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January 13th, 2010, 08:21 PM
Live Blogging: Firedoglake Covers the Prop 8 Trial (http://firedoglake.com/prop8trial/)

January 13th, 2010, 08:27 PM

THE NEW YORKER (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/01/george-chauncey.html)
Posted by Margaret Talbot
January 13, 2010

Expert testimony in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/perry-v-schwarzenegger/) continued Tuesday afternoon with George Chauncey, a historian of gay life who is a professor at Yale. Chauncey was on the stand to talk about the history of discrimination against and harassment of gay people in the United States. This is an angle that the Olson and Boies team want strongly presented in order to help build the case that sexual orientation should be deemed a suspect classification—one that triggers the so-called strict scrutiny that most often gets laws struck down as violations of the constitution’s equal-protection clause. (One of the criteria for a suspect classification is that the group in question has suffered a history of discrimination.)

Like Nancy Cott (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/01/nancy-cott.html), the first scholar to testify this week, Chauncey is a historian who has spent some time in the legal trenches over gay rights. And in cross-examination, the lawyers defending Prop. 8 will make what they can of that—portraying both as advocates more than scholars. (Both are, in fact, distinguished historians, but there’s no doubt what side they are on.)

Chauncey drafted an amicus brief (http://hnn.us/articles/1539.html) — signed by ten other historians, including Cott — for the 2003 Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the last remaining laws criminalizing sodomy. In that case, as Rick Perlstein pointed out in a terrific profile of Chauncey (http://magazine.uchicago.edu/0308/features/index.shtml) from 2004, the historical argument that resonated with the justices was that anti-sodomy laws aimed specifically at homosexuals weren’t really part of the American tradition after all. “The governmental project of classifying and discriminating against certain citizens on the basis of their homosexual status,” the historians wrote, “is an unprecedented project of the twentieth century, which is already being dismantled.” In colonial America, all non-procreative acts including masturbation, were proscribed, and sodomy laws applied equally to male-male, male-female, and human-animal sexual activity. Sodomy was not the definitional element of a person’s sexual orientation, but a discrete act. Not until the nineteenth century did doctors and lawmakers commonly acknowledge a fixed category called sexual “inversion,” and not until the twentieth century did the United States see “widespread discrimination against a class of people on the basis of their homosexual status.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in the case (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-102.ZO.html) drew heavily on the historian’s brief: “At the outset,” Kennedy wrote, “it should be noted that there is no longstanding history in this country of laws directed at homosexual conduct as a distinct matter…. The absence of legal prohibitions focusing on homosexual conduct may be explained in part by noting that according to some scholars the concept of the homosexual as a distinct category of person did not emerge until the late 19th century.”

In the current case, Chauncey’s emphasis must necessarily be different—rather than the tenuousness of anti-gay laws, and the relatively late arrival of an identity called homosexuality, he must stress a persistent, structural hostility toward homosexuals. For this it makes most sense to focus on the nineteen-thirties through the sixties, the period when, he has argued, gays and lesbians were most sharply stigmatized as deviants and degenerates. But he must also make sure to say, as he did on the stand today, that such attitudes do not belong only to the past. Chauncey’s significant contribution to the Lawrence victory was to bring modern gay studies to the Supreme Court—and to cut the tradition defense out from under the laws at issue. Here, he can’t do much to undermine the other side’s argument from tradition—namely, that marriage is between a man and a woman because that’s just the way it’s been. There’s no secret history of, say, gay marriage in Puritan New England to bring to the court’s attention, and Chauncey’s arguments may ultimately be less potent here than in Lawrence.

© 2010 Condé Nast Digital

Read “A Risky Proposal (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/01/18/100118fa_fact_talbot),” Talbot’s story on gay-marriage activism and Perry v. Schwarzenegger, in the current issue of the magazine.

January 14th, 2010, 08:52 AM
The thing that irritates me most about this whole thing is not the issue itself.

It is the blatant pig-headedness that, sorry, both sides show when fighting for this.

Agree, the anti-marriage group has a significant "advantage" in the swine-brain-syndrome, but last time I checked, gays were human beings too.

Humans have never ranked high on logical problem solving.

Anyway, here it is. Ask any anti-GM individual (I do not want to say Advocate, and "detractor" would be a double negative) about GM. Ask them specifics, like Hospital Visitations, or the fact that a couple would have to pay more taxes, and see that, for the most part, they have no real objections to the LEGAL implications of a union.

What it boils down to is religion and emotion. "God". "God" should NEVER be an issue in government affairs, and especially not this obviously. There is no absolute proof, and without that, all you have is an emotional stand, and those are almost IMPOSSIBLE to change.

But take the flip side. When things like "Civil Unions" were proposed, with all the same rights as legal marriages, Gays were opposed to that. Why? Emotional seperatism. Even though they knew they would, legally, have all the same rights, they did not want to FEEL different. They did not want this feeling of seperation, they wanted to be accepted....while being different. Human instinct (individuality fighting with pack instinct).

I can see where that is coming from, but the solution is not the direction we have been going. We need to seperate the whole Church and State on this issue. EVERYBODY will now have a Civil Union in the eyes of the State. There is no State Marriage. "Marriage" will be done at religious institutions and have NO LEGAL BEARING w/o the usual application of licensure that we get now. IOW, you go to city hall to get your Civil Union license, and you get Married in your Church, with your "God".

You don't like Gays getting "Married", talk to your Pastor, to your Pope, your whatever other religious leader your denomimation may have. But that decision, either way, should have NO LEGAL BEARING on your right to visit, inherit, be taxed or any other legal right currently afforded to "Married" couples.

As for all the Marriage Licenses that are currently issued? Convert them all to Civil Unions.

Now the License is still the exact same thing, but the name has changed for everybody. The anti-gay's will still be pissed off, but they will have their own religion to help them be bigoted arsewipes. They can keep the hate they generate to the God they love.

The Gays will have their unions, and will be no different (legally) than any other couple. They will also not be given something with a different name and made to feel different or inferior. And they will be able to find, or establish, their own religion or parishes that will "Marry" them in the name of the God they worship.

Until then, it is all emotional and will never be resolved. Not easily that is.

January 14th, 2010, 11:55 AM
The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage
Why same-sex marriage is an American value.

By Theodore B. Olson | NEWSWEEK
Published Jan 9, 2010
From the magazine issue dated Jan 18, 2010 (http://www.newsweek.com/id/229957)

Together with my good friend and occasional courtroom adversary David Boies, I am attempting to persuade a federal court to invalidate California's Proposition 8—the voter-approved measure that overturned California's constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex.

My involvement in this case has generated a certain degree of consternation among conservatives. How could a politically active, lifelong Republican, a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, challenge the "traditional" definition of marriage and press for an "activist" interpretation of the Constitution to create another "new" constitutional right?

My answer to this seeming conundrum rests on a lifetime of exposure to persons of different backgrounds, histories, viewpoints, and intrinsic characteristics, and on my rejection of what I see as superficially appealing but ultimately false perceptions about our Constitution and its protection of equality and fundamental rights.

Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.

Legalizing same-sex marriage would also be a recognition of basic American principles, and would represent the culmination of our nation's commitment to equal rights. It is, some have said, the last major civil-rights milestone yet to be surpassed in our two-century struggle to attain the goals we set for this nation at its formation.

This bedrock American principle of equality is central to the political and legal convictions of Republicans, Democrats, liberals, and conservatives alike. The dream that became America began with the revolutionary concept expressed in the Declaration of Independence in words that are among the most noble and elegant ever written: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Sadly, our nation has taken a long time to live up to the promise of equality. In 1857, the Supreme Court held that an African-American could not be a citizen. During the ensuing Civil War, Abraham Lincoln eloquently reminded the nation of its found-ing principle: "our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

At the end of the Civil War, to make the elusive promise of equality a reality, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution added the command that "no State É shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person É the equal protection of the laws."

Subsequent laws and court decisions have made clear that equality under the law extends to persons of all races, religions, and places of origin. What better way to make this national aspiration complete than to apply the same protection to men and women who differ from others only on the basis of their sexual orientation? I cannot think of a single reason—and have not heard one since I undertook this venture—for continued discrimination against decent, hardworking members of our society on that basis.

Various federal and state laws have accorded certain rights and privileges to gay and lesbian couples, but these protections vary dramatically at the state level, and nearly universally deny true equality to gays and lesbians who wish to marry. The very idea of marriage is basic to recognition as equals in our society; any status short of that is inferior, unjust, and unconstitutional.

The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly held that marriage is one of the most fundamental rights that we have as Americans under our Constitution. It is an expression of our desire to create a social partnership, to live and share life's joys and burdens with the person we love, and to form a lasting bond and a social identity. The Supreme Court has said that marriage is a part of the Constitution's protections of liberty, privacy, freedom of association, and spiritual identification. In short, the right to marry helps us to define ourselves and our place in a community. Without it, there can be no true equality under the law.

It is true that marriage in this nation traditionally has been regarded as a relationship exclusively between a man and a woman, and many of our nation's multiple religions define marriage in precisely those terms. But while the Supreme Court has always previously considered marriage in that context, the underlying rights and liberties that marriage embodies are not in any way confined to heterosexuals.

Marriage is a civil bond in this country as well as, in some (but hardly all) cases, a religious sacrament. It is a relationship recognized by governments as providing a privileged and respected status, entitled to the state's support and benefits. The California Supreme Court described marriage as a "union unreservedly approved and favored by the community." Where the state has accorded official sanction to a relationship and provided special benefits to those who enter into that relationship, our courts have insisted that withholding that status requires powerful justifications and may not be arbitrarily denied.

What, then, are the justifications for California's decision in Proposition 8 to withdraw access to the institution of marriage for some of its citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation? The reasons I have heard are not very persuasive.

The explanation mentioned most often is tradition. But simply because something has always been done a certain way does not mean that it must always remain that way. Otherwise we would still have segregated schools and debtors' prisons. Gays and lesbians have always been among us, forming a part of our society, and they have lived as couples in our neighborhoods and communities. For a long time, they have experienced discrimination and even persecution; but we, as a society, are starting to become more tolerant, accepting, and understanding. California and many other states have allowed gays and lesbians to form domestic partnerships (or civil unions) with most of the rights of married heterosexuals. Thus, gay and lesbian individuals are now permitted to live together in state-sanctioned relationships. It therefore seems anomalous to cite "tradition" as a justification for withholding the status of marriage and thus to continue to label those relationships as less worthy, less sanctioned, or less legitimate.

The second argument I often hear is that traditional marriage furthers the state's interest in procreation—and that opening marriage to same-sex couples would dilute, diminish, and devalue this goal. But that is plainly not the case. Preventing lesbians and gays from marrying does not cause more heterosexuals to marry and conceive more children. Likewise, allowing gays and lesbians to marry someone of the same sex will not discourage heterosexuals from marrying a person of the opposite sex. How, then, would allowing same-sex marriages reduce the number of children that heterosexual couples conceive?

This procreation argument cannot be taken seriously. We do not inquire whether heterosexual couples intend to bear children, or have the capacity to have children, before we allow them to marry. We permit marriage by the elderly, by prison inmates, and by persons who have no intention of having children. What's more, it is pernicious to think marriage should be limited to heterosexuals because of the state's desire to promote procreation. We would surely not accept as constitutional a ban on marriage if a state were to decide, as China has done, to discourage procreation.

Another argument, vaguer and even less persuasive, is that gay marriage somehow does harm to heterosexual marriage. I have yet to meet anyone who can explain to me what this means. In what way would allowing same-sex partners to marry diminish the marriages of heterosexual couples? Tellingly, when the judge in our case asked our opponent to identify the ways in which same-sex marriage would harm heterosexual marriage, to his credit he answered honestly: he could not think of any.

The simple fact is that there is no good reason why we should deny marriage to same-sex partners. On the other hand, there are many reasons why we should formally recognize these relationships and embrace the rights of gays and lesbians to marry and become full and equal members of our society.

No matter what you think of homosexuality, it is a fact that gays and lesbians are members of our families, clubs, and workplaces. They are our doctors, our teachers, our soldiers (whether we admit it or not), and our friends. They yearn for acceptance, stable relationships, and success in their lives, just like the rest of us.

Conservatives and liberals alike need to come together on principles that surely unite us. Certainly, we can agree on the value of strong families, lasting domestic relationships, and communities populated by persons with recognized and sanctioned bonds to one another. Confining some of our neighbors and friends who share these same values to an outlaw or second-class status undermines their sense of belonging and weakens their ties with the rest of us and what should be our common aspirations. Even those whose religious convictions preclude endorsement of what they may perceive as an unacceptable "lifestyle" should recognize that disapproval should not warrant stigmatization and unequal treatment.

When we refuse to accord this status to gays and lesbians, we discourage them from forming the same relationships we encourage for others. And we are also telling them, those who love them, and society as a whole that their relationships are less worthy, less legitimate, less permanent, and less valued. We demean their relationships and we demean them as individuals. I cannot imagine how we benefit as a society by doing so.

I understand, but reject, certain religious teachings that denounce homosexuality as morally wrong, illegitimate, or unnatural; and I take strong exception to those who argue that same-sex relationships should be discouraged by society and law. Science has taught us, even if history has not, that gays and lesbians do not choose to be homosexual any more than the rest of us choose to be heterosexual. To a very large extent, these characteristics are immutable, like being left-handed. And, while our Constitution guarantees the freedom to exercise our individual religious convictions, it equally prohibits us from forcing our beliefs on others. I do not believe that our society can ever live up to the promise of equality, and the fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, until we stop invidious discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

If we are born heterosexual, it is not unusual for us to perceive those who are born homosexual as aberrational and threatening. Many religions and much of our social culture have reinforced those impulses. Too often, that has led to prejudice, hostility, and discrimination. The antidote is understanding, and reason. We once tolerated laws throughout this nation that prohibited marriage between persons of different races. California's Supreme Court was the first to find that discrimination unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously agreed 20 years later, in 1967, in a case called Loving v. Virginia. It seems inconceivable today that only 40 years ago there were places in this country where a black woman could not legally marry a white man. And it was only 50 years ago that 17 states mandated segregated public education—until the Supreme Court unanimously struck down that practice in Brown v. Board of Education. Most Americans are proud of these decisions and the fact that the discriminatory state laws that spawned them have been discredited. I am convinced that Americans will be equally proud when we no longer discriminate against gays and lesbians and welcome them into our society.

Reactions to our lawsuit have reinforced for me these essential truths. I have certainly heard anger, resentment, and hostility, and words like "betrayal" and other pointedly graphic criticism. But mostly I have been overwhelmed by expressions of gratitude and good will from persons in all walks of life, including, I might add, from many conservatives and libertarians whose names might surprise. I have been particularly moved by many personal renditions of how lonely and personally destructive it is to be treated as an outcast and how meaningful it will be to be respected by our laws and civil institutions as an American, entitled to equality and dignity. I have no doubt that we are on the right side of this battle, the right side of the law, and the right side of history.

Some have suggested that we have brought this case too soon, and that neither the country nor the courts are "ready" to tackle this issue and remove this stigma. We disagree. We represent real clients—two wonderful couples in California who have longtime relationships. Our lesbian clients are raising four fine children who could not ask for better parents. Our clients wish to be married. They believe that they have that constitutional right. They wish to be represented in court to seek vindication of that right by mounting a challenge under the United States Constitution to the validity of Proposition 8 under the equal-protection and due-process clauses of the 14th Amendment. In fact, the California attorney general has conceded the unconstitutionality of Proposition 8, and the city of San Francisco has joined our case to defend the rights of gays and lesbians to be married. We do not tell persons who have a legitimate claim to wait until the time is "right" and the populace is "ready" to recognize their equality and equal dignity under the law.

Citizens who have been denied equality are invariably told to "wait their turn" and to "be patient." Yet veterans of past civil-rights battles found that it was the act of insisting on equal rights that ultimately sped acceptance of those rights. As to whether the courts are "ready" for this case, just a few years ago, in Romer v. Evans, the United States Supreme Court struck down a popularly adopted Colorado constitutional amendment that withdrew the rights of gays and lesbians in that state to the protection of anti-discrimination laws. And seven years ago, in Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court struck down, as lacking any rational basis, Texas laws prohibiting private, intimate sexual practices between persons of the same sex, overruling a contrary decision just 20 years earlier.

These decisions have generated controversy, of course, but they are decisions of the nation's highest court on which our clients are entitled to rely. If all citizens have a constitutional right to marry, if state laws that withdraw legal protections of gays and lesbians as a class are unconstitutional, and if private, intimate sexual conduct between persons of the same sex is protected by the Constitution, there is very little left on which opponents of same-sex marriage can rely. As Justice Antonin Scalia, who dissented in the Lawrence case, pointed out, "[W]hat [remaining] justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising '[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution'?" He is right, of course. One might agree or not with these decisions, but even Justice Scalia has acknowledged that they lead in only one direction.

California's Proposition 8 is particularly vulnerable to constitutional challenge, because that state has now enacted a crazy-quilt of marriage regulation that makes no sense to anyone. California recognizes marriage between men and women, including persons on death row, child abusers, and wife beaters. At the same time, California prohibits marriage by loving, caring, stable partners of the same sex, but tries to make up for it by giving them the alternative of "domestic partnerships" with virtually all of the rights of married persons except the official, state-approved status of marriage. Finally, California recognizes 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place in the months between the state Supreme Court's ruling that upheld gay-marriage rights and the decision of California's citizens to withdraw those rights by enacting Proposition 8.

So there are now three classes of Californians: heterosexual couples who can get married, divorced, and remarried, if they wish; same-sex couples who cannot get married but can live together in domestic partnerships; and same-sex couples who are now married but who, if they divorce, cannot remarry. This is an irrational system, it is discriminatory, and it cannot stand.

Americans who believe in the words of the Declaration of Independence, in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, in the 14th Amendment, and in the Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and equal dignity before the law cannot sit by while this wrong continues. This is not a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American one, and it is time that we, as Americans, embraced it.

January 14th, 2010, 01:12 PM

Isn't that rather odd that the majority of staes allow marriage between first cousins, but very few are allowing marriage between same sex couples?
I never knew that there was even such as thing!

If they are going to do that, then they might just as well make it all the same.

January 14th, 2010, 01:33 PM
Kissing Cousins (http://www.slate.com/id/2064227)

Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin married their first cousins, and that first-cousin marriage, while prohibited in half the United States, is legal in Canada and throughout Europe.

January 15th, 2010, 08:32 AM
I don't know.

Marriage to first cousins is not biologically smart, but should it be a law? Is it up to the government to stop people from being idiots?

The only argument I can see for prohibition would be the expense of caring for a handicapped kid that came from the union of two people too similar in genetic background. All the others seem to be societal, not legal/civil.....

January 15th, 2010, 10:10 AM
It's interesting to note that many states not prohibiting the practice are strongholds of haughty Waspiness (http://www.nationalreview.com/king/king200408061231.asp) whose close intermarriage functioned to create clan-like concentrations of power (http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1226/p09s01-coop.html) and influence.

...the expense of caring for a handicapped kid that came from the union of two people too similar in genetic background.

This expense is only a political issue in a socialist system -- that's not to say that genetic weakness hasn't any social costs. (BTW, cousin marriage has no greater risk (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/12/cousinmarriage/) of birth defects than childbirth by mothers over 40 years old.)

January 15th, 2010, 12:12 PM
What about childbirth between cousins of 40 years old?

Please, don't mix comparisons. ;)

January 15th, 2010, 12:38 PM
Wouldn't that be refered to as incest?

January 27th, 2010, 07:57 PM
Boies at Play

THE NEW YORKER (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/01/boies-at-play.html)
Posted by Margaret Talbot
January 26, 2010

Yesterday at the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial was the day you got to see David Boies set loose on a witness, and, to judge by the transcript, his cross-examination was a little like watching your cat play with his food before he eats it.

The witness in question was Kenneth P. Miller, an associate professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College, who was brought in by the defense as an expert on gays and political power. On direct examination by Charles Cooper, the lead lawyer defending Prop. 8, Miller confidently outlined an “upward trajectory” of power for gays and lesbians in this country. Their allies, he said, included the Democratic Party, “elected officials at all levels of government,” organized labor, corporations, newspapers, celebrities, churches, and “professional associations of physicians.” (What about major-league sports teams?) At the national level in the past year, they’d seen passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, and a sympathetic speech by President Obama at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, the gay-rights-advocacy organization. Nancy Pelosi was in the LGBT community’s corner; Arnold Schwarzenegger was a friend. If political power meant the ability to attract the attention of lawmakers, a definition Miller cited, then surely gays and lesbians had it.

My favorite moment was Miller’s Page Six boldface-style listing of Hollywood sympathizers: “I think it’s fair to say that the entertainment industry generally, though maybe not 100 percent, has supported the LGBT rights movement,” Miller ventured, and later added that companies and people who’d contributed to the No on 8 campaign or otherwise endorsed same-sex marriage included “Lucas Films, David Geffen, Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Brad Pitt, Ellen Degeneres, Steven King, Michael King, and Mr. Reiner, as well.” At which point, the Prop. 8 lawyer David Thompson said, “We’ve come to a logical stopping point”—why, it wasn’t clear—and suggested lunch.

After lunch, however, David Boies made his meal of Miller, a smart guy whose basic point—that the social acceptance and political profile of gays and lesbians are on the rise—is certainly correct. But Boies is devilish on the details, and with the details, you can begin to raise doubts about this picture. You can point to backlash and continuing discrimination—and to the very fact that Proposition 8 passed. And if you are Boies, you will do all that and more, in tart and relentless style.

Boies asked Miller, for instance, if he thought gays and lesbians were underrepresented among elected statewide officials in California. Miller said he couldn’t answer. He wasn’t sure how to calculate a concept like underrepresentation because he wasn’t sure what the numerator and denominator would be—a reasonable, if slightly fussy, point. But Boies wasn’t about to let it go. “Well, sir, take California. You know that no openly gay or lesbian person has ever in the history of the state, been elected to statewide office, correct? Miller replied, “No openly gay person, that’s correct.” Then Boies underlined his point: “Not governor, not lieutenant governor, not attorney general, not senator. Correct, sir?” Miller allowed that it was. “So in that case,” Boies said, “whatever the denominator would be, the numerator would be zero, correct?”

Boies suggested that nationally, gays and lesbians were still struggling to achieve their political goals. He had Miller confirm that the Defense of Marriage Act had not yet been repealed and neither had “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” and that up until 2003, when the Supreme Court issued its decision in Lawrence v. Texas, thirteen states still maintained laws that criminalized sexual practices between consenting adults who were gay. And Boies pinged away at Miller’s familiarity with the general subject of gay rights, asking him if he’d read the work of any number of scholars who write on same-sex marriage, most of which Miller said he had not. (Shout-out to Andrew Sullivan: he has, however, read you.) Eventually, Boies turned to the heart of Miller’s expertise: ballot initiatives. He quoted back to him from his own work, citing Miller’s observation that the legislative process maximized opportunities for “refinement, informed deliberation, consensus building and compromise,” while “the initiative process by its nature undermines them.”

Miller tried to deflect him, saying that he’d modified his sentiments on the subject since he’d written that. But when he confirmed that he had studied nine hundred initiatives, Boies pounced, asking in how many of those nine hundred had informed deliberation, compromise, and so on been part of the process. “I can only give anecdotal examples,” came the answer. Boies: “How many examples could you give?” Miller: “I don’t know today. ” Boies: “As you sit here now?” Miller: “Do you want a few? I don’t know.” Boies: “I’m asking you how many.” Miller: “I don’t know.” Boies: “Approximately how many?” Miller: “I’d have to think about it. Maybe three or four, five. I don’t know.” Boies: “Okay.”

At one point in the afternoon, the Prop. 8 lawyer Charles Cooper objected, saying Boies was badgering the witness. But Judge Vaughn Walker overruled it, “This is cross-examination,” he said, and seemed to imply: This is David Boies. What do you expect?


Read “A Risky Proposal (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/01/18/100118fa_fact_talbot),” Talbot’s story on gay-marriage activism and Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

The New Yorker © 2010 Condé Nast Digital

January 28th, 2010, 04:01 PM
If the percentage of people that are gay is about 10%, and the people are only starting to accept open gay and lesbian declaration and rights, how does that translate into a 51% vote to be elected?

IOW, you cannot directly relate gay "power" to a vote when, if support went from 15% of the gross population to 30%, that the voting population of supporters is still a minority.

January 28th, 2010, 09:52 PM
Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 12

Pam's House Blend (http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/15013/shannon-minter-perry-v-schwarzenegger-proceedings-day-12)
by: Autumn Sandeen
Wed Jan 27, 2010

BLEND EXCLUSIVE: Trial analysis by the National Center For Lesbian Rights' (NCLR's) Shannon Minter.

Today was the final day of testimony in Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Like every day before it, today was remarkable.

The majority of the day was spent on finishing up the cross-examination of David Blankenhorn, an expert witness for the defendants. As he did yesterday, renowned attorney David Boies absolutely nailed the examination. Blankenhorn did nothing to help himself, fighting Boies's yes-or-no questions at every turn even when Boies was simply laying a basic foundation with uncontroversial points. Blankenhorn's defensive behavior verged on the histrionic, contrasting sharply with Boies's calm, matter-of-fact approach. At one point, Judge Walker stepped in and instructed Blankenhorn to keep in mind that a fact-finder, meaning a judge or jury, can consider a witness's demeanor when deciding how credible that witness is and how seriously to take his or her testimony. Although Judge Walker delivered it with great diplomacy and tact, this was a fairly sharp rebuke.

On cross, Boies established a couple of key points that gravely undermined Blankenhorn's authority as an expert on marriage. First, Boies elicited testimony that Blankenhorn had not read many leading scholarly articles addressing the question of how society would be affected by allowing same-sex couples to marry. For example, of the dozens of articles cited in policy statements supporting marriage equality for same-sex couples by leading professional organizations, Blankenhorn admitted that he had read scarcely more than a handful. In contrast, all of the plaintiffs' expert witnesses were demonstrably well-versed in the entire range of scholarly literature on the topics about which they testified.

Second, Boies elicited extensive testimony from Blankenhorn acknowledging that permitting same-sex couples to marry would "almost certainly" benefit those couples and their children. Blankenhorn also testified that the most important dimensions of marriage (as defined by Blankenhorn in one of his publications) are the same for same-sex and opposite-sex couples. In short, by the end of Blankenhorn's cross, his own testimony had provided multiple powerful reasons to permit same-sex couples to marry, and his opposition to marriage equality seemed virtually inexplicable.

It has been an amazing two and a half weeks. This trial has been a truly historic moment for our community. It is the first time a federal court has heard, first hand, from real live witnesses, about the harm that the denial of marriage equality causes lesbians, gay men and their families every day. It's also the first time a federal court has heard the arguments in favor of marriage equality presented live in court by an array of internationally renowned scholars who are truly experts in their respective fields.

What stands out the most after having seen all the witnesses on both sides is how overwhelmingly one-sided the evidence in this case turned out to be. The plaintiffs, represented by some of the most skilled attorneys in the country, laid out a well-crafted, meticulous case, backed by the testimony of half a dozen of the most respected historians, psychologists, economists, and political scientists who study marriage, sexual orientation, and child development. Using the Prop 8 proponents' own outrageous and inflammatory words, ads, and emails, the plaintiffs powerfully demonstrated that Prop 8 was a direct product of hostility, fear-mongering, and demonization of lesbians and gay men. And through the deeply moving testimony of the plaintiffs and other members of our community, they proved beyond question that denying same-sex couples the right to marry causes great harm to LGBT people and their children.

Stacked up against this mountain of facts, scholarship, and science, the Prop 8 proponents - though represented by fine attorneys - were not able to come forward with a case of their own. Before trial, they dropped nearly every witness they had planned to present and relied entirely on two poorly qualified, ill-prepared expert witnesses, neither of whom was able to establish that banning same-sex couples from getting married has any rational or legitimate purpose relating to procreation, child rearing, tradition, or any of the other justifications that have been offered in the past in support of anti-gay discrimination. In fact, nearly all of the defendants' experts agreed with the plaintiffs that marriage equality would benefit same-sex couples and their families in many real, tangible ways.

It should not have come as a surprise that the defense's case turned out to be so weak. As our executive director Kate Kendell is fond of saying, the arguments against marriage equality have always been "all hat and no cattle." This trial showed more powerfully than ever that there truly is no substance to the arguments of those who would deny equality to our families. It has been extremely gratifying to see those arguments aired out in public, before a smart, independent-minded judge, in a way that's never been done before. It is a shame that the public was unable to see the trial in video, but the transcripts, available at http://www.equalrightsfoundation.org/our-work/hearing-transcripts/, are fascinating reading for anyone interested in learning more about this important chapter in our civil rights struggle.

Judge Walker will now take some time to review all the evidence that has been presented. The lawyers for both sides will return to court in a few weeks (on a date still to be determined) to present their closing arguments.

January 29th, 2010, 11:40 PM
Meanwhile, back in the Hoosier Heartland ...

Republican U.S. Rep Mike Pence: marriage equality will result in societal collapse

Pam's House Blend (http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/15031/republican-us-rep-mike-pence-gays-and-lesbians-marrying-will-result-in-societal-collapse)
by: Pam Spaulding
Fri Jan 29, 2010

If you haven't heard the name Mike Pence before, you'd better pay attention. This Congressman from Indiana, the third ranking Republican in the House, is one of the names being talked up as a possible GOP Clown Car occupant in 2012 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/26/mike-pence-wont-challenge_n_437003.html). He definitely passes the purity test when it comes to homobigotry and a level of professed and proud ignorance about church state separation. he's also well known as a member of the "Tea Party" movement Teabagger.
A Blender, Kyle F., a former constituent of Rep. Pence, emailed me and asked to share Pence's reply about marriage equality with you all.

I wrote U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) last month about how I disagree with his stance on gay marriage. The response he gave me was SO insulting that I thought it might be interesting to share - especially since Pence was close to running for U.S. Senate against Evan Bayh and there are whisperings that he may run for President in 2012. Basically he says gays will lead to the collapse of society.
Note the toxic level of heterosupremacy and homophobia -- but underneath it all, he shares the same one man-one woman view of the President. Some food for thought.

Dear Kyle:

Thank you for contacting me regarding traditional marriage. It was a pleasure to hear your thoughts regarding this sacred institution.

In the wake of ominous decisions by activist courts and recent actions by state governments, the need to defend the institution of traditional marriage is more apparent than ever. Like millions of Americans, I firmly believe that the sacred institution of marriage is between one man and one woman and that married couples form the backbone of our society.

The traditional two-parent family is the nucleus of our civilization. Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin found that throughout history, societal collapse was always brought about by the deterioration of marriage and family. Sociologists tell us that children raised by married parents experience lower rates of premarital childbearing, illicit drug use, arrests, health, emotional and behavioral problems, school dropout rates and poverty. Moreover, a five-year study released in 1998 found that continuously married husbands and wives experience significantly better emotional health and less depression than people of other marital status.

This debate is not about discrimination. I believe that if someone chooses another lifestyle than I have chosen, that is their right in a free society. But tolerance does not require that we permit our courts to redefine an institution upon which our society is built. Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.

Marriage was ordained by God, instituted among men; it is the glue that binds the American family, and the safest harbor in which to raise children. That is why it is so important to put in that most sacred of documents an affirmation of the foundation of our society - traditional marriage.

Again, thank you for contacting me. It is an honor to serve in the United States House of Representatives and have the benefit of your advice. If you would like more information on this or any other issue, please visit my website at http://mikepence.house.gov.

Warmest regards,

Mike Pence

He went on Faux News to discuss how to rebuild the GOP -- by focusing on limited government -- and 'sanctity of life and marriage.'

>> View VID: GOP Leader: Rebuild party on 'sanctity of life and marriage' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS3qiNIuDk0)

How exactly is that compatible? Oh, right he's a wingnut.

February 1st, 2010, 07:52 AM
focusing on limited government -- and 'sanctity of life and marriage

Talk about self-contradictory.....

February 25th, 2010, 04:15 AM
Campaign Goes After Opponents of Gay Marriage


ALBANY — Angered by the defeat last year of a bill that would have allowed same-sex couples to marry, a group of well-financed gay rights advocates has started a political action committee to take aim at state senators who have opposed same-sex marriage.

The first person the committee will single out is Hiram Monserrate, the Queens Democrat who has filed as a candidate in a special election to reclaim the seat he lost after the Senate expelled him this month.

The campaign against Mr. Monserrate, which will initially rely on the Internet and direct mail to reach voters but may expand to phone banks and e-mail, could exceed a cost of $100,000 — a significant amount for a legislative special election that is less than three weeks away.

In total, the political action committee, called Fight Back New York, is prepared to raise and spend in the high six figures range in the State Senate races this year, according to people involved with the committee.

Financing and organization will come, in part, from some of the most politically sophisticated and financially powerful gay rights advocates in the country. Tim Gill, a philanthropist and former software developer who has backed many gay rights initiatives nationwide, is a major player, along with some of his top associates and donors to his causes.

“Politicians who deny gays and lesbians basic equality should be thrown out of office, starting with convicted criminal Hiram Monserrate,” said Bill Smith, an adviser to the committee and deputy executive director of the Gill Action Fund, Mr. Gill’s political organization, which is based in Denver.

The committee will start going after Mr. Monserrate, who was convicted of assaulting his female companion in a confrontation that left her requiring more than 20 stitches, by mailing fliers this week to voters in his district. The flier shows still frames of a surveillance video that shows him dragging his companion, Karla Giraldo, through the hallway of his apartment building in Jackson Heights, Queens. He was acquitted of a felony assault charge by a judge, who convicted him of misdemeanor assault.

“He brutally assaulted a woman and tried to cover up his crime,” the flier says. “Now he has the nerve to run again. Many of us have voted for Hiram before. But we cannot vote for him again.”

In the three weeks that remain before the election, Fight Back New York expects to send out at least five different fliers, upwards of 100,000 pieces of mail. The district’s population is around 300,000, but voter turnout in special elections is typically quite low.

Mr. Monserrate, who would run as an independent, is facing Assemblyman Jose Peralta, a Democrat supported by the party and many leading Democrats.

The political action committee’s Web site, in both English and Spanish, takes an even harsher line against Mr. Monserrate. It is scheduled to go live on Thursday and describes him in bold print as a “criminal” and “incompetent.” The site will also be used as a fund-raising tool to solicit and accept donations.

The Gill Action Fund and many of its donors were significant players in the 2008 legislative elections, helping to funnel around $1 million into local races in anticipation of same-sex marriage legislation. Senate Democrats picked up two seats, capturing the majority for the first time in a generation, but that was not enough to prevent the chamber from rejecting same-sex marriage.

While Fight Back New York has not decided which senators it will single out this fall, the group’s organizers plan to focus on races where they believe the incumbent has a challenger who strongly supports gay rights.


February 25th, 2010, 09:52 AM
It's all one, as noted on The Rachel Maddow Show (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35571422/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show) ...

Letter from a Mountain Soldier

An infantry officer in Afghanistan explains the personal relevance of DADT


This is indeed revolutionary stuff. Not the deliberate reconsideration of the DADT issue, but that you're actively encouraging such an adult, open dialog.

I'm one of your officers, currently deployed supporting a WIAS tasker and I look forward to my Division meeting up with me here in Afghanistan. My partner of 10 years and I have happily accepted the various assignments the Army has given me this past decade and have weathered my two 12-month-long and one 15-month-long deployments like, I would imagine, nearly every other couple - save for one detail: the partner I leave behind has no support from any official channels. He would be notified after my brother who is listed as my Emergency POC/NOK. After 10 years, my partner has earned the right to be told first about my death. He has earned the right to make my health emergency decisions. And, he has earned the right to be recognized for his sacrifices just as any other spouse. The exception being that he is not a spouse. We are not a recognized couple. And the very fact that he and I live in a marriage-like relationship could cause us to lose my pension and our financial security later in life.

As a former combat arms commander, I've had to face the DADT issue not just because I am gay - an imutable characteristic that is no more a choice for me than someone could choose their race - but because I've had 4 gay men in my command who I have known to be gay. I knew about two of them because they believed that living a lie was counter to their ethical charge as Soldiers. One was chaptered and the other was transferred. I knew about another because he was outed by an Evangelical roommate who had "baited" him into admitting it to him. He was not chaptered because we were a week from deploying and no one believed he really was gay. When he left the Army after we redeployed, he came back to tell me that indeed, he was gay. And, I knew about the fourth one because after he died of wounds from an IED, his partner of four years wrote me - not knowing my orientation - to tell me how much SSG ___ loved the Army, how we were the only family he'd ever known, and how much he appreciated the support of his fellow NCOs who knew about his personal life and whose spouses back home had taken care of him (the partner).

The "there's a gay dude looking at me in the shower/coming on to me in the fox hole" argument is a pathetic, lame canard. Having been through more than my share of the Army's best lodging - Ranger School comes to mind, as do the Hindu Kush, the desert in Iraq, and multiple Army gyms across world - I can tell you that the only thing I've ever thought about while showering was getting in and getting out. I'd be lying if I was to say that I've not worked with attractive people. We all have. But the difference between being an animal and a professional is, among other things, our ability to control ourselves. And, the only thing I've ever thought about in actual combat was living long enough to take care of my guys and to make it home alive.

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this ongoing discussion. And, I hope that if GEN Ham and his panel ask you what your opinion is, that you answer based on the facts, on the beliefs of this current generation of Soldier, and that you eschew the bigoted hypotheses of those who do not believe that the only way for Soldiers to truly be the Soldiers they are ethically charged to be, is to be honest with their buddies, honest with their chain of command, and honest to themselves.


Mountain Soldier (fwd)

April 11th, 2010, 03:56 PM

July 15th, 2010, 11:24 AM
Argentina Gay Marriage Law: First Country In Latin America To Approve Same Sex Marriage

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina legalized same-sex marriage Thursday, becoming the first country in Latin America to declare that gays and lesbians have all the legal rights, responsibilities and protections that marriage brings to heterosexual couples.

After a marathon debate in Argentina's senate, 33 lawmakers voted in favor, 27 against and 3 abstained in a vote that ended after 4 a.m. Since the lower house already approved it and President Cristina Fernandez is a strong supporter, it becomes law as soon as it is published in the official bulletin, which should happen within days.

The law is sure to bring a wave of marriages by gays and lesbians who have found Buenos Aires to be a welcoming place to live. But same-sex couples from other countries shouldn't rush their Argentine wedding plans, since only citizens and residents can wed in the country, and the necessary documents can take months to obtain. While it makes some amendments to the civil code, many other aspects of family law will have to be changed.

The approval came despite a concerted campaign by the Roman Catholic Church and evangelical groups, which drew 60,000 people to march on Congress and urged parents in churches and schools to work against passage. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio led the campaign, saying "children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother."

Nine gay couples had already married in Argentina after persuading judges that the constitutional mandate of equality supports their marriage rights, although their validity was later challenged by other judges. Congressional passage now removes that doubt.
As the debate stretched on for nearly 16 hours, large crowds held rival vigils through the frigid night outside the Congress building. When the final vote came, cheers and hugs broke out among the bill's supporters, with police keeping them separate from frustrated opponents who prayed and held rosaries.

"Marriage between a man and a woman has existed for centuries, and is essential for the perpetuation of the species," insisted Sen. Juan Perez Alsina, who is usually a loyal supporter of the president but gave a passionate speech against gay marriage inside the Senate chamber.

But Sen. Norma Morandini, another member of the president's party, compared the discrimination closeted gays face to the oppression imposed by Argentina's dictators decades ago.

"What defines us is our humanity, and what runs against humanity is intolerance," she said.

Same-sex civil unions have been legalized in Uruguay and some states in Mexico and Brazil. Colombia's Constitutional Court granted same-sex couples inheritance rights and allowed them to add their partners to health insurance plans. Mexico City went further, legalizing gay marriage and launching tourism campaigns to encourage foreigners to come and wed.

Argentina now becomes the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, granting gays and lesbians all the same rights and responsibilities that heterosexuals have. These include many more rights than civil unions, including adopting children and inheriting wealth.

Gay rights advocates said Argentina's historic step adds momentum to similar efforts around the world.

"Today's historic vote shows how far Catholic Argentina has come, from dictatorship to true democratic values, and how far the freedom to marry movement has come, as twelve countries on four continents now embrace marriage equality," said Evan Wolfson, who runs the U.S. Freedom to Marry lobby.

Wolfson urged U.S. lawmakers to stand up "for the Constitution and all families here in the United States. America should lead, not lag, when it comes to treating everyone equally under the law."

Gay activists in neighboring Chile hope Argentina's milestone will improve chances for a gay marriage law currently in committee in their own Congress.
"Argentina's political class has provided a lesson to the rest of Latin America," said Rolando Jimenez in Santiago. "We hope our own countries and political parties will learn that the human rights of sexual minorities are undeniable."

Activists in Paraguay plan to propose a similar law to the senate in October, said Martin Viveros of the group Somosgay. And in Uruguay, gays unsatisfied with the partial rights that come through civil unions are preparing legislation that would replace references to "man and woman" with "spouse" throughout the civil code.

But many Argentines remain firmly opposed to the idea of gay marriage. Teacher Eduardo Morales, for one, said the law was concocted by Buenos Aires residents who are out step with the views of the country.

"They want to convert this city into the gay capital of the world," said Morales, of San Luis province.

Ines Franck, director of the group Familias Argentinas, said the legislation cuts against centuries of tradition.

Opposing the measure "is not discrimination, because the essence of a family is between two people of opposite sexes," he said. "Any variation goes against the law, and against nature."

The president, who helped the law's chances by bringing two senators opposed to gay marriage with her on a state visit to China, spoke out from there against the Catholic Church's campaign and the tone she said some religious groups have taken.

"It's very worrisome to hear words like 'God's war' or 'the devil's project,' things that recall the times of the Inquisition," she said.

That may play well in Argentina's socially liberal capital, where many of the country's gays and lesbians live, but could be costly in the conservative provinces. Some opposition leaders accused Fernandez and her husband Nestor Kirchner, who lobbied hard for passage, of trying to gain votes in next year's presidential elections, when the former president is expected to run again.

The vote came after Sen. Daniel Filmus urged fellow lawmakers to show the world how much Argentina has matured.

"Society has grown up. We aren't the same as we were before," he said.

July 15th, 2010, 11:32 AM
"It's very worrisome to hear words like 'God's war' or 'the devil's project,' things that recall the times of the Inquisition," she said.It's so good to see that the Christian zealots down there weren't able to block this step toward equal rights. ;)
A shame that Argentina gets this done before we do.

July 15th, 2010, 01:12 PM
It is easier to get a smaller body to get moving than a larger one.

Even if, on average, the US is more "Liberal" than Argentina, there are still enough people (with our abysmal voter turnout) to effect votes and scare our representatives and lawmakers into compliance with a hateful minority.

July 15th, 2010, 01:56 PM
Hopefully New York State will join the five other states where gay marriage is currently legal and performed. The recent rulings this month against the Defense of Marriage Act are a helpful step forward as well.

July 15th, 2010, 02:11 PM
^ Is the US on average more liberal than Argentina? I don't know about that.

My favorite passage from the above article is this:

"Today's historic vote shows how far Catholic Argentina has come, from dictatorship to true democratic values, and how far the freedom to marry movement has come, as twelve countries on four continents now embrace marriage equality," said Evan Wolfson, who runs the U.S. Freedom to Marry lobby.

Please note that these Latin American countries ( Chile, Uraguay, Paraguay etc) are staunchly Roman Catholic. And the Catholic Church's influence in Argentina is great enough to consider it the country's "official state religion". Calling it "Catholic Argentina" is appropriate.

But despite the Church's campaign, gay marraige won.

It is ironic that most of the countries with legal gay marraige are predominately Catholic. Will this have an influence on the Vatican? Probably not, but the Church will IMHO evolve into a cultural/spiritual/charity entity. It's sexual teachings etc will remain but will be seen in perspective (i.e. ignored). Or perhaps it is already there.

Argentina and the Catholic Church:

"The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion but also requires the government to support Roman Catholicism economically. Until 1994 the President and Vice President had to be Roman Catholic, though there were no such restrictions on other government officials; indeed, since 1945, numerous Jews have held prominent posts. Catholic policy, however, remains influential in government and still helps shape a variety of legislation"

"According to the World Christian Database, Argentines are 92.1% Christian, 3.1% agnostic, 1.9% Muslim, 1.3% Jewish, 0.9% atheist, and 0.9% Buddhist and other. Argentine Christians are mostly Roman Catholic. Estimates for the number professing this faith vary from 70% of the population, to as much as 90%, though perhaps only 20% attend services regularly."


July 15th, 2010, 02:30 PM
Fab, look at it this way.

if 100% of argentina votes, but is only 51% "liberal", they vote liberal (and it is reflected in the wat their leaders legislate).

We only have a dismal 40% showing, and a LOT of that is from the older stick-in-the-muds that have time to erroneously use euphamisims like "Tea Party" to describe a myriad of ill-fitting political positions. The only common thing being, don't touch what I believe, and get rid of everything else.

If the US is 60% "liberal", depending on participation, with a 40% turnout you can either get 100% "liberal" vote or 0%.

I am not claiming the US is the leader on this, so get that argument right out of your head, what I am saying is that I have rarely seen many other South American/Central American countries willing to accept something like this. I am wondering why, when we claim to be more accepting, that things like this do not get through a congress that is supposed to be representing the people.

July 15th, 2010, 03:14 PM
Hopefully New York State will join the five other states where gay marriage is currently legal and performed. The recent rulings this month against the Defense of Marriage Act are a helpful step forward as well.The DC Court of Appeals upheld the District's same-sex marriage law (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/15/AR2010071503618.html), but the recent decision by a federal judge in Massachusetts declaring a provision of the DOMA unconstitutional could end up in the Supreme Court.

Warning: legalese

Defense of Marriage Act's Achilles heel

A judge's finding that DOMA violates the Constitution's equal protection clause could be accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

July 14, 2010|By Andrew Koppelman

Last week, a federal court in Massachusetts held unconstitutional the provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, that denies federal benefits to same-sex spouses. The ruling relied on two arguments: that the law interfered with the rights of states guaranteed in the 10th Amendment, and that it violated the Constitution's equal protection clause. The first of these arguments doesn't make much sense, but the second is so strong that it has a good chance of being accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Section 3 of DOMA requires that marriage, for all federal purposes, be defined as the union of one man and one woman. It was challenged by the attorney general in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, and also in a separate suit by seven married same-sex couples and three widowers in the state who had been in same-sex marriages. The plaintiffs include the surviving spouse of Rep. Gerry Studds (D-Mass.), the first openly gay man to serve in Congress. After Studds' death, his spouse was denied both health insurance and the normal survivor annuity — the only widower of a member of Congress to be refused these benefits.

In the case brought by Massachusetts, the court held that DOMA intrudes on "traditional government functions," specifically the state's right to define what marriage is. In the individuals' cases, it held that there is no rational basis for denying federal benefits to same-sex spouses in marriages legally recognized in their states. The first of these arguments is silly, and potentially mischievous. But the second is very strong, and can and should carry the day if, as is likely, the case is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

The trouble with the states' rights argument is its implication that whenever a federal law uses the word "marriage" to define the scope of some federal program, it is obligated to follow state law. But an obvious counterexample exists: immigration. In most states, the government doesn't involve itself in the reasons a couple marries, even if there's no love involved and the marriage is primarily a business transaction or a matter of convenience. But when people marry for immigration purposes, the federal government has no trouble deeming the marriage "fraudulent," even though it remains valid under state law. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency doesn't interfere with traditional state functions because it leaves the state free to recognize, for its own purposes, any marriage it likes. But it won't grant legal residency to immigrants it believes married only to secure the benefit.

The other part of the court's ruling, however, held that DOMA lacked a rational basis because none of the government's justifications for the law's blanket discrimination made sense. It's hard to see, for example, how the law would protect traditional marriage. Are same-sex couples going to be discouraged from marrying because they wouldn't be entitled to be buried together in a veterans cemetery? Not likely. This irrationality, and the unprecedented burden it imposes — no class of state-recognized marriages has ever before in American history been subjected to this kind of federal discrimination — led the court to infer an unconstitutional purpose: a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group.

The case will probably be appealed. But will it be upheld? This Supreme Court is unlikely to conclude that same-sex marriage must be allowed in all states. But you can invalidate DOMA without going that far, by focusing on its unprecedented, blunderbuss character.

On the current Supreme Court, this case would probably depend on the swing vote of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. (If he is still there when it is heard — appeals take years, and he turns 74 later this month.) In a 1996 decision striking down a Colorado law that repealed all antidiscrimination protection for gay people, he noted that it "has the peculiar property of imposing a broad and undifferentiated disability on a single named group." This kind of imposition "is unprecedented in our jurisprudence," and he declared that it "is not within our constitutional tradition to enact laws of this sort." Similarly, in a 2003 decision invalidating a law banning homosexual sex, he observed that such gay-specific laws were very recent, originating in the 1970s. That same logic might well condemn DOMA, but it would be unlikely to invalidate the marriage laws of individual states.

Even the states' rights argument could be rehabilitated if, on appeal, Massachusetts focuses on the equality argument. The district court ruled in favor of the state for two independent reasons, only one of which relied on inherent state functions. The other, better argument was that a state can't be required to violate the Constitution in order to get federal funds. If DOMA is unconstitutional because of the way it singles out gay people to beat up on, then states can't be denied federal funds when they refuse to administer it. For example, if DOMA's requirement that same-sex couples be excluded from veterans cemeteries is unconstitutional, then Massachusetts can't lose its federal funding when it buries a same-sex couple in a state-administered veterans cemetery.

There's a lesson here for lawyers. There is a temptation in litigation to make every argument you can possibly think of, hoping that something will persuade the judge. Here, though, that strategy has backfired: The judge bought both arguments, the bad one as well as the good one, and so his opinion ended up looking weaker than it really is.

Andrew Koppelman is the author of "Same Sex, Different States: When Same-Sex Marriages Cross State Lines" ( Yale University Press).

Copyright 2010 Los Angeles Times

August 4th, 2010, 07:05 PM
A Federal Judge knocks down CA Proposition 8 (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/us/05prop.html?hp), which banned same sex marriage in that state ...

Prop 8 Ruling FINAL (http://www.scribd.com/doc/35374462/Prop-8-Ruling-FINAL) [pdf]

Of particular interest:

Conclusions of Law (starting on P. 109)

From P. 112 - 113:

The evidence at trial shows that marriage in the United
States traditionally has not been open to same-sex couples. The
evidence suggests many reasons for this tradition of exclusion,
including gender roles mandated through coverture, FF 26-27, social
disapproval of same-sex relationships, FF 74, and the reality that
the vast majority of people are heterosexual and have had no reason
to challenge the restriction, FF 43. The evidence shows that the
movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an
institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an
evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in
marriage. The evidence did not show any historical purpose for
excluding same-sex couples from marriage, as states have never
required spouses to have an ability or willingness to procreate in
order to marry.FF 21. Rather, the exclusion exists as an
artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct
roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed.

[ ... ]

Plaintiffs do not seek recognition of a new right. To
characterize plaintiffs’ objective as “the right to same-sex
marriage” would suggest that plaintiffs seek something different
from what opposite-sex couples across the state enjoy —— namely,
marriage. Rather, plaintiffs ask California to recognize their
relationships for what they are: marriages.


From P. 115 - 116:

The evidence shows that domestic partnerships do not
fulfill California’s due process obligation to plaintiffs for two


The evidence at trial shows that domestic partnerships
exist solely to differentiate same-sex unions from marriages. FF
53-54. A domestic partnership is not a marriage; while domestic
partnerships offer same-sex couples almost all of the rights and
responsibilities associated with marriage, the evidence shows that
the withholding of the designation “marriage” significantly
disadvantages plaintiffs. FF 52-54. The record reflects that
marriage is a culturally superior status compared to a domestic
partnership. FF 52. California does not meet its due process
obligation to allow plaintiffs to marry by offering them a
substitute and inferior institution that denies marriage to same-
sex couples.


From P. 117:

... Proposition 8 violates the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment.


From P. 117 - 119

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
provides that no state shall “deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”


Most laws subject to rational basis easily survive equal
protection review, because a legitimate reason can nearly always be
found for treating different groups in an unequal manner. See
Romer, 517 US at 633. Yet, to survive rational basis review, a law
must do more than disadvantage or otherwise harm a particular
group. United States Department of Agriculture v Moreno, 413 US
528, 534 (1973).


From P. 120 - 121:

Proposition 8 targets gays and lesbians in a manner
specific to their sexual orientation and, because of their
relationship to one another, Proposition 8 targets them
specifically due to sex. Having considered the evidence, the
relationship between sex and sexual orientation and the fact that
Proposition 8 eliminates a right only a gay man or a lesbian would
exercise, the court determines that plaintiffs’ equal protection
claim is based on sexual orientation, but this claim is equivalent
to a claim of discrimination based on sex.


As presently explained in detail, the Equal Protection
Clause renders Proposition 8 unconstitutional under any standard of
review. Accordingly, the court need not address the question
whether laws classifying on the basis of sexual orientation should
be subject to a heightened standard of review.


The court asked the parties to identify a difference
between heterosexuals and homosexuals that the government might
fairly need to take into account when crafting legislation ..

Proponents pointed only to a difference between same-
sex couples (who are incapable through sexual intercourse of
producing offspring biologically related to both parties) and
opposite-sex couples (some of whom are capable through sexual
intercourse of producing such offspring). Doc #687 at 32-34.
Proponents did not, however, advance any reason why the government
may use sexual orientation as a proxy for fertility or why the
government may need to take into account fertility when


The trial record shows that strict scrutiny is the
appropriate standard of review to apply to legislative
classifications based on sexual orientation. All classifications
based on sexual orientation appear suspect, as the evidence shows
that California would rarely, if ever, have a reason to categorize
individuals based on their sexual orientation. FF 47. Here,
however, strict scrutiny is unnecessary. Proposition 8 fails to
survive even rational basis review.


Proponents first argue that Proposition 8 is rational
because it preserves: (1) “the traditional institution of marriage
as the union of a man and a woman”; (2) “the traditional social and
legal purposes, functions, and structure of marriage”; and (3) “the
traditional meaning of marriage as it has always been defined in the
English language. Doc #605 at 12-13. These interests relate
to maintaining the definition of marriage as the union of a man and
a woman for its own sake.

Tradition alone, however, cannot form a rational basis for a law.
Williams v Illinois, 399 US 235, 239 (1970). The
“ancient lineage” of a classification does not make it rational.
Heller, 509 US at 327. Rather, the state must have an interest
apart from the fact of the tradition itself.

The evidence shows that the tradition of restricting an
individual’s choice of spouse based on gender does not rationally
further a state interest despite its “ancient lineage.” Instead,
the evidence shows that the tradition of gender restrictions arose
when spouses were legally required to adhere to specific gender
roles. See FF 26-27. California has eliminated all legally-
mandated gender roles except the requirement that a marriage
consist of one man and one woman. FF 32. Proposition 8 thus
enshrines in the California Constitution a gender restriction that
the evidence shows to be nothing more than an artifact of a
foregone notion that men and women fulfill different roles in civic

The tradition of restricting marriage to opposite-sex
couples does not further any state interest. Rather, the evidence
shows that Proposition 8 harms the state’s interest in equality,
because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based
only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender. See FF 32,


The evidence shows that the state advances nothing when
it adheres to the tradition of excluding same-sex couples from
marriage. Proponents’ asserted state interests in tradition are
nothing more than tautologies and do not amount to rational bases
for Proposition 8.


Proponents next argue that Proposition 8 protects the
First Amendment freedom of those who disagree with allowing
marriage for couples of the same sex. Proponents argue that
Proposition 8: (1) preserves “the prerogative and responsibility of
parents to provide for the ethical and moral development and
education of their own children”; and (2) accommodates “the First
Amendment rights of individuals and institutions that oppose same-
sex marriage on religious or moral grounds.” Doc #605 at 14.

These purported interests fail as a matter of law ...


In the absence of a rational basis, what remains of
proponents’ case is an inference, amply supported by evidence in
the record, that Proposition 8 was premised on the belief that
same-sex couples simply are not as good as opposite-sex couples.
FF 78-80. Whether that belief is based on moral disapproval of
homosexuality, animus towards gays and lesbians or simply a belief
that a relationship between a man and a woman is inherently better
than a relationship between two men or two women, this belief is
not a proper basis on which to legislate. See Romer, 517 US at
633; Moreno, 413 US at 534; Palmore v Sidoti, 466 US 429, 433
(1984) (“[T]he Constitution cannot control [private biases] but
neither can it tolerate them.”).


... The evidence at trial regarding the campaign to pass
Proposition 8 uncloaks the most likely explanation for its passage:
A desire to advance the belief that opposite-sex couples are
morally superior to same-sex couples.


Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to
deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows
conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private
moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex
couples. FF 76, 79-80; Romer, 517 US at 634 (“[L]aws of the kind
now before us raise the inevitable inference that the disadvantage
imposed is born of animosity toward the class of persons
affected.”). Because Proposition 8 disadvantages gays and lesbians
without any rational justification, Proposition 8 violates the
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.


Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in
singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.
Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than
enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-
sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California
has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and
because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its
constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis,
the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.


Plaintiffs have demonstrated by overwhelming evidence
that Proposition 8 violates their due process and equal protection
rights and that they will continue to suffer these constitutional
violations until state officials cease enforcement of Proposition
8. California is able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex
couples, as it has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-
sex couples and has not suffered any demonstrated harm as a result,
see FF 64-66; moreover, California officials have chosen not to
defend Proposition 8 in these proceedings.

Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the
Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of
judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the
official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and
directing the official defendants that all persons under their
control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8.
The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment without bond in favor of
plaintiffs and plaintiff-intervenors and against defendants and
defendant-intervenors pursuant to FRCP 58.


United States District Chief Judge

August 4th, 2010, 07:27 PM
Well alright then.:)

August 5th, 2010, 10:53 AM
^For the moment. I have a feeling this is not done.

August 5th, 2010, 12:06 PM
Far from it. Be mindful that the Judge who wrote the ruling went to great lengths to quote numerous supportive arguments from prior Supreme Court cases ...

A whole list or articles linked at the ATLANTIC WIRE (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/After-Prop-8-Ruling-Looking-Ahead-to-the-Supreme-Court-4601):

After Prop. 8 Ruling, Looking Ahead to the Supreme Court

And this ...

Justice Anthony Kennedy and the Prop 8 ruling

INSIDE CATHOLIC (http://www.insidecatholic.com/2010-08-05-10-52-12.html)

According to Dahlia Lithwick at Slate (http://www.slate.com/id/2262766), Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to overturn California's Proposition 8 will be difficult for the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse. That is because Walker appears to have written his opinion with one specific Supreme Court justice in mind:

I count -- in his opinion today -- seven citations to Justice [Anthony] Kennedy's 1996 opinion in Romer v. Evans (striking down an anti-gay Colorado ballot initiative) and eight citations to his 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas (striking down Texas' gay-sodomy law). In a stunning decision this afternoon, finding California's Proposition 8 ballot initiative banning gay marriage unconstitutional, Walker trod heavily on the path Kennedy has blazed on gay rights: "[I]t would demean a married couple were it to be said marriage is simply about the right to have sexual intercourse," quotes Walker. "'[M]oral disapproval, without any other asserted state interest,' has never been a rational basis for legislation," cites Walker. "Animus towards gays and lesbians or simply a belief that a relationship between a man and a woman is inherently better than a relationship between two men or two women, this belief is not a proper basis on which to legislate," Walker notes, with a jerk of the thumb at Kennedy.

Walker has temporarily stayed his ruling, which I expect we'll be hearing about through the fall campaigns.

August 6th, 2010, 02:04 PM
Something close to performance art from Colbert ...

How To Kill Gay Marriage For Good (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/08/does-it-matter.html)

August 12th, 2010, 06:44 PM
Do Prop 8 Proponents Have Standing To Appeal?

THE DAILY DISH (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/08/do-prop-8-proponents-have-standing-to-appeal.html)
12 AUG 2010

This seems to me the news in Judge Walker's decision (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/08/prop-8.html) to extend a stay on his ruling in favor of marriage rights for gay couples until August 18. I'm not a legal expert but this is from the NCLR's release:

Even though Judge Walker did not immediately let same-sex couples in California marry, the ruling provides important insight into the merits of the issues that the Ninth Circuit will consider on appeal. For example, in his ruling today, Judge Walker casts serious doubt on whether the proponents of Prop 8 even have "standing" to pursue an appeal because they do not speak for the state of California, and the official representatives of the state agree that Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Standing refers to whether a particular person has a legal right to bring an appeal. In his ruling today, Judge Walker said: “As it appears at least doubtful that proponents will be able to proceed with their appeal without a state defendant, it remains unclear whether the court of appeals will be able to reach the merits of proponents’ appeal. In light of those concerns, proponents may have little choice but to attempt to convince either the governor or the attorney general to file an appeal to ensure jurisdiction."

But the governor and attorney general favor marriage equality. So it will be up to Anthony Kennedy, if the appeal court denies standing to the Prop 8 proponents. But maybe not. A reader notes:

Appellate courts generally try to resolve cases on the narrowest grounds possible. Since the question of whether the intervenors have standing to pursue the appeal is a procedural/jurisdictional issue, and not the merits of the case, an appellate court should look to that question first to see if the case can be resolved without addressing the merits. If the court decides that the intervenors don't have standing to appeal, the court could resolve the case in favor of the plaintiffs without granting much room for the Supreme Court to take the case and reverse it.


August 12th, 2010, 07:42 PM
And you thought dinosaurs were extinct ...


August 12th, 2010, 07:45 PM
Glenn Beck: Gay marriage is not a threat to America.

O'Reilly: 'Gay marriage is gonna be a reality in this country in 10 years' (http://gay.americablog.com/2010/08/glenn-beck-gay-marriage-is-not-threat.html)

August 13th, 2010, 08:25 AM
Like I said previously.

i have no problem with Gay Marriage. Gays should be taxed just as much as the rest of (us)! ;)

August 13th, 2010, 03:45 PM

Fun slideshow on HuffPost today (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/13/the-most-homoerotic-vinta_n_663796.html#s125709)

August 27th, 2010, 01:02 PM
http://assets.theatlantic.com/static/front/images/atlantic-print-logo.jpg (http://www.theatlantic.com/)

Bush Campaign Chief and Former RNC Chair
Ken Mehlman: I'm Gay

By Marc Ambinder

Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay.

Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview. He agreed to answer a reporter's questions, he said, because, now in private life, he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage and anticipated that questions would arise about his participation in a late-September fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group that supported the legal challenge to California's ballot initiative against gay marriage, Proposition 8.

"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," said Mehlman, now an executive vice-president with the New York City-based private equity firm, KKR. "Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I've told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they've been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that's made me a happier and better person. It's something I wish I had done years ago."

Privately, in off-the-record conversations with this reporter over the years, Mehlman voiced support for civil unions and told of how, in private discussions with senior Republican officials, he beat back efforts to attack same-sex marriage. He insisted, too, that President Bush "was no homophobe." He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."

Mehlman's leadership positions in the GOP came at a time when the party was stepping up its anti-gay activities -- such as the distribution in West Virginia in 2006 of literature linking homosexuality to atheism, or the less-than-subtle, coded language in the party's platform ("Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country..."). Mehlman said at the time that he could not, as an individual Republican, go against the party consensus. He was aware that Karl Rove, President Bush's chief strategic adviser, had been working with Republicans to make sure that anti-gay initiatives and referenda would appear on November ballots in 2004 and 2006 to help Republicans.

Mehlman acknowledges that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the party from pushing an anti-gay agenda.

"It's a legitimate question and one I understand," Mehlman said. "I can't change the fact that I wasn't in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally." He asks of those who doubt his sincerity: "If they can't offer support, at least offer understanding."

"What I do regret, and think a lot about, is that one of the things I talked a lot about in politics was how I tried to expand the party into neighborhoods where the message wasn't always heard. I didn't do this in the gay community at all."

He said that he "really wished" he had come to terms with his sexual orientation earlier, "so I could have worked against [the Federal Marriage Amendment]" and "reached out to the gay community in the way I reached out to African Americans."

Mehlman is aware that his attempts to justify his past silence will not be adequate for many people. He and his friends say that he is aware that he will no longer control the story about his identity -- which will simultaneously expose old wounds, invite Schadenfruede, and legitimize anger among gay rights activists in both parties who did not hide their sexual orientations.

Mehlman, who has never married, long found his sexuality subject to rumor and innuendo. He was the subject of an outing campaign by gay rights activist Mike Rogers, starting when Mehlman was Bush's campaign manager. Rogers's crusades against closeted gay Republicans split the organized gay lobby in Washington but were undoubtedly effective: he drove several elected officials, including Virginia Rep. Ed Shrock, from office, pushed out a would-be presidential campaign manager for George Allen well before Allen was set to run, slung rumors about Sen. Larry Craig's sexual orientation well before Craig's incident in a Minneapolis airport bathroom, and even managed to make homosexuality a wedge issue within the party's activist circles.

In 2006, Rogers caught up to Mehlman and asked him why he gave "so many confusing answers to social conservatives about your homosexuality," and followed up by asking whether Mehlman knew of a man who Rogers had claimed was Mehlman's secret partner. Mehlman denied to Rogers that he had given conflicting answers and said that the man in question was a law school classmate.

In several discussions I've had with Mehlman since he stepped down from the Republican National Committee in 2007, he never volunteered information about his sexual orientation, although charges that he presided over a resurgence in anti-gay sentiment were clearly an ongoing burden to him.

The disclosure at this stage of Mehlman's life strikes one close friend as being like a decision to jump off of a high diving board: Mehlman knows that there is plenty of water below, but it is still very scary to look down and make the leap. Mehlman likes order and certainty, and he knows that the reaction to his public confirmation cannot be predicted or contained.

Mehlman is the most powerful Republican in history to identify as gay.

Because his tenure as RNC chairman and his time at the center of the Bush political machine coincided with the Republican Party's attempts to exploit anti-gay prejudices and cement the allegiance of social conservatives, his declaration to the world is at once a personal act and an act of political speech.

"I wish I was where I am today 20 years ago. The process of not being able to say who I am in public life was very difficult. No one else knew this except me. My family didn't know. My friends didn't know. Anyone who watched me knew I was a guy who was clearly uncomfortable with the topic," he said.

During the Rogers crusades, many news organizations made attempts to confirm rumors and stories about Mehlman's sexuality. Republicans close to Mehlman either said they did not know, or that it did not matter, or that the question was offensive.

Mehlman once joked in public that although he was not gay, the rumors put a crimp on his social life. He admits to having misled several people who asked him directly.

He said that he plans to be an advocate for gay rights within the GOP, that he remains proud to be a Republican, and that his political identity is not defined by any one issue.

"What I will try to do is to persuade people, when I have conversations with them, that it is consistent with our party's philosophy, whether it's the principle of individual freedom, or limited government, or encouraging adults who love each other and who want to make a lifelong committment to each other to get married."

"I hope that we, as a party, would welcome gay and lesbian supporters. I also think there needs to be, in the gay community, robust and bipartisan support [for] marriage rights."

Ed Gillespie, a former RNC chairman and long-time friend of Mehlman, said that "it is significant that a former chairman of the Republiucan National Committe is openly gay and that he is supportive of gay marriage." Although Gillespie himself opposes gay marriage, he pointed to party stalwarts like former Vice President Dick Cheney and strategist Mary Matalin as open advocates for gay rights who had not been drummed out of the party. He acknowledged "big generational differences in perception when it comes to gay marriage and gay rights as an agenda, and I think that is true on the Republican side."

But, Gillespie said, he does not envision the party platform changing anytime soon.

"There are a lot of Republicans who are gay, there are a lot of Republicans who support government sanction of gay marriage, a lot of Republicans who support abortion on demand, a lot of Republicans who support cap-and-trade provisions. They're not single-issue voters." Gillespie acknowledged that the party had been inhospitable to gays in the past, and said that he hopes Mehlman's decision to come out leads the party to be "more respectful and civil in our discourse" when it comes to gays.

Mehlman said that his formal coming-out process began earlier this year. Over the past several weeks, he has notified former colleagues, including former President Bush. Once he realized that the news would probably leak, he assembled a team of former advisers to help him figure out the best way to harness the publicity generated by the disclosure for the cause of marriage rights. He is worried that some will see his decision to go public as opportunistic. Mehlman recently moved to Chelsea, a gay mecca in New York City. He refused to discuss his personal life with me, and he plans to give only a few print interviews on the subject.

Chad Griffin, the California-based political strategist who organized opposition to Proposition 8, said that Mehlman's quiet contributions to the American Foundation for Equal Rights are "tremendous," adding that "when we achieve equal equality, he will be one of the people to thank for it." Mehlman has become a de facto strategist for the group, and he has opened up his rolodex -- recruiting, as co-hosts for the AFER fundraiser: Paul Singer, a major Republican donor, hedge fund executive, and the president of the Manhattan Institute; Benjamin Ginsberg, one of the GOP's top lawyers; Michael Toner, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission; and two former GOP governors, William Weld of Massachusetts and Christie Todd Whitman of New Jersey.

Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award winning writer of "Milk," said, "Ken represents an incredible coup for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. We believe that our mission of equal rights under the law is one that should resonate with every American. As a victorious former presidential campaign manager and head of the Republican Party, Ken has the proven experience and expertise to help us communicate with people across each of the 50 states."

Copyright © 2010 by The Atlantic Monthly Group

August 31st, 2010, 09:41 AM
[Seinfeld Voice]Mehlman![/Seinfeld voice]

May 2nd, 2011, 11:54 AM
who's god?! (not mine)

May 2nd, 2011, 03:14 PM
God create man for womens.

Wasn't it the other way around?

May 5th, 2011, 09:17 AM
I mean, yeah.

If you are going to be regressive in your thinking, you have to get the whole female subservience thing right....

I mean GOD!!!!!

May 5th, 2011, 09:40 AM
God create man for womens.

Wasn't it the other way around?

Yeah. That's two ribs now. I'm running out.

May 5th, 2011, 12:46 PM


May 6th, 2011, 01:41 AM
Same-sex unions recognized by Brazil's high court

From Marilia Brocchetto and Luciani Gomes, for CNN
May 6, 2011 1:35 a.m. EDT


NEW: A gay rights advocate calls the decision a "historic achievement"
The court votes 10-0 in favor of recognizing same-sex unions
The court rules that same-sex couples have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples
At least 60,000 homosexual couples live in Brazil, preliminary census data shows

(CNN) -- Brazil's Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that the nation should recognize same-sex unions.
The court voted 10-0 in favor of recognizing the unions. One justice abstained because he had spoken publicly in favor of same-sex unions when he was attorney general.
The court ruled that the same rights and rules that apply to "stable unions" of heterosexual couples will apply to same-sex couples, including the right to joint declaration of income tax, pension, inheritance and property sharing.
The ruling does not allow same-sex marriage, but gay rights activists hailed it as an important advance for same-sex couples. Previously, decisions related to same-sex unions were left for judges to evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
Cleber Vicente, project coordinator for the Rainbow Group in Rio de Janeiro, called the decision "a historic achievement," the state-run Agencia Brasil reported.
"There is something to celebrate this result," he said. "It is a struggle that stretches for over 15 years."
Some gay rights groups have encountered strong resistance in parts of Latin America, where the influential Roman Catholic Church often opposes measures allowing same-sex unions or adoption by same-sex couples.
Argentina became the first Latin American country to approve same-sex marriage in 2010. Mexico City approved same-sex marriage in 2009. And several other countries in the region have legalized civil unions.
Brazil's high court ruling came in response to two lawsuits -- one filed by the Rio de Janeiro state government in 2008 and another in 2009 by the Public Ministry, a group of prosecutors that is part of the federal government but independent from its executive, legislative and judicial branches.
Gilmar Mendes, a Supreme Court justice, told Agencia Brasil that the court has an obligation to respond to protect gay couples who are still victims of prejudice and violence.
"This legal limbo that (same-sex couples encounter) contributes to discrimination, even to the violent practices that have (been) seen in the news. It is the duty of the state to protect and duty of the court to give that protection if, somehow, it was not intended by the legislature," he said.
According to preliminary results of the country's 2010 census, at least 60,000 homosexual couples live in Brazil.

(WOW- even Brazil seems to be becoming more enlightened than the US :o)

May 6th, 2011, 08:29 AM
The court ruled that the same rights and rules that apply to "stable unions" of heterosexual couples will apply to same-sex couples, including the right to joint declaration of income tax, pension, inheritance and property sharing.

Now if the homophobes in the states would realize that this would mean additional tax revenue (one of the sukky things about marriage in the US) they would be given pause to their rantings about something that probably would not effect them directly in any other way.....

The only question is, who in a gay marriage would be considered the one that was worth less than the other like in a traditional marriage (tax wise, that is....)

May 6th, 2011, 10:20 AM
Depends on the particular W-2s, no?

Breaking up will now be far more complicated.

May 6th, 2011, 11:41 AM

May 12th, 2011, 06:18 AM
Come on America, some common sense, please.

After 60 Years, an Unfaded Desire to Make It ‘Legal’


Richard Adrian Dorr, left, and John Mace have been together for over 60 years.

Richard Adrian Dorr first sang for John Mace at the Juilliard School of Music in 1948: a rendition of the show tune “All the Things You Are,” in which the singer elegantly explains all the wonderful things his lover is to him.

Mr. Mace knew the song intimately and he accompanied Mr. Dorr on piano, with no sheet music.

The song ends with the hope that, “someday I’ll know this moment divine, when all the things you are, are mine.”

For Mr. Mace, who is 91, and Mr. Dorr, 83, that moment divine would come with a marriage in New York City where the couple has lived together for more than 60 years.

“Our friends have told us, ‘You two guys should get married in Massachusetts or Connecticut,’ but we’ve always been New Yorkers, and after 61 years of togetherness, we feel we have a right to be married in New York,” Mr. Mace said recently inside the sprawling apartment on West End Avenue and 96th Street in Manhattan where the couple, both of whom are voice teachers, live and work.

They have taught the likes of Bette Midler, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Kim Basinger and Marsha Mason.

Both men continue to teach full time, and they took time between lessons to discuss their new role in the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in New York State. They have become part of an online advertising campaign in support of the change. A short video about the couple has been making the rounds in the past week, as part of a campaign by Freedom to Marry, a gay-rights advocacy group that is helping lead the effort on same-sex marriage.


In 2009, a bill that would have allowed gays to wed was defeated in the State Senate after winning passage in the Assembly. But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has made same-sex marriage a priority and is campaigning across the state to promote the effort, leading some advocates on both sides of the issue to believe that the measure will come up for a vote before the end of the legislative session on June 20.

“This couple has lived and loved for 61 years — haven’t they waited long enough?” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “They made a commitment and lived life’s ups and downs together. They can’t wait forever — they deserve the freedom to marry.”

Mr. Dorr chuckled at the couple’s new role.

“We’ve become poster boys — poster seniors, I should say — because even if we don’t live to see it, we’ll have been of some help in getting it to happen,” he said as they sat in Mr. Mace’s studio, presided over by a stately bust of the opera singer Enrico Caruso.

Nearby, on the wall was a photograph of Bette Midler signed with the words: “You are both so wonderful.”

Both men hid their sexuality when they were young, were closeted in their early years, including while they served in World War II. After the war, both studied at Juilliard with Mr. Mace graduating and working for the school while Mr. Dorr was still a student. The moment Mr. Mace first set eyes on the tall Mr. Dorr, with his lovely baritone voice and looks to match, he knew he was a goner.

At the time, he was newly married to a young female pianist.

“Back then, it was the thing to do if you were gay,” recalled Mr. Mace who graduated. “You got married because you thought you could hide it.”

Mr. Dorr became his voice student and then began renting a room in his apartment, even as Mr. Mace and his wife had a newborn son together. By 1950, Mr. Mace and his wife divorced amicably and Mr. Mace gained custody of their son, Paul. Both men raised him and mourned him after he was killed in 1983 in a motorcycle accident. The boy called Mr. Mace “Pop,” and called Mr. Dorr “Unc,” for uncle. They helped raise the daughter of their Panamanian-born housekeeper.

Living among entertainers on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the two men have been embraced as a committed couple.

“It was all very accepted,” Mr. Mace said. “We were in a musical crowd and we were invited everywhere.”

In fact, their many vocal students came to them through word of mouth from friends and other students. They lived for a time in the Ansonia building on West 73rd Street near Broadway and in 1969 they bought the Straus mansion at West 106th Street and Riverside Drive and turned one of the floors into a theater.

The fact that they were not an “official couple” continued to disturb them, Mr. Dorr said.
“We have friends who say, ‘I’ve always considered you guys married,’ but the reality is, we don’t have official status here,” he said. “When I fill out a form, I have to identify myself as single, when in reality, it’s spouse and spouse.”

The two men attribute the longevity of their relationship to a perfect match in heart and art.

“We had a mutual love for singing and just a never-ending sense of togetherness right from the start,” Mr. Dorr said. “You can imagine, we encountered some problems 60 years ago, but our love helped us overcome them.”

The two men said they would waste no time getting married if it were made legal. They would go to City Hall and get their marriage license and have a quiet ceremony.
“It would be sort of a completion,” Mr. Mace said, before turning his attention to next student.


May 12th, 2011, 07:46 AM
IDC Report Shows Marriage Equality Would Earn NY $391 Million

The State Senate's Independent Democratic Conference has released a report showing that marriage equality in New York state would generate $391 million in economic activity, revenue, and savings during the three years after it is made into law. Using what the group deems as 'conservative estimates', their report, titled "For Love or Money?: The Economic Impact of Marriage Equality in New York", finds that 21,309 gay and lesbian couplesliving in New York would get married within the first three years of marriage equality. The report predicts 3,308 couples from surrounding states, that do not have marriage equality laws, would choose to be wed in New York, and that 41,907 other out-of-state gay and lesbian coupleswould travel to New York for a “destination wedding.”

The IDC estimates this influx in marriages would earn the state $283,810,725 in wedding revenue and tourism, $3,792,400 in marriage license fees, $22,704,858 in sales taxes, and $259,669 in NYC hotel occupancy taxes for a total of $310,567,652 in new state revenue and economic activity.

Many same-sex couples, by virtue of getting married, would also become ineligible for state public assistance programs, creating an additional $80,848,457 in state budget savings.

Combined, the "positive impact of marriage equality" in New York is $391 million.

The IDC used methodology established in “Love Counts”, a 2007 report from the New York City Comptroller's Office, and later The Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law, which has released similar studies for 14 other states and the District of Columbia.

The report also cites an open letter to New York state legislators, released on April 29th, 2011, from a group of top executives, including the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Con Edison and Thompson Reuters, among 23 others, stating that marriage equality in New York would "not only be fair, but also make good business sense."

The IDC is a breakaway Democratic caucus in the New York state senate comprised of senators Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, David Valesky and David Carlucci.

A marriage equality bill was defeated in the New York state senate in 2009.

Governor Cuomo is pushing for another marriage equality bill soon.


May 12th, 2011, 10:00 AM
The IDC estimates this influx in marriages would earn the state $283,810,725 in wedding revenue and tourism, $3,792,400 in marriage license fees, $22,704,858 in sales taxes, and $259,669 in NYC hotel occupancy taxes for a total of $310,567,652 in new state revenue and economic activity.

OK, this is absolute crap.

It is a speculation based on the possibility of Gay Marriage being an attraction, not a right.

The one thnig they should have studied is the average SALARIES of these gay couples living in NYS. I GUARANTEE you that their tax burden, as two "independent" single people, is less than it would be if they were considered legally married (as my own "traditional" marriage has proven on our tax bill).

I am interested to see, flat out, how much additional tax revenue would be obtained because of the (antiquated) tax laws concerning marriage (such as, mox individual earning for ROTH contribution being somewhere around $100K, but a married couple cannot earn more than $160K to contribute to the same plan.... $60K more for the woman? Excuse me, what year are we in now?).

However, that sneaky little $80M is more in line od what I am talking about.

"Come to NY, get married, and lose some of your State sponsored benefits!!!!"

Sounds like a great pitch to me! ;)

May 12th, 2011, 01:14 PM
OK, this is absolute crap.

It is a speculation based on the possibility of Gay Marriage being an attraction, not a right.
excuse me but... until it's legal everywhere it is going to be an attraction, and i'm sure that if you took the time to look it up, based on the cash generated in the very few states that due allow for gay marriage, the predicted revenue holds up.

May 12th, 2011, 03:19 PM
You do not sell something based on that SM.

Why? As soon as you give it a number, things can change.

Advertising this for the $$ made during a recession is not exactly the best way to argue for this. Also, it is not a guaranteed income not only far the money earned on that many, but the possibility that that manny occur, and that others do not (at least temporarily) offer the same in their state until they recall it again once they no longer "need" the money.

The more that need the cash, the less likely that this will be the only place that will offer this for this reason.

The more that start offering this, the less likely they will keep it... I think we will start to see frustrating cycles happening.....

May 12th, 2011, 04:23 PM
You do not sell something based on that SM.
Depends on who your trying to sell it too...uptight, upstate, straight NY repubs
that can't stand the thought of allowing it to happen- any other way, tend
to show their true greedy selves and allow their minds to by swayed by
the thought of money. Haven't you ever heard "By any means necessary"?

May 13th, 2011, 08:06 AM
I know.

I just don't LIKE it! ;)

May 13th, 2011, 11:03 AM
Don't like marriage in general?

May 13th, 2011, 12:15 PM
Don't like marriage in general?


But what I was really referring to was this loft...

true greedy selves and allow their minds to by swayed by the thought of money. Haven't you ever heard "By any means necessary"?

May 14th, 2011, 02:38 AM
There's nothing more obscene than hypocritical and ignorant religious zealots with no concept of reality who have so much power and influence in our lives :mad: :mad: :mad:. As for the Satan link...:rolleyes:

Religion - and thereby society - would be better off not defining anything.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan: Legalizing Gay Marriage Could Make "1984" Non-Fiction Reading

BY Celeste Katz

The state’s top Catholic today equated efforts to legalize gay marriage to “Orwellian social engineering.”

Our Ken Lovett reports:

Archibishop Timothy Dolan blogged that “history, natural law, the Bible...the religions of the world, human experience, and just plain gumption tells us” marriage is between a man and a woman.

“The definition of marriage is hardwired into our human reason,” Dolan wrote. “To tamper with that definition, or to engage in some Orwellian social engineering about the nature and purpose of marriage, is perilous to all of us.”

He asks if the definition is changed to include gays, “could it not in the future be morphed again to include multiple spouses or even family members?”

Government, he wrote, would be better off fixing the school systems than redefining marriage.

“If big, intrusive government can re-define the most basic, accepted, revealed truth that marriage simply means one man+ one woman + (hopefully) children, in a loving family, then I’m afraid, Orwell’s works will no longer be on the fiction shelf.”

Dolan denied opposition to gay marriage is born out of hatred and discrimination -- even going so far as to say those who defend traditional marriage have been targets of harassment. He said the Church teaches against discrimination and hatred toward gays, specifying that homosexual acts, not individuals, are not in conformity “with God’s design.”

Dolan’s blog posts come as gay rights activists are working to secure needed votes in the state Senate to legalize same-sex marriage. Gov. Cuomo has made it a top priority of his legislative agenda.

From CK: Other religious figures, such as the Rev. Jason McGuire of the New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation (which is operating a "Mayday For Marriage" tour in opposition to legalizing gay marriage) have gone further in condemning same-sex nuptials -- in McGuire's case, blaming Satan (http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2011/05/audio-and-now-listen-as-leader-of-nys-anti-equality-side-likens-same-sex-marriage-to-child-abuse.html).


May 14th, 2011, 11:48 AM
Mr. Archbishop: People in stone cathedrals should STFU about what the state sanctions and protects.

Take care of your own house before you start in on ours.

May 14th, 2011, 11:56 AM
Maybe the archbishop shouldn't be blogging, given the Church is stuck somewhere in the early 20th century.

May 16th, 2011, 08:21 AM

Seriously, did he READ 1984?

The ultimate irony being that his call for this kind of control and restriction (as well as duplicitous doublespeak) is what comes from 1984.

So the legalization of gay marriage would only bring around 1984 by his own hand.

May 27th, 2011, 04:52 PM
Mike wants gay 'yeas' (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/mike_wants_gay_yeas_NUoycTxloKnjLHdclRCFsO)

Last Updated: 8:37 AM, May 27, 2011
Posted: 2:59 AM, May 27, 2011

After being introduced by his lesbian niece, Mayor Bloomberg made his strongest pitch yet for gay marriage by warning wavering state lawmakers yesterday that history isn't on their side.
"Do you want to be remembered as a leader on civil rights? Or an obstructionist?" Bloomberg asked in a speech at Cooper Union.
The mayor's remarks were clearly directed at the Republican-led state Senate, which he has supported with campaign contributions and where the gay-marriage battle may ultimately be decided.
Bloomberg demanded that a vote be taken in the current legislative session because "New Yorkers have a right to know where their elected officials stand."
Before the mayor took the stage, his gay niece, Rachel Tiven, lauded her uncle as a champion of human rights.
"It's not hard for him to come to these positions," she said
http://www.nypost.com/rw/nypost/2011/05/27/news/web_photos/114695936AB015_NYC_MAYOR_BL083204--300x300.jpg Getty Images
Mayor Bloomberg.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/mike_wants_gay_yeas_NUoycTxloKnjLHdclRCFsO#ixzz1Na WxSFlU

June 2nd, 2011, 09:45 AM
Talk in a language they can understand.

LEGAL Gay Marriages = more tax $$.

June 17th, 2011, 03:13 PM
Gay Marriage Bill Is One Vote Shy of Clearing State Senatehttp://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/06/15/nyregion/MARRIAGE/MARRIAGE-articleLarge-v2.jpg Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
State Senator Roy J. McDonald at the State Capitol on Tuesday. He became the second Republican state senator to support same-sex marriage.

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/nicholas_confessore/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and DANNY HAKIM (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/danny_hakim/index.html?inline=nyt-per)Published: June 14, 2011ALBANY — New York was on the cusp of legalizing same-sex marriage (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/same_sex_marriage/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) on Tuesday, after a second Republican state senator came forward to support the measure, leaving it a single vote shy of passage.
The actress Cynthia Nixon lobbied at the Capitol on Tuesday on behalf of same-sex marriage.
The senator, Roy J. McDonald, from the capital region, announced his support for same-sex marriage amid growing indications that Republican leaders would bring it to the Senate floor on Friday.
In a sign of the extraordinary political tension surrounding the issue, Mr. McDonald vented at length about the scrutiny his vote, and that of other swing Republicans, was receiving.
“I’m tired of Republican, Democrat politics; I’m tired of blowhard radio people, blowhard television people, blowhard newspapers,” he said. “They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background, I’m trying to do the right thing, and that’s where I’m going with this.”
While Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, the majority leader, said no final decision had been made, two other Republican state senators, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they believed the bill was almost certain to come up for a vote. It would most likely pass if a vote were held, the senators said, and would make New York the sixth, and largest, state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo formally introduced the bill on Tuesday in both the Assembly and the Senate, a step the governor had said he would not take unless he were confident of victory.
Mr. Cuomo met again on Tuesday with gay-rights advocates to chart a strategy for the days ahead, and then went to New York to host a fund-raiser at a production of “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert,” a Broadway musical about drag queens.
Throughout the day, advocates and opponents of same-sex marriage swarmed the halls of the Capitol, buttonholing senators to make their case. In a nod to Republican concerns, the governor’s proposal includes provisions that exempt religious institutions from any obligation to solemnize or provide facilities for same-sex weddings.
But Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, the state’s top Roman Catholic leader, dismissed those protections as insufficient. And he issued his longest and strongest statement yet on the issue, urging lawmakers not to cave to what he characterized as a “stampede” toward legalizing same-sex marriage.
“Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America — not in China or North Korea,” he said. “In those countries, government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ means.”
But here momentum was clearly building for a vote on same-sex marriage this week. On Monday, Senator James S. Alesi of Monroe County became the first Republican senator to declare support for the bill, joining three Senate Democrats who had voted against the measure two years ago but said they would vote for it this year. On Tuesday, Mr. McDonald told the Republican leadership, the governor and gay-rights advocates that he would support the measure, and then told reporters, “I think I’m doing the right thing, it’s the appropriate thing, and if the public respects that, I’m grateful.”
There are now 31 declared supporters of same-sex marriage in the Republican-controlled, 62-member Senate. The Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, has voted in favor of same-sex marriage several times and is expected to do so again this week.
The legislation is strongly opposed by the state’s Conservative Party, whose chairman, Michael Long, has said it will not endorse any Republican who votes for same-sex marriage. Republicans hold a bare 32-to-30 majority in the Senate, and rely on the Conservative Party’s endorsement, and the votes that endorsement brings, to win in many swing districts.
Some Senate Republicans thought to be potential swing votes on the issue, like John J. Flanagan of Long Island, said Tuesday that they still planned to vote against the measure.
But several Republican senators who had previously voted against same-sex marriage acknowledged that they were now undecided, including Mark Grisanti of Buffalo and Stephen M. Saland of the Hudson Valley.
Andrew J. Lanza, a Republican senator from Staten Island, said Tuesday that he believed the legislation would pass if brought to a vote. “At this point, if I would vote now, it’s no,” Mr. Lanza said. “I’m trying to determine if that’s where, whenever the vote comes, that’s where I should ultimately be. I’m open to the notion that being a ‘no’ is not the right vote.”

June 18th, 2011, 10:46 AM
I'm very pleased with Cuomo's determined advocacy of gay marriage!

And Bloomberg too.

It seems like things are really reaching a tipping point in New York, and across America according to polls.

Politicians are realizing it's something that is inevitable, and they will want to be on the right side of history.

June 18th, 2011, 01:53 PM
Yes, I agree. It is nice to see NY moving toward the progressive end of the spectrum on this issue.

June 20th, 2011, 02:37 AM
I'm still trying to understand why these people who keep crying about "big government" wants government to be involved in the most personal aspects of our lives.

Apparently, big government is good as long as it isn't regulating business?

June 20th, 2011, 06:27 AM
I'm still trying to understand why "gay marriage" needs to be legalised at all in this day and age. Why should marriage be any different to any other kind of contract? Whether it's between male/female, female/female, male/male is totally irrelevant and none of anyone else's business, especially the government's. Move on to something requiring urgent attention.

June 20th, 2011, 09:26 AM
This is a simple issue Merry.

THAT is why people are paying attension to it.

For some reason most of the people are willing to argue which direction the acorns are facing and not the fact that the tree is missing.

June 20th, 2011, 09:36 AM
^ Yeah, I know, I was gonna say something to that effect, but it's already so blindingly obvious.

It is a simple issue, but it shouldn't be an issue at all.

June 20th, 2011, 11:31 AM
I'm still trying to understand why these people who keep crying about "big government" wants government to be involved in the most personal aspects of our lives.

Apparently, big government is good as long as it isn't regulating business?

What he said.

June 20th, 2011, 12:56 PM
Take off all Zig. [/obscure reference]

June 20th, 2011, 02:26 PM
I'm still trying to understand why "gay marriage" needs to be legalised at all in this day and age. Why should marriage be any different to any other kind of contract? Whether it's between male/female, female/female, male/male is totally irrelevant and none of anyone else's business, especially the government's. Move on to something requiring urgent attention.

It needs to be legalized because the Bush administration creates a federal law saying marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

I think your point is that a marriage should be an "open contract" without any reference to gender, just two consenting, adult persons. Which certainly makes sense, for most of us.

June 20th, 2011, 09:31 PM
^Actually wasn't that implemented in '96? Although according to this article, a Bush administration lawyer upheld it.

http://wirednewyork.com/forum/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Merry http://wirednewyork.com/forum/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?p=365616#post365616)
I'm still trying to understand why "gay marriage" needs to be legalised at all in this day and age. Why should marriage be any different to any other kind of contract? Whether it's between male/female, female/female, male/male is totally irrelevant and none of anyone else's business, especially the government's.

You're right Merry. Because as the great comedian Robert Klein sings, gays "...should have the right to be miserable too!"

June 21st, 2011, 02:20 AM
Could be it was President Cigar, yeah. How about that for being hypocritical, if there was ever one man who shouldn't talk about "defense of marriage."

June 21st, 2011, 06:13 AM
It needs to be legalized because the Bush administration creates a federal law saying marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

Oh god, I didn't know that. Bush was much more of a scary d***head than I thought. How did he get away with that :eek: (passing the law, I mean, not being a d***head)? What was he trying to achieve :confused:.

I think your point is that a marriage should be an "open contract" without any reference to gender, just two consenting, adult persons. Which certainly makes sense, for most of us.


June 21st, 2011, 12:13 PM
Actually it was Clinton and crew who enacted the law in 1996:

Defense of Marriage Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Marriage_Act)

June 21st, 2011, 12:21 PM
^a bad year... the same year he passed the Telecommunications Act:mad:

June 21st, 2011, 01:13 PM
He was SUCH a great guy!


June 21st, 2011, 01:55 PM

June 21st, 2011, 03:16 PM

An upstanding gentlemen of unquestionable moral character, taste, refinement and the utmost personal concern for the working man.

June 24th, 2011, 10:54 PM

New York Says I DO!!!!!

June 24th, 2011, 11:03 PM
:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:DAWESOME!!!!!!!! (it's about time).

June 24th, 2011, 11:19 PM

an experiment is set up in Texas, to see if patrons of a restaurant would defend a gay couple with kids against hateful treatment. might surprise some folks.

June 24th, 2011, 11:25 PM
Experts: National impact from New York marriage law

By Jessica Dye | Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - When New York became the sixth and by far the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage, following a grueling overtime session in the state Legislature on Friday, it immediately transformed the national debate over the issue, legal experts said.

With a population over 19 million -- more than the combined population of the five states that currently allow gay marriage, plus the District of Columbia, where it is also legal -- New York is poised to provide the most complete picture yet of the legal, social and economic consequences of gay marriage.

"I think that having same-sex marriage in New York will have tremendous moral and political force for the rest of the country -- in part because New York is a large state, and in part because it hasn't come easily," said Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School.

The New York Assembly passed same-sex marriage legislation twice before, in 2007 and 2009, but in both cases it stalled in the state Senate, as it nearly did again this week. The bill passed late on Friday after legislators agreed on language allowing religious organizations to refuse to perform services or lend space for same-sex weddings.

The new law's impact can be measured in part by the numbers at play: New York is home to more than 42,000 same-sex couples, according to an analysis of U.S. census data conducted by the Williams Institute. This means, among other things, that the number of same-sex couples living in states allowing same-sex marriage has more than doubled overnight.


If a significant portion of those couples choose to marry, it could provide a wealth of new information about the practical economic effects of such legislation, from employment and retirement benefits to divorce rates and wedding and tourism industries, said New York University Law School professor Arthur Leonard.

Parties on both sides of the issue frequently invoke the hypothetical economic impact of same-sex marriage, Leonard pointed out, so the influx of real-world data from New York could go a long way toward changing those hypotheticals into concrete facts.

"It becomes less of an experiment the more information we have," he added.

The ripple effect of the new law is likely to provide more than just information, said Goldberg. New York's mobile population means that the effects of the law will reach literally into other states.

"New Yorkers tend to move about the country quite a lot," Goldberg said. "High numbers of same-sex couples likely to marry here will increase pressure on other states to treat those couples fairly."

Currently, 39 states have laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman, according to statistics from the National Conference of State Legislatures.


For states considering how to handle calls for same-sex marriage, Massachusetts -- the first state to legalize it, in 2004 -- has generally served as the reference point, Leonard said. But he noted that New York was different from Massachusetts for two primary reasons.

First, it has more than three times as many people. Second, New York instituted same-sex marriage through legislation, complete with religious exemptions. Massachusetts, on the other hand, established the right to same-sex marriage in a court ruling.

The significance of that difference cuts both ways, said Michael Dorf, a professor at Cornell Law School who studies the constitutional and social consequences of same-sex marriage in the United States.

When legislation fails to pass, it can serve as evidence of a minority group's political weakness or of widespread prejudice against it, Dorf said. Both are factors courts use under an equal-protection analysis to determine whether to intervene and protect minority rights. The New York legislation's success, in contrast, could lead judges in other states to say, "'We don't need to intervene, let the political process work this through,'" Dorf said.

But because courts are also wary to make rulings that are perceived to be too far outside the mainstream, the New York law may begin to tip that balance.

"To the extent that the anti-same-sex marriage argument has been that this is a radical change and incompatible with the country's social mores, the fact that the country's third most populous state has done so shows that it may not be," Dorf said.

Regardless of the immediate impact of the law, Dorf said, politics and public opinion on the issue "are in the course of rapid change."

"It seems inevitable that we'll have same-sex marriage in most of the states within a decade," he said.

(Reporting by Jessica Dye; Editing by Jesse Wegman)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011.

June 25th, 2011, 12:07 AM
Wonderful, heartening news.



June 25th, 2011, 12:25 AM


June 25th, 2011, 02:33 AM
Gobbledegook be damned! I REALLY hope this doesn't prevent anyone from getting married.

Consensus Reached on Religious Exemptions in Gay Marriage Bill


ALBANY — The Cuomo administration and legislative leaders have reached agreement on language to protect religious institutions (http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/A8520-2011) from obligations to recognize same-sex marriage, two people involved in the negotiations said on Friday afternoon, potentially paving the way for a vote on the marriage legislation.

Senate Republicans were still discussing the marriage bill in a closed-door meeting on Friday afternoon; it remained unclear when — or if — they would permit a vote on the broader legislation. The State Assembly, which approved an earlier version of the same-sex marriage bill last week, would need to approve the new language before the full bill could become law.

Emerging from a meeting with Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell, a Manhattan Democrat who sponsored the Assembly version of the bill, said that there was an “agreement in principle” on the new language. He predicted that the Assembly would vote to adopt the new language on Friday.

Republicans have made no committment to bring the marriage measure to a floor vote. But a Senate spokesman said the decision would be announced sometime Friday night.

Gay rights advocates said they were prepared to accept the new language and were hopeful that Senate Republicans would vote on the measure Friday.

In a statement, New Yorkers United for Marriage, an umbrella group of gay rights organizations, said:

“The amended Marriage Equality legislation protects religious liberties without creating any special exceptions that would penalize same-sex couples or treat them unequally. The legislation strikes an appropriate balance that allows all loving, committed couples to marry while preserving religious freedom.”

As of Friday afternoon, the number of senators who had voiced support for the marriage measure — 31 out of 62, one short of a majority — had not changed in over a week.

Most Republican senators have said they strongly oppose the measure on religious or moral grounds. Still other Republicans are worried that passage of the measure could provoke a spate of primary challenges — or low turnout among conservatives — next year, when Republicans will be battling to retain their one-vote Senate majority in newly redrawn legislative districts.


June 25th, 2011, 02:41 AM
I'm now trying to get my head around the fact that gay marriage is "legal" in several states (of ONE country) but not the rest.

Either it's legal or it isn't, right?

Should be done federally.

June 25th, 2011, 05:20 AM
it is strange to foreigners....the states issue marriage licenses. our individual states have more autonomy and distinctions in law than many people in other countries may think.

June 25th, 2011, 07:54 AM
^ This "foreigner" (hate that) is aware of that, which I don't think is strange, just ridiculous and nonsensical in this instance (and undoubtedly other cases) IMO.

Australia has a lot less states, but laws and regulations vary from one to the other as well, just not on the same scale. The issue of marriage licences isn't a federal responsibility here either.

June 25th, 2011, 10:05 AM
I'm now trying to get my head around the fact that gay marriage is "legal" in several states (of ONE country) but not the rest.

Either it's legal or it isn't, right?

Should be done federally.

it is strange to foreigners....the states issue marriage licenses. our individual states have more autonomy and distinctions in law than many people in other countries may think.The US was founded as a federation of largely autonomous states. The issue of the US as a country wasn't settled until the Civil War. Most of the military regiments were intact units from specific states.

States still have significant autonomy. Louisiana is unique among the 50 states in that it still retains part of the Civil Law Code (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_law) that derives from Spanish and French settlers.

If there is a need for a federal law, you won't see it until there's a chance of its passage. Won't happen at present.

June 25th, 2011, 10:38 PM
You both missed the point.

I was just trying to say that it's ridiculous, irrespective of the system. It just highlights the anachronism.

June 25th, 2011, 11:04 PM
That anachronism also stops bad legislation from becoming federal law.

And in this particular instance, instead of legalized same-sex marriage in 6 states, you would have it nowhere.

June 25th, 2011, 11:21 PM
Anachronism or not, in this case it means the people of NY are not hostage to the angry Red People --


June 26th, 2011, 02:10 AM
the usa is too big and diverse geographically, demographically, and culturally to all operate under one set of federal laws. personally i'm glad we have this system of states, and especially when something like this is able to happen.

June 26th, 2011, 06:13 AM
MTG, I wasn't suggesting that it should. What a nightmare that would be.

While I respect all of your views and superior knowledge about how things work in the US, I was just trying to highlight the absurdity of it from a justice, equality, common sense and "do the right thing" point of view. OK, shoot me, I'm an idealist.

June 26th, 2011, 10:39 AM
For what it's worth, I love your sort of idealism, Merry. :)
We just have so many knuckleheads in the USA.

June 26th, 2011, 11:00 AM
Ironically, "state's rights" is generally spoken of in a most unprogressive tone. One only has to recall Jim Crow, 1876-1965 -- nearly a century of legal (and illegal, it is true) disenfranchisement. Gay marriage is a small victory in a bloody and grim history.

But enough of that --

PHOTOS: Outside Stonewall Bar At the Birth of Marriage Equality (http://www.queerty.com/photos-outside-stonewall-bar-at-the-birth-of-marriage-equality-20110625/)

June 26th, 2011, 10:26 PM
I thought I'd put these here (couldn't find a better place).
Gay Pride Parade celebrating our new legal rights!


June 26th, 2011, 10:29 PM


June 26th, 2011, 10:29 PM


June 26th, 2011, 10:30 PM


June 26th, 2011, 10:31 PM
there's always a sour apple or two no matter where you go...


June 26th, 2011, 10:31 PM


June 26th, 2011, 10:32 PM

June 27th, 2011, 08:09 AM
Good job on the bill.

I am a little curious how they will exempt religious INSTITUTIONS from this though. Will the YMCA not allow a SSC to both register their child for one of the classes? Will this have more of an impact on social interactions that require some sort of registration for a couple to participate?

Legal "mumbo jumbo" may be coming.

Oh, and dressing like a cross-dressing Brazillian whatchamahiggie dancer is not exactly going to help convince anybody about the morality of gay vs hetero marriage. Dressing like that is about sex, not commitment.

But whatever......

June 27th, 2011, 11:27 AM
Great shots, scumonkey. Thanks for posting them.

June 27th, 2011, 12:10 PM
Oh, and dressing like a cross-dressing Brazillian whatchamahiggie dancer is not exactly going to help convince anybody about the morality of gay vs hetero marriage. Dressing like that is about sex, not commitment.

The parade is not put on for convincing anybody about anyone's morality, it's about GAY P R I D E...

was that you holding up that sign?! :p

June 27th, 2011, 12:18 PM
Oh, and dressing like a cross-dressing Brazillian whatchamahiggie dancer is not exactly going to help convince anybody about the morality of gay vs hetero marriage. Dressing like that is about sex, not commitment.

But whatever......

I would say that it is more about self-identity.

June 27th, 2011, 12:48 PM
The parade is not put on for convincing anybody about anyone's morality, it's about GAY P R I D E...

was that you holding up that sign?! :p


Gay pride has nothing to do with dressing like a stripper.

June 27th, 2011, 12:53 PM
I would say that it is more about self-identity.


The thing that always annoyed me about the parade was its cross-association with sexual deviancy. You would see S+M (leather mask and red ball) costumes out along with all sorts of other directly sexually insistent (not suggestive) costumes.

Although being Gay is not something to be ashamed of, I fail to see why dressing up in sexual costumes like you were going for an outdoor orgy has any real bearing on orientation. AAMOF, I think it HURTS the argument of "there is nothing amoral about being gay" when people are anxious to jiggle their booty that explicitly.

So Scottish Pride means you walk around in kilts, but Gay Pride means you walk around in Leather Chaps and Lingerie?

June 27th, 2011, 01:32 PM
I wish you knew just how Homophobic you sound..:cool:

June 27th, 2011, 01:46 PM
ninj...have you ever seen the costumes at Carnival in Rio? the way those straight people are jiggling their booties? The Puerto Rican parade is full of girls with daisy duke shorts that end at the last pubic hair, and huge tits piling out of handkerchief-sized tops. How about the Super Bowl? What do they need all those scantily clad women jiggling their boobs for, at half time? Sex and sexiness (whatever people think that may be) will infiltrate itself into any human celebration or event.
It's about self expression and joy. The parade is about more than just pride. It's different things to different people. Who cares what the hell they are wearing or how they move their bodies.

June 27th, 2011, 07:12 PM
Gay pride has nothing to do with dressing like a stripper.

What about dressing up like a star shaped M&M?


Gay pride has nothing to do with dressing like a stripper.

But thank da lawd it offers the option to proudly dress up like L'il Bo Peep (complete with sensible shoes).

Although this shot might give those who say "Legalizing gay marriage will lead to ... " something to fret about ...


June 28th, 2011, 08:29 AM
Scum, I am sorry you see it that way.

It is still a mystery to me why so many people need to dress in sexually provocative ways in order to express their homosexuality.

If the argument is that there is NO REAL DIFFERENCE, that religious and moral groups have no standing for their own homophobic reactions and stance, it does NOT help things when "Pride" is equated to sexual provocation.

I hope you understand where I am coming from, but by your own responses, I see that you probably do not.

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with homosexuality or this law. The only problem I have is with the propensity of human beings to conflate different things into one and treat them as one and the same.

Do a quick google for the parade and you will see quite a few images that have very little to do with "Pride" and everything to do with Sex.

June 28th, 2011, 11:17 AM
Scum, I am sorry you see it that way.

I can say the same for you...

It is still a mystery to me why so many people need to dress in sexually provocative ways in order to express their homosexuality.
you need to reread post # 612

If the argument is that there is NO REAL DIFFERENCE, that religious and moral groups have no standing for their own homophobic reactions and stance, it does NOT help things when "Pride" is equated to sexual provocation.
I don't recall anyone arguing this?

I hope you understand where I am coming from, but by your own responses, I see that you probably do not.

I understand where your coming from all too well, you seem to be the one that doesn't understand

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with homosexuality or this law.
...i bet you also have friends that are gay;)

The only problem I have is with the propensity of human beings to conflate different things into one and treat them as one and the same.
Again please reread post # 612

Do a quick google for the parade and you will see quite a few images that have very little to do with "Pride" and everything to do with Sex.
Being gay (or straight) is about sex-uality
I watched the entire parade with my own two eyes- i was there -were you?
The pictures you are directing me to (and ones I posted), were of a minority of marchers- because they were fun to look at. Most were just dressed in shorts and t- shirts...
but it shouldn't make a difference- it was a parade. it's not as if they go to church, fight for our rights in court, or go about their daily lives dressed like that.
If I went to a football game (and you didn't),and only took pictures of titillating cheerleaders, posted them up on Google, would you think that that was what the whole game
was about?
keep digging that hole, you seem to be good at it.

June 28th, 2011, 11:30 AM
Slow down. I'm still trying to figure out the M&M's thing.

So Mantle & Maris were gay?

June 28th, 2011, 11:44 AM
Being gay is about sexuality, but sex is not what should be on display.

If people have a problem with pole dancers practicing their "art" down the street (hey, it's only sex) then they will have similar problems with unassociated references to S+M (Whips? Gimp outfits?) when trying to claim that there is no reason to be offended and take moral issue with Homosexuality.

I am not saying there IS an issue with homosexuality. Quite the opposite. But somehow conflating loving another with just wanting to wham-bam-thank you....sir does the movement for equal rights no good.

June 28th, 2011, 11:46 AM
If I went to a football game (and you didn't),and only took pictures of titillating cheerleaders, posted them up on Google, would you think that that was what the whole game was about?

Were those cheerleaders wearing lingerie?

You are straw manning.

(BTW, I find cheerleading pointless and degrading, so strike two on that one).

June 28th, 2011, 11:56 AM
I watched the entire parade with my own two eyes- i was there -were you?
The pictures you are directing me to (and ones I posted), were of a minority of marchers- because they were fun to look at. Most were just dressed in shorts and t- shirts...

Agreed. the vast majority of people are dressed in typical street clothes. For every guy in a pink tutu, there are about 20 in a plain tank top and jean shorts. of course photographers tend to feature the most visually extravagant subjects...it makes good photos. but most people at the parade just look like this:


not that it matters.

June 28th, 2011, 01:17 PM
I know, because all you see on the news is the Tutu.

Those in jeans and T-shirts should be what is "represented". Unfortunately, that is not what is presented when it hits the screen.

It is the bare chested male in a diaper.

If that is not what is being represented.... why is it allowed? There are many things that many cultures have that are less than flattering, but many do not exactly let them march in parades as representatives of the group.....

It is an emotional issue, and trying to get to some things that may not be widely accepted or able to be dealt with logically is difficult.

I am sorry if I have offended, for that was never my intension. I just get annoyed when something is put out as a "representation" of something that has enough misrepresentation that it ends up doing more harm, at large, than good.

June 28th, 2011, 01:49 PM
Why is it "allowed"?

Who is going to issue the edict declaring the proper code of behavior?

It goes to the core of individual rights: Don't tell me what to do, my personal behavior is mine to control.

In the early days of Gay Lib the message was often "F You if you don't like it"

We're Here, We're Queer, Get Used to It.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0QaPK5HL2w)Or something like that.

June 28th, 2011, 02:01 PM
So Sado Masochism can be directly related to Homosexual Feelings and Behavior?


Thanks for clearing me up on that.

June 28th, 2011, 02:06 PM
For some, maybe. Consenting adults and all.

Why is that any more of a problem than specific behavior by others that really doesn't hurt me but often drives me nuts -- and which I have to accept as part of the big mess of humanity?

June 28th, 2011, 02:09 PM
Were those cheerleaders wearing lingerie?

NFL Seattle Seahawks Cheerleader --


June 28th, 2011, 02:11 PM
Homosexuality is just a re-orientation of sexual (and consequentially other deeper emotional) direction.

It does not mean that the person is more "feminine" (in the case of males), that they need to dress in flannel (female) have a limp wrist 9male) or any other stereotype associated with the opposite sex.

It also has little if any bearing on the desire to subjugate or humiliate a sexual partner during intercourse. This is somethingthat both orientations have found sexually stimulating and is not directly associated with either, yet you see it being displayed openly (although not fully) at e pride parade as if it is something that is directly associatable.

Maybe this should be done more at a congressional ceremony rather than a celebration of equal rights?

June 28th, 2011, 02:14 PM
NFL Seattle Seahawks Cheerleader --


Just the fact that it is blocked here at work may lend weight to your argument.

But seeing how it is absolutely pointless and a mere 100 year old subjugation of females to the role of "Rah-Rah" sexual objects, it is hard to argue that that somehow makes it a legitamate expression of human sexuality in public.....

Although, you never know...



June 28th, 2011, 02:35 PM
Now you sound more like a prude (not that you are).... just sayin' ;)

June 28th, 2011, 06:38 PM


Oddly enough, some of the points I was making.... Not every irishman is found puking in the subway (like what is seen at the St Pats parade....sadly)m not every gay is....well.......

Face it, parts of the parade are just a party and an excuse for racy exhibitionism. The 90% that come out to support are really compromised by the 10% that come out to "shock and awe-no-u-didnt!"

June 28th, 2011, 07:05 PM

like he said in the clip...it's a parade!
...somehow i doubt you'll ever get it :rolleyes::(:cool:

June 28th, 2011, 08:01 PM
It is a parade that is seen by many and influences their view and opinion of the gay community.

Yeah, why bother. We all know that what the public thinks of you has no effect on your political aspirations..........weiner

June 28th, 2011, 08:23 PM
It is a parade that is seen by many and influences their view and opinion of the gay community.

Yeah, why bother. We all know that what the public thinks of you has no effect on your political aspirations..........weiner

Well last time I looked at one of those polls they put out, it showed the majority of citizens are in favor of our rights...flaming transvestite faggots dancing down the streets in parades and all-
regardless of what the closed minded minority of people think ;)

June 28th, 2011, 09:17 PM
Ninja, if you were arguing for greatly modesty in dress and public display, regardless of the erotic & provocative content of dress, I could almost agree with you, although in an open society -- well, good luck with *that* -- but you are holding the gay community to a higher standard or a different standard.

June 28th, 2011, 09:51 PM
Commenting on any particular group's dress or way of acting isn't inherently (insert here)-a-phobic. The majority of people who comment, like NH, are commenting on something that is so unusual that it would be strange if no one said anything. Not only that, isn't it why some groups or individuals put it out there in public anyway? They want a reaction. No matter who it is or what they represent it won't necessarily be a positive reaction, but even groups or individuals who aren't looking for a reaction will get it anyway.

I think we can agree based on NH's past posts that he's not homophobic. That would have bubbled to the surface a long time ago. I also don't think anyone who happens to say anything that doesn't go along with the majority on this forum should be called on the carpet, either, although simply disagreeing is expected. It was just a comment. I've seen worse directed toward people or groups who aren't favored by many people here.

June 29th, 2011, 07:58 AM
Thanks Maria....

Here's the thing. Just that one small blip on the vid link I posted of the dude in the football uniform with a giant penis glued to his helmet does not speak to me of Gay Rights and Marriage.

Although it is not far from some of the bachelorette parties I have seen waltzing through Hoboken.

HB, I am not trying to hold them to a higher standard, but you did not see women marching in panties and bras when they were fighting for their right to vote.

The "pride" parade may not have a direct connection to Gay rights, but it does reflect on them. Trying to shock people into acceptance rarely works, and dancing around in costumes that would be a fleas whisker from being arrested on the street for indecent exposure is not a good way to proclaim equality.

Am I calling for it to be outlawed? Nope. Just calling out the inherent damage to an image that so many are trying to build up as "moral" and "decent".....


June 29th, 2011, 11:19 AM
Even given all the craziness of parades for the past 40 years the public acceptance is growing, as witnessed by passage by the NYS Legislature of the same sex marriage bill two days prior to this year's parade.

Over the past decade Americans have steadily increased their acceptance of equality. The accepted image obviously isn't all that negative and any real "damage" is questionable. I think most of those who are now in favor understand that the parade is just a parade -- a day to get a bit crazy. The pagans out for some fun and festivity.

June 29th, 2011, 12:11 PM

June 29th, 2011, 12:18 PM

June 30th, 2011, 12:57 AM
We're just exchanging views here. I don't think Ninja is a homophobe or that he's been called on to the carpet -- some of us have just been challenging his statements and he's responded. Isn't that one does in a forum such as this?

Here's the central matter, as I see it. Our culture is saturated with sexuality and sexualized imagery. We're free to participate in it, ignore it, or disapprove, but we are generally benumbed to the outrageous -- except when the content is gay, (or perceived to be gay).

June 30th, 2011, 07:14 AM
Here's the central matter, as I see it. Our culture is saturated with sexuality and sexualized imagery.

Outside and inside.


June 30th, 2011, 11:35 PM
Jon Stewart's take on the new law --


September 18th, 2011, 08:22 PM
There's a raunchier version (http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DE1sTM_yEPFU%26feature%3Drelmfu) of this, but YouTube thinks it's too nasty. So ...


September 22nd, 2011, 09:14 AM
The guy who keeps yelling "faggot" clearly wants to get stuffed.

September 22nd, 2011, 11:10 AM
Maybe he is just looking for a cigarette.

September 22nd, 2011, 05:05 PM
well, the shorter form "fag" is the British slang for a cig...so no I don't think so. Perhaps by "faggot" he means a "meatball" or a "bundle of sticks"; come to think of it, if you put those together he really wants a "meat stick" (like I already said).

September 22nd, 2011, 05:26 PM
Maybe he wanted to go camping?

September 22nd, 2011, 10:14 PM
now you've got the idea...out in the woods, unshaven men, stinky armpits...the hell with keeping it clean... that closet 'mo is just dying to get dirty.

September 23rd, 2011, 08:33 AM
More of a closet 'shemp.

December 23rd, 2011, 11:46 AM
On Behalf Of All Gays, Man “Apologizes” For Destroying GOPer’s Marriage

TALKING POINTS MEMO (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/on-behalf-of-all-gays-mn-man-apologizes-for-destroying-gopers-marriage.php?ref=fpnewsfeed)
DECEMBER 23, 2011

After now-former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch (R) resigned (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/mns-gop-senate-majority-leader-resigns-leadership-post-over-alleged-inappropriate-relationship.php)her leadership post over an “innappropriate relationship,” a Minneapolis gay man — on behalf of the entire gay community — is pouring salt on the wound.

John Medeiros, who curates an LGBT reading series in Minneapolis, wrote anopen letter (http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2011/12/gay_marriage_amy_koch_michael_brodkorb.php) to Koch, saying he is sorry gays and lesbians have destroyed the institution of marriage and contributing to her inevitable relationship with a subordinate staffer.

“These recent events have made it quite clear that our gay and lesbian tacts have gone too far, affecting even the most respectful of our society,” Medeiros wrote in the letter. He continues:

We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry. And we are doubly remorseful in knowing that many will see this as a form of sexual harassment of a subordinate.

Koch stepped down as majority leader last week, and the news of her relationship quickly spread. One of her top staffers, Michael Brodkorb, left the Senate recently, too. There’s no firm evidence that the two events are related, but rumors are swirling.

Koch’s critics paint her as a firm “anti-gay” legislator, though it’s often ascribed. She did vote in favor (http://minnesota.publicradio.org/projects/ongoing/votetracker/issue_view.php?id=140) of placing a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman on the November 2012 ballot.

Read Medeiros’ full letter below:

An Open Apology to Amy Koch on Behalf of All Gay and Lesbian Minnesotans

Dear Ms. Koch,

On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community’s successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage. We are ashamed of ourselves for causing you to have what the media refers to as an “illicit affair” with your staffer, and we also extend our deepest apologies to him and to his wife. These recent events have made it quite clear that our gay and lesbian tactics have gone too far, affecting even the most respectful of our society.

We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry. And we are doubly remorseful in knowing that many will see this as a form of sexual harassment of a subordinate.

It is now clear to us that if we were not so self-focused and myopic, we would have been able to see that the time you wasted diligently writing legislation that would forever seal the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, could have been more usefully spent reshaping the legal definition of “adultery.”

Forgive us. As you know, we are not church-going people, so we are unable to fully appreciate that “gay marriage” is incompatible with Christian values, despite the fact that those values carry a biblical tradition of adultery such as yours. We applaud you for keeping that tradition going.

And finally, shame on us for thinking that marriage is a private affair, and that our marriage would have little impact on anyone’s family. We now see that marriage is more than that. It is an agreement with society. We should listen to the Minnesota Family Council when it tells us that marriage is about being public, which explains why marriages are public ceremonies. Never did we realize that it is exactly because of this societal agreement that the entire world is looking at you in shame and disappointment instead of minding its own business.

From the bottom of our hearts, we ask that you please accept our apology.

Thank you.
John Medeiros
Minneapolis MN

December 23rd, 2011, 09:44 PM
Billboard seen next to the FDR:


January 27th, 2012, 12:44 AM
One way they used to try and keep folks on the straight & narrow ...


January 27th, 2012, 03:13 AM
Oh. My. God.

Surreal...but, NO, it's not :eek:.

gay and pedophilia are two different things people are so ****ing stupid

DreamloverLambi1 15 hours ago

^ Quite.

January 27th, 2012, 08:39 AM
They needed to use the Jaws theme...

"You never know when the Homosexual is about"

Dun dun DAAAAAA!

January 27th, 2012, 11:32 PM
Cory Kicks Some ....


January 27th, 2012, 11:44 PM
Here Here!

January 28th, 2012, 03:53 AM
Well, that was an unexpected breath of fresh air.

“Dear God, we should not put civil rights issues to a popular vote to be subject to the sentiments and passions of the day,” said Booker in Friday’s statement. “No minority should have their civil rights subject to the passions and sentiments of the majority.”

^ YES.

It seems to me that Cory Booker could make a damned good POTUS.

January 28th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Wow, it is so great to hear a politician espouse on an issue with clear articulation and genuine passion. I' ld vote for him.

January 29th, 2012, 07:58 PM
Never call a popular vote on a minorities rights.

February 1st, 2012, 09:34 PM
The times they are a' changin' ...

The Marriage Equality Generation (http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/02/were-winning.html)

The Daily Dish (http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/02/were-winning.html)
February 1, 2012

http://dailydish.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451c45669e20168e68186d2970c-550wi (http://dailydish.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451c45669e20168e68186d2970c-popup)

A new survey [pdf (http://heri.ucla.edu/PDFs/pubs/TFS/Norms/Monographs/TheAmericanFreshman2011.pdf)] found that an overwhelming majority of incoming college freshmen support marriage equality. Anna Klein Prisco breaks down (http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/incoming-college-students-express-221932.aspx) the cross-tabs:

An unprecedented 71.3 percent of incoming college students indicated that same-sex couples should have the right to legal marital status, compared with 64.9 percent in 2009, a remarkable 6.4 percentage-point increase over a two-year period. While support for same-sex marriage is highest among female students and those who identify as liberal, a significant amount of conservative students (42.8 percent) and an increasing number of male students (64.1 percent in 2011 vs. 56.7 percent in 2009) expressed support for this issue.

(Chart from Laurel Ramseyer (http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com/2012/02/01/over-71-percent-of-college-freshmen-support-same-sex-marriage/))

February 7th, 2012, 01:48 PM
February 7, 2012

Court: CA Gay Marriage Ban Is UnconstitutionalBy THE ASSOCIATED PRESSSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday declared California's same-sex marriage (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/same_sex_marriage/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) ban to be unconstitutional, putting the bitterly contested, voter-approved law on track for likely consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a lower court judge correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedents when he declared in 2010 that Proposition 8 (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/californias_proposition_8_samesex_marriage/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) was a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

The court said gay marriages cannot resume in the state until the deadline passes for Proposition 8 sponsors to appeal to a larger panel of the 9th Circuit. If such an appeal is filed, gay marriages will remain on hold until it's resolved.

Lawyers for Proposition 8 sponsors have repeatedly said they would consider appealing to a larger panel of the court and then the U.S. Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit.

"Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted," the ruling states.
The court crafted a narrow decision that applies only to California, even though the court has jurisdiction in nine western states. California is the only one of those states where the ability for gays to marry was granted then rescinded.

"Whether under the Constitution same-sex couples may ever be denied the right to marry, a right that has long been enjoyed by opposite-sex couples, is an important and highly controversial question," the court said. "We need not and do not answer the broader question in this case.

The panel also said there was no evidence that former Chief U.S. Judge Vaughn Walker was biased and should have disclosed before he issued his decision that he was gay and in a long-term relationship with another man.

The ruling came more than a year after the appeals court heard arguments in the case.

Proposition 8 backers had asked the 9th Circuit to set aside Walker's ruling on both constitutional grounds and because of the thorny issue of the judge's personal life. It was the first instance of an American jurist's sexual orientation being cited as grounds for overturning a court decision.

Walker publicly revealed he was gay after he retired. However, supporters of the gay marriage ban argued that he had been obliged to previously reveal if he wanted to marry his partner — like the gay couples who sued to overturn the ban.

Walker's successor as the chief federal judge in Northern California, James Ware, rejected those claims, and the 9th Circuit held a hearing on the conflict-of-interest question in December.

California voters passed Proposition 8 with 52 percent of the vote in November 2008, five months after the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage by striking down a pair of laws that had limited marriage to a man and a woman.

The ballot measure inserted the one man-one woman provision into the California Constitution, thereby overruling the court's decision. It was the first such ban to take away marriage rights from same-sex couples after they had already secured them and its passage followed the most expensive campaign on a social issue in the nation's history.

The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and the Law, a think tank based at the University of California, Los Angeles, has estimated that 18,000 couples tied the knot during the four-month window before Proposition 8 took effect. The California Supreme Court upheld those marriages, but ruled that voters had properly enacted the law.

With same-sex marriages unlikely to resume in California any time soon, Love Honor Cherish, a gay rights group based in Los Angeles, plans to start gathering signatures for a November ballot initiative asking voters to repeal Proposition 8.


February 7th, 2012, 03:10 PM
February 6, 2012

Java and JusticeBy FRANK BRUNI (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/frank_bruni/index.html?inline=nyt-per)If you’re among the fair-minded Americans who believe that two men or two women should be able to wed, there’s an easy though slightly caloric way to express that. Get a caramel macchiato. Maybe make it a venti. Then get another tomorrow.

Starbucks (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/starbucks_corporation/index.html?inline=nyt-org), you see, is under fire for its public support (http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/25/news/companies/starbucks_gay_marriage/index.htm) of the same-sex marriage (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/same_sex_marriage/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) legislation that recently passed the State Senate in Washington, where the company has its headquarters. That legislation is expected to clear the House as well and be signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/christine_o_gregoire/index.html?inline=nyt-per) in the next few weeks. Washington would become the seventh state in which such marriages are legal.

The Christian conservatives who have been trying to stop that aren’t pleased. They’re involved in an effort to gather enough signatures to suspend the law’s implementation until a voter referendum can be held. In the meantime, Steven Andrew, the president of USA Christian Ministries, has called for a national boycott of the coffee chain, saying that while its executives “can follow Satan if they want to,” God-fearing Americans shouldn’t join them on that caffeinated road to hell.

I mention Starbucks not so much to rally to its defense as to make a point about same-sex marriage, enacted in New York (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/nyregion/gay-marriage-approved-by-new-york-senate.html?pagewanted=all) last June and now under serious consideration in Maryland, Maine and New Jersey. It’s the future. And the response of corporate behemoths based in the state of Washington reflects that.
In addition to Starbucks, Microsoft (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/microsoft_corporation/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and Amazon spoke up (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017392956_amazon02.html) for same-sex marriage. All have surely taken note of several polls over the last year suggesting — for the first time — that a slight majority of Americans supports it. All have no doubt taken even greater note of a generational divide. In a Gallup poll (http://www.gallup.com/poll/147662/first-time-majority-americans-favor-legal-gay-marriage.aspx), 70 percent of people in the 18-to-34 age range favored same-sex marriage, while only 39 percent of people 55 and older did.

More so than politicians, corporations play the long game, trying to engender loyalty for decades to come, and they’re famously fixated on consumers in their 20s and 30s.

They see support for same-sex marriage as a winner, something that will help with employee recruitment as well. On Microsoft’s in-house blog last month, the company’s general counsel, Brad Smith, explained (http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2012/01/19/marriage-equality-in-washington-state-would-be-good-for-business.aspx) its backing of the Washington legislation in part by noting “an unprecedented national and global competition for top talent.” Microsoft, he said, doesn’t want to lose potential recruits to states with fairer laws.

Corporate recognition of a rapidly changing world isn’t limited to the coasts or to companies widely considered progressive. While J.C. Penney (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/penney_j_c_company/index.html?inline=nyt-org), based in Plano, Tex., hasn’t waded into the same-sex marriage debate, it recently hired as a pitchwoman Ellen DeGeneres, an outspoken advocate of gay rights who is married to the actress Portia de Rossi. On Friday, in the face of pushback from (you guessed it) Christian conservatives, it reaffirmed (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/03/us-jcpenney-ellendegeneres-idUSTRE8121VK20120203) its commitment to her. DeGeneres is also a pitchwoman (http://www.covergirl.com/talent/ellen-degeneres) for CoverGirl makeup.

A growing number of politicians presumed to have sights on higher offices and elections down the road seem to read the trend lines and tea leaves the same way companies do.

Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York governor, didn’t just assent to marriage equality. He led the charge for it, guaranteeing that it would be a cornerstone of his gubernatorial legacy. Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, is following suit. He devoted parts of his State of the State address (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bs-md-state-of-the-state-20120130,0,6645505.story) to an appeal for marriage equality, and has tweeted about it repeatedly.

The issue plays out in quieter ways, too. In Washington, final-hours support came from State Senator Brian Hatfield, a Democrat who considers himself a devout Christian and who said in a statement that he “went as far as to ask God for a sign.” It came, he said, in an e-mail he got from former State Representative Betty Sue Morris, a fellow Democrat, who recounted how much she regretted a vote she cast against same-sex marriage in 1996 — and why.
She shared her story with me on the phone on Monday. “In December of 1998,” began Morris, 70, who then started crying. “Excuse me. I just remember it so vividly. My beautiful daughter, Annie, was home for Christmas, and she told us that she was gay.”

In the days that followed, Morris said, she remembered her vote and “felt like I had denied her something. A wholeness. A freedom.”

“Here’s this precious child that you love and you care for,” she added. “You don’t want to be a part of making them grieve for anything.”

As it happens, she said, Annie didn’t even remember the vote. Now 47, she lives in California and married her longtime partner in 2008, just before Proposition 8 (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/californias_proposition_8_samesex_marriage/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) overturned the state’s short-lived same-sex marriage law. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule imminently on the proposition’s constitutionality.

Morris told me: “Whenever someone opposes this, I always counsel: you never know. You never know when it will be your child or your grandchild. And you will eat your words.”


February 8th, 2012, 12:46 AM
I wouldn't be so sure of that last comment, regarding love for children & grandchildren, as a safeguard against those who don't get this as a basic right laid out in the Constitution.

Blood isn't always thicker than water, especially when the water is thought to be holy.

March 5th, 2013, 11:42 AM
I know there has to be a thread here somewhere on gay marriage, but for the life of me, I can't find one. Mods feel free to move if I am wrong. Apologies in advance.

Nice opinion piece by Frank Bruni.

But have they been translated correctly? Interpreted the right way? Are they timeless verities or — more logically — reflections of an outmoded culture and obsolete mind-set? And if all of the Bible is to be taken literally, shouldn’t Christians refrain from planting multiple kinds of seed in one field or letting women speak in church or charging interest to the poor?

“You can twist the Bible any way you want,” Jeff told me, adding, “We overemphasize sexual morality, as if God puts a premium on what we do in the bedroom over what we do at the bank.”

Emphesis added. I often argue along these same lines when I discuss this topic with hard core religous ideologs.

Reading God’s Mind
By FRANK BRUNI (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/frank_bruni/index.html)

Jeff Chu was married last September, on the lawn of a house on Cape Cod, against the backdrop of an ivy-covered fence. About 80 people came.

His mother and father weren’t among them.

His mother sent an e-mail just beforehand, to let him know that she was thinking of him. But to be a part of the ceremony? To celebrate the day? That much she couldn’t do, because Jeff was pledging his devotion to another man. And his parents, strict Southern Baptists, have always deemed such a love sinful, and against God’s wishes.

Against God’s wishes. That notion — that argument — is probably the most stubborn barrier to the full acceptance of gay and lesbian Americans, a last bastion and engine of bigotry. It’s what many preachers still thunder. It’s what some politicians still maintain.

It’s what Jeff himself once feared.

“How many nights have I spent sweaty and panicked and drained of tears, because I thought I would go to hell — for being gay, for being me?” he asks.

And how often, he adds, did he pray “that God would take these feelings from me?”

Those words come from a book that he wrote, its title yet another question: “Does Jesus Really Love Me?” It will be published this month, and is largely a travelogue.

For the span of a year, Jeff, who has written for Time magazine and many other publications, roamed the country, visiting Christian churches and groups of diverse theological stripes to explore their attitudes toward homosexuality. He also talked with devout Christians who’d dealt with homosexual feelings in different ways: by repressing them, by embracing them, by trying to divert them.

One man had elected celibacy. Another had married a woman and resolved to appreciate sex with her. He told Jeff: “It’s not like pizza or French fries — it’s more an acquired taste that I’ve come to like even better. It’s like olives.”

In the book Jeff, now 35, also shares his own story, which we discussed further in his Brooklyn town house recently.

His parents came to America from Hong Kong with the conservative beliefs that Baptist missionaries had spread through that area of the world. They reared Jeff in their religion, sending him to a Christian high school in Miami. One of his vivid memories from those years was the sudden banishment of a favorite teacher after the school discovered that he was involved with another man.

Jeff knew even then that he had feelings like the teacher’s, and writes: “This was the lesson that I learned: Nobody could ever, ever find out, because if they did, I would be damned and cast out, just like he was.”

At Princeton, he dated women. But in London for graduate school, he began to date men, and to wonder how that orientation could be wrong, when God had presumably made him the way he was.

Although his book doesn’t focus on the scattered references in the Bible to homosexuality, Jeff knows them well. And, yes, a few seem to condemn same-sex intimacy.

But have they been translated correctly? Interpreted the right way? Are they timeless verities or — more logically — reflections of an outmoded culture and obsolete mind-set? And if all of the Bible is to be taken literally, shouldn’t Christians refrain from planting multiple kinds of seed in one field or letting women speak in church or charging interest to the poor?

“You can twist the Bible any way you want,” Jeff told me, adding, “We overemphasize sexual morality, as if God puts a premium on what we do in the bedroom over what we do at the bank.”

He’s right. He’s also humble. He doesn’t claim, in his book or in conversation, to have definitive answers. He hasn’t determined beyond any doubt that his life and love are in concert with God’s wishes, because he thinks it arrogant to insist, as the zealots who condemn gay people do, that God’s will is so easily known.

And in light of that, he thinks it wrong for anyone to try to consign gays to the shame that so many of them have endured.
The stories in Jeff’s book made me sad, and they made me angry. How much needless pain have people like him been put through, and in God’s name no less?

But Jeff’s own story makes me hopeful. It’s one of grace. He still attends church, though not a Southern Baptist one. He’s patient with his parents; they’re struggling, too.

His mother actually plans to visit, and stay with, him and his husband this summer.

“I pull her along and she pulls me along, and we grow,” Jeff said, describing a dynamic and a tension not unlike America’s. “It’s uncomfortable for both of us. But it’s the path we have to take.”


March 6th, 2013, 11:53 PM
I know there has to be a thread here somewhere on gay marriage, but for the life of me, I can't find one.

There definitely used to be one. Must have gotten tossed during a speed-fueled cleaning spree.

March 7th, 2013, 03:44 PM
On this forum? A thread on Gay Marriage?

Never. (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3890&page=14&highlight=marriage)


March 7th, 2013, 03:47 PM

March 24th, 2013, 07:51 PM
Well, these people French oppose gay marriage. What does that tell us?

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/nytlogo153x23.gif (http://www.nytimes.com/)

March 24, 2013

French Protest as Gay Marriage Bill Nears Passage


Michel Euler/Associated Press
Opponents of same-sex marriage blocked the Champs-Élysées on Sunday. A bill legalizing such marriages is expected to pass.

PARIS — Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched in the French capital on Sunday in opposition to a gay marriage bill sponsored by President François Hollande.
Men and women, some with their children — along with a strong contingent of elderly people — assembled near the Arc de Triomphe and hoisted signs reading “Don’t touch marriage, take care of unemployment!” and “Everyone is born from a man and a woman.”

The police estimated that 300,000 protesters took part, 40,000 fewer than they said attended a similar rally in January (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21004322), but organizers said 1.4 million people showed up. Among the marchers were prominent politicians from the main opposition party, the center-right Union for a Popular Movement, which has called upon its members to protest.

Roman Catholic, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders oppose the bill, which has already passed the lower house of Parliament and is expected to be approved by the Senate next month. The Catholic Church, in particular, has mobilized its members to protest. Many in the Paris march dressed in their Sunday best.

Many opponents have focused on a provision that would allow same-sex couples to adopt children. Some opponents also say they fear the bill would eventually lead to the legalization of artificial insemination for lesbian couples or surrogate mothers for male couples.

Mr. Hollande, a Socialist who was elected last May, campaigned on a pledge to legalize same-sex marriage (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/same_sex_marriage/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier); his party holds majorities in both houses of Parliament, and passage has seemed all but assured.

But he has waffled on occasion. He once voiced support for a provision to allow mayors, who preside over civil marriage ceremonies in France (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/france/index.html?inline=nyt-geo), to decline to wed gay couples. He has since stepped back from that position.

Civil unions have existed in France since 1999 and are open to same-sex couples. But the unions are not accompanied by the same suite of rights as marriage.
Opinion polling suggests that a solid majority of French favor legalizing same-sex marriage; the proportion is closer to half with regard to adoption by same-sex couples.

March 24th, 2013, 09:28 PM
Criminy! It even has tags.

Merged threads.

March 25th, 2013, 10:49 AM
It's 2013 and astonishing that this happens.

Love this line; “Don’t touch marriage, take care of unemployment!”. How about you don't kneel in the road trying to impose your maniacal will upon another human being and instead fill out some job application forms?

Seriously, who has time to be worrying about what other people are up to?!

March 25th, 2013, 11:31 AM
It tells me that there are a$$ho7es in France just as there are in the US.

March 25th, 2013, 02:31 PM
@edd... beat me to it......

January 5th, 2014, 02:32 AM
I think maybe they could. Let's hope so.

Nevertheless, I can do something that people in power cannot ignore.

A lot more could be said, but why bother?

Trestin Meacham, Utah Man, On Hunger Strike To Halt Gay Marriage

By James Nichols

It seems like things may have reached a whole new level of crazy in Utah.

Trestin Meacham, a 35-year-old Utah man, is allegedly refusing to eat anything until the state nullifies its recent decision to allow same-sex couples to get married (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/28/samesex-couples-shatter-m_n_4511778.html).

At the time the above video was released, Meacham had reportedly gone 12 days without food -- surviving only on water and an occasional vitamin -- and has lost 25 pounds.

“I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home," the 35-year-old reportedly wrote on his blog (http://thepoliticalfreakshow.us/post/72100447938/hell-probably-be-fasting-for-a-while-former). "Some things in life are worth sacrificing one’s health and even life if necessary. I am but a man, and do not have the money and power to make any noticeable influence in our corrupt system. Nevertheless, I can do something that people in power cannot ignore."

Meacham claims he will fast until Utah decides to nullify the court's decision -- nullification being a theory that the states have authority in all matters (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/opinion/the-limits-of-nullification.html?_r=0), not the federal government. It is a theory that has reportedly been used previously in an attempt to prevent integration (http://thepoliticalfreakshow.us/post/72100447938/hell-probably-be-fasting-for-a-while-former) in the public school system in the 1950s.

Greg Skordas, an attorney interviewed by 4Utah (http://www.4utah.com/story/utah-man-fasting-to-stop-same-sex-marriages/d/story/k9sjvLGmMEuBeRqG9aeObQ), reportedly stated that nullification is not an appropriate theory in the case of same-sex marriage in Utah. "If people want to change that they have to go through the appropriate processes," he stated (http://www.4utah.com/story/utah-man-fasting-to-stop-same-sex-marriages/d/story/k9sjvLGmMEuBeRqG9aeObQ). "When individual personal liberties are at stake the state can't infringe on that, even if it's the will of the people."

This isn't the first time that extreme anti-gay demonstrations have taken place in protest of a state's decision to legalize same-sex marriage. In late November, Illinois Bishop Thomas John Paprocki held an exorcism at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception "in reparation" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/21/thomas-paprocki-illinois-_n_4317432.html) for the state's decision to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.


January 5th, 2014, 09:11 AM
Go forth and meet thy Creator, Trestin.

Have a nice trip.

January 5th, 2014, 09:23 AM
Had to laugh when I saw that yesterday. I thought um, ok, you go ahead, but there's a box of Saltines in the cabinet if you change your mind.

January 5th, 2014, 12:19 PM
Go forth and meet thy Creator, Trestin.

Have a nice trip.

Don't forget to pack a lunch.

March 20th, 2014, 10:49 AM
Oh...god :rolleyes: :confused:.

Susanne Atanus, Who Blames Gay Rights For Tornadoes, Wins GOP Nomination For Congress

by Samantha Lachman


A Republican candidate who believes that God dictates weather patterns (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/23/susanne-atanus-gop_n_4652255.html) and that tornadoes, autism and dementia are God's punishments for marriage equality and abortion access won the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) in the Chicago-area 9th Congressional District. Susanne Atanus, of Niles, Ill., garnered 54 percent of the vote (http://elections.nytimes.com/2014/results/primaries/illinois?smid=tw-nytimes) in her Tuesday win over David Earl Williams III.

"I am not in favor of abortions, I am not in favor of gay rights," Atanus told the Daily Herald (http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140121/news/701219738/), a suburban Chicago newspaper, in January.

She blamed natural disasters and mental disorders on recent advances in LGBT equality and legal abortions.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military, it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Atanus also reached out to the Windy City Times, an LGBT publication, in an attempt to explain her views.

"Everybody knows that God controls weather," she told the news site (http://www.windycitytimes.com/lgbt/GOP-Congressional-candidate-blames-gays-for-weather-wants-LGBT-votes/46052.html) in January. "God is super angry," she added. "Gay marriage is not appropriate, and it doesn't look right, and it breeds AIDS."
Jack Dorgan, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, and Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, both condemned Atanus' comments and distanced the party from her candidacy.


March 20th, 2014, 12:52 PM
Oh...god :rolleyes: :confused:.

Susanne Atanus, Who Blames Gay Rights For Tornadoes, Wins GOP Nomination For Congress

by Samantha Lachman


A Republican candidate who believes that God dictates weather patterns (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/23/susanne-atanus-gop_n_4652255.html) and that tornadoes, autism and dementia are God's punishments for marriage equality and abortion access won the GOP nomination to challenge Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) in the Chicago-area 9th Congressional District. Susanne Atanus, of Niles, Ill., garnered 54 percent of the vote (http://elections.nytimes.com/2014/results/primaries/illinois?smid=tw-nytimes) in her Tuesday win over David Earl Williams III.

"I am not in favor of abortions, I am not in favor of gay rights," Atanus told the Daily Herald (http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140121/news/701219738/), a suburban Chicago newspaper, in January.

She blamed natural disasters and mental disorders on recent advances in LGBT equality and legal abortions.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military, it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Atanus also reached out to the Windy City Times, an LGBT publication, in an attempt to explain her views.

"Everybody knows that God controls weather," she told the news site (http://www.windycitytimes.com/lgbt/GOP-Congressional-candidate-blames-gays-for-weather-wants-LGBT-votes/46052.html) in January. "God is super angry," she added. "Gay marriage is not appropriate, and it doesn't look right, and it breeds AIDS."
Jack Dorgan, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, and Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, both condemned Atanus' comments and distanced the party from her candidacy.



March 20th, 2014, 12:52 PM
Maybe it's our continual WAR that He's so upset about???

March 20th, 2014, 03:16 PM
I really want to meet that female, for lack of a better word, and have her say right to my face, that my mother's Alzheimer's - a disease which was discovered in 1906 when hardly anyone had any rights - is directly connected to gay and abortion rights. I'll have plenty of lawyers take my assault case pro bono.

March 20th, 2014, 05:15 PM
Throw Suzie From the Train