When the Supreme Court overturned Section 3 of DOMA earlier this year, that should have instigated progress for the lawsuit filed by two gay couples in Oklahoma challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Predictably, Oklahoma is still stalling, nine years after the lawsuit was first filed, and the Tulsa court is refusing to issue a hearing date for Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin. U.S. District Court Judge Terence Kern (no relation to the reprehensible state Rep. Sally Kern) is charged with overseeing the case and has apparently been unresponsive to Bishop and Baldwin's lawyer and didn't respond to a call from the Associated Press.
The New York-based Satanic Temple that held a "pink mass" over the grave of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelp's mother to turn her "gay for all eternity" has started a $20,000 IndieGogo campaign to place a Satanic Monument near the Oklahoma capitol to compliment the Ten Commandments monument currently on the north lawn.
The existing Ten Commandments monument, donated to the Capitol Preservation Commission in 2009 by Mike Ritze, a representative of the Oklahoma State Legislature and ordained Southern Baptist Deacon, has raised the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who filed suit in August of 2013, noting that, “the monument stands alone, with no other monuments or memorials in the immediate vicinity.” Also of concern to the ACLU is the “self-evidently exclusive” religious message “that supports and endorses the faiths and creeds of some churches and sects.” We believe that in being allowed to place our monument within the proximity of the Ten Commandments monument, we can appease the ACLU’s concerns.
By accepting our offer, the good people of Oklahoma City will have the opportunity to show that they espouse the basic freedoms spelled out in the Constitution. We imagine that the ACLU will also embrace such a response. Allowing us to donate a monument would show that the Oklahoma City Council does not discriminate, and both the religious and non-religious should be happy with such an outcome. Our mission is to bring people together by finding common sentiments that create solutions that everyone can appreciate and enjoy.
Donors to the Indiegogo campaign will receive official Satanic Temple t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, buttons, membership cards and framed certificates of membership with a wax seal.
(image via the Satanic Temple Indiegogo page)
This week Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced that the state's National Guard would deny spousal benefits to all couples in order to avoid serving gay couples.
In a segment last night, Stephen Colbert brilliantly took down that dumb and bigoted policy.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
"Governor Fallin is setting a great precedent here....Because once a gay person gets something, it gets their gay all over it. That's why I think we should shut down the fire department. If I find out that firefighters also rescue gay people, suddenly it'll seem gay for me to have their calendar.
And... what about schools. I've heard that some of these newfangled gays also have kids that go to school. They're learning the same math as my kids, all so they can go home and count the number of mommies they have.
And folks we wouldn't even have this problem if gays weren't allowed in the military. So no one should be allowed in the military. I say we let those drones do all the work. They're still months away from developing a sexual preference...
Governor Fallin, I heard that gay people in Oklahoma enjoy the scent of your state flower the Oklahoma Rose just as much as straight people do. So you should order everyone in your state to cut off their noses to spite the gays. Cause you're kind of doing it already.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Yesterday we told you about Texas' National Guard denying housing benefits to service members in same-sex relationships, furthering a protracted battle being waged by southern states attempting to shirk Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's orders, issued in the wake of the Supreme Court's gutting of section 3 of DOMA, that same-sex couples must receive the same federal benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. Now it appears that Oklahoma will drop all spousal benefits for National Guardsmen and women, regardless of whether they are in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships, so as to avoid having to comply with Hagel's order.
As ThinkProgress reports, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) insists that complying with the federal government's orders to provide benefits to same-sex couples would violate the state's ban on same-sex marriage and "the will of the people":
FALLIN: Oklahoma law is clear. The state of Oklahoma does not recognize same-sex marriages, nor does it confer marriage benefits to same-sex couples. The decision reached today allows the National Guard to obey Oklahoma law without violating federal rules or policies. It protects the integrity of our state constitution and sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply ignore our laws or the will of the people.
Fallin’s tactic mirrors other attempts to punish an entire group to avoid serving the gay community. When marriage equality came to the District of Columbia, Catholic Charities decided to stop offering partner benefits to all employees to avoid having to provide them to any employee’s same-sex spouse. In various states, Catholic Charities has also abandoned all adoption services to avoid having to provide them to same-sex couples.
Schools have also employed this strategy to try to block gay-straight alliances from forming. In 2011, for example, Flour Bluff Independent School District in Corpus Christi, Texas considered banning all extracurricular clubs to avoid allowing a GSA to form.
The Oklahoma City Theatre Company will be releasing a production of "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" to run December 5-22, and some of the pastors in the area are taking offense. The play tells the story of Adam and Steve, who leave the Garden of Eden to encounter the Earth's first inhabitants, a pair of lesbians named Jane and Mabel. Reverend Steve Kern cannot abide what he is calling an "open display of intolerance, irreverence and disrespect for the faith of the majority of citizens of this city,” and has organized a prayer protest to take place on December 6 outside the theater.
Rev. Kern, husband of the reprehensible Sally "Gays are worse than terrorists" Kern, insists that it will be a peaceful, quiet protest with no "yelling or screaming anything." What Kern is precisely protesting is uncertain, particularly since the nudity has been removed from this production, but the fact that the play has any sort of positive gay theme seems to be enough. Without a trace of irony or ounce of self-awarness, Kern said, “I just feel like we as Christians need to begin speaking out publicly about things like this. We've been silent for far too long.”
The theater company's artistic director Rachel Irick is unfazed by all the hoopla. In fact, she finds it all interesting as they've "never been protested to this extent." While the prayer vigil doesn't bother her in the slightest and will have no impact on the show proceeding as planned, she did have a rather insightful remark: “Have they considered Christ's words in Matthew 6:5? Christ never spoke against homosexuals, but he did condemn praying on street corners for the purpose of being seen.”
A Chickasha, Oklahoma man was doing some late-night shopping at his local Walmart with his boyfriend when a curious janitor stopped him to ask questions about homosexuality.
The man, Jonathan Pacheco, engaged with the Walmart employee but realized that things were going south when the janitor said that in his Bible, "it is Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," that theologically-sound argument against the sins of homosexuality.
The unnamed employee then told Pacheco that he wasn't allowed in his store and told him to leave. Pacheco laughed the incident off after reporting the incident to two different store managers, but was concerned that neither took down any information.
Said Pacheco to The Express-Star, "I feel like I can't go anywhere now. Out of all the stores I go to, Walmart is the one that is prejudiced against someone's sexual orientation. I mean, come on."
The paper added:
Spokesperson for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Kayla Whaling confirmed the company is investigating the incident.
"We are still in the process of talking to all who were involved," she said. "As soon as we are finished we will take the appropriate measures."