May 9th, 2013
Following three hours of debate, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF1054, a bill which grants marriage equality for same-sex couples. The tally had been expected to be close with no Republican support in the DFL-controlled legislature (DFL: Democratic, Farm, Labor, what the Minnesota Democratic party calls itself). But in the end, David FitzSimmons (R-Albertville), Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington), Andrea Kieffer (R-Woodbury) and Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie) joined seventy-one DFLers to pass the bill with a vote of 75-59. None of the Republicans had declared their support before the debate. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
Loon says she decided during the debate. Garofalo and FitzSimmons say an amendment to fortify religious protections was key. Kieffer was unavailable for comment.
The two DFLers against the marriage bill were Patti Fritz of Faribault and Mary Sawatzky of Willmar. Both come from districts that heavily supported a gay marriage ban.
A good chunk of the three hour debate dealt with an amendment offered by Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Red Wing) which would have converted the entire bill into a civil unions bill. That amendment was rejected 22-111. Another amendment proposed by FitzSimmons which added the word “civil” before the word “marriage” wherever it appeared in the Minnesota statutes. That amendment passed on a voice vote, which brought FitzSimmons and Garofalo on board.
Observers had expected that the marriage bill would have had a tougher time passing the House than the Senate. But with that hurdle out of the way, the bill is now expected to be approved by the Senate soon, perhaps as early as Monday. Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) has promised to sign the bill if it reaches his desk. The bill would go into effect August 1.
Minnesota is poised to become the twelfth state, in addition to the District of Columbia, to provide marriage equality for same-sex couples. It will also become the first state in the Midwest to do so as the result of a legislature initiative.
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.