CommunityPam's House Blend

LGBT News Roundup, 1/31/2005

[NOTE: This is an early release on the House Blend of a weekly Daily Kos roundup diary that I post.]

Let’s start off with the good news…

* NGLTF: 47% of U.S. Population Now Protected From Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force analysis gives us some good news — significant positive shifts in public support for recognized civil rights for the LGBT community at the local level. The number of pockets of tolerance are growing, in spite of the hate campaign of the Right.

With Illinois acting last week to ban anti-gay discrimination, 47 % of the U.S. population — 138 million people — now lives in a jurisdiction that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, according to an analysis by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. Ten years ago, the figure was 34%.

The analysis also found that more than one in four Americans – 27% – now lives in a jurisdiction that bans discrimination against transgender persons, up from 4% ten years ago, and 5% just five years ago. Illinois’s law also bans discrimination based on gender identity and expression.

“Thanks to the hard work of grassroots activists, the glass of basic fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans is slowly filling up,” said Sean Cahill, Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. “While we have a long way to go until all of us are protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, the progress is undeniable and unstoppable.”

The Policy Institute analysis concluded that the actions of state legislatures and town councils reflected strong public support for laws protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination.

As nondiscrimination protections have spread across the nation at the local and state level, a federal bill to ban anti-gay discrimination in employment has languished in Congress for nearly a decade.

The report also noted:

156 million Americans, or 53% of the U.S. population, live in a state or jurisdiction where one can be fired, refused service in a restaurant, or denied housing or a loan simply because of his/her actual or perceived sexual orientation.

215 million Americans, or 73% of the U.S. population, live in a jurisdiction where a person can be fired, refused service in a restaurant, or denied housing or a loan simply because of his/her actual or perceived gender identity or expression.

Anne Stanback of Love Makes a Family is adamant that civil unions are separate and unequal to civil marriage and that gays shouldn’t settle for the half-way measure. Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell is opposed to marriage, but hasn’t taken a clear stand on civil unions.

* Connecticut conflict: civil unions vs. marriage for gays. What a can of worms this opens, but the good news is that gay rights are being considered instead of being denied. I look forward to seeing how this debate unfolds in this state, which has a Republican governor — but public support for both civil unions and marriage. “At the start of a legislative session that could for the first time give gay couples legal civil unions in Connecticut, one influential gay rights group says civil unions aren’t good enough. Love Makes a Family, a coalition advocating marriage rights for same-sex couples, said that it has sent letters to friendly state legislators saying that they want the state to give gay couples equal marriage rights — not civil unions, which the letter said confers a “less than” or “second-class” status on the couples’ relationships.

The world changed after Massachusetts,” said Anne Stanback, president of Love Makes a Family. “In many states, getting civil unions would be considered a significant victory, but for Connecticut that’s a step in the wrong direction. If they were to pass civil unions they might not have the appetite to come back and vote for marriage. We’ve seen that happen in Vermont. Connecticut has never set up a separate system for one group of people like this.”

* Wal-Mart Recognizes Gay Families. The beleaguered discount retailer ( unfair pay to women, wage and hour violations, killing mom-and-pops), is seeing the light. “Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, has adopted a new definition of family that includes same-sex partners recognized under state law. The new definition of “immediate family” was included in a conflict-of-interest policy for employees that the company filed yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The policy which lays out the terms under which workers would violate that policy says, “You are responsible for advancing Wal-Mart’s business interests when the opportunity to do so arises. You may not take any opportunities or use any confidential information for your benefit, or for the benefit of your immediate family members, that you discover or obtain through your employment with Wal-Mart.”

It then goes on to define immediate family members to “include (whether by birth, adoption, marriage or Domestic Partnership or Civil Union, if recognized by your state or other local law) your spouse, children, parents, siblings, mothers and fathers-in-law, sons and daughters-in-law and brothers and sisters-in-law.” The Human Rights Campaign applauded the change, which came with little fanfare. “We hope that with equal responsibility come equal benefits,” said HRC’s Daryl Herrschaft, deputy director for HRC’s workplace project.

* Freepers react to Wal-mart recognizing same-sex families. I wondered how long it would take the Freepers, who are true-believers in this company as the bastion of all that is conservative, to weigh in on Wallyworld. Wait no longer — here’s what they’re saying.

Actual Freeper Quotes™:

“My Uncle’s sister is a lesbo assistant manager at Wal Mart. I understand she’s ecstatic.”

“When Wal-Mart does over to the other side, is there any hope left?”

“I wonder if Wal-Mart will change their little smily face from yellow to pink?”

“This’ll be the first of many stores, major or kind of large, to cave into the gay agenda.”

“I understand their reasoning but it will read like one more victory for the homosexual agenda. Oh well.”

“Sam Walton would be turning in his grave.”

“So a male employees can show up for work dressed as women, freaking out the customers and this has “nothing to do with their work.”

Proud homophobe Sheriff Mac Holcomb of Guntersville, AL.

* Homo-bigot Alabama sheriff removes ‘quaint’ letter from county web site. Good old Mac had the Klan sheet ripped right out from under him, lol. He found out that using the taxpayers’ money to spew his “nostalgic” views about homos didn’t go over well with a good number of people. He is, however, unrepentant and plans to continue sharing his homespun, hate-filled messages on his new web site. “The letter was never meant to be an expression of official county policy,” Holcomb said in a news release. “We at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department have always treated all victims of crime, all criminal suspects, all detainees, all inmates exactly the same. “We give them every right afforded them by Alabama law and the United States Constitution.” Holcomb said the letter was his expression of personal beliefs, ones that “I still hold and will continue to hold until the day I die.”

He said the letter will be removed and placed on a personal Web site,

“This will prevent the county from having to spend money unnecessarily in defending a frivolous lawsuit and … this action will make it clear that the views expressed are my personal views and do not represent official policy of the county or the sheriff’s department.”

* “Ex-gay” leader expelled from counseling group. Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight, has an expose on a leader of the “ex-gay” movement on his web site. Richard Cohen, president of P-FOX, has been “expelled for life” out of the American Counseling Association for unethical conduct. The exclusive has the details on Cohen’s violations. RawStoryQ/ has a copy of the letter.

Rabid religious wingnuts, Freepers and homo-bigot preachers on the loose.

* Crisis line refers gay youth to discredited Exodus “Ex-Gay” ministry. If you’re a teen, scared and calling a hotline for support in coming out, here’s where you don’t want to call. The Right is now using subterfuge to reach out to vulnerable gay people with the “condemnation and conversion” approach, steering them to the discredited “ex-gay” ministry Exodus International. This is fraudulent and dangerous and needs to be widely exposed. “When teenager Jeffrey Faircloth wanted a safe place to talk about his growing awareness that he might be gay, he called the National Youth Crisis Hotline – popularized as 1-800-HIT-HOME.

What he heard didn’t surprise him. “I’d grown up in a very fundamentalist Christian family, so I wasn’t surprised that the woman I talked to said she didn’t know any gay people, but she knew they were sinners. She said she would give me the number of a group called Exodus that would help me change. I already knew the religious view, so I wasn’t interested.”

Luckily, a friend told him about HATCH, an organization in Houston that provides positive reinforcement for gay and lesbian youth. Faircloth forgot about 1-800-HIT-HOME until recently.

“I called the number last month because friends of mine heard rumors that Exodus was coming to Houston, and it seemed like the easiest way to get a phone number for Exodus so we could ask, ” he explained. Faircloth referred to the ” Love Won Out” conference to be staged in Houston Feb. 19 by Focus on the Family. Graduates of Exodus, a program that claims it can turn people away from homosexuality, or ex-gays are among the speakers at the conference.

Homophobe Rev. Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, TX is on board with the Bush American Taliban agenda and sees strong future support for the GOP based on moral values. Vanderbilt University’s Director of Black Church Studies, Forrest E. Harris Sr., thinks the GOP used gay marriage as a political smokescreen.

* Can the GOP count on the black religious vote in ’08?. This article is interesting because it has countering voices on the long-term prospects of holding on to that religious vote for the next general election. This is a demographic the Democrats need to be worried about. The party has been way too complacent in expecting the black vote to “come home” when it gets down to the nitty gritty. [I would say this is a running theme with the Dems — they are doing the same with the gay vote.] “I hope this last election was a wake-up call to the Democrats,” said the Rev. Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington and a Bush supporter. Do I see a trend? Yes. … Blacks who voted Republican made the difference in this election. “And if the same-sex issue is still on the political landscape in the next election, more blacks will vote Republican,” said McKissic, who has drawn national attention for his outspoken opposition to same-sex marriages…”The (gay-marriage) issue was used as a political smokescreen” in the November election, said Forrest E. Harris Sr., director of black church studies at Vanderbilt University and president of American Baptist College. “Unfortunately, it was reduced to what it means to be a moral person” as opposed to looking at morality in terms of how “we honor life and are fair and just.” …The Rev. Herb Lusk, pastor of the Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia and a friend of McKissic’s, is a longtime Bush supporter. He gave the invocation at the 2000 Republican convention and called Bush’s 2004 win “a great victory.”

Charlotte Mayor Patrick McCrory is under pressure from the fundy group Operation Save America to restrict the use of public parks, specifically targeting Charlotte Pride; protestors at last year’s Charlotte Pride.

* Charlotte may restrict use of public parks because of wingnut protest over Gay Pride event. Some people who say pornographic images were displayed at a gay and lesbian event in Marshall Park last spring are pushing officials to consider restrictions on groups who use city parks. A large crowd of concerned citizens showed up at Monday night’s city council meeting to press local leaders to reject a permit application by the same group to hold the Charlotte Pride Festival in the park this year.

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory asked the city attorney to investigate possible restrictions on the group before allowing it to use a city park. He said he does not want to approve the Pride Festival permit until he hears back from the city attorney.

Tony Perkins earns the seal of “dangerous” from Al Franken, who has invited him to be on his Air America radio show.

* Get to know your American Taliban — Tony Perkins, Family Research Council. There’s a great profile of over-the-top wingnut and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in the Louisiana Times-Picayune, called “Conservative Christians pray Bush takes Cue.” The frequent talking head is favored by the chat shows when they need to get a fringe voice on gay marriage, abortion and “family values.” You might laugh at this guy, but he has an $11 million budget and a country full of pastors that are organized to push FRC’s agenda, and the piece shows that he knows how to throw his weight around with the Bush admin.

General corporate, legislative, legal and community activism by your jolly neighborhood homophobes…

Shasta Bates sits in the bed of her pickup. A Denver police officer threatened her with arrest Monday for displaying an anti-Bush sticker that includes an epithet. “He said, ‘You need to take off those stickers because it’s profanity and it’s against the law,’ ” Bates said of the officer.

* Moron alert: Denver cop tries to arrest woman for anti-Bush bumper sticker. I suppose this police sergeant isn’t offended by the $88 million Bush has spent on PR flacks/journalists, or the 1,400 dead American troops in Iraq, or any of the other official misdeeds of the administration. But this woman’s F*CK BUSH bumper sticker is worthy of an arrest and legal slapdown. He needs to hang up his political beliefs in the locker before he gets into his police cruiser. A Denver police sergeant is under investigation for allegedly threatening to arrest a woman Monday for displaying on her truck a derogatory bumper sticker about President Bush. “He told her that this was a warning and that the next time he saw her truck, she was going to be arrested if she didn’t remove the sticker,” said Alinna Figueroa, 25, assistant manager of The UPS Store where the confrontation took place. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Actual Freeper Quotes™

“But a federal court won’t allow South Carolina to have a pro life license plate. We indeed live in sick times.”

“Unless my eyes mislead me Shasta Bates is a lesbian. I bet the whole thing is made up BS. She should get counseling for her mental illness.”

“Perfectly legal for cops to do this in Denver. They are a “home rule” city so whatever the cops and the City Council dream up is pretty much Law inviolate. At least, that is the BS I’ve been told right here on FR…”

“I don’t think it’s any worse that “S##T Happens” or those pics of little boys peeing on a Nascar Number…or whatever. It’s all offensive and adding to the vulgarity of our society. People don’t even make a pretense of an apology anymore with the old “excuse my French” when they curse in public. And I think the feminist movement brought about a lot of it.”

“Right before the election we were in Denver and there was a car in our parking lot with a sign in the window…..Somewhere in Texas a village is missing it’s idiot. My husband asked the guy if he was the one that was missing!!!! The guy was not amused!!!!! LOL…..Denver and Boulder are far far left kookburgers…..but for the most part the rest of the state is normally sane!!!!”

“But the “right” to use the F word against the President for all to see THAT’S okay! Stunning in the extreme!! Don’t know the scripture, but the Bible says Woe to those who call evil good and good evil. “

“The cop probably made a joke and the lesbo went ballistic.”

“Suits me, the place is a cesspool. I won’t go there or patronize any buisness there. I tell merchents that, I won’t pay taxes to support that town. Too bad I have to miss the Sportsmans Exposition again, though.”

“some bumbers just beg to be chained to telephone poles” [WTF?!]

* Oklahoma College Republicans Plan ‘Straight Pride Week’. This idea at the University of Central Oklahoma is as f*cking dumb as the Straight is Great parade that a radio station held in Chapel Hill, NC over the summer. The Straight Pride Week at Oklahoma is being planned by the College Republicans student group. “The general gist is that if you are a straight student on campus be proud, be loud, this is your time to shine,” said college Republican Kyle Houts. The group has posted fliers on campus that read, “we’re here, we’re conservative, we’re out.”

Members of the Gay Alliance for Tolerance and Equality say they consider the College Republican’s celebration an attack on gay and lesbian students.

What is there to say about it, ‘I’m proud, and I’m straight and I guess white,’ I don’t know?” said GATE member Jennifer Rodriguez. “I think they definitely are being discriminatory because there’s probably a lot of gay Republicans out there.”

Actual Freeper Quotes™

“Good for these kids. Sad but true, straight kids have to defend their right to be straight these days. Hopefully they will inspire hundreds of thousands just like themselves to join in celebration of “straight” and run the faggots back into their closets where they belong. I alwaysliked them better when they were in their closets…not out running around with all their “in your face” faggot stuff. They are negative roll models…back in the closet.”

“The purpose of such a thing is to point to the ridiculousness of “gay pride”. Proud because you have sex with someone in private? That’s just stupid. That’s not pride, that’s vanity.”

“If the straight students ever stage “an attack on gay and lesbian students” they will be holding their press conference in the Emergency Room.”

“Some months ago, a radio station in my area held a “Straight Pride Parade.” The gay activists in my class went absolutely nuts. Apparently straight individuals are not aloud to be proud of their heterosexuality.” [Hey, I wonder if he’s talking about me, lol?]

” All attempts to assuage their deep-seated guilt. Regardless of the cause or the depth of their homosexual desires and/or beliefs, I honestly think homosexuals know deep inside that its wrong. Many of their bizarre behaviors are simply projection and other manifestations of that guilt. (This concludes todays amateur psychologist minute. Thanks for watching.)”

“The Young Conservatives of Texas, University of North Texas Chapter sponsored a ” Capture An Illegal Immigrant” Day on Thursday.”

About that “Straight Pride Parade” here in NC, I wrote the radio station to give them a piece of my mind, and my wife Kate and I went and took pictures of the event to show how lame it was. The radio station provided such entertainment as pickup trucks emblazoned with the G-105 logo and they had blow-up sex dolls aboard. They also had classy mascots — a beaver and a cock rooster — marching with the sparse crowd. Har-dee-har-har.

Click to enlarge the above pix.

The poor souls couldn’t muster enough people to close down the parade route. Or even the whole street during the procession. The Chapel Hill police held off traffic on one side of the street, for less than a block at a time as they marched about a quarter mile.

Jerry Falwell is sending love and prayers to his legal bootlicker, Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, which has been instrumental in fighting gay civil marriage efforts with legal challenges.

* Get to know your American Taliban: Falwell blows kisses to Matthew Staver. Revel in his ardent support for Matthew as he nears his appearance before the Supreme Court over the ten commandments. “My dear friend Mathew Staver, president and general counsel for the Orlando, Fla.-based Liberty Counsel, will stand before the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the posting of the Ten Commandments in the public square. This is a daunting task, but I have great faith in Mat’s abilities and have confidence that God has raised up this man to take on this crucial undertaking…I want to ask readers to join me in prayerfully supporting Mathew Staver and Liberty Counsel in their battle to protect the Ten Commandments. I want every reader to place Mat’s name at the top of their prayer lists. We need to daily uphold this man as he seeks to legally confirm that the Ten Commandments are a centerpiece of American law and culture.

[Now to the meat and potatoes you faithful have all been waiting for…]

Finally, I would urge readers to make a donation to Liberty Counsel to help subsidize this costly battle. Liberty Counsel is incurring many expenses. During the final preparation and argument phase of the case, the team will be shuttling to a number of different locations, which means many additional transportation and housing costs. For those who send a $100 donation to Liberty Counsel, Mat will send a copy of his booklet, “The Ten Commandments in American Law and Government,” which he used to help prepare for his Supreme Court argument. He will also send a beautifully matted presentation of the Ten Commandments, suitable for framing, to display in your home or office.

…The battle lines have been drawn and we must support Mat Staver — just as the men raised Moses’ arms when he grew weary in holding high the staff of God in battle — as he valiantly stands on the faith of our Fathers to defend the Ten Commandments.

How precious.

Thursday’s anti-gay-marriage rally on Lawyers Mall. African-American preachers, Catholic congregants, lawmakers, mothers with children and busloads from around the state chanted, stomped and prayed during the two-hour rally, which mixed bipartisan religious fervor with political power; Republican Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has steered clear of hot-button social issues — so far. (Dan Gross/The Gazette)

* Maryland’s turmoil over gay marriage

. Gay marriage is one of the hottest of the hot-button social issues, but Maryland’s top politicians are treating it like the proverbial hot potato. It became clear Thursday why the issue has become so politically explosive, as roughly 1,000 people demonstrated here in frigid weather for an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. For Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who has approached the issue gingerly, gay marriage holds the potential for political gain and pain. Ehrlich, who is pro-choice, has generally avoided conservative Republican social issues such as abortion. Characterizing himself as from the libertarian wing of the party, he has backed away from issues not always popular with conservatives, such as medical marijuana. Ehrlich only mentions his opposition to gay marriage in response to reporters’ questions and is not pushing the constitutional amendment this year, although his aides have hinted at doing so next year. He did not attend the rally, which began shortly after his State of the State speech. “The reality is I don’t think anything is going to happen in either direction on this issue, so it wouldn’t make any sense for the governor to spend political capital on it,” Igoe said. The one thing that is making me stark raving mad is this standard Kool-Aid-drinking response by Dems on this issue. It’s getting to be such a cliche that it comes across as such in the article. Please Democrats, someone take a f*cking stand on this issue. Everyone knows you are punting because you have no f*cking balls.

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan was one of several Democrats interviewed Thursday to cling to the phrase “marriage is between a man and a woman” while saying they see no need for a constitutional amendment. [PUNT!] House Speaker Michael E. Busch, who opposes gay marriage but has backed additional rights for gay couples, agreed.”Maryland law is pretty clear. Marriage is between a man and a woman, and I support that [PUNT!], and I don’t see that issue changing,” he said. Busch added he does not see a need to act unless the courts see otherwise. “If the courts don’t act, there is no need to make a change,” said Busch (D-Dist. 30) of Annapolis. “Let it play out.” [PUNT!]

And then the wingnut makes my point that the Right is not going to let this rest, no matter how much fancy footwork the Democrats do to avoid the issue.

Delegates Donald Dwyer, Herbert McMillan and Charles Boutin don’t give a damn about the rights of their gay consituents. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. is one of three openly gay delegates in the Maryland legislature.

“We believe the time is right to bring this issue back and let the citizens of Maryland decide this once and for all,” said Del. Donald H. Dwyer (R-Dist. 31) of Glen Burnie, one of the leaders of the rally. “We will not stand any longer for moral depravity.” Del. Herbert H. McMillan (R-Dist. 30) of Annapolis said that he respects gay couples’ right to live together, but said they “do not have the right to redefine marriage to fit their lifestyle. When anyone can be married to anyone else, no one is really married at all.” Del. Charles R. Boutin (R-Dist. 34A) of Aberdeen, who sponsored the amendment last year, accused the Democratic leadership of quashing it in committee. “They know the votes are there to send this to the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, gay rights advocates are working to pass legislation that will bring gay couples ability to have medical power of attorney and to add gays to the state’s hate cimes law.

“The medical decision-making act will be back and we’ll be pushing it,” said Del. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Dist. 18) of Kensington, one of three openly gay members of the legislature. The bill died in the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee last year by a single vote but a committee shakeup has advocates hopeful for passage.

Madaleno said he is still hopeful of advancing a gay rights agenda although gay marriage in particular was dealt setbacks at the ballot box in 11 states in November, pointing to successes for advances for limited gay rights measures even in conservative states such as Utah. Madaleno said the issue poses a dilemma for Ehrlich, pointing to William Safire’s definition of the Republican Party’s two wings, one “righteous” and one “reasonable.” …Madaleno warned that while the governor may reap some political benefits if he jumps on the issue, he also faces pitfalls, pointing to “Morella Republicans” in Montgomery and Howard counties who might abandon him. He added that there is “an influential gay Republican community in this state that worked hard on his election. What happens to those people if Ehrlich comes out in support of a constitutional amendment?”

My question is, how many of these “influential gay Republicans” voted for Bush?

State Senators Jim Forrester and Fred Smith are on a mission to protect marriage in NC from the homos.

* Where we are in NC on a marriage amendment. We have been watching and waiting here for the new legislative session of the NC General Assembly. It was highly likely some of our southern-fried redneck wingnuts would submit another marriage amendment bill. We didn’t wait long; Senate Bill S8 was put in the hopper this past week. The good news is that the Democrat-controlled legislature is making it harder for a bill to get to the floor. Sens. Jim Forrester, R-Gaston, and Fred Smith, R-Johnston, filed a bill to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The constitutional referendum, if approved by the Legislature, would go to voters at the May 2006 state primary election. A majority of senators last year sought consideration for a similar bill pushed by Forrester. The bill fell two votes short of the 30 needed to get it out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote. The Senate on opening day Wednesday made that rule even more stringent. Now, 34 signatures are needed instead of 30. The text of the bill:

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. This is the only marriage that shall be recognized as valid in this State. The uniting of two persons of the same sex or the uniting of more than two persons of any sex in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar relationship within or outside of this State shall not be valid or recognized in this State. This constitution shall not be construed to require that marital status or the rights, privileges, benefits or other legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried individuals or groups.

Arthur Smelt, left, and partner Christopher Hammer, shown Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005, at their lawyer’s office in Santa Ana, Calif., want to get married. The two men plan to be in federal court Thursday as their attorney argues that the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 22 are gross violations of civil rights akin to slavery or denying women the vote. (AP Photo/Matt A. Brown)

* Calif. Couple to Fight Gay Marriage Laws

. On Tuesday, three gay couples in Florida dropped their lawsuits challenging DOMA; they decided not to risk appeals that the U.S. Supreme Court might reject, setting a precedent. It leaves only a handful of federal cases pending, including this one. “Certainly, eyes are going to be focused on this particular case,” said Matthew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, an opponent of gay marriage involved in some 30 cases nationwide. Hammer and Smelt, both 45, met in 1996 and held a commitment ceremony in their Mission Viejo home a year later. They tried to get a marriage license in Orange County at the time but were turned down. “I was laughed at,” Hammer said. Their attorney, Richard C. Gilbert, pursued the case in federal court, even though most cases elsewhere were filed in state courts, where activists believe their chances are better…Gilbert, who said his arguments are different from those used in Florida, said he will appeal if he loses before the federal judge in Santa Ana. “I’ll fight all the way to the United States Supreme Court if these plaintiffs are willing to fight,” he said.

Corpse-like homophobe/anti-feminist head of the Eagle Forum, Phyllis Schlafly. BTW, her son John is openly g-a-y.

* Get to know your American Taliban: Phyllis Schlafly’s Conservative Agenda for 2005. Why do I visit these sites? They make me want to hurl. Then, again, I like sharing these unhinged ideas with House Blend readers to keep reminding them that the Right is incredibly consistent and persistent. We know who the enemy is and they are insane. “Curb Supremacist Judges
Congress should pass a law providing that federal judges have no power to hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, or to hear a federal challenge to state marriage amendments, or to change the definition of marriage to something other than one man and one woman, or to give unmarried persons the legal benefits of husbands and wives….It’s not only right, it is good politics to push ahead on protection of traditional marriage at every level and with all possible legislation.

Congress should pass a law providing that federal judges have no power to ban the Pledge of Allegiance, the Ten Commandments, and other public acknowledgments of God by public officials or on public property.

Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education, freshly confirmed homo-bigot in the Bush administration, thinks Buster visiting a lesbian couple will corrupt children.

* Lesbian characters on PBS cartoon gets Education Sec’s panties in a bunch. The not-yet-aired episode of ” Postcards From Buster” shows the title character, an animated bunny named Buster, on a trip to Vermont – a state known for recognizing same-sex civil unions. The episode features two lesbian couples, although the focus is on farm life and maple sugaring. A PBS spokesman said late Tuesday that the nonprofit network has decided not to distribute the episode, called “Sugartime!,” to its 349 stations. She said the Education Department’s objections were not a factor in that decision. “Ultimately, our decision was based on the fact that we recognize this is a sensitive issue, and we wanted to make sure that parents had an opportunity to introduce this subject to their children in their own time,” said Lea Sloan, vice president of media relations at PBS.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said the “Sugartime!” episode does not fulfill the intent Congress had in mind for programming. “Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in the episode,” Spellings wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of PBS.

Actual Freeper Quotes™:
“PBS must have come to the realization that after their unsuccessful all-out November liberal media blitz and all out anti-GW campaign (along with their fund-raising telethons) with every PBS talking head that didn’t score too well with voters. They are skating on thin ice now. I say SHOW THE LESBIAN CARTOON..and lets all LAUGH when they KISS THEIR PUBLIC FUNDING GOOD-FRICKING-BYE…..”

“Education Secretary Margaret Spellings appears to be an ally of us bigoted heterosexuals -I wonder what her take on the NEA is?”

“WGBH, the Boston public television station appears infested with the same homosexual activist scourge infesting Massachusetts…”

“Vermont, a state that recognizes same-sex civil unions. The episode features two lesbian couples, Ironically enough, the group of gay Republicans in Mass. is called the LOG CABIN Club (syrup connection!) :)”

Is it just me or are our schools and children under a full-scale attack
from the brainwashing pro-homosexual leftists

“Why not force all public schools to sponsor field trips to Adult Bookstores??? Enough of the Evil!!! ”

* Florida couples drop challenge to DOMA. Three gay couples dropped their lawsuits Tuesday challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, saying they don’t want to risk having a conservative U.S. Supreme Court set legal precedent by rejecting their cases. Attorney Ellis Rubin, who was representing the couples, and the American Civil Liberties Union had said they would take the cases all the way from Florida’s federal courts to the Supreme Court. The suits were brought by gay couples married in Massachusetts and Canada who wanted Florida to recognize their marriages. Florida law only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman, a law that is supported by the Defense of Marriage Act. It allows states to disregard gay marriages performed in other states and foreign countries. Rubin said in a statement the decision was made along with the ACLU’s Gay and Lesbian Rights Project. Key in the decision was the Supreme Court’s recent refusal to hear a challenge to the Florida law that bans gays from adopting children. “That ruling strongly suggests that our case would not be favorably received,” Rubin said.

Daily Kos diaries…

* Why Gay Marriage is Important posted by Gracchi

* Sexual Perversion In Your Cereal Box posted by The Truffle

* Spongebob “Unequivocally Welcomed” by the UCC posted by obietom

* Former UK Cabinet Minister is HIV+ posted by ExpatBoy

* Tinky Winky, Spongebob, Buster and Theocratic McCarthyism posted by MAJeff

* Virginia House Attempts to Outlaw Adoption for Gays and Lesbians posted by JulieIde

* TX billboards promote Focus on the Family’s “ex-gay” event

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