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Posts Tagged ‘same-sex marriage

UKIP suspends councillor who blames floods on gay marriage

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bigots

UKIP has suspended an Oxfordshire councillor after he blamed recent flooding on the government’s decision to legalise gay marriage.

In a letter to his local paper, David Silvester said he had warned the PM the legislation would result in “disaster”.

He said David Cameron had acted “arrogantly against the Gospel”…

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he was entitled to his “strong Baptist view of the world”, but had defied a request not to do further media interviews.

Mr Farage said: “So we suspended him, quite rightly.”

“He’s not a spokesman for the party,” Mr Farage continued, adding: “I’ve never even met him.”

Conservative Business Minister Michael Fallon said UKIP was “the only big protest party at the moment” and still counted “one or two fruitcakes” among its members…

Mr Silvester, from Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, defected to UKIP from the Conservatives in protest at David Cameron’s support for same-sex unions.

In the letter to the Henley Standard he wrote: “The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.”

He added: “I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same-sex marriage bill.

Mr. Silvester should probably emigrate to the Confederate wing of the former colonies where he could join the range of nutballs that infest the Republican Party under the Tea Party umbrella. The family values hypocrites, the constitutionalist hypocrites, libertarian hypocrites or straight-up bigot hypocrites would welcome him with open arms.

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Written by Ed Campbell

January 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm

US recognizes Utah gay marriages despite official state bigotry

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Utah tried civil rights for a week or two – and turned their backs on love

The Obama administration on Friday made the latest contribution to a fast moving legal battle over same-sex marriage rights, as the Justice Department said that the federal government would recognize as lawful the marriages of some 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah even though the state government is largely refusing to do so…

“I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in an unusual video announcement on the Justice Department website. “These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds…”

On Wednesday, Gov. Gary R. Herbert announced that the ban, an amendment to the Utah Constitution, was back in legal force while the litigation continued, something that could take years. During that time, he said, the state would not recognize or confer new marital benefits to those same-sex couples who had married.

But with Friday’s announcement, same-sex couples in Utah who married will be able to file joint federal income tax returns and will be eligible for other spousal benefits, like health insurance for the families of federal employees and the ability to sponsor a noncitizen spouse for a family visa…

In Utah, gay couples and supporters of same-sex marriage cheered the federal government’s move. Many were disappointed and angered by the state’s decision not to recognize their new marriages, and have argued that, despite the continuing legal battle, their nuptials are just as valid as any other in Utah.

“It feels like a little victory after the last couple days with our governor,” said Austin Vance, who married his partner last month at the Salt Lake County clerk’s office, with hundreds of other gay couples. “It definitely raises spirits a little bit. It was disturbing that our governor would make those assertions that we wouldn’t be recognized.”

“We’re going to continue to file and act as if we’re married,” he added. “Some people have said that’s an act of civil disobedience. If it is, so be it…”

Sooner or later, Utah – like other backward states – will have to move into the 21st Century. They may not wish to recognize science trumping superstition, reality taking precedence over bigots and know-nothings. But, so far, our Constitution is still recognized as giving superior rule by law for our federal Union over States Rights and the hypocrites that invoke them whenever convenient to their need to have some Americans declared second-class citizens.

Written by Ed Campbell

January 10, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Same-sex marriage ruled constitutional by the NM Supreme Court

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“We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law” – Justice Chavez, New Mexico Supreme Court, December 19, 2013

This news just broke: The New Mexico Supreme Court affirms that our state constitution affirms the right to marry for same-sex couples!

Every progressive organization in New Mexico, everyone who fights for constitutional protection, economic freedom and protections under the law for every citizen in New Mexico is out on the streets celebrating. My emailbox is filled with folks who worked to press this case. The chimes of freedom ring throughout New Mexico even if the churches of official New Mexico are silent.

Folks who support freedom in New Mexico are fortunate in that many of our elected officials supported this struggle. With the exception of the sole Republican in New Mexico’s delegation to Congress support has been solid. Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham will be at celebrations throughout the state tonight. They’re posting congratulations at various social media sites and I for one will be spending a bit of time, this afternoon, wending my way through to “liking” each one of them.

Here’s a link to the official proclamation from the State Supreme Court.

Written by Ed Campbell

December 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Same-sex weddings in the UK begin in March

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The first same-sex weddings in England and Wales will be able to take place from 29 March 2014, Equalities Minister Maria Miller says.

Initially it was thought the first marriages would not take place until next summer…

The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaderships all backed the proposals. [Try that one in Congress]

MPs approved the principle of same-sex marriage despite opposition from many Conservatives, which caused tensions in the party. Most Lib Dem and Labour MPs supported the move…

Ms Miller said: “Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from 29 March 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex.”

She said it was “just another step in the evolution of marriage“.

And she said she was “working hard” to ensure that couples who wanted to convert civil partnerships into marriages – and married people wanting to change their legal gender while remaining married – would be able to do so before the end of next year.

From June, people will also be able to take part in same-sex weddings in some British consulates and armed forces bases overseas or in military chapels.

Going to be lots of happy couples in the UK starting with the end of March. No, that doesn’t include the opposition who, of course, don’t believe in everyone having a right to fall in love and enjoy the rights of citizenship.

So what? On sum, I’m confident the increase in happy folks outweighs unhappy homophobes.

Written by Ed Campbell

December 11, 2013 at 2:00 am

Gay teacher fired from Catholic school — Did you think the new pope changed old bigots?

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Vincent Giannetto and his partner Michael Griffin

A gay teacher says he was fired from his job at a suburban Philadelphia Catholic school after applying for a marriage license with his partner.

Officials at Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem said Michael Griffin, who taught Spanish and French at the private all-boys school until he was fired Friday, had violated his contract when he applied for a marriage license with his same-sex partner in New Jersey.

Today I applied for a marriage license since NJ now has marriage equality,” Griffin posted on his Facebook page. “After 12 years together I was excited to finally be able to marry my partner. Because of that, I was fired from Holy Ghost Preparatory School today. I am an alumnus of the school and have taught there for 12 years. I feel hurt, saddened, betrayed and except for this post, am at a loss for words.”

Griffin said he had sent an email to school administrators informing them of his intentions, not expecting to be terminated given that his relationship had not been a secret among school faculty and staff, WCAU-TV, Philadelphia, reported.

“I’ve been with my partner for more than 12 years, the entire time I’ve been teaching at the school,” Griffin told the TV station. “He’s been to numerous school functions with me…”

The Rev.James McCloskey, the school’s headmaster, confirmed in a statement that Griffin was fired over his application for a same-sex marriage license…”…this decision contradicts the terms of his teaching contract at our school, which requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the church as a condition of their employment.

Of course, if state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, had the courage to follow our Constitution, they would support the rule that contracts that violate state and federal law aren’t legal and binding.

The crap “tradition” defense is as useless as any other line of bull from bigots. Cripes, I recall passage of the Civil Rights Law freeing up the trade union I belonged to at the time. The national union constitution only allowed the president to be white and male.

Republicans on the Supreme Court are as beholden to the “higher power” of bigotry as today’s Roman Catholic church. Mail me a penny postcard when justice unexpectedly breaks out.

Written by Ed Campbell

December 10, 2013 at 8:00 am

Illinois is Sweet 16

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It’s official: Illinois on Wednesday joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing same-sex marriage.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, accompanied by state Rep. Greg Harris, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and several other dignitaries, signed into law a measure allowing gay couples to begin marrying on June 1. “It’s a triumph of democracy, a triumph of government by the people,” said the governor, shortly before signing. “We want to have a new birth of freedom across America, and love is not relegated to second-class citizen status.”

The historic nature of Wednesday’s ceremony was underscored by the desk Quinn used to sign the legislation, which once belonged to another Prairie State lawmaker: Abraham Lincoln. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Lincoln used the desk to pen his first inaugural address, delivered on March 4, 1861.

Thousands flooded the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum to watch the signing ceremony, which came two weeks after the legislature passed SB10, also known as the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Quinn legalized civil union legislation in 2011 and announced his support for full marriage equality a year later.

Since January, the LGBT movement has seen unprecedented gains, including two U.S. Supreme Court rulings strengthening same-sex unions, a Senate vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and the addition of seven states (including Illinois) to the U.S.’s marriage equality column. Hawaii legalized same-sex marriage just last week…

One of the most special moments of the ceremony came when Jim Darby, a Korean War veteran, and his partner, Patrick Bova, shared a kiss on stage.

“We’ve been together for over 50 years,” said Bova to thunderous applause. “I can remember so many times when I was celebrating families’ and friends’ anniversaries, and thinking how wonderful it would be to celebrate my marriage to Jim. Finally, that day has come.”

Regardless of imprecations from leading True Believers, the Earth did not falter on its axis nor did Satan rise from the cleft soil of Illinois to strike humankind dead.

Written by Ed Campbell

November 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Catholic Bishop leads conservative freak-out. Plans exorcism while Illinois governor signs law affirming same-sex civil rights

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A Catholic bishop in Illinois said…he was planning prayers of “supplication and exorcism” to protest the state governor’s plan to sign same-sex marriage into law.

Next week, Illinois will become the 16th U.S. state to extend marriage rights to gay couples, following Hawaii, whose governor signed it into law on Wednesday. The Illinois law will take effect on June 1, 2014.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, the state’s capital, said that those who contract civil same-sex marriages are culpable of “serious sin.” He planned the service to coincide with the signing of the legislation by Governor Pat Quinn on Wednesday.

Without naming names, Paprocki criticized Catholic politicians for their support of the measure…

Both Quinn and powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan are Catholic Democrats. Speaking in support of the legislation in Springfield last week, Madigan quoted Pope Francis, who asked “Who am I to judge?” regarding gay clergy.

Quinn had no immediate comment on the planned exorcism, which will be held at Springfield’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Paprocki made news before the 2012 presidential election by warning his flock in a letter of the “intrinsic evils” of the Democratic platform’s support of abortion and same-sex marriage, and that to vote for someone who promotes such actions is to risk your soul.

The funniest thing is that many polls find Catholic voters tend to support gay marriage a wee bit more than other denominations. Maybe their lifetime of experience with leaders who are hypocrites better equip them to deal with the follies of our nation’s fear of progress.

We’re all witnessing campaigns around the United States from sects of conservative Catholics who are upset that the Pope is querying members of the church for their opinions on matters like equal rights for women, civil rights for LGBT folks, all that far-out democracy kind of stuff.

There actually are Tea Party nutballs who say – gasp – the Pope may be a Liberal.

Written by Ed Campbell

November 16, 2013 at 8:00 am

Native American tribes ignore Oklahoma ban on gay marriage

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Two gay men are getting married under Native American tribal law in Oklahoma, apparently circumventing a state law that does not allow same-sex unions.

Activists said the marriage advances the cause of gay rights in a state that has blocked federal benefits for same-sex military couples in the past.

Jason Pickel, 36, and Darren Black Bear, 45, who have been together for more than eight years, were planning a trip to Iowa to get married. But they changed their minds when the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes allowed them to pick up a marriage license on Friday in the tribes’ courthouse after the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down, Pickel told Al Jazeera.

“I proposed to Darren several years ago, and we were planning an elaborate wedding,” he said. “Now,” he added, “we decided the time was right. I’m so happy; it’s just amazing.”

Lisa Liebl, the tribes’ public relations officer, told Al Jazeera in an email, “This is the 3rd same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.”

According to their legal code, the candidates should be married on sovereign land and one should be a member of the tribes, but a marriage license should not specify a couple’s gender. The code reflects the respect enshrined in some Native American communities for gay individuals, who are often believed to be endowed with special spiritual gifts…

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Written by Ed Campbell

October 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Gay marriage a reality in New Jersey – Republican governor surrenders as state Supreme Court backs civil rights

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Beth Asaro and Joanne Schailey celebrate, first same-sex couple married in NJ

Gov. Chris Christie dropped his legal challenge to same-sex marriages on Monday, removing the possibility that the vows of couples who began getting married hours earlier could be undone by a court.

New Jersey became the 14th state to allow gay marriages Monday, three days after the state Supreme Court unanimously rejected Christie’s request to delay the start of the nuptials…

…The announcement came from a Republican governor who is a possible 2016 presidential candidate and has for years opposed gay marriage while supporting the state’s previous civil union law.

It was met with jubilation from gay rights advocates including Steven Goldstein, the founder and former leader of Garden State Equality, who asked “How much happiness can I stand..?”

The decision caught some by surprise, but not Larry Lustberg, one of the lawyers on the case on behalf of gay couples and Garden State Equality. “The handwriting was on the wall as clearly as it could possibly be. The governor had always said he would fight this all the way up to the Supreme Court, but he didn’t say he was going to fight it in the Supreme Court twice,” he said in a conference call. “This was inevitable.”

The letter detailing Christie’s decision, from the Acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman to the Supreme Court, was just two sentences and didn’t get into detail…

Last year, the state Legislature passed a law to allow gay marriage and deal with those issues, but Christie vetoed it.

And at 12:01 a.m., couples in a handful of communities wed.

In Newark, Mayor Cory Booker, in one of his last acts before joining the U.S. Senate in coming weeks, led a ceremony for seven gay couples and two heterosexual couples.

“Tonight we have crossed a barrier, and now, while you all have fallen into love, I want to say that the truth is, that the state of New Jersey has risen to love,” he said. “This state now is resonant now with the core values of our county, with the idea that there is no second class citizenship in America, that we’re all equal under the law.”

Like pretty much every case involving civil rights in America – long overdue.

Christie deserves little credit for recognizing the foolishness of continuing the suppression of equal opportunity for folks in the LGBT community. He recognizes the need to behave like a moderate if he ever intends to attract independent votes in a national campaign – like for president. He recognizes that living in one of the literate, educated, modern enclaves within the United States – instead of neo-Confederate backwardness – he needed to act like someone with a reasonable understanding of constitutional law.

Even though he stands damned near alone among potential candidates on the national stage of Republican office-holders.

Written by Ed Campbell

October 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Judge rules New Jersey must allow same-sex marriage

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A New Jersey judge ruled on Friday that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry, finding that failing to do so deprives them of rights that are now guaranteed by the federal government following a ruling by the Supreme Court in June.

It is the first time a court has struck down a state ban on same-sex marriage as a direct result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, and it comes as Gov. Chris Christie continues to oppose allowing gay marriage in the state. His administration may appeal.

“The ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits is currently harming same-sex couples in New Jersey in a wide range of contexts,” wrote the judge, Mary C. Jacobson of State Superior Court in Mercer County. “Same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in order to obtain equal protection of the law under the New Jersey Constitution.”

For instance, Judge Jacobson wrote, civil union partners who are federal employees living in the state are not eligible for benefits stipulated in the federal pension system.

Couples in civil unions also may not enjoy the same federal tax benefits as married couples or the protections of the Family Medical Leave Act, she wrote…

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Written by Ed Campbell

September 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

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