Ceara Sturgis in 2009 wore a tuxedo for her 2010 high school yearbook senior photo (image, right.) School officials in her home state of Mississippi didn’t like that so they simply didn’t include her in the yearbook. Don’t like lesbians? Hide them from the public. Sturgis is now holding a commitment ceremony — Mississippi doesn’t allow same-sex marriage — and wanted to use a local museum for the event, after attending a wedding there. State officials at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum said no, becauseÂ Â a commitment ceremony is like a wedding — andÂ Mississippi doesn’t allow same-sex marriage. SoÂ Mississippi officials are trying once again to hide Sturgis from the public and deny her her rights.
The concept that something is illegal because it is like something that is illegal is illogical at best and absolutely wrong in this case. Fortunately, the Southern Poverty Law Center is representingÂ Ceara Sturgis and her partner,Â Emily Key, and have given the museum until July 25 to concede.
Noting the “state-owned museum refused to allow a similar ceremony for two men earlier this year,” Fox News of course published an antigay article titled, “Lesbian demands ceremony at Mississippi museum.”
The museum has said it interprets commitment ceremonies to represent a union and cites a 2009 opinion by Attorney General Jim Hood saying it could decline such ceremonies because same-sex marriage is banned in Mississippi.
The SPLC is not challenging Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage, but says the museum should allow commitment and marriage ceremonies to take place even if the couple won’t be recognized under state law.
“The Museum’s policy is premised on a misguided and erroneous interpretation of Mississippi state law and, further, violates the United States Constitution. We intend to challenge the Museum’s policy in federal court if the Museum does not rescind its policy against same-sex commitment and marriage ceremonies and honor our clients’ request,” the letter said.
Sturgis told The Associated Press Thursday that she went to a friend’s wedding at the museum and liked it, so she thought it would be the right place for her and Key to publically profess their love. She said they’re not asking the state to recognize them as a married couple, but they just want to be able to rent the venue for a celebration like a heterosexual couple could.
“Emily and I just want to have the same fair treatment as everyone else. We want to share our love with our friends and family,” Sturgis said.
Zack Ford atÂ Think ProgressÂ notes:
Hoodâ€™s argument fails on its face. If it were true, then it would technically beÂ illegalÂ to have any kind of same-sex wedding or commitment ceremony. There is a difference between not recognizing same-sex unions and declaring them to be unlawful. What Hood seems to have suggested is that Sturgis and Key could be arrested simply by declaring their love for each other in front of their family and friends, which would obviously violate their right to free speech and expression. Given the growing number of religious denominations that recognize marriage equality, such a precedent would also be a clear violation of religious freedom.
For the state of Mississippi to declare that a same-sex commitment ceremony is unlawful behavior is an egregious attack on gay community and its personal liberties. Itâ€™s nothing more than a pathetic excuse for blatant anti-gay discrimination.
The American Family Association’s One New Now also published an article, quoting Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver:
“Now they’re being threatened by the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC], which is an organization that supports radical homosexual agenda items,” [Staver] reports. “This particular situation, I think, is one where in Mississippi, same-sex marriage is not recognized. And so it would be impermissible, I think, completely wrong to use government facilities to recognize something that is absolutely banned in the state of Mississippi.”
But Staver emphasizes that “the agenda of the sexual anarchist movement” is “to put this issue up — homosexuality, lesbianism and whatever the nomenclature of the alphabet may be from day to day — to simply push this into your face and to shove it down the throats of the American people. I believe that this threat of homosexuality and same-sex unions is the biggest threat to our family, to our morality and to our freedom that we face here in America,” the attorney concludes.
As for Mississippi, he believes the state stands on solid ground as it faces the threat of a lawsuit if it does not approve the ceremony by July 25.
Jeremy Hooper at Good As You responds to Staver:
I seriously can’t even comment on this. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go join my husband (akaÂ fellow family threatener) at dinner (akaÂ menu-based morality molester), where we we will consume pasta (akaÂ freedomâ€”fouling fusilli) and drink red wine (akaÂ sexual anarchy’s chosen lubricant). Until tomorrow, my dear readers (akaÂ nuclear bombs lying wait to destroy all that is holy).
According to readers, comments at One New NowÂ are being deleted if they criticize Christianity.
Ceara Sturgis won her lawsuit against her high school last year.
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‘I Will Not Stand by Silently’: Sotomayor Blasts SCOTUS Conservatives Over Their Latest Attack on Abortion Rights
“The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed outrage at her conservative Supreme Court colleagues Thursday afternoon, after the six right wing jurists went one step further in attacking the constitutional guarantee of abortion.
Voting 6-3 against a women’s health care provider the Court denied a request by Texas Women’s Health, which provides abortion services, to change jurisdictions, which according to Justice Sotomayor the Court should have done.
“The lawsuit is now stalled with the Texas Supreme Court,” Rewire News reports.
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a Supreme Court expert calls Sotomayor’s dissent “stunning.”
“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Sotomayor writes. “I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee. I dissent.”
She begins her dissent by explaining the case:
“It has been over four months since Texas Senate Bill 8 (S. B. 8) took effect. The law immediately devastated access to abortion care in Texas through a complicated private-bounty-hunter scheme that violates nearly 50 years of this Court’s precedents.”
“Today, for the fourth time, this Court declines to protect pregnant Texans from egregious violations of their constitutional rights. One month after directing that the petitioners’ suit could proceed in part, the Court countenances yet another violation of its own commands. Instead of stopping a Fifth Circuit panel from indulging Texas’ newest delay tactics, the Court allows the State yet again to extend the deprivation of the federal constitutional rights of its citizens through procedural manipulation. The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”
In response the Guttmacher Institute, an organization focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, accused the Supreme Court of “once again putting ideology over the rule of law.”
Image via Shutterstock
Ivanka Trump Responds to Committee’s Invite by Saying She Called for End to Violence – Leaves Out ‘Patriots’ Part
Ivanka Trump is responding to her invitation from the January 6 Committee by issuing a statement that is being seen suggesting she has no intention of accepting. Earlier Thursday the Committee sent the former First Daughter and White House senior advisor a lengthy 11-page letter asking for her voluntary cooperation.
A statement from her spokesperson given to CNN White House Correspondent Kate Bennett references a tweet posted by Ivanka Trump the day of the attack on the Capitol – a tweet she was forced to delete after massive outrage.
“As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally,” the statement reads. “As she publicly stated at 3:15pm, ‘any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately.”
NEW: @IvankaTrump's spokesperson tells me Ivanka "just learned" of the 1/6 Committee's invitation to appear before them, but from the response below, it sounds as though she isn't planning to do so: pic.twitter.com/VXpUXDnEuP
— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) January 20, 2022
But in the actual Ivanka Trump called the insurrectionists “American Patriots,” as CNN reported that day:
— CNN (@CNN) January 6, 2021
Georgia Prosecutor Asks to Convene Special Grand Jury to Investigate Donald Trump’s Alleged Election Interference
A Georgia county district attorney has requested to convene a special grand jury to assist in her investigation of Donald Trump‘s alleged election interference.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a letter to the county’s Superior Court chief judge writes that her office “has received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of the President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions,” according to the Associated Press.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (photo) was forced to release audio of then-President Trump appearing to intimidate him into fixing the election in his favor.
Trump, in the audio, can be heard berating and threatening the Republican Secretary of State, demanding he “recalculate” the losing election results and “find 11,780 votes” for him, which would have enabled Trump to falsely be declared the winner. Raffensberger refused.
“So look. All I want to do is this,” Trump told Raffensberger. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” he added, falsely. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
Willis told the AP the scope of her investigation “includes — but is not limited to — a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election.”
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