Hate Group Leader: If Cory Booker Is Gay, He Is Disqualified From Being Prez

Hate group leader Bryan Fischer tweets, "Is America ready for a homosexual president? If Cory Booker turns out to be gay, he is disqualified. Cannot have a man who engages in sexually deviant behavior in the White House."
Bryan Fischer

Wow.

In tweeting out a link to Politico’s article on Senator Cory Booker’s bid to become the Democratic candidate for president in 2020, virulently anti-gay activist Bryan Fischer, of the American Family Association, asks:

“Is America ready for a homosexual president? If Cory Booker turns out to be gay, he is disqualified. Cannot have a man who engages in sexually deviant behavior in the White House.”

The U.S. Constitution lists the following as requirements to be president: one must be 35 years of age, a resident within the United States for 14 years, and a natural born Citizen.

While Booker has publicly stated he is not gay (and whether he is or isn’t is none of our business), there is nothing in the Constitution that disqualifies someone LGBT from being president.

The American Family Association has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Twitterverse clapped back with a lopsided 12:1 ratio of comments to ‘Likes.’

Gay-Hating Kim Davis May Have To Pay $222K To Gay Couple’s Legal Team

Former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis

Back in 2015, then-candidate for Kentucky governor Matt Bevin was proud to announce he “absolutely supported” Kim Davis, the infamous county clerk who denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that marriage equality had become the law of the land, Davis refused to issue the licenses citing her deeply-held religious beliefs.

It’s important to note that those ‘deeply-held religious beliefs’ about the sanctity of marriage didn’t stop her from marrying three different men four times, so, there’s that.

At the time, the state required the name of the county clerk to appear on each marriage license, and Davis saw that as tacit endorsement of same-sex marriage. Digging in her heels, she stopped issuing marriage licenses altogether.

Gay and straight couples, now unable to marry, sued Davis with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. The result was a federal judge ordering Davis to issue the licenses, but she still refused.

And so it was that the judge found her in contempt of court, and she was jailed for five days making her the darling of the anti-LGBT crowd.

The eventual solution was the Kentucky legislature changing state law that required county clerks names on marriage licenses. The gay and straight couples were issued marriage licenses, and the lawsuit against Davis was dismissed in that the issue had been resolved.

Davis went on to write a book, campaigned for a failed same-sex marriage ban in Romania, and then, this past November was voted out of office.

But this sad tale isn’t quite done, yet. There is, as they say, the issue of the bill.

In 2017, a district judge ruled that the state of Kentucky had to pay the $222,000 legal costs of the gay and straight couples who had brought the lawsuit against Davis.

According to the Associated Press, lawyers for now-Governor Matt Bevin say state taxpayers “should not have to collectively bear the financial responsibility for Davis’ intransigence.”

“Only Davis refused to comply with the law as was her obligation and as required by the oath of office she took,” Bevin attorney Palmer G. Vance II wrote in a brief filed with the court.

“Her local policy stood in direct conflict with her statutory obligation to issue marriage licenses to qualified Kentucky couples,” continued Vance in the brief. “Davis had an independent and sworn duty to uphold the law as an elected county officer.”

For clarity, both Bevins and Davis believe that the court should not award legal fees saying the gay and straight couples didn’t technically ‘win’ the lawsuit since it was dismissed after the legislative action.

Steve Pitt, an in-house lawyer for the governor, says Bevins “continues to support Ms. Davis’s actions,” but if legal fees are to be awarded, “the taxpayers of Kentucky are not responsible to pay the ACLU’s attorney fees.”

Davis’s lawyer, Mat Staver of the virulently anti-LGBT organization Liberty Counsel, which has been labeled an ‘extremist group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center, argues that Davis was acting on behalf of the state.

Since Bevins appealed the initial ruling regarding court costs, the two sides will face off Thursday at the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati where a three-judge panel will hear arguments on who should pay the legal fees.

Anti-LGBT Arizona Artists “Prepared To Go To Jail” If They Lose State Supreme Court Appeal

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski 

Having already lost twice in court, the owners of a wedding invitation design firm in Phoenix, Arizona, have appealed to the state Supreme Court to determine if a public accommodation ordinance that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination violates their First Amendment rights of free religion and free speech.

The co-owners of Brush & Nib Studio, Breanna Koski and Joanna Duka, said in an interview with conservative radio host Todd Starnes they are prepared to go to jail if the state’s high court rules against them.

“I mean that’s that’s a possibility that we’re hoping we won’t have to face,” Duka told Starnes. “We’re hopeful that the Arizona Supreme Court will affirm some rights of artists that will never violate our beliefs and our conscience.”

They are being represented at the state Supreme Court by the virulently anti-LGBTQ law firm, Alliance Defending Freedom.

It’s important to note that no gay couple has asked Brush & Nib Studio for wedding services, nor has anyone has filed a complaint against the artists with the city.

The duo decided to file their initial lawsuit, in May 2016, as a pre-emptive strike of sorts against Phoenix’s non-discrimination ordinance.

The Phoenix City Council added sexual orientation and gender identity to its existing ordinance in 2013.

After losing in the Maricopa County Superior Court, the artists went to the state Court of Appeals. And lost there, too.

Now, the Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to hear their appeal.

The city of Phoenix issued the following statement regarding the issue:

“Phoenix’s non-discrimination ordinance is about access to goods and services on equal terms. The ordinance does not tell businesses what to write, what to think, or what to believe. The city’s legal team made this point to the Arizona Supreme Court. Four judges have already agreed that businesses in Phoenix must be open to everyone.

“Those legal rulings protect all and confirm that everyone should be treated fairly and equally regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, or disability. The city of Phoenix will continue to observe these shared community values, allowing the non-discrimination ordinance to protect and respect the rights of all residents.”

(screen capture)

Some LGBTQ activists, like Joe Jervis of JoeMyGod, have wondered aloud if the company might have been created by Alliance Defending Freedom to surreptitiously present a challenge to the Phoenix ordinance.

When their initial lawsuit was filed in 2016, the company didn’t appear to have a physical address. And the artists’ social media accounts were only months old, making it credible that the company might have been created just to file the lawsuit.

The video below, titled “Getting to Know the Artists of Brush & Nib,” was uploaded to YouTube just days before the lawsuit was filed, and the comments section is closed.

Additionally, the video is listed as “Unlisted.”

Now, why have a “getting to know” video be “unlisted” on YouTube?

#ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmm…

In the video, the artists make a point to say their teaming up was a “God thing,” “beautiful things just come from God,” and how “special” they view their work on wedding invitations.

JoeMyGod also notes that the firm has an online store on Etsy despite the fact the website has a very clear anti-discrimination policy that protects LGBT people.

My Favorite Thing Today: You Have Three Islands

(image via Unsplash/BenKlea)

My favorite thing today.

Maybe even “year to date.”

My Twitter friend, Jude, pointed up this post (via a Facebook page) from an anti-gay hater about how being gay isn’t natural, blah, blah, blah…

My first instinct was to point out that ‘nature’ doesn’t segregate us. Nature puts us exactly where we should be, and all is right with the world.

Plus, straight people make gay babies, so, there’s that.

But it turns out there are people far more fun than me.

Check out these responses. It gets sooooo good! It looks like a lot to read, but I promise it’s worth it.

Trump Administration Orders 4-H Programs To Delete ‘Welcoming’ Message To LGBTs

Back in April of this year, the international youth organization 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) introduced new guidance to help LGBTQ members feel welcome in an effort to expand and modernize the federally authorized group.

The national guidance was posted on several states’ websites but quickly drew fire from evangelical and conservative groups.

More from The Des Moines Register:

Within days of the LGBT guidance’s publication, Heidi Green, then-chief of staff for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, requested that it be rescinded, Sonny Ramaswamy, then-director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the federal department that administers 4-H, told the Register.

Afterward, a NIFA communications manager sent an “urgent” email to at least two states — Iowa and New York — urging the 4-H organizations there to remove the LGBT guidance from their websites, the Register found.

The subsequent decision to take down the policy set off a firestorm this spring that engulfed 4-H programs in at least eight states — including Iowa, Idaho, Wisconsin, California, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and New York.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley told the Des Moines Register that the U.S. Department of Agriculture should not have pressured 4-H to rescind the policy welcoming LGBTQ members into the international youth organization.

“Common sense tells me that that for 100 years … 4-H has been operating as a very competent organization and I don’t know of any federal interference in the past,” he said. “So why would you have it in this particular case?”

4-H is a congressionally authorized youth program that is subsidized through a combination of federal, state and local funds.

In many small rural communities where music, drama and arts funding has been slashed, 4-H is one of the few organizations LGBTs have other than sports to find a place to belong.

US State Dept Warns Gays In Anti-LGBT Tanzania To Scrub Social Media

The national flag of Tanzania

Earlier this week, the governor of Tanzania’s most populous city, Dar es Salaam, called for an anti-gay ‘witch hunt’ in an effort to arrest and prosecute homosexuals in the East African country.

“Give me their names – My ad hoc team will begin to get their hands on them next Monday,” demanded Commissioner Paul Makonda.

According to The Guardian, in one day he received over 5,700 messages with more than 100 names.

In Tanzania, a conviction for having homosexual relations is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

The country has seen a crack down an anti-LGBT sentiment since President John Magufuli came into power in 2015.

Now, the United States embassy is warning Americans who may travel to Tanzania to be cautious.

A notice posted on the State Department’s website warns U.S. citizens to “employ sound security practices” which would include monitoring both local and international news.

As there are reports that Makonda is employing a 17-member committee to find gay individuals on social media, the U.S. State Department also says Americans should review their “internet footprint and social media profiles.”

“Remove or protect images and language that may run afoul of Tanzanian laws regarding homosexual practices and explicit sexual activity,” the embassy warns.

The embassy also informs Americans that, if arrested, Tanzanian officials are obligated to alert the American Embassy but “this is not consistently done.”

UK Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Anti-Gay Northern Ireland Bakers

Amy and Daniel McArthur of Ashers Baking Company

In 2014, the Northern Ireland Equality Commission brought a lawsuit against Ashers Baking Company on behalf of LGBTQ activist Gareth Lee who had gone to the bakery to order a cake for a private function to be held observing International Day Against Homophobia.

Lee asked that the cake feature Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie and bear the message “support gay marriage.”

The owners of Ashers Bakery, Daniel and Amy McArthur, originally accepted the cake order.

But Amy McArthur later contacted the man who ordered it and said they could not make such a cake “in conscience.”

The McArthurs have maintained that the issue was not the customer but the message.

The BBC reports that back in May, Daniel McArthur told the press while standing in front of the court house, “We didn’t say no because of the customer; we’d served him before, we’d serve him again. It was because of the message. But some people want the law to make us support something with which we disagree.”

After two earlier court cases, the UK Supreme Court has now ruled in the bakers’ favor overturning a £500 damages award imposed on the bakery owners.

The five justices of the high court were unanimous in their ruling seeing the issue as not one of gay discrimination but one of freedom of expression.

Lady Hale wrote the decision.

From The Guardian:

“It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristics,” Hale said in the judgment.

“But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favours to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope.”

Freedom of expression, as guaranteed by article 10 of the European convention on human rights, includes the right “not to express an opinion which one does not hold”, Hale added. “This court has held that nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe,” she said.

The McArthurs expressed relief for the ruling, saying, “We are very grateful to the judges. We did not turn down this order because of the person who made it, but because of the message itself.”

Lee, however, says he feels “confused about what this actually means.”

“We need certainty when you go to a business,” he told The Guardian. “I’m concerned that this has implications for myself and for every single person.”

The original decision to turn down his order had left him feeling like a “second-class citizen”, he said.

Lee’s last option would be to appeal to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg.

It’s worth noting that Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal.

If this sounds familiar, it should.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado, who refused to sell a cake to a gay couple celebrating their wedding.

In the U.S. case, the high court decided that a Colorado state agency had approached the case with religious bias. In the ruling, SCOTUS asked the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to re-examine the case.

GOP Congressman: Orphanages Might Be A Better “Possibility” For Kids Than Gay Adoption

A Republican congressman from New Jersey appears to have told a group of high school students in his district that kids without families might be better off living in an orphanage instead of same-sex adoptive parents.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

A Republican congressman from New Jersey appears to have told a group of high school students in his district that kids without families might be better off living in an orphanage instead of same-sex adoptive parents.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who has represented New Jersey’s 4th congressional district since 1981, attended an assembly of high school students at Colts Neck High School on May 29 this year.

During the Q&A session, high school senior Hannah Valdes asked the congressman about his opposition to same-sex couples adopting children.

In 1999, Smith had voted for a legislative amendment that would have prevented gay parents to adopt in the District of Columbia.

Valdes shared that she has a lesbian sister who would like to adopt at some point in the future, and so wanted to know why Smith felt her sister would be “less of a legitimate parent” than folks in heterosexual relationships.

Smith, according to a recording provided to The Los Angeles Blade, seemed to dodge the question saying “the issue, legally, is moot at this point especially with the Supreme Court decision” in an apparent reference to the 2015 case, Obergefell v. Hodges.

Smith added, that Valdes’ sister is “free to adopt.”

To be clear, however, in the aftermath of the 2015 SCOTUS ruling, states have begun to enact legislation allowing faith-based adoption agencies to decline placement of children with LGBT parents via a claim of ‘religious freedom.’ So, Valdes’ sister may not find herself so “free to adopt” at some point in the future.

When pressed further on the subject, Smith also alluded to the idea that “there are many others who would like to adopt who can acquire a child,” and for those folks “the waiting periods are extremely long.”

At some point, another student asked about these “others” and why they would be more suitable for adopting than, say, Valdes’ sister.

Smith began his reply saying, “In my opinion, every child needs every possibility of,” but stopped short of finishing his thought. Many in the audience felt he was heading down the path of saying children should have every chance of being raised by a mother and a father.

It’s at that point that Smith switched things up saying, “Somebody mentioned orphanages before. I mean, orphanages are still a possibility for some kids.”

Wait – what?

According to the Blade, one student followed that statement up with the question, “You’d rather have kids in an orphanage than with…?”

When asked whether Smith still felt that same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to adopt, he said he did.

Valdes told the Blade, “Smith responded by saying he does not approve of gay adoption because gay households are not healthy environments for children to grow up in.”

He also referenced “numerous household studies” that indicate children do better with heterosexual parents than LGBT parents.

That statement is not accurate, however. Dozens of studies have shown children of gay parents fare equally as well as children of straight parents.

The exchange was eventually cut off by an administrator who interrupted to change the subject.

It will come as no surprise that Smith has an abysmal record on LGBT issue in Congress.

He voted for the hideous Defense of Marriage Act as well as a constitutional amendment that would have banned marriage equality across the nation.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” Yep, he voted for that, too. When it came time to repeal the military ban, he voted against that.

He’s also a co-sponsor on the First Amendment Defense Act which aims to legalize LGBT discrimination via deeply-held “religious beliefs.”

Basically, Rep. Smith doesn’t seem to have met an anti-LGBT bill he didn’t like.

Smith’s opponent in the upcoming mid-term elections, Democrat Josh Welle, was asked by the Blade for his response to the assembly chat.

“Chris Smith’s out-of-touch views might have flown in 1980 when he was elected, but his time has passed,” Welle said. “In 2018, in Central Jersey, it is unacceptable to imply a child would be better off in an orphanage than with a loving LGBTQ family. As a veteran, I fought on the front lines alongside men and women who gave their lives to protect and defend the civil liberties that our Constitution ensures for everyone, not just a few. Chris Smith takes us backwards on inclusion and basic human rights for all.”

(h/t Los Angeles Blade)

White House Hosts Virtual ‘Who’s Who’ Of Anti-LGBT Activists

Last night’s event at the White House was grand enough to rival past ’state dinners’ held for visiting heads of state as President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence welcomed a ‘who’s who’ of evangelical, anti-LGBTQ leaders.
Anti-LGBT megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress

Last night’s event at the White House was grand enough to rival past ’state dinners’ held for visiting heads of state as President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence welcomed a ‘who’s who’ of evangelical, anti-LGBTQ leaders.

Prominent anti-gay haters included longtime anti-choice activist Ralph Reed, hate group leader Tony Perkins, Texas megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress (who once declared that Jews are going to hell for killing Jesus), and “Christian” activist Jim Garlow (who has publicly stated gays are ‘demonic’).

That said, Donald Trump’s White House crew were all on hand to happily take pics with the leaders of Trump’s evangelical base, including supposedly LGBTQ-friendly Jared and Ivanka Trump.

Many Americans have not been able to understand how so-called “Christians” can reconcile so many less-than-moral incidents in Trump’s past and present.

In fact, a recent Fox News poll shows Trump enjoys 74% job approval among evangelicals.

The reason why? They don’t care about his moral failings as long as they get the policies they want.

On Fox News last night, Jeffress explained to host Shannon Bream that as long as Trump delivers on the policies he and his ilk want to see passed, they will not be ‘shamed’ for supporting the Trumpster.

“I know a lot of people are still perplexed ‘Why are Christians so supportive of Donald Trump?’” Jeffress said. “Well, it’s really not that hard to figure out when you realize he is the most pro-life, pro-religious liberty, pro-conservative judiciary in history and that includes either Bush or Ronald Reagan. I think that is why evangelicals remain committed to this president and they are not going to turn away from him soon.”

“To be fair, Shannon, we have to understand these are still allegations against the president, so I’m not going to judge the president on these things,” said the megachurch pastor. “But even if they were true, some of these allegations, I mean, obviously, we don’t support extramarital affairs, we don’t support hush money payments, but what we do support are these president’s excellent policies,” Jeffress continued. “And I think most thinking people can absolutely differentiate between the two.”

“And don’t be mistaking what is going on here. Those who hate President Trump, those on the left know that if they can dislodge his evangelical supporters from him, they have a shot at overtaking the White House. So I think the left is trying to shame people like myself continuously for supporting this great president. It’s not going to work. We’re not going to turn away from him.”

Watch Jeffress explain why he and fellow “Christians” won’t be ‘shamed” by Donald Trump’s deeds below.

NY State: Town Clerk Denies Gay Couple Marriage License

Sherrie Eriksen (image via Facebook)

Sherrie Eriksen, a town clerk in Root, New York, this week denied a marriage license to a gay couple based on her religious beliefs. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he is investigating.

Dylan Toften, one of the men seeking the license wrote on his Facebook: “Town of Root clerk is a bigot!!!! Refused to do our marriage license. She said make an appointment to have her deputy do it… do your job.”

The Daily Gazette spoke with Town Attorney Robert Subik who said:

“Sherrie didn’t process the two men’s marriage license application because they failed to make an appointment with her, as everyone is required by her office to do. She has a religious objection and has referred the matter to her deputy clerk, who has no such objection and will issue the license when they make an appointment. The clerks are both part-time and don’t man the office Monday through Friday. Of course, the two men are free to go to another jurisdiction to obtain their license.”

Gov. Cuomo has asked that an investigation be launched to look into the matter.