The Alabama Supreme Court ordered probate judges on Tuesday to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in apparent defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court, underscoring the depth of opposition to gay matrimony in the socially conservative state.
The 7-1 ruling comes roughly three weeks after U.S. District Judge Callie Granade’s decision overturning Alabama’s ban on gay marriage went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to put it on hold.
“As it has done for approximately two centuries, Alabama law allows for ‘marriage’ between only one man and one woman,” Tuesday’s state supreme court ruling said. “Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law.
“Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty.”
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this year to take up the issue of whether states can ban gay marriage. Its expected ruling in June likely will provide clarity on the issue in Alabama, as well as the 13 states where gay marriage remains illegal.
The Alabama high court ruling, which granted an emergency petition by two Alabama groups opposed to gay marriage, will likely not affect those same-sex couples in Alabama who have already received marriage licenses….
Eight major studies of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrived at the same conclusion:
gays were not born that way.
“At best genetics is a minor factor,” says Dr. Neil Whitehead, Ph.D. Whitehead worked for the New Zealand government as a scientific researcher for 24 years, then spent four years working for the United Nations and International Atomic Energy Agency….. His Ph.D is in biochemistry and
Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay…. But the studies reveal something else….
Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed today a federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and its Mayor Kasim Reed alleging they terminated his employment because of his belief in traditional marriage.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, states Cochran’s was fired “solely” because:
…[Cochran] holds religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage and homosexual conduct that are contrary to the mayor’s and the city’s views on these subjects, and because he expressed those beliefs in the non-work-related, religious book he self-published.
Cochran had been a firefighter since 1981 and was appointed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he returned to serve as Atlanta’s fire chief.
Cochran is a devout Christian and active in his community as a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and teacher.
On Jan. 6, 2015, after writing and self-publishing a book which briefly mentions homosexuality as one among many sexual sins from a Christian perspective, the city of Atlanta and Mayor Reed suspended Cochran without pay, subjected him to “sensitivity training” and ultimately fired him….
Writing for The Blaze, former Senior Airman Brian Kolfage accounts that he was driving through Davis Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson when he saw an American flag with rainbow stripes, instead of red and white stripes, flying high on a two-story house.
Kolfage complained to base officials that that flag violates a section of Title 4 that states the American flag “shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight [Fifty] stars, white in a blue field.”
But several days after his complaint, the installation commander ruled that the flag does not violate federal law and can remain flying.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), thinks the decision was made to accommodate a political agenda.
“This was exhibitionism of a political point of view. It was entirely inappropriate,” she exclaims….
As Western Journalism has previously reported, a bakery in Oregon was investigated by state authorities – and eventually forced to close – because its Christian owners opted to refuse an order for a lesbian couple’s wedding cake.
The scrutiny grew from a complaint filed by the prospective clients and grew into a national story evoking emotions from those on both sides of the issue. Similar accusations have subsequently been levied against Christian-owned businesses throughout the country.
Recent reports indicate that the same standard used against the Oregon bakery is now being implemented by a man who wanted a Colorado business to make a cake critical of homosexuality.
When Bill Jack, who founded the group Worldview, asked Azucar Bakery to fill an order for a Bible-shaped cake featuring two men holding hands and the phrase ‘God Hates Gays,’ the shop’s owner immediately refused….
Marjorie Silva said of the work order….‘No way. We’re not doing this. This is just very discriminatory and hateful.’”
According to Jack’s complaint, however, it was the bakery – not his cake design – that revealed true discrimination.
“I believe I was discriminated against by the baker based on my creed,” he said. “As a result, I filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights division.”….
Many of those who stood up for the rights of Christian bakers to refuse a pro-gay order maintain their position that a business owner should not be forced to violate his or her personal convictions.
“This is a free speech issue,” explained Focus on the Family’s Jeff Johnston, “and we support freedom of speech.”
He went on to conclude that “this baker should not be required to create a cake with a message that goes against her conscience.”
Westboro Baptist Church protesters were likely in for more than they bargained for on Saturday when their planned picket outside of a Portland Trail Blazers game was met by a massive group of boisterous counter-protesters.
After about 20 members of the infamous anti-gay church arrived at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon, to lambaste the team’s support for same-sex marriage, hundreds of their opponents were already on site ready to greet them, according to the Oregonian.
The two sides unsurprisingly clashed, with the situation seeming tense at moments; one counter protester reportedly tried to grab one of Westboro’s placards and others screamed at the church members, telling them to “get out.”
Video footage purporting to capture the incident shows people following church members back to their vehicle, with countless protesters surrounding the van and screaming as Westboro members attempted to drive away.
Westboro had reportedly intended to protest for 75 minutes, but only stayed on site for about 20 minutes before leaving due to the pushback, with KOIN-TV reporting that the counterinitiative “overwhelmed” the anti-gay protesters.
The church had announced its plans to protest at the Trail Blazers game in a press release on its website earlier this month, citing the NBA team’s open endorsement of gay marriage last year as its main reason for picketing.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Christian bakers who gained national attention after they refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, are in for a big surprise: a gay man who fervently disagrees with their stance on homosexuality is planning to willingly give them a large sum of money.
The Kleins, who have spoken with TheBlaze in the past about their legal woes since refusing to make the cake back in January 2013 and the subsequent loss of their shop, are reportedly facing a potential $150,000 fine — a fine that they say could bankrupt them.
But Matt Stolhandske, a board member of Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, a coalition of Christians who support same-sex marriage, recently launched an online campaign to raise money for the Klein family, despite his opposition to their views.
“As a gay man, I should hate Melissa and Aaron Klein,” Stolhandske wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed. “I’m also an evangelical Christian. I can’t understand why Klein or any other Christians twist the words of Jesus Christ to justify this behavior. To me, it’s a deeply harmful and embarrassing bastardization of our faith.”
But he went on to write that, as a Christian, he believes that he’s called to love even those with whom he disagrees, so he’s raising the funds so that the Kleins and their five children won’t suffer under the weight of the potentially massive fine.
Stolhandske said he’s planning to send whatever money he raises in a crowdfunding campaign to the bakers in an effort to keep them from going bankrupt and to show them good faith and love….