Homosexual Tunisian Man Arrested

Secular Talk

According to Vice News, human rights groups are condemning Tunisia for its treatment of gays after authorities sentenced a man to a year in prison for sodomy and subjected him to an anal probe.

The case has generated widespread attention after the accused went public and received unprecedented support from local and international human rights groups.

Human Rights Watch writes:

“The police then opened a separate investigation for alleged homosexuality and required the man to undergo an anal examination by a forensic medical doctor at the Sahloul Hospital in Sousse on September 9, the lawyer said.”

Sources state that the same treatment persists in Egypt:

http://adamfoxie.blogspot.com/2015/02/corrupt-egypt-still-using-abusive-anal.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/09/28/tunisia-one-year-sentence-homosexuality

https://news.vice.com/article/outrage-after-tunisia-arrests-and-anally-probes-a-man-for-being-gay?utm_source=vicenewstwitter

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Here We Go Again? Judges In Chillicothe, OH, Refuse To Marry Anyone

Two municipal court judges in the town of Chillicothe, Ohio, are saying no to marrying couples, and a local group is hoping to change that, according to myfox28columbus.com.

Judge John Street and Judge Toni Eddy say they made the decision back in April.  However, court records show the last time they led a ceremony was on June 23, 2015.  The Chillicothe Gazette states that the verbal policy, created in April, went into effect July 1st and put a halt to the judges performing marriages.

The Supreme court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges (the gay marriage ruling) happened on June 26th, 2015.

“It seems 23rd of June is close enough to the Supreme Court ruling of June 26th.  It seems like DC court ruling is causing this kind of behavior,” said Reverend Terry Williams, who is a member of Chillicothe Citizens for Judicial Integrity.

Williams says he and five other group members sent a letter to both judges Tuesday morning. The letter demands the judges marry all couples or step down. So far about 61 signatures are on the letter, and Williams says he’s hoping for more, according to myFox28columbus.com.

“Resign so we can elect judges who will execute faithfully all their future under the law without bias or prejudice,” said Reverend Williams.

Municipal court clerk Lisa Large says the judges made a verbal decision to stop marrying couples, according to myfox28columbus.com.

Reverend Williams says it’s one of the reasons why his group is taking action, because there is no written policy about the decision.

http://www.myfox28columbus.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/Two-Chillicothe-Judges-not-Marrying-any-Couples-after-quot-Verbal-Decision-quot-208733.shtml#.VgQI8d9Viko

http://www.chillicothegazette.com/story/news/local/2015/09/22/community-members-demand-marriage-policy-change/72643160/

Republican Candidates Split On Gay Marriage, Kim Davis

In Wednesday’s Republican debate, the candidates seemed split on whether or not to support Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk jailed for defying a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The issue is seen by many to be over, especially by those on the left side of the political spectrum. However, the only way to reverse the Supreme court ruling approving of gay marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges) would be to pass a constitutional amendment.

A constitutional amendment is a long, arduous process, and it may be passed by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, two-thirds of the people in both houses do not support ending gay marriage at this time.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum were against the Supreme Court ruling and delivered a strong showing of support for Davis, according to MSNBC.

Former New York Governor George Pataki and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham advocated for the rule of law.

Graham said that the Supreme Court’s June decision that found state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional is “the law of the land.”

Donald Trump has also said the same thing. “You have to go with it. The decision’s been made, and that is the law of the land,” the real estate mogul said earlier this month on the TV news show “Morning Joe.”

Graham turned the conversation to national security threats.

“Were you the wedding cake baker, or the gay couple or the baptist preacher, radical Islam would kill you if they could,” Graham said. “Let’s not lose sight of the big picture.”

Jindal was the first candidate to bring up Davis, prompting CNN’s moderator Jake Tapper to note that the candidates were clearly “chomping at the bit” to discuss her case.

When asked how Jindal would balance his pledge to root out Islamic terrorists with making sure Muslims aren’t subjected to discrimination, Jindal said that “right now, the biggest discrimination going on is against Christian business owners and individuals who believe in traditional forms of marriage.”

“Let’s talk about the Christian florist, the caterer, the musician,” Jindal said, referring to high-profile lawsuits in which religious business owners refused to provide wedding services to same-sex couples in states with laws barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Most states actually have no such protections for same-sex couples, but Democratic lawmakers at the federal level are trying provide them with it. However, that bill, known as the Equality Act, stands little chance of clearing the GOP-controlled Congress.

Surprisingly, neither does its legislative opponent – the First Amendment Defense Act – which would prohibit the federal government from taking “discriminatory action” against people or companies that believe marriage is between one man and one woman. Though the bill has a tremendous number of Republican co-sponsors in both the House and Senate, Republican leaders seem reluctant to move it forward.

Santorum said he would pass the First Amendment Defense Act as president, and invoked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s letter from a Birmingham jail as justification to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.

“[Dr. King] said there are just laws and there are unjust laws, and we have no obligation to follow unjust laws,” Santorum said. “I would argue that what the Supreme Court did is against natural law, God’s law, and we have every obligation to stand in opposition to it.”

Former Governor George Pataki said Davis had an obligation as an elected official to follow the rule of law and that if she were working for him, he would have fired her, though as an elected official, she couldn’t actually be fired, according to MSNBC.

Tapper tried to recreate the rift over Davis during the prime time debate, but he found former Governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Jeb Bush of Florida more united on the topic than their other competitors.

Huckabee is a former Baptist pastor who escorted Davis out of jail last week to much fanfare. He said that the Supreme Court had crossed into the realm of “judicial tyranny” with its marriage ruling.

Bush said in a statement earlier this month that Davis was “sworn to uphold the law,” but he backed away from that position during Wednesday’s debate. He said he agreed with Huckabee that Davis deserved an accommodation to allow for other people in the clerk’s office to issue the licenses without her authority.

“If the law needs to be changed in the state of Kentucky, which is what she’s advocating, it should be changed.”

Kentucky law states that marriage licenses should be issued by the clerk of court, but Davis has taken her name and title off of the form. This may have jeopardized the validity of marriage licenses issued since her incarceration.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/04/politics/donald-trump-gay-marriage-kentucky-clerk-kim-davis/

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/kentucky-clerk-kim-davis-splits-gop-presidential-candidates

Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Ban Struck Down (No Surprise After Supreme Court Ruling)

Couple

The state of Michigan may have lost $2 million in legal fees when it went up against same-sex marriage, according to the Detroit News.  The state had a same-sex marriage ban.

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse had a long-running federal lawsuit against the ban, which was recently settled.  The case had dragged on for three years, according to Raw Story.

“This case was both rare and difficult because plaintiffs’ counsel were defending members of an historically unpopular minority,” attorneys Carole Stanyar and Dana Nessel wrote in the federal court ruling.

“Although public opinion has shifted considerably in the years that this case has been pending, when filed, a decided majority of the Michigan population were opposed to marriage by same-sex couples,” they wrote.

The price tag fees include payment for six lawyers, seven law clerks, multiple paralegals and experts from Boston, New York, San Francisco and Lansing, the Detroit News reports. The ruling comes almost exactly one month after the Supreme Court’s historic same-sex marriage decision legalized the unions in all 50 states.

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2015/07/25/gay-marriage-lawyers-want-state-pay-legal-fees/30677065/

Fox Analyst Questions Civil Rights Precedent On Interracial Marriage, De-Segregation

Yesterday, during an episode of Fox News’ Outnumbered, guest Julie Roginsky made the point that the Supreme Court has ruled on marriage cases prior to the ruling on gay marriage – for example with interracial marriage.   Contributor Arthur Aidala seemed to go back in time and question whether Loving v. Virginia – the case that made interracial marriage legal across the U.S. – was legal or moral.

Aidala then seemed to go even further back and question whether or not Brown v. Board of Education – a desegregation decision – was acceptable.

The below transcript comes from the Media Matters for America website.

MELISSA FRANCIS: Alright, I’ve got to bring Julie in on this, because she’s chomping.

JULIE ROGINSKY: I’m dying. Look, we’ve had this before, Loving V. Virginia, which allowed and legalized marriage between a black man and a white woman, or vice versa, I don’t remember who was who in that situation. That came from the courts. And there was a religious furor about it and people used religion back then, as ridiculous as it sounds, to say that we shouldn’t have mixed races, we shouldn’t promulgate biracial families. And the reality is it was done by the courts. Can you explain to me how this is any different? Love is love and people should marry whom they want and I don’t understand how that’s not —

AIDALA : That’s not the argument I’m making. The argument I’m making is the court is not the proper branch —

ROGINSKY: But, they’ve done it before.

AIDALA: So they’ve made mistakes before, that doesn’t mean you should make mistakes again.

(The following exchange came later during the same conversation.)

ROGINSKY: But then why go to a courthouse and have a judge marry you if it’s not a legal issue? And I’ll leave it at that, because I know —

AIDALA: Because Congress is supposed to be the one who decides whether they can do it or they can’t do it. Congress empowers the judiciary. So it should be Congress’ job along with the executive.

ROGINSKY: So Brown V. Board of Education was the same thing, that Congress should have done it?

ARTHUR: Probably, yes.

Hateful Pastor Hopes Caitlyn Jenner Dies


Secular Talk

Arizona pastor Steven Anderon said he prayed for God to kill Caitlyn Jenner.  He explained to his congregation at Faithful Word Baptist Church that it was not wrong to pray for the deaths of your enemies, including, apparently, transvestite Caitlyn (previously Bruce) Jenner.

Last year, Anderson (of the Faithful Word Baptist Church) predicted an “AIDS-free Christmas” if all LGBT people were put to death.

(Updated article)

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/organizations/faithful-word-baptist-church

http://www.faithfulwordbaptist.org/

Activists Crowdfund for Homeless LGBT Youth

As a response to the $842,000 raised for the anti-gay owners of Memories Pizza in Indiana, progressive activists are crowdfunding to support homeless LGBT youth, according to rhrealitycheck.org.

A campaign named #Pizza4Equality has raised more than $100,000 in just four days to benefit Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, a national advocacy organization for homeless youth who are LGBT.

On the local level, another fundraising campaign has received more than $30,000 for Indiana Youth Group, which has provided safe spaces and support for LGBT youth in Indiana since 1987.

(Updated article)

http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/04/09/anti-gay-pizza-parlor-gets-800000-activists-crowdfund-homeless-lgbt-youth/