August 13th, 2010
The National Organization for Marriage must be dispirited by the recent rulings for marriage equality. But they can take hope from their latest stop on their Tour of Mostly-Empty City Plazas. Because in Harrisburg, PA, they got more than a couple dozen supporter and – for the first time in a long time – outnumbered the counter-protesters. The Tour Tracker is reporting that NOM’s supporters numbered about 75 as compared the 53 protesters.
But those were probably the only rays of light in an otherwise dull and gloomy day.
The Trial Tracker reports today’s rally to be particularly dull and uninspiring. That may well be due to the growing realization on the part of NOM’s leaders that they are ineffectual and, at this point, just going through the motions.
And so far NOM’s Summer for Marriage blog is choosing to pretend as though there was no rally today. Instead, Brian Brown is ranting about Judge Walker’s decision to deny a stay on his motion.
When a lower judge makes an unprecedented ruling, that totally overturns existing Supreme Court precedent, the normal thing for that judge to do is to stay his decision, and let the higher courts decide in an orderly fashion that respects the rule of law, if he’s right, or if he’s way off-base. Judge Walker’s ruling is more evidence he is not a neutral referee, he’s an activist on this issue. He doesn’t even want his ruling ignoring Supreme Court precedent and imposing gay marriage against the expressed wishes of the electorate appealed to the Ninth Circuit…
The Proponents, in their appeal to the denial of stay, also make a great deal about this “existing Supreme Court precedent.” You’ll notice that Brian Brown is not providing much information about this precedent, other than to demand that it trumps Perry v. Schwarzenegger. And that’s probably because it is a case from 1971.
In May 1970 Jack Baker and James McConnell applied for a marriage license in Hennepin County, Minnesota. They were denied. They sued and lost at district court and in appeal at the Minnesota Supreme Court. They appealed to the US Supreme Court but the SCOTUS did not hear their appeal for “want of a substantial federal question.”
Normally, a refusal to hear a case is not considered precedent on the merits of the case. However, anti-marriage activists argue because that this case came to the Court through mandatory appellate review, then therefore it is by default a judgment on the merits of the case and establishes precedent which all lower courts must follow for perpetuity.
The Proponents also discuss Adams v. Howerton, a 1982 immigration case in which the Ninth Circuit ruled that Adams and his same-sex non-legal husband were not married and that the Federal Government has a rational basis for refusing to recognize this marriage.
But while relying on those cases may have been valid in, oh say 1984, it hardly lends itself to ranting indignation in this case.
Since that time, Romer v. Evans has determined that an initiative cannot be designed solely to disadvantage a class of people and Lawrence v. Texas determined that a state cannot legislate based solely on moral disapproval of a class of people. It was not necessary that these two cases deal with gay issues for them to apply to Perry v. Schwarzenegger, but it does make them impossible to ignore.
Another case that Brown likes to reference – but which is ignored by the Proponents – Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning. This was a 2006 ACLU challenge to Nebraska’s DOMA constitutional amendment. A lower court found it to be an unconstitutional violation of the Equal Protection Clause, but the Eighth Circuit reinstated the ban. I am not certain why both Judge Walker and the Proponents have not referenced this case.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.