July 25th, 2011
Twenty-four hours after New Yorkers began enjoying the fresh air of marriage equality, anti-gay activists filed a lawsuit against the New York state Senate challenging the process by which marriage equality became legal. New Yorker’s (sic) for Constitutional Freedom allege that the legislature violated the Open Meetings law, suspended normal voting procedures, denied public access to legislators, and failed to send the bill to proper committees. A spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted the group’s lawsuit, saying “The plaintiffs lack a basic understanding of the laws of the state of New York. The suit is without merit.”
Because of the separation of power doctrine, this lawsuit is likely dead on arrival. Each branch of government is free to establish the rules under which that branch operates, and courts are loathe to cross those lines of separation and order one branch to abide by a different set of rules when those rules were established by that branch for the conduct of its business.
But the lack of basic understanding of the law comes as no surprise when one considers that the lawyer representing New Yorker’s (sic) for Constitutional Freedom is none other than Liberty Counsel’s Rena Lindevaldsen. You may recall that she was the lawyer for Lisa Miller, who kidnapped now nine-year-old Isabella after a court awarded custody of the child to her other mother, Janet Miller Jenkins. The FBI’s investigation led to the arrest of an accomplice who aided in the abduction, and showed that persons associated with Liberty Counsel were significantly involved in the conspiracy. Last May it was revealed that Lindevaldsen and Mat Staver, who heads Liberty Counsel, and who both teach at Liberty University’s law school, taught their students to choose “God’s law” over “man’s law.” When they presented a case remarkably similar to the Miller case to their students, they gave higher marks to students who said that Miller should be advised by their lawyer to engage in “civil disobedience” and ignore the court order.
Lindevaldsen’s views are as extreme as they come. Last year, she spoke at a so-called “Truth Academy” put on by the SPLC-certified hate group Americans for Truth, headed by Peter LaBarbera. Lindevaldsen told the small gathering, “We need to work to completely eliminate public schools — government schools — and push a Christian/Biblical model of educating our children.” She also equated civil unions to promiscuity, and talked about LGBT equality and “religous and first amendment freedoms” as a zer0-sum game. She also spoke of her resentment in having to observe the First Amendment’s separation of church and state:
When they ask me to be secular in my argumentation, they’re asking me to give up Truth. They’re asking me to give up my best weapon which is the absolute reality that I know from God. They’re asking me to go over onto their playing field and use their weapons that they chose for me.
This partly explains Chris Geidner’s observation that Lindevaldsen made a striking style decision in writing her brief:
One of the striking, though not surprising, quirks of the lawsuit is its constant insistence of using quotation marks around all mentions of marriage that relate to same-sex couples:
Immediate and irreparable harm will occur if injunctive relief is not granted insofar as couples will be “marrying” pursuant to a law that is invalid and, ultimately, could result in the invalidation of those “marriages.”
The move, whether its aim or not, has the effect of making the lawsuit look more like a political than a legal document.
In reality, the document is neither legal nor political. It’s religious.
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.