Prop 8: The gift that keeps on giving… seeks to nullify 18k gay marriages

activism, lgbt, politics, religion 1 Comment »

The fine folks behind Proposition 8 have filed a brief today asking the California Supreme Court to nullify the estimated 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place before the ban went into affect on November 5.

“Proposition 8’s brevity is matched by its clarity. There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions or exclusions,” reads the brief co-written by Pepperdine University law school dean Kenneth Starr, the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton.

Proposition 8’s supporters assert that the Supreme Court lacks the authority or historical precedent to throw out the amendment.

“For this court to rule otherwise would be to tear asunder a lavish body of jurisprudence,” the court papers state. “That body of decisional law commands judges — as servants of the people — to bow to the will of those whom they serve — even if the substantive result of what people have wrought in constitution-amending is deemed unenlightened.”

Attorney General Jerry Brown, will also submit a counter brief maintaining the gay marriage ban cannot be applied retroactively.

Complete story here

First Rick Warren and now this. What a merry fucking Christmas this is.

First lady of Trek, Majel Roddenberry, dies at 76

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Majel Barrett Roddenberry, widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, passed away from leukemia today at 76.

Roddenberry, often referred to as the first lady of Star Trek, was active in both the television series and films, and was often the voice of the Enterprise computer &ndash including the new Star Trek film coming out in 2009. Fans will most remember her however as Nurse Christine Chapel, and her unrequited love for Spock.

[flvplayer /video/AmokTime.flv 480 360]

In the 90s she played the flamboyant Lwaxana Troi, Deanna’s Troi’s mother in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

It is another sad day for Star Trek fans, myself included. Roddeberry is the last of the original cast to pass on, preceded by DeForest “Bones” Kelley in 1999 and James “Scotty” Doohan in 2005. Majel’s husband Gene Roddenberry passed away in 1991.

So long Majel. You will be missed.

HRC pens stinging op-ed on Obama’s choice of Rick Warren

lgbt, politics No Comments »

While I’ve never been a huge fan of the Human Rights Campaign, they’ve laid all their cards out on the table for this op-ed by its president Joe Solomnese, and I applaud them for it. Excerpts below:

It is difficult to comprehend how our president-elect, who has been so spot on in nearly every political move and gesture, could fail to grasp the symbolism of inviting an anti-gay theologian to deliver his inaugural invocation. And the Obama campaign’s response to the anger about this decision? Hey, we’re also bringing a gay marching band. You know how the gays love a parade.

…inviting Warren to set the tone at the dawn of this new presidency sends a chilling message to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. It makes us uncertain about this exciting, young president-elect who has said repeatedly that we are part of his America, too.

We understand that the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights icon and a dear friend of LGBT Americans, will close the inauguration ceremony. But would any inaugural committee say to Jewish Americans, “We’re opening with an anti-Semite but closing the program with a rabbi, so don’t worry”?

…What the Obama team needs to understand is that for many LGBT Americans, this November was bittersweet. We were thrilled with Obama’s victory and, in fact, many of us worked the phones, pounded the pavement and wrote checks to make that happen. But the next day, we learned that Proposition 8 passed in California, and our hearts sank. It was the biggest loss our community has faced in decades.

One of the biggest reasons for that hurtful outcome was the Rev. Rick Warren, who publicly endorsed Proposition 8 in late October. He told his parishioners and reporters alike that “any pastor could be considered doing hate speech if he shared his views that he didn’t think homosexuality was the most natural way for relationships.” But civil marriage rights for same-sex couples had nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

More recently, he even compared same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia and polygamy. He may cloak himself in media-friendly happy talk that plays well on television, but he stands steadfastly against any measure of equality for LGBT Americans.

…So, are we angry about Rick Warren? You bet we are. And including a gay marching band in the inaugural festivities doesn’t heal this wound. It only serves to make us question the promises that Barack Obama made in his historic quest to be president. We pray we weren’t misled.

The piece runs tomorrow in the Washington Post and is available in online here.

Obama under fire from LGBT community for Rick Warren choice

lgbt, media, politics, religion, video 1 Comment »

Hilary Rosen on Anderson Cooper 360 rose to our defense last night, succinctly and passionately describing the outrage of many in the LGBT community over Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation for the inauguration.

Hillary Rosen: “First the glibness, that, well it’s just a bunch of gays being unhappy that people don’t agree with them, is wrong. You know, (at) one time the Bible was used to justify slavery. If this was a preacher, out there, using more weapons against African-Americans we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, so second of all, the fact that we’re even having a conversation, means that this is a mistake in choice. This is a day when people are to be brought together. There are hundreds of preachers across the country with stature and thoughtfulness and other ways to bring this country together on an inauguration day for the new president. That’s the choice he should have made.”

Watch the clip.

As expected, here is the defense circulated by the Obama campaign this morning:

“This will be the most open, accessible, and inclusive Inauguration in American history.

In keeping with the spirit of unity and common purpose this Inauguration will reflect, the President-elect and Vice President-elect have chosen some of the world’s most gifted artists and people with broad appeal to participate in the inaugural ceremonies.

Pastor Rick Warren has a long history of activism on behalf of the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. He’s devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis. In fact, the President-elect recently addressed Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health to salute Warren’s leadership in the struggle against HIV/AIDS and pledge his support to the effort in the years ahead.

The President-elect disagrees with Pastor Warren on issues that affect the LGBT community. They disagree on other issues as well. But what’s important is that they agree on many issues vital to the pursuit of social justice, including poverty relief and moving toward a sustainable planet; and they share a commitment to renewing America’s promise by expanding opportunity at home and restoring our moral leadership abroad.

As he’s said again and again, the President-elect is committed to bringing together all sides of the faith discussion in search of common ground. That’s the only way we’ll be able to unite this country with the resolve and common purpose necessary to solve the challenges we face.

The Inauguration will also involve Reverend Joseph Lowery, who will be delivering the official benediction at the Inauguration. Reverend Lowery is a giant of the civil rights movement who boasts a proudly progressive record on LGBT issues. He has been a leader in the struggle for civil rights for all Americans, gay or straight.

And for the very first time, there will be a group representing the interests of LGBT Americans participating in the Inaugural Parade.”

And Obama’s response to the controversy this morning.

I suppose we should be thankful the inclusiveness doesn’t extend to Fred Phelps. Or David Duke.