Archive for the ‘gay marriage’ Category

How Far to the Right Is the Tea Party?

June 4, 2010

As we have suggested in numerous posts about the Tea Party movement, hardcore Tea Partiers in Texas appear increasingly linked to the religious right. A new survey from the University of Washington’s Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality also shows that hardcore Tea Partiers in Washington state — identified in the survey as “true believers” who strongly approve of the Tea Party — are significantly more conservative than voters generally. And it’s not that they are more conservative just on issues such as opposing taxes and “big government.” The survey shows that Tea Partiers are just fine with intrusive government so long as government is doing what they want.

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Talking Points

November 12, 2009

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“I found it offensive that she repeatedly brought it up. By the fourth time she mentioned it, I felt God wanted me to express how I felt about the matter, so I did. But my tone was downright apologetic. I said, ‘Regarding your homosexuality, I think that’s bad stuff.'”

— Peter Vadala, a Massachusetts man who says he was fired from his job after he told a female colleague he thought her marriage to another woman was wrong.

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Casualties of the Far Right’s ‘Culture Wars’

February 7, 2009

In 2005 the Texas Freedom Network opposed passage of a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in Texas. We pointed out that same-sex marriage was already illegal in the state. The measure was simply another divisive, mean-spirited “culture war” distraction from issues far more important to working families, like good neighborhood schools and affordable health care. Gov. Rick Perry and his supporters on the religious right called the amendment necessary to “protect” marriage. Actually, the measure was more important for mobilizing social conservatives in advance of the 2006 state elections.

In any case, the amendment passed that fall. So we found this story in Friday’s Miami Herald to be a terribly sad reminder that the religious right’s “culture wars” have real casualties.

As her partner of 17 years slipped into a coma, Janice Langbehn pleaded with doctors and anyone who would listen to let her into the woman’s hospital room.

Eight anguishing hours passed before Langbehn would be allowed into Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. By then, she could only say her final farewell as a priest performed the last rites on 39-year-old Lisa Marie Pond.

Jackson staffers advised Langbehn that she could not see Pond earlier because the hospital’s visitation policy in cases of emergency was limited to immediate family and spouses — not partners. In Florida, same-sex marriages or partnerships are not recognized. On Friday, two years after her partner’s death, Langbehn and her attorneys were in federal court, claiming emotional distress and negligence in a suit they filed last June.

Jackson attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case on grounds that the hospital has no obligation to allow patients’ visitors.

Pond’s medical problems began in February 2007 when she, Langbehn and their three adopted children were aboard a cruise ship docked in Miami. The Washington state couple and their children were on vacation.

Pond suddenly collapsed from a heart attack and was rushed to the trauma center.

Though Langbehn had documents declaring her Pond’s legal guardian and giving her the medical ”power of attorney,” Jackson officials refused to recognize her or the kids as family.

Langbehn, who still lives in Washington, was not available for comment Friday, but in a 2007 interview with The Miami Herald she said, “Any family should have the right to hold their loved one’s hand in the last moments of life, and we were denied that.”

You can read the whole story here.

The Right Freaks Out (Again) over Marriage

May 15, 2008

The California Supreme Court’s decision that two laws barring same-sex marriage violate that state’s constitution has, predictably, been followed by eruptions of fury from the far right. Kelly Shackelford of the Plano-based Free Market Foundation (Texas affiliate of the far-right Focus on the Family) said the decision was an example of “outrageous judicial activism. This exactly what could have happened in Texas if we hadn’t passed the Constitutional Amendment for marriage.” Texas voters passed that constitutional amendment in 2005 even though state law already barred same-sex marriages and state courts are dominated by Republicans opposed to such marriages.

Other far-right groups, such as Concerned Women for America, portrayed the decision as a betrayal of California voters who had passed a referendum (but not a constitutional amendment) on same-sex marriage in 2000. Supporters of Proposition 22 that year sought to close what they saw as a legal loophole that might permit state recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Even so, prior to the California court’s new ruling, the state already recognized legal “domestic partnerships.” In addition, California lawmakers twice have passed measures legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, but the govenor has vetoed both measures.