Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mongiardo present for Governor's Press Conference today about the budget and Swine Flu

Lt. Governor D. Mongiardo (former Kentucky Senator D. Mongiardo) was on hand today during the Governor's Press Conference about the Swine Flu in Kentucky for his 'medical knowledge.'

Mongiardo is currently running to be part of Kentucky's Congressional delegation, and will be running against Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway in the Democratic Primary.

D. Mongiardo co-sponsored the 2004 Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage in the Commonwealth; D. Mongiardo was a member of the Kentucky Senate at the time.

Below are the sponsors of the 2004 Amendment that PASSED:

Mongiardo is circled, standing to the right of the Kentucky Commissioner of Public Health:

Click here to watch the news conference.

Miss California to campaign against gay marriage

Carrie Prejean, Miss California has gone to Washington to help launch a campaign opposing same-sex marriage.

This morning on NBC's "Today" show, she stated that she'll be working with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to "protect traditional marriages."

The National Organization for Marriage is the organization responsible for the 'storm' commercials. (previous story)

Miss California said marriage is "something that is very dear to my heart" and she's in Washington to help save it.

Prejean was named the first runner-up to Miss North Carolina in the Miss USA pageant April 19. Her response to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton's question about legalizing same-sex marriage may have cost her the title.

Speaking of Perez Hilton..... his response to her answer about gay marriage was a disgrace to the marriage equality movement, as well as the gay rights movement. You do not call someone a 'dumb b_tch' and make obscene gestures toward them because you do not agree with their answer. This is a total lack of poise, tact, and professionalism.

Americans (as well as the judges) made their own decision about Miss California when she answered the question presented to her about gay marriage..... We can disagree with her, not vote for her, but we do not post a video clip flipping her off and call her a 'dumb b_tch'. This crossed a line that you simply do not cross, especially if you consider yourself a celebrity blogger 'activist' for the marriage equality movement like Mr. Hilton does.

PlanetOut issued a survey, "Does Perez Hilton speak for you?" with more than 88% voting that Hilton does more harm to the gay rights movement than good.

LGBTI bloggers have been slamming Mr. Hilton for his response; watch it below (be sure to read the PlanetOut article above):

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Hampshire Senate leaves the transgender community behind

This is really horrible; though lawmakers are ready to tolerate some social advancement, acceptance and protection of our transgender family isn't one of them!

"Had this happened in Kentucky, Kentucky Equality Federation would have condemned the legislation; you either protect all of us or none of us.....UNITED WE STAND!" - Nikki McIntosh, Kentucky Equality Federation Transgender Outreach Director

NOTE: Kentucky Equality Federation’s Managing Director, Laura Reed, and President Jordan Palmer stand behind the statement of Ms. McIntosh, our Transgender Outreach Director.

New Hampshire Senate approves medical marijuana, gay marriage - Major votes by the New Hampshire state Senate on Wednesday:

GAY MARRIAGE: Passed, returned to the House, which rejected a similar, but less comprehensive proposal this year. Governor has said marriage is a word that should be reserved for the union of a man and a woman, but has not said if he will veto the bill. The bill recognizes a distinction between civil and religious marriages, allowing religious denominations to decide whether they will conduct religious marriages for gay or lesbian couples. Civil marriages would be available to heterosexual and same-sex couples under the law.

MEDICINAL MARIJUANA: Passed, returned to House with minor changes. Governor has concerns about abuses and enforcement difficulties, but has not said he would veto the bill. Doctors would have to certify patients have debilitating ailments, would benefit from marijuana and that other medications don't work.

Only patients in constant pain, having seizures or severe, persistent muscle spasms or having severe nausea or vomiting and who aren't helped by legal medications for at least three months would qualify.

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS: Rejected, unanimously. The bill would have protected transgender individuals under the state's anti-discrimination law. Democrats joined the vote to kill the plan, but complained about how ugly earlier debate had been. Republicans had called it the ''bathroom bill,'' arguing it would have opened all bathrooms to men and women, potentially endangering children in women's rooms. Supporters said the bill would protect vulnerable people who identify with the gender opposite of their birth.

Black religious leaders rally against marriage equality in the District of Columbia

Earlier this month, District of Columbia City Council voted yes on the first reading for the District to recognize gay marriages from other areas and just about everyone believes it's only a matter of time before the council considers a bill to legalize gay marriage in the District.

Since the District of Columbia is the seat of government for the federal state, Congress has the option to override any decisions made by the City Council.

Story (from New Channel 8):

African-American pastors rallied in D.C. Tuesday against a plan to recognize gay marriages.

The demonstrators said the 12 to nothing vote does not represent the views of D.C. residents. "I'd rather be biblically courageous than politically correct," said Bishop Harry Jackson, a protest organizer.

"Marriage is between one man and one woman for one lifetime," added Deraye Walker, a protester.

Marion Barry, the lone council member who was absent for the vote, led the crowd in a chant. While Barry said he supports civil unions, he urged the demonstrators to lobby before the next vote on May 5.

What is Columbia a District? This is perhaps one of the most asked questions:

The United States capital was originally located in Philadelphia, beginning with the First and Second Continental Congress, followed by the Congress of the Confederation upon gaining independence. In June 1783, a mob of angry soldiers converged upon Independence Hall to demand payment for their service during the American Revolutionary War.

Congress requested that John Dickinson, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, call up the Pennsylvania militia to defend Congress from attacks by the protesters. In what became known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, Dickinson sympathized with the protesters and refused to remove them from Philadelphia. As a result, Congress was forced to flee to Princeton, New Jersey on June 21, 1783.

It became clear that the national capital needed to be distinct from the states, in order to provide for its own maintenance and safety.

The Commonwealth of Virginia, and the State of Maryland both sold or otherwise gave territory to the federal government to create a District.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today's Family Focus - no tolerance?

Hoping to get students more engaged in history, educators in Louisville (Jefferson County) adopted a new approach called "Exploring Civics: Facing History and Ourselves." The class is a response to a 2008 Kentucky law mandating that schools develop materials that can be used to teach about the Holocaust.

The Family Foundation of Kentucky sneers that the schools are replacing civics education with tolerance and moans that “questions remain about who gets to define what ‘tolerance’ is for the students.”

On one of their many blogs, the Family Foundation of Kentucky asks:

Haven't liberals in the education field always denounced "making" kids responsible and imposing "morality" as a foundation for expunging all references to prayer and religion in our schools?

Talk to Action states:

The Family Foundation's salvo is a standard Religious Right ploy. Its leaders complain incessantly about public education being a failure. Yet when a school tries something new, they carp about that as well. Other than become academies for fundamentalist Christianity, nothing the public schools do will please the Religious Right.

This isn't imposing morality, it is teaching tolerance, not to mention historical facts. On their homepage, the Foundation says it is planning a series of "Save Marriage Initiatives" around the Commonwealth:

"The Family Foundation is pleased to present the "Marriage: It's Worth Saving!" seminars. These seminars will offer solutions for churches in an effort to stir up a Kentucky "marriage movement" - a concerted effort by the churches of Kentucky to lead in such a way that marriage is strengthened both inside and outside the church.

This one-day seminar is geared towards pastors and church leaders, marriage ministry couples, and community leaders that have a desire to see the marriages in their congregations and communities enriched and strengthened.

Come hear what you can do to make a difference . . . and network with those in your area interested in helping couples have strong, stable and satisfying marriages. And prepare to be encouraged in your own marriage journey!

Are you kidding? What a joke!

The Family Foundation of Kentucky hates anything that could be beneficial to the gay and lesbian community of Kentucky (LGBTI).

Same-sex marriage will be legal in Kentucky; Marriage Equality Kentucky (sponsored and coordinated by Kentucky Equality Federation) has already laid the ground work and has an army of volunteer, grassroots activists around the Commonwealth to bring the issue back to Kentucky's voters.

What really scares the Family Foundation of Kentucky is that they are losing the so-called "culture war." On a statewide level, Kentucky Equality Federation, Marriage Equality Kentucky, and Kentucky Fairness Alliance are pushing back!
Louisville Fairness Campaign and Lexington Fairness are going the same on city/regional levels.

If educators want to known what tolerance is
not, they should simply visit the Family Foundation of Kentucky's website.

In 2004
(before Kentucky Equality Federation was founded), Kent Ostrander of the Family Foundation of Kentucky was at the forefront pushing an amendment to the state’s constitution to ban gay marriage. Ostrander said he wasn’t “out to target gays and lesbians” but rather defending “true diversity” in families – “a mother and a father.”

When opponents of the amendment pointed out that the clause banning civil unions was extremely broad – banning recognition of any “legal status identical to or similar to marriage for unmarried individuals” – and could have unanticipated consequences, such as the inability of the state university to offer domestic partner benefits to faculty, Ostrander dismissed these objections as a scare tactic. “Those on the other side of this issue are raising the specter of a number of different scenarios that are not relevant and are at best speculation,” he said.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Equality - Don't Stop Believin'

Kentucky Equality Federation and Marriage Equality Kentucky present: Equality - Don't Stop Believin' featuring Pop Singer Brian Kent and Gay Comedian Ryan Hill.

This year we collectively defeated Senate Bill 68, and that's just the beginning!

Equality, Fairness, Justice....Don’t Stop Believin’ we will succeed in Kentucky!


All proceeds will benefit Kentucky Equality Federation to help us fight anti-gay legislation (such as Senate Bill 68) and bring equality, fairness, and justice to Kentucky. Donations, and even your ticket are tax-deductible donations to our affiliate, Kentucky Equality Coalition, Inc. for income tax purposes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gay marriage debate in Maine turns religious

Unlike its previous parent, Maine debates tend to turn deeply religious. What is now the State of Maine originally belonged to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until the Commonwealth allowed Maine to become a sovereign state (with Congressional approval) in 1820.

Since then, the politics of Maine and Massachusetts have been similar to the relationship of 'oil and water.' A legislative hearing this week to bring marriage equality to the New England State took on the atmosphere of a religious revival as ministers made impassioned speeches for and against the bill before thousands of people.

The Associated Press Reports:

The Judiciary Committee hearing drew so much interest that traffic became snarled early in the day. Gay marriage supporters hoping to build on momentum in the region arrived wearing red, and they gave a standing ovation to the bill's sponsor, Sen. Dennis Damon, as he opened the hearing. Police said it drew 3,500 to 4,000 people.

"This bill is fair. This bill's time has come," Damon, D-Trenton, said to a roar of approval. "It recognizes the worth and dignity of every man and every woman among us."

Damon's proposal — backed by more than 60 legislative co-sponsors — would repeal a state law that limits marriage to a man and a woman and replace it with one that authorizes marriage between any two people.

Also up for a discussion was a separate bill to allow civil unions — which offer many of the same rights as marriage — sponsored by Rep. Les Fossel, R-Alna.

Outside of New England, only Iowa allows gay marriage, though a handful of states allow similar arrangements.

The marriage effort's prospects in Maine are uncertain. The Legislature could approve it or reject it, or the state's voters could have the final say. Democratic Governor John Baldacci, who previously opposed the idea, now says he is keeping an open mind.

The Legislature has the option of sending the issue to voters in a referendum. Or, if the measure becomes law, opponents could initiate a "
people's veto" effort.

The earliest a Judiciary Committee vote is expected would be April 28. The bill then goes to the Senate, then the House before it could be sent to the governor's desk.

Let us hope Maine follows in the footsteps of Massachusetts.

Connecticut General Assembly updates laws to conform with a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling allowing same-sex marriage

The long battle for marriage equality in Connecticut ended late Wednesday. Connecticut lawmakers voted to update the state’s marriage laws to conform with a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

According to the Associated Press:

A spokesman for Governor M. Jodi Rell said she will sign the bill, which passed 28-7 in the Senate and 100-44 in the House of Representatives, into law. While Rell, a Republican, signed the state’s 2005 civil unions law, she has said she believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Even if the bill hadn’t passed, same-sex marriage would still be the law in Connecticut because of the court ruling. Proponents say the legislation is needed to phase out civil unions and make sure same-sex couples conform to the state’s marriage laws.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Studies: Children of gay parents just like other kids

This is one report and news article you won't see the Family Foundation of Kentucky or the lesser American Family Association of Kentucky talking about in any blogs.

Years ago the Kentucky Enquirer reported that children raised by homosexual couples are no different than children raised by heterosexual couples. Why would they be?

The Miami-Herald published this story today:

At least 4 million U.S. children have one or both parents who identify themselves as homosexual, said Gary Gates of the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, but long-term studies are still limited.

Sociologists Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz published an analysis in 2001 in the American Sociological Review of 21 studies of children raised by homosexual parents and found that, overall, they were no more likely to suffer from psychological problems than kids raised in conventional homes.

Ultimately, their findings were generally endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and other mainstream organizations.

The bottom line is that within the research community there are no empirical studies demonstrating adverse effects, said Stacey, who is now at New York University. ''We know that a parent's sexual orientation is not a significant factor. A good parent is a good parent . . . and parents who get along and are consistent in their child-rearing . . . have better outcomes than those who don't,'' she said.

Orson Morrison, a 35-year-old clinical psychologist, found that to be his experience growing up in Toronto.

Though society has become more tolerant, the political environment has become harsher, making homosexuality one of the last bastions of acceptable discrimination.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tipping point? Not likely!

The article below may in fact be good news for states that do not have constitutional amendments making same-sex marriage illegal, but we have a lot of work to go in the states that have constitutional amendments. Those amendments must be repealed by "the people" who voted in favor of them.

April’s triple triumph on the front lines of the U.S. same-sex marriage wars — Vermont lawmakers approved marriage on April 7, the same day D.C. City Council voted to recognize marriages performed elsewhere, and the Iowa Supreme Court on April 3 ruled in favor of gays — have many on both sides of the ideological divide wondering if the issue is on the cusp of a tipping point.

Gay activists are saying it’s possible, even likely, that the issue is far enough along to have reached an unquantifiable inevitability now that same-sex marriage is legal in four states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa). But last year’s bitter loss in California (Proposition 8’s approval on the November ballot outlawed same-sex marriage there, which had been legal since a state Supreme Court ruling in May) and the 29 state constitutional amendments restricting marriage to one man and one woman make it clear gay activists are far from home free.

Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson, who’s gay, said, “We have tremendous wind in our sails” and “each success moves us further toward our goals.”

Richard Socarides, a gay New York attorney who was a White House adviser under President Bill Clinton, said, “there’s certainly more momentum than there’s ever been.”

Mike Jones, a gay blogger and communications director for the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, said the movement is “definitely heading toward a point where there will be unstoppable momentum.”

The first rule in politics is to never underestimate your opponent. We have yet another one; a very powerful one (in additional to the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel, etc.) the National Organization for Marriage.

Previous story: Powerful anti-gay groups goes on high alert

Previous story: Anti-gay groups working overtime to stop the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Previous story: Liberty Council tires to stop gay marriages in California (again)

The National Organization for Marriage aired its ad April 8 — the day after the Vermont Legislature legalized same-sex marriage and less than one week after the Iowa Supreme Court granted marriage rights to gay couples in its ruling.

Amid storm clouds and rumbling thunder, actors in the commercial say that supporters of same-sex marriage are advancing rights for gay couples in ways that hurt others. One woman says she’s a doctor who must choose between her faith and her profession; another says she’s helpless to stop Massachusetts public schools from teaching lessons condoning same-sex marriage; and one man says his New Jersey church group was punished for opposing gay nuptials.

The organization claims it spent $1.5 million on the commercial.

Maggie Gallagher, NOM’s president, told the Blade the ad was “more successful” than they “imagined or hoped.” She said the commercial has inspired a significant response from “small donors and the activist base.”

Gallagher said NOM released its commercial in response to the same-sex marriage developments in Vermont and Iowa.

“The main message point I saw being unleashed in the media is that this somehow — right after our great victories in California, Arizona and Florida — that this court decision and the state of Vermont meant the marriage fight was over,” she said. “And we thought it was important to get out and communicate that … Americans do care about the marriage issue and we’re not giving up on this.”

Bottom line, don't get your hopes up. We need volunteers to remain on guarded and ready to respond now more than ever!

Monday, April 13, 2009

That's so gay

Great public service announcement from the talented stand-up comedian and actress, Wanda Sykes. Sykes has co-starred in films such as Monster-in-Law, License to Wed, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, etc.

Here is a similar one with Hilary Duff (this one is very funny):

Friday, April 10, 2009

OUTRAGEOUS LIES! There is a storm gathering

Outrageous is the only word to describe the content of new advertisements the National Organization for Marriage, or "NOM" as they also call themselves.

According to Time Magazine:

There is a storm gathering. The clouds are dark and the winds are strong. Apparently, there's lightning too. Oh, and your freedom's about to be taken away and you will have no choice about it. (Read "Despite Wins for Gay Marriage, Obstacles Remain.")

We won't keep you in suspense. The storm is the gay marriage debate. The clouds and strong winds?

Those are an April 3 Iowa supreme court ruling and the Vermont legislature's decision to override a governor's veto on April 7, making the states the third and fourth in the country where gay marriage is now legal. (The other two are Connecticut and Massachusetts.)

In response to these recent additions, the National Organization for Marriage rushed out this ominous new television ad ahead of schedule, featuring monologues from parents, teachers and doctors in gay marriage battleground states worried about what same-sex unions mean for their freedom. "This comes from the heart of people who want to protect marriage," says Maggie Gallagher, president of NOM.

You simply have to watch this video:

Get your umbrella everyone! The people in this video truly look like drones.

UPDATE: Though this is far from a laughing matter, some people have made some humerous changes to the public service announcement from NOM:

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway enters U.S. Senate race

Conway's from Louisville, and Louisville politicians traditionally have a difficult time winning statewide office in Kentucky.

here to read the story from Blue in the Bluegrass.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tony Blair questions Pope's gay policy

Tony Blair has questioned the Pope's attitude towards homosexuality, arguing that religious leaders must start "rethinking" the issue.

Click here to read a December 2008 post - "Pope angers campaigners with speech seen as attack on homosexuality."

Some older Catholics had "entrenched attitudes", while most congregations were more "liberal-minded", he added.

Mr Blair, who converted to Catholicism after resigning as the United Kingdom prime minister in 2007, told the gay magazine Attitude that views had to keep "evolving".

But he added that Pope Benedict XVI also stood for "
many fantastic things".

Last December the Pope angered gay and lesbian groups by arguing that blurring distinctions between males and females could lead to the "self-destruction" of the human race. In a letter to bishops in 1986, when he was a cardinal, he wrote: "Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered to an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder."

Asked about this comment, Mr. Blair told Attitude that:

There is a huge generational difference here. And there's probably that same fear amongst religious leaders that if you concede ground on an issue like this, because attitudes and thinking evolve over time, where does that end? You'd start having to rethink many, many things.

Now, my view is that rethinking is good, so let's carry on rethinking. Actually, we need an attitude of mind where rethinking and the concept of evolving attitudes becomes part of the discipline with which you approach your religious faith.

So some of these things can then result in a very broad area of issues being up for discussion. That's when I understand why religious leaders are very reluctant.

I think what is interesting is that if you went into any Catholic church, particularly a well-attended one, on any Sunday here and did a poll of the congregation, you'd be surprised at how liberal-minded people were.

"Asked if he meant that the average Catholic congregation speaks for the Catholic Church more than the Pope does, Mr. Blair replied: "Well, I'm not going to say that! On many issues, I think the leaders of the Church and the Church will be in complete agreement."

"But I think on some of these issues, if you went and asked the congregation, I think you'd find that their faith is not to be found in those types of entrenched attitudes. If you asked 'what makes you religious?' and 'what does your faith mean to you?' they would immediately go into compassion, solidarity, relieving suffering. I would be really surprised if they went to 'actually, it's to do with believing homosexuality is wrong' or 'it's to do with believing this part of the ritual or doctrine should be done in this particular way'."

The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage, teaching that, while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are.

During his interview, Mr Blair said homophobia in society had receded since the early 1990s and that his government's introduction of civil partnerships had given people a "sense of liberation from prejudice".

Mr Blair, who was prime minister from 1997 to 2007, usually refused to discuss his religious views while in office. He converted to Catholicism, a faith he shares with his wife Cherie, in December 2007.

Vermont lawmakers override Governor's Veto!

In a shocking move, Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize gay marriage, and the first to do so with a legislature's vote. (previous story)

The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil unions law.

It's now the fourth state to permit same-sex marriage. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa are the others. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Iowa Supreme Court: marriage no longer limited to one man, one woman

The Iowa Supreme Court this morning unanimously upheld gays’ right to marry.

"The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution," the justices said in a summary of their decision.

The court affirmed a Polk County District Court decision that would allow six gay couples to marry.

The decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the fourth nationwide, to allow same-sex marriages.

It's probable that county and state governments in Iowa, as in other states that have passed gay marriage laws, will be given two or three months to put the change in place. That means that such unions won’t begin today, said Justin Uebelhor, director of communications for One Iowa, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered advocacy group.

Opponents have long argued that allowing gay marriage would erode the institution. Some Iowa lawmakers, mostly Republicans, attempted last year to launch a constitutional amendment to specifically prohibit same-sex marriage.

Such a change would require approval in consecutive legislative sessions and a public vote, which means a ban would could not be put in place until at least 2012 unless lawmakers take up the issue in the next few weeks.