What’s Brewing: Marriage on rocks in Maryland; Lady Gaga premieres ‘Government Hooker’

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. It’s all hands on deck in Maryland, where the fate of a marriage equality bill may be decided today. One pro-marriage equality lawmaker says if a committee vote doesn’t happen, the bill will die. The House committee vote was delayed Tuesday when two supporters of the bill didn’t show up. Now, other co-sponsors are backtracking on their support. As someone who spent part of his childhood on a sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay, I sincerely hope this ship can be righted and sail safely through the stormy waters of Annapolis.

2. Gay students at Harding University in Searcy, Ark., launched an online magazine Wednesday called HU Queer Press, only to have the administration immediately block access to the website on school computers. Change.org has launched a petition, but this is hardly the first time the Church of Christ-affiliated school has tried to stifle free speech.

3. Lady Gaga made her runway debut in Paris — and premiered a song called “Government Hooker.” Watch video from the Thierry Mugler fashion show above and listen to the song here.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Man confesses to murder of gay activist in Uganda; equality under attack in Utah

David Kato

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. A man has confessed to the murder of Ugandan gay-rights activist David Kato, who was beaten to death with a hammer in his home last week. If you’ll remember, Kato had been outed by an anti-gay newspaper that called for him to be killed, and had received death threats since then. But the government-sanctioned cover-up is well under way: An anonymous police source is telling the media that the suspect killed Kato because he failed to pay him for sex.

2. Speaking of Uganda, the U.S.-based group that’s been linked to “kill gays” legislation in that country, the Fellowship, was also the sponsor of this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., which was attended by President Barack Obama, among others. The LGBT direct action group GetEQUAL protested outside the event.

3. And sticking with this morning’s theme of religious-based bigotry and oppressive regimes, a Utah GOP lawmaker has filed legislation that LGBT advocates say would gut local nondiscrimination ordinances and nullify directives between same-sex partners.

—  John Wright

Virginia Lawmaker: Feds Can’t Stop Us From Banning Gays From National Guard

Back in December, wingnut Virginia legislator Bob Marshall announced a bill to ban homosexuals from serving in that state’s National Guard. Today we get the text of that bill, which lists numerous examples of gays being booted from the military after declaring that the federal government has no right to tell Virginia who can serve in its National Guard.

A state may have different eligibility standards for membership in a State’s National Guard than for membership in the Armed Forces of the United States (e.g., education, driving record, drug use, criminal record, age, and other criteria). Such eligibility standards are not within the power of the U.S. Congress because they are not matters of “discipline.” “training,” “arming” or “organizing” the Militia, or National Guard. At present, the Virginia National Guard and the U. S. Army have different eligibility admission criteria than the Armed Forces of the United States, and the Commonwealth of Virginia has authority to determine whether or not an active, open and practicing homosexual should serve in the Virginia National Guard. There is no constitutional right to serve in the National Guard.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

NC: GOP lawmaker – need marriage amendment; cut HIV $ for adults ‘living in perverted lifestyles’

“I’m not opposed to helping a child born with HIV or something, but I don’t condone spending taxpayers’ money to help people living in perverted lifestyles.”

Rep. Larry Brown (R-Forsyth) who ran unopposed in the November election to win a fourth term.

The 2010 midterm turnover of our legislature here in NC — it will now be under GOP control for the first time since Reconstruction — is such a horrific development that it is no surprise that the emboldened good old country boys are going right for the throats of the LGBT community.

Out of the box there is talk not about jobs and the economy, but cutting funding for HIV/AIDS and pushing a marriage amendment, which has been killed repeatedly in committee when the GA was under Dem control.

Witness additional commentary from bigoted lawmaker Rep. Larry Brown, as reported by the Winston-Salem Journal. Brown was being interviewed about his goals for the upcoming session of the lege.

He began by discussing his support for a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a union between one man and one woman, which would forestall any efforts to allow same-sex marriage.

…Brown said Tuesday he’s not trying to say how people should lead their lives but that it is a higher priority to treat people who have diseases “with no fault of their own.” He said he doesn’t oppose those with HIV or AIDS getting treatment, but he doesn’t think the government should pay for it.

“I think people with HIV have legitimate fears and probably need support, but when it comes down to priorities, my priorities would be in other directions,” he said.

Brown drew criticism in October for an e-mail he sent to other state Republican lawmakers in which he used disparaging language about gays. After lawmakers were told about a legislative leadership award being given to then-House Speaker Joe Hackney, Brown sent his e-mail to House Minority Leader Paul Stam saying: “I hope all the queers are thrilled to see him. I am sure there will be a couple legislative fruitloops there in the audience.”

Sadly, Brown is not alone when it comes to bigotry. The Republicans cannot wait to put a marriage amendment on the table. Expect NOM to pour money into the effort.

Email: Larry.Brown@ncleg.net

Phone: 919-733-5607

Related:

* NC legislator e-blasts a bigot eruption referring to ‘queers’ and ‘fruitloops’

* NC: wingnut – ‘save’ marriage or there will be man-robot nuptials

* NC: Catholic bishops and legislators foment anti-gay hate at presser

* NC braces for introduction of a marriage amendment bill…AGAIN

* NC: PHB exclusive video of NOM’s Brian Brown at Raleigh rally – plus I am mistaken for a fundie (!)
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Anti-gay Texas Eagle Forum tries to bully legislators into ousting Speaker Joe Straus

Speaker Joe Straus

The anti-gay Texas Eagle Forum is trying to bully state legislators into opposing Joe Straus’ bid for re-election as speaker of the House. As we’ve said before, Straus, R-San Antonio, is socially moderate and could be our last line of defense against possible anti-gay attacks in the upcoming session. The other candidates for speaker are Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, who authored the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, who voted to ban gay foster parents.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Pat Carlson, president of the Texas Eagle Forum, is circulating a form letter for activists to send their legislators:

The letter says the Eagle Forum, which monitors issues such as abortion and gay rights, will base half of its legislative scorecard on who lawmakers support for speaker when the House convenes next week.

The Eagle Forum and many other groups on the right and left use scorecards to track key votes during a legislative session and then rate lawmakers. A poor rating from the Eagle Forum, for instance, could cause trouble for a lawmaker seeking re-election in a Republican primary.

“Texans have spoken at the ballot box by returning a strong conservative Republican majority to the Texas House,” the letter says. “They expect this conservative majority to vote for a conservative speaker. Unfortunately, Speaker Straus is not a conservative. Anyone who says otherwise, was not paying attention during the last legislative session or has not looked at Speaker Straus’ political associations and background or both.”

The story goes on to note that a vast majority of House members have pledged support for Straus, who is considered a favorite to remain speaker.

—  John Wright

IL Sen. Rickey Hendon’s Awesome Bullshit Call On Every Anti-Gay Lawmaker Who Voted Against Civil Unions

One thing in this post is not like the other. Above, Illinois State Sen. Rickey Hendon, on the chamber's open floor, slamming his fellow lawmakers for refusing to support the state's civil unions bill, which passed today. "It's the right thing to do," says Hendon, who fingers his colleagues guilty of "hypocrisy" that's "dripping in this chamber right now" by adulterers and closeted gays. Below, State Sen. Rev. James Meeks, who's running for Chicago mayor, admitting he's among those deserving of such criticism. Asked whether he thinks his "no" vote on the bill will "hurt your run for mayor among gay and lesbian voters," Meeks responded, "I don't know." Uh, I DO.

CONTINUED »


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Queerty

—  admin

State lawmaker: Iowa marriage decision was ‘worst day of my life’

Mr. Koester (R-Ankeny), who has also said of the ruling that “God wrote His book long before men wrote any state constitution,” is running unopposed in his November re-election bid. Unless you count the particularly astute nine-year-old constituent who’ll grow up to write state history books in 2040 — she’s cultivating plenty of principled opposition this election season!




Good As You

—  John Wright

Targeted N.Y. Lawmaker Gets Defensive

Bill Stachowskix390 (NY.gov) | Advocate.comNew York state Sen. Bill Stachowksi, who faces a tough primary challenge, is making calls to dismiss Fight Back New York, the PAC targeting him  for his vote against marriage equality.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

German court: Gay couples get inheritance equality

Associated Press

BERLIN — Germany’s highest court ruled Tuesday, Aug. 17 that gay couples in civil partnerships are entitled to benefit from the same favorable inheritance tax rules as married heterosexual couples.

The Federal Constitutional Court decided in favor of two homosexual plaintiffs who had each lost their partner and contested rules under which they had to pay inheritance tax as if they were distant relatives of the deceased.

The court found that there is no reason to discriminate against people in registered homosexual partnerships. Such unions have been possible in Germany since 2001 but legally fall short of marriage.

At present, a spouse pays an inheritance tax of between 7 and 30 percent on inheritances in excess of 560,000 euros ($718,000), but homosexual partners have to pay between 17 and 50 percent.

The court said that granting legally registered homosexual partnerships tax equality does not interfere with the government’s constitutional duty to protect and support marriage and family. The government must present legislation to end the discrepancy by the end of the year, it said.

“This is a good day for homosexuals in Germany,” said Volker Beck, a leading lawmaker from the opposition Greens who is openly gay.

A draft law already produced by the government aims to iron out the inheritance tax difference, but the supreme court went even further and demanded that the legislation be retroactive — applying to all cases that came up since civil partnerships were introduced in 2001.

—  John Wright