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Archives – September, 2011

NOM responds to our DOMA efforts with Sen. Reed

By Adam Bink

A few days ago, we called on Sen. Reed to support the Respect for Marriage Act. He responded that he’d consider it very carefully and take some time to look at the bill.

Apparently, the National Organization for Marriage didn’t like that:

President Obama’s unilateral finding that DOMA is unconstitutional, and his directive that DOJ no longer defend DOMA in litigation, amounts to an end run on the Constitution that would short-circuit the judicial process, giving the President striking new powers to retroactively accept or reject laws passed by Congress. While the House is taking action to intervene to ensure that the law is defended, and that it receives a full and vigorous defense, no President has the authority to unilaterally pick and choose which laws are deserving of a legal defense. Now Rhode Island’s senior Senator, Jack Reed, is being pressured by homosexual marriage advocates to reject DOMA and call for its repeal. Take the time today to send Senator Reed a message urging him to stand strong for marriage and family, and to defend DOMA. Thank you.

I was wondering when NOM would notice these efforts.

Unfortunately for NOM, we aren’t going to be scared off or defeated. Now we just have to make sure Sen. Reed sees us out here.

If you haven’t signed, and passed along to folks in Rhode Island, click here to do so! It’s a two-fer: gaining the 31st Senator to co-sponsor this bill, and sticking it to NOM.

25 Comments September 30, 2011

msblucow goes to Washington

I hadn’t yet posted about what happened when Courage led a group of over 100 California progressive leaders to the White House last week. Today, Marta does a great job looking at the dynamics of the discussion, which included a break-out session on LGBT equality with the White House interim director on those issues. Marta’s a Los Angeles-based activist, writer and photographer as well as a volunteer Regional Field Organizer with OFA. Check it out for a great analysis and great photos- Adam

Cross-posted from

By Marta Evry

Whether you’re a supporter of President Obama, or his harshest critic, Obamabot, EmoProg, or Firebagger, no matter what side of the pie fight you find yourself on today, I’m going to ask you to hang in there and read what I promise you is going to be a very long diary.


Because for one day last week this kossak – a community organizer with no professional interest in politics, and who couldn’t lobby her way out of a paper bag – brought the hopes, fears, and messages of 1,300 others just like me (and you) directly to key White House officials, staffers and cabinet members in a way I never hoped or thought possible.

And they listened.


5 Comments September 30, 2011

Courage Campaign and Max Diposti file formal complaint, request investigation into Stop SB 48 tactics

By Adam Bink

You all recall this:

Thing is, lying in order to obtain signatures is a no-no. California Elections Code, Section 18600:

Every person is guilty of a misdemeanor who:

(a) Circulating, as principal or agent, or having charge or control of the circulation of, or obtaining signatures to, any state or local initiative, referendum or recall petition, intentionally misrepresents or intentionally makes any false statement concerning the contents, purport or effect of the petition to any person who signs, or who desires to sign, or who is requested to sign, or who makes inquiries with reference to it, or to whom it is presented for his or her signature.

(b) Willfully and knowingly circulates, publishes, or exhibits any false statement or misrepresentation concerning the contents, purport or effect of any state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition for the purpose of obtaining any signature to, or persuading or influencing any person to sign, that petition.

As such, yesterday, Courage Campaign filed a formal complaint with the California Attorney General, District Attorney, and the Oceanside City Attorney on behalf of Max Disposti, who witnessed the events, requesting an investigation (and possible prosecution) into signature-gathering tactics used by Stop SB 48 volunteers. Alleging that SB 48 could expose children to sexual predators is simply unacceptable, and Stop SB 48 campaign and their volunteers should be held accountable. We’ll keep you informed as this proceeds.

Our formal complaint can be found here, and below is an e-mail from Max Disposti explaining what happened. Co-sign our complaint!

Only 13 days left to turn in their signatures. Turn up the heat.
Courage Campaign California


A few days ago at a fair in Oceanside, my husband and I were asked if we wanted to sign a petition to protect children from abduction. When I asked what she meant, she said there was a law that just passed called SB 48 (the FAIR Education Act) that is forcing children to learn about “homosexuality” and sex without parental control, exposing them to sexual predators. As you can see in the photo on the right, she had plenty of supplemental materials to make her case. And, you guessed it: she turned out to be a volunteer with the Stop SB 48 campaign.

When I confronted her about these lies, she called the police. Well, we’re going to call the authorities on the Stop SB 48 campaign and fight back.

Today, with the support of the Courage Campaign, I am filing a formal complaint with the Oceanside City Attorney, the Office of the District Attorney and the California Attorney General requesting that they investigate these illegal signature gathering tactics. Will you click here to co-sign our complaint?

We can’t let their lies stand. I stood next to this woman for the next three hours and talked to every single person who approached, drawn in by her giant posters. Every single one of them was disgusted by her actions and refused to sign her petition when I told them the truth about SB 48. Every single one. With only 14 days left until the Stop SB 48 campaign has to turn in their signatures, everything we do right now matters.

Click here to co-sign our ethics complaint. We’ll deliver your signatures along with our complaint promptly.

Thanks for fighting back,

–Max Disposti, Courage Campaign member

22 Comments September 30, 2011

DADT: Analysis of today’s 9th Circuit decision in the LCR case

By Adam Bink

From the comments, MichGuy and chiefscribe note today’s decision from the 9th Circuit to dismiss the Log Cabin Republicans’ case against the government regarding “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” What’s notable is not only did the court dismiss the case, but it legally erased the trial record and decision. SCOTUSBlog explains:

Accusing a federal trial judge of misusing her authority when she struck down the military’s ban on gays and lesbians in the service, a federal appeals court judge on Thursday lectured the rest of the judiciary against creating new rights for homosexuals out of the Supreme Court’s famous ruling eight years ago in Lawrence v. Texas.   Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain did so as the Ninth Circuit Court threw out that lower court judge’s ruling interpreting Lawrence broadly.  The three-judge panel found that decision by District Judge Virginia A. Philllips to be moot, because the so-called “don’t ask/don’t tell” policy at issue has now been repealed by Congress.  (The decision is here; it includes Judge O’Scannlain’s separate added views.)

Apparfently not content to have the judge’s ruling simply off the books, Judge O’Scannlain wrote a 10-page concurring opinion in order to provide what he called a “guidepost for responsible decision-making” for courts dealing with claims to gay rights based upon Lawrence.    Judge Phillips, who sits in Riverside, Calif., had relied heavily upon that 2003 precedent in nullifying the military gay ban last September; in October, she barred the Pentagon from enforcing the ban anywhere in the world.  She did so in a case filed by a gay rights advocacy group. the Log Cabin Republicans.

After the “don’t ask/don’t tell” repeal law took effect nine days ago, ending a long-standing ban on homosexuals serving openly in uniform, the Obama Administration had asked the Ninth Circuit panel to declare the case to be moot, and to go further and vacate — that is, erase from the books, officially — Judge Phillips’ ruling and the worldwide injunction she had issued.   The Log Cabin Republicans had resisted those requests, arguing that the case was not dead because Congress might re-impose the ban and because those discharged from the service under the ban may suffer negative consequences from it.  That organization also had indicated that it wanted to use Judge Phillips’ precedent in other gay rights cases.  (A number of discharged gay individuals have cases pending in court, either seeking reinstatement or damages.  The Phillips precedent could have aidedd those claims.)

In Thursday’s unanimous ruling, the three-judge panel granted both of the Administration’s requests.  It declared the Phillips decision to be legally dead, and vacated it.  Noting that the Log Cabin Republicans had stated that they intended “to use the district court’s judgment” in other cases, the panel responded: “We will be clear: It may not.  Nor may its members nor anyone else.  We vacate the district court’s judgment, injunction, opinions, orders, and factual findings — indeed, all of its past rulings — to clear the path completely for any future litigation.  Those now-void legal rulings and factual findings have no precedential, preclusive, or binding effect.”  When Congress repealed the “don’t ask/don’t tell” policy, the panel said, the Log Cabin Republicans got all that they had sought by suing the Pentagon’s leaders.

Seldom does a higher court use such sweeping language toward a lower court judge’s ruling, while wiping it off the books.  Simple erasure of the ruling, apparently, was not enough — a sentiment that is perhaps further illuminated by the displeasure openly displayed by Judge O’Scannlain in his concurring opinion.

As Karen notes over at, Dan Woods, the lead attorney for LCR, says this isn’t over yet.

Full text:

h/t MichGuy and chiefscribe for the links

24 Comments September 29, 2011

Audio: Signorile grills NC’s head marriage banner; said banner can’t take heat, leaves kitchen, blames cook

Cross-posted at Good As You

By Jeremy Hooper

In an interview with SiriusXM’s Michelangelo Signorile, North Carolina state senator Jim Forrester (Very Far R-41st District) tried and failed to defend the “merits” of the marriage amendment that he has carried all the way to the 2012 polls. And when he couldn’t answer an actual gay man’s perfectly fair questions, Forrester proceeded to accuse Signorile of trying to “trip me up,” before running back to more convenient echo chambers.

Listen to the whole thing, via Think Progress‘ uploaded video. And in particular, listen to the part (7:02 in the first video) where he tries to use NOM’s “Anti-Defamation” poster child, Frank Turek, to justify his belief that gays die young:

NC Senator: “You’re trying to trip me up” [Signorile]

Sponsor Of North Carolina’s Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Can’t Explain How Gays And Lesbians Undermine Marriage [Think Progress]

26 Comments September 29, 2011

L’shana tova

By Adam Bink

I’m offline today to observe the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which doubles as new year for the Jews. That means tashlich (the throwing of sins, metaphorically using bread, into a moving body of water to cleanse oneself) as well as prayer and consuming honey in wishing for a sweet new year. For those of you observing, l’shana tova! (happy new year!)

This is an open thread. Regular posting will resume tomorrow. For fun, enjoy this behind the scenes video of our flashmob targeting Michele Bachmann:

18 Comments September 29, 2011

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