Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for January, 2014

OK UMC clergy declare support

Timothy Kincaid

January 20th, 2014

Today the Oklahoma United Methodists for Equality ran the following ad in the Tulsa World:

Who defended may have played a role in OK ruling

Timothy Kincaid

January 15th, 2014

As we have seen over and over, when it comes to marriage cases, who has standing may play an important role in the outcome. In the Oklahoma decision handed down yesterday, the case may have also hinged to some extent on who could defend the state’s constitutional amendment.

The case started nine years ago and has gone through a number of procedural hurdles since that time. The first of which may have been unexpectedly important.

In 2004, two lesbian couples filed a complaint against the Oklahoma Governor and the Oklahoma Attorney General seeking that the Federal DOMA law and the Oklahoma Defense of Marriage constitutional amendment be overturned.

The Governor and the Attorney General argued that as the issuer of marriage licenses was the County Clerk and that in Oklahoma the clerks are part of the Judiciary branch of government, the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue them. The court disagreed, but in 2009 the Tenth Circuit bought that argument and the Governor and Attorney General were dismissed.

Along with the state’s legal department.

However, the court allowed the plaintiffs to amend their case to name as defendants the Attorney General of the United States (for the federal DOMA side of the case) and the Tulsa County Court Clerk and the State of Oklahoma. The court then dismissed the State of Oklahoma as a defendant leaving only Eric Holder (for the US) and Sally Howe Smith, the clerk.

In 2011, Holder informed the court that the Justice Department would no longer defend the Federal DOMA case, and the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group stepped in. And, if this case is in any way similar to comparable cases, BLAG’s defense was likely nominal.

As the Hollingsworth and Windsor cases were advancing to the Supreme Court, the judge held the case in limbo until SCOTUS was heard. Upon announcement, the BLAG defense filed to have the Federal side of the case found moot and for their participation to be dismissed.

Which left the only counsel defending the amendment those who are described in the ruling as

Smith is represented by the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office and attorneys with an organization known as the “Alliance Defending Freedom.”

So it appears that the county, having found themselves way over their heads in defending the state and federal constitution, calling in the specialists, ADF. And it is true that when it comes to gay issues, the ADF has a truly impressive record. Astonishing, really.

Well, that is, if you look at things from my perspective. The Alliance Defending Freedom (nee Alliance Defense Fund) are losers on a colossal scale. Over and over. State after state. Case after case.

And yet they are trotted out with their tired old disproven defeated arguments to be the best defenders of “tradition” and “children”. For which I am thankful.

OK Gov, AG React

Jim Burroway

January 14th, 2014

Gov. Mary Fallin reacted to today’s court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage:

“In 2004, the people of Oklahoma voted to amend the state’s constitution to define marriage as ‘the union of one man and one woman.’ That amendment passed with 75 percent support.

“The people of Oklahoma have spoken on this issue. I support the right of Oklahoma’s voters to govern themselves on this and other policy matters. I am disappointed in the judge’s ruling and troubled that the will of the people has once again been ignored by the federal government.”

Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt also weighed in:

“It is a troubling decision,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. “As the Supreme Court recently noted in the Windsor case, it is up to the states to decide how to define marriage, not the federal government. There is a case involving the State of Utah currently pending before the 10th Circuit that is identical to the case in Tulsa. The issue most likely will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court and the outcome will dictate whether Oklahoma’s constitutional provision will be upheld.”

Oklahoma’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Declared Unconstitutional

Jim Burroway

January 14th, 2014

Senior U.S. Federal District Judge Terence C. Kern has struck down the amendment to Oklahoma’s constitution prohibiting same-sex marriage, saying that the ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection clause. But unlike in Utah, Oklahoma’s same-sex couples won’t be rushing to marry anytime soon, as Judge Kern has stayed his ruling pending an appeal.

Oklahoma constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was passed by referendum in 2004 when 75% of Oklahomans approved State Question 711 (SQ 711). The amendment states: “Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. Neither this Constitution nor any other provision of law shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.” It also bars the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

The court challenge to the amendment was filed soon after voters approved it. Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop sought the right to marry, and Gay Phillips and Susan Barton, who were legally married in California, sought their marriage’s recognition. They sued the U.S. Attorney General seeking to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act entirely (including section 3, which allows states to refuse to recognize marriages performed in other states), and they sued the Tulsa County Court Clerk, Sally Howe Smith, for refusing to issue a licence to Baldwin and Bishop. The Phoenix-based anti-gay group Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) provided lawyers for Smith, and the U.S. House of Representatives’ Bipartisan Advisory Group, under the direction of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) intervened on behalf of the U.S. government.

Judge Kern declined to rule on the question of whether Oklahoma was required to recognize marriages from out of state on jurisdictional grounds.

Judge Kern’s reliance on the Windsor case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, was limited to two principles (PDF: 207KB/68 pages):

This Court has gleaned and will apply two principles from Windsor. First, a state law defining marriage is not an “unusual deviation” from the state/federal balance, such that its mere existence provides “strong evidence” of improper purpose. A state definition must be approached differently, and with more caution, than the Supreme Court approached DOMA. Second, courts reviewing marriage regulations, by either the state or federal government, must be wary of whether “defending” traditional marriage is a guise for impermissible discrimination against same-sex couples. These two principles are not contradictory, but they happen to help different sides of the same-sex marriage debate.

Judge Kern then set out to identify the Equal Protection principles that apply to the case, starting with whether Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage discriminates against an identifiable class of people.

The Court defines the relevant class as same-sex couples desiring an Oklahoma marriage license. The Bishop couple has easily satisfied the first element – requiring a showing that Part A intentionally discriminates against this class – for two reasons. First, Part A’s disparate impact upon same-sex couples desiring to marry is stark. Its effect is to prevent every same-sex couple in Oklahoma from receiving a marriage license, and no other couple. This is not a case where the law has a small or incidental effect on the defined class; it is a total exclusion of only one group. …

Second, both the timing of SQ 711 in relation to certain court rulings and the statements in the public domain before passage of SQ 711 raise the inference that it was adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of excluding the class from marriage. SQ 711 originated from legislation entitled the Marriage Protection Amendment, which passed the Oklahoma Legislature as part of House Bill 2259 (“HB 2259”)

Judge Kern then reviewed the history of SQ 711, including public statements by Oklahoma legislators, and determined that:

Exclusion of the defined class was not a hidden or ulterior motive; it was consistently communicated to Oklahoma citizens as a justification for SQ 711. This is simply not a case where exclusion of same-sex couples was a mere “unintended consequence” of the law. Instead, this is a classic, class-based equal protection case in which a line was purposefully drawn between two groups of Oklahoma citizens – same-sex couples desiring an Oklahoma marriage license and opposite-sex couples desiring an Oklahoma marriage license

As for whether the marriage ban serves a rational purpose, the court turned to the arguments used to promote the ban during the 2004 campaign. First, there was the “promoting morality” argument, which Judge Kern dispensed with rather quickly:

The Court recognizes that moral disapproval often stems from deeply held religious convictions… However, moral disapproval of homosexuals as a class, or same-sex marriage as a practice, is not a permissible justification for a law… Preclusion of “moral disapproval” as a permissible basis for laws aimed at homosexual conduct or homosexuals represents a victory for same-sex marriage advocates, and it forces states to demonstrate that their laws rationally further goals other than promotion of one moral view of marriage. Therefore, although Part A rationally promotes the State’s interest in upholding one particular moral definition of marriage, this is not a permissible justification.

Judge Kern then addressed other justifications provided by the State of Oklahoma for the marriage ban: “(1) encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing; (2) steering naturally procreative relationships into stable unions; (3) promoting ‘the ideal that children be raised by both a mother and a father in a stable family unit;’ and (4) avoiding a redefinition of marriage that would ‘necessarily change the institution and could have serious unintended consequences.’” Kern dealt with those arguments’ pretty directly, and they are a joy to read.

Let’s take them one at a time. Point 1, that banning marriage equality somehow encourages “responsible procreation and child-rearing”:

First, the wealth of scholarly articles in this section of Smith’s brief, which range from William Blackstone to John Locke, simply demonstrate that state-recognized marriages developed in part as a means of encouraging and incentivizing procreation within marriage. … These articles do not provide what is necessary in an equal protection case – that is, a link between the legal classification now being drawn by Part A against same-sex couples and a historical state objective of encouraging procreation to occur within marriage. Traditional exclusion of the disadvantaged group from state-sanctioned marriage does not itself evidence a rational link to the identified goal of promoting responsible procreation within marriage…

During oral arguments in Hollingsworth, Justice Scalia asked Mr. Theodore Olson, counsel for the proponents of Proposition 8, when it became unconstitutional “to exclude homosexual couples from marriage.” …Mr. Olson responded with the rhetorical question of when did it become unconstitutional “to prohibit interracial marriage” or “assign children to separate schools.” As demonstrated by Mr. Olson’s response, the mere fact that an exclusion has occurred in the past (without constitutional problem) does not mean that such exclusion is constitutional when challenged at a particular moment in history. This Court has an obligation to consider whether an exclusion, although historical, violates the constitutional rights of Oklahoma citizens.

…Second, there is no rational link between excluding same-sex couples from marriage and the goals of encouraging “responsible procreation” among the “naturally procreative” and/or steering the “naturally procreative” toward marriage. Civil marriage in Oklahoma does not have any procreative prerequisites. Permitting same-sex couples to receive a marriage license does not harm, erode, or somehow water-down the “procreative” origins of the marriage institution, any more than marriages of couples who cannot “naturally procreate” or do not ever wish to “naturally procreate.” …

…Same-sex couples are being subjected to a “naturally procreative” requirement to which no other Oklahoma citizens are subjected, including the infertile, the elderly, and those who simply do not wish to ever procreate. Rationality review has a limit, and this well exceeds it.

Points 2 and 3 are considered together, that banning marriage equality somehow promotes “steering naturally procreative relationships into stable unions” and encourages “the ideal that children be raised by both a mother and a father in a stable family unit”:

Again, however, the question remains whether exclusion of same-sex couples promotes this interest, or is simply a guise for singling out same-sex couples for different treatment due to “moral disapproval” of a same-sex household with children. Smith has not articulated, and the Court cannot discern, a single way that excluding same-sex couples from marriage will “promote” this “ideal” child-rearing environment. Exclusion from marriage does not make it more likely that a same-sex couple desiring children, or already raising children together, will change course and marry an opposite-sex partner (thereby providing the “ideal” child-rearing environment). …

In addition, Smith has not explained, and the Court cannot discern from any of Smith’s cited materials, how exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage makes it more likely that opposite-sex marriages will stay in tact (thereby remaining “optimal” child-rearing environments). Excluding same-sex couples from marriage has done little to keep Oklahoma families together thus far, as Oklahoma consistently has one of the highest divorce rates in the country.

 As for Point 4, the so-called “unintended consequences” to the institution of marriage. Judge Kern quoted from a document supplied by the Witherspoon Institute which supposedly laid out the case that same-sex marriage would harm marriage itself and found:

The “negative impact” argument is impermissibly tied to moral disapproval of same-sex couples as a class of Oklahoma citizens. All of these perceived “threats” are to one view of the marriage institution – a view that is bound up in procreation, one morally “ideal” parenting model, and sexual fidelity. However, civil marriage in Oklahoma is not an institution with “moral” requirements for any other group of citizens… Smith does not ask a couple if they intend to be faithful to one another, if they intend to procreate, or if they would someday consider divorce, thereby potentially leaving their child to be raised in a single-parent home. With respect to marriage licenses, the State has already opened the courthouse doors to opposite-sex couples without any moral, procreative, parenting, or fidelity requirements. Exclusion of just one class of citizens from receiving a marriage license based upon the perceived “threat” they pose to the marital institution is, at bottom, an arbitrary exclusion based upon the majority’s disapproval of the defined class. It is also insulting to same-sex couples, who are human beings capable of forming loving, committed, enduring relationships. “‘Preserving the traditional institution of marriage,’” which is the gist of Smith’s final asserted justification, “is just a kinder way of describing the State’s moral disapproval of same-sex couples.”

After reviewing those four points, Judge Kern found that Oklahoma’s ban on same sex marriage failed the rational basis test. As for the Equal Protection test under the U.S. Constitution:

Against this backdrop, the Court’s task is to determine whether Part A of the Oklahoma Constitutional Amendment deprives a class of Oklahoma citizens – namely, same-sex couples desiring an Oklahoma marriage license – of equal protection of the law. Applying deferential rationality review, the Court searched for a rational link between exclusion of this class from civil marriage and promotion of a legitimate governmental objective. Finding none, the Court’s rationality review reveals Part A as an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit.

Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed. It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions. Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to individual constitutional rights. The Bishop couple has been in a loving, committed relationships for many years. They own property together, wish to retire together, wish to make medical decisions for one another, and wish to be recognized as a married couple with all its attendant rights and responsibilities. Part A of the Oklahoma Constitutional Amendment excludes the Bishop couple, and all otherwise eligible same-sex couples, from this privilege without a legally sufficient justification.

Defense Secretary Orders State National Guards To Treat Gay Couples Equally

Jim Burroway

November 1st, 2013

Since the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act last June, the Defense Department has been rushing to implement policies designed to treat legally wedded same-sex couples equally with married couples generally. But several states have refused to issue Defense Department ID cards to same-sex spouses of National Guard members. Those states include Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in a speech to the Anti-Defamation League, has announced that he is putting a stop to such discriminatory practices:

“Today, I directed the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Frank Grass, to take immediate action to remedy this situation. At my direction, he will meet with the Adjutants General from the states where these ID cards are being denied. The Adjutants General will be expected to comply with both lawful direction and DoD policy, in line with the practices of 45 other states and jurisdictions.”

A senior defense official told the Washington Blade that the Pentagon has some critical leverage to deploy against recalcitrant states:

“These are federal ID cards paid for with federal funding to provide federally mandated benefits,” the official said. “I’m not going to speculate on our legal options.”

Oklahoma Sees Its THIRD Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

October 23rd, 2013

Jason Pickel (left), Darren Black Bear

That’s right. Oklahoma. Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear have been together for nine years. The Oklahoma City couple had been planning to travel to Iowa to get married, but when the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act last June, Black Bear decided to call the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe (both are tribe members) to see if they could get a license through the Cheyenne-Arapaho court. They got good news:

Rosemary Stephens, editor in chief of the Tribal Tribune, a newspaper owned by the tribe, said the tribe’s law does not address gender in its marriage ordinance.

“One of them has to be a member of this tribe but not both,” Stephens said. “It’s our tribal law and order code. It doesn’t address gender at all.”

And it’s not even the first gay marriage that the tribe has licensed, she said. Lisa Liebl, spokeswoman for the tribe, said the first couple was two men who married on Dec. 12, 2012. Liebl said there is a third couple who received a marriage license on Oct. 7. Pickel and Black Bear were just the first who were willing to go public with their marriage plans, she said.

That’s right. The news going around the interwebs is that this is the first same-sex marriage license issued in Oklahoma, when in fact there have now been three. The first was ten months ago.

The Tulsa World verified that the Cherokee Nation, the Osage Nation and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation all have laws with specific language which bans same-sex marriage. Stephens said that the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe has supported same-sex relationships for many years with no problems:

“We have a lot of support for gay couples within the tribe,” Stephens said. “They’re just not called out. … There’s a huge amount of support.”

As for the happy couple, they have planned a wedding for later this month. Black Bear’s father, a preacher, will officiate:

“My father has always fought for civil rights and equality and so that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to include them,” said Blackbear.

Blackbear says this will be his father’s first time officiating a same sex marriage, his father’s only request– for Blackbear and Pickel to write their own wedding vows.

Black Bear told Indian Country Today that his father has been contacted by other same-sex couples who want him to officiate at their weddings.

OKC’s Draper Park Christian Church Invites Holocaust Revisionist To Speak

Jim Burroway

April 24th, 2012

Scott Lively, whose Abiding Truth Ministry is an official SPLC-certified hate group, has been invited by the pastor of Draper Park Christian Church to preach to the congregation on April 27-29. Lively is the author of The Pink Swastika, now in it’s fourth edition, in which he claims that “homosexuals invented and ran the Nazi Party.” It’s unlikely that the unsuspecting members of Draper Park Christian Church are aware of what is in store for them this weekend. To help prepare them for what’s coming, I think it’s important to lay out explicitly what Lively teachers, including:

(P 32) It was no coincidence that homosexuals were among those who founded the Nazi Party.  In fact, the party grew out of a number of groups in Germany which were centers of homosexual activity and activism.  Many of the characteristic rituals, symbols, activities and philosophies we associate with Nazism came from these organizations or from contemporary homosexuals.

(P 36) Famous events in Nazi history are also linked to homosexuality; events such as the burning of the German Reichstag in 1932, the 1938 pogrom called Kristallnacht, and the 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life.  Even the enduring image of Nazi book-burning, familiar to us from newsreels of the 1930s, was directly related to the homosexuality of Nazi leaders.

He claims that the Nazi’s hatred of Jews came from German homosexual’s “hatred” of Judeo-Christian values:

(P 100): As we seek to understand Nazism, it is important to remember that Judaism and its Christian and Islamic offshoots are fundamentally opposed to homosexuality.  As we begin to grasp the relationship between homosexuality and occultism on one hand, and between homosexuals and Nazism on the other, the hatred of the Nazis for Jews and Christians may be more easily explained.  The Jews were the people responsible for the demise of pagan world domination.  Their theology (especially in its Christian form) banished pagan practices, including homosexuality, to a hidden and often reviled subculture.  This is not to say that anti-Semitism is strictly a result of occult or homosexual influences.  But at its very root there is a spiritual element to the Holocaust that suggests that it was, in some respects, vengeance against the people whose moral laws had relegated pagan sex-religions to obscurity and ignominy.

As for the German gays who themselves were sent to concentration camps, Lively has an answer for that: it’s the result of a war between “butches” and “fems”:

(P43-44) This, then, is the explanation for the paradox of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals.  It is found in the history of two irreconcilable philosophies linked by a common sexual dysfunction.  The  roots of this conflict extend back into the eighteenth century and span a 70-year period which saw the rise of homosexual militancy in the movement that gave Nazism to the world.

According to Lively, Nazism may have been vanquished in World War II, but violent fascism remains the inevitable result of gay people being treated as equals in society:

(P275) One of the symbols with which homosexuals in the United States have chosen to represent their movement is the phoenix, a mythical bird that was said to burn itself on a funeral pyre every five hundred years and then rise from the ashes more majestic than before (Alyson Almanac:56).  A more apt symbol for the historic cycle of homo-fascism and resulting social chaos would be hard to find.  From the ashes of Nazi Germany, the homo-fascist phoenix has arisen again — this time in the United States.

(P297-298) …(H)omo-fascism did not die with Adolf Hitler. It lives on in the neo-Nazi movement and in “gay” culture itself. Clearly, actual Nazis exist today as a radical fringe of society with no real power to threaten civilization. This would be a comforting realization if we presumed that Nazism was itself the source of the evil that threatened to engulf the world and was not merely the product of a deeper and still-enduring social problem. Our thesis, however, is that Nazism was the consequence of Germany’s abandonment of Judeo-Christian morality and that the primary sponsors of its transformation were homosexuals.

Lively claims that what happened in Germany is inevitable to happen in America, in some form or fashion, if equality for LGBT people is enshrined in law.

(P299-300) If the rise of Nazism in Germany was made possible, at least in part, by the homosexualization of German society, what does this bode for America as we watch the steady advance of the “gay” agenda in this culture? Should we expect to witness something like the rise of a Third Reich on American soil? Or would the effect on American society be of an entirely different character? Is the “gay” movement in the United States sufficiently similar to its German counterpart as even to warrant concern? (Certainly the German “gay” culture was far more militaristic than the homosexual movement here, for example). Or is this the wrong question? Is there something about homosexuality (or the broader problem of sexual libertinism) that inevitably destroys the society that embraces it?

…We know that the implicit goal of homosexual political activism is to legitimize homosexual conduct and relationships in a society. This necessarily requires a society to abandon its commitment to marriage as the exclusive domain of acceptable sexual conduct. The abandonment of this standard logically opens the door to every other form of sexual promiscuity. Clearly, such a transformation of attitude is now occurring in America.  What we will find is that this transformation is not the result of random social forces, but of deliberate and systematic political activism by the “gay”  movement.

He has even tried to tied homosexuality to the 9/11 terror attacks:

(P269) We turn next to the relationship between the Nazi regime and the Islamist terror groups which share its militarism and its anti-Semitism. …Islamist terrorism has become an issue of great interest since the attacks of September 11th, 2001, against the United States. Interestingly, the leaders of the nineteen terrorists, including ringleader Mohamed Atta, have been reported to be homosexuals.  ..

This is just a taste of what Lively is likely to preach this weekend at Draper Park. He shared many of these themes during other talks that he has given, including his infamous self-described “Nuclear Bomb” that he dropped in Kampala, Uganda in 2009. It was there where he said that gay men were the “kind of monsters” who would operate Nazi Germany’s gas chambers, and he added the Rwandan Genocide to his list of crimes he holds gay people responsible for. Within days, there were marches in the streets calling for the round-up of gay people and “strengthening” that nation’s laws against homosexuality. By the end of the year, there was a proposal before Uganda’s Parliament to kill gay people, and criminalize virtually everyone else, including family and friends, who had any connection with them.

Draper Park appears to have some sort of connection with First Stone Ministries, an Exodus-affiliated ex-gay ministry under the leadership of Stephen Black. It’s unclear what role he plays in this, but this wall post on Draper Park’s facebook page “thanks Stephen Black of First Stone Ministries” while pointing to an article put out by MassResistance (another SPLC-certified hate group,) about Lively, an “upcoming DPCC keynote speaker.” Exodus International president Alan Chambers quickly moved to disassociate his organization from the upcoming event:

We have learned that Scott Lively is slated to speak on April 27-29 at Draper Park Christian Church, a location where Exodus International held a regional conference in 2009. We want to say clearly and without question that Exodus International has no connection to this event. Furthermore, due to our vast differences with Mr. Lively’s viewpoints, including his stance on the criminalization of homosexuality, we will not participate in, support or promote any event involving Mr. Lively.

Lively has managed to do something no one else has: He has united unusual coalition among Oklahoma City pastors who oppose his message, including some who also oppose gay rights. Wayne Besen has those details, which include a press conference on Thursday, and a live broadcast of Oklahoma: Inside Out Friday evening devoted to Lively’s appearance.

Battered and Bruised

Jim Burroway

March 7th, 2012

Romney hangs in there again like a punch-drunk fighter staggering toward the finish of the sixth round (ooh look at me, I’m using a sports metaphor), picking up wins in six of the states up for grabs yesterday including a very hotly contested Ohio, where Santorum very nearly pulled off an upset. Romney did best in his home state of Massachusetts, and he did well in neighboring Vermont. He also did very well in the Idaho caucuses, where 23% of spudsters are fellow Mormons. There were no exit polls in Idaho, but in Arizona where Mormons made up 14% of the vote, they broke 96-4 for Romney on Feb 28.

Romney also did very well where he had very little actual competitors (Virginia, where Santorum and Gingrich weren’t on the ballot). Which is to say that he has done very well where he had the home field advantage (as did Gingrich) or where his most potent opponent was missing. Or Alaska.

AK GA ID MA ND
Romney 32% 26% 62% 72% 24%
Santorum 29% 20% 18% 12% 40%
Gingrich 24% 47% 2% 5% 8%
Paul 14% 6% 18% 10% 28%
OH OK TN VT VA
Romney 38% 28% 28% 40% 60%
Santorum 37% 34% 37% 24%
Gingrich 15% 27% 24% 8%
Paul 9% 10% 9% 25% 40%

Which goes to day that Romney is still having trouble closing the deal with Santorum racking up rack up wins in the more conservative middle bits of the continent. In Oklahoma, Santorum’s first place finish came in spite of Sen. Tom Coburn’s endorsement of Romney, while Romney actually came in third in North Dakota and just barely avoided that same fate in Oklahoma. And in Ohio, where Romney poured massive amounts of dollars into the race, he only managed to pull out a 1% win over Santorum in the bellwether state. But even there, he he lost among Evangelical, blue collar and rural voters, but won among those who were 50 and older.

But here’s the stat I find most telling: When Ohio voters were asked whether they’d support Romney in the general election regardless of who they voted for in the primary, 36% said they would not be satisfied with a Romney candidacy, versus 33% who said they’d reject a Santorum candidacy. In other words, Ohio Republicans are less willing to settle for Romney than Santorum.

Delegates
Romney 404
Santorum 165
Gingrich 106
Paul 66

But this is a race for delegates, not popular votes. And whatever weaknesses that exist in Romney’s popular support within the GOP, he’s still by far the frontrunner in the delegate race according to CNN’s count, with more delegates than his opponents combined. But at only about half way through the primaries, Romney’s still a long way from the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Kansas, US Virgin Islands and Guam hold caucuses next week, followed by primaries in Alabama, Mississippi and Hawaii the week after that. Which means that for Romney, the long slog continues. But for the other candidates in the field, the slog is even longer.

The idea behind Super Tuesday was to bring the nomination process into clearer focus. The only thing made clear yesterday is that GOP voters would still prefer another candidates. But that’s not the choice available to them. Which means that Romney will almost certainly be the nominee when all is said and done, but what is said and done before then will continue to be the story. As Ezra Klein at the Washington Post put it, “For three guys who profess to not like the media very much, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich are really making all our dreams of a long, unpredictable primary come true.”

Anti-Gay OK State Rep Faces Transgender Challenger

Jim Burroway

June 9th, 2010

Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern, who has called gay people more dangerous to the country than terrorists, will face a transgender opponent, attorney Brittany Novotny (pictured), in the general election for the Oklahoma City seat this fall. Novotny, the state’s first known transgender candidate, filed papers to run Tuesday.

Both Novotny and Kern say that neither will make Novotny’s gender identity a campaign issue. We’ll just see how long Kern stays classy.

OK’s Hate Crimes Op-Out Dies In House

Jim Burroway

April 6th, 2010

Via the Tulsa World:

A controversial hate-crimes bill did not get a hearing Monday in a House committee. Rep. Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, became the House author of Senate Bill 1965, by Sen. Steven Russell, R-Oklahoma City. Shelton said he took control of the bill to kill it and asked that the bill not get heard in the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill began life as an educational bill, but Sen. Russell stripped it of its language and title, and turned it into a bill which would have prohibited local and state law enforcement agencies from sharing information about hate crimes based on sexual orientation with federal authorities. That effort turned to embarrassment when it was learned that an error in the bill would actually have attempted to strip Oklahomans of their protections against crimes based on race, religion and ethnicity.

OK Lawmakers Target Gays, Misfire

Jim Burroway

March 26th, 2010

Oklahoma lawmakers are incensed that the Federal Hate Crimes Law signed by President Obama last October extends protections based on sexual orientation. So they decided to do something about it. The Oklahoma Senate passed a bill prohibiting local and state law enforcement agencies from sharing information about hate crimes with federal authorities.

But now lawmakers have found a “legislative error,” resulting in the bill limiting enforcement of the Federal Hate Crimes Law in cases involving race and religion, not sexual orientation.

The bill began life as an education bill before State Sen. Steve Russell (R-Oklahoma City) offered an amendment on the Senate floor to gut the original bill and replace it with his legislation. It passed the Senate by a vote of 39-6 and is now under consideration in the House. The lone House sponsor withdrew her name upon learning of the wholesale change undertaken by the Senate. But I’m sure someone in Oklahoma will step up and restore the race and religion protections. After all, we can’t expect Christians to give up their special protections, can’t we?

Oklahoma Baptists: We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Ninth Commandment!

Jim Burroway

July 21st, 2009

Last month, Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern issued her loopy “Proclamation for Morality” that blamed gays (among others) for our economic crisis and held that the United States was created for Christians and Christians only. That was bad enough, but an Oklahoma-based newspaper, The Baptist Messenger, decided to take it a step further by making it official — or at least official looking:

Yep. The Baptist Messenger — an established weekly newspaper with a paid circulation of over 85,000 —- decided to photoshop Governor Henry’s signature on the embarrassing and archaic “Proclamation for Morality.” And to try and make the piece of right wing trash look even more legitimate, they placed the text of proclamation onto Executive Department letterhead and forged the signature of Secretary of State M. Susan Savage next to the state seal of Oklahoma.

The Lost Ogle blog has the complete scan of the proclamation. Having suspended the ninth commandment (or the eight commandment if you use the Catholic/Lutheran method of counting), The Baptist Messenger tried to make amends by offering their non-apology apology with a message from the editor posted to their web site’s front page:

In the July 16 Messenger, the graphic representation of the Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality was misleading, indicating that Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and Secretary of State Susan Savage had signed the document. This is not the case, and the Messenger staff apologizes for the oversight and error.

Hunting around for two fraudulent signatures, a fake letterhead and an legible image of seal of the State of Oklahoma, don’t accidentally get attached to a loopy proclamation because of an  “oversight and error.” Their apology is about as misleading as the Photoshopped proclamation. It’s about as credible as well.

Twenty OK Legislators Hate The Sinner

Jim Burroway

February 12th, 2009

They love to say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” But twenty conservative Oklahoma legislators, including our dear Rep. Sally Kern, demonstrated clearly the utter charade behind that platitude.

Scott Jones, pastor of the Cathedral of Hope-Oklahoma City, was asked to deliver the opening prayer for the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday. (The Cathedral of Hope-Oklahoma City was spun off from Dallas’ Cathedral of Home, the world’s largest gay church and a member of the United Church of Christ.) Rev. Jones was invited to give the prayer by Rep. Al McAffrey, who is openly gay. At the close of business on Monday, Rep. McAffery made a routine motion to have Jones’ prayer recorded in the House Journal. A Republican legislator objected, so a roll call was taken:

It was an interesting moment, and rather chaotic. One legislator commented, “We always enter the remarks.” Others wanted to read what I had said, and came over to where I was and read my hard copy and kept saying, “What are they objecting too?” Others came over to apologize. One legislator made a point of order to remind colleagues that if they were in the room, they had to vote, at which some of them fled, as some of the colleagues pointed out.

Twenty legislators, including Rep. Kern voted against recording the prayer. Sixty-seven voted in favor. And get this: as many as seventeen fled the room so they could be counted as absent. The prayer wasn’t controversial as far as I can tell. The only objection I can discern was the fact that the speaker was gay.

Love the prayer, hate the “pray-er”.

[Hat tip: Dallas Voice Blog]

Anti-Gay Campaign Plotted For Oklahoma City

Jim Burroway

December 8th, 2008

Mayor Mick CornettThe Gossip-Boy web site has uncovered evidence of a major upcoming anti-gay campaign by Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and a local pastor who advocates court-ordered “education programs” to “cure” gay people.

According to James Miko and Wayne Fuller, Mayor Cornett plans to team up with Olivet Baptist Church pastor Steve Kern (OK State Rep. Sally Kern’s husband) to unleash a campaign to “rid the library system of all gay and lesbian materials, as well as those their church-based philosophies find objectionable.”

The planned anti-gay drive is reportedly part of Mayor Cornett’s longer-term strategy for the 2010 governor’s race. According to unnamed insiders, the Mayor hopes that by waging this campaign targeting gays and lesbians, he will gain the good graces of fundamentalist voters and “walk away a hero to certain people”:

The insider also stated, “The Mayor is aware that Ernest Istook is returning to Oklahoma to join the governor’s race again. Istook has the conservative base locked in, so the Mayor must shake loose Istook supporters if he is to get past the Republican primary. Gays are easy targets for him. He tried to use them in 2006, but it backfired. This round he wants to make it clear he is without a doubt against gay rights.”

Miko and Fuller were able to confirm the outlines of the anti-gay plot by calling Pastor Kern while posing as a citizen working with the mayor. The transcript is posted online, in which “GB” (the Gossip Boy reporter) spoke with Steve Kern about a couple of recommendations for the library commission:

Pastor Steve KernGB: Blair, I am familiar with him personally, is a terrific choice. The man will stand his ground and will certainly help keep the faggots in line. He’s a pretty big boy. Ha ha.

SK: Ha ha. Very true. Paul won’t take a lick of nonsense from the homos. He’s been such a blessing to Sally and I. Always supportive and always there for us. Even before this mess with them in March.

GB: Well good for him. He’s a real man of God and his service to everyone has not gone unnoticed. We need all the help we can get to make sure the perverts keep their nasty lifestyle out of our city libraries and away from our children. The sickness is spreading into everything.

SK: We have to get rid of that and start curing those sinners. It’s past time that this nation stopped placating sin and start putting them in education programs. Courts can force drug offenders into treatment centers and violent people into anger management. There’s no reason our courts can’t do that with homos. [Emphasis added]

Pro-gay advocates often suspect politicians of cynically expoiting anti-gay sentiment to further their political careers. We rarely have such a smoking gun as this one. And we also rarely get such a clear indication of the kind of “justice” some of our opponents envision if they had their way. To these people, re-education camps aren’t out of the question.

Rallies Across America

Jim Burroway

November 16th, 2008

Protesters turned out is scores of cities across America to protest the unprecedented stripping of rights from gays and lesbians with the passage of California’s Proposition 8, as well as the passage of anti-marriage amendments in Arizona and Florida.

Updated:
Here is a roundup from more than 110 cities across the United States, great and small where people joined the impact. From New York City to Wailuku, Hawaii; from San Francisco to Portland, Maine; from Anchorage to Miami Beach, people everywhere stood up for equality and against the travesty of Prop 8 which summarily stripped a minority of its rights.

Note: This post is a re-creation from the one originally created on Saturday. That post ended up getting corrupted due to the multiple updates I was making through the day. Unfortunately, when the post finally went completely haywire, it took some 20 comments with it.

In Wailuku, HI:

Sandy Farmer-Wiley (left) and Jean Walker participate in a rally Saturday in Wailuku supporting gays, lesbians and transgenders in a nationwide protest against the approval of Proposition 8 in California and other anti-gay initiatives passed in the Nov. 4 general election. The Maui women, who have been together for 32 years, formally declared their commitment to each other during a service at Keawala‘i Congregational Church in Makena 15 years ago and were married in a civil union in Vermont in 2000. “Marriage is a civil right, it has nothing to do with religion,” Farmer-Wiley said. “The Bible is being used as a stick to beat us.” A total of about 45 people attended the rally in front of the State Office Building held to coincide with similar demonstrations across the country.

 

In Sandpoint, ID:

It didn’t matter that it was cold outside. The occasional negative gesture or rude comment weren’t an issue. After all, the dozen or so protesters of a recent California vote banning gay marriage, those things paled in comparison to the lack of equal rights for all. “I’m a strong supporter of equal rights for everyone,” said Dr. Bill Barker, organizer of the Sandpoint protest.

A Sagle-based psychologist, Barker said he helped many people deal with issues of sexual orientation in their families. When the call went out from Join the Impact encouraging communities to hold a day of protest of Proposition 8’s passage, Barker said he knew it was something he wanted to do in Sandpoint. Everyone in the country was asked to take a stand for equal rights

The community is blessed by its diversity, and one of its strengths is its support for others of differing views, Barker said, adding reaction to the protest was mostly positive with only a few negative comments.

 

In Los Angeles, CA:

In Los Angeles, protesters clustered near City Hall, carrying rainbow-colored flags and signs bearing messages such as “No More Mr. Nice Gay,” “Where’s My Gay Tax Break?” and “No on Hate.”

… The Los Angeles Police Department estimated that 40,000 people would attend the march, which officials expected to be peaceful.

The protests will be a key test for a loosely formed Internet-based movement that has emerged since California voters banned gay marriage last week.

In the last 11 days, advocates have used the Web to organize scattered protests at places, such as the Mormon Temple in Westwood and Sunset Junction in Silver Lake, and mount boycotts against businesses that supported Proposition 8. Those efforts snowballed, and marches against the proposition are expected in more than 300 cities across the country.

In South Lake Tahoe, CA:

At least 100 people, gay and straight, couples and partners gathered at El Dorado Beach on Saturday as part of a coast-to-coast, nationwide day of protest. …Flanked with signs that said “equal rights for all” the Tahoe gathering generated a fair share of waves and honks of support along Highway 50. There were occasional finger gestures by motorists but all-in-all the protest was successful, said organizer Janice Eastburn.

In Stillwater, OK:

More than 50 people braved the cold and wind to wave signs and cheer honking vehicles in protest of California’s recent same-sex marriage ban on Saturday at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Husband Street. The demonstration began at noon with a handful of protesters on the sidewalk in front of the county courthouse lawn, but the line of people facing Sixth Avenue grew throughout the afternoon.

In Stillwater, the mood seemed positive: the crowd, consisting of both young and old, cheered as honking vehicles drove past, including a semitrailer hauling half of a house. Melanie Page, an OSU psychology professor, brought her two sons with her to the protest. Page said she came to support equal rights. “I would hope that the community sees that the majority of people support gay rights, and for couples who love each other to marry and have legal protection,” she said. “That only strengthens America, strengthens families. It doesn’t weaken families. It’s not just gay people supporting gay people.” A number of OSU students also joined in the protest.

In Fairfield, CA:

About 75 people showed up to a Fairfield rally organized by Fairfield High School student Crystal Nievera, 16. “Not everyone voted yes on 8 (in Solano County),” said Nievera, who feared a small showing based on what her Facebook group told her. The protesters met at Fairfield City Hall and marched to Solano County Municipal Court, where they would be more visible on busy Texas Street.

The protesters — many with their children in tow — waved signs, chanted and encouraged passing motorists to honk in support. In a reflection of the youth-driven nature of the national rallies, many in the crowd were teenagers, including 18-year-old Antigone de la Cruz Montgomery VanGundy, who was with her adoptive parents Gino and Chris VanGundy, a married Fairfield couple. “I graduated high school with honors and AP classes and a 4.0 GPA,” she said. “Do not tell me my family does not have good parents.”

In San Francisco, CA:

Thousands of protesters converged upon San Francisco’s City Hall Saturday morning to speak out against California’s controversial Proposition 8.

“And sometimes it feels we felt our whole lifetime digging out the lies that other people tell about us, but the truth is this: we are a movement based on love,” said Reverend Dr. Penny Nickson who spoke during the rally.


In Burlington, VT:

“It’s shameful. It’s un-American,” said one Burlington protester. “This is a very frightening development for all of us,” added another.

A steady downpour symbolized the mood in Burlington. Same sex couples stood in solidarity holding signs while speakers stepped up to the mike to share their fears. In 2000 Vermont became the first state in the country to legalize civil unions for same sex couples. Several other states have since followed suit.

In Minneapolis, MN:

Gathering in front of a banner said “legalize love,” more than 500 gay rights activists gathered this afternoon in downtown Minneapolis as part of a nationwide series of rallies to support gay marriage.

…Reg Merrill, 63, drove 4 hours from Ft. Dodge Iowa to join the demonstration.

“It’s hard to believe that people pass laws that take away rights, “ Merrill said.

Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff highlighted a series of speakers

“From Golden Gate Park to Loring Park, we will step together until this battle is won,” Schiff said.

In Baton Rouge, LA:

As part of the national day of protest Saturday, groups in Baton Rouge rallied downtown. “What I’m hoping is a new chapter in American civil rights history,” says Kevin Serrin with Capital City Allliance. The group raised the gay pride flag and held up signs in protest of the California ban.

In San Diego, CA:

As the march in downtown San Diego to protest the passage of Proposition 8 is taking place, the crowd of participants, which initially was numbered about 2,000, has swelled. As of 11:45 a.m., police estimated the crowd at about 10,000 people. Those participating in the march now stretch about three-quarters of a mile long.

In New York, NY:

Thousands took to the streets of Lower Manhattan Saturday to protest California’s new ban on gay marriage. The rally at City Hall was just one of many scheduled around the country, including San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston. The cheering crowd stretched for blocks, as demonstrators waved rainbow-colored flags and held signs and wore buttons that said ‘I do.’ By standing here today we send the message we will move over, through and beyond Prop 8,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

In Escondido, CA:

Nearly 500 opponents of Proposition 8, the widely debated initiative voters approved Nov. 4, waved signs and chanted “Repeal 8″ Saturday as they marched through the busy streets of downtown Escondido. … Spearheading the march was Jennifer Schumaker, a self-proclaimed “lesbian soccer mom” of four, who held a “No on Prop. 8″ sign in front of City Hall for eighteen days before the election. “We’re marching for equality, for progress and for future generations,” Schumaker said.

In Boston, MA:

Four to five thousand people gathered in the rain on City Hall Plaza Saturday to protest the recent vote in California which reversed that state’s legalization of gay marriage. …The Boston rally took on special significance because of Massachusetts’ distinction as the first state to legally recognize gay marriages. The show of support on City Hall Plaza included same sex couples from all over the state who have married in Massachusetts since May 2004.

In Washington, DC:

What looked like tens of thousands (it’s impossible to know for sure) turned out today for the D.C. version of the Join the Impact protest in which gays and their allies voiced disdain for Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative that passed last week outlawing same-sex marriage there.

Marchers met at 1:30 p.m. today at the Capitol Reflecting Pool and marched down the National Mall, past the Washington Memorial and to the White House. The length of the marchers appeared to be at least a few miles long. Many carried signs equating Prop. 8 with hate using the numeral 8 with an “h” in front of it to spell “hate” (i.e. H8). Call-and-response chants were heard in several variations.

Intermittent rain — at one point torrential — didn’t appear to deter anyone.

In Chicago, IL:

Thousands of gay marriage advocates took to the streets of downtown Chicago today, hoping to galvanize support and pressure the courts to overturn the passage of a same-sex marriage ban in California. .. [P]rotesters gathered at Federal Plaza, carrying rainbow-colored flags and signs with messages like “Fix Marriage, Not Gays” and “Repeal Proposition 8.” Organizers said they hoped to achieve “full marriage equality” in Illinois.

In Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota:

About 200 protesters gathered Saturday afternoon on the Veterans Memorial Bridge between Fargo and Moorhead to rally for equality and against California’s Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in the state. Josh Boschee, organizer of the F-M Protest for Love, said he was extremely pleased by the turnout. “I was going to be happy with 20 to 30 people,” Boschee said. “There’s a lot of families and allies here. It’s more than just the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.”

…The local protest, along with one in Grand Forks, N.D., were among several across the country in which supporters gathered to support gay rights and marriage.

In Honolulu, HI:

Here, more than 300 people crowded the lawn near Honolulu Hale, in protest of California’s newly passed ban on same sex marriage. “We’re out for everybody and it’s equality for all,” Thomas Larabee said.

In Oakland, CA:

Thousands converged on Oakland City Hall on Saturday morning to protest against the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage in California and to rally for equal rights. “I think as a community and across the nation people are standing up and saying, ‘We are not going backward,’” said Molly McKay, spokeswoman for Marriage Equality USA. “We are only going forward and equality is a proud American tradition for our lives and for our families.

In Salinas and Monterrey, CA:

More than 50 opponents of Proposition 8 are marching through downtown Salinas to protest passage of the measure they say discriminates against gays and lesbians who want to marry. …Carrying signs and chanting messages against the measure, protesters are marching from Salinas City Hall to the National Steinbeck Center and back to City Hall without incident. No Salinas police officers were present as protesters marched.

Opposition is small, with just one person coming out in support of Prop. 8. Another rally against Prop 8 is happening at the Monterey City Hall.

In Portland, ME:

Saturday’s rain didn’t stop people who feel passionately about the same-sex marriage issue from heading out to Monument Square in Portland to have their voices heard. People who attended the rally say they want equal rights for same-sex couples and it’s time for Maine to legalize marriages of gay couples. One supporter held up a sign reading, “My dads are married.” She says she wants people to know that even though she was raised by a same-sex couple, she turned out just fine.

In Albany, NY:

Roughly 500 gay and lesbian individuals gathered in front of City Hall Saturday afternoon to participate in a local section of the national “Join the Impact” protest… Patrick Harkins, the organizer of the event, said that the local rally was to show that local citizens disagree with the California decision, but also that the residents of Albany want equal rights.

In Baltimore, MD:

Hundreds of people gathered outside Baltimore’s city hall to protest the passage of a ban on gay marriage in California. Mike Bernard of Baltimore, who married his partner in Canada this year, is one of several people who shared their personal stories with the crowd. He says in the long run, Proposition 8 may be a good thing for those fighting for gay marriage in the United States. He says many thought a liberal state like California would never ban gay marriage, but now they may be shocked into action.

In Sacramento, CA:

About 1,500 people were gathered across from Sacramento City Hall at Ninth and I Streets for a rally in Cesar Chavez Park. Participants carried signs and listened to speakers railing against Prop. 8.

In Witchita, KS:

A group of about 100 people gathered at Wichita City Hall this afternoon as part of a nationwide protest of California’s ban on gay marriage. … They shared the sidewalk with a small group from the Rev. Fred Phelp’s Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, who were protesting the protest, but there was no conflict between the two groups.

In St. Louis, MO:

A crowd of more than 500 spilled onto the street outside the Old Courthouse this afternoon as protesters gathered to voice opposition against California’s recent ban on gay marriage. A host of activists and politicians, including Mayor Francis Slay, state Sen. Joan Bray, D-University City, and Lewis Reed, president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, spoke in favor of equal rights for gay couples at the rally.

In Nashville TN:

Tennessee may be one of the nation’s most red states politically, but all the colors of the rainbow were important Nov. 15 at a gay rights rally, where more than 200 people convened for a peaceful protest outside the Nashville Metro Courthouse. …The protestors received no negative backlash from local conservative groups or passers by, but police were on hand in case an incident was to occur.

A small crowd began to assemble at noon Saturday and grew quickly as event organizers handed out “Stop the H8″ pins. A nearly equal number of GLBT people and their heterosexual allies joined forces to demand equality for all.

In Charlottesville, VA:

People stood out in the rain today to protest the ban right here in Charlottesville. Organizers say it was more of a rally than a protest. People cheered, waved signs and sang at the gathering. Their main goal they wanted to get across was that laws like Proposition 8 are not fair and people should not be judged based on sexual orientation.

“All of us here feel that it’s a civil right and that it should be granted to all citizens in the United States. Prohibiting it on the basis of same sex relationship is illegal, un-constitutional and generally just unfair,” said André Hakes, a protester.

In Palm Springs, CA:

More than 500 demonstrators turned out in Palm Springs for a nationwide rally coordinated at city halls in major cities to protest the recently passed same-sex marriage ban. Today’s event marked the third time hundreds of people in the Coachella Valley had demonstrated against Proposition 8, which overturned a state Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

In Denver, CO:

Hundreds of protestors turned out today in Denver against Proposition 8, a ballot measure passed by California voters that overrules a state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

… Bob Vitaletti and his partner, Joe Moore, held up a sign with a photo taken of the two in 1984 during Pride Fest held in Denver. The couple have been together for 29 years. “You can’t put civil rights up for majority rule,” Joe Moore said.

In Detroit, MI:

What do we want? EQUALITY! When do we want it? NOW! That was the chant that rang out through downtown Detroit, Michigan today as over 300 hundred dedicated protesters rallied in the freezing rain and sleet as part of the National Day of Protest.

In Philadelphia, PA:

Several thousand gay-rights advocates turned the area around City Hall into a boisterous, rainbow-colored sea today joining others across the country in a simultaneous demonstration against California’s new ban on gay marriage.

… “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Philadelphia organizer Brandi Fitzgerald, looking out at chanting, sign-waving demonstrators on Dilworth Plaza.

At one point, the crowd pressed onto 15th Street, forcing police to redirect traffic by blocking one lane. When that happened, a group of demonstrators fell in behind the flashing lights of a patrol car, and within seconds hundreds had stepped off the curb and into the street for an impromptu march.

“I didn’t know there was going to be a march,” one woman said to a friend.

“Me neither,” the other answered. “Let’s go.”

And they did. At its longest, the march stretched three-quarters of the way around City Hall.

In Louisville, KY:

Several years ago, when Jefferson County was adding civil-rights protections for gays and lesbians in a fairness ordinance, Pam Becker was among those protesting outside the county courthouse. But today, she stood across Sixth Street at City Hall to call for the right to same-sex marriage, joining about 200 mostly gay and lesbian protesters — including her 18-year-old son.

The reason for her change of heart?

“My son coming out,” said the Jeffersonville, Ind., woman. “I have to support my child. “

The protesters — part of a coordinated series of demonstrations in cities around the country — gathered on a drizzly, gusty afternoon outside City Hall.

In Madison, WI:

Early Saturday afternoon, amidst the throngs of red-clad game day Badgers fans, a river of rainbow colors wound its way up State Street to the Capitol. … Thrown together over the last week and faced with cold, windy conditions, local organizers were pleased with the estimated 500-plus supporters who turned out today in downtown Madison.

In Ithaca, NY:

Hundreds of gay marriage supporters in the Southern Tier are protesting a California referendum that banned same sex marriage last week. Those supporters of same sex marriage say they’re fighting their own battle here in New York State.

…”In New York, it’s important we have marriage equality. The state assembly has already passed a marriage equality bill. The state senate has refused to even let it come up for vote. My rights are not up for vote.” Says Jason Hungerford.

In Santa Cruz, CA:

Chanting, cheering and carrying signs, hundreds of demonstrators gathered on the steps of the county courthouse and then marched to the Town Clock Saturday morning to demand equal marital rights for same-sex couples.

More than 500 people attended the rally, one of many held nationwide as a protest against the passage of Proposition 8, which calls for a Constitutional Amendment outlawing same-sex marriage. Speakers included Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Supervisors Mark Stone and Neil Coonerty and Santa Cruz City Council members Cynthia Mathews and Tony Madrigal.

In Houston, TX:

Hundreds of people gathered on the steps of Houston City Hall this afternoon to protest the passing of Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment taking away the right to marry for same-sex couples. Along with the passing of other anti-gay measures across the nation, Prop. 8 made November 4 a day of mixed emotions for many of the progressives in attendance, who say they went to bed ecstatic about the election of Barack Obama but woke up the next morning to find out not everything had changed for the better.

In Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, FL:

Hundreds came to Miami Beach City Hall Saturday afternoon as part of a national Join the Impact movement to protest this month’s passage of anti-gay-marriage laws in Florida, California and Arizona. About 1,000 protested in Fort Lauderdale.

In Allentown, PA:

Calling for unity and equal rights, more than 150 gay rights supporters demonstrated Sunday in downtown Allentown to protest California’s recent ban on same sex marriage. Their anger as fierce as the cold winds that swept around them at Hamilton and Seventh streets, speaker after speaker criticized California’s Proposition 8 legislation, which banned same-sex marriage. ”We have a right to be angry, to be frustrated, to be insulted … because our community’s rights were voted against in the state of California,” said Adrian Shenker, president of the Muhlenberg College Gay Straight Alliance.

In Greensboro, NC:

Brant Miller is an unabashed romantic. He’s picked out baby names. He’s dreamed about his wedding – even designed some bridesmaid dresses for the occasion. There is one catch, however. Miller, a UNCG student, can’t get married because he’s gay.

On Saturday, he stood on the steps of the Melvin Municipal Office building and asked about 200 other rally participants to ask their legislative representatives to expand marriage rights to gay people in North Carolina.

In Indianapolis, IN:

Supporters of gay rights met at at a rally in front of the City-County Building as part of a nationwide protest over Proposition 8 Saturday, November 15, 2008.

In Jackson, MS:

Protests over California’s Proposition 8 spread to the Magnolia State on Saturday. About 50 people protested in Jackson outside the state capitol, upset the measure didn’t pass in California. Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriage in that state. … They said they want to draw attention to what they say is a civil rights issue that affects America as a whole.

“So when people see protests happening around the country, they’ll understand that this isn’t just an issue that’s happening somewhere else, this is an American issue happening everywhere, because it affects all of us,” organizer Brent Cox said.

In Seattle, WA:

Thousands of people marched peacefully through downtown Seattle Saturday afternoon as part of a national protest to protest the California vote that banned gay marriage. Seattle police accompanied the marchers. Police estimated the crowd the number about 3,000. There were counterprotesters.

In Des Moines, IA:

About 100 protesters picketed at Des Moines’ City Hall to challenge voter passage of a measure that banned gays and lesbians from marrying in California. … The state’s first and only legally married same-sex couple attended the protest, as did Iowa’s only openly gay state senator, Matt McCoy.

…Six same-sex couples will go before the Iowa Supreme Court on Dec. 9 to argue for legal same-sex marriage in Iowa. It was legal in Polk County for two days in August 2007. One couple was married before a court ended the practice.


In Atlanta, GA:

At the Georgia Capitol, more than 1,500 opponents of California’s Proposition 8 crowded the plaza and steps, spilling onto Washington Street. Speakers led the crowd in chants during the Saturday afternoon protest.“We support marriage equality,” said Carlton Eden, who attended the Atlanta rally with his wife, Claire, and three daughters. “We believe everyone should be able to marry.”

In Montclair, NJ:

Bernie Bernbrock was born into the Mormon Church. He said he still believes in God and many of the faith’s doctrines but left the church because of its stance on gay rights. Today, Bernbrock, from Glen Ridge, took his 7-year-old daughter, Abby, and his partner of 10 years, Glen Vatasin to Montclair for their first-ever same-sex marriage march. “I don’t think any one family is in any position to judge another family,” he said. “It’s not their right to come into my home and take my rights away.”

He joined over 120 people who chanted through Montclair in support same-sex marriage as part of a national protest against California’s new ban on gay marriage, Proposition 8.

In Kalamazoo, MI:

More than 120 people lined the street in front of the Federal Building Saturday afternoon to protest the recent passage of a California ballot proposal banning same-sex marriage. Signs reading “Stop the Hate” and “Equal Rights for All” attracted honks as passing motorists showed support. The crowd stretched nearly a full block along West Michigan Avenue.

In Dallas, TX:

Louise Young never cast a vote on Proposition 8, but the measure changed her life. Married three months ago in California, Ms. Young and Vivienne Armstrong, her partner, joined more than 1,200 other Dallas-area residents who gathered outside of Dallas City Hall on Saturday to peacefully protest California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state.

“This is not a religious issue,” said Ms. Young, 61, of Dallas. “This is about legal rights. This isn’t right.”

In Duluth, MN:

Speaking out were more than one hundred protestors from all walks of life: young and old, students and professionals, and gay and straight. Tate Haglund-Pagel says “When I met my wife and the happiness we have gotten out of you know being married and being each others partners for ever I don’t understand why two men or two women can’t have the same happiness.”

In Peoria, IL:

In Peoria and across the country today, people petitioned in support of gay marriage and against a recent California vote. Dozens of people bared the cold weather to hold up signs opposing Proposition 8.

…Hector Martinez opposes Proposition 8 and said, “We just feel that you know we need to put a stop or this needs to see a reverse proposition 8. Eventually my partner and I, we’ve been together for 18 years, you know we’d like to see the legalization of marriage for us in Illinois.”

In Phoenix, AZ:

Donavon Goodsell, of Phoenix, celebrated his 67th birthday by marching for gay rights in a rally that drew a large group from the gay community and its supporters. He’s been in a relationship for 42 years, he said, and it’s time for marriage rights.

Goodsell was one of more than 1,000 people who gathered in Phoenix to protest the recently passed Proposition 102, an Arizona constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

In Oklahoma City:

Hundreds of protesters in Oklahoma City joined a nationwide call to protest the passage of a ballot measure in California that banned same-sex marriage. “It’s a huge, huge movement going on today,” said local organizer Bret Gaither. “We’re not asking for, you know, understanding or special treatment. We’re asking for equal treatment.”

In Tulsa, OK:

A group of about 300 activists and protesters marched Saturday through downtown to City Hall, where they held a short rally and observed a moment of silence as part of a worldwide protest for homosexual rights known as Join the Impact. The Tulsa rally was organized by Ashley Butler, who had no intentions of leading any such protest as recently as a week ago. “I sort of fell across it by accident,” she said.

In Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM:

Hundreds of people gathered in Albuquerque and Santa Fe on Saturday to protest the passage of Proposition 8 and anti-gay legislation in other states. About 500 people gathered on Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza with signs that read “What’s so scary? We just want to marry” and “Love and Let Love.” Rally organizer Rose Bryan says the event was about family and people being able to take care of and protect the people in their families.

In Santa Fe, a crowd of more than 100 people braved the chilly wind to speak out against Proposition 8.

In Columbia, MO:

More than 100 people bundled in coats, scarves, hats and gloves gathered on Saturday afternoon in front of the Boone County Courthouse in the ear-numbing cold and a stiff wind to protest the passage of California’s Proposition 8.

…On the steps in front of the courthouse, using a small PA system, [Mark] Buhrmester called the crowd together. He introduced the afternoon’s speakers and addressed the question of why Missourians and others outside of California were protesting an amendment that doesn’t directly affect them.

“The truth of the matter is that the hopes and fears of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community were riding on Proposition 8, and our hopes were dashed, and our fears were met,” Buhrmester said. “So that’s why we are here together — to stand up for our rights with our friends and our community.”

In Pittsburgh, PA:

Speakers in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood shared their personal stories with more than 100 people at the rally in Schenley Plaza.

In Cincinnati, OH:

An estimated 500 people stood in the rain Saturday afternoon in front of Cincinnati City Hall to protest the passage of California’s Proposition 8 … Cameron Tolle, a junior at Xavier University from Missouri, took the lead organizing the event. He admitted it was his first attempt at political action. “Nine days ago this protest wasn’t planned,” Tolle said. He said he and a group of friends decided “through Facebook conversations and convictions” that Cincinnati needed to be involved in this national protest.

Speakers included comedian Margaret Cho, who is in town tonight for her Taft Theater performance, and Victoria Wulsin, who ran an unsuccessful campaign against Congresswoman Jean Schmidt.


In Olympia, WA:

About 300 South Sound residents, spurred to action by a recent initiative that overturned gay-marriage rights in California, gathered today at Olympia City Hall to rally support for the rights of gay men and women to marry. The 90-minute morning rally, organized by Anna Schlecht of Olympia, coincided with similar rallies across the country today. Schlecht said she was pleased with the turnout because there were so many new faces at the rally, people who had attended to show their support.

In Wilmington, NC:

More than 140 people assembled on the steps of the Federal Building in downtown Wilmington Saturday to protest the gay marriage bans recently approved in states across the country. The event was part of a planned nationwide network of protests, from Anchorage to Raleigh, largely organized via online word-of-mouth. Wilmington organizers Kati Heffield and Mary Eller assembled the Federal Building protest in just three days, primarily using the social networking Web site Facebook.

In Raleigh, NC:

Hundreds of people gathered this afternoon for a protest in downtown Raleigh against last week’s vote in California that made gay marriage unconstitutional there. …Braving a brief but drenching downpour, the marchers proceeded from the Capitol to the governor’s mansion — where one of them hoisted a rainbow flag on a pole just outside the gate. Police kept a close eye on the marchers while blocking traffic to maintain safety.

In Buffalo, NY:

150 people came out on a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon to show support for same-sex marriage and solidarity with gay and lesbian people in California. …The Buffalo event was organized by Kara DeFranco and publicized through the web site jointheimpact.com. …Protesters gathered at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway with signs that advocated equality under state marriage laws for all people.

In San Luis Obispo, CA:

Opponents of Prop. 8 took to the streets in downtown San Luis Obispo on Saturday, vowing to fight the measure banning same-sex marriages in California. More than 100 protesters rallied in front of San Luis Obispo City Hall, waving signs with slogans such as “Abate the H8” and “Marriage Equality USA.” The demonstration was one of several such protests that took place nationwide Saturday.

In Boise, ID:

Protests in Idaho were on a much smaller scale than some metropolitan areas around the nation, but even in Boise, the turnout was much bigger than expected. … It was a rally that packed the sidewalk on Capitol Boulevard in front of Boise City Hall. An estimated 400 people gathered to take part in a nationwide protest.

“This is amazing and exciting to see this support and the common grounds that Idaho has,” said Ryan Jensen and James Tidmarsh, married in California.

In Asheville, NC:

There seemed to be two predominant questions at a rally in Asheville Saturday in support of same-sex marriage: Why, and why not? The “why?” had to do with California voters’ decision on Election Day to rescind the rights of same-sex couples in that state to marry.

The “why not?” had to do with rally-goers’ bewilderment that others would deny gay and lesbian partners who’ve been together for decades the right to enjoy the bonds of a committed marriage, just the same as heterosexual couples.

“We don’t want to take anything from you,” said Kathryn Cartledge, one of the speakers at the gathering in Pritchard Park that drew about 400 supporters.

In Syracuse, NY:

Same sex couples across the country including those in Syracuse sent a strong message to California. Nearly 200 people showed up at city hall protesting proposition 8. Scotty Matthews was one of them. Even as a New Yorker, Scotty says he has a lot on the line with the proposition’s passage. “I’m gay. I’m an American. That’s the only stake I need to have in it. I don’t think that institutionalized discrimination is something that should be happening in America and that’s why I’m here,” said Scotty.

In Colorado Springs, CO:

“We are angry, sad, and hurt,” said Kristina Conner, who protested with a group of roughly 100 at City Hall in Colorado Springs. …”We want to take these emotions and use them as a positive driving force for our future so we too can have a unity and equality for our love,” said Conner.

In Tracy, CA:

Patti Armanini and Jackie Snodgrass tied the knot, legally, back in 2004 in San Francisco and again in September, and today, they joined a group in front of City Hall who protested this month’s passage of Proposition 8, which takes away their right to marry. “This is just one step in the whole process of overturning this,” Armanini said. “We’ll get there.”

In Salt Lake City, UT:

Hundreds of demonstrators waving signs and rainbow-colored flags gathered in downtown Salt Lake City today as the fight over gay marriage continued to intensify more than a week after California voters passed Proposition 8.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ involvement in the issue has turned Utah into “ground zero” for the gay civil rights movement, Jeff Key, a gay Iraq war veteran, told the crowd gathered at the Salt Lake City-County Building. “You called us out,” Key said. “You did this.”

In Lake Worth, FL:

Gay, straight, black, white: Marriage is a civil right,” chanted hundreds of people on the corner of Lucerne Avenue and Dixie Highway.

Their shouts were met by syncopated honks from passing motorists. Their cause resonated throughout more than 300 cities throughout the country, organizers said.

“Today we’re making history,” said Jay Blotcher, one of several organizers of the Join the Impact event. “This is a chapter in the civil rights movement and we will prevail.”

In Rochester, NY:

More than 150 people stood in the rain outside the Monroe County Administration Building this afternoon, rallying in support of same-sex marriage. …“People are angry, frankly, and this is history,” said Ove Overmyer, one of the local organizers, of the first simultaneous nationwide action in support of same-sex marriage.

The crowd marched along West Main Street, carrying signs that read, “It’s about love,” and “My family matters, too.” They chanted, “We don’t need the state’s permission. We are not second-class citizens.” This rally, like the others, grew out of a grassroots, online effort, mainly using the social-networking site Facebook, officials said.

In Spokane, WA:

In Spokane people gathered outside City Hall to voice their concerns about this legislation. More than 125 people showed up as part of demonstrations in more than 300 cities across the country.

Smack in the middle of the boisterous crowd was Nancy Maloy, she stood quietly with a sign in her hand, a self-described mother on a mission.”My wonderful gay daughter called me last night and said, ‘Mom everybody’s marching tomorrow morning, go and take a sign’,” said Maloy.

In White Plains, NY:

Standing on the steps of City Hall, more than 70 gay men, lesbians and their supporters today protested a California vote banning same-sex marriage and called for all states to provide civil marriage “equality.” … “The whole idea is to go out and tell people that marriage is our right,” said Jean-Charles DeOliveira, 41, an Ossining real estate agent who organized the White Plains rally.

In Long Beach, CA:

More than a thousand peaceful Long Beach demonstrators joined thousands across the nation Saturday to protest California’s passing of Proposition 8, a measure banning same-sex marriage.

Braving afternoon heat and smoke from fires raging around the county, the crowd cheered as more than a dozen city leaders and local activists spoke in front of City Hall.

In Fayetteville, AR:

Hundreds marched from the University of Arkansas to the square hoping to get their voices heard. “They had pushed so hard in California to get marriage there. They finally had it, and then it’s all of a sudden overturned,” explains Anna Center, a protest organizer.

…Fayetteville’s protestors also took time to voice their outrage about the recent passage of Act One. The measure prohibits gay and unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children here in Arkansas.

In Orlando, FL:

Close to a thousand people gathered outside Orlando City Hall on Saturday to protest a recently passed amendment to Florida’s constitution which bans gay marriage. … On Election Day, 62 percent of Florida voters approved the marriage amendment, which defines marriage between one man and one woman.

“They want us to be quiet and not be vocal and not be who we are,” said Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. “People don’t understand that by being quiet, by being silent, we have our civil rights taken away from us every day. That’s all we want, to be treated fairly and equally”

In Las Vegas and Reno, NV:

Gay rights supporters rallied in Nevada today as part of a string of protests reacting to the ban on same-sex marriage passed 11 days ago in California. Upbeat crowds of more than 1,000 in Las Vegas and 300 in Reno cried out for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

In Las Vegas, demonstrators gathered outside a gay and lesbian community center just east of the Strip.

In Reno, demonstrators marched through the downtown casino area and gathered around the landmark Reno Arch.

In Austin, TX:

Disappointed and angry about the passage of Proposition 8 in California last week , at least 2,000 people crowded Austin City Hall Plaza on Saturday afternoon to support equal rights and legal marriage for those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

Gay rights supporters cheered, chanted and waved rainbow colors in Austin and in cities across the country protesting the vote that banned gay marriage in California. Tens of thousands of people joined protests in Houston, Dallas and Arlington…

In Knoxville, TN:

:

More than 100 people rallied at the World’s Fair Park amphitheater Saturday afternoon in a cold wind to peaceably protest passage of a California ballot measure that recognizes marriages only between men and women. …Rally organizer Jen Crawford, 24, of Knoxville first heard from a friend that rallies were planned nationwide Saturday to protest the constitutional amendment. After considering going to a nearby city for a rally, Crawford decided to start one here. “I’m happy, as a straight ally, that I can pour into this and show my support,” she said.

In Fresno, CA:

Several hundred people showed up at Fresno’s city hall as part of the National Day of Protest. Several other demonstrations are planned Sunday as supporters of gay marriage take on the religious groups that supported Proposition 8.

Nearly two weeks after California voters approved a ban on gay marriage, members of Fresno’s gay and lesbian community say their fight for equal rights has just begun. They rallied at Fresno’s city hall Saturday, many still holding “Vote No on Proposition 8″ signs. “Rights were given to us and then eliminated by the majority of people and although the constitution guarantees the protection of the marginalized and the minority, it was allowed to pass,” said Prop 8 opponent Robin McGehee.

In Medford, OR:

Medford protesters joined a nationwide demonstration for gay rights. …Protesters say the goal of the demonstration was to spark a nationwide push for gay rights. For the people in downtown Medford today, there was a lot of emotion behind the issue. Their chant: “What do we want? Equality! When do we want it? Now!”

James Frank is a father and a grandfather, but he says he’s still fighting to be recognized as husband. “I’m not a two-headed monster; I put my pants on one leg at a time like every body else,” he says.

In Springfield, MO:

They stood In unity Saturday with a message intended to be heard around the nation. Hundreds of signs wrote it out in plain print, for all eyes to see. “It’s not even about being gay. It’s about being equal. It’s about being people, and recognizing that everybody loves just the same as everybody else,” said Stephanie Perkins who helped organize the local protest.

…Yet, some passers by didn’t take so well to the protest. “This is public. If they want to go protest, why don’t they go protest somewhere where there’s not a lot of people around,” said Amber Willis who is against gay marriage. But it was her very attitude that fired up the crowd even more. Within the crowd were dozens of stories, but for some it was a story about hope which they feel they are losing.

In Charlotte, NC:

More than 200 people gathered uptown Saturday to protest California’s recent ban on same-sex marriages and what it means for such couples nationwide. …Holding rainbow flags and braving strong winds, protesters rallied at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg government center and sang protest songs made famous during the country’s struggle for civil rights some 40 years ago.

In Macon, GA:

In Macon on Saturday, more than 50 advocates for Join the Impact, an international organization supporting equal rights for people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, protested the California Proposition 8 vote outside City Hall.

Protesters waved signs reading “What Would Martin Do?” “Fight the H8” and “Would You Rather I Marry Your Daughter?” Gatherers ranged in age and race. Some wore the traditional rainbow colors, expressing pride in their homosexuality. Others wore plain clothes and clergy attire.

In Tampa, FL:

Thousands of gays and lesbians and their supporters across the country – including more than 100 in downtown Tampa – rallied at 1:30 p.m. Saturday to protest bans on marriage and adoption approved by voters in four states.

…Tampa City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena told the crowd assembled at Joe Cillura Courthouse Square that “the tide is turning to say ‘we’re all in this together.’” She added: “I think it’s time for the county to revisit the human rights ordinance.” Attempts to add sexual orientation to the anti-discrimination ordinance have been made at least a couple of times since the county commission removed sexual orientation from the law in 2000.

In Sault Ste Marie, MI:

“We’re small but mighty,” said protest organizer Jennifer Rowe today. Rowe, along with Amanda Zuke, Kyle Cardoza, Liz Laplante and two other concerned citizens, gathered outside Sault Ste. Marie’s Civic Centre to protest the recent adoption of California’s Proposition 8, outlawing same-sex marriage. “We’re here to show our support for those in the United States who are fighting to get same-sex marriage recognized and for human rights across the board,” Rowe told SooToday.com.

In Bellingham, WA:

More than 100 people rallied on the corners of East Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham the morning of Saturday, Nov. 15, to protest California’s recent ban on gay marriage. Chants of “It’s about love not hate,” and “Hey mister president, what do you say, don’t hate families because they’re gay” filled blocks of downtown Bellingham during the two-hour protest. …The protesters in Bellingham were outside the Federal Building from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. A smaller group continued the protest outside the Bellingham Farmer’s Market after noon.

In Memphis, TN:

More than 150 people ignored the chilly winds to protest Downtown in front of the Memphis City Hall, bearing signs that said “Love makes a family,” “Support love not H8″ and “This is what democracy looks like.” “Because of our history in civil rights we felt it was particularly important for Memphis’ voice to be heard,” said Amy Livingston, a board member with the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, which co-sponsored the protest with the Women’s Action Coalition. The gays, lesbians and supporters in attendance were also urged to talk to friends, family and co-workers about the need to for civil rights for homosexuals.

In Missoula, MT:

Jamee Greer took charge of a sizable crowd that united and protested Saturday in favor of gay marriage rights, a group pulled together in Missoula by the Internet and text messages. He gave the group its marching orders, announcing the rules of the road, as the protesters carried signs and prepared to march from North Higgins Avenue to the Missoula County Courthouse.

…In Missoula, Brian Cook wore a picture of his 21-year-old gay son, Andrew Sullivan-Cook, who was in Dallas marching with Join the Impact protesters. “I’m here, not only in support of my son’s rights, but it’s simply the right thing to do,” said Cook. “Even if my son wasn’t gay, I’d be here.”

In Evansville, IN:

Protesters gathered around the nation and in Evansville on Saturday. …One hundred people stood out in the cold in front of the Centre to get their message out.

In Denton, TX:

Horns were honking for several hours early Saturday afternoon, supporting about 120 gay rights activists with signs and flags who were protesting the recent approval of California’s Proposition 8. … There were many supportive honks throughout the afternoon, said John McClelland, president of the Stonewall Democrats of Denton County, a gay and lesbian political organization. However, one protester said she had seen an obscene hand gesture from one driver.


In Providence, RI:

The State House lawn was dotted with umbrellas on Saturday afternoon, as the hundreds of people gathered there maintained a hopeful spirit despite the intermittent rain. …For the duration of the rally, supporters held a rainbow banner with the words “Love” and “Equality” across the State House steps. People held signs with a variety of messages “Straight guy for love,” “Fight the H8″ and “Jesus had 2 daddies, why can’t I?”

In San Bernadino, CA:

On Saturday morning, about 30 people gathered in front of Colton City Hall to kick off the rally. …Most carried “No on Prop. 8″ signs and some actually wore them. Others had rainbow flags draped across their shoulders. After receiving political statements from Lopez, the crowd walked along La Cadena Drive carrying signs and singing songs with the lyrics: “Hey hey, ho ho, discrimination has got to go.”

As they made their way back up the street, a lone man carrying a sign saying “Homo Sex is Sin” staked out a spot near their final stop, the steps of the old Carnegie Library. The man, Paul Mitchell, described himself as a Christian from Riverside who showed up because of what the Bible says about homosexuality. …When the crowd gathered on the steps of the library to listen to inspirational words, Mitchell heckled them, yelling out “repent” several times, before leaving in a white van parked nearby.

In Gainesville, FL:

Huddled under rainbow–colored umbrellas, Amendment 2 protestors met in the drizzling rain Saturday afternoon with a message: equal rights for everyone. About 150 Gainesville residents rallied for an hour and a half at the corner of East First Street and University Avenue for the repeal of Amendment 2.

In Riverside and other cities throughout inland CA:

At least 250 people rallied and marched in Riverside. … Same-sex-marriage supporters also rallied in places that had no organized gay activism before Prop. 8, including Moreno Valley, Colton, Hemet, the Big Bear area and Victorville.

…In Riverside, protesters set off from City Hall and broke into several groups to march through downtown streets, waving signs reading “When do I get to vote on your marriage?” and “Black, Straight, Against 8.”

In Colton, about 40 people marched in front of Colton City Hall chanting slogans such as “Gay, straight, black or white, Americans for civil rights!” …Nicolas Daily, 19, a black gay man who grew up in Colton, said one reason he attended the Colton rally was to increase the visibility of gays and lesbians of color.

In Pasadena, CA:

About 300 demonstrators crowded onto the steps of Pasadena City Hall on Saturday to protest the passage of Proposition 8. …”I don’t know about you, but I am tired of using the quiet approach,” said 29-year-old Scott Boardman of Monrovia, who spearheaded the event. “I want the fair approach, and if that means knocking on every door or having rallies every week, then so be it.”

In Redlands, CA:

Mike Hinsley and Scott Ruiz have been partners for six years. When Proposition 22 was overturned in 2007, making same-sex marriages legal in California, they held off. “As soon as the Supreme Court overturned it, we heard about Prop. 8, so we were waiting to see what was going to happen,” Hinsley said. On Saturday, Hinsley, 26, and Ruiz, 28, joined about 150 people in front of City Hall to protest Prop. 8. The protest was one of many held all over the nation, organized by www.jointheimpact.com.

In Stockton, CA:

About 200 people gathered at City Hall late Saturday morning before marching along two of downtown Stockton’s busiest streets in one of hundreds of simultaneous demonstrations in support of gay-marriage rights planned throughout the state and country. …I just think that it was important to bring something like this to Stockton,” said Sarah Amaton, the Manteca resident who coordinated San Joaquin County’s rally. Another is planned for 6 p.m. Monday, also at City Hall.

In Northampton, MA:

Hundreds of demonstrators spilled down the steps of City Hall and onto Main Street Saturday, part of a wave of nationwide protests over the passage of Proposition 8 in California. The rally was boisterous, even by Northampton’s standards, where rallies for social change are a staple of the cultural landscape.

… The local protest drew hundreds of same-sex couples and gay rights advocates of all ages, plus openly gay five-term Mayor Mary Clare Higgins, who sat on the steps and sang with “The Raging Grannies,” a social activism group who led the crowd in a pro-gay rights sing-along. Organizer Kathryn L. Martini, of Greenfield, said similar protests took place simultaneously in all 50 states. She estimated as many as 900 attended the local stand-out.

In Portsmouth, NH:

Supporters began gathering in Market Square at mid-day and a small group of about 15 around 1 p.m. had grown to nearly 100 within the hour. “Gay, straight, black or white, marriage is a civil right,” they chanted. Held on display in the middle of a crowd was a rainbow flag with “LOVE,” written across it. …Passers-by honked their horns in support, which led to cheers from the demonstrators.

In Pomona, CA:

“People tell us, `Go home. It’s over. It’s already been voted on,”‘ said Thuan Nguyen. “I say just because it’s voted on doesn’t mean homosexuality is going to disappear.” The 20-year-old Montclair resident was among more than 400

Sally Kern Hasn’t Changed A Bit

Jim Burroway

October 13th, 2008

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally KernOklahoma State Representative and LaBarbera Award winner Sally Kern still thinks that the homosexuals pose the greatest threat to America. She said so again last Thursday during a debate with her opponent Ron Marlett:

When asked about the biggest threat facing the United States, Marlett said it was dependence on foreign oil. Kern said it was homosexuality.

“While terrorism has killed more than 3,000 people, in the continental United States in the last 15 years, homosexual behavior has killed more than 100,000,” she said. “It’s a danger to life. It is a danger to health.”

“To compare certain members of our community to a cancer that might need to be removed is chilling to me,” Marlett said.

“Our county is united pretty much against terrorism, but homosexuality is being promoted in schools and by the government,” said Kern.

Kern first gained national ridicule last March when she said that homosexuality was “the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam.” At least she’s consistent.

Sally Kern Interview at the Republican Convention

Jim Burroway

September 9th, 2008

SiriusQ’s Michelangelo Signorile caught up with OK Rep. Sally Kern at the RNC last week. You may remember Sally Kern as the Oklahoma legislator who said that homosexuality was worse than terrorism. She was also caught twice carrying a loaded gun into the Oklahoma state capital. In this first clip, Michael asked Kern about the Log Cabin’s endorsement of McCain (“I don’t have a problem with it. … I’m glad they did!”) and the “abomination” of homosexuality.

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In the second clip we get to hear all about the difference between gluttony and homosexuality. She also gets her facts completely wrong on marriage in Norway.

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OK Comic Book Author Loses In Primary

Jim Burroway

July 30th, 2008

rinehart.jpgThat’s quite a comedown for an incumbent politician, to come in last in a three-way primary. But that’s exactly what happened to Oklahoma County Commissioner Brent Rinehart, the politician who mailed out a crude campaign comic book. He was trounced in the Republican primary, garnering only 21% of the vote.

So now, Rinehart has plenty of time to perfect his artistic skills. That, and to defend himself in Oklahoma County District Court tomorrow against several felony campaign corruption charges stemming from he previous campaign.

Sally Kern Stopped With Loaded Gun

Jim Burroway

July 23rd, 2008

Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern (R-OKC), who made headlines last March for saying that gays were a bigger threat than terrorism, was stopped by state Capital security from bringing a handgun into the building. This is the second time in two months she had a weapon at the Capital. Kern attributed both breaches to “forgetfulness.”

Most Pathetic Comic Book Ever

Jim Burroway

July 17th, 2008

We told you earlier about Oklahoma County commissioner Brent Rinehart’s new comic book that (literally) demonizes homosexuality — complete with the words “anal sodomy.”

Now via Reason.com, we have two pages from that comic book. (Click on the images for the full-size version).
Comic

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Rinehart says it took two months to write this comic book. I don’t think Marvel has anything to be worried about though. After two months, Rinehart’s still trying to figure out whether child molesters are “pedaphiles” or “pedifiles.”