Prop 8: It’s Only a Setback

You’ve probably already seen the news: California’s Supreme Court upheld Prop 8. They’ve tossed the ball back to our side of the court, practically begging us to score:

The court’s majority concluded “that if there is to be a change to the state constitutional rule embodied in that measure, it must ‘find its expression at the ballot box.’”

That means those of us who support same-sex couples’ right to get married have a job o’ work ahead of us:

In response to the court’s decision, the Courage Campaign will hit the California airwaves in the next 72 hours with a 60-second TV ad version of “Fidelity”—the heartbreaking online video viewed by more than 1.2 million people, making it the most-watched video ever in the history of California politics.

We are launching this provocative new TV ad in the spirit of Harvey Milk’s call to “come out, come out wherever you are” and proudly tell the stories of the people most affected by the passage of Prop 8—in moving images set to the beat of Regina Spektor’s beautiful song.

More than 700,000 Courage Campaign members are ready to restore marriage equality to California. Will you help us get to “1 Million for Marriage Equality”? Watch our powerful new 60-second “Fidelity” TV ad and sign the pledge.

If you like TV ad, please contribute to put it on the air in Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco.

Let’s get it done. We can’t have California falling too far behind Iowa, now, can we?

Seriously? This is The Case Against Gay Marriage?

Isaac Chotiner at TNR‘s The Plank tears apart an article arguing against gay marriage that is so egregiously stupid, so delusional, and so incoherent that one would be tempted to believe we’ve been Poe’d. Alas, that is not the case. Sam Schulman appears to believe his own schlock.

A sampling:


As part of the “kinship system,” marriage has, according to Schulman, four effects. The first is too poorly presented to be summarized coherently or cogently. The second has to do with, yes, incest:

Incest prohibition and other kinship rules that dictate one’s few permissible and many impermissible sweethearts are part of traditional marriage. Gay marriage is blissfully free of these constraints. There is no particular reason to ban sexual intercourse between brothers, a father and a son of consenting age, or mother and daughter…A same-sex marriage fails utterly to create forbidden relationships.

[snip]

Uh huh. Schulman goes on to fret about children losing their “status as nonsexual beings” once all the gays are allowed to marry. He also informs the reader that he has been married three times.

Shortly thereafter, Isaac unloads with both barrels. This is all to the good. It gives me time to look up a good therapist for poor Schulman. He desperately needs one.

(Tip o’ the shot glass to Steve Benen. Sorry it’s empty, Steve – I spilled it when I read the article.)

Methinks It’s Time to Repeal DADT

In case no one noticed, we’re in the midst of two fucking wars, here. The military’s so desperate they’re letting convicted criminals serve. But they’re still enforcing DADT – WTF?

Rachel Maddow’s introduction of the segment on Lieutenant Colonel Victor J. Fehrenbach last night told a rather remarkable story.

“[Fehrenbach is] an F-15 fighter pilot, 18-year veteran of the United States Air Force,” Rachel explained. “On Sept. 11, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach was picked to be part of the initial alert crew immediately after the 9/11 attacks. The following years, in 2002, he deployed to Kuwait, where he flew combat missions over Afghanistan, attacking Taliban and al Qaeda targets. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Lt. Col. Fehrenbach deployed there, flying combat missions in support of mission Iraqi Freedom.

“Over the span of his career, he has flown 88 combat missions, including missions that were the longest mission sorties in the history of his squadron. He’s logged more than 2,000 flying hours, nearly 1,500 fighting hours, 400 combat hours. Lt. Col. Fehrenbach is also highly decorated — he’s received nine air medals, including one for heroism. After 18 years of active duty in the Air Force, this experienced, decorated fighter pilot says he is ready and willing to deploy again. He’s ready to do what his country and the United States Air Force ask of him.”

Except, Fehrenbach will no longer able to serve, because the Air Force is kicking him out of the military because he’s gay. This genuine American war hero, who’s put his life on the line over and over again, and who the U.S. government has invested $25 million in training, is two years from retirement. Instead of thanking him for his extraordinary service, the country he’s served with honor and distinction is firing him for his sexual orientation.

Just once, I wanted to hear someone explain why the United States is stronger, safer, and more secure with Lt. Col. Fehrenbach out of the military.

So do I.

*crickets*

So if we’re not safer, can we just get the fuck on with repealing this bloody stupid law? Why are we coddling a handful of homophobes? Tell them to grow the fuck up or get the fuck out. And while we’re waiting for the repeal, Obama’s got plenty of options for end-runs around this bullshit. Steve’s got a short rundown at the above link.

It’s not like soldiers like Fehrenbach have to be drummed out. It’s time for Obama to stop pretending there’s no alternative.

Please Put a Gay or Lesbian on the Supreme Court

I want to watch wingnut heads explode:

Following up on an earlier item, at least one high-profile Republican senator announced he doesn’t want to see President Obama nominate a gay American for the Supreme Court.

[C]onservative leaders have warned the nomination of a gay or lesbian justice could complicate Obama’s effort to confirm a replacement for Souter, and another Republican senator on Wednesday warned a gay nominee would be too polarizing.

“I know the administration is being pushed, but I think it would be a bridge too far right now,” said GOP Chief Deputy Whip John Thune. “It seems to me this first pick is going to be a kind of important one, and my hope is that he’ll play it a little more down the middle. A lot of people would react very negatively.”

I don’t expect much from Thune, but I have to wonder if he realizes how incredibly ridiculous this is.

[snip]

Indeed, the president, Thune says, should “play it a little more down the middle.” What if the nominee is both gay and well within the judicial mainstream? Why would any thinking person assume that a gay nominee is necessarily someone on the ideological fringe?

The problem with Steve’s question is at follows: he asked about thinking people. You see the flaw there.

I hope a supremely qualified moderate gay or lesbian gets nominated for the bench. I would love to see the rabid right explain how their opposition has nothing to do with homophobia. That would be awesome.

10% of American States Legalize Same-Sex Marriage; 99.999% of Cons Have Hysterical Fits

If you’re a lesbian or gay person attempting to avoid a lifetime commitment, it’s time to cross Maine off your list of States That Excuse You From Getting Married. And you shouldn’t make any plans for moving to New Hampshire, either. At this rate, soon no state will be safe, aside from the bastions of bigotry in the deep South and Utah. As Cujo says, it’s starting to look a little avalanchy out there.

The Cons, of course, couldn’t be less happy.

Here’s Michael Steele, who’s all for states’ rights so long as they don’t involve giving gay people rights:

After the RNC said he wouldn’t be issuing a statement on Maine’s decision to legalize gay marriage today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is in fact condemning the decision, a position that puts him at odds with Maine’s moderate Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of whom said today the decision should be left to the states.

The RNC emails over this statement from Steele:

“Our party platform articulates our opposition to gay marriage and civil unions, positions shared by many Americans. I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman and strongly disagree with Maine’s decision to legalize gay marriage.”

Earlier today, Collins said on MSNBC that the decision is best “decided at the state level.” And Snowe’s office put out a statement citing her support for the Defense of Marriage Act, which leaves it to individual states to “make their own determinations on this very personal issue.”

Mmm, smell that hypocrisy! The only two people in the party who actually believe the Cons’ rhetoric about states’ rights are the two who get skewered for being too librul. How long before Limbaugh screams for the heads of Collins and Snowe, do you think?

In the meantime, a Con from Utah thinks he’s got the right to tell D.C. how to conduct its affairs:

Yesterday, the DC Council overwhelmingly approved a bill recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states, by a vote of 12 to 1. It is the latest victory for LGBT rights, coming just days after the state legislatures in New Hampshire and Maine approved gay marriage, after Vermont became the fourth state to make gay marriage legal last month.

Marriage equality in the nation’s capitol, however, is too much for freshman Rep. John Chaffetz (R-UT), who is refusing to let the issue “go softly into the night“:

Some things are worth fighting for, and this is one of them,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), the ranking Republican on a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that oversees the District. “It’s not something I can let go softly into the night. … I recognize the Democrats are in the majority, but I represent the majority of Americans on this issue.”

The City Desk noted Chaffetz’s Twitter explanation for why he would use Congress to intervene: “Why am I involved? Congress is set up to oversee the affairs of D.C. I am one of the Members of the relevant committee.”

Dylan Thomas called. He wants bigoted fucktards to stop quoting his poetry.

As far as representing the majority of Americans… eh. That’s debatable:

I don’t think the majority of Americans are such anti-gay fuckwits that they care passionately whether D.C. recognizes same-sex marriages or not. Quite the opposite, I’d say. And there might be a little bit of irritation at seeing the democratic process subverted by irrational homophobes. Just sayin’.

As for the anti-same-sex marriage zealots who were counting on Carrie Prejean to come to traditional marriage’s rescue… well, there’s a slight problem with her purity.

It’s not looking good for the crusaders, is it?

Wherein I Second Ed Brayton’s Nominee for Dumbass Quote of the Day

Anti-gay animus? Check. Persecution complex? Check. Got beaten with the stupid stick as a child? Oh, check:

From Maggie Gallagher yet again, speaking to the fact that there has been a huge change in public opinion about gay marriage over the last few years:

Public opinion hasn’t changed much at all. What’s changed is the punishment the gay marriage movement is inflicting on dissenters, which is narrowing the circle of people willing to speak. This is a very powerful movement, no question. Nobody understands that better than I do.

Yes Maggie, everyone else in the world is just so intimidated by the Gay Agenda that they’re telling pollsters things they don’t really believe even when they’re entirely anonymous, while you, a fountain of courage and virtue, have somehow managed to stand your ground in the face of the onslaught. Did you really say that with a straight face?

Unfortunately, she probably did.

The Rising Tide

We’d all best lay in a good supply of champagne and confetti, my darlings. It looks like same-sex couples are going to have a lot more to celebrate very soon.

In my own great state of Washington:

Same-sex domestic partners will have all the rights married people in the state get following the Legislature’s approval of a controversial measure Gov. Chris Gregoire says she will sign into law.

“This bill is about justice,” Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, said prior to the House’s 62-35 vote. “This bill completes our work with domestic partnerships.”

Senate Bill 5688 had previously passed out of the state Senate by a 30-18 vote.

“This legislation will expand basic benefits, provide better financial security and ensure equal treatment for domestic partners living in Washington state,” Gregoire said in a statement. “Our state is one that thrives on diversity. We have to respect and protect all of the families that make up our communities.”

It ain’t quite marriage, yet, but to hear the Cons snivel, ’tis only a matter of time. And probably not that much time, either.

And in New York:

Gov. David A. Paterson on Thursday announced that he would introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, drawing on the soaring oratory of the civil rights movement to call on the Legislature to add New York to the four states that have already authorized such unions. Comparing the status of gay men and lesbians with that of blacks, Jews, women, disabled people and other groups who were historically excluded from full political and social equality, Mr. Paterson said he would lead the movement to authorize same-sex marriage in the Empire State. “We have a crisis of leadership today,” he declared. “We’re going to fill that vacuum today.”

I know it sounds like someone’s been setting off firecrackers in celebration, but that’s just wingnut heads esplodin’. The fireworks’ll come later, when the legislature actually does the right thing.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got dancing lessons to take. It looks like there’s going to be quite a rash of wedding receptions to attend, and I don’t intend to be stuck in a corner swaying vaguely to the music. Noper. Gonna be out there being wild with joy.

Gaining Momentum

Ears feeling a bit sensitive? Must be the right-wing cries of outrage. Just stuff some cotton wool in, pour some champagne, and get ready to toast not one, but two, victories for same sex-marriage.

Vermont just became the first state to legalize same-sex by legislation:

Yesterday, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas (R) vetoed a bill legalizing gay marriage that passed the state legislature last week. Now the legislature has voted to override Douglas’ veto: The Senate voted 23-5 in favor of the override, and the House voted 100-49. Vermont joins Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa as the only states where gay marriage is legal, and Vermont is the first state to approve gay marriage through the legislature.

And in D.C., the Council’s dished up some good news (h/t):

The D.C. Council has voted to recognize gay marriages performed in other states on the same day that Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex unions.

Domestic partnerships are already legal in the nation’s capital. But yesterday’s vote, billed as an important milestone in gay rights, explicitly recognizes relocated gay married couples as married.

The initial vote was 12-0.

Unanimous, baby, yeah! Too bad Congress now gets a chance to stuff its Con-containing nose in, but still, a banner day.

That makes three within a week, folks. I sense momentum. It’s only a matter of time before the end of civilization as we know it. The poor frothing fundies, many of whom have barely gotten accustomed to the sight of interracial couples saying their vows, will now have to adjust to a world in which teh evil gays get to take the plunge. Their impotent sound and fury should be entertaining indeed.

Of course, with the sudden rush of gay weddings to attend, we may not have adequate time to point and laugh. Ah, the sacrifices we make for civil rights, eh?

Another State Where the LGBT Community Will Now Be Allowed to Suffer the Joys of Marriage

On the one hand, it’s awesome to see same-sex couples get their civil rights. On the other hand, I can’t help but be a little sad for them. I mean, marriage – bah, humbug:

In Iowa, consenting adults can now get legally married, regardless of their sexual orientation.

The Iowa Supreme Court this morning struck down a 1998 state law that limits marriage to one man and one woman.

The ruling is viewed as a victory for the gay rights movement in Iowa and elsewhere, and a setback for social conservatives who wanted to protect traditional families.

The decision makes Iowa the first Midwestern state, and the fourth nationwide, to allow same-sex marriages. Lawyers for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group that financed the court battle and represented the couples, had hoped to use a court victory to demonstrate acceptance of same-sex marriage in heartland America.

The server is a little overwhelmed this morning, but the state Supreme Court’s ruling, which was unanimous, is online.

Looks like it’s only a matter of time before same-sex couples get to suffer right alongside the straights in every state. I just hope it happens here in Washington state soon – I’ve got a set of friends with an infant son who are prime candidates for a nice official wedding. I’ve got another gay friend who’s single but desperately wants to meet the right man and get married, complete with actual picket fence. I’m sure they’re not the only ones. Let them eat cake, I say – preferably a chocolate-vanilla marble one with about ten thousand tiers.

Besides, I’d kind of like to see Mecca, and according to Rep. King, I wouldn’t even have to travel:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) reacted with fury to the Court’s decision, calling the ruling “unconstitutional” and denigrating the “activist judges” who decided it. He called for an constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and pressed for immediate action to prevent Iowa from becoming a “Mecca” for gay couples:

Now it is the Iowa legislature’s responsibility to pass the Marriage Amendment to the Iowa Constitution, clarifying that marriage is between one man and one woman, to give the power that the Supreme Court has arrogated to itself back to the people of Iowa. Along with a constitutional amendment, the legislature must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca due to the Supreme Court’s latest experiment in social engineering.

King is so upset that he’s using rhetoric that combines what may be his two worst fears: gay people and Muslims.

I know psychologists sometimes treat phobias by exposing people to what they fear. Any gay Muslims in the audience want to volunteer to go visit Steve? It’s either that or watch him die of dehydration due to uncontrolled foaming.

You know what’s even worse for people like Steve? This:

In recent years, four state Supreme Courts have ruled in support of same sex-marriage.

In Massachusetts, the ruling was written by Justice Margaret Marshall.

In California, the ruling was written by Justice Ronald George.

In Connecticut, the ruling was written by Justice Richard Palmer.

And in Iowa, the ruling was written by Justice Mark Cady.

And what do all four have in common? Each was appointed to their respective state Supreme Court by a Republican governor.

That’s gotta sting.

I think it’s short, sharp shock time. Fuck this incremental bullshit. Legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, all in one fell swoop. If we’re lucky, the shock will give every right winger irreversible apoplexy, and the rest of the country can get on with letting people enjoy basic civil rights.