bills Aimed At Stopping Same-Sex Marriage

In an uproar over federal court rulings striking down bans on same-sex marriage, Oklahoma lawmakers in the state's House Judiciary Committee voted to release two pieces of legislation that would make it virtually impossible for same-sex couples in the Sooner State to get married. The two bills would have the state discontinue issuing all marriage licenses and also forbid all local and state employees from complying with any federal court's order in favor of same-sex marriage. Tulsa World reports:

KernOne of the bills’ authors, Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said forcing states to acknowledge marriage equality violates the U.S. Constitution. Kern quoted the Declaration of Independence’s reference to “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” and said marriages of other than one man and one woman violate both.

Her bill, House Bill 1599, would require the immediate dismissal and forfeiture of pension of any state or local government employee who recognizes, grants or enforces a “same-sex marriage license.”

The “Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act,” as HB 1599 is styled, also bars the use of public funds for “enforcing any court order requiring the issuance or recognition of a same-sex marriage license,” and orders the immediate removal from office of any judge who violates the provisions of the bill.

It also orders state courts to “immediately dismiss” any challenge to the law and assess costs against the plaintiffs.

Finally, it says the act shall remain in effect despite “any contrary federal court ruling.”

The bill passed 5-3 along party lines, with one Republican member, Terry O’Donnell of Catoosa, not voting.

The second bill, HB 1125, would redefine how the state recognizes marriages and who would be allowed to officially recognize them:

Oklahoma-printable-flagIt would do away with marriage licenses, and instead depend on those conducting marriages to submit marriage certificates. Alternately, couples could file affidavits of common-law marriage.

The new language allows judges to perform marriages, as well as clergy or “ecclesiastical dignitaries.”

Russ said he proposed the bill to protect court clerks and other government employees who did not want to be involved in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson suggested that these anti-gay bills are a distraction from real woes facing Oklahoma:

"In the same week that we find out that the State of Oklahoma is facing a budget deficit of over $600 million, our lawmakers are wasting time - and taxpayer money - pushing a vindictive agenda against LGBT Oklahomans. The battle for the freedom to marry was long and hard-fought, but it is over, it is decided, and it is high time we addressed the real crisis facing our state. Legislators on both sides of this issue acknowledged at the committee hearing, that these pieces of legislation do not pass constitutional muster. And will trigger costly litigation that Oklahoma cannot afford and will lose. This is a futile effort to hurt Oklahomans and it is time we called this what it is - a mean-spirited distraction from the real problems facing our state."

Looks like Mike Huckabee isn't the only one who doesn't understand the concept of judicial supremacy. Maybe Huckabee and Oklahoma lawmakers should listen to this constitutional law professor explain how it works.


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