“Defining Marriage: A Debate!” at U of H tomorrow

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

One day we will get to the point where an University inviting guests to debate marriage equality will be greeted with the same scorn that an on-campus debate on women’s suffrage or whether or not African-Americans are 3/5 of a person would engender, but that day is not today. Just in time for the expected U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling on Prop. 8  tomorrow, Feb. 7, the Federalist Society and Outlaw at the University of Houston present “Defining Marriage: A Debate!” at noon in the Bates Law Building room 109.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage, will be on hand to defend the continued prohibition against marriage equality. Mitchell Katine, who served as local counsel in Lawrence v. Texas (the Supreme Court case declaring Texas’ law against “homosexual conduct” unconstitutional) will defend marriage as a civil right, constitutionally guaranteed by equal protection under the law.

As a bonus the first 70 attendees to arrive will receive a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich and waffle fries, because we like our civil rights debated with a side of irony.

After the jump get a sneak peak at the kind of keen logical arguments to be expected from Dr. Morse:

—  admin

DEATHS: James ‘Kissey’ Olson, James Edward ‘Beaux’ Geer, Ray ‘Alpha Pup’ Witt

James “Kissey” Olson, 62, died at his home in Dallas on March 30 after recently being diagnosed with liver cancer.

Olson was native of Iron River, Mich. After graduating from high school, he served in the U.S. Air Force for six years. He went to work for AT&T, living in Phoeniz, Little Rock and finally Dallas, where he retired.

He had lived in the Dallas area for more than 24 years.

His home here was party central and was always open to his many friends who will miss his and his hospitality.

Olson is survived by his mother, Minnie, and sisters, Ruth and Doris, of Iron River; his brother, Ron, of Milwaukee; his ex-wife, Jo, of Yuma, Az.; his two children, Scott and Amy of Phoenix, and six grandchildren; and his beloved Chihuahua, Moose.

Olson was cremated and his ashes were buried at Iron River. A celebration of his life will be held on the patio at The Hidden Door, 5025 Bowser St., on Saturday, April 30, at 2 p.m.

 

James Edward “Beaux” Geer, 46, died April 13.

Geer worked as a hairdresser with Salon D for 23 years. He was also an artist who founded “Healing Texas through the Arts” to showcase new artists and make their works available to the public.

Geer was truly loved by friends and family, and he had an innocent sweetness of spirit and extraordinary talent that turned everything he touched into a thing of beauty. His paintings provided a view into his soul. He will be profoundly missed by those who knew him and will keep him forever in their hearts.

Geer is survived by his mother and stepfather, Bill and Millie Ritter of Plano; his father, Thomas Geer, Lafayette, La.; his brother Greg “Blackie” Geer, wife Kayce, daughter Typhane and grandson Thor, all of Austin; his best friend and brother-of-the heart, Dale Hall; and a host of other family and friends. Plans are pending for a celebration of life memorial gathering.

 

Ray “Alpha Pup” Witt, 59, died March 30 from an apparent stroke. Witt, loving boy and partner to Daddy Ron Hertz of Dallas and a member of the Dallas leather community, was a former member of Discipline Corps and NLA-Dallas. He held the first International Puppy title presented in 2001, thus becoming the “Alpha Pup.” His gift for storytelling and his warm heart endeared him to many in the community and his presence will be missed.Witt is survived by his partner of 9 ½ years, Ron Hertz of Dallas; his mother, Duluth Witt of Lexington, Ky.; and his canine friend “Mugsy.” A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

 

—  John Wright

Video: Ruth brings USCCB’s tune to Music City; at this Opry, gay equality’s the phantom

Jennifer Roback Morse, the Catholic head of the Catholic Ruth Institute (which is itself an affiliate of the Catholic National Organization For Marriage) is rallying even more young folks to use their Catholicism against, among other things, gay people’s *CIVIL* marriage equality:

“Based on a pastoral letter from the USCCB”? That’s great, when it comes to Our Lady of Ruth Institute’s religious ceremony. But unless we were all craned into Vatican City while we slept, we’re thinking that our CIVIL MARRIAGE EQUALITY conversation should abide by another document!




Good As You

—  admin

Chick-Fil-A’s WinShape Foundation: Now partnering with NOM’s Ruth Institute

Okay so this is going to take a little explanation. But stick with it. It’s a good find, especially in light of the recent Chick-Fil-A/Pennsylvania Family Institute sponsorship controversy and Chick-Fil-A’s corporate silence on the matter.

So alright, let’s begin with some background on the two players we’ll be discussing:

  • Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 2.46.27 PmThe Winshape Foundation is the charitable of Chick-Fil-A and its founder Truett Cathy. The foundation has several Christian focuses, all focused on strengthening certain values. Fair enough. In a perfect world we would all be able to come together and jointly work for some of their very valid goals.

Okay, so Ruth has been pushing something called The Reel Love Video Challenge. We showed you a promo for the contest back in December. Basically, the idea is for young people to make :30 second videos telling what lifelong love means to them. And again, just like with the Winshape Foundation’s work, the whole contest would be totally benign and even positive, if not for Ruth/NOM’s agenda towards LGBT people.

Right, so today we were mindlessly knocking around the Reel Love video site, primarily as a distraction. However, through our bored surfing we happened to catch note of a few new references to something unfamiliar to our “culture war” eyes. Something called LoveIsHere.com:

(red arrows are ours)

201101061447

[SOURCE: Ruth Institute's Reel Love Video Challenge]

Never before hearing of such a site, we grew curious. So the next thing we did was take a look at the coding of the Ruth Institute’s “Reel Love” site 9as one commonly does, right?). This is what we found:

201101061433

[SOURCE: Ruth Institute's Reel Love Video Challenge]

For the non-HTML geeky: Basically the highlighted coding shows that the frame on the site into which the videos are posted is actually not hosted on Ruth’s “Reel Love” site, but rather is coming from a separate, unannounced ‘Love Is Here” site. So growing even more curious, we headed over to LoveIsHere.com, where the only content at this point is this:

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 2.34.40 Pm

[SOURCE: LoveIsHere.com]

Okay, so this landing page is written in the same theme and style as the “Reel Love” contest. So it would seem that this is a planned effort that Ruth will use to turn this contest into further movement for their cause. Right. Whatever. Not out of line for them to do so, as far as the effort itself goes.

But — but, but but: It’s when one looks down a little further on this launch page that it gets interesting:

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 2.36.50 Pm

[SOURCE: LoveIsHere.com]

See what it says down there? Yup, that’s right: This planned site with undeniable ties to Ruth (and therefore NOM) is a project of Chick-Fil-A’s WinShape Foundation. The same Chick-Fil-A that already has some unanswered questions regarding a (now-scrubbed) sponsorship claimed by Pennsylvania’s leading anti-marriage equality group.

Now, who knows how LGBT-focused this yet-to-launch site will be. The content plan that we dug up doesn’t seem explicitly LGBT-focused:

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 2.40.22 Pm

But still: The Ruth Institute is *BEYOND* focused on gays and the civil discrimination thereof. Morse even tours around on NOM-sanctioned buses for that “godly” cause:



NOM Tour Tracker

When we see major American companies getting in bed with that which threatens our own bedrooms, we can’t help but take note. Here’s hoping Chick-Fil-A/WinShape (to whom we’ve registered contact) will this time offer a response.

***

*UPDATE: In a very odd turn of events, the site seems to have somewhat launched in the literally minutes since our post went up. Now when one loads the site, the 1/11/11 landing page is (usually) gone and there is some aggregated content from other sources. We say “usually,” because sometimes we still get the landing page.

*UPDATE2: Here’s the direct LIH page where the Ruth contest is hosted: http://loveishere.com/partners/videos/2/drjweighsin.html. Also, Ruth’s E.D. created a pdf document wherein she encourage bloggers to embed the contest, complete with LIH URL, onto their own sites. The connections could not be more obvious.

**UPDATE3: It seems the plan is to launch this LIH effort on Saturday January 8th, with a featured 60 second spot airing during the TV movie CHANGE OF PLANS (on FOX, 8pm EST). This per an email posted on Bill Coffin’s site. The same Bill Coffin who, on 12/1/10, Tweeted the following:

Screen Shot 2011-01-06 At 4.08.07 Pm




Good As You

—  admin

Dancing with ourselves: NOM’s Ruth Institute compares gay unions to self-love

Over at the Ruth Institute (an official National Organization For Marriage affiliate), site blogger “Ari” has posed the following question:

You know what makes about as much sense as same sex “marriage”? [Ruth blog]

And the answer Ari pairs with the question comes in the form of this article:

Chen Wei-yih has posed for a set of photos in a flowing white dress, enlisted a wedding planner and rented a banquet hall for a marriage celebration with 30 friends.

But there is no groom. Chen will marry herself.

Uninspired by the men she’s met but facing social pressure to get married, the 30-year-old Taipei office worker will hold the reception next month in honor of just one person.

Bride-to-be set to say ‘I do’ — to herself [Reuters via MSNBC]

Yes, that’s right: The Ruth Institute is now comparing equal marriage rights for same-sex couples to an absurd kicker story about a bride holding a non-binding ceremony with herself. because that’s exactly how these “pro-family” folks tend to view us: As oddities. As stories fit for the “news of the weird” section. As anomalies. As people whose wedding photos deserve to be slurred with “perversion” labels. As citizens whose civil marriage rights are as binding as weddings between me & I.

Bullies don’t always age out of the system.




Good As You

—  admin

Audio: Ruth Group (aka NOM) speaker: Incest and polyamory are homosexuality’s best analogs

Robert Gagnon was recently invited to speak at a conference thrown by official National Organization For Marriage affiliate The Ruth Institute. Here now, the kind of “incestuous” rhetoric that apparently attracted the NOM talent bookers:

(click to play audio clip)

*AUDIO SOURCE: Peter LaBarbera’s “Americans For Truth Hour” [FRC]

And yet we’re the ones who they say are going indoctrinate children with untruths?!




Good As You

—  John Wright