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Supreme Court won’t hear anti-gay photographer case

Business claimed it could refuse to shoot same-sex weddings under First Amendment

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Supreme Court of the United States of America, gay news, Washington Blade
Supreme Court, gay news, Washington Blade

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear the case of New Mexico photographer who refused to shoot a same-sex wedding ceremony (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key).

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday it won’t take up a case in which a New Mexico photography business alleges its rights were violated when it landed in hot water for refusing to shoot a same-sex wedding ceremony.

In orders published Monday morning, the court listed the case, Elane Photography v. Willock, without comment as among the cases it won’t consider.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court by Elane Photography, which was found to have violated New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law for refusing to take a photo for the same-sex wedding ceremony for Vanessa Willock and Misti Collinsworth in 2006. (The wedding was only ceremonial because the incident took place before the state legalized same-sex marriage.)

Elane Photography filed lawsuit in state court, alleging that its refusal to photograph a same-sex wedding is protected on religious grounds. However, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the claims, saying the businesses service can be regulated because it’s a public accommodation. Following that decision, Elane Photography asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the lawsuit based on First Amendment protections under the U.S. Constitution.

The court was scheduled to consider whether to take up the case during its March 21 and March 28 conference. To grant a writ certiorari, or a take up a case, at least four of the nine justices on the court must agree to consider lawsuit. It’s unknown what the vote was on denying certiorari in this case.

Had the court taken up the case, justices could have found a constitutional right across the country for individuals to discriminate against LGBT people or refuse services for same-sex weddings ceremonies on the basis of religion.

Anti-gay groups had pointed to the incident as a reason to enact laws in various states to allow individuals and business to refuse services to gay people without fear of reprisal, such as the controversial “turn away the gay” bill recently vetoed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and signed into law by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. Other bills along those lines are pending in numerous states — Kansas, Mississippi and Georgia — but have seen resistance going forward.

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127 Comments

127 Comments

  1. Junior Equality Mayema

    April 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Good news

  2. Marshal A. Phillips

    April 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Discrimination is bad for business.

  3. Jason Watson

    April 7, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    And what will you do when you are sued for discriminating someday for not creating a website for a conservative group or for refusing to bake a cake for the Westboro Baptist Church? This goes both ways and it hurts all parties both liberal and conservative…gay or straight. Don't you see the damage to all here?

    • Davidh

      April 7, 2014 at 10:38 am

      I will take their money and perform the services they request: it is fairness, and it is lawful. What I won’t do is discriminate or turn away heteros who still think the nation is their own. And I want to see how these people observe their ‘religion’. How observant are they? Do they serve divorced persons, like Ronald Reagan?

  4. Matthew Swanson

    April 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Good! Your business isn't entitled to freedom of religion. If you decide to do business with the public than you must do business fairly with ALL members of the public unless you are going to operate as a members-only club! The Constitution protects your freedom of speech only as far as your very nose. Beyond your thoughts, actions, and opinions–your business doesn't have these same protections. Government forcing your business to operate fairly and equally by serving ALL people without discrimination DOES NOT violate YOUR INDIVIDUAL religious freedoms because your business IS NOT an extension of your individuality or personal liberties. Even if your business is required to be fair to customers, YOU are still allowed to be a homophobic bigot in your personal life.

  5. Mary English O'Malley

    April 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    What difference does it make? As long as I was getting paid.

  6. Mary English O'Malley

    April 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    What difference does it make? As long as I was getting paid.

  7. Alex Sandro Salazar

    April 7, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Nope. Have fun being absolutely wrong though :)

  8. Nanci Zee

    April 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    If you're in business you should not let your PERSONAL religious beliefs dictate how you run that business.

  9. Samantha Romaine

    April 7, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    What you don't seem to realize… is that gay people have been doing business for people who ridicule them, discriminate against them and would deny them rights with their vote and with their financial support to anti-gay political causes. We've been baking their cakes, designing their homes, cutting their hair, prescribing their medications and… taking their photos… for as long as people have been… people. So it's really not a big deal if they find out what gay people have known all along… that a job, is a job… it pays the bills… you do your best, you get paid, you go home and live your life…

    And if everyone is lucky, in time, we'll also find out that people have far more in common than their sexuality… and perhaps we'll all get to make some new friends that fear and ignorance have been keeping us apart.

  10. Jessica McGuinness

    April 7, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Best comment ever!

  11. Jason Watson

    April 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    This is not about discrimination, fear or ignorance. She was fully informed and respectful to them. They found someone willing to serve them and at a better price. There was no ill will or fear involved in this case at all. It's about not being forced to create something you don't wish to create. Should a pacifist be forced to work at a factory to create weapons? No. Nobody should be forced. You have the same freedom to do business as Elane Photography does. 1st amendment. Plain and simple.

  12. Arthur S Leonard

    April 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Actually, this was originally argued in the New Mexico courts as a first amendment freedom of speech case, the photographer arguing that requiring her to compile a wedding album for a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony violated her freedom of speech as a form of compelled artistic expression. It was not originally argued as a religion case. And I don't think anyone would argue that corporations or businesses don't have free speech rights, in light of Supreme Court precedents. The issue is whether somebody who is selling speech as a business in the form of wedding photography should enjoy a free speech exemption from the state's anti-discrimination law if they have a personal objection to the subject matter – which in this case, it appears, is rooted in religious objections.

  13. Ex democrat

    April 7, 2014 at 10:59 am

    It’s not so clear a victory for anyone. I guess gays can’t refuse people like Westboro and blacks can’t refuse the KKK. Love to see how that works. You can’t force acceptance. It comes with time and the recognition we’re all the same. One reason I hate the left.

  14. Doug Hoult

    April 7, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Jason Watson Actually, as long as she is running a PUBLIC business and not a members only PRIVATE business she is forced to comply with state law regarding who she must serve. If its open to the public then ALL of the public is to be allowed. It would be the same thing if she was refusing because the couple was interracial(In most "holy" books, the mixing of the races and religions is punishable with a stoning so she could just as easily claim religious exemption on that ground.)

  15. Scott Gould

    April 7, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    That company is supported by an infrastructure paid for by my tax dollars. End of story. If they want to discriminate then they shouldn't get a public business license and do business with the public.

  16. Samantha Romaine

    April 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Jason Watson it's always about ignorance and fear. The photographer never had her personal right to free speech denied… our right to free speech only goes so far. We can say whatever we want without fear of the government incarcerating us…. but we can be fired for what we say… we can be publicly humiliated for what we say… and if we are operating a business then we have to abide by laws set aside for businesses operating in the public.

    Had the photographer simply said "we're booked that weekend, why don't you try this photographer…" instead of "that's against my religious beliefs and I only do traditional marriages"… then there would be no issue… but as soon as she basically stated that her beliefs put her in a position of superiority, which is what her actual statement implies, then she broke the law. And you can call it polite all you want… but there's no possible way to say that politely. It's akin to smiling at an African American and saying "it's not your fault honey, my God just didn't make you as smart as other people"… it feels about that like.

    When you are in a business setting you have to treat every potential client who walks in your door with respect… and basically telling them that you don't consider their relationship to be valid…. is something that you can believe… it's something you can pray about… it's something you can write about in your personal time… it's not something you can say to someone as an excuse to deny them your services when you are in a service focused business. You just can't…

  17. Katherine M Vilani

    April 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Very excellent comment!

  18. Firsty Lasty

    April 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    But what about what Jesus said about christians depressing the shutter on a Nikon D7000 when more than 1 penis is involved? I think that's in Romans or something…

  19. Firsty Lasty

    April 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Let's see…

    One organization is about a group of white men murdering, abusing, degrading, and brutalizing black human beings.

    The other is 2 people in love seeking to start a life and family together.

    Yup.

    Totally, totally the same thing, genius.

    2 people in love = Ku Klux Klan.

    That little girl in your photo? She deserves a better dad.

  20. Roland Winston

    April 7, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Jason, this is where Christian Talibangelicals and 'ordinary ' Christians part ways. You Talibangelicals decided you have the right to judge. Your bible tells you differently. WWJD? Bake the damn cake!!!

  21. Johnny O'Neill

    April 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Matthew Swanson.

    No one was refusing to serve homosexual persons.

    They were refusing to provide services for a gay "marriage."

    That is not the same thing. No one who supports gay "marriage" seems to understand that essential distinction. That is why there is so much confusion around the debates in our society regarding gay "marriage."

    We need to distinguish between the human rights of homosexual persons and the social status of homosexual relationships. Homosexual persons should have the same rights as everyone else, and not any new or different rights that are made up. The relationship of marriage has always been about the procreative relationship between a man and a woman. Everyone already has a right to that relationship regardless of their sexual orientation. Legalizing gay "marriage" does not give homosexual persons equal rights to marriage (to be married) it gives them the privilege of marriage benefits for a different kind of relationship which has never been recognized as marriage. They already have the same rights for the same relationship (a procreative relationship), but now they are demanding the same rights for a DIFFERENT kind of relationship (a homosexual relationship). What is happening right now in our laws is not that homosexual persons are receiving the same rights as heterosexual persons, they already have the same rights with regards to marriage (a permanent and exclusive procreative relationship), but rather homosexual relationships are being given the same status as procreative relationships.

    The same principle is true with regard to this photographer and also cake bakers in similar situations. They are not denying service to homosexual persons. That would be ridiculous. No one is saying they are refusing to make birthday cakes for homosexual persons. The reason why is because no one opposes birthdays nor wants to avoid participating in a birthday because of their opposition to it. Photographers and cake bakers would photograph and bake cakes for a homosexual person (unless the person wanted the photographs or cakes to have a homosexual theme). What many photographers and cake bakers do not want to do is participate or support in any way a homosexual relationship.

    It is about the relationship, not the persons in the relationship as individuals.

    Until people who support gay "marriage" realize this distinction our opposing sides are merely talking past one another and we haven't even begun to dialogue.

  22. John Smith

    April 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    The gays are out in full force today.

  23. Colin Morris

    April 7, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    you might want to look up cognitive dissonance the "justifications" you are using are simply not true… if you want marriage to mean what you want it to mean you will have to re-define marriage for the other -/+95% of the population first….. like they will ever let you do that! and you seem to want to prevent "homosexual persons" from having a relationship of any form. which is none of your business or your religion's business either!

  24. Ed Adams

    April 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    "marriage has always been about the procreative relationship between a man and a woman"

    we're tired of your catholic lies about human sexuality.

    ability and/or willingness and/or intention to procreate is not a stipulation for marriage. creating kinship where there was none before is the essence of marriage, not popping out kids. popping out kids is purely optional.

    until you realize that procreation is not necessary or sufficient for marriage, we are just talking past you.

    your distinction is a false one. which is why it's being rejected by the courts.

    when a baker or photographer refuses persons who want to celebrate a gay wedding but accepts peorsons who want to celebrate an opposite sex wedding, they are unjustly discriminating against those persons.

    your catholicism (which is itself intrinsically disordered) has evidently warped your sense of morality .

  25. Ed Adams

    April 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    "marriage has always been about the procreative relationship between a man and a woman"

    we're tired of your catholic lies about human sexuality.

    ability and/or willingness and/or intention to procreate is not a stipulation for marriage. creating kinship where there was none before is the essence of marriage, not popping out kids. popping out kids is purely optional.

    until you realize that procreation is not necessary or sufficient for marriage, we are just talking past you.

    your distinction is a false one. which is why it's being rejected by the courts.

    when a baker or photographer refuses persons who want to celebrate a gay wedding but accepts peorsons who want to celebrate an opposite sex wedding, they are unjustly discriminating against those persons.

    your catholicism (which is itself intrinsically disordered) has evidently warped your sense of morality .

  26. Pheenix Wonder

    April 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Thank you, well said!

  27. Pheenix Wonder

    April 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Thank you, well said!

  28. Pheenix Wonder

    April 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Love is love, and marriage is what people that love eachother do. Simple as that, if a gay couple getting married is a threat to your marriage… your marriage is to blame. Not Gay marriage.

    IMO, marriage by the state, isnt a religious act, not at all.

  29. Rob Niccolai

    April 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    You can put quotes around the word "marriage" all you want, but there are no quotes around it in the laws of the 18 states and DC that recognize marriage equality. In fact is is simple called marriage (no quotes, no word "gay" in front of it). Your statement that "It is about the relationship, not the persons in the relationship as individuals." is nothing but semantics and a smoke screen. My "relationship" is a reflection of two "individuals" the two are inseparable. You also say "homosexual relationships are being given the same status as procreative relationships" there is absolutely no requirement under law that a marriage be a procreative relationship. many couples have no intent to procreate – it is simply immaterial as far as civil marriage is concerned, regardless of your believe of the construct.

    FYI many religions don't believe in celebrating birthdays – do you think it would be acceptable behavior for a Jahovah's Witness who has chosen to serve the public as a baker to refuse to bake you a birthday cake?

    Until people who don't support gay marriage realize that the local laws don't change just because they don't like it there are gonna be some unhappy people. If the law doesn't allow discrimination based on sexual orientation, you don't have a leg to stand on. If you don't want to serve the public equally, consider a different profession.

  30. Sasha Andreev

    April 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Johnny.

    Gay people will inherently have gay relationships – because they are gay. To imply that gay people have the right to a heterosexual marriage is ludicrous, because conversely I could say you have the right to a gay marriage as a straight person, in many states and countries. I assume you are straight, and have no desire to pursue a gay relationship. Your argument alleges that being homosexual is an attribute an individual can control, and that gay people are demanding the right to celebrate and legalize their committed relationship because they don't feel like marrying someone of the opposite sex.

    Many countries and states thus far, with more to come, are finally making progress in recognizing gay marriage, granting the rights and privileges that are afforded to other couples; those capable of procreation and those who aren't due to personal or medical reasons. Based on your argument, a photographer or baker should be able to refuse to photograph the wedding of a heterosexual couple who was incapable of procreating, because their marriage isn't capable of producing children, which you argue to be the basis of marriage.

    If you believe that having a relationship is merely based on procreation, you have every right to do so. Much luck with your in-wedlock baby-making. Please remember, however, that other heterosexual couples may not pursue procreation, but still choose to pursue marriage, or "marriage" as you would likely refer to it. If they currently have the right do so, homosexual couples should as well.

  31. Catherine Kane

    April 7, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    @Johnny O"Neil, by that definition, couple who don't want children couldn't get married. Couples who are infertile and can't have children would also be unable to marry. And couple past the age of reproduction would have to divorce, as would any man who had himself sterilized.

    I'm sorry, but that doesn't actually fit the legal definition or God's Will for His children. Please think again about this- this is discrimnation against God's children, some of whom are gay (because He made them that way and loves them like all of His other children)

  32. Johnny O'Neill

    April 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Colin Morris

    It is interesting that you say that I am trying to redefine marriage when in fact what I am doing is protecting marriage from being redefined.

    I am talking about marriage as it has always been understood throughout history everywhere. There are very many customs and practices surrounding marriage that have changed and even certain central aspects that have been denied (exclusivity has been denied by polygamy and permanence has practically been denied by no-fault divorce) but it is not until recent decades that any society has denied that marriage is procreative. That is precisely the one point that everyone has always agreed upon.

    It is the LGBTQQ community and their supporters who are trying to redefine marriage. I support the way marriage has always been understood and protected by law. That's my whole point. They are trying to redefine marriage but have no basis to do so. Procreation is the only reason why marriage has an important place in society. Homosexual relationships are not procreative and thus are not important for society and therefore should not be treated as such. They should not have the same status as procreative relationships nor receive the same social benefits as procreative relationships. They are a fundamentally different kind of relationship.

    I am not preventing a homosexual person from having any kind of relationship, not even a homosexual relationship. This is precisely the point that you do not understand and you misunderstanding is exactly in line with everyone else one your side.

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT WHETHER A HOMOSEXUAL PERSON CAN HAVE A HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP BUT WHETHER SOCIETY RECOGNIZES HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS TO HAVE THE SAME SOCIAL IMPORTANCE AS PROCREATIVE RELATIONSHIPS.

    The laws about marriage and how society recognizes the importance of certain kinds of relationships (permanent and exclusive procreative relationships) IS MY BUSINESS.

    Homosexual persons already have homosexual relationships. No one is preventing them from having them. This is about the social status of homosexual relationships. Not only can homosexual persons have homosexual relationships, but if they want children and a family of their own, any homosexual person is free to be married by having a procreative relationship that is permanent and exclusive. If two men, or two women, want to have a homosexual relationship, fine, go off and do it. That does not mean that I or anyone else has to recognize that what they are doing is good or important for society in anyway. Even if it were not disordered it would still not have the same importance for society as a procreative relationship and thus should not be treated the same and should not be called marriage.

  33. Colin Morris

    April 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Johnny O'Neill it is interesting how you miss the point!
    your vision for the word 'marriage' is a fantasy, nothing more!

  34. Rob Niccolai

    April 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Johnny O'Neill "Even if it were not disordered it would still not have the same importance for society as a procreative relationship and thus should not be treated the same and should not be called marriage." first off–it is NOT a disorder. secondly, are you implying that only marriages that result in procreation should be called marriages? If so, you have already redefined marriage.

  35. Johnny O'Neill

    April 7, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Pheenix Wonder

    Love is love? That is your defense? You cant just use the word love to legitimize everything. This is about the social status of sexual relationships. This is not about love. Marriage is not what two people who love each other do. There are a lot of people that I love that also love me. Each one of them and myself make up "two people who love each other." I am not married to any of them, nor will I. Marriage is not just about "love" it is based on a very specific kind of love, namely sexual love.

    You talk about two people loving each other and completely ignore that we are talking about a sexual relationship.

    First of all, you cannot simply say that if two people love each other then its alright for them to have a sexual relationship. I love my parents. I do not have a sexual relationship with either of them. Love and sex are not the same thing, and while love is always good, sexual relationships are not always good. So simply appealing to love does nothing to actually address the relationship.

    Second, this is not even about whether homosexual relationships are good or not. Even if they are morally legitimate, they are still fundamentally different from procreative relationships. Permanent and exclusive procreative relationships are important for society because they provide the proper environment to bring new members of society into society. This is the reason why government supports these kinds of relationships which are called marriage. Homosexual relationships are not procreative and therefore are not the kind of relationship that the government has always supported or should support.

    If a homosexual person wants the privileges of a permanent and exclusive procreative relationship (marriage) then they need to have a permanent and exclusive procreative relationship. No one is preventing them from doing so. Homosexual men can marry women just as heterosexual men can. There is no law against it. However, if what they want is a homosexual relationship then they should accept the fact that this kind of relationship does not have the importance for society as a procreative relationship does and thus they should not receive any social benefits for this relationship.

    Gay "marriage" is not a threat to my marriage. You entirely miss the point.
    Redefining marriage is a threat to society's understanding of marriage and thus also the support and protection of marriage in society, which itself is a threat to society since marriage is good for society.

  36. Johnny O'Neill

    April 7, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Catherine Kane

    That is not true. A man and a woman who are infertile still have a procreative relationship. The relationship is not the reason why they cannot conceive, it is because of the woman's sexual organ or the man's sexual organ. They still have the same kind of relationship as a fertile couple. The difference is not the relationship but the sexual organ.

    That is not the case with a homosexual relationships. Two women could have fully functioning sexual organs. The reason why they cannot conceive is because of their relationship. The relationship is not a procreative relationship between two women. The same is true of two men, they cannot have a procreative relationship regardless of whether their sexual organs are functional or not.

    Nor does a couple have to intend to have a child to have a procreative relationship. It is not based on their intention in having the relationship but simply in the kind of relationship that it is. A sexual relationship between a man and a woman is procreative by its nature simply by the fact that their relationship is ordered to procreation.

    Everyone always makes the objection that you just made and it is not valid.

  37. Johnny O'Neill

    April 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Colin Morris

    My version of the word marriage is what has always been understood by the word. You are the ones using it in a new way. Therefore the burden of proof is on you to show why we should redefine the word.

    The idea that homosexual relationships are marriages or can be marriages is the fantasy.

  38. Colin Morris

    April 7, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Johnny O'Neill … you seem to be trying to convince yourself on this matter. …. if you think the love between two people is the same as the love one has for their mother, you have either never been in love or are a little to close to your mother…

  39. Rob Niccolai

    April 7, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Johnny O'Neill I am not sure how many times it needs to be said before you get it: PROCREATION IS IN NO WAY A REQUIREMENT FOR CIVIL MARRIAGE! By calling it such YOU have changed its definition. There are other reasons for the construct of marriage beyond procreation. The marital laws are also set-up to protect spouses in the event of illness or death (these laws do not change or become void if procreation doesn't happen). Any relationship that is set-up to protect another human being (even if it is just one person) and help ensure they do not become a burden on society is good for society.

  40. Sasha Andreev

    April 7, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Johnny O'Neill.
    It is unfortunate that you feel that gay people's ability to get married lessens the validity or importance of your heterosexual marriage.

    Does the desire of two individuals to have a codified and legalized relationship not strengthen the very core of marriage? If one of the purposes of marriage is to create a stable foundation for a family, with or without children, as well as a household that contributes to society and the economy in a positive way, how does gay marriage undermine that? It would seem that by pursuing the institution of marriage, gay couples are fundamentally strengthening, not threatening, that institution.

    To see it otherwise is in fact a bigoted and discriminatory perspective.

  41. Colin Morris

    April 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Johnny O'Neill did you look up cognitive dissonance?

  42. Dan Ruisi

    April 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    When was this written? Very informative.

  43. Colin Morris

    April 7, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Johnny O'Neill people use the word marriage how and when they see fit, it's a word! …if you are talking about the contract between two individuals then that is a contract you have no business in! if you are talking about the the benefits provided by the state then maybe child rearing isn't what they provide the benefits for maybe they see the many benefits of marriage for society outside of reproduction too!… that is their job after all isn't. it is not to divide society and approve your religious lifestyle choices and force others to live by them on your behalf is it?

  44. Johnny O'Neill

    April 7, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Rob Niccolai

    It is precisely about the laws of marriage that we are debating. You cannot appeal to the laws to defend the laws. That is called begging the question or circular reasoning, which I encounter a lot in these debates.

    The smoke screen is the confusion of homosexual persons and homosexual relationships. Yes relationships are always relationships of individuals but individuals can be in many different KINDS of relationships. The point then is that there is one kind of relationship that has a special importance for society that has always been referred to as marriage, namely a permanent and exclusive procreative relationship (Not all societies at all times understood marriage to be permanent or exclusive–polygamy and no fault divorce–but all societies at all times up until recent decades have understood it to be procreative). Any consenting man or woman of age can be in this kind of relationship and receive the social benefits that accrue to this kind of relationship, including homosexual persons. Homosexual persons are not excluded from marriage understood as a permanent and exclusive procreative relationship, even though the LGBTQQ community pretends to be fighting for the right to be married. They already have it. Since homosexual relationships are a different kind of relationship and are not the kind of relationship that is important for society, this kind of relationship should not receive any special social status or benefits. It is certain kinds of relationships, including homosexual relationships, that are excluded from marriage, not homosexual persons.

    Requiring that marriage be between a man and a woman is requiring marriage to be procreative. That is the same thing. A sexual relationship between a man and a woman is procreative. It does not matter if the man and woman actually conceive or even intend to conceive. The kind of relationship that they have is ordered to procreation and is therefore a procreative relationship.

    If for some reason celebrating birthdays was against ones faith or morally I do not see a problem in a cake baker refusing to bake cakes for birthdays. There are plenty of cake stores. Go to a different store. This would still be about an event the business owner does not want to participate in and not a certain group of people he does not want to serve.

    You miss the entire point with your last comment about changing the laws and discrimination based on sexual orientation. My whole point is that persons ARE NOT being discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation. If that were the case then there would be laws saying that no man who is homosexual can marry a woman. THAT would discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The fact that homosexual relationships are not marriage is based on what marriage is, not on discrimination of sexual orientation. Homosexual persons can be married if they want, but since marriage is a procreative relationship, they have to be married to someone of the opposite sex just like everyone else, no special exceptions.

    Homosexual relationships are not the same as procreative relationships and do not have the same social importance. That is not discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation that is simply a fact.

    I have already replied to your second post, both in this post and in others, but here it is again since this is one of the most common objections and is not valid. A relationship is procreative because the sexual union of a man and a woman is ordered to procreation. This is true whether or not the couple conceives or even intends or wants to conceive. That does not change the kind of relationship it is. Homosexual relationships, on the other hand, are a different kind of relationship because they are not ordered to procreation.

  45. Johnny O'Neill

    April 7, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Rob Niccolai

    Using reproductive organs in a way that is not ordered to reproduction is by definition disordered.

  46. Sasha Andreev

    April 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Johnny O'Neill Let's try a few word substitutions in the following statement you just made: "Homosexual relationships are not the same as procreative relationships and do not have the same social importance. "

    "Black relationships are not the same as white relationships and do not have the same social importance."

    "Interracial relationships are not the same as same-race relationships and do not have the same social importance."

    "Jewish relationships are not the same as Christian relationships and do not have the same social importance."

    "Ugly-people relationships are not the same as pretty-people relationships and do not have the same social importance."

    These have all been societally-held beliefs in our history. Isn't that crazy Johnny? I hope so.

  47. Colin Morris

    April 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Johnny O'Neill "Using reproductive organs in a way that is not ordered to reproduction is by definition disordered." …are you taking the piss

  48. Colin Morris

    April 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Johnny O'Neill "Using reproductive organs in a way that is not ordered to reproduction is by definition disordered." …are you taking the piss

  49. Rob Niccolai

    April 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Johnny O'Neill "The fact that homosexual relationships are not marriage is based on what marriage is," Sorry pal – you can believe that all you want but in 18 states and DC they are marriage — based on the law of civil marriage. Talk about circular logic—read your own post. AS for your point of the persons note being discriminated against – it's about the relationship. It's not that the point was missed, it's that your point is crap.

    You said several times that marriage was constructed for procreation and welcoming new life into society. The point YOU MISSED here is that many people get married with no intent to procreate. Marriage also exists to protect the relationship. In addition, many gay couples have children as well — it's good for society to protect those families too. Period. Just because the family construct isn't biological doesn't make it any less legitimate.

    It's an excuse and nothing more. Does the baker refusing to make a cake for the "ceremony" inquire about the use of all his goods and services? Does he ask a straight couple if they are virgins when they order a wedding cake — if not, or if she is pregnant does he refuse to bake the cake? premarital sex is likely wrong by his beliefs id he is against SSM. The bottom line is this — treating customers equally means holding them all up to the same criteria and standards. I'm guessing this is not the case—they are singling out the gay couples.

  50. David Ross

    April 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    This is awesome, Matthew! Okay if I steal and repost?

  51. Drew Jansen

    April 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Sasha Andreev for the win! Bravo.

  52. Drew Jansen

    April 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Sasha Andreev for the win! Bravo.

  53. Matthew Swanson

    April 7, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    You're views are very popular with people who want to seem like they care about people's liberties but still want to discriminate against those very people. You use faulty arguments like this to make yourself look like you're all down for equality but it's pretty damn easy to see through your guise. Allowing gay couples to marry IS NOT a special right. Just like it wasn't a special right when interracial couples were asking to be allowed to marry. Marriage being defined as between a man and woman is a recent development in response to gay people pushing boundaries and trying to get married. In most states, marriage was never defined this way! It was only done to try and stop marriage equality from happening. Marriage is a civil institution at the core and civil institutions cannot be limited to people based on religious grounds. Your argument for that reason alone is invalid.

  54. Pheenix Wonder

    April 7, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Johnny O'Neill , you sir, are going to extremes, due to the lack of real debate you have here, toodles!

  55. Pam Herman

    April 7, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    The procreative relationship? How do you explain your logic to infertile couples, couples who choose not to have children, couples who marry late in life, couples who already have enough children between them, etc.? Jon Stewart once referred to your type of logic as "rats in a bag." I trust you can figure out what that means. I suggest you rethink your position — but try not to let your obviously Catholic background confuse you.

  56. Johnny O'Neill

    April 7, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Sasha Andreev

    To imply that gay people never want a procreative relationship is an insult to every gay person in a procreative relationship. A gay person can have conflicting desires. On the one hand they have sexual desires for a person of the same sex. On the other hand they can want to have their own children with a person they are married to. There is nothing impossible about that and there are gay men married to women and gay women married to men. To suggest that no gay person would ever do that is a stereotype and insulting to anyone who has.

    Sasha you simply have not read what I have said. I have repeated myself over and over and over again, in multiple posts, that conceiving a child is not necessary for marriage. I have merely said that marriage is a procreative relationship. That means that it is the kind of relationship that is ordered to procreation. That is all. It does not mean that the couple wants to have children. It does not mean that the couple has already had children. It does not mean that the couple will have children. All it means is that it is the kind of relationship that is ordered to having children, namely a sexual union between a man and a woman. Two persons of the same sex are not capable of having this kind of union. This kind of union is the one that is important for society so other kinds of relationships, namely homosexual relationships, do not have this kind of importance for society and we should not pretend that they do.

    Marriage is specifically a procreative relationship. Allowing two people to have a "codified and legalized relationship" that has nothing to do with procreation but is called marriage completely undermines the institution of marriage. Homosexual relationships do not provide a stable environment for a marriage. They necessarily lack either a mother or a father. Children have a natural relationship to a man who is the child's father and a woman who is the child's mother. No more than one man and one woman, no less than one man and one woman, and nothing other than one man and one woman. These natural relationships are important for the child's growth, development, and maturation. Homosexual relationships do not provide these natural relationships for any child and thus are not a healthy environment for the child.

    Your last post is completely off the mark and irrelevant. There is no comparison at all. By removing the content of my statement and replacing it with something else you changed its meaning. If you wanted to be more to the point you should not have removed both sides of the comparison I made but only switched out homosexual relationships. For example:

    "Black relationships are not the same as procreative relationships and do not have the same social importance."

    "Interracial relationships are not the same as procreative relationships and do not have the same social importance."

    Now these still retain the meaning because we are still comparing something to procreative relationships. However, in these two cases the two things that are compared are not exclusive. Black relationships can be procreative relationships. Interracial relationships can be procreative relationships. It would be wrong to deny that Blacks can have a procreative relationship, because they can, so can persons of different ethnicities. However, persons of the same sex cannot have a procreative relationship and that is why marriage excludes homosexual relationships. Persons of different ethnicities can have a procreative relationship so there is no reason why they cannot get married. Persons of the same sex cannot have a procreative relationship and that is why they cannot get married. It actually has nothing to do with sexual orientation. It only has to do with being a man or a woman, regardless of sexual orientation. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, either one of them or even both of them could be homosexual, it does not matter.

    Marriage excludes homosexual relationships, not homosexual persons.

  57. Rob Niccolai

    April 7, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Johnny O'Neill "Marriage excludes homosexual relationships, not homosexual persons." This is your most ridiculous statement yet (and there was a lot of competition). I know logically you think that makes total sense – however, what if I told you that the only way your marriage could be recognized is if it were with someone of the same sex. Would you feel "included" in marriage? Do you believe you could actually choose to be gay – moreover- do you feel that a relationship entered into between a gay person and a straight person in order to exercise their right to marriage would truly be good for society?

    You also seem to avoid the fact that gay couples have children too (biological or not). Those families are no less "good for society" and no less deserving of protection.

  58. Leonard Daneman

    April 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    As a wedding photographer and paralegal in New Mexico, I have intimate knowledge of this case and the law that promulgated the controversy.

    First, a wedding photographer is not just providing a service, but becomes intimately involved with the people and ceremony that can extend over months, and is a contractual performance. In other words, photographing a ceremony puts the photographer up front and personal. It is a contract for employment, and thus there must be a meeting of the minds. If Elane was not comfortable with the homosexual lifestyle, that is indeed something that must be stated up front before contracting.

    As a paralegal, I was associated with the model code writer who wrote SB 28 (if memory serves) and I read the original bill. The original bill provided exemptions for small businesses with limited or no employees, and small rentals where the owner lived on premises, providing a right of the citizen not to associate with homosexuals. That exemption was struck out before being passed by both houses.

    The history of homosexuality, from the Sin of Sodom to sodomy laws, their repeal by Lawrence vs Texas and homosexuals becoming a protected class is clearly recorded in the legal record. As a protected class, homosexuals are now claiming 14th Amendment equal rights to be recognized in marriage, a contractual relationship associated with a great body of law protecting families created by a man and woman in which rights of succession of property first devolve to the children of bloodline.

    Because of the history of sodomy and the fact that same sex partners cannot consummate a marriage, nor produce children except ‘bastards’ out of wedlock, the idea that ‘marriage,’ which for eons and out of natural law has been man and woman and natural children born in wedlock, be extended to unnatural couples and out of wedlock births . . . this is a violation of natural law, an effrontery to traditional Christians, and such a contract should not be forced upon a person of conscience.

    Only in Sharia Law is a person ordered to comply against their conscience or face punitive taxes, the Jizyah . . . or Facism, is a person ordered to enter into contract.

  59. Michael David Barber Moghul

    April 7, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    If you look at Constitutional law, most religious freedom cases hinge on free speech. Go back and look at the cases.

  60. Michael David Barber Moghul

    April 7, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    FUck off on the 14th Amendment huh? You're a twat.

  61. Javier Blake

    April 7, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Absolutely. You are in business to make a buck, not to approve or disapprove of people's lives, and especially not to push your own PERSONAL beliefs onto others

  62. Laura P.

    April 7, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Of course a wedding photographer should be compelled by law to serve a same-sex couple. Don’t bring up the slippery-slope issue of whether radical feminists should still be allowed to exclude trans* people from our festivals and gatherings, since that’s completely different.

  63. Kai Takatsuka

    April 8, 2014 at 1:30 am

    I don't think anyone is going to convince Johnny O'Neill that two people of the same sex should be allowed to get married. You've all made very logical, impassioned, and (many of you) patient cases for why one small group does not get to have the monopoly on marriage in a nation built on legal separation of church and state. He has decided that a narrow, exclusive, Christian, and religious definition of marriage is all that exists. Luckily for those that do not fall into that narrow view, he is not a lawmaker. It's his loss.

  64. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Rob Niccolai

    The statement is not ridiculous, it is simply true. Every single homosexual is capable and allowed by law to be in a permanent and exclusive procreative relationship, which is what we call marriage. If a homosexual person does not want this kind of relationship then that person does not have to have it, but if they want the privileges that go with this kind of relationship then they need to have this kind of relationship.

    If there were some social importance to homosexual relationships and not procreative relationships then that would be fine if I was only able to marry a person of the same sex. But as it is, the opposite is the truth. It is procreative relationships and not homosexual relationships that are good for society. The homosexual person does not have to "choose to be straight." They have homosexual desires but they also have desires to have their own children and family. Yes, if a homosexual man married a woman and raised their children that would be good for society since the children would have a mother and a father.

    I am not avoiding that fact at all. Homosexual couples should not be allowed to raise children. It is an unnatural environment for the child and because of that is not only less good for society but actually bad for society. Every child has a natural relationship to one man who is the father of the child and one woman who is the mother of the child. Placing a child with a homosexual couple deprives the child of either a mother or a father. Why would you do that to a child? Sometimes it happens by no ones fault that a child does not have a mother or father but why would you intentionally place a child in a home with a homosexual couple and deprive the child of either a mother or a father, and not only that but place the child into an unnatural environment where the child is forced to believe that he either has two fathers or two mothers. Two men are capable of taking care of a child but two men are not capable of being the child's father. No child has a natural relationship to two fathers or two mothers. It is unnatural and not good.

  65. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 2:26 am

    Kai Takatsuka

    It is not a Christian or even a religious definition of marriage. I never once appealed to religion. It is based on the ability of man and woman to unite sexually and procreate, something that two persons of the same sex cannot do together. This has nothing to do with religion. It is about the importance of the procreative relationship for society.

    Social benefits are given to permanent, exclusive procreative relationships because they provide the proper environment to bring new members of society into society and to raise them. Homosexual relationships are not procreative and thus should not receive the benefits for this kind of relationship. Homosexual persons can have homosexual relationships if they want but they are not the kind of relationship that marriage is and should not be treated as such. Homosexual persons are also free to enter into a permanent and exclusive procreative relationship by marrying a person of the opposite sex and also receiving the social benefits for marriage. Thus homosexual persons are free to have a homosexual relationship or a procreative relationship. No one is stopping them from doing so. However, only procreative relationships that are permanent and exclusive should receive social benefits.

  66. Kai Takatsuka

    April 8, 2014 at 2:54 am

    Johnny O'Neill Blah Blah Procreative Relationship Blah Blah Blah any relationship that is not one I would be in does not deserve legal recognition Blah Blah Blah. Johnny, I'm happy for you that you can consensually marry the person you love. Stop trying to take that away from everyone else just because you don't understand it. You can argue all the semantics you want and demonize everyone who is different than you by attempting to make the argument that their relationship is not as worthy in our culture because it is not "procreative" (you've been very loose with that definition, ps). Legal marriage is not defined by being procreative. This is a typical argument from someone who has social, legal, and cultural privilege and would like to keep it, exclusively, for themselves.

    And, honestly, what do you expect people on this site, a site that specialized in news related to the LGBTQ, to think of your comments?

  67. Chad Reese

    April 8, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Spot on!

  68. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Kai Takatsuka

    Thats why I posted on this site. Usually people that are for gay "marriage" post on pro gay "marriage" sites and all agree with each other and people that are against it post on their own sites and they all agree with each other and there is never any dialogue and no one ever even hears what the other side thinks.

    How have I been loose with the definition of procreative? A sexual relationship between a man and a woman is procreative. There is nothing loose about that.

    Legal marriage has always been understood to be procreative. That is the point. The past decades are the first time anyone has ever challenged that. Even polygamous marriages were understood as multiple procreative relationships. It was one man and many woman, not ever one man and many other men. So even when society denied that marriage was exclusive they still understood it to be procreative.

    You do not even acknowledge the facts in this debate.
    Fact: marriage has always been understood to be procreative even when it was not required to be exclusive.
    Fact: homosexual persons are allowed to be married, it is homosexual relationships (in the remaining states) that are not recognized as marriage. If they do not want what they have a right to that is their choice, but they do not have the right to redefine marriage.
    Fact: this is not about private relationships that do not affect other people. Homosexual persons already have their homosexual relationships. This is about the governments understanding and definition of marriage. This is about the status of homosexual relationships in society and whether or not they should be treated the same as procreative relationships. The definition of marriage affects all of society, not just the people getting married. It affects children.

    These are the facts. They should be acknowledged even if you think they are irrelevant or perhaps should be either changed or accepted.

    1. You may think that we SHOULD redefine marriage but it is not true to say that marriage has not been based on procreation, because it has.
    2. You may think that homosexual RELATIONSHIPS should not be excluded from what we understand as marriage but it is not true to say that homosexual PERSONS are not free to marry, because they are.
    3. You may think that all the affects on society of legalizing gay "marriage" will be good, but it is not true to say that this is only about their rights and does not affect me or anyone else. How the government understands the relationship of marriage affects all of society because the family is the fundamental building block of society.

    Unfortunately most arguments I encounter do not even take these facts into consideration and then they base their arguments on things that are not true. It is simply wrong to say that homosexual persons are denied marriage, because you are assuming a different understanding of the word marriage then what is expressed in the law. Instead of saying they are denied marriage the argument logically should be that it is wrong to exclude homosexual relationships from our understanding of marriage. This would at least acknowledge the facts and then we can have a dialogue about what kind of relationship marriage is and whether it should include homosexual relationships. But people that I dialogue with simply do not acknowledge the fact that this is about redefining the relationship of marriage rather than granting marriage rights to a group of people. It is either ignorant or deceitful. My gut tells me ignorance since no one seems to get it. Everyone just talks past the issue, which is evidenced by your "blah blah blah" comment.

  69. Kai Takatsuka

    April 8, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Johnny O'Neill Once again, everything is a "fact" to you if it supports your stance. Where are said "facts" pulled from? It's not a "fact" just because you believe it to be a social norm. In terms of your comments on procreation, you are quick to use the term to ensure that same-sex relationships do not fit the bill, but are fine with heterosexual couples who can't (or won't) procreate. Sorry you don't like the idea of people of the same sex having adult, consensual relationships. Again, you have the privilege of feeling that way and knowing that no one is going to suddenly make your marriage with a woman illegal or attempt to attack it. This is a privilege gay lesbian persons do not have. I am sure you can acknowledge that this does not mean this "debate" you are having with everyone is on equal footing.

    The idea that you are brining some new idea to the table about why same sex marriage is less than heterosexual marriage is laughable only because it's so misguided. Do you really believe that GLBT persons are not reminded of their inequality constantly and in every arena? What, you came here to show us "what the other side thinks"? Johnny, what you think is painfully clear to those in the LGBT community who have this message reinforced in thousands of ways throughout the day. You may not see this because, again, you don't have to. You're not a member of a minority group who has to consistently defend their existence.

    What exactly are you so afraid of if two people of the same sex get married? Do you believe that there will be no more babies? Do you believe the human race will cease to exist? That is not going to happen because you let two people of the same sex get civilly married and have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples. You seem intelligent so I know you see logic in that.

  70. Sarah Conte

    April 8, 2014 at 4:24 am

    Johnny O'Neill My question for you becomes "Why is anyone else's relationship any of your business?" Ie: Why would you possibly care at all?

  71. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 5:15 am

    Sarah Conte

    Did you not read my last post?

    It becomes my business when they want their relationship to have a social status that receives social benefits. Keep it private and it is not my business. If they try to change the laws about marriage is becomes the business of everyone in society.

  72. Brian Boyle

    April 8, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Rob Niccolai Concise and to the point!

  73. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Kai Takatsuka

    I have already explained several times, a sexual relationship between a man and a woman is procreative regardless of whether they conceive. Their relationship is ordered to procreation because they are capable of uniting sexually. Persons of the same sex are not capable of this kind of union or relationship.

    You still haven't even understood anything I have said which is evident by your responses. You are not even critiquing my points. I say one thing and instead of responding to what I say you go off on a different direction. This happens with everyone I have spoken to. Obviously you have not heard and have not understood the arguments, because otherwise you would respond directly to my arguments instead of side stepping them every time.

    This is not about what homosexuals do. This is about what the government does and the laws that the government passes. If homosexuals want to be in homosexual relationships, fine, go off and do it. They already are. What I do not want to happen is for society and the government to confuse homosexual relationships with marriage, that does harm to the institution of marriage. Two persons of the same sex are not physically capable of being married. It is just not possible. They are not capable of uniting sexually the way a man and a woman can. Our sexual organs do not work that way. Homosexuals do not have a different kind of sexual organ from everyone else which allows two persons of the same sex to unite sexually. A homosexual man can unite sexually with a woman, and a homosexual woman can unite sexually with a man, just like everyone else. The problem is that marriage understood as a permanent and exclusive procreative relationship is important for society and should be recognized as such by being given a special status in society with social benefits. If homosexual relationships are recognized as marriage then marriage is no longer recognized as a procreative relationship and thus permanent and exclusive procreative relationships are no longer given a special status in society. That is harmful to society since these kinds of relationships are good for society because they provide the proper environment to bring new members of society into society.

    If society does not acknowledge marriage for what it is and support it with its culture and its laws then marriage will begin to crumble away and families and society with it (that has already been happening with how wide spread divorce is, it will only get worse by redefining marriage so that it no longer includes procreation). Marriage is the fundamental relationship for all of society because that is where life comes from. If we do not respect the relationship that brings life into society then we are undermining the whole society that we are bringing life into.

    Homosexual relationships are not fundamental to society because they are not the kind of relationship that brings new life into society. Therefore they should not be treated the same as the relationship that does bring new life into society.

    Again, if homosexuals want to have a homosexual relationship, fine. That does not mean all of society needs to act as if it is the same thing as marriage. It is not.

  74. Sasha Andreev

    April 8, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Johnny O'Neill You say that if a "homosexual man married a woman and raised their children that would be good for society since the children would have a mother and a father." How would this be good for society or the children if the man has no desire to be with the woman, and is naturally attracted to men. Is it not beneficial for the child to have his or her parents in a healthy relationship based on love and attraction towards each other? You cannot claim that it is natural for a homosexual man be with a woman when he is naturally inclined to be with partners of the same sex.

    Numerous studies have shown that children raised in same-sex households show no deviation from the norm when it comes to emotional health, social adjustment, GPA, when compared to those raised in heterosexual households.

    In regard to your assertion that my last post was off the mark – I simply meant to draw the parallel between your currently marriage=procreation statement and those dealing with race, religion, age, etc. History clearly shows that the institution of marriage has evolved over time. Two thousand years ago a man could marry a 12-year-old he had never met, own his wife as property and dispose of her at will, and even be imprisoned for marrying a person of a different race. In fact, it was only 1967 when the US Supreme Court overturned the law that prohibited interracial marriage. Prior to that, there was legal grounding to say that an interracial marriage was counterproductive to society, and was an anomaly to the natural order things, where individuals should just stick to their own kind.

    To this I assume you would say that all of those definitions and situations still involved a union between a man and a woman, and thus those "marriages" were procreative in nature. It's what you've been saying repeatedly in every single post. If you do some research, you'll find same-sex marriages and relationships throughout history, and even normative parts of society in certain eras.

    But your misguided logic of procreation and its superiority over other types of unions, implicitly including those of sterile couples, is the reflection of an archaic societal view. Our views of marriage, relationships, and the number of those involved in the marriage are continuoulsy evolving. Men and women are now generally perceived by most to be on equal footing in a relationship, and marriages are no longer business arrangements between families. Love, commitment, respect, companionship, and consensual attraction to one another are largely what couples seek in each other, and in their marriages. They aim to be productive members of society as a cohesive unit, and some choose to have children through intercourse, or other means.

    If you married your wife because of baby-making – that's great. You have the right to do so. Maybe you won't baby-make. Maybe you'll adopt a baby from Brazil. Hopefully you raise that kid to be a kind, compassionate person and a productive member of society. Ultimately that's the effect your marriage will have on anyone. Same goes for the gay married couple and their kid, however they had him or her.

  75. Jonathan Sandig

    April 8, 2014 at 6:55 am

    If you read the case information and the amicus curiae, the case is concerned with freedom of speech, not religion. The Supreme Court was being asked to rule whether or not it considers photography to be protected First Amendment speech, as it portrays a message. The case concerned the concept of compelled speech and whether this is an example of it, not the possibility of a business exercising religion.

    Issue (according to SCOTUSBlog): Whether applying a state public-accommodations statute to require a photographer to create expressive images and picture books conveying messages that conflict with her religious beliefs violates the First Amendment’s ban on compelled speech.

    I personally think the court decided to ignore it because New Mexico allowed the possibility of posting a comment on her website to say that she does not support gay marriage.

  76. Colin Morris

    April 8, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Johnny O'Neill sorry just had to… "Using reproductive organs in a way that is not ordered to reproduction is by definition disordered." they are called genitals not reproductive organs and they're also used to allow waste to exit the body(pre-adaption)… that is a lot like saying hands are for hanging from trees(or whatever) so using a keyboard is disordered.

  77. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Sasha Andreev

    As I said earlier, we can have desire on multiple levels. A homosexual has sexual desires for a person of the same sex. This same person can also have the desire to have their own children naturally. This would mean for example that a homosexual man has sexual desires for men but at the same time desires to be the natural father of his own children and thus also desires to be united with a woman. All men are naturally inclined to be united with a woman, and all women are naturally inclined to be with a man. That is how our sexual organs work. There is not any other kind of sexual union possible. Homosexual desire is not a natural inclination. It is a sexual desire that is contrary to the order and purpose of human sexuality. Homosexuals do not have different kinds of sexual organs. They unite sexually and procreate just like everyone else, with a person of the opposite sex. They simply have desires that are contrary to the way that their sexual organs work. They do not choose it, but it is not natural.

    The idea that the evidence shows children do just as well in homes with homosexual couples just is not true. http://www.frc.org/issuebrief/new-study-on-homosexual-parents-tops-all-previous-research

    Homosexual relationships have been socially accepted at points in history but that is not the same thing as equating it with marriage. Everyone always understood that it was not marriage even if they thought there was nothing wrong with it.

    The idea that privileging permanent and exclusive procreative relationships in society is an archaic societal view is ludicrous. That could only be true if procreative relationships were something that had to do only with a certain period of history and thus could become irrelevant at a later point in history. Since procreative relationships are how new human beings come into this world it is impossible that this type of relationship could ever become outdated and giving a special place in society could be considered archaic.

    I never said that 'baby-making' had to be the reason why someone got married. I have simply said that marriage is a procreative union. Love should be the reason why two persons get married. But since marriage is a procreative union it requires that there is one man and one woman.

  78. Colin Morris

    April 8, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Johnny O'Neill i believe you are trying to convince yourself that you made the right decision when you married for procreative reasons and not love or attraction and at the same time you seem to be looking for some sort of compensation/acknowledgement/reward/gold star, for your chosen path and the difficulties it brings…. may i suggest reading a little about cognitive dissonance and finding another way of soothing your lament.

  79. Rob Niccolai

    April 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Johnny O'Neill "Homosexual couples should not be allowed to raise children." but they are allowed and they DO raise children (and do it well) – therefore it is in the best interest of society to ensure that ALL families are protected under the law. Your utopian version of the universe no longer exists. Maybe if you walked outside the doors of the Dominican House of Studies once in a while and saw the world through the eyes of what exists vs. the eyes of what you want it to be maybe you would see this. Families aren't ALL biological, two parent, mom and dad constructs — they just aren't. Period. I know several gay couples raising fantastic kids (many of them whom were abandoned by their "procreative" parents) and without a doubt their families are real and deserve the same protections under the law.

  80. Sarah Conte

    April 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Johnny O'Neill Oh, I read it. I just can't imagine why someone else's social status or the use of their genitals is any of your business or problem. You've not proved to me in the slightest that you will be affected by others having the freedom to live their life as they choose, with all the freedom that you take for granted.

  81. Sasha Andreev

    April 8, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Johnny O'Neill

    "All men are naturally inclined to be united with a woman, and all women are naturally inclined to be with a man" – You've obviously never met a gay person.

    "They do not choose it, but it is not natural. " – What is it then? CGI?

  82. Terry Pounds

    April 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Johnny O'Neill "Homosexual desire is not a natural inclination."

    How are you defining "natural"? Homosexual behavior has existed throughout human history and is common throughout the animal kingdom. That sounds pretty natural to me.

    Here's a handy list of animals that engage in homosexual behavior: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

  83. Rob Niccolai

    April 8, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Johnny O'Neill "Homosexual desire is not a natural inclination" I guess my response to this is — "So what?" Many things that are regulated and covered under civil law are outside of "natural inclination" for example: automobiles, refrigerations, HVAC, much of the food we consume, divorce, the list goes on. Much like procreating (or even the ability to do so), "natural inclination" has not been a requirement of the civil law.

  84. Dominick J. Di Noto

    April 8, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Petty stupid lawsuits against LGBT folks are grinding to a halt especially if they are for religious reasons. You own and operate a business You DO NOT Discriminate Bottom line!!!!

  85. Dominick J. Di Noto

    April 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Michael David Barber Moghul Free speech is great BUT if you own a business Free Speech does NOT enter into the equation. Free Speech doesn't give you the right to keep people from using your store because they, the owners, don't like you!

  86. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Colin Morris

    I am not married. I have no anxiety and I hold no contradictory views.

  87. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Rob Niccolai

    Obviously I know that there are homosexual couples raising children just as there are states that call homosexual relationships marriage. The whole point is that I am arguing it should not be that way. If we should all just accept the way the world is instead of trying to fight for they way we think it should be then you should not support changing the laws in the states that have not legalized gay "marriage" yet because thats just the way it is. Its amazing to me that you tell me to just accept the world the way it is and yet you are still pushing to change the laws in all the states. Well I am trying to change the laws as well, just not in the same states as you.

    Yes it is true that not all families are biological. It is always unfortunate when children cannot be raised by their natural mother and father. It is wonderful when another man and woman can step in and raise the child as the adopting mother and father. Sometimes, through no one's fault a child is raised without a mother or father. Other times, one of the parents leaves and abandons the child. That situation is much worse. But why on earth would we ever give a child to a homosexual couple and by doing so deprive the child of a mother or father? It is wrong. The child is in an unnatural situation then because no child is naturally related to two fathers or to two mothers and yet the homosexual couple will act in that way.

    Those homosexual couples that you know raising the child are really raising the child but that does not make their set of relationships natural and thus familial. The child has a natural relationship to only one man and one woman. By having two men or two women raise the child only one of those two can fulfill one of the two natural relationships that the child has. The other person cannot fulfill the other natural relationship. A family is based on a set of natural relationships based on the procreative relationship, which the couple does not have.

  88. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Sarah Conte

    It is not about how I will be affected. It is about how society will be affected. It is about how future generations will be affected. It is about how the institution of marriage in our society will be affected and along with it the family and thus children. It is about how government will force private businesses to participate in events that they object to, like baking cakes and photographing for gay "marriages." It is about how schools will teach that homosexual relationships are no different from procreative relationships and have the same importance for society. It is about how children will be deprived (and already are in some states) of either a mother or a father, and thus how the government will officially enforce that mothers and fathers are not essential to the family structure or to raising children.

    You may think that all of these things are good, but to say that legalizing gay "marriage" does not affect anyone but homosexuals is not true. In order to be honest instead of saying that legalizing gay "marriage" does not affect anyone but homosexuals you should argue that the way that legalizing gay "marriage" has an affect on society is good and society ought to be affected that way. Then we can actually have an intelligent dialogue. Cause right now you are not even acknowledging the facts.

  89. Rob Niccolai

    April 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Johnny O'Neill All I can say is bull. These are your opinions and quite frankly I could not disagree more, so we're at a bit of an impasse. So you acknowledge these families exist but claim it "should not be that way." Well it is that way, so, what do you propose we do with the existing families? Please, no more pontificating about "procreative relationships" and the way you THINK it "should be." You've made your ridiculous point. I now pose ONLY ONE question: "What do you think should happen to the families that currently exist, but do not fit your definition of family?"

  90. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Sasha Andreev

    I have met plenty of gay people. CGI? Seriously? It is not natural because it is contrary to human nature, not because it is technological. Sexual organs are reproductive organs. The natural purpose of sex is procreation. Homosexual desires and acts are contrary to the natural purpose of sex. Therefore they are unnatural. Contrary to nature = not natural.

  91. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Terry Pounds

    Good question! Natural means in accordance with the order and purpose of nature. As I just explained to Sasha the natural end and purpose of sex is procreation because sexual organs are reproductive organs. Homosexual desires and acts, and thus also relationships, are not ordered to the natural end of sex and are thus not natural.

    I am talking about human nature, not something that happens "out there in nature." Your understanding of nature seems to be something that happens often.

    First of all, since I am talking about human nature, what happens in other animals is not necessarily relevant. Animal behavior is not a good guide to how humans ought to act. Humans are rational and free and are thus moral agents whose actions are either morally good or morally evil. That is not true with animals.

    Second, the fact that many animals exhibit homosexual behavior just means that they are acting unnaturally as well. Their sexual organs are reproductive organs just as much as ours are and thus their homosexual acts are disordered as well. However, animals are not rational and free so their homosexual actions are disordered without being immoral. Homosexual desire in humans is not free or chosen so it is disordered but not immoral. Homosexual acts, however, are free and thus are not only disordered but also immoral.

  92. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Rob Niccolai

    Homosexual acts are not just not natural they are contrary to nature. None of those other things you mentioned are contrary to nature. Further, people are fighting for homosexual relationships, which are contrary to the order of human sexuality and human nature, to have the same rights and privileges as procreative relationships which are ordered according to the order and purpose of our sexuality.

    They want the same privileges that belong to the procreative relationship for a relationship that is contrary to the procreative relationship. It really is absurd and arrogant for them to demand those privileges for that kind of relationship. They are completely ignoring why marriage receives privileges in the first place, namely because it is procreative, which homosexual relationships are not, and thus should not receive those privileges.

  93. Rob Niccolai

    April 8, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Johnny O'Neill Actually Mr. Circular logic– making it cold inside when nature is making it hot is the very definition of contrary to nature (I'll leave it at one example, because the point is fairly obvious).

    So, I'll try one more time to get you to bring an answer to the table and face the reality that gay families do exist: I once again pose ONLY ONE question: "What do you think should happen to the families that currently exist, but do not fit your definition of family?"

  94. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Rob Niccolai

    Making it cold inside when nature is making it hot?? What in the world are you talking about?

    Like I said, I am talking about human nature, not outside is nature in the woods or something. Everything that exists has a nature. All the way from atoms to human beings. Atoms, molecules, living organisms, sentient beings, and rational animals (humans). Making it cold inside is not contrary to HUMAN NATURE. It is contrary to the temperature outside but the temperature outside is not part of human nature so changing the temperature inside is not contrary to HUMAN NATURE. The whole point is that homosexual actions are contrary to OUR NATURE. Morality is determined by how well we act according to OUR NATURE, not whether we do anything contrary to the nature of something else.

    It is not clear what should happen, and there does not need to be a clear answer to that in order to know that we should not place any more children with homosexual couples. One option would be to not do anything about children that are already with homosexual couples and just never give children to homosexual couples again. Another option would be to remove children under a certain age from homosexual couples, or children that have only been with that homosexual couple for a certain period of time. We have already done the damage by placing children with homosexual couples and depriving them of either a mother or a father. We are going to have to live with that damage. It cannot be undone.

    If these are merely my opinions then everything that you hold to the contrary is also just YOUR OPINION. So why should your opinion be the one that determines what the law is? Why don't you leave your opinion out of the law making process and leave the laws alone in the states that do not recognize gay "marriage?" Why do you think it is alright for you to impose your opinion on others but call me out for trying to argue my position? Of course, the other option is that this is not just a matter of opinion but there actually is a right thing to do that we are both capable of understanding, but coming to a common understanding of that requires dialogue and rational argumentation.

  95. Rob Niccolai

    April 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Johnny O'Neill Well — making it cold inside when nature has made it hot outside Is what Air conditioning does– so it's contrary to nature. Not a real hard concept to grasp.

    I asked you to answer a question without additional pontification (obviously that was futile). But in the middle of your hot air here's what comes out: "It is not clear what should happen." Yet you seem more than willing to disband every family that isn't mom and dad with 2.5 biological kids. You say "We have already done the damage by placing children with homosexual couples and depriving them of either a mother or a father. " Other than the debunked Mark Regnurus study, research disagrees with your POV. Kids with same-sex parents typically thrive. Just because people can procreate doesn't mean they should. In other words: sexual orientation doesn't determine if someone will or won't be a good parent (the majority of bad parents are straight—you might want to remember that)

    You ask why I think it's okay to impose my opinion on law – there is only one answer. Because my opinion doesn't negate yours. If my opinion becomes law, the biological family is still in tact and life is good. Gay families will also be protected under the law. if YOUR opinion becomes law, mom, dad and biological kids are protected under the law. Any other EXISTING families (because remember, they are out there) also get protection.

    Okay — I'm officially done. There's only so much worth saying to a brick wall. God bless you and your narrow-mindedness and God bless all the VERY REAL families with same-sex parents that have to encounter people like you in their lives. Someday you will realize that people like you are doing the damage to those children, not their same sex parent.

  96. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Rob Niccolai

    Your opinion does negate mine. My position is that marriage is procreative. Legalizing gay "marriage" negates that. What do you not get about that? The government will no longer be holding procreative relationships at a special status. Sure married men and women will be receiving the same benefits but no longer because they have a procreative relationship. It will be for some other reason, because they love each other or something else. The point is that the reason why the government supports marriage will no longer be because it is procreative. That is harmful to society.

    You did not even read what I wrote about nature. Making the temperature cold is not contrary to OUR NATURE. That is the whole point. You do not pay attention to what I say.

    Narrow-mindedness is not measured by agreeing or disagreeing with you. You have been very narrow-minded by not even bothering to understand the points I have made or accept the facts of the situation.

  97. Rob Niccolai

    April 8, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Johnny O'Neill Let me rephrase: your opinion negates my family. My opinion still values your family and let's yours live as they are.

    I read everything you wrote — I just think it's distorted, extreme and choose not to buy into it (side note: you have said "you did not even read what I wrote" to almost everyone on this chain–did it ever occur to you that we read it we just think you're full of crap!). As another commenter pointed out—homosexuality is found in nature—it certainly is natural for me, I have no sexual attraction to women — I just don't, no matter how much you want to believe I do.

    You say that I have not bothered to understand your points. I have completely, I also find them to be off-base. It is you that does not understand that marriage exists to protect families (biology or the fact that they are naturally procreated has no bearing on the validity of a family). You also have a heck of a time acknowledging that Same sex families ALREADY exist and will continue to do so regardless of the law, so let's protect them. You comment as thought if the laws don't protect gay families, well then they will no longer exist. Lastly, you keep saying that it is harmful to society if the government no longer supports STRICTLY procreative marriages (not supporting same sex marriage in no way pulls support from traditional families) — but you haven't said why. Contrary to nature? Why is that harmful? Unnatural? Again — so? You have lots of opinions but solid reason why other than your belief of what is and isn't natural.

    I thoroughly believe that nature intended some people not to procreate—if we all procreated the world would not be able to accommodate the population. checks and balances – simple science.

    Oh and the reason that married men and women will continue to receive the same benefits (because according to you "because they love each other or something else" is a bad reason) is to PROTECT THEIR FAMILY – it doesn't matter how the family came to be. It's a family that deserves protection. Procreative is a criteria that you're putting on marriage. 18 states plus DC (and counting) disagree with you as well. GOD BLESS.

  98. Johnny O'Neill

    April 8, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Rob Niccolai

    Your rephrase is better but it still not completely true. Your opinion negates my understanding of my own family. Your understanding of family is different than my understanding of family based on our different understanding of marriage. My understanding of family is that it is a set of natural relationships based on the ability of a man and a woman to unite sexually and bring new life into the world. That is not your understanding of family. I imagine it is some vague notion of people living together in love and commitment. That is certainly included in family but it does not explain what family is.

    I never said homosexuals are attracted to women. I said that even a homosexual man is only capable of uniting sexually with a woman. You and I are both men. We are both capable of being sexually united with a woman. Our sexual organs work the same way. If your sexual organs did work differently than every one else's then you would be capable of a different kind of sexual union, but that is not the case. Homosexuals have a sexual desire for someone that they are physically not capable of being sexually united with.

    Homosexuality is not found "in nature," it is found in other animals. Nature does not mean "in the world' or "out in the woods" or "the world before man changed it." Nature means the essence of something. The kind of thing that something is. Humans are not the same kind of thing as animals, we have different natures. Humans have a rational nature, animals do not. They are sentient but not rational. Homosexuality is found in animals but it is unnatural in them as well because it is contrary to their nature. Their sexual organs are reproductive organs and homosexual acts are contrary to the nature of sexual organs.

    I have acknowledged several times that same sex families ALREADY exist. I have not denied that once. I have simply said that it is not good. That is not denying that they exist.

    I have explained why it is important for the government to protect procreative relationships. This is the relationships that brings new members of society into society and raises and educates them. Therefore it is important for society. Homosexual relationships do not bring new members of society into society and therefore they have no special importance for society. Once you deny that children should have a mother and a father then there is no criteria whatsoever to guide our understanding of what set of relationships a child should be brought up in. Why limit the number of parents to 2? The only reason is because the child has a natural relationship to two persons, a mother and father. Once you remove that there is no reason why the child should not have 3 parents or more, or just live in a commune. Removing the necessity of a mother and father undermines the natural sets of relationships that every child HAS A RIGHT TO. These natural sets of relationships are the most fundamental building blocks of any possible society because it is where new people come from. Gay "marriage" is an attack on these natural sets of relationships.

    I do appreciate you ending with GOD BLESS even though we disagree.

  99. Rob Niccolai

    April 9, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Johnny O'Neill You say you acknowledge that same sex families exist. Yet, you say the only family that deserves protections under the law are "procreative." To deny them recognition under the law is to deny their existence. You also say "Removing the necessity of a mother and father undermines the natural sets of relationships that every child HAS A RIGHT TO" This was done years ago with divorce. There is a huge percentage of families out there that do not have both a mother and father. This in no way negate families that DO have both parents.

    "Your opinion negates my understanding of my own family" if you cannot look at your own family and understand it's construct that is a personal issue – there are many families that don't look like yours, if that causes you confusion, again – your issue. This debate is not whether or not families without 2 opposite sex parents should be allowed to exist – because they already are allowed and that won't change. The debate is should these taxpaying families be entitled to the same gov. protections as families with 2 opposite sex parents. There are a huge number of children in non-traditional families — they deserve the right to be protected. Period

    To clarify, I do not just disagree with you, but find your opinions disrespectful and dehumanizing to all humans who are not part of a perfect family.

    Good night. I pray that some day you will see value in all people and all families not just those that fit your narrow moral standards. Again, God bless.

  100. Johnny O'Neill

    April 9, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Rob Niccolai

    Youre right about divorce. Marriage and the family have been under attack in our society for decades. Legalizing gay "marriage" is only one more step in the wrong direction.

    I understand my own family. My point is that your understanding of my family is not the same as my understanding of my own family. The point is that your position does negate my position. It changes the legal understanding of what a family is. The legal understanding of a family would no longer correspond to what I understand my family to be. So it is not true to say that my position negates yours but yours does not negate mine. The legal understanding would no longer be about the natural sets of relationships that come from the procreative relationship.

    Actually the debate is about the laws that already exist. Who are you to say that they will not change? I can just as easily say that in most of the states gay "marriage" is not legal and that will not change, so therefore thats not what the debate is about. Obviously you want to change the laws where they have not changed yet. I want to return the laws that have been changed to what they were before and make new laws which protect the institution of marriage from being redefined.

    The children in homes with same sex couples deserve a mother and a father. Period.

    There is a huge difference between a family that has lost a mother or a father and two persons living in a homosexual relationship raising a child. At most, the child can have a natural relationship to only one of the two persons in the homosexual relationship. The child has no relationship to the other person except for the fact that that person lives with and raises the child. A family is based on the natural relationships of a man and a woman to each other and to their children. If the child is adopted then a man and a woman adopt the roles of mother and father. When one man has adopted the role of father, there is no other role for a homosexual partner of his to adopt, because the only other one available is mother, and he is not capable of being a mother. It is always unfortunate when a family has lost a mother or father, for whatever reason, but that does not take away from whatever relationships are still in tact. It is not disrespectful or dehumanizing to recognize that losing a mother or father is tragic, for whatever reason.

    Quite to the contrary, it is unbelievably disrespectful and dehumanizing to claim that mothers and fathers are not essential to families by trying to legalize gay "marriage." Your position is an insult to anyone who has ever grown up without a mother or a father. You are essentially saying to them that they were not missing out on anything because not all families are supposed to have mothers and fathers. Some have only a mother or only a father, some have two mothers, some have two fathers. Each one is as good as the next so yours was perfect as it was and you missed nothing.

    Try telling that to kids that grew up without either a mother or a father. They will think that you are insane. They understand more than anyone else the importance of having both a mother and a father.

  101. Rob Niccolai

    April 9, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Johnny O'Neill Negating someone's position is a consequence of freedom of speech and a right we all have. Negating the existence of someones family is dehumanizing.

    Please note there are no quotes around the word marriage when it refers to same sex couples in18 states and DC.

    As for your comment about "Your position is an insult to anyone who has ever grown up without a mother or a father." At no point did I ever say "all families are supposed to have mothers and fathers" that is YOUR belief. Not mine, I have said quite the opposite. What I have really said (and you have adamantly disagreed with) is that all families have value. Why don't you ask one (or several) kids who grew up in a non-traditional home if they are insulted by the fact that I said their family has value regardless of its construct? They will likely tell you they have a great family regardless of the construct – because it is their family. And EVERY FAMILY has value.

    I'm done with your twisting of my words and your hatred towards families that don't fit your definition. I wish you luck in the world ahead. All I ask is that you stay the hell away from my family and others like it – they don't need their minds filled with your pity, hatred or dehumanizing point of view.

  102. Johnny O'Neill

    April 9, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Rob Niccolai

    I not only did not deny that those families have value but I affirmed the value of the relationships that they do have. You did not read what I wrote carefully. If a family is without a father then the family still has value in the relationship to the mother. If the family is without a mother then the family still has value in the relation to the father. i can affirm that those families have value and still acknowledge that it is unfortunate that some families are without a mother or a father.

    I know that I am the one who said families need a mother and a father. This acknowledges the real loss that many have experienced by growing up without a mother or a father while still acknowledging the value of the family that was intact. To support gay "marriage" is to say that mothers and fathers are not essential to the family and thus anyone who grew up without a mother or a father did not experience a real loss.

    It is insulting to tell someone who did not have a mother or father that mothers and fathers are not essential to the family. You are basically telling them that the pain they felt as a result of the absence of one of their parents has no basis.

    It is like saying to someone who does not have two arms that they have not experiences any loss because two arms are not essential to the human body. That is not being kind, it is cruel. It is natural to have two arms so someone with only one arm has experienced a painful loss and that should be acknowledged. Every child has a natural relationship to a mother and a father, so growing up without a mother or father is a real loss, and should be acknowledged. Not doing so is cruel.

  103. Rob Niccolai

    April 9, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Johnny O'Neill Again with the "you did not read what I wrote carefully"funny how you have to say that to everyone you argue with —YOU'RE NOT MAKING YOUR POINT! IT'S YOU! GET IT?

    You misunderstand the word essential: "Essential; a thing that is absolutely necessary." mother and father–essential for birth, yes. Not essential for a family. Proof – many families exist without the presence of one or the other. You are essentially saying that because both a mother and father are not in the home that child's family is bad, lesser and in your words not a family. A family, no matter what the construct, is a child's safety and you and other a-holes like you have no right to shake a child's security by telling them that their family isn't real.

  104. Colin Morris

    April 9, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Johnny O'Neill "I am not married. I have no anxiety and I hold no contradictory views" on the contrary if you read back up the thread at your posts they are full of contradictory views, you are anxious about gays getting married as you talk about it with fear, you may not be married, yet you feel you are expert on the subject… constantly having to repeat what you have just said to the same audience indicates either a problem with you explaining yourself properly(you come across load and clear to me) or you are experiencing cognitive dissonance and lack the capacity to understand why others do not see it as you do…

  105. Colin Morris

    April 9, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Johnny O'Neill
    "I am not married. I have no anxiety and I hold no contradictory views"

    on the contrary if you read back up the thread at your posts they are full of contradictory views, you are anxious about homosexuals getting married as you talk about it with fear…
    you may not be married. however, you consider yourself as some sort of expert on the subject…
    constantly having to repeat what you have just said to the same audience indicates that either you have a problem explaining yourself properly or you are experiencing cognitive dissonance and lack the capacity to understand why others do not see it as you do…

  106. Johnny O'Neill

    April 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Colin Morris

    Please point out any contradiction.
    I am not speaking with fear but with concern. I am concerned about upholding the institution of marriage. I want to protect the rights of children to have a mother and a father.
    You do not have to be married to know what marriage is, or to know that children deserve a mother and a father.
    I repeat what I have said because people have not always responded to my arguments and many people repeat the same objections over and over again.

  107. Colin Morris

    April 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Johnny O'Neill
    "To support gay "marriage" is to say that mothers and fathers are not essential to the family and thus anyone who grew up without a mother or a father did not experience a real loss.

    It is insulting to tell someone who did not have a mother or father that mothers and fathers are not essential to the family. You are basically telling them that the pain they felt as a result of the absence of one of their parents has no basis.

    It is like saying to someone who does not have two arms that they have not experiences any loss because two arms are not essential to the human body. That is not being kind, it is cruel. It is natural to have two arms so someone with only one arm has experienced a painful loss and that should be acknowledged. Every child has a natural relationship to a mother and a father, so growing up without a mother or father is a real loss, and should be acknowledged. Not doing so is cruel."

    on the contrary, i was raised without a mother, i never felt any of those things you prescribe for me when you pathologised my normality.
    i never felt any self-pity, didn't miss my mother not once. however i did have a bit of a shit time, because some people kept treating us like we where the devils spawn or something because my dad had divorced and they would sometimes go out of their way in order to do it… people like you on this thread for instance!

    being raised by my father was never cruel, clearly he raised me up to be a much better person than your parents raised you to be… people like you are the cruel ones.

  108. Sasha Andreev

    April 9, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Colin Morris Let's not forget that Johnny is also an expert on homosexuality, family, society, sociology, nature, biology, history, and on the human race, for he has explained to us the core of human nature. How can we argue with someone who possesses such keen knowledge of the universe?

  109. Johnny O'Neill

    April 9, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Colin Morris

    I did not say anything about self-pity. I did not say being raised by one parent is cruel. I said it is cruel to tell people who grew up without one of their parents that mothers and fathers are not essential to the family.

    You may have not missed your mother but you do have a mother. There are other people who are not so unaffected by the absence of someone to whom they are naturally related. To tell those people that those relationships are not essential to the family and are just arbitrary is cruel.

    Just because sometimes a mother or father is not involved in a family is no reason to say that mothers and fathers are not essential to the family. It is impossible that there could be a child that does not have a mother or father. Those relationships necessarily exist for every child because of how human life begins. Sometimes the man or woman does not take care of their responsibilities to the child but those relationships still exist regardless. It is wrong to deny that they do.

    Single parent homes are good for the relationships that are there but that is no reason to deny that there is a relationship that is missing. It is also not true that acknowledging that there is a relationship that is missing means that single parent homes are bad and have no value. That is the false assumption that has been drawn from what I have said.

  110. Colin Morris

    April 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Johnny O'Neill
    you really do not have the first clue as to what you are talking about… you make stuff up that you think is laudable and backs up your argument and then you pass it of as fact…

    feeling that you have somehow been hurt by being raised in a single parent family is self pity, what would you call it?

    "You may have not missed your mother but you do have a mother" …everybody has a mother in that context!

    and the other people that you have decided are not so unaffected are only affected by the way people like you label them and lobby for laws to ensure they have a bad time of it…

  111. Colin Morris

    April 9, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Johnny O'Neill
    "I repeat what I have said because people have not always responded to my arguments and many people repeat the same objections over and over again" maybe a little reflection at this point would help..

  112. Johnny O'Neill

    April 9, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Colin Morris

    You do not have to have self-pity in order to miss an absent parent. You are automatically interpreting what I am saying in the worst possible way. There can be someone in a single parent home who had a happy childhood and is part of a good family but nevertheless misses the absent parent. You do not need self-pity for that.

    Thats the point. Mothers and fathers are essential to the family because of how life begins. Everyone has a mother and father. The only question is whether the mother and father are both going to be present in the child's life, and if the child is going to be adopted whether a man and a woman are going to fill those natural relationships of mother and father that every child has. The mother and father have a responsibility to the child. If the child is going to be adopted then another man and woman are going to fulfill the responsibilities of the birth mother and father. There are not any other responsibilities that need to be covered which allow for two men or two woman. There is only the responsibility of the mother that can be fulfilled by another woman and the responsibility of the father that can be fulfilled by another man.

    Who are you to say that the only reason why someone misses an absent parent is because of the way you think they are labelled?

  113. Colin Morris

    April 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Johnny O'Neill

    Johnny O'Neill ..
    "Who are you to say that the only reason why someone misses an absent parent is because of the way you think they are labelled?"

    someone with first hand experience!

  114. Colin Morris

    April 9, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    ……the only thing essential is unconditional love, everything else is flexible….
    … i'm curious to know what is your view on sperm/egg donation?

  115. Colin Morris

    April 9, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Johnny O'Neill p.s. why do you keep going on about self pity like there is something wrong with it? i said i didn't feel any self pity …. as in: so why would someone else pity us for having an absent parent if we don't pity ourselves for it! missing someone doesn't damage you, being told there is something wrong with you does.

  116. Johnny O'Neill

    April 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Colin Morris

    Based on your first hand experience you can speak for yourself. Not everyone feels the same as you. Are you trying to claim that there is not a single person who has ever missed an absent parent? That is ridiculous.

    Tell that to this little kid:
    http://www.thatvideosite.com/v/10842/do-you-want-me-to-be-your-daddy-for-the-next-eight-years-son

    For you to claim that this child's longing for a father is based on what culture and society have told him is insulting. He naturally has a father and he longs for his father to be in his life and if his own father will not be in his life then he is willing for another man to take the responsibilities of his father.

  117. Jodie Lynn Gaeta

    April 9, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Tolerance should be a two-way street. And your First Amendment rights do not stop at the door of your business. Amazing how many people are applauding this step towards tyranny.The courts are just dead wrong on this one.It's time for anti-discrimination laws that apply to private businesses to be repealed. They have outlived their usefulness, and they are beginning to trump the Bill of Rights.

  118. Colin Morris

    April 10, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Johnny O'Neill and based on your experience and view point you get to speak for everybody else… .
    by the way the video of that poor child being emotionally manipulated by adults for their own agenda proves nothing…
    find me an adult who has been raised in a one parent family to tell me that growing up with one parent missing was a bigger problem than the stigma they experienced…
    i'm interested on your views around fathers/mothers in the army… often absent for long times and sometimes they get killed and are then truly absent.. are they cruel parents too for putting their child in danger of missing them?

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Equality Act, contorted as a danger by anti-LGBTQ forces, is all but dead

No political willpower to force vote or reach a compromise

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Despite having President Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, efforts to update federal civil rights laws to strengthen the prohibition on discrimination against LGBTQ people by passing the Equality Act are all but dead as opponents of the measure have contorted it beyond recognition.

Political willpower is lacking to find a compromise that would be acceptable to enough Republican senators to end a filibuster on the bill — a tall order in any event — nor is there the willpower to force a vote on the Equality Act as opponents stoke fears about transgender kids in sports and not even unanimity in the Democratic caucus in favor of the bill is present, stakeholders who spoke to the Blade on condition of anonymity said.

In fact, there are no imminent plans to hold a vote on the legislation even though Pride month is days away, which would be an opportune time for Congress to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ community by holding a vote on the legislation.

If the Equality Act were to come up for a Senate vote in the next month, it would not have the support to pass. Continued assurances that bipartisan talks are continuing on the legislation have yielded no evidence of additional support, let alone the 10 Republicans needed to end a filibuster.

“I haven’t really heard an update either way, which is usually not good,” one Democratic insider said. “My understanding is that our side was entrenched in a no-compromise mindset and with [Sen. Joe] Manchin saying he didn’t like the bill, it doomed it this Congress. And the bullying of hundreds of trans athletes derailed our message and our arguments of why it was broadly needed.”

The only thing keeping the final nail from being hammered into the Equality Act’s coffin is the unwillingness of its supporters to admit defeat. Other stakeholders who spoke to the Blade continued to assert bipartisan talks are ongoing, strongly pushing back on any conclusion the legislation is dead.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the Equality Act is “alive and well,” citing widespread public support he said includes “the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents and a growing number of communities across the country engaging and mobilizing every day in support of the legislation.”

“They understand the urgent need to pass this bill and stand up for LGBTQ people across our country,” David added. “As we engage with elected officials, we have confidence that Congress will listen to the voices of their constituents and continue fighting for the Equality Act through the lengthy legislative process.  We will also continue our unprecedented campaign to grow the already-high public support for a popular bill that will save lives and make our country fairer and more equal for all. We will not stop until the Equality Act is passed.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), chief sponsor of the Equality Act in the Senate, also signaled through a spokesperson work continues on the legislation, refusing to give up on expectations the legislation would soon become law.

“Sen. Merkley and his staff are in active discussions with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to try to get this done,” McLennan said. “We definitely see it as a key priority that we expect to become law.”

A spokesperson Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had promised to force a vote on the Equality Act in the Senate on the day the U.S. House approved it earlier this year, pointed to a March 25 “Dear Colleague” letter in which he identified the Equality Act as one of several bills he’d bring up for a vote.

Despite any assurances, the hold up on the bill is apparent. Although the U.S. House approved the legislation earlier this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn’t even reported out the bill yet to the floor in the aftermath of the first-ever Senate hearing on the bill in March. A Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic aide, however, disputed that inaction as evidence the Equality Act is dead in its tracks: “Bipartisan efforts on a path forward are ongoing.”

Democrats are quick to blame Republicans for inaction on the Equality Act, but with Manchin withholding his support for the legislation they can’t even count on the entirety of their caucus to vote “yes” if it came to the floor. Progressives continue to advocate an end to the filibuster to advance legislation Biden has promised as part of his agenda, but even if they were to overcome headwinds and dismantle the institution needing 60 votes to advance legislation, the Equality Act would likely not have majority support to win approval in the Senate with a 50-50 party split.

The office of Manchin, who has previously said he couldn’t support the Equality Act over concerns about public schools having to implement the transgender protections applying to sports and bathrooms, hasn’t responded to multiple requests this year from the Blade on the legislation and didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article.

Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who declined to co-sponsor the Equality Act this year after having signed onto the legislation in the previous Congress, insisted through a spokesperson talks are still happening across the aisle despite the appearances the legislation is dead.

“There continues to be bipartisan support for passing a law that protects the civil rights of Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson. “The Equality Act was a starting point for negotiations, and in its current form, it cannot pass. That’s why there are ongoing discussions among senators and stakeholders about a path forward.”

Let’s face it: Anti-LGBTQ forces have railroaded the debate by making the Equality Act about an end to women’s sports by allowing transgender athletes and danger to women in sex-segregated places like bathrooms and prisons. That doesn’t even get into resolving the issue on drawing the line between civil rights for LGBTQ people and religious freedom, which continues to be litigated in the courts as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day now to issue a ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to determine if foster care agencies can reject same-sex couples over religious objections.

For transgender Americans, who continue to report discrimination and violence at high rates, the absence of the Equality Act may be most keenly felt.

Mara Keisling, outgoing executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, disputed any notion the Equality Act is dead and insisted the legislation is “very much alive.”

“We remain optimistic despite misinformation from the opposition,” Keisling said. “NCTE and our movement partners are still working fruitfully on the Equality Act with senators. In fact, we are gaining momentum with all the field organizing we’re doing, like phone banking constituents to call their senators. Legislating takes time. Nothing ever gets through Congress quickly. We expect to see a vote during this Congress, and we are hopeful we can win.”

But one Democratic source said calls to members of Congress against the Equality Act, apparently coordinated by groups like the Heritage Foundation, have has outnumbered calls in favor of it by a substantial margin, with a particular emphasis on Manchin.

No stories are present in the media about same-sex couples being kicked out of a restaurant for holding hands or transgender people for using the restroom consistent with their gender identity, which would be perfectly legal in 25 states thanks to the patchwork of civil rights laws throughout the United States and inadequate protections under federal law.

Tyler Deaton, senior adviser for the American Unity Fund, which has bolstered the Republican-led Fairness for All Act as an alternative to the Equality Act, said he continues to believe the votes are present for a compromise form of the bill.

“I know for a fact there is a supermajority level of support in the Senate for a version of the Equality Act that is fully protective of both LGBTQ civil rights and religious freedom,” Deaton said. “There is interest on both sides of the aisle in getting something done this Congress.”

Deaton, however, didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry on what evidence exists of agreeing on this compromise.

Biden has already missed the goal he campaigned on in the 2020 election to sign the Equality Act into law within his first 100 days in office. Although Biden renewed his call to pass the legislation in his speech to Congress last month, as things stand now that appears to be a goal he won’t realize for the remainder of this Congress.

Nor has the Biden administration made the Equality Act an issue for top officials within the administration as it pushes for an infrastructure package as a top priority. One Democratic insider said Louisa Terrell, legislative affairs director for the White House, delegated work on the Equality Act to a deputy as opposed to handling it herself.

To be sure, Biden has demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community through executive action at an unprecedented rate, signing an executive order on day one ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County to the fullest extent possible and dismantling former President Trump’s transgender military ban. Biden also made historic LGBTQ appointments with the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health.

A White House spokesperson insisted Biden’s team across the board remains committed to the Equality Act, pointing to his remarks to Congress.

“President Biden has urged Congress to get the Equality Act to his desk so he can sign it into law and provide long overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Americans, and he remains committed to seeing this legislation passed as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said. “The White House and its entire legislative team remains in ongoing and close coordination with organizations, leaders, members of Congress, including the Equality Caucus, and staff to ensure we are working across the aisle to push the Equality Act forward.”

But at least in the near-term, that progress will fall short of fulfilling the promise of updating federal civil rights law with the Equality Act, which will mean LGBTQ people won’t be able to rely on those protections when faced with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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D.C. bill to ban LGBTQ panic defense delayed by Capitol security

Delivery of bill to Congress was held up due to protocols related to Jan. 6 riots

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New fencing around the Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented some D.C. bills from being delivered to the Hill for a required congressional review. (Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A bill approved unanimously last December by the D.C. Council to ban the so-called LGBTQ panic defense has been delayed from taking effect as a city law because the fence installed around the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented the law from being delivered to Congress.

According to Eric Salmi, communications director for D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who guided the bill through the Council’s legislative process, all bills approved by the Council and signed by the D.C. mayor must be hand-delivered to Congress for a required congressional review.

“What happened was when the Capitol fence went up after the January insurrection, it created an issue where we physically could not deliver laws to Congress per the congressional review period,” Salmi told the Washington Blade.

Among the bills that could not immediately be delivered to Congress was the Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020, which was approved by the Council on a second and final vote on Dec. 15.

Between the time the bill was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser and published in the D.C. Register under procedural requirements for all bills, it was not ready to be transmitted to Congress until Feb. 16, the Council’s legislative record for the bill shows.

Salmi said the impasse in delivering the bill to Congress due to the security fence prevented the bill from reaching Congress on that date and prevented the mandatory 60-day congressional review period for this bill from beginning at that time. He noted that most bills require a 30 legislative day review by Congress.

But the Evangelista-Hunter bill, named after a transgender woman and a gay man who died in violent attacks by perpetrators who attempted to use the trans and gay panic defense, includes a law enforcement related provision that under the city’s Home Rule Charter passed by Congress in the early 1970s requires a 60-day congressional review.

“There is a chance it goes into effect any day now, just given the timeline is close to being up,” Salmi said on Tuesday. “I don’t know the exact date it was delivered, but I do know the countdown is on,” said Salmi, who added, “I would expect any day now it should go into effect and there’s nothing stopping it other than an insurrection in January.”

If the delivery to Congress had not been delayed, the D.C. Council’s legislative office estimated the congressional review would have been completed by May 12.

A congressional source who spoke on condition of being identified only as a senior Democratic aide, said the holdup of D.C. bills because of the Capitol fence has been corrected.

“The House found an immediate workaround, when this issue first arose after the Jan. 6 insurrection,” the aide said.

“This is yet another reason why D.C. Council bills should not be subject to a congressional review period and why we need to grant D.C. statehood,” the aide said.

The aide added that while no disapproval resolution had been introduced in Congress to overturn the D.C. Evangelista-Hunter bill, House Democrats would have defeated such a resolution.

“House Democrats support D.C. home rule, statehood, and LGBTQ rights,” said the aide.

LGBTQ rights advocates have argued that a ban on using a gay or transgender panic defense in criminal trials is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.

Some attorneys have argued that their clients “panicked” after discovering the person against whom they committed a violent crime was gay or transgender, prompting them to act in a way they believed to be a form of self-defense.

In addition to its provision banning the LGBTQ panic defense, the Evangelista-Hunter bill includes a separate provision that strengthens the city’s existing hate crimes law by clarifying that hatred need not be the sole motivating factor for an underlying crime such as assault, murder, or threats to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

LGBTQ supportive prosecutors have said the clarification was needed because it is often difficult to prove to a jury that hatred is the only motive behind a violent crime. The prosecutors noted that juries have found defendants not guilty of committing a hate crime on grounds that they believed other motives were involved in a particular crime after defense lawyers argued that the law required “hate” to be the only motive in order to find someone guilty of a hate crime.

Salmi noted that while the hate crime clarification and panic defense prohibition provisions of the Evangelista-Hunter bill will become law as soon as the congressional review is completed, yet another provision in the bill will not become law after the congressional review because there are insufficient funds in the D.C. budget to cover the costs of implementing the provision.

The provision gives the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the Office of the D.C. Attorney General authority to investigate hate related discrimination at places of public accommodation. Salmi said the provision expands protections against discrimination to include web-based retailers or online delivery services that are not physically located in D.C.

“That is subject to appropriations,” Salmi said. “And until it is funded in the upcoming budget it cannot be legally enforced.”

He said that at Council member Allen’s request, the Council added language to the bill that ensures that all other provisions of the legislation that do not require additional funding – including the ban on use of the LGBTQ panic defense and the provision clarifying that hatred doesn’t have to be the sole motive for a hate crime – will take effect as soon as the congressional approval process is completed.

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D.C. man charged with 2020 anti-gay death threat rearrested

Defendant implicated in three anti-LGBTQ incidents since 2011

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shooting, DC Eagle, assault, hate crime, anti-gay attack, police discrimination, sex police, Sisson, gay news, Washington Blade

A D.C. man arrested in August 2020 for allegedly threatening to kill a gay man outside the victim’s apartment in the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood and who was released while awaiting trial was arrested again two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill another man in an unrelated incident.

D.C. Superior Court records show that Jalal Malki, who was 37 at the time of his 2020 arrest on a charge of bias-related attempts to do bodily harm against the gay man, was charged on May 4, 2021 with unlawful entry, simple assault, threats to kidnap and injure a person, and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon against the owner of a vacant house at 4412 Georgia Ave., N.W.

Court charging documents state that Malki was allegedly staying at the house without permission as a squatter. An arrest affidavit filed in court by D.C. police says Malki allegedly threatened to kill the man who owns the house shortly after the man arrived at the house while Malki was inside.

According to the affidavit, Malki walked up to the owner of the house while the owner was sitting in his car after having called police and told him, “If you come back here, I’m going to kill you.” While making that threat Malki displayed what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, but which was later found to be a toy gun, the affidavit says.

Malki then walked back inside the house minutes before police arrived and arrested him. Court records show that similar to the court proceedings following his 2020 arrest for threatening the gay man, a judge in the latest case ordered Malki released while awaiting trial. In both cases, the judge ordered him to stay away from the two men he allegedly threatened to kill.

An arrest affidavit filed by D.C. police in the 2020 case states that Malki allegedly made the threats inside an apartment building where the victim lived on the 2300 block of Champlain Street, N.W. It says Malki was living in a nearby building but often visited the building where the victim lived.

“Victim 1 continued to state during an interview that it was not the first time that Defendant 1 had made threats to him, but this time Defendant 1 stated that if he caught him outside, he would ‘fucking kill him.’” the affidavit says. It quotes the victim as saying during this time Malki repeatedly called the victim a “fucking faggot.”

The affidavit, prepared by the arresting officers, says that after the officers arrested Malki and were leading him to a police transport vehicle to be booked for the arrest, he expressed an “excited utterance” that he was “in disbelief that officers sided with the ‘fucking faggot.’”

Court records show that Malki is scheduled to appear in court on June 4 for a status hearing for both the 2020 arrest and the arrest two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill the owner of the house in which police say he was illegally squatting.

Superior Court records show that Malki had been arrested three times between 2011 and 2015 in cases unrelated to the 2021 and 2020 cases for allegedly also making threats of violence against people. Two of the cases appear to be LGBTQ related, but prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not list the cases as hate crimes.

In the first of the three cases, filed in July 2011, Malki allegedly shoved a man inside Dupont Circle and threatened to kill him after asking the man why he was wearing a purple shirt.

“Victim 1 believes the assault occurred because Suspect 1 believes Victim 1 is a homosexual,” the police arrest affidavit says.

Court records show prosecutors charged Malki with simple assault and threats to do bodily harm in the case. But the court records show that on Sept. 13, 2011, D.C. Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Eilperin found Malki not guilty on both charges following a non-jury trial.

The online court records do not state why the judge rendered a not guilty verdict. With the courthouse currently closed to the public and the press due to COVID-related restrictions, the Washington Blade couldn’t immediately obtain the records to determine the judge’s reason for the verdict.

In the second case, court records show Malki was arrested by D.C. police outside the Townhouse Tavern bar and restaurant at 1637 R St., N.W. on Nov. 7, 2012 for allegedly threatening one or more people with a knife after employees ordered Malki to leave the establishment for “disorderly behavior.”

At the time, the Townhouse Tavern was located next door to the gay nightclub Cobalt, which before going out of business two years ago, was located at the corner of 17th and R Streets, N.W.

The police arrest affidavit in the case says Malki allegedly pointed a knife in a threatening way at two of the tavern’s employees who blocked his path when he attempted to re-enter the tavern. The affidavit says he was initially charged by D.C. police with assault with a dangerous weapon – knife. Court records, however, show that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office lowered the charges to two counts of simple assault. The records show that on Jan. 15, 2013, Malki pleaded guilty to the two charges as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

The records show that Judge Marissa Demeo on that same day issued a sentence of 30 days for each of the two charges but suspended all 30 days for both counts. She then sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for both charges and ordered that he undergo alcohol and drug testing and undergo treatment if appropriate.

In the third case prior to the 2020 and 2021 cases, court records show Malki was arrested outside the Cobalt gay nightclub on March 14, 2015 on multiple counts of simple assault, attempted assault with a dangerous weapon – knife, possession of a prohibited weapon – knife, and unlawful entry.

The arrest affidavit says an altercation started on the sidewalk outside the bar when for unknown reasons, Malki grabbed a female customer who was outside smoking and attempted to pull her toward him. When her female friend came to her aid, Malki allegedly got “aggressive” by threatening the woman and “removed what appeared to be a knife from an unknown location” and pointed it at the woman’s friend in a threatening way, the affidavit says.

It says a Cobalt employee minutes later ordered Malki to leave the area and he appeared to do so. But others noticed that he walked toward another entrance door to Cobalt and attempted to enter the establishment knowing he had been ordered not to return because of previous problems with his behavior, the affidavit says. When he attempted to push away another employee to force his way into Cobalt, Malki fell to the ground during a scuffle and other employees held him on the ground while someone else called D.C. police.

Court records show that similar to all of Malki’s arrests, a judge released him while awaiting trial and ordered him to stay away from Cobalt and all of those he was charged with threatening and assaulting.

The records show that on Sept. 18, 2015, Malki agreed to a plea bargain offer by prosecutors in which all except two of the charges – attempted possession of a prohibited weapon and simple assault – were dropped. Judge Alfred S. Irving Jr. on Oct. 2, 2015 sentenced Malki to 60 days of incarnation for each of the two charges but suspended all but five days, which he allowed Malki to serve on weekends, the court records show.

The judge ordered that the two five-day jail terms could be served concurrently, meaning just five days total would be served, according to court records. The records also show that Judge Irving sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for each of the two counts and ordered that he enter an alcohol treatment program and stay away from Cobalt.

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