05/21/2015

Federal Judge Orders Pro-Equality Marriage Ruling to Apply Statewide in Alabama

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U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade, the federal judge who opened the door to marriage equality in Alabama earlier this year before the state Supreme Court halted all same-sex marriages with in a "defiant" ruling, has a new order out clarifying that her ruling applies to all couples in the state. 

Granade, however, put the ruling on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court issues its marriage decision, which is expected sometime late June. 

BuzzFeed reports:

In a series of orders, Granade first granted a request to expand a marriage case that had covered one county statewide to all probate judges, who are responsible for the issuance of marriage licenses in the state.

She then went on to declare the marriage ban unconstitutional, yet again and issue an injunction stopping state officials from “enforcing the Alabama laws which prohibit or fail to recognize same-sex marriage.”

David Dinielli, deputy legal director for the SPLC, adds

"Judge Granade’s ruling is decisive and definitive. It ends the chaos and confusion that Attorney General Strange and Chief Justice Moore have intentionally caused through their reckless rejection of federal constitutional principles....“As soon as the United States Supreme Court issues its ruling in June, Judge Granade’s decision will go into effect, and probate judges in every county of Alabama will be bound by a federal court order to comply with constitutional principles of fairness and equality."

Posted May. 21,2015 at 6:30 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (6)


Texas Republican Comes Out For Gay Marriage As State House Passes 'Pastor Protection Act'

Davis

The first Republican Texas lawmaker in history has come out in support of same-sex marriage. 

GOP Rep. Sarah Davis, who represents a Houston-area district and had previously expressed support for civil unions, came out for marriage equality in an interview Thursday about her decision not to sign a hateful anti-gay letter issued by the House Republican Caucus last week.  

The Texas Observer reports: 

“I just don’t agree with the sentiment of the letter,” Davis told the Observer. “I don’t feel the need to pass legislation or vote for legislation that prohibits two adults who love each other to be able to be joined in a civil union or marriage. It does not affect my marriage.” ... 

Davis noted that she’s received endorsements from two LGBT groups, Log Cabin Republicans and Equality Texas. She was the first Republican to receive Equality Texas’ endorsement, a decision that drew criticism from some LGBT advocates, in part because she hadn’t come out for same-sex marriage.

“I haven’t had an opportunity to vote, but I’ve spoken about the issue,” Davis said. “In situations where I’ve been asked, I’ve always stated my position, so I don’t think this is new ground that I’ve just staked out.”

Meanwhile, the Texas House on Thursday approved the so-called "Pastor Protection Act" in a 141-2 vote. The state's two openly LGBT lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, including Democratic Rep. Celia Israel, who said on the House floor: 

Israel.Celia"Let me reassure those pastors out there: Some fine day, my partner and I are going to get married in the great state of Texas. The Supreme Court will hopefully take care of that issue for us. When that day comes, rest assured to those pastors and preachers who take a more literal interpretation of the Bible, that my partner and I will not be going to them to bless our unions. I will be going to someone who loves us and respects us for who we are and the way in which we have taken care of one another. So if we see this issue as a reiteration of what is in the United States Constitution, which is a respect for religion, this Roman Catholic urges you to vote yes." 

The anti-LGBT Texas Pastor Council issued a hateful statement celebrating passage of the Pastor Protection Act:  

Screen shot 2015-05-21 at 4.32.59 PM"This bill is a small step of protection in a much larger war against religious freedom raging across America and well underway in Texas," said Dave Welch, President of Texas Pastor Council Action, an ethnically and denominationally diverse coalition involving pastors in all major cities in Texas. "We are very pleased that SB 2065 survived efforts to weaken its scope that does nothing more than puts in Texas law protections for pastors to do what we have been doing since the birth of this nation - exercise our faith in obedience to God and with the support of our Constitution and laws."

Welch said they plan to revisit other bills that died during the session, particularly if the U.S. Supreme Court "goes rogue" and overturns Article 1, Section 32 of the Texas Constitution defining marriage as a union only of one man and one woman. "We will not yield on inch of the rights given us by God, the freedoms purchased by the blood of patriots and part of our national DNA to those attempting to recreate our moral laws, culture and laws according to those with a deviant sexual lifestyle or gender confused." 

Posted May. 21,2015 at 6:01 PM EST by in Austin, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, LGBT Rights, Religion, Religious Liberty Bills, Republican Party, Texas | Permalink | Comments (11)


Anti-gay Activist Josh Duggar Allegedly Admitted to Sexually Abusing Sisters

Duggar

Update: Josh has resigned from his position at the Family Research Council as a result of the accusations. 

Yesterday, we reported Josh Duggar, the oldest son of reality TV's 19 Kids and Counting clan, was allegedly investigated for sexual abuse several years ago involving underage girls. Reports indicated that the allegations came from none other than Duggar patriarch Jim Bob, who brought his then 17-year-old son into the Arkansas State Police Station and spoke with a state trooper saying Josh was involved in inappropriate contact with a minor

Josh, who currently serves as executive director of the anti-gay hate group Family Research Council's lobbying arm, was not charged because the state trooper involved in the allegations didn't follow up on the case (the trooper was later convicted on child pornography charges and is currently serving 56 years in prison.)

With more information coming in, TMZ says it has learned some of the girls Josh allegedly molested were his sisters:

According to the police report, Josh fondled the genitals and breasts of the girls, some of whom were sleeping, but sometimes they were interacting with him ... in one case reading a book.  

There was another reported incident 9 months later. According to the police report, the police were not immediately contacted. Instead, Jim  Bob, the dad, met with church elders and agreed Josh should be put in a treatment program.  The police report says Josh's mom, Michelle, said it wasn't really a treatment center ... they simply sent Josh to a guy who was remodeling a building to do manual labor.

NY Daily News adds:

Duggar1The family secret finally came out because of the discovery of a letter written by a family friend with knowledge of the incident. The letter was placed inside a book which was later loaned to a member of the Duggar family’s church.

In 2006, the Duggar family was scheduled to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. Prior to their appearance, an email was sent to Harpo Studios to alert them of the alleged sexual abuse.

The studio then faxed the letter to the Department of Human Services hotline, which led to the Springfield police opening an investigation. But this probe came to an end because the three-year statute of limitations had expired.

According to TMZ's account of the police report, one of the Duggar family members told investigators "this entire incident had brought the family closer to God." 

The 27-year-old is married with three children. 

[bottom photo via Instagram]

Posted May. 21,2015 at 5:30 PM EST by in Arkansas, Family Research Council, Josh Duggar | Permalink | Comments (21)


Michigan Church Leader's Anti-Gay Hypocrisy Exposed After Grindr Profile Surfaces

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A married, anti-gay reverend found his hypocrisy exposed after his Grindr profile surfaced and was subsequently spread across the internet reports Salon. Matthew Makela, reverend of St. John's Lutheran Church and father of five, wrote a letter to Midland Daily News in November saying gay people need help:

"We don’t tell a person born with tendencies to abuse alcohol to keep on giving in to his innate desires because he can’t help it. We try to help him in his struggle."

However, a source submitted screenshots to Queerty confirming that Makela has a profile on Grindr and sent shirtless pictures. Makela's profile information indicated that he wasn't just online for some friendly banter:

"I love making out naked, oral and massage. And I top. Also love to cuddle." 

Makela resigned from his position with the church last Sunday. The senior pastor of the Midland, Mich. church, Reverend Daniel Kempin, posted a statement regarding Makela’s indiscretion on the church's website, urging followers to "be patient and trust God," when confronted with the "details of the sin," in media.

In related news, a Michigan mother who used to be a parishioner of the church has come forward revealing that Makela nearly drover her gay son to suicide because of the church leader's outspoken anti-gay preaching. 

(Photo via Queerty/Grindr)

Posted May. 21,2015 at 5:00 PM EST by in Discrimination, Grindr, Michigan, Religion | Permalink | Comments (19)


Ireland Marriage Equality Referendum Round-up: VIDEO

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After months of unpleasantness, questionable debate and outright lies from the No side, the referendum is almost upon us and the media moratorium is in place.

While many in Ireland are wondering what the likes of The Journal will do for content after the weekend, here's a roundup of some of yesterday's stories.

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PMPaddy Manning, one of the two anti-equality gay men frequently trotted out by the No side to argue against same-sex marriage, yesterday joined representatives from Mothers and Fathers Matter, The lona [Fake] Institute and First Families First at the final No Campaign press conference in Dublin, followed by a demonstration outside of government buildings.

Along with gay anti-gay activist Keith Mills - who will be too busy attending Eurovision to actually bother to vote - Manning also appeared in a creepy recent Mothers and Fathers Matter video “I’m Gay and I’m Voting No”.

 

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Meanwhile - comedian Steve Bennett has made a response to the infuriating video: “I'm homophobic and I'm voting Yes. Here's why.”

“Some homophobes want to ruin it for everybody by voting No and not allowing us to have a big laugh at gay weddings. I studied homophobia and geography in college and I learned all the words for them…”

 

Read more, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

Continue reading "Ireland Marriage Equality Referendum Round-up: VIDEO"

Posted May. 21,2015 at 4:40 PM EST by in Gay Marriage, Gay Marriage Quotes, Ireland, Video | Permalink | Comments (13)


News: TSwift, Barbra Streisand, Mean Girls, GOP Debate, Survivor

Road Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" music video has set a new Vevo record, garnering 20.1 million views in 24 hours. 

PaulRoad POLITICO dissects Rand Paul's 10 1/2 hour "filibuster" last night against government surveillance. "His decision to speak while the Senate was still dealing with a trade bill, in some ways, gives Paul the best of both worlds: commanding the Senate stage for hours on end without antagonizing the Republican leader from his home state — who has been a key ally — or jeopardizing his colleagues’ vacation plans."

Road Matt Bomer flaunts his magic muscles while on vacation with husband Simon Halls. 

Road The BBC looks at why Ireland is having a national referendum on same-sex marriage. "Many question the wisdom of putting the rights of a minority up to a vote of a majority. Furthermore, there is some dispute about whether a referendum is legally necessary; after all, other countries have simply changed the law. But Ireland has quite an extensive written constitution and it can be amended only by process of national referendum. The constitution does not define marriage as being between a man and a woman, but there is uncertainty over whether any legislation extending marriage rights could be open to legal challenge in the Supreme Court. It is likely that a cautious government opted for direct engagement with the electorate by referendum rather than running the gauntlet of producing legislation on marriage equality, which could have been struck down by the courts and then would have needed to be put to a referendum in any case."

Road Barbra Streisand to pen memoir in 2017.  

Road Gay rodeo tests tolerance in Arkansas. "For years, no one would allow us to advertise it," said Sandy Bidwell, president of the Diamond State event, for fear protesters would create a disturbance. "My attitude is, let them. It's free advertising." This year, they put up a sign directing traffic to the event, and no protesters came. 

MeangirlsRoad Regina George's Mean Girls mansion is up for sale for $14.8 million. Get in loser, we're going shopping.

Road J.K. Rowling and Matthew Lewis have funny Twitter exchange over the actor's sexy photo shoot with Attitude

Road Is Brad Pitt a secret bisexual?  

Road Mike Huckabee pens op-ed in the Des Moines Register announcing he will not participate in the Iowa Straw Poll later this year, saying the vote "will serve only to weaken conservative candidates and further empower the Washington ruling class and their handpicked candidates." You'll recall Michele Bachmann won the poll back in 2011 before finishing sixth in the Iowa caucuses five months later. 

Road Sen. Claire McCaskill is "done" with Game of Thrones

Road Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson caught lying about her age and background

Road Fox and CNN set the criteria for the first two GOP debates. "Fox will accept the top 10 contenders, based on their poll numbers, for the first debate in Cleveland Aug. 6. Entrants must have formally registered for a presidential campaign with the Federal Election Commission and have paid all necessary federal and state filing fees. CNN announced a two-tier system for its Sept. 16 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The top 10 candidates will debate in one group, and the remaining candidates will face off in another. Each candidate must poll at 1 percent or higher. CNN requires debate participants to have at least one paid campaign staffer in two of the early voting states and have visited two of those states at least once."

SurvivorRoad See which returning players made the cut for Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance

Road From contraception to gay nuptials,  The New Yorker examines the Supreme Court's ongoing debate over privacy, reproduction, and marriage. "The coincidence of the fiftieth anniversary of the Court’s ruling in Griswold and its anticipated decision in Obergefell makes this, inescapably, an occasion for considering the past half century of legal reasoning about reproductive and gay rights. The cases that link Griswold to Obergefell are the product of political movements that have been closely allied, both philosophically and historically. That sex and marriage can be separated from reproduction is fundamental to both movements, and to their legal claims."

Road Ultra-orthodox Israeli press edits out female lawmakers from photographs.

Road With the takeover of the city of Palmyra, the Islamic State now controls over half of Syria

Posted May. 21,2015 at 3:32 PM EST by in News | Permalink | Comments (9)


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