Friday, June 6, 2014
filed a motion to dismiss one of her state's marriage equality lawsuits, saying that same-sex marriage would be "harmful" to the state. Several major newspapers have since reacted with commentaries blasting her position. From the Miami Herald:
All adults should have the right to marry and divorce as they see fit. That’s why, in another set of circumstances, I wouldn’t bring up Attorney General Pam Bondi’s two marriages and divorces – and her current relationship with a Tampa ophthalmologist, this time sealed, not with legal ribbon but in a well-publicized “non-binding” celebration in the Cayman Islands in 2012. Her marriages, divorces, and out-of-wedlock relationships are her business – not state business. But it’s hypocritical of this serial bride to use sanctimonious arguments to try to convince a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and SAVE on behalf of gay and lesbian couples seeking to have their out-of-state marriages recognized in Florida.Bondi responded to the criticisms with a statement: “The brief does not argue for or against same-sex marriage as a matter of policy, wisdom, or fairness. Those decisions are for the voters of each state, not for lawyers or courts. It is my duty to protect Florida from the ‘harm’ of a federal injunction overriding the will of Florida voters.”
In another sign of the backlash, yesterday Bondi canceled a speech before a group that works on behalf of homeless LGBT youth.
Bondi was scheduled to speak at the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services annual awards banquet in Sarasota and receive special recognition from the group for her work on fighting human trafficking. But shortly before she was scheduled to speak, the Florida Network organizers announced Bondi had cancelled her appearance. Bondi’s Tallahassee press office did not respond to questions about the cancellation. The Florida Network is a nonprofit statewide association representing agencies that serve homeless, runaway and troubled youths and their families.Did she really cancel or was she disinvited?
RELATED: Bondi took office in 2010 after being endorsed by Sarah Palin. In 2012 Bondi was the lead litigant when she and 26 other state attorneys general unsuccessfully attempted to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
In the Western U.S., Buddhists represent the largest non-Christian religious bloc in most states. In 20 states, mostly in the Midwest and South, Islam is the largest non-Christian faith tradition. And in 15 states, mostly in the Northeast, Judaism has the most followers after Christianity. Hindus come in second place in Arizona and Delaware, and there are more practitioners of the Baha’i faith in South Carolina than anyone else. All these data come from the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, which conducts a U.S. Religion Census every 10 years.Hit the link for a breakdown by every US county. Christianity dominates in all but one of the 3143 counties in the nation.
"There is no difference to importance of love from sexual orientation. There should not be any discrimination because who you love. I am going to raise my voice. If my raised voice could contribute to the pride of LGBT people, there is no greater joy." - Akie Abe, the First Lady of Japan, speaking today at a gay pride event sponsored by the US embassy in Tokyo.
Also in attendance was George Takei, who predicted that Japan will soon make advances in LGBT rights.
The "Star Trek" actor also known for his gay and civil rights activism, said he was encouraged to have met with Japanese activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, and even some of their parents fighting for their children. "They have to have courage to come out and share their lives honestly," Takei said. Once they get a ball rolling, more movement would follow, like "a ripple effect" that spreads, he added. "So I'm optimistic. I do think that Japan will be one of the nations that have equality and that too will serve as an example for other Asian nations."The event was hosted by Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. From her opening speech:
"African-Americans, women, people with disabilities, and gay men and lesbian have reminded all Americans that we are each entitled to the same rights, liberties, responsibilities and opportunities. Those struggle to transform our society, here tonight we celebrate the countless acts of courage and commitment and reaffirm that LGBT rights are human rights."RELATED: In April, Akie Abe rode in Tokyo's pride parade.
Birth and Death | June 6, 2014
Just understand that birth-and-death is itself nirvana. There is nothing such as birth and death to be avoided; there is nothing such as nirvana to be sought. Only when you realize this are you free from birth and death.
—Eihei Dogen, "Birth and Death"