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NOM weighs in on Alabama race, endorses Roy Moore

Candidate ousted from the bench for defying federal rulings for same-sex marriage

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Roy Moore, gay news, Washington Blade

Roy Moore, gay news, Washington Blade

The National Organization for Marriage has endorsed Roy Moore for U.S. Senate. (Photo public domain)

The National Organization for Marriage has endorsed Roy Moore in Alabama’s special election for U.S. Senate — a candidate that has taken the anti-LGBT views the group advances to an extreme level.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, announced Wednesday his organization has endorsed Moore in an email blast titled “Our choice for U.S. Senate in Alabama.”

“Roy Moore is a champion for marriage, life, and religious liberty,” Brown writes. “He knows that under the constitution the American people reign supreme, not judges or politicians. Judge Moore will work to restore marriage to our laws, and to protect the religious liberty rights of people to live out their beliefs about marriage at work and in their daily lives.”

A former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore has taken extreme views against same-sex marriage. Calling the decision “an immoral, unconstitutional and tyrannical opinion,” Moore instructed Alabama state judges to ignore federal rulings in favor of marriage equality.

Last year, Moore issued a directive saying despite the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage, probate judges should still deny marriage licenses to gay couples because the Alabama Supreme Court never withheld its 2015 ruling upholding the state law against gay nuptials.

For encouraging state officials to defy federal courts, the Alabama judicial court suspended Moore for the remainder of his term from the Alabama Supreme Court. The body determined Moore “failed to uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.” (It wasn’t the first time Moore was suspended from the bench. It happened before in 2003 when he refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building despite orders from a federal court.)

Moore hasn’t shied away from his anti-gay views during his run for a U.S. Senate seat, which he pursued after dropping his appeal of the Alabama judicial court ruling ousting him from the bench.

In an interview with The Guardian, Moore cited same-sex marriage as a reason for why he thinks former President Reagan’s declaration about the Soviet Union being “the focus of evil in the modern world” might today be apply to the United States.

“You could say that about America, couldn’t you?” Moore was quoted as saying. “We promote a lot of bad things.”

When it was pointed out his views on LGBT rights were akin to those Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has enacted anti-LGBT policies in Russia, Moore replied, “Maybe Putin is right.”

Brown’s email blast in support of Moore comes with a video extolling the candidate for embracing the cause of the “religious freedom” — code for social conservatives to mean anti-LGBT discrimination — and resisting the Obergefell decision.

“The people of Alabama, and the entire country, deserve a U.S. senator who will fight against activist judges to restore the truth of marriage to our laws and to protect the religious liberty of people of faith and all others who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Brown writes. “Roy Moore is just such a leader, and we wholeheartedly endorse his election to the Senate.”

The primary for the special election, held to replace the U.S. Senate seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions upon his confirmation as attorney general, already took place Aug. 15. Moore won a plurality of 38 percent of the vote against his opponent, interim U.S. Sen. Luther Strange. The run off election between the two will take place Sept. 28.

A former Alabama attorney general, Strange also has a record of opposition to same-sex marriage and defended the state law against same-sex marriage in court. But Strange didn’t take the same extreme position as Moore or seeking to defy federal rulings in favor of same-sex marriage.

Just before the primary, President Trump endorsed Luther, who is also the preferred candidate of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It remains to be seen if Trump will change his mind as the run off approaches and Moore continues to remain popular in the polls.

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1 Comment

  1. lnm3921

    August 30, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    I talked you that these people don’t give up on opposing marriage equality anymore than they have on opposing abortion. We need to remain vigilante and ready especially given the attacks on the community by Trump and those he empowers! We can’t just say it’s settled law and ignore the threats!

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World

Trudeau’s party wins Canada election

Prime minister champions LGBTQ rights

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recreational marijuana, gay news, Washington Blade
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to reporters at the U.N. in 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won the country’s election that took place on Monday.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation projected Trudeau’s party won, even though polls have not closed in all provinces and territories. Erin O’Toole of the Conservative Party was Trudeau’s main challenger.

Trudeau has been prime minister since 2015.

He won re-election in 2019, even though a picture of him in blackface emerged a few weeks before the vote. His party lost its majority in Parliament.

Trudeau last month called a snap election in the hopes his party could once again have a majority government.

The prime minister in 2017 formally apologized to those who suffered persecution and discrimination under Canada’s anti-LGBTQ laws and policies and announced the Canadian government would settle a class-action lawsuit filed by those who were forced to leave the military and civil service because of their sexual orientation.

A law that added gender identity to Canada’s nondiscrimination and hate crimes also law took effect in 2017. Trudeau supports a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy in the country.

Canada in 2018 joined the Global Equality Fund, a public-private partnership the U.S. launched in order to promote LGBTQ rights around the world. Canada has also said it would offer refuge to LGBTQ Afghans who are fleeing their country after the Taliban regained control of it in August.

The Washington Blade will update this article.

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McAuliffe participates in Virginia Pride roundtable

Gubernatorial candidate highlighted plans to keep Va. ‘open and welcoming’

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Terry McAuliffe, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade photo by Lee Whitman)

Terry McAuliffe on Monday met with Virginia Pride in Richmond to discuss his plans to keep the state “open and welcoming” for the LGBTQ community.

“Great opportunity to speak with @VA_Pride in Richmond this AM,” McAuliffe tweeted following the roundtable that took place at Diversity Richmond’s headquarters. “VA is the #1 state for business because we are open and welcoming — but that’s all at risk this November. Glenn Youngkin’s far-right social agenda would harm LGBTQ+ Virginians and send our economy into a ditch.”

McAuliffe and Youngkin are running a close race for the governorship, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll released Saturday that shows the former Virginia governor leading by a 50-47 percent margin among likely voters.

The Human Rights Campaign endorsed McAuliffe, who was governor from 2014-2018, for his record of supporting LGBTQ rights, including supporting marriage equality and signing an executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ state employees as his first action in office. 

“LGBTQ leaders in Richmond had a great meeting with Gov. McAuliffe where he was able to lay out his agenda for building on the tremendous progress Virginia has made towards equality,” said Virginia Pride Program Director James Millner in an email to the Washington Blade. “The governor talked extensively about his record on LGBTQ issues and promised to work with us to ensure that every LGBTQ Virginian is able to live openly and authentically.”

McAuliffe’s legacy includes welcoming businesses turned off by North Carolina’s passage of its anti-transgender “bathroom bill.” 

When North Carolina’s House Bill 2, a law requiring students to use public restrooms and locker rooms aligned with the gender on their birth certificates, took effect in 2016, McAullife recruited CoStar, a real estate information company that operates databases for Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder.com and similar companies, to move its headquarters to Richmond. This recruitment brought 730 jobs to the state.

David Dorsch, a senior vice president at Cushman and Wakefield, which represented CoStar nationally, told the Charlotte Business Journal that CoStar’s primary reason for choosing “Richmond over Charlotte was HB 2.”

Youngkin is a former business executive who previously ran the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm named by the HRC in 2019 as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” in its annual Corporate Equality Index. HRC, however, has called out Youngkin for “anti-LGBTQ and transphobic language” during his current campaign.

McAuliffe in April released an LGBTQ rights platform that includes a call to repeal the so-called “conscience clause,” which allows religious-based adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Governor Ralph Northam, who was McAuliffe’s former lieutenant governor and has signed historic LGBTQ-inclusive legislation during his time in office, also endorsed McAuliffe for governor.

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Biden recognizes 10th anniversary of end to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Pete Buttigieg, Gina Ortiz Jones named in White House statement

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President Biden recognized in a statement on Monday the tenth anniversary of the end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” a law that once discharged service members from the military for being openly gay or bisexual.

“Ten years ago today, a great injustice was remedied and a tremendous weight was finally lifted off the shoulders of tens of thousands of dedicated American service members,” Biden said. “The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ which formally barred gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members from openly serving, helped move our nation closer to its foundational promise of equality, dignity, and opportunity for all.”

Biden recognized high-profile openly gay appointees in his administrations who are also veterans, naming Air Force Under Secretary Gina Ortiz Jones and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Biden also names Shawn Skelly, assistant secretary of defense for readiness, who would have been discharged from the military under President Trump’s transgender military ban.

“On this day and every day, I am thankful for all of the LGBTQ+ service members and veterans who strengthen our military and our nation,” Biden said. “We must honor their sacrifice by continuing the fight for full equality for LGBTQ+ people, including by finally passing the Equality Act and living up to our highest values of justice and equality for all.”

Technically speaking, the anniversary of Obama signing repeal legislation was in December. Today is the anniversary of defense officials certifying the military is ready, which put an end to the policy.

Read Biden’s full statement below:

Statement by President Joe Biden on the Tenth Anniversary of the Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Ten years ago today, a great injustice was remedied and a tremendous weight was finally lifted off the shoulders of tens of thousands of dedicated American service members. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which formally barred gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members from openly serving, helped move our nation closer to its foundational promise of equality, dignity, and opportunity for all. It was the right thing to do. And, it showed once again that America is at its best when we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.

Despite serving with extraordinary honor and courage throughout our history, more than 100,000 American service members have been discharged because of their sexual orientation or gender identity—including some 14,000 under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Many of these veterans received what are known as “other than honorable” discharges, excluding them and their families from the vitally important services and benefits they had sacrificed so much to earn.

As a U.S. Senator, I supported allowing service members to serve openly, and as Vice President, I was proud to champion the repeal of this policy and to stand beside President Obama as he signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act into law. As President, I am honored to be Commander-in-Chief of the strongest and most inclusive military in our nation’s history. Today, our military doesn’t just welcome LGBTQ+ service members—it is led at the highest levels by brave LGBTQ+ veterans, including Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness Shawn Skelly, who served under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I was gratified to appoint the first openly gay Senate-confirmed Cabinet member, Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve and Afghanistan veteran who joined the military under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. And during my first week in office, I proudly delivered on my pledge to repeal the discriminatory ban on open service by patriotic transgender service members.

On this day and every day, I am thankful for all of the LGBTQ+ service members and veterans who strengthen our military and our nation. We must honor their sacrifice by continuing the fight for full equality for LGBTQ+ people, including by finally passing the Equality Act and living up to our highest values of justice and equality for all.

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