Thursday, June 30, 2016
A House committee will consider a proposed “religious freedom” bill that seeks to protect individuals opposed to marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.
Introduced June 17, 2015 by Republican Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Paul Labrador of Idaho, the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) seeks to bar federal “discriminatory action” against those who oppose such unions based on a “religious belief or moral conviction.”
“The Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage,” the bill states.
According to the Washington Blade, the House Committee on Oversight & Government has scheduled a hearing on the bill amid pressure from Christian conservative groups opposed to marriage equality, including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
Out Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island denounced the move, calling it an “election year stunt to rally conservatives at the expense of LGBT Americans.”
A Hill staffer told the Blade that the hearing will take place July 12, the one-month anniversary of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead and injured dozens.
The American Principles Project and NOM are among the groups pressuring Republicans to move on the legislation.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Patty Sheehan zeroed in on Republican lawmakers who did not support gun control legislation offered up in the days after the worst mass shooting in US history which left 49 people dead.
‘Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida, walked on our blood-stained streets with people from the Hispanic community,’ Sheehan said on SiriusXM Progress. ‘And he went right back to Washington – one of the few times he actually showed up for work – and voted against sensible gun legislation.’
‘If this doesn’t change your heart?’
Sheehan further blasted Rubio, a failed candidate for president, by adding: ‘There were people from [Rubio’s] office – it was [a staffer’s] hair stylist who got shot and killed. This was a personal connection people from his office had with these young people. And he still couldn’t find it in his heart to do the right thing.’
Sheehan is no less happy with Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott who has not been supportive of LGBTI equality for the most part.
‘My governor couldn’t say the word “gay” until he was called out on it.’
Sheehan said of all Republicans: ‘I’ve called a lot of them out on it. I said, “How dare you come here to my city – our city – and stand in front of the microphone and take up space….You loaded those bullets with hatred, as far as I’m concerned.”
‘ … Trump seems to be very much for women. He seems very much behind the LGBT community because of what happened in North Carolina with the bathroom issue. He backed the LGBT community,’ the transgender reality star tells Stat.
But the three-times married Trump has said he is against same-sex marriage and has said that, if elected president, he would appoint a justice to the US Supreme Court who would vote in favor of overturning last year’s landmark ruling that brought marriage equality to all 50 states.
Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, was also critical of the Obama administration last month for issuing directives calling on public school districts to let transgender students use bathrooms matching their gender identity.
On the most recent season of her reality show I Am Cait, Jenner was seen calling Clinton ‘ fucking liar’ and minimizing her accomplishments as Secretary of State and as US senator.
Jenner, 66, does acknowledge that Clinton is not a wild card when it comes to LGBTI issues.
‘ … In Trump’s case, there’s a lot more unknowns,’ she says. ‘With Hillary, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get with the LGBT community.’
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
A federal judge on Monday agreed with plaintiffs challenging a Mississippi law that protects marriage equality opponents, saying that it conflicts with the Supreme Court's Obergefell ruling.
The high court last year found that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.
Republican Governor Phil Bryant in April signed House Bill 1523 into law. The law, which takes effect Friday, states that clerks may recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses when their “sincerely held religious beliefs” dictate that “marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.” Such a recusal cannot “impede or delay” marriage licensing, the law states.
Opponents of the law asked a federal court to reopen the 2015 case that struck down Mississippi's marriage ban, arguing that the new law, the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, violates the permanent injunction they secured in the case.
U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves agreed, saying that “HB 1523 significantly changes the landscape of Mississippi's marriage licensing laws.”
Reeves, however, denied plaintiffs' request to file an additional complaint in the case against the state's registrar.
He stated that the law's recusal provision essentially allows the state to treat gay and lesbian couples differently from straight couples.
“In [the recusal provision], the State is permitting the differential treatment to be carried out by individual clerks,” he wrote. “A statewide policy has been 'pushed down' to an individual-level policy. But the alleged constitutional infirmity is the same.”
“The Supreme Court's ruling [in Obergefell] will be enforced,” Reeves added.