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Monday equality round-up


By Adam Bink

A couple things from around the equality space:

  • Indiana House committee votes to move forward on a anti-equality marriage amendment, including a provision that will bar civil unions.People look at Indiana and say, hey, Obama won the state, but the state of things for LGBT people really is dire. I have a number of friends from or who live in the state who keep me posted, and this was the price of the 2010 elections.
  • The Maryland Senate will hold hearings on legislation to extend the freedom to marry tomorrow, and I’m told a vote is looking likely for Thursday. Washington Blade reports NOM is running robocalls. Courage Campaign Institute is looking at partnering on a video project in the state after the vote- I’ll keep everyone posted as things develop tomorrow and going forward.
  • 83% of Kentuckians support banning discrimination against gays. Remarkable figure. More here.
  • P8TT friend Karen Ocamb has a very interesting story on the controversial art exhibit in West Hollywood.
  • Not equality-related, but I thought last night’s game was exactly the Super Bowl I was hoping to see- close game, some exciting moments, lots of great ball by both sides (except for Roethlisberger missing half a dozen open receivers, and a bunch of Packers receivers dropping well-thrown balls).
  • Except, for, of course, Christina Aguilera botching the national anthem, and in my somewhat informed musical opinion (I grew up a musician, not doing very well musically, either. Lots of awkward breath takes and odd notes to land on in an effort to “dance it up”, especially the last one. But, if you’re a fan like me, this video will make you feel better about her musical ability.
  • Over in Courage Campaign Institute Laboratories, we’re working on a project we think you’ll really like. We really like it. I think it’ll pop. We’re still in beta and working out the bugs, but look for a roll-out later this month. Not too many more hints until then.
  • What else is going on?


  • 1. Straight for Equalit  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm

  • 2. JonT  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm

  • 3. Ann S.  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm

  • 4. Ed Cortes  |  February 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm


  • 5. Peterplumber  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm


  • 6. Ronnie  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    "What else is going on?"

    I think Pawlenty needs to slap himself with a chicken cutlet….just saying…. <3…Ronnie

  • 7. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Sue could toss a few bowling balls his way…or blow him out of her new cannon ; )

  • 8. Ronnie  |  February 10, 2011 at 7:16 am


  • 9. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I'll happily register Republican in the state Presidential primaries just to vote against theocrats like Pawlenty, Huckabee, Palin, Thune, etc. I'm not sure who'll be left to vote for, unfortunately.

  • 10. David from Sandy UT  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Mitt Romney is definitely in the NO category. Former Utah Guv Huntsman is not as fanatical. Neither individual have a snowball's chance in Hell of being nominated. Nevertheless, if Romney decides to stand on the national stage, individuals who actually believe in equality need to remind the public (loud and long) of the deliberately deceptive anti-equality horse excrement with which society has been vexed by Romney's Mormon overlords.

  • 11. Kathleen  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Totally O/T, but I have a cousin who lives about 15 miles from Sandy (she's another Mormon who has a gay son she fully supports) and I spent part of my childhood in a tiny Utah town about 50 miles from Sandy.

  • 12. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:05 am

    O/T too – That's cool Kathleen, I was born in SLC, my father, grandmother and grandfather, their parents, etc. were also born in Utah… I think I am related to like 2% of the state of Utah. I have family who are Mormon. Some of them are homosexual (cousins). I only recently discovered my family in UT is very pro-equality.

  • 13. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    83% of Kentuckians support banning discrimination against gays

    The figure must be somewhere around 175% in places like Massachusetts, then. Nice to hear, but I'm skeptical.

  • 14. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Each poll we see – equality support by the people goes up. It's wonderful to read.

  • 15. Kathleen  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    For anyone who missed it earlier, the Proponents' Reply Letter to the California Supreme Court in Perry:

    Hoping to hear this week whether or not the California court is going to get involved in the case.

  • 16. Kathleen  |  February 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Here's a good article on the various ways the California Supreme Court could choose to proceed on the 9th Circuit's request.

  • 17. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 7, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you for article…every little bit of info on this complex issues helps!

  • 18. AB  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Why did the CA Supreme Court allow such a late submission, especially when the Plaintiff's managed to get their response in on time?

  • 19. Kathleen  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Even though this wasn't put on the docket until 2/7, the letter is dated 2/4. It's possible it was served late on the 4th (Friday). By my calculations, that would still be a day late, but I'm not entirely clear on dates. The CA Supreme Court docket is harder for me to sort out – not as complete as the federal dockets where things are filed electronically.

  • 20. AB  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:40 am

    The 4th was, indeed, a day late. And even at that, the letter should have been served within the 10 day time limit, it seems to me; any attorney should be cognizant of when their letter is being completed so as to be served in time. (I would love to say to a professor: "Well, I know you GOT it late, but I can promise you, I finished writing it just minutes before it was due." It simply would not fly.)
    And the letter itself doesn't seem to make much sense. It seems very rushed, clumsy, and inept–not up to the Chuck Cooper standard at all! I wonder if he just forgot to do it until it was due.

  • 21. Kate  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:45 am

    Amen! It really ticks me off that the bad guys get away with filing late and making briefs longer than they are supposed to be. The law doesn't seem to make them follow the rules.

  • 22. Kathleen  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Maybe a postmark is considered a service date?? (I don't know). But it doesn't explain why the 4th instead of the 3rd. It does smack of a last minute job, but it's hard to believe that's the case with an attorney of Cooper's stature in such a high profile case.

  • 23. Ann S.  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:51 am

    I guess that if no one is prejudiced by the delay or the length, then it's a case of "no harm no foul". But it is not good practice to force the court to even have to ponder whether you have harmed anyone by filing late.

  • 24. Rhie  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm


  • 25. Canadian JAG Officer  |  February 7, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Also the RI hearing is this week!

  • 26. Kathleen  |  February 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Oh, that's right. I forgot that was moved to this week.

  • 27. Sagesse  |  February 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Maddow: Kato Murder An American Story

  • 28. Joel  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:21 am

    I just saw a younger and bespectacled Rachel on a rerun of the Martha Stewart Show. She looked like Harry Potter, and the bit with the salad spinner was hilarious!

  • 29. Sagesse  |  February 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Lessons learned from DADT repeal. Read it.

    Rewriting History

  • 30. Kathleen  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:58 am

    He makes no mention of the LCR lawsuit, which I think was a huge factor in pushing the administration and the military to get this done.

  • 31. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    OT from Equality Matters… LivingSocial Ad Uses Transgender Americans As A Laugh Line : (

  • 32. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 7, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I get daily emails from Living Social. I sent a short letter to unsubcribe and gave specific reasons why.

  • 33. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 8, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Got a reply from company:

    Hi Gregory,

    We apologize that you were offended by our recent advertisement. Our super bowl ad was developed solely for the Super Bowl to show LivingSocial's unique experiences in a fun, light and humorous way. Our future spots will continue to explore our unique experiences in different ways and with different people.

    While our efforts are never intended to offend, we understand that what one group finds appealing may not be so for others. However, in each instance we respect each customer’s right to purchase, as well as their right to voice their opinion regarding the deal.

    In this instance where you feel we have offended you, we offer a humble apology and will give your feedback consideration in moving forward with the types of advertisements we show.

    Thank you,

    The LivingSocial Team

    P.S. If you still have questions, please reply to this email, or call us at 877-521-4191 (US) or 0-800-014-8431 (UK).

  • 34. fiona64  |  February 9, 2011 at 1:50 am

    "In this instance where you feel we have offended you, we offer a humble apology"

    Heh. "We're sorry you were upset" is not an apology.


  • 35. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 9, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Agree! : /

  • 36. fiona64  |  February 9, 2011 at 1:50 am

    BTW, I also found that ad offensive.


  • 37. AnonyGrl  |  February 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    I am off to Marriage Equality NY's lobbying day here in Albany. I'll post the news here when I get back!

    Have a good day, all!

  • 38. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    : D

  • 39. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Have a great time – can't wait for the recap

  • 40. Kathleen  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Looking forward to the report!!

  • 41. adambink  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Looking forward to the reports!

  • 42. AnonyGrl  |  February 8, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Here is how my day went…

    Read all about it… it was a really good day!

  • 43. fiona64  |  February 8, 2011 at 8:57 am


  • 44. Kathleen  |  February 8, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Wonderful report. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this (the advocacy and the report!)

  • 45. Anne  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Repubs, who came in saying they'd focus on jobs, seem to be only focusing on putting DADT back in place and banning abortions. Very sad.

    Christina Aguilera – I'm ok with her messing up the words, because that can happen…but she really sang it oddly. Like you said, the breaths were on odd places, things like that.

    And why did everyone stand with their hands over their hearts for the song BEFORE the nat'l anthem? that protocol only applies to the anthem, people!

    but those are small nits; the singing wasn't the main point of the day. Great game! that's what counts!

  • 46. Peterplumber  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:26 am

    What is it with the Republicans? Abortion has been a right since Roe v Wade in the 70's. When are they going to give up trying to reverse that?
    Are we facing the same thing with marriage equality? (providing we ever ACHIEVE marriage equality)

  • 47. fiona64  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Peter, it's long been my opinion that misogyny is at the roots of both the anti-choice and the anti-LGBT equality movements.

    The anti-choice don't care about the fetus (though that's what they claim); they care about punishing women for daring to put themselves on an equal footing of self-determination with men. They care about punishing women for stepping outside their rigid concepts of gender roles (men work; women have babies).

    The same rigid gender role business is behind the anti-LGBT movement. Just think about how many times you hear these folks say things like "Which one of you is the man and which is the woman" when they address relationships between gay men and lesbians. Homophobic men (who are, according to peer-reviewed studies, usually closet cases themselves) are terrified of having someone do to them what they do to women.

    You'll see me say it here time and again: scratch a homophobe and a misogynist bleeds.


  • 48. allen  |  February 8, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Your post reminds me of dialog I've had with my supervisor in a casual conversation (at work tho mind you.) She asked which of us is the "man" and who's the "woman" in the relationship. I told her she's missing the point; my boyfriend is the man and I am the man, we share responsibilities and we both share the so called "womanly" tasks of cleaning.

    This is the same supervisor who asked me how I felt the day after Prop 8 passed, then proceeded to tell me that if it comes to a vote again, she will be voting against me again. This came as a shock to me when she was saying it because earlier that year when CA Supreme Court recognized marriage rights for gays, she kept asking us if we were going to get married and that she would attend the wedding. I have since stopped talking to her casually, and will only address her if it's work related.

    We still work in the same building though she is thankfully not my supervisor… at the moment.

  • 49. allen  |  February 8, 2011 at 6:23 am

    To add, my partner and I did not marry during the equality window though we talked a lot about it. We were not ready to jump in just because it was available to do so; however, we have since decided to marry very soon after it becomes legal in CA again.

    Following marriage news post aftermath of Prop 8 has made us realize the importance of marriage to us. We have been together for 9 years now and we both want to celebrate our relationship through marriage; and as soon as CA is ready, we are ready.

  • 50. Kathleen  |  February 8, 2011 at 6:29 am

    That's wonderful allen, and I hope that time is coming soon. 🙂

  • 51. fiona64  |  February 8, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Thanks for sharing your story, Allen.

    Let me just say I'm glad that this person is no longer your supervisor.


  • 52. Steve  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:23 am

    The LA Times has a good article about the social conservative nonsense:

    Basically, they can't solve the real problems, because they are too complicated. Abortion and gay rights are an easy target instead, and also gain them the votes of the bible thumpers and Christian whackjobs.

  • 53. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:25 am

    I think it goes two ways – the more intelligent people leave the movement – seeing how wacky some of those folks are getting.

  • 54. Ann S.  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:49 am

    I'm reading a book about FDR, the Supreme Court and the 30s, called "Supreme Power". Very interesting.

    They had their own version of the Tea Party, called the American Liberty League. Pretty much a bunch of rich guys opposed to FDR's New Deal policies, but supported by a lot of working-class people. There were predictions then, too, that there would be a mass hiatus of centrists from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, leaving the ALL people with the most conservative folks. Obviously, it didn't happen — the Republican Party is still with us.

    The tone of political discourse and the political divisions of that time sound so very familiar.

  • 55. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 8, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Indeed. It's a simple strategy:

    1) Stir up fear of the "other"
    2) Raise funds
    3) Stay in power
    4) Repeat

  • 56. David from Sandy UT  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:40 am

    More vile and disgusting news from Utah–The Pretty Hate State:

    Paul Rolly (columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune wrote (…):

    "Gay-rights activist Eric Ethington met with a group of [Brigham Young University] students at the J. Reuben Clark Law School on the Provo campus Thursday night to discuss efforts to get nondiscrimination ordinances passed in Provo.

    "When he left the meeting to drive back to Salt Lake City, he discovered the tires on his car had been slashed."

    Please see the link above for the rest of the column.

    Please share this news colum with everyone who cares about equality. (By the gods, I hate this sewer-slime-sucking hate hole.)

    FYI, Eric's blog can be found at


  • 57. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:56 am

    thx for info…I didn't hear about Eric's tires getting slashed : (

    Have you seen this article? One straight pro equality of marriage BYU student trying to make a difference by writing a book. He makes some good points about education and how BYU polices discourage free-thinking(no surprise there):

  • 58. David from Sandy UT  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:39 am


    I wonder if Carmack goes into the electroshock aversion "therapy" that was done at BYU in the 1970s and 1980s. Sadly, BYU researchers discovered that fasting, prayer, and electric shocks to the private parts of highly motivated college students can't "cure the gay."

    Students who seek free exchange of ideas have NO business attending BYU. Ain't never gonna happen.

  • 59. fiona64  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:40 am

    There is a link to the eBook edition over on — and, while I have not read the entire document, there is some discussion of these shameful past practices.


  • 60. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:46 am

    tx for input David and Fiona….didn't know about the link…

    p.s. to Finoa…I have read your discussions about Misogyny before and I think I'm finally starting to get it. I think it helped to read your book which describes how Claire lost so much for simply being a woman….how a culture of hating women could translate to hate of a female acting male.

  • 61. fiona64  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Hi, Greg.

    I did a lot of research on coverture laws around the world in order to write that book — because one of the things I learned that dumbfounded me was that those laws still existed in France right up until after WWII. French women could not hold bank accounts, own property in their own names, or hold a passport without a husband's permission until almost 1950! Throw in the Napoleonic code that said that all children had to inherit equally … but coverture required that a male relative be responsible for anything a woman inherited unless and until she married. Then, her inheritance would go by default to her husband.

    Yep, it was complicated.

    Patriarchal cultures tend, from an historic perspective, to assume that women are far too stupid to manage things for themselves. That's really what it amounts to.

    I'm glad that my book helped you to see some of these matters in perspective. 🙂


  • 62. Ann S.  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Fiona, which of your books is this one? It sounds very interesting.

  • 63. fiona64  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:00 am

    @Ann, it's my novel: "In The Eye of The Beholder."



  • 64. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:09 am

    "Eye of the Beholder" also increased my vocabulary but a large margin…compiling a vocabulary list of words I had to look up : D

  • 65. Ann S.  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Gregory, that is always a plus!

  • 66. fiona64  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:21 am

    @Gregory, in re: vocabulary …

    I'm not sure whether I should be proud or embarrassed, LOL.


  • 67. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Big Plus ++++

  • 68. Rhie  |  February 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Fiona, Where might I find the book and for how much? 🙂

  • 69. fiona64  |  February 9, 2011 at 1:52 am


    $9.95. It can also be ordered directly from my publisher, but I know that a lot of people prefer to use Amazon.

    Fiona (and thank you!)

  • 70. Ann S.  |  February 9, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Just ordered my copy.

  • 71. fiona64  |  February 9, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Awww … thank you, Ann!


  • 72. Juli Hale  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:49 am
    Here's more from Iowa. In an apparent bid to address religious freedom, here's an effort to allow businesses to discriminate against married couples business owners disapprove of – including interracial couples or couples not of the same faith!

  • 73. David from Sandy UT  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Utah State Senator and Mormon Bigot LaVar Christensen has proposed something similar here. He as a suite of bills that when combined could nulify civil agreements between LGBTQ partners.

    See for details.

  • 74. fiona64  |  February 8, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Lavar is making a nuisance of himself at MormonsforMarriage; it's really kind of laughable.

    Not only would this bill negate civil unions, BTW, but would also negate powers of attorney and wills.


  • 75. Ed  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Who else is planning on listening to maryland's debate at 1pm?

  • 76. AB  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Got a website address?

  • 77. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Maryland Judicial Proceedings Committee
    Live audio stream of the proceedings
    February 8, 2011, at 1 pm EST (10 am PST)

  • 78. Ed  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Sorry lol. I think it's the judicial proceedings.

  • 79. Straight for Equalit  |  February 8, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I have been (and still am) listening to the Maryland Judicial Proceedings Committee live stream. I highly recommend that you listen to it or the podcast.

    The pro people have had a lot of great testimony, including 10-year-old and a 14-year-old girls with same-sex parents and a 16-year-old lesbian, all very articulate and moving. There were a number of other personal stories as well as clergy and various experts.

    The anti side is displaying a lot of crazy, which should help the pro side. The less crazy were mostly religious clergy who argued the Bible as authority. MG gave her regular talk, and there were a number of the other usual anti-gay folks with their usual arguments. (Logic is mostly absent.) Some of it is good for some laughs!

  • 80. Sagesse  |  February 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Yes, but the full tape is almost seven hours long… these presentations are usually excellent, a shame the legislators don't get to see them.

  • 81. Straight for Equalit  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Yes, it is seven hours long, but you could skip over some. You would know in the first sentence or two if its one of the entertaining crazies.

    I heard a take on the "slippery slope" argument that I hadn't heard before: If we allow SSM, in the future people may want to marry androids.

  • 82. AnonyGrl  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    As long as they are not same sex androids… because that would just be against God's wishes.


  • 83. Peterplumber  |  February 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Can you design your own same sex android?? Cuz I want one with a BIG…awww, never mind.

  • 84. Ronnie  |  February 9, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Can my android look "Marcus Wright" from "Terminator Salvation"…lol….marry androids…somebody has been watching "Bicentennial Man"….ROFL…..<3…Ronnie

  • 85. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:10 am

    Just keep us posted.

  • 86. Jon  |  February 8, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Ms. Aguilera is not a musician, she is a performer. She incorporates music, usually performed by others or by recording devices, into her act. It was silly of her to pretend otherwise, as reality seldom accommodates.

  • 87. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:03 am

    OT, but some good news: Keith has found a new gig that even includes a promotion. Here is the link!

  • 88. AB  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Maggie Gallagher and Austin Nimmocks are getting ready to testify in Maryland!!!
    I will post highlights.

  • 89. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Oh, thanks AB – this ought to be interesting!

  • 90. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:36 am

    tx AB…I couldn't get my real player proxy settings to bypass work firewall

  • 91. Ed  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Maggie is speaking now…..procreation bullshit…..talking about creation of new life……same ole shit….

  • 92. Ed  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:25 am

    only 3% of the population is gay? um….maggie….it's higher than that….

  • 93. Ronnie  |  February 10, 2011 at 7:23 am

    That is nothing more then a fallaciously propagated number that has been used by the anti-gay side longer then I have been alive….total bunk…(sighs)…. : I …Ronnie

  • 94. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:47 am

    OT but seemingly good news for equality:

    Federal judicial vacancies reaching crisis point <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  • 95. B&E  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:49 am

    In Middle Tennessee, Representative Glen Casada of Williamson County TN is proposing legislation that would omit sexual orientation and gender identity from protected classes. Here is the link.

    Please write to Representative Casada or call his office to let him know how harmful this bill will be to all Americans.
    (615) 741-4389 or [email protected]

  • 96. Jeremy  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Adam B:

    If Indiana is really going to pass this hateful amendment, why not launch a Federal lawsuit when it passes, and ask for an injunction? Why not use Romer to argue that this sort of amendment seeks to target LGBs as a class and deny them Due Process rights? Specifically, the pre-existing right to address marriage and family law through the normal political process of petitioning the state legislature, or the normal legal process of petitioning the state courts.

    I just don't see how these bans on same-sex couple recognition are Constitutional when looking at Romer, Lawrence, and Christian Legal Society. It is very obvious that these bans seek to advance one goal– to make LGB couples and families legal strangers to their own state government, and to revoke pre-existing Due Process rights. Even if a Court does not grant same-sex marriage rights, I believe states are violating the 14th and 5th Amendments when they bar gays as a class from addressing marriage/family issues with their own state governments. In one felt swoop, LGBs (and only LGBs) are prevented from dissolving legal marriages, resolving custody issues of kids they have raised together, securing inheritance and estates. I would like to see the ACLU or Lambda go on the offense, and attempt to strike one of these new DOMAs down, as soon as Indiana or North Carolina pass one. I think we could get these state DOMAs thrown out, especially if it did not result in nation-wide gay marriage.

  • 97. adambink  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Lawyers would know better than I, but it's an interesting idea.

  • 98. AB  |  February 8, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Before I give the rundown of Ms. Gallagher and Mr. Nimocks’ testimony, I want to observe that Julian Bond wrote a letter invoking Martin Luther King’s widow to argue that marriage equality IS a civil right. This is HUGE! Both Bond and Ms. King are major figures in that movement.


    Maggie G.: I represent millions of Americans; marriage is husband and wife for a reason, these only can make new life and connect kids in life; act does not protect marriage nor religion like title says; I want to focus on what sb 116 does to public understanding of marriage; marriage of courts and people recognize that marriage equality does not mean recognizing same-sex marriage; heart of marriage equality is that “there is no difference between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and if you disagree then there is something wrong with you”; the reason that marriage is universally opposite-sex is that humanity recognizes need for a special institution for male and female to make and raise new children; gay marriage means repudiating this; 97% are attracted to opposite sex, 99% of people who create children are attracted to opposite sex and 100% are through sexual passion (wtf?); to get to same-sex marriage requires government to teach that the ideal that child needs mother and father is discredited and I beg you not to say that through law.

    Austin N.: I am senior legal counsel through ADF; legislation pending involves question on marriage, and we must recognize this in this debate: why is government in marriage life?; affirms that marriage is inherently gendered; marriage is not exclusive product of any society; Bertrand Russell was an atheist and said that marriage only exists because of need for kids; increases chances that mother and father that bring kids into world will raise child; that is why govt is in business; audio cut out…; Loving affirmed that opposite sex couples can procreate which is purpose of marriage (“fundamental to the race”); later supreme court rejected same-sex marriage appeal; not one justice of SCOTUS found same-sex marriage worthy of review and Maryland supreme court found the same; bill is inconsistent with legal precedent; while public opinion may have changed, humanity hasn’t and still needs kids and thus heterosexual only marriage.
    QUESTIONS: Russell denounced laws against homosexuality. Thoughts? A. Marriage doesn’t have anything to do with same-sex sexual behavior. Q. You and Maggie said: Marriage is constant and fixed in history? Are you aware that the following nations allow ssm… lists nations? If you’re not, do they still have marriage or have all nations that allowed ssm stopped marriage in total? A. They have gone away from the primary policy purpose of marriage. Q If marriage is about procreation, then should we say that single people can’t have kids? A. I don’t understand. Q. Re-asks questions. A. I believe that the legislature does not proscribe sexual conduct between persons. No one is required to get married, it is just an incentive. Q. What should I tell the kids of my constituents who are gay couples? A. Let me answer this way: by adopting ssm, you are telling those families that mothers and fathers don’t matter. (Laughter.) I think there are a lot of people that hold opinions contrary. All parents understand that men and women bring different things to the table and social science verifies that. Q. Do you support laws that allow for marriage? A. People are entitled to get divorce. I don’t know… Q. But if mothers and fathers are needed then why are you now indifferent to whether we should keep people in marriages. A. Marriage is not a requirement, but an incentive. No requirement for marriage is there so there is no need for the government to force people into marriage. Q But you take no position on divorce? A. Marriage is a different issue. Q. Do private vendors fall under the part of the bill that prevents clergy from having to marry gays and lesbians? Is there a way to strengthen that part to make it stronger and apply to religious dissenters which is rich in our political heritage? A. Thank you for question. I will answer and try to answer others. In my opinion, in an org that tries to establish religious liberties, that section is woefully inadequate. Fails to protect those who have good faith dissent. In every case where religious freedom is put against same-sex behavior, religious freedom loses. Same sex couples have other outlets for pursuing their outlets. New Mexico wedding photographer was asked by same-sex couple. She declined out of religious principles. Same-sex couple found other photographer but still complained about the original one. SB 116 would not protect those like the photographer. Q. So what should we do? A. I wish I had brought the language with me, but we have language that we think the committee should consider. It should be broadened to include private businesses. But while the committee seeks to consider the marital demands of a small segment of population, why would they not protect those with genuine religious beliefs. There is a way that this committee can do this. I can assure you from our experience if this law passes something bad will happen. Q. What would you have to say to the adoption community and on what planet is adoption by same-sex couples illegal? A. Adoption is not a primary social policy. In a perfect world a child would be raised by natural kids. Adoption only exists to fix the situation when that fails and a parent dies or is irresponsible. Adoption policy should affirm what marriage should affirm, that a child should have a mother and a father. Single parent adoption is ok, but same-sex marriage denies kids a mother and a father. That can’t be overlooked and is true in all same-sex families. Q. If your point is that kid has birthright to mother and father, and we can debate single parents but not same-sex parents, how do you make that distinction? A. What I was alluding to is that some believe that single parent adoptions should not be allowed… Q. I am asking about your belief. You said a reasonable debate about single parent, but not same-sex parents. What do you think? A. I can’t answer. It’s unique to each state and the allocation of resources and economic factors. Availability of adoptive parents is key. Q. Lets say lesbians married in VT come to MD and are living here. So they acquire assets and have kids together. Lets say they decide to separate. How would you handle that? Would you respect the laws of another state and how would you handle divorce? A. Federal DOMA allows MD to decide what it wants to do. As I appreciate it, Gansler offered opinion on out of state marriages. In the absence of anything else, that opinion should be persuasive. Q. So you agree with Gansler? A. No. Q. So in terms of legal details, how would you—not Gansler—handle that? A. MD has a right to make a determination. If the absence of an opinion… either recognize it or go with AG opinion. A. You’re very good but I want an answer I can understand. Should MD respect other states laws? A. I’m going to try to answer. Not yes or no. MD has to first respect its own sovereignty. Full faith and credit law says states should require other states laws. Does not apply to marriage. It’s up to MD. Q. I am afraid to ask an opinion question (laughter), but who is a child better off with: loving mother and father, loving same-sex couple. Is there a difference? A. I would defer, and this is where Maggie is more versed than I, I would defer to the decades of social science research that conclude that best environment for kid is in marriage with mother and father in low conflict marriage. All things being equal, all are both low conflict and high quality parents, a child is better off with a mother and a father than a same-sex couple. Q What does an opposite sex couple give that a hetero couple doesn’t? A. A man. Q. But don’t they give a good home and happy nurturing couples. Zach Walhls gave brilliant testimony on that. I am searching for difference. Can you be specific? A. You can find invidiual examples of any circumstance to prove the rule. You can find same-sex couple that is better than a random opposite sex couple. With all things being equal, it matters that child has mom and dad. And that is not my opinion but science. Ask Maggie.

  • 99. AB  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:07 am

    There are three really messed up things here:
    1. Maggie said that every child is the result of “sexual passion”. Not true. Many kids are results of surrogacy or artificial insemination. Maggie’s statistic makes clear that those kids don’t exist to her, and that is really dangerous.
    2. Austin Nimocks made a claim that if you seek a wedding photographer, and you want THAT specific one, but they say no out of religious reasons, and you ask someone else, then there is no harm, no foul. So long as you get pictures taken one way or another, it doesn’t matter if it is the person whose work you like most or if you were discriminated against in the process.
    3. They only asked questions of Austin. BUT, anytime Austin was asked an opinion question, he slipped into speaking Legalese, and it pissed everyone off. At the end of the Q&A he was suggesting that people ask Maggie instead because no one could understand him, he wouldn’t give a straight (no pun intended) answer, and no one seemed to care much anymore what he had to say.
    Also, as an aside, he made a really weird and new admission. He said that there are times when same-sex couples are great parents. Most of the time you don’t hear that admission. Maggie Gallagher would die before ever acknowledging that there are good gay and lesbian parents (she thinks every child is the result of same-sex attraction!). But Nimocks disagreed. In the end, however, he reasoned that kids are still better off with a heterosexual couple, all things being equal.

  • 100. Kathleen  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Julian Bond has been a consistent and vocal supporter of full equality for lgbt people.

  • 101. AB  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Yes, he has. I remember him speaking at a conference and thinking that he spoke with great eloquence. But, as someone who has an expertise in political marriage equality debates, I cannot think of another time that he has testified in front of a legislative body.
    Particularly in a state like Maryland, where at least one African-American Democrat (Sen. Benson) will not vote for marriage equality because it is "falsely" called a civil rights issue according to civil rights leaders, him coming out to say "No, you're wrong, it is a civil rights issue" is extremely important.

  • 102. Straight Dave  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:54 am

    that is not my opinion but science. Ask Maggie.

    LOL! are you kidding me?

    Since when has Maggie ever been the best source of scientific information? These guys are a freaking joke. I hope they end up making our case for us, just like the Prop 8 trial jokers did

  • 103. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 8, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Maggie invoking science? BWAAAAAAAAAA HA HA!!!!

  • 104. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 8, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Julian Bond spoke in person in New Jersey when the matter was before the state Senate. Marriage equality lost the vote that day, but it gave a podium for strong supporters like Sen. Nia Gill:

  • 105. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:24 am

    Cynthia Nixon and her wife have a new baby boy! Congratulations, ladies!!!!!

  • 106. Straight Dave  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:46 am

    "Single parent adoption is ok, but same-sex marriage denies kids a mother and a father. " WTF?

    So doesn't having only one parent also deprive them of two? Parenting is hard enough as it is. Rational people would think that an extra pair of hands, not to mention another head, would come in quite handy in helping to raise happy and healthy children.

    This is really the clinching evidence in exposing the fact that the children's welfare is the least of their interests.

    Go away, already! I'm hoping the MD senators are alert enough to see through this crap.

  • 107. Steve  |  February 8, 2011 at 6:15 am

    There is still the possibility that the single parent will hook up someone of the opposite sex later. So that makes it ok

  • 108. nightshayde  |  February 8, 2011 at 7:44 am

    It seems they think the simultaneous presence of a penis and a vagina would be more helpful than an extra pair of hands or an extra head or an extra dose of love.

    I just don't get it.

  • 109. Straight Ally #3008  |  February 8, 2011 at 7:45 am

    That may be the most fail-filled sentence ever spoken by a NOMNOM.

  • 110. Alex Gill-Gerards  |  February 8, 2011 at 6:44 am

    Bungqwisha on the mic with the Maryland same sex marriage hearing. Typical ignorance…

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