New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sat down with Piers Morgan to talk about his opposition to gay marriage in an interview on Tuesday night.
The New Jersey Assembly passed a bill to legalize gay marraige on Thursday, and Christie made good on his vow to veto it on February 17, encouraging the Legislature to leave the decision up to voters.
"Let's put it on the ballot, and let's let people decide," he tells Morgan. "And if the people of New Jersey - as some of the same-sex marriage advocates suggest the polls indicate - are in favor of it, then my position would not be the winning position. But I'm willing to take that risk, because I trust the people of the state."
Morgan goes on to ask Christie, a practicing Catholic, whether he would ever change his personal views.
"I would not compromise my principles for politics," Christie says. "You're saying 'will it become politically unpopular to have the position I'm having.' If it does, so be it. I don't compromise my principles for politics."
Read the full story here.
An Indiana lawmaker has decided not to support a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts because he feels the group is a "radicalized organization" that "sexualizes" young girls and promotes homosexuality.
In a letter sent to Indiana lawmakers obtained by the Journal Gazette, Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) said he plans to pull his two daughters out of their Indiana Girl Scout troop because information he found online about how the organization allegedly operates. One source he mentions is conservative "news" site World Net Daily.
The Associated Press reports:
... Morris said he found online allegations that the Girl Scouts are a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood, encourage sex and allow transgender females to join. He also wrote that the fact that first lady Michelle Obama is honorary president should give lawmakers pause before they endorse the Girl Scouts.
Morris eventually apologized saying:
After reflecting on the letter I wrote on February 18, 2012 to my fellow Indiana Republican Representatives, I realize now that my words were emotional, reactionary, and inflammatory. For that I sincerely apologize. I apologize to the Girl Scouts of Indiana and all of the girls and parents of Indiana who are participating in and running their Girl Scout organizations in a way that promotes leadership, community involvement and family values. I certainly should not have painted the entire Girl Scouts organization with such a wide brush.
Morris went on to say that he still will not support the resolution because the Girl Scouts "promotes sex education," which he cannot support "in good conscience."
A Boston man who was allegedly attacked by a group of teenage girls at his local transit station told police he believed he was targeted because he was gay.
The victim, whose name has not been released, said a group of girls not only beat him up, but also hollered a series of racial slurs at him before stealing his backpack. Police say the victim was found with cuts on his face and bleeding from his nose, and are now investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.
One 18-year-old suspect has so far been questioned, although police say they are looking for at least two other suspects.
"[The victim] was on the receiving end of two kinds of violence: one, the physical violence against his body, and the other, the hate violence against his spirit," one passenger declared.
Watch the full news report here.
Liberia's Senate will consider a bill Thursday to strengthen the nation's existing anti-gay laws, a senator said, as another West African nation, Cameroon, announced the arrest of 10 women suspected of being lesbians.
Cameroon Radio Television reported Thursday that the 10 women are being detained in Ambam, some 190 miles (300 kilometers) south of the capital of Yaounde, until they go to trial.
Consensual same-gender sex is considered criminal in Cameroon and punishable by a jail sentence from six months to five years and a fine. Gay rights defender and founder of the Association for the Defense of Homosexuals, Alice Nkom, says detainees in Cameroon are frequently tortured in police stations to force them confess.
Meanwhile, Liberia's former first lady, Senator Jewel Taylor, submitted a bill last week that would prohibit same-sex marriage and make homosexuality a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Read the full story here.
He might be denying reports that he's officially endorsed Rick Santorum, but Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine wants the world to know he is firmly against gay marriage.
"Since I'm not gay, the answer to that would be no," Mustaine told Josh Kerns of "Seattle Sounds," which airs on on Seattle's KIRO 97.3 FM radio station. After Kerns pressed him further, Mustaine noted, "I'm Christian. The answer to that would be no."
The 50-year-old heavy metal rocker, who last week surprised longtime fans when he told MusicRadar.com that he hoped to see a Republican in the White House, also clarified his political views. "America is being emasculated," he said. "I think as long as George Soros is going to be President Obama's main mentor, we need to get ready to start wearing red." As for the specific reports that he's endorsed Santorum, he noted, "I didn't say that. I said that he's the one that I'm looking at."
Oxford University has defended its decision to host a conference held by a Christian group who previously claimed they could "cure" homosexuality.
Christian Concern is holding a five-day event at Exeter College next month, which has angered students and gay rights campaigners at the university.
A letter written by a student sparked the barrage of complaints, according to the Daily Mail.
Now, Stonewall, a gay rights group, has condemned the decision made by the college, saying "gay students and many Christians will be deeply offended" by the group's appearance.
But Oxford has refused to cancel the conference, organised by the college's governing body, saying it was not "commercially viable" to do so at this stage.
Read the full story here.
Westboro Baptist Church members had vowed to picket Whitney Houston's funeral last weekend in Newark, but numerous media outlets reported that no one from the notorious Kansas-based group ever showed up.
Still, that didn't stop Margie J. Phelps, daughter of Westboro founder Fred Phelps, from tweeting what appears to be a Photoshopped image of protesters descending upon the New Hope Baptist Church, where Houston's funeral was held (above).
A second Tweet by Phelps seems to confirm that Westboro protests did not actually attend.
As the Patriot Ledger is reporting, Destinie Mogg-Barkalow was allegedly approached by a man and a woman who appeared to be fellow students in a parking lot at Bridgewater State University last week. After the pair asked Mogg-Barkalow, who is openly gay, if she wrote the pro-marriage equality article which appeared in The Comment, the university's student newspaper, the woman punched her in the face, leaving a bruise.
Mogg-Barkalow's Feb. 15 opinion piece, titled "Prop 8 generates more hate," appeared a week after a federal appeals court declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. In her piece, the 20-year-old Mogg-Barkalow -- who is reportedly a junior and an assistant editor for the paper's opinion section -- called out Prop 8 supporters as intolerant and bigoted.
At present, no one has been arrested, but authorities say they are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime. Composite sketches of both suspects have been released.
Watch a video about this story here.
The U.S. House of Representatives will appeal a judge's ruling that struck down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, according to a court filing on Friday.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco ruled earlier this week that a federal government worker should be allowed to enroll her same-sex spouse in her health insurance, and deemed part of DOMA unconstitutional.
Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama have also called DOMA unconstitutional and said that while they would continue to enforce it, they would quit defending it in court.
In response, the House of Representatives - which is controlled by Republicans - stepped in to defend the law. It will appeal White's ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the filing.
Citing concerns that 2012 could be the "tipping point" in the debate over same-sex marriage, Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins launched a new campaign this week that warns of schoolchildren being indoctrinated, people losing religious freedoms and lives being "ruined by deception" if marriage equality were to become federal law.
In a Wednesday email to supporters, the leader of the conservative Christian organization asks for donations to help stop the Commitment Campaign, a marriage equality initiative launched late last year by Third Way, a centrist Democrat group. Perkins says the Family Research Council will put the money toward spreading "compelling facts" about same-sex marriage on Capitol Hill.
"I recently mailed you a letter warning about 'The Commitment Campaign.' This campaign is a new, deceptively-named effort to help Washington liberals impose same-sex 'marriage' -- fake 'marriage,' to put it accurately -- on all of America," Perkins wrote.
Read the fully story here.
An Oregon mayor is apologizing after slamming neighboring Washington for becoming the latest U.S. state to approve same- marriage.
As The La Grande Observer is reporting, La Grande Mayor Daniel Pokorney called Washington the "latest state to transition to Sodom and Gomorrah" on his Facebook wall. In a second posting, he criticized New Jersey for continuing what he called the "abomination of same-sex unions," despite the fact that Governor Chris Christie vetoed his state's marriage equality bill.
After noting that his "intent was not to be hurtful," Pokorney told a forum of about 150 people Monday that he simply wanted to express himself on important issues. "I understand there is a right way and a wrong way to address the issues," he added.
Read the full story here.
Villanova University has canceled a workshop on personal narrative by a gay performance artist, saying his shows aren't in keeping with its Catholic values.
Artist Tim Miller, once dubbed the "patron saint of the gay performance world" by the Los Angeles Times, said he was scheduled to lead the five-day workshop for students in April but the university abruptly scrapped it on Sunday. He said his workshops focus on personal narrative and the students guide the direction they take but topics often include issues such as faith, sexuality, self and truth.
Miller said he thinks his being gay played into Villanova's decision to cancel.
"The thing that they worry about, I think, is that I am a gay person," he said. "Being a gay person with political opinions."
Miller said on Tuesday he has done similar workshops at Chicago's DePaul University, the nation's largest Catholic university, and other schools. He said Villanova, a Catholic private university with about 10,000 students just outside Philadelphia, did not tell him why it was canceling his workshop.
"This is not my first time at the dance," Miller said, noting the cancellation came after blog postings that were critical about him. "It's clearly homophobia and panic."
In a statement, Villanova said it had concerns that Miller's workshops "were not in keeping with our Catholic and Augustinian values and mission."
Miller rescheduled the workshop at neighboring Bryn Mawr College from April 16-20. He says Muhlenberg College in Allentown will also sponsor a lecture he was supposed to give at Villanova.
Tanya Ditty, a Georgia teacher and the state director of Concerned Women for America of Georgia, spoke against a Georgia bill this week that would ban discrimination against LGBT state employees -- like public school teachers.
During a House subcommittee hearing on House Bill 630, Ditty compared homosexuality to necrophilia, voyeurism, and pedophilia Think Progress reports.
In her testimony, Ditty cited cross dressers potentially using restrooms for the opposite sex as possible place for exploitation:
"There are 23 sexual orientations that fit under this definition and if this bill became law, then what we would be protecting for public employees is not only heterosexuality, bisexuality, pedophilia, transsexuality, transvestitism, I'm not going to read them all. Voyeurism, exhibitionism, feetism, zoophilia, necrophilia, klismaphilia and the list goes on. I teach in the public school system and I wonder if this would impact the public school system. And we have parents who bring their kids to school every day and expect the school to protect them. And what's going to protect our children if someone that is a pedophiliac comes in and gets a teaching job, is a bus driver, is a custodian, and they can be people that just want to prey on people and they will be protected with this law."
On Tuesday, Governor Susana Martinez (R-N.M.) lost a hairstylist who refused to clip her locks out of disgust with her opposition to marriage equality.
Antonio Darden, who had cut Martinez's hair on three occasions and runs Antonio's Hair Studio in Santa Fe, N.M., re-crafted the notion of civil disobedience when he declined to accept an appointment.
"The governor's aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in," Darden told a local news station. "Because of her stances and her views on this I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I'd changed my mind about taking the governor in and I said no again."
"I think it's just equality, dignity for everyone," Darden added. "I think everybody should be allowed the right to be together. My partner and I have been together for 15 years."
Read the full story here.
A Colorado Mesa University (CMU) football player stands accused of assaulting a lesbian woman in a fight outside a local bar.
20-year-old Shane Williams allegedly had a verbal exchange with Chelsea Gallagher and her girlfriend Ashley Davis that turned into a violent physical fight in which he slammed her onto the pavement, like a football tackle. Gallagher said she was knocked out cold, but ended up with a fractured skull.
"Going outside to leave...is when they started kind of making comments about us being gay and saying that Ashley looked like a boy and stuff," Gallagher, who is continuing her recovery in the hospital, said.
Davis said a man named Dakota had begun yelling homophobic slurs at both her and Gallagher, along with two other women, before the assault. Davis said she and Dakota "ended up in a little bit of a scuffle, some pushing and what not," at which point Gallagher tried to break them up.
Police said Williams was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, possession of a fake ID, and being a minor in possession of alcohol. Formal charges have currently not been filed.
Watch a video about the incident here.
Focus On The Family, the evangelical Christian organization known for its conservative stance on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, is promoting its controversial "Day of Dialogue" with a new video.
The clip's YouTube description notes it was produced by high school students Colin and Katie to promote the Day of Dialogue, which takes place on April 19 and "is designed to equip students to express their Biblical viewpoint in a loving and Christ-centered way -- especially when sensitive issues, like bullying and sexual identity, are addressed in their schools."
A closer look at the event's website reveals some interesting LGBT rhetoric. A section called "Responding to Challenges," for example, lists responses participants should make if an LGBT person claims they were "born that way."
"You can assure the person that you are listening to them, you hear what they are saying and you believe them when they say they have always felt this way," the site suggests. "But the fact is that nobody knows how same-sex attractions develop -- it appears to be a combination of factors (from biology to individual temperament to culture to environment). There is no proof that it is purely genetic."
On bullying: "Explain that you agree with them that bullying needs to stop and students need to all stand against it. But that when it comes to beliefs about sexuality and relationships, you turn to the Bible and your relationship for God for specific guidance. And you'd like the opportunity to have a conversation about that."
On whether homosexuality is wrong: "Politely explain that you want to be honest and open about the fact that you're a Christian and you believe that what the Bible says about sexuality -- that it should be reserved for a man-woman marriage relationship -- is the best and most loving plan for individuals, children and society as a whole."