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Freedom to Marry Launching $1 million Campaign to Build Southern Support for Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.11.42 AM

At a press conference on Monday, Freedom to Marry is expected to announce a new $1 million television ad campaign in Southern states in the hopes of swaying public opinion and the judges who will decide the fate of state bans on gay unions. As it stands, there are about two dozen lawsuits challenging bans on gay marriage that are pending before state and federal courts in Southern states. The Washington Post reports:

“Freedom to Marry’s national strategy has always been to build a critical mass of states and support to create the climate for the Supreme Court to bring the country to national resolution. We don’t have to win within every state, but we have to win enough states,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 11.13.09 AMAtlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will join the group at its Monday press conference. The group will also try to tie same-sex marriage to the civil rights movement, by featuring Rep. John Lewis [right], the longtime Georgia Democrat who ran the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in a testimonial.

“I see the right to marriage as a civil rights issue. You cannot have rights for one segment of the population and one group of people and not for everybody,” Lewis says in the video.

Watch Lewis' video for the new campaign, AFTER THE JUMP...

Co-chairs of the new initiative will include Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Reps. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), as well as Mark McKinnon, a former senior adviser to George W. Bush and Lance Bass, the ‘N Sync singer.

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Lesbian Parents Not Recognized As Married, Son Denied Social Security Benefits: VIDEO

Lisa and Melody Rawson and son

Lisa and Melody Rawson of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina have an adopted son who suffers from multiple medical conditions, including spina bifida. When they were living in New York they received a monthly $600 social security check to cover the cost of his medical expenses. However, the New York winters were too harsh for him so this past September they moved to South Carolina, at which point they promptly stopped receiving any benefits at all.

The reason? South Carolina's state computer system won't allow Lisa and Melody to both be listed as his parents. As a result the paperwork cannot be processed, so their son's medical benefits are denied by default. The Rawsons have tried contacting Social Security, the Justice Department, and Congress but allege being given the runaround.

You can see a video interview with the Rawsons AFTER THE JUMP...

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SC Senate Candidate Lee Bright Wants Congress To Impeach Pro-Equality Federal Judges: LISTEN

LeebrightIt looks like South Carolina's got a terrifying candidate on the books for 2014's senatorial elections, and his name is Lee Bright. The Republican, who will be challenging Senator Lindsey Graham (long rumored to be gay), gave a disheartening and disturbing response to a Tea Party group in Utah regarding the state's pro-marriage equality federal ruling. Bright would like one of these pro-equality federal judges to be impeached by Congress as a means to encourage others to "do the right thing."

Right Wing Watch reports:

Bright told Tea Party Express, “Congress ought to stand up and do its job and impeach one of these federal judges. And I think when you do that, being a federal judge is a pretty good gig, and I think if you’ll impeach just one, the rest of them will do the right thing. And they’ll do it out of necessity, because self-preservation is an instinct that so many folks have.”

The Constitution grants lifetime appointments to federal judges “during good behavior.” In the nation’s history, only eight federal judges have been impeached and removed from office by Congress –most for committing crimes or severely neglecting their duties.

Bright also spoke about his desire for looser gun control laws, inaccurately utilizing Israel as a comparison point for the United States:

"You look over at Israel, and that’s an armed group of folks over there,” he said. “I mean, they are teachers with machine guns on playgrounds, because you got terrorists over there that would choose to harm children and whose teachers are there to protect them. When you’ve got folks that are armed and able to defend themselves, the threat of terrorism goes down drastically.”

Let us know your thoughts on Bright in the comments below. 

And listen to his rants, AFTER THE JUMP...

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South Carolina Sees Major Shift Toward Acceptance of Gay Marriage in New Poll

A new Winthrop poll out of South Carolina shows that attitudes toward same-sex marriage in the conservative state are shifting, The State reports:

SouthcarolinaMore than 52 percent of S.C. adults, polled by Winthrop, said marriages between same-sex couples should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as heterosexual marriages.

But nearly 39 percent said same-sex marriages should be recognized by law and carry the same rights as marriages between a man and a woman.

The paper looks at how things have changed:

A 2011 poll from Public Policy Polling showed that 21 percent of S.C. voters said should be legal, with 69 percent saying it should be illegal. In December, another Public Policy poll asked S.C. voters whether same-sex marriage should be allowed – 27 percent said yes, while 62 percent said no.


In 2006, S.C. voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment stating that the only lawful, recognizable marriage in the Palmetto State is one between a man and a woman. The amendment passed, 78 percent to 22 percent.

A 2006 Winthrop Poll, taken before voters cast ballots on the constitutional amendment, had results in line with that outcome.

South Carolina Mayor Doesn't Want 'Queer' Marriages 'Rammed Down Her Throat': VIDEO


Linda Oliver, the mayor of West Union, South Carolina, is under fire for comments she made on Facebook using the "Q-word" with regard to same-sex marriage, and tells WHNS how she really feels about it:

"I don't want it rammed down my throat."

Oliver's online comments were in regard to the recent actions by Buncombe County Register of Wills Drew Reisinger in neighboring North Carolina, who began accepting marriage license applications for gay couples this week.

Said Oliver on Facebook:

"What's it gonna take to get these queers to realize they don't need a piece of paper. God will not bless their union because he plainly speaks against queers in the Bible. Want to cover your queer with insurance? Buy a policy. Want your queer to get your stuff when you die? Make a will."

Now there is reportedly a Facebook petition calling for Oliver to be removed from office.

Added Oliver to WHNS:

"All I can say is if people want to crucify me that's fine. I know that following Jesus, I'm going to be crucified...And I got lambasted because I quoted the bible and stuff like that on Facebook and that's the way I feel...I have apologized, it's on there if people would just read the feed. They're focusing on the word and I apologized for that. If people would read the whole thing they'll see that I plainly said I will not say that anymore, I'll say homosexual...What I'm emotional about is because my feelings- the way I feel toward homosexuals is how I've been brought up."


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Columbia, SC Police Officers Defy Orders to March in Gay Pride Parade Over Religious Beliefs: VIDEO

Yesterday, we reported that Columbia, South Carolina city officials had overridden an order from the police chief instructing two officers to march in the Gay Pride parade.

SantiagoThe AP reported:

Santiago had ordered a lieutenant and sergeant to join eight other officers in last Saturday's parade even though they cited religious beliefs in their opposition. On the day of the parade, City Manager Teresa Wilson and her assistant met with Santiago and reached an agreement to make participation in the parade voluntary since there were then enough officers to march.

The police chief is speaking out now, saying that it sets a very bad precedent.

"An officer cannot choose their assignments based on their religious beliefs. When you have a police department that really values strict discipline and adherence and obedience to directives, the Chief of Police is the person they look toward for that direction. Any department that expects to instill public trust, must demonstrate that by being visible to the public."

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott agrees:

"A chief or sheriff has to be able to make the decisions, a person that works underneath him are not going to respect them if they don't have the ability to make decisions, and I think that's a problem with the Columbia Police Department, not just now but for many many years/"


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