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 September, 2012

GOP Senators Try Again to Curb Religious Freedoms on Military Bases

Jim Burroway

September 13th, 2012

From the Tulsa World:

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Roger Wicker (R-MS)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe hasn’t given up his resistance to the acceptance of gays and lesbians in the military or same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday, Inhofe and fellow Republican Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduced a measure that would ban same-sex marriages on military bases and protect military chaplains from “pressure” to perform such ceremonies.

The two senators described the Military Religious Freedom Act as an effort to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, on the Defense Department in the wake of the December 2010 repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which ended the official ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The Defense Department directive on marriages, in keeping with the First Amendment which guarantees the free practice of religion, says, “A military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation.” The operative word here is “may.” This is in now way binding, as chaplains are not required to officiate ceremonies which run counter to their religious beliefs. On the other hand, the so-called “Military Religious Freedom Act” is a complete misnomer, since it would actually prohibit pastors from denominations which solemnize the marriages of their same-sex couples from practicing their faiths and the faiths of their members.

Eleven Republican legislators reveal that they oppose equality more than they oppose big government

Timothy Kincaid

February 3rd, 2010

One of the much-touted principles of the Republican Party is that government which is closer to the people is preferable to big centralized Federal government. For some Republican legislators that is just rhetoric to be ignored when big government better suits their personal agenda.

Nine Republican Senators and two Republican House Members have signed as co-sponsors to a bill to override the near-unanimous decision of the elected representatives of the District of Columbia to allow for marriage equality in that municipality. Although local elected officials and local election boards and local judges agree that this is a local decision and that it is not appropriate for the rights of some citizens to be up for majority veto, these Senators and Representatives believe that Federal intervention is the answer.

    The 9 Senate co-sponsors are Senators

    Robert Bennett (UT) – Mormon
    Sam Brownback (KS) – Catholic
    Jim Bunning (KY) – Catholic
    John Cornyn (TX) – Church of Christ (Restoration Movement)
    Mike Enzi (WY) – Presbyterian
    James Inhofe (OK) – Presbyterian
    Pat Roberts (KS) – Methodist
    David Vitter (LA) – Catholic
    Roger Wicker (MS) – Southern Baptist

    The 2 House co-sponsors are Representatives

    Jason Chaffetz (UT) – Mormon
    Jim Jordan (OH) – Grace Bible Church (independent)

This bill is going nowhere. It will not be brought up for a vote in either the House or the Senate. So the only reason to sign on is to publicly identify with the idea of forcing the city to do what the they want by use of the full power of the Federal government. These eleven Republicans do not really believe in what the Party claims to believe about local v. centralized power.

Conservatives are quick to claim that moderates who verge from the party platform on an issue or two are RINOs (Republicans in Name Only). I wonder if they will use the same term for these Republicans who have flipped the bird to one of the central tenets of the Party.

Gee… Is There A Presidential Election Coming Up?

Jim Burroway

June 27th, 2008

Must be. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the so-called “Marriage Protection Act” to amend the U.S. Constitution to deny marriages to gays and lesbians. This is a companion measure to Rep. Paul Broun’s (R-GA) bill in the house. Neither is likely to go anywhere this time.