Exclusive: New Hampshire’s leading ‘protect marriage’ group pushing gay ‘cures’

Earlier this morning we let you hear a clip wherein the president of New Hampshire’s leading “pro-family” group, Kevin Smith of Cornerstone Policy Research, revealed that he not only wants to get rid of the state’s marriage equality, but also its prior civil unions system. And while we were shocked that he’d admit that the group’s intent went beyond marriage and smack into basic rights and protections, it appears that maybe we didn’t even go far enough in terms of either shock or insight. Because check this out: We just found these “helpful links” listed on Cornerstone’s newly revamped website (which just relaunched today):

Screen Shot 2011-01-05 At 4.13.58 Pm

[SOURCE]

Yes, that’s right: The group that’s seeking to roll back basic protections in the state is also pushing scientifically-discredited “ex-gay” programs and “research.” Four of the six of the above links (Love Won Out, NARTH, Exodus, and PFOX) are solely dedicated to changing/curing/praying away the gay. As in that’s all they do: Seek ways to keep the “gays can change” meme alive (or perhaps we should say “ex-dead”).

This is not about politics. Not about referenda or court battles. Not about “protecting marriage,” like Cornerstone and their allies at the National Organization For Marriage always claim. What this shows, with 100% certainty, is that the group that’s most prominently, most vocally hoping to reshape the marriage debate in the Live Free or Die State is also hoping to reshape gay people’s very cores of existence in ways that fly in the face of ALL credible science.

They have now put this into the debate. It’s up to us to make sure every single state lawmaker knows it.




Good As You

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Video: Protect the sanctity of sophomoric ‘humor’

What’s the American Family Association’s big takeaway from Captain Owen Honors’ video controversy? That once Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal is all said and the done, the right of religious people to use “Saturday Night Live type” anti-gay, anti-woman slurs might be compromised:



Lewd Navy video [AFA]

Is there anything these folks won’t defend? Anything anti-gay, that is?

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*SEE ALSO: This insight from last night’s “Parker/Spitzer” (with particular kudos to Jeffrey Toobin and Kathleen Parker):



(via J.M.G.)




Good As You

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CALIFORNIA: Protect Marriage Files Request For Recusal Of Prop 8 Judge

Protect Marriage has filed a formal request for the recusal of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reindhardt, who is scheduled to be part of the three judge panel hearing the appeal of Proposition 8 on Monday. As I noted yesterday morning, at issue is Reinhardt’s wife and her involvement with the No On 8 campaign via her job with the ACLU.

In papers filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, lawyers for Proposition 8′s supporters said Judge Stephen Reinhardt’s “impartiality might reasonably be questioned” because his wife heads the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. In that role, the judge’s wife, Ramona Ripston, has been an outspoken opponent of Proposition 8 and taken part in legal proceedings to overturn the voter-approved law, the lawyers said. They cited the friend of the court brief the ACLU filed on behalf of the plaintiff’s in the case pending before her husband as an example.

According to the above-linked story, Reinhardt has recused himself from past cases involving the ACLU.

Joe. My. God.

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Olson & Boies May Ask Court To Force Protect Marriage To Pay Their Fees

In the event that Judge Vaughn Walker’s overturn of Prop 8 is upheld by the Ninth Circuit, attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies are prepared to demand that Protect Marriage pay their fees. Via Advocate:

In court filings this week, the attorneys requested extended time to consider fees and court costs but have also asked Prop. 8 supporters for an expedited response in the matter—which they opposed in a Wednesday filing. “Plaintiffs seek to drastically shorten [our] time to respond to that motion so that they have more time to prepare an application for attorney’s fees in the event this Court does not grant their motion to enlarge time,” Alliance Defense Fund attorney Brian Raum wrote. “Such a burden shift is unwarranted.”

The amount that may be requested has not be disclosed, but you can bet that Olson and Boies do not come cheap.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Here’s AG Brown’s Opposition To The Stay Request From Protect Marriage

Are you dizzy yet from all these legal docs? Protect Marriage has until 9am Monday to deliver their final response.
CA9Doc 8

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Protect Marriage Files 95-Page Emergency Motion For Stay Pending Appeal

Note that the first citation is an article from San Diego’s Gay & Lesbian Times.
Protect Marriage Appeal

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

DART accused of transphobia

Judge reversed order after transit agency fought longtime employee’s gender-marker change last year

John Wright | News Editor
wright@dallasvoice.com

TRANS FRIENDLY? | Judge Lynn Cherry, right, is shown alongside drag performer Chanel during Stonewall Democrats’ 2008 holiday party at the Round-Up Saloon. A few months later, Cherry ruled against a transgender DART employee and overturned a gender-marker change. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)

DART stands accused of bigotry and transphobia after attorneys for the local transit agency intervened in family court last year to challenge a gender-marker change granted to an employee.

According to court records, a transgender DART employee obtained a court order in February 2009 directing all state agencies to correct their records by changing her gender-marker from male to female, including on her birth certificate.

As Dallas Voice reported last week, many Dallas County judges have been routinely granting gender-marker changes to transgender people who meet set criteria — including documentation from licensed medical personnel — since the Democratic sweep of 2006.

The DART employee, who’s name is being withheld to protect her anonymity, later presented the court order to the transit agency’s human resources department and requested that her personnel records be changed to reflect her new gender.

But DART’s attorneys objected to the gender-marker change and responded by filing a motion seeking a rehearing in court. DART’s objections prompted 301st Family District Court Judge Lynn Cherry to reverse her order granting the gender-marker change.

“Where does this stop when an employer can start interfering with your personal life and family law decisions?” said longtime local transgender activist Pamela Curry, a friend of the DART employee who brought the case to the attention of Dallas Voice. “She was devastated. This should be a serious concern to a lot of people — everybody — and I just think this story needs to be told.”

Judge Cherry, who received Stonewall Democrats of Dallas’ Pink Pump Award for her support of the group last year, didn’t respond to messages seeking comment this week.

Morgan Lyons, a spokesman for DART, noted that Cherry reversed her order before the agency actually filed its motion for a rehearing. However, Curry alleges that DART’s attorneys met with Cherry privately and pressured her into reversing the order.

As is common with gender-marker changes, the case file has been sealed, but Dallas Voice obtained copies of some of the court documents from Curry.

In their motion for a rehearing, DART attorneys Harold R. McKeever and Hyattye Simmons argued that Texas law grants registrars, not judges, the authority to amend birth certificates. They also argued that birth certificates could be amended only if they were inaccurate at the time of birth.

“It’s not a DART issue, it’s a point of law,” Lyons told Dallas Voice this week, in response to the allegations of bigotry. “The lawyers concluded that the birth certificate could not be altered by law, unless there was a mistake made when the birth certificate was completed, and again, the judge changed the order before we even wound up going into court with it.”

Asked about DART’s LGBT-related employment policies, Lyons said the agency’s nondiscrimination policy includes sexual orientation but not gender identity/expression. The agency, which is governed by representatives from Dallas and numerous suburbs, also doesn’t offer benefits to the domestic partners of employees.

Lyons didn’t respond to other allegations made by Curry, including that the agency has fought the employee’s transition from male to female at every step of the way.

Curry, who helped the employee file her pro se petition for a gender-marker change, said the employee has worked for DART for more than 20 years and has an outstanding performance record.

The employee began to come out as transgender in 2003 and had gender reassignment surgery more than three years ago, Curry said. Curry said DART supervisors have at various times told the employee that she couldn’t have long hair, couldn’t wear skirts to work and couldn’t use women’s restrooms at work.

The employee has responded by showing up at work in her uniform so she doesn’t have to change and using public restrooms on her bus route, Curry said.

Supervisors have also told the employee she can’t talk to the media and can’t join political groups, such as Stonewall Democrats, Curry said.

“She’s intimidated and she’s scared,” Curry said. “One supervisor even suggested to her that if she doesn’t lay off it, they will mess up her retirement.”

Elaine Mosher, a Dallas attorney who’s familiar with the case, also questioned why DART intervened. Mosher didn’t represent the employee in the case but has handled gender-marker changes for other clients.

Mosher said the employee’s gender doesn’t have any bearing on her ability to do her job at DART.

“My argument in any gender marker matter is, the birth certificate was wrong, that’s why they had to go through the transition surgery, in essence to put them in the correct gender,” Mosher said. “All I can tell you is that it seems strange to me that DART would care one way or another what the gender marker of anybody that works for them is.”

Moster added that she believes someone at DART may have been “freaked out” by the employee’s transition from male to female and developed a “vendetta” against her.

“I wish I had a good explanation for why [DART got involved] other than the fact that I know there are people out there who are utterly blind and prejudiced for no other reason than they are,” Mosher said. “I compare it to some of the nonsense African-Americans had to live through in the ’60s.”

Mosher also said she’s “very surprised” that Cherry reversed the order granting the gender marker change.

Erin Moore, president of Stonewall Democrats, said she’s heard “bits and pieces” of the story but isn’t sure of all the facts.

Moore said in response to her questions about the case, Cherry told her she couldn’t talk about it because it’s still within the timeframe for a possible appeal.

“Lynn is a longtime supporter of Stonewall and I would think she would be fair in the case,” Moore said. “I’m confident she’s an ally to this community.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 19, 2010.

—  admin