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‘Great Precaution Not To Offend A Minister’: Couple Denied Marriage Explains Why They Chose A Judge

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A same-sex couple who came up against a judge cited his religious beliefs as the reason he would not marry them explains why they chose a civil ceremony in the first place.

Weeks after the Supreme Court ruled states cannot ban same-sex couples from marrying, there are still many couples who are being denied their right to wed across the nation, all thanks to taxpayer paid employees of the state who are using religion to refuse to perform their jobs.

Take Carolyn Wilson.

She and her partner did their homework, looked up the hours and regulations of their Toledo, Ohio courthouse, paid the $15 fee and were told on Monday that the judge does not perform “these types of marriages.”

Toledo, Ohio Municipal Court Judge C. Allen McConnell issued a statement explaining why he declined to do his job.

“The declination was based upon my personal and Christian beliefs established over many years,” Judge McConnell said in a statement. “The court has implemented a process whereby same sex marriages will be accommodated. I will continue to perform traditional marriages during my duties assignment.”

But what are same-sex couples supposed to do, especially those who live in states, like Ohio, where many are less than supportive of marriage equality?

EARLIER: Gay Couples Across The Nation Still Denied Right To Marry Due To Public Employees’ Religious Beliefs

WTOL reports “Wilson says they specifically sought a public official to perform the marriage instead of a religious officiate.”

Carolyn Wilson and her partner thought they were doing the right thing, the moral thing, the thoughtful thing, the kind thing, perhaps even the understanding, supportive, tolerant, and even neighborly thing.

“We took great precaution not to offend a minister — that’s why we went to a judge to get married, never dreaming that he couldn’t follow the law,” Wilson told WTOL. “That he wouldn’t follow the law.”

“To go through that experience when it’s not pleasant and singles you out at a time in your life when you’re celebrating the fact that you have the same right as everyone else, it’s just not good. I don’t want anyone else to go through it,” she added.

No one else should have to go through it, at least not in Ohio.

The oath of office for judges in Ohio is quite clear, according to Ohio law.

“The oath of office of each judge of a court of record shall be to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state, to administer justice without respect to persons, and faithfully and impartially to discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on the person as such judge, according to the best of the person’s ability and understanding,” Ohio revised code 3.23 reads. “The oath of office of every other officer, deputy, or clerk shall be to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state, and faithfully to discharge the duties of the office.”

Fortunately, Wilson was able to get married, by another judge that day who understood his duty and performed it.

But of course, the religious right will never be satisfied. Most same-sex couples who want to marry aren’t asking clergy members they don’t know to marry them, to avoid awkward situations and out of respect for their religious beliefs.

But taxpayer employees of the state have, as written above, a legal duty and sworn oath to do their jobs, “faithfully and impartially.”

How much more are same-sex couples supposed to do to appease anti-gay activists and “Christians”? 

What more does the religious right want?

 

EARLIER:

‘Based Upon My Personal And Christian Beliefs’: Ohio Judge Refuses To Marry Same-Sex Couple

Video Of Kentucky Clerk Denying Same-Sex Couple Marriage License After Cops Called Goes Viral

Rebellious Kentucky Clerk Wants Couples To Buy Marriage Licenses Online

 

Image: Screenshot via 13 WABC
Hat tip: The Advocate

 

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COMMENTARY

Trump Dodges and Gives an Accidentally Revealing Answer When Confronted on His Anti-LGBT Policies

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When President Donald Trump was asked Tuesday about whether he supports his administration’s anti-LGBT policies — including a new rule that would make it easier for employers to discriminate — he gave what seemed to be an unintentionally revealing answer.

The issue was raised by reporter Chris Johnson from the Washington Blade:

Washington Blade: Mr. President, your administration has been taking steps to make it easier to discriminate against LGBT people in the workforce. Are you OK with those actions?
Trump: Well, you know, I just got an award and an endorsement yesterday from the exact group. You saw that? They gave me the endorsement yesterday. I was very honored. It was Log Cabin. The Log Cabin, and I was very honored to receive it.
I’ve done very well with that community and some of my biggest supporters are of that community, and I talk to them a lot about it. I think I’ve done really very well with that community, as you know, Peter Thiel and so many others, they’re — they’re with me all the way, and they like the job I’m doing, and I just got a big endorsement from the Log Cabin group.
Washington Blade: But what about those actions?

Having ignored the actual substance of the question, Trump didn’t answer the follow-up.

But his answer actually revealed a lot. Despite his claim to “fight for” the LGBT community, Trump has been particularly antagonistic its members as president.

Related: ‘They’re With Me All the Way’: Trump Uses Log Cabin Endorsement as Shield When Asked About Destroying LGBT Rights

And contrary to what he said, the vast majority of the LGBT community does not and has not supported him. In 2016, Pew Research found:

Gay, lesbian and bisexual voters may make up a relatively small share of the American electorate – just 5% of voters in the 2012 general election identified as LGB, according to national exit polls – but they have long been a deeply Democratic constituency and today are overwhelmingly negative in their assessments of Donald Trump.

Nearly nine-in-ten LGB voters (89%) give the Republican presidential nominee a rating of cold on a “feeling thermometer” that ranges from 0 (the coldest, most negative rating) to 100 (the warmest, most positive score). About eight-in-ten (82%) rate Trump very cold, including more than half (54%) who give him a score of 0. Just 9% of LGB voters rate Trump warm.

But this doesn’t matter much to Trump, because he only cares about his supporters. So when asked about the LGBT community, he begins talking about the Log Cabin Republicans, a fringe group that does not represent anywhere close to the majority of the community. (As it happens, Jennifer Horn, a member of the group’s board, resigned in protest over the endorsement. And contrary to Trump’s claim, it did not give him an “award.”) And by mentioning Peter Thiel, a wealthy gay investor, Trump is pulling the laughable “I have a gay friend” excuse for being a bigot. He’s refusing to respond to or even consider the actual LGBT community as a whole because he just doesn’t care.

The president has long made clear that he’s only interested in representing his supporters, not the American people as a whole. That’s why he criticizes California when it experiences natural disasters but promises Alabama “A+ treatment” after tornadoes strike. That’s why Sen. Lindsey Graham could point out that Trump wouldn’t be launching racist attacks at a Somali refugee congresswoman if she were “wearing a MAGA hat.” For him, people only deserve basic dignity and respect if they already support him. Unfortunately, the likes of Thiel and the Log Cabin Republicans have to debase themselves to get this recognition.

 

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MESSIAH COMPLEX

#25thAmendmentNow Is Now the Top Trending Topic After Trump Calls Himself ‘The Chosen One’

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President Tweets He’s ‘The Second Coming of God’

President Donald Trump appeared even more unhinged on Wednesday, kicking his day off by posting tweets calling him “the second coming of God,” and the “King of Israel.”  Just hours later Trump trashed the Prime Minister of Denmark, calling Mette Frederiksen’s negative response to him wanting to buy Greenland from them “nasty” – a word he generally reserves for women he does not like.

Shortly thereafter, Trump flip-flopped on his claim just 24 hours earlier that he was thinking about pushing through a payroll tax cut to help get the economy going, amid global fears of a recession. On Wednesday he told reporters he had no intention of implementing any tax cuts.

Trump also scalded veteran NBC News reporter Peter Alexander for simply asking this question: “You said Russia was kicked out of the G8 because they outsmarted Obama; in fact it was because they annexed Crimea… They’re still there, why let them back in?”

And he insisted that he would have to mollify the NRA over any changes in gun policy, while backtracking from his promise to advocate for a law ensuring complete background checks – something the NRA opposes.

But it was during that press gaggle Wednesday afternoon Trump let loose, exploding social media.

He called himself – as he looked up at the sky – “the chosen one” (photo.)

To be clear, it was in reference to his trade war with China, but the religious, messianic inference was palpable.

All this amid the President’s anti-Semitic remarks earlier in the week, when he called the vast majority of American Jews “disloyal” for not voting Republican.

“I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat—I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,”

About 80% of Jewish Americans vote Democrat.

Oh, then Trump declared he is looking “very seriously” at signing an executive order to end the constitutionally-mandated promise of bestowing citizenship at birth to anyone born on U.S. soil.

That’s just a sample of all the insanity Trump has created in under 24 hours.

So perhaps it’s not surprise that #25thAmendmentNow is the top trending topic on Twitter right now, and has been for hours.

The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the pathway for the Vice President to declare the President of the United States unfit to continue serving.

 

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News

Trump Says He’s ‘Very Seriously’ Looking at Changing Constitutionally-Mandated Right to US Citizenship

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President Donald Trump says he is looking “very seriously” at altering a constitutional right to citizenship at birth. The president made his remarks during a press gaggle during which he also called himself “the chosen one” as he looked up at the sky. Those remarks came just hours after he tweeted praise calling him “the second coming of God” and “the King of Israel.”

“We’re looking at birthright citizenship very seriously,” Trump told reporters. Birthright citizenship is mandated by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Also known as Jus soli, it dates back to English common law.

Basically the law says that any person on U.S. soil at the time of their birth is a U.S. citizen, regardless of their parent’s nationalities.

“We’re looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land. You walk over the border, have a baby — congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen,” Trump said, calling it “absurd.”

He told reporters if he were to end it he would do so via executive order.

It’s likely that would be unconstitutional and would absolutely be fought in court.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside,” the Constitution reads.

Watch the president discuss birthright citizenship:

In addition to likely being unconstitutional, Trump’s attempt to end birthright citizenship would be opposed by many.

Here’s a University of Texas Law professor:

Here’s a conservative, National Review writer David French:

 

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