Gay Marriage Headed to Supreme Court?

It just might be on its way there.

The California State Supreme Court ruled today that “proponents of Proposition 8 do have standing to appeal Federal District Judge Walker Vaughn’s ruling declaring the anti-gay marriage initiative unconstitutional, even if state officials refuse to take up the matter,” as reported by ThinkProgress.

While this might sound like a negative for gay rights/marriage, this could actually force the United States Supreme Court to finally decide once and for all the constitutionality of banning gay marriage in the nation.

This case will make its way to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The three judges who make up that court will have to decide whether Prop 8 is constitutional or not. Two of those judges, Judge Stephen Reinhardt and Judge Michael Daly Hawkins are “one of the most liberal judges in the country” and “sympathetic. . .to marriage discrimination,” respectively. With these two judges on the court, it’s almost certain they will agree with Judge Walker’s ruling.

Naturally, proponents of Prop 8 will be unhappy, and the case will likely find its way to The Supreme Court. While the make up of the Supreme Court seems conservative in its majority–Justices Scalia and Kennedy appointed by President Reagan, Justice Thomas appointed by President George W. H. Bush, and Justices Roberts and Alito appointed by President George W. Bush, Justice Kennedy “has a fairly progressive streak on gay rights. Kennedy wrote the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Romer v. Evans holding that laws motivated solely by anti-gay animus violate the Constitution, and he also wrote the decision in Lawrence v. Texas holding that the government has virtually no business regulating people’s sex lives.”

This means that should the case find its way to the Supreme Court, we might just have the ruling we need–banning gay marriage is unconstitutional. This would mean all states would then be prohibited from denying homosexual couples the right to marry and allow gay married couples federal benefits previously denied.



Respect for Marriage Act Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed (by a vote of 10-8) the Respect for Marriage Act, as reported on Queerty. This act would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined a marriage as between one man and one woman for the country. The Respect for Marriage Act doesn’t force states to legally recognize homosexual marriage; however, for those states that do, this would allow same sex couples the right to federal benefits accorded to married heterosexual couples.

ThinkProgress reports that a White House Official made the following statement on the committee’s vote: “The President has long believed that DOMA is discriminatory and has called for its repeal. We should all work towards taking this law off the books. The federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections afforded to straight couples.”

While I’m glad to hear of the vote and President Obama’s words of encouragement, I’m also a realist. The Respect for Marriage Act has little hope of passing in the Senate, where conservative Republicans lie in wait to tear this act asunder. And though President Obama made many promises in his election bid, I’ve yet to see many of them fulfilled.

Still, I won’t give up hope. I’ll take this as a good sign, that we are headed in the right direction. We might not get there tomorrow or next year, but that doesn’t mean we won’t eventually get there! After all, we’ve traveled a long way down the road to equality–6 states recognize gay marriage, DADT has been repealed, and hate crime laws and anti-bullying bills are being passed in many states.

Gay rights have come a long way, and with determination and fortitude, we’ll go all the way to full equality.

Whether conservatives or Christian fundamentalists like it or not, the closet doors are open and we aren’t going back in!


FRC Launches Prayer Campaign Against Gay Adoption

Last week, Angela Gillibrand, a democratic Senator from New York, introduced a new bill called “Every Child Deserves a Family.” This bill is designed to eliminate bans on gay adoption across the country. Obviously, Gillebrand sees the merit of allowing gay couples a chance to adopt the 800,000 children in our country who go unadopted each year.

This bill would increase the chances of those 800,000 children finding homes and prevent those children from growing up within the foster care system. Instead, they would be adopted by a family dedicated to giving them a life they could not ordinarily have as wards of the state.

Apparently, the Family Research Council hates this idea as reported by ThinkProgress.

On the FRC website, the group offers up this prayer:

May God intervene and stir Americans to resist and stop this effort to advance the radical homosexual agenda and literally to possess our nation’s children. May God open our eyes! (Gen 1:26-28; 2:21-24; Lev 18:22-30; Dt 26:7-8; Pr 28:4; Lk 17:1-2; Acts 5:29; Eph 5:31-6:4)”

The FRC is ticked off because this bill would force private agencies to accept gay and lesbian couples as potential parents or lose their federal funding. Instead of focusing on the children who go without parents each year, the FRC is more concerned with defeating the “radical homosexual agenda.”

The only “agenda” these gay and lesbian couples have is to become parents, which is the same agenda as straight couples. I hope one day soon people will come to realize that the only real victims in issues like these are the children, who were abandoned by their biological heterosexual parents.

Ron Paul: “Government Has No Business in Private Lives”

Ron Paul, Republican Presidential hopeful, recently gave an interview to Iowa State Daily, where the topics of gay rights and gays in the military came up.

When asked about gay rights, Paul had this to say:

You know I just, I don’t think of people in little groups like that. I don’t think of people as ‘gay’ here and ‘black people’ there, or ‘women’ over here…Everybody is an individual person and everybody has the same rights as anyone else. The government has no business in your private life, you know, so if one person is allowed to do something so should everyone else. The whole gay marriage issue is a private affair and the federal government has no say.”

It’s nice to hear a Presidential candidate (even if he’s not the most popular) go on record stating that all people, including homosexuals, have the right to do what they please in their private lives. Paul is keenly aware that an individual’s private life should not be subject to federal government scrutiny or legislation. Labels based on sexuality, race, and gender have no meaning when it comes to governmental rule.


When asked about how he would address gays in the military if he became president, Paul thoughtfully made the following reply:

Well, like I said, everybody has the same rights as everybody else, so homosexuals in the military isn’t a problem. It’s only if they’re doing things they shouldn’t be, if they’re disruptive. But there’s … men and women getting into trouble with each other too. And there’s a lot more heterosexuals in the military, so logically they’re causing more trouble than gays. So yes, you just have the same rules for everybody and treat them all the same.”

Once again, Paul sees the situation for what it is. Gay service members make up a fraction of the military; homosexuals are a minority, after all. Therefore, the problems in the military can’t be squarely blamed on a DADT repeal. It’s just as ridiculous to say that gay marriage threatens traditional marriage when heterosexuals alone have caused the divorce rate to skyrocket.

Unlike Santorum, who continues to spout crap, crap, and more crap or Cain who’s also known for making some idiotic claims, Paul’s words show that his decisions are not based on prejudice or hate. That’s the kind of individual who should be leading the nation because he will govern for every citizen, not just those who are the most like him.

via Towleroad

Santorum: No Consensual Sexual Activity Allowed

Once again, Rick Santorum opens his mouth and crap comes spewing out. His toilet must be jealous of the waste it’s not collecting!

ThinkProgress reports that in an interview on a conservative radio show Santorum said, “he still opposes the Supreme Court’s landmark 2003 Lawrence decision, which struck down … legislation” that criminalized sodomy.

He continued to add more steaming hot pies to his pile, when he said, “We can’t do this, we can’t have a constitutional right to consensual sexual activity, no matter what it is.”

Are you kidding me? Does he even know what he’s saying?

He is basically spouting that there should be no rights to consensual sex. Does that mean all sex between two consenting adults should be criminalized? Will straight people getting their freak on now be in danger of being sent to prison in Santorum’s America? After all, there’s no right “to consensual sexual activity.”

Obviously, this man makes no sense, and he wants to be President? Please!

This man needs to just stop talking and go away.


In NH: House Bill Passes to Repeal Marriage Equality

ThinkProgress reports sad news for gay marriage. The House Judiciary Committee in New Hampshire voted today (11-6) to repeal marriage equality in the state. This vote comes in complete surprise since the majority of the state’s residents favor marriage equality by 60%. Click here to read more about the vote.

Even Craig Stowell, a Republican who is also co-chair of Standing Up for New Hampshire Families says that “There is no reason to overturn New Hampshire’s popular marriage law that simply protects all families and treats all loving couples equally. This isn’t a so-called compromise and it completely ignores voters’ wishes to leave this issue alone and get back to the real business of the state.”

Still, hope remains on the horizon. “The vote didn’t pass with even the majority necessary to override the governor’s veto, meaning this effort to undermine New Hampshire families lacks momentum as Republicans and Democrats are united in bipartisan opposition,” according to local reports.

The bill heads to a full vote in January, so we can only hope that the people of New Hampshire will make their voices heard to stop marriage equality from being destroyed in their state.

NOM Looking to Derail Same Sex Marriage in Iowa

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has spent approximately $15,000 in the Iowa state election to help stop same sex marriages, as reported by ThinkProgress. NOM’s goal is to oust Democrat Liz Mathis by channeling funds into Republican Cindy Golding’s campaign. If they can “eliminat[e] the Democratic majority in the Iowa Senate, the state will have the support necessary to ban same-sex marriage in Iowa’s constitution.”

Thousands of homosexual couples have been married in Iowa since same sex marriage was made legal in 2009, and the state hasn’t suffered drought, famine, or pestilence. In fact, no heterosexual marriages or families have been threatened by Adam and Steve saying “I Do.”

Still, NOM President Brian Brown stated:

“This is a pivotal election contest in our battle to allowing the people of Iowa the opportunity to vote to restore marriage. A proposed constitutional amendment on defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman enjoys broad-based, bi-partisan legislative and voter support, but is being prevented from coming to the floor of the Senate by Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. If Ms. Golding is successful in her election, we are hopeful that Senators will finally have the opportunity to vote on the marriage amendment, and we expect it to pass handily.

I find it frightening that this group channels funds into state elections in order to advance their national agendas. They are willing to utilize all their resources to make sure that loving couples are denied basic civil rights simply because they don’t agree. Is this really any different than the KKK rousing support and funds to make sure civil rights were continually denied for African American citizens?

I think not.

Civil Rights should be guaranteed for every American, no matter their age, race, religion, or sexual orientation. This isn’t a country where we can pick and choose who gets what freedom, yet this seems to be the type of country NOM is fighting for.

Students in TN Allowed to Wear GSA Shirts

You may remember I posted about Sequoyah HS in Tennessee, where a student was assaulted by his principal for wearing a GSA shirt. (Click here to see the post).

According to Towleroad, students at Sequoyah HS will now be allowed to wear shirts in support of a Gay Straight Alliance.

The ACLU released the following statement: “The Monroe County Board of Education agreed yesterday to allow students to wear T-shirts in support of the formation of a gay-straight alliance (GSA) at the school. The board will also review its dress code to ensure that students’ rights to free speech are protected.” 

Chris Sigler, the student who was assaulted, had this to say about the school board’s decision:

“A lot of kids get harassed at our school because they’re gay or they have gay friends, and we just want a space where we can all support each other and do something creative. We still want the GSA to be recognized as a club, but at least now the school won’t punish us for peacefully expressing our opinions.”

I’m glad to see that some progress is being made here. Still, even though the school administration can’t officially do anything to these students, I worry how the students will be treated overall. The vitriol the principal expressed at the GSA didn’t just go away; he simply lost his fight against the shirts. No word yet has been received whether or not a GSA will be formed at Sequoyah HS, but in light of recent events, I’d say one is definitely needed.

Santorum: I’m Like Abraham Lincoln

As mentioned on Unicorn Booty, Rick Santorum, Republican Presidential hopeful, equated his fight against gay marriage to Abraham Lincoln’s stance against slavery.

Apparently incensed by fellow candidate Herman Cain’s refusal to support a national ban on gay marriage, Santorum issued the following response:

I have been a long-time advocate for states’ rights. However, I believe as Abraham Lincoln did – that states don’t have the rights to legalize moral wrongs…Mr. Cain, Congresswoman (Michele) Bachmann and Governor (Rick) Perry all believe 50 different definitions of marriage is fine, I strongly disagree and will continue fighting for traditional marriage between one man and woman.

It appears Santorum has a skewed perception of reality and himself!

Abraham Lincoln refused to let the nation be torn apart by prejudice and hate. Yes, the south wanted to continue slavery, and the slave states fought to keep the right to own human beings as property. Lincoln knew better. Owning another person was just plain wrong. He wouldn’t allow the atrocity to continue, and he wasn’t about to let his country be torn apart by those who thought they knew better.

Santorum is no Abraham Lincoln. His fight against gay marriage doesn’t side him with Lincoln (whose statue would rise from the Lincoln Memorial to squash him like a bug if it could). If Santorum wants to make comparisons to the issues that helped bring about Civil War in America, then his stance would align him with the slave states, not with Lincoln!

Like the slave states of Lincoln’s time, Santorum (and others like him) wish to continue to deprive a segment of the American population of their civil rights. Like the slave states, Santorum sanctions the creation of second class citizens. Like the slave states viewed Africans brought to this country against their will, Santorum views homosexuals as unclean and immoral.

And, since history has a way of repeating itself, like the slave states, Santorum will fall!

Good News in CA: Governor Signs LGBT Bills Into Law

The Advocate reports that California Governor, Jerry Brown, recently signed several LGBT bills into law for his state. These laws received recognition from many national LGBT organizations, who see the new laws as steps in the right direction for the gay community.

Among these laws are Seth’s Law, which “mandates that schools post anti-bullying policies throughout campuses, provide complaint forms on their websites, and give schools a timeline to investigate and resolve complaints.” The law was named after Seth Walsh, a 13 year old, who hung himself after excessive bullying at his school. Eventually, his school was found negligent in their attempts at resolving Seth’s continued harassment. Considering the amount of bullying-related deaths around the country, this was a much needed measure to protect all children, whether gay or straight.

Another law, the Gender Nondiscriminatory Act, “makes ‘gender identity and expression’ its own protected category at work, at school, in housing, at public accommodations, and in other settings.” This will prohibit individuals transitioning from male to female or female to male from being discriminated anywhere in California. Gender reassignment is already a difficult process without adding the fear of losing one’s livelihood or residence. This law prevents that from happening.

At a time when it seems there is only bad news for LGBT rights, it’s always good to hear when LGBT voices are heard and rights are upheld by lawmakers instead of stripped by them.