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Posts for February, 2015

Eighth Circuit expedites marriage cases

Timothy Kincaid

February 3rd, 2015

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to combine the marriage ban cases from Arkansas, Missouri, and South Dakota. The court will also expedite the case, with the first round of briefs due on February 27, 2015. Oral arguments will be heard during the week of May 11-15, 2015 in Omaha, NE.

Federal judge finds Missouri ban unconstitutional

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2014

A few days ago a state judge found Missouri’s anti-gay marriage ban to be a violation of the US Constitution. The ruling is under appeal at the state Supreme Court, but is not stayed in the interim.

Today a federal judge, Ortrie D Smith, has come to the same conclusion.

Smith has stayed the Federal ruling until it passes appeal, but the state ruling continues to allow for marriage licenses to be issued. There is some uncertainty as to whether the state ruling applies to the entire state, but at present those Missouri couples wishing to marry may get their license in St. Louis and have it recognized throughout the state.

State judge throws out Missouri anti-gay marriage ban – Updated

Timothy Kincaid

November 5th, 2014

St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Denying Missouri’s gay couples the opportunity to marry is unconstitutional, a judge ruled this afternoon.

As a result, St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison said in his decision, marriage licenses can be issued.

“The Court finds and declares that any same sex couple that satisfies all the requirements for marriage under Missouri law, other than being of different sexes, is legally entitled to a marriage license,” Burlison wrote.

He said that the Missouri Constitution violates the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Last month the courts found that marriage conducted outside of Missouri must be recognized by the state. The Attorney General did not appeal. It is unclear whether he will appeal this decision.


The language seems to suggest that this applies only to St. Louis.


The Attorney General has appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court. However, he has NOT requested a stay while under appeal. Marriage licenses are being distributed in St. Louis.

Missouri to recognize out-of-state marriage

Timothy Kincaid

October 6th, 2014

On Friday, state Judge J. Dale Youngs ruled that Missouri must recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states in which such marriages were legal. (SLTrib)

A Kansas City judge ruled Friday that the marriages of Missouri gay couples wed in states or countries where such relationships are legally recognized must be honored by their home state.

The ruling affects more than 5,400 Missouri couples who were married in places where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, including states such as Illinois and Iowa.

Following today’s decision by the SCOTUS not to issue certiorari in same-sex marriage cases, the Missouri Attorney General issued a statement that the state will not appeal the state court marriage recognition ruling. Missouri borders Iowa, Oklahoma, and Illinois, all of which now offer same-sex marriage.

Is Arizona a Turning Point?

Jim Burroway

February 27th, 2014

It would appear that the outcry over Arizona’s license-to-discriminate bill that was finally vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer last night may have reached something of a high water mark. Major companies, business group, professional organizations, and major league sports all came out with strong statements denouncing the bill in the moments leading up to Brewer’s veto. Typical was this one from Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman:

SB 1062 would serve to create an environment where consumers would not know how they would be treated – or whether they would even be served – when they patronize a business. This bill goes against the rule that every great business subscribes to, which is that the customer is always right. It will not only be bad for customers, but also bad for local business in the state. I also believe that it would be in consumers’ interests to be made aware of businesses within the state that did engage in discriminatory behavior. Since early 2010, Yelp has hired over 650 employees in Arizona. Over the next few years, we hope to hire hundreds more. It would be unconscionable for the state to encourage discrimination against any of them.

Arizona joins three other states in putting an end to their license-to-discriminate bills in just the past twenty-four hours:

  • Sponsors of Ohio’s license-to-discriminate bill withdrew their support yesterday. Moments later, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee announced that the bill was dead.
  •  The Mississippi House of Representatives Civil Subcommittee late yesterday voted to strike almost all of the provisions of their license-to-discriminate bill, leaving only a provision adding “In God We Trust” to the state seal. This move came after the state Senate gave its unanimous approval in January.
  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced yesterday that he will veto a proposed license-to-discriminate bill if it reaches his desk. Earlier that day, he had refused to address the question during an interview on MSNBC.

Over the past several weeks, license-to-discriminate bills have been defeated or withdrawn in Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Tennessee, and Utah. But we’re not out of the woods yet. Similar bills are still working their way through Idaho, Missouri, South Dakota, and Georgia, where Atlanta-based Delta Airlines has announced its opposition. The Idaho bill was returned to a House committee last week, with the sponsor saying he wants to “find the right language.” In addition, there’s a push to put a similar measure on the ballot in Oregon in November.


Missouri supremes set the state up for slap down

Timothy Kincaid

October 31st, 2013

Justice Scalia once famously said that “a tax on yarmulkes is a tax on Jews”, the idea being that one cannot hide behind the technicality of a law ‘applying to everyone’ when the actuality is that the law is designed to impact only one demographic.

And though Scalia refuses to see it, he provided the clearest legal parable as to why it is that laws designed to impact only gay citizens – though couched as ‘applying to everyone’ – violate the US Constitution.

Although several conservative politicians have tried to claim that their state’s sodomy laws are still valid using the argument that they applied to both gay and straight people, these have never gotten any legal traction. When Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia Attorney General (and GOP gubernatorial candidate), tried to argue for reinstatement of that state’s sodomy laws by bringing a case involving oral sex with an opposite-sex minor, the US Supreme Court didn’t even grant certiorari.

Nevertheless, those who oppose equality for gay people often tie themselves up in logic pretzels, seeking a way to simultaneously disadvantage gay citizens while still convincing themselves that they are applying rules equally and fairly. And one of their favorite tactics is to make one unequal law – fully justified in this one instance by tradition and religious freedom and social need and, especially, ‘think of the children’ – and to then use that inequality as justification for the next. It’s what I call gay yarmulke logic.

The current iteration of the gay yarmulke is marriage (having replaced “homosexual acts”). Those who oppose equality aren’t anti-gay, you see, just anti-gay marriage. And, of course, the next inequality is justified by marriage inequality.

The latest example comes to us from the State of Missouri.

On Christmas Day 2009, Missouri State Trooper, Corporal Dennis Engelhard was hit and killed in the line of duty when a car hit an icy patch and veered out of control. He left behind his partner of 15 years, Kelly Glossip, and Kelly’s son who they were jointly raising.

The Police and Fireman’s Fund held a fundraiser for the parents, at which they ignored Engelhard’s spouse and child. The State Troopers issued an obituary stating that Engelhard was ‘single’ and the Governor asked people to pray for his family, who who “lost a beloved son and brother.”

And, naturally, claiming that Glossip was just “a boyfriend”, the state refused to provide him with the survivor benefits to which any spouse is entitled and which are intended to help the family go on after an officer is killed.

Glossip sued. And today the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that Glossip had no rights. Not because of his orientation, oh no of course not, but because of the gay yarmulke, marriage laws. Although they had exchanged rings, they weren’t a family. (OzarksFirst)

Glossip argued that the law was discriminatory because Missouri state law also forbids same-sex marriage. He also claims it is an unconstitutional special law.

The court rejected these claims.

In a 5-2 opinion, the court ruled that the law Glossip was challenging discriminated on the basis of marriage, not sexual orientation.

“Glossip was denied ssurvivor benefits because he and the patrolman were not married, not because of his sexual orientation,” the ruling document stated. “If Glossip and the patrolman had been of different sexes, Glossip would have still been denied benefits no matter how long or close their relationship had been. The result cannot be any different here simply because Glossip and the patrolman were of the same sex. The statute discriminates solely on the basis of marital status, not sexual orientation.”

They weren’t discriminating against gay people, you see, just people of the same sex being spouses. They also oppose heterosexual people of the same sex being spouses. Just like they would tax Lutherans for wearing yarmulkes.

But while these cases frustrate me, they are our key to equality. These examples of discrimination are so blatant, so intuitively unfair, that they win not only our legal arguments but the hearts of the public.

What the State of Missouri did to not just Kelly Glossip but to Dennis Engelhard, who gave his life for the state, is so cruel that it shames decent people. And the gay yarmulke argument is so obscene that it is inconceivable that it could hold up to an inspection by the US Supreme Court.

It is through cases like this one that marriage equality will finally be achieved.

Missouri GOP Lawmaker Comes Out, Denounces “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Jim Burroway

May 2nd, 2012

GOP Missouri state Representative Zach Wyatt has come out as gay, and he is calling on fellow Republicans to withdraw their support of a “Don’t Say Gay” bill that has been introduced in that state’s legislature. The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, otherwise known as HB 2051, says simply:

Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no instruction, material, or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school.

The bill would not only ban any discussion of sexual orientation with regard to anti-bullying efforts, but it would also eliminate all gay-straight alliances in public schools. The bill was sponsored by GOP state Rep. Steve Cookson and co-sponsored by 19 other Republican lawmakers, including the House Majority Leader Tim Jones. Rep. Wyatt, who become the fourth openly gay lawmakers in the Missouri legislature, has called on his fellow twenty Republicans to withdraw the bill:

“Today I ask you to stand with me as a proud Republican, a proud veteran, and a proud gay man who wants to protect all kids, addressing bullying in our schools,” Wyatt said.

As for his own personal decision to come out:

“I will not lie to myself anymore about my own sexuality. It has probably been the hardest thing to come to terms with. I have always ignored it. I didn’t even think about it or want to talk about it. I’ve not been immune to it. I hear the comments, usually snide ones, about me,” Wyatt said.

“I am not the first or last Republican to come out. I have just gotten tired of the bigotry being shown on both sides of the aisle on gay issues. Being gay has never been a Republican or Democrat issue, and it should never be.”

Wyatt also expressed his regrets over his no vote last year on a non-discrimination bill. News reports also say that he “regrets of taking the GOP stance rather than expressing his own views when interviewed two years ago on school bullying.” Wyatt has announced that he is not running for re-election so that he can study marine biology.

According to Politico, House Education Committee Chairman Scott Dieckhaus (R) said earlier this week that the legislation will likely not make it out of his committee.

Update: Here is video of Wyatt’s coming out press conference:

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Rick Rolls Romney

Jim Burroway

February 8th, 2012

It was a huge night for Sen. Rick Santorum, whose triple-play win last night seems to show that Republican primary voters and caucus voters are still looking for that anybody-but-Mitt candidate. And it was that dissatisfaction with the presumptive nominee that allowed Santorum to dominate the field like a man on a dog.

In Missouri’s primary, Santorum captured his biggest win with 55% of the vote, more than twice as much as Gov. Mitt Romney’s 25% showing. Rep. Ron Paul came in at 12%, and 4% selected “uncommitted,” which can be read either as a Newt Gingrich vote (Gingrich failed to qualify for Missouri’s ballot) or as “none of the above.” Santorum scored a total shutout in Missouri, winning every single county in the state.

Missouri’s primary election is an oddity. There are no delegates up for grabs. In fact, the voting there is largely meaningless because the delegates won’t be selected until the state party convention on April 21, and there is no relationship between last nights votes and how the party’s state delegates are ultimately chosen. Missouri GOP leaders are free to heed or ignore last night’s vote altogether. So how well last night’s results will translate into delegates remains an open question.

But in the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses, the fight for delegates was real, and Santorum had a similarly spectacular night there as well. In Minnesota, Santorum pulled in 45% of the vote and six delegates. Paul came in second with 27% of the vote (3 delegates), followed by Romney at 17% (2 delegates) and Gingrich at 11% (1 delegate). Yes, you read that right: Paul beat Romney in Minnesota. And like in Missouri, Romney didn’t win a single county in Minnesota either.

But the real surprise was Colorado, where Romney was expected to do well. Instead, Santorum took the state with 40% of caucus voters (earning 5 delegates) against Romney’s 35% (4 delegates), followed by Gingrich’s 13% (2 delegates) and Paul’s 12% (1 delegate).

The worst loser of the night would have to be Gingrich. He had a terrible showing, which is bound to have an impact to his already troubled fundraising. Santorum, on the other hand, may be able to use these wins to convince Republican voters to give him another look — and GOP anybody-but-Mitt donors somewhere else to put their money.

But speaking of money, Romney’s drubbing shows that there are limits to how far nearly-unlimited financial resources can go. Romney’s win last week in Florida had pundits believing that it was now his election to lose. It now looks like Midwesterners are thinking maybe he should. Lose, that is.

Eleven or Thirteen More Dead Gay Kids Ought To Do It

Jim Burroway

October 26th, 2011

Click to enlarge

That’s what a Joplin, MO, high school math teacher– or someone posing as him — posted on the Facebook wall of a former student in a debate over fifteen-year-old Jamie Hubley’s suicide. According to the Joplin Globe:

A Facebook comment replying to the (Josh) Gonzalez post that appeared under (Jim) Whitney’s name stated: “Moral of the story: Don’t be gay.”

That comment provoked reaction and criticism from others, including this: “How many more kids have to kill themselves before everyone realizes that this is an actual issue?”

That was followed by another comment attributed to Whitney’s account that read: “11-13 ought to do it.”

The Joplin Board of Education is investigating. Whitney apologized in an email:

I do not condone bullying or harassment of any kind and I am very aware and saddened by the negative impact this type of behavior creates. I regret that the posts appeared on Facebook. They do not reflect my personal views and I apologize for any and all offenses caused by the comment.

Whitney wouldn’t explain to reporters how comments which don’t reflect his personal views ended up under his profile. But Gonzales said that Whitney told him later that Whitney’s account had been hacked. Gonzales said the comments appeared out of character for Whitney, which leads him to believe Whitney’s claim of innocence.  “The part that got me really fired up was the ‘11-13 might do it,’” Gonzalez said “At that point I was like, ‘OK, that can’t be him.’”

Evan Hurst: An Eyewitness Account of Lou Engle’s “Stealth Bomber Meeting”

Jim Burroway

June 30th, 2010

As we reported earlier, Lou Engle is holding a series of talks every night in St. Louis between June 19 and July 12. These nightly sessions are taking place at the Gateway House of Prayer on S. Lindbergh Blvd. in the western St. Louis suburb of Rock Hill. Evan Hurst of Truth Wins Out traveled to St. Louis to attend one of Engle’s talks, and he lived to tell about it. It turns out that Engle has a rather high opinion of himself:

He asserts at the beginning that he is a prophet, and not a teacher, which is telling, for several reasons. It shows that we’re dealing with a person who is not only delusional, but also not really a scholar of his chosen subject, the Bible. Engle introduces the story of Jezebel and Ahab, found in 1 Kings, to draw a parallel to modern times where, Engle believes, other Christians who he views as unorthodox are the root of most problems. On one side are Lou, his followers and like-minded people. He will later refer to them as the “Yahweh Separatists.” On the other is basically everyone else in the world, including most Christians, who he refers to as a “Jezebel” generation. He intones the call of the Calvinist reformers, “Sola Scriptura!“, which I think would probably amuse those old Calvinists, considering.

And it apparently doesn’t take long to get to Engle’s thoughts on homosexuality:

If we’re struggling with a homosexual, same-sex desire, LET THE BIBLE KILL YOU, rather than make it easier for you, and say well, there must be a better scriptural answer to this … Brothers and sisters, let the Bible kill you rather than you twist the scriptures! And in that killing, it will break you so that you can find a redeemer and a savior! Oh, I believe there are those struggling with same-sex desires who will stand, having done everything to stand, and maybe they won’t find the deliverance they’ve been looking for, but they refuse to let the world dictate their theology; they’re gonna stand on the Bible. And they may go for thirty years in an agonizing struggle, but they go into heaven because they stood with God rather than standing with the ideologies of this world.

There is so, so much more, including audio clips. The clips show Engle’s vision for a theocratic America and his paranoia that demonic powers are currently roaming the halls of government. Particularly interesting is Evan Hurst’s observation that Engle occasionally teeters on the edge of “Things He’s Not Supposed To Say,” as Evan puts it. And at one point, Engle falls beyond that edge:

Our president two days ago came out and said ‘We bless the fathers of families that have two fathers’! This is a decree, a blessing, called this month, LGBT pride month. When decrees come from high places, it actually opens doors! It is a key! It unlocks the spiritual realm for the fueling of the demonization of culture! Is this being taped?” [voice from bouncer/heavy off to the side interjects “We can erase it.”]

Again, Evan has audio of all of this — including Engle’s “prophetic dreams,” which you just have to read for yourself.

Engle isn’t the only person who thinks God talks to him in his dreams. He comes from a movement that was started by the controversial Kansas City Prophets. When I wrote that piece, I was accused of being paranoid and delusional, and that the piece itself was pure fantasy. But with Evan’s eyewitness account and audio recordings, I have to ask: Who’s delusional now?

Uganda “Kill-The-Gays” Bill Supporter To Speak In St. Louis

Jim Burroway

June 17th, 2010

Lou Engle, who was recently revealed to be a behind-the-scenes supporter of Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, will be speaking for the next three weeks at the Gateway House of Prayer in St. Louis. Engle will speak nightly between June 20 to July 12. Michael Brown will also be speaking as well.

Lou Engle on stage with other supporters of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill at a TheCall rally in Kampala (Michael Wilkerson / Religion Dispatches)

Last month, Engle conducted a TheCall Rally at the sports field of Kampala’s Makarere University. According to numerous reports, that event was a political rally calling for passage of the draconian legislation which imposes the death penalty under certain circumstances. It will also provide criminal penalties for family members who refuse to report gay people to police. Engle’s rally featured key bill supporters, including the bill’s sponsor MP David Bahati, Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, and Ugandan pastor Julius Oyet. Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, spent a considerable amount of time with Bahati and Oyet, and reported that they both told him that Engle actually supports the bill, despite his ambiguous public statements attempting to distance himself from the proposals.

The Gateway House of Prayer appears to be an outgrowth of the Kansas City-based International House of Prayer. Gateway House of Prayer is located on S. Lindbergh Blvd. in the western St. Louis suburb of Rock Hill.

The inhumanity of “protecting marriage”

Timothy Kincaid

January 30th, 2010

glossip engelhardIn 1995 Hootie and The Blowfish were on the radio, Waterworld was stinking up the movie theaters, and Tommy Lee married Pamela Anderson. It may not have been the best of years, but it was a good year for Kelly Glossip; that’s the year he met Dennis Engelhard.

Over the next 15 years the two men built a life together. They bought and decorated a house, joined a church, and helped raise Kelly’s son from a previous relationship.

And Dennis established a career in law enforcement, earning respect as a Missouri State Highway Patrolman. Even though Missouri is not a liberal state, the two lived openly, even attending social functions with Dennis’ coworkers.

But in 2004 the residents of Missouri decided that they needed to amend the state constitution to protect marriage from people like Kelly and Dennis. And in the process, they provided justification for treating them with contempt.

EngelhardOn Christmas Day, Dennis Engelhard was assisting at a minor accident when he was struck by a car which had lost control in the snow. He was killed. And at Glossip’s time of grief, his state did everything they could to make his life more miserable.

Although there was no confusion about the nature of their relationship, Glossip was denied Engelhard’s survivor pension benefits. And the trooper support organizations decided that they would treat Glossip as dismissively as they would “any other boyfriend” because he’s not a legal spouse (ignoring the fact that most of them had voted to deny Glossip any choice of being a legal spouse).

But in an astonishing act of cynicism, the BackStoppers Police and Firefighters Fund used Engelhard’s death as a fundraising tool:

On the debut night of season nine of American Idol on Fox 2, St. Louis, Idol wanna-bes sang in an effort to raise money for true St. Louis heroes: the families of police and firefighters who’d given their lives in the line of duty. It was night one of the 16 week Backstoppers St. Louis Idol karaoke contest at Helen Fitzgerald’s restaurant and bar in Sunset Hills.

Backstoppers gives financial support to the families of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

Tuesday nights contest had a very special significance: the entire evening was a tribute to Missouri State Trooper, Corporal Dennis Engelhard, 49, who gave his life in the line of duty in St. Louis County on Christmas Day.

Engelhard was working an accident on Interstate 44 when an approaching driver apparently hit a slick spot in the snow, went off the road, hit and killed Engelhard, who was standing near the trunk of his cruiser.

The highlight of the evening was a rendition of Danny Boy by 15 year old Ronnie Bass. People in the crowd teared up as he sang what has become something of anthem for police officers. Engelhard had no wife or children.

Backstoppers had already presented his parents with the first check to help them cover expenses related to his death.

Their contribution to Kelly? Nothing.

“The parents are the legal next of kin,” [BackStoppers director Ronald A.] Battelle said.

But it was the state of Missouri that really went out of its way to viciously erase Kelly Glossip from official existence. The department issued an obituary reporting that Engelhard was single and had no children. (

Gov. Jay Nixon called on Missourians to pray for Engelhard’s family, who “lost a beloved son and brother.”

Neither [he nor his son] were formally recognized, Glossip said, at Engelhard’s funeral last month, attended by dozens of law enforcement officials in Engelhard’s hometown of Brookfield, Mo.

While policies that exclude long-term same-sex couples from financial compensation are disgustingly unfair, officials that erase their existence during a funeral are inhumane. This is deliberate callous cruelty was designed to celebrate Dennis Engelehard’s sacrifice for his fellow citizens and make police officers appear to be heroes while dismissing, ignoring, and erasing Kelly Glossip, the part of Dennis’ life that they find distasteful or embarrassing.

ward franzBut no one displayed his contempt and an utter lack of empathy more than the man responsible for seeing that state employees are treated fairly:

The law would apply the same to a straight trooper with a boyfriend or girlfriend, said state Rep. Ward Franz, R-West Plains, chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Employee Retirement.

“I personally feel that a relationship should be between a man and a woman,” Franz said. “They still love each other and care about each other, but I don’t think we can change the law for that.”

In the recent testimony for Perry v. Schwarzenegger, supporters of Proposition 8 sought to argue that there really isn’t any animus towards gay couples but that society simply wants to protect the status and tradition of the definition of marriage.

I think we know that isn’t true in Missouri.

Green Balloons

Jim Burroway

December 9th, 2009

Rod Jetton's mug shot

From TPM we learn the sad case of Rod Jetton, the former Missouri House Speaker with the porn-star name, who was arrested and charged with felonious assault. It seems that a sadomasochistic romp with his girlfriend went a bit too far.

According to the Kansas City Star, Jetton’s girlfriend alleged that Jetton had beaten and choked her, “resulting in unconsciousness and the loss of the function of a part of her body.”

Detective Bethany McDermott’s affidavit says Jetton went to the woman’s home around 9 p.m. Nov. 15 with two bottles of wine, which he allegedly opened alone in her kitchen. After drinking some of the wine and watching football, the statement said, the victim “began ‘fading’ in and out and remembered losing consciousness several times.”

The affidavit says Jetton and the alleged victim agreed on a safe word — “green balloons” — that could be used to stop sexual relations during the evening.

Instead, the affidavit says, Jetton hit her on the face and choked her before engaging in intercourse. Jetton allegedly said, “You should have said ‘green balloons,’ ” before leaving her home the next morning.

At question is whether the girlfriend was slipped a date-rape drug, which might have prevented her from using the “safe word.”

The irony of all this — and admit it: you knew this was coming — was that in 2007, Jetton removed a fellow Republican state lawmaker from his committee chairmanship because the lawmaker had changed a bill in order to end the state’s ban on gay sex. Jetton wrote in an op-ed at the time:

(Rep. Scott) Lipke chose to use the bill to delete 14 words from our laws in order to repeal the gay sex ban in Missouri. Thanks to that deletion, it is now legal to engage in deviate sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex here in Missouri. This law had been on our books for decades.

The U.S. Supreme Court 2003 rulling in Lawrence v. Texas made Misouri’s anti-gay law unenforceable. But Jetton still wanted to eliminate “deviate sexual intercourse.” I can only assume that Jetton believes that sado-masochism and date rape drugs aren’t “deviate.” Okay. Got that Peter?

Extremist Watch: Neo-Nazis, Dominionists Protest PrideFest In Ozarks

Jim Burroway

June 15th, 2009

Several members of the National Socialist Movement protested at a PrideFest celebration in Springfield, Missouri. Another anti-gay group, Minutemen United, was also at the rally. Gregory Thompson told a local Fox affiliate, “We love them so much that we want their soul in heaven for eternity. That’s the greatest love that there is.” That was just after footage of protesters shouting, “Death to Gays!”

The Minutemen United appears to be an offshoot of a similarly named group based in Ohio which disrupted two central Ohio church services in 2007. “Coach” Dave Daubenmire, who heads the Ohio group, was in Springfield in advance of the protest. Daubenmire also heads Pass the Salt Ministries, a Christian Dominionist group. The Missouri chapter of Minutemen United describes itself as “Christian men that are ready to run to the battle; at a minute’s warning!  To take to the field with arms (our arms is the sword of the Lord-the Bible).”

The National Socialist Movement in Springfield is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a neo-Nazi hate group.

Update: The Springfield News-Leader has more. Another chant: “Thank God for AIDS!” Where have we heard that before?

Save on Golf in Columbia Missouri

Timothy Kincaid

April 7th, 2009

From Connect MidMissouri:

Columbia city council members unanimously voted on Monday night to establish a domestic partner registry.

The registry allows qualifying same sex couples to register with the city of Columbia to get benefits and discounts at certain locations.

Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot that this arrangement provides

Community Services Manager Steve Hollis said, “The only tangible benefit is the ordinance contains language that allows folks to access city services such as golf or the arc at the family rate, if they are in the domestic partnership registry. So really, that’s the only tangible benefit. Other than that, it’s rather symbolic actually.”

We appreciate this, Columbia. The validation of being recognized by your neighborhood and your community far outweighs any local civic service benefits.

But, yes thanks, we’ll take the golf discount.

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