Republican Bigots Pretend a Gay Prime Minister Didn’t Bring His Husband to the G7 Summit


Click to enlargeFirst Spouses

❝ The White House Facebook page failed to acknowledge First Gentleman of Luxembourg Gauthier Destenay, married to Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, in a post featuring the spouses of world leaders attending this week’s G7 summit in Sicily. The photo caption included the names of every other spouse, all of them wives, beginning with: “First Lady Melania Trump poses with Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, center, and other spouses of NATO leaders.”

❝ The omission of Destenay’s name in the official White House post remained for at least six hours on Saturday before Daily Beast editor Scott Bixby shared a screenshot on Twitter, writing: “Is there a reason the White House didn’t include the First Gentleman of Luxembourg in this photo caption? Like, a non-homophobic one?”

The Republican Party – regardless of Trump’s occasional hypocritical denial – plays a significant role in the international Axis of Bigotry. Putin’s United Russia Party, the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and their Wahabi jihadists are a perfect match for today’s Republican Party. Under the thumb of Tea Party nutballs – whether through cowardice or ideological unity – the last-named bastion of bigotry serves only the worst characteristics of American political history.

Gay equality beats Confederate homophobes: SCOTUS > Alabama Supreme Court


AFP/Paul Richards

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned an Alabama court order that had prohibited a lesbian from having contact with the three children she adopted and helped raise in neighboring Georgia while in a long-term relationship with their biological mother.

The ruling, without published dissent, reinforces gay rights less than a year after the court legalized same-sex marriage across the country. The justices didn’t hear arguments in the case, instead summarily reversing the Alabama Supreme Court.

The woman, identified only as V.L., has been battling the children’s biological mother, known as E.L. in court papers. The two women lived as a couple for 17 years in Alabama before gay marriage was legal in the state. V.L. adopted the children in 2007 after the pair set up a second residence in Georgia. The children were conceived by insemination from an anonymous donor.

The couple split up in 2011, and V.L. later sued in Alabama state court, accusing E.L. of denying her access to the children, one now 13 and 11-year-old twins. The case made its way to the Alabama Supreme Court, which refused to recognize the Georgia adoption decree.

V.L. said the Alabama Supreme Court violated the Constitution’s full-faith-and-credit clause, which requires recognition of court judgments made in another state. She was backed by a court-appointed guardian who is representing the children’s interests.

The Alabama court said blah, blah, blah…

The Supreme Court in December blocked the Alabama court order from taking effect while the justices considered whether to take up the dispute.

Homophobes and all the other flavors of bigot popular in right-wing America will use all means available to the unjust and self-righteous to prevent progress. Judicial, social, economic or otherwise. Anything the class of cretin endemic to Confederate America, South or North, can come up with to deny love and family to Americans who don’t suit their archaic morality will be tried until they run out of venues.

Some bigots really do think their ideology is immortal.

Georgia homophobes want Christian sharia — 400 companies ready to say “Goodbye”

A coalition of more than 400 companies is openly opposing a Georgia “religious liberty” bill that is rapidly heading toward passage, with at least one major company already leaving the state over the proposal.

The proposed law would allow both individuals and organizations to refuse to conduct business with or otherwise discriminate against anyone whose marriage they find counters their religious beliefs. It also protects individuals from existing nondiscrimination laws in Atlanta and elsewhere.

A similar bill was dismissed last year, but the speed at which this year’s version…is moving has raised serious concerns among state lawmakers, business owners, the faith community and activists.

The bill passed both the House and, in a different form, the Senate this month. The most recent version bars the government from taking “adverse action” against a person or faith-based organization that “believes, speaks, or acts in accordance” with the religious belief that “marriage should only be between a man and a woman”.

Telecom startup 373k announced it would to relocate from Decatur, Georgia, to Nevada immediately after the Georgia senate voted in favor of the measure last week…

Based on the over 500 emails he’s received from members of his district and elsewhere, House Representative Taylor Bennett agrees there’s “overwhelming opposition” to the proposed law.

Just in the last week, roughly 100 businesses have joined a coalition of what is now over 400 companies opposing the religious freedom bill. The group Georgia Prospers, of which Moore is a member, includes a range of businesses – from Fortune 500 companies like Delta, Coca-Cola, and Home Depot to smaller ones across the state – in support of “treating all Georgians and visitors fairly”.

Several have cited fears that Georgia will suffer lost revenue, as in Indiana where public disdain for a similar bill, before it even became law, is said to have cost the state $60m. Atlanta’s chamber of commerce and visitors’ bureau produced separate studies citing a potential loss of $1bn to $2bn if the bill passes without civil rights protections.

The religious community is also represented among the many in opposition to the law. Nearly 300 clergy members in the state spoke out this week against the “overly broad, discriminatory” proposal.

This is part of the same range of defenses erected and attempted early days of the civil rights movement. Hard-core bigots can always rely on their officially religious peers to support any rejection of the rest of the nation moving forward. They get what they deserve when the civil portion of the United States decides to boycott backwards ideology and reactionary behavior.

I would be no more likely to support a business or social endeavor in a state with laws like this than I would have to deal with comparable bodies in apartheid South Africa BITD.

Want to go back to 19th Century bigotry – then you deserve a 19th Century income.

Hundreds of Mormons resign from church to protest institutional homophobia

About 1,500 Latter-day Saints have submitted letters of resignation from the Mormon Church to protest a new policy barring children of married same-sex couples from being baptized until they are adults…

More than 1,000 people gathered on Saturday near the Salt Lake City headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to protest the policy they see as discriminatory and harmful to families, with many standing in long lines to submit their resignations, they said…

Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints approved the policy this month. It added same-sex marriage to acts considered to be a renunciation of the Mormon faith and thus subject to church discipline, including excommunication…

“The people in the Mormon Church are finding that this is not a Christ-centered policy,” added Brooke Swallow, one of the organizers of the Saturday protest. “This is a policy that is about the people at the top, and their views and prejudices, and they are not thinking through what this will do long-term to families.”…

The new church policy bars children of gay married couples from being baptized in the faith until they turn 18, leave their parents’ home and disavow same-sex marriage or cohabitation.

Not my place to worry about churches and how they rule their flock. I hope democracy and progress might play a role. Waiting for a demi-savior like Pope Francis to ascend to leadership is often a fool’s game played out over decades. The alternative of course is the decline of religion in general and most pointedly those bodies most ruthless in their exclusion of democracy, fear of progressive change.

Yes, that does sound like the Republican Party.

Texas denies woman a driver’s license because of same-sex marriage


Connie Wilson, her spouse and one of their children

A new Houston resident is upset that she was refused a legal Texas driver’s license.

When Connie Wilson, her spouse, and three kids packed up their life and moved halfway across the country to Texas, the last hurdle she expected was getting a Texas driver’s license. She was in for a surprise when she went to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) branch office in Pasadena.

Wilson presented her California marriage license to DPS employee as a secondary form of identification. She and her spouse Aimee were legally married in California, and Connie took Aimee’s last name, Wilson…

Texas doesn’t recognize same sex marriage. The DPS employee told Wilson even though she and her spouse are legally married, the certificate cannot be used to authenticate who she is. She was denied a Texas License.

Reached in Austin, DPS officials sent Eyewitness News the following statement: “To receive a Texas driver license or identification card reflecting a name change from a same-sex marriage, a court order is required.”

Wilson says she doesn’t understand why she needs to spend money on a court order when the license already states her legal name…

In addition, Wilson is worried the closing on her house could have been hampered, and her inability to vote in the upcoming election…

Frustrated, the Wilsons reached out to Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), who is looking into the DPS decision.

“This is something that deeply concerns us, and we’re looking at this, because we don’t want this to happen to anyone else in Texas,” said the Senator. “This is not the way to treat someone who is relocating to our state, we need to make sure they can buy homes, get jobs, and register to vote.”

Wilson’s first mistake was presuming officials of a state as politically backwards as Texas would respond to logic.

The second was assuming Texas politicians recognize the United States of America and our Constitution as having authority and priority over the fear and ignorance of homophobic nutballs.

Fear of science, bigotry, motivate voters against Common Core standards

Sitting in the headquarters of the Wyoming Liberty Group, Susan Gore, founder of the conservative think tank, said new national science standards for schools were a form of “coercion,” adding, “I don’t think government should have anything to do with education.”

Ms. Gore, a daughter of the founder of the company that makes Gore-Tex waterproof fabric, was speaking here weeks after the Republican-controlled Legislature made Wyoming, where coal and oil are king, the first state to reject the standards, which include lessons on human impact on global warming. The pushback came despite a unanimous vote by a group of Wyoming science educators urging acceptance. Wyoming was the first state to say no, but likely not the last. A House committee in Oklahoma last week voted to reject the standards, also in part because of concerns about how climate change would be taught…

The standards “handle global warming as settled science,” State Representative Matt Teeters, a Republican from Lingle, told The Casper Star-Tribune. “There’s all kind of social implications involved in that, that I don’t think would be good for Wyoming.”

Although oil companies like Exxon and Chevron have publicly supported the Next Generation standards, Mr. Teeters told The Star-Tribune that such teaching could wreck the economy of Wyoming, the country’s largest energy exporter. Mr. Teeters, who declined requests to elaborate, was joined in his objections by Ron Micheli, chairman of the State Board of Education, who called the standards “very prejudiced, in my opinion, against fossil fuel development.”

Meanwhile in Floriduh…

Common Core may not be a well-intentioned set of improved educational standards, as supporters would have you believe, but instead a trojan horse designed to turn every schoolchild in Florida, if not America, gay.

This ominous warning came at an anti-Common Core event in March courtesy of Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant (R). Speaking at the “Operation Education Conference” in Orlando, Van Zant warned that officials implementing Common Core in Florida are “promoting as hard as they can any youth that is interested in the LGBT agenda.”

Their aim, Van Zant warned, was to “attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.” He then apologized to the crowd for having to be the bearer of bad news. “I really hate to bring you that news,” the Florida Republican said, “but you need to know…”

Even for a Republican Party prone to hysteria, Common Core has sent grassroots conservatives into an accelerated tailspin. Right Wing Watch has a roundup of some of the most exaggerated reactions, including an Alabama Tea Party leader saying a vote for Common Core will damn lawmakers to hell, the American Family Association warning that children won’t “survive” Common Core, Eagle Forum saying it will promote homosexuality, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) calling it “socialism,” and WorldNetDaily saying it will turn America into Nazi Germany.

The leader of this backlash is Glenn Beck, who believes the educational standards, which have been adopted in 44 states, are “evil” and designed to “train us to be a serf state” under the rule of China and Islam.

I guess I could put up a poll and ask readers to decide whether these folks are ignorant or stupid; but, I think it would be reasonable to include variations on the theme for the sake of accuracy – demented, deluded, vicious, gullible, etc..

Thanks, Mike

First same-sex couples legally wed in England and Wales


Teresa Millward and Helen Brearley married in Halifax

The first same-sex weddings have taken place after gay marriage became legal in England and Wales at midnight…Politicians from the main parties have hailed the change in the law.

David Cameron said the move sent a message that people were now equal “whether gay or straight”, but some religious groups remain opposed.

Scotland passed a similar law in February; the first same-sex marriages are expected there in October. Northern Ireland has no plans to follow suit…

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said “Britain will be a different place” as a result…

Labour leader Ed Miliband congratulated those planning to tie the knot…”This is an incredibly happy time for so many gay couples and lesbian couples who will be getting married, but it’s an incredibly proud time for our country as well, recognising equal marriage in law,” he said…


Peter Tatchell (L) chief witness at Peter McGraith and David Cabreza’s wedding in Islington

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell acted as chief witness at a packed ceremony at Islington Town Hall in London just after midnight as Peter McGraith and David Cabreza were wed after 17 years together.

Mr Tatchell said the couple and all the others getting married had “made history” and “made Britain a more tolerant, equal place”.

With a crowd of photographers, journalists and well-wishers waiting, the couple took the opportunity to highlight the international struggle for gay rights.

Mr McGraith said: “Very few countries afford their gay and lesbian citizens equal marriage rights and we believe that this change in law will bring hope and strength to gay men and lesbians in Nigeria, Uganda, Russia, India and elsewhere, who lack basic equality and are being criminalised for their sexual orientation.”

RTFA. It’s the sort of journalistic record of an historic event some corners of the British Press still do very well.

Bon voyage to the happy couples. It’s always a boon to humankind to witness another nation move forward towards equal rights, equal opportunities. Pity, we haven’t reached that point in the GOUSA – though here in New Mexico our citizens of LGBT gender have acquired the right of marriage – moving past one more barrier, one more step beyond second-class citizenship.