Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gay Marriage

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kim davis

Kentucky couple, David Ermold and David Moore, planned on shedding light on a rural Christian county clerk who refused to give them a marriage license. They didn’t intend to create a conservative celebrity.

Ermold and Moore had heard that Kim Davis, the clerk who claimed that her religion prevented her from issuing marriages to gay couples, was declining requests—so, when they went to file their own marriage license, they made sure to record the exchange so they could document exactly what happened to them.

The result, instead, was a several-weeks-long media circus, which resulted in Davis going to jail for contempt-of-court, and then later sharing a stage with former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, who vowed to defend Christian faith. Conservatives were suddenly galvanized over gay marriage—an issue that, just months before, seemed like it had been all but decided by the Supreme Court.

In fact, things went so awry for Ermold and Moore that they regret turning Davis into a national celebrity.

“Mike Huckabee comes down and creates a martyr of Davis,” Ermold complained, in an interview with GQ—which was, obviously, not their intention. “They took her picture with her hair down in a braid, and her husband was in bib overalls, the whole thing. They staged these photo opportunities for her.

“We’re also complicit in her fame,” Moore added. “We’re the ones who filmed her originally.”

“I thought if she could see us and talk to us, maybe she would go home and think about the people she’s affecting,” Moore added. “We decided we were going to go in and document it.”

He continued, “I put [the video] up around 11 at night. The next morning, Gawker had it, and then The Advocate was running it. By the time I got up, it already had 200,000 hits.”

At which point, Davis became a national talking point.

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white house

Iconic buildings around the world were lit up this weekend in the colors of the French tricolor: blue, white, and red, in honor of the terrorist attacks on Paris.

One building that was curiously not lit up for the occasion? The White House.

Among those buildings lit up, worldwide, were the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, the Burj al-Arab in Dubai, the Old City Wall in Jerusalem, and even the Empire State Building in New York.

But even though Lafayette Park, the public square directly in front of the White House, hosted a large candlelight vigil on Saturday night for the victims of the Paris attacks, the executive mansion continued to stay lit up in its normal, white lighting.

Adding to the controversy is the fact that the White House has lit up for other causes—most notably in June, when the Supreme Court legalized nationwide gay marriage when they announced their decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case.

Gay marriage was important enough for the Obamas to light up their house in solidarity, but the deaths of 121 people in the capital of America’s oldest ally did not appear to be.

Obama and the Left have continued to attract controversy for what many have seen as a lackluster response to the attacks that have shaken the entire world.

Obama had, in a moment of truly unfortunate timing less than 24 hours before the attacks, claimed that ISIS was “contained.” He later admitted that the Paris attacks were a “setback.”

Meanwhile, during Saturday night’s Democratic debate—which was hastily reorganized to include questions about terrorism and foreign affairs—attracted outrage when none of the candidates could bring themselves to admit the United States was at war with radical Islamic terrorists, or even utter the words “radical Islam.”

Despite the Democrats’ flippant response to the attacks, it’s clear that the very nature of the 2016 race has changed in an instant—and it could doom their chances moving forward.

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pope-francis

That was fast: the very liberals that were urging everyone to shut up and listen to Pope Francis are now seething.

Apparently, Pope Francis met with Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who gained notoriety when she refused to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision. She ultimately spent five days in jail in contempt of court.

The Vatican did not deny that a meeting between Davis and the Pope took place while Francis was on his American tour last week. According to reports, he urged her to “stay strong” on her opposition to gay marriage.

The meeting lasted about 15 minutes, and Davis was given a rosary.

“I put my hand out and he reached and he grabbed it, and I hugged him and he hugged me,” Davis explained. “[He said,] ‘Thank you for your courage.'”

She added, “I’m just a nobody, so it was really humbling to think he would want to meet or know me.”

The Pope had been lauded by the liberal media in recent weeks for his attacks on capitalism and his dire warnings on climate change.

While the Pope is undoubtedly more vocal about some liberal issues than his predecessors–and has been praised from both sides of the aisle for breathing new energy back into the Catholic Church–the fact remains that little of the Church’s dogma and beliefs have actually changed. The Church has, and continues to be, more economically liberal and more socially conservative.

Pope Francis remains, both personally and publicly, strongly against gay marriage.

He also remains staunchly pro-life–just wait until the liberals find out about that one.

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jenner

Caitlyn Jenner, the “female” face of Olympian and ex-male Bruce Jenner, would seem to be wishy-washy on more than just the meaning of gender.

In an interview with Ellen Degeneres, the openly gay talk show host and loud proponent of the gay agenda, Jenner was less than enthusiastic about the topic of gay “marriage”. She said that while her views have “changed” she identifies not only as a woman but as a Republican Conservative. Pretty sure that a shock ran through the studio audience at that particular pronouncement.

To quote Jenner:

“I have to admit that I remember 15 years ago, 20 years ago, whenever it was the whole gay marriage issue came up at first, I was not for it, I thought, I’m a traditionalist. I’m older than most people in the audience. I like tradition; and it’s always been between a man and a woman, and I’m thinking, I don’t quite get it.”

Considering Jenner’s efforts to advocate for other transexual people and her placement in the LGBTQ community, Degeneres was not impressed by the answer she got. What is more confusing is how someone who has changed their entire identity and body through hormones and surgeries to suit a mental preference could consider themselves a “Traditionalist”.

She goes on to dig herself into hole and discuss how though she is not rallying support for gay “marriage” she does not, “…ever want to stand in front of anybody’s happiness.’ That’s not my job, okay? If that word – ‘marriage’ – is really, really that important to you, I can go with it.”

Just like how being a woman is really, really that important to you, so we should just go with it?

Though the full interview is set to air Tuesday, gay celebrities have been quick to criticize Jenner and point out the irony. Degeneres spoke on Jenner’s lukewarm support during a Howard Stern interview. She makes note of the fact that she doesn’t think Jenner should be having “judgement” against gays and “marriage” if she is going to parade around as a woman. The gay star who has been married to her wife, Portia de Rossi, for seven years, said that marriage is more than just a word and that the gay community wants, “the same thing”, as traditional marriage.

“The same thing”, Ellen, would be marriage between a man and a woman. You do not want the same thing.

Caitlyn Jenner’s E! Reality series which premiered on July 26th of this year already has plummeting ratings despite the outrage concerning the unisex Halloween costume of Jenner made available this summer.

The public’s opinion of Jenner seems to be as wishy-washy as her views on gender and marriage. It is doubtful that the reality TV star and Transgender Activist will be going anywhere out of the public eye any time soon.

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Kim-Davis

Kim Davis might have started a new trend among county clerks–as other county clerks decide they’ve had enough over gay marriage.

Davis, the county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who attracted nationwide attention when she refused to issue marriage licenses and was jailed for being in contempt of court, returns to work this week. As an elected official, she can’t be fired–she can only be voted out of office at the next election.

But, even as Davis plans to take back her office, other elected officials nationwide are doing everything they can to thwart the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“In North Carolina, all four magistrates in rural McDowell County have recused themselves from performing civil wedding ceremonies for any couples. The moves are allowed under a state law passed in June that allows certain public officials to avoid marriage duties if they have religious objections. So far, 32 magistrates across the state—about 5% of the total—have done so, according to the state Administrative Office of the Courts.

“As a result of the void in McDowell County, magistrates from neighboring Rutherford County have been driving in to perform ceremonies three days a week, during reduced hours. Tonia Hampton, the McDowell County register of deeds, whose office issues marriage licenses, said the documents continue to be available during regular hours. ‘It’s business as usual for us,’ she said.”

Many county clerks–mostly in states where gay marriage was illegal until the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hobbes decision in June–are objecting to issuing marriage licenses because of religious grounds.

It remains to be see what impact, if any, anti-gay marriage warriors in government like Davis will have on the national legalization–but it makes it clear this fight is far from over.

 

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gay-marraige-numbers-fall

Gay marriage might be legal in the United States, following the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision last month–but that hasn’t made it more popular among rank and file Americans.

In fact, since it became legal nationwide, support for gay marriage has dropped–a lot.

According to a recent AP-GFK poll, support for gay marriage has dropped six percentage points between April and July. For the first time in recent polling, more Americans oppose gay marriage than support it.

Just 42% of Americans now favor legal gay marriage.

That’s down substantially from the 48% of Americans who supported gay marriage back in April.

But the poll also found that, as gay marriage support weakens, support for religious freedom is on the rise.

Despite the mainstream media’s narrative, religious liberty is more popular than gay marriage. 56% of Americans–a pretty substantial majority–believe that government should rule in favor of religious freedom.

Specifically on issues issues like forcing bakers to make wedding cakes for gay weddings, 59% of Americans believe that religious freedom should prevail–up from just 52% in April.

49% of Americans also agree that local officials, who oppose gay marriage for religious reasons, should be exempted from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

While popular opinion will likely have no effect on the legality of gay marriage–it would be highly unlikely for the Supreme Court to eventually ban gay marriage after they legalized it–it shows that the fight for religious freedom, and the fight against gay marriage, is still going strong in America.

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obama_angry

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is a fundamental human right under the Constitution, the fight over tax-exempt status for churches and religious schools that reject gay marriage as a matter of faith has begun.

And the Justices cannot say they didn’t see this coming.

After all, the Obama administration’s top lawyer said during oral arguments said that the charitable tax status of religious organizations that oppose gay marriage was “certainly going to be an issue” if the court found that gay marriage was a civil right.

Now Senate Democrats are faced with job of dealing with what they wished for and they do not know where it is safe to step.

Earlier this week, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, said he was unsure if he would support revoking the charitable tax status of religious schools telling The Weekly Standard that:

“There’s no question this was an historic decision, and now we’re going to go through a series of suggestions for new laws to implement it…” “I can’t predict how this will end. But from the beginning we have said that when it comes to marriage, religions can decide what their standards will be.”

When asked if religious protections would extend beyond houses of worship to religious schools that require employees to affirm their faith’s teaching about marriage, Durban said:

“Getting into a challenging area, and I don’t have a quick answer to you.” “I’ll have to think about it long and hard.”

Even Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont socialist who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate and is running for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, said “I don’t know if I would go there” when asked if religious institutions opposed to same-sex marriage should lose their tax status.

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) on the other hand appeared to be open to the idea of taking away the charitable tax status of some religious institutions because:

“Religious freedom allows you to deal with teaching your religious principles without interference of the government.

But when you’re dealing with rights of third parties, then the protections are afforded for you to get the privileges of your tax-exempt status.” “You have the freedom to teach, to preach the way you believe without losing your tax-exempt status, the answer is yes. If you are affecting the rights of third parties, then you’ve crossed the line.”

“Employment is subject to protections.” “I’m not sure how it applies to Christian-run schools.”

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) pushed back hard saying she strongly opposed revoking the tax-exempt status of religious schools opposed to same-sex marriage saying:

“I just think that religious organizations should not be taxed,” Baldwin told me. “The last thing we want is the government getting into looking at the principles of each particular faith and judging it. That is wrong and shouldn’t occur.”

But is Baldwin splitting hairs? Earlier this month, religious liberty advocates criticized Baldwin for saying that the First Amendment’ protection of the free exercise of religion does not protect “businesses and individuals” engaged in commerce.

That means Baldwin supports states that have fined and punished bakers, florists and other businesses owned by faithful Christians who have declined to participate in same-sex weddings. In fact, Baldwin expressly said that religious dissenters who decline to work gay weddings to the owners of “lunch counters that wouldn’t let people of color sit [there].”

Mainstream Democrats may have won on the issue of same sex marriage at the Supreme Court but opened up dozens of issues that must be addressed in implementing the consequences of the ruling leaving conservatives with plenty of targets to shoot at as the 2016 campaign unfolds.

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gay-wedding-cake

If the state of Oregon thought it could bully Christians into line on gay marriage, well, it didn’t quite go as they expected.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, who owned the bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa, refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. The couple filed a lawsuit against

Last month, the Kleins–who had already lost their bakery due to legal fees and a drop-off in business–were hit with a massive $135,000 fine, payable to the lesbian couple in question, to compensate for “damages for emotional and mental suffering” they apparently suffered after not getting a cake baked for them.

The massive fine was, largely, because Oregon sought to make an example of them and give a strong message to other Christians: “Support gay marriage, or pay the price.”

Unfortunately for Oregon, it looks like Christians don’t cave so easily–because many of them have rallied to support the Kleins. And not just with words of encouragement and support–but by gifting them money to help pay the fine.

In fact, the Kleins, who launched a crowdfunding drive on the website Continue to Give to help pay down their fine, have already raised about $286,000–more than double the amount needed to pay their fine.

“For this to go this far, it’s ridiculous,” Aaron Klein told a local Fox News station. “It should scare every American.” He went on to call what he and his wife suffered part of a greater nationwide “persecution of Christians.”

For now, the Kleins plan to call for a judicial review, which would allow their fine to be revisited by the Oregon court system before they had to pay anything.

But beyond that, the Kleins also plan to change the system–and better protect vulnerable Christian small business owners like themselves in the future.

“I would appeal to everybody in the state of Oregon,” Aaron Klein added, in his interview. “Understand that this is the way things operate. We need to institute change, take the government to task for violating our constitutional freedoms at whatever level they are doing it.”

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Jimmy_Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter has something radical to say to Christians: Jesus would’ve loved gay marriage.

“I believe that Jesus would approve gay marriage,” Carter said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “That’s just my own personal belief.”

Carter, one of the most liberal Presidents in recent memory, now describes himself as a born-again Christian.

He doesn’t cite any reason for believing that Jesus would support the institution of gay marriage–which, in many states, wasn’t legal until just last month. And certainly not approved of in biblical times.

When asked about his own personal views about gay marriage, Carter says “that’s no problem with me.”

“I never have run across any really serious conflicts between my political obligations and my religious faith,” he added. “I think everybody should have a right to get married.”

Carter draws the line at forcing churches to perform gay weddings if they wanted to, but not the government: gay couples, he believes, “should be able to go to the local courthouse or to a different church and get married–that’s no problem.”

Surprisingly, despite Carter’s liberal reputation, he does draw the line at abortion–putting him squarely at odds with a Democratic Party that has become increasingly supportive of abortion (and willing to claim a so-called “War on Women” for those against abortion.)

Carter also cites his faith as the reason he’s pro-life.

“I have had a problem with abortion, and this has been a longtime problem of mine,” he explained. “I have a hard time believing that Jesus, for instance, would approve abortions unless it was because of rape or incest or if the mother’s life was in danger. So I’ve had that struggle, but my oath of office was to obey the Constitution and [the] laws of this country as interpreted by the Supreme Court. So I went along with that. But that’s been the only caveat.”

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polygamy

It’s already happened: a Montana man has officially applied for a marriage license–for his second wife.

Yes, he’s still married to the first wife.

Nathan Collier of Billings, Montana, claims that the Supreme Court’s decision last week inspired him to seek a marriage license for his second wife–to see how accepting of polygamous marriages America actually is.

Collier married his first wife, Victoria, in 2000. He remains married to her–but “married” his second wife, Christine, in 2007. That marriage was conducted in a church but, obviously, is not legal in the eyes of the law, which does grant marriage licenses to polygamy.

Collier’s initial request for a second marriage license was rejected–but Collier argued. Officials at the Yellowstone County Courthouse, upon hearing his threats, told him they’d have to consult with the county attorney before they could reject or deny

If Collier’s request isn’t granted, he has already threatened to sue the state of Montana, urging that his marriages should be recognized under the law.

But his request isn’t as crazy as it may seem–from a legal standpoint, anyway.

In fact, even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, warned in his dissent in Obergefell v. Hughes (the gay marriage decision) that this kind of thing was coming:

“Much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” Roberts claimed.

The biggest problem–one unforeseen by the Left, who advocates both for feminism and gay marriage–is that the same logic can be used to justify gay marriage and polygamy.

If any American can marry whoever they want, and have the full blessing of the U.S. Government, what stops a man from marrying two women–assuming they’re adults that consent to the marriage?

According to the Supreme Court’s decision? Not much.

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