Brian Brown Lays Out Path To Overturning Obergefell

 

Via email from hate group leader Brian Brown:

With the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, we at NOM believe there is now a strong majority on the Court to overturn Obergefell if the right case is brought before it. We are determined to do just that, but we need your help.

The strategy behind trying to bring a case before the US Supreme Court to overturn the Obergefell gay ‘marriage’ ruling is complex. We can’t simply file a lawsuit and ask the Court to take it up.

First, we need to present a real and present controversy that requires a judicial ruling to resolve. What that issue might be requires a great deal of thought and coordination with allies and policymakers in several key states.

It could be a state law passed by a supportive Legislature, an executive order or regulation issued by a supportive Governor, or possibly even a law enacted directly by voters via a ballot measure. Our team is working hard to evaluate all the options.

We also must consider the judicial territory where the controversy arises and the path it would take to get before the Supreme Court.

Because lower courts are bound to follow the Supreme Court’s Obergefell precedent, we know that we will likely lose in the lower courts.

We will need a situation where an official party who has standing to appeal will be able to press the case forward to the Supreme Court.

Of course, we also need to consider the political and public opinion environment in which this sort of case will be debated, and the financial resources that can be devoted to supporting the effort. We have a lot of work to do, and we urgently need your help to be successful.

Thanks to the matching gift fund that has been made available to us through the end of the year, we can get a head start on this critical work if you will help with a generous donation that will immediately be 100% matched.

Can I count on you at this important time, knowing that your donation will DOUBLE in size and impact?

So how can a person be so happy to take rights and happiness from others? There is nothing about my marriage that harms Brown, yet his mission is to make my marriage illegal. Hugs

Trump-Appointed Federal Appeals Court Judges Strike Down Palm Beach County’s “Conversion Therapy” Ban

Via press release from Lambda Legal:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit today reversed a lower court ruling and struck down local Palm Beach County. Florida, and City of Boca Raton ordinances banning so-called conversion therapy on minors. Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings issued the following statement:

“The City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County joined states and municipalities across the country who have properly banned the discredited and harmful practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ on minors in order to protect LGBTQ youth. Laws prohibiting this dangerous practice have withstood legal challenges in numerous courts. Today’s decision is a marked departure from precedent and an incredibly dangerous decision for our youth.

“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is nothing less than child abuse. It poses documented and proven critical health risks, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, self-harm and suicide. Youth are often subjected to these practices at the insistence of parents who don’t know or don’t believe that the efforts are harmful and doomed to fail: when these efforts predictably fail to produce the expected result, many LGBTQ children are kicked out of their homes.

“Both judges joining today’s decision were appointed by President Trump. We fear that today’s decision may be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the harm that may come from a federal judiciary that has been packed for the last four years with dangerous ideologues. The damage done by this misguided opinion is incalculable and puts young people in danger.”

Photo: Federalist Society’s Andrew Brasher, whose nomination to a lower federal court failed to advance in 2018, at his successful 11th Circuit Court nomination hearing before the US Senate in December 2019.

 

🚨11th Circuit rules that bans on anti-LGBTQ "conversion therapy" violate the First Amendment. 2–1 decision, both judges in the majority appointed by Trump. A really awful and frightening decision.

Note that these bans only apply to minors and licensed counselors. Not clergy or private citizens. And lawmakers found that trying to change a child's sexual orientation or gender identity is extremely harmful and dangerous. The 11th Circuit's Trump judges don't care.

This is what Rule By Trump Judges looks like: We are not allowed to shield LGBTQ youth from discredited "conversion therapy," even though it increases risk of suicide.

Trump judges won't let LGBTQ people protect our own communities, our own children, from harm. Sickening.

Today's decision from the 11th Circuit blocking bans on LGBTQ "conversion therapy" for minors creates a circuit split. There is thus a very good chance the Supreme Court will now take up the issue. I have no real doubt that SCOTUS will find these bans unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court's six conservative justices will likely (1) strike down laws barring licensed counselors from seeking to change a minor's sexual orientation or gender identity, and (2) continue to uphold laws that force physicians to recite anti-abortion propaganda to patients.

This is an important point from Martin's dissent. The majority claims there's not enough evidence that "conversion therapy" is harmful. But medical experts have said *it would be unethical* to conduct the research that the majority demands, because it would harm children.

One startling aspect of today's opinion: The majority discredits the opposition of *every mainstream medical organization* to "conversion therapy," claiming that these groups are simply trying to censor therapists who don't share "majority preferences."

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/11/trump-judges-conversion-therapy-lgbtq.html

Originally tweeted by Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) on November 20, 2020.

Texas Is About to Erase LGBTQ+ Youth in Its New Sex Ed Curriculum

https://www.them.us/story/texas-to-erase-lgbtq-youth-in-new-sex-ed-curriculum

For the first time in 23 years, Texas is poised to adopt updates to its curriculum on sex education, affecting an estimated 5.5 million public school students across the state. But the new policies, which are set for a final vote on Friday, do not include information that recognizes the unique experiences of LGBTQ+ youth.

According to the Texas Tribune, the state’s board of education held a preliminary vote on Wednesday to require middle schools to teach students about forms of birth control other than abstinence. The new requirements reportedly include instruction regarding “the effectiveness and the risks and failure rates … of barrier protection and other contraceptive methods in the prevention of STDs, STIs and pregnancy.”

But many of the more progressive proposals put forward to the Texas Board of Education’s 15-member body, which is dominated by Republicans, were rejected in a September meeting. These included lessons that would define terms like sexual orientation and gender identity, while advising students to treat their peers with respect regardless of whether they are LGBTQ+ identified or not.

 

Other rejected amendments would have entailed having discussions in the classroom regarding abortion and affirmative consent. One board member felt that teaching young people about consent would amount to “grooming” for pedophiles and sex traffickers, as The Guardian newspaper reported.

 

The Texas Board of Education reportedly held 27 hours of public testimony regarding the new sex ed curriculum over the past year, with individuals advocating for and against LGBTQ+ inclusion. One of the most vocal supporters of inclusive sex ed guidelines was fellow board member Ruben Cortez, Jr., a Democrat, who introduced an amendment to teach students about “bullying and harassment because of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.” The suggestion was ultimately voted down.

 

“We’re here, as representatives of this body, to represent the voices of every child,” he said, in comments recorded by the local news publication Austin American-Statesman. “We’re leaving out a big segment of kids when we take these types of actions.”

Other proponents of LGBTQ+ inclusion included the Texas Freedom Network, a left-leaning, grassroots organization that works to protect civil liberties in public schools. Its outreach and advocacy coordinator, Jules Mandel, said the group is “incredibly disappointed” the Texas Board of Education failed “to be on the right side of history and to give Texas a modern sex education curriculum, rather than keeping students trapped in the past.”

“We were deeply disappointed by the votes taken on four amendments that would have simply acknowledged that LGBTQ people exist and that we, just like everyone else, deserve to be treated with respect regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity,” Mandel told the American-Statesman.

 

The updates, which are extremely likely to be confirmed during Friday’s round of final votes, also neglected to remove anti-LGBTQ+ language which has been on the books in Texas for decades. According to the nationwide student advocacy group GLSEN, Texas is one of six states — including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina — which currently has “no promo homo” laws in place preventing the “promotion of homosexuality” in the classroom. (A district court ruled South Carolina’s law unconstitutional in 2020, but it has not been formally removed.)

Two different statutes in the Texas Health and Safety Code require that teachers lecturing students in topics regarding sex ed “state that homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense,” despite the fact that the state’s anti-sodomy laws were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2003.

Despite Texas’ restrictive laws regarding LGBTQ+ education in schools, inclusive sex ed is broadly popular among residents. According to a survey cited by The Guardian, two-thirds of Texas voters believe that public school programs “should incorporate standards about respecting people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity.”

Should the Texas Board of Education vote in favor of the new curriculum, it will not be adopted until 2022. One quirk of the proposed regulations is that they may not apply to high school students, as high schoolers in Texas are not required to take sex ed classes in order to graduate. Furthermore, a 2016 report from the Texas Freedom Network found that 83% of Texas school districts either offered abstinence-only education or simply didn’t teach sex ed at all.

Barrett Lobs Anti-LGBT Dog Whistle In Senate Hearing

Barrett Lobs Anti-LGBT Dog Whistle In Senate Hearing

The Guardian reports:

Moments ago, Amy Coney Barrett was asked about Antonin Scalia’s criticism of the ruling that established the right for same-sex couples to marry. Again relying on the “Ginsburg rule,” Barrett declined to offer an opinion on Scalia’s criticism.

But she said, “I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.” Some commentators immediately took issue with Barrett’s use of the term “sexual preference” in reference to same-sex marriage.

The religious right may think they have won the fight with this religious extremist being on the SCOTUS.   But polls show that forcing this nomination is losing them a lot of support in the rest of the country.   People willing to give them space to have their view are now seeing how they not only want their place but take over everyone else’s.   This nomination will lead to court reform and more legislative laws enshrining legal rights for minorities the religious rights want to dominate and discriminate against.  The very way this is being done, the partisan nature of it, the pure power grab of the minority to force their will on the majority won’t stand.    But it will lead to a much more angry confrontations between people.  Hugs

30 wonderful adventurous years

Today marks the full 30th year Ron and I have been committed to each other as a couple.   After meeting in  August and spending a lot of time together, ( I had 45 days of vacation I was required to use )  Ron asked me to be with him, to join our lives.   I was very much in agreement.   On October 12th 1990 Ron and I pledged our love and our commitment to each other.   This was long before same sex marriage was allowed, and in my job there was open discrimination against gay people.  Ron was unable to get any real employment in our area other than part time temp work doing accounting despite a degree in finance  because he fought the town council in the largest town in our area to open and keep running a bar / dance club for LGBTQ+ people.   After we met I took Ron out of the bar because he had bad lungs and a breathing problem and during this time smoking was still allowed in bars.   I was making more than enough money for both of us and I did not care if he worked at all.  He took great care of me and I was eating better than I had in a lifetime.   The people at my job were incensed telling me I was being taken advantage of and how he should be out working, but they got offended when I pointed out that those saying these things their wives were not working.  

Our lives were full and we had ups and downs, great times and struggles.   In January of 2015 the State of Florida gave up fighting and accepted legalised same sex marriage.   Ron and I wanted the legal version of our long time commitment for the legal protections and many state and government protections / tax breaks.  But we also wanted to try to keep it in some way a memory of our original commitment which means so much to us both.  So on January 12th  2015 Ron and I were married in the Lee County Clerks offices.   We did not have time to prepare much but the people there in that office were terrific.   I have posted and written about how wonderful they were.   

We arrived with James, our son, and I was prepared to face bigotry and anger.   We had come in a couple days earlier and filled out the paperwork.  The county offered a secular marriage for opposite gender couples for a small fee and we had selected that option on our papers.   Remember this was the time when Kim Davis was still a hero for denying a same sex couple the paperwork for their marriage that they were clearly due.  We are in the South Western part of Florida which is not like the liberaal blue Eastern Southern Florida we came from.   

We got there right at the opening of the office, wanting this official marriage for what we have spent our life doing anyway, but needing the legal protections as I had lost my job and Ron’s employer was refusing to add me to his insurance even though they did unmarried opposite couples.  Our being married would force them to allow me on his insurance which we really needed.  We had also both watched religious Christian doctors ignore same sex couples wishes and exclude the same sex partners of patients from  information, denying them any rights of family and claiming they were only friends legally.  

These are all things the Obama administration addressed and made illegal that tRump has rolled back and made legal again.   

As we finished everything we needed to do I noticed there were three people standing behind the clerk, who was clearly nervous and strangely bubbly.   She said could we give her a minute and she turned to huddle with the three people behind her.   I was get prepared to have what should have been a joyous moment turned into a bitter fight.   The lady came back with one of the women she had been talking to.  She explained that this was her boss the elected official in charge.  My heart was sinking, I could tell Ron was also preparing for a problem.   Then the lady asked if she could conduct our marriage, we were to be the first in the county, and how everyone had asked to do but she was the boss, and even though it was not normal but was it OK if everyone in the office who was able could come into the room with us.   They simply wanted to be part of this moment.  

Ron and I got giddy, and of course it was OK.

I forget the deal that was the package to get married there , I think it was like 10 minutes ceremony and 15 pictures.   45 Minutes later we were still having office people coming in and getting pictures with us.   They took over 40 photos and gave them to us.  Seems we were the first  same sex couple in the county to be married and it seemed a lot of people wanted to be involved.   I was stunned that they were not only so accepting but really wanted to be involved in the first same sex marriages.  The entire office had redecorated the marriage room at their own expense because the county had not given them the money in the budget.  I admit it was an uplifting and enlightening experience.  

Now the joy of that moment is undiminished, but the Republicans in the state have never stopped trying to assault our same gender marriage.  The Republicans nationwide have endorsed the religious leaders who claim we are evil and destroying the nation, causing all the destruction of natural forces across the land ( and boy do I wish I was that powerful ) , that we are preying on their children and destroying their rights as they do everything possible to take away our equality in society.  The Republican  senate is right now forcing through a SCOTUS nominee who is sure gays are an abomination to her god by her religious doctrines and she is on record saying that LGBTQ+ people have no equal rights and our marriages are unconstitutional.  She not only wants to take away LGBTQ+ rights but also the rights of females to control their own bodies and reproductive organs.   She also wants to create laws that force all of us to live by the doctrines of her religion.  She has written the goal of becoming a lawyer is to force the coming of the kingdom of god.   

Simply put in 2015 Ron and I were finally able after 25 years of being in a loving great and grand relationship to enjoy the same rights and benefits that different gender couples have been getting.   These Republican religious people hate that we get the same rights they do.  They do not care about our relationship, our love, that our feelings are the same as theirs.    They simply care that we do not get equal treatment to them, that we are not treated as they are, that we do not get the same respect for our loving marriages that they do theirs.  They seem so insecure in their relationships they want to deny ours.  That is their real objection to same gender marriage, it makes our love equal to theirs.   It says far more about them than it does us.   BTW they said if us gays and lesbians were able to legally get married it would destroy marriage, even cause straight people not to get married.  How has that worked out?  Has straight marriages stopped?   Again says more about them than us.   Oh well, it has been an interesting 30 years.     I am looking forward to the 31st and beyond.    Hugs

 

Brian Brown: Send Money, We Can Overturn Obergefell

Brian Brown: Send Money, We Can Overturn Obergefell

Via email from hate group leader Brian Brown:

Conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh both strongly believe that the constitution should be interpreted as written and, thus, should be reliable votes against the imposition of same-sex marriage. Chief Justice John Roberts strongly objected to the majority ruling in Obergefell. And Judge Amy Coney Barrett has a long record of personal support for traditional marriage and has been sharply critical of Supreme Court rulings that articulate so-called “rights” that are found nowhere in the text of the Constitution.

It takes five justices on the Supreme Court to form a majority. So how does the speculation look now on reversing Obergefell? Thomas + Alito + Gorsuch + Kavanaugh = 4. Barrett would = 5, a majority. Chief Justice Roberts can be fickle so we can’t count on him being the deciding vote. But with Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court, her deciding vote to restore marriage could well be enough to persuade Roberts to stick with his original opinion and overturn Obergefell as well.

You can see how critical it is that Judge Amy Coney Barrett be confirmed to the Supreme Court. The next three weeks are crucial in that regard. That’s why we are asking every NOM supporter to make a financial contribution right away so that we can do everything in our power to help secure her confirmation. Every donation will be 100% matched up to a total match of $10,000. Please give generously.

For this guy, Brian Brown, I can not tell if he is a true believer or just a grifter realizing he can get uninformed or religiously indoctrinated people to send him lots of money over this issue.  The reason I say this is because he has spent his adult career begging for money to stop same sex marriage and then to over turn it.  Everything he puts out includes a beg for money.  Unlike Scott Lively who really is a true believer hater of gays.   I do not know if Lively was molested as a kid but he is venomous and wants gays killed.   Brown just seems to want his nice large salary to continue even though he has failed at everything he has tried to promote.   What do you think?   Hugs

Liberty Counsel: We Will Petition SCOTUS On Obergefell

To these people somehow my marriage keeps them from worshiping their god.   My right to equal status under secular laws for marriage benefits violates their religious freedom while they can still go to their churches, do their rituals, pray their prayers, preach their myths, wear their religious symbols, and force their doctrines on the rest of us on medical decisions.   They are so filled with hate, with Christian privilege that not being able to deny me public services, to not be able to deny me equal rights under the laws, to not have the right to discriminate openly loudly, to not be able to oppress those they do not like is discrimination to them, and denying their rights.    This was a secular country, but those who want it run by their religion have worked very hard over the last few decades to turn it into a theocracy.  Ask yourself if any country that is a theocracy, that has forced religion with no dissent, ruled by the leaders of one sect of one religion is a country where the people have rights?   Look at the islamic countries, just replace Islam with Christianity.      Now replace Obergefell with Loving v. Virginia, is this still OK.  If you replace same sex marriage with different race marriage is it still religious freedom to deny the right to that marriage?  Or is it bigotry?    Clarence Thomas wants to overturn Obergefell based on religious grounds, but his marriage to a white woman was opposed by major religious groups based on their religious freedom.   Is his marriage going to be nullified to grant the bigots the right to deny him and his wife the right to marry.   If you replace denying public services based on religious freedom rights against  LGBTQ+  with the words black or jewish would it still be OK?  What about those who claim it is their religious right not to let black people eat at the lunch counter or ride in the front of the bus?   What is eating at me is how much these people have managed to do to chip away at women’s right, my rights, LGBTQ+ rights.    Nothing matters to them but their right to force all of us to obey their church doctrines.   Not the right to do them themselves their religious doctrines but the right to force the rest of us to live by them.   Their church forbids them from eating ice cream so I can not eat ice cream either?   Kim Davis was not asked to affirm the same sex marriage, not asked to go to the marriage, not asked to deny her god she was asked to do her job that she was paid to do for everyone one equally.      She has several marriages and committed adultery, would it be OK for someone like her to deny her a marriage licence because her lifestyle is against their religious beliefs?   If not, then it is not right to do so to same sex couples.     Hugs

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Liberty Counsel: We Will Petition SCOTUS On Obergefell

Via email from hate group leader Mat Staver:

Although the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to grant review of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and regarding the legal doctrine known as qualified immunity, Justices Thomas and Alito appear to invite future challenges to the 2015 Obergefell marriage case.

Justice Clarence Thomas (joined by Justice Samuel Alito) wrote that the Supreme Court’s majority decision in Obergefell v. Hodges caused a collision with religious liberty and the Court must fix it. Four justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, strongly dissented in Obergefell. Justice Alito predicted the opinion would cause significant problems for religious freedom.

Davis has continued to argue that she is not liable for damages because she was entitled to a religious accommodation (which former Governor Bevin and the legislature granted), and that her actions did not violate clearly established rights.

In 2016, Kentucky unanimously passed legislation to provide religious liberty accommodation for Kim Davis and other Kentucky clerks.

There has been no final ruling on whether Davis is liable for damages. Depending on how the case finally concludes at the lower court, Liberty Counsel will then file a petition to present the opportunity for the Supreme Court to address Obergefell.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Even though the High Court declined to take up qualified immunity, Justices Thomas and Alito are inviting future challenges regarding Obergefell and to fix the mess the Court created.”

tRump’s new SCOTUS nomination is a firm believer in a theocracy.   She is a firm believer in ruling based on her religion, not secular laws.   Like Clarence Thomas she doesn’t believe equal treatment under the law applies to everyone, and would gladly deny equality to women and LGBTQ+.  I listened to a breakdown of her beliefs and legal writings yesterday.  Remember she has only been a judge for three years.  Only three years, and now going to be on the highest court in the land making rulings the rest of us must live by.  This is what the goal of the religious fanatics have been for decades.  <blockquote>

The tweet’s mention of “build a ‘Kingdom of God’ in the United States” is an allusion to comments Barrett made in a 2006 commencement address at the University of Notre Dame Law School where Barrett was a faculty member from 2002 until 2017. Barrett told the graduating class:

“I’m just going to identify one way in which I hope that you, as graduates of Notre Dame, will fulfill the promise of being a different kind of lawyer. And that is this: that you will always keep in mind that your legal career is but a means to an end, and as Father Jenkins told you this morning, that end is building the kingdom of God. You know the same law, are charged with maintaining the same ethical standards, and will be entering the same kinds of legal jobs as your peers across the country. But if you can keep in mind that your fundamental purpose in life is not to be a lawyer, but to know, love, and serve God, you truly will be a different kind of lawyer.” </blockquote> https://factcheck.thedispatch.com/p/does-amy-coney-barrett-want-to-end

In four years tRump and McConnell have managed to fill the courts with people like her at all levels.   The only check was the SCOTUS.  Seems not for long.   Hugs