Last month, California State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced a proposal to amend California’s current two-parents-per-child law to allow judges to recognize multiple parents in the cases where it would best serve the children. But the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today, on its blog, promoted a Huffington Post article dismissing this common-sense legislation as “flawed.”
The bill was written in response to a situation in which the state took custody of a young girl after her two mothers were unable to care for her. The appellate court ruled that the girl’s biological father — a sperm donor who had remained involved in her life afterward — did not count as a third legal guardian under California’s existing law.
The NOM-highlighted article raises the specter of enormous numbers of parents:
It has passed the senate and could reach the assembly floor this month. California legislators should not support this bill. … And why stop at three? Senator Leno’s bill places no limit on the number of possible parents. If three’s a crowd, four or more is a mob.
Of course, this argument is downright silly. The bill would not dole out parental status at random. All parents would have to meet the state’s existing standards for legal parenthood under his bill.
Furthermore, it ignores the reality that many kids with divorced and remarried parents — gay and straight — are raised by four parents. But rather than protecting those kids with step-parents who love them, NOM and the post’s authors would rather make sure the laws only grant rights to those in families that meet their specifications.
The Maryland Catholic Conference has objected to the official language released this week for Question 6, the marriage equality referendum on the Maryland ballot. According to the MCC, the language is “misguided” for suggesting that religious liberty will be protected:
Proponents of the law claim the ballot language reflects the measure’s supposed religious freedom protections for those who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman. This claim is misguided and ignores the fundamental reason to reject this measure. [...] According to the actual legislation, religious organizations that accept any sort of state or federal funds are excluded from religious liberty protections. They are not exempt, and there are no protections for individuals. Marylanders should not be fooled into thinking we can redefine marriage and still protect religious liberty.
What the MCC is suggesting is that “religious liberty” should enable any individual or business to ignore the legal recognition of same-sex marriages if they so choose, even if they operate under the purview of public law. In states like Illinois and Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, Catholic Charities voluntarily shut itself down, ignoring the viable options of either recognizing same-sex couples or operating without state funding. The Catholic Church is arguing that religious beliefs should grant permission to completely ignore the laws set forth by the government — in other words, anarchy.
Mitt Romney joked about the right-wing conspiracy theory claiming that President Obama was born in Kenya, during a rally in Commerce, Michigan on Thursday afternoon.
“No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised,” Romney declared to loud cheers. Watch it:
Both Mitt and his wife Ann Romney were born in Michigan, though a small group of so-called Romney birthers question the claim, noting that since Mitt’s father George Romney was born in Mexico, “his candidate son is not a natural-born citizen, and therefore Constitutionally ineligible to occupy the Oval Office.” Some believe that Romney himself was also born in Mexico.
The Romney campaign has sought to distance itself from claims that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, through Romney continues to associate himself with prominent birther Donald Trump. Trump is expected to participate at the Republican convention on Monday.
The Romney campaign responds:
The Obama campaign responds:
“Throughout this campaign, Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them. It’s one thing to give the stage in Tampa to Donald Trump, Sheriff Arpaio, and Kris Kobach. But Governor Romney’s decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America.”
New Ad Highlights Pro-Marriage Equality Republicans |
A new ad for marriage equality, by the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry, will run in Tampa during next week’s Republican National Convention. The spot, aimed at Republicans, features San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders (R) and cites Dick and Lynne Cheney, Laura Bush, Ted Olsen and Cindy McCain as leaders of the issue. Sanders makes the case that marriage equality strengthens families and asks his fellow Republicans to join the cause.
Watch the video:
San Francisco 49ers Say, ‘It Gets Better’ |
The San Francisco 49ers have produced an “It Gets Better” video, discouraging bullying and encouraging LGBT teens to “believe in yourself, set goals for yourself.” Though the Seattle Seahawks participated in a video featuring various Seattle sports teams, the 49ers are officially the first NFL team to produce its own “It Gets Better” message featuring multiple players. Watch the clip:
Time Warner Will Cover Tax Inequities For Employees In Same-Sex Unions |
Time Warner Inc. has announced that it will begin implementing tax equalization on benefits for U.S. employees with state-recognize same-sex unions. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, these employees must pay taxes on the benefits they receive for their partner, creating an additional financial burden. Time Warner will join several other companies by now absorbing this cost, ensuring that all employees can access the same corporate benefits in the same fair way.
In July, Matt Cartwright, the Democratic Congressional candidate in Pennsylvania’s 17th District, said he did not share President Obama’s support for marriage equality but that his views were evolving. This week, he told the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader that his evolution is complete:
CARTWRIGHT: I’m for marriage equality. There’s no reason to discriminate against gay people. They’re not a threat against anybody… It wasn’t any ‘ah-ha’ moment. One thing I didn’t want to be was rushed into (making a decision). It seemed like Vice President Biden rushed the president into it. I just kept thinking it over in my mind and I didn’t see a good reason to discriminate against a substantial population of American citizens.
Cartwright added that his position was motivated by the process of running for Congress, because “this is a job where you have to take positions.” His opponent, Laureen Cummings (R) believes “the Lord says gay marriage, just as divorce, is wrong,” and blames progressives for using it as a “wedge issue” to divide the country.
Ohio Judge Refuses To Divorce Lesbian Couple |
A Franklin County judge refused to divorce a lesbian couple, citing Ohio’s 2004 constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Jim Mason ruled that he could not divorce Laura Christina Thompson and Evangeline Grace Roller because their union had no legal effect in Ohio — though the same court granted two gay men a divorce just a few days earlier. In the earlier case, a different judge determined he could dissolve the marriage even if it had no legal effect in the state. The Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage has argued Ohio courts cannot divorce same-sex couples because that would acknowledge the couples were, in fact, married.
he National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has written his own reflection about his recent debate with Dan Savage, attempting to further craft a bizarre narrative that somehow Dan Savage is the bully. Just as Brown ignored acknowledging same-sex families in the debate, he thanked Savage for the chance to meet “his partner and his child,” as opposed to his husband and their child. Then Brown went on to suggest that the LGBT community is “powerful” while ironically trumpeting Christian ideals of “equality”:
Christian teaching and practice was never rooted in racism, but in the radical equality of all people and peoples before God. The American South, under slavery, was the exception to the rule—which is one reason why, when challenged, the belief that Christianity can justify not only slavery but also racism, failed abjectly and is now a dead idea. That was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s great triumph.
But sexual morality and marriage are quite different. Here we have the broad consistent sweep of the authoritative teaching of Christ and the Christian church he founded, recorded in the Bible, and in Christian teaching and practice across the centuries. Here we have something core to the Christian faith, and as I told Dan Savage, it’s not going to go away just because he doesn’t like it.[...]
Something about that dynamic captures what we all see at work at this point in the gay marriage debate. Power is being exercised by a minority, which denies it has the power it is exercising, and denies what we see happening in front of us: this power is being used to label and demonize all who disagree, no matter how relentlessly civilized we are, no matter that we uphold gay people’s real fundamental civil rights.
Brown’s cognitive dissonance is on grand display here. He concedes that the attempt to defend slavery with the Bible failed, but is unwilling to admit that his own defense of inequality with the Bible could fail just as easily (and does). He accuses the LGBT community of exerting power over Christians, but NOM’s regular talking point is to brag how majorities have voted against the right of the minority in 31 states. He co-opts the civil rights movement to defend his position while his organization accuses the LGBT community of doing the same to create a racial wedge. And he claims that he is the victim being demonized, even though he can’t even bring himself to acknowledge the very families he campaigns against daily. As Brown actually said in the debate (about divorce), “Just because you believe something is wrong, it doesn’t mean that you make it illegal,” and yet that is exactly what he has dedicated his life to doing with same-sex marriage.
It’s not surprising that Brown’s reflection relies upon various anonymous comments from supporters — comments NOM could only get by reposting its own copy of the debate video. He failed to make one cogent argument against same-sex marriage, relying entirely on self-victimization and obvious lies. The debate deserves to be watched widely so that Brown’s obvious spin about how the evening played out doesn’t distract from what actually took place:
Focus On The Family Accuses GLSEN Of Promoting ‘Sexual Anarchy’ And ‘Sexual Chaos’ |
Focus on the Family’s Candi Cushman is again lashing out at GLSEN for its efforts to include LGBT visibility in schools, accusing the group of promoting “sexual anarchy” and “sexual chaos.” She cites a resource known as the GLSEN Lunchbox, which GLSEN has already phased out and is no longer distributing, and highlights tools within it without giving them the proper context. For example, Cushman shows a teacher training resource about transgender identities, immediately deeming it offensive without offering the context of the Kate Bornstein book the activity was based upon. As always, Focus on the Family wants young LGBT people to feel invisible and receive no validation that it might be normal to feel different about their gender or sexual orientation. Watch the clip:
Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT’s daily round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here’s what we’re reading this morning, but please let us know what stories you’re following as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.
- Last night, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called on the LGBT lawyers at the Lavender Law Conference to “safeguard the rights and freedoms of everyone in this country.”