Don’t say you weren’t warned, Hawaii!

The Hawaii state legislature has convened in a special session this week for the purpose of debating and voting on a marriage equality bill.  If the bill passes, as is widely expected, bad things will happen everywhere, forever.  So says Hawaii Republican Assembly, in collaboration with the anti-LGBT hate group Massresistance, so it must be true:

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Some people think that homosexual marriage in Hawaii will not affect them.  If you are one of those people, please think again.  The current push about homosexual marriage is not about marriage at all.

That’s right.  The lie of so-called marriage equality is merely a stepping stone to have government forcibly legitimize and normalize all sorts of deviant behavior. Terrible consequences will affect everyone and everything imaginable forever.

Do you want schools to teach your five-year old about the gay-lesbian lifestyle, or have your child go into a school with gender-neutral bathrooms?  Do you want your church forced to marry homosexuals?  Do you want to see local business people repeatedly forced to violate their faith?

A list of demands like these are dismantling society in other states that passed homosexual marriage.  Governor Abercrombie has not warned you about this, and he has even recently admitted that bisexual marriage is right around the corner.  Just imagine what else he and other radical Democrats aren’t telling you.

Wow, they are really desperate to sling hash like that.

Listen LIVE to testimony on the bill being heard right now by the Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor.  The committee is expected to be in session until late tonight. (Alternate video feed here.)

NOM pays for Hawaii marriage ads with shadowy high-roller money

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National Organization for Marriage is paying for t.v. ads asking Hawaiians to “let the people decide” whether same-sex couples can get married.  Irony alert: “the people” are nowhere to be found when it comes to paying for those ads.

“[F]rom Hawaii comes an important reminder of something that we here at NOM have always maintained to be crucial for the fate of marriage in the United States. On this important issue, the people should decide!“, writes NOM president Brian Brown.

Except that “the people” aren’t supporting NOM financially.  NOM’s national million-dollar fundraising campaign, up and running since Aug. 28, has raised only $190,000 so far.

NOM’s under-performing “Million Dollar Match For Marriage”.

That doesn’t seem enough to fund t.v. ads in Hawaii as well as pay to keep the lights on at NOM Central in Washington, D.C.  NOM’s got quite a payroll to maintain.  Brian Brown’s compensation alone runs upwards of $250,000 annually.  What they’re paying their spokesman Chris Plante and political director Frank Schubert is anybody’s guess.

So where is the money to run the t.v. ads coming from?  A handful of mega-donors like New York hedge fund manager Sean Fieler and former Gov. of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, most likely.  Relying on a few deep pockets is NOM’s M.O.

We may never know for sure, because NOM routinely — and illegally — withholds the names of their political campaign donors.  All we know is that little of NOM’s funding seems to be coming from the little people that NOM likes to use as a rhetorical tool.

Watch Live: March on Springfield for Marriage Equality

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Marriage equality advocates will be gathering at noon today (Central Time) at the Illinois state capitol in Springfield to push for House passage of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act (SB 10), which the state Senate passed in February.

Watch LIVE by clicking here or in the box to the right.  The video stream will go live about 11:45 am.  You can also find the March on Facebook and Twitter.  Hashtags for the event are #IL4M and #ILCantWait.

Passage of the bill is more urgent than ever since the U. S. Supreme Court invalidated Sec. 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act earlier this year, allowing married same-sex couples access to the federal benefits of marriage.

Every day that the Illinois House fails to pass the bill is a day they are depriving couples in their state equal access to vital federal benefits.  As I wrote previously:

The federal benefits of marriage are substantial, including “access to Social Security survivors’ benefits; the option to use family medical leave to care for a spouse; the opportunity to sponsor a foreign-born spouse for citizenship; and access to veterans’ spousal benefits,” according to Lambda Legal’s fact sheet about the DOMA decision.

But the federal benefits of marriage are not available to couples in a civil union or domestic partnership.  A couple must be legally married to access them.

This means that the facade of legal equality that opponents of marriage equality claim civil unions embody has fallen.  Civil unions and domestic partnerships never even lived up to their ideal of providing legal equality for same-sex couples at the state level.  Now, with federal benefits available to married same-sex couples, civil unions are even more unfair and limiting than before.

Illinois civil unions, once a cup half full, are now a cup more than half empty.

The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act enjoys wide-ranging support from Illinois voters, President Barack Obama, Gov. Pat Quinn, former Illinois GOP Chair Pat Brady and former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman, African American leaders, clergy and faith leaders, and so many others.

Once the law is passed, Illinois will become the 15th state (plus the District of Columbia) to treated all loving, committed couples equally under the law.

Today’s March on Springfield for Marriage Equality program:

  • 11:55 am — National Anthem
  • 12:00 to 1 pm — Rock the March Concert
  • 1 pm — Welcome by Governor Patrick Quinn & Senator Dick Durbin
  • 1 pm to 2:30 pm — Rally with speakers from LGBT, labor, immigration, women’s health, business, sports and faith communities.
  • 2:30 pm — March begins, led by drummers and marching band.
  • 2:30 to 3:30 pm — March around the Capitol

RelatedStates With Civil Unions Are Depriving Gay Couples Of Federal Marriage Benefits

NJ Gov. Christie Throws In Marriage Discrimination Towel

Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie is cutting his losses and has “advised” the state’s attorney general to withdraw his appeal to a lower court’s order that allowed same-sex couples to begin marrying in New Jersey starting at midnight last night.

Last year Gov. Christie vetoed a marriage equality bill duly passed by the New Jersey state legislature, then appeared to block Republican legislators from voting their conscience on any veto override vote.

The following is Gov. Christie’s statement about withdrawing his administration’s appeal, courtesy Washington Blade:

“Chief Justice Rabner left no ambiguity about the unanimous court’s view on the ultimate decision in this matter when he wrote, ‘same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today,’” Christie spokesperson Colin Reed said, referring to the state Supreme Court’s unanimous decision on Friday that denied the governor’s request to postpone Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s Sept. 27 ruling that found the state’s civil unions law prevents same-sex couples from obtaining federal marriage benefits until the justices rule on his administration’s appeal of it. “Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law.”

Update: National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown has responded to Gov. Christie’s capitulation, asserting that Gov. Christie’s withdrawal from the marriage case has disqualified him from the GOP presidential nomination (emphasis added):

[W]e are extremely disappointed in Governor Chris Christie for withdrawing the state’s appeal of the underlying decision, effectively throwing in the towel on marriage. The mark of a leader is to walk a principled walk no matter the difficulty of the path. Chris Christie has failed the test, abandoning both voters and the core institution of society – marriage as the union of one man and one woman. [snip]

Regrettably, Governor Christie’s decision to surrender on marriage reveals him to be a man who lacks the courage of his supposed convictions. As far as we are concerned, it’s a disqualifying failure. His surrender on marriage effectively surrenders any chance he might have had to secure the GOP nomination for president.

Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg expressed a similar opinion:

We are glad that Gov. Christie vetoed the legislature’s attempt to redefine marriage, and that he was initially willing to defend the state’s marriage law in court. However, conservatives are looking for leaders who will sustain their commitment to unchanging principles. Combined with his signing of a radical bill to outlaw even voluntary sexual orientation change efforts with minors, today’s action has given conservatives serious pause about Gov. Christie’s reliability.

Updating NOM’s Marriage Map

This Summer, after legislatures in Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota granted same-sex couples the freedom to marry and the US Supreme Court struck down California’s discriminatory Proposition 8 as well as the federal Defense of Marriage Act, National Organization for Marriage put on a brave face and posted this map.

The map was inaccurate as soon as it was posted because it erroneously depicted California as a state with “marriage in jeopardy” rather than what it was by that date, a marriage equality state.

Today, NOM’s map became even more outdated since the New Jersey Supreme Court denied Gov. Christie’s request for a stay of a lower court’s ruling allowing same-sex couples to begin marrying on Monday, October 21st.

“The State identified certain abstract harms that are addressed above. Weighed against them are immediate and concrete violations of plaintiffs’ right to equal protection under the law. Because plaintiffs cannot marry under State law, they and their children are simply not eligible for a host of federal benefits available to same-sex married couples today. … The balance of hardships does not support the motion for a stay,” the court stated in their order.

Today’s ruling was unanimous, 7-0.

Perhaps being “undaunted and resolute” in the wake of this tidal wave of marriage equality victories has been so taxing for NOM that it hasn’t been able to muster the strength to update the map. So I’ve fixed it for them.

There, that’s much better.

H/T Scott Wooledge

MA: Anti-Gay Catholic priest admits embezzling school and parish funds

Rev. Stephen M. Gemme, anti-gay pastor of St. Bernadette Parish, and avowed embezzler

The more they hate on the gays, the more they themselves have something to hide. At least, that’s frequently what we’ve learned from actively anti-gay politicians and religious leaders. Former U.S. Senator Larry Craig and Rev. Ted Haggard are two shining examples.

Today another name was added to the long list of professional anti-gays who have something to hide.  Rev. Stephen M. Gemme, pastor of St. Bernadette Parish located in the Worcester Catholic Diocese in Mass., admitted stealing “more than $110,000 of school funds and more than $120,000 of parish funds…for personal expenditures unrelated to the parish or school,” according to Robert McManus, Bishop of Worcester.

More than $230,000 stolen from the local Catholic school and parish.  And this by a man so anti-gay that he was the only priest in the diocese to cut ties this summer with the Worcester Art Museum over the museum’s willingness to host same-sex weddings.

And he cut those ties under false pretenses.  As I wrote at the time:

“We’re simply not going to support them institutionally as in the past. We’re just following the lead of the diocese on that,” Rev. Stephen M. Gemme, pastor at St. Bernadette Parish told Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Except that the Diocese of Worcester hasn’t ordered anyone to do anything.  “We don’t support gay marriage. But, we haven’t said divest yourself of any organization,” the communications director for the Diocese of Worcester Raymond Delisle told Telegram & Gazette.

Since we knew that Rev. Gemme was not only actively anti-gay but also slippery with the truth, it’s not too surprising that he’s been forced to admit to criminal activity as well.  It’s not a far stretch from lying to the public about your reasons for taking anti-gay actions to overstepping boundaries in other matters.

Rev. Gemme blames the thefts on a gambling addiction, according to Bishop McManus’s letter to the diocese, and is receiving “residential treatment” for it.  If Rev. Gemme truly is suffering from an addiction, then we can all hope that treatment will help him overcome it.  However, an addiction doesn’t pardon illegal activity, and Bishop McManus has correctly forwarded the case to the District Attorney.

Legalities aside, an addiction also does not pardon hypocrisy.  In the words attributed to Jesus, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Rev. Gemme clearly believes that homosexuality is a “speck of sawdust” in his brother’s eye.  Yet not only did Rev. Gemme fail to recognize the embezzlement plank in his own eye, he sought to remove not the speck from his brother’s eye, but the eye itself.  That’s not just hypocrisy, it’s malicious hypocrisy.

I hope the man gets help, both morally and psychologically, because he needs it.  Regardless, he’s yet another name on the anti-gay hypocrisy roster.

Family Policy Institute of Washington points children to “pornographic” book they don’t want them to read

The radical-right Christian organization Family Policy Institute of Washington doesn’t want kids to read the sex scene on page 80 of Cristina Garcia’s “Dreaming in Cuban”, so naturally they posted a link to a readable photo and a transcription of the text on Facebook.

Facebook, where teens gather and young people rule.

#Facepalm

Family Policy Institute of Washington is an associate of Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and Alliance Defense Fund.

Scott Lively running for Governor of Massachusetts as spoiler candidate [Updated]

Scott Lively

Scott Lively, the Springfield-based anti-gay activist on trial for the persecution of LGBT people in Uganda, has reportedly announced that he is running for Governor of Massachusetts.  Yesterday the blog Conservative Patriotreprinted an email from Mr. Lively in which Mr. Lively allegedly states:

After long contemplation and prayer I am convinced that I should run for Governor of Massachusetts. I will run as an independent.

The Christians and conservatives of this state need a candidate who can clearly and unapologetically articulate Biblical values without fear or compromise. They need a candidate who will tell the simple truth that abortion is murder, and homosexuality is condemned by God (but that Jesus forgives and heals those who repent). That parents and not the state have authority over their children, because government is our servant and not our master. That socialism is slavery and humanism breeds corruption. But mostly they need a leader who will remind the people that Massachusetts was founded upon Jesus Christ and the Bible and that our future security and prosperity depend on restoring our trust in Him. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!” Psalm 33:12.

Mr. Lively’s decision is sure to delight Democrats and radical-right social conservatives, but will not be welcome news to mainstream Republicans; a Scott Lively candidacy will peel away radical-right votes and other support that otherwise would have gone to the Republican candidate.

Radical-right voters in Massachusetts were so desperate for someone like Mr. Lively to vote for in the 2010 gubernatorial election that some of them advocated writing in Mr. Lively’s name instead of voting for the Republican candidate, Charlie Baker.  Mr. Baker is the Republican front-runner for the 2014 election as well.  As Brian Camenker of MassResistance said in 2010:

Lively is everything that Charlie Baker is not. He is principled, pro-family, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-2nd-amendment, pro-religion, pro-parents’ rights, and utterly fearless.

Imagine the increased enthusiasm this year among Mr. Camenker’s radical-right cohort to campaign for Mr. Lively — and peel away votes from Mr. Baker — if Mr. Lively really becomes a declared candidate.  By becoming a spoiler, Mr. Lively increases the probability that Massachusetts will elect another pro-LGBT equality, pro-choice Democratic governor.

Update (11 am): I have received email confirmation from Scott Lively (below) that he is indeed running for governor in 2014.

Update 2:  Mr. Lively has posted on his website a press release announcing his candidacy.

RelatedPray That Scott Lively Runs For Massachusetts Governor

Cross-posted at Blue Mass Group.

Shocking poll: Marriage equality fails to destroy Massachusetts

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts for almost ten years, plenty of time for the signs of societal doom to manifest if that were to be the outcome.  So guess what Public Policy Polling has found in a recent survey of Massachusetts voters?

Gay marriage being legal in Massachusetts still doesn’t seem to be destroying too many people’s lives. 85% of voters in the state say it’s either had a positive or no impact on their lives, with only 15% saying it’s been a negative. Even among Republicans 66% say it hasn’t negatively affected them. Voters in the state support gay marriage being legal by a greater than 2:1 margin, 60/29.

So…all those very level-headed, reasonable predictions that marriage equality spelled the end of civilization, those were wrong?  Who’d of thunk it?