‘This issue is so ’80s’: Thousands rally in support of same-sex marriage ban in N.C.

From WRAL (Watch video of the entire rally below)

GARY D. ROBERTSON  |  Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — The chatter over a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state constitution rose Tuesday as thousands of conservative Christians rallied to urge the Legislature to vote on it now that its Republican leaders are open to the idea after Democrats blocked it for years.

State Capitol Police estimated about 3,500 people participated in the marriage amendment rally behind the Legislative Building and organized by the Forsyth County-based Return America group. Visitors carried placards, American and Christian flags and listened to local ministers and nationally known speakers in conservative Christian circles argue voters are restless to cast yes or no votes for the amendment.

North Carolina is the only Southeastern state that hasn’t approved an amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman. Thirty states have voted to allow that restriction in their state constitutions.

“It’s time. It’s time, North Carolina, it’s time,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told a cheering crowd on the Halifax Mall. “It’s time to protect from those in Washington and those activist judges who are willing to aid those who want to redefine and ultimate destroy marriage.”

Earlier Tuesday, several ministers and a rabbi explained their opposition to the amendment in a separate news conference. They said passing the amendment would make gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered people second-class citizens by siding with the religious views of what they call a minority of citizens and deny them the ability to love whom they choose.

“This extreme legislation will only cause needless pain and suffering,” said the Rev. T. Anthony Spearman of Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church in Hickory. “At a time when legislators should be chopping away at unemployment rates and searching for ways to build a budget that would befriend the poor and marginalized, legislators are choosing to advance this divisive social agenda.”

North Carolina state law already identifies a valid marriage as one “created by the consent of a male and female person.” However, supporters of the ban contend an amendment would better protect traditional marriage from court challenges by same-sex couples married legally in five states and the District of Columbia.

About a dozen lawmakers were introduced at the rally, including two key House Republicans who said the question would be heard in the Legislature in 2011.

“It will get done this year,” House Majority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, told the crowd.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said later he also expected the amendment to be considered soon, either in the current session or in an extra session later that would examine proposed constitutional amendments.

Return America’s recent biennial rallies had fallen on the deaf ears of Democrats who led the General Assembly in one or both chambers for more than a century. They wouldn’t consider Republican-penned amendments and were allied with gay rights groups that argue an amendment would emboss discrimination permanently into state law.

That changed when the GOP won both chambers in the Legislature last fall. Three-fifths of the members in the House and Senate would have to approve the amendment in order for it to be on the November 2012 ballot, the date for a pair of bills that have been introduced. Some Democrats would be needed in the House to meet the three-fifths threshold. Some have co-sponsored previous measures.

A simple majority would be required in the statewide referendum.

The Senate version of the constitutional amendment also could deny same-sex partners other benefits such as visitation rights in hospitals and health insurance, according to Ian Palmquist of the gay rights group Equality North Carolina.

Amendment opponents could be helped by changing attitudes about homosexuality. Supporters point to surveys showing more than 70 percent like the amendment, but a 2009 Elon University Poll showed about half of North Carolina adults oppose one. And a February Elon poll showed more than half of North Carolina residents now support some form of legal recognition of same-sex couples.

The rally came three days after thousands of people attended the first “OutRaleigh” festival, which celebrated the area’s gay and lesbian community. Another North Carolina-based group called Faith in America is paying for billboards and newspaper ads in Raleigh calling on an end to religious bigotry, and ultimately a gay marriage amendment.

“This issue is so ’80s,” said Rep. Marcus Brandon, D-Guilford, the second openly gay lawmaker elected in North Carolina history. “It’s really an extreme, extreme position.” Brandon said he’s a Christian and believes some churches can confuse the values of the Christian faith and Jesus.

“Jesus was a compassionate person, and he would not have a rally outside right now,” he said.

But rally participants who traveled to Raleigh from across the state said they believed they had the right answer to the well-known Christian motto and question, “What would Jesus do?”

“I think he would want us to stand up for what’s right,” said Cindy Sartain, 54, of Concord, who came to the rally with members of her Baptist church in Kannapolis.

Rich Wells, 44, of Garner, an engineer who took a vacation day to attend the rally, said he’s encouraged by the Legislature’s interest in the bill, but “ultimately we just pray and leave the results to God.”

—  John Wright

What's Brewing 6/4/10: Family Research Council, Bill O'Reilly, Miley Cyrus

1. Joe.My.God. has obtained a financial report showing that the Family Research Council paid $25,000 to lobby members of Congress to oppose a resolution denouncing Uganda’s plan to execute homosexuals. In other words, the Family Research Council actively supports the death penalty for LGBT people. In other words, they don’t just hate us, they’re literally trying to kill us.

2. Remember that gay McDonald’s ad from France we posted here the other day? Well Fox News host Bill O’Reilly doesn’t like it. In fact, he says if there’s going to be a gay McDonald’s ad, there should also be one that features al-Qaeda. Wait a second, doesn’t he mean that other terrorist group, the Family Research Council?

3. OMG, Miley Cyrus totally pretended to, like, kiss a girl on stage last night!!! (It’s at the 1:08 mark in the above video.)

—  John Wright

Male prostitute from RentBoy.com confirms that anti-gay leader George Rekers is a homo

We’re on deadline here today, and we’re having a few hiccups with the site, but I wanted to make sure our faithful readers didn’t miss this follow-up from The Miami New Times about our good friend George Alan Rekers. Rekers, of course, is the anti-gay, “ex-gay” leader who was caught hiring a male prostitute from RentBoy.com. Rekers has thus far denied that he had a sexual relationship with the prostitute, saying he hired him to help carry his luggage on a recent 10-day trip to Europe. But now the escort has come forward to confirm what we already knew: that Rekers is completely full of shit. From the New Times:

Rekers allegedly named his favorite maneuver the “long stroke” — a complicated caress “across his penis, thigh… and his anus over the butt cheeks,” as the escort puts it. “Rekers liked to be rubbed down there,” he says.

In his first interview since New Times broke the story Tuesday, the 20-year old escort, who prefers to go by the name Lucien, contradicts Rekers’s contentions that he hired the escort to help carry his luggage and that he was trying to save the soul of a lost sinner.

Although Rekers does have physical ailments that make it difficult for him to haul suitcases, Lucien wasn’t hired to carry luggage on their European vacation, the escort says.

“It’s a situation where he’s going against homosexuality when he is a homosexual,” Lucien says.

Also, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s “The Colbert Report” on Rekers last night.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alpha Dog of the Week – George Rekers
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

—  John Wright

Getting to know the male prostitute hired by anti-gay leader George Alan Rekers

RekerHookerGeo

Boy oh (Rent)boy, the blogosphere is having a field day with this one.

As I reported earlier, anti-gay kingpin George Rekers was effectively outed by a  Miami newspaper after he hired a male escort from the Web site RentBoy.com.

So, given the apparent expertise with which certain folks seem to navigate such sites, it was just a matter of time before photos turned up of the escort, who’s being called “Lucien.”

And here they are, courtesy of Unzipped. You can view the full Rentboy profile for Lucien, or “BOYNEXTDOOR” (how original!), by going here.

According to Joe.My.God., Rekers is sticking by his original claim that he hired Lucien to help carry his luggage, but he’s also added a nice twist: He was just trying to save the poor little Rentboy:

“Contrary to false gossip, innuendo, and slander about me, I do not in any way ‘hate’ homosexuals, but I seek to lovingly share two types of messages to them, as I did with the young man called ‘Lucien’ in the news story: [1] It is possible to cease homosexual practices to avoid the unacceptable health risks associated with that behavior, and [2] the most important decision one can make is to establish a relationship with God for all eternity by trusting in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, including homosexual sins. If you talk with my travel assistant that the story called ‘Lucien,’ you will find I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse, and I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail.”

—  John Wright

Anti-gay activist George Rekers outed after hiring male escort from RentBoy.com

George Reker
George Rekers

George Alan Rekers, who co-founded the Family Research Council with James Dobson and is one of the nation’s leading anti-gay activists, has been outed by the alternative weekly newspaper Miami NewTimes.

Rekers, a Baptist minister who’s considered a top scholar for the Christian right, hired a gay escort from RentBoy.com to accompany him on a recent trip to Europe, NewTimes has confirmed. Rekers is currently a board member for the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a prominent “ex-gay” organization.

—  John Wright