Category Archives: LGBT Rights

Wisconsin Doesn’t Like the Gays

 

Up there in Wisconsin, which is slowly turning into Wisconsizona, wingnut Governor Scott Walker believes a new law that gives gay couples hospital visitation rights violates the state constitution. He has asked a judge to allow the state to stop defending it.

A law that allows people to visit their loved ones in the hospital is unconstitutional? Oh, not ‘people,’ but gay people.
Back in 2009, when Democrats controlled the Legislature, they changed the law so that same-sex couples could sign up for domestic partnership registries with county clerks to secure some–not all–of the rights afforded married couples.

Like being able to visit your partner in the hospital, like you’d visit any family member. But Scott Walker doesn’t think gay couples are a family. he thinks, along with the homophobic, bigoted, Wisconsin Family Action, that the registries violate a 2006 amendment to the state constitution that bans gay marriage and any arrangement that is substantially similar.

See, gay folks and gay families and gay couples don’t deserve to be treated equally in Wisconsizona. At least while Scott Walker is governor, which, hopefully, won’t be more than one term.

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Filed under Anti-LGBT, Bigot, Homophobia, LGBT Rights, Scott Walker

>God Is Love: Douglass Boulevard Christian Church

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Last week, in Louisville, Kentucky, the congregation of Douglass Boulevard Christian Church unanimously–you read that right, unanimously–voted to end the practice of signing marriage licenses because they give legal benefits to heterosexual couples that are not available to homosexual couples. 

And until marriage equality is the law of the land, Douglass Boulevard Christian Church ministers will only perform religious wedding ceremonies, which we all know are not legal without a signed marriage certificate.

Associate Minister Ryan Kamp-Pappan: “As an Open and Affirming Community of Faith, our membership is committed to treating homosexuals and heterosexuals equally. Our congregation believes it is unfair to provide different services and benefits to heterosexual couples than we can provide to gay and lesbian couples.”

Senior minister, the Reverend Derek Penwell added, “Heterosexual couples enjoy a number of benefits that result from having state-sanctioned union. They may inherit property, adopt children together, visit one another in the hospital, and save thousands each year in taxes by filing as a couple. Ministers, as agents of the state, have the power to confer these benefits-and the imprimatur of normalcy-on heterosexual couples, but we do not have the honor to bestow these benefits on gay and lesbian couples.”

The Reverend Chuck Lewis, Chair of Elders with the church, said, “In our attempt to live out God’s call to pursue justice for all, the Elders of the congregation joined the Pastors in witnessing to the right for gay and lesbian persons to God’s blessing on their union and witnessing to the Commonwealth toward ending the refusal to recognize these unions.”

Douglass Boulevard Christian Church has been committed to seeking justice for all people since it was founded in 1846. In 2008, Douglass Boulevard Christian Church voted to become an Open and Affirming Community of Faith.

In 2011, God–if you believe in that sort of thing–was doing cartwheels and heaping praise ion the ministers and congregation at Douglas Boulevard Christian Church.

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Filed under Douglas Boulevard Christian Church, God Is Love, Kentucky, LGBT, LGBT Rights, Louisville, Marriage Equality, Religion

>Supreme Court In India Defers On 2009 Ruling Decriminalizing Homosexuality

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Back in 2009, the New Delhi High Court issued a landmark ruling that decriminalized homosexuality. Now, naturally the ruling stirred up all sorts of religious and political wingnuts who have since petitioned the Indian Supreme Court to overturn the ruling.

This week the Supreme Court deferred their decision until “after summer vacations.”

On a completely unrelated note, rumor has it that the entire India Supreme Court has purchased a summer time-share on Fire Island.

I kid. About that last part.

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Filed under Discrimination, India, LGBT Rights

>Hawaii Gets More LGBT Friendly

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First, Hawaii legalized civil unions.

Then its Senate confirmed a lesbian to the Hawaii Supreme Court.

And now this.

Last week the Hawaii Senate voted 22-2 to extend employment protections to transgender people.

Oh, but they did. Now all the legislation needs is Governor Neil Abercrombie’s signature.

The new law will prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of gender identity. And, when it becomes law–since Abercrombie seems poised to sign it–Hawaii will join 12 other states, and the District of Columbia, in providing transgender employment, housing and public accommodation protections.

Twelve down. Thirtty-eight to go. Equality marches on.

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Filed under Hawaii, LGBT Rights, Neil Abercrombie, Transgendered People

>Just a Thought: People Who Use God For Hate

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I saw this on something called the Catholic News Agency–all the new that’s fit for hate, I’m guessing. It’s the story of how people in Colorado are using god as a weapon of hate, and smiling while they do so.

It seems that Colorado Catholics, and others in a coalition of hate, opposed to a civil unions bill, gathered on the steps of the Colorado statehouse to pray to god to stop gay people from being allowed, not to marry, but to civilly unite.

Wow.

All the things wrong with the world–not to mention all the things wrong with the Catholic church….pedophiles–and these people want to pray to god–and before anyone gets wingnutty, I mean the little g–not to feed the poor, or heal the sick, or cure the dying, or save the planet, or help Japan, or stop the wars, but to keep Colorado lawmakers from enacting civil union legislation.

This is how they think god works?

Their god wants to keep gay men and women from being open and honest and out about their love for one another. Their god wants to keep gay men and women who fall in love from expressing that love? Their god doesn’t believe in love?

No, for those “good”Christians, god says that marriage is between one man and one woman, or some version of that since it’s changed dramatically since mortal men wrote the Bible, and then edited it down to what they wanted it to say, and called it the word of god.

I wonder why they think god has the time to waste on this nonsense. Why is their god a god who seeks to keep people who love one another, one of the greatest things we can ever do for each other, from being united in that love and that commitment?

I wonder why they think their god wants to waste her time this way.

See, what some lawmakers, and a great many people, in Colorado, want is quite simple. The legislation simply grants gay men and women the same legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that are granted under the law to spouses. Not moral benefits, because morality is an individual thing; you cannot, or at least should try not to, legislate morality.

But these folks want their god to do some wild and crazy things; like keep gay couples from leaving their own property to their partner or loved ones, or anyone of their choosing; they use their god to keep gay couples from adding their partner, their spouse, their loved ones, to their insurance; they ask their god to keep gay people from visiting their partners in the hospitals, even in the cases of one partner dying.

They ask their god to hate gay people.

And then they smile about it.

If that’s what they believe their god is up to, then they can have it.

The god, or being, or entity, that I believe in, is simply love. And she doesn’t care whom you love, just that you love, and be loved in return. She isn’t marching on state capitals trying to impose her iron will on others who believe differently. She isn’t trying to legislate hate. She isn’t working overtime to keep people who love one another apart.

She has better things to worry about.

And so should you.

And the folks who question the existence of a god, or being or entity, or deny the existence of a god, being, or entity, only want that same thing. To have us all treated equally.

Such a novel concept.

Now, to make matters worse, and to give these people who use god as a weapon of hate feel a tiny bit better in their cold stone hearts, the Colorado civil union bill was killed by a House committee.

And, before you get your rosary beads in a twist, it wasn’t god who did this. It was Republicans. And if you think Republicans are god-like, or Christ-like, think again.

It’s simple bigotry and intolerance and fear.

Not god.  She wouldn’t do this to anyone.

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Filed under Bob, Civil Union, Just A Thought, LGBT Rights, Rant, Religion

>Reverend Welcomes The Chance To Bless Same-Sex Unions

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Wesley United

After being in existence for 150 years, Wesley United Methodist Church closed in 2008 due to a steep decline in membership. It was one of the first megachurches in the Twin Cities, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Then, in 2010, representatives with Minnesota’s United Methodist Annual Conference expressed “considerable concern” over the cost of the building’s upkeep, says Reverend Greg Renstrom, but Methodist leaders agreed with him that the building, and the congregation deserved a second chance. Renstrom said that Wesley was suited to welcome the gay community in the nearby Loring Park area.

Reverend Greg Renstrom

So, the Reverend Greg Renstrom came out of retirement at age 64 to lead the congregation; he agreed to a yearly salary of one dollar. And Reverend Renstrom has more plans for Wesley, plans that could get him defrocked.

He plans to bless same-sex unions.

Renstrom wants to hold ceremonies to bless same-sex unions, even though they would be in conflict with Methodist policy, because, as he says, “[s]omebody has to do it. I cannot imagine that Jesus would ever refuse to bless a responsible, mutually respectful and reverent relationship.”

Renstrom sees the change as a key part of Wesley’s revival, and growth, as a Methodist church. Many in the Minneapolis-St Paul’s large gay community are coming to Wesley for Sunday services.

To get the word out to the gay community, Renstrom placed ads in Lavender magazine and church representatives recently attended a GLBT wedding show in Bloomington. Renstrom said that, although he hasn’t blessed any same-sex unions yet, he plans on doing so, even though he has no idea how the church officials will react. He admits that some people will be “madder than the dickens,” but he believes the move is worth the censure that may arise.

“I have so many friends who are gay and lesbian,” Renstrom said. “I’ve seen the absolute anguish they’ve been placed in because of the refusal of most churches to bless what is a basic relationship. I see this as something we will try to provide in our small way.”

And he knows, that although gay people deserve the same rights in and out of the church, that his plans could lead to him being removed from his position and defrocked.

But he’s going to do it anyway.

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Filed under Civil Union, LGBT, LGBT Rights, Marriage Equality, Minnesota, Revered Greg Renstron

>He’s Hot For Marriage Equality

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And he’s just plain hot.

As the Maryland house of delegates debates marriage equality legislation, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has released a video voicing his support for the measure.

Ayanbadejo says: “Having the freedom to marry means committed couples and their children will have the same crucial protections under the law as other families. Churches can always have their beliefs, but government is supposed to treat everybody the same, and that’s equal. America is supposed to be the land of the free but in order for this to be true for all of us, then we must have the ability to marry whom we love regardless of their gender.”

Hot.Smart.Compassionate. What’s not to love?

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Filed under Brendon Ayanbadejo, LGBT Rights, Marriage Equality, Maryland, Uncategorized