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Today is “Write to Marry Day“, viz:
Bloggers around the country will participate in “Write to Marry Day” on October 29, 2008, posting on their blogs in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples and against California’s Proposition 8. Prop 8 is a measure on California’s November ballot that would take away the right of same-sex couples to marry.
“Prop 8 is an unfair and unnecessary measure that would eliminate equal protections for same-sex couples and write discrimination into the California state Constitution,” adds co-organizer Dana Rudolph, founder of LGBT-parenting blog Mombian. “As marriage equality spreads throughout the country, people in all states have a vested interest in making sure this hard-won right is protected.”
Basically what happened is the usual right-wing folderol. The California Constitution was finally interpreted correctly by the State Supreme Court and gay marriage became legal. It’s pretty much the same thing that happened in Massachusetts last year and the response was equally typical: the Religious Right – Jimmy Dobson, the Devil’s Friend, and his bag of nuts in Focus on the Family are right in the middle of it no doubt – got a proposition on the California ballot demanding that the California Constitution and the rights of a group of people they don’t care for be violated in order to make the country safe for bigots and haters.
Let just get this straight (no pun intended) once and for all: gay marriage does not and cannot and will not endanger hetero marriage in any way shape or form. The whole argument against it is bogus from beginning to end.
Yesterday the Mass legislature defeated an amendment to the State Constitution that would have put an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative in front of voters next year. This wasn’t a surprise. Even though the forces from the religious right who have poured people and money into the state since the Mass Supreme Court overturned anti-gay marriage laws only needed a quarter of the legislature to back them up – 50 votes – the word was they didn’t have it.
And they didn’t. The measure lost by 5 votes. New Democratic Gov Patrick Deval put a lot of time and energy into cooling down any potential hotheads, which was good of him and maybe it made a difference. But the truth is that the right-wing whackos who have been inundating us with prophesies of doom if the Supreme Court’s decision wasn’t overturned have been terminally embarrassed by the total lack of any negative effect of the law. Or any positive effect, for that matter. No one can find any difference in the way life proceeds in the state of Massachusetts between pre-gay marriage years and post-gay marriage years.
The sky, you see, contrary to all the predictions by the members of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family who’ve been shooting off their mouths for the last 3 years, didn’t fall. Crops didn’t fail, goats weren’t born with two heads, straight marriage rates didn’t change, teenagers didn’t start fornicating in the streets, and Satan didn’t buy a place in Back Bay.
Really, nothing happened. Nothing.
People for the American Way are reporting that Bush has just nominated yet another racist, sexist, anti-labor judge to a seat on the Federal bench, this time for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
President Bush has nominated Leslie Southwick to fill a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Bush previously tried to fill the seat with Charles Pickering and then Michael Wallace, both of whom faced significant opposition due to their disturbing legal records, especially on civil rights.
“Regrettably, Southwick also has a troubling record and appears to be cut from the same cloth as the others,” said Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way. “First Pickering, then Wallace, and now Southwick – Bush has completely struck out on the Fifth Circuit.”
Hardaway’s comments are everywhere and everywhere discussed, so no, this isn’t really about him. Good basketball player but another bigoted idiot-athlete. Nothing new there, end of story. At least he has the excuse that he was being honest: homophobia is a disease and he’s sick.
No, this is about the Concerned Women for America, a far-right, Xtian Nationalist group with an agenda less humane that Genghiz Khan’s. According to Julian Sanchez of Notes from the Lounge, CWA is circulating a press release condemning what he said. Good, right? But dig the reason they’re condemning it:
“Hardaway’s comments are both unfortunate and inappropriate,” said Matt Barber, CWA’s Policy Director for Cultural Issues. “They provide political fodder for those who wish to paint all opposition to the homosexual lifestyle as being rooted in ‘hate.’ [….] It’s perfectly natural for people to be repelled by disordered sexual behaviors that are both unnatural, and immoral [….] Hardaway’s comments only serve to foment misperceptions of widespread homosexual ‘victimhood’ which the homosexual lobby has craftily manufactured.”
IOW, it’s “perfectly natural” to hate somebody different but don’t say it in public because that makes it harder for other haters to get away with hating. And if you must say it in public (this goes for Isaiah Washington, too, I’m sure), use the politically correct, Xtian-fundie-approved language in which it’s the gays’ own fault that you hate them. If you don’t, you run the risk of arousing sympathy for the fact that they’re hated, thus feeding into “the gay agenda” of “victimhood” which the “homosexual lobby” has “manufactured” and “foment[ing] misperceptions” that gay people might actually be human and not deserve the hate they’ve brought on themselves.
That would be bad.
Yoicks. That’s double-helix pretzel logic. In a can. With whipped cream on top and a make-believe cherry. A version straight from your standard rapist: “It’s her fault I raped her. Her skirt was too short/blouse was too tight/she has legs/she had the gall to be female.” In Right-Wing LaLaLand, there are no victims except the ones who want to be, so of course wingnuts have to oblige them but it’s their fault. They forced the wingnuts to hate them.
This is also the argument that’s been used by oligarchs and despots from time immemorial. When the populist Gracci brothers were murdered during the Roman Empire, the Senate explained that it was their own fault for advocating land reform. When Pinochet murdered Allende, the staid NY Times editorial board allowed as how he had given the Junta no choice because he impinged on the prerogatives of the privileged class.
It’s always somebody else’s fault, and Hardaway’s sin was to forget that by admitting it was his. Shameful.
PS Am I the only one who finds it odd that the Concerned Women for America’s Cultural Policy Director is a guy? Don’t women even run their own groups over there?
(Lounge link via Jon Swift)
Veep Cheney, after months of waffling, has returned to his original position on gay marriage: that it’s an issue that should be decided by the states.
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Vice President Dick Cheney, whose oldest daughter is a lesbian, said Tuesday he believed that decisions about same-sex marriages should be left to the states, contending that “freedom means freedom for everyone.”Despite his personal view, he added, President Bush is his boss, and Bush favors an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning such marriages. “The president makes policy for the administration,” Cheney said.
His comments came in response to a question during an invitation-only town hall meeting in Davenport, a city both presidential campaigns have focused on in their competition to win Iowa. Cheney’s remarks were his first this year on the gay marriage issue while campaigning.
So what’s the actual news here? The LAT seems torn between three possibilities:
1) It’s news because Cheney is openly breaking with Bush;
2) It’s news because he did so at an ‘invitation-only’ appearance where both the questioners and the questions are known in advance;
3) It’s news because the Veep decided to let the Pres call the shots just this once.
Asked later about the difference between Bush’s and Cheney’s positions on the constitutional amendment, Anne Womack, a spokeswoman for the vice president, responded: “The vice president respects the president’s right to make that decision.”
Out of the mouths of babes. Quite subconsciously, it seems, Little Dick’s spokeswoman let the cat out of the bag. If the Veep respects Junior’s ‘right’ to make ‘that’ decision, the unspoken assumption is that ‘that decision’ is an exception to the general rule. She might as well have said, ‘Dick decided to let George have his way on this one, but it probably won’t happen again.’
In true Publican backstabbing style, naturally she said this after the Vice President had torpedoed one of his boss’ favorite far-right panders in a semi-public forum. Look for the Mighty Wurlitzer to chop him up in little pieces for subverting their dearly beloved campaign distraction and ‘major social issue’ about which they have been fulminating for months, the FMA. They’ll call Dick a ‘traitor’, they’ll say he wants to destroy the institution of marriage, that he hates America, that he’s a tool of the ‘special interests’.
Sure they will.