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Gay Couples Denied Marriage Licenses In Greenville, South Carolina: VIDEO

Greenvillle1

Last week, six gay and lesbian couples applied for marriage licenses at a local courthouse in Greenville, South Carolina, knowing full well that their requests would immediately be denied. And they were.

The protest campaign, named "We Do" and spearheaded by the Campaign for Southern Equality, was inspired by Monday's decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down Virginia’s gay marriage ban. That ruling has jurisdiction over South Carolina.

The very next day, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said he would continue to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Greenville2The Greenville News reports on other movements in the state:

On Wednesday S.C. Equality announced a petition drive to encourage Wilson to change his mind. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Hooper announced on Monday he would not defend North Carolina's ban.

"Instead of spending money on our state's crumbling infrastructure or improving education and access to healthcare in our state, Attorney General Wilson plans to waste our tax dollars defending a ban that will ultimately be struck down," said Ryan Wilson, S.C. Equality executive director.

You can sign the petition here.

According to the Campaign for Southern Equality, roughly 150 people showed up to counter-protest the gay and lesbian couples during the "We Do" event.

Watch a WSAV-TV news segment about it all, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Gay Couples Denied Marriage Licenses In Greenville, South Carolina: VIDEO" »


SC Attorney General Will Continue to Defend State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has said that he will continue to fight a lawsuit aiming to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage despite a ruling by a federal appeals court, reports The Daily Journal.

Unlike Wilson, yesterday North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced he would no longer defend the state's ban in court. There are four lawsuits currently challenging it in North Carolina.

South Carolina passed a law banning same-sex marriage in 1996. Voters approved a similar constitutional amendment in 2006.

Yesterday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ruling has jurisdiction over South Carolina which is in the circuit, along with North Carolina and West Virginia.

The lawsuit against South Carolina was filed by a Katherine Bradacs and Tracie Goodwin who were legally married in Washington, D.C., and are now living in South Carolina. The case has been on hold while the appeals court considered the Virginia case.

Mark Powell, a spokesman for Wilson, said he sees no need to change course because the U.S. Supreme Court will likely make the final decision.

"Ultimately, this will be a decision for the U.S. Supreme Court. People should not rush to act or react until that time, when a decision is made by the highest court in the land.”

However, according to Ryan Wilson, executive director of South Carolina Equality, the ruling brings the state one step closer to same-sex marriage and “confirms that gay and lesbian couples are no different from straight couples.”

Last October, Linda Oliver, the mayor of West Union, South Carolina, came under fire for saying that she didn't want "queer" marriages "rammed down her throat."

Watch a Wavy.com report on the striking down of Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "SC Attorney General Will Continue to Defend State's Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »


South Carolina Police Chief Crystal Moore, Fired For Being Lesbian, Officially Reinstated

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After a two-month controversy, former Latta, South Carolina police chief Crystal Moore has returned to her old position despite a temporary firing by Mayor Earl Bullard. Following a successful vote on Friday, wherein the Town Council overturned Bullard's firing of Moore and hiring of a new police chief, Moore was officially reinstated. Head to the twitter feed of SC reporter Liz Cooper, who live tweeted the event, where many Latta citizens showed their support for Moore, a town fixture who has held her position for 23 years.

In addition to Cooper's photos, SC Equality has a couple shots featuring Moore. Check them out, AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t HuffPo]

Continue reading "South Carolina Police Chief Crystal Moore, Fired For Being Lesbian, Officially Reinstated" »


South Carolina Police Chief Crystal Moore, Fired For Being Lesbian, Reinstated By Town Vote

Crystal moore police chief fired for being gay

Residents of Latta, South Carolina, yesterday voted to reinstate police chief Crystal Moore, who was fired by Latta mayor Earl Bullard in April for reasons that many residents claim had to do with her sexuality.

Today however, Bullard installed a new police chief in defiance of the voters' decision. 

Bullard caused controversy last month when after seven reprimands he fired Moore, alleging that she failed to maintain order. The mayor also questioned Moore’s authority. Moore maintained that she had not failed in her duties and that the reprimands were the first she had received in her 23 year career.

Bullard's decision to remove Moore from her position came as a council member released a recorded phone call in which the mayor said that he would prefer to leave his children with an alcoholic over someone whose "lifestyle is questionable."

According to Ryan Wilson, the director of South Carolina Equality, it’s clear from the recording “that the mayor has some very anti-LGBT or anti-gay feelings. I think the mayor owes an apology to the thousands of South Carolinians who are gay and transgender, particularly the ones who live in the town of Latta.”

A town grievance committee reviewed the evidence last week but found no conclusion could be reached regarding Bullard’s decision.

Crystal moore facebook pageHowever, hundreds of the town’s 1,400 residents vocally supported Moore and a website was set up to help her with living expenses and potential legal costs.

On Monday, Moore wrote on Facebook: “Remember to VOTE, June 24th in Latta, across from Town Hall 7am-7pm. Please vote “Yes”. I am so ready to go back to work to serve and protect our town. This "Yes" vote means I will be back."

Despite today's actions by Bullard, the vote will be certified this Friday, changing the town’s government structure from “mayor-strong” to “council-strong”, at which point the council will assume all hiring and firing capacity. 

The Council has already indicated that it intends to rehire Moore.



Thursday Speed Read: NOM and Oregon, Idaho Stay, Arkansas, Lorri Jean, South Carolina, Give Out Day

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

McshaneJUDGE SAYS NO TO NOM:

U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane yesterday denied the National Organization for Marriage motion to serve as intervenor to defend Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage. McShane, who is openly gay, held a hearing on two consolidated lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the ban. Because the state attorney general said her office could not vouch for the ban’s constitutionality, no one argued in its defense. McShane is expected to issue his decision on that issue soon and, if he finds it unconstitutional, same-sex couples may be able to obtain marriage licenses right away. NOM has said it will appeal McShane’s ruling on the intervenor motion to the Ninth Circuit.

Flag_idahoIDAHO RUSHES TO APPEAL FOR STAY:

Idaho Governor Butch Otter is also on his way to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Otter is appealing the decision Wednesday by Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale to deny his request that she stay her decision striking the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Dale’s ruling on the ban, issued Tuesday, will go into effect Friday morning unless Otter is able to secure a stay from the federal appeals court.

Arkansas_supremeARKANSAS COMPLICATIONS:

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a petition from the state’s attorney general for an emergency stay of a county circuit judge’s May 9 ruling that two state laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. The high court said that, for procedural reasons, the supreme court does not yet have jurisdiction. Responding to the attorney general’s argument that county clerks around the state are uncertain as to whether they should issues licenses or wait for the results of an appeal, the supreme court noted that Judge Chris Piazza’s ruling said nothing about a separate Arkansas law “and its prohibitions against circuit and county clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses.” Jack Wagoner, an attorney for the 12 plaintiff couples, told the Arkansas Times he’d be in court today to “fix” the problem. “How can you find something unconstitutional,” said Wagoner, “but not affect a statute that would require the clerks to do something unconstitutional?”

JeanANOTHER VOICE ON ENDA FRAILTY:

Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center Executive Director Lorri Jean, speaking to “An Evening with Women” event on Saturday, had this to say about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: “Religious freedom does not include the freedom to oppress other people. These kinds of fundamentalist forces are behind efforts to gut what laws we do have in this country that protect LGBT people from discrimination….Even our own Employment Non-Discrimination Act—the only federal law currently being proposed to protect LGBT people—includes a broad religious exemption. It was put into ENDA eight years ago, expressly to weaken it. It does not belong there today.” Former NGLTF Executive Director Matt Foreman said Monday he thinks LGBT leaders should “pull the plug” on the current version of ENDA, saying it is “essentially a lifeless corpse.”

SouthcarolinaSOUTH CAROLINA SENATE RESTORES FUNDS:

The South Carolina Senate on Wednesday approved a state budget Tuesday that restores the $70,000 cut from the funding for two public universities over their use of books with positive depictions of gay people. But according to the State newspaper, the senate stipulated that the restored funds should be used to teach the constitution and other founding documents.

A DAY TO GIVE “OUT” TO LGBT COMMUNITY:

Today is “Give Out Day,” an event scheduled to encourage supporters of LGBT organizations to donate to them. Last year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the event raised over $600,000, from 5,474 individuals in support of over 400 nonprofits groups across the country.
© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


GOP Candidate Ray Moore Warns Of 'Holocaust' From Teaching Evolution & Homosexuality: AUDIO

Ray Moore

South Carolina GOP lieutenant governor candidate Ray Moore is shoring up his conservative bona fides by claiming that schools are pushing a "silent holocaust" against churches and Christianity by teaching evolution and protecting LGBT students from abuse. While speaking with conservative talk show host Steve Deace, Moore said,

80 percent of Southern Baptists youths are leaving the church and abandoning the Christian faith, and we think all of this is pretty much attributable to government schooling. We think the main culprit is public schooling. So there’s a holocaust, a silent holocaust going on in our evangelical churches.

And thus was Godwin's Law invoked and Moore immediately lost the argument. Undeterred by the utter insanity of comparing dropping attendance rates in churches to the wholesale slaughter of almost 6 million Jews in one of the greatest ethnic cleansing movements of the 20th century, Moore continued by comparing gay marriage to a virus:

[S]o why is same-sex marriage and abortion and all of these viruses latching on to our society so readily? And we think part of it is government-sponsored education where they’re thoroughly and aggressively teaching socialism, humanism; turning their hearts away from Christ.

You can listen to Moore's interview below.


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