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IL Congressional Candidate Who Said Autism is God's Punishment for Gay Marriage Wins Primary


Towleroad readers may remember Susanna Atanus, a Republican congressional candidate from the Chicago area who made headlines in January for an interview she gave in which she offered a nutty perspective on gay rights and abortion:

"I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first," Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Atanus WON her primary, the Niles Herald-Spectator reports:

According to unofficial totals, Atanus received 15,238 votes to Williams’ 13,864 votes...

Republican leaders urged Atanus to leave the race, but she declined.

Her opponent, Williams, also met with controversy during the race when a Washington D.C. judge ruled Williams had stalked an ex-girlfriend and issued a domestic violence civil protection order against him, the website Evanston Now reported. Williams denied the allegations.

Atanus will face incumbent Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky in November's primary.

Illinois Republicans Who Voted For Same-Sex Marriage Under Political Attack


The rightwing fringe of the GOP continues to eat their own, this time in Illinois where the three Republican state representatives who voted in favor of same-sex marriage last fall are the targets of a series of attack ads that mock and condemn the reps for their vote.

Ron SandackThe ads are predictably homophobic in nature: one billboard ad from the group Illinois Family Action says "You can kiss the GOP goodbye with officials who vote like Democrats" next to an image of two men kissing, while Liberty Principles PAC sent out a mailer with a photograph of Rahm Emanuel in a leotard and the line "Now we know where [Representative] Ron Sandack learned how to dance." The PAC is spending $13,500 to attack Sandack.

When interviewed by ABC Chicago, Sandack said,

I'm trying to expand our party. I'm trying to win hearts and minds by being inclusive. And I think some folks don't like that.

In the meantime, LGBT advocacy group Equality Illinois' Illinois Unity PAC are backing Sandack and Ed Sullivan, Jr. with at least $150,000 in spending.

Oregon GOP Throws Cold Water on Republican Endorsement of Marriage Equality


On Sunday Towleroad reported on a landmark endorsement of marriage equality by Republican activists at the 50th Annual Dorchester Conference in Seaside, Oregon. Participants at the annual conference voted 233-162 in favor of supporting marriage equality.

The move was applauded by Freedom Oregon, a coalition of Republican leaders, and the Log Cabin Republicans.

OregonrepublicanpartyThe Oregon Republican Party was none too pleased, however, and issued this statement, signed by Oregon Republican Party State Chairman Art Robinson and Republican Party Congressional District 5 Chair Tyler Smith:

In response to questions from Republicans around the state of Oregon, the Oregon Republican Party would like to remind everyone that the Dorchester conference is not an official Republican party event. It is an event founded and run by former Senator Bob Packwood. Senator Packwood explained that he designed the conference to try to pull the Republican party to the left on policy issues and that he originally set it up as a protest to exclude the official Republican party. The Oregon Republican Party welcomes everyone into our party to debate the issues, but we desire to make it clear that we have an official party platform stating our positions on relevant issues. The platform of the Oregon Republican Party is debated and modified at our Convention and is always available to view on our website.

The Republican Party is proud to be known as the party of liberty. As the party of freedom, we believe that Americans should be free to live their lives as they wish, so long as they do not impede the freedom of others to do so. The state leadership of the Republican Party in Oregon continues to stand for freedom and religious liberty.

The Republican Party has been the champion of civil rights for 160 years including leading the great movements abolishing slavery and enacting civil rights legislation in the 1960’s. However, freedom also includes being free from having the institutions of government used to interfere in your life and redefine social institutions such as marriage, which people have built their societies around for thousands of years.

The institution of marriage being between men and women pre-dates government, and has continuously served as the foundation for family structure in ordered societies for thousands of years. We oppose the use of government to suppress and control your rights by interfering in bedrock social institutions.

We continue to ask everyone of every background to join the Republican Party to help us protect and preserve freedom, protect your religious liberty, and to prevent government overreach from destroying the institution of marriage and further taking away your rights through social engineering.

Oregon's marriage equality battle is headed to a climax in 2014. Not only are there efforts toward a ballot measure underway which must qualify by July 3, two couples filed suit against the state's gay marriage ban in October.

Oregon's attorney general Ellen Rosenblum said last month that she would not defend the state's gay marriage ban in court, joining several attorneys general around the country in viewing such laws as unconstitutional following the SCOTUS ruling in the Windsor DOMA case.

61 Percent Of Young Republicans Support Same-Sex Marriage

Following last week's news that more Americans support same-sex marriage than ever before comes a new poll this week from the Pew Research Center which reports that the majority of young Republicans feel the same way.

Some data from the survey:

FT_14.03.10_GayMarriageRepublican1Today, 61% of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage while just 35% oppose it. By contrast, just 27% of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

This generation gap among Republicans comes against a backdrop of rapidly changing public opinion overall on the issue. More than half the public (54%) now favors allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, a record high in Pew Research surveys, in keeping with findings from other recent polls. Democrats and Republicans remain on opposite sides of the issue, with 69% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents favoring same-sex marriage compared with 39% Republicans and Republican leaners. 

It isn't just marriage that younger members of the GOP feel differently about compared to their older counterparts:

Just 18% of Republicans under 30 say “more gay and lesbian couples raising children” is a bad thing for American society, while 26% say it is a good thing (56% either say it doesn’t make a difference or they don’t know). By comparison, majorities or pluralities of older Republicans say this trend is a bad thing for society.

Read all of the statistics from the Pew poll, conducted last month, here.

Jon Stewart Mocks the Wingnut Line-Up at CPAC: VIDEO


What do full stomachs, empty souls, and filthy Denny placemats have in common?

They're all on the minds of the wingnuts at CPAC, and Jon Stewart thoroughly relishes the opportunity to shred GOP heirs apparent, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, and Wayne LaPierre.

Check it all out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jon Stewart Mocks the Wingnut Line-Up at CPAC: VIDEO" »

Ralph Reed: Conservatives Can't Put the Gay Marriage Genie 'Back in the Bottle'

2_ralphreedMichelangelo Signorile interviewed former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed at CPAC on Friday and said that even though he believes the Republican party and every GOP candidate that will seek the nomination for president will be in favor of 'traditional marriage', he says a long sought after federal marriage amendment is dead in the water:

"Even if you passed a federal marriage amendment, I would assume it would grandfather in anyone who's been married, so I don't know. It was always a very difficult option. I don't think we ever got 50 votes in the U.S. Senate for that amendment. So, we always knew that the amendment was going to be very difficult to pass."

Reed added that trying to pass such an amendment would be "trying to put the genie back in the bottle."

Listen to Signorile's interview with Reed, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Ralph Reed: Conservatives Can't Put the Gay Marriage Genie 'Back in the Bottle'" »


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