Tag Archives: Washington State

WA State Florist Refuses To Sell Gay Couple Flowers For Their Wedding

Arlenes Flowers

Barronelle Stuzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, WA has “politely” discriminated against a gay couple who has been using her services for years by refusing to provide flowers for their upcoming wedding because of her “religious” beliefs which never ever stood in the way of taking their money before.

It was a very exciting moment, probably one of the happiest days of my life,” said Rob Ingersoll of his engagement to his partner of nine years, Curt. So when it was time to make preparations for their September 19th, Rob wanted to go with the florist he and Curt have been using for years, Barronelle Stuzman, the owner of Arelene’s Flowers in Richland. However, when he asked her, Stuzman politely declined. “And I just took his hands and I said I’m sorry I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Stuzman who believes marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Despite the fact that Stuzman has broken the Washington State Law Against Discrimination, found in RCW 49.60.030, the Freedom from discrimination – Declaration of civil rights.

(1) The right to be free from discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is recognized as and declared to be a civil right. This right shall include, but not be limited to:

(d) The right to engage in credit transactions without discrimination.

In her mind now a martyr and a drama queen has been born: “I’ve had hate mail. I’ve had people who want to burn my building, I’ve had people say they’ll never shop here again and tell all their friends. And I’ve had other people say thanks for standing up for your convictions and we’ll shop here and we’ll back you in any way we can,” Stuzman said and insists she does not discriminate against same-sex couples or any group for that matter. “We hire gay people. I have friends that are gay, that wasn’t the issue. The issue is that I just didn’t want to participate in the marriage,” she said.”

Replace “gay” with “black” and make it a discussion about interracial marriage. Then feel time warp you back 40+ years.

Please feel free to visit Arlene’s Flowers on Facebook and voice your opinion.

 

Anti-Gay Groups Turn On Each Other After CRUSHING Loses – Hutcherson to NOM: YOU’RE RACIST!

Ahhhh the desperation and fear coming from the right-wing anti-gay “religious” hate groups after their CRUSHING defeats against same-sex marriage initiatives in the 2012 elections has become a wonderful thing to behold.

The latest in cannibalistic infighting comes from black Pastor Ken Hutcherson, Washington state’s leading anti-gay bigot who is now personally blaming the  National Organization for Marriage, Focus On The Family, and other major hate groups for being too white and refusing to accept help from people like African America leaders

From the Christian Post:

When I knew my involvement was going to generate controversy, I offered to step back and suggested others who were on the frontlines do so as well for the sake of unity. They refused, leaving me as the odd man out. If you look at them, they were all the same color with the same moderate views. It just didn’t make sense why they would not include a person of color who was willing to fight.” “I believe there are conservatives of all colors, but the leadership from NOM, Focus and Mission Public Affairs, wanted to run being a moderate campaign where everyone felt warm and fuzzy. But we know that sin is never satisfied and always wants more. These guys just looked and acted too much like the GOP – old and white.”

In return Brian Brown shot back

defended his and NOM’s colorblind hate of the gay and lesbian population by replying to Hutcherson saying:

“That is simply not true,” he told CP. “Pastor Hutcherson wanted to work on an initiative and not a referendum which we thought was the best method. Brown also called Hutcherson’s comment “absurd and reckless,” and that he never heard any complaints from the Washington pastor. He also pointed to others such as Maryland’s Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. who is also black and was out front in his state’s effort to overturn a new state law. “In the body of Christ I think if we have differences they need to be aired out between us and not in the public arena.”

“Bishop” Harry Jackson is on NOM’s payroll and was and is involved with NOM’s current race baiting strategy to pit religious backs against the feared sinful gays!

Brian Brownshirt also in turn is now claiming his side was outspent by 10-1 and blaming their losses on that.

These groups insisted on elections–and then they lost.

So actually they do have no one else to blame but themselves.

But next they’ll probably blame Canada!

Dan Savage: It’s Gotten Better But…. “There’s a fuck of a lot left to do”

“Before I say anything else—before I say what I dragged myself out of bed to say—let me say this: we did this. LGBT people came out, fought back, and changed the world. There’s a fuck of a lot left to do—repealing DOMA, passing ENDA, completing the repeal of DADT (trans people are still barred from serving in the military), fighting for the rights of queers around the world—but LGBT people have come so far since Stonewall due to our own efforts and sacrifice. It has gotten better for us because we fought to make it better. We demanded better.

“Now here’s what I want to say: I know so many straight people in Seattle who worked unbelievably hard to approve R-74. They gave money, they volunteered their time, they reached out to friends and relatives and coworkers, all in an effort to make it possible for same-sex couples to marry. Gays and lesbians are a tiny percentage of the population. We couldn’t do this on our own. A majority of the legislators who voted for same-sex marriage? Straight. The governor who signed the law making same-sex marriage legal in Washington state? Straight. The majority of the folks manning the phone banks for R-74? Straight. The overwhelming majority of people who voted to approve R-74? Straight. The president who took a huge political risk and came out for marriage equality before his reelection campaign? Straight. It has gotten better for us—better, not perfect—but it hasn’t gotten better for us in a vacuum. It’s gotten better for us because straight people have gotten better about us.” – Dan Savage,

Dan is 100 percent right and I’ve said it many times on this blog we need to get of the gay vacuum and reach out to and work with our straight allies and other progressive coalitions like Womens Rights groups, Unions, Immigration Rights groups and the rest if we are to make any real headway.

I can only hope that Tuesday’s election victories have proven this to the “gay powers that be”.  And put to ret their latest meme of working with the gay GOP to secure equality.  It won’t work, we do not as a community want to it, and Tuesday proves that we don;t have to do it.  Working with the Gay GOP just lends them credibility and tarnishes our movement and rips away at our self-respect and integrity.

Do We Change The World Or Let The World Change Us?

 

I am beyond myself today. Smiling from ear to ear. Extra peppy and exuberant to almost annoyingly chipper. And ever so often a tear falls from my eyes from the simple sweet victory that we as a country experienced yesterday. Not only in re-electing President Obama, but also the result of having Tammy Baldwin being the first LGBT senator in our nation’s Congressional Congress. AND three, THREE states (Maine, Maryland, and Washington) passed laws allowing same sex marriage along with Minnesota slamming down a measure that would outlaw equality.

It’s an amazing victory for the LGBT community and for our great nation. Though due to my never-ceasing inner monologue thoughts about the future begin to seep in and I ponder. See, I’m a relentless worrier. Not for our victories in the past 24 hours but where we as a country go from here. There’s still a lot of hate and vitriol for the LGBT community and it remains to be seen on whether that is from a vicious bigoted filled campaign by the extremist GOP or if there’s just still an unimaginable amount of anti-gay rhetoric. I sincerely hope it’s attributed to the former rather than the latter. But there’s some hope even in this (there’s always hope).

I read the tweets by Meghan McCain, daughter of the 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain, issued a series of tweets over the past few days that spoke of her disappointment in her party. Even though she is a republican, she knows that marriage is a right and should we as a nation should treat everyone with respect. And though as a Democrat I vehemently disagree with many of her party’s stances on how we should run our country, I respect that so much that she stands up against her own party for equality in these series of tweets:

Also very happy to hear marriage equality passing in Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

I don’t need to do any soul searching about what the GOP is doing wrong, I knew what was wrong four years ago when my father lost.#evolve

It may not seem like much to some,  but it is a start or could be a start. Where potential leaders like Meghan see that equality comes first. This is what all political parties should aspire to constituents and of themselves. Regardless, I will continue to show respect my republican friends. But I won’t lie and say it has been easy for our relationship. This campaign has been rough on just about everyone and friendships have been strained, sadly resulting in some friendships being irrevocably severed. We are all still hurt by those we love that supported candidates that not only did not support us, but treated us horribly. Treated us as less than equal, treated us like we were less than human.

And we have every right to be angry. Hurt. But we have to ask ourselves, not today but at some point very soon, how we change the world and not let the world change us. That even though we as the LGBT community will never accept anything other than full equality in our country, we can do more to promote understanding. We can still show kindness to those that have been cruel. We can promote forgiveness when we’ve been seen as unforgivable. That we can love to those that hate.

Yes, it’s my hippie nature in full affect, but throughout my life I have realized that there is not one simple answer to any worthwhile question. That any real solution that comes from great challenges is met with cooperation. We as a community, regardless of political affiliation, have always been that way. Accepting our differences and finding our common goals. I hope we never lose sight of that. Because we can always grow and learn. And love.

I’ve never been a sore winner or loser. I will not rub our victory in the faces of our adversaries nor will I say what they did wrong. But what I have and will continue to do is listen. Listen to different open minded suggestions/perceptions/assertions on where we are and how we can make this world better in achieving true equality. Our world is changing. We’ve got a long way to go but yesterday was the beginning of change, change that we can all believe in.

NOM’s Brian Brown Has Tantrum Over Gay Marriage Acceptance: “The Polling Wrong! It’s Impossible!”

“If [polls claim that] the country supports same-sex marriage, and you’ve got the red  states and the blue states evening each other out, and we’re still  winning in the deep blue states, there’s something wrong with the  polling saying that we nationally support same-sex marriage. It’s just statistically impossible. This makes clear that the people of this country know that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and all of this talk about somehow the country turning is absolutely false, and that protecting marriage is a winning issue. If we lose one, that would still be the same. It becomes harder if it’s two, three or four, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.” – National Organization hate group leader Brian Brown,

This is what the death throes of homophobia and bigotry sounds like.

Bill and Melinda Gates Give $500K To WA State Same-Sex Marriage Campaign

Bill and Melinda Gates have donated a cool $500,000 to Washington state’s campaign to uphold same-sex marriage which is curently under attack by the Right.

The donation was announced Tuesday by Washington United for Marriage, which is working to approve Referendum 74. The donation was made on Oct. 15, but didn’t publicly post online with the Public Disclosure Commission until Tuesday. Referendum 74 asks voters to either approve or reject the law allowing same-sex marriage that was passed by the Legislature earlier this year. Bill Gates had made a $100,000 contribution to the campaign earlier this year. About $11 million has been spent on the campaign so far, with a bulk of it spent by gay marriage supporters. Washington United for Marriage has far outraised its opponents, bringing in nearly $11 million compared to the more than $2 million raised so far by Preserve Marriage Washington, which opposes the law.

NYC’s Mayor Micheal Bloomberg donated a quarter million to the effort in Washington State late last week.

R-74 leading by almost 20+ points in the polls.

Clothing Franchise Nordstrom Supports Marriage Equality

In a show of support Thursday, international clothing franchise Nordstrom leaders advised over 56,000 employees in an email that the company now supports marriage equality and the measure to have same sex marriages legalized in Washington State:

“It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law as our other employees. We also believe supporting freedom to marry will help us create a more attractive and inclusive workplace for our current and prospective employees.”

The company joins Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks and Amazon.com (who have already given 2.5 million to ensure that the bill passes). Overall the bill may be the first bill in which marriage is legally voted into a state’s constitution.

Washington State Catholic Diocese Orders Special Service Collections To Fight Same Sex Marriage

The Reverend Joseph J. Tyson of the Diocese of Yakima has ordered that catholic churches within his district make a special collection to be donated to Preserve Marriage Washington to fight against same-sex marriage in Washington state.

Labor Day Weekend marks the beginning of Preserve Marriage Month, the official start to our educational program to inform parishioners about Catholic teaching on marriage and Referendum 74 (R‐74), which would redefine marriage. R‐74 will appear on the ballot in November. “With the other bishops of our state I will issue a statement reinforcing that marriage between one man and one woman is central to Catholic teaching.” I am asking you to announce a special parishioner financial appeal at each Mass on the weekend of August 25/26 or September 1/2 – whichever one you choose – to promote the September 8/9 in‐pew collection for the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign. This important appeal will benefit the campaign to reject R‐74.

This “fund drive” by the Diocese of Yakima clearly violates the directives/laws that prohibit churches from engaging in political activities.  The law allows a 501(c)(3) to engage in “insubstantial” lobbying regarding a particular cause, but  I would say that this pass-the-collection-plate action clearly violates the law and this Diocese should be investigated immediately and lose their 501(c)(3)

I say tax the souless bastards.

*Hat Tip to the hairy, hunky and hung Joe Jervis at Joe My God

Amazon.con Founder Jeff Bezos and Wife Donate $2.5M To Marriage Equality Fight In Washington State

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com and his wife, MacKenzie, have agreed to donate $2.5 million to help pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington State, instantly becoming among the largest financial backers of gay marriage rights in the country.

The 2.5 million dollar gift, doubles the money available to the proponents of Referendum 74, which will legalize same-sex marriage in the state by affirming a law that passed the Legislature this year.

Same-sex marriage was legalized by Washington’s States Legislature last February after a push by Gov. Christine Gregoire,. But opponents collected enough signatures to put the legislation to the voters.

Jennifer Cast, one of Amazon’s earliest employees, who was able to buy Amazon shares UK and a lesbian mother of four children who is now a fund-raising chairwoman of the pro-referendum effort sent Mr. Bezos and his wife an e-mail asking for help.

In her e-mail, sent Sunday evening, Ms. Cast, 50, implored Mr. Bezos to understand the importance of the issue to her and her longtime partner.

“I want to have the right to marry the love of my life and to let my children and grandchildren know their family is honored like a ‘real’ family,” Ms. Cast wrote. “We need help from straight people. To be very frank, we need help from wealthy straight people who care about us and who want to help us win.”

Jeff, I suspect you support marriage equality,” she wrote. “I beg you not to sit on the sidelines and hope the vote goes our way. Help us make it so.”

And Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos has.

Well done and Thank you.