Dave Agema, Michigan Republican National Committeeman, Posts More Anti-Gay Remarks On Facebook


 | Huffington Post | April 1, 2013

Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema

Less than one week after posting a controversial article condemning the “filthy” lifestyle of “homosexuals,” Michigan Republican Dave Agema has once again taken to Facebook to voice his opinion on the LGBT community, warning his Republican colleagues that accepting “this lifestyle” in the party’s platform will “cause great harm to society.”

Responding to a petition posted on Facebook calling for Republican leaders to adopt “a more inclusive tone,” Agema — a Michigan Republican National Committeeman — refused, writing, “the homosexual community is pushing same sex marriage which will be taught in schools as an alternative lifestyle.”

agema1

Brad Fingeroot, the Oakland County Young Republican who posted the petition, thanked Agema for engaging in the discussion, but asked that the former state lawmaker “keep the smut on the sidelines.”

Agema, in response, accused Fingeroot of “trying to change” the Republican Party’s long standing principles.

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Keystone XL Oil Spill Risk Troubles Nebraskans, Others Who Point To Previous Spills Like Mayflower


 | Huffington Post | April 1, 2013

When Meghan Hammond imagines the Keystone XL pipeline, she can’t help but think of the Kalamazoo River.

“The oil is still not cleaned up,” said Hammond, referring to the fallout of a July 2010 Enbridge pipeline rupture that spewed more than 20,000 barrels of Canadian tar sands crude oil into the Michigan waterway. “That’s a good example of what could happen to York, Nebraska.”

The 25-year-old family farmer in York County got another potential preview on Friday, when an Exxon Mobil pipeline burst in Mayflower, Ark., releasing up to an estimated 10,000 barrels of tar sands oil and reportedly forcing the evacuation of some 40 families. Hammond told HuffPost in a subsequent email that the latest spill “affirms” her fears.

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Why This Heterosexual is Fighting for Gay Rights


| Forward Progressives | March 26, 2013

The Supreme Court will be making decisions on Proposition 8 and DOMA in the near future, and I’m hoping for the best. Most likely it will go back to the states to decide and I don’t see the Supreme Court doing anything that’ll send the Fox News crowd into another ammo purchasing frenzy. Last time it was an imagined threat against their guns, this time they’ll need 2 more modified AR-15′s and another 10,000 rounds of .223 ammo to protect them from being shipped to the Castro District and forced into an arranged marriage with one of the regulars at Twin Peaks Tavern.

All kidding and cracks at the opponents of equality aside, I want to see the Court do something monumental. Something that rivals other great moments in American history. Wouldn’t that be something you’d be proud to tell your kids and grandkids about? Wouldn’t it be a great feeling that after all of these years, my gay brother or your lesbian sister could have all of the same rights that we as heterosexuals often take for granted?

I’ve often been asked “Why do you care so much about equality?” I’m a white, straight male. If we were to believe the voices of the opposition, this wouldn’t be my fight. However, there’s more to it than just wanting to do the right thing–it’s also personal.

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Marriage Equality and the Christian Right: “It’s the End of the World!”


BILL BERKOWITZ | BuzzFeed | Truthout | March 29, 2013

Christians will be “forced underground.” – Pastor Jim Garlow

Legalizing gay marriage will spell “the death of capitalism.” – Matthew Hagee

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage it “will have lost its legitimacy in its entirety.” – Matt Barber & Mat Staver

Marching against same-sex marriage felt like being involved in the “Civil Rights Movement.” – Brian Brown

Gays and lesbians “hate God’s law and therefore they do hate God.” – Peter LaBarbera

 

If the above statements from members of the conservative evangelical Christian commentariat sound ludicrous yet chilling, outlandish yet eerily familiar, that is because over the years we have become quite familiar with their incessant anti-gay vitriol.  However, the more interesting aspect of this collection of off-the-wall commentary by Pastor Jim Garlow, Matthew Hagee, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber and Mat Staver, who is also vice president of the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University, the National Organization for Marriage’s president Brian Brown, and Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, is their fear that the tide of public opinion has turned against them.

 

As People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch reported, Garlow told Christian radio talk show host Janet Mefferd that gay people really don’t want to get married, but rather they are determined to “destroy marriage”  and “force us to affirm an immoral behavior”: “If same-sex so-called marriage is established as the law of the land, many of the people who are listening to my voice right now, not maybe immediately but at some point in the future, if they are followers of Christ, will be forced underground. Their buildings will be taken away from them, many of their rights will be taken away from them.”

Matthew Hagee, the son of pastor John Hagee, he of the multi-million dollar San Antonio, Texas-based media ministry, warned on “Hagee’s Hotline” that, “The only relationship in natural law that can produce consumers is the relationship between a man and a woman. When you create a society that does not recognize this relationship as the foundation of its existence and you cease to produce what is required to sustain your economy, you will not survive.”

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Georgia GOP Chair Warns Of Straight Marriages For Benefits If Gays Allowed To Marry


On Top Magazine | April 1, 2013

Sue Everhart, the chair of the Georgia GOP, believes that gay marriage is about “a free ride.”

“You may be as straight as an arrow, and you may have a friend that is as straight as an arrow,” Everhart told the Marietta Daily Journal.  “Say you had a great job with the government where you had this wonderful health plan.  I mean, what would prohibit you from saying that you’re gay, and y’all get married and still live as separate, but you get all the benefits?  I just see so much abuse in this it’s unreal.  I believe a husband and a wife should be a man and a woman, the benefits should be for a man and a woman.  There is no way that this is about equality.  To me, it’s all about a free ride.”

She went on to suggest that such unions would leave children confused about their sexual orientation.

“You’re creating with this child that it’s a lifestyle, don’t go out and marry someone else of a different sex because this is natural.  But if I had a next door neighbor who was in a gay relationship, I could be just as friendly to them as I could be to you and your wife or anybody else,” Everhart said.  “I’m not saying that we ostracize them or anything like that.  I’m just saying I’m against marriage because once you get the gay marriage you get everything else.”

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Suze Orman Threatens To Leave Florida For Marriage Equality In California (VIDEO)


Huffington Post | April 1, 2013

TV Personality Suze Orman and partner Kathy Travis, arrive at OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s 2011 TCA Winter Press Tour Cocktail Party at the Langham Hotel on January 6, 2011 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

If the Supreme Court decides to leave marriage equality up to the states to decide, will gay couples be concentrated in a few select states while the rest of the U.S. languishes behind in civil rights?

Suze Orman, the financial planning guru, TV host, and HuffPost blogger who lives with her lesbian partner in Fort Lauderdale, recently threatened to take her riches to another state where her relationship is recognized.

“Currently I am a resident of Florida … and I have substantial wealth and I pay substantial taxes,” Orman said on MSNBC’s “Now With Alex Wagner.”

“I would be more than happy to move to New York or California if I could get married and be recognized on a federal level,” she continued. “Because I want to live in a state that validates me, and I would validate them with my money.”

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HRC Apologizes: Can We Get Back to Winning Now?


Last week, I gave my account of incident with the trans flag and HRC at the United for Marriage rally on the steps of the Supreme Court during Wednesday’s DOMA hearing. HRC-Logo-thumb-260x247-14760.jpgToday, HRC corrected their previous statement and issued a public apology for that incident and another incident that occurred with an immigration equality speaker who was asked to hide his immigration status while addressing the rally:

Human Rights Campaign Statement on March 27 Events From Fred Sainz
In the midst of a tremendously historic week for our community, two unfortunate incidents at the United for Marriage event at the Supreme Court last week have caused pain in the community.  In one case, a trans activist was asked to remove the trans pride flag from behind the podium, and in another, a queer undocumented speaker was asked to remove reference to his immigration status in his remarks.
HRC joined in a coalition statement on Friday apologizing for these incidents and the individuals involved have personally offered their apologies to those affected.  But to be perfectly clear, HRC regrets the incidents and offers our apologies to those who were hurt by our actions.  We failed to live up to the high standard to which we hold ourselves accountable and we will strive to do better in the future.

More after the break.

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Freedom Loses One


 | New York Times | April 1, 2013

I don’t think we’ve paused sufficiently to celebrate the wonderful recent defeat for the cause of personal freedom. After all, these sorts of defeats don’t happen every day.

Over the past 40 years, personal freedom has been on a nearly uninterrupted winning streak. In the 1960s, we saw a great expansion of social and lifestyle freedom. In the 1980s, we saw a great expansion of economic freedom. Since then, we’ve had everything from jeans commercials to rock anthems to political conventions celebrating freedom as the highest ideal.

People are much more at liberty these days to follow their desires, unhampered by social convention, religious and ethnic traditions and legal restraints.

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Senator’s Bid to Fix Immigration Starts in His Backyard


Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times

Senator Lindsey Graham with constituents last week at a restaurant in West Columbia, S.C.

 | New York Times | April 1, 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A five-minute lunch break at Chick-fil-A was Senator Lindsey Graham’s only unscheduled stop of the day.

But he had barely stepped inside the fast food restaurant here last week before a constituent was upon him, urging Mr. Graham, a South Carolina Republican, to relay a message to his colleagues in Washington: “Make ’em understand the word ‘illegal,’ ” said Stephen Lewis, 72, a retired Marine. “If you’re not here legal, be punished or thrown out of this country for it.”

The problem is that Mr. Graham is part of an influential bipartisan group in the Senate that would do just the opposite: take the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country and, after what he calls a “long” and “challenging” path, make them legal.

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LGBT lobby spends in off years


BYRON TAU | Politico | March 27, 2013

It’s lean times on K Street — but gay rights groups are still dropping plenty  of cash.

Pro-gay rights groups have largely kept up their lobbying efforts in 2011 and  2012, despite an across-the-board dip in advocacy spending in Washington at  large. In some cases, a handful of LGBT rights groups have upped their spending  dramatically.

These gay rights groups are increasingly buoyed by renewed  confidence that legislative fights over same-sex marriage, equal employment rights and others are winnable. Their confidence comes just as socially  conservative groups like the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for  America have curtailed their lobbying spending — shifting some of their  resources to winning elections and backing socially conservative candidates.

Overall lobbying spending was down sharply on K Street in 2012 — a situation  that’s typical in an election year and with a divided Congress. But gay rights  supporters are plunging headlong into fights on the Hill and with the Obama  administration — and they’re spending the cash to boot. It’s a sea change from  just a few years ago, when pro-gay rights and same-sex marriage groups found themselves fighting losing battles against  referendums and anti-gay marriage bills in the states.

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