Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions Confirmation

During his confirmation hearing, the conservative Senator from Alabama fell back on the notion of “settled law”.

As for as marriage equality, LGBT rights and women’s access to abortion, he admitted that it was the “law of the land” and that he would grudgingly uphold it. Specifically on marriage quality and the Obergfell decision he stated:

“The Supreme Court has ruled on that, the dissents dissented vigorously, but it was 5-4 and … I will follow that decision.”

Trump might replace more of the Supreme Court

As the clock ticks down to the inauguration, we have reason to be concerned about both gay rights and women’s health. President-elect Trump’s list of nominees stays pretty far to the right. More worrying is that he may get to appoint additional justices, given the advanced ages of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy.

According to The Advocate:

During the presidential campaign, Trump released two lists of judges and other officials from which he said he’d choose his Supreme Court nominees. All are very conservative, and some have anti-LGBT track records. That makes it likely that if the appropriate case comes before them, they would vote to revoke marriage equality, abortion rights, and other civil liberties. Trump had also pledged to appoint justices in the mold of the ultraconservative Scalia, who died last year, and the president-elect has said he thought the marriage equality decision should be overturned (he also said after the election that the issue of marriage equality was “done” and “settled”).
Trump’s two top choices, according to Politico, are Diane Sykes and William H. Pryor Jr. Both pose a threat to LGBT rights, given their records.

Link to The Article.

At least incoming president Trump is “fine with that.”

I have serious concerns that the president-to-be might be damaging to women’s reproductive and health rights. However, at least when pressed on the issue of same sex marriage, he claims not to have a problem. From his interview on 60 Minutes.

Lesley Stahl: Well, I guess the issue for [LGBTQ groups] is marriage equality. Do you support marriage equality?

Donald Trump: It— it’s irrelevant because it was already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done.

Lesley Stahl: So even if you appoint a judge that—

Donald Trump: It’s done. It—you have—these cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And, I’m fine with that.

Big Gay Irish Xmas Card

Religious conservatives continue to use political schemes to block marriage equality in Ireland. Meanwhile there’s a big gay Xmas card up in the middle of Belfast. It’s already so full of messages of love that they’re going to need more cards. Lots more.

Suit Filed in Minnesota

A husband a wife videographer company in St Cloud, Minnesota have filed against the state claiming their religious freedom is infringed by Minnesota’s Human Right’s Act. You know, that law that says they aren’t allowed to be bigots.

Carl and Angel Larson wish to not provide their video services to same sex weddings through their company Telescope Media Group. Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota in 2013. While they should defiantly lose on both legal and moral grounds, it’s almost tempting to let the free market sort this one out.

According to the article in the Star Tribune, they are “breaking into” the wedding business, and they already want to turn away customers? Sounds like a built in business FAIL.

Minnesota marriage equality

Gov Mark Dayton sighs gay marriage bill.

Will Taiwan be next for same sex marriage?

 

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Taiwan is back in the news as president-elect Trump reached out to the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in an apparent snub to China. However, she has her own battle to deal with right now over marriage equality.

Thousands of Taiwanese people have been protesting outside the Legislative Yuan – Taiwan’s Parliament – as lobbying, mainly from religious groups, is trying to stop a proposed marraige equality amendment.

The Taiwanese Pride Parade last month drew some 80,00 attendees, and was basically a huge party.  But now with fierce opposition from religious leaders impassioned speakers from the LGBT community pleaded with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The Legislative Yuan’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee is scheduled to meet to discuss proposed legislation to amend Taiwan’s Civil Code allowing same-sex couples to marry. This would be the easiest and fastest way to legalize gay marriage. It was proposed by DPP legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女).

The DPP campaigned, in part, by advocating marriage equality and the LGBT community is now afraid that they might turn their backs on that commitment. Recent proposals have suggested a separate civil union law for same sex marriages.

We all know how well “separate, but equal” really works out.

If Taiwan does manage to legalize same sex marriage, it will be the first country in Asia to do so.

 

Pat McCrory concedes!

If there is a ray of sunshine in the recent election, it is that Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina has lost the position to the Democratic challenger, Roy Cooper. While the race was very close, McCrory conceded today.

Obviously, McCrory was controversial because of his bigoted ideas and the famous HB2 trans-gendered bathroom bill. He stood behind the bill, despite widespread national disapproval and ridicule. McCrory

While Trump did win the state of North Carolina, the controversial bathroom law cost the state an estimate $400 million in lost business. Companies like PayPal and Deutsche Bank cancelled expansions, costing the state more than 1,000 jobs. Rockstars, like Bruce Springsteen cancelled concerts. Hopefully, the new governor can get the law repealed, especially in the face of the possible loss of $5 billion a year in federal education money. It looks like voters in in NC could at least feel it in their wallets if they couldn’t feel it in their hearts.