I just did something I thought I would never do. I resigned my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) and asked that my name be removed from the records.
Even at the height of church involvement in the passage of Proposition 8 in California, I never seriously considered removing my name. It just didn’t matter that much to me. Spiritually and emotionally, I left the church I grew up in decades ago. And despite being a “known gay activist” to the church, I was never excommunicated, so my name remained on the church rolls as a member. Not anymore.
On Thursday (Nov. 5), it was revealed that the church issued policy changes to “Handbook 1,” the guide for its lay leadership. Under the changes, same-sex couples who marry are apostates and are unwelcome in church congregations. Going further, the new policy states that the children of same-sex couples cannot be baptized in the church until they are 18 and then only if they disavow their parents. It was the gratuitously cruel and stigmatizing treatment of children that pushed me to disavow the church of my childhood. It is impossible for me to be a part of a religion that would attack its own members and punish them by denying their children involvement in the church.
Kate what took you so long? Why did you belong to an organization that thinks you are less than human for so many years?
Lesbian and gay men need to stop apologizing for the bad behavior of their churches because it’s familiar and leave them en masse.
The LGBT Religious Abusive Spouse Syndrome must stop.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will review the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. The Court’s ruling is expected in June 2015 and will likely impact not only the same-sex couples in these four states but also the nearly 160,000 same-sex couples and their 60,000 children who live in the 14 states and Puerto Rico where same-sex marriage bans are currently being enforced, as well as more than 200,000 same-sex couples and their 65,000 children who live in the 19 states where courts struck down same-sex marriage bans under the federal constitution in 2014.
Statistics via The Williams Institure:
• As of today, more than three-quarters (75.8%) of same-sex couples across the country are living in the 36 states where they can marry and more than seven-in-ten (70.4%) Americans are living in states that allow marriage for same-sex couples. • Williams Institute research suggests that there were 690,000 same-sex couples in the US in 2013 raising an estimated 200,000 children. As many as 30,000 of those children are being raised by married parents. • Recent Williams Institute analyses suggest that the number of married same-sex couples, estimated to be as high as 130,000 in 2013, has increased by more than 50% over the last 3 years. • Fourteen states, home to nearly 30% of the US population, (AL, AR, GA, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, ND, NE, OH, SD, TN, TX) and Puerto Rico continue to enforce bans on same-sex marriage. • In 2014, courts prohibited nineteen states, home to 32% of the US population, from enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage on federal constitutional grounds (AZ, AK, CO, ID, IN, FL, KS, OK, OR, PA, NC, NV, MT, SC, UT, VA, WI, WV, WY).
Center For American Progress:
Executive Vice President for External Affairs, Winnie Stachelberg, issued the following statement today after the announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court will make a decision on marriage equality in the coming term.
The Supreme Court’s decision to again take up the issue of marriage equality is welcome news to the thousands of loving and committed same-sex couples who seek a resolution to the cruel legal limbo that currently denies them the dignity and respect that all families deserve. We are confident that when arguments are heard, the Supreme Court will affirm that the fundamental right to marry is the right of all Americans, regardless of the person they love or where they live.
The U.S. Supreme Court today announced it has granted review of all six marriage equality cases decided by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, including two Ohio cases litigated by Lambda Legal, the ACLU and Gerhardstein & Branch. The two cases are Henry v. Hodges, where Lambda Legal joined Gerhardstein & Branch, and Obergefell v. Hodges, where the ACLU joined Gerhardstein & Branch. Oral argument is expected to take place later this year. “After years of struggle and the dedicated work of thousands across the movement, we are finally within sight of the day when same-sex couples across the country will be able to share equally in the joys, protections and responsibilities of marriage,” said Jon W. Davidson, Legal Director and Eden/Rushing Chair at Lambda Legal. “While these cases will carry the marriage standard before the Supreme Court, they represent literally dozens of cases in state and federal courts nationwide and the collective effort of Lambda Legal, NCLR, the ACLU, GLAD, and other sister LGBT groups and private (often pro-bono) counsel dating back years.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic are co-counsel in the two Kentucky cases, Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear, brought by lawyers at Clay Daniel Walton & Adams and the Fauver Law Office. These cases challenge Kentucky’s anti-marriage laws on the ground that they violate due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU along with Lambda Legal and Gerhardstein & Branch are also co-counsel in the Ohio case, Obergefell, et al v. Hodges. “We are thrilled the court will finally decide this issue,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project. “The country is ready for a national solution that treats lesbian and gay couples fairly. Every single day we wait means more people die before they have a chance to marry, more children are born without proper protections, more people face medical emergencies without being able to count on recognition of their spouses. It is time for the American values of freedom and equality to apply to all couples.”
Just a quick note to people because no other site is reporting this part. But don’t be too overjoyed yet.
Remember, if SCOTUS decide against us, we lose all the other wins in federal court. Only state laws which were changed to stop blocking our right to marry would stand.
Any declarations of victory now could turn into the equivalent of “Dewey Defeats Truman” in 1948.
“Today’s decision, written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, holds that “Idaho and Nevada’s marriage laws, by preventing same-sex couples from marrying and refusing to recognize same-sex marriages celebrated elsewhere, impose profound legal, financial, social and psychic harms on numerous citizens of those states.” The decision further states: “Classifying some families, and especially their children, as of lesser value should be repugnant to all those in this nation who profess to believe in ‘family values.’ In any event, Idaho and Nevada’s asserted preference for opposite-sex parents does not, under heightened scrutiny, come close to justifying unequal treatment on the basis of sexual orientation.”
The Idaho case was brought in November 2013 by four same-sex couples: Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori and Sharene Watsen, Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer, and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson. The couples are represented by Idaho attorneys Deborah Ferguson and Craig Durham of Ferguson Durham LLP and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). On September 8th, Ferguson argued before Ninth Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Marsha S. Berzon, and Ronald M. Gould that Idaho’s laws that ban marriage equality and prohibit the state from respecting the marriages of same-sex couples who married in other states violate the U.S. Constitution. The Idaho case was consolidated for purposes of the decision with Sevcik v. Sandoval, a case challenging Nevada’s marriage ban brought by same-sex couples represented by Lambda Legal.”
I would like to make something clear here. All of this is because of Edith Windsor. HER case in the Supreme Court made the difference. Chad Griffin, Prop 8, HRC, Freedom to Marry, and others cannot and should not try to take or be given any credit for this. It all belongs to Edith Windsor.
The Human Rights Campaing, largest and most influential LGBT advocay organization in America has FAILED this year to make it into the top 10 List of Guidestar’s, list of the best LGBT rights and progressive organizations it that it monitors.
Lambda Legal as been named number 1 as having the best practices and accounability among the LGBT non-profit organizations.
“I am very proud of the amazing talent and leadership of the Lambda Legal staff, board and volunteers that has resulted in this top ranking from our colleagues and peers,” said Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal. “We have been fighting for equality for LGBT people and people with HIV for forty years, and we have many victories and achievements about which we are proud because they have changed people’s lives – and our society – for the better. This is a transformational time in our movement for LGBT equality. Lambda Legal will continue to lead the way with all our energy and all our hearts. We are grateful to all our supporters and colleagues around the country, and thank those who have honored us with this top ranking for 2012.”
Former NCLR Board Chair Danny Ortega, a Phoenix lawyer whose term ended after the vote, provided broad details of the conversations that he said took place among the 25 board members before the vote. “We had a discussion about this and clearly some people had more questions than others, but at the end of the discussion it was unanimous,” he said. The resolution passed less than a month after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons’ Board of Directors endorsed marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Although many Latinos who identify themselves as religious remain opposed to religious marriage ceremonies for gays and lesbians. A recent Arcus Foundation-funded survey that NCLR and Social Science Research Solutions released in April shows that 54 percent of Latinos support marriage rights for same-sex couples. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they back civil unions for gays and lesbians. The same poll found that 78 percent of Latinos support the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” while 83 percent of respondents support LGBT-specific employment protections.
Gracias, la Raza, por unirse con nosotros en la lucha por la igualdad!