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Quick Hits

Know thine enemy.  This well funded organization shows up across the US and in other countries, initiating, leading and supporting challenges to LGBT rights.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a Scottsdale, AZ-based legal group committed to rolling back the rights of women and LGBT people on the grounds of “religious liberty.” The organization has played a leading role in combatting marriage equality and non-discrimination policies in the U.S. while working internationally to criminalize homosexuality. Despite its rabid anti-LGBT extremism, ADF receives reliably friendly treatment from Fox News.

Established as the Alliance Defense Fund in 1994, ADF’s founders include such religious right leaders as Focus on the Family’s James C. Dobson and Campus Crusade for Christ’s Bill Bright. According to ADF’s website, the organization changed its name to Alliance Defending Freedom in 2012 to highlight its “enduring mission to gain justice for those whose faith has been unconstitutionally denied in the areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”

Headed by President, CEO, and General Counsel Alan Sears, staffed by more than 40 attorneys, and boasting an annual budget in excess of $30 million, ADF bills itself as “a servant ministry building an alliance to keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system.”  As part of its effort to remake the American legal system along quasi-theocratic lines, ADF has:

  • Partnered with more than 300 like-minded institutions, including the Federalist Society, the Home School Legal Defense Association, the rabidly anti-LGBT Pacific Justice Institute, the Thomas More Law Center, anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, and the now-defunct “ex-gay” organization Exodus International….

4 Comments December 7, 2013 Sagesse

On November 4, a critical mass of Mormons in the United States Senate—including Republicans Orrin Hatch of Utah and Dean Heller of Nevada (whose vote broke a filibuster by his own party)—played a critical role in passing the historic Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) protecting gay and lesbian Americans in the workplace.

Just days later, grassroots LDS Church members in the heavily Mormon communities of Oahu’s North Shore received instructions during their Sunday church meetings on how to help defeat—by letter writing or organized bus caravan to the state capitol—historic legislation to secure civil marriage rights for gay and lesbian Hawaiians.

The contrast has commentators from the New York Times to Mother Jones writing about what appear to be divergent impulses on LGBT issues in a faith that built its twentieth-century branding on tight bureaucratic management of theology and public image.

So what do Mormons really believe about homosexuality?

1 Comment December 1, 2013 Sagesse

 

A same-sex couple at Fort Irwin, Calif., says they have been denied participation in an Army marriage enrichment program because of their sexual orientation, even though they are legally married.

Shakera Leigh Halford said her wife, a soldier at the post, approached a chaplain at Fort Irwin about participating in a “Strong Bonds” retreat at the base but was told the couple is “ineligible” because of their sexual orientation.

The retreat is one of the many services run by the Army’s Chaplain Corps. The Southern Baptist Convention, which provides the largest share of active-duty military chaplains, has barred members from taking part in weddings, counseling sessions and couples retreats for same-sex couples. Similar restrictions apply to Roman Catholic chaplains.

Southern Baptist chaplains in violation of these restrictions will be subject to removal of their endorsement, by order of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

28 Comments November 23, 2013 Sagesse

Your Judge Walker fix for a Saturday morning.  Video.

Leave a Comment November 23, 2013 Sagesse

The site is Regnerus Fallout.

7 Comments November 21, 2013 Sagesse

The NOM project to ‘grow your own’ expert witnesses is about to take the stage in Michigan.

Last month a Michigan judge set February 25th as the trial date for the above-titled lawsuit to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. According to a filing released yesterday, the state is calling discredited researcher Mark Regnerus as an “expert witness” on their behalf….

Also on Michigan’s expert witness list is Professor Joseph Price from Utah’s Brigham Young University.  Earlier this year Price and four other (presumably Mormon) members of the Brigham Young social sciences faculty filed an anti-gay SCOTUS brief against the overturn of DOMA….

Another familiar name on Michigan’s list of defense witnesses is Professor Douglas Allen, of Canada’s Simon Fraser University. Allen sits on the board of directors of NOM’s hate-satellite, the Ruth Institute….

The final name on Michigan’s list of so-called experts is Louisiana State University’s Professor Loren Marks, whose study on gay parenting was published in the same July 2012 issue of Social Science Research as the Regnerus study….

Also on Friday Nov 15:

FLORIDA: UCF Faces Contempt Charge For Refusing To Hand Over Regnerus Files

The University of Central Florida is facing a contempt of court charge for refusing to hand over internal documents related to the publication of discredited researcher Mark Regnerus’ deeply flawed study on gay parenting.

11 Comments November 16, 2013 Sagesse

7 Comments November 16, 2013 Sagesse

The process of discrediting the Regnerus study continues.

In an opinion released today, a Florida state court judge ruled that the University of Central Florida must turn over records related to the publication of a debunked 2012 study conducted by Mark Regnerus that demonizes gay and lesbian parents. Regnerus’ research has been called into legal question not merely for its questionable results, but also because the study was underwritten by the Witherspoon Institute, an organization with a history of distinctly unscholarly anti-gay activity….

In today’s opinion, Orange County Circuit Judge Donald Grincewicz ruled that emails and documents possessed by University of Central Florida (UCF) related to the flawed study’s peer-review process must be turned over to John Becker, who sought the documents under Florida’s Public Records Act. UCF houses the journal Social Science Research, which published the Regnerus study, and the editor of the journal, UCF Professor James Wright, led the peer-review process for the research.  Becker is represented by the Law Office of Andrea Flynn Mogensen, P.A., and Barrett, Chapman & Ruta, P.A; and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation funded the litigation.

15 Comments November 12, 2013 Sagesse

Truth Wins Out launched a new website today, LGBTScience.org, to counter the anti-gay junk science industry’s frequent distortions about the origins of homosexuality. This ongoing project explores the latest research findings and videotapes interviews key scientists.

1 Comment November 12, 2013 Sagesse

Another way of looking at the cultural map of marriage equality.

[T]he states that recognize gay marriage have fallen into a predictable geographic pattern: the Northeast, the West Coast and the Upper Midwest.

A new map may help explain the regional differences.

Maine journalist Colin Woodward put together the map for his forthcoming book, “American Nations,” which looks at how the United States developed into 11 distinct regions, each with its own cultural identity and norms.

Leave a Comment November 12, 2013 Sagesse

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