Hate group angry gay Conservatives attending CPAC

Anti-gay Tony Perkins of the SPLC certified hate-group The Family Research Council posted an angry rant on The Daily Caller blog about how the inclusion of GOProud at CPAC would cause the world to tilt off it’s axis and spin into Venus and Mars like a top-loaded drag queen at the White Party.

From Mr. Perkins:

The inclusion of GOProud as not only an exhibitor but as a member of the planning committee indicates a fairly obvious effort to “mainstream” an organization whose commitment to overturning the historic prohibition on homosexuals in the military, the Defense of Marriage Act, and state laws against same-sex marriage is the reason for its existence.

Any group that purports to be conservative should not attempt to destroy the foundations of conservatism itself, and we will not aid and abet such groups by partnering with them.

Attacking both marriage and the military is a blunt-edged assault on the two institutions that, with churches and synagogues, compose the superstructure of our national life. On them hang the future of our children, our economy, and our security. On these things, true conservatives must never waver nor compromise.

Talk about a hot cup of crazy…. So when progressive/LGBT citizens stand up for equality, freedom, all those things that make America what it is, WE are the ones destroying the country? Seriously.

I’m not the biggest fan of GOProud as I can’t wrap my head around the idea of gay conservatives making their personal wealth a priority over LGBT rights and equality, but if GOProud wants to attend the jamboree, I say let them.

Just a hot cup of crazy…

Kansas: Manhattan passes anti-discrimination ordinance

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Manhattan, Kansas – often referred to as “little Apple” – on Tuesday passed an ordinance that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

News reports say the City Commission of Manhattan passed the ordinance on a vote of 3-2, making Manhattan only the second city in Kansas to protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation.  Let’s hear it for the kids in Kansas!

I guess it pays to shave…

The city of Fort Wayne recently posted an online poll to allow citizens to vote in naming the city’s new government center. However, it looks like the current leader of the poll – with more than triple it’s nearest competitor – won’t be the name on the new center.

It seems that popular Harry Baals, a former Republican mayor has been leading the list. Baals – pronounced “balls” by the then-mayor but “bales” by his descendents – became the Republican nominee for mayor in 1934 and was elected for three successive terms. He returned to politics in 1951 by winning a fourth term but died in office in May 1954. His accomplishments include elevating the railroads in town and negotiating the contract with the Army to establish Baer Field as an air base.

While Baals was a popular mayor, Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy noted he had an unfortunate name and some elected officials have said such a name would be an embarrassment to the city.

So it looks like there won’t be a Harry Baals Government Center.
(via the Journal Gazette)

NY Governor to legislature: Pass marriage equality

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Fourteen months after the last ill-fated attempt to pass marriage equality in New York state, the recently elected Governor Cuomo said Wednesday that he intends to ask the legislature to take up the issue during this session.

Cuomo campaigned on marriage equality promises, and has repeated said that he would sign a bill allowing same-sex marriage should it reach his desk. Now he is saying “we’ll be working very hard to pass it.”

Supporters weren’t sure if the governor would truly want to take up a socially charged issue like marriage equality with the state budget in disarray.

From the New York Times: It is not immediately obvious how the legislation would fare markedly better this year, given that the composition of the Senate, which is now controlled by Republicans, has not changed significantly since the last vote.

But gay-rights advocates point to public-opinion polls that show more New Yorkers than ever support the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The issue has done well in past sessions of the state Assembly but has found more resistance in the state Senate. Republican Senate Majority leader Dean Skelos has said he won’t block a vote on the issue, but says the legislature needs to focus on the economy right now.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, Jan. 27 revealed that the majority of New York residents support legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

56 percent of those surveyed indicate that they support marriage equality; 37 percent do not.

Anti-gay GOP Congressman Resigns in scandal

From The Advocate: “New York GOP Rep. Christopher Lee has resigned in a statement read on the House floor after shirtless photos of him soliciting women on Craigslist surfaced Wednesday.”

It has recently come to light that the GOP congressman from NY was reportedly using a Craigslist account to flirt and send sexy pictures of himself to women on the website. While reportedly sending messages to a woman who happened to be a government employee in Maryland, he identified himself as a “very fit fun classy guy,” age 39 (seven years younger than Lee’s actual age), a lobbyist, and divorced. Congressman Lee is actually married with a son.

Before his resignation, Lee, asked by Fox News about the report as he was walking to his car, said he was not willing to talk about the issue, adding “I have to work this out with my wife.”

During his time in office, Lee has voted to support the anti-gay ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy and also to reject federal abortion funding.

Here’s my thing: don’t stand up and say you represent “traditional values” (code-speak for ‘I’m better than you’) when you’re reportedly trolling around on a social hookup site looking to cheat on your wife. Don’t vote against the rights of LGBT soldiers and women’s rights when you are reportedly lying about being divorced and available to hook up.

I don’t say I’m better than anyone. But I’ve been with Michael for over 17 years. And legally married for almost 8 years. And in that time I don’t get on my “better than you” soapbox while trolling around behind his back. The hypocrisy and harm to one’s family is plain dumb.

And some folks are concerned that gays and lesbians will sully the name of marriage?

Talk about a hot cup of crazy…

Why Marriage Matters

Beginning Valentine’s Day, a new campaign will be launched by Freedom To Marry to get the message out about marriage equality in a clear and compassionate voice.

From Freedom To Marry: “Across the country the thinking of many Americans, from the president to the people next door, continues to – as President Obama put it – ‘evolve’ toward support for same-sex couples joining in the freedom to marry. Freedom to Marry’s team has crunched over a decade’s worth of polling data and field experience to crack the code on moving the reachable but not yet reached,” said Evan Wolfson, Founder and President of Freedom to Marry.

“By engaging friends, families, and neighbors in personal conversations about why marriage matters, each of us can help fair-minded people wrestling with a lack of information and uncertainty, and change hearts and minds.”

More information can be found here.

Hawaii: House committee approves Civil Union Bill

From The Star Advertiser: “The state House Judiciary Committee voted last night to approve a civil-unions bill with amendments to ensure that the relationships are recognized in the tax code and are under the jurisdiction of family court.”

This version of the civil unions bill will now go to the full House for a vote, possibly by next week. It would then need to go back to the Senate to approve added language that will “clarify that since civil unions will not be recognized under federal law, certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that apply to husbands and wives in Hawaii apply with the same force and effect to partners in civil unions. Family Court will also have jurisdiction in matters of annulment, divorce and separation in civil unions, like the court does over marriages.”

With what appears to be strong support in both chambers and a new Democratic governor who has stated he will sign the bill, things look optimistic for the bill’s passage into law.

“State Board of Education member Kim Coco Iwamoto urged lawmakers to pass civil unions, arguing that granting equal rights would help ease discrimination and harassment of gay, lesbian and bisexual students.”

“Rampant anti-gay rhetoric emanating from this debate is subjecting students to a heightened level of harassment,” she said.

Supporters urged lawmakers to recognize equal rights for all of Hawaii’s citizens.

Maryland: 6 Hours of Senate Testimony on Marriage Equality

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The Maryland State Senate heard over 6 hours of testimony in support and opposition to the proposed marriage equality bill working it’s way through the Maryland State legislature.

From the MetroWeekly: “At the hearing, which began about 1 p.m. and lasted into the evening, Senate president Thomas Miller (D-Calvert, Prince George’s) spoke with optimism about the bill’s chances for success. Miller declared then that he predicts about a 70 percent chance that the bill will pass the Senate’s chambers, adding that a Senate vote is expected next week. The Senate’s Clerk Office reported that votes on such matters usually occur on Wednesdays, which would be Feb. 16.”

On the opposition side, National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher, in underestimating the compassion and common sense of equal rights, testified about what she said SB 116 would do to the “public understanding of marriage.”

What always amazes me about the opposition to marriage equality is the often repeated argument that marriage is only about procreation and raising children, and yet many heterosexual marriages have no children. I always wonder would Maggie Gallagher invalidate a marriage if no children were produced? Many senior citizens marry later in life, at a point when child rearing is out of the picture. Yet I never see Maggie opposed those marriages.

Also, there is a very weak argument that marriage is about the Bible and religion. And yet, in the Bible women were also considered “property.” Society evolved. 200 years ago, in this country, African-Americans were slaves and considered 3/5 of a human being. Society evolved. 100 years ago in this country, women didn’t have a voice in government or the right to vote. Society evolved. 50 years ago inter-racial marriage was against the law in many states. Society evolved.

For a marriage to be recognized in the United States, you are required to have a legal marriage license issued by a CIVIL government. This is why opponents are wrong when they try to say their opposition isn’t about civil rights. As long as a marriage license is issued by a CIVIL government, marriage is a civil rights issue. The church doesn’t extend hospital visitation rights, tax inheritance rights, social security survivorship rights – the civil government does. And as long as those rights are attainable by one group and not another, this is clearly a civil rights issue.

I personally have no desire to re-define a religion or it’s beliefs. I don’t want to see any law force a church to do anything against it’s will. But I do think, as long as the government is involved in issuing civil rights attached to a form of partnership, we should have equality for all. These rights should be available to everyone.

One last thing – some opponents argue that gay men have the same right to marry whatever woman they want, just like straight men. I’d like to ask those people: “would you like your sister to marry a gay man? Is that the solution you think would solve problems?”

UPDATE: According to the Baltimore Sun: “Baltimore County Sen. James Brochin found the testimony Tuesday by opponents of gay marriage “troubling,” and said this morning that he may support the bill. The Baltimore County Democrat had previously said he was against same-sex marriage.”

“The demonization of gay families really bothered me,” Brochin said. “Are these families going to continue to be treated by the law as second class citizens?”