There were more testimonies in the House in Maryland last Friday. Among them was this man who was there in support of the marriage bill. The bill has to pass the House before it goes to the govenors desk to be signed.
Bless the supportive Parents !
Flour Bluff Intermediate School District's move comes after its high school gained national attention by blocking senior Bianca "Nikki" Peet's request to start a GSA. Hundreds of people have emailed the district on behalf of Peet through a Change.org petition, which was also linked to by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Texas A&M's GSA, which has been advocating for Peet, had called for a protest Monday, Feburary 28, 2011. But Flour Bluff ISD Superintendent Julie Carbajal, in comments to The Daily Caller on Friday, said that there is no chance that district will approve the purposed Gay-Straight Alliance. She also has requested that the student group Fellowship of Christian Athletes meet off campus until they can determine if they are adhering to the 2005 school policy that only student groups tied to curricula are allowed.
While same-sex couples can't wed in the state, J. Craig Leiby and H. Kenneth Ranftle were legally married in Canada, so Leiby is entitled to recognition as the surviving spouse in a dispute over Ranftle's estate, the appellate judges said. Ranftle died Nov. 1, 2008. His brother Richard contested the will and challenged the legitimacy of the marriage, saying it violated state policy.But the state Supreme Court's Appellate Division wrote, "New York's long-settled marriage recognition rule affords [recognition] to out-of-state marriages" that are valid where they are made.
Department of JusticeIn the two years since this Administration took office, the Department of Justice has defended Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on several occasions in federal court. Each of those cases evaluating Section 3 was considered in jurisdictions in which binding circuit court precedents hold that laws singling out people based on sexual orientation, as DOMA does, are constitutional if there is a rational basis for their enactment. While the President opposes DOMA and believes it should be repealed, the Department has defended it in court because we were able to advance reasonable arguments under that rational basis standard.
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Statement of the Attorney General on Litigation Involving the Defense of Marriage Act
WASHINGTON - The Attorney General made the following statement today about the Department's course of action in two lawsuits, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States, challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman:
Section 3 of DOMA has now been challenged in the Second Circuit, however, which has no established or binding standard for how laws concerning sexual orientation should be treated. In these cases, the Administration faces for the first time the question of whether laws regarding sexual orientation are subject to the more permissive standard of review or whether a more rigorous standard, under which laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination are viewed with suspicion by the courts, should apply.After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President's determination.
Consequently, the Department will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in the two cases filed in the Second Circuit. We will, however, remain parties to the cases and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation. I have informed Members of Congress of this decision, so Members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option. The Department will also work closely with the courts to ensure that Congress has a full and fair opportunity to participate in pending litigation.Furthermore, pursuant to the President ' s instructions, and upon further notification to Congress, I will instruct Department attorneys to advise courts in other pending DOMA litigation of the President's and my conclusions that a heightened standard should apply, that Section 3 is unconstitutional under that standard and that the Department will cease defense of Section 3.
The Department has a longstanding practice of defending the constitutionality of duly-enacted statutes if reasonable arguments can be made in their defense. At the same time, the Department in the past has declined to defend statutes despite the availability of professionally responsible arguments, in part because - as here - the Department does not consider every such argument to be a "reasonable" one. Moreover, the Department has declined to defend a statute in cases, like this one, where the President has concluded that the statute is unconstitutional.
Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of DOMA will continue to remain in effect unless Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down, and the President has informed me that the Executive Branch will continue to enforce the law. But while both the wisdom and the legality of Section 3 of DOMA will continue to be the subject of both extensive litigation and public debate, this Administration will no longer assert its constitutionality in court.
The House took the first steps Tuesday toward striking down Missoula's 2010 ordinance that bans discrimination against city residents based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Missoula's Democratic legislators were infuriated by the passage of House Bill 516, by Rep. Kristin Hansen, R-Havre. Her bill passed 60-39 and faces a final House vote before heading to the Senate. Sixty Republicans voted for it. All 32 Democrats voted opposed it, joined by seven Republicans. One Republican was absent.
You get the sense, observing the shifting cultural landscape, that we've reached a point on gay rights that is similar to that moment in a football game, or an election, or a relationship, when you know it's over even though it's not over.Well, I say "Take all that energy and money and put it to good use else where."
It appears increasingly obvious that social acceptance of gay men and lesbians and insistence on their equal rights are inexorable. If the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" weren't enough to signal the turning point, or the classification of several gay-resisting Christian right organizations as "hate groups" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, there came news that Exodus International was ending its involvement in the anti-homosexuality "Day of Truth" in U.S. high schools. "We need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace," Exodus President Alan Chambers explained, "while treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated, whether we agree with them or not."
Add it up, and you see a decision point at hand for socially conservative Christian groups such as the Family Research Council that have led resistance to gay rights. Do they fight to the last ditch, continue shouting the anti-gay rhetoric that rings false and mean to the many Americans who live and work with gay people, or who themselves are gay? Or do they soften their tone and turn their attention to other fronts?
Opponents of the measure came from across the state to testify. Unfortunately, the Republican majority on the committee attempted to limit testimony on both sides of the issue to ten minutes. Democrats on the committee objected and even presented rules that require the public be able to at least verbally state their opposition to the bill. The Republicans on the committee ignored the rules, and refused to let opponents of the bill testify. In response to the GOP actions, Rep. Diane Sands (D-Missoula) took to reading the names of every opponent (all 50+) of the measure and asked them to stand and be acknowledged. After the hearing, opponents of the measure held their own hearing, next to the statue of Rep. Jeannette Rankin, where they allowed all of the opponents of the measure speak and be heard. During this informal hearing, Sen. Carol Williams and other Democratic lawmakers showed up to show their frustrations with the treatment of these Montanans that simply wanted to be heard.
"We alerted Capitol Police this morning after we got the fax," Maria Reppas, communications director for McCollum, said. "We leave it to them to determine the threat level for pieces of correspondence such as this." McCollum's proposal seeks to ban the military from spending taxpayer money on racing sponsorships. Currently, the Army sponsors a car in the NASCAR's Sprint Cup series to the tune of about $7 million per year. McCollum contends that money -- which NASCAR says helps boost Army recruiting -- is wasted. Since announcing the proposal, McCollum's office has received more than a few calls from irate NASCAR fans upset at what they perceive as a slight against their sport. "We've had calls," Bill Harper, McCollum's Chief of Staff, told TPM. "Lots of Mississippi people, North Carolina people. We had a Florida person." Asked what the callers say, Harper replied, "'Get your hands off my NASCAR', mostly."Abolish funding for the arts, abolish the Department of Education. But if you dare take a $7M sticker off NASCAR vehicles, you deserve to die. Everybody got that?
EQUALITY MARYLAND APPLAUDS THE PROGRESS OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY LEGISLATION IN THE SENATE
Maryland’s LGBT Group Pledges to Keep up the Fight
ANNAPOLIS, FEBRUARY 17, 2011 - The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 7-4 to favorably report the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act (SB 116) today. This legislation would end the exclusion of committed gay and lesbian couples from marriage. This is the first time the legislation has passed committee and is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate next week.
Statement from Long-Time Champion of LGBT Rights, Senator Richard Madaleno (District 18):
“It is time to provide equal rights under state law to all individuals, including same-sex couples, who seek a marriage license in Maryland. No one can argue that the capacity and bond of love is any different between heterosexual couples and same-sex couples. It is time that the rights already enjoyed by many who can obtain a marriage license in Maryland are enjoyed by all regardless of gender and sexual orientation. We moved one step closer to full marriage equality today."
Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Executive Director of Equality Maryland released the following statement upon hearing the vote count:
“This is a historic day for all loving and committed gay and lesbian couples throughout the Free State. For the first time in Maryland’s history, we’ve cleared the committee vote which has stalled efforts for marriage equality in previous years. "We know that momentum is swiftly moving for the same rights, responsibilities, and privileges to be extended to gay and lesbian couples through civil marriage. Very soon our families will be provided with the same respect and protections as all other families.
As we look toward the Senate vote, we urge all lawmakers to think about the love and commitment they share with their partners and extend those same rights to those of us who are looking for recognition of our love from Maryland.”
"It was a great sense of relief. I didn't expect it," said Fehrenbach, 41, a 1991 University of Notre Dame graduate, in a telephone interview Tuesday from Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. For nearly three years, Fehrenbach has been in a battle to save his career because of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy — a policy that was overturned in late 2010. With no further explanation, the military in January sent Fehrenbach new orders: Effective Sept. 30, he will be retired from active duty at his current rank and with his pension. He'll serve out the remaining months of his military duty at his current desk job at the base in Idaho.A highly-decorated F-15 fighter pilot, Fehrenbach flew numerous combat missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo. Upon his retirement this fall, he plans to write a book.
"Like other terms that swiftly achieve common usage, “sexual orientation” is rarely examined. Yet “sexual orientation” is more than a neutral term that can be used to describe anyone’s sexual inclinations. It is a radical challenge to the beliefs of all major religious faiths because it attacks the notion that sexual behavior has moral dimensions. It especially challenges Christianity.Uhm, Mr. Knight: "Sexual orientation" is not a mere term. It's not political rhetoric. Sexual orientation is science. Is research. Is truth about the human condition's full spectrum.
The underlying concept of “sexual orientation” is that all sexual behavior is equally valid and equally valuable to society. There are no good choices or bad choices, just desires. “Sexual orientation” laws are the legal embodiment of the old ’60s slogan, “If it feels good, do it.” However, the orthodox Christian view is that people who embrace sinful behavior as an identity are to be challenged like any other sinner, and they should be assisted in resisting temptation and overcoming it. They are to be encouraged to repent and avail themselves of the healing power of Jesus Christ. “Empowering” a particular sin serves only to trap sinners and encourages them to continue practicing their sinful behavior. That is why "supporting “gay rights” based on the relativist notion of “sexual orientation” is the opposite of Christian compassion, however well meant.
Over the past 90 years, a steady campaign has unfolded to overthrow Christian morality and replace it with an amorality that says desires in and of themselves validate behavior. It has been advanced largely by hijacking the rubric and moral capital of the black civil rights movement and attempting to apply such rhetoric to gain support for same-sex behavior. The political Left has long been at war against sexual morals for strategic reasons."
Robert H. Knight, How the Concept of “Sexual Orientation” Threatens Religious Liberty, 4 Liberty University Law Review [ADF Alert]
"The Legislature shall pass no laws, nor make any Amendments, that do harm to any group in Society, while doing no good for any other."That would be an amendment we could all support wholeheartedly.
"When slavery was abolished, all slaves became free men and women. When women obtained the right to vote, the discrimination ended with the very next election. But for children of same sex marriage, the situation will be different. When we come to our senses 30 years from now and realize that we have perpetrated a grotesque injustice, not a single child born fatherless or motherless within a same sex marriage will get his missing parent back. Only prevention will protect children’s rights.
The thin disguise of marriage equality will not mislead anyone, nor will it atone for the wrong this day done"
“What I witnessed from the opponents of the bill was appalling.” Brochin said. “Witness after witness demonized homosexuals, vilified the gay community, and described gays and lesbians as pedophiles. I believe that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather people are born one way or another The proponents of the bill were straightforward in wanting to be simply treated as everyone else, and wanted to stop being treated as second-class citizens.
Brochin added, “For me, the transition to supporting marriage has not been an easy one, but the uncertainty, fear, and second-class status that gays and lesbians have to put up with is far worse and clearly must come to an end.”
For years, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was the scene of exciting speakers throughout the day. But at night there have always been dozens of alcohol parties. These parties are viewed as festive opportunities to meet conservatives from all over the country in a more social atmosphere. It was not unusual for me to have to escort adult predators, even some openly homosexual men out of these parties because they could not resist the urge to prey upon the younger teenage victims at their disposal in a vulnerable place a long distance from their home and without their parents’ presence.Eugene closes today by noting that if you will only send him a "prayerful contribution" of "$10, $25, $50 or even $100," he can continue his noble work of stopping predatory homosexuals.
These days the predator homosexuals use political cover to gain access to their intoxicated victims. As I’ve told you before, the Conservative Political Action Conference has been infiltrated by the Homosexual Lobby. Radical Homosexual front groups like “GOProud” will be in attendance to push their perversion on young conservatives. This sort of predator behavior was illegal and immoral back when I had to clean house and condemn them. And it is still illegal and immoral to create an atmosphere in which those same misdeeds could occur again. Parents should be warned and frankly the authorities at CPAC should be told that there are minor age students who need to be looked after and protected.
The Native American Rights Fund said Fischer’s comments are “not worth dignifying with a reply,” and AFA blogger Elijah Friedeman called Fischer’s views “repulsive.” It appears that the AFA is now expunging Fischer’s vicious article on Native Americans, along with Freideman’s denunciation - they have even removed his column from Renew America where it was also posted. Fischer’s original article has been removed from the AFA’s Focal Point blog (while leaving his radio commentary on YouTube); similarly, Friedeman’s reaction was taken down from the AFA’s website and is no longer listed on his blog either.Still remaining is Fischer's column calling for Muslims to be banned from the military, his column describing gay activists as domestic terrorists, his column demanding an overturn of our democracy in favor of Biblical law, his column calling for the abolishing of high school, and his column recommending that homosexuals be rounded up and put in concentration camps. The American Family Association is perfectly OK with all of that.
Maryland – The Senate Judicial Proceedings committee heard 7 hours of testimony last night on whether or not to legalize gay marriage, including from NOM’s Maggie Gallagher. Now one Senator, who was previously a foe, has said her testimony convinced him to support marriage equality.Senator James Brochin (D) was one of the few Democrat Senators who was opposed to gay marriage. But after listening to testimony from Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization For Marriage (NOM), he’s said that her “demonization” of gay families has convinced him that he should side with marriage equality.