Gov. Jan Brewer’s Anti-Gay Bill Veto Sends Strong Message to GOP Religious Extremists

gov jan brewer 300x223 Gov. Jan Brewers Anti Gay Bill Veto Sends Strong Message to GOP Religious Extremists

AZ Gov. Jan Brewer’s Anti-Gay Bill Veto Sends Strong Message to GOP Religious Extremists

Could Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of the controversial anti-gay “Religious Freedom” bill, known as SB 1062, signify a turning point in the right wing evangelicals lunatics holding the Republican Party hostage? The religious liberty scams being pulled by people like Mike Huckabee and Rep. Michele Bachmann, is literally creating a huge problem for the Republican Party. The GOP is literally at war with itself. Well, the tide may be turning with Gov. Brewer’s veto.

Any political advantage the Republican Party hoped to gain by positioning itself as tireless warriors for the religiously devout is imploding. The efforts to apply the same religious freedom argument to anti-gay measures in states such as Arizona, Georgia and Mississippi, are being met with strong resistance. This is eerily reminiscent of the Civil Rights era, when blacks and many whites fought for racial justice and equality. Yes, against some religious scam artists. The fact is, SB 1062, and other similar bills, not only gained resistance from liberals, but from business leaders, Republican celebrities and GOP political officials. We are all collectively giving the religious right extremists a dose of their own medicine — the middle finger.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer decided to buck the trend, despite the rallying cries from conservative windbag Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Michele Bachmann and many others, who felt that discriminating against the gay community was the right thing to do, for their own self-righteous sake. Gov. Brewer decided with whom she would stand and vetoed Arizona’s right-to-discriminate bill. She is now one of powerful group of conservatives who understand that religious freedom can’t be used as a tool for exemption from every law or issue conservatives don’t like. The threat to religious freedom can’t be imagined. It has to be verifiable. Gov. Brewer effectively admitted as such during her speech.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper had proven during an interview with GOP state senator Al Melvin, a supporter of SB 1062, that the freak-out from the religious right over discrimination because of their religious beliefs was imagined and not factual.  Melvin could not provide one example of what needs to be protected.

The ‘Stand Your Religion‘ law is akin to the ‘Stand Your Ground‘ law that allows people in Florida and in other states where it’s a law, to shoot dead anyone who ‘threatens’ them. No matter if the threat is imagined. Michael Dunn shot an unarmed black teen, Jordan Davis, over an altercation about ‘loud music.’ He could have very easily moved his vehicle if the music was such a bother. No, the gun gave him a sense of invincibility. So, he decided to start an argument with the teen, ending in a fatality. Curtis Reeves fatally shot Chad Oulson in Florida, after the two argued about the latter texting at a movie theater. The threat to retired police officer Reeves was a bag of popcorn.

Brewer said, “Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona.” “To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.” In other words, Gov. Brewer recognizes bullsh*t when she sees it. Namely SB 1062.

Brewer’s veto sends a strong message to the other states toying around with similar legislation. It’s not going to pass the smell test, much less be signed into law. There are far too many influential players on the sidelines in this dogfight. This uprising engineered by the right wing evangelicals is losing steam.

Of course, National Review editor Rich Lowry, is one of many Republicans who disagree with Brewer’s veto. He called it “foolish.”

A religious freedom statute doesn’t give anyone carte blanche to do whatever he wants in the name of religion. It simply allows him to make his case in court that a law or a lawsuit substantially burdens his religion and that there is no compelling governmental interest to justify the burden.

I have to ask Rich Lowry, should blacks have simply walked away from lunch counters where they weren’t welcomed to find other establishments? Or should they have found another means of getting to and from work after being told to sit at the back of the bus?  The fact is, Gov. Brewer just sent the message that those days are over when the right wing thought it could push its agenda while hiding behind the claim of religious freedom.

In closing, let me address the Stand Your Ground law because there are some shades of Jim Crow laws evident. Jordan Davis is our new Emmett Till. Florida Gov. Rick Scott should make the same argument about his state’s controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. He said he would have vetoed the Arizona bill. How many more people, particularly young men, need to be killed in Florida before he takes a stand and ends this law?

#BREAKING: Gov. Jan Brewer Vetoes ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill, Says It’s Too Broadly Worded

gov jan brewer 300x223 #BREAKING: Gov. Jan Brewer Vetoes Religious Freedom Bill, Says Its Too Broadly Worded

#BREAKING: Gov. Jan Brewer Vetoes ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill, Says It’s Too Broadly Worded (Credit: Twitter)

#SB1062:  Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial “religious freedom” bill, known as SB 1062, saying that it is too broadly worded and could have “unintended and negative consequences” in the future. She said the bill has the potential to create more problems than it purports it will solve. Brewer said her agenda is to sign legislation that furthers Arizona.

And, as the backlash intensified, even more conservative constituencies pressured Brewer to reject the bill. Arizona business groups sent her letters, Republican U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake expressed their opposition and even GOP lawmakers who voted for the bill pushed her to reject it.

Only a select few hard-line conservatives, like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and the Heritage Foundation, remained steadfast in their support.

Brewer stressed that she had consulted with all sides before making her decision.

“I call them like I see them, despot the cheers and the jeers from the crowd,” she said. “Religious freedom is an American value, and so is non-discrimination.” Source: Talking Points Memo

The battle isn’t over. There are still anti-gay “license to discriminate” bills pending in Mississippi and Georgia. Many believe the Georgia bill,  House Bill 1023, also known as “The Preservation of Religious Freedom Act,” is dead in the House. Many believe the bill would allow private business owners to cite their religious beliefs as a reason to deny service to gay customers. There is also a bill in the Georgia Senate, Senate Bill 377, that is very similar to HB1023.

Gov. Jan Brewer SB1062 Veto Letter

Rush Limbaugh: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Being ‘Bullied’ to Veto New Jim Crow Bill

rush limbaugh 300x200 Rush Limbaugh: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Being Bullied to Veto New Jim Crow Bill

Rush Limbaugh: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Being ‘Bullied’ to Veto New Jim Crow Bill (Credit: Salon)

I double dog dare Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to listen to conservative windbag Rush Limbaugh and sign the new Jim Crow bill, SB 1062 ( the Religious Freedom Restoration Act). I might also add that Georgia Republicans are trying to ram an equally controversial bill down our throats too.

Right talk radio is turning its focus this week to Arizona’s controversial bill that would allow business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian customers, and Rush Limbaugh is leading with the charge that Gov. Jan Brewer is being “bullied” into vetoing the measure “in order to advance the gay agenda.”

Limbaugh on Tuesday told his listeners that the media’s “soap storyline of the hour” is whether or not Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will veto SB 1062, which the state’s legislature passed last week.

“Religious beliefs can’t be used to stop anything the left wants to impose, unless they’re Muslim religious beliefs and then we have to honor those. But any other religious beliefs are not permitted,” Limbaugh said. “The left will not allow them. Now, the current thinking is that Gov. Brewer will probably veto the bill, which, you might think on the face of it will make her a hero with the news media and the rest of the left.”

Sure, it might make her a hero, he said — “for five minutes.” And then she’ll go back to being a “near criminal conservative Republican,” Limbaugh continued, because “their reaction will be, what took her so long? Why did she even consider not vetoing this?”

“She’s being bullied by the homosexual lobby in Arizona and elsewhere,” he said. “She’s being bullied by the nationwide drive-by media, she’s being bullied by certain elements of corporate America in order to advance the gay agenda. I guess in that circumstance bullying is admirable. In fact, this kind of bullying is honorable.” Source: Politico

Um, yeah…whatever Rush, whatever…..

Uganda President Museveni Thumbs Nose at President Obama, Signs Anti-Gay Bill

Yoweri K. Museveni 300x214 Uganda President Museveni Thumbs Nose at President Obama, Signs Anti Gay Bill

Uganda President Thumbs Nose at President Obama, Signs Controversial Anti-Gay Bill

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed controversial anti-gay legislation into law, despite international outcry. The Anti-Homosexuality Act, calls for seven years in prison for “the offense of homosexuality” and a life sentence for “aggravated homosexuality.” Uganda newspaper The Observer reports, “The bill will formally become law when it gets published in the Uganda Gazette. That, however, remains a formality. For Uganda’s largely anti-gay population, the most important part was the president’s signature.”

I guess President Museveni doesn’t value his country’s relationship with the U.S. Earlier this month President Obama warned that the signing of the bill would “complicate” the U.S.’s relationship with his country. The U.S. sent Uganda over $256 million in aid last year.

The bill’s author, David Bhati, claims that the law is aimed at protecting children. Let’s be real, it’s not about protecting children for him. Being gay doesn’t mean one is a pedophile.

I think President Yoweri Museveni has what it means to be gay all twisted. The Observer reports:

The president suggested he could not to understand how men could fail to be attracted to Uganda’s beautiful women and, instead, get attracted to fellow men.

The president also paraded the mostly Ugandan scientists who concluded that homosexuality wasn’t generic.

I’m not sure if the writer of the article meant to say ‘genetic’ instead of generic. Since Museveni specifically said he was looking for a gay gene and that his scientists couldn’t come up with one.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denounced the bill in a scathing statement:

Instead of standing on the side of freedom, justice, and equal rights for its people, today, regrettably, Ugandan President Museveni took Uganda a step backward by signing into law legislation criminalizing homosexuality. As President Obama has said, this law is more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda, it reflects poorly on the country’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people and will undermine public health, including efforts to fight HIV/AIDS. We will continue to urge the Ugandan government to repeal this abhorrent law and to advocate for the protection of the universal human rights of LGBT persons in Uganda and around the world.

Is Opposing Gay Marriage Based on ‘Christian Beliefs’ Racist?

wedding rings 1 300x300 Is Opposing Gay Marriage Based on Christian Beliefs Racist?

Is Opposing Gay Marriage Based on ‘Christian Beliefs’ Racist?

The Week has an interesting article asking if conservative opposition to gay marriage is the same as being racist. For starters, the Bible did address slavery, but it didn’t seem to be in the context of race-based slavery, as was the case in the U.S., Great Britain, Spain and the Netherlands. It’s true that there were some Christians, who were members of the Ku Klux Klan, went to church at 11 a.m., then burned crosses on front lawns and lynched innocent blacks later in the evening. Some people back then used their religion to justify their racist attitudes and treatment of blacks. Some are trying to do that with the gay community. Marginalizing people on the basis of their religion and sexual orientation is just wrong. I will admit, I wasn’t a gay marriage proponent for many years,  but I have come to the realization that depriving someone of being with the person they love is just wrong. It’s morally wrong. The fact is racism and homophobia should have no place in our society….period.

The big deal is that strictures against homosexuality are rooted far more deeply in the Judeo-Christian tradition than racism ever was. Yes, slavery is found throughout the Scriptures and comes in for criticism only, at best, by implication. But race-based slavery — and the racism that made it possible and continues to infect ideas and institutions throughout the West to this day — receives no explicit endorsement from the Bible.

Which isn’t to say that those seeking to justify race-based slavery or racism couldn’t, and didn’t, twist biblical passages to make them provide such justification. But the Hebrew Bible and New Testament clearly do not teach (either explicitly or implicitly) that buying, owning, and selling African slaves is next to godliness.

The same cannot be said about the normative teaching on human sexuality contained within the Judeo-Christian scriptures — and even more so, within the interpretative and theological traditions that grow out of them. In dismissing this teaching so casually, Chotiner ends up implying that traditionalist churches and religious communities are the moral equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan.

If that’s an accurate evaluation of their moral status, then we can expect that before long traditionalist religious views will be denied legitimacy by the courts, denigrated in the public schools, and thoroughly marginalized in our public life. (For a sober but concerned exploration of how the social and legal persecution of traditionalist belief might unfold over the coming years, see Rod Dreher’s recent cover story in The American Conservative.)

Chotiner and his fellow secular liberals may well be right that traditionalist views of sexuality are bound to evolve, with nearly everyone destined to accept and affirm the dignity of homosexual relationships. But given the commitments of these same liberals to personal freedom, shouldn’t they also insist that the evolution take place at its own pace, without being forcibly imposed by the coercive powers of the state? Source: The Week

Um, I remember a time when interracial marriages were against the law in America. It’s still frowned upon by many who are still hellbent on living in the Dark Ages.  While it may not be a popular position, people are free to have their own opinions. I wouldn’t call someone a racist for believing that marriage should be between one man and one woman. You have to consider the context in which the person is voicing his or her opposition to gay marriage. Yes, there are some people who have racist views of the gay community, but there are some who aren’t. If the truth be told, no matter where one stands on the issue of gay marriage, it’s very easy for each side to twist the Scriptures to fit their ideology. That doesn’t make it right. Far from it. The bottom line is that we are all afforded freedoms under the Constitution. That also includes the LGBT community. So, deal with it.

Uganda President in No Rush to Sign Controversial Anti-Gay Law

uganda president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Uganda President in No Rush to Sign Controversial Anti Gay Law

Uganda President in No Rush to Sign Controversial Anti-Gay Law (Credit: Wikipedia)

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni’s spokesman said he “will not rush to approve a controversial anti-gay draft law, widely criticized internationally but overwhelmingly backed by local political and religious leaders,” AFP reports.

Uganda’s parliament adopted the bill on December 20. It will see repeat offenders jailed for life, sparking an international outcry as lawmakers hailed it as a victory against “evil”.

“There has been pressure from religious leaders and parliament to sign the bill into law,” presidential spokesman Tamale Mirundi told AFP, adding that Museveni “won’t rush to assent the bill before he studies it” fully.

“President Museveni is a practical president, he takes decisions based on analysis and not on how many support or are against it,” he added.

There is no reason why a person should live in fear of being who they truly are. We fought for civil rights and racial equality for blacks in America, the gay community deserves the same rights and freedom to be who they truly are. Who are we to judge?

A&E Waves White Flag, Phil Robertson’s Hiatus from ‘Duck Dynasty’ Ends

white flag A&E Waves White Flag, Phil Robertsons Hiatus from Duck Dynasty Ends

A&E Waves White Flag, Phil Robertson’s Indefinite Hiatus from ‘Duck Dynasty’ Ends

Duck Dynasty‘ patriarch Phil Robertson is back as A&E waves a white flag to homphobia, saying they disagreed with his coarse language, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Um, in essence, money talks. So glad I am not a ‘Duck Dynasty‘ fan or supporter. Personally, I expected nothing better emanating from the lips of Phil Robertson. So, no, I am not half as shocked as some people are.

CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill denounced the network’s decision to reverse course, calling it a “morally reprehensible” one. I guess Rev. Jesse Jackson didn’t get any satisfaction from Phil Robertson’s slight against blacks during the Jim Crow era. There was no mention of his insensitivity to blacks in their statement.

“They had to make some sort of gesture to make people happy,” Hill said of the network, “and they did that with the suspension which essentially meant nothing.” Just a Bible network wouldn’t want a “card-carrying atheist” to represent them, he continued, A&E should be able to keep a “card-carrying homophobe” off its air out of respect for the LGBT community.

“A&E decided that the 14 million viewers and millions and hundreds of millions of dollars that come with that is worth more than the LGBT community. That was the choice that they made,” Hill continued. “They were swayed by the market and unfortunately justice lost out this time.”

Before the segment ended, Hill noted that this whole story proves that homophobia is “the last form of discrimination that’s publicly acceptable. That’s what we learned from this, that it’s still okay to not like gay people in full public space and you can get rich off of it.” Source: Mediaite

Here’s A&E’s statement about waving the white flag at the ‘Duck Dynasty‘ clan:

“As a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.

That is why we reacted so quickly and strongly to a recent interview with Phil Robertson. While Phil’s comments made in the interview reflect his personal views based on his own beliefs, and his own personal journey, he and his family have publicly stated they regret the “coarse language” he used and the mis-interpretation of his core beliefs based only on the article. He also made it clear he would “never incite or encourage hate.” We at A+E Networks expressed our disappointment with his statements in the article, and reiterate that they are not views we hold.

But Duck Dynasty is not a show about one man’s views. It resonates with a large audience because it is a show about family… a family that America has come to love. As you might have seen in many episodes, they come together to reflect and pray for unity, tolerance and forgiveness. These are three values that we at A+E Networks also feel strongly about.

So after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family.

We will also use this moment to launch a national public service campaign (PSA) promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in Duck Dynasty. These PSAs will air across our entire portfolio.”

The following tweet pretty much sums it all up for me….

Megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen on Gay Marriage: “We’re for Everybody”

joel osteen 300x167 Megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen on Gay Marriage:  Were for Everybody

Megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen on Gay Marriage: “We’re for Everybody” (Photo credit: Screengrab)

Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen told “Katie” during a recent interview that he wouldn’t marry two gay individuals saying, “No Katie, because I feel that would go against what the Scriptures teaches. He said he doesn’t ‘harp’ on such issues.

Osteen also said “But anytime I talk about this, people say you’re a gay-basher and all that, we are not. We’re for everybody. Our ministry is about lifting people up.”  So, he’s not for gay marriage, but he’s for everyone, right?

Joel Osteen also emphasized that the overall theme in the Bible, which was also echoed by Jesus Christ — “love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Katie Couric asked Osteen “are you worried if you spoke out supporting it [gay marriage] that there would be a backlash against your congregation?”

Osteen said “Well, I think there would be because I don’t feel like that’s what the Scriptures says.” He added, “But again, there’s so many things that we can focus on. I’m not going to harp on one group. I’m for everybody. Jesus said, ‘I didn’t come into the world to condemn people but that the world could be saved.’ Our ministry is about lifting people up. Let them make their own decisions, I’m not the one to judge anybody,” he added.

GOP Congressional Candidate Ian Bayne Compares Phil Robertson to Rosa Parks

phil robertson1 225x300 GOP Congressional Candidate Ian Bayne Compares Phil Robertson to Rosa Parks

GOP Congressional Candidate Ian Bayne Compares Phil Robertson to Rosa Parks (Photo credit: Instinct Magazine)

Once again, the Republican Party is trying to rewrite black history….GOP congressional candidate Ian Bayne went there. He compared ‘Duck Dynasty’ patriarch Phil Robertson to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

Huffington Post:  “In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians,” Bayne said in an email to supporters. “What Parks did was courageous,” he added. “What Mr. Robertson did was courageous too.”

Really? Rosa Parks never denigrated gays and blacks. She fought against a system that treated blacks as unequal and worth nothing. Sorry, but comparing Phil Robertson to Rosa Parks is an insult to her name and legacy.

 GOP Congressional Candidate Ian Bayne Compares Phil Robertson to Rosa Parks

Duck Dynasty Clan: Phil Robertson’s Anti-Gay Rant Grounded in Bible Teachings

duck dynasty 300x180 Duck Dynasty Clan: Phil Robertsons Anti Gay Rant Grounded in Bible Teachings

Duck Dynasty Clan: Phil Robertson’s Anti-Gay Rant Grounded in Bible Teachings

The Duck Dynasty clan issued a statement that basically tells A&E to shove it after patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended indefinitely for his anti-gay rant. But I have to ask, did the interviewer expect any better from Phil Robertson? Really? I am also disturbed by his racist comments about blacks ‘singing and happy’ picking cotton back in Louisiana.

We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support.  The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision.  We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word.  While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.  We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.   Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.

Truth is people should also be worked up over Phil Robertson’s racist comments, with a dig at President Obama. Here’s a reminder of what he told GQ:

“I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

[...]

“If I’m lost at three o’clock in a major metropolitan area…I ask myself: Where would I rather be trying to walk with my wife and children? One of the guys who’s running for president is out of Chicago, Illinois, and the other one is from Salt Lake City, Utah. [Editor's note: Romney is from Boston, not Salt Lake City.] Where would I rather be turned around at three o’clock in the morning? I opted for Salt Lake City. I think it would be safer.”

The usual hatemongers let it be known they back Phil Robertson 100 percent: