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Removed: Gays 'Would Not Be Accepted' As Saddleback Members
By Jon Ponder on 12/23/2008 10:04am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

On Sunday, BeliefNet reported that the website for Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in Orange County, Cal., contained a warning that unrepentant gays were forbidden from joining the church:

Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one's life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted as a member at Saddleback Church.

Yesterday, that section, which was part of a longer diatribe about the sin of homosexuality (see below), is gone. According to BeliefNet, this link led to the page banning gays. Now it connects to a page titled "What We Believe." BeliefNet is known for down-the-line reporting on religion. It was recently purchased by Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp.

Via Good As You, there are are still offensive statements about gays on the megachurch site:

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




So When Will the White Supremacist Speak?
By Jon Ponder on 12/18/2008 8:29am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.


This is really bad:

Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that --- in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California --- is looking for a fight.

Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California, opposes abortion rights but has taken more liberal stances on the government role in fighting poverty, and backed away from other evangelicals’ staunch support for economic conservatism. But it’s his support for the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that drew the most heated criticism from Democrats Wednesday.

After the debacle of Prop 8 --- which Obama never mentioned on a public platform during the campaign and has not addressed since Election Day --- this is a kick in the gut to every gay American. Here's a quick look at Warren's positions from Right Wing Watch:

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Was Charged with Implementing the Discriminatory 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy in 1990s...
By Jon Ponder on 12/16/2008 5:40am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.


In 1993, when he served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Pres. Clinton, Colin Powell was a leading advocate of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy that essentially allowed gay people to serve only if they agreed to stay in the closet. Now, in an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN, he says it's time for the policy to be reviewed.

Transcript (at 03:10 on the Video):

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2008 2:10pm PT  

The most cogent broadcast media discussion about Same Sex Marriage issues that we recall seeing. As usual, it comes from The Daily Show. Also, as usual, the opponent here --- in this case Mike Huckabee --- ultimately can come up with absolutely no legitimate reason to oppose full rights for all Americans, other than concerns about having to rewrite a few editions of Merriam-Webster's. Bravo, Jon...


Even if he's out of his mind in regard to things like evolution and equal rights for Americans, Huckabee's a decent fellow who, we suspect, will some day have a "revelation" and reverse his opinion on both of those things once he no longer perceives he needs them to win public office (for example, after he no longer plans to run for anything). That cynicism, of course, runs contrary to my belief that he's "a decent fellow". But hey, nobody's perfect, right?

Admittedly, events of the last decade or two have greatly lowered our bar for "decent fellows" when it comes to Republicans, unfortunately.




57% of Voters with College Degrees Voted against Prop 8; 69% of High-School Only Californians Voted for It...
By Jon Ponder on 12/8/2008 2:26pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

The 2008 election introduced "low information voters" --- people who don't educate themselves about political issues until the waning days of a campaign. Now it appears that it was less educated people --- not blacks and Latinos, as was originally suggested in early post-election analysis --- that put Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage amendment, over the top last month in California.

A survey released last week by Public Policy Institute of California (PPI) of voters found that the true determining factor in who voted for Prop 8 was not ethnicity. It was education level:

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




With a Vote of 52% - Less Than Required for a Bond Measure - Decades of Social Justice Could Be Undone...
By Jon Ponder on 11/25/2008 4:37pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

In their outreach to blacks, Latino, Asians and other minority voters, the conservative operatives behind Proposition 8 neglected to mention a key aspect of the initiative that could contribute to rolling back minority rights for years to come.

Prop 8 not only rendered quaint the California Constitution's equal protection clause --- a foundational precept that instructs the state to protect the rights of all citizens equally --- it also rescinded the right to marry for California gays. This sets it apart from other states' anti-gay marriage amendments because it establishes a precedent for conservative efforts to curb minority rights using ballot initiatives and by other means:

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Plus: Princeton Stands Up for the Traditional Definition of Sidewalks!
By Brad Friedman on 11/25/2008 12:35pm PT  

Our friend Mark Levine of Radio Inside Scoop gets Prop 8 fever and calls the Leftists out! No more marriage for those perverts! (Why don't we ever get such good callers when we're hosting on the radio?)...


RELATED...Princeton University moves to ban freshmen from the sidewalks: "The Princeton Proposition 8 campaign aims to secure the definition of Princeton University sidewalks as a means of pedestrian transit for sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty, staff, and other members of the university community, but supports the elimination of the right of freshmen to walk on sidewalks."

The majority supporters of the measure note that "they are not 'froshophobic' and that some of their best friends are freshmen, but they maintain that freshmen on the sidewalk degrade the sacred institution of sidewalks."

We concur with both of the above efforts. Details and video on the latter here. Minorities have gotten away with too much for too long in this country, under the guise of "rights"! We say that all must change now!




By Emily Levy on 11/22/2008 10:04pm PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us

Following reports of concerns from voters, election monitors, observers, and election integrity advocates about the voting equipment and procedures used during the November 4th election in which Prop 8 --- a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality for all Californians --- is said to have passed, Velvet Revolution is requesting that official complaints from citizens be filed with the CA Sec. of State, by Monday if possible. Any voters who may have witnessed unusual activity, or problems with voting equipment that may have affected the casting or counting of votes on Proposition 8, are asked to contact SoS Debra Bowen's office as soon as possible. More details are posted here...

Additionally, VR is posting a $100,000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction for election fraud related to Prop 8. See this post for details...

[Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of Velvet Revolution.]




Douglas Kmeic Says Governor Could Make Change Through Administrative Order
But Is the Compromise Fair --- Or Even Necessary?
By Jon Ponder on 11/21/2008 12:01pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

The California Supreme court announced Wednesday that it will hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the anti-gay amendment that overturned the right of gay people to marry in the state.

In May, the same court, which is composed of seven Republicans and one Democrat --- who are all elected for 12-year terms --- decided 4-3 to strike down a law banning same-sex marriage.

The judges are being asked now to decide whether the constitution can be amended to make discrimination against a minority group legal, a move that directly violates the constitution's "equal protection clause," a foundational principle that instructs government to guarantee that all citizens enjoy the same rights --- or whether a change to the equal protection clause should have been made through the constitutional "revision" process, which would have required a two-thirds vote by both houses of the legislature before going before the electorate as a ballot initiative.

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, Pepperdine law professor Douglas Kmeic, who served as a high official in the Reagan and Bush I Justice departments but who supported Barack Obama this year, laid out a compromise to the constitutional debacle brought on by the passage of Proposition 8 that puts the solution in the hands of California's governor:

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2008 9:24am PT  

As I haven't had much (if any) time to focus on it since last Tuesday's election, I just wanted to toss in for now, here on Veterans Day, that I find it hard to believe that many of those vets, to whom we ought a great debt, would have risked their lives to fight to remove individual freedom, personal liberties, and hard fought rights for any American.

Thus, what may have happened in this state last Tuesday, when voters apparently voted in favor of Prop 8 to remove the right to marriage equality for same-sex couples, is an embarrassment and a reminder of why rights should never be put up for popular vote. The U.S. Constitution --- and presumably the CA Constitution, which will be amended by this proposition, if it's allowed to stand --- is meant to protect and guarantee the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

Had it been placed on the ballot for a popular vote in the 1800's, slavery would likely have been approved by the electorate as well. That wouldn't have made the right to live free of enslavement in these United States any more correct than removing the right for same-sex couples to share all of the benefits (whatever they may be) of marriage that every other couple in America has the right to enjoy.

What a shameful disgrace. It will not stand. But it remains an extraordinary embarrassment that so many still have to go to such lengths in order to guarantee their individual rights and freedoms in 2008...particularly after all that we've been through in this nation.

Happy Veterans Day to all. And thank you to all of those who have served. Your sacrifice will not have been in vain.

UPDATE: Protest rallies against Prop 8 are planned all over the country this Saturday. Please help keep America free by joining one of them in your town, if you can. More details here...




While the 'Yes on 8' Hate Mongers Declare Victory, 'No on 8' Campaign Understands Need to Wait For Complete Vote Count
Marriage Rights Hang in the Balance...
By Emily Levy on 11/5/2008 12:36pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us

California's Proposition 8 --- a Constitutional amendment to ban the right to same-sex marriage in the state --- currently has more "yes" (in favor of discrimination) votes than "no" votes tallied, 52.2% to 47.8%, according to the CA Sec. of State's website. This represents a difference of 434,830 votes. But according to the No on 8 campaign, three to four million provisional and vote-by-mail ballots remain uncounted...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2008 11:15am PT  

Since we could use some good news around here for a change, we're happy to highlight yet another conservative decision to honor both the Constitution and the rights of all Americans to enjoy equal protection under the law...

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 in favor of eight gay couples who sued on the grounds that the state's 2005 civil unions law did not provide equal protection under its constitution.
...
The court's decision in Kerrigan & Mock v. Dept. of Public Health reads, in part:

We conclude that, in light of the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries with it a status and significance that the newly created classification of civil unions does not embody, the segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm.

Congratulations to the free peoples of Connecticut, and thank you to their Supreme Court for pushing back against those --- Democratic, Republican, or any other --- who would attempt to re-interpret the Constitution and/or liberally create new laws in order to try and discriminate against any American.




51% Oppose; 42% in Favor - Only 7% Are Undecided
By Jon Ponder on 7/18/2008 12:57pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

A new Field Poll shows that 42 percent of California voters say they will vote for Proposition 8, the ballot initiative sponsored by the national anti-gay lobby that would amend the California Constitution to revoke the right of gay people to marry, while 51 percent say they plan to vote against it, according to a report in the Mercury News:

The poll showed a California sharply divided over a constitutional ban --- along the lines of geography, gender, race, age, religious belief and political affiliation. But it's also a California where Proposition 8 supporters may have a hard time winning in November. Just 7 percent of voters were undecided, a strikingly small amount so long before Election Day, leaving relatively few voters to sway.

"Very few initiatives in the history of the Field Poll have started out behind and come from behind to be approved," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. "The fact that (the initiative) is behind does not bode well for its chances."

Mercury News also reports that "[women], older baby boomers and residents of coastal California --- particularly the Bay Area --- were among those most hostile to the proposed ban. Protestants, Latinos, residents of inland counties and people in their 40s and over age 65 were the most likely to favor it."

At least one professional advocate of bigotry toward gays was quick to downplay the poll results. "Historically, the Field Poll has understated the support for upholding the definition of marriage," Jennifer Kerns, a spokeswoman for ProtectMarriage.com, told the Mecurty News. "The reality is that the vast majority of Californians support the definition of marriage as between a man and woman."

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Jon Ponder on 7/14/2008 12:34pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

The McCain campaign's Alabama chairman, Attorney General Troy King, the virulent homophobe who is the subject of rumors that his wife discovered him having sex with another man, was a client of Strategum USA, the consulting firm of Ralph Gonzalez, a closeted gay GOP political operative who was killed last summer in a double murder-suicide in his home in Orlando.

Gonzalez was also the one-time campaign manager/consultant for Florida's hard-right, scandal-plagued 24th Congressional District U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney whose close ties to disgraced GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and involvement in an alleged electronic vote-rigging conspiracy have been reported extensively for years by The BRAD BLOG.

Last Friday, the McCain campaign quickly scrubbed all references to King from its website without offering a public reason.

The August 27, 2007 Birmingham News report of the murder-suicide which took Gonzalez' life, discussed the consultant's work for King in Alabama...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




A New Low in Republican Hypocrisy Has Been Reached...
By Jon Ponder on 6/30/2008 8:47am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

This is not a joke. Two Republican U.S. senators who disgraced themselves with extramarital affairs have signed on as sponsors of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would prohibit same sex marriage anywhere in the United States.

The senators are David Vitter of Louisiana, who admitted he consorted with prostitutes over a long period of time, and Larry Craig of Idaho, who pleaded guilty to a charge of soliciting sex in a men's room.

The amendment states, "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

Both Vitter and Craig were 2007 nominees to Pensito Review's GOP Adulterers Hall of Fame.




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