WATCH: Gov. Rick Perry tries to mislead Iowa voters about gay adoption in Texas

Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Saturday told the audience at a right-wing presidential forum in Iowa that same-sex couples are barred from adopting children in Texas, according to On Top Magazine.

But Perry’s statement was at best misleading and, at worst, an outright lie designed to pander to socially conservative voters.

At the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Des Moines, Perry and other presidential candidates were asked what they would do to help faith-based adoption agencies “which are being run out of business because they will only place children in homes headed by mothers and fathers and they will not place those children in homes headed by same-sex couples.”

Perry responded: “Obviously I think it is an issue you can address at the federal level, and passing a federal marriage amendment is one of the ways to do that, but until that does pass, as in the state of Texas, a gay couple cannot adopt a child in the state of Texas, so the states have the ability again, until there is a federal marriage amendment that clearly states that marriage is between one man and one woman and in that as well you cannot adopt a child unless it is one man and one woman.”

Chuck Smith, deputy director of Equality Texas, said in most jurisdictions in Texas, it’s true that gay couples can’t adopt “as a couple” due to the state’s defense of marriage act. However, in most jurisdictions, gay couples can adopt the a child separately, which is effectively the same thing, Smith said.

Unlike in states such as Utah and, until recently, Florida, Texas has no ban on gay adoption, Smith said. And, a non-biological mother who is the lesbian partner of a biological mother can typically obtain a second-parent adoption in Texas, Smith said.

“It’s not black and white,” he said. “It’s factually inaccurate to say there’s a ban on gay people adopting. It is a function of which family law judge people go to, but in virtually all jurisdictions, gay couples can adopt. Unfortunately they’re required to do it in two separate transactions, where each individual person has an adoption transaction. It’s also true that under the current statute, the supplemental birth certificate of an adopted child only has one parent’s name on it if the parents are of the same gender. That’s something we’ve been trying to change and will continue to try and change.”

Smith said while Texas legislators unsuccessfully attempted to ban gay foster-parenting in 2005, there has never been a bill to ban gay adoption.

“I think it was an attempt at a bravado comment — ‘In Texas, we don’t let the gays do anything’ — that was kind of the point,” Smith said, adding he thinks the entire forum was “an exercise in pandering” for all the candidates.

“What they’re attempting to do is to make something controversial that’s only controversial in their little mind-sphere,” Smith said. “There’s over 30 years of longitudinal studies that show sexual orientation is not a determining factor in whether a person is or is not a good parent. They’re trying to say that gay people can’t be good parents. There simply is not evidence to speak to that.”

Watch video of Perry’s response below.

—  John Wright

Baker to lesbian couple: Let them eat cake, just not mine

A baker in Des Moines, Iowa has come under fire from LGBT activists — and is being applauded by the anti-gay folks — after refusing to bake a cake for a couple when she discovered they were lesbians shopping for a cake for their wedding.

Victoria Childress, owner of Victoria’s Cake Cottage told Fox News commentator Todd Starnes that she had already baked several cake samples for Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers when she asked one of the women if the other was her sister. When the woman said they were partners, not sisters, Childress said she cited her Christian faith in explaining why she would not be baking a wedding cake for them.

According to TheNewAmerican.com — which is obviously a right-wing kind of news site, considering how they put the word “wedding” in quotes in their headline — Vodraska and Sievers then went on the offensive, “alerting their homosexual activist network,” according to TheNewAmerican.com, adding that the activist network “quickly organized a boycott of Childress’ bsuiness.

TheNewAmerican.com also says Childress has been receiving all kinds of hateful letters and emails since news of her refusal went public.

According to a statement publicized by Des Moines TV station KCCI 8 — which TheNewAmerican.com said gave Vodraska and Sievers “a platform to voice their anger at being snubbed by Childress” — the couple said they went public with the dispute to raise awareness about the need for equality. The statement says, “It is not about cake or someone’s right to refuse service to a customer. We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received and hope that by stepping forward we have prevented someone else from experiencing the same type of bigotry.”

But TheNewAmerican.com also reports that Vodraska and Sievers are said to be considering legal action against Childress.

For her part, Childress insists her refusal to bake a wedding cake for the two women is not about discrimination. She told Fox News, “It doesn’t have anything to do with them. It was about my convictions. They can get their cake anywhere.”

Childress also said she believes she is being targeted “because of my beliefs — my convictions to their lifestyle.”

OK, so here’s what I think about the whole thing:

Yes, Ms. Childress, your refusal to make a wedding cake for Trina Vodraska and Janelle Sievers had everything to do with them, because your “convictions” tell you that they are evil sinners who do not deserve the right to be married, and therefore do not deserve to have you bake them a wedding cake. Be honest enough to stand up and admit that rather than trying to pretend otherwise.

And to Ms. Vodraska and Ms. Sievers, first of all, congratulations on your pending nuptials. I hope you have a wonderful day. And while I have no problem with you spreading the word to other LGBT people that they need not bother going to Victoria’s Cake Cottage for their wedding cakes, let it go at that. Find some other bakery to make your cake; I bet there are tons of them out there who would love to do that for you.

There’s no need for any kind of lawsuit over this. Really. This is supposed to be a free country, and Ms. Childress really should be free to refuse service to you because of her religious beliefs about same-sex marriage. It’s like that popular cliche: “Don’t approve of gay marriage? Then don’t have one.”

Seriously, if we don’t want right-wing Christians forcing their religious beliefs on us, then we shouldn’t be trying to force our beliefs on them or try to make them abandon their convictions. I mean, would you really want her to bake a cake for you, knowing how she feels about your relationship?

—  admin

Will this debate sink Perry’s presidential hopes?

Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry came out of the gate strong when he jumped into the race to become the Republican nominee for president in 2012. How could he not? He had that great hair, and that supposed good ol’ Texas boy charm on his side, not to mention the prayers of all those people who attended The Response in August. He was riding high, jumping to the tops of the polls and apparently leaving folks like Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann in the dust.

And then he opened his mouth and talked. And things started going downhill fast.

Perry’s troubles started with the Republican debates. At the first one, on Sept. 7, he was taken to task for calling Social Security “a ponzi scheme” and for his controversial executive order requiring schoolgirls to be vaccinated against HPV. And while the audience applauded when Perry said he doesn’t lose sleep over executions in Texas, there were plenty of people who found that statement appalling.

And things got worse at the Sept. 22 debate, from which Perry came away looking “shell shocked,” according to the Huffington Post, after other candidates, like nutball Rick Santorum, attacked him for being too lenient on immigration policies.

And now, as Perry prepares for his third debate tonight in New Hampshire, sponsored by Bloomberg News and The Washington Post, some folks — like MSNBC — are calling this “do or die time” for him. This MSNBC report shows that Romney has regained the lead in the polls, holding a precarious three-point lead over Herman Cain in Iowa and a robust 30-point advantage over the other candidates in New Hampshire, the sites of the earliest primaries, according to the most recent NBC News-Marist polls

And where is Perry? In Iowa, he is tied for fourth place with Bachmann, with 10 percent each, behind his fellow Texan, Ron Paul who has 11 percent. And in New Hampshire, where Romney leads with 44 percent and Cain and Paul are tied for second with 13 percent each, Perry scraped in 6 percent for fourth place, barely beating out Jon Huntsman, who had 5 percent.

Poor Rick — he went from the top of the heap to scraping the bottom of the barrel in just a little more than two months. Talk about your monumental flame-out! I guess that means that it takes more than a pretty face and good hair to win the presidency — and the support of rabid right-wingers like the Rev. Robert Jeffress. And I guess that means we’ll probably have to keep putting up with Perry here in Texas until at least 2014.

—  admin

Death • 09.30.11

Wendy Churitch, 55, died suddenly at her home in Irving early Thursday morning, Sept. 29.

Churitch was born July 26, 1956, and grew up in Chicago. She moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in 1980.

She was known and much loved for her eccentric and ever-present sense of humor, her love of pranks and practical jokes and for her devotion and loyalty to her family and to her large number of friends that she thought of — and that thought of her — as family.

After seven-and-a-half years as a couple, Churitch and the love of her life, Kay Mathews Churitch, were legally married in Iowa on Aug. 17, 2009.

Churitch was preceded in death by her parents, Helen and Pete Churitch Sr., and by her brother, Michael.

She is survived by her wife, Kay Mathews Churitch of Irving; by her brother, Pete Churitch Jr., and one sister, Robin Littrell, both of Indiana; by her wife’s sister, Erin Urquhart of Coppell, and brother, Robert Mathews of Buda; by her wife’s two daughters, Courtney Mathews of Lubbock and Amber Mathews of Three Rivers, Mich., and three grandchildren, Michael and Jourdan of Mesquite and Makenzie of Lubbock; by her beloved dogs, Bailey and Pala; and by a host of loving friends.

Churitch’s remains will be cremated. A memorial service is pending and details will be announced when they become available.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

PIC OF THE DAY: Gov. Rick Perry deep-throats corn dog at the Iowa State Fair

Photo via IowaPolitics.com on Flickr

According to The Dallas Morning News, Perry’s corn dog turned out to be vegetarian, and he ate only half of it. But it sure looks like he’s had some practice, and as you can see below, the governor’s form is certainly better than Marcus or Michele Bachmann’s.

—  John Wright

Drawing Dallas

Even with a big family (3 kids and 5 grandkids), retired schoolteacher Richard John du Pont projects a dandy’s fashion sense

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name: Richard John du Pont

Occupation: Retired elementary school teacher

Spotted at: Kroger’s on the Strip

Colorful and vibrant, Richard was born and reared in upstate New York in a small town on the Mohawk River called Crescent. Retired since 2003, this tireless educator spent 30 years teaching 4th and 6th grades, and continues as a substitute teacher for the Dallas I.S.D (Sam Houston Elementary and Maple Lawn Elementary). He graduated with a bachelor’s in elementary education from the Central University of Iowa and a has masters in education from North Texas State University at Denton.

A man of taste: This silver-haired taste maker owns an exquisite collection of antiques, tastefully chosen to accent his beautiful home. He also lends his skill and expertise as a salesman to two estate sales and as a sales rep for Metrotex at the four large annual shows at the Dallas Trade Center.

Daddy dearest: This proud patriarch of two sons, one daughter and five grandsons sees family as the root of his life. His close-knit clan lives in the area so he is able to spend a lot of time with his children and grandchildren.

His hobbies include volunteer work for DIFFA, Legacy Counseling Center and Fresh, as well as traveling, reading, working out at Gold’s Gym Uptown, dancing and shopping. He collects vintage clothing and jewelry (more than 100 suits at least — he attends the Cathedral of Hope every Sunday in one of them with an antique brooch), and Converse and Vans shoes.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

‘Outraged’ 80-year old Iowa grandmother supports her gay son and blasts the haters

This is so, so great:

H/T Dan Savage.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

Iowa Grandmother: Discrimination Affects All of Us

Despite a recent vote in the Iowa House of Representatives to roll back the clock on marriage equality, a number of Iowans continue to make fair-minded, emotional appeals for supporting the rights of all committed couples to marry. First came the moving testimony of Zach Wahls, an Iowa college student raised by two moms. And more recently, an 80-year old grandmother named Jean posted a YouTube video about how anti-gay discrimination impacts her family.

“When our son came out to us in 1980, we were stunned, confused and angry….years later, after the shock wore off and we saw the life our son had created with his future husband Bob, I realized that he is still my son – and that in many ways, nothing has changed,” says Jean. “The actions and words of some affect my son, his husband, my family and my grandchildren. My son is not an issue. He is a person, just like you.”

Iowa is currently one of five states and the District of Columbia that issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples – but the security of marriage equality in Iowa cannot be taken for granted. Several months before the February House vote, three state Supreme Court judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality were ousted from the bench following an unprecedented campaign waged by well-funded anti-gay interest groups. 

Jean’s video provides a timely reminder for many Americans that marriage equality – and the swirl of rhetoric and politics surrounding it – is an issue that deeply impacts families all across the nation:

“I was sickened when the state Supreme Court judges were dismissed by the voters, removed because of peoples’ prejudices. Discrimination affects all of us – not just me, as a mother of a gay son.”

Watch Jean’s message here. To learn more about the current state of marriage equality in states across the country, visit http://www.hrc.org/issues/marriage.asp. And join HRC in calling on President Obama to publically and vocally support marriage equality for all Americans.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  David Taffet

IOWA: Fox News Focus Group Agrees President Is A Scary Kenyan Muslim

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Iowa Antimarriage Bill Introduced

test marriage in Iowa x 390Legislation that would allow voters to strip Iowa same-sex couples of
marriage rights was introduced in the state house of representatives
Wednesday.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin