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Open thread


EqualityOnTrial is flying to Phoenix, Arizona today for Netroots Nation 2015. We’ll be back with posts later today or tomorrow.


  • 1. iocbyux  |  July 14, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Confucius on gay marriage
    The U.S. Supreme Court invokes the Chinese philosopher, with decidedly mixed results.
    The Diplomat – July 13, 2015

    …Kennedy’s citation of Confucius immediately attracted the interest of Chinese netizens and stoked the fire of an ongoing debate in China over gay rights. The situation for gays and lesbians in China is complex. It has been argued that traditional Chinese culture was comparatively tolerant of homosexuality, and that the tendency to treat homosexuality as a perversion only developed as part of Chinese efforts to emulate the West and modernize after the Opium Wars. There are indications that the majority of Chinese are now returning to traditional tolerance: Homosexuality has been decriminalized since 1997, and was removed from the official list of mental illnesses in 2001. Moreover, a 2014 poll by the Chinese Journal of Human Sexuality suggests that 85 percent of Chinese support same-sex marriage, with only 2 percent opposing it, and 13 percent undecided. Ironically, “comrade,” long a term for a loyal fellow Communist, is now slang for a gay person. Consequently, when Justice John Roberts cited the supposed views of “Han Chinese” against same-sex marriage in his own dissent, he was dealing with a much more complex topic than he realized.

    However, Chinese parents and society as a whole put intense pressure on young people to marry and produce offspring. According to one estimate, 90 percent of gay men in China marry women, often without telling them their actual sexual orientation. Understandably, this can lead to frustration, adultery, and unhappiness. This emphasis on producing children can be traced in part to the Confucian tradition. Mencius, one of the most influential Confucian philosophers of all time, argued that to fail to have children is the most unfilial of all acts. Consequently, the online edition of The People’s Daily, a source with close ties to the Chinese government, claimed that Chinese were “baffled” by Kennedy’s use of Confucius. Professor Zeng Yi of the Philosophy Department of Tongji University was blunter, stating that Kennedy had “distorted” Confucius, and opining that any Confucian should view homosexuality as “a crime against humanity.” Critics like Zeng point out that the Classic of Changes, a seminal Confucian treatise of divination and cosmology, claims that traditional gender identities are an immutable reflection of cosmic principles. Several Chinese commentators have also argued that the translation Kennedy relied on was simply mistaken. Was it?

    …While the particular phrase that Kennedy relies on may or may not be correctly translated, his general point about the centrality of marriage as a social institution is absolutely Confucian. Earlier in the same chapter from the Book of Rites, Confucius explains that ceremonies, including marriage ceremonies, are central to all of human life. Moreover, government has its basis in love and respect, and “great marriage” is so important because it is the ultimate expression of both. This is consistent with Kennedy’s argument that gays and lesbians cannot legitimately be excluded from the social institution of marriage, because it is a unique expression of love and respect.

    Kennedy’s citation of Confucius has been noted both in the West and, to a greater extent, in China. However, Scalia’s response to Kennedy’s invocation of Confucius has received surprisingly little attention, despite its inflammatory nature. … The sad reality is that Scalia’s comment is an manifestation of what Edward Said labeled “Orientalism”: the view that everything from Egypt to Japan is essentially the same, and is the polar opposite of the West. Westerners are rational, scientific, and philosophical; “Orientals” are motivated only by passions, superstitions, and folk sayings. Those under the influence of Orientalism do not need to really read Chinese texts or take their arguments seriously, because they come pre-interpreted. And their interpretation guarantees that what Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern or other non-Western thinkers have to say is at best quaint, at worst fatuous.

    The great philosophers of the East deserve better.

  • 2. ianbirmingham  |  July 14, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    The full story behind the 'wedding' of defiant Chinese gay couple that captivated a nation
    * Ling Jueding and Chen Liang held the ceremony in Beijing on June 27
    * Police warned them against holding the event and sent officers to it

    … they hope their act will help inspire China to move towards a greater level of acceptance of homosexuality, following same-sex marriage being legalised across the US the day before their bash. The couple hired a wedding planning company to organise their ceremony but the planners had to scout over ten potential venues because the local government pressured them into turning the pair away, claims Mr Ling, the CEO of a gay dating app called Zank. 'The venues said they would like to provide us with a service but they were interfered with by the government,' said Mr Ling, who is from Jilin Province. 'Then the day before the wedding the restaurant we'd booked told us we couldn't have it there. Of course, they didn't actually say it was because we are gay.' Mr Ling added: 'We heard the police would come to the ceremony. They stayed for a short time, then went away without saying anything.' …

    Mr Ling and Mr Chen said they were looking forward to planning the next stages of their lives together. They plan to get married in the US, although such a marriage would still not be recognised in China. … They also hope to adopt children at some point. 'Our parents also have expectations in this regard,' Mr Chen explained. 'Actually, their plans are quite similar to straight couples’ parents. 'The only challenge would be how to raise children in China. My parents will be worried since the society here is not that open. What I am going to do is to make plans so that my children can know about where they come from and what kind of problems they will encounter in an objective way.'

    And while last month's ceremony will have helped galvanize their relationship, they hope that the message that has been sent by pictures of it going viral on Chinese social media will have a more wide-reaching effect. Mr Ling explained: 'It’s hard to have our own [adopted] children and to find a job, but fortunately we both think this is where we can do something [to improve things] in China. 'I hope that the society can better serve LGBT group in laws and public opinions. We fell in love on the grounds that we share these visions.'

    Earlier this year Ran Ran, a member of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature, raised the issue of gay marriage for discussion in China. But it is a long way from being discussed at an official NPC session – for that to happen at least 30 NPC members would need to raise the issue.

    'I want to get the message across to people that gay marriages can happen in China,' said Mr Ling. 'It took a decade after gay marriage was recognised in Massachusetts before it was legalised across the rest of the country. It's not easy in any country, but many people made the effort – I want to be like those people. ‘Most people just keep complaining without doing anything. It doesn’t work. If you do it [campaign], you will find that you won’t meet any hurdles.'

    Mr Chen added: 'I wanted to show people that they can be like us in their lives and their careers, to know their possibilities and make their own decisions. We must dare to love, whether it's heterosexual or homosexual love.'

  • 3. davepCA  |  July 14, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Ian. What an inspirational couple. Brave stuff!

  • 4. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 8:58 am

    They are a brave couple and I applaud them for this.

  • 5. RnL2008  |  July 14, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Okay folks….Texas continues to be ridiculous:

    A different source, but the same article……this Judge wants all couples to sign this agreement:
    "While we many [sic] not necessarily agree with, we accept Judge DePiazza's position on same-sex marriages, accept the conditions expressed above and understand that there will be no discussion regarding his position before, during or after the ceremony." The form also removes references to congratulations and bans photography during the ceremony, but offers access to the courtroom after.

    It also replaces "bride" and "groom" with two signature spots and states ceremonies will not be confirmed unless the acknowledgment is turned into the office, along with the $100 cash fee.

  • 6. Fortguy  |  July 14, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Here's another source.

    Stephen Young, Dallas Observer: Denton JP's Plan for Same-Sex Weddings: Make Them Unpleasant

    Denton County is a large, suburban county in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. The city of Denton is home to the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University (despite the name and history, it does enroll male students). The JP in question must have amazing knees to enable him to stoop sooo low.

  • 7. RnL2008  |  July 14, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I'd have more respect for the man to just say no, than to put folks through his own personal humiliation……I mean he won't congratulation them or allow pictures…….frankly, he a BIGOT!!

  • 8. wkrick  |  July 14, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    Denton! The home of happiness!

  • 9. Fortguy  |  July 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Yes, of course! I think most of our forum members are old enough and sufficiently culturally astute to remember the Denton billboard in the opening wedding scene of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  • 10. davepCA  |  July 14, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Okay, everybody in the balcony say it with me: "Where the F*CK is DENTON?!?!"

  • 11. Fortguy  |  July 15, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Nobody ever shouted that out during the midnight shows when I was in high school. However, I went to high school in Fort Worth; everyone knew where Denton was.

  • 12. VIRick  |  July 15, 2015 at 12:27 am

    "Okay, everybody in the balcony say it with me: "Where the F*CK is DENTON?!?!'"

    Indeed! LOL

  • 13. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 15, 2015 at 8:24 am

    I know, cause my Ex's mother lives in po dunk Denton. We visited there several times in the late 90s early 00s.

  • 14. Rick55845  |  July 15, 2015 at 6:52 am

    It happens that I live in Denton county, so I know right where Denton is.

    I've never met that JP, but clearly he is a dick.

  • 15. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 15, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    And of course, most of the forum members (no matter what age or 'culture astuteness' they have), without looking it up, would know where Jonathon Chapman (aka Jonny Appleseed) is buried. His exploits in planting apple seedlings to grow into trees from New York state to Wisconsin are discussed in all accurate history books.

    BTW – to save you and others from looking it up, he's buried on the North side of Fort Wayne, Indiana, in a park named after him, to the South of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Until I was 22, I lived within about 25 miles of his burial plot.

    Oh, and although I heard about it, I never watched 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'.

  • 16. davepCA  |  July 14, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Couples ought to add their own text to his little form instead, saying "we don't give a damn what your personal views are about same sex couples getting legally married. Just do the job WE pay you to do or get the hell out of OUR court house. Sincerely, spouse A and spouse B".

  • 17. Fortguy  |  July 15, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I actually had very similar thoughts when I first read the article.

  • 18. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 15, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Why would anyone want a bigot to officiate their most special day, photograph them or bake them a cake? Instead of suing them I think a boycott of their business would be better. If these bigot bakers and florists were smart, they would just say they'll do the services if they must, but we will give the profits to NOM or the Family Research Council. From our perspective, money going to NOM would be going to a lost cause, only to get Brian Brown fatter than he already is these days. If I were them I'd use the phrase gay marriage in all billing and contracts with marriage in scare quotes. That would certainly turn me away from their lame little bakery. They need to be encouraged to proudly show their true colors as the WBC does. I like what they did in AZ, where many businesses put rainbow stickers in their ads and windows that said we Serve Everybody. Allow the free market work things out. Some of these biggots will go out of business and perhaps a few will evolve as they see their shops getting emptier and emptier while the inclusive competition across the street thrives.

  • 19. davepCA  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Of course people in general don't PREFER that they have anything to do with bigots, including giving them money for goods and services. But 'Public Accommodation' laws exist for good reason, especially to address situations when the target of the bigotry doesn't have much choice in dealing with a bigot who wishes to deny them goods or services, or subject them to vindictive demeaning stunts as described in the article. Like in small towns where the only doctor in town was a racist and refused to treat blacks, or the only gas station refused to sell them gas forcing them to drive long distances for these goods and services. The point is that it should not be those targeted by bigotry who bear the burden of having to find ways to continually avoid being targeted in these ways, Yes, as things change, and the demographics shift and the bigots become a smaller and smaller minority, the likelihood that their denials of services will cause real harm reduces, but we're not there yet, at least not everywhere.

  • 20. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I understand what you're saying about small towns and public accommodation laws, but I was clearly referring to situations where there is a broad market and plenty of competition. In these cases, where there are multiple providers of goods and services… I submit its not helpful to antagonize them and have them look like victims in the court of public opinion. It's not helpful to appear to be a bully compelling mom and pop to make cupcakes for the gays when you know that you have a right wing legislature ready to write new bigotry into law. I'm all for fighting discrimination, but the battles must be picked wisely. I don't think a battle over cupcakes is the wisest choice at this stage of the game. Consider bigots like this judge, like a rattlesnake shaking its tail and give him a wide berth. If he's the only game in town that's a horse of a different color. Think outside the box, ask a friend to get ordained over the net and have someone who is proud to officiate your ceremony.

  • 21. davepCA  |  July 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Yes, on THIS front, regarding things like public accommodation, as opposed to things like civil laws that denied us legal marriage, I agree – we need to choose our battles. We want to do what is necessary to make sure it does not begin to become 'accepted practice' for bigots to freely deny goods and services, bu in ways that don't just backfire. The more egregious and harmful examples of bigotry in the form of service denials, as opposed to every single nuisance case, can and should be used to press for adding LGBTs to all anti-discrimination public accommodation laws. Better chance of success.

  • 22. Eric  |  July 15, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Why are you so willing to ceed settled law to bigots? This was worked out in the '60's.

    The bigots changed their dogma then, they will change it now, such is the nature of an irrational belief system.

  • 23. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    I'm not willing to ceed anything to bigots. I'm just saying that going to the courts every-time someone expresses their bigotry on the CIVILIAN side could back fire. I do think that government employees should be compelled to serve ALL The people and do their job without biased discretion. But, look at Baker & McConnell. Now they were going to the govt, but they had nothing but legal theories with no ground support. What did that do? Get us thrown out of the courts until the 2000s. I just think that a long term strategy needs to be thought out. Instead of just going to court every time a florist says no, not me not here… get non-discrimination laws past 1st…then when you go to court, you've got the cards stacked with you and not against you when they've passed "religious liberty laws". As I've said before, these Romanistas (Catholics) and Evangelistas have had their way for over 2000 years…they're not about to just lay down and die. We won at SOCTUS by the skin of our teeth, but for Kennedy.

    Do you remember what happened in 2004? The backlash then, when dozens of states not only put their DOMAs in place, they also drove the Evangelistas to put the worst president in office for another 4 years. Remember 2012, when progressives lost the the senate? The tide of history doesn't just go forward…. it ebbs and flows. How will things be for us if we lose the White House in 2016, get another "Dubya" in there for 8 years, and they maintain the senate and 2/3s of the governorships? How will things work out for us when a new Dubya replaces Kennedy and Ginsburg with A Sutton and O'Scannlain? Or do you know something that I don't about the future….that Hillary is guaranteed to win, the dems will regain the both houses of congress and the balance of governorship's and legislatures will pitch the republicans? How many decades did going to court not work out for us. Are you counting on the courts to give us victories from here on forward? Perhaps they will, if the circuits all interpret Obergefell as using Heightened Scrutiny for Gays….I sure hope so. But I see no reason to antagonize the other side based on supposition at this point. But that's just me. If taking every bigot baker to court before we get legislative non discrimination laws in place works for you…go for it… Eric.

    btw, u know u look like Matt Baum in your pic?

    I'm ALL for using every means available, Judicial Courts, Legislative Action, Executive action, public opinion, the News and Entertainment Media…as long as there is a reasoned long term strategy behind the action and as long as the potential back lash and backfire is analyzed. Perhaps we could have gotten nationwide ME 10 years ago if there never was a Supreme Court president hanging over from the 70s saying that there was no federal question. One might want to test the direction of the wind before one starts spitting. Just saying.

  • 24. KahuBill  |  July 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    GLAD filed suit against Walmart in Federal district court in Massacusetts on behalf of a lesbian married couple (legally married. Together 33 years). Walmart refused to provide spousal health insurance even though they were married in MA. The Spode of the Walmart employee has cancer and the bills are piling up. Walmart says its behavior is " legal through 2014". Yet another reason to say FRUCK WALMART go to Costco!

  • 25. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I was always curious about the retro-activeness of this court decision. But Massachusetts has been allowing marriage for a decade and nationally since 2013 so how is WalMart getting away with this?

  • 26. KahuBill  |  July 15, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I am guessing Walmart may be relying on the interplay between ERISA and the remaining sections of DOMA. The Windsor case only dealt with and declared unconstitutional one section of DOMA. The other two are still on the books. Perhaps this case may be a vehicle to bring DOMA back to SCOTUS. . It may also be a way to point to the blatant animus behind DOMA as amply demonstrated by the Congressional Record and public statememts by those who voted for DOMA. Any comments?

  • 27. Rakihi  |  July 15, 2015 at 10:48 am

    There are no remaining sections of DOMA. Section 3 was rendered unenforceable by Windsor and Section 2, which purported to allow states to ignore lawful marriages contracted in another state, was likewise struck down in Obergefell. Section 1 merely said that the name of the bill was the "Defence of Marriage Act".

  • 28. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 11:24 am

    But wal mart was saying for the year 2014 like they will have to in 2015 … So what's changed ?Sent from my iPhone

  • 29. waggleberry1  |  July 15, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Walmart's policy changed in 2014, according to a news story I read. I'll try to find the link.

    Walmart updated their policies after Windsor but was claiming that prior to that they had no obligation to offer spousal benefits.

  • 30. VIRick  |  July 15, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Just to be certain that everyone knows the location of Swansea MA, the site of the WalMart store in question, this town sits directly against the state line and immediately abuts East Providence RI. Still, the store is in Massachusetts, even if only by a few blocks.

    Despite that, Swansea is generally considered to be part of the Providence metro area. Perhaps some idiot at WalMart doesn't realize that the state line cuts off a portion of said metro area and places it in a different state, one that has had marriage equality for a much longer stretch of time than Rhode Island..

  • 31. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Yeah seems like with a little push wal mart would easily change their stanceSent from my iPhone

  • 32. ianbirmingham  |  July 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Same-sex couples [in Kansas] will be able to file joint tax returns for the 2014 tax year, according to Gov. Sam Brownback’s spokeswoman. … Eileen Hawley, the governor’s director of communications, said Tuesday morning that same-sex couples who filed for an extension on their 2014 taxes or who want to amend their 2014 taxes will now be able to file jointly.

    The Department of Revenue had said Monday that couples would be able to file jointly for the current 2015 tax year. Those tax returns won’t be submitted and processed until next year. Hawley said the agency had been reviewing the policy and confirmed that couples will also be able to file jointly for the 2014 tax year. …….

  • 33. jm64tx  |  July 15, 2015 at 3:22 am

    Yes! Yes! Lets file married filing jointly so we can give the government more of our money!

  • 34. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Are you a CPA or otherwise qualified to give tax advice? If not, then you're also not qualified to make generalized tax commentary. Every couple's tax situation is different and some may benefit from filing married single while certain couples may benefit from filing married joint, taking advantage of income averaging. Any couple considering their new tax situation should seek advice from a qualified professional. As usual, you have nothing constructive to add, only your usual juvenile brand of snark.

    If showing how well you excel at red herring, straw man, mendacity, duplicity, and your keen ability to cut and paste floats your boat… if that's how you get your kicks, then by all means… No one here takes you seriously, or sees you as a man of serious debate, with ever anything remotely cogent to add to any side of the marriage equality debate. It's clear to all you're not capable of serious debate or inquiry, you're here to get attention and your narcisstic supply by ever being the fool. So continue, but you never fool anyone at EoT, only yourself. We look forward to see how big a fool you can make of yourself.

  • 35. jm64tx  |  July 15, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Income Averaging? Wow dude you are living in the past … Income Averaging hasnt been available in the US for a very long time.

    I sure wish it was, because you know, me being a 1%er, it would sure be handy…

  • 36. Tony MinasTirith  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    You're right. The term I was looking for was Income Splitting. And this just goes to my point…that tax discussions are not appropriate unless you are a certified tax consultant. Every couples tax situation is different and there may be certain tax strategies that will reduce some couples tax, and some mistakes that will increase their tax. The point is any ethical tax planner would just refer a couple to a qualified tax consultant or get much more specific facts.

  • 37. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    So why is there a Schedule J for the 1040, titled 'Schedule J (Form 1040), Income Averaging for Farmers and Fishermen'?
    (,-In… )

    True, it is limited to Farmers and Fishermen. But then again, you made a blanket statement that income averaging has NOT "been available in the US for a very long time."

    Are you saying that NO gay or lesbian or bi-sexual or trans-sexual in the US has any taxable income from the trade or business of farming or fishing?

  • 38. VIRick  |  July 14, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Italian Court Rules that Marriage of French Lesbian Couple Should be Recognized

    In a landmark judgment in early July 2015, the Court of Appeal of Naples has ordered the registration of the marriage of two French women, including full recognition of the rights attached to marriage. The Court ruled last week that “there is no doubt that the failure [by Italy] to register the marriage of two French women, lawfully entered into in France … would represent a violation of the exercise of the rights associated to their status as spouses.”

    As grounds, the Court cited the right to move and reside in another member state and the right to non-discrimination on the basis of nationality and sexual orientation. The Court also added that the absence of civil unions for Italian citizens is not a reason to refuse to recognise this for citizens with another nationality.

    Currently, Italy has no form of recognition for same-sex couples, be it cohabitation rights, registered partnerships, or marriage. The Court made clear, however, that the recognition would not hold for an Italian couple that entered into a marriage or registered partnership abroad.

    The Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “This judgment is a confirmation of what should be a clear and established fact: if you’re married in one EU country, this marriage and the rights that come with it, should be recognized all across the EU. Now that the courts have spoken, it is for politicians to take the next steps and make Italy the next EU country to introduce marriage for all.”

  • 39. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Well this is certainly a back door to marriage in Italy. Thats good news!

  • 40. NXA  |  July 16, 2015 at 4:11 am

    "The Court made clear, however, that the recognition would not hold for an Italian couple that entered into a marriage or registered partnership abroad."

    The Court was doing well until it made that caveat. So discrimination on the basis of nationality and sexual orientation is unlawful — unless you are a gay Italian in a same-sex relationship!

    It seems to me that the Court just established two tiers of citizenship, in which foreigners have more rights in Italy than Italians!

  • 41. DJSNOLA  |  July 16, 2015 at 10:47 am

    What about multi national couples.. its a slippery slope whether they admit it or not.

  • 42. josejoram  |  July 15, 2015 at 12:50 am

    I want to chat about Venezuela:

    1. Some months ago 47 ngo`s submitted the required amount of signatures to start a Parliamentary debate on same sex marriage.

    2. Those signatures never were "certified" by the public organ in charge of it (the Elections Commission, shortly said).

    3. The time to submit those signatures before the Congress and start political debate exhausted and it was a lost opportunity at the end.

    4. Yesterday the Venezuelan government issued a "National Plan on Human Rights, 2015/2019, including a mention to "advance all of LGBTI Human Rights", overkilling "sexual orientation and gender identity based discrimination". This Plan includes mentions to non specified reforms to Civil Code and "Racial Discrimination Law".

  • 43. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:09 am

    So this means something good?

  • 44. josejoram  |  July 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Nobody knows hence in Venezuela does not prevail Rule of

  • 45. AndresM11  |  July 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Hey guys! I can write with first-hand knowledge about this issue since I live in the beautiful (but sadly on the way to communism) country known as Venezuela.

    The movement for LGBT rights has advanced slowly but steadily in the past few years (I remember going to a movie theater 10 years ago to watch Brokeback Mountain and leaving disgusted after watching people laugh really hard and scream rude words when they kissed, like it was some kind of comedy).

    Our society is deeply religious and sexist and, to top it all off, our judiciary is just a puppet of the executive power (our former chief justice Luisa Estella Morales once said that the separation of powers "weakens" the state and several justices are openly enthusiastic about the ruling party).

    So, to sum it all up, everything the Judiciary or Legislative branches do is probably because the Executive need it to advance some kind of ulterior interest.

    However, you never know what's going to happen next in here. Recently, the president of the Parliament (National Assembly) said it was time to move forward with LGBT rights. So, given the way our ruling party behaves, they could probably move some kind of legislation if it could benefit them in the upcoming elections. (I wouldn't count on this, since their political base tends to be anything but progressive or kind-hearted towards others).

    I wouldn't hold my hopes up, but if they end up passing some kind of legislation regarding our rights, it would be a beautiful surprise among the tense atmosphere in which we live in 🙂 Anyway, I'll keep you updated while we continue to watch the great developments in LGBT rights in our world <3

  • 46. 1grod  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:49 am

    With much happening towards the end of June, I do not recall if the AL probate judges' class defendants' submission related to a permanent injunction and final judgement was posted. When did we expected Judge C Granade to rule?

  • 47. 1grod  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:07 am

    We have heard of Federal Court Rule 42 and Rule 43 – no mandate if Supreme Court is considering an appeal from a federal court, but have we heard of Rule 44. It may help explain the continued focus on the 25 day post Obergefell's decision. '44' provides a 25 day period during which a rehearing may be requested. Some probate judges have interpreted that as staying the effect of the Court's June 26 ruling until that date expires, claiming prudence. That date would be week from today.

  • 48. StraightDave  |  July 15, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I don't think anyone anywhere has ever "interpreted" it as such. It is just being used as a phony excuse because they think they can get away with it.

    We'll find out a week from today when the judges suddenly jump full speed into opening their marriage doors for all. Come on Down!!

    …..or they come up with some other lame excuse, probably involving the AL Supreme Court..

  • 49. 1grod  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:29 am

    On Monday, following the rally and march Houston Co probate judge issued a press release which apologized for not issuing licenses to anyone, but after the end of the 25 days, and any other matters outstanding, probate judge Patrick Davenport's office will issue licenses for both straights and non-straights. When I read the second condition, said to myself what new excuse will be given. You will recall probate judge (David Money) from the next county over (Henry) was to begin on July 1, then July 6th, then the 7th, then July 23. We are awaiting the findings of the Al Supreme Court, where the issue is what should become of the temporary injunction against issuing licenses to same sex couples issued March 3 2015 – having heard from all the parties on July 6.

  • 50. 1grod  |  July 15, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    A more inclusive & complete Recognition in Alabama

  • 51. Steve27516  |  July 15, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Are there any updates from either Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands today? Last I heard, marriages were set to begin today in PR, and perhaps also in USVI.

  • 52. VIRick  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Puerto Rico is a done deal, once the change was put into effect on Monday, 13 July 2015. Couples could begin marrying from today, 15 July 2015. Here's the latest from "El Nuevo Dia:"

    Reconocen en la Isla Matrimonios del Mismo Sexo Contraidos en Otros Países
    (Puerto Rico Recognizes Marriages Between Same-Sex Couples Contracted in Other Countries (since Monday, 13 July 2015))

    English translation below.

    Las parejas del mismo sexo que ya se hayan casado en otro país y en estados de Estados Unidos donde ya era permitido por ley hacerlo, no necesitan revalidar sus votos matrimoniales en Puerto Rico. Así lo enfatizó ayer Nancy Vega, directora del Registro Demográfico de Puerto Rico, quien comentó que en los últimos días se ha notado un aumento de parejas del mismo sexo ya casadas legalmente que piden orientación sobre los nuevos requisitos locales que ahora permiten los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo en Puerto Rico. “No se tienen que volver a casar. Es bien importante que lo sepan. Si se casaron en un lugar donde es válido, sigue siendo válido (el matrimonio)”, dijo la funcionaria.

    Este lunes fue el primer día en que el Gobierno de Puerto Rico entregó los nuevos formularios para solicitar licencias de matrimonio, a tono con la decisión del Tribunal Supremo federal que reconoce los matrimonios entre personas del mismo sexo.

    Según se ha anunciado, se está organizando una boda masiva de personas del mismo sexo. La ceremonia está pautada para las próximas semanas en algún lugar del Viejo San Juan.

    (Same-sex couples who have already married in another country and in US states where it was permitted by law do not need to revalidate their vows in Puerto Rico. This was emphasized yesterday by Nancy Vega, director of Vital Statistics of Puerto Rico, who said that in recent days there has been an increase in same-sex couples already legally-married requesting guidance on the new local requirements that now allow marriages between same-sex couples in Puerto Rico. "No need to remarry. It is very important to know. If you were married in a place where it is valid, is still valid (marriage)," she said.

    Monday (13 July 2015) was the first day that the Government of Puerto Rico had new forms available for couples to apply for marriage licenses in keeping with the decision of the Federal Supreme Court to recognize marriages between same-sex couples.

    As already announced, a mass marriage ceremony for same sex couples is being organized. The ceremony is to be scheduled soon for somewhere in Old San Juan.)

  • 53. Steve27516  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks, Rick –

    Yes, I had seen the Nuevo Dia article, but I was wondering if anyone "on the ground" has first-hand confirmation of actual marriages occurring today for same-sex couples in PR.

    Also, was wondering if that confirming signature on the governor's order in USVI had occurred yet.

  • 54. VIRick  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Nothing happened here today in the USVI.

    To answer your second point: Not yet.

  • 55. josejoram  |  July 15, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Italy is advancing on its law for Civil Unions.

  • 56. Zack12  |  July 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Good to hear.

  • 57. Christian0811  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    So if y'all had to place bets, how do you think Italy will get marriage? Parliament or the Constitutional Court or other?

  • 58. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    well it looks like you can get married in another European country and they have to recognize it. So the court seemed to have legalized it in a back door way. Civil Unions are pointless if all one has to do is take a train ride to France and get married and then its recognized.

  • 59. Christian0811  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    The ruling was written to apply only to foreign couples, not Italians unfortunately.

  • 60. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    But the precedent set here seems to allow a steady chipping away at that .Sent from my iPhone

  • 61. Christian0811  |  July 16, 2015 at 12:56 am

    The goal will be getting the Constitutional Court to reverse the decision of 2010 and setting marriage equality in stone.

    I'm personally fixated on that approach because a constitutional decision is much less likely to be reversed in the future by a more conservative legislature. For that matter, an Irish style constitutional amendment would be ideal.

  • 62. JayJonson  |  July 15, 2015 at 11:17 am

    In response to the stupid action of the Dent County Missouri commissioners who voted to fly the flag at "lower than half mast" as a protest against Obergefell and then said they would rescind the vote after they got some blowback, a young man from the county has unveiled plans to establish a scholarship for a Salem High School graduate who plans to work to improve the lot of the glbt community. See the story here:

  • 63. RnL2008  |  July 15, 2015 at 11:53 am

    See, these anti-gay folks just DON'T get it, their animosity or hate towards folks they DON'T even know is what causes others I think to step up and help end the discrimination…..thanks for the article!

  • 64. brchaz  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    UN concerned over LGBT rights in Turkey, calls gov’t to take action

    GENEVA – The U.N. has expressed deep concern over attacks and discriminatory acts on Turkey’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, while also calling for active measures to be taken in an effort to combat homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination.

    “In the past two weeks alone, reported incidents include the appearance of posters in Ankara encouraging the murder of LGBT people; a violent homophobic attack against a group of young gay men in Istanbul; as well as rape, assault and robbery against Kemal Ördek, a human rights defender and founder of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association,” the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spokesperson Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on July 14.

    Ördek wrote a descriptive article, which was distributed via the Internet and news websites the past week, on how three men had robbed, raped and assaulted him and the inactiveness and discriminatory acts of the Turkish police against him, when he wanted to complain about the attacks. Colville said that the OHCHR was further concerned about allegations that the police officers handling Ördek’s case had trivialized the attack, used discriminatory language, tried to dissuade him from filing a complaint and did not provide protection from additional threats by the alleged perpetrators. …

    An Islamist group pinned posters to walls and posts in Ankara threatening LGBT people with death on July 7. …

  • 65. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Im very happy to see the UN starting to be vocal about gay rights. This is a big deal internationally. Up there with the International Olympic Committee now requiring the host country to respect LGBT rights in order to be awarded the games from 2022 onwards. WIsh FIFA would get on board with this too.

  • 66. StraightDave  |  July 16, 2015 at 11:06 am

    About that…..
    The IOC is in a pickle over 2022.
    After Oslo withdrew as the last legitimate candidate, the IOC is now stuck with a choice between Beijing and Almaty,Kazakhstan. Not the most welcoming of options

    Apart from the non-welcoming factor, Beijing also lacks any snow and the mountains 100 miles away that they want to use lack a source of water to make snow. It's like having the winter olympics in Mexico.

  • 67. DJSNOLA  |  July 16, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Beijing is not KazakhstanSent from my iPhone

  • 68. ebohlman  |  July 17, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Who said it was?

  • 69. Sagesse  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Yesss. Still waiting for equal treatment by adoption agencies, but it's definitely a start.

    Judge says Utah must recognize lesbian moms as legal parents [Salt Lake Tribune]

  • 70. kinger1224  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Excellent news. My daughter and her wife are having a baby tonight in Utah. Does anyone know where we can find a copy of this ruling to share with the hospital staff so that they both can be on the original birth certificate?

  • 71. Deeelaaach  |  July 15, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    All I can suggest is contacting the author of the article, either at sltrib or another article source such as AP. They might at least be able to tell you the case name, docket number etc. Good luck!

  • 72. Rick55845  |  July 15, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Here is the original complaint:

    I can't find a copy of the ruling by Dee Benson for the Utah Federal District Court. It may be available on Pacer (sign up and fee required), and it may show up soon (a week or so?) on the government publishing office site here:

    Good luck!

    You might at least print a news article and take that with you to the hospital.

  • 73. kinger1224  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you. I'll pass that along.

  • 74. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Once again we are seeing why marriage victory matters so much. If we had just civil unions I would guartee you the verdict would have been different.

  • 75. VIRick  |  July 15, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    "U.S. District Judge Dee Benson issued a preliminary injunction that forces Utah to issue a birth certificate recognizing both women as Lucy's parents and to change its policies for all other married lesbian couples.

    "Benson said the state failed to prove that a female spouse in a relationship should be treated any differently than a similarly situated male spouse."

    In addition, there's a news article about the ruling in the "Salt Lake Tribune" of 15 July 2015.

  • 76. Sagesse  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I believe Rose would say, 'Stupid should hurt."

    'Homosexual Behavior Leads To Death': Ford Contractor Claims He Was Fired For His Religious Beliefs [New Civil Rights Movement]

  • 77. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Now someone whos gay needs to sue this guy , Mr Banks for the emotional anguish and trauma he caused them by voicing his vitriol on the company intranet.

  • 78. ebohlman  |  July 15, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Seems as if heterosexual behavior, bisexual behavior, and asexual behavior also lead to death…

  • 79. Fortguy  |  July 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    In today's Texas news, another clerk bites the dust.

    John Wright, Texas Observer: Second County Clerk Steps Down Over Gay Marriage

    Live Oak County is on I-37 between San Antonio and Corpus Christi. The county seat is the town of George West. And now, an interesting article updating us on the jiggery-pokery in Irion County.

    Chelsea Reinhard, San Angelo LIVE!: The Last Stand Against Gay Marriage in Irion County, Texas

  • 80. Zack12  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    I hope no one is expecting us to feel sorry for these clerks.

  • 81. DJSNOLA  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Well I feel sorry that they are so dumb.. outside of that good riddance.

  • 82. brchaz  |  July 15, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    GOP senators defeat anti-bullying measure in first LGBT vote since the historic Supreme Court ruling

  • 83. ebohlman  |  July 15, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Some of us can remember a time when a 52-45 vote could actually pass a bill in the Senate.

  • 84. allan120102  |  July 15, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Why it can no longer be pass by a simple majority?

  • 85. Christian0811  |  July 16, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Republicans wantonly filibuster everything, it's part of their obstructionism.

  • 86. Fortguy  |  July 15, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Scottie is traveling and too busy for a roundup, so I'm only happy to provide links I've come across. First, why would a self-described "ex-homosexual" whose last name is Pickup ever expect to be taken seriously?

    John Wright, Texas Observer: New Coalition Pledges To Fight Gay Marriage

    A few days ago, I linked to an article about how Hood County haters, licking their wounds from losing the marriage fight, have taken the fight to children's books at the library. Here's an update.

    John Savage, Texas Observer: Fight Over LGBT-Themed Children’s Books Heats Up Hood County

    In summary, the books will stay but not necessarily in the children's section. Next, what she says:

    Claire Bow, Texas Observer: Transgender Isn’t a Sexual Orientation

    Claire is from Alpine where I, just like the kid in the movie Boyhood, went to college. And finally,

    Tyler White, San Antonio Express-News: Christian group decries San Antonio's first same-sex wedding expo at River Walk hotel

    With marriages happening everywhere by the thousands and no end in sight, these people are going to get whiplash.

  • 87. RemC  |  July 17, 2015 at 5:13 am

    Thanks for the updates. I commented on the San Antonio story.

  • 88. VIRick  |  July 15, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    It's *WTF?!!* Time in Michoacán

    As a opening comment, I think it proper to formally introduce federal district judge "Ginny" Granade of Mobile to her erstwhile counterpart in Mexico, the pissed-off federal judge of the 7th District, María Dolores Núñez Solorio, who now also has her hands full.

    Se Detienen Bodas entre Personas del Mismo Sexo
    (Marriage Between Same-Sex Couples Stopped)

    From "El Sol de Morelia:" (English translation below)

    Los diputados del PAN y PRI se negaron a modificar los artículos 123 y 125 del código familiar, que busca autorizar a las personas del mismo sexo a contraer matrimonio; la bancada del PRD pretende que la discusión sea llevada al Pleno, para dejar asentado quienes estuvieron a favor de cumplir con la orden emitida por el Poder Judicial.

    En rueda de prensa, al terminar la reunión de la Comisión de Justicia, misma que se prolongó por más de dos horas y media, se informó que la postura de los legisladores antagónicos al de PRD, fue buscar una vía alterna para atender el tema y una de ellas era la posibilidad de solicitar una prórroga o la aclaración de la sentencia a fin de postergar este tema, además que tampoco se subirá al Pleno la reforma completa al actual código familiar.

    (Members of PAN and PRI refused to amend sections 123 and 125 of the Family Code, which seeks to authorize same-sex marriage; the PRD wants the discussion to be brought to the full House, so as to settle the matter in favor of complying with the order issued by the federal judiciary.

    At a press conference, after the meeting of the legislative Commission for Justice, a meeting that lasted and more than two and a half hours, it was reported that the position of the PRD legislators was to find an alternate way to meet the deadline, and that to request an extension or clarification of the decision to postpone the comprehensive reform of the current family code.)

    De no cumplirse, se iniciará un procedimiento de inejecución de amparo, que tiene como primera sanción una multa de 100 días, como segunda sanción la destitución del presidente del Congreso y como tercera medida, la consignación de Sarbelio Molina y después de la autoridad superior a él, refirió.

    Además, especificó que el artículo 193 de la Ley de Amparo, menciona que aun cuando los diputados actuales no estén en el cargo, pudieran ser consignados por el incumplimiento de una ejecutoría de amparo.

    (If the deadline is not met (and it has not been met), it initiates a procedure regarding the non-performance of the amparo. Its first sanction is a fine of 100 days (pay); the second sanction is the removal of the president of the Michoacán Congress; as a third measure, the Congress becomes subject to Sarbelio Molina Vélez, deputy chairman of the Michoacán Legislature, as a replacement.

    In addition, as specified in Article 193 of the Law of Amparo, it was noted that even though the current deputies are not in office, they could be appropriated by the breach of a judgment of an amparo (in other words, found guilty of contempt of court).

  • 89. VIRick  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Today, 15 July 2015, in "Hard v. Bentley," in federal district court in Montgomery, the case involving the Alabama widower seeking recognition of his Massachusetts marriage in the wrongful death suit, the plaintiff's motion to lift stay and disburse funds has been granted.

    Paul Hard gets the first $100K, plus 50% thereafter (as per Alabama law), while the other 50% over $100K will undoubtedly be paid to the wicked mother-in-law's defense counsel, Roy Moore's "non-profit" hate group. Early on in the case, the wicked mother-in-law insisted that God had personally declared to her that she must keep all of the proceeds for herself.

  • 90. dlejrmex  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks for reporting this. I had almost forgotten about the wicked mother-in-law case.

  • 91. Fortguy  |  July 15, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Here's to hoping Mommy Dearest's lawyer ends up with all of the mother's award from the court. After all, the lawyer's only incorrect assumption was how fast ME was moving forward. The lawyer, instead, was probably thinking correctly that ME would be recognized in the Pitcairn Islands before it would be accepted universally in Alabama.

  • 92. RemC  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Justice served. What a heartless, mean old lady. Dense, too, to think Moore's group could help her.

  • 93. DeadHead  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:28 am

    I suspect Roy Moore and his lawyer buddies really knew where ME was headed and maybe just took advantage of an ignorant old woman who didn't know any better and was easily swayed. In my lifetime. Moore's cronies knew they had a strong possibility of getting something out of this and that is why the took the wrongful death insurance case. I have seen quite a few old people taken advantage of by opportunists from the legal profession.

  • 94. VIRick  |  July 17, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Per "Equality Case Files:"

    Today, 17 July 2015, in "Hard v. Bentley," with the SPLC representing the Alabama widower seeking recognition of his Massachusetts marriage, in a case that was supposedly settled in the plaintiff's favor on 15 July 205, the wicked mother-in-law and intervenor, Pat Fancher, has not given up. She filed a motion (with the obvious assistance of her counsel, Roy Moore's "non-profit" hate group, the Foundation for Moral Law), to set aside the order of dismissal and requested a renewed prayer for relief.

    "The issue is not whether same-sex marriage is legal in Alabama today. The issue is whether same-sex marriage was legal in Alabama on the day David Fancher died, because whatever legal relationship Paul Hard and David Fancher enjoyed, ended the day David Fancher died. If Alabama law did not recognize their relationship as a marriage on the day David Fancher died, then Paul Hard was not a spouse and is not a surviving spouse — unless 'Obergefell' is given retroactive effect."

  • 95. Rick55845  |  July 17, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    That's both worrisome and mean-spirited.

  • 96. scream4ever  |  July 17, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    They've applied retroactive recognition in many cases. I expect the same here.

  • 97. Fortguy  |  July 17, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I wish that Dateline, 20/20, CNN Presents, or some other TV news mag program would dedicate an hour to this case just to show America why ME is important and how the continued lack of discrimination protections remain a threat to us.

  • 98. VIRick  |  July 18, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Indeed! It's the most hideous case of them all,– from any state.

  • 99. VIRick  |  July 16, 2015 at 12:16 am

    OMG!! We Have a Church!!

    But you have to read this in Spanish first, about la Iglesia Pastafariana de Puerto Rico!

    Llega a la Isla la Religión del Monstruo del Espagueti Volador

    "Ministros de religión del Monstruo del Espagueti Volador aclaran tus dudas. Representantes de la Iglesia Pastafariana de Puerto Rico contestarán preguntas del público en"

    Tras el anuncio de la llegada a Puerto Rico de la religión del Monstruo del Espagueti Volador y que sus ministros estarán oficiando bodas entre parejas del mismo sexo, se ha desatado una serie de controversias que giran en torno a sus preceptos y creencias.

    Considerada por muchos como una religión de sátira o parodia, el pastafarismo fue creado a finales de 2005 como una protesta a la enseñanza en escuelas públicas de la hipótesis del “diseño inteligente”. Entre sus preceptos se encuentra que el universo fue creado por una deidad invisible tras una borrachera y que dicha embriaguez explica las imperfecciones del mundo.

    Lease it to Puerto Rico to come up with this! Still, I may not recover from the part in Spanish about "pastafariana" which is completely beyond my ability to translate. As a result, I truly feel sorry for anyone out there who is unable to read Spanish.

  • 100. RemC  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Rick, I'm stuck for a translation for "fariana." Closest thing I can think of is "faro" as a base, but lighthouse doesn't make sense, does it? Still, "Monstruo del Espagueti Volador" is hilarious.

  • 101. dlejrmex  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:50 am

    I believe that the Spanish wiki is correct that el pastafarismo is a combination of pasta and rastafarismo (the Spanish word for the Jamaican religion). Then the Ana suffix is not an unusual morphing.

    I was thinking -ana was one of the endings to turn words into nouns but I now I cannot find any examples… So I might be mixing up it up with the English ending….

  • 102. VIRick  |  July 16, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    "…. el pastafarismo is a combination of pasta and rastafarismo (the Spanish word for the Jamaican religion)."

    That's the way I understood it, as well. If the rastafarians can worship ganja, then the pastafarians can worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster,– or whatever!

    But it's worse than that. La Iglesia Pastafariana simultaneously mocks the evangelistas and some of the ridiculous names they invent in Spanish for the names of their so-called churches.

    But perhaps what stunned me the most was the fact that the most reputable daily Spanish language newspaper in Puerto Rico even published this article in the first place as a serious news item. But since they did so (and obviously did so deliberately), it totally destroys any possible legitimacy to any lingering opposition to same-sex marriage in the island.

  • 103. Fortguy  |  July 16, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    From Wikipedia: Flying Spaghetti Monster

  • 104. ebohlman  |  July 16, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    I'm pretty sure that it's a Spanish transliteration of the English "Pastafarian" which is what English-speaking followers of the FSM call themselves, pretty obviously after the combination you mention.

  • 105. Randolph_Finder  |  July 16, 2015 at 10:47 am

    May you be touched by his noodly appendage!

  • 106. David_Las_Cruces_NM  |  July 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm


  • 107. ianbirmingham  |  July 16, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Federal courts accept Pastafarianism as a religious belief for First Amendment purposes. See page 8 of this brief for a good explanation of why:

  • 108. VIRick  |  July 16, 2015 at 12:25 am

    English translation regarding la Iglesia Pastafariana de Puerto Rico:

    Ministers of the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster clarify your doubts. Representatives of la Iglesia Pastafariana de Puerto Rico answer questions from the public at

    Following the announcement of the arrival in Puerto Rico of the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and the fact that its ministers will be officiating at weddings between same-sex couples, a series of controversies has been unleashed that revolve around its precepts and beliefs.

    Considered by many as a religion of satire or parody, the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was created in late 2005 as a protest to the teaching in public schools of the hypothesis of "intelligent design." Among its provisions is one claiming that the universe was created by an unseen deity after a drunken binge and that this explains the world's imperfections.

  • 109. Fortguy  |  July 16, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Pastafarians have been around for awhile. Most commonly, they try to show the ridiculousness of state DMV rules for gender and religious expression by insisting on having their drivers license photos taken as they wear colanders, their purported religious headgear. Here's what a quick Google search yields:

    In this way, they are similar to the Satanist group seeking to place a satanic monument next to the Ten Commandments on the Oklahoma state capitol grounds.

  • 110. ebohlman  |  July 17, 2015 at 2:15 am

    The translation misuses "hypothesis". A hypothesis is a conjecture that is a) falsifiable and b) makes testable predictions. Intelligent design, as Judge John Jones III of PA marriage equality fame famously noted in a ruling that drew more death threats than his ME ruling, is non-falsifiable ("heads I win, tails you lose") and makes no testable predictions.

  • 111. VIRick  |  July 17, 2015 at 2:37 am

    That's actually an error in the original Spanish, as they used the word, "hipótesis." As best as I could, I translated the original article, including that word, without thinking about any mis-usage of terms. When I translate, I try my best to convey the original sense of what is being stated. Also, bear in mind that I'm not a professional translator.

    However, especially when dealing with legal terminology and the judicial process, certain Spanish terms are almost impossible to translate, while still conveying their original sense. For example, I've given up in attempting to translate "amparo," even though it more or less means "injunction." The judicial process involved is completely different. In Mexico, plaintiffs can file an "amparo" when they perceive their rights are being violated. Currently, for same-sex marriage, said "amparo" must be granted.

    But you're correct. Stating that "intelligent design" is an hypothesis is giving it undue credit.

  • 112. 1grod  |  July 16, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Taking AL probate judges David Money (Henry Co) and Patrick Davenport (Houston) at their word a week from today marriage licenses will be available in their counties. Their participation will mean that 94% of the population of the state has available marriage licenses in their home counties. IMO, its a sign of normalization that an article on estate planning for AL same gender couples appears in today's issue of :

  • 113. 1grod  |  July 17, 2015 at 2:43 am

    AL's Searcy's adoption case to proceed with replacement judge named:

  • 114. RemC  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:08 am

    I was up and at 'em early this morning since the kids were out of cereal. As I walked out of the grocery store, the USA Today headline on this latest poll caught my eye:

    I suppose that the Republicans who keep hammering away at this do live in their own version of reality. It would be great to see Trump go against Hillary for the Oval Office, as there aren't enough crazies in the country to vote him into office. Although then our fellow Democrats would need to go out and vote. It occurred to me that the Party should devote some money towards creating a "go and vote or live with the consequences" message.

  • 115. StraightDave  |  July 17, 2015 at 5:54 am

    What amazes me in that poll is this:
    "On same-sex marriage…. Republicans also tend to disagree: 49% say officials who oppose same-sex unions should take steps to resist the court's ruling and block them".

    Half of them think they can actively obstruct a SCOTUS ruling. This isn't just sitting down in the middle of the street to mess up traffic for a while, but borders on outright lawlessness, which is what is happening in AL and KY. And half of all Republicans think that's perfectly OK????????

    When did the rule of law become so disrespected? Are they so drugged that they don't even understand how the system works? Just who do they think they are?

  • 116. A_Jayne  |  July 17, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Some of them (Huckabee, Santorum, Jindal) are candidates for the presidency.

    (from an NBC report –

    Mike Huckabee: "I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat."

    Rick Santorum: "The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices."

    Bobby Jindal: "Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that."

    "Civil disobedience" has been all over right wing radio and TV broadcasts. The same Republican voter base that thinks Obama was never legitimately president also thinks the court's decision on marriage equality was not legitimately decided.

    I'm pretty sure we shouldn't be surprised at that…

  • 117. JayJonson  |  July 16, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Utah married moms win in their lawsuit against the state's refusal to recognize both of them on their child's birth certificate.

  • 118. A_Jayne  |  July 16, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Rose will probably appreciate this opinion piece:

    After the SCOTUS ruling, adjective ("gay") no longer needed when referring to married couples.

  • 119. RemC  |  July 16, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I think you can safely say that we all appreciate the eventual ban of the phrase, "gay marriage."

  • 120. RnL2008  |  July 16, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I do, thank you for this. My marriage is no different than any other legal marriage and for those on another site who enjoy posting that Polygamy is the next "GAY" marriage…….I know it CAN'T be…!!!

  • 121. JayJonson  |  July 16, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I don't know if you have seen this video produced by Freedom to Marry, but it is quite well done. Here is a link.

  • 122. Steve27516  |  July 16, 2015 at 8:58 am

    And now, here I am, at my office, wiping away a few tears. Nice video.

  • 123. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 16, 2015 at 8:56 am

    (I didn't see any comments on this, therefore I presume it hasn't been mentioned. My apologies if this is a repeat.)

    The NBC News headline says:
    'TLC Cancels '19 Kids and Counting' Amid Duggar Family Scandal'
    (… )

  • 124. A_Jayne  |  July 16, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Great news of the final cancellation. Not so sure about references I've read to the network "being open to a spin-off show with one or more of the Duggar kids" at some point in the future…

  • 125. Fortguy  |  July 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    Now if we can get NBC Universal to cancel the entire TLC network. TLC long-ago abandoned the notion of being "The Learning Channel" and moved into the realm of paying people to parade their lives, families, and children into exaggerated caricatures they can promote as freak shows such as My Husband is Not Gay, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and Amish Mafia. That's not even mentioning all the shows they have dedicated to making public spectacles of dwarfs and obese people. Not surprisingly, the Duggars aren't the first to have their show cancelled because TLC unwittingly found child molesters after their casting directors dredged the bottom to find them.

  • 126. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 16, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    I used to watch 'The Learning Channel' all the time, but they got away from the learning aspect several years ago. That's when I stopped watching The Learning Channel (now known as TLC).

    By the way, contact with TLC can be acheived by going to their web site ( ) then clicking 'Feedback' in the lower right corner. You have to let TLC know your opinion of their 'new web site' (I give it a zero rating – if you don't rate the site, your opinion will not go through) and then click 'Contact us' and give them your piece of mind, er, I mean your comment. Then submit your comment.

  • 127. Zack12  |  July 17, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    It's a shame what has become of TLC and A & E among others.

  • 128. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 17, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Don't forget ESPN.

    In January 1981, it covered the inauguration of Ronnie Ray-Gun and the festivities surrounding that inauguration. Now it is just sports that ESPN covers, 24/7.

    Most people forget that the 'E' in ESPN stands for "Entertainment and". The full name for ESPN is 'Entertainment and Sports Programming Network'.

    BTW – who forget to close their parenthesis? I didn't intend any part of any comment I have made to contain parenthesis, but every comment by everyone on this thread is totally in parenthesis. Since all threads seem to be affected, maybe it's a site problem?

  • 129. Fortguy  |  July 17, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Weird. Earlier today, everything was italicized including the "Open Thread" headline here and on the EOT home page. Seems to be fixed now.

  • 130. guitaristbl  |  July 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Justice has been served for the fayetteville ordinance finally. Good riddance.

  • 131. 1grod  |  July 16, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    JUstice Kennedy recently commented on Reaction to his ME ruling at 9th Circuit Conference

  • 132. Raga  |  July 17, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Kennedy looks dapper! That green tie – wow! And, he seems to have mentioned that it took him six days to write the Obergefell opinion:

  • 133. DACiowan  |  July 16, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    This is big. The EEOC just ruled that orientation discrimination falls under sex discrimination, and thus LGBT workers are already covered by the Civil Rights Act.

  • 134. jcmeiners  |  July 16, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Yes. This was a case involving a federal employee, but there is no reason why this shouldn't apply to the private sector as well. But then, corporations are now known to have religious beliefs, so that'll likely mean additional litigation on that count, I'm afraid.

  • 135. sfbob  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    This is important and the significance of it is shouldn't be underestimated. Still we need to be aware that the membership of the EEOC changes based on who is in the White House. So it's possible that a Republican administration could slow down any progress we make in this area or even reverse it and the only way to ensure that doesn't happen is to make sure that our rights are guaranteed not just by interpretations of existing statutes but by specific inclusion in those statutes. Of course that isn't going to happen as long as Republicans control Congress. So our work is clear and we shouldn't fool ourselves that it will happen easily even if we find ourselves entering 2017 with a Democrat in the White House and Democratic control of both the House and the Senate. It won't be easy and it may not happen soon enough to prevent significant pain but we need to be committed to a long-term legal struggle.

  • 136. RemC  |  July 17, 2015 at 4:54 am

    Federal courts take seriously how EEOC rules, so that should be helpful in lawsuits down the road.

  • 137. DJSNOLA  |  July 18, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Very good news here!

  • 138. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 18, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I formerly worked in a Federal government agency that had a three-member, Presidentially-appointed (and Senate-confirmed) board. The rules were that at least one board member had to be of a different political party. Also, the person could not be reappointed to that same board.

    With a change of administrations, especially when there was a political change, the Chairman might change, but the members continued with the terms of office until the term of office was complete. I believe that is how most Federal agencies that are not Cabinet-level are set up.

    The term of office is usually 4 years or more (at the agency I worked in, it was six, ending just before a Congressional or Presidential election.). Thus changes are not usually seen at the 'lower' agencies until the middle to end of a President's first term. And of course, if the person's term is ending, and they are of the same political persuasion as the President, then the change of membership won't really affect the 'balance of power'. The shift in 'power' must await for a person of the opposition's political thinking to come to the end of their term of office.

    As to 2017, right now the indications are that the Democrats will win the White House and the Senate, but because of the gerrymandering of House districts, we (speaking as a Democrat) probably will have to wait until after the changes in congressional boundaries are made between the 2020 elections and the 2022 elections to have any probability of winning the House in 2023 and/or beyond.

  • 139. VIRick  |  July 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Louisiana: Same-Sex Health Insurance for State Workers’ Spouses

    Baton Rouge LA — Many of Louisiana state workers' same-sex spouses will now be eligible for health insurance. The health insurance program for Louisiana state employees, retirees and some public school systems is taking applications for coverage for same-sex spouses and their dependents.

    Those who were married before 26 June, the date that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right for all Americans, have until 11 August to apply, according to the Office of Group Benefits. Those married on or after that date have 30 days after the marriage to apply for coverage for spouses and dependents.

    The Office of Group Benefits opened the enrollment period on 10 July. The Retired State Employees Association sent out a notice about the enrollment period on Tuesday, 14 July.

  • 140. ianbirmingham  |  July 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Twice-married Christian Angela Merkel says she disagrees with gay marriage despite opposing discrimination because there has to be 'a difference at some point'
    * German Chancellor said she believes marriage is only for heterosexuals
    * Argued that while she thinks anti-gay discrimination must be 'eliminated', she draws the line at same sex matrimony
    * Added that she wants equal benefits and tax breaks for same sex couples
    * Comments came during interview with German YouTube star Florian Mundt

  • 141. sfbob  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    It is quite breathtaking that someone can insist there should be no discrimination against gay people while ensuring that such discrimination continues.

  • 142. ianbirmingham  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Germany introduced civil unions for gay and lesbian couples in 2001, but they do not have the right to marry and are still also forbidden from jointly adopting children.

    In early June the upper house of the German parliament adopted a resolution calling for the legalisation of same-sex marriage, which is opposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.

    Last month's gay pride march in the German capital Berlin was a typically festive affair, with lashings of sequins, fake eyelashes, wigs and feather boas, rainbow flags, and even one reveller who appeared to have dipped his penis in gold paint.

  • 143. VIRick  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    From Equality Case Files:

    In the Georgia class-action marriage case, "Inniss v. Aderhold," in regard to the plaintiffs' petition to 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to appeal the order:

    The defendants' Status Report, following the Supreme Court ruling, has been construed by the Court as a motion to remand to the district court. "This appeal should be remanded with direction to the District Court to dismiss the case."

    So, the state is recommending to the Court that this case be remanded and dismissed.

    Next question: Does this mean that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will finally get off their collective butts and issue a ruling???

  • 144. A_Jayne  |  July 16, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Either way, the case should not be simply dismissed – the plaintiffs should be declared victors, and attorney fees awarded to them! (Presuming couples are plaintiffs, of course…)

  • 145. VIRick  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    USVI marriage up-date, 16 July 2015:

    Again, nothing happened here today.

  • 146. scream4ever  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    I thought marriages would begin on the 21st?

  • 147. A_Jayne  |  July 16, 2015 at 6:11 pm


    Fully expected a confirmation signature yesterday, and marriages happening right away.

    Why did that not all come to be yet?

  • 148. VIRick  |  July 19, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Two applications for marriage licenses, one on St. Croix and one on St. Thomas, had been filed and accepted at the Marriage Bureau, part of the Virgin Islands Superior Court, on 13 July 2015. There's an 8-day waiting period here (from the date of their acceptance, as the application on St. Croix was actually filed on 7 July 2015), so said couples will be able to be married from 21 July 2015.

    Back on 13 July 2015, the Presiding Judge of the VI Superior Court announced that the court would be proceeding ahead on this matter, regardless of anyone else's procrastinations and objections, so that the Virgin Islands would be, in fact, in compliance with the Supreme Court's ruling.

    I learned something very recently from Ada Conde Vidal of Puerto Rico when doing the count-down within a codified system. Over there, I (like all the governmental department heads in Puerto Rico) was counting down 15 days from the date of the governor's executive order, as per the order itself. So, they were all ready with recognition and the new forms by Monday morning, 13 July 2015. However, as Ada correctly pointed out, there was a separate court count-down, based on the final judgment date of the 1st Circuit Court's ruling. According to that second count-down, they were only clear to allow marriages between same-sex couples to proceed after midnight on 16 July 2015 (thus, first thing on the morning of 17 July).

    So, using that experience as a guide, following through on the governor's executive order here, signed on 9 July 2015 (and whether "attested" to or not), the VI Superior Court then accepted two applications for marriage licenses from same-sex couples on Monday 13 July 2015. Eight days from that date is 21 July 2015. Done.

    The executive order here seemed to indicate that said order was to go into immediate effect upon its being "attested" to. However, the court said otherwise when they established their own separate count-down framework, beginning from 13 July 2015.

  • 149. A_Jayne  |  July 19, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Thank you for the explanation – the details involved. Glad to hear all is moving forward despite what seemed like inexplicable delays…

  • 150. VIRick  |  July 19, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    And that's precisely why the Presiding Judge of the VI Superior Court did what he did. By accepting the applications, it set a separate court-based count-down in motion with its own separate deadline, one that can not be delayed any further.

  • 151. Steve27516  |  July 20, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Echoing A_Jayne's sentiments, thank you for this information, VIRick. I'll be sending you congratulatory vibes tomorrow!

  • 152. VIRick  |  July 16, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    From Geraldina Gonzalez de la Vega, a clerk at Mexico's Supreme Court:

    The Supreme Court of Mexico has gone into recess following the close of its first session of the current year.

    So, there won't be any more immediate rulings from the SCJN until they resume. Cases on appeal from Jalisco, Durango, Nuevo León, Yucatán, and Puebla remain pending.

  • 153. scream4ever  |  July 16, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Do they return in the fall like our Supreme Court?

  • 154. VIRick  |  July 16, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Mexico's Supreme court takes intermittent recesses, unlike the US Supreme Court which takes one long break. They'll be back in session sooner.

  • 155. ianbirmingham  |  July 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Republican approval of the Supreme Court has plunged to a historic low after a court term that brought liberal wins on same-sex marriage and ObamaCare, according to a new Gallup poll. Just 18 percent of Republicans now approve of the court, the lowest numbers in the 15-year history of the Gallup tracking poll. But that dip corresponds with a sharp uptick in support from Democrats. That approval raised 29 percentage points since last year, to 76 percent.

  • 156. Zack12  |  July 17, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I'm betting Republicans were just a-oaky with SCOTUS when it came to the VRA and Hobby Lobby though right?

  • 157. VIRick  |  July 16, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Here we go, Puerto Rico! It's now official!

    From "El Nuevo Dia," in their lead article just posted shortly after midnight, and dated Friday, 17 July 2015:

    Desde Hoy Pueden Casarse las Parejas del Mismo Sexo
    (From Today, Same-Sex Couples Can Marry)

    A partir de hoy, viernes, las parejas del mismo sexo que así lo deseen pueden casarse en Puerto Rico.
    (Starting today, Friday, same-sex couples who wish to do so can get married in Puerto Rico.)

    So, let me back up a moment and re-iterate (as suspected all along, but about which I had no complaint) that the Dept. of Vital Statistics (the Demographic Registry) and the Dept. of Family did indeed jump the gun (by 2 days) on their out-of-state marriage recognition and on their distribution of the new marriage license applications when they switched over on Monday, 13 July 2015.

    According to Ada Conde Vidal, the lead plaintiff in the Puerto Rico marriage suit, "Conde Vidal v. Riuz Armendariz," and herself a lawyer:

    “La Ley de Procedimiento Civil establecía que tenía que pasar un término de días para que se cumpliera, final y firme la sentencia del Tribunal, y eso culmina hoy (ayer) a la medianoche”, dijo ayer Conde Vidal.
    ("The Law of Civil Procedure stipulated a required number of days needed to pass in order to complete the final judgment of the Court, and that would end on 16 July 2015 at midnight," said Conde Vidal yesterday.)

  • 158. StraightDave  |  July 17, 2015 at 5:33 am

    I take that as meaning that the judgement of the PR court would not be considered final and mandatory prior to 16 July. However, that is not to say that the court could in any way prohibit the govt agencies from proceeding earlier, just that they couldn't stall beyond that time without pissing off even one more court. The SCOTUS ruling on 26 Jun gives everyone legal cover since it's effect was immediate. "Jumping the gun" to comply with a SCOTUS ruling can't possibly get anyone into trouble. Sure, some jerk agency or court might try to make an issue of it, but they'd have no legal ground to stand on.

    Again, IANAL, but that doesn't interfere with my free speech 🙂

  • 159. Steve27516  |  July 17, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Thank you for the update, VIRick –
    This is happy news for my many dear friends in Puerto Rico!

  • 160. ianbirmingham  |  July 17, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Politico: Donald Trump Leads GOP Field In Latest Poll

    LGBT Activist George Takei Slams Donald Trump For Opposing SSM

    Newly Released Product: The Donald Trump Butt Plug

  • 161. VIRick  |  July 17, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    "The Donald Trump Butt Plug"

    As brilliantly created and marketed by an upstanding Mexican-American immigrant. It makes the perfect gift for that unruly boyfriend, while fitting The Donald into the exact place where he properly belongs.

    Read the entire "About this Product." It's quite good and precisely on-point.

  • 162. RemC  |  July 18, 2015 at 8:46 am

    This IS a brilliant idea. Too bad it's $28. Wouldn't it be terrific if sales of this became the Trump equivalent to Google's Santorum?

  • 163. brchaz  |  July 18, 2015 at 9:28 am

    For a sculptural work of art, anything under $50 is a bargain. $29 is a steal.

  • 164. VIRick  |  July 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Per "El Nuevo Dia:"

    Celebran la Primera Boda entre Mujeres en la Isla
    (The First Marriage between Women is Celebrated in Puerto Rico)

    Bajo estrictas medidas de seguridad, las escritoras Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro y Zulma Oliveras Vega contraen nupcias en el local Art D' Chocolat, ubicado en la Calle Loíza en Santurce.

    La madrina del enlace es la abogada, activista y presidenta de la Fundación de Derechos Humanos en Puerto Rico Ada Conde Vidal, quien entabló una demanda federal junto a su esposa Ivonne Álvarez Vélez para impugnar la prohibición en la Isla de los matrimonios entre parejas homosexuales. La licenciada Conde Vidal tendrá a su cargo el brindis en la ceremonia

    (Under tight security, the writers Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro and Zulma Oliveras Vega contracted their nuptuals at the local Art D 'Chocolat, located on Calle Loiza in Santurce.

    The "godmother" of the union is the lawyer, activist, and president of the Foundation for Human Rights in Puerto Rico, Ada Conde Vidal, who filed a federal lawsuit with her wife, Ivonne Álvarez Vélez, to challenge the ban on marriages between same-sex couples. Conde Vidal will be responsible for the toast at the ceremony.

    And from Gabriel LaBorde, we have this:

    (As of this afternoon, 17 July 2015), the Puerto Rico Supreme Court has denied the request of four legislators to halt the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    These four legislators had filed suit in Puerto Rico challenging the legality of the governor's executive order legalizing same-sex marriage in Puerto Rico.

    Earlier, these same four legislators had attempted to intervene in the case, "Conde Vidal v. Riuz Armendariz," while said case was under appeal before the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, and after the state declined to any longer defend the matter. The 1st Circuit Court had also denied their attempt to intervene.

    Again, from "El Nuevo Dia," dated 17 July 2015:

    Penepés desisten de la demanda contra el matrimonio gay luego de que el Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico rechazara intervenir en este caso.
    ( Penepés, the 4 PNP legislators, desist in their demand against gay marriage after the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico refused their attempted intervention in this matter)

    The "leader" of these Penepés, María Milagros Charbonier, is a certified nut-job.

  • 165. Steve27516  |  July 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    This is the news I have been so eagerly awaiting: verification that weddings of same-sex couples are occurring in Puerto Rico. What a happy day. Thanks for the update, VIRick! I'm hoping the same occurs in USVI soon –

  • 166. 1grod  |  July 17, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Alabama courts this week began approving one of the legal rights most sought by same-sex couples in the state: the ability to adopt children.

  • 167. ianbirmingham  |  July 17, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    A sexual revolution has taken place in China over the past few decades which shows no signs of cooling down. The strict ethical codes created under Confucius and continued under Chairman Mao are melting away in China’s bars and bedrooms. … None of this will please the government. But the rest of the population is moving in one direction, and that’s towards greater sexual freedom and fun.

    <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  • 168. ianbirmingham  |  July 17, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    American Muslims should welcome same-sex marriage ruling
    We cannot combat Islamophobia and demand equal treatment for Muslims while propagating homophobia
    July 15, 2015 2:00AM ET

    …The shift toward acceptance of gays and lesbians has generated a muted debate among American Muslims. That there has been no knee-jerk reaction to the [Obergefell] ruling is a testimony to the growing maturity and independence of the American Muslim community. (About 42 percent of American Muslims support same-sex marriage, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.) This is even more important because the Supreme Court decision came during the month of Ramadan. Passionate discussions are taking place at iftar tables, in mosques, at the breakfast table and on social media.

    Muslims cannot privately consider same-sex couples as morally inferior while publicly maintaining that everyone is equal under the law. It would be hypocritical to call on others to fight Islamophobia while propagating homophobia. …

    Islamic scholar Siraj Kugle has written a critical assessment of homosexuality in Islam in a book by the same title. Others, including America’s first openly gay imam, Daayiee Abdullah, and gay communities such as the Muslim Alliance and Al-Fatiha Foundation have contested the traditional understanding of same-sex marriage…. Muslims decriminalized homosexuality more than a century before the West. The Ottoman Empire decriminalized homosexuality in 1858. Homosexuality was visible during the Islamic golden age, when science, philosophy and Islamic theology flourished in the Muslim world. Muslims should stay true to their history of tolerance by dealing with oppressed minorities such as the LGBT community with compassion and understanding. By doing so, they will serve as models for other faith communities.

  • 169. RemC  |  July 18, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Thank you for posting this. Most enlightening.

  • 170. DJSNOLA  |  July 18, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Agreed! We need to get more moderate muslims talking about this so that lgbt equality will broaden in the Islamic world.

  • 171. 1grod  |  July 18, 2015 at 2:05 am


  • 172. A_Jayne  |  July 18, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Question for lawmakers: Back in the years when this country first supported slavery, then Jim Crow laws, undercurrents of racism, and more recently blatant displays of it – all of which were "justified" by the way some people interpreted passages in religious volumes, how can you realistically tell me the discrimination long suffered by (and now proposed for the future against) gay people, still and again being "justified" by the way some people interpret passages in religious volumes, is any different?

    Will we ever learn?

  • 173. 1grod  |  July 19, 2015 at 3:24 am

    A_ : Question to churches and families who accept their permission to discriminate.
    I think you will appreciate the observations styled as a letter to a caring uncle: You can't say you love someone (which assumes you want the best for them) and then disagree with a positive movement for their civil rights.…? G

  • 174. RnL2008  |  July 18, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    From the article:
    “All religious Americans deserve assurance that they can carry out their conscience without a federal government crackdown,” said Representative Bill Flores, Republican of Texas and the committee’s chairman.

    Is that truly ALL religious Americans? Or just the religious Americans who practice the same religious beliefs as the idiot politicians? My guess is that it is just MORE BS to try and harm Gay and Lesbian Americans and INFRINGE on their rights!!!

  • 175. 1grod  |  July 19, 2015 at 4:40 am

    Rose: insightful. A_ asks "will we ever learn?" The rants from Roberts, Scalia and Thomas give permission for religious based discrimination to continue, indeed to be legislated.
    In the Huffington Post letter linked just above (reply to A_), the hyprocracy of many churches is laid bare: Whatever the genuine, faith-based intentions of the church have been over the last five decades, their actions through anti-gay marriage campaigning and legislation have been inarguably prohibitive, discriminatory, and scathing to the American gay community.
    I'm reminded of the pastoral words of San Francisco's Sal Calideone made after the successful ballot initiatives of Nov 2012: "The meaning of marriage, though, cannot be redefined because it lies within our very nature. No matter what policy, law or judicial decision is put into place, marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children born of their union. It is either this, or it is nothing at all. WTF! That the reverend believed it's acceptable or necessary for church leaders to spout such dumb none sense as if should apply to all Americans, imo reflects how out of touch his church's leadership is with those who still attend or identify themselves with it. He might ask NOM how they became so irrelevant..

  • 176. RnL2008  |  July 19, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Oh, man did you hit that nail on the head……'s ridiculous how many times idiots claim marriage has been one way, when in reality…..there have been recorded history stating otherwise……and if these Church Leaders believed their BS, then why are both the highest divorce rates and abortions rates among those of religious folks? Seems, they all should lose their tax exempt status because they opted to wander into politics……to me, they are hypocrites!!!

  • 177. 1grod  |  July 20, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Rose – Wondering into Politics: Rev Roy Moore [aka chief justice], is indeed not the only one voicing their apprehensions to churchgoers.… He is in the company of Catholic Bishops, who seemingly sought to outdo one another in their pronouncements of the sky is falling. IMHO few adherents were listening.….

  • 178. RemC  |  July 18, 2015 at 8:49 am

    19-year old blackmails former high school classmate, threatens to out him on social media, gets arrested big time:

  • 179. jcmeiners  |  July 18, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I'm glad to read that the local authorities, in Oklahoma no less, took such an active interest in busting the perp. Not too long ago they probably wouldn't have done much to help the victim.

  • 180. RemC  |  July 18, 2015 at 8:51 am

    The snob in me cringes at a presumably educated judge using the word "ain't." Oh, yeah—and he doesn't like the whole idea of gay people getting married so he ain't gonna do no more weddings.

  • 181. VIRick  |  July 18, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    This is the same nonsense they pulled in various counties in north Florida, particularly in the benighted panhandle, right after marriage between same-sex couples was legalized in that state in January. The matter at hand is in regard to the optional courthouse civil wedding ceremony, once the couple has already obtained their marriage license, and for which an extra fee is also charged. So, no more optional courthouse civil marriage ceremonies in Dodge County GA for anyone, lest the magistrate there be deemed to be "discriminating."

    Georgia station WMAZ reports Judge Lonnie T. Parkerson, the magistrate in Dodge County GA (Eastman), presided over his “last wedding” last Thursday,16 July 2015, a ceremony that was recorded on video. In the video, Parkerson tells the unsuspecting straight couple:

    "I want ya’ll to know you’re the last wedding that I’m ever gonna do. They were already scheduled so I’ll do them too. I just can’t do it the other way, y’all, it ain’t right. The Bible explains it just like that (snaps) What marriage is. That is a marriage right there (points to couple getting married). What came in my office the other day was two ladies, it’s not a marriage."

    After being approached by local media about the anti-gay declaration, Parkerson issued a statement saying (and this is equally choice):

    "I’ve been approached about a wedding I performed yesterday and about two weeks ago I had some people come in the office and asked me to do a wedding and I’m not doing weddings any more since the supreme court passed the law that they did I’m not marrying anybody but I did this wedding yesterday cause it has been scheduled for about two weeks before the supreme court came out with their decision and that’s the reason the wedding was done yesterday and I even told the people in the courtroom where I married them that that would be the last wedding and the only reason that that was done was because it was already scheduled before hand And that’s the reason it was done and no other reason there wont be any more done by this office and by me or any of my personnel."

    And as for that insane accent recorded in the video: That's south Georgia, "Y'all, it ain't right." However, the lack of punctuation in the rambling, run-on quote, taken directly from the issued statement, above, is completely inexplicable.

    This clown needs to be told. He's marring Georgia's very impressive compliance rate (particularly when compared right next door to Alabama).

  • 182. ianbirmingham  |  July 18, 2015 at 11:25 am

    How the Blitz sent Britain sex mad: New book reveals Hitler's bid to bomb us into surrender had another startling effect

    …Gerald Dougherty was an ambulance and Light Rescue worker with vivid memories of the first day of the Blitz. Having spent the afternoon at a concert in Central London, he emerged to a fiery scarlet sky and the sound of aeroplanes and anti-aircraft fire overhead. He immediately headed for the nearby Fitzroy Tavern in Soho, a pub known as a gay meeting place. ‘I thought, I may die tonight. I’m going to see what it’s like,’ he said. Gerald left the pub with another man and they ran through Soho, dodging shrapnel as it sparked on pavements. Reaching Charing Cross Station, they found there were no trains running, so climbed into the first-class compartment of a stationary carriage. ‘It was most exciting, with the bombs dropping and the glass shattering,’ he recalled many years later. ‘I thought, this is the way to spend the first night of the Blitz — in the arms of a barrow boy in a railway carriage.’

    In the Armed Forces, too, homosexuality seems to have been unofficially tolerated. A Mass Observation correspondent in the Royal Army Medical Corps said it was well known that sexual activity was taking place in barrack room beds — the participants were admitting it freely. The Corps’ recruits, he reported, came from all walks of life. Some were already ‘well versed in these [homosexual] arts, while the majority had no other outlet for their sexual frustration’. He added that a number of men ‘are definitely treated as females by the others’. These men sometimes wore make-up, were known by female names and spoke often about the officers and NCOs who liked to ‘utilise their services’.

    Although homosexuality would be illegal in England for another quarter of a century, the arrest of gay men was no longer a police priority. The fact that public attention was focused elsewhere allowed homosexuality to become more visible than it had ever been — or would be for many years in the future. …

    Read more: <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  • 183. VIRick  |  July 18, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Per "Equality Case Files:"

    In "McGee v. Cole," the West Virginia marriage suit, on 17 July 2015, the state of West Virginia has been ordered to pay $99,804.64 in attorney fees and costs. The plaintiffs had requested $342,576.25 in attorney fees. The Court reduced the hours to 1/3 of those requested, and reduced the hourly rate for the non-local attorneys, thus granting $92,125. The Court awarded the full $7,679.64 requested costs.

    Further, the Court determined that the county officials who were sued in their official capacities were "acting as state agents, rather than county officials, at the time of Plaintiffs’ injuries. Accordingly, they are considered state officials for the purposes" of this suit. As such, the state will be responsible for paying the full amount of the award.

  • 184. ianbirmingham  |  July 19, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Christian bakers who refused to make lesbian couple a wedding cake are given record $370,000 by online supporters – double the amount they were fined in court

    * Melissa and Aaron Klein, of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon, raised $372,000 on faith-based crowd source platform Continue To Give
    * The site's founder said it is the most money raised for an individual fundraiser in it's three-year history
    * The Kleins were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages to Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer last month
    * They were found to have discriminated against the lesbian couple by refusing to make them a wedding cake in January 2013
    * The couple had already raised $109,000 on GoFundMe before the site shut down their page

    Read more:

  • 185. DJSNOLA  |  July 19, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Honestly, Who cares if they raised some money… the movement cant continue to fund all these bigots like this.

  • 186. guitaristbl  |  July 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Great now they can pay the fine for breaking the law and future fines to come and the couple can donate all these money to an LGBT charity. Keep the cash flowing bigots they are put to good use I assure you.

  • 187. RemC  |  July 19, 2015 at 7:03 am

    AP Poll finds majority of Americans disapprove of Supreme Court ruling on ME and that so-called religious freedom bills trump gay rights to services. Sound kinda skewered to me…What y'all think?

  • 188. JayJonson  |  July 19, 2015 at 7:38 am

    I think it is seriously skewered. The AP poll has traditionally been less positive than the other polls. In April, the AP poll had a 48-44 split, which was much lower than any other national poll. I think there are serious problems with their polling.

    The most recent Gallup poll shows 58% in favor of same-sex marriage and the Supreme Court ruling, down 2% (but still within the margin of error) from its previous finding of 60% in favor of same-sex marriage. I trust Gallup on this issue.

  • 189. DJSNOLA  |  July 19, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Yeah ignore that poll its a complete outlier.

  • 190. guitaristbl  |  July 19, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Even if its accurate who cares ? This is not a publicity contest, its civil rights we are talking about.

  • 191. RemC  |  July 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I don't think it's accurate and I agree we're not dealing with a publicity or popularity contest. I was irked by it, even as I was bemused by it, especially as I imagined the Moores and Starnes and Browns of the world latching on to it and using it as another distraction in their losing battles, since they have so little else to go on. They grab hold of something that validates their world view and keep a firm grip on it way past its expiration date.

    Speaking of which, I haven't heard too much from Brown recently…Still recuperating from June 26th, perhaps?

  • 192. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 19, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    From the SCOTUS decision in 1967 in the 'Loving' case, it took until 1990 before polls found that 50% or more of Americans approved.

    We are talking less than a month versus 23 years.

  • 193. ianbirmingham  |  July 19, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Being Gay And Muslim In France – 2015-07-18

    To live their sexual orientation without exclusion, gay Muslims [in France] often do not tell their whole family about their homosexuality — which make them feel "schizophrenic," says Karim, 35, whose parents are from Morocco. "For my parents, I am a straight man ready to marry to a Muslim woman," he says. "In reality, I live with a man, and the woman I am supposed to marry is a lesbian. I chose her to be the mother of my child." After arriving in France, Adil never thought that he would find the same homophobic attitudes and insults as in his native country. "I've been bullied as much here as in my country. At work, some Muslims knew I was gay and asked me to quit my job. …

    According to Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, the Algerian-born imam and anthropologist who founded HM2F [Homosexual Muslims of France Association], this feeling of guilt is part of the process of Arab-Muslim communities rewriting their history and identity by blaming and ignoring gay people. "They deny their existence, pretending that they come from the West," says Zahed, whose book Le Coran et la chair ("The Koran and the Flesh") was published in 2012.

    The first French Muslim man legally married to a man, Zahed carefully cites all of the scientific and historical evidence from researchers concerning Islam's inherent tolerance and appreciation of gay people, in particular during the time of the prophet Muhammad. Zahed's works highlight the existence of the Mukhanathuns — men with a feminine appearance whom he says the Prophet defended and welcomed in his home among his wife and family. "All of the Muslims forget that patriarchal and macho values emerged because of the colonization and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire," he says.

    Read more:

  • 194. DJSNOLA  |  July 19, 2015 at 8:41 am

    This is interesting topic because until recently the muslim world was much more tolerant of LGBTs than the Christian west. Colonial times is when that changed and the british imposed their values at the time on locals.

  • 195. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 19, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Muslims have been much more tolerant of others, especially the (so-called) Xian West until recently.

    When the Jews were kicked out of Spain and Portugal in 1492, they found refuge in Istanbul in the Ottoman Turk (Muslim) Empire. Even the Vatican didn't extend any hospitality to the Jews until forced to do so.

    It was only because the Brits promised things to Muslims, then backed off on those promises, then made similar promises to the Jews and kept their promises, in the late 1900s/early 2000s did the Muslims begin to really dislike, then HATE the Jews.

    And the (Catholic, thus Xian) French and Italians do not have clean hands either. The French held Syria and Indochina areas have not been exactly free of conflict (in the past or current time frames). And the Southern part of Somalia (and Libya) were former Italian 'colonies'. It is in Southern Somalia that Al-Shabaab is located.

  • 196. A_Jayne  |  July 19, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Sounds like what Scott Lively, et al are doing now in parts of Africa…

  • 197. JayJonson  |  July 19, 2015 at 8:02 am

    RE RemC's post above about the AP poll showing a drop in support for same-sex marriage following the SCOTUS decision: the far more reliable Gallup poll shows that support for same-sex marriage is stable: see the story at LGBT Nation (for some reason I am unable to copy the link).

  • 198. tx64jm  |  July 19, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    While support grows for states to ignore federal court decisions…

    "Following last week’s controversial U.S. Supreme Court rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage, voters believe more strongly that individual states should have the right to turn their backs on the federal courts.

    "Most voters have long believed that the Supreme Court justices have their own political agenda, and they still tend to feel that that agenda is more liberal than conservative.

    "A plurality (47%) of voters continues to believe the federal government has too much influence over state governments, and 54% think states should have the right to opt out of federal government programs that they don’t agree with. Even more (61%) think states should have the right to opt out of federally mandated programs if the federal government doesn’t help pay for them.

    "The Declaration of Independence, the foundational document that Americans honor on the Fourth of July, says that governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed, but just 25% believe that to be true of the federal government today."

  • 199. bayareajohn  |  July 19, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Seems the most likely states to think they should be able to ignore the Fed are the same ones getting disproportionately large federal funding compared to their contribution.

  • 200. VIRick  |  July 19, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    And perhaps the best example of this blind obfuscation, while grabbing ahold of every possible fed dollar they can, is Eastern Kentucky, where over 70% of the entire population is on some form of federal assistance.

  • 201. Mike_Baltimore  |  July 19, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Rasmussen is well known to be the pollster of choice for the GOTP, and for CONs, since Rasmussen is one of the most CONservative of CONs.

    Compare Rasmussen's poll numbers with all others, not for just one election, but for several. His poll numbers are almost always among the most inaccurate. A Fordham University study by Dr. Costas Panagopoulos compared pre-election 2012 polling with the results from election day. The study ranked Rasmussen Reports 24th out of 28 polls in accuracy. An analysis by Nate Silver on FiveThirtyEight ranked Rasmussen 20th out of 23 pollsters for accuracy in the 2012 elections with an average error of 4.2 points. After the election, James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "Some conservative media outlets used the Rasmussen polling to prop up a narrative in the final days of the campaign that Romney had momentum and a good chance of winning the White House."

    And most people who follow polls do NOT rely on a single poll by a single pollster, but rely on many pollsters and/or the results over an extended period of time when relying on a single polling firm.

  • 202. tx64jm  |  July 20, 2015 at 3:21 am

    The same fivethirtyeight also had this to say about Gallup:

    "It was one of the best-known polling firms, however, that had among the worst results. In late October, Gallup consistently showed Mr. Romney ahead by about six percentage points among likely voters, far different from the average of other surveys. Gallup’s final poll of the election, which had Mr. Romney up by one point, was slightly better, but still identified the wrong winner in the election. Gallup has now had three poor elections in a row. In 2008, their polls overestimated Mr. Obama’s performance, while in 2010, they overestimated how well Republicans would do in the race for the United States House."

  • 203. RemC  |  July 20, 2015 at 5:08 am

    Thanks, Jay. Let me be clear that my intention in posting the news about the AP poll was merely to bring it to the attention of the group. I wasn't alarmed or concerned about it; I truly thought it was biased, given everything else we've read and known about the rising support for the issue in this country. Even in the irrational states, there haven't been any reports of the birds dropping from the sky or people having public sex in the streets by the hundreds or straight couples refusing to get married. It's no more than a blip in most people's lives—except for those who, for whatever sad internal reasons—feel compelled to make other people's lives their business.

  • 204. 1grod  |  July 19, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Jay: from Gallup itself –… G

  • 205. 1grod  |  July 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Don't believe this AL report got posted. Let it remind probate judges of real $ costs of their obstinance. Paid by county or by state as judges are refusing to carrying out ministerial duties?

  • 206. 1grod  |  July 19, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Big coming week in Alabama. Come Thursday the 25 days since Obergefell will have passed. Some have speculated that state Supreme Court will intervene, despite the AG and Governor being clear that Obergefell is the law of the land. Will they vacate the temporary injunction issued in March or make it permanent? . Last week Roy Moore acted on the Searcy's adoption case by appointing a judge, and in another case adoption, a different state court granted one to a same sex couple. What's your guess State or Feds issue a permanent judgement, or neither. My guess is neither. I think Judge Granade is blocked because of an appeal to the 11th circuit of her July 1 decision to implement the temporary injunction, including naming all-issuing- licenses judges as defendants, I think the State Supreme Court is blocked by paramountcy of the USA Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell but will stall announcing it being vacated. Only 10% of citizens reside in counties not issuing licenses.

  • 207. ianbirmingham  |  July 19, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    It's now beyond dispute that Alabama will be the last state to fully comply with Obergefell. Only the details remain to be finalized. We should be glad that there haven't been any bigot rallies like the one South Carolina just had…

  • 208. DeadHead  |  July 20, 2015 at 3:00 am

    “And there is no law “higher” than that on which the Supreme Court has ruled. Article III of the Constitution is explicit: “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” Judicial power “extend[s] to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution,” and “the laws of the United States.” The avowedly secular Founding Fathers would not, in any case, have recognized the term “higher law” (meaning “divinely ordained”) as Buchanan uses it. They founded a republic in which the government derives its power “from the consent of the governed,” not from some purported deity. Our gloriously secular Constitution makes no mention of God, let alone Christianity. If you’re in doubt, search for yourself.

    It’s time we recognized “civil disobedience” against same-sex marriage for what it is: mean-spirited bullying, an attempt to forcibly impose vicious old superstitious notions of right and wrong on people wanting to do nothing more than enjoy the equality before the law provided for in the Constitution. No matter what Jesus said, the “kingdom” of these reactionary zealots is very much “of this world;” they aim not merely to practice their religion as protected by the First Amendment, but to coerce others into living by its bizarre dictates.”

    Put away your Bible, Justice: The new “religious freedom” arguments are neither. The faithful want to follow a "higher law" than the Supreme Court. Even some justices. Here's why they're wrong read more at

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