This morning, Drew Reisinger, Buncombe County, North Carolina’s Register of Deeds became the state’s first government official to seek approval for the granting of same-sex marriage licenses.
State Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has already signaled that the licenses will not be given—although he claims to personally support marriage equality—but Reisinger was undeterred and has forced a bit of a public confrontation over the matter.
“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval,” he said. “I have concerns about whether we are violating people’s civil rights based on this summer’s Supreme Court decision.” (He’s referring here, in part, to North Carolina’s constitutional “Amendment One” banning gay marriage which passed with a comfortable margin—61% of the vote to 39% against—in 2012. Civil unions are not recognized in the state either.)
With a crowd of about 100 in the deeds office lobby cheering them on, same-sex couples filled out paperwork for marriage licenses beginning about 8 this morning.
Brenda Clark and Carol McCrory, of Fairview, were first in line. “We are hopeful that Attorney General Cooper will do the right thing and recognize our right to marry after 25 years in a committed relationship,” Clark said.
Reisinger said he will accept and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to Cooper, the state’s chief legal adviser, Reisinger said in a statement Monday night.
Drew Reisinger, you are truly a fine example of a public servant. And talk about the rock and the hard place that Drew and these charming ladies have put poor Cooper between. The guy says he’s pro equality. If so, why would he choose to vigorously oppose it in his state?
Cooper is widely expected to make a bid for governor in 2016. That’s why. Marriage equality isn’t something a pol in North Carolina—even a Democrat—wants hanging around his neck right now. He personally supports it, but so what if it’s politically risky? Cooper shouldn’t be able to have his cake and eat it on this issue. This is a matter of right and wrong and not political expediency. If this video makes the rounds the way it seems poised to—have your Kleenex ready—it’s going to put a lot of pressure on Roy Cooper to do the right thing.
This morning an anti-gay civil rights hate group called Protect Marriage filed a petition in the California Supreme Court seeking to restore the enforcement of Proposition 8, the state’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman:
The action we filed today contends that at least 56 of the 58 county clerks must continue to follow Proposition 8 because they were not parties to the recent federal lawsuit against Prop 8, and that the state’s governor and attorney general have no legal authority to order local county clerks to disregard the state constitution.
The Protect Marriage petition provoked the following instant reply from San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera:
“This motion is a desperate obstruction tactic used in the vain hope of pursuing an unconstitutional agenda. The opponents of the freedom to marry have chosen to ignore the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and the well-settled California marriage case of Lockyer v. San Francisco, which they themselves celebrated at the time.
Their motion has essentially no chance to succeed. The most basic concepts of American law tell us that a state court cannot and will not overrule the federal judiciary. The citizens of California are left wondering when these people will realize that, having lost the moral struggle years and years ago, they have now lost the legal struggle as well. Marriage equality is now the law in the State of California, and will remain so from this point onward. Together we will soon see the day when it is the law all across America.”
Nicely put, Dennis Herrera!
You know it’s not the end of this particular story, but it should be…
This picture book for young children presents the traditional, Judeo-Christian view of the family in picture-book format. In school, young Michael learns that God made men to be fathers and women to be mothers. After school, his father takes him to the zoo, where he learns that animal families consist of a male, a female, and their offspring.
Upon observing these phenomena, Michael asks his father two questions:
1. Why does his friend have two fathers?
2. Am I adopted?
His father sensitively addresses both of these questions with love and compassion, and he tells Michael that he needs to pray for his friend and his friend’s two fathers.
By now, you probably already know my thoughts about this. Jesus Christ!
Damn, just when you thought you’ve seen all of ‘em, here it comes, hands down the best marriage equality meme EVER.
Whoever came up with this wonderfully droll Bewitched meets the “Red Equal Sign” gag deserves… something. I don’t know what that “something” is, but give me time to think about it. Something really good.
It’s a pity that Samantha Stevens can’t just wiggle her magic nose and bestow full civil rights upon our gay brothers and sisters. Even a witch has to get out there and make some noise for marriage equality!
There’s another update in the story of Barronelle Stuztman, the florist in Washington state who is being sued by the state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a consumer protection lawsuit for refusing to “participate in the marriage,” as she put it, of two gay men because of her “relationship with Jesus Christ.” Now the couple disrespected by the proprietor of Arlene’s Flowers, who would not sell them flowers for their wedding due to her belief that the Bible teaches “marriage is between a man and a woman” is fighting back. Via The Stranger:
Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed’s lawyers, working with the legal powerhouse at the ACLU of Washington, sent a letter today to Arlene’s Flowers owner Baronelle Stutzman saying she has two options: (1) She can vow to never again discriminate in her services for gay people, write an apology letter to be published in the Tri-City Herald, and contribute $5,000 to a local LGBT youth center, or (2) she can get sued for violating the Washington State Civil Rights Act.
Stutzman’s law firm, Gourly Bristol Hembree, responded to the AG on Monday with a letter promising “an immediate challenge in federal court” and contend that their client is entitled to act according to her religious convictions and that discrimination isn’t the issue. Furthermore, from what I can understand, they’re saying that the art of floral arrangement is an act of personal expression so that any demand or limitation on those expressive flower arrangements is a violation of Baronelle Stutzmans’s First Amendment rights to free speech.
Good luck with that floral arrangement defense, boys, you’ll be laughed out of the fucking courtroom for that one.
Naturally this will be portrayed in the conservative media as anti-religious bigotry, as opposed to the regular, straight-up bigotry bigotry that Barronelle Stutzman inflicted on the same-sex couple. As if bigotry becomes somehow okay when it’s justified by the words of desert-dwelling nomads in a supposedly magic book from 2000 years ago.
“I don’t know what the symbol would be, I’d have to think about that. [A cross? The vesica pisces? A sheep? Alfred E. Neuman? Just some thoughts] We’re getting to the point where these homofascists are going to force us to wear on our sleeves some kind of identifying marker so people will know who the racists and the homophobes and the bigots are, and can stay away from them.”
Irony deficient Fischer is, of course, conveniently forgetting that homosexuals were made to wear inverted pink triangles armbands and patches in Nazis concentration camps. But when has being an idiot ever stopped Bryan Fischer from flapping his lips? Never!
If you have the misfortune of being connected to uptight, close-minded Christianist assholes on Facebook—and who doesn’t, it’s a hallmark of the era we live in—then you’ve probably been seeing links to this mind-numbing essay that’s been getting shared like crazy.
Titled “Distraction,” the muddled and confused logic of the piece begins with the caveat that the author and her husband had been discussing the instantly iconic Red Equals sign for marriage equality that many people are making their Facebook avatar, but wished for their own opinions to remain private. I don’t think it would take a genius, or even a Chick-fil-A CEO to figure out what they might be:
It dawned on me as I could not sleep last night where the real issue is. Regardless of your opinion on gay rights (positive, negative, or indifferent), there is a larger issue at hand.
Today is Wednesday, March 27th. Tomorrow is Thursday. About 2000 years ago, on that Thursday Jesus sat down for his last meal with his closest friends. One turned on him that night (Matthew 26:14-16, 25). Another claimed he would die with Jesus, only to deny he even knew him in the next few hours (Matthew 26:31-35). That Thursday night and into Friday morning, Jesus was betrayed, arrested, denied, endured trials, and sentenced to death (Matthew 26:47-27:26). Friday he was mocked, tortured, and crucified (Matthew 27:27-44). Matthew 27:50 tells us that he “gave up His Spirit”. For every flawed person who would ever walk the earth. Especially you. You who grew up in church. You who have never been to church. You who sit in the pew every week. You who mock the very One who created you. You, the imperfect one.
This Friday is called Good Friday, because we remember what God did for us by sacrificing His Son upon that cross. But do you remember? Or are you still trying to figure out who’s right and wrong on that legal issue?
Well played, Satan. Well played. You dangled the bait (and we all took it) for believers and nonbelievers/ believers and believers/ nonbelievers and nonbelievers to turn on each other, draw lines, AND DISTRACT EVERYONE FROM THE GOSPEL. You made it as simple as posting a picture on a social media site to make everyone lose focus of what this week is really about.
People are passing this nonsense around like it’s got… some value. This shit isn’t even idiotic and yet chances are it’s been coming thru your Facebook newsfeed repeatedly for the past 24 hours.
A fellow named Vincent zinged the author pretty hard:
So wait… fighting for equality for all individuals isn’t right in God’s eyes, because it’s close to Easter? Instead we should be doing what? Jesus preached throughout the Gospel that we should love each other as we love ourselves, and taught that we shouldn’t judge others and should instead love and respect our fellow man. How is standing up for equality and rights for all *not* honoring The Lord and His only begotten Son?
In that case, I guess we should tell the Supreme Court to wait until *after* Easter to hear arguments about what this symbol represents, and instead we should all open our bibles and intently study their contents until after Easter has passed.
To me, it seems that the symbol you say is bait from Satan is instead a reminder that Satan will meet swift resistance to his spreading of hate and bigotry.
You get an amen from me for that, brother!
Something that dawned on me as I was reading this reedonkulous tripe is how the stripes of the Red Equals symbol are congruous with the stripes of the American flag.
Country music’s outlaw icon and great American artist Willie Nelson, was asked about his take on marriage equality for Texas Monthly magazine:
Texas Monthly: For better or worse, you’ve also grown into a reputation as something of an authority on marriage itself.
Willie Nelson: I’ve been there and back a few times. It’s not perfect, so why should we expect it to be perfect for everybody?
Texas Monthly: But to be clear, you think everybody should be able to get married?
Willie Nelson: Absolutely. I never thought of marriage as something only for men and women. But I’d never marry a guy I didn’t like.
Texas Monthly: A lot of people think this battle echoes the fight for civil rights in the sixties.
Willie Nelson: It does. It’s about human rights. As humanity, we’ve come through so many problems from the beginning to here. I guess it finally had to come around to this. This is just another situation, another problem. We’ll work it out and move on.
Texas Monthly: And what do you think they’ll say when they look back on this?
Willie Nelson: We’ll look back and say it was crazy that we ever even argued about this.
BOOM! Score one for the red-headed stranger!
Texas Monthly invites readers to use Willie’s boss weed-equality avatar themselves. The design was created by the Austin-based design agency Helms Workshop.
You probably noticed your Facebook news feed awash with the Red Equal Sign today (it’s a symbol for marriage equality). Well, some evil genius decided to support not only marriage equality, but Black Flag, too!
Salon reports that the Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem will stop performing weddings for straight couples until same-sex marriage is legal in North Carolina (Emphasis added):
As an Anti-Racist, Reconciling Congregation, Green Street United Methodist Church seeks to be in faithful ministry with all people in the brokenness of our world. This statement is being adopted as a sign of our commitment to love and justice for all people.
The Marriage Covenant between two people is a ministry of the church. Couples making a commitment to one another need a supportive community of faith to sustain and uphold them so as to grow in faith and love. Weddings are the occasion for covenant making, a time to seek God’s blessing on their commitment to one another. When a couple chooses to be married in the church, they should also be conscious that they are making a declaration of their relationship as a new ministry for the congregation and the world. At Green Street Church, we claim the committed same-sex relationships as no less sacred in their ministry to us and the community.
But sadly, at this time in the United Methodist Church, marriages, weddings and holy unions are limited to heterosexual couples. As our nation struggles to provide legal recognition to people in same-sex relationships and provide them the privileges allotted to opposite-sex married couples, our denomination struggles to overcome the sin of reserving these sacramental privileges for straight people only. We, the leaders of Green Street Church, see people in same-sex relationships as completely worthy of the Sacrament of Marriage. We reject any notion that they are second class citizens in the Kingdom of God.
WOW. Just wow. That’s some statement.
Tell me again, “What Would Jesus Do?”
Although support for gay marriage has reached a new high of 58% of the American public—including 81% of 18-29 year olds—same sex marriage is constitutionally prohibited in North Carolina. It’s worth mentioning that the Green Street United Methodist Church are also bucking the 2012 vote of their own church elders by supporting gay marriage rights. 59% of Catholics, 62% of independents, and 34% of Republicans are pro-gay marriage according to recent polling.
The brouhaha about the idiotic letter that Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D) wrote last month to Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti regarding Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo’s outspoken advocacy of a Maryland ballot initiative legalizing gay marriage, inspired Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe to pen his own response to Burns.
In recent months, Brendon has taped a web-only video for the Maryland same-sex marriage campaign, written a Huffington Post editorial in support of marriage equality and offered a pair of tickets to tonight’s season-opening game against the Cincinnati Bengals to raise money for the cause. The backlash against Emmett Burns is largely seen as a “win” for supporters of gay rights.
Here’s a pointed excerpt from Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe’s razor sharp open letter to Burns published on Deadspin. Extra points to Kluwe for use of the term “cockmonster” and for calling Burns a “narcissistic fromunda stain”:
What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.
Wait, he’s just getting warmed up:
This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life? If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you’ll start thinking about penis? “Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!” Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy watching football too.)
I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?
In closing, I would like to say that I hope this letter, in some small way, causes you to reflect upon the magnitude of the colossal foot in mouth clusterfuck you so brazenly unleashed on a man whose only crime was speaking out for something he believed in. Best of luck in the next election; I’m fairly certain you might need it.
Kluwe signs off by telling Burns:
P.S. I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.
Brendon Ayanbadejo says he plans to continue supporting same-sex marriage and has offered to assist Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley with more fundraising for the issue. Ten of his fellow players on the Ravens have offered their support. He says the change in attitude within the NFL (other players used to joke that Ayanbadejo was gay, but he’s married with two kids) “has happened faster than I ever thought it would happen.”
This morning, Emmett Burns appeared to take a step back from the near universal condemnation his letter has generated, according to The Baltimore Sun:
“Upon reflection, he has his First Amendment rights,” Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., a Baltimore County Democrat, said in a telephone interview. “And I have my First Amendment rights. … Each of us has the right to speak our opinions. The football player and I have a right to speak our minds.”
Ayanbadejo hopes that Pastor Burns will “open his heart” on the issue. In the meantime, Ellen DeGeneres has invited Brendon Ayanbadejo to fly to California for a live appearance on her show. Ravens team president Dick Cass has indicated the team would respond to Burns “in time” and hoped that Brendon would continue to speak his mind about matters that are important to him.
Maryland will be one of four states to vote on same-sex marriage in November. The issue has never been upheld by referendum, which is why what Brendon Ayanbadejo (and Chris Kluwe) and other straight people—this is crucial—are doing and saying is so very, very important.
Emmett C. Burns Jr. has had to endure public mockery for his antiquated views. Public mockery seems appropriate to me in this case—after all Burns is the one who pulled the trigger on this in the first place—but it’s also the sort of experience that might change the man. If everyone seems to be pointing at you and laughing, maybe there’s a good reason for that. Maybe it’s because you ARE the idiot.
Maybe it’s time for a little soul-searching Mr. Burns.
To Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo, you’re good citizens one of the highest compliments I have to offer. I’m proud to share a country with guys like you.
“5 years ago, I was disowned via letter when I came out to my father. This is how hate sounds.”
If you’re having trouble reading the letter, you can find a larger version here.
The most popular response came from the father of an adopted gay son, who goes by the handle, newvideoaz, apparently his first post on reddit. I think you’ll agree that it’s a pretty remarkable retort:
I’m the adoptive dad of a kid who came out when he was about 15. Yeah it’s sometimes difficult when this happens because no parent wants to see a kid we love get hurt - and like it or not - being gay can mean some people will wish you ill simply for who you are.
And that’s hard for any parent. But it’s no excuse.
As an adoptive parent, I’m not my kids “father.” That’s biological. But I am his Dad. Because “Dad” isn’t something that’s actually biological, it’s something you have to earn.
With my son , I started to earn it the day he was born, but it was pretty easy until his second year when he had an accident and got hurt. The doctor in the ER strapped him to the “papoose board” to immobilize him and was about to start stitching up his head when he told me it was time for me to let go of his little hand. He looked up at me and whatever he saw in my face, he instantly said “or you can stay I guess.” I have no clue what he saw, except the fact that getting me to let go of that tiny hand was about as possible one of us jumping up through the ceiling to the moon.
The lesson for me that day is that any idiot can be a father (and clearly many are) but you’ve got to EARN being a Dad.
When my son came out to us, same deal. I was concerned, because I never had to deal with it before in someone I love. But we simply hooked him up with 1 in 10 and went on with our lives.
So here’s the opinion of someone who’s been in your dad’s shoes, but didn’t have his sad mental baggage.
Your dad failed a really huge parenting test. Period.
So now he’s self selected to be your father, but not to be your Dad. That sucks. And the really sad thing is that he has absolutely no freaking clue about the real value of what he’s tossed away.
He’ll always be your father. That’s biology. But biology is fickle. We know this because while he has perhaps passed a lot to you via DNA, he did NOT pass along intolerance or stupidity. He can “disown” you in his brain all he likes, but that doesn’t mean much because he’s already proved that whatever his strengths might be, he’s allowed his thought processes and natural instincts to become seriously flawed. How you feel about him. Hurt, sad, angry, disappointed, that’s yours to shuffle as you see fit.
But trust me, this is about him, not you. I actually hope that someday he gets a change to look deeply in his heart and comes to understand how horribly, terribly he screwed this up. If so, he’ll maybe have a chance to start some personal redemption and healing. But he needs that. You don’t.
Cuz there’s nothing wrong with you. At all.
Stay strong. Take care. The world is changing fast. And for more people than ever, gay and straight, it’s changing more toward love and away from fear - at least in this particular area.
As they say on the Internet: ONIONS!
Of course, reddit being reddit, a couple of quipsters threw in some zingers:
“You should to his funeral and read that letter as your speech.”
“This would be the greatest ‘fuck you’ ever. Oh my god I’m so giddy right now.”
“And have it buried with him.”
“Burn it. And while it’s on fire, throw it in his casket. That guy doesn’t deserve the casket he’s in.”
Can’t say I disagree. What a fucking small-minded dickhead. I sincerely hope that he is made aware of how he’s being ridiculed. He, at the very, very least deserves that knowledge.
If you haven’t seen this hilarious and epic anti-Chick-fil-A rant from former HUGE Chick-fil-A fan Jackson Pearce, you have to watch it. Stay with it all the way to the end. This woman is a star. Jackson Pearce could conceivably be the “new Molly Ivens.” She’s that good.
It was Pearce’s call for protesters to videotape their interactions with Chick-fil-A that caused Arizona man Adam Smith to be fired from his job when he posted a YouTube video of his low-key, innocuous—yet ultimately misguided—protest. Smith has since had to go into hiding with this family (including two adopted special needs children) due to all of the death threats he is receiving, many of them coming from readers of the white supremacist website Stormfront.
Jon Stewart’s commentary on the Chick-fil-A controversy, “Fast Feud Nation” last night on The Daily Show was Stewart at his very best.