Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Posts tagged "LGBTQ"

thepoliticalfreakshow:

WASHINGTON — The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held Monday that Virginia’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is unconstitutional.

On a 2-1 vote, the appeals court joined the wave of court decisions declaring such bans unconstitutional. The decision, by Judge Henry Floyd acknowledged both the debate over such laws and, in the court’s view, the clear constitutional impediment to laws banning same-sex couples from marrying.

“We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable,” he wrote. “However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws.”

In considering the matter, Floyd, joined by Judge Roger Gregory, ruled, “The Virginia Marriage Laws … impede the right to marry by preventing same-sex couples from marrying and nullifying the legal import of their out-of-state marriages. Strict scrutiny therefore applies in this case.”

Judge Paul Niemeyer dissented from the decision, writing, “Because there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage and there are rational reasons for not recognizing it, just as there are rational reasons for recognizing it, I conclude that we, in the Third Branch, must allow the States to enact legislation on the subject in accordance with their political processes.”

The court heard arguments in the case in May.

Read the opinion.

Source: Chris Geidner for Buzzfeed

The vice president of a notorious right-wing legal organization has spent much of 2014 developing one of the most extreme anti-LGBT “news” sites on the internet. Now he’s using the site to hawk a treasure trove of right-wing merchandise and souvenirs.

In January of 2014, Liberty Counsel vice president Matt Barber launched BarbWire.com, a website that claims to offer news and opinion “from a decidedly biblical worldview.”

Though BarbWire isn’t exclusively an anti-LGBT website – the site spares some vitriol for immigrantsMuslimsreproductive choice, and President Barack Obama – LGBT topics have dominated its content since its inception. BarbWire’s first post championed Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for his comments comparing gay people to murderers and equating homosexuality with bestiality. 

In its short existence, the site has featured commentary some of America’s most notorious homophobes; Scott Lively, an American pastor closely linked to anti-LGBT persecution in Uganda and Russia; the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who blames gay men for the HolocaustLaurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, another anti-LGBT hate group; and Robert Oscar Lopez, an anti-gay activist who has made a second career of publishing bizarre gay erotica novels.

Unsurprisingly, BarbWire has become a hub for the kind of anti-LGBT propaganda that even many conservative news sites shy away from:

Hucksterism

But BarbWire is more than just a platform for publishing the Right’s more unsavory anti-LGBT sentiments – it’s also a money-making scheme for Liberty Counsel’s Barber.

In July, subscribers to BarbWire’s mailing list began receiving emails peddling products from Patriot Depot, a website that offers “supplies for the conservative revolution.”

There’s the “’Say Hello To My Little Friend’ Garden Gnome,” available for $18.95:

A tin “Don’t Tread On Me” sign could be yours for $14.95:

You could purchase an “Obama’s Last Day Countdown Clock” for $12.95:

And nothing will stick it to liberals quite like Rise, Kill, & Eat, a paean to “edible wildlife” from “Genesis to Revelation” featuring a foreword by Ted Nugent:

Both BarbWire.com and Patriot Depot are part of Liberty Alliance, a network of conservative web sites and web stores. 

BarbWire And Liberty Counsel

BarbWire’s anti-LGBT extremism closely mirrors the work Barber is known for at Liberty Counsel.

Led by Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel is the legal arm of the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University. Billed as a nonprofit “litigation, education, and policy organization,” Liberty Counsel is notorious for championing even the most extreme anti-gay causes in the name of religious freedom. The organization defended Scott Lively against a federal human rights lawsuit stemming from his role in a 2009 bill that would have imposed the death penalty for homosexuality in Uganda. While Liberty Counsel fancies itself as a serious conservative legal organization, it also churns out bombastic statements denouncing LGBT-inclusive education as “sexual assault” on the nation’s children.

Despite his fondness for fringe causes, Staver’s connections in conservative media and politics have helped elevate Liberty Counsel to a prominent position on the Religious Right. A close associate of Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Staver is a repeat guest on Fox and has testified before Congress in support of “ex-gay” therapy. In recent weeks, Liberty Counsel garnered headlines for defending Florida’s same-sex marriage ban in court.

And though Liberty Counsel is not formally affiliated with BarbWire.com, Staver hasn’t hesitated to be a frequent contributor to his deputy’s website. (Sample headlines: “Obama Puts Homosexual Rights Over Children’s Innocence,” “Sharia Law Is A Growing Threat To American Culture,” and “36,000 New Reasons To Impeach Obama.”)

For years, conservative outlets like Fox have reliably offered Liberty Counsel favorable, accountability-free treatment, allowing figures like Staver to depict Liberty Counsel’s work as part of a noble effort to defend religious liberty and obscuring the group’s true extremism. Now, in order to disseminate that extremism unfiltered, the group’s vice president felt compelled to create his own “news” site – offering an ugly look at the animus that motivates his organization’s work.

See Also: Right Wing Watch’s archives about BarbWire.com

h/t: Luke Brinker at Equality Matters

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Ohio State University marching band director Jonathan Waters was abruptly fired this week, following a two-month investigation of the band’s rumored hazing rituals that found he witnessed and silently approved of the deeply offensive, disgusting and blatantly homophobic conduct happening among its members.

According to the report, obtained and published by Deadspin, band members kept a physical booklet that included the lyrics to the vulgar parody “fight songs” they wrote. While many of the songs are directly inspired by the fight songs of rival schools (“Come blow us, Michigan, Our cocks are waiting for you”), some of the most vulgar songs are totally out of left field.

Take, for instance, this one called “Proud to be a Homosexual”. Set to the tune of “God Bless the USA”, the chorus reads:

And I”m proud to be a homosexual,
Where at least I can run free.
And I won’t forget the fags with AIDS,
Who gave that right to me.
And I’ll gladly bend over,and spread my cheeks,
So you may sodomize me.

v7hzpydpav4vgl7ywohu

The lovely “Pieces of Baritone Shit” is even more shocking:

Bite my ass and lick my balls you mother fucking queers,
Get on your knees and tell me how the megaphone fits up your mother-fucking ass YOU GAY FAGS!
Lick my balls and lube up your ass,
Anal sex gives you nasty gas.
Fuck you, you big gay fags.
You pieces of Baritone shit!

bancale-shit

Another song, titled “Brigham Young is a Goddamn Queer”, is…well…here:

ibwwx08laybtcdvcwaxv

The report also reveals the disgusting nicknames given to underclassmen, almost all inspired directly by sexual acts. A female student “pretending to be a vibrating sex toy” was named “E Row Vibrator”; a male student “conducting a full-body demonstration of a flaccid penis becoming erect” was “Jizzy.”

Other names given to students included “Jewoobs,” “Squirt,” “Testicles,” “Twat Thumper,” and “Twinkle Dick.”

As expected, the news has led to media hunt in search of Waters’ all-time lows. Early this morning, Ohio State University released an audio clip of Waters “disciplining” a band member:

The public, understandably, is outraged:

This Illini fan HATES Ohio State, and this is yet more reason I HATE them. 

thepoliticalfreakshow:

A second Florida judge has ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and unenforceable. It is the second such ruling in the state in as many weeks. Like last week’s ruling, the decision has been stayed pending appeal, so same-sex couples cannot yet begin marrying in Florida.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel opened her decision with an excerpt from Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision that overturned all bans on interracial marriage. Referring to passages like, “The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious… discriminations,” she noted that the language “applies equally” to the case at hand. She suggested it was “disingenuous” of the state to ignore it in their arguments.

Zabel dismissed many of the arguments made by Florida in court, including attempts to define “marriage” as inherently only being between a man and a woman. “The inquiry is not whether there is a right to same-sex marriage,” she emphasized, “but whether same-sex couples can be excluded from the right to marriage.”

Arguments about childrearing also fell flat, particularly because of Florida’s own jurisprudence; state courts previously knocked down laws banning same-sex couples from adopting in 2010. Not only does the court record show that same-sex couples make equally effective parents, but it demonstrates that child-rearing is a separate issue from marriage altogether. “Rather,” Zabel wrote, “the marriage bans merely prevent same-sex couples from having their already existent families and partnerships recognized in the same manner as opposite-sex couples,” which harms the children they are already raising.

Noting the country’s long history of overcoming prejudice and discrimination, Zabel concluded that, “as evidenced by the avalanche of court decisions unanimously favoring marriage equality, the dam that was denying justice on this front has been broken.”

Source: Zack Ford for ThinkProgress

thepoliticalfreakshow:

LGBT activists in Kyrgyzstan are reaching out to the international community in hopes of averting a disaster that could stem from pending legislation that would rival Russia’s draconian antigay law, according to the blog 76 Crimes.

Russia’s notorious nationwide ban on so-called gay propaganda makes it a crime to speak, write, or demonstrate in support of LGBT people and equality, claiming such advocacy “promotes nontraditional sexual relationships” to minors. However, the proposed Krygyzstani law would go further.

While Russian lawmakers have claimed the law is necessary to “protect children” from the dangers of homosexuality, the proposed law in the former Soviet nation of Kyrgyzstan law doesn’t even try to couch its repression in a faux concern for youth.

If passed, the Kyrgyzstani law would criminalize any positive comments about homosexuality, “sodomy, lesbianism, or any other forms of non-traditional sexual behavior,” made through any form of electronic or print media to any person of any age.

LGBT rights activists in Kyrgyzstan, a predominantly Muslim country of 5.6 million people, say they have “exhausted almost all domestic means to stop the bill,” reports 76 Crimes. The activists see no other choice remaining but to reach beyond their borders for support.

Kyrgyzstani LGBT rights activists are especially eager to increase pressure on members of the country’s Supreme Council or Jogorku Kengesh (equivalent to a unicameral parliament) from non-western countries — specifically from Latin America and Asia, according to 76 Crimes.

Yet it was a South African LGBT media outlet that appears to be the first to respond to the Kyrgyzstani activists’ plea for help. “Gay activists in the Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan are calling for international support as a proposed Putin-style anti-gay law is set to limit the rights of LGBT people,” wrote Luiz Barros in Johannesburg-based Mamba Online.

Kyrgyzstan already has a climate of hostility toward LGBT people, noted Human Rights Watch when news of the proposed law first hit in March. At that time, Human Rights Watch called on the Jogoku Kengesh to withdraw the bill.

“This draconian bill is blatantly discriminatory against LGBT people and would deny citizens across Kyrgyzstan their fundamental rights,” said Hugh Williamson, the group’s Europe and Central Asia director in March. The organization also urged the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe — which will consider Kyrgyzstan’s application for special “Partnership for Democracy” status with it April 8 — to “send a strong message that the bill is unacceptable, and make clear that partnership status is wholly incompatible with legislation of this kind.”

The Kyrgyzstani activists’ plea for help from international supporters of LGBT rights was specific in its call to action, listing five ways ordinary people can help. Those methods include getting the word out on the proposed propaganda ban via social media, direct outreach to elected and appointed officials, and word-of-mouth; organizing town halls, informational lectures and protests; asking donors to review their giving policies toward Kyrgyzstan; imposing sanctions by governments and nongovernmental organizations; and advocacy for better asylum policies for LGBT people from Kyrgyzstan.

According to the CIA’s World Fact Book, 75 percent of Kyrgyzstanis are Muslim, while another 20 percent are Russian Orthodox — while five percent are “other.” Russian Orthodoxy and much of the Islamic religious establishment have been driving forces in antigay oppression worldwide in recent decades.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Many may have forgotten, but Tea Party Congresswoman Michele Bachmann got her start in politics by being one of Minnesota’s most anti-gay activists. Like many, the school board was her stomping ground, and Bachmann quickly gained a strong base among the radical religious right. 

Bachmann claimed “the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”  She insisted it is “child abuse” to even discuss homosexuality with children. And she’s called being gay “the very real issue of sexual dysfunction.”

LOOK: Michele Bachmann’s Top Ten Anti-Gay Quotes

After Rep. Bachmann’s disastrous 2012 presidential campaign, for which she, her husband, and her campaign have been the target of several ethics investigations by several entities, including the Office of Congressional Ethics, the nation heard less and less from the four-term, 58-year old, Evangelical Christian Congresswoman, who announced last year she will not be seeking a fifth term.

Less and less, until now.

This week Bachmann announced, “there’s a chance I could run" for President.

And on Wednesday, Rep. Bachmann gave an interview with the conservative radio show, “Faith & Victory,” and harkened back to her extremist anti-gay roots.

Calling it “the rise of tyranny,” Bachmann claims there is “legislation being pushed all across the United States to punish people who don’t agree with” LGBT equality.

"It’s the basis for hate speech laws across the United States," Bachmann said. "This is an effort to have government coerce, force, speech and behavior, and it’s being pushed and advocated by the gay community."

Bachmann, who has spent decades railing against the LGBT community, same-sex marriage, and even gay people raising children, now claims that she supports a “diversity of opinion,” but the LGBT community does not.

"Today," Bachmann continued, "the big push is on transgender."

"I believe we’re going to see coming an effort for multiple in marriage. Not just tow, but multiple in marriage. I think they want to legalize that."

"Also, they want to abolish age of consent laws. We would do away with statutory rape laws, so adults would be able to freely prey on little children sexually. That’s the deviance that we’re seeing embraced in our culture today.”

Listen:

Editor’s note: This is the first in a short series of excerpts from Bachmann’s interview — stay tuned for more later in the day.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr
Hat tip and audio: Right Wing Watch

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Philip Francis and Mark Longhurst at The Atlantic

thepoliticalfreakshow:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) on Tuesday introduced the Social Security and Medicare Parity Act in the U.S. House, a bill to close loopholes in the Social Security Act and guarantee that all married couples, including same-sex couples, receive the Social Security and Medicare spouse and survivor benefits that they have earned.

U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)AP

U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)

Following last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as between one man and one woman, the Department of Justice conducted a review to determine implementation of spouse and survivor benefits.

The review concluded that, despite Section 3 of DOMA being ruled unconstitutional, several provisions of the Social Security Act prohibit the federal government from paying same-sex married couples their earned Social Security and Medicare benefits if the state does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The Social Security Act also requires couples to be married for nine months before they can qualify for Social Security benefits, or twelve months for a retired spouse to receive benefits.

Takano’s bill would close these loopholes by:

  • Repealing discriminatory provisions and allow the Social Security Administration to award benefits to any marriage that is valid.
  • Allowing same-sex married couples whose marriage was prohibited by state law to use a combination of marriage time and time in domestic partnership to qualify for benefits.
  • Requiring the Social Security Administration to conduct a comprehensive outreach campaign to encourage same-sex couples to apply for the benefits they may be owed.

“One year has passed since the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act,” said Takano, one of only eight openly LGBT members of the U.S. Congress. “However, the Department of Justice’s interpretation of existing law means that some same-sex couples who live in discriminatory states could be denied Social Security or Medicare benefits.”

“The Social Security and Medicare Parity Act of 2014 closes that loophole and guarantees that all married couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, receive the Social Security and Medicare spouse and survivor benefits they have earned,” he said.

UPDATE: Here’s the Tumblr for Rep. Mark Takano, who follows me on Tumblr: repmarktakano

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW

thepoliticalfreakshow:

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore, an Obama appointee, issued a ruling declaring that Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Moore stayed the decision, but only temporarily until Monday.

State Attorney General John Suthers (R), who has been defending Colorado’s ban, made a strange tactical decision in this particular case. Though he argued that he believes the ban is constitutional, he still asked Moore to overturn it and then stay that decision. This, Suthers seemed to hope, would force Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall to stop issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

Since last month, when the 10th Circuit agreed with a lower court that Utah’s same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, Hall has been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She has argued that the 10th Circuit’s stay in the Utah case only applies to Utah, but its ruling against marriage bans applies to the whole Circuit, which includes Colorado. Suthers has asked state courts to force Hall to stop, but his requests have been denied, including again Wednesday morning. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Boulder County Clerk’s office reports that it has issued a total of 181 marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Moore’s decision follows a ruling by a Colorado state judge earlier this month similarly overturning the state’s law. The two cases will proceed in their separate jurisdictions.

Source: Zack Ford for ThinkProgress

Fox News contributor Erick Erickson endorsed a congressional candidate’s assertion that “the homosexual movement” is “destroying America.” 

On July 22, Georgia Republican Jody Hice won the Republican primary to succeed Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) in the state’s 10th congressional district. In the wake of Hice’s victory, BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kacynski highlighted 11 examples of Hice’s history of inflammatory commentary on LGBT issues.

Erickson, who has endorsed Hice, responded to Kaczynski’s post by tweeting that “most every conservatives [sic]” would agree with items “1, 5, 9, and maybe 10”:

The passages Erickson endorsed included Hice’s claim that “the homosexual movement is … destroying America by aggressively seeking to destroy traditional families, religion, and marriages for the purpose of removing all societal moral boundaries”:

The item Erickson thought most conservatives would “maybe” agree with concerned Hice’s suggestion that gay people can change their sexual orientation:

Erickson himself has made clear that he endorses harmful and discredited efforts to change gay people’s identities, having written on June 20 that gay people must “overcome” the “struggle” of homosexuality.

At Fox, Erickson stands out as one of the network’s most rabidly anti-LGBT commentators. He has previously written that gay people are on the “road to hell” and warned businesses that serve gay couples that they are “aiding and abetting” sin.

Moreover, Erickson is a prominent supporter of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a right-wing legal group working internationally to help criminalize homosexuality.

H/T: Luke Brinker at Equality Matters