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Posts for October, 2013

Oh yeah, cuz that’s sooooo much better

Timothy Kincaid

October 4th, 2013

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett objected to his own legal team’s court filing in opposition to marriage equality for comparing same-sex marriage to marriage between children. Here he gives us his “better” comparison.

UPDATE: And Corbett has “apologized” for his “better analogy”:

During a recent interview, I was asked to comment on the ruling by Judge Pellegrini that the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts did not have the power to decide the constitutionality of state laws.

My words were not intended to offend anyone. If they did, I apologize.

I explained that current Pennsylvania statute delineates categories of individuals unable to obtain a marriage license. As an example, I cited siblings as one such category, which is clearly defined in state law. My intent was to provide an example of these categories.

The constitutional question is now before a federal court and that is the venue in which same-sex couples wishing to legally marry have standing to intervene and be heard. Same-sex marriage is an important issue and the question of its legal status is one that will be heard and decided upon its merits, with respect and compassion shown to all sides.

It seems Corbett not only has no clue about what offends gay people or anyone who has ever met any, he also hasn’t the faintest idea how to craft an apology.

There, He Said It: PA Gov Thinks Same-Sex Marriage Is More Like “Brother and Sister”

Jim Burroway

October 4th, 2013

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) in August distanced himself from state lawyers which justified the state’s ban on same-sex marriage by saying there’s no discrimination involved because marriages between twelve-year-olds are also illegal. Corbett called that reasoning “inappropriate.” What is an appropriate argument? How about comparing same-sex marriage to a union between brother and sister?

Anchor Sherry Christian of Harrisburg’s WHP-TV didn’t know quite how to handle this exchange:

CHRISTIAN: There was a controversial remark made by a member of your legal team comparing gay marriage to the union of twelve-year-olds, saying both are illegal, which you called inappropriate.

CORBETT: It was an inappropriate analogy. I think a much better analogy would have been brother and sister. Don’t you?

CHRISTIAN: [Awkward pause] … I don’t know. [Nervous laughter]

CORBETT: Well we…

CHRISTIAN: I don’t know. I’m going to leave the comments to you and your team, but you did say it was inappropriate, and you have a better phrasing that you think…

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is defending its marriage equality ban in Whitewood v. Corbett, which was filed in July in Federal District Court by the ACLU. The Commonwealth is also suing in state court to try to halt Montgomery County from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

PA Gov Hires Law Firm To Defend State’s Ban on Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

September 6th, 2013

Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has hired a Chester County law firm to represent the Commonwealth in a marriage equality suit filed in U.S. District Court. The case, Whitewood v. Corbett, was filed in July by the ACLU and challenges the state’s law banning same-sex marriage. (Pennsylvania does not have a constitutional banning same-sex marriage.) William Lamb, who is described as a “super lawyer” by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Commonwealth Confidential blog, is a former state Supreme Court Justice and district attorney for Chester County:

Corbett’s general counsel James Schultz said the “unique circumstances” of this case compelled the Office of General Counsel to retain expert assistance in this case. “The Office of General Counsel provides comprehensive legal services to numerous state agencies and executives, but we do not typically defend cases that solely challenge the constitutionality of a statute,” Schultz said. “Who better than a former Supreme Court Justice and his firm to assist in addressing this type of fundamental question?”

Schultz continued, “Legal arguments concerning the constitutionality of any state law are a pressing matter for the commonwealth, along with all concerned parties, and it is important that these cases receive a comprehensive defense,” he said. “Justice Lamb and his firm bring a unique set of legal experience and skills to this case.”

The action comes after Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced that she would not defend Pennsylvania’s law restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples, saying that she does not believe the statute is constitutional. The ACLU welcomes the move:

“We appreciate having good counsel on the other side because generally it improves presentation of the competing arguments, which helps the judge reach a sound decision,” (ACLU of Pennsylvania legal director Vic Walczak) said.

PA’s court considerations

Timothy Kincaid

August 22nd, 2013

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has issued the list of issues which it will consider in relation to the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses. (Observer-Reporter)

The court wants lawyers to focus on whether the court has jurisdiction, given that Hanes is a judicial officer.

Other questions are whether issuing marriage licenses are a judicial act and whether the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s marriage law can be raised as a defense in the case.

Also at issue are whether the Department of Health has standing to sue, and if not, the effect of Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s delegation of defense of the law to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s legal staff.

Do Brethren marry?

Timothy Kincaid

August 20th, 2013

There is an article on centredaily.com about the mayor of State College, Pennsylvania, hosting same sex marriages for licenses issued by Montgomery County clerk Bruce Hanes. It’s a nice piece, but I did a double-take when I read the following:

The couple, from Bushkill, Pike County, were married Monday morning at the home of State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham. They received a marriage license in Montgomery County on Thursday and immediately made arrangements for the ceremony.

Davis and Scalzo were married by the Rev. Ken Kline Smeltzer, from a local Church of the Brethren.

This caught me by surprise. It was not my impression that ministers with the Church of the Brethren could officiate at same-sex marriages.

The Church of the Brethren is one of the three historic pacifist churches (Quakers and Mennonites being the other two). There are about 1,000 churches with about a quarter of a million congregants, mostly in Pennsylvania and the Virginias. They believe in simplicity in worship and life, service to others, sole adherence to the New Testament, and originate from an evangelical tradition.

They also are non-hierarchal and believe in a “priesthood of all believers”. Yet even though congregations tend to be autonomous, this is a rather aggressive step outside the proclaimed shared doctrine. It will be interesting to see if Rev. Smelter’s decision is accepted as a matter of “unity in diversity” or whether some within the denomination will seek to restrain the officiation at same-sex marriages.

PA Gov. Says Montgomery Co.’s Issuing Marriage Licenses “Risk Causing Serious Harm”

Jim Burroway

August 14th, 2013

In a legal filing on Monday by lawyers for the Pennsylvania’s state Health Department and Gov. Tom Corbett (R), lawyers argued that the actions of Montgomery County Clerk D. Bruce Hanes’s decision to begin issuing marriage licenses “risks causing serious and limitless harm” and is a violation of the separation-of-powers in the state of Pennsylvania. The Corbett administration is asking the court to order a halt to the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“There is no limit to the administrative and legal chaos that is likely to flow from the clerk’s unlawful practice,” the administration’s lawyers wrote.

The administration said Hanes has a duty to follow state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman – and argued that county officials who flout the law “may be guilty of a misdemeanor for each act of neglect or refusal.”

…”Ours is a government of laws, not one of public officials exercising their will as they believe the law should be or will be,” the administration argued, adding that only courts can declare a law unconstitutional and suspend it.

Hanes began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and State Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s (D) announcement that she wouldn’t defend the state’s ban on marriage equality in court. The state’s statute limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is being challenged in court by the ACLU.

Pennsylvania marriages to continue for a while

Timothy Kincaid

August 7th, 2013

CBS

The Court has set August 12th as the deadline for the administration to filea brief in support of its suit, and the following Monday August 19th is the date by which the county must file its brief in response.

After briefs are filed, the court says it will schedule arguments on an expedited basis. A court spokesman says a judge will be assigned to the case after the briefs are filed, as well.

Pittsburgh-area Mayor Officiates Gay Couple’s Wedding

Jim Burroway

August 6th, 2013

John Kandray (Left) and Bill Gray (right)

Two weeks ago, the Clerk Bruce Hanes of suburban Philadelphia’s Montgomery County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Pennsylvania’s Health Department is suing to halt those marriages. Now the mayor of the Pittsburgh-area suburb of Braddock, Mayor John Fetterman, has joined the fray by marring a same-sex couple who obtained one of those Montgomery County licenses. John Kandray and Bill Gray were married last night after eleven years together:

“I just think it’s time people in Pennsylvania say, Mr. Corbett, you know, tear down this law,” Fetterman said. “DOMA is a fundamentally unjust piece of legislation.”

“We pay the same taxes, we do everything the same, but we don’t have the same rights,” Kandray said.

“It felt like, you know what, let’s stand up for ourselves and do this,” he added.

The ACLU is currently challenging the state’s 1996 law banning same-sex marriage in Federal Court. Pennsylvania does not have a constitutional ban on marriage equality.

PA Health Dept. sues to stop marriage licenses in Montgomery County

Timothy Kincaid

July 30th, 2013

StarTribune

The state Health Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Commonwealth Court against D. Bruce Hanes. He oversees the granting of marriage licenses in Montgomery County, just outside Philadelphia.

The lawsuit asks the court to prevent Hanes from giving them to gay couples because it violates state law.

So it appears that Governor Tom Corbett (R) has finally decided to act… and to do so in a way as far removed from himself as possible.

While it is sad to see a challenge, it is a necessary part of the process. Until a court hears the case, there is no certainty for those couples who have married using the licenses issued by Montgomery County.

It will be interesting to see the mechanics of the lawsuit. The Attorney General will not be representing the Health Department (as would usually be the case) and while I suppose that the Health Department has inhouse counsel, I don’t know if it has a great deal of trial experience. Perhaps the Governor’s office will get involved, but so far he’s done his best to pretend as if nothing unusual is happening.

Who will oppose Montgomery County marriages? UPDATED

Timothy Kincaid

July 26th, 2013

There is debate about whether the decision by Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) Clerk Bruce Hanes to issues marriage licenses to same sex couples is civil disobedience or lawlessness and no one know whether they are truly legal or not, but one question seems to me to be even more confusing: who will oppose him?

When I first heard the news I assumed that the Republican elected officials would step in to halt proceedings. But, so far, that doesn’t appear to be happening and even the expected fiery denunciations appear to be limited to a few fringe legislators.

The County’s district attorney decided that opposing Hanes didn’t fall within her job description: (PhillyMag.com)

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, a Republican, said Wednesday evening that a same-sex marriage license wasn’t legally valid under existing Pennsylvania law but “the remedy for issuing an invalid marriage license does not include intervention by the office of the district attorney.”

“The register of wills cannot change the laws of this commonwealth by simply ignoring them,” Ferman said in a statement. “If that change comes, it will be through Pennsylvania courts or the Legislature.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Katheen Kane, a Democrat, has stated that she will not defend the state’s anti-gay marriage law as she believes it is unconstitutional. And Republican Governor Tom Corbett has, so far, limited his response to a statement from his press officer:

Individual elected officials cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce. All officials are constitutionally required to administer and enforce the laws that are enacted by the Legislature. Only the courts have the power to declare a law to be unconstitutional and to suspend its effects.

But other than tsk-tsking, I can find no evident steps being taken to halt the marriages by those who are empowered to do so. I assume at some point Corbett will make some legal effort or some “family” group will seek to intervene. But I am fairly shocked that marriage licenses have been issued this long without the fierce and angry response that would have been the automatic reaction not so very long ago.

UPDATE:

Joining those who say that Mr. Hanes should not be issuing same-sex marriage licenses is the Registers of Wills and Clerks of Orphans’ Court Association, which has voted unanimously that they will not follow Hanes’ lead. (Patriot News)

Larry Medaglia, the Berks County Register of Wills, who authored the resolution, said all the members present at conference agreed they would not issue licenses to gay or lesbian couples.

“The only way that is going to change given the resolution and the sentiment in the room and all the discussion is if the Legislature and the governor enact a different law or if the courts should overturn it and mandate a change,” said Medaglia, a former president of the association. “We don’t have the authority to do what Bruce Hanes is doing in Montgomery County. Frankly he doesn’t have the authority to do it.”

Behaving exactly how one would imagine an association of county clerks to behave, the issue of whether same-sex marriage should be legal didn’t arise.

But irrespective of the resolution, they have no authority over Hanes or his decision and will take no steps to compel him to stop.

ACLU Announces Three Marriage Lawsuits

Jim Burroway

July 9th, 2013

Fresh off its victory in Windsor v. U.S. which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, the ACLU’s is filing three more lawsuits, in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia. In Whitewood v. Corbett, the ACLU is challenging Pennsylvania’s statute which bans same-sex marriage. In Fisher-Borne v. Smith, the ACLU will amend its lawsuit seeking adoption rights to include the right to marriage. In the Virginia case, the ACLU and Lambda Legal are still in the planning stages, with plaintiffs and precise details of the case still being worked out. They expect to file that lawsuit later this summer.

Meanwhile, the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have filed a motion with the New Mexico Supreme Court, asking it to order state officials to allow same-sex couples to marry. State law is currently silent on the question. Other lawsuits are working their way through Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey and Michigan.

Pennsylvania GOP State Lawmaker Comes Out

Jim Burroway

December 3rd, 2012

Pennsylvania Republican State Rep. Mike Fleck made a few headlines over the weekend when he came out as gay, making him the first openly gay Republican state legislator in Pennsylvania. Fleck, identified as a devout Christian, first won his seat in 2006. He described his coming out this way:

Coming out is hard enough, but doing it in the public eye is definitely something I never anticipated,” he said. “I’m still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how.”

Fleck, was an executive at the Boy Scouts of America, felt compelled to remain in the closet even though he knew he was gay. He married in 2000, but they divorced in the past year. He also tried ex-gay therapy:

“I sought out treatment from a Christian counselor, but when that didn’t work out, I engaged a secular therapist who told me point blank that I was gay and that I was too caught up in being the perfect Christian rather than actually being authentic and honest,” Fleck said.

He said the hardest part of the process has been reconciling his faith with his sexuality.

“Through years of counseling, I’ve met a lot of gay Christians who have tried hard to change their God-given sexual orientation, but at the end of the day, I know of none who’ve been successful,” he said. “They’ve only succeeded at repressing their identity, only to have it reappear time and time again and always wreaking havoc not only on themselves, but especially on their family.”

Fleck says that he and his wife remain close friends.

He will be joined in Harrisburg in January by Democrat Brian Sims of Philadelphia, who is the first openly gay candidate to run and win a state office in Pennsylvania.

Fleck is currently the only openly gay Republican state legislator in the country. But in January, he will give up that distinction when Ohio Republican Tim Brown is sworn in to that state’s House of Representatives in January.

Early reports had it that Fleck was the first openly gay GOP state lawmaker in the country, but that is incorrect. I don’t know who holds that distinction, but former Arizona Rep. Steve May came out in 1999 during a speech on the House floor. He was then discharged from the Army Reserves for violating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” May served as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee where he played a role in repealing the state’s sodomy law. He lost his House seat in 2002.

It’s not a gay thing

Timothy Kincaid

October 8th, 2012

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Every day en route to work, I’m greeted by a billboard telling me “Obama supports gay marriage.” It then asks if I do, while recommending that I “vote Republican.”

Really? That’s supposed to be my voting criterion? Why are decisions like choosing presidents or chicken sandwiches now a gay thing?

Go read the rest of it. And then read the comments.

Pennsylvania School Turns Away HIV-Positive Student

Jim Burroway

December 2nd, 2011

Honestly, I had to look at the calendar to make sure it wasn’t still 1985 when I saw this one:

The Milton Hershey School was founded by the chocolate tycoon as a school that “nurtures and educates children in social and financial need to lead fulfilling and productive lives.” But it seems that fulfillment won’t be coming for a 13-year-old honor student from Delaware County who is infected with the virus that causes AIDS. “I feel no other teenager should go through this, being denied just because they have HIV,” the boy said in an exclusive interview with NBC Philadelphia’s Denise Nakano.

He is suing the school in U.S. Federal District Court, alleging that the Hershey School is in violation of “multiple anti-discrimination laws.” The school has, in effect, admitted as such in a particularly ignorant fashion:

Milton Hershey School released a statement Wednesday saying in part that “in order to protect our children in this unique environment, we cannot accommodate the needs of students with chronic communicable diseases that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.”

Except he doesn’t pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. He’s not a walking HIV virus, eager to infect everyone he comes in contact with.

Nation’s 10-Year-Old Boys: “If You See Someone Raping Us, Please Call The Police”

Jim Burroway

November 28th, 2011

That’s actually an Onion headline:

…”Many of you will no doubt be relieved to know the proper course of action is really quite simple: Just contact the police. Call 911, go to your local precinct, stop an officer on the street—the bottom line is, if you see one of us getting raped, notify the police, and do so as quickly as possible.”

“It doesn’t matter who the boy being raped is, and it doesn’t matter who is doing the raping, just please, please alert law enforcement,” Pearson added as the 10-year-old boys surrounding him nodded soberly. “And by the way, under no circumstances is it ever okay for an adult to rape a 10-year-old boy, so you really can’t go wrong by calling the police when something like that happens.”

Maybe it really does take satire to state the obvious.

High Crimes

Jim Burroway

November 14th, 2011

I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it again a thousand more times: I cannot fathom what it is that gets into people who think that the appropriate response to witnessing the commission of a felony is not to call the police. Instead, they “report” it to a bureaucrat of an institution in whose best interest it is for the “scandal” — no, it’s not a scandal, it’s a crime — to be brushed under the rug and kept out of the newspapers. For decades, children were molested by Catholic priests and nobody thought to call the police. For decades, gay kids have been feloniously assaulted in the schools and an administrator is called upon to do what the prosecuting attorney is legally constituted to do.

And so we see the familiar pattern repeated again at Penn State. A grad student witnessed Penn State’s defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky raping a ten-year-old boy in the football team’s shower room and what was his response? If you had guessed that the burly former star Penn State quarterback stepped in to rescue a defenseless child from a rapist, you’d be wrong. Instead, he told Joe Paterno, who told someone in the administration, and everyone along the line let the matter drop after, I assume, a stern scolding of Sandusky. “Don’t do that again!”, I’m sure they told him. Except he did, of course, for more than ten more years and who knows how many more victims. Meanwhile, Mike McQueary, that grad student, went on to become an assistant coach. And Paterno, that paragon of virtue and civic responsibility, y0u know his response would have been very different had McQueary told him that something funny was going on between Sandusky and Paterno’s grandson. But that’s not who the victim was, and so Paterno revealed that all of his virtues went toward defending Penn State, and not an innocent young rape victim at the hands of his former employee in his own shower room.

Sandusky has finally been arrested, along with two Penn State officials who covered up his crimes and enabled him to continue raping God knows how many more kids in the decade since McQueary and Paterno’s shrug. The more he know about Sandusky, the more we can see that he fits an exceptionally well-defined pattern of a pedophile. First off, this case shows that heterosexual adult men — Sandusky is married and the upstanding father of six adopted children — can and do abuse boys. In fact, it’s the norm. Sandusky’s targets were mostly prepubertal males between the ages of 7 to 12. (Gay men, if they do engage in sexual conduct with underage males, are much more likely to choose post-pubescent males, not pre-pubescent ones.) A pedophile typically prefers a specific pre-pubertal male or female body type, but will sometimes abuse the other gender if their preferred type is not available, To a pedophile, pre-pubertal children’s bodies are sufficiently similar. He carefully selected his victims and “groomed” them with gifts, tickets to Penn State games, and access to the child’s football heros before and after the game. Plying them with gifts like these not only won over their trust — and their parents’ trust as well — but also ensured their silence when payback time came around:

The coach’s actions, according to his accusers, followed a pattern. He’d invite them places, pick them up in his car and then, they say, place his hand on their thigh while driving.

At the Penn State football facility, the grand jury alleges, he’d take them to work out and then suggest they shower together, where the touching progressed: soap fights, back rubs and naked bear hugs. It would allegedly lead to more.

Some accusers described a basement room in Sandusky’s house where they stayed overnight. He’d lie down and tickle them, rub their backs, and blow on their stomachs, they said. One alleged victim, now 24, told the grand jury he “would roll over on his stomach to prevent Sandusky from touching his genitals.”

If any of the boys tried to avoid him, the coach would stalk them by calling dozens of times and by visiting their homes, according to the grand jury report.

He’d try to regain their favor by buying them gifts: shoes, electronics, clothes, anything a kid might want.

Sandusky’s tactics didn’t always work. Many boys resisted. But others didn’t. And in the most insidious aspect to this whole mess, Sandusky set up an entire charity which may well have done some good in the lives of some of these young boys, but we also know it served as a conduit of victims for Sandusky’s ongoing criminal activities. That alone makes this case rather unique. Most pedophiles don’t have the resources to create their own supply chain. But other than that, Sandusky’s case represents a textbook case of what has been identified as a “regressed” type pedophile. For more information into this phenomenon, please see our report, Testing the Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

And finally, some on the extreme right are taking this case as a reason why gays and lesbians shouldn’t be around children. That reaction is as predictable as it is nonsensical. If there had been a nationwide ban on gays being within 100 yards of a child, these crimes would have still gone on undetected. Remember, he was married and would have been completely protected by both this imaginary ban and the ongoing collusion of Penn State officials. This has about as much to do with homosexuality as the Charles Manson murders has to do with gun control or John Lennon.

Penn State Student Schools Santorum on Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

September 1st, 2011
YouTube Preview Image

Sen. Rick Santorum held a Q&A at Penn State on Tuesday, where he entered into this exchange with a Penn State student about the social science showing that kids in families headed by gay parents have just as good outcomes as children in families headed by heterosexual parents.

Santorum: The interview was yesterday, but it’s going to be shown tomorrow night on CNN. I had Piers Morgan call me a bigot. Because I believe what the Catholic Church teaches with respect to homosexuality, I’m a bigot. So, now I’m a bigot because I believe what the Bible teaches. Now, 2000 years of teaching and moral theology is now bigoted. And, of course, we don’t elect bigots to office, we don’t give them professional licenses, we don’t give them preferential tax treatment! If you’re a preacher and you preach bigoted things, you think you’re going to be allow to have a 501(c)3 as a church? Of course not.

This has profound consequence to the entire moral ecology of America. It will undermine the family. It will destroy faith in America. And does anybody go out there and make the argument as to why this is a good thing because it will happen. Make the argument why this is right. I don’t hear those arguments. I don’t hear them making….

Student: There is plenty of social science…

Santorum. What’s the social science?

Student: I’m not going to attempt to say that there is this one and this one and this one. But it is extremely unfair for you to say that there are no social science reports that suggest that children are okay in a same-sex relationship. There are plenty of statistical studies that they are just as happy and successful and everything else as long as they have two parents supporting them.

Santorum: I see. And so you…

Student: The American Psychological Association…

Santorum: But wait! But isn’t … I mean you’re a lawyer. [unintelligible]…

Student: The American Psychological Association has enumerated – in 1974, that gay marriage does not prohibit [unintelligible]…

Santorum: I understand that, but the American Psychological Association is made up of people who agree with the American Psychological Association, just like the AMA… A lot of psychologists don’t belong to the American Psychological Association. A lot of doctors don’t belong to the American Medical Association. All these associations prove is that they have a point of view and the people who join them agree with that point of view

Student: You just asked for evidence and you got evidence…

Santorum: That’s not evidence! An organization supporting a position is not evidence of a benefit to society.

Student: Are you a psychiatrist? Are you a medical doctor?

Santorum: My dad was. I’m not but that’s not the point, lawyer! Okay? Let’s be a lawyer here.

Student: Well wait, if we’re going to be a lawyer here…

Santorum: Time out! Time out. Time out. [Crosstalk] Time out, I’ve given you a chance … Time out! Time out! Time out. The American Psychological Association is not proof of anything. Okay? It’s proof that a group of people agree with you. That’s all it’s proof of. Okay?

That’s the way they use science these days, isn’t it. They’re only looking for proof among people who agree with you. Unfortunately, the only way to come up with that proof is the misrepresent the science that’s already out there.

Any hope for Toomey?

Timothy Kincaid

January 3rd, 2011

Here’s a odd little note about Pat Toomey, the incoming Republican/Tea Party Pennsylvania Senator: (NYT)

But as he prepared to take office this week, Mr. Toomey hardly sounded like a partisan rabble-rouser.

For one thing, he supported repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law to allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

On “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Mr. Toomey said that since the military brass believed that allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly would enable the armed forces to execute their mission better, he was supportive of a repeal. He also said that the previous policy was wrong because it forced gay service members to “live a lie.”

I’ve bought into the portrayal of Toomey as extremist and assumed his Tea Party fiscal conservatism was a cover for his right-wing social agenda. I hope this is an indication that perhaps there is a more nuanced Toomey than has been portrayed, and that he is approachable on some of our issues.

NOM’S Sodomy-Obsessed Supporters and “Piggybacking”

Jim Burroway

August 16th, 2010

This NOM supporter in Harrisburg sums it all up.

YouTube Preview Image

Remember, they really don’t hate us.[

Pennsylvania Lutherans confirm pro-gay positions

Timothy Kincaid

June 26th, 2010

elca
Last August the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to revise its policy on sexuality to allow member congregations freedom to decide for themselves whether they would now accept ministers in committed same-sex relationships. Conservatives predicted schism.

To date only a few dozen churches have left the denomination over the decision, but the “conflict” is enticing to news sources so each disgruntled congregation receives breathless coverage. Less dramatic, but no less important, was a decision this week by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod. (readingeagle.com)

Delegates failed to approve a resolution that would have petitioned the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America churchwide assembly at its next meeting in 2011 to rescind actions of 2009 relating to persons in “publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”

An exact vote tally was not yet available, but the Rev. Catherine A. Ziel, executive associate of synod Bishop Samuel Zeiser, said the resolution was resoundingly defeated.

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