07/22/2014

Anti-Gay Activist John Stemberger Says Fight Against Same-Sex Marriage Is 'Worth Dying For': VIDEO

Stemberger

John Stemberger, President of Florida Family Policy Council, has said that the fight against same-sex marriage “is an issue worth dying for," reports The Miami Herald.

Stemberger led the 2008 campaign to ban same-sex marriage in the state and spearheaded Trail Life USA as a direct response to the 2013 decision to allow gay youth to join the scouts.

His comments follow Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis M. Garcia’s decision to strike down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage last week.

However, Stemberger said that “every domestic partnership, every single civil union, every couple that cohabitates, these arrangements dilute and devalue marriage.”

Watch Manatee and Sarasota residents give their reactions to Garcia's ruling, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Activist John Stemberger Says Fight Against Same-Sex Marriage Is 'Worth Dying For': VIDEO"

Posted Jul. 22,2014 at 12:10 PM EST by in Florida, Gay Marriage, Gay Marriage Quotes, John Stemberger, News, News Clips, Trail Life, Video, YouTube | Permalink | Comments (32)


The Most Dangerous Line in the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling

AlitoBY ARI EZRA WALDMAN

The most dangerous line in the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby doesn’t come until page 46. It reads as follows:

The principal dissent raises the possibility that discrimination in hiring, for example on the basis of race, might be cloaked as religious practice to escape legal sanction. Our decision today provides no such shield. The Government has a compelling interest in providing an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce without regard to race, and prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to achieve that critical goal.

That doesn’t sound too bad; indeed, it is probably one of the few statements in Justice Alito’s opinion that many of us would endorse.

Its danger, particularly to the LGBT community, rests in what is not said.

As we have discussed at length, Hobby Lobby allowed a family-run, for-profit arts and crafts company to deny its female employees access to certain contraception simply because that contraception violates the religious beliefs of the company owners.

GinsburgJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent cautioned that the Court was opening a door to allow anyone to use the pretext of religion to opt out of antidiscrimination or public accommodations laws. Justice Alito’s response was to deny the charge, arguing that where the government has a compelling interest in preventing discrimination, as it does in preventing discrimination on the basis of race, the Hobby Lobby exemption would not succeed.

But what happens when the government does not have that “compelling interest”?

Justice Alito chose a convenient example to respond to Justice Ginsburg’s concern. Most people agree that discrimination on the basis of race is not just bad, but absolutely anathematic to our constitutional tradition. But no one in the Court’s five-justice conservative majority has ever said that the state has a compelling interest to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Even Justice Kennedy, the author of the Supreme Court’s three gay rights decisions, has carefully declined to declare that antigay discrimination merits heightened scrutiny or that the government has a compelling interest to permit gays to marry. We might believe that the same compelling interest that gives the state the power to prevent discrimination on the basis of race gives the state the same power to prevent discrimination on another status that has nothing to do with an individual’s ability to contribute to society—namely, sexual orientation or gender identity. But there are many judges out there who are not yet there. Congress isn’t even there yet.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Most Dangerous Line in the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling"

Posted Jul. 22,2014 at 11:45 AM EST by in Ari Ezra Waldman, Discrimination, Law - Gay, LGBT, News, Religion, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito | Permalink | Comments (6)


Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens Moves To Dismiss Challenge To Same-Sex Marriage

Sam olens georgia

Georgia attorney general Sam Olens has asked a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, reports ABC News.

Olens said in a July 21st filing that Lambda Legal’s lawsuit takes away Georgia residents’ right to define marriage.

In 2004, Georgia voters supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Despite a later challenge, the state Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the vote was valid.

While acknowledging moves in other states to legalize same-sex marriage, Olen’s brief states that “judicially imposing such a result now would merely wrest a potentially unifying popular victory from the hands of supporters and replace it instead with the stale conformity of compulsion.”

Olens also argued that recent decisions striking down constitutional bans in other states should not apply to Georgia because the state's marriage laws do not imply a right to marry someone of the same sex.

According to Beth Littrell, a senior attorney for Lambda Legal and co-counsel on the case, "this is a strong indication the attorney general plans on defending the marriage ban regardless of the precedent lining up against him that the federal Constitution provides to all citizens the right to marry the person they love.”

In April, Art Gardner, one of seven Republicans running for retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss's U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, announced his support for Lambda Legal's suit and asked Olens to not fight the suit.

Posted Jul. 22,2014 at 11:20 AM EST by in Gay Marriage, Gay Marriage Quotes, Georgia, Law - Gay, LGBT, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (11)


Final Fantasy XIV Gamers Hold Virtual 'Pixel Pride' Parade: VIDEO

Final-Fantasy-14-a-realm-reborn

The digital denizens of of Final Fantasy XIV’s Eorzrea gathered last weekend to celebrate Square Enix’s decision to finally allow avatars of the same sex to marry each other with a virtual pride parade. The inclusion of LGBT marriage comes as the latest in a long line of revisions made to the fourteenth entrant into the Final Fantasy franchise. Initially released in 2010, Final Fantasy XIV was met with widespread disappointment from fans.

Problems ranging from convoluted menu systems to clunky controls to effectively useless non-playable characters drew so much criticism that Square Enix owned up to its mistakes and made the decision to relaunch the game last summer as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. It was a much better game.

As more and more new mechanics were added to the game to enhance gameplay, Square Enix created a forum to get more direct feedback from players. Amongst the hundreds of suggested tweaks to the game was the option for players to create characters that were queer-identified. Statistics surrounding the number of LGBT gamers are few and far between but a survey conducted in 2007 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign concluded that gay gamers made up about 23% of the gaming population and preferred RPG games like Final Fantasy.

"People within Eorzea will be able to pledge their eternal love and or friendship in a ceremony of eternal bonding.” Game director Naoki Yoshida announced at this year’s E3. [T]his will be open to people regardless of race, creed, and gender. Two players...if they want to be together, in Eorzea, they can-through this eternal bonding ceremony."

The pride parade was organized by the Rough Trade Gaming Community, a group of LGBT gamers with significant presences in a number of popular massively multiplayer online (MMO) games.

Watch video of the digital pride parade AFTER THE JUMP...

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Posted Jul. 22,2014 at 10:55 AM EST by in Gay Pride, Japan, Video Games | Permalink | Comments (2)


Sam Smith's Gorgeous 'I'm Not the Only One' is His Next Single: LISTEN

S_smith

We previewed this track back in June but this week Sam Smith announced that it would be his next single.

Let "I'm Not The Only One" inject some soul into your Tuesday, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Posted Jul. 22,2014 at 10:30 AM EST by in Music, News, Sam Smith | Permalink | Comments (8)


Gay Marriage News Watch: Updates from FL, OK, UT, CO, WI, IN, AR, and GA

Baume

AFER's Matt Baume fills us in on this week's marriage news, which includes a new ruling for equality in Florida, a second victory in Oklahoma, the Supreme Court's stay of recognition of Utah marriages, a stay for some counties in Colorado but not others, the DOJ's announcement that they'll defend marriage equality at SCOTUS, the 7th Circuit's schedule on Wisconsin and Indiana, and last week's brief filings in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Marriage News Watch: Updates from FL, OK, UT, CO, WI, IN, AR, and GA"

Posted Jul. 22,2014 at 10:01 AM EST by in Gay Marriage, News | Permalink | Comments (1)


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