Stands against gay marriage in Texas, Iowa, North Carolina and Australia — plus a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights and good news for one of The B-52’s.
Just after the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, one Texan decided to make up some rules of his own. The Lone Star State’s Attorney General Ken Paxton (an on-the-record opponent to same-sex marriage) decided that judges can refuse to issue same-sex licenses. He stated: “Any clerk who wishes to defend their religious objections and who chooses not to issue licenses may well face litigation and/or a fine … but numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs … and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.” In a nice bit of karmic justice, Paxton was indicted by a grand jury for fraud about a month later.
Betty and Richard Odgaard have established God’s Original Design Ministry, a nonprofit designed to advance “natural laws as God intended.” The couple had closed their bistro/florist shop in July after a gay couple sued them for refusing to host their wedding. The mission of God’s Original Design Ministry was to raise 1,000 billboards reminding America that marriage is between a man and a woman. So far, they’ve managed to put up only one.
On Tuesday, July 21, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that international law requires protection for same-sex couples across Europe. However, it does not require countries to grant access to marriage to same-sex couples, stating that civil unions are “good enough for same-sex couples.” Twenty-four of the 47 countries in the Council of Europe currently have marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples.
Foxtel, an Australian television network, is facing a strong backlash after running a controversial anti-gay-marriage commercial created by The Marriage Alliance with the tagline: “It’s not as simple as you think.” Foxtel viewers were perplexed when the commercial aired during an episode of I Am Cait, the reality show depicting the transition of former
Olympian Caitlyn Jenner. Several other Australian networks have refused to play the commercial spot.
In related news, a second anti-gay-marriage group, Australian Marriage Forum, took out a full-page ad in the The Australian stating, “All relationships matter. But not all relationships are marriage.” Each Australian state and territory is entitled to create its own set of laws with regards to same-sex relationships.
Kate Pierson, the vocalist famous for her “Love Shack” days with The B-52’s, married her longtime partner Monica Coleman in Hawaii this past August. B-52’s frontman Fred Schneider and award-winning songstress Sia were in attendance, and Sia performed her song “Crush Me with Your Love,” which was included on Pierson’s recent album Guitars and Microphones. Pierson and Coleman have been together since 2003 and co-own Kate’s Lazy Desert in Landers, CA, and Kate’s Lazy Meadow in the Catskill Mountains in New York.
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA
“You think Ebola is bad now, Just Wait!” de-
clared pastor Ron Baity of the Berean Baptist Church — threatening catastrophic divine retribution in response to the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling. As of this writing, Baity’s predictions have not borne fruit.
Last modified: July 27, 2017