NOM’s strategy of hypocrisy, Part 2: Religious freedom

September 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm 188 comments

by Rob Tisinai

We’ve already seen that one of NOM’s favorite claims — that they’re protecting voters’ rights — is just a deceitful pose. NOM has another argument: They defend religious liberty against intolerant gays. Let’s see if that one holds up any better. [SPOILER ALERT: It does not.]

The argument is tough to analyze — it changes based on whom they’re speaking to. Writing for the uber-conservative Townhall website, Maggie Gallagher frets that churches will lose their tax-exempt status if they refuse to marry gays. But when addressing an audience less eager to fall into an orgy of anti-gay fear-mongering, she admits, “Clergy may be protected by the First Amendment.” Though even there, she’s being dishonest in saying they only may be protected.

Still, you’d expect NOM to be happy when the California legislature passes a bill saying,

The bill would specify that no priest, minister, rabbi, or authorized person of any religious denomination would be required to solemnize a marriage that is contrary to the tenets of his or her faith. The bill would state that any refusal to solemnize a marriage under that provision shall not affect the tax exempt status of any entity.

But no, NOM’s unhappy. NOM’s youth outreach affiliate, the Ruth Institute (“Making marriage cool again!”), says this:

The real intent behind this bill is to make it appear as though it eliminates one of the main objections to same-sex marriage, that it jeopardizes religious freedom, in what gay activists hope will be an effort to get gay marriage on the ballot in California in 2012. They think that doing this will make gay marriage seem more acceptable to the voters of California and make it easier for such an amendment to pass…

The bill modifies several sections of California law and would change the word ‘marriage’ to the phrase ‘civil marriage.’ But a wedding is already a civil ceremony! Again, why would they want to modify these portions of the civil code? Well, the idea is to pave the way for two different kinds of legally recognized marriages: religious marriage and civil marriage.

But you know, the Public Religion Research Institute recently surveyed Californians and discovered support for marriage equality zooms to 61% with a law like this one in place. It’s what the voters want. And yet NOM and the Ruth Institute are against it. Funny — first they condemn us for opposing the vote of the people, and then they condemn us for supporting the will of the people. It’s almost as if…as if…as if NOM would condemn us no matter what we do.

Okay, so it’s not about clergy. Then what is NOM worried about? Maggie keeps bringing up Catholic Charities of Boston, which shut down adoption services because it could no longer legally discriminate against married same-sex couples. Maggie considers this a violation of Catholic religious freedom. Hmm. Where does this reasoning take us?

Same-sex marriages are just one type of marriage the Church refuses to recognize. The Church will recognize as valid a marriage between, say, a Lutheran and a Methodist conducted in a Methodist church. But it will not recognize a marriage between a Catholic and a Methodist conducted in a Methodist church. Now, Massachusetts law forbids Catholic Charities from discriminating against such a couple, even though the Church doesn’t view the marriage as valid. Yet Catholic Charities never threatened to shut down adoption services over it. Why not?

Oh, hell, let’s go even further. I had this email exchange with Maggie in April, 2009 (Maggie’s in bold):

Do you believe that accepting Jesus Christ as your lord and savior is necessary in order to go to Heaven?

Thanks

I believe that the only way to the Father is through the Son.

Is the a mass email or a personal question directed at me?

(Do I know you?)

Maggie

This is not a mass email, but your work has been in the news lately and I’ve been curious about your religious beliefs, since most of your work seems to focus on secular evidence about marriage.

Thanks for your quick reply. Your answer could have several meanings, though. I’m not sure if your answer means that one must accept Jesus as one’s lord and savior in order to be granted access to Heaven. Is that what it means?

I believe God sent his Son to die for us and it is only through Jesus that we are saved.

And that God does not force salvation on anyone so yes we have to choose to accept Jesus.

Maggie

Thanks for the clarification. I hope you don’t mind if I share this with others who might be wondering as you continue your work.

My faith is not a secret so sure. (I am a Roman Catholic) Maggie

Thanks. I was raised in a Roman Catholic family, too, and was an altar boy even.

There’s one thing that some of my Jewish friends find troubling about this issue. They interpret it as a statement that Jews cannot go to Heaven unless they convert. That offends them. Is there a way to counter that belief (does God give an exemption for his Chosen People) or is this something that has no wiggle room?

That would be up to God, not me.

That’s what I found troubling about your question: I don’t put restrictions or issue edicts to God about what is necessary for Him to save people.

I believe he sent his Son to do this. Maggie

Near as I can tell, Maggie thinks only Christians can go to Heaven, unless God grants a special exception. The implication for adoption is clear, then: Placing child with Jewish parents (for instance) would put that child’s eternal fate in jeopardy.

So does Maggie think Catholic Charities should be allowed to discriminate against Jews? I’ve never heard her say so. I doubt that she does believe so, even though it’s a clear implication of her rhetoric about religious freedom. It’s almost as if…as if…as if she only cares when it comes to teh gays.

That’s bad enough, but as is so common with NOM, it gets even worse. Go back to the Ruth Institute article about California’s religious liberty bill, and you’ll find this worry:

[W]hat about the county clerk who refuses to conduct gay marriages because of his faith…

Wow. They’re no longer talking about clergy, or charities, or even some random private individual. They’re talking about a government employee, hired to provide services to the American public, and paid with taxpayer dollars. They think government employees should be able to freeze out any American citizen they like, as long as they can shout, “Religion!” And still keep their jobs.

As far as I know, NOM complains a lot about religious freedom, but they’ve never fully defined the protection they’re looking for. Would they dare? Because I think it comes down to something like, People can ignore any law they want if they can give a religious pretext for doing so.

Wait, that’s not right. If that were right, then people of faith would be able to do any religious thing they wanted — even marrying same-sex couples despite state law to the contrary. And we know NOM doesn’t want to extend that liberty, no matter how religiously motivated.

Geez. It’s almost as if…as if…as if NOM’s vision of religious liberty consists of allowing people to do whatever NOM wants them to do.

No wonder they’re so vague.

Entry filed under: NOM Exposed, Right-wing.

VIDEO: Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins revels in defeat of DADT repeal Department of Justice tells Judge Phillips: Keep enforcing DADT and limit ruling only to “Plaintiffs and its members”

188 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Damn your spoilers!

    Reading the Liberty Institute brief right now. Will come back to this later.

    Reply
    • 2. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

      sub rub a dub dub scribing

      Reply
      • 3. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm

        rub a dub dubbing

        Reply
      • 4. Rhie  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm

        Add another to the tub.

        Reply
  • 5. AndrewPDX  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I love how they tout ‘traditional marriage’ and ‘in all cultures throughout history’… then they go and say ‘well, except that one and this one and those guys over there… they weren’t our type of Christianist, so they don’t count.’

    NOM = National Organization of ‘ME’.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    Andrew

    Reply
  • 6. Skemono  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    They think government employees should be able to freeze out any American citizen they like, as long as they can shout, “Religion!” And still keep their jobs.

    And why not! It’s not like that would lead up a slippery-slope to disturbing consequences.

    Reply
  • 7. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Yes, this is exactly what will happen. NOM is all about “Let the People Vote,” until that vote goes opposite of what they want, which is the total extermination of ALL LGBTQQI’s and our allies.

    Reply
    • 8. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      That is why they are attempting to ‘buy’ legislative votes – and even why they want to hide whose votes they are buying.

      Reply
  • 9. Richard W. Fitch  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Let’s cut to the chase on the question of marriage in the USA. There is only ONE legal form of marriage recognized and that is civil marriage. Any clergyman of any faith can solemnize the commitment between two people, but it is ONLY “the power invested in me by the STATE of …….” that makes that union legal.

    Reply
    • 10. Kate  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      EXACTLY. This is the wall against I keep bashing my head — can’t the courts just point out this reality and be done with it???

      Reply
      • 11. fiona64  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm

        I’ve been saying for ages that we need to do away with the courtesy granted to churches to perform legally binding weddings. The EU did this quite some time ago. You can have all of the religious ceremonies you want, but until you have the civil wedding down at the registry you aren’t married.

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
  • 12. Straight Ally #3008  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Well, the idea is to pave the way for two different kinds of legally recognized marriages: religious marriage and civil marriage.

    Only civil marriage is legally binding; clergy operate as agents of the state to officiate weddings.

    Well, that was easy! Are there any other fears I can alleviate for NOM?

    Reply
    • 13. BK  |  September 24, 2010 at 8:35 am

      Oh, I’m sure more will come along. :)

      Reply
  • 14. Bill  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I often wonder if Maggie Gallagher, when she is alone with her own thoughts and no one else is watching, actually does believe her rhetoric. I know that’s a rather vague notion, however, when she sits quietly and reflects on what it is she is doing, does she truly believe what she spouts, or is this simply ‘win at any cost’ and ‘keep the cash flowing.’

    Seriously. She has no dog in this fight. I would love to know her private thoughts and how she reconciles what she is doing with any sense of justice and morality.

    Reply
    • 15. draNgNon  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      I am really displeased with you for putting an image in my head of Maggie Gallagher “alone with her own thoughts.”

      Reply
      • 16. BK  |  September 24, 2010 at 8:46 am

        Putting myself in her shoes makes me depressed.

        Reply
    • 17. Catherine  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:19 am

      There were a couple of things that struck me in this article. First, I was amused that the conservative anti-marriage youth group names itself after “Ruth”. I am assuming it’s an homage to Ruth’s “whither thou goest . . .thy people shall be my people” soliloquoy. So many of ’em recite this at their religious wedding ceremonies. Funny thing is, Ruth said that to Naomi, not Boaz. Hmmmm . . .

      The other thing that struck me was Maggie’s quote, “And that God does not force salvation on anyone so yes we have to choose to accept Jesus.” EXACTLY!!!! God doesn’t force his views on anyone. True Christians understand that you give your explanation of what you believe and you allow a person to believe or not believe as they will. She’s free to express her religious beliefs against same-sex marriage, but she’s not free to force those beliefs on others – even by her own religion’s tenets.

      Reply
    • 18. Chris B  |  September 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      I don’t believe she actually “thinks” about it. It’s something she “has” to believe, so she never questions it honestly. And of course, it is all based on her belief that homosexuality is wrong.

      When you come from a Catholic background, where they believe that any type of contraception is wrong, you kind of have to suspend any type of logic. And Catholics seem to really tie marriage to children. I am now only understanding this obsession with marriage=having children. I never wanted kids, so for me, marriage has always been about 2 people uniting together. Children may or may not follow.

      Going to a fundamentalist Bible college, I know what it is like to live in an echo chamber where everyone around you believes the same things, and no one questions anything. It’s almost a sin to question authority.

      I have grown out of that and now look at some of the things that just don’t make sense–based on just common sense. (Like how could ALL the men in Sodom be gay, when even our gayest city, San Francisco, is only 15% gay?)

      So I think she really believes it. But she can’t even question herself or even consider that she is wrong, because of all the time and energy she has already invested. (I grew up in a Christian world where being gay was the worst thing, so for me, being gay was not even an option–that’s why it took me so long to realize/admit that I was gay. That’s how self-denial works.) There are people who get obsessed, for one reason or another, with these quixotic battles and get caught up in the power or their own needs, or whatever and refuse to consider anything else. How much more could she be doing if she focused all this energy on something that really mattered, like hunger, or poverty, or literacy, or something else?

      Reply
      • 19. Alan E.  |  September 27, 2010 at 8:59 am

        Like how could ALL the men in Sodom be gay, when even our gayest city, San Francisco, is only 15% gay?

        The workaround they use for that one is that the city was harboring teh gayz, so they deserved it, too.

        Reply
  • 20. Penn Stater  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Hey Guys!,
    Not sure if this is the best place to share this, but a story about ran in my college’s newspaper and I thought some of you might be interested.

    Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell created a blog devoted solely to the facebook stalking and slandering of openly gay University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong, and his supporters. He claims that Armstrong is a “radical gay activist”, even going as far to say that he is ‘recruiting’ people into homosexuality by having a rush party for his LGBT Fraternity. He is currently trying to force his resignation. [un]Surprisingly, there is no comment function to disprove his arguements, which are mostly based on speculation from facebook photos and wall posts, but I was wondering if there was anyway one of the writers for this blog could do an “Andrew Shirvell Watch” and expose each of his blog posts for what they really are: blatant bigotry and homophobia. He writes under the pen-name “concerned UM Alum” but it is clear that the only thing he is concerned about is a gay student holding a position of leadership at his alma mater.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • 22. Ronnie  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    “They’re talking about a government employee, hired to provide services to the American public, and paid with taxpayer dollars.”

    That is the point I keep making over & over & over & over again…to the anti-equality/anti-gay fundies…..taxpayer dollars….whose dollars?….LGBT people pay taxes….so by default….NOM is saying “Oh yeah we’ll support the government taking your (LGBT Americans) money but you can’t have anything I have unless you bow to me….I mean “God”…”

    : / …Ronnie

    Reply
    • 23. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm

      Yup! I pay the exact same taxes as other individuals do – – and I pay more taxes than their churches do.

      Reply
      • 24. Joel  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm

        I pay MORE taxes than other individuals do. I am taxed on Mark’s health benefits, and Mark and I can’t file jointly, so I end up paying more that way, too

        Reply
      • 25. Tim in Sonoma  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:37 pm

        Actually as a Married man in Ca. my husband pays monthly taxes on the benefits he recieves through my employer.

        In some aspects we pay MORE taxes…

        My heterosexual married counterparts at work are NOT required to claim their spouses benefits as income, just me and my husband.

        They will recognize our marriage JUST ENOUGH to take our money but THATS IT.

        Arrrg!

        Reply
      • 26. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm

        Tim, my neighbors (married lesbians) and I are planning on filing a petition with the IRS to recognize our marriage so we can pay lower taxes. there was that one case already, and we intend to follow that blueprint, but the decision only applied the the one couple involved. I’ll let you know when I hear more.

        Reply
      • 27. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm

        Alan, that will be worth hearing more about! Good luck!

        Reply
      • 28. Felyx  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm

        If there is an onslaught of applications to the IRS it might lead to a major policy change. Thank-you guys for leading the way!

        Reply
      • 29. Lora  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:54 pm

        I also pay taxes on my wife’s benefits, which irks me to no end. We’ve both either had our hours reduced or hourly pay cut, and on top of that we have to pay more taxes than my co-workers!

        I would also be interested in that petition to the IRS!

        Reply
      • 30. Tim in Sonoma  |  September 24, 2010 at 12:20 am

        Alan E.
        Even though the state of Ca recognizes our marriage the federal government does not. The IRS is a vein of the feds.
        I don’t see how any one can win that battle with DOMA in place.
        I was going to take the Feds to court for a refund of the taxes once DOMA was reversed and marriage equality was acheived.
        Are you saying a couple has already sued and won?

        Reply
      • 31. Alan E.  |  September 24, 2010 at 7:14 am

        Well I’m not sure of all the details, but a couple at least pettioned to the IRS directly, and they made the decision (the IRS) to recognize them for tax purposes. It was a decision that affected just the petitioners.

        Reply
      • 32. Ann S.  |  September 24, 2010 at 7:33 am

        Here is one article about the IRS recognizing a domestic partnership for tax purposes: http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-06-03/business/21655089_1_domestic-partners-income-tax-community-property

        Reply
      • 33. Catherine  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:32 am

        We pay more than these “upstanding citizens” and get less in return. As has already been stated, we can’t file jointly. We get taxed on health benefits. We also get taxed on inheritance and gifts. If we transfer a home from our individual name into both names – there’s transfer tax and I’m sure many other examples. For that we have to fight for every right that others are automatically granted – and what they consider to be their birthright! Douches.

        Reply
  • 34. Claire L.  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Anybody got a hyperlink to the Liberty Institute brief?

    Reply
    • 35. Kathleen  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm

      Here you go:

      Reply
    • 36. Kathleen  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      In general, you can find court filings in the case here:
      http://www.scribd.com/ownbycatz

      Reply
      • 37. Claire L.  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm

        Thank you!!

        Reply
  • 38. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Great article Rob!

    Reply
  • 39. Sagesse  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I have yet to read the Florida SC adoption decision. I am saving it to refresh my sanity and belief that there are good and reasonable people out there somewhere, after digesting all this self-serving lunacy.

    Reply
    • 40. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      Be sure to read through the second judge’s section at the end. it’s great!

      Reply
  • 41. John B.  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Quick way to demolish the “religious liberty” argument: if you have a church, say the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), that will marry same-sex couples as part of their religious faith and beliefs, then isn’t the government infringing on that church’s religious liberty by refusing to recognize those marriages?

    And if this is really, really about religious liberty, then shouldn’t the government recognize the polygamous marriages of some of the breakaway Mormon sects? It’s part of their religious belief system. What about THEIR religious liberty? But I’m sure Maggie and NOM don’t want to go down that road because in reality, they want to give the government permission to PICK AND CHOOSE which groups’ religious beliefs to respect, as long as they’re religious beliefs that she and NOM agree with. And how is that religious liberty at all???

    Reply
    • 42. John B.  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm

      And regarding “voters’ rights”, will somebody please come out and ask Maggie, “so if a majority of the voters of any state approve same-sex marriage, will you respect their decision and finally shut up?”

      Reply
      • 43. Straight Ally #3008  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm

        It would be great to get her to admit that no, they’d go right to the now-benevolent courts to oppose the now-evil will of the people.

        Reply
      • 44. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 8:47 am

        No, they won’t. That’s why they have this double-edged sword.

        If they win, it’s the will of the people.

        If they lose, it’s religious descrimination.

        From their perspective it’s a “blessed if you do, blessed if you don’t” thing.

        Reply
      • 45. Chris B  |  September 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm

        No, then she would say that the American voters aren’t sophisticated enough to understand the intricacies of what marriage is, or are anti-religious and then try to get the state legislators to make a new law, or try to get a federal marriage amendment.

        Reply
    • 46. Bob  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      simple it’s not, it’s smoke and mirrors, to hide the fact that religious liberty in the U.S. is purchased with dollars. money is the bribe in exchange for votes, that gives the gov’t permission to pick and choose.

      however your argument is valid, and as has been mentioned numerous times, affirming churches like MCC are standing up and speaking out.

      Catholics don’t acknowledge those churches though

      Reply
      • 47. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm

        Technically, Catholics (the official dogma) think everyone else is going to hell anyways.

        Reply
    • 48. fiona64  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      Yes, NOM is indeed stepping on the religious liberties of MCC and every other equality-minded church.

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
  • 49. Ronnie  |  September 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    A message to Maggie “Shoe Flinger” Gallagher….the woman begging for money to push her Fascist agenda in the name of God as a “Christian” as well as advocating that the government steal the hard earned money of LGBTH Americans & deny us all the rights, benefits, privileges, & protections we are entitled to by birth as a tax paying American citizen….

    (This message comes courtesy of our Heterosexual ally, Countess Luann)…..Maggie….money can’t buy you class….Elegance is learned you fascist b!tch….please excuse my use of an exclamation point….hahahaha…you thought I was going to say “please excuse my language”…..please…as if….you use lower language to talk to a benighted “Shoe Flinger” because people like you, Maggie, don’t deserve more appropriate words , let a lone being capable of comprehending sophisticated, appropriate, & kind words as well as anything that isn’t written in your Babble…I mean Bibble…..Bubble?….Oh Bible….doink….anyway…I dIgress….& now for a musical interlude……<3…Ronnie:

    Reply
    • 50. AndrewPDX  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm

      LOL… As always, Ronnie, you cut straight to the point, and do it with stylish music too!

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
      • 51. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:15 pm

        Don’t ya just LOVE his passion?
        :-)

        Reply
  • 52. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Out of simple curiosity…is there a time limit today for the justice department on the DADT issue? Or, do they have until midnight pacific time?

    Reply
    • 53. Kathleen  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm

      Generally, if there isn’t a time specified, the deadline is midnight. I haven’t seen the actual order detailing the schedule, so don’t know whether there is an earlier deadline.

      Reply
      • 54. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 8:48 am

        There wasn’t, I checked the other day.

        Reply
  • 55. Bob  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    @Rob, great e-mail exchange you actually had with Maggie, thanks for doing that, and it would be really great if she would continue the dialog,

    I insisted on that type of dialog with my church, and it lasted two yrs, and I learned a lot,

    Interesting in that as much as they are speaking out for what they believe, in the end they always have to defer the answer to God, cause in reality Maggie does not have the authority to answer those questions.

    Nor does the pastor who I confonted, in the end he had to defer my passage to heaven something that God decides not him.

    If they would accept that, it would end their false preaching

    Point I came to in my dialog and reading was that I don’t choose God, as they would have us beleive but rather he chooses us. They always make that error in putting the onus on us.

    The church or the pastor has no say , it’s between me and God, if there is one, and leaving that as an open question is what distinguishes between belief (which they try and limit us with), and real faith and spritituality.

    My questions and dialog were sincere, because I am dealing with end of life issues, I’m peparing to take that solo canoe trip, from which no one has returned to tell us what to expect or find after we’re finished with our bodies here on this earth.

    Reply
    • 56. Sheryl Carver  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm

      I don’t know what to say to you, Bob, except to ask whatever powers there may be to see to it that you have everything you need before & during that trip. Your sincere questions & dialog with others may have inspired them to do some serious thinking about their beliefs & how their actions affect others. Let us hope so, anyway.

      I use the canoe trip down a river as metaphor for life, especially when trying to keep in mind that there are things under my control but a lot that is not. While I can work at improving my paddling skills & have a lot of influence on where the canoe goes, the river’s current, rapids, & weather are most definitely out of my control. Plus nobody gave me a map of the river, not even telling me how long it will be before it turns into the ocean.

      May all go as well as possible for you, Bob.

      Reply
      • 57. Felyx  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm

        Grace and Wisdom, Bob, you will depart with that which many never gain. Felyx

        Reply
      • 58. Bob  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm

        Sheryl, for this trip, there’s no paddling required, I attended a workshop on death and dying, which was very comforting, he used a lot of native spiritual symobolism, which I can easly connect with.
        The canoe is a symbol of mother, created from all things natural, right in the forest, ribs carved from the tree, birch bark, fastened to it, with roots or saplings, and finally all patched with the sap from the spruce to make it water tight, the canoe when you look at it takes on the form of a skeleton, and so the body wrapped and laid in the canoe, is set adrift, to follow the current downstream, until if snags or finds it’s resting place, where it decays and returns to it’s source.
        The movie showed him pushing the canoe into the river, as he told the story, and I felt so comforted to think I could just be in there floating downstream.
        I’ve spent so much of my life going against the stream, I’m feeling kind of lulled by going with the flow, for a while, who knows where the rapids are, but it won’t matter.
        I focus on that image when I think of the journey I face, which many have taken before me, there’s also comfort in that.
        I’m simply trying to bring my awareness to it, and learning that there is nothing I need to make this journey, except letting go, which is very difficult, I’m trying bit by bit, much of my postings don’t sound like that, cause I am so opinionated, and have a very large ego, the goal is to diminish the ego , and this site has been very hellpful with that, cause people here seem to be very quick to notice and confront ego’s. being put in ones place is humbling, So I use this site as part of my journaling this site is a gift to me for this purpose,
        How grateful I am to be able to get up and empty my mind on this blog, especially consderng that my journey entails all the issues the people here are talking about,
        As I told the professr I dialoged with, I am a homosexual, and I will not repent to him for anything, what happens next is between me and God whoever she is. And in the end, everyone will find the same thing, and the pastor has to bow down to that truth, he is nothing.
        this may be the first time you heard this part of my story, others have heard it numerous times, my own husband thinks I will never die cause I prefer to tell people what to do rather than listen, and he swears I never listened to the Dr. when he told me I have about two yrs. that was two yrs ago. and I’m still on here telling people what to do, only now I know they don’t listen. but they put me in my place from time to time, and for that I’m grateful

        Thanks for your kind thoughts
        and likwise to Mark, especially cause you are one of those people who knows when to tell me to get a grip

        Reply
      • 59. Kate  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:33 pm

        Bob, you are teaching us all … thank you for showing us how to face this with you.

        Reply
      • 60. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:38 pm

        Bob, you are very wise and are showing wonderful grace. We will all be with you in spirit when you make your journey. Hugs to you.

        Reply
      • 61. Sheryl Carver  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:22 pm

        It sounds as though you have done well in this phase of the journey, & prepared as well as possible for the next one, Bob.

        While no one knows what comes next, I had at least one experience that convinced me that the most important part of who we are continues after what we call death. I hope it is so, & that all of us like-minded beings will get to meet in the next realm.

        Blessings to you, Bob, & to your husband. May he have all the support he needs, too.

        Reply
      • 62. Kathleen  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm

        Bob, I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am to know you. I wish I could be at your side right now, reach over and touch your hand, and let you know how much you have brought to my life. All I can say is thank you for all you’ve shared with me here.

        Reply
      • 63. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 8:56 am

        And, since it seems noone’s said this…

        Bob: Thanks for the time you take to be a real and active part of this community we have here. I understand that you must have other, more pressing things on your mind, as anyone in your situation would. But you still take the time to engage our minds and speak to our hearts.

        Reply
    • 64. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      Big hugs Bob….you are NOT alone my friend

      Reply
  • 65. LEX  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    If Maggie’s children were born to be gay, would she put them back in herself for another 9 months for the rebirth and are born to be straight?

    Reply
    • 66. nightshayde  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      No — because she doesn’t believe that someone can be born gay. She’d just do her best to make the child miserable re-educate/re-program her little darling until the child is (1) an ex-gay; (2) well and firmly in the closet with no hope of escape; (3) smart enough to cut all ties to her; or (4) hospitalized for severe depression or worse.

      Reply
      • 67. Kate  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm

        Dibs on #3.

        Reply
      • 68. nightshayde  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

        It makes me so sad that ANYONE has to go through that. There’s a woman here at work who has a son I just KNOW is gay (my cubicle-mate concurs). I think the woman is fairly anti-equality (though not to the NOM extent). I’ve never met her husband, but from stories I’ve heard, he’s a typical macho-dude homophobe. He’s not happy that his son is artistic rather than athletic & really doesn’t like that the kid has become his Mom’s fashion/makeup consultant — he doesn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and think his son is gay.

        I’m pretty sure telling the gal that nobody will have the wrong idea if they think the kid is gay wouldn’t go over well. I have a feeling though that when she figures it out, she’ll move over to the pro-equality side in direct opposition to her husband who will kick the poor kid out of the house.

        Reply
      • 69. Felyx  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm

        Careful there Nightshayde… I believe you are far closer than you suspect. I have heard rumors regarding Maggie’s relationship with her child. (Daughter I think.) \:`|

        Reply
    • 70. draNgNon  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

      good grief I don’t want this image in my head either!!!

      Reply
  • 71. Straight Grandmother  |  September 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Kate & Mark M from Seattle, I have something on my mind that is troubling me, can you kindly e-mail me at my sign in name with no spaces and then gmail.com?

    Reply
    • 72. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 23, 2010 at 2:40 pm

      You’re kidding right? If you have anything to say to me please do so in open forum….and it should maybe start with an apology

      Reply
      • 73. BK  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:54 am

        I am suddenly confused.

        ?

        Reply
    • 74. Kate  |  September 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm

      I’d rather have witnesses.

      Reply
      • 75. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm

        Me too…

        Reply
  • 76. jbf  |  September 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    After readin the events in Atlanta this past week things are even more in perspective. You see, I have had this impression for quite a while, after listeing to and viewing the leaders of NOM, call it my gaydar going off if you will, but I believe more now than ever that Brian and that Maggie protest a bit too much. Kind of like Bishop Long and Rev.Ted Haggert. I wish we could find the individuals with the keys to those closets.

    Reply
    • 77. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      I’ll bypass getting a toaster oven on either person!

      Reply
  • 78. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    http://www.theindychannel.com/news/25041782/detail.html

    Homophobic hate messages were left Thursday on a memorial page set up for Billy Lucas, a Greensburg High School student who killed himself last week after being mercilessly bullied, friends said.

    Numerous images were uploaded to a Facebook group, giving visitors a taste of the kind of hate Lucas endured, friends said.

    Just despicable.

    Reply
    • 79. jbf  |  September 23, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      I agree, those actions are totally despicable.

      Reply
  • 80. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Not sure if there was a post on it already, but there was a forum segment about transgender kids. One of the guests on the show even posted more info in the comments section. I have yet to listen to it, but I will as soon as I finish the Fresh Air from today.

    http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201009011000

    Reply
    • 81. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

      I heard that program, it was very good. Interesting discussions going on in the comments, too, I see.

      Reply
  • 82. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    New brief. protectmarriage.com

    Reply
  • 83. Franck  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Off-topic whining of the day, hoping it’s not too out of place :

    I just right now turned 26. The usual formula says “Happy birthday”. Well, I’m not happy. Stress and a sense of injustice have had me watery-eyed for the last few hours.

    It doesn’t help that the only person who could make me feel better right now will probably be unreachable for the day because of the bunch of homophobic crazies he’s unfortunate to have as a family.

    I’ll still try to have a good (albeit stressful and sleep-deprived) day, but just look at the number in my signature and you’ll understand that it’ll never be as good as I wished.

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1190 days, as of today.

    Reply
    • 84. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      Franck, I’m sorry. Have some virtual cake, some virtual cookies, and a big virtual hug. Wish I could help more.

      Reply
    • 85. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      Surprisingly, 26 feels an awful lot like 25. (I just turned 26 a few months ago too)

      Reply
      • 86. nightshayde  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm

        You boys are making me feel old. >.>

        Reply
      • 87. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm

        LOL. 50 feels an awful lot like 49. I didn’t think it would until I woke up on a day I had been dreading and all I thought was, “Hey! It’s my birthday!”

        Reply
      • 88. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:07 pm

        I have shoes older than 26 LOL

        Big Hugs Alan :-)

        Reply
      • 89. rf  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm

        after 30, time speeds up like you won’t believe. happy birthday.

        Reply
    • 90. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      Big Hugs birthday boy :-)
      Hang in there we WILL win this fight I feel it in my very bones.

      Reply
    • 91. Ronnie  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:33 pm

      I just turned 26 too….this past June…I went to Fire Island for that week…..so relaxing….Happy B-day….& now for another musical interlude…..<3…Ronnie:

      Reply
      • 92. BK  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:56 am

        @Ronnie: oh, *sigh*. So predictable, Ronnie. ;) A message and then a song. :)

        Reply
  • 93. John Presto  |  September 23, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Why not act on the phrase “fight fire with fire”, by using “anti- equality activists” when referring to NOM and their friends? The other side is quick to use “gay activists”, “activists judges”…What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Reply
    • 94. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      That’s a lovely idea…I’m parcial to ‘bigots’ but can switch to Anti-equality activists I think :-)

      Reply
      • 95. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm

        I frickin can’t spell/type to save my life :-(
        ‘partial’

        Reply
      • 96. Sheryl Carver  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm

        Would your “self-reply (partial)” be another vote for a edit/preview feature on P8TT, Mark? :-)

        I comment sometimes on Pam’s House Blend, and am too often humbled by the errors I catch when I read the “preview” before posting. Even with spell check, the word I typed is not always the one I meant, never mind grammar & content. Sigh.

        Reply
      • 97. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm

        Oh yes please!! I would dearly love an edit button :-)
        I would certainly put it to great use

        Reply
    • 98. nightshayde  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm

      I think either “anti-equality activists” or “pro-discrimination activists” will work nicely.

      Reply
      • 99. Kate  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm

        Anti-equality is better. Anything with “pro” in it sounds like what people should believe in, like “pro-life.” Their type falls for the pro thing all the time.

        Reply
      • 100. nightshayde  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm

        I’ve recently started referring to some in the “pro-life” camp as “pro-forced childbirth” instead.

        Reply
      • 101. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm

        nightshayde, I kinda like “anti-choice”, myself.

        Reply
      • 102. nightshayde  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm

        I use that, too — depends on the audience and the context.

        Reply
      • 103. BK  |  September 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm

        I’ve noticed that everyone who supports abortion has already been born…

        Reply
    • 104. Ed  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:42 pm

      Anti-equality activists! I love it!

      Reply
  • 105. Joel  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Well, I don’t know how many of you pick up USA Today during your daily rounds, but here is their editorial today supporting the repeal of DADT. The rebuttal is written by one of our favorites, Tony Perkins, and is a lollapalooza! I look forward to you all tearing it to shreds. It should be fun!

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2010-09-23-editorial23_ST_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

    Reply
  • 106. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    UPDATE: Amicus Brief of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Desert Stream Ministries in support of Proponents.

    37 pages of what is no doubt very interesting reading, but I don’t have much time to look at it right now.

    Reply
    • 107. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      The sole issue addressed in this brief is whether same-sex attraction is a fixed and immutable characteristic like race. This issue is critically important because, if a court were to erroneously decide that same-sex attraction is an immutable characteristic, as the district court has in this case, a tribunal in the future might be led to further conclude that homosexuals are a “suspect class” for purposes of the Equal Protection Clause. Such an erroneous conclusion would improperly subject laws like Proposition 8 to “strict scrutiny” rather than the existing legally appropriate “rational basis” review.

      Pointing and laughing may commence.

      Reply
      • 108. Jonathan H  |  September 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm

        Pointing and laughing is really the only appropriate response to that drivel.

        Something that intrigues me about that whole “people choose to be gay” claim is that it always implies that somehow that would make it ok to, for example, ban same-sex marriage. As though things that people choose to be or to do must be justified or excused before anyone’s allowed to make that choice.

        Some people choose to be clowns, and yet two clowns are allowed to get married. Think of the children!

        Reply
      • 109. Rhie  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

        Jonathan —

        That’s what gets me. Choice is not a basis for choosing which rights get protected. Speech and religion are absolutely choices, and there they are protected in the very first Amendment.

        Reply
    • 110. Kate  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm

      I sure hope that verdicts aren’t based on the volume of crap submitted……..

      Reply
      • 111. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm

        One would hope that there would be an inverse relationship between the volume of crap submitted and success in court.

        Reply
    • 112. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      Um isn’t the ex-gay Richard Cohen the same ex-gay Richard Cohen who is a party to Exodus – the same people trying to murder Homosexuals in Uganda…yeah, I’d believe he’s trying to help the gay!

      Seeing an official of Exodus International and Brundidge, a relative unknown who is a “counselor” for Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation, appearing alongside someone associated with three separate hate groups was shocking enough. To see the three of them putting on an anti-gay conference in Uganda, which already had a recent history of anti-gay vigilantism and extra-judicial torture at the hands of police, we feared the worst. The problem was, we had no idea what the worst would be.

      http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/slouching-toward-kampala

      Reply
    • 113. Leo  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      They should find a lawyer who can spell “existence”

      Reply
    • 114. Leo  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      They are asking the court not to accept Findings of Fact nos. 45, 46 and 47:

      45. Proponents’ campaign for Proposition 8 assumed voters understood the existence of homosexuals as individuals distinct from heterosexuals.

      46. Individuals do not generally choose their sexual orientation. No credible evidence supports a finding that an individual may, through conscious decision, therapeutic intervention or any other method, change his or her sexual orientation.

      47. California has no interest in asking gays and lesbians to change their sexual orientation or in reducing the number of gays and lesbians in California.

      Yet the brief does not even attempt to refute 45, much less 47.

      Addressing 46, they are presenting unsworn testimony of four individuals who cannot be cross-examined and claim that that refutes the sworn testimony of an expert witness and of five fact witnesses on which the finding was based. Riiiiiight.

      Reply
      • 115. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm

        LOL! I’m glad you recognize this for the nonsense that it is.

        Reply
    • 116. anonygrl  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm

      At the core of the program is the realistic hope that individuals with same-sex attraction can choose a course of action that enables them to identify and live as whole-enough heterosexuals.

      What in the HELL is a “whole-enough heterosexual”? That phrase terrifies me.

      “Well, we did what we can. You are still attracted to women, but we’ve given you the tools so you can just swallow your bile and go ahead and sleep with a man. You are now whole-enough. Good luck!”

      i fear I must now go to their website (if you don’t hear from me again, you know where to send the search parties) and find out what they are on about with this one.

      Reply
      • 117. Ronnie  |  September 23, 2010 at 9:16 pm

        hahahahahahahahah…cough….hahahahahahah…drools a little…whole-enough…..that’s an oxyMORON…..but honestly….in all seriousness……

        I’ve had “whole-enough”…..of their “well since I can publicly say I am heterosexual & you just have to take my word for it & I…um…I manage to have intercourse once or twice with my bearrrr….I mean opposite sex life partner just to produce a little demon spawwww….I mean perfect little angel…while I dream of Ian Somerhalder’s rippling abs & rock hard pecs & crystal blue eyes & deliciously soft dark brown hair as he…..ummmm….wait…what was I talking about?…..Oh yeah so If I can say that I am heterosexual then so can you…Just say it…come on…Your life & soul will be saved…so what do you say or you straight or are you (whispers softy) a Gay Man ? (then he snaps his fingers in front of my wondering eyes)….I snap too & say……

        What was that you said about Ian Somerhalder’s abs & crystal blue eyes?

        ; ) ….Ronnie

        Reply
      • 118. Jonathan H  |  September 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm

        You’ve got the basic idea. “Whole-enough” means “you can fake it and take part in a miserable sham-marriage. Occasionally you may get caught snorting crystal meth off a 19 year old rentboy’s ass, but you can just claim you’re in the process of fighting the devil with Jesus’ help and then your sham-wife can hold a press conference to announce that you’re completely heterosexual.”

        That ran on a little longer than I’d intended.

        Anyways, anonygrl, if you do go to that website, courage! It’s a depraved and twisted place, as I’m sure you already guessed.

        Reply
      • 119. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:14 am

        Ronnie: How about “oxy-MOR-NOM?”

        Reply
  • 120. Michelle Evans  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    We have a new NOM Tour to track, right here in California. Thought the community would like to know about it. It is an effort to get Latino voters to vote Republican in November and to uphold NOM’s “traditional” values. They will be covering the state with their tour bus from September 27 through October 6, with two rallies on Oct 4 & 5 in San Diego and East LA.

    http://www.tusvalores.com/en/bus-tour.html

    The closest they’ll be to my location is Dana Point on Saturday, Oct 2. There are no specific locations yet given, just cities. If anyone finds out more, please let us all know.

    Reply
    • 121. Kate  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      Well, well. I wonder if Maggie & Brian are going to try to sound as though they can speak Spanish….. And do you suppose they’ll require Green Cards to attend their rallies???

      Reply
    • 122. Mark M  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks for the heads up Michelle! Will certainly be curious as to the locations in San Diego….have many friends down there who I know would LOVE to give NOM some ‘love’
      hehehehehehehehe

      Reply
  • 123. Alan E.  |  September 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    DADT paperwork has been filed, too.

    Reply
    • 124. Joel  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      I just briefly scanned it, and can’t really make sense out of it at all, but of course IANAL.

      It seems that their main arguing points are that
      1. The courts do not have the jurisdiction to rule that a federal statute is unconstitutional
      2. The injunction should apply only to the plaintiffs, and
      3. We’re not going to pay, even if we lose

      Admittedly oversimplified. I’m sure one of our legal heroes here will take a look at this and give us a good summary of it.

      Reply
      • 125. Leo  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm

        They do say that the injunction should only apply to the plaintiffs, but then they also say that it’s impossible to issue an injunction that would only apply to the plaintiffs, with, I guess, the unstated implication that there should be no injunction at all.

        Reply
    • 126. Sheryl Carver  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      The DOJ’s argument that the legislative branch is considering the repeal of DADT seems to be nullified by this week’s refusal of the Senate to actual consider it.

      Reply
    • 127. Sheryl Carver  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm

      IANAL …

      Re: the DOJ’s contends that an injunction should only apply to current LCR members. I guess they’re concerned that if it applied to LCR members, regardless of when they joined, an LGBT service member could join the LCR in the future & thus be safe from DADT.

      (If that were the case & I was still in the USAF, I can assure you I would hold my nose & join. The joy of then thumbing same nose at those politicians who choose to discriminate for selfish reasons would far outweigh any nose damage caused by joining the LCR.)

      Reply
    • 128. James UK  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      I have only briefly scanned this document.

      The DOj’s main argument is that the case was brought on behalf of iLCR’s members only and should apply only to them.

      However, this would not give complete relief.

      Judge Phillips found DADT unconsitutional because it improperly infringed the plaintiffs first and fifth amendment rights. Those rights would continue to be infringed without a worldwide injunction. Without such an injuction, LCR members in the military, whether generally or in particular John Doe, cannot be protected in relation to those first and fifth amendment rights.

      Imagine the injuction is limited only to John Doe or to LCR members as of the date of the first amended complaint. They could say that they were gay in California. But they could not say so elsewhere. Moreover, imagine John Doe knows other gay servicemembers not stationed in California. He would not be able to communicate openly with them, for fear that they would be caught by DADT outside California, or that for the purpose of an investigation/witch hunt of gay servicemembers outside California, that he could be transferred out of California and required to name names. Not to mention the possibility (read likelihood) of immediate transfer of Doe/LCR members out of California with the sole aim of defeating the judgement and keeping DADT intact.

      Reply
      • 129. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:28 am

        *** Snark Alert ***

        What they really seem to want (both DOJ and NOM, et al.) is for individuals to flood our already overburdened courts.

        I say….GO FOR IT. Every LGBT person in America should go to their local state and fed. courts and file lawsuits Flood the courts with paperwork…bring the courts to a standstill. Tie the gov’t in so many knots, consume so many resources, eat up so much money that they SEE who we are and what we can do.

        Can they fight that? Can they put on defenses, again and again, in court after court? Loss after loss?

        Three things you have to target to get a politician to take notice: prestige, power, and purse. Filling the court’s dockets would effectively hit power and purse. Prestige the’ll kill on their own. Can any of these so-called-leaders justify increasing the DOJ budget to fight that much?

        Reply
  • 130. Trevor  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    I don’t want to give Maggie any support because she is certainly misguided at best. However, I don’t think her point about the Catholic Charities isn’t that far fetched. A private, religiously affiliated, non-profit organization should absolutely be allowed to provide their services to whomever they do or do not want.

    Nonetheless, I do think it’s a silly argument to even suggest that clergy members or churches will be forced to do anything they don’t want. It just doesn’t make sense in the light of the first amendment.

    Reply
    • 131. Ann S.  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      If Catholic Charities was completely private and took no funding from public sources, and if the public system also had its own agency and was not dependent on Catholic Charities, then yes. But I think they were taking public money and yet didn’t want to play by the public’s rules.

      Reply
      • 132. nightshayde  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm

        If I recall correctly, they chose to close their doors because they could neither operate without public funding nor accept public funding & continue to discriminate.

        Of course, the NOMbies and their ilk keep saying that the government shut them down.

        They wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them on their backsides.

        Reply
    • 133. AndrewPDX  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      I would agree that ‘A private, religiously affiliated, non-profit organization should absolutely be allowed to provide their services to whomever they do or do not want.’… but not with government monies.

      This is the Catholic church we’re talking about — they have more money than most countries (combined)… they surely could have opened the coffers in the Vatican and continued to discriminate in their charities if they really cared.

      But, they decided to be selfish and close their doors instead. They were not forced to to do so.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
      • 134. Trevor  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm

        I’m not aware of the accepting government funding, though I don’t doubt that it’s true. I agree that the government has the right to attach certain stipulations when giving out money and the organization has the right to either accept or decline.

        Reply
    • 135. robtish  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm

      Even if Catholic Charities took no government funding, it still couldn’t operate in Massachusetts while excluding married same-sex couples. It’s against the state’s discrimination laws.

      I spent FOREVER on the phone with MA bureaucrats trying to track down details, but they’re not eager to talk about it. I did find out, though, that LDS adoption services were suspended and under review because they only wanted to place kids in LDS homes, again a violation of state discrimination law.

      The issue for me is NOM’s hypocrisy. They cry “religious freedom” when churches are prevented from discriminating against gays on religious grounds, but utter not a peep when churches are prevented from discriminating against people of other faiths on religious grounds.

      That tells me it’s not about religious freedom for NOM. It’s about teh gays.

      Reply
      • 136. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm

        Good point Rob.

        Reply
      • 137. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:31 am

        Just another example of how they’re willing to throw even children “under their bus” to hold their bigoted, outdated “values.”

        Reply
  • 138. Alan E  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Wow page 13 of the Bishop Jackson brief can be equally applied to any gay couple. Straight Grandmother, your story certainly relates and is almost exactly the same situation. Same state too!

    Reply
    • 139. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      If anything, half of these briefs help us by proving how much hatred there is out there for all LGBT people.

      just wow!

      Reply
      • 140. Kate  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm

        LLB — Can you send me an FB friend request? I’m on the Feed Equality site under the name Chaco (with golden retriever photo). Thanks, Kate

        Reply
      • 141. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm

        Yes, cute dog!

        Reply
      • 142. Kate  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:15 pm

        Tnx! That is one of my goldies. Will email you in the morning.

        Reply
    • 143. Alan E  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      Haha they used a Darwin and Eugenics argument. Very subtle god > Darwin point he slipped in there on page 19.

      Reply
    • 144. Alan E  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      I’m posting from my phone, or I would give quotes

      Reply
  • 145. Alan E  |  September 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    In the PFOX brief, they claim JONAH & NARTH as friendly organizations.

    Reply
    • 146. Kathleen  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:58 pm

      Yeah, and the Klan is right friendly too. :/

      Reply
  • 147. Jonathan H  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    “The argument is tough to analyze — it changes based on whom they’re speaking to.”

    Call me cynical, but I think that changing quality makes it very easy to analyze indeed.

    “The real intent behind this bill is to make it appear as though it eliminates one of the main objections to same-sex marriage”

    As far as I can tell, the bill just promises to do what the law already requires. But look at what’s being said here, they’re actually objecting to the removal of an objection!

    Imagine a small-business owner complaining to the IRS, “You can’t tax me that much, I won’t be able to buy a company car for my business!”

    IRS: “Go buy your company car, that’s a deductible expense that you won’t have to pay in taxes.”

    Guy: “You’re just trying to remove my objection!”

    See? It only makes sense if the objection was dishonest to begin with.

    “[W]hat about the county clerk who refuses to conduct gay marriages because of his faith…”

    Then as he searches for a new job he can reflect that the same religious freedom that allows him to live by his code also allows other people to not live by his code. Denying services (especially public ones!) to people because they are not living up to your rules is a far greater violation of religious freedom than being expected to acknowledge that others have the freedom to be of different faiths.

    I wrote this whole stupid essay with hardly a snark or cheap laugh in it! Must be losing my sense of humor. Without my sense of humour I’m nothing but a pompous windbag; what have you done to me, NOM?!

    Reply
    • 148. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:38 am

      “[W]hat about the county clerk who refuses to conduct gay marriages because of his faith…”

      This is the slippery slope they try to create. Let’s change the wording a bit, and see if it still stands…

      “[W]hat about the county clinician who refuses to treat gays because of his faith…”

      “[W]hat about the county social worker who refuses to consult with gays because of his faith…”

      As we can see, if we change the wording just a bit, this “rational” just doesn’t hold.

      If your faith and job are irreconcilable, use your freedom, and change one of them.

      Reply
      • 149. Jonathan H  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:47 am

        Well, my poorly expressed reasoning there was that when you deny service to someone because of your religious beliefs, you’re forcing them to live by your code. So in a very real way, you’re denying their own freedom of religion, by forcing them into yours.

        I see that as a far greater violation than expecting people to assume that their rules don’t necessarily apply to others.

        Reply
      • 150. Ann S.  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

        But they do think the county clinician should be able to refuse to treat gays, and they do think the county social worker should be able to refuse to consult with gays. This is what some of the cases that they love to (poorly) cite are about — a fertility doctor who refused to assist a lesbian with artificial insemination, students in counseling programs who don’t think they can counsel gays — they think those people are in the right, along with the county clerk who doesn’t want to marry gay people.

        Reply
      • 151. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:28 am

        Ann S:

        That was an (unstated) point I was trying to make. Guess it wasn’t clear.

        Slipped on my own slope. :>

        Reply
      • 152. Ann S.  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:35 am

        Oh, sorry I didn’t follow. Must be the head cold I have. Yeah. Let’s blame that.

        Reply
      • 153. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:39 am

        I’ll forgive ya. I know how fuzzy I get when I have a cold.

        *Hands Ann some decongestants, antihistimines (G1), and tissues*

        Would you like a nice hot cup of lemon/ginger tea with honey?

        Reply
      • 154. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:46 am

        I’ll also recommend Bengal Spice. It has black pepper in it and a really strong flavor. Clears the sinuses, and you can actually taste it. :>

        Reply
      • 155. Ann S.  |  September 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm

        All remedies gladly accepted! Thank you!

        Reply
    • 156. AndrewPDX  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:37 am

      How about this example: Maybe our very own Elizabeth Oakes could refuse to offer a marriage license to a heterosexual Roman Catholic couple, simply because she doesn’t agree with their religious views.

      Yeah, see how far that would fly.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
      • 157. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:38 am

        Yes! That is a good example. Perhaps we need to test this in the real world…see if they just roll over and say “okay, never mind.”

        Reply
      • 158. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:43 am

        It’d be an interesting experiment. Any clergy out there willing to try it? (Just asking. I can see the obvious conflicts with your calling.)

        I wouldn’t hold my breath that they’d recant.

        Reply
      • 159. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm

        I can tell you exactly what would happen, Andrew–I would be “fired” or rather, lose my commission from the State and my authorization to issue marriage licenses from the County. In fact–because there are many authorized notaries who serve the religiously-conservative immigrant community here–a memo went out to all of us during 2008 marriage equality saying that anyone who refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples would be immediately suspended.

        Remember that JOP in Alabama (I think) earlier this year or late last year who refused to marry an interracial couple? It’s the same issue. If you’re a commissioned or elected officer of a government, you have to follow the laws (and AL has anti-discrimination laws, so the uproar over his refusal was correctly roared.) If you’re a County Clerk in CA, you’re going to follow state law whether you like it or not–that is, if you want to keep your job. It gets fuzzier when we talk about doctors and other people who are not government officials, and gets even more fuzzy if they work for a hospital that takes government money.

        Moreover, clergy are allowed to discriminate on any grounds they want–that’s part of the separation of church and state stuff.

        Reply
    • 160. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      Indianapolis Bakery Won’t Serve Gay Students

      Looking for some cupcakes or cookies with rainbow frosting on them, to celebrate National Coming Out Day? Don’t head to Just Cookies in Indianapolis. The bakery, inside Indianapolis’ City Market, refused to accept an order from a gay student group at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Why?

      According to the man who owns the bakery, rainbow cupcakes and cookies celebrating LGBT pride violate the values of the bakery.

      Of course, it’s the bakery’s right to serve to whom it wants…

      “Having been a previous customer (fortunately the clerk didn’t inquire about my sexual orientation at the time) I can say that my experience with their product was on par with the treatment of an entire segment of society – POOR,” wrote user Eric Benge. “Last time I checked, my money is as green as the heterosexual community.”

      Pretty good point there with that last statement. You’d have to bet that the cookie order for National Coming Out Day would have earned Just Cookies a nice haul. Now, the negative publicity from turning down a group of students who just wanted rainbow baked goods could just paint the bakery in a thoroughly negative light.

      They did get their cookies from another vendor though…

      Entire Story: http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/indianapolis_bakery_wont_serve_gay_students

      Reply
  • 161. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I’ve found two YouTube videos of the video the Catholic church is sending to parishoners here in Minnesota. Here’s the first:

    Reply
    • 162. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm

      And here’s the second (which doesn’t seem to want to play for me):

      Reply
      • 163. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm

        NOM’s fingerprints are all over these. Or maybe it’s that the Catholic church’s fingerprints are all over NOM. Incestuous, whichever way you look at it….

        Like the video Richard and I found the other day, there’s nothing new here. Same tired old BS.

        Let the shredding begin!

        Reply
      • 164. Sheryl Carver  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm

        Since Brian & Maggie are both Catholic, it’s not a big surprise that their rhetoric & tactics would be similar. Nor their goals: get rid of “teh gays” & make all societies everywhere kowtow to the RCC.

        Reply
      • 165. Sheryl Carver  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm

        (Un)fortunately, Paul, it does play on my computer.

        Maggie herself appears in video #2, spouting the same lies & misdirection as usual. I am a big fan of the First Amendment, but at times like these I wish there was some sort of “truth in advertising” law that prohibits outright lying.

        Reply
      • 166. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm

        Won’t play on mine, either; very frustrating to try to watch it as it stops, starts and hangs. Maybe someone will post another version of this that actually works; I’ll keep my eye out for it!

        Or maybe the computer, taking after me, just gags when Maggie is on the screen….

        Reply
      • 167. Sheryl Carver  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:03 pm

        Paul,

        It DOES play on mine, but loads very slowly. I watched it on youtube.com so I could change the setting to 240p. Still loads slowly, so I paused it until it was completely buffered, then played it.

        It’s the same nastiness, but it’s still wise to know what garbage they are putting out.

        Reply
      • 168. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:11 pm

        Doh, replied to the wrong thread! Here it is again, hopefully in the right place:

        OK, I just tried watching it again, and it seems to be working. I managed to get through the whole thing; there was probably an issue with YouTube streaming earlier.

        Everyone needs to watch this video. It’s filled with lies and distortions (and Maggie; go figure…). Their main claim is that same-sex marriage will take away religious liberty from people opposed to marriage equality — and they claim that this has happened in Massachusetts and California. And of course they tell only one side of the story for every piece of “evidence” they present.

        It’s a real piece of work (now why did I just think of Maggie yet again?).

        Reply
      • 169. Jonathan H  |  September 24, 2010 at 12:41 am

        “But if it’s legal, schools will tell our children that it’s ok!”

        If it’s legal, it IS ok, morons.

        It’s the smiling, happy happy lying that really gets to me. The tone of voice makes me think of Sesame Street characters running Auschwitz.

        So I googled “robert george princeton”, and on the first page was this lovely quote:
        “In short, Princeton Law Professor Robert George is warning us that Senator Obama is truly evil and unfit to be President of the United States.”

        Yeah. He’s also one of the founders of NOM, and chairman according to wiki. Not looking very credible to me just now.

        And finally, because some weird universal law requires it to be said, the Catholic Church should really think twice before using “Think of the children!” these days.

        Reply
      • 170. Rhie  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

        Jonathan —

        Yet more hypocrisy. These tend to be the same people who cry about the government becoming a Nanny State, telling us what to think and believe and do and say. Yet, when the public schools take a neutral view on an issue, and say both LGBT and heterosexuals are fine, they cry foul. How about you just tell your own kids what you believe and let them sort it out for themselves?

        Hah yea. If the Catholic church really DID think of the children Benedict would be in jail as an accomplices to about a thousand counts of child molestation and rape.

        Those priests would de-frocked at least, and everyone would be falling over themselves to get to the cops fastest with names and addresses of the pedophiles.

        Of course this isn’t happening at all.

        Reply
    • 171. Felyx  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      “…no fault divorce will liberate women from bad marriages… [but] children need both a mom and a dad working together to protect them.”

      If the loving parents were working together in the first place then there would be no need for divorces! Even after a divorce, nothing is stopping the two parties from working together to protect the children. But most importantly, what the hell does that have to do with gays!!!

      The Catholics are investing very heavily in this. There was never this kind of investment in women’s rights or slaves’ rights. I am seriously stumped as to how the Church will recover from this. In the previous cases the Church never had hardcore doctrine and was able to change over time. In this case, gay discrimination has become a core doctrine (but not yet quite dogma) that is defining the Catholic Church. The CC can’t win this one. Gays are real and will be proved with continued biological research. Nothing less than total retraction will stop the complete dissolution of the CC. Religion in general but the CC in particular is seriously shooting itself in the foot on this. Heaven help them!

      Felyx

      PS: At 4:09 the caption reads, ‘…the children need both Obama an addict…’ I snickered, what can I say!

      Reply
      • 172. Rhie  |  September 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm

        Oh that reminds me of a slightly related but adorable story from my friend’s daughter. She was just learning to talk during the run-up to the Presidential primary. She would point at the TV every time a black man came on and point and say OBAMA! lol. Sometimes it really was heh.

        Her parents of course did try to tell her who Obama was and that not all those other men were him, but being three this didn’t really sink in…

        Reply
      • 173. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:44 am

        I”m going to call this one “straw man.”

        It works like this: When you can’t invalidate an argument, you make a parallel, undrelated argument. You then proceed to destroy the parallel argument. Once done, you go back and say “see, the first argument is invalid.”

        Reply
    • 174. Ray in MA  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      This ‘man’ is one sick puppy!.

      Reply
    • 175. Paul in Minneapolis  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:10 pm

      OK, I just tried watching it again, and it seems to be working. I managed to get through the whole thing; there was probably an issue with YouTube streaming earlier.

      Everyone needs to watch this video. It’s filled with lies and distortions (and Maggie; go figure…). Their main claim is that same-sex marriage will take away religious liberty from people opposed to marriage equality — and they claim that this has happened in Massachusetts and California. And of course they tell only one side of the story for every piece of “evidence” they present.

      It’s a real piece of work (now why did I just think of Maggie yet again?).

      Reply
      • 176. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 24, 2010 at 11:08 am

        It’s true Paul, and part of what they’re counting on is that religion has been something of a cultural sacred cow (if you will.) That is, it has always been considered taboo to call out or contradict people’s religious behavior (of course, the bait-and-switch with NOM is that it’s NOT their religious behavior, it’s their political behavior that’s the problem But they cry “religious oppression! whenever anyone speaks up about their antics.

        Thankfully, that taboo is being lifted but they are fighting their public opinion war hard and making substantial gains. We need louder and more authoritative voices decrying their lies and propaganda.

        Reply
    • 177. Jonathan H  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      I’ve never seen a dog get married. Ok, that’s the least of the problems here, but it stuck in my head.

      How exactly is anything being “redefined”, here? All that’s really under discussion is allowing gays to marry the person of their choosing. Clearly treating people equally is some sort of radical paradigm shift.

      Of course, he’s a representative of the Catholic Church, so really he’d have to, say, get Cardinal Law back to the U.S. to be arrested and tried for his alleged involvement in the child-rape cover-ups before I’d give him the moral authority of your average felon.

      This Tv Tropes page nicely sums up that vid. Now I’m taking a break to work up the stomach to face the next one.

      Reply
      • 178. Joel  |  September 23, 2010 at 9:47 pm

        When someone accuses me of trying to “re-define” marriage, I just give them the balloon analogy:

        A balloon is a balloon, whether it is flaccid or inflated with air. If you stretched a flaccid balloon over some toothpicks so that it was taut, and made a trampoline for fleas, THEN it would no longer be a balloon; it’s function has changed.

        Same thing with marriage. Whether it’s exclusive or inclusive, it’s still marriage. It’s purpose, it’s function hasn’t changed.

        So no, we are NOT trying to “re-define” marriage.

        Reply
      • 179. elliom  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:47 am

        Dogs…much less minor humans….cannot CONSENT to marriage. Any argument otherwise is invalid on it’s face, because it begins with a false premise.

        This is just bad and faulty reasoning.

        Reply
      • 180. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:49 am

        When they start allowing me to use my dogs vet bills on my taxes as health costs, I might revisit this thought!

        It’s just absurd!

        Reply
      • 181. Jonathan H  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:54 am

        Hey, I’ll accept a dog’s marriage just as soon you show me a dog who can do the paperwork!

        Reply
  • 182. Ray in MA  |  September 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Cath-o’s are on a downward spiral. With all their predatory pedophelia issues, they are empahsizing Marriage Equality BS as a distraction.

    See:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/23/deaf-victim-of-sex-abuse-is-suing-pope-and-going-public-with-his-story-for-the-first-time/?hpt=Mid

    SHAMEFUL!

    Reply
  • 183. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 23, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    As I wind down my evening and reflect on that past few days – I just want to let you all know how glad I am that I never went into law. I couldn’t handle reading these briefs all day, nor could I write them.

    But I want to thank all of you who explain them so eloquently to us.

    I like my crayons, markers, chalk and making pretty pictures!

    Reply
  • 184. Ronnie  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Reposting this from the DOJ thread….

    Everyone NOM has indeed come out as the ones running the Facebook page “Protect Marriage:One Man One Woman” whose members support, condone, & advocate murder & violence towards LGBT people on a daily basis….NOM has added the website & their twitter account to the pages information……They have lied to the press, the government, & the public….
    Brian Brown & NOM are officially & publicly running a hate page that promotes murder & violence towards LGBT people…as well as overthrowing the Federal Government & demanding ALL Americans be forced to be their version of “Christian”
    They need to be prosecuted to full extent…report them to the FBI & Homeland Security……they are a terrorist group & they are destroying America…. X( …Ronnie
    http://www.facebook.com/oneman.onewoman?v=wall

    P.S. Brian Brown has been named the General Manager of the Facebook page….& the crazies are already howling murder, violence & overthrow the government….yeah they have no agenda…..& I’m Cleopatra…..Queen of Denial….FAIL….LIARS!!!!….FASCISTS!!!!!….. X( …Ronnie

    Reply
    • 185. Lesbians Love Boies  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:46 am

      All I am going to do is LOL this. General Manager of a facebook page! That’s too funny…next thing Maggie will be president of their twitter page!

      Reply
      • 186. Jonathan H  |  September 24, 2010 at 9:52 am

        Ha! In honor of BB’s promotion I’m appointing myself treasurer of my Livejournal and Grand Poobah of my Youtube. Let the peasants rejoice!

        Reply
      • 187. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  September 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm

        I declare myself Emperor of my Yahoo accounts

        Reply
  • […] be required to solemnize a marriage that is contrary to the tenets of his, her, or its faith."The Courage Campaign notes that Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has fretted that if […]

    Reply

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