Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ohio wins domestic partner court victory

Great news for the gay couples and domestic partners in the State of Ohio. Maybe Kentucky educational institutions should take note:

Miami University’s (university town of Oxford, Ohio) practice of offering benefits to same-sex “domestic partners” of its employees survived another court challenge Tuesday.

The Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals ruled that State Rep. Tom Brinkman Jr., a Cincinnati Republican, did not have legal standing to sue the university over its benefits policy.

Brinkman had argued the same-sex partnership policy violates an Ohio constitutional ban on civil unions that went into effect in 2004.

As a taxpayer and the parent of two Miami students, Brinkman said he had a legal right to sue.

The appeals court, however, upheld a lower court decision last year that dismissed Brinkman’s lawsuit.

Both courts concluded Brinkman did not have standing as a taxpayer because the school uses private donations to reimburse the state for tax dollars spent on its domestic partner benefits.

Miami began offering benefits to domestic partners of employees in July 2004. School officials have said about 30 people have the benefits at a total cost of less than $100,000.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

FBI to spy on gay groups instead of the Pentagon

This news story states the Pentagon (headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) is closing an anti-terror database that was found to be spying on gay and anti-war groups, but in reality it is simply being transferred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the United Stated Department of Justice. (Click here to read about the Sunshine Project....another brilliant example of how the Pentagon spends our tax dollars)

I guess the United States Government continues to believe gay rights groups are a threat to national security. But this doesn't add up.....the Bush Administration has identified Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc. as the breeding ground for terrorists (all Muslim countries). What does this have to do with gay groups? Muslim countries executive and/or stone homosexuals to death.

The Pentagon said Tuesday that it will shut down an anti-terror database that was found to be spying on gay and anti-war groups.

A Pentagon spokesperson said that the database will be closed on September 17 but that much of the information it contained will be sent to the FBI where it will be placed on a database known as Guardian.

The Threat and Local Observation Notices surveillance program, known as TALON, was launched in 2003 track and monitor domestic terror threats.

But it came under intense scrutiny after news reports revealed officials were collecting data on demonstrators and protestors, including those within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Pentagon spokesperson Army Col. Gary Keck denied that pressure from the groups had anything to do with the decision to move the material. Keck said the Pentagon database is being shut down because "the analytical value had declined."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bigoted organizations that wrongfully right in the name of righteousness.

As the American Family Association continues its boycott of Ford, others are actually sponsoring the national hate group that lists the following on their website:

  • The mandate for marriage continues. Voters in seven states passed amendments that protected the institution of a man and a woman.
  • Homosexual groups are pushing to place gender confusion and the cross-dress identities into the youngest levels of public education. American Family Association (AFA) says it has now secured over 700,000 signatures from those pledging to boycott the Ford Motor Company over its continued support of same-sex marriage and homosexual advocacy.
  • Supporters of hate crimes laws routinely deny that these politically correct laws are intended to silence religious speech or opposition to gay rights political agendas. Yet, when given the chance to prove this claim, the supporters of hate crimes show their true colors.
  • AT&T needs to hear from you today! Ask them to stop sponsoring the mockery of God on TNT network.

Who supports and sponsors the American Family Association, and the Louisville based American Family Association of Kentucky?

  • Kroger
  • Thornton's
  • Wal-Mart (click here for a related post about Wal-Mart)

When you visit the national American Family Association website and click "donate," there is an annoying cartoon-like character of Don Wildmon, their Chairman, thanking you for your donating. Well, thanks but no thanks Don, I'll be keeping my money for a more worthwhile cause other than supporting an intolerant, bigoted organization such as yours.

The United States of America has over 300 million citizens. The American Family Association claims nearly 3.3 million members which accounts for 1% of the total population. Is it really a stretch to believe that 1% of the total United States population are closet homosexuals or have gay issues they haven't addressed yet? Why else would they be so terrified of a minority group and do everything possible to deny constitutional freedoms to them? I know one thing.....I'm sick of them spoon feeding rhetoric to the public.....I'm fighting back, starting with this post.

Though the American Family Association claims nearly 3.3 million members, their Kentucky chapter could only manage to gather a mere 200 people to visit the Kentucky Capital the day they held a rally and no lawmaker was present.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kentucky Museum draws more fire.

The anti-gay Northern Kentucky Museum arbitrarily throws science out the door and creates their own evolution timeline. The museum has made a lot of publicity around the commonwealth and indeed, the nation.

We felt the following posts from other bloggers in Kentucky was important enough to post on this site to inform our readers.

From DitchMitchKY: Three days after the Memorial Day opening of Answers in Genesis’ $27 million Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky, a group called Creation Ministries International filed suit in the Supreme Court of Queensland in the Commonwealth of Australia. Among other things, the suit claims the Kentucky group stole subscribers for its Answers magazine by claiming that the Australians’ Creation magazine was “no longer available.”

(Note: This post is a follow-up to the excellent piece that Daniel Phelps, President of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, wrote about the "Anti-Museum" (aka Creation Museum), as well as his disturbing discovery concerning the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau, as discussed below.)

From: Bluegrass Report: If someone wants to believe that humans once put saddles on the back of dinosaurs and rode them (per the display at left from the Creation Museum), well, knock yourself out. I'm sure they're one of those rare voting blocks that Governor Fletcher (R) has in his pocket.

But when legislatively-created agencies like the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau start pimping a place that promotes the fraudulent notion that humans and dinosaurs once happily co-habitation, where we rode them like something straight of The Flintstones, well, I have a problem with that.

Here's a page directly from the Bureau's website:

The 50,000 sq. ft. Creation Museum located within the greater Cincinnati area will proclaim the Bible as supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice in every area it touches on. Set to open in June 2007, this “walk through history” museum will counter evolutionary natural history museums that turn countless minds against Christ and Scripture.

According to this legislatively-created group we're told that national history museums "turn countless minds against Christ and Scripture." Got that?

After doing a little research, I learned that the President and CEO of the Bureau is a gentleman named Thomas P. Caradonio. Aside from the offensive proselytizing of his organization's depiction of the whackjob museum, I also noted that Caradonio was just appointed by Governor Fletcher as the Chairman of Kentucky's Tourism Development Finance Authority, a public agency that is charged to "assist small tourism attractions obtain financing necessary for the development or expansion of small tourism attractions."

So I guess this begs the question whether the Caradonio-led Tourism Development Finance Authority will be recruiting and spending state dollars on more Creation Museums as they accuse science-based activities as the shunning of Jesus Christ and Scripture?

Seems like another sad black mark on a state that spends so much money trying woo high-tech companies (i.e., those whose business models are firmly rooting in the very science its leadership mocks) to relocate to Kentucky while blasting those of us who (gasp) rely on science to explain things in our history...

Additional United We Stand Comments: I was shocked when I followed the link to the Northern Kentucky CVB and found the page Bluegrass Report mentions. The Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is charged with collecting 1% in transient room taxes from hotel owners in the Northern Kentucky area. Anytime someone stays in a hotel in Kentucky they pay a 1% tax the hotel owners then pays to local CVB's to promote tourism.

In order to remain impartial, I agree that the CVB should list the Museum on their website. However, the words "museum will counter evolutionary natural history museums that turn countless minds against Christ and Scripture" should not be listed on the CVB's website.

Would they allow a hotel to place "the best place to have sex in the world," or "the only hotel without roaches," or how about "the best hotel in Northern Kentucky" on their website? I don't think so.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Family group plans Capital rally....even though lawmakers won't be there!

The American Family Association sent massive mailers to people across Kentucky this month asking them to "stop the special tax-supported medical benefits for the live-in boyfriends of homosexual teachers at University of Louisville." This illustrates the groups hate of homosexuals since LGBT people are expected to account for less 1% of those who enroll in the domestic-partner program.

The American Family Association needs to get a new agenda because this one is failing. A
UCLA study released in February 2007 found that 61% of incoming freshmen last year agreed that same-sex couples should have the right to marriage, up 3.3 percentage points from 2005. America's opinion is changing! Perhaps this is what really scares the American Family Association, as well as the Family Foundation of Kentucky.

Governor Fletcher had asked lawmakers to consider a ban on domestic-partner benefits at state universities and other agencies during the July special session, but said he will honor the wishes of House Democrats and won't put the issue on the agenda of another special session.

The American Family Association of Kentucky has sent mailers in recent days touting a "rally to protect marriage" on the Capitol steps at 2 p.m. Monday, even though no one will be there!

A search of the Kentucky Secretary of State's database indicates they received permission from the Kentucky Department of State to do business in Kentucky on May 08, 2001 and are based in Mississippi. The group was incorporated in the State of Mississippi as a non-profit on July 21, 1977.

Check-out their website, it says they are "Upholding Kentucky's Christian Values." So.......I guess we are "Upholding Kentucky's Homosexual Values," how do think that would look as our 'catch phrase' on our website?

Friday, August 10, 2007

LOGO presidential debate - gay marriage.

Six of the candidates seeking the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination participated Thursday in a two-hour forum in Los Angeles devoted to issues of concern to gays and lesbians. The event — moderated by journalist Margaret Carlson was broadcast live on Logo, a lifestyle cable channel aimed at gay and lesbian viewers.

For anyone who missed the LOGO presidential debate you can watch it here.

The basic subject of the LOGO debate was gay marriage, non-discrimination, etc. This is what Law Digest says about gay marriage:

The legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage in the United States are complicated by the nation's federal system of government. Traditionally, the federal government did not attempt to establish its own definition of marriage; any marriage recognized by a state was recognized by the federal government, even if that marriage was not recognized by one or more other states (as was the case with interracial marriage before 1967). With the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, however, a marriage was explicitly defined as a union of one man and one woman for the purposes of federal law. (See 1 U.S.C. § 7.)

However, many aspects of marriage law affecting the day to day lives of inhabitants of the United States are determined by the states, not the federal government, and the Defense of Marriage Act does not prevent individual states from defining marriage as they see fit; indeed, legal scholars have stated that the federal government cannot impose a definition of marriage onto the laws of the various states.

Kentucky Constitution, Section 233A: Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.

Kentucky Revised Statutes
Section 402.005: Definition of marriage. As used and recognized in the law of the Commonwealth, "marriage" refers only to the civil status, condition, or relation of one (1) man and one (1) woman united in law for life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally incumbent upon those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex.

Gay marriage? It isn't going to happen in Kentucky anytime soon. I'd settle for the following for now (progress takes time):
  • A Kentucky law prohibiting discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • A Kentucky law prohibiting discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • A Kentucky law prohibiting discrimination in credit based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • A Kentucky law prohibiting discrimination in service based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • A Kentucky law giving me the legal right to visit my "partner" in the hospital.
  • The Governor, as well as the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate to leave the issue of "domestic-partner" at Kentucky educational facilities alone.

For additional coverage about the debate visit InterstateQ.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Gay Man & Sick Partner's Family Highlights Lack Of Same-Sex Couple Rights.

Hospital visitation rights*, as well as the right to make decisions for your partner are only two of the many rights the Commonwealth of Kentucky denies same-sex couples (and in the case, the State of Indiana).

This case however is bringing national attention to one of the many problems faced by same-sex couples:

For a quarter century Patrick Atkins and Brett Conrad shared their lives including a home and bank accounts but when Atkins fell near fatally ill Conrad discovered he had no rights in determining the care or who would deliver it to his ailing partner.

In 2005 Atkins collapsed while on a business trip to Atlanta. He had a ruptured aneurysm and later suffered a stroke while hospitalized.

When Conrad arrived in Atlanta Atkins' family directed the hospital to refuse him access to the ailing 47-year old, the Indianapolis Star reports. He was allowed by sympathetic hospital staff to sneak in after hours and after Atkins parents had left.

When Atkins was moved to a nursing home Conrad again was forced to sneak in to see the man with whom he had spend more than half his life.

Later that year Conrad filed for guardianship of Atkins. But the now severely disabled man's parents quickly moved their son to their home and have refused to allow Conrad access to him. For the past two years Conrad has been battling the Atkins family in court.

Legal documents obtained by the Star show that Atkins' mother, Jeanne Atkins, believes homosexuality is a sin and refuses to acknowledge the men's relationship. In June the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Conrad must have visitation rights.

"Brett and Patrick have spent 25 years together as life partners - longer than Patrick lived at home with his parents - and their future life together has been destroyed by Patrick's tragic medical condition and by the Atkinses' unwillingness to accept their son's lifestyle," the ruling said.

But the court left the care of Atkins up to his parents. The Atkins family has asked the Appeals Court to reconsider the visitation ruling. Eventually the case is expected to go to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Indiana (like Kentucky) has a so-called defense of marriage law barring same-sex couples from marrying and no legislation giving any rights to gay and lesbian couples.

* Kentucky Equality Federation and allied organizations tried unsuccessfully to get hospital visitation rights passed by the 2007 Kentucky General Assembly.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Fletcher reappoints Regents that support domestic-partner benefits.

Governor Fletcher's policy flip-flops are legendary, and this article in yesterday's Herald-Leader about his reappointments to the Board of Regents takes the cake:

Governor Ernie Fletcher filled three spots on the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville boards of trustees Wednesday with people whose stances run the gamut on the controversial topic of providing domestic-partner benefits to college employees.

Three of those named — two from UK and one from U of L — are reappointments
of trustees first given those plum assignments by Fletcher’s Democratic predecessor, Governor Paul Patton.

The governor reappointed Louisville civic activist Owsley Brown Frazier, the retired vice chairman of the board of Brown-Foreman Corp.
Frazier was among the 14 U of L trustees who backed a proposal to provide health benefits to the unmarried partners of university employees, which would allow gay couples to be covered.

Fletcher recently has urged lawmakers to pass legislation that would block agencies that receive state funds, such as universities, from offering such benefits and included that issue among 67 items on his agenda for a special legislative session. That was a change from the governor’s stance this spring, in which he said such decisions about benefits should be left up to the universities.

Fletcher now has appointed a total of 10 to UK, including extending the terms of May and Miles, and has chosen 12 of U of L’s trustees, which includes Frazier’s reappointment.

This is yet another example of how Governor Fletcher doesn't have any core values of his own, his moves are a pure calculation of how he can stay in office, by reaching out to the conservative right wing and asking the Kentucky House and Senate to pass legislation to ban domestic-partner benefits.

If Governor Fletcher doesn't want the universitys to decide the issues on their own (as they are supposed to), why did he reappoint members back to the Board of Regents that voted in favor of domestic partner benefits?