Monday, February 27, 2012

National Organization for Marriage slapped down by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court just gave Brian Brown and NOM something to really cry about.

According to Think Progress, the National Organization for Marriage continued its losing streak in front of the courts with a huge loss at the U.S. Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the National Organization for Marriage’s challenge to Maine’s campaign finance laws:
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a constitutional challenge to a Maine law that requires those seeking to raise and spend money in state election campaigns to organize as a political action committee for that activity, and make significant disclosures about their financial operations.   That was challenged in a petition, National Organization for Marriage v. McKee (11-599), after the state law was upheld by the First Circuit Court.
Though this may be perceived as a non-event, it represents a huge defeat for the anti-gay organization’s secrecy and as well as its self-victimizing claims that supporters of “traditional marriage” are persecuted for their beliefs. NOM was one of the top fundraisers supporting Maine’s Question 1 in 2009, a people’s veto of marriage equality legislation that ended up passing. For three years, NOM has used this lawsuit to keep the sources of its funding hidden, but now the organization has no other avenues to appeal, having lost every step of the way.

Though their identities remain unknown, NOM has a select group of donors that fund most of its operations. In the meantime, it purports to have a broad base of “members,” even though it doesn’t collect any money from membership dues. It is particularly fortuitous that NOM faces this loss in addition to its similar setback in Washington state, as both states are planning for referenda to approve marriage equality this year. Unfortunately for Brian Brown, John Eastman, Maggie Gallagher, and the rest of the NOM crew, free speech does not come without the cost of accountability, and the world might soon see just how NOM has paid for its.

Just in time for the 2012 marriage equality fights. How very fitting. Now instead of jeering, how about we take some action. We all know where NOM's money is probably coming from. The Supreme Court has set up the coup de grace for us.

Now we need to deliver it.

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'Santorum whining about religious persecution' and other Monday midday news briefs

Santorum Embraces the Religious Right's Latest Lie - Give a bigot a shot at getting a presidential nomination and watch him lose his mind.

Vote For Marriage NC courts the 'all gay men need diapers' vote - "Diaper Pastor" Patrick Wooden is heavily involved in the effort to stop marriage equality in North Carolina and Jeremy Hooper has the pictures to prove it. So much for that "intelligent and reasonable" conversation.

Conservatives Livid at Bush-Appointed Judge who struck down DOMA - Geez. What took them so long.

Nebraska Churches Buy Full-Page Ad To Oppose LGBT-Friendly Nondiscrimination Protections - 214 churches are destroying their own integrity here. This is a secular issue having nothing to do with them.

Know Thine Enemy: The Worst Anti-Gay Moments Of The Week, February 19 - February 26 - Last but not least, a hot mess of crazy.

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Washington Post publishes poor article on marriage equality

The Washington Post published an article last week sure to make the National Organization for Marriage squeal with happiness.

It focuses on the Maryland black pastors who stand against the newly passed marriage equality law in the state:

Nathaniel Thomas spent decades as an administrator in Howard University’s student affairs office, counseling young people not only about their course work but also about their personal quests for justice. He came to the ministry at the dawn of middle age, eager to help people, and especially fellow black men, discover in the word of God a path out of despair.

Over the past couple of years, as Thomas and dozens of other black clergymen in Prince George’s County have stood on the front line of the campaign against same-sex marriage, he has come to see the revolution at hand — in his view, a rebellion against religion and tradition — as an assault on the sustainability of the black family.

Which is why Thomas and his friend Reynold Carr, director of the Prince George’s Baptist Association, are gearing up for the next battle, a statewide ballot referendum in November to challenge the legalization of same-sex marriage, which the state House of Delegates approved last Friday. The state Senate passed a measure Thursday evening; Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said he will sign the bill. The pastors are not predicting victory in a referendum, but they think they stand a better chance among voters than politicians.

. . . He knows that some gay activists are incredulous that black ministers could oppose a civil rights initiative. “ ‘How dare a black preacher take this position,’ they say, ‘because you’ve felt this pain,’ and I have,” he says. Over the decades, he has marched for voting and housing rights and fought for equal protection for blacks.

But Thomas and the 77 other Baptist ministers in the association do not see same-sex marriage as a civil rights matter. Rather, they say, it is a question of Scripture, of whether a country based on Judeo-Christian principles will honor what’s written in Romans or decide to make secular decisions about what’s right. In Maryland, as in California and New York, opinion polls have shown that although a majority of white voters support recognition of same-sex marriage, a majority of blacks oppose it, often on religious grounds.

Unfortunately the article reads like a NOM press release. Allegedly the pastors are "being picked on." The pastors are allegedly "called bigots." I say allegedly because the article offers no proof of this other than what the pastors claim. The article didn't even talk about black pastors in the state, such as Delman Coates, who supports marriage equality and have actually spoken out for it.

And the worst part? The article doesn't even talk about lgbtqs of color. Nor does it quote any lgbtqs of color. The article pushes the false notion that the gay and black communities are diametrically opposed when we all know that there is some serious overlapping of the two - particularly when it comes to same-sex households.

In 2000, the Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Black Justice Coalition came out with a groundbreaking study which looked at African-American same-sex households. The study found that:

According to the 2000 Census, there are almost 85,000 Black same-sex couples in the United States. Some 14% of all same-sex couples who self-identified on the US Census were Black same-sex couples. These couples and their families will be disproportionately harmed by proposed state and federal anti-gay marriage amendments. Despite the prejudice they may face due to racism and anti-gay bias, Black same-sex couples create and sustain stable families, many of them with children, and defy hurtful stereotypes of both Black people and gay and lesbian people.

. . . Black men and women in same-sex households in the U.S. are about 25% more likely than White men and women in same-sex households to hold public sector jobs (16% of Black same-sex partners hold public sector jobs, vs. 13% of White same-sex partners). Many municipalities and state governments now offer domestic partner health insurance to employees in same-sex relationships (along with spousal health insurance to married employees). Because most of the anti-marriage amendments currently under consideration in the U.S. go beyond banning same-sex marriage and either ban or threaten domestic partner health insurance, such initiatives are a disproportionate threat to Black men and women in same-sex households.

You see the passage of marriage equality is an important issue for the black community. It's not about religious beliefs, but fairness for all families.

Unfortunately you will never hear about that nor will you hear about the presence of black same-sex couples from these pastors who are supposed to be looking out for the welfare of the entire black community.

And unfortunately that same degree of silence seems to be echoed by The Washington Post.

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