Thursday, March 05, 2015

NEBRASKA: Marriage Plaintiffs Oppose State's Stay Motion With Eighth Circuit

The plaintiffs in Nebraska's marriage equality case today filed their opposition to the state's demand that the Eighth Circuit Court issue a stay on last week's ruling, which is due to go into effect at 9AM local time on Monday. See the filing at Equality Case Files.

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FOTF: We Are A Christian Nation

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FLORIDA: Legislature Advances Bill That Would Ban Trans Bathroom Rights

Via the Tampa Bay Times:
After an emotionally charged debate, state lawmakers Wednesday gave their initial backing to a bill that would prohibit transgender men and women from using public restrooms aligned with their gender identity. The proposal is intended to address public safety concerns that its sponsor, Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, said arise from a broad nondiscrimination ordinance passed in Miami-Dade County in December. That ordinance, he said, would permit men to legally enter women's restrooms and locker rooms for the purpose of committing a crime against those women. "I believe that criminals — males — will use this law as the cover to go into the women's locker room," Artiles said. "All they have to say is, 'I feel like a woman today.'" But activists and transgender people speaking before the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday argued the so-called bathroom bill would infringe on their civil rights and even their safety by requiring them to use facilities that correspond with the sex listed on their drivers' licenses or passports, rather than their identity.
(Tipped by JMG reader Karen)

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Pat Robertson To Parents: Do Not Attend Your Child's Same-Sex Wedding

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Bryan Fisher Turns On Ben Carson

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Delta Flight Skids Off Runway At LGA

LaGuardia airport is closed at this writing after a Delta flight out of Atlanta crash-landed on the runway, skidding into a snowbank and a perimeter fence.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-88 aircraft skidded during a Thursday morning snowstorm. LaGuardia Airport was closed immediately after the incident occurred. The FAA said the airport is expected to reopen at 6:59 p.m. EST. Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo said the plane went off the runway at around 11:10 a.m. Delta issued a statement following the incident confirming the flight number, and indicating the plane exited LaGuardia's Runway 13 during its landing.

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Major Corps To SCOTUS: Yes On Marriage

Hundreds of major corporations have also signed onto the SCOTUS brief I mentioned earlier today. Among those that signed on:
Aetna, Alcoa, Amazon.com, American Airlines, American Express, Apple, AT&T, Barclays, BlackRock, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Capital One, Cardinal Health, Chubb, Cigna, Cisco, Citigroup, Colgate-Palmolive, ConAgra, Corning, Credit Suisse Securities, CVS Health, Delta Air Lines, Deutsche Bank, Dow Chemical, EBay, Facebook, General Electric, General Mills, GlaxoSmithKline, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hartford Financial Services, Hilton, HSBC, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, KPMG, Levi Strauss, Marriott, Marsh & McLennan, Massachusetts Mutual, McKinsey, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Mutual, the New England Patriots, New York Life, Nike, Northrop Grumman, Office Depot, Oracle, Orbitz, Pandora, PepsiCo, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Procter & Gamble, Prudential, Qualcomm, RBC Capital Markets, the San Francisco Giants, Staples, Symantec, the Tampa Bay Rays, Target, TD Bank, Twitter, UBS, United Airlines, Verizon, Walt Disney, Wells Fargo, and Zynga.

Written by the management-side employment law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the amicus brief strikes a pragmatic tone. With 37 states allowing gay marriage and the rest banning it, employers face costly uncertainty and administrative complexities, the brief argues. “The burden imposed by inconsistent and discriminatory state laws of having to administer complicated schemes to account for differential treatment of similarly situated employees breeds unnecessary confusion, tension, and diminished employee morale.” Just last fall the Supreme Court sidestepped the gay marriage controversy when it declined to review cases arising from federal appellate panels in Chicago, Denver, and Richmond, Va. Each of those lower courts had ruled that the constitutional guarantee of “equal protection” covers same-sex couples seeking to wed.
Fire up the Boycott Machine!

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SCOTUS Sets The Date: April 28th

Equality Case Files has the announcement.

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Teabaggers Turn On Ben Carson

The Tea People are not very happy with Ben Carson following yesterday's declaration that he's done talking about gay rights. From the right wing site Hot Air:
Okay, but that’s like Jeb Bush deciding he’s not going to talk about amnesty anymore. It’s one of his pet issues. He’s beloved by his supporters because of his opinion on that particular topic. Ben Carson muting his social conservatism on the most hot-button social issue of the day makes him Mike Huckabee minus the boldness (and executive experience), a major flaw for a guy running as an “outsider.” If you like Carson, chances are you like him precisely because he’s not a politician and therefore more likely to speak candidly about his opinions when asked. He’s the one you turn to for Common Sense that cuts through political niceties. What’s the point of passing on Ted Cruz or Huckabee and rolling the dice on Carson if his attitude towards plainspoken debate with the media on gay marriage going forward is “yeah, pass”?
They're furious over at Free Republic too.

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TV Abbreviations For $200

None of the contestants got it right.

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Ringling Bros: No More Elephants

Via the Associated Press:
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its iconic elephant acts. The circus' parent company, Feld Entertainment, told The Associated Press exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018. Growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision. The circus plans to phase out elephant acts by 2018. Feld's 43 elephants will live at the company's 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida. Twenty-nine animals are already there, and the other 14 will arrive as they are phased out from the circus. Elephant acts have been showcased by Ringling for more than a century and have often been featured in its posters. The decision is being announced Thursday.

UPDATE: PETA president Ingrid Newkirk reacts.

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David Koch To Sign SCOTUS Brief

Politico reports:
David Koch, the big money political donor and liberal boogeyman, has agreed to sign onto to an amicus brief supporting same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court, the Washington Free Beacon reported. The brief he will reportedly sign in DeBoer v. Snyder, a case that could afford same-sex couples a constitutional right to marry, will host a number of other prominent conservative signatories, including retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former Reagan White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein and former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman. An attorney for Koch Industries told the Free Beacon that Koch will join the brief in a personal capacity, indicating his support for gay marriage does not necessarily indicate a larger message from the Koch network of donors.
In 2012 Koch backed Romney, who signed onto NOM's anti-marriage pledge.

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Wall Street To SCOTUS: Yes On Marriage

Via CNN:
Wall Street's leading banks have signed a "friend of the court" brief pressing the Supreme Court to back same-sex marriage. Major financial firms including AIG, Bank of America, BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs JPMorgan, UBS and Wells Fargo signed the brief that will be filed on Thursday. Spokespeople at each of the companies confirmed to CNN that they are named in the brief. Other signatories include a range of small and large companies in a variety of sectors including technology, healthcare and retail. "The brief argues that the existing confused legal landscape places significant burdens on employers and their employees—making it increasingly hard to conduct business," said Elliott Frieder, a spokesman for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the law firm that will file the brief on behalf of the firms.
A similar banking coalition filed a DOMA brief in 2013.

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SOUTH KOREA: US Ambassador Slashed In Face, North Korea Applauds Attack

Via RT News:
North Korea has said the razor attack on the US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was “just punishment” for the two countries’ joint military drills. The assault has left the US official’s face slashed, but he is now recovering. Lippert was at a breakfast forum earlier in central Seoul when the attack occurred. During the attack, Lippert was slashed in the face by an unidentified man, a witness told Reuters. Other outlets are reporting that the assailant used a razor. Outlets are reporting that the man yelled, "No drills for war," referencing joint military drills conducted by the US and South Korea.

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NEW JERSEY: Appellate Court Dismisses "Prayer" Suit Against Applebee's

From the New York Daily News:
A New Jersey man who suffered burns to his face and legs from a sizzling-hot steak fajita skillet while praying had his suit against Applebee's thrown out. Divine intervention doesn't trump common sense, the state appellate court in Camden, N.J. ruled Wednesday. Hiram Jimenez claimed a waitress at the Westampton, N.J., restaurant did not tell him the skillet was hot during a 2010 visit with his brother, NJ.com reported. When the order arrived, he bowed his head in prayer over the entrée and the skillet splashed him with grease in the left eye and face, according to the suit. Jimenez then knocked the plate onto his lap. A lower court dismissed the case and a two-judge panel agreed. Applebee's was not negligent, they ruled.
The court ruled that it was "self-evident" that a sizzling plate of food would be hot.

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Hillary Clinton Responds To Email Flap

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AUSTRALIA: Eurovision Entry Named

Well, it's not Kylie.  
Guy Sebastian has been named as Australia's entrant for this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. At an event at the Sydney Opera House, the host broadcaster SBS announced Sebastian would be heading to Austria in May. Australia was offered a wildcard entry to compete in the prestigious competition, while Australians will also be able to vote for their favourite performances for the first time. Guy Sebastian said he was "pumped" to be performing at the competition. "It's Eurovision, it's huge and keeps growing here in Australia which is nice," he said. "It's not every day you get to perform in front of that sort of audience - 200 million - beats the local RSL." He said he was still unsure what song he would sing at the contest, but that he would consider singing a song off his newly-released album or write a new one.
Sebastian was the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003 and has since scored eight multi-platinum singles there. Below is his biggest hit to date.

(Tipped by JMG reader Simon)

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David Geffen Donates $100M To Lincoln Center For Remodel Of Avery Fischer Hall

Via the New York Times:
The world of New York high culture was given a surprise dose of glitz on Wednesday, when Lincoln Center announced that David Geffen, the entertainment mogul who has shaped cultural tastes in pop music, art and movies, will donate $100 million to renovate — and rename — Avery Fisher Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic, at Lincoln Center. Mr. Geffen’s gift will help pay for the hall’s gut renovation, which is expected to cost more than $500 million. Although construction is not scheduled to begin until 2019, the building will become David Geffen Hall this September, with the start of the Philharmonic’s 2015-16 season. The hall, built in 1962, has long been viewed as outdated and acoustically problematic. But raising money promised to be a challenge; the family of Avery Fisher had threatened legal action 13 years ago if the concert hall were to be rebuilt or renovated under a new name. That obstacle was overcome in November, when the Fisher family agreed to give up the naming rights with inducements including a $15 million check.
In 2008 David Koch also donated $100M to Lincoln Center and the New York State Theater there now bears his name.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Ben Carson To Sean Hannity: CNN Edited My Comments To Make Me Look Bad

Via Mediaite:
During a radio discussion this afternoon with Sean Hannity, Carson blamed the ordeal on CNN. “It was a 25 minute interview they chopped, and you see what part they emphasized,” he said. “I did learn something very important: For certain networks, never do a pre-taped interview. Always do it live.” In the interview, flagged and cut down into a shorter clip by conservative site The Right Scoop, Hannity agreed with Carson that pre-taped interviews allow for quotes to be taken out context or reshuffled in order to cast them in a certain light. Carson continued: “I simply have decided I’m not really going to talk about that issue anymore because every time I’m gaining momentum the liberal press says, ‘Let’s talk about gay rights.’ And I’m just not going to fall for that anymore.” The problem with Carson’s attempt to play victim here is that, during that sequence of the CNN interview, there were clearly no jump-cuts and no edits — just a straight back-and-forth about whether homosexuality is a choice.
Following that ridiculous lie, Carson issued an non-apology about the comments made on CNN:
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson apologized for commenting Wednesday that prisoners' changes after they leave jail proves being gay is a choice, but said that the science is still murky on the issue. In a statement, Carson said he "realized that my choice of language does not reflect fully my heart on gay issues." "I do not pretend to know how every individual came to their sexual orientation. I regret that my words to express that concept were hurtful and divisive. For that I apologize unreservedly to all that were offended," he added. Carson referenced his medical education and his work at Johns Hopkins Hospital and asserted that the verdict is still out on whether people are born either gay or straight. "Some of our brightest minds have looked at this debate, and up until this point there have been no definitive studies that people are born into a specific sexuality," he said.
The audio Hannity clip is below. Let's see how long it takes before Carson breaks his pledge to stop talking about gay people.

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Viral Video Of The Day

Clip recap:
While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. This may be a significant reason many people in the U.S. report they feel discriminated against. Subconscious prejudice—called “implicit bias”—has profound implications for how we view and interact with others who are different from us. It can hinder a person’s ability to find a job, secure a loan, rent an apartment, or get a fair trial, perpetuating disparities in American society. The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice and work to stop it in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues. Rethink your bias at lovehasnolabels.com.
The clip is by the Ad Council, which produces PSAs for the federal government, non-profits, and NGOs. 1.6M views in one day. Music by openly lesbian pop star Mary Lambert.

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Liberty Counsel: All Existing Same-Sex Marriages In Alabama Are Now Void

From the AFA's OneNewsNow:
The founder of Liberty Counsel says it never was legal – and still isn't – for the state of Alabama to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver tells OneNewsNow the latest order from the Alabama Supreme Court brings that to a halt. "This is a game-changer in Alabama – [and] this may be a game-changer throughout the United States," the attorney states. "This is putting the state judiciary up against the federal judiciary or anyone else who wants to come up with some cockeyed view that somehow the Constitution now births some newfound notion of same-sex marriage." As for the marriage licenses already issued to homosexual couples, Staver says they are null and void. "The fact is it wasn't legal to issue the same-sex marriage licenses throughout the state of Alabama in the first place – and issuing them now is not legal," he explains. "So these are void and have no legal effect in Alabama."
SCOTUS will likely have a different opinion.

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Editorial Of The Day

From the editorial board of AL.com:
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to provide the final word on same-sex marriage in June; and we believe that Alabama's Supreme Court will find its decision does not hold legal weight. Some have suggested that Alabama's Supreme Court trumps district Federal courts. That until we have a Supreme Court ruling, we should have a temporary stay on same-sex marriages, similar to Michigan and Arkansas. However, the Supreme Court denied Alabama's request for a stay, and that should have been the final word on the matter.

History has demonstrated that, in constitutional matters, federal courts trump state courts. Granade's decision follows the path established by more than 60 federal district judges who have ruled on the same issue since the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. Since the legal framework of marriage is provided by our governments, these same governments must provide for equality. We continue to believe that, in June, the Supreme Court will rightly hold that the unalienable rights of Americans include the right to marry, for all.

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Fischer: Every GOP Candidate Should Be Asked If They Agree With Ben Carson

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George Takei: Give Alabama The Finger

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FRC Applauds Alabama Supreme Court

"I applaud the Alabama Justices in their wise decision respecting the freedom of Alabama’s voters to uphold natural marriage. In a refreshing change, Alabama’s Supreme Court is using the law to determine their actions -- not a politically motivated opinion of a lower court federal judge. I again urge caution for any court, state or federal, whether a state Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court, that wants to redefine marriage. Recent polling shows sixty-one percent of Americans oppose the US Supreme Court forcing marriage redefinition on all fifty states. If Americans were truly on board with this effort to redefine marriage, governors, state attorneys general, and other elected officials wouldn't bother fighting it. Instead, the Alabama Supreme Court reflects where the American people really are on the issue – and it is respecting the freedom of the voters to uphold natural marriage." - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via press release.

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ALABAMA: All Counties Have Stopped Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

From the Human Rights Campaign:
As of noon today, HRC Alabama was unable to confirm any Alabama counties that are issuing licenses to same-sex couples, in the wake of an order by the Alabama Supreme Court late Tuesday night. This turn around comes as the result of the confusion created by an emergency petition to the Alabama Supreme Court by two anti-LGBT groups, the Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program, who sought to stop probate judges from issuing marriage licenses. Before the latest development, 48 counties of Alabama’s 67 counties were following the order of a federal judge and issuing licenses to all couples as of February 18th. “Because of the Alabama Supreme Court's willingness to ignore their oath of office, all Alabama's counties appear to be in conflict with the intent of a federal court order,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. "This is only a temporary setback on the road to equality, but the message it sends to LGBT Alabamians is despicable.”

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GOP House Rep Backs Immigration Reform (For Christian Homeschoolers Only)

We last heard from Rep. Jason Chaffetz when he threatened to have the mayor of DC arrested over the legalization of marijuana. Today Chaffetz filed a bill to grant asylum to foreign homeschoolers. Via press release from Home School Legal Defense:
Amid the immigration debate in Washington, D.C., a new bill would make it possible for families who are persecuted for homeschooling to find refuge in the United States. This legislation was developed by HSLDA along with supportive members of Congress in the wake of the Romeike family's 2013 asylum case after they fled their home country of Germany under the threat of fines and imprisonment for homeschooling their children. Introduced as H.R. 1153, the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act of 2015, the bill is scheduled for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee this week. "We did not want to have to leave our home in Germany in order to homeschool," Uwe Romeike explained. "But when we were harshly treated, America opened its doors to us. America has become our new home. We want to be citizens of this great country, and we are so grateful to the congressmen for writing this bill." The bill explicitly refers to homeschooling as a particular social group and specifies that a person is deemed to be eligible for asylum if he or she is persecuted for homeschooling or if the person resists anti-homeschooling laws in his country of origin.
Chaffetz also tried in vain to stop same-sex marriage in DC.

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Today's Bible Lesson

You may recall that last fall megachurch Pastor Robby Gallaty declared that it's OK to hate gay people since God wants them put to death anyway. Gallaty just blocked me merely for retweeting the above message.

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NOM Applauds Alabama Supreme Court

"We praise the justices of the Alabama Supreme Court who have ruled in overwhelming fashion that the laws of Alabama defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman must be followed by state officials. A single federal judge does not have the authority to force a state to redefine marriage and it's high time that out of control judges were put in their place. We call on other states to similarly order their state's officials to enforce state marriage laws."- Hate group leader Brian Brown, who has had very little else to applaud for a very, very long time.

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Pat Robertson: You Don't Need To Hire An Exorcist, Cast Out Demons Yourself

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Cal Thomas: The End Times Schedule Calls For SCOTUS To Approve Marriage

"I think it’s going to go 5-4 or even 6-3 in favor of same-sex marriage. All of these things are not the cause of our decadence, they’re a reflection of it, If you read the Scriptures, as I do, in both testaments all of these things are forecast in prophesies, in the book of Daniel and what Jesus and Paul said, so I'm not worried about it. I say everything is right on schedule. I’m trying to shore up my own family first and, hopefully, that will be an example to other people. If you look at not only what Jesus said, but Paul the Apostle, about what things would be like in the end times, people will be lovers of lies rather than the truth. They will elevate things that are called abomination in scripture to normality. All of the prophesies up to the final ones have come true. And that’s why I say that everything is right on schedule." - Wingnut commentator and USA Today columnist Cal Thomas, speaking to Michelangelo Signorile at CPAC.

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African-American Pastors Group To Honor Judge Roy Moore With MLK Award

Via press release:
Today, the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) announced that Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore would receive their first ever “Letter from Birmingham Jail Courage Award” in recognition of Justice Moore’s principled stand in defense of traditional marriage.

The group was moved to honor Chief Justice Moore following his defense of Alabama’s statutory and constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Moore’s actions were based on the fact that the federal court does not have the power to redefine marriage in direct opposition to legal tradition and the clearly expressed will of the people. His courage and conviction persuaded CAAP that Chief Moore was the ideal honoree for the inaugural presentation of an award inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous letter.

“Chief Justice Moore is an example for all of us,” stated Rev. William Owens, President of CAAP. “By making a principled and persuasive stand for marriage, Chief Justice Moore has singled himself out as someone who is ready to defend our most cherished values and help lead this new civil rights movement. By his words and courageous actions, he has helped preserve marriage, the family, justice, and the spirit of democracy. This is what it means to be a ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail Courage Award’ recipient. We hope that his example inspires others to take similar action to defend marriage in their own communities.”

The group announced that they plan to present the Letter from Birmingham Jail Courage Award to Justice Moore in a special ceremony in April.
RELATED: JMG reader Keith reminds us that CAAP is a NOM front-group.

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Headline Of The Day

Details. As always, it's important to keep in mind that these terrorists routinely accuse people of being gay in order to "justify" their murders.

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ALABAMA: Mobile County Probate Judge Stops Issuing All Marriage Licenses

Via the Associated Press:
The probate court in one of Alabama’s biggest counties says it won’t issue any marriage licenses at all after the Alabama Supreme Court disagreed with a federal court and upheld the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Mobile County’s probate court posted a notice on its website Wednesday saying it is halting all marriages while it reviews the decision. The announcement doesn’t say how long that review might take. And it’s still unknown what probate judges in Alabama’s 66 other counties will do. A federal judge had previously ordered Mobile County’s probate judge to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
And here we go again.

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SLOVENIA: Haters Vow Referendum To Repeal Marriage Law, Success Unlikely

Yesterday Slovenia became the 12th European nation to legalize same-sex marriage and anti-gay groups are already plotting a public vote to repeal the new laws. Via Reuters:
Two center-right opposition parties and several civic groups fiercely opposed the changes, particularly giving same-sex couples the right to adopt children. The Civil Initiative for Family and Children's Rights, which opposes the changes, said on Wednesday it would push for a referendum on the law, which is similar to one rejected by Slovenians in a popular vote in 2012. It is unlikely to succeed because Slovenia changed its referendum legislation in 2013 and no longer allows plebiscites on human rights issues. A number of other European Union member countries have already recognized same-sex marriage, including Britain, France and Spain, although it remains a contentious issue in more socially conservative eastern states. Croatia, which like Slovenia was part of former Yugoslavia, rejected same-sex marriage in a referendum in late 2013 and bans gay couples from adopting children, although they can register their partnerships.

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Today's #HillaryScare From The GOP

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Today At The Supreme Court

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Liberty Counsel: The Alabama Supreme Court Has Restored The Rule Of Law

"The ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court is historic, and is one of the most researched and well reasoned opinions on marriage to be issued by any court in the country. The legitimacy of the judiciary is undermined when a judge legislates from the bench or usurps the power reserved to the states regarding natural marriage. This decision of the Alabama Supreme Court is very well reasoned, which is quite rare from today’s courts. The decision not only affirms natural marriage but also restores the rule of law." - Mat Staver, head of Liberty Counsel, which filed the writ of mandamus that resulted in last night's ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court.

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Ben Carson: People Turn Gay In Prison, Proving That Homosexuality Is A Choice

Via Politico:
Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and potential Republican presidential candidate, said Wednesday that “a lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay.” The remarks were made on CNN’s “New Day” in response to a question from host Chris Cuomo, who asked if Carson thought being gay was a “choice.” “Absolutely,” Carson replied. Asked why, he went on to explain his prison theory. “So did something happen while they were in there?” he said. “Ask yourself that question.” Carson made waves in 2013 when he compared gay marriage to pedophilia and bestiality in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

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Tweet Of The Day

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Lindsey Graham Jokes About Pelosi's "Surgeries" Then Fauxpologizes On Fox

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Today's Pitch From Matt Barber

Every few days Christian leader Matt Barber sends out an email blast to promote right-wing products. Today's t-shirt pitch: "A humorous Second Amendment twist on 'Smile, wait for flash' phrase commonly used when taking photos. A great way to bring a smile to people's face, or to warn criminals what's waiting for them if they mess with you. Printed on the front of a gray shirt." In recent months Barber has twice published columns from advocates of the gay death penalty.

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Tony Perkins Applauds Charlotte

"Hundreds of people packed out the small space in a heated debate over the city's special SOGI ordinance. In unprecedented numbers, more than 120 signed up to speak at the meeting before the members voted on a measure that would strip the First Amendment rights of anyone with a biblical view of sexuality. In the end, though, even carving out the most objectionable provision couldn't save the bill. Forty thousand emails, a few rallies, and several alerts later, members voted 6-5 to kill the bill -- handing the Left another crushing defeat in its bid to silence and punish conservatives for their views. At the meeting, homosexual activists insisted this was a matter of life and death for the LGBT community. The reality is, these efforts are a matter of livelihood and the death of freedom for Christians across America. Bakers, fire chiefs, policeman, lobbyists, teachers, wedding planners -- they're all being forced by the government to check their beliefs at the workplace door under measures exactly like this one. Fortunately, the American people are starting to catch on to the Left's march and demanding leaders send these SOGI ordinances where they belong: to the trash bin. Our thanks to everyone in Charlotte who stood on principle and sent a powerful message to the Left -- not in our town!" - Hate group leader Tony Perkins, via press release.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

ALABAMA: State Supreme Court Orders Stop To Same-Sex Marriages

Via AL.com:
Weeks after a United States District Court judge in Mobile ordered a probate judge there to issue same-sex marriage licenses, the Alabama Supreme Court has ordered a halt to same-sex marriages in the state. "As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for 'marriage' between only one man and one woman," the order said. "Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty." While same-sex marriage advocates chanted "love wins" outside Alabama courthouses last month, the Alabama Supreme Court said love has little to do with legal marriage in the state. "This notion has broad public appeal and is, perhaps, the mantra most repeated in public discussions of this matter," the court wrote. "But although love may be an important factor in a lasting marriage, civil marriage has no public interest in whether the people seeking a marriage license love one another."
Chief Justice Roy Moore appears to have recused himself from the case. See the full ruling. At this writing there's been no change to the Wikipedia map.

UPDATE: The Human Rights Campaign reacts:
Today, HRC condemned a ruling by the Alabama state Supreme Court ordering a halt to same-sex marriages in the state. In the ruling, the Court granted an emergency petition by two anti-LGBT groups, the Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program, who sought to stop probate judges from issuing marriage licenses across the state. The order, which has no foundation in constitutional law, flies in the face a prevailing federal ruling by Judge Callie V.S. Granade issued weeks ago.

“The Alabama state Supreme Court does not have the authority to interfere with a federal court order,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “This order is outrageous and baffling, and no amount of legalese can hide the bare animus that forms the foundation of this extralegal ruling.”

In the bizarre, rambling 150 page opinion, the majority on the state Supreme Court steps far beyond the complaint before it, arguing, “Throughout the entirety of its history, Alabama has chosen the traditional definition of marriage. […] Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law.”
UPDATE II: The Liberty Counsel does a cartwheel:
In a statement after the ruling, lawyers from Liberty Counsel, which represented the plaintiffs, applauded the decision and blasted the federal judge who ruled in favor of same-sex marriages in Mobile. "The ruling represents a significant shift of momentum in the same-sex marriage agenda, and is a direct challenge to the orders of U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade, who in January purported to overturn Alabama's marriage laws," the firm said in a statement released Tuesday night. "The ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court offers the most forceful and clearly articulated rebuttal to date of the imaginative arguments for same-sex 'marriage' employed by federal courts."
UPDATE III: Roy Moore has posted three different news links to tonight's action on his Facebook page.

UPDATE IV: Freedom To Marry reacts:
The Alabama Supreme Court has done a disservice to itself, not to mention a massive injustice to the people of Alabama, in allowing itself to be used to temporarily obstruct the freedom to marry and the enforcement of the constitutions guarantees. This latest Roy Moore travesty will not stand. The probate judges who are caught in the middle will be looking for guidance, and I am confident that the federal courts — and soon the U.S. Supreme Court — will provide it. The sad thing is that this manipulated lawsuit — the Alabama Supreme Court led by Roy Moore did not even ask for briefing on the constitutional questions it rushed to get wrong — will be one more delay for, and insult, to the loving couples seeking to marry, albeit a temporary one.

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ADF Nutjobs: LGBT Rights Laws Are Just Reverse Discrimination Against Christians

From the Alliance Defending Freedom:
Religious freedom and Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) ordinances are on a collision course. They cannot coexist. SOGIs prohibit discrimination in the facilities or accommodations open to the public – for example, restrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities. Sounds pretty good, right? In practice, however, these ordinances have been used to trample over others’ religious freedom by forcing individuals and business-owners to accept and endorse messages, ideas, and events that violate their deeply-held religious convictions. American citizens shouldn’t live in fear of being punished for what they say or believe, yet that is exactly what these ordinances open the door for.

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Meet The Bears Of Sweet Paul

The foodies among you may already be familiar with Sweet Paul, which began years ago as Paul Lowe's personal cooking blog and has since grown to become a wildly popular print and online magazine. Lowe (above left, also known as "the gay Martha Stewart") does the kitchen work while the business side of the enterprise is handled by "the other Paul" - my longtime pal Paul Vitale. The fifth anniversary issue of Sweet Paul launches next week and I'm just the worst friend ever not to have mentioned them before now. And hey, they've even put out a well-received cookbook, Sweet Paul: Eat & Make. Join their 70,000 fans on Facebook.

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Today In GOP Infighting

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Slovenia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

By a vote of 51-28 the Slovene Parliament has just amended that country's Marriage & Family Relations Act to legalize same-sex marriage, becoming the 12th European nation to do so. All but Iceland and Norway are members of the European Union. How do you like them apples, World Congress of Families? I'm being told by a Slovene JMG reader that the "evil hounds of hell" are already calling for a referendum to repeal today's action. A poll issued last month showed that 59% of Slovenes support same-sex marriage.

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Charlotte Haters: We're Not Nazis

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TEXAS: Let's Copy Arkansas And Ban Every City From Enforcing LGBT Rights

John Wright reports at the Texas Observer:
A Fort Bend County Republican has introduced a bill that would prohibit cities from enforcing ordinances protecting LGBT people against discrimination. State Rep. Rick Miller’s House Bill 1556 would bar cities from adopting nondiscrimination ordinances that include protected classes not contained in state law. Texas law doesn’t include sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. If passed, Miller’s bill would undo LGBT protections passed by numerous cities, including Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and Plano. Altogether more than 7.5 million Texans are covered by such ordinances.
RELATED: Last week West Virginia GOP lawmakers also tried to copy Arkansas, but the Republican head of the state Senate has declared that there is "no way" that the bill will be heard in his chamber.

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Eric Holder On The DOJ's Marriage Brief

"This week, the Justice Department will file a brief setting forth our position that state bans on same-sex marriage violate the fundamental constitutional guarantee of 'equal protection of the laws.' It is clear that the time has come to recognize that gay and lesbian people deserve robust protection from discrimination. Nothing justifies excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage. Denying them the right to marry serves only to demean them and their children, to degrade the dignity of their families and to deny them the full, free and equal participation in American life to which every citizen is entitled.

"I am proud to have had the opportunity not only to watch this great national pivot, but to take part in it. In 2011, I recommended to President Obama that the Department of Justice no longer defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which excluded gay and lesbian couples from federal marriage benefits. In my view, DOMA was indefensible, and the Supreme Court vindicated that position in a landmark decision in 2013. I will always be proud of the role that the Justice Department played in achieving and implementing that victory, which has driven a surge of court decisions securing marriage rights in states from coast to coast." - United States Attorney General Eric Holder, writing for USA Today.

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HRC Claims Record With "People's Brief"

According to the Human Rights Campaign, their People's Brief to the US Supreme Court has garnered over 207,000 signatures, a record for an amicus brief. HRC head Chad Griffin: "Each and every signature on this brief – more than 200,000 of them – is a piece of evidence that this country is ready for marriage equality. Through this historic document, the American people, LGBT and allies alike, are standing shoulder to shoulder to insist on fairness for all. Ultimately, this brief tells a simple truth – the Constitution cannot tolerate discrimination, and it's time for all couples to be treated equally under the law." The brief will be delivered to SCOTUS on Friday.

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HomoQuotable - Noah Michelson

"From Grindr profiles that demand 'masc only' to men like [Russell] Tovey who think their masculinity -- however manufactured, however antithetical to who they truly were when they landed on this planet -- is what makes them marketable or desirable, our obsession with what it means to be a man and what it means to fall short of that is keeping us from becoming truly liberated.

"If it weren't for my father, I wouldn't be who I am today. I could have been forced to play football in hopes that it would somehow unleash the man dozing inside of me. I could have been sent to therapy in hopes that I could be reprogrammed, repaired, made whole. I could have ended up with a belt around my neck and swinging from the light fixture in our formal dining room. But I wasn't. But I didn't. I am one of the lucky ones.

"My father died eight years ago. He never got to see the man that I've become and we never specifically talked about everything he did for me -- what he made me -- simply by loving me. Without a son of my own, it's a gift that I can only attempt to pay forward to the thousands of boys and men who come after me -- who brush past me in crowded subway cars or surround me on Facebook or might be reading this now -- by speaking up and saying I am a faggot and it didn't happen by mistake. And if you're a faggot too, I hope you know you don't need to toughen up. You never have to stop prancing. You are not a mistake." - Noah Michelson, writing for the Huffington Post.

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Another Episode Of GOP #HillaryScare

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Ben Carson Files For Presidential Bid

Tea Party darling Ben Carson has filed the Federal Elections Commission paperwork to formally announce his "potential" presidential candidacy. Here's the first money beg:
I’ve decided to explore a potential run for the office of President because I believe my values, life experience, and willingness to speak the truth and seek solutions, prepares me well to lead our nation toward more prosperity, security, and freedom for every American. As I travel around the country to listen, learn and determine whether or not this is a race I can win, your financial support during the next two months will be extremely helpful. To make a secure contribution to my exploratory committee now, please go here. I look forward to working with you, and the rest of our fellow citizens to restore the promise of America. Thank you, and God Bless America.
RELATED: Last month the National Review revealed that the National Draft Ben Carson for President Super PAC isn’t affiliated with Carson and that none of the $13M already raised has actually gone to him. Carson's campaign manager pleads: "People giving money think it’s going to Dr. Carson and it’s not. Our hands are tied. We don’t want people exploited."

UPDATE: And now there's a video.

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Matt Barber: Gay Marriage Ruling Will Be Sledgehammer To Destroy The Church

"If, God forbid, the Supreme Court somehow defines and manufactures a constitutional so-called right to sodomy-based marriage this summer, in June, if they do that then the floodgates will be open. There will be Christian persecution widespread across the United States and the so-called gay marriage agenda will be the sledgehammer used to crush the church and to crush religious liberty and the crush individual Christians, their finances, to ruin them. That's what this agenda was always about and that's what we will see if the Supreme Court goes the wrong way in June." - Matt Barber, speaking on the Liberty Counsel's radio program. In recent months Barber has twice published columns from advocates of executing all LGBT Americans.

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