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Social Conservatives Demanding GOP 2016 Candidates Weigh In Against Gay Marriage

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With gay marriage legal in most states and the Supreme Court set to weigh in this summer, likely ruling in favor of marriage equality, this issue should be all but done with by now. Even members of the GOP elite are switching in favor and would be happy to move on from the issue...but their constituents won't let them, as Politico points out. 

Iowa Senate contender Sam Clovis said: 

If you dodge the question, then it’s the kiss of death. Candidates have got to be declarative about where they stand. Period. If you’re not vocally pro-life and pro-traditional marriage, I don’t think you can win here because you’re going to get hammered.

The elite may desire to move on or even change, and the less-elite like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Scott Walker are willing to concede the loss, but the Tea Party is only too happy to keep wallowing in the issue with Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, and Ted Cruz all continuing to wave the "gay marriage is evil" banner:

  • “I don’t think it’s over. I don’t hear any fat lady singing. I think we have to continue to stand up for what we believe in." - Ben Carson
  • "There’s no such thing in the Constitution as judicial supremacy where the courts make a ruling and it becomes quote ‘the law of the land." - Mike Huckabee
  • "I know that many politicians are evolving, or so-called evolving, on this issue based on the polls. I don’t change my views based on the polls." - Bobby Jindal
  • "From the beginning of this country, marriage has been a question of the states, and we should not have the federal government, or unelected judges, setting aside the policy judgment of the elected legislatures and imposing their own instead." - Ted Cruz

Making the issue even nastier and more complicated is the insistence of evangelicals entangling the issue of legal, civil gay marriage with religious liberty violations.


Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz Want to Enshrine Anti-gay Discrimination in the U.S. Constitution

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said today he supports Sen. Ted Cruz' proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would enable states to continue outlawing gay marriage regardless of any future Supreme Court ruling on the issue, Talking Points Memo reports:

ABC's "This Week' host George Stephanopoulos asked Jindal if he backed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's (R) remark that states should just ignore a Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

"I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. My faith teaches me that, my Christian faith teaches me that," Jindal responded. "If the Supreme Court were to throw out our law, our constitutional amendment -- I hope they wouldn't do that -- if they were to do that, I certainly will support Ted Cruz and others that are talking about making an amendment in the congress and D.C., a constitutional amendment to allow states to continue to define marriage."

Washington Blade reported Wednesday on Cruz' renewed call for a constitutional amendment to stop marriage equality:

“I’m a constitutionalist. From the beginning of this country, marriage has been a question of the states, and we should not have the federal government, or unelected judges, setting aside the policy judgment of the elected legislatures and imposing their own instead.” 

As he announced in October, Cruz told the Blade he still intends to introduce a constitutional amendment that would prohibit judges from overturning state laws on marriage, but suggested courts already lack the authority to rule in favor of marriage equality. 

“Because, as I said, I’m a constitutionalist,” Cruz said. “If a state chooses to adopt gay marriage, that’s within its constitutional authority to do so, but if it chooses not to, if it chooses traditional marriage, that is also within its constitutional purview. Part of the genius of the framers of our Constitution was allowing for the now 50 states to be laboratories of democracy, to adopt and reflect different policy choices state by state.” 

Earlier today, we reported on Jindal's prayer rally held at LSU over the weekend that featured a variety of self-proclaimed prohets, doomsday sayers, and anti-gay nuts. 


Jon Stewart Skewers the GOP Responses to SOTU: 'How Many F--king People Are At This Tea Party?' - VIDEO

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With the State of the Union address behind us, Jon Stewart took an exasperated look last night at the many nominees for this year's Implody Award for "outstanding achievement in unforced response speech errors."

Nominees included Senator Jodi Ernst for her mind-numbing official GOP response, Rep. Curt Clawson for his rambling Tea Party response and Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz for their own ego-driven personal responses. 

Stewart, before awarding this year's Implody to Cruz, offered up some sage advice to the Texas firebrand:

"If you're looking to run for president, maybe you shouldn't make your response to the State of the Union look like a ransom video...or the part of the porno everybody fast forwards through."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jon Stewart Skewers the GOP Responses to SOTU: 'How Many F--king People Are At This Tea Party?' - VIDEO" »


Ted Cruz' Anti-Gay Bigot Father Joins Growing Battle Over LGBT Protections In Plano, Texas: VIDEO

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Sen. Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, has joined the effort to repeal LGBT protections in Plano, Texas. 

The elder Cruz, who lives in nearby Carrollton, spoke Wednesday at a press conference in Plano (above) organized by the Texas Pastor Council, the shadowy Houston-based group that's leading a petition drive to overturn Plano's recently passed Equal Rights Ordinance.

From The Dallas Morning News' report on the press conference: 

"This is an attack on Judeo-Christian beliefs in America," Cruz told a Plano crowd. "It's time people of faith become involved in the political arena." ... 

Mike Buster, executive pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, called the ordinance a travesty. “We believe the Plano City Council is attempting to silence people of faith in the workplace,” he said. ... 

Incoming state Rep. Matt Shaheen said he and several other local lawmakers are drafting a bill that would prohibit cities from enacting ordinances that go beyond existing anti-discrimination protections.

 CBSDFW.com has more: 

It was standing room only when leaders of the anti-ordinance coalition called on supporters to help gather signatures and force a vote to get rid of the equal rights law.

“This ordinance needs to be repealed. If it’s not repealed, then we’ll go to the courts, and we’ll spend and cause the city to incur tens of thousands of dollars,” said Jeff Mateer of the Liberty Institute.

The new ordinance extends to gays, lesbians, and transgender people the same legal protection that shields other minorities from discrimination.

“The city council took the step of outlawing certain religious expression in the workplace. This was wrong, and this was abuse of government power,” said Matt Shaheen who was recently elected to represent Texas House District 66 which covers western Plano.

Opponents of the ordinance need to gather 3,822 signatures by Jan. 20 to put a repeal of the ordinance on the ballot.  

PlanomayorLater Wednesday, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere (right) held his own press conference to defend the ordinance and clear up misconceptions about it. The city has also posted extensive information on its website. 

From CBSDFW.com: 

Not everyone in the crowd agreed with the speakers. Joe Riggs says as a gay man living in Plano, the position of the group concerns him.

“I think it sends the wrong message to people. There’s room for everyone in Plano, and there’s no reason to discriminate on people based on their sexual orientation, their gender, or any other reason,” Riggs said.

In response to the news conference, Plano’s mayor told reporters at City Hall that the time to debate the ordinance is over.

“A city of excellence reflects the rights of everyone and discriminates against no one. The ordinance is fair. It’s legal, and it’s constitutional,” LaRosiliere said.

Also Wednesday, the Texas Pastor Council again attacked Houston Mayor Annise Parker — this time over the city's decision to seek a non-jury trial in a lawsuit challenging the city's Equal Rights Ordinance. Opponents of the Houston ordinance sued the city after it rejected their petition because it didn't have enough valid signatures. 

Opponents of the ordinance have requested a jury trial, instead of a bench trial in front of a judge — which is standard in cases related to elections, The Houston Chronicle reports. The Pastor Council is apparently trying to spark right-wing outrage over the jury trial issue similar to the controversy over the city's decision to subpoena pastor sermons. But it doesn't seem to be getting much traction. The trial is set for Jan. 19. 

The Houston Chronicle reports: 

Conservative opponents suing the city over its equal rights ordinance are pushing, along with several City Council members, for the upcoming case to go before a jury, a move the administration said is unprecedented and would defy election law. ... 

Critics sued last summer after Mayor Annise Parker and Feldman announced that they had failed to gather enough valid signatures to send the issue to voters. That case is set to start Jan. 19 in state district Judge Robert Schaffer's courtroom. In a petition filed last year, critics asked that the case instead go to a jury trial.

Parker and Feldman defended the city's position Wednesday, describing the filing to prevent a jury trial as routine.

"If you're afraid you're not going to be able to win in court, you start trying to win in the court of public opinion," Parker said. "Apparently, that's what's been going on here."

Watch CBSDFW.com's report on the Plano press conference, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Ted Cruz' Anti-Gay Bigot Father Joins Growing Battle Over LGBT Protections In Plano, Texas: VIDEO" »


Anti-Gay Bigot Ted Cruz Receives Dishonorable 2014 Awards From The Advocate, People For The American Way

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Ted Cruz is undoubtedly making Papa proud. 

The anti-gay Texas tea party senator, whose bigotry at times seems matched only by his father Rafael's, has managed to capture both The Advocate's Phobie Of The Year Award and People For The American Way's Equine Posterior Achievement Award for 2014. 

The Advocate, which previously named Russian President Vladimir Putin its Person Of The Year, says it tapped Cruz for the Phobie honor based on his introduction of the State Marriage Defense Act, also known as "DOMA 2.0," in February: 

Now if a same-sex couple gets married in New York, for example, and then moves or visits Cruz's home state of Texas, the federal government continues to recognize their marriage as legal. But Cruz says those couples should only be considered married when within the borders of a state that recognizes marriage equality. 

As you might expect, the Tea Party favorite has blamed federal marriage recognition on President Obama and "an out-of-control administration" that is "trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states." ... 

Cruz took his idea even further in October, after the Supreme Court refused to overturn lower court rulings favoring marriage equality, and he promised to introduce an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would bar courts or the federal government from ever overturning a marriage law made at the state level. 

Other 2014 Phobie Awards went to Gambian president Yahya Jammeh, televangelist Pat Robertson, reality TV stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Florida Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi, Colorado Republican State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, Republican National Committee member Dave Agema, Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, radio commentator Linda Harvey and the Minnesota Child Protection League. 

Right Wing Watch reports that Cruz captured the Equine Posterior award for the second consecutive year by a 21-point margin in a poll of PFAW members and RWW readers: 

An anti-gay crusader, Cruz threatened civil disobedience to block the enforcement of gay rights measures, introduced new measures to prevent marriage equality, said same-sex marriage is “heartbreaking” and causes his heart to weep and alleged that gay rights laws will put pastors in prison.


Texas Gets 1st Openly Gay Federal Judge Thanks to Anti-Gay GOP Senators John Cornyn, Ted Cruz

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Thanks to the support of two rabidly anti-LGBT senators, Texas is getting its first openly gay federal judge. 

The Senate on Tuesday night confirmed Robert Pitman to fill a San Antonio seat that's been vacant for more than six years. 

President Barack Obama in June nominated Pitman, who was backed by Cornyn and Cruz, both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Cruz also inadvertently aided Pitman's confirmation when he forced the Senate into session last weekend. 

Pitman will become one of about 10 openly LGBT federal judges in the US. When Obama took office, there was only one.

Eric Lesh, fair courts project manager at Lambda Legal, said in a statement responding to Pitman's confirmation: 

“For the judicial system in the United States to be truly fair, it must reflect the tremendous diversity of the country. President Obama has made great strides in promoting and ensuring that diversity with his nominations of people of color and of openly gay and lesbian individuals to the federal bench. We celebrate the confirmation of Judge Pitman, which brings welcome diversity to the federal bench in Texas while simultaneously filling a seat that had been vacant for more than six years.

"While great progress has been made to bring diversity to the courts, we still have a long way to go. There are nearly 900 federal judges in the U.S., and most are straight white men. Federal courts are charged with providing everyone with equal access to justice, and yet justice has not always been a reality for some. A judiciary diverse in race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and lived and professional experience serves not only to improve the quality of justice, but to boost public confidence in the courts."

Pitman is a Fort Worth native who attended Abilene Christian University and earned his law degree from the University of Texas. He currently serves as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas. 

When Pitman was first recommended for U.S. attorney by Cornyn and former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2009, the pick riled some fellow Republicans, but Cornyn stood behind it.

“A person’s sexuality has no bearing on his qualifications for a job. … It’s just not even remotely considered,” Cornyn spokesman Keven McLaughlin said at the time. 

Based on that statement, one might think Cornyn would be a supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, but he voted against it last year and received a zero on the Human Rights Campaign's most recent Congressional Scorecard


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