Obama Says He Won’t Force Christian Churches to Hold Gay Weddings… Not Yet Anyway

The Examiner reported:

President Obama, in his statement hailing the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, promised that he wouldn’t try to force religious institutions to conduct gay marriages.

“On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital,” Obama said. “How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision — which applies only to civil marriages — changes that.”

Here’s guessing that the Roman Catholics and other religious groups that are in the midst of fighting the contraception mandate are skeptical of that pledge.

Gay marriage headed to DNC platform

Democrats are set to include a pro-gay marriage plank in their convention platform for the first time in history, party sources confirm to POLITICO. The language was approved unanimously by a 15-member platform draft committee, and now heads for approval by the full platform committee in August.

The party’s Platform Drafting Committee agreed, unanimously, to approve the language at a meeting this weekend in Minneapolis.

A source in the meeting said the decision was “not controversial.”

The language will not become official until the party’s full Platform Committee meets Aug. 10 in Detroit.

The effort to include gay marriage in the platform gained increased momentum after President Barack Obama announced in May that his views on the issue had changed to support legalization.

“I don’t think that we had any issues that were controversial,” one member of the committee said Monday. “I think we were pretty much in sync and in agreement with where we ended up.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday referred questions about the platform to the Democratic National Committee. A DNC spokesperson declined to comment on what the official described as ongoing process.

The decision was first reported Monday by the Washington Blade, to whom Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) confirmed the news.

Read more here.

Grand Mufti Emanuel’s Chicago Values

When Rahm Emanuel ascended to the top of Chicago’s political heap last year, it was thought to have been the result of a citywide election that won him the mayorship. I had no idea he was appointed the city’s first Grand Mufti.

But thus it must be, as Emanuel has spoken definitively as to what shall henceforth be considered Chicago values.

This, of course, refers to the Chick-fil-A flap, in which Emanuel expressed support for a city alderman who was going to ban the restaurant from his ward over chain president Dan Cathy’s opposition to faux marriage.

That alderman, Proco Moreno, actually said, “Because of this man’s [Cathy’s] ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A’s permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward.” This prompted Grand Mufti Emanuel to affirm that the restaurant was unwelcome and decree, “Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values.”

Yet who is Emanuel to issue a fatwa on what Chicago values are on faux marriage when approximately half of Chicagoans oppose the idea? Should these residents be expelled from the city or prohibited from making a living?

But if Emanuel speaks for a supernatural source, and I wouldn’t doubt it, it isn’t God. This is because hypocrisy is not a divine value.

It isn’t just that Emanuel worked for Bill Clinton and never made a peep when his boss signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law. That was a long time ago, some will say. It isn’t even just that he was a staunch supporter of Barack Obama, who also opposed faux marriage until his “evolution” this year. Grand Mufti Emanuel could have experienced sympathetic evolution, some will say. It’s that Emanuel has also been a supporter of Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

Farrakhan’s anti-Jewish and anti-white bigotry are well documented, but that gets a pass from the loony left. But what of that which Emanuel has obviously declared intolerable bigotry: defense of virtue and marriage? On this count, if Dan Cathy is a heretic, Farrakhan is an apostate.

Read more here.

Liberals Are Destroying America

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday against a central provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, a groundbreaking decision that tees up a potential battle before the Supreme Court.

The three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that the provision defining marriage as between a man and woman is unconstitutional in that it denies gay couples the rights granted to heterosexual couples.

The unanimous decision once again brings the issue of gay marriage to the fore of the nation’s political debate. It comes just a few weeks after President Obama announced his support for gay marriage — in the wake of that announcement, some gay advocacy groups have stepped up pressure on Washington to fight DOMA.

Considering the potential Supreme Court battle ahead, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked Thursday whether the Obama administration would actively fight for overturning the law, which was originally signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

Carney noted that the Obama administration has concluded the section in question is unconstitutional and will no longer defend it in court. Without commenting on what steps the administration might take in the future, he described the Justice Department as an “active participant” in the case.

“There’s no question that this is in concert with the president’s views,” he said. “I can’t predict what the next steps will be in handling cases of this nature.”

Gay marriage advocates hailed Thursday’s decision, while its opponents condemned it.

“Society should protect and strengthen marriage, not undermine it. The federal Defense of Marriage Act provides that type of protection, and we trust the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the 1st Circuit’s erroneous decision,” said a statement from Alliance Defense Fund Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt.

Read more here.

Gay activists to Obama: What’s next?

President Barack Obama’s embrace of same-sex marriage was a major moment for gay-rights advocates — historic, emotional, a cause for celebration and more praise for an administration with a strong record on these issues.

But they’re already starting to ask what’s next.

There’s no shortage of items on the wish list: Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. Extending Social Security benefits for gay partners. Changing regulations on deporting immigrants in same-sex marriages.

There’s the one that’s sparked the most anger and confusion because it’s seen as an easy fix — an executive order banning LGBT workplace discrimination.

There’s a new one after a House vote Wednesday, when Republicans blocked LGBT protections in the Violence Against Women Act. There are upcoming votes to legalize gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington.

And the fight over getting gay marriage into the Democratic convention platform hasn’t even started yet.

In other words, endorsing gay marriage hasn’t let Obama check the election-year box on gay rights and move on. Even as politicians and advocates lionize the president for what he’s done, they see him as sparking the conversation, not ending it.

“There may be folks that say, ‘Let’s just let the issue drop,’ but when you have an issue of fundamental unfairness, you should keep raising it,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

Obama wasn’t eager to turn his support of gay marriage into an election-year issue — and sure enough, his numbers in several state polls dropped after his announcement. He’s reinvigorated much of his disenchanted base by reestablishing himself as the vessel of their progressive aspirations, but he accentuated divisions with voters in battlegrounds such as North Carolina, which passed a gay marriage ban by a wide margin the day before Obama spoke out.

With the reelection campaign heating up, the president might not want new pushes on gay rights to keep exposing and reopening a potential electoral wound. But he’s going to get them — on several fronts at once.

The day after Obama’s marriage announcement, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and 16 of his colleagues sent a letter urging the Justice and Homeland Security departments to halt any deportations of immigrant spouses in same-sex couples, such as Massachusetts spouses legally married under state law but not recognized under federal statutes. That’s just one more step that the administration could take to undercut DOMA’s provisions that allow states not to recognize same-sex marriages legal elsewhere, Kerry said, and he’s counting on the White House to lead the way.

“I don’t have high hopes of this Congress doing any of them legislatively, but they’ve got to get done and that’s why I’m focusing more on the executive branch, even though the burden shouldn’t have to be on them,” Kerry said. “I know that we’re going to have a better legislative environment in the future, but we’ve still got to do what we can do now to save lives.”

There’s no shortage of issues for the administration to address, said the Human Rights Campaign’s Fred Sainz, pointing to a 52-bullet “Blueprint for Positive Change” his organization delivered to the White House at the outset of Obama’s presidency that outlined policy changes possible purely through executive action.

“An awful lot of them have been done, but there remain just as many that have not been done,” Sainz said.

Read more here.