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Failed Virginia Lt. Governor E. W. Jackson Warns Of Divine Punishment For Gay Marriage: AUDIO

JacksonFailed Virginia Lt. Governor candidate Bishop E.W. Jackson has long since abandoned all pretense of not hating the gays, and is now prognosticating doom from the almighty upon the U.S. if gay marriage isn't stopped. Appearing on the radio show Trunews this last Wednesday, Jackson told host Rick Wiles:

Because of our absolute rebellion against God in this issue [of gay marriage], which is exactly what is happening, because of our absolute rebellion against God, the judgment of God will fall on my beloved country in a way that I don’t desire to see and no American should as a result of the fact that we are literally shaking our fist at God.

While Jackson evidently has no understanding of the definition of "literally", he has a keen understanding of how to set himself up as a soothsayer: predict that some unnamed, unspecified calamity will happen at some point in the future; say that said calamity will be divine punishment for an issue one already takes personal umbrage with; when something terrible does eventually happen - an inevitability as wonderful and terrible things happen all of the time - act as if this were the exact thing you foretold and blame the prepared scapegoat, abandoning all sense of rationality.

God's punishment of the gays has been attributed to virtually everything, from autism to ebola to Hurricane Katrina. Though if things like the survival of the French Quarter during Katrina is any indication, one more prediction can be made: god's wrath has terrible aim.

You can listen to Jackson speak for himself AFTER THE JUMP...

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Virginia House Subcommittee Kills Anti-gay 'License to Discriminate' Bill

A bill that would have allowed religious-based discrimination against gays failed to pass a Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee Thursday, the Washington Blade reports:

MarshallHouse Bill 1414, which state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) introduced last month, specifically cited “same-sex ‘marriage’ or homosexual behavior.”

“Equality Virginia applauds the subcommittee for voting against this discriminatory and destructive bill,” said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBT advocacy group. “This bill would have hurt too many people, damaged our business climate, and highlighted Virginia as a hostile and unwelcoming place to live and work. The majority of Virginians agree that discrimination against LGBT people is wrong, and thankfully today’s vote reflects that opinion.”

Marshall (pictured) is the same anti-gay wingnut who last year sought to impeach Virginia's attorney general Mark Herring for refusing to defend the state's same-sex marriage ban in court. He has also spoken at length about his belief that “sodomy is not a civil right.”


Virginia Bill Allowing Unmarried Gays To Adopt Defeated

Howell"Two steps forward, two steps back" continues to be the best way of escribing Virginia's path towards LGBT equality.  Virginia state senator Janet Howell’s bill that would have allowed unmarried gay couples to adopt children has been shot down by Virginia Republicans.

Howell’s bill, which was backed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, was built around the idea that regardless of marital status, children fare better having two parents in their lives. The conservative opposition countered Howell’s bill arguing that unmarried parents made for unstable homes.


Virginia Bill Banning Conversion Therapy for Minors Dies in Senate Committee

Shurka
(screenshot)

Sad news out of Virginia today as a bill that would have banned harmful conversion therapy to minors in the state was killed by a Senate committee, the Washington Blade reports:

Members of the Senate Education and Health Committee by a 7-8 vote margin tabled Senate Bill 988 that state Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) introduced on Jan. 12.

“It is extremely disappointing that our lawmakers cannot come together in support of a bill that would protect Virginia’s LGBT youth,” said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, in a statement. “We cannot continue to allow our youth to be put through this so-called ‘treatment’ that can cause depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior. At best, allowing this harmful treatment on our youth is irresponsible, and at worse, it could contribute to the unthinkable.”

The House Health, Welfare and Institutions Subcommittee earlier in the day heard testimony for and against House Bill 1385, an identical measure that state Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington County) introduced last month.

“Homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder,” said Parrish. “Prohibiting any health care provider from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with any person under 18 years of age is necessary to protect our youth as they come to terms with who they are.”

Mathew Shurka, who underwent “conversion therapy” in Virginia and three other states for five years, testified in support of HB 1385 and SB 988.

“This is about protecting children,” Shurka told the Washington Blade.

Shurka said some members of the commitee appeared uncomfortable with his testimony, rolling their eyes and giving him no acknowledgment during his speech. 


Virginia Introduces Bill Banning Conversion Therapy For Minors

Conversion Therapy protest

Conversion therapy has been proven time and again to not only be ineffectual in changing an individual's sexual orientation from gay to straight, a sentiment even endorsed by former "ex-gay" leaders, but is instead likely to be harmful, particularly to minors. As this truth has permeated through society, state after state has begun introducing bans on the quackery, forbidding it to be administered to minors. Legislators in Virginia are joining the movement with the introduction of a bill today that - much like in New Jersey, Illinois, and California - forbids enrolling minors in conversion therapy.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights issued a statement on the proposed bill:

“Today, more than ever, it is clear that state legislatures need to step up to the plate to protect LGBT youth from the dangerous and discredited practices of conversion therapy,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Staff Attorney and #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator Samantha Ames. “We commend Delegate Hope and Senator Lucas, as well all the local organizers who have worked tirelessly to get this bill introduced and ensure all Virginian children are able to grow up in communities and families where they are loved for exactly who they are.”

A similar bill failed to pass in the state House last year, so Delegate Patrick Hope and Senator Louise Lucas may have a fight ahead of them to get this one through.


States Defending Gay Marriage Bans Costing Taxpayers Millions In Attorney Fees

MarriageGraphic

Plaintiffs in successful same-sex marriage lawsuits have been awarded more than $800,000 in attorneys fees' from states that defended the bans, with another $2.6 million in requests pending, according to a new report from The National Law Journal: 

Federal district judges across the country have issued nearly three dozen rulings since late 2013 declaring state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. Attorney fee petitions haven't been filed yet in the majority of those cases as they go before circuit courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. The fee awards, agreements and requests to date offer an early snapshot of what these landmark civil rights cases could cost taxpayers. ... 

Plaintiffs who prevail in federal civil rights cases can collect legal fees from the losing side. Congress set up the fee-shifting rule as an incentive for lawyers to take on time-consuming and expensive civil rights litigation, said Deborah Ferguson, lead counsel for the couples who fought Idaho's gay marriage ban.

In Idaho, the plaintiffs' attorneys were awarded a whopping $410,663 — the most in any state thus far. But that hasn't stopped Republican Gov. Butch Otter from continuing his futile defense of the state's marriage ban in court. The other states where plaintiffs' attorneys fees have been awarded or agreed to in same-sex marriage cases are Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon and Virginia. Requests are pending in Alaska, Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 

Of course, the plaintiffs' attorneys fees don't include the cost to taxpayers of states paying their lawyers or hiring outside counsel to defend the bans — or, for that matter, lost revenue from wedding-related spending where same-sex marriage is still not legal. 

All told, it seems that defending discrimination isn't cheap, and states that continue to fight same-sex marriage better be prepared to pay up. And the irony is, many of the same folks who advocate lower taxes are the same ones fighting hardest to deprive same-sex couples of the freedom to marry.  


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