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Posts for January, 2014

Video of Belinda Carlisle / Mason visit to Bakersfield

Timothy Kincaid

January 13th, 2014

If you were unable to attend the discussion with Belinda Carlisle and her son, James Duke Mason, here is video of the event:

Part One:

YouTube Preview Image

and Part Two

YouTube Preview Image

If you live near Bakersfield

Timothy Kincaid

January 8th, 2014


… and don’t have plans for the evening, join Belinda Carlisle and her son, James, in a discussion about his coming out process. (Californian)

On some level, Belinda Carlisle always knew her son was gay. As a child he begged not for action figures but Disney princess dresses and then as a young teen, he threw an on-the-floor-kicking-and-screaming tantrum when his parents told him they’d have to postpone taking him to see “Brokeback Mountain,” the acclaimed 2005 film chronicling the love affair of two cowboys.

But there’s knowing and knowing, as the singer-actress would discover several years ago when her son was 14.

Carlisle was the lead singer for the Go-Go’s, an 80’s all-girl band known for such hits as Vacation, We Got the Beat, and Our Lips are Sealed, before going solo and racking up hits including Mad About You, Heaven is a Place on Earth, and I Get Weak.

The message of acceptance and love is much needed in Kern County and lets hope that a familiar voice can bring that message home to those who need it most.

The event is sponsored by PFLAG and hosted by the

First Congregational Church of Bakersfield-United Church of Christ
5 Real Rd, Bakersfield, California 93309

Doors Open at 6:30
Event at 7:00

I had the opportunity to hear Belinda sing on a cruise I took a few years ago. It was a wonderful show. I still enjoy the Go-Go’s and her solo work when I catch 80’s night at the local video bar.

Ex-Gay Group Warns: Change Or Die

Jim Burroway

December 6th, 2011

Phillip Lee, of Bakersfield's His Way Out Ministries

It has been reported recently that Exodus International president Alan Chambers is trying to save his organization from financial ruin by rebranding itself with some sort of a softer, kinder image. An Exodus member ministry in Bakersfield, California, however appears to have taken the opposite tack. Pastor Phillip Lee, executive director of His Way Out Ministries at Chester Avenue Community Church penned an op-ed in Sunday’s Bakersfield Californian that looks like it came straight out of 1985. The upshot is this: everyone has a choice to either become straight or die of AIDS:

While AIDS is not solely a homosexual disease, the disease was confined almost exclusively to homosexuals in the beginning years of the epidemic in the United States. I personally witnessed this horrific tragedy unfold while living in San Francisco, having several personal friends die of AIDS at the beginning stages of what is now a pandemic. Tragically, the reality and threat of AIDS has not stopped men from engaging in unprotected sex and the continued risk-taking by many does not appear to result from a lack of awareness.

There is, therefore, little to no evidence that homosexual practice can be anything other than a severe threat to the sanctity of life. That said, all efforts should and must continue to better understand and find a cure for AIDS and AIDS-related diseases. However, if the sexual behavior that is fundamental to most homosexual practice constitutes the primary means of transmitting such disease, then it only makes sense for society to do all it can to decrease such behavior, which ultimately protects the sanctity of life.

I guess gay and bisexual women are off the hook. But what Lee fails to understand is that AIDS is the result of unprotected sex — whether that sex is gay or straight. It is not the product of being gay. If it were, AIDS wouldn’t be a predominantly heterosexual disease worldwide. But there’s no sense in grounding an ex-gay message in reality when the entire ex-gay movement is predicated on training people to ignore their own reality and embark on an lifelong struggle to try to achieve what does not come naturally to them. Stigmatizing people with AIDS is no small thing for people who have still have to deal with routine ignorance, but as far as Exodus-affiliated His Way Out Ministries is concerned, that stigma is just another tool in its toolbox.

This tactic is beyond merely deplorable. It is an outrageous throwback to the hysteria of twenty years ago. If Chambers really wants to rebrand his organization’s image, he really has his work cut out for him among his own affiliates.

Seth Walsh’s “Daily Gauntlet”

Jim Burroway

October 7th, 2010

The mother of Seth Walsh, the Bakersfield-area teen who committed suicide in response to a daily dose of bullying in school, quietly mourns the loss of her son. She is refusing to speak to the public, as are Seth’s friends. But Seth’s grandparents have opened up, and the world gets to see just a bit of the incredible kid that we lost:

Judy and Jim still laugh over his tastes. He colored his hair blond on occasion and wore it with a long swoop that partly covered his eyes. Judy took him shopping once, and he went to the girl’s department to find pants with tapered legs. He added a vest, and a few months later she noticed the style everywhere.

…He was a gentle child, they say, who preferred to “relocate bugs” rather than kill them, who made sure his younger brother got his share of Easter eggs and who once apologized to a bed of flowers when he picked one and placed it on the grave of the family dog.

But the Walshes realize that Seth’s gentleness made him a target, and they recall listening to Wendy (Seth’s mother) as she shared her worries about Seth and what he had to endure.

The teasing and bullying began in fourth grade. At first it was because he was different — more comfortable with girls, not interested in sports, neither aggressive nor assertive — and then it was because he thought he was gay. Once classmates found out and the news spread, the abuse became more focused and cruel.

When Judy learned from her daughter that Seth was gay, she became concerned for the challenges that lay ahead of her grandson.

“Life is hard enough,” she says, “but this makes it harder.”

“Especially in a small town,” Jim says.

The Los Angeles Times’ profile is a must-read.

Bakersfield-Area Teen Dies After Suicide Attempt; No Charges Will Be Filed

Jim Burroway

September 29th, 2010

Tehachapi teen Seth Walsh, who committed suicide following anti-gay bullyingAnother day, another gay teen is dead:

Seth Walsh, the Tehachapi 13-year-old who hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied, died Tuesday afternoon after nine days on life support.

Tehachapi police investigators interviewed some of the young people who taunted Seth the day he hanged himself and determined despite the tragic outcome of their ridicule, their actions do not constitute a crime.

“Several of the kids that we talked to broke down into tears,” Jeff Kermode, Tehachapi Police Chief, said. “They had never expected an outcome such as this.”

Seth had been picked on for years because he was gay, but fellow classmates said that the staff at Jacobsen Middle School offered Seth no help or protection. People run red lights without expecting anyone to die in a horrific traffic accident, but they are charged with manslaughter or negligent homicide. Red lights were flashing at Tehachapi just as brightly and a child is dead because of the direct actions of his peers and the negligence of school officials. But they get a pass because, well heck, nobody meant nuttin’ by it. It was all just harmless fun. It just goes to show how seriously too many school administrators take the lives of gay students in 2010.

Prop 8 Rallies Planned

Jim Burroway

August 4th, 2010

As Timothy mentioned yesterday afternoon, we received word that a decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger is expected this afternoon between 1:00 and 3:00 pm (PDT). Already, Prop 8 supporters have already filed a request for stay of judgment pending appeal, in case Judge Walker strikes down Prop 8. If granted, this would prevent any marriages taking until the Court of Appeals hears the case.

Meanwhile, a large number of rallies are planned in California and across the U.S., forty so far and counting. Rex Wockner is keeping up to date with the latest additions.

Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance

Timothy Kincaid

July 8th, 2008

thomasson.gifWe told you in June about the lunatic idea that Randy Thomasson and the Campaign for Children and Families came up with to try and have Kern County Supervisors put an ordinance in place restricting marriage to the opposite sex.

Not surprisingly, the County’s counsel informed them that this was unquestionably unconstitutional. And the County Supervisors decided that inviting lawsuits that they were guaranteed to lose was not a wise decision.

In a WorldNetDaily article before today’s decision, Thomasson had these words to say:

“This will be as inspirational as the Alamo, without the guns, knives, blood or death,” he said.

The more I hear from Thomasson, the more I’m beginning to think he’s a simpleton. I truly hope that the anti-gays keep him as the voice of Proposition 8; he improves our chances of defeating the bigoted amendment.

In a bit of sad news, however, the Supervisors did not override Barnett and deputize Kern County employees to perform civil marriages. So indigent heterosexual Kern County couples will have to expend additional funds so that elected officials can spite gay residents.

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte

Timothy Kincaid

June 14th, 2008

Calaveras County (of Celebrated Jumping Frog fame) has joined Kern County and Butte County in not providing civil marriages. (AP)

“We’ve done them when we can,” said Karen Varni, the clerk-recorder in Calaveras County. “They’ve been squeezed into other things, and due to budget restraints in our county and no actual place to do them, we’re not set up to do them.”

She said they had considered stopping them before the May 15 court decision, but then decided it was necessary with the expected increase.

Calavaras County has about 40,000 residents with less than 3,000 living in the county seat of San Andreas. I find it likely that Varni does not have the resources that Barnett has at her disposal so her protestations seem a bit more sincere.

Smaller rural counties in central California are not so much worried that local residents will swamp them with demands for same-sex marriage.

Local gay couples aren’t lining up to get marriage licenses at the county clerks’ offices in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, at least not yet, but county employees are still bracing for a stream of applications from outsiders.

That’s because the San Francisco County Clerk’s Office, like some clerk’s offices in large metropolitan areas, has a long waiting list of people seeking marriage licenses. With the May 15 California Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage, the list could get even longer.

If Varni genuinely is concerned about personnel, however, she could call the office of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as he’s promised to loan staff to those counties that cannot perform marriages.

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course

Timothy Kincaid

June 13th, 2008

barnett2.jpg

No one wants the opening paragraph of an article in the local media to be

Though County Clerk Ann Barnett has refused numerous interviews by ABC23 and other local media on a recent decision to end civil ceremonies, she has granted an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

I don’t think that ongoing local coverage of Barnett is going to be kind.

Not that the LA Times was fawning.

Barnett initially said her decision to stop the weddings was based on budget constraints and a lack of staff. On Thursday, she said her primary concern was office security because the county’s two wedding chapels are inside the elections division, which Barnett also supervises.

“It’s not roped off or anything, so people could wander into restricted areas,” she said.

But her critics say the facts contradict her explanations.

Her handlers at the Alliance Defense Fund should never have let her speak.

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard

Timothy Kincaid

June 13th, 2008

chad-vegas.jpg Chad Vegas is the pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Bakersfield. He is also a trustee on the board of the Kern High School District.

Two things happened recently that caught Vegas’ attention. One, the County Clerk stopping all civil marriages, you know about. The other is a little local snafu.

It seems at the local highschool, “the outgoing president of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, came up with the idea of giving a Bible to any graduating senior who wanted one. Permission was asked for and received, money raised and Bibles bought.” (the Bakersfield Californian) But a confusion arose and an assistant superintendant ordered that the give-away be stopped.

The official since realized his error and apologized.

“It was not my intent to prohibit or stop the distribution of bibles or to violate anyone’s freedom of expression. My concern was only that the setup for the distribution appeared to be during a school-sponsored activity and not in a common area.”

The kids were denied their rights and appropriate steps are being reviewed to determine the proper action at this time. But that isn’t good enough for Chad Vegas.

The board member [Vegas] said he intends to meet with Superintendent Don Carter next week and will ask the board to publicly apologize to the FCA and agree to train faculty and staff on “free speech and religious rights of students and faculty.”

I am highly offended that one of our superintendents would violate the U.S. Constitution for personal reasons,” Vegas said. “This kind of behavior is unacceptable.”

Well, I think I’d have to agree with that…

But then there’s the situation with civil marriages.

The Kern Democrats have posted on their site a copy of the June 10th email that Vegas sent out to all the County Supervisors:

Dear County Supervisor,

I am writing to make you aware of my ardent support for Ann Barnett. Please support her. Further, please know that I will work vigorously to remove from office any supervisor that does not support her in this difficult time. There is no more important political issue to the evangelical church. As we face one of the most important constitutional issues in the history of this great Republic, I want to make it clear that nothing short of complete opposition to homosexual marriage will be tolerated! As you consider your options, I remind you of the Apostle Peter in Acts 4 who asked, “should we obey man or God?” The choice is clear! Please don’t hide behind your oath on an issue this important. Your oath was to uphold the constitution, not to uphold every stupid law or judicial decision that comes around. At times, civil disobedience is the only way to keep your oath.

Thanks, Chad Vegas

Sooooo…. Mr. Vegas, I guess you believe in constitutional rights of students with Bibles, but not the constitutional rights of gays with marriage licenses. Keep the laws that allow Bible distribution, break the laws that allow same-sex couples to marry.

I never thought I’d begin to feel sorry for the residents of Kern County.

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

(hat tip Good As You)

Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media

Timothy Kincaid

June 12th, 2008

barnett2.jpg

Anti-gay Kern County Clerk Ann K. Barnett is making no friends in Bakersfield. She’s royally annoyed the local Channel 29 Eyewitness News by denying them the ability to videotape where they had in the past and then calling the police on them. And she’s infuriating the local County Counsel by stubbornly refusing to follow his legal advice and to cooperate with media.

She’s refering everyone to the Alliance Defense Fund.

There’s no question that Barnett is anti-gay. But she’s also just not very bright. Every time she opens her mouth the local news shows that she’s lying. Check out the articles and the two video Eyewitness News reports.

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

CA Anti-Gays either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars

Timothy Kincaid

June 10th, 2008

thomasson.gifSometimes anti-gays do or say something so stupid, so plainly false, that you wonder who they think they’re fooling. Today’s example comes from the California anti-gay group Campaign for Children and Families and (where else?) Kern County.

The Bakersfield Californian reported on the County Supervisors meeting this morning. There, Randy Thomasson of the CCF presented an proposed ordinance for consideration

The ordinance states “no employee of (blank) County, and no elected or appointed official of (blank) County, may issue a marriage license to any couple other than a statutorily qualified man and woman.”

There Thomasson made the rather bizarre claim that the County Supervisors could override the decision of the State Supreme Court.

Randy Thomasson of Campaign for Children and Families said the county can pass the ordinance and stop all marriage licenses.

He said issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates the state constitution because the Supreme Court had no power to redefine marriage in ruling on Proposition 22 last month.

“Can you actually protect marriage in your county? Can you pass the ordinance? Yes, you can,” Thomasson said.

Really, Randy? The Supervisors can “protect marriage” in their county? Are you out of your mind or are you so dedicated to your campaign of bigotry that you are willing to say anything at all – no matter how obviously insane – to advance your agenda? Do you retain even the smallest smidgen of integrity?

Not being drooling vegetables, the Supervisors were not much impressed.

Enacting an ordinance that goes against the constitution and the decision of the California Supreme Court “doesn’t seem to withstand scrutiny” said Supervisor Jon McQuiston.

The Supervisors referred the issue to County Counsel and requested a report back on July 8 on whether such an ordinance would be legal. But in the spirit of saving time and trees, let me help with that inquiry.

No. It wouldn’t.

Next really stupid question?

UPDATE

Here’s a link to Thomasson’s proposed ordinance.

14. The Board of Supervisors specifically finds that marriage only for a man and a woman is the law of the land and the foundation of family and society in Kern County.

Hey, Randy, if your legal prowess didn’t impress the California Supreme Court, the Governor, or the legislature, why not try it on the Kern County Board of Supervisors. If they don’t bite, you might try the local grammar school debating club. Perhaps they can “specifically find” some laws your way.

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County

Timothy Kincaid

June 10th, 2008

bar.bmpWe’ve been following the story of Kern County Clerk Ann Barnett and her decision to stop the county from providing the courtesy of civil marriages. The Bakersfield Californian now reveals that Barnett may well have stopped all civil marriages from being conducted in the county.

In county government, only Barnett has the power to perform civil marriages — or deputize others to do the ceremonies — and she has already decided to cut all marriages short at the end of this week.

And her office is refusing to deputize the public as well.

The only other civil [marriage] option for both gay and straight couples could be Kern County’s judges. It remained unclear Monday whether judges can or will do the ceremonies.

Barnett cannot stop same-sex marriages from being conducted and legally recognized in Kern County. But she can ensure that all marriages are conducted by persons whose authority is granted by reason of religious ordination.

Supervisor Don Maben has a personal reason why that is not acceptable.

Maben, whose Catholic father married his Protestant mother in a civil ceremony because their faiths didn’t match up, said the issue isn’t gay marriage.

It’s about the county’s commitment to serve all its citizens.

Barnett’s spiteful action is unlikely to have much impact on same-sex couples who are seeking to wed. And as the Rev. Bryd Tetzlaff of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Kern County has promised officiate same-sex weddings free of charge, they will not incur any additional costs.

But Barnett has hurt those opposite-sex couples who do not have the extra few hundred dollars available or those who, like Maben’s parents, have religious reasons for seeking a civil ceremony.

And I have little doubt that Barnett has opened Kern County to litigation from atheists or other persons who will question whether the County has the right to deny recognition of marriages that are not affiliated with religion.

The LA Times also has an article that discusses how Bakersfield came to be the eighth most conservative city in the country.

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.

Timothy Kincaid

June 6th, 2008

Not every elected official in Kern County places their personal biases above their duty. County Supervisor Don Maben is now trying to clean up after the mess made by Clerk Ann K. Barnett… and he’s not lovin’ it.

“I think it sucks,” Maben said of Barnett’s decision to cease county clerk’s office weddings June 13. “The fact is this is a service that has been provided for a long time and to take away the rights of any citizen because of your personal beliefs when you’re a public official is wrong.”

I’ve still not determined whether there are other measures in place to accommodate non-religious marriages in Kern County, but it appears that Maben shares my concern.

A county supervisor is looking for ways to offer civil marriages — gay and straight — in Kern now that the county clerk’s office will no longer do it.

Supervisor Don Maben said this afternoon that on Tuesday, he will ask the county administrative office to look into options for providing the low-cost service.

In a related article, the Californian reveals that many residents avail themselves of the County’s services to avoid the cost (about $300) of hiring the services of a third party. About 20% of the county population lives below the poverty line.

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings

Timothy Kincaid

June 6th, 2008

bar.bmp
Yesterday we told you of Kern Co. Clerk Ann K. Barnett and her decision to cancel all weddings officiated by county officers so as to avoid allowing gay couples the same privileges as straight couples. Today the Bakersfield Californian provides more information about the extent she went to accommodate her biases.

At her request, County Counsel Bernard Barmann filed a brief with the California Supreme Court opposing implementation of the May 15 ruling allowing gay marriage.

She tried to resign her elected position as county clerk — while keeping her positions as auditor-controller and elections boss. “She really wanted to get rid of it,” Barmann said.

And finally, when the ruling came down Wednesday that she had to license same-sex marriages, she decided to stop performing all weddings. That involved canceling 25 heterosexual ceremonies that had been scheduled after June 13, according to her staff.

The Californian also obtained email correspondence between Barnett’s office and the anti-gay legal advocacy group Alliance Defense Fund.

Our question is, now that the Supreme Court has refused to stay its decision, will Alliance Defense Fund defend the County Clerk if she ceases performing all marriage ceremonies as of 5:00 pm on June 16th?

The newspaper also disproved Barnett’s claims about the cost of conducting ceremonies and space requirements.

I don’t fault Barnett for seeking to find some method by which she would not be called to perform a ceremony which she found to be contrary to her religious beliefs. And if that means that she personally would not perform any ceremonies at all, that would be fine with me.

But Barnett did not limit her actions to herself. She declared that no persons authorized by the County will perform weddings. And if that is an inconvenience to the 25 heterosexual couples, all gay couples, and those clerical officials who would delight in bringing joy to couple of all orientations, well that’s just too bad. Everyone must pay the price for Bennett’s disappointment and all her employees must work according to Bennett’s religious dictates.

It appears that County Clerks are not obligated to provide civil ceremonies and indeed some counties do not. This, however, raises the question – are all marriages in Kern County now religious ceremonies? Is there no mechanism by which atheists or others can seek a civil wedding? If, say, a divorced Catholic wishes to re-marry are they required to seek officiation by someone whose sole qualification is that they are the practitioner of some other faith?

This may not be the last we hear of this story.

[Hat tip: Stefano]

See also:
Kern Co. Supervisors Reject Anti-Gay Ordinance
Calaveras County Joins Kern and Butte
Barnett Breaks Her Media Silence – Stupidly, of Course
Chad Vegas – Kern Co. School Board Trustee’s Double Standard
Ann Barnett Annoys Local Bakersfield Media
Two More California Counties Stop Officiating at Weddings
CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
No Non-Religious Marriages in Kern County
A Voice of Reason in Kern Co.
Kern Co. (Bakersfield) Clerk Ann K. Barnett Cancels Straight Weddings
More Bakersfield Bigotry
Bakersfield – Not a Place to Plan Your Wedding

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