YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: gay, gay, gay and gay



TEXAS HAS CLEARLY LOST HOPE. IT’S RESORTING TO PRAYING AWAY THE GAY, EVEN THOSE WHO USED TO DO REPARATIVE THERAPY DON’T BELIEVE IN IT ANYMORE (NOR DOES SCIENCE): “Earlier this week, the Dallas Voice reported that the Texas Republican Party had stripped language from its platform that claimed that “homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family,” but the Houston Chronicle now reports that the language has been replaced with a different kind of condemnation. According to a first draft the Chronicle obtained, the Texas GOP will now endorse ex-gay therapy for “patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle”: Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy. The inclusion of ex-gay therapy is likely a response to laws passed in California and New Jersey and proposed in several other states banning the harmful treatment for minors. A consensus of social scientists have rejected efforts to try to manipulate a person’s sexual orientation, having found no legitimacy to its effectiveness. Survivors of the treatment have overwhelmingly described it as harmful, having caused them shame, emotional harm, self-hate, suicidal ideation, and nervous breakdowns. Of those who said they experienced harm, 84 percent said they are still affected by their past experiences with ex-gay therapy today.” (via ThinkProgress)



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WHO’S AFRAID OF THE BIG GAY WOLF?: “Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi abruptly cancelled a speech in Sarasota on Tuesday amid a growing backlash over her office’s legal fight against a same-sex marriage lawsuit. Bondi was scheduled to speak at the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services annual awards banquet in Sarasota and receive special recognition from the group for her work on fighting human trafficking. But shortly before she was scheduled to speak, the Florida Network organizers announced Bondi had cancelled her appearance. Bondi’s Tallahassee press office did not respond to questions about the cancellation. Bondi and her office have been under fire for opposing a federal lawsuit in which eight gay couples accuse Florida of discriminating against them by not recognizing their marriages from other states. In a legal filing in May, Bondi’s staff argued that allowing a court injunction against the state’s existing marriage laws would “impose significant public harm.” Bondi released a statement on Monday saying the court argument does not take a political position against gay marriage. “The brief does not argue for or against same-sex marriage as a matter of policy, wisdom, or fairness,” Bondi said. “Those decisions are for the voters of each state, not for lawyers or courts. It is my duty to protect Florida from the ‘harm’ of a federal injunction overriding the will of Florida voters.” (via Sarasota Herald-Tribune)


THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE IS NONE OF THOSE THINGS. DISCUSS: “The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to halt same-sex weddings in Oregon while a federal appeals court considers whether a group opposed to gay marriage can intervene in the case. The order follows an emergency appeal by the National Organization for Marriage, which seeks to overturn U.S. District Judge Michael McShane's May 19 ruling that declared Oregon's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The group had unsuccessfully tried to intervene in the lower court proceeding after Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declined to defend the same-sex ban. The group filed its request with Justice Anthony Kennedy and he referred it to the full court. The justices denied it without comment. Hundreds of same-sex couples have obtained marriage licenses since McShane's order, including 245 in Multnomah County, the state's largest. The Oregon case differs from others where the Supreme Court or federal appeals judges have temporarily blocked lower-court rulings, halting same-sex unions while appeals proceed. In Oregon, the appeal is focused on whether an outside group can intervene in the case, not on the constitutionality of the same-sex marriage ban, so it raises a different set of legal questions. Lawyers for the attorney general's office have said they won't appeal McShane's ruling and are fighting the National Organization for Marriage's appeal in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Rosenblum, the attorney general, said there were no legal arguments she could offer in defense of the marriage ban that would be consistent with decisions last year by the U.S. Supreme Court and with state laws. "We knew going in that we had a lot of procedural baggage with our case," said John Eastman, National Organization for Marriage's chairman and lawyer. "We thought it was important to make the effort, but we will continue to press ahead with our appeal, which remains alive, on our right to intervene in this case.’” (via ABC News)



THOU DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH, SCOUT: “A Miami judge has denied a motion from the Maitland-based Liberty Counsel to join the defense of Florida's Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel ruled that three organizations represented by the Liberty Counsel had no legal standing to join Miami-Dade Clerk of Court Harvey Ruvin in a lawsuit filed by six South Florida gay couples. The couples contend the state ban on gay marriage, passed by Florida voters in 2008, violates their rights under the federal Constitution. Zabel said the anti-gay groups, including Orlando attorney John Stemberger's Florida Family Action Inc., would not be directly affected by a ruling that upholds or overturns the same-sex ban. "The validity of their own marriages will not be affected. The judgment in this case will not order them to do or refrain from doing anything. It will not have any legal impact upon them," Zabel wrote in her Tuesday ruling. The judge's ruling was applauded by gay rights organizations. "We are excited and looking forward to our day in court on July 2 when hopefully Florida will join the parade of states granting those rights to its gay and lesbian citizens," said Orlando attorney Mary Meeks, who argued against the motion. The anti-gay groups argued that because they were instrumental in the passage of Amendment 2, they had a right to defend it in court. Zabel rejected that contention, saying they had no more at stake in the amendment than any other citizen in Florida.” (via Orlando Sentinel)



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