Posts Tagged marriage equality
My attention was drawn to…THIS, today. It kind of makes me feel sorry for the opposition. Maybe, kind of, almost. If I’m inarticulate, it’s because reading this has caused me to lose brain cells.
For Charles Cooper, the lawyer defending Proposition 8, California’s gay-marriage ban, the worst moment of the proceedings probably came when Elena Kagan zeroed in on the most consistent and conspicuous weakness in the anti-gay-marriage case, namely that the unchanging purpose of marriage is procreation. (And in that purpose lies the state’s constitutionally defensible rationale—something above mere animus towards gays and lesbians—for excluding them from the institution.) Cooper had been explaining his side’s concern “that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historical traditional procreative purpose” and “refocus” it—away from children and toward “the emotional needs and desires of adults.” Suppose, Justice Kagan asked Cooper, that a state were to pass a law saying it would no longer give marriage licenses to heterosexual couples in which both people were over fifty-five. Would that be constitutional? No, said Cooper. But why not, Kagan persisted, if gay couples could be constitutionally denied marriage rights for the reasons he stated? Cooper mustered a rather weak empiricism: “Even with respect to couples over the age of fifty-five, it’s very rare that both parties to the couple are infertile”; men, he said, “rarely outlive their fertility.” Kagan was skeptical. “I can assure you that if both the woman and the man are over the age of fifty-five there are not a lot of children coming out of that marriage,” she said, eliciting the biggest laugh of the morning.
I’m so sorry that I wasn’t sitting next to Justice Kagan. It would have been so, so much fun to ask Mr. Cooper to elaborate.
Dude…are you aware that a post-menopausal heterosexual couple is not HALF-fertile? If the woman can’t get pregnant, then she and her husband, together, are not fertile AT ALL. A heterosexual relationship involving a woman who has outlived her menstrual cycles is not a procreative one. Honestly, young lesbian couples make more babies than 55-year-old straight couples. You see, Mr. Cooper, the role of the uterus in reproduction is absolutely essential and non-fungible. It’s all or nothing, and it’s very costly to the body. Sperm, on the other hand, is not that difficult to acquire!
Via Dan Savage, we have this hilariously petulant, oblivious declaration of digging-in-heels by NOM. I knew there had to be a response by the anti-equality side to the fact that marriage equality is now winning on ballot initiatives. You see, when a state Supreme Court rules that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry, that doesn’t count because courts are undemocratic; it needs to be moved to the legislature. If the legislature passes a bill for civil marriage to be extended to same-sex couples, that doesn’t count because the legislature is ignoring the will of the people. It needs to be settled by voter referendum.
So…what happens when three states put same-sex marriage on the ballot, and all three states say YES?
It means NOM is going to move the goalposts back to the “because we said so” position. In Brian Brown’s own words:
Obviously we are very disappointed in losing four tough election battles by narrow margins. We knew long ago that we faced a difficult political landscape with the four marriage battles occurring in four of the deepest-blue states in America. As our opponents built a huge financial advantage, the odds became even steeper. We ran strong campaigns and nearly prevailed in a very difficult environment, significantly out-performing the GOP ticket in every state.
Despite the fact that NOM was able to contribute a record amount to the campaigns (over $5.5 million), we were still heavily outspent, by a margin of at least four-to-one. We were fighting the entirety of the political establishment in most of the states, including sitting governors in three of the states who campaigned heavily for gay marriage. Our opponents and some in the media will attempt to portray the election results as a changing point in how Americans view gay marriage, but that is not the case. Americans remain strongly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states.
Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it. Marriage is a true and just cause, and we will never abandon the field of battle just because we experienced a setback. There is much work to do, and we begin that process now.
*blogger pours herself a cocktail* Where to begin?
If we’re going to make civil marriage rights a state-by-state deal, then the fight will sometimes land in the “deepest-blue” states with lots of us filthy liberals who seem to think same-sex relationships are worthy of equal recognition under the law, or something. We are not the people that NOM was trying to get to the polls, but we are tax-paying Americans and our votes do count. What happens in Maine, Maryland and Washington is a valid part of what happens in America.
If there’s a thesis to Mr. Brown’s crossed-arms-over-chest stance, it’s this sentence here:
The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states.
He wants his supporters to understand that the breakthrough in ballot results has nothing to do with Americans changing their minds about same-sex marriage and everything to do with the proponents of the Homosexual Lifestyle getting the governors on their side and spending tons of money on ad campaigns.
You do realize, Mr. Brown, that the ballot initiatives won because of the number of individual voters who went to the polls and voted Yes on the initiatives?
When you spend money on campaigns for political issues, you do not buy the votes themselves. You buy the opportunity to send your message to the voters. The money doesn’t pay the voters. The purpose of a campaign is to influence the voters’ opinions and motivate them to show up at the polls. It cannot overwhelm the voters’ opinions or coerce opponents to stay home.
With the state political establishments, the governors can encourage the lawmakers to pass certain legislation, but civil marriage wasn’t allowed to stay with the legislature, was it? The governor is taking a risk with his career by pushing for marriage equality. The voters are not compelled to vote for equality because their governors want it.
Greater political funding can have better influence over elections in two ways: more convincing ads, more coverage. A more expensive ad is not necessarily a more persuasive one, but it helps to have some money to throw at production and talent. There are many ways that political ads can persuade, and they’re not required to be truthful. If you want to get people to vote a certain way by lying to them, you’ll probably get away with it. Your opponent can purchase air time to counter your lies, but they can’t make the viewers un-hear the lies.
Whether your campaign uses fact-based ads with convincing arguments, or lies and paranoia, the voters have to be convinced before they’ll vote your way. Emotional appeals may fall under the category of “convincing arguments,” though they can rely on compassion or prejudice.
The extent that political funding yields the desired result is a function of the extent to which the voters are convinced and motivated by the campaign. It is possible to out-spend your opponent and still lose.
Therefore, if the higher spending of the pro-equality side is responsible for the positive results, it is because those highly-funded campaigns successfully caused many voters to change their minds.
Now, perhaps NOM thinks that if they pour tons of money into more campaigns, they can get more states to entrench unequal marriage in 2014. There may be a few states that haven’t yet weighed in, but if NOM thinks they can get the states already on Team Gay Marriage to change their minds, I suspect they’ll be throwing their money away. Meanwhile, more and more people in the more conservative states will notice that gay marriage has been legal in an expanding portion of the country for years, and the sky isn’t falling.
Just for fun, here are Question 6 results by county.
Zinnia Jones explains just how important it is that marriage equality made gains in state ballot initiatives this year. This is what I’ve been thinking, but she goes into further detail:
State-level gay marriage bans have a long, ugly, depressing history. Until now, the result was completely predictable whenever it was put to a popular vote: we lost. 30 to 0. Then 31 to 0. Then 32 to 0. It had become a crushing regularity for us, and our opponents knew it. This became their talking point: “every time same-sex marriage is on the ballot, the people vote against it.” And it hurt because of how true it was. It wasn’t entirely unexpected when North Carolina and Maine were the most recent states to vote against equality. But when California passed Proposition 8, that really stunned us. If even the people of California wouldn’t vote in favor of gay marriage, then who would?
I remember that talking point’s role in the debates.
It was part warning, part jeer. It was about telling us both that we were wrong, and that it wouldn’t matter if we were right because they’d beat us anyway.
The implication was that the popular vote was the only thing that counted, that marriage equality wasn’t legitimate unless it passed a voter referendum. And since no voter referendum had yet broken in favor of equality, that supposedly meant same-sex marriage was un-American.
The thing is, people can change their minds over time.
So, when the Maryland legislature passed a bill for same-sex marriage, the Enforcers of Tradition started promising to put the matter to a voter referendum this year, thinking that would take care of THAT little slip-up.
Meanwhile, the discussion of civil marriage raged on, the Really Bad Arguments were taken apart, and the polls showed increases in support for equality with each passing year.
So when we had pro-equality legislation, followed by yet another vow to put civil rights up to a popular vote, I looked around my state and I said, “You know what, homophobes? Bring it on! Let’s do this!”
Sure, they put civil marriage rights on the ballot. In the meantime, President Obama went on-record saying gay couples should be able to get married. I suspect that helped.
I thought this would be the year when Maryland would be the first state to uphold marriage equality by a popular vote.
It’s even better that we’re tied with Washington and Maine.
This is the year, not only that SSM was able to win the popular vote at the state level, but that it did so in three states at once, AND another state voted not to let their ban on SSM get any worse. This is the year that there were multiple victories for equality and NO LOSSES.
For the first time – ever – they’re the ones who are left reeling the day after. They’re the ones who will have to struggle to explain how they lost.
I don’t think it should be a struggle to explain at all. They lost because there are no good reasons to deny civil marriage to same-sex couples. The longer we fight over the issue, the more obvious it becomes to more people that the case against is made of paranoia, bad history, superstition and bigotry. They lost because they’re wrong.
To all my fellow Marylanders who have not yet voted (I’m going after work tonight)—
This is an election that counts.
Not just because of Obama vs. Romney; our state reliably breaks blue, but it breaks blue because of the number of liberal Marylanders who go to the polls and vote for Democrats.
However, the state ballot initiatives do not depend on the electoral college.
This is the year when we vote on marriage equality in our state. Every vote counts.
If Question 6 wins, some people will benefit and no one will be harmed.
If Question 6 is defeated, no one will benefit and some people will be harmed.
“But, but, but, my religious freedom—!”
—will not be affected.
The bill explicitly protects religious groups from providing any service that goes against their beliefs. When same-sex couples want to get married, there are plenty of supportive celebrants who are willing to officiate. The ones who would have to hold their noses through gay weddings will be left the hell alone.
Now, think of how it would feel if your fellow citizens were voting on YOUR right to marry the person you love. (The reaction that comes to mind is: “WTF?!”)
Let’s do this, folks. Let’s answer this question so it doesn’t need to be asked again.
Hemant Mehta shows us this incident in which the Rev. William Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors made the mistake of opening up the topic of “Biblical marriage” in front of an audience which included Jamila Bey. The press conference was supposed to be about CAAP’s opposition to marriage equality. Rev. Owens is a consultant to NOM. He acts like he isn’t accustomed to actually answering questions.
Bey: Reverend, What is God’s position on polygamy?
Owens: [Glares] Well, I think you know that. This is not about polygamy. This is about same-sex marriage.
Bey: This is about your — I need you to define for me, please, the Biblical definition of marriage–
Owens: The Biblical definition of marriage is a marriage between a man and a woman. And I’m not going to–
Bey: But Reverend–
Owens: I’m not going to get on another track!
Bey: … Talk to me about Abraham’s marriage.
Owens: Madam. Next question! Next question.
Bey: Reverend, what is God’s position on polygamy?
Owens: Next question!
Bey: Reverend, what is God’s position on polygamy?
Owens: Are you, are you going to stand there and just demand that I answer your question? This is not about polygamy. This is about same-sex marriage… and I will NOT do any different.
Bey: Reverend, you said that you would answer questions about Biblical marriage.
Owens: [To security] Would you have this lady removed?
Look at that again: “Are you going to stand there and just demand that I answer your question?” Why, yes, Rev. Owens! It’s called being a journalist. If you bring up “Biblical marriage,” as if the Bible is a helpful guide to well-adjusted family life, then you should be prepared for someone to ask about polygamy. This is especially important given how much energy the anti-equality side puts into comparing SSM to polygamy, or sounding the alarm that marriage equality will put us on a slippery slope to polygamy, bestiality and state-sanctioned incest. In light of the environment which the pro-patriarchy side has created, one should know better than to bring out the Good Book as a defense of enforced heterosexual monogamy. The Reverend just walked right into it.
Buzzfeed shows us some pictures of what happened after New York legalized same-sex marriage. Obviously, the sky is falling and End Times are near. My job is sucking out my brains, so I’ll just show you some tremendous cute.
Actually, I have some good news. Isn’t it fun to find out stuff is changing for the better?
“I think the president’s statement today is probably the most significant advancing of our cause since the bill-signing,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley told me during a meeting in Baltimore, two hours after President Obama announced his public support for same-sex marriage. A poll out just this morning quantifies how significant. If the vote to uphold Maryland’s marriage-equality law were held today, it would pass with 57 percent of the vote. Even more compelling, 55 percent of African Americans said same-sex marriages should have the same rights as other marriages.
That sound you hear is millions of “traditional marriage” enforcers tearing their hair out.
Thorne-Begland was the only one of more than three dozen judicial nominees — including 10 others from the Richmond region — who was not elected to a judgeship following a marathon legislative session dominated by review of amendments to the two-year state budget proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell.
And how, you may wonder, is Mr. Thorne-Begland uniquely unqualified among nominees for a judgeship in Virginia?
A number of conservative House Republicans with military backgrounds questioned Thorne-Begland’s decision to speak publicly about his sexual orientation while he was in the military and subject to its code of conduct.
“For me it’s not not about fear and bigotry and ignorance and so forth,” said Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William. ”It is very definitely about duty.”
In an email blast to supporters late last week, the Christian conservative Family Foundation questioned Thorne-Begland’s fitness for the bench given his support for gay marriage, which is not legal in Virginia. Thorne-Begland and his partner, Michael, live together and are raising twins.
Marshall, too had charged that Thorne-Begland pursued an “aggressive activist homosexual agenda.”
“Duty” here is code for “don’t make us uncomfortable.”
We can’t have a new judge who spoke out against DADT at the expense of his military career and who now raises twins openly with his partner. If you’re gay and pursuing a legal/judicial career in Virginia, you’d best stay in the closet.
But his nomination came under fire late last week, as the Family Foundation and Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, stoked fears that the 45-year-old attorney would allow his sexual orientation to influence his judicial decisions.
If you’re queer, and you might make judicial decisions that make life suck less for queer people, then according to Del. Marshall you are allowing your sexual orientation to influence your judicial decisions, and to him that is unacceptable. However, Del. Marshall doesn’t seem to consider that some might accuse him of allowing his bigotry to influence his legislative decisions, and in ways that would do a lot more damage than any “aggressive activist homosexual agenda.” Amanda Marcotte has more of his nonsense:
“Marriage is between one man and one woman, and the the applicant has represented himself in public in a relationship that we don’t recognize in Virginia,” Marshall said in an interview with WRIC, the ABC affiliate in Richmond.
Of course he’s just making shit up as he goes along. We don’t see him applying this “relationship propriety test” to people who are against marriage equality. I think he’s freaking out over the fact that support for civil marriage equality is shooting up like a rocket all over the country, and Tracy Thorne-Begland is a handy target for his anxiety.
The latest argument against marriage equality: “Because white people need to breed more.”
“I had my back to her like this. She said, ‘The reason my husband my husband wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasian race is diminishing and we need to uh, reproduce.”
UNIDENTIFIED POLL WORKER: “(Mrs. Brunsetter said) … the Caucasian race is diminishing. ?The reason that’s a problem is that it was white people that founded this country.”
Meanwhile Mrs. Brunstetter is all like, “Sure, I said that, but if I said ‘Caucasian,’ it wasn’t about race! Why won’t you people leave me alone, with your gotcha questions and your ‘facts’!”
This may seem incoherent, as reading this exchange has cost me a couple dozen IQ points.
So…like…North Carolina needs a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, because by barring same-sex couples from marriage, they’ll be able to force white people to have more kids, relative to people of color?
But…what? On what planet does that even begin to make sense?
By gum, Pastor Aaron Fruh is mad as heck and he’s not going to take it anymore! He’s not bigoted at all, it’s the gays who are prejudiced and hateful by demanding their right to marry their partners. The word salad is so special that I think it warrants a crazy-looking graphic. The emphasis is mine, but this is a direct quote…