Red Sox Releases “It Gets Better” Video
July 1st, 2011
Red Sox To Produce “It Gets Better” Video
June 4th, 2011
The Boston Red Sox have announced that they will become the third Major League Baseball team to produce a video for the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying campaign:
We are proud of dedicated Red Sox fans like 12-year-old Sam Maden who have taken the courageous step of publicly standing up against bullying of LGBT youth,” said Susan Goodenow, Senior Vice President/Public Affairs and Marketing for the Red Sox, in a statement. “The Red Sox have frequently done PSA videos, or public service announcement videos, on important social issues. We are currently producing an “It Gets Better” video to support the It Gets Better campaign to stop bullying of LGBT youth and teen suicides. We hope that when it is released it will both reflect our continued commitment to be active participants in the community and help advance the efforts of Sam and others to stop bullying. Our team stands for respect and inclusion – there is no place for discrimination or acts of hatred in Red Sox Nation.”
The announcement came after 12-year-old Sam Maden started an online petition asking the ball club to produce a video. Maden began the campaign after his seventh-grade teacher asked him to come up with a project that could “make a difference” in the world. More than 9,000 fans signed the petition.
This announcement not only demonstrates the power of one person to make a difference, but it also shows that the BoSox can still beat the Yankees.
Will Obama’s DOMA Decision Backfire?
February 25th, 2011
That’s what Daily Beast’s Eve Conant and Daniel Stone seem to think after talking with ant-gay activists who see an opening in the Administration’s new stand on defending the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” in the courts.
By failing to defend marriage, the administration may open the door for those passionately opposed to gay marriage to have what they feel they’ve been lacking: a stronger legal voice. In Massachusetts, which is also in the midst of a legal challenge to DOMA, traditional marriage activists, after the initial shock, are finding themselves equally emboldened. Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute says, “It’s a horrible situation when the president and the attorney general refuse to carry out their constitutional duties. We are now asking Congress to do its job.” But he says the law, in his view, “says that under unusual circumstances people who are friends of the court can participate in oral arguments.” Previously barred from doing so in the state’s key DOMA challenge, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, he says, his legal team is working on documents to take part in oral arguments “with real resources and with people who have a passion for success” in battling gay marriage. Mineau says the government’s defense of DOMA thus far “has amounted to something along the lines of ‘we’re personally against DOMA but we’re here today to defend it.’” That watered-down approach, he says, left traditional marriage supporters feeling hopeless.
If the Justice Department’s stand that DOMA should fall under heightened scrutiny holds sway in the courts, then groups like Massachusetts Family Institute with their impassioned position against same-sex marriage would actually prove the Administration’s case under one important aspect of heightened scrutiny: a history of discrimination. We already saw how well this played out so far in California, where widespread evidence of discrimination and expressions of anti-gay bigotry became important pivots on which Federal Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision rested.
On the other hand, Conant and Stone argue that the GOP-led House could try to take the case completely out of the DOJ’s hands altogether so that they would not even be present in court to argue for heightened scrutiny:
Committee lawyers have been summoned early next week to meet with Boehner and other officials to discuss their options. One leading strategy would be to stage a sort of legislative intervention, in which Congress’ counsel would remove the Justice Department’s authority to defend DOMA.
Administration officials aren’t opposed to that idea. In a letter to Boehner, Attorney General Eric Holder suggested Republican leaders appoint more lawyers to defend the law themselves, without Justice attorneys.
I see two potential problems here: If Congress were to intervene and remove DOJ’s authority to defend DOMA, wouldn’t the Democratic-controlled Senate have to go along with it? And secondly, as I read Attorney General Eric Holder’s letter, I don’t get the sense that he agrees that DOJ should be removed altogether from defending DOMA or that Republicans leaders should defend the law themselves “without Justice attorneys,” as if Justice would be willing to voluntarily step aside. “We will remain parties to the case and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation,” he clearly added, after acknowledging that Congress can play a role in defending the statute.
DOJ will “cease to defend” DOMA in Gill and Commonwealth cases
February 25th, 2011
GLAD is announcing:
The Department of Justice followed Wednesday’s withdrawal from two DOMA cases in the Second Circuit, including GLAD’s Pedersen v. OPM by notifying the clerk of the First Circuit that they will also “cease to defend” the two consolidated DOMA cases, Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. HHS.
According to the letter, the DOJ will remain parties to the case but will cease to defend Section 3 of DOMA. They also notified the court that Congress will be given the opportunity to defend DOMA Section 3.
Manager At Scott Lively’s Coffee Shop A Convicted Child Molester
January 13th, 2011
Anti-gay extremist Scott Lively, who travels the world to preach that the international gay cabal is recruiting young children into homosexuality through child molestation, hired a convicted child molester as manager of his Springfield, MA coffee house. The manager, Michael J. Frediani, 38, who lived in an apartment above the coffee house was arrested this morning by Springfield police for failing to register as a Level 2 sex offender.
In New York, Frediani was convicted of sexual abuse in the first degree and aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree in 1996.
The charge relates to an arrest by police in Canandaigua, N.Y., in 1995 in which the victim was an 11-year-old girl. The description of the offense was “deviate sexual intercourse.”
He was sentenced to two to four years in state prison, serving at the Midstate Correctional Facility from September of 1996 to February of 1999, according to Carole Weaver, a spokeswoman for the state’s Division of Parole.
New York determined that Frediani was a level 3 sex offender under that state’s classification which indicates that Frediani is considered most likely to reoffend again. Lively says he didn’t know about Frediani’s past, and didn’t appear too concerned about it:
Frediani had told Lively that he had a “rough past before he became a Christian,” Lively said, adding that he did not know any specifics and that he saw no need for a criminal background check.
“That’s the beauty of the salvation of Christ,” Lively said. “When you come to Jesus Christ, and you accept his forgiveness for your sins, then you are forgiven by Him and enter a new life. It doesn’t surprise me that he had a rough past, that he has a criminal record.”
Right. He warns everyone that they should keep gay people away from their children, but just anybody can hang out with the local teens at Lively’s coffee shop. Yeah. Good thinking.
Lively’s coffee shop drew criticism last week from local officials when his new storefront ministry became a hangout for truent teens while skipping school.
Lively said he continues to serve as a conference speaker around the world on the topic of homosexuality, but “it has nothing to do with the ministry in Springfield.”
That wasn’t even a full week.
Herald sports writer comes out
January 6th, 2011
Steve Buckley has written sports for the Boston Herald (the city’s more conservative newspaper) for the past 15 years. Today he shared a detail of his life with his readers.
Over the past couple of months I have discussed the coming-out process with my family and a few friends, and have had sit-downs with Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca and sports editor Hank Hryniewicz, as well as with WEEI’s Glenn Ordway. They’ve been great, as have my friends and family.
But during this same period, I have read sobering stories about people who came undone, killing themselves after being outed. These tragic events helped guide me to the belief that if more people are able to be honest about who they are, ultimately fewer people will feel such devastating pressure.
It’s my hope that from now on I’ll be more involved. I’m not really sure what I mean by being “involved,” but this is a start: I’m gay.
Scott Lively’s New Leaf?
January 5th, 2011
The Boston Globe has an interesting profile of Scott Lively this morning, in which he claims that he is turning aside his old ways and focusing more on helping the downtrodden in his adopted hometown of Springfield, Massachuetts:
Every day, patrons stream to the Christian folk shows and Bible classes at Holy Grounds Coffee House, the café he opened about two months ago on a block not far from downtown. A thousand people turned out for the March for Jesus he led from the café to the steps of City Hall on the day before Easter. And dozens of children and parents flocked to a city park for his annual Family Day celebration, featuring a water slide, face painting, and grilled food. Even the mayor stopped by that event.
“You can’t walk down the street without being greeted by somebody saying, ‘Hey, Rev. Scott!’ ’’ said Lively, an evangelical pastor who moved to Springfield from California in January 2008. “It’s very satisfying.’’
…“He has won the hearts of his people with his sincerity and the things he’s doing in the community,’’ said Archbishop Timothy Paul, pastor of the Basilica of the Holy Apostles and president of the Council of Churches of Greater Springfield. “But I don’t believe people in Springfield really know who he is.’’
Who Scott Lively really is, is the virulently anti-gay activist whose Abiding Truth Ministriues has been on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s very short list of anti-gay hate groups for a few years now. Not only that but Lively is co-founder of Watchmen On the Walls, another identified hate group (it was those Watchmen connections that brought him to Springfield), and he has worked with Massachusetts-based School of Christian Activism and MassResistance, two more identified hate groups. He is the author of author of the widely discredited book, The Pink Swastika, in which he claims that the Nazi movement was, at its core, a gay movement, and that the inevitable result of LGBT equality would be the imposition of murderous fascism.
In 2009, he took his message to Uganda with Exodus International board member Don Schmierer and International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Lee Brundidge (Brundidge went on behalf of IHF head Richard Cohen). He would later brag that his messages was a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda, which helped to prepare the groundwork for the introduction of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda’s Parliament.
The Globe provides considerable coverage of those events. Lively is unrepentant in his views about gay people, but he now says he has changed his focus.
“We’re not fighting the culture wars here in Springfield,’’ he said. “The issues here are more fundamental than that. You can’t deal with the culture wars with people who are struggling to survive. Those issues are not relevant. These are people who are trying to live.’’
“This whole mission in Springfield is to show by example the positive side of all this — that when you follow the Biblical approach and try to be as true to him [God] as you can, you get the maximum positive benefit for yourself and society,’’ he said. “It’s completely different from all the things that I’ve done in the past, which is going against the wrongs. We’re working toward what is right.’’
…Lively’s café features soft music and free Bibles, but no copies of “Pink Swastika,’’ or “7 Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child.’’ On a recent day, two teenagers chatted at one table, and two lounged on a sofa, while a few regulars talked with the long-haired manager, Michael Free, who offers blessings to patrons.
So, has Lively fully abandoned the culture war? I doubt it. He’s made similar noises before, but since then has argued that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would result in a Nazi takeover of the U.S. military, and he went on The Daily Show to say that gay men exhibit absolutely no moral restraint whatsoever. More recently, he ran as a write-in candidate for Massachusetts governor with MassResistance’s endorsement.
The Globe closes with Lively saying;
“If someone were looking for Scott Lively to stop being involved in the other stuff, this is it,’’ he said in an interview in his café. “Those people who criticize me, they should be happy.”
Believe me, I will be very happy when I never have to write about him again. Let’s see where we are, say, a year from now.
Couple recognition, state by state
December 1st, 2010
Upon the governor’s signature, Illinois will become the second state that is currently offering civil unions to same-sex couples. The status of the various recognition mechanisms is as follows:
Marriage on the same terms as heterosexual marriage – 5.1% of US Population:
District of Columbia
Civil Unions – a rights except the name – 7.1% of US Population:
Domestic Partnerships will all the rights except the name – 16.3% of US Population
Limited recognition of same-sex couples – 6.2% of US Population
Hawaii – Reciprocal Benefits
Colorado – Reciprocal Benefits
Wisconsin – Domestic Partnerships
Maine – Domestic Partnerships
Maryland – Domestic Partnerships
In addition, the states of Maryland and New York (6.4% of US Population) will give full recognition to same-sex marriages conducted where legal. Rhode Island may possibly do so also (it’s a bit uncertain) and offers unregistered Domestic Partnerships with a scant handful of rights.
Also, there are dozens of cities offer some form of recognition and protection for same-sex couples.
Obama Administration appeals DOMA ruling
October 12th, 2010
The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday defended the federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman by appealing two rulings in Massachusetts by a judge who called the law unconstitutional for denying federal benefits to gay married couples.
In two separate cases, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro in July ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, is unconstitutional because it interferes with a state’s right to define marriage and denies married gay couples an array of federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns.
The notice of appeal filed Tuesday did not spell out any arguments in support of the law. The appeals eventually will be heard by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
According to GLAD, briefs will be filed before First Circuit Court of Appeals probably between now and next spring, with oral arguments likely to be heard in the fall of 2011.
The Department of Justice had an obligation to defend the law. But there is no legal obligation to appeal the rulings of the court.
Fierce advocate in action.
Will DOJ respond today in appeal of DOMA?
October 12th, 2010
By my counting, today is the day that the Department of Justice must file an appeal to the court ruling which found that portions of the Defense of Marriage Act to violate the US Constitution. If not challenged, this decision would allow residents of Massachusetts who are in a same-sex marriage to have federal recognition of their marriage.
MassResistance Endorses Scott Lively As Write-In Candidate for Governor
August 13th, 2010
MassResistance, the most prominent group in Massachusetts that has been fighting a quixotic battle against ‘the state’s same-sex marriage law since the Goodridge decision, has become increasingly rabid in its anti-gay opposition. So much so, that they are one of only fourteen anti-gay hate groups tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (That’s out of 932 active hate groups in the United States the SPLC tracked in 2009.) But to give you an indication of how firmly entrenched they are in the politics of personal vilification, MassResistance has now endorsed holocaust revisionist Scott Lively as write-in candidate for Massachusetts governor in the GOP primary:
Lively is everything that (GOP primary front-runner) Charlie Baker is not. He is principled, pro-family, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-2nd-amendment, pro-religion, pro-parents’ rights, and utterly fearless.
Send a clear message to the RINO establishment
There’s nothing quite like voting for someone you actually support, rather than the lesser of two (or three) evils.
And by thousands (we hope!) of people voting for Scott Lively as a write-in candidate in the September 14 Republican Primary, a very strong statement will be made to the RINO Republican establishment, especially since relatively few people vote in most primaries. Don’t assume you own us. What you’re selling, we’re not buying. The people running the Massachusetts Republican Party love to use social conservatives to do the grunt work on campaigns, but they arrogantly see themselves as above “dirtying” themselves with the principled issues that conservatives care about.
Scott Lively is best known as the author of the widely discredited book, The Pink Swastika, in which he claims that the Nazi movement was, at its core, a gay movement, and that the inevitable result of LGBT equality would be the imposition of murderous fascism. He recently argued that repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would result in a Nazi takeover of the U.S. military, and he told The Daily Show that gay men exhibit absolutely no moral restraint whatsoever.
In March 2009, Lively was one of three American anti-gay activists to deliver what he called his “Nuclear Bomb against the gay agenda” at a conference in Kampala, Uganda which ultimately led to the introduction of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda’s Parliament. That bill calls for the death penalty against LGBT people under certain circumstances, and virtually criminalizes knowing or providing services to gay people. Lively has called that bill “a step in the right direction” and “the lesser of two evils,” although he claims to oppose the death penalty and has falsely claimed on multiple occasions that the death penalty has been removed from the bill. It has not. The bill, while unchanged, now appears stalled in two Parliamentary committees following international outcry.
Scott Lively himself is no stranger to the SPLC’s list of anti-gay hate groups. His own Abiding Truth Ministries, now based in Springfield, Massachusets, is also listed as an anti-gay hate group. He has worked closely with the other two Massachusetts-based anti-gay hate groups. He delivered a series of lectures at the School of Christian Activism, which is a ministry of the New Generation Christian Center. New Generation itself is a ministry of Latvia-based pastor Alexey Ledyaev, founder of the New Generation Movement. Lively and Ledyaev co-founded an international anti-gay movement known as Watchmen On the Walls, which is also listed as an anti-gay hate group by the SPLC.
(By the way, here’s a trivia note. The picture that MassResistance posted in their endorsement of Scott Lively is a cropped version of my screen-capture from video of Lively speaking on the first day of a Watchmen On the Walls conference in Riga, Latvia. What, they couldn’t get a headshot from their good friend?)
Which means, for those of you keeping track, that Lively is now working very closely with four of the fourteen anti-gay hate groups tracked by the SPLC.
Scott Lively’s ties with MassResistance are deep. He has appeared on MassResistance’s podcast as far back as 2006, and his writings are promoted in MassResistance’s web site. Last March, Lively joined Peter LaBarbera to speak at a MassResistance banquet. Last March, Lively joined Peter LaBarbera to speak at a MassResistance banquet.
MassResistance’s Brian Camenker spoke at a rally put on by the Plymouth Rock Tea Party last July. This appearance followed the cancellation of another Tea Party rally on the Lexington Battle Green due to controversy over Camenker’s participation. Camenker will also appear at a South Boston Tea Party rally on Aug 22, where the featured speaker will be Don Feder. It should come as no surprise that Feder, who once described himself as being “to the right of Attila the Hun,” was also a featured speaker at the Watchmen’s Riga conference. Anti-gay extremism forms a very tight little world.
Prop 8 Rallies Planned
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.
Margaret Marshall to retire
July 21st, 2010
From the Boston Globe
Marshall, 66, was appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court as an associate justice in 1996 by former governor William F. Weld, becoming just the second woman on the SJC, which claims to be the oldest appellate court in the Western hemisphere, having dealt with its first case in 1692. Marshall was elevated to her current post in 1999 by then-governor Paul Cellucci.
In 2003, Marshall authored the court’s majority decision that for the first time in Western legal circles, found that same-sex marriages were a lawful extension of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, the state’s Constitution.
“The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals,” Marshall wrote for the 4-3 majority. “It forbids the creation of second-class citizens.”
Marshall wishes to spend more time with her husband who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. We owe this woman a great debt of gratitude and wish her much happiness in her retirement.
GOP Gubernatorial candidate marches in Boston gay pride
June 20th, 2010
We are accustomed to Democratic candidates – often for high office – showing support and seeking voters among their gay constituents. But last weekend an event occurred that is telling about the future of our community. Charlie Baker, the Republican candidate for Governor, joined the Democratic candidate Deval Patrick, by marching in Boston’s gay pride parade.
Well, yes, it is Massachusetts. And Baker’s running mate is openly gay. But still, this is the GOP candidate.
And perhaps the most interesting aspect is that no one even seem to think that this is in any way interesting. No national party members are ranting. Local GOP officials are happy. Senators from Alabama and Oklahoma are not calling for his head. Rush isn’t frothing and Newt isn’t out looking for a write-in to support.
No one cares.
Oh, the MassResistance crowd is angry (especially because he marched with the guys who set up KnowThyNeighbor.org). But they can’t get anyone to return their calls these days.
And that is an encouraging sign.
Massachusetts Legislature Passes Anti-Bullying Measure
April 29th, 2010
Both houses of the Massachusetts legislature approved an anti-bullying law spurred on by the deaths of two youths who committed suicide following episodes of bullying by their classmates. The unanimous votes in both houses was on a reconciling bill which ironed out difference in two earlier bills from each house. The legislation will require school employees to report all instances of bullying and require principals to investigate them. A spokesman for the governor’s office said that Gov. Deval Patrick (D) will review the bill, but that he saw its passage as a “top priority.”
The impetus for the bill came from the suicides of Phoebe Prince and 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who killed himself just over a year ago over taunts about his perceived sexuality.