Thoughts on a California Strategy

As you've surely heard by now, Judge Vaughn Walker issued a ruling last week striking down California's Proposition 8 on equal-protection grounds. You might also have heard that Argentina has legalized same-sex marriage and that a Mexican court upheld a marriage-equality law in Mexico City, rejecting a challenge by the conservative Calderon government.Of course, all three of these victories are cause for jubilation. The wins in Mexico and Argentina are particularly welcome, insofar as they … [Read more...]

Anarchy in the U.K.: The Anglican Crackup Continues

I've written before about the ongoing schism within the Episcopal church, but those posts only concerned the goings-on in America. Now that battle has spread across the Atlantic and into the heart of Anglicanism, and it's looking more and more likely that the church will be cloven in two at its roots. As reported by the Telegraph, the Anglican General Synod has rejected a last-ditch compromise brokered by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and nominal head of the Anglican church, to … [Read more...]

Magister Ludi Magisteria

By Sarah BraaschIn loving memory of my baby brother, Jacob Michael Braasch (1/28/86 – 02/02/10)Masters of the shell game have been swindling and duping the overconfident and the ignorant for millennia. The game operator places a "pea" beneath one of three "shells". The operator then shuffles the shells in front of the player before asking the player to guess at the pea's location. Unbeknownst to the player, the operator has removed the pea via a sleight-of-hand technique. It is impossible f … [Read more...]

Demanding the Right to Discriminate

The Supreme Court heard arguments recently in a case out of California, in which a Christian student group at a public law school sued because they were denied recognition and funding by the school. The reason for this denial is that the school requires student groups to be open to all members, and the Christian Legal Society wants to ban - you'll never see it coming - people who are guilty of "unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle". That means gays and gays … [Read more...]

Fear and Trembling in Mississippi

You've probably heard of Constance McMillen, a lesbian student at a Mississippi high school who wanted to bring her girlfriend as her date to her senior prom this year. The school officials, not even attempting to disguise their bigotry, refused to grant permission - and then canceled the entire prom rather than face a discrimination lawsuit which they'd be certain to lose. (In fact McMillen and her family did bring a suit, and the judge did rule that she had been discriminated against, but he … [Read more...]

Bloody-Handed Evangelicals

In the U.S., the cause of gay and lesbian rights has made major advances in the last few decades. Anti-discrimination laws are in wide effect, including a recently passed federal hate-crime law; marriage equality is already an established reality in several states; and despite setbacks, the now overwhelming tolerance and acceptance of gays and lesbians among younger generations heralds further progress in the future.But in spite of these hopeful signs, the hatemongers and bigots of the … [Read more...]

Christian Missionaries Are Doing God's Work

By Sarah BraaschI leaned over to one of my teammates. "Why are there so many fat, white people on the plane? We're going to Ethiopia. We're flying Ethiopian Airlines.""They're missionaries," she responded, completely uninterested."What?" I gasped. It had never occurred to me. I was not pleased.Everything became so obvious. The Texas drawls. The recitations of Bible verses. The prayers. The seasoned braggarts recounting their prior trips to the Horn of Africa. The newbies airing out their … [Read more...]

Theocratic Horror in Uganda

Back in January, I alluded briefly to the events in Uganda, where Christian abstinence-only programs have reversed the success of comprehensive sex ed and led to a rise in HIV infection rates. At the time, I mentioned Martin Ssempa, a pastor in the country's booming Pentecostal Christian movement, and his involvement in a campaign to criminalize homosexuality.But this news has taken an even more ominous turn. Homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, but a bill currently being discussed in … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

I've got plenty of goodies in the bag for this post. Frankly, more has been happening lately than I can write about - but that's okay, because there are lots of other fantastic atheist bloggers who've said it all!• First, there's this outrageous story out of Washington, D.C., where the Catholic church has threatened to completely shut down all the social services they provide to local homeless people if they're forced to obey laws forbidding discrimination against same-sex couples.I may … [Read more...]

Lighting the Way for Equality (Photos)

If you encountered any technical difficulties with the site earlier today, my apologies. There was a database issue I had to work with my host to clear up. It should be fixed now, so send me an e-mail if you're still having any problems (or if you can't see this message).In the meantime, I wanted to post some photos I took at a rally I attended in Union Square last night: Lighting the Way to Equality, a candlelight vigil on behalf of same-sex marriage rights sponsored by Marriage Equality New … [Read more...]


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