Do Civil Unions Have a Chance in Wyoming?

Despite the advancement of a bill that would prohibit Wyoming from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, and a state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, could there be support for a civil union law?

The Star Tribune seems to think so: Protest_wyoming

Many legislators who voted earlier this week in favor of House Bill 74, which prohibits recognition of same-sex marriages from out of state, have said they see civil unions as an acceptable compromise. And while Gov. Matt Mead said he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman, he wouldn’t rule out supporting civil union legislation should it reach his desk.

"I’m getting a stronger sense that civil unions will pass," said state Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, a supporter of gay marriage.

This week, the House Judiciary Committee will take up legislation to establish civil unions in Wyoming that would give same-sex couples in the state the same legal rights and benefits as married couples. The bill, House Bill 150, appears to have the votes to pass the Judiciary Committee.

State Rep. Cathy Connolly, the Laramie Democrat who’s sponsoring HB150, said she’s "very optimistic" the bill will pass the full House, as many gay marriage opponents have said they support civil unions.

On Friday, the Wyoming Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation by a 3-2 vote that would ban same-sex marriage in the state. However, before the vote they amended the legislation to potentially allow for civil unions.

Protests took place on Friday and Saturday, objecting to HB 74.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

There’s an opp. for that: Robert George gives us another chance to show what Manhattan Declaration’s really about

This from Focus on the Family/National Organization for Marriage founder Robert George:

( click to play audio clip)

*AUDIO SOURCE: Apple Again Rejects Manhattan Declaration App [FoTF]

So okay, since these folks keep insisting on talking about “Christian values” and the debate associated with the so-called Manhattan Declaration, we’ll keep bringing up some of the real reasons why an American corporation like Apple might make the logical business decision to limit this particular offering:

(A) The Manhattan Declaration publicly and proudly touts signatures from Scott “the gay movement is a nuclear bomb” Lively, someone who this year earned considerable attention for his belief that the Uganda “kill gays” bill is a “step in the right direction.”

(B) Two other people listed on the Manhattan Declaration’s “Religious leader’s [sic] signatories” list are Peter Akinola, a man who says “homosexuality does violence to nature“, and Rev. Emmanuel Musaba Kolini, who has referred to homosexuality as “moral genocide.

(C) Major Declaration backer Tony Perkins has come right out and said the document represents “a struggle between good and evil.” Hint: We’re not the ones he puts in the “good”category:



Perkins.mpg [YT user: ptrvns47]

(D) Five SPLC-designated hate groups (Traditional Values Coalition, Abiding Truth Ministries, American Family Association, Family Research Council, Watchmen on the Walls) have at least one associate on one of the two signatories lists. Now, of course the “pro-family” folks are all attacking the SPLC as being agenda-driven and therefore without credence. But not a one of them has even attempted to (much less succeeded at) refuting the documented claims that got these groups on the highly selective list. Which is particularly odd, considering it’d be in the outraged non-listees’ interests to note that SPLC does make careful distinctions. But I digress.

(E) The most major voice behind the Declaration, Chuck Colson, has all kinds of nasty, hurtful comments on the record that more than belie NOM’s “reasonable and civil debate” claims. Like the time Chuck warned about gays’ marriages leading to “Cultural Armageddon,” for instance:

Or when he compared Manhattan Declaration supporters’ mission as constituting “non-cooperation with evil,” for another:

“This kind of principled non-cooperation with evil won’t be easy—there are signs of a reduced tolerance for that most basic of American values, religious freedom. As we’ve discussed many times on BreakPoint, Christian organizations are losing tax-exempt status for refusing to buy in to homosexual “marriage.” Some are going out of business rather than cave into immoral demands—such as placing children for adoption with homosexual couples. Conscientious medical personnel are being sued or being fired for obeying their consciences.

I say, enough is enough. The Church must take a stand. And with the release of the Manhattan Declaration, that’s exactly what we are doing.”

The Manhattan Declaration

Or perhaps our favorite: The time when Chuckles admitted just how he sees the tens of thousands of soul-crushed people who took to the streets in the national, almost entirely peaceful protests against Proposition 8

When I watched the violence on television, memories came back of earlier generations of thugs: Bull Conner, who, with the help of brutal cops, used violence and intimidation to chase African Americans out of the public square. Or roving gangs of Nazi brownshirts who ruled the streets of Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. Do opponents of Proposition 8 who attacked Mormons and their churches think they’re any better than Bull Conner, or nicer than Nazi thugs? I don’t.” [SOURCE]

Civil, huh?

(F) The app in question was also offensive to “reasonable and civil debate” on a purely intellectual level, with the in-app survey pretending to query users on their support for marriage equality and reproductive choice, but then proceeding to tell them they were just plain incorrect if they fell out of evangelical lock-step. If we want to talk about 1984, let’s start with this “agree with us or else” survey.

(G) The Declaration repeats (as did the app) the oft-bastardized claim:

In New Jersey, after the establishment of a quasi-marital “civil unions” scheme, a Methodist institution was stripped of its tax exempt status when it declined, as a matter of religious conscience, to permit a facility it owned and operated to be used for ceremonies blessing homosexual unions.

The reality is that the church pavilion was receiving a SPECIAL tax benefit under the Green Acres tax-exemption. This tax break was always a bonus — a privilege bestowed upon eligible non-profits that open their private lands and/or accommodations up for public usage. Public, as in ALL of the public, not some. And since LGBT people are part of New Jersey’s public and civil unions are the law, A PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION MUST EITHER ACCOMMODATE THE PUBLIC OR STOP RECEIVING THESE KINDS OF PUBLIC HANDOUTS! A church can ABSOLUTELY keep gay couples from marrying in their own pavilion. However, they cannot receive special state, federal, and local tax breaks if they are going to pick and choose which kinds of couples are allowed to use the pavilion! In this NJ case, they still received the tax-exemption for the rest of their properties, which weren’t found to be in violation. But the pavilion in question was acting outside the rules for this particular state program.

(H) The Declaration refers to gays who are seeking civil fairness as really seeking “a right to engage in immoral sexual practices.

(I) need not say more. Apple is not the American government with the power to stifle free speech — it is a company with its own right to make its own decisions. The technology behemoth pulled the app not because they or gays are out to shut down speech, but rather because gay activists gave attention and light to the offenses contained within the app and larger Declaration, and Apple saw fit to make a corporate decision that led to the app’s removal. The merits (or lack thereof) are what did the Declaration supporters in.

But of course, yet again, these same supporters take no responsibility for what they have said and done, since the victim strategy makes the seem so much more sympathetic. Or so they think.




Good As You

—  admin

There’s an opp. for that: NOM gives us another chance to show what Manhattan Declaration’s really about

New from the National Organization For Marriage:



(H/t: J.M.G.)

You done? Okay, good. Now it’s our turn.

Here are some real reasons the app was pulled:

(A) The Manhattan Declaration publicly and proudly touts signatures from Scott “the gay movement is a nuclear bomb” Lively, someone who this year earned considerable attention for his belief that the Uganda “kill gays” bill is a “step in the right direction.”

(B) Two other people listed on the Manhattan Declaration’s “Religious leader’s [sic] signatories” list are Peter Akinola, a man who says “homosexuality does violence to nature“, and Rev. Emmanuel Musaba Kolini, who has referred to homosexuality as “moral genocide.

(C) Major Declaration backer Tony Perkins has come right out and said the document represents “a struggle between good and evil.” Hint: We’re not the ones he puts in the “good”category:



Perkins.mpg [YT user: ptrvns47]

(D) Five SPLC-designated hate groups (Traditional Values Coalition, Abiding Truth Ministries, American Family Association, Family Research Council, Watchmen on the Walls) have at least one associate on one of the two signatories lists. Now, of course the “pro-family” folks are all attacking the SPLC as being agenda-driven and therefore without credence. But not a one of them has even attempted to (much less succeeded at) refuting the documented claims that got these groups on the highly selective list. Which is particularly odd, considering it’d be in the outraged non-listees’ interests to note that SPLC does make careful distinctions. But I digress.

(E) The most major voice behind the Declaration, Chuck Colson, has all kinds of nasty, hurtful comments on the record that more than belie NOM’s “reasonable and civil debate” claims. Like the time Chuck warned about gays’ marriages leading to “Cultural Armageddon,” for instance:

Or when he compared Manhattan Declaration supporters’ mission as constituting “non-cooperation with evil,” for another:

“This kind of principled non-cooperation with evil won’t be easy—there are signs of a reduced tolerance for that most basic of American values, religious freedom. As we’ve discussed many times on BreakPoint, Christian organizations are losing tax-exempt status for refusing to buy in to homosexual “marriage.” Some are going out of business rather than cave into immoral demands—such as placing children for adoption with homosexual couples. Conscientious medical personnel are being sued or being fired for obeying their consciences.

I say, enough is enough. The Church must take a stand. And with the release of the Manhattan Declaration, that’s exactly what we are doing.”

The Manhattan Declaration

Or perhaps our favorite: The time when Chuckles admitted just how he sees the tens of thousands of soul-crushed people who took to the streets in the national, almost entirely peaceful protests against Proposition 8

When I watched the violence on television, memories came back of earlier generations of thugs: Bull Conner, who, with the help of brutal cops, used violence and intimidation to chase African Americans out of the public square. Or roving gangs of Nazi brownshirts who ruled the streets of Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. Do opponents of Proposition 8 who attacked Mormons and their churches think they’re any better than Bull Conner, or nicer than Nazi thugs? I don’t.” [SOURCE]

Civil, huh?

(F) The app in question was also offensive to “reasonable and civil debate” on a purely intellectual level, with the in-app survey pretending to query users on their support for marriage equality and reproductive choice, but then proceeding to tell them they were just plain incorrect if they fell out of evangelical lock-step. If we want to talk about 1984, let’s start with this “agree with us or else” survey.

(G) The Declaration repeats (as did the app) the oft-bastardized claim:

In New Jersey, after the establishment of a quasi-marital “civil unions” scheme, a Methodist institution was stripped of its tax exempt status when it declined, as a matter of religious conscience, to permit a facility it owned and operated to be used for ceremonies blessing homosexual unions.

The reality is that the church pavilion was receiving a SPECIAL tax benefit under the Green Acres tax-exemption. This tax break was always a bonus — a privilege bestowed upon eligible non-profits that open their private lands and/or accommodations up for public usage. Public, as in ALL of the public, not some. And since LGBT people are part of New Jersey’s public and civil unions are the law, A PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION MUST EITHER ACCOMMODATE THE PUBLIC OR STOP RECEIVING THESE KINDS OF PUBLIC HANDOUTS! A church can ABSOLUTELY keep gay couples from marrying in their own pavilion. However, they cannot receive special state, federal, and local tax breaks if they are going to pick and choose which kinds of couples are allowed to use the pavilion! In this NJ case, they still received the tax-exemption for the rest of their properties, which weren’t found to be in violation. But the pavilion in question was acting outside the rules for this particular state program.

(H) The Declaration refers to gays who are seeking civil fairness as really seeking “a right to engage in immoral sexual practices.

(I) need not say more. Apple is not the American government with the power to stifle free speech — it is a company with its own right to make its own decisions. The technology behemoth pulled the app not because they or gays are out to shut down speech, but rather because gay activists gave attention and light to the offenses contained within the app and larger Declaration, and Apple saw fit to make a corporate decision that led to the app’s removal. The merits (or lack thereof) are what did the Declaration supporters in.

But of course, yet again, these same supporters take no responsibility for what they have said and done, since the victim strategy makes the seem so much more sympathetic. Or so they think.




Good As You

—  admin

Last Best Chance Option Surfaces for DADT Legislative Repeal This Year

Today a new bipartisan proposal emerged under the leadership of Sens. Lieberman and Collins to pass repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as a stand-alone piece of legislation.  The news comes from a bipartisan group of Senators after today’s failed vote to proceed to debate on the National Defense Authorization Act.  Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued the following statement:

“There has always been strong support in the Senate for repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and in recent days it’s become clear that support reaches far beyond 60 votes.  The issue has been the procedure by which the defense bill would be considered and given that no agreement was in place before today’s vote on the motion to proceed, that effort was doomed to failure.

“Thankfully a bipartisan group of Senators has committed to finding an alternative method of achieving repeal.  We encourage all Senators to expeditiously take up this bill and pass it quickly so that the military has the power to implement a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

“The fight for open service has had many twists and turns but until ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is left in the dustbin of history we will never give up the fight.”


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

There’s Now a Snowball’s Chance in Hell ‘DADT’ Will be Repealed

Hopes for 'DADT' repeal hit a new low this morning following Harry Reid's announcement of scheduling for the next two weeks in the Senate, in which the Defense Bill, is, at best, an afterthought, at worst, completely dead.

It's nowhere to be seen on the Senate schedule.

Reid In the video (via americablog), after the jump, Reid lays out the schedule for now until December 17th, when the Senate adjourns. In it, there's no mention of the Defense bill, or DADT repeal. Finally, he is prodded by a colleague to say something on the Defense bill.

"Oh yeah, that."

Reid indicates that the major sticking point on the Defense bill is the amendment process. The Republicans, of course, are demanding an "open amendment process" which Reid says is a no-go. Reid says he would be open to considering some amendments if there are time agreements on those amendments.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP

Meanwhile, GOP Senators are laying out new "bogus" and "arbitrary benchmarks for how long it might take to debate the Defense bill.

And would Reid extend the session into Christmas break to debate the NDAA and DADT?

Also, Kerry Eleveld has a thorough piece on where we stand at the moment. It's not good.



Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Is a Lame Duck ENDA Vote Nancy Pelosi’s Last Chance To Secure a Gay Rights Legacy?

A day after a report circulates that outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will call for a lame duck ENDA vote (a report that's already been shot down), the Bay Area Reporter runs the headline, "LGBTs express disappointment with Pelosi's speakership." Though please don't include the Human Rights Campaign in that list of "LGBTs."


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Queerty

—  admin

#VVS2010: Sean issues call to arms; you know, like he’s been doing since time he decided to not give Dem. president a chance

Sean Hannity [AFA]

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Good As You

—  John Wright

Study: Gay Parents Not Destroying the Chance Their Kids Will Become Over-Achieving Bookworms

We already know gay parents are not, in fact, destroying the chances their children will lead normal lives. A new study also shows gay parents aren't hurting their kids' GPA, either.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  John Wright

Another chance to support equality: Will Obama’s DOJ weigh in on Prop. 8 appeal?

Team Obama keeps hoping to avoid the issue of marriage equality. But, they can’t ignore it. Over the next few months, we’re going to find out if the DOJ is defending DOMA’s constitutionality in the Massachusetts cases. And, we’ll find out if Obama meant it when he said he supported the Prop. 8 decision. The crack team of lawyers in Obama administration can go on-the-record with its support of Judge Walker’s decision. They can. But, will they?:

Days before the 2008 election, then-candidate Barack Obama said California’s Proposition 8 was “unnecessary” and “not what America’s about.”

Now, some same-sex marriage advocates are hoping Obama’s Justice Department will make a similar argument in court. The federal government is not a party to the Proposition 8 litigation, which pits gay and lesbian couples against supporters of a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. But the Justice Department could weigh in as amicus curiae — either when the case arrives at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court or, sooner, before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Such a decision would typically be up to Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal with input from across the federal government, including the White House.

The involvement of the Justice Department would add further significance to what is already the nation’s most-watched court case, officially named Perry v. Schwarzenegger, while also raising difficult political questions for the Obama administration. “There have been people encouraging the U.S. Justice Department to follow the progress of the Perry case, to discuss it internally and to support the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans,” said Jennifer Pizer, director of Lambda Legal’s Marriage Project, which filed an amicus brief in the case’s trial phase.

Pizer would not detail internal strategy, such as lobbying of White House or Justice Department officials, but she and other advocates of same-sex marriage said there are reasons for the federal government to become involved in the case. For one, there are Obama’s 2008 comments in opposition of Proposition 8. For another, they argue, the federal government has an interest in protecting civil rights — though that interest has been complicated in the context of homosexuality.

Let’s be clear, this won’t be a legal decision. It will be pure politics. So far, the political geniuses in the White House (the same geniuses who took Obama from an approval rating in the hig 60s down to 43% this week) have stuck to their opposition to marriage equality. Axelrod reiterated that position the day after the Prop. 8 decision. Yes, the Obama political operation wants to stay as far away from the marriage issue as possible. But, the longer they wait to deal it — and by deal with it, I mean Obama supporting marriage equality — the more outdated and out-of-touch the President looks.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright