Republican Congressional candidate Gary Kiehne has sent out some new campaign flyers that seem to have distracted attention away from the candidate and the issues, as Tuscon Weekly points out. On the flyer, Kiehne lists the big ticket items he’s in favor of—traditional staples to any Republican platform: repeal Obamacare, lower taxes etc. Notably, Kiehne does not mention censorship as something he opposes. Which may explain why the stud in the background of the above image is baring all.
Jonathan Saenz, a virulently anti-gay activist and President of conservative group Texas Values, was divorced in August 2011. Court records recently uncovered by Texas blog Lone Star Q indicate that Saenz' wife left him for another woman just months before he joined that organization:
The revelation could help explain Saenz’s seemingly abrupt transformation from socially conservative lobbyist to homophobic firebrand.
Saenz, a devout Catholic, has been a right-wing operative in Texas for many years — working on abortion and religious liberty cases as a staff attorney for the Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute as far back as 2005.
However, it wasn’t until recently that Saenz emerged as one of the state’s best-known — and most extreme — anti-LGBT voices.
Court records indicate that Saenz’s ex-wife, Corrine Morris Rodriguez Saenz, is a member of the LGBT community who was dating another woman when she filed for divorce from Saenz in August 2011.
In early 2012, with their divorce still pending, Saenz would take the helm of Texas Values after the organization spun off from the Liberty Legal Institute, where he’d risen to chief lobbyist.
With Saenz as president, Texas Values has led the charge against not only same-sex marriage, but also passage of LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in San Antonio and Houston.
“You will see more attacks on churches than you are already seeing right now and they have already started, because that is the goal to a lot of people, it is not simply to change the definition of marriage but essentially to destroy it and to have a type of sexual behavior being recognized and protected in law that will be to the detriment of our society and to churches across our country.”
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Included in those who signed the Texas Conservative Coalition brief is Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor and Sen. Ken Paxton, the GOP nominee for attorney general.
Lone Star Q reports:
The brief states that U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia’s February decision striking down the marriage bans opened the door to a variety of unions that society has deemed unacceptable.
“The district court broadened the definition of the ‘existing right to marry’ as one that includes the right of people to ‘select the partners of their choosing’ for marriage, without regard to sex,” the brief states. “If the right to select ‘partners of their choosing’ is the criterion used to invoke marriage as a fundamental right, then marriage restrictions on age, polygamy, and consanguinity are also ripe for challenge.”
Read the brief here:
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a brief on Monday defending the state's gay marriage ban, LoneStarQ reports:
Abbott’s office filed its initial brief Monday appealing U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia’s February decision, which found that Texas’ marriage bans violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.
Abbott’s appeal was filed on the same day that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court struck down Virginia’s ban as unconstitutional, becoming the third federal appeals court to rule in favor of marriage equality. In its 42-page brief filed Monday, Abbott’s office argues that the issue should be settled by voters and state legislatures, not the courts.
The American Statesman reports on the filing, which focused on the thus-far failed conservative argument that marriage's purpose is procreation:
“By recognizing and encouraging the lifelong commitment between a man and woman — even when they do not produce offspring — the state encourages others who will procreate to enter into the marriage relationship,” Abbott said in the state’s first brief, filed late Monday at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Promoting opposite-sex marriages “increases the likelihood that children will be born into stable environments where they are raised by their mother and their father,” Abbott argued.
Such family structures are good for the children’s well being and good for the state because they increase the likelihood that parents, not society, “will bear the cost of raising these children,” the brief said.
“Because same-sex relationships do not naturally produce children, recognizing same-sex marriage does not further these goals to the same extent that recognizing opposite-sex marriage does,” Abbott said.
LoneStarQ also notes that "Abbott’s office rejected the delivery of 5,200 petitions calling for him to stop defending Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage."
Read the brief below:
A caretaker for foster children in Lubbock, Texas, was fired recently after he introduced some teenage clients to his fiance during an outing at a water park on the Fourth of July, reports Lone Star Q.
Officials at the Children’s Home of Lubbock, which is affiliated with a Christian church, accused Casey Stegall of engaging in a public display of affection with another man.
Speaking to The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Children’s Home president Lynn Harms said:
“When you are implementing life training and so forth — particularly with children — to put a confused message out there is counterproductive. If you want to try to force our culture to meet your expectations, that’s not going to go well. I don’t feel like the culture here has to meet an individual’s desire for the world to be different.”
Harms also said that gay employees who “fly under the radar” are accepted but that other gay employees have been fired because of “how they conduct their business.”
Devastated by his termination, Stegall has since contacted attorneys about filing a lawsuit.
Although cities around the U.S., including Houston, have introduced municipal ordinances banning anti-LGBT employment discrimination, Lubbock has not done so.
Last week, President Barack Obama signed an executive order banning anti-LGBT discrimination among federal contractors. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban anti-LGBT discrimination by private employers, remains stalled in the U.S. House. However, last week the Washington Blade reported that Democratic House Representative Jared Polis is preparing to initiate a discharge petition for (ENDA).
Watch a video of Stegall discussing the termination of his contract, AFTER THE JUMP...
Youtuber Joseph Costello has conducted what he calls a "heterosexuality experiment" wherein he made his way around Austin, Texas asking people if they would vote for a heterosexual president. In doing so, he discovered that there are homophobes in that city who don't even know the definition of the word "heterosexuality."
Watch Costello's ignorant interviewees (some more disturbing than others) give their answers, AFTER THE JUMP.