Judge reverses order to take baby from lesbian couple — will obey the law


Republican governor tells judge to follow the law

A Utah judge has reversed his decision to take a baby away from her lesbian foster parents and place her with a heterosexual couple, after the initial ruling led to widespread backlash.

Judge Scott Johansen signed an order, which was released Friday, that will allow the 9-month-old baby to stay with April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce, a married couple who live in the city of Price.

Johansen had said in court Tuesday that the baby would be removed from the couple’s home. Utah officials and the couple filed court challenges demanding the judge rescind the order.

In his first decision, Johansen cited [crap] research that allegedly showed children do better when raised by heterosexual families. However, the American Psychological Association has said there is no scientific basis to the belief that same-sex couples are unfit parents based on sexual orientation…

Hoagland and Peirce are among a number of same-sex married couples who were allowed to become foster parents in Utah after last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal across the country. State officials don’t keep an exact count, but estimate there are a dozen or more foster parents who are married same-sex couples.

The move to take the baby away generated widespread criticism, including from national gay rights groups and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert…Herbert said Thursday that Johansen should follow the law and not inject his personal beliefs into the decision.

Groups including the Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union called the order shocking, outrageous and unjust.

Life might also be more just for the whole nation if bigots and reactionaries got around to obeying laws instead of circumventing progress and imposing their petty ideology on others. BTW, I include phony libertarians and papier mache conservatives in that clot of ignorance, selfishness and egregious anarchy.

At least federal judges are willing to serve the public good in Kentucky

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April Miller and Karen Roberts

A county clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds was held in contempt of court by a U.S. federal judge on Thursday and sent to jail.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was led away by U.S. marshals who confirmed she was under arrest.

“The court doesn’t do this lightly,” District Court Judge David Bunning said in ordering that she be taken into custody.

Bunning also said his earlier injunction ordering Davis to issue marriage licenses applied to everyone and not just the four couples whose suit in July had accused Davis of not doing her job.

Davis has refused to issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution, citing her Christian beliefs.

Before and during the hearing, about 200 demonstrators on both sides of the issue gathered outside the courthouse, some chanting slogans and many holding signs. As word of the ruling emerged, supporters of same-sex marriage erupted in cheers.

Davis’ seven deputies still face their own reckoning as Bunning assigned each of them attorneys and said their fate would be determined at a 1:45 pm EDT hearing, warning them they could face fines or jail…

The hearing in Ashland, Kentucky, lasted just over two hours. Crying at times, Davis maintained that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman and she was unable to recognize same-sex marriages…

Also testifying was April Miller, who along with her partner Karen Jacobs had three times tried to get a marriage license from Davis’ office. They were one of four couples who sued Davis in July.

Throw away the key!

I have no sympathy for someone who runs for elective office and then refuses to obey the law of the land.

This is an individual who individually and as a member of her religion claims that violating the civil rights of other Americans is somehow godly. Just plain old-fashioned crap. The same lies used to hinder normal lives for people of color, of minority religions, of nationalities somehow unacceptable to this year’s favorite flavor of bigot.

She gets no sympathy from this jailbird who willingly entered cells in a half-dozen states because local law decided whether or not someone could go to school or sit down and have a crappy soft drink – based on the color of their skin.

I never expected to see anyone like Ms. Davis sitting-in alongside me. And never did. That’s not condemnation of all religious folk. You should know that, by now. Second-best time I ever had in a jail cell was discussing religious history with a Catholic priest busted in the same demonstration in Chicago.

She adds to the number of people who reject her kind of religious beliefs out-of-hand because of her denial of civil rights, civil liberties, for all Americans.

UPDATE: 5 of 6 deputy clerks say they will start issuing kicenses tomorrow. Davis wants to be released, then – but, the judge rightfully doesn’t trust her to keep from interfering. Not so incidentally, the one deputy who wouldn’t obey the law is her son. Not enough she’s paid $80K/year – she puts her kin on the payroll, too.

Billy Graham’s son pulls his million$ from Wells Fargo over same-sex family advert

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham and president and CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, urged Christians to boycott Wells Fargo bank after the company featured an advertisement with a same-sex couple.

Graham, 62, said he was disturbed the bank was using shareholder’s money to run ads during a televised golf tournament that focused on a lesbian couple. He said he will be moving the association’s millions to Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T.

On the conservative Christian radio show “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” Graham said, “I’m not going to do business with a business promoting sin. As Christians, we don’t have to do business with Starbucks, with Nike, with Wells Fargo, with Tiffany’s that are promoting a gay lifestyle.”

The ad features two women learning sign language to meet their new daughter, who is presumably deaf. In response to Graham’s decision, BB&T said the bank “embraces diversity and inclusion for our associates and in all aspects of our business,” but has declined to take a formal position on gay rights. BB&T is a sponsor for the Miami Beach Gay Pride annual festival.

Graham manages millions of dollars in a tax-free front. Dollar$ he and his organization inherited from Daddy’s decades of telling fundamentalist Christians to send in your money. Presumably to do good.

Invading other nations ain’t a sin according to Graham – either generation – and his peers. Years of racist bigotry has never been a sin. Especially if you judge their righteousness by what they do with their lives and donor’s money.

I find no redeemable good in many religion hustlers. And that includes charities that do little more than provide high-dollar paychecks for folks who inherited a job.

As an American who enjoys the constitutional rights that haven’t yet been completely diminished by Congressional hypocrites and theocrats – I don’t have to do business with folks who are homophobes and bigots. I own enough shares in Wells Fargo to buy a pizza at dividend time. And, now, I can feel proud about that.

Hate group forgot to renew domain name — guess what happened?

When homophobic Pastor Randy Bryson of the Open Door Baptist Church in Easley, S.C. forgot to renew his hate group’s domain name, a gay rights activist swooped in to purchase it.

Bryson and his clan have a reputation in South Carolina for picketing gay-friendly events, college campuses, and gay rights rallies with signs damning “unclean” homosexuals to hell. They’re sort of like a slightly less crazy version of the Westboro Baptist Church…

Warningsofwrath.com used to direct people to the Open Door Baptist Church’s webpage. Now, thanks to one clever man, visitors of the website are redirected to a very, very NSFW hardcore gay XXX site called scaryfuckers.com that depicts videos of tattooed skinheads pounding each other from behind, engaging in cream pie orgies, and inserting icepicks into their urethras, among other things.

If you’re gonna pay to play – better get the rules straight.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Colorado Republican says government is cooperating with demonic spirits

Republican nutball

Republican Colorado state Rep. Gordon James Klingenschmitt accused the U.S. government of cooperating with demonic spirits this week after the Supreme Court refused to overturn a ban on so-called “cures” for homosexuality…

On his Monday Pray in Jesus Name broadcast, Klingenschmitt argued that Christian psychotherapists had been stripped of their “free speech rights” because they could no longer use reparative therapy…to heal the homosexual of the sinful addiction,” Klingenschmitt explained. “And yet, there is a demonic spirit inside of the addict that is controlling their voluntary choices or, at least, has contracted with them and is manifesting through them in this sinful addiction.”

“What the lower court judges are doing is they are cooperating with the demonic spirit inside of the homosexual addict, and those judges are now reinforcing the sin,” he insisted. “That’s what these bad judges have done.”

Reflect for a moment on the number of Looney Tunes-voters who showed up to elect a nutball like this. Even in the sort of low turnout elections today’s make-believe Republicans plan for and plot to control – no different from Boss Tweed or Mayor Daley in their own corrupt histories..

Jesse Helms bones are the foreign policy skeleton in the closet

What US elected officials are doing to reproductive rights in the US is outrageous, but at least we have some recourse as voters and advocates. What US elected officials are doing to the reproductive rights of women in developing countries – through foreign policy that exports our own abortion hang-ups – is reproductive colonialism.

The Helms Amendment was enacted in 1973 and bars US aid recipients from using funds for abortion services, even in countries where it is legal. However, funding can support abortion referrals and even the procedure itself in cases of rape and incest. But it rarely or never does.

The language of the policy is vague and confusing, prohibiting “abortion as a method of family planning” and the “motivation or coercion” of anyone to perform the procedure. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) (and one presidential administration after the next) has continually neglected to provide sufficient guidance on how to implement the policy.

This has left ample room for misinterpretation by aid recipients and USAID staff, which is further fostered by the US’ long history of politicising and stigmatising abortion combined with the undue power of a wealthy donor country. The result is that Helms is being implemented as if it were a total abortion ban.

Seeds of stigma and censorship have been sewn into already-struggling health systems of poor countries, hampering meagre efforts to address unwieldy maternal mortality rates. It is poor women who suffer, unable to access the safe, legal abortion services they deserve…

Reproductive rights groups have raised the alarm, continuing to push the Obama administration to issue clarifying guidelines. Last year, 12 members of US Congress publicly called on President Obama to even reviewthe policy – the first time it would have received such close attention in decades…

Ideally, the Helms Amendment should be repealed. It is archaic and over-reaching, a relic of paternalistic aid that we should have long moved beyond. It was authored by the late Republican Senator Jess Helms, a well-known racist and homophobe, and is shameful as global reproductive health legacy.

But barring repeal, at the very least the policy should be implemented properly. This is not about personal opinion on the morality of abortion, but rather the principles of good, fair and effective foreign policy. Abortion counselling and referral as well as services in cases of rape and incest should be fully funded, and USAID should take active steps to ensure everyone – grantees, employees and government officials – knows this is so.

In his second term, President Obama can lead the United States away from racist and anti-human policies established within our foreign policy by one of the worst bigots in the history of Congress. So far, he ain’t making a peep. So far, he has done little or nothing to counter the so-called gift of Christian guidance provided to poor women around the world.

Jessica Mack reminds us that decades of hatefilled ideology and just plain stupidity are cast into iron bars defining the policies of the American government. Some of these are more than a little fragile – not needing much more than a hammer blow from someone with courage and a fist to hold that hammer. Ain’t seen it happen, yet.

Welcome to 19th Century Oklahoma – judge denies name change because God decided DNA


No one told me we changed the American f;ag

An Oklahoma County judge is refusing to let men planning sex-change operations switch to feminine names.

District Judge Bill Graves has denied name changes in two such cases so far — last year and again in August. The judge ruled both times the requests were made for a fraudulent purpose.

“I wanted to give up and just die,” said James Dean Ingram, who asked to legally be known as Angela Renee Ingram but was turned down Aug. 30.

“It’s so important because it’s who I am. I can’t be who I am with a male name,” Ingram said.

The judge’s order in the first case is on appeal.

His position also has generated criticism of him at the courthouse.

Five other Oklahoma County judges who handle name change requests told The Oklahoman they routinely grant them in transgender cases…

…Graves wrote…“To grant a name change in this case would be to assist that which is fraudulent…It is notable that Genesis 1:27-28 states: ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth …’ The DNA code shows God meant for them to stay male and female…”

The judge in his 2011 order gave three specific reasons against allowing name changes in transgender cases.

He wrote it could result in someone unwittingly marrying a person “who appeared to be of the opposite sex but was actually of the same sex.”

He wrote it also could hinder crime investigations — causing police officers searching for a male based on DNA evidence to ignore a potential suspect the officers believed was female.

He wrote it also could let someone circumvent the state’s prohibitions against same-sex marriage.

The man is an ignoranus. The average college graduate – at least from schools free of administration by fools like this one – has sufficient book-learning to comprehend the importance of gender identification.

I hope I haven’t offended the half-dozen educated, sensible human beings who prefer for whatever reason to continue to subject themselves to the vagaries of Christian Sharia by continuing to live in Oklahoma.

I doubt if even the bass-fishing is worth it.

Catholic Church castrated boys to “rid them of homosexuality”


Henk Heithuis – 2nd from left

At least 10 teenage boys or young men under the age of 21 were surgically castrated “to get rid of homosexuality” while in the care of the Dutch Roman Catholic Church in the 1950s.

Evidence of the castrations has emerged amid controversy that it was not included in the findings of an official investigation into sexual abuse within the church last year. The NRC Handelsblad newspaper identified Henk Heithuis who was castrated in 1956, while a minor, after reporting priests to the police for abusing him in a Catholic boarding home.

Joep Dohmen, the investigative journalist who uncovered the Heithuis case, also found evidence of at least nine other castrations. “These cases are anonymous and can no longer be traced,” he said. “There will be many more. But the question is whether those boys, now old men, will want to tell their story.”

Mr Heithuis died in a car crash in 1958, two years after being castrated at the age of 20, while under the age of majority, which was then 21. In 1956 he had accused Catholic clergy of sexually abusing him in his Church run care home.

Two clergymen were convicted of abuse but Mr Heithuis, a victim, was nonetheless transferred by police to a Catholic psychiatric hospital before being admitted to the St. Joseph Hospital in Veghel later that year.

There, court papers confirm, he was castrated “at his own request”, despite no submission of his written consent. Sources told Mr Dohmen that the surgical removal of testicles was regarded as a treatment for homosexuality and also as a punishment for those who accused clergy of sexual abuse

Evidence emerged on Monday that government inspectors were aware that minors were being castrated while in Catholic-run psychiatric institutions. Minutes of meetings held in the 1950s show that inspectors were present when castrations were discussed. The documents also reveal that the Catholic staff did not think parents needed to be involved…

Dutch MPs will today call for a parliamentary investigation into the allegations.

The question is put by Khadija Arib, a Labour MP…”We must find out how many cases there were, who knew about it and why the government did not act.”

Good thing the Catholic Church doesn’t support cruelty like this anymore. Oh.

Gay Rights group files suit against homophobe evangelist for inciting persecution in Uganda

A Ugandan gay rights group filed suit against an American evangelist, Scott Lively, in federal court in Massachusetts on Wednesday, accusing him of violating international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda.

The lawsuit maintains that beginning in 2002, Mr. Lively conspired with religious and political leaders in Uganda to whip up anti-gay hysteria with warnings that gay people would sodomize African children and corrupt their culture.

The Ugandan legislature considered a bill in 2009, proposed by one of Mr. Lively’s Ugandan contacts, that would have imposed the death sentence for the “offense of homosexuality.” That bill languished after an outcry from the United States and European nations that are among major aid donors to Uganda, but was reintroduced last month.

Mr. Lively is being sued by the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda under the alien tort statute, which allows foreigners to sue in American courts in situations asserting the violation of international law. The suit says that Mr. Lively’s actions resulted in the persecution, arrest, torture and murder of gay men and lesbians in Uganda.

…Mr. Lively said he did not know about the lawsuit…he said…I’ve never done anything in Uganda except preach the Gospel and speak my opinion about the homosexual issue…”

Mr. Lively is…the author of “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party,” which says that Nazism was a movement inspired by homosexuals, and “Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child,” a guide to prevent what he calls “pro-homosexual indoctrination.”

He has traveled to Uganda, Latvia and Moldova to warn Christian clergy members to defend their countries against what he says is an onslaught by gay rights advocates based in the West…

Mr. Lively is one of many conservative American evangelicals who were active in Uganda. He and others tried to distance themselves from the legislation after the international outcry over the death penalty provision. Ms. Spees said the lawsuit singled him out because “his role was critical…”

Yup. Let’s carry the message of hate and harm around the world from American Christian fundamentalists. What a gift to give.

Creeps like this have a long and contemptible history inside American Christian sects. Over the centuries you only need to substitute one word for another. You can substitute Jew or Catholic, Negro or Puerto Rican, peacenik or feminist – for homosexual – and you see the face of their hatred.