Monday, August 10, 2015

Ohio judicial board: judges cannot refuse to marry same-sex couples on moral, religious, or personal grounds

Judge C. Allen McConnell
I  bet the anti-gay right will attempt to make this a new clarion call about gays persecuting Christians. However, I doubt they will get any new converts. In reading the comment section about cases such as these, I've noticed that the majority of those responding aren't exactly on the side of government officials who won't do their jobs:

From the Associated Press:

Judges who perform marriages in Ohio can't refuse to marry same-sex couples on personal or moral grounds or because of religious beliefs, according to a state judicial conduct board.

In addition, judges who stop performing all marriages to avoid marrying same-sex couples may be interpreted as biased and could be disqualified from any case where sexual orientation is an issue, according to an opinion by the Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Professional Conduct issued Friday and made public Monday.

The ruling followed a request for guidance from a Toledo judge who refused to perform a same-sex wedding last month.

Municipal Judge C. Allen McConnell said he didn't marry a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs after the U.S. Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in all 50 states in June.

McConnell said Monday he would abide by the board's opinion and would marry a same-sex couple if requested.

Judges' oaths to support the state and U.S. constitutions also require them to honor court interpretations of constitutional matters, the judicial board said in its opinion.

The article goes on to say that though the board's decision is nonbinding, it can be used by the Ohio Supreme Court for guidance should the question arise again.

'Will Beyonce stand up for lgbt equality in Houston' & other Mon. midday news briefs

Will Beyonce stand up for lgbt equality in Houston?

Why Houston Is Asking BeyoncĂ© to #BeyBeAHERO - WONDERFUL idea. If I am not correct, Beyonce did reference the gay black ball community in the song "Get Me Bodied. (Snap for the kids, snap for the kids.Snap in a circle three times). We will see if this reaps success. 

Pat Robertson: Gay And Gay-Accepting Christians Going To Hell - Cause apparently God has sublet the act of condemning folks to hell to THIS guy.  

For once, Larry Kramer, don't talk. LISTEN - This morning's post on Holy Bullies. I didn't get a chance to share it like I generally share a post. I have much respect for Larry Kramer and understand what he is trying to say. But the dismissive manner he talks about the controversy over the Stonewall movie bothers the hell out of me.

 Straight Lawmaker Claims He Faked Gay Sex Scandal As A Ploy To Smoke Out His 'Mafia' Blackmailers - Chyle PLEASE! You couldn't GET me high enough to believe THAT. 

 Two men walk down the streets of Jerusalem holding hands- It DID NOT go well.

 Ugandans Celebrate Gay Pride, But Stigma Tempers Joy - THIS is bravery and something we should remember whenever we get too comfortable or complacent.

For once, Larry Kramer, don't talk. LISTEN

There is a lot of anger and confusion about the upcoming Stonewall movie. Based upon what was seen in the trailer, many lgbts are worried that the movie, which chronicles the riots in New York, which many feel led to the modern lgbt equality movement, will omit key lgbt of color personalities during those riots.

In other words, they are fearful that the movie will "whitewash" the entire incident. Because of that, there have been petitions, threats of boycotts, and an online storm of condemnations. Now I am not one to judge a movie solely based upon a trailer. However, on the other hand, trailers are generally shown to garner interest in a movie so there is nothing wrong with people expressing their displeasure if a trailer causes the opposite reaction.

So to tell the truth, I'm not necessarily concerned either way. However, I am concerned by the recent remarks made by  legendary lgbt activist and playwright Larry Kramer:

don’t listen to the crazies. for some reason there is a group of “activists” that insists on maintaining their prime importance and participation during this riot. unfortunately there seems no one left alive to say “it wasnt that way at all”, or “who are or where the f— were you.” as with so much history there is no way to “prove” a lot of stuff, which allows artists such as yourself (and me I might add) to take essences and attempt to find and convey meaning and truth. i sincerely hope this boycott your film s— peters out. we are not dealing with another “Cruising” here. keeping your film from being seen is only hurting ourselves. good luck and thank you for your passion. larry kramer

While Kramer does somewhat make a good point,  I found his tone to be rather ignorant and indicative of the problem.

You see, my opinion is that this anger regarding Stonewall is not just about the movie. It is about the lgbt equality movement in general.  I've always felt that the movement was too limited by what we are told to embrace, what we are told to believe, and what we are told should be our history.

When people talk about my ethnicity (African-American) or my region (the South) when it comes to being an lgbt, I get a mixture of pity and sadness. There seems to be this belief in our community that if you live in the South, you are disconnected from the community, except for being something like a Morlock in a homophobic No Man's Land.

And when you are black, you are pulled into transitory conversations about diversity and such, but you still never know what your history is when it pertains to lgbts.  All of the prominent spokespeople in our community you hear about who made a visible impact - from Frank Kameny to Larry Kramer - are generally white and male.  You ask where were the black lgbts who led organizations or who wrote books and were given a platform such as the cover of The Advocate magazine. Hell, where are they now?

In general, I guess I am trying to say that the anger over the Stonewall movie is merely a reaction to the fact that many prominent folks in our community aren't acknowledging that we are becoming not only more diverse but outspoken. And one thing we are speaking out about is that we are tired of the same visuals which does not include lgbts of color being visible leaders.

No disrespect meant, but what bothers me about Mr. Kramer is I don't know if he is aware of that.  This one time his blustery "tell it like it is" attitude isn't exactly "telling it like it is." Kramer is "telling it like it was," but it's not that way anymore.