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May 09 2012

“At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

Jebus Teetotalin’ Christ. That’s the best we’ve got from Obama? Seriously? It’s taken him this long to “evolve” to the point where he can take a personal (not even a political) stand on civil rights?

I am not impressed.

Those few words were the bare minimum I’d have expected from a Democratic candidate running for office last century — they are so self-evident, so clear and obvious to any decent human being that I’m appalled that anyone thinks this is a remarkable achievement. Our standards are apparently so low for our politicians that we clap and applaud when they make even a token declaration against bigotry.

Hey, maybe if he’d taken a stand a few years ago, we wouldn’t have had debacles like the recent anti-gay ballot in North Carolina.

He might as well have. In response to that tepid and qualified and ineffectual statement, American hate groups like the American Patriarchy Association, the Patriarchy Research Council, and the Catholic League are already denouncing him furiously. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say — I dare Obama to now stand up and fight for this right. None of this pussy-footing around — he’s going to get screwed by the haters already — so he might as well take a strong stand and earn the goddamned liberal/progressive vote.

He might earn a little respect, too.

969 comments

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  1. 501
    John Morales

    ltft:

    That is exactly what I’m arguing against. Almost every statement Obama could possibly make would have a different outcome.

    Hm.

    Quoth PZ: “In response to that tepid and qualified and ineffectual statement, American hate groups like the American Patriarchy Association, the Patriarchy Research Council, and the Catholic League are already denouncing him furiously.”

    So, the outcome would’ve been worse (in your opinion) had Obama actually endeavoured to legislate for marriage equality?

    (There are no limits to opposition, right?)

  2. 502
    Sketch

    I completely agree with PZ. Marriage equality is a human right. There is no need whatever to pussyfoot around the issue. Obama has nothing to lose from the bigots and everything to win from his morally responsible voters. He should just go for it.

  3. 503
    Anthony K

    I will be back tomorrow.

    Don’t bother posting. Just read Swordfish’s excellent 457 and shut the fuck up.

  4. 504
    Robert B.

    sc @493:

    I see what you mean, but I wish you wouldn’t use the phrase “states’ rights” to refer to the current state of legal precedent. The word “rights” is often used to mean something more important than law, or a principle that laws are meant to uphold. In this context, it has the implication that gay marriage is an issue that ought to be up to the states to decide. Since I know that’s not what you mean, couldn’t you say something like “the states have jurisdiction” rather than “it is a states’ rights issue”?

  5. 505
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    After having my “red pill” moment with the mainstream media, I have resigned myself to the conclusion that, for these elections only, any attempt to break the cycle of the Democrats quietly following the Rethuglican noise machine to the right counts as a victory.

    Less Republican noise come January means a greater ability to push the Dems for more.

    Please note also that I would not likely be as firm as I am in this had Kennedy made an attempt at realistically assessing his decision in Citizens United.

  6. 506
    Desert Son, OM

    Last before bedtime, but didn’t want to go away without thanks, acknowledgments, and greetings to Josh, Caine, Janine, with clenched tentacle salutes and equally pounce-preceded embraces in return. Now to adjourn my privilege and self to shutting up and listening more in this thread, with wishes for your own rest less some measure of hypertension.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  7. 507
    upagainsttheropes

    I get, I get it. There’s work to do and it’s abysmal to leave up to states, civil rights issues considering their historical record..

    Give Obama a break, he is the first US President in office in history to acknowledge that marriage is a civil rights issue that should be extended to all citizens.

    For a group that advocates nuance you sure do not know how to put it into practice.

  8. 508
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Give Obama a break, he is the first US President in office in history to acknowledge that marriage is a civil rights issue that should be extended to all citizens.

    Unless a state decides otherwise, anyway.

    NOPE.

  9. 509
    Ze Madmax

    upagainst the ropes @#7/507:

    Give Obama a break, he is the first US President in office in history to acknowledge that marriage is a civil rights issue that should be extended to all citizens.

    As long as the state-level governments are OK with it. So the whole thing that just went down on North Carolina is all fine and dandy according to the Centrist In Chief.

  10. 510
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    For a group that advocates nuance you sure do not know how to put it into practice.

    The only nuance there is is that the Rethuglican noise machine has spent the past 30-40 years making it extremely hard to reasonably expect better.

    It’s still disappointing. The state of politics is fucking disappointing. And we damn well should be complaining about it.

    The things we can’t do are:

    1) lose sight of the reality that the Dems are not as far left as they should, or the MSM makes them out to be

    2) lose sight of the reality that not voting Dem means handing power to the nuts

    By telling us not to complain about how lukewarm this is, you’re setting us up for 1). Please don’t, because it only contributes to the problem.

  11. 511
    upagainsttheropes

    @Mak

    Tell me how you wage war. Do you lop off heads or do you put a bullet in the back of them?

  12. 512
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    hungwithownrope, what the fuck is that supposed to mean?

  13. 513
    Robert B.

    upagainsttheropes @ 507:

    What? No. The issue is not that we mistrust the states. It’s not like the federal government has been much better on GLBT issues. The issue is that neither states’ rights or federal rights are in play here. This is an issue of human rights. The whole conversation about which level of government has the “right” to abridge the rights of the citizens is oppressive and hostile to justice. The fact that saying “states’ rights” right now is tantamount to endorsing a wave of gay marriage bans is just icing on the cake. (That would be a current wave, btw, not a historical one.)

    And I note that he did not say it was a civil rights issue. It would have been very easy for him to say that, but he didn’t. He didn’t mention rights until he was talking about states’ rights. He just expressed a personal preference.

  14. 514
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Tell me how you wage war. Do you lop off heads or do you put a bullet in the back of them?

    What the fuck??

  15. 515
    The Swordfish, Ambulatory Memory Leak

    Caine: Is this the part where I start cackling evilly? Or do I need to wait until the Gay Agenda™ arrives and thrust it to the sky, crowing “Its power is now MINE!” first? ;D

  16. 516
    upagainsttheropes

    @ Janine

    I’ll leave it to the viewer.
    What do you think it means?

  17. 517
    upagainsttheropes

    Can you not find the good in this statement?

  18. 518
    Robert B.

    upagainsttheropes @ 516:

    Well, I’m not sure, but it reminds me of this.

  19. 519
    upagainsttheropes

    Obama is evil and you all are pure good

  20. 520
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    I’ll leave it to the viewer.
    What do you think it means?

    Oh, you think you’re coy. That’s cute.

    Nope, sorry. Saying what amounts to, “It’s my personal opinion that gays should be able to marry, but if y’all disagree, it’s totally cool to just… you know, take that away from them if there’s enough of you to do it,” is not something that deserves “a break”.

    At all.

  21. 521
    jdrs0819

    It’s interesting that people want to support Glenn Greenwald’s articles from over a year ago on an unrelated subject and conveniently ignore the article he wrote today in support of the president:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/05/09/e_3/singleton/

    You know, just a thought.

  22. 522
    Cipher

    I doubt anybody here has the patience for your bullshit, UATR. I doubt anybody here gives a fraction of a fuck what you think, certainly not enough to guess at it. Speak your piece or get the fuck out.

  23. 523
    Ze Madmax

    upagainsttheropes @ #17/517:

    Can you not find the good in this statement?

    Sure. He personally supports marriage equality. But, to repeat myself:

    The problem is that (as people have explained over and over and over), this is A STEP FUCKING BACKWARDS. Obama said he believes the issue is one of states’ rights.

    States’ rights.

    STATES’ RIGHTS. RIGHT AFTER A STATE PASSES AN AMENDMENT AGAINST MARRIAGE EQUALITY.

    So one more time for the finger-in-ears-yelling-lalalala crowd:

    Obama just admitted that he is perfectly okay with the way the North Carolina amendment came out. An amendment that represents A STEP FUCKING BACKWARDS.

  24. 524
    upagainsttheropes

    @mak

    I didn’t say that

    @idiot assholes

    tell more how awful I am and your plans for a wonderful world that i’m just not right for

  25. 525
    Ze Madmax

    jdrs0819 @ #21/521:

    Greenwald then was right. Greenwald now is wrong. You know, the idea that people are infallible is something that atheists tend to dislike.

  26. 526
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Obama is evil and you all are pure good

    I invite you to rectally insert a uranium-cored porcupine corpse at your convenience, you worthless fucking troll. Seriously, don’t even start with this kind of pathetic shit tonight, we’re entirely sick of it.

  27. 527
    upagainsttheropes

    I reiterate… Can you not see the good in a US president in office acknowledging that gay marriage is a civil rights issue?

  28. 528
    Cipher

    UATR, your persecution complex is all the more amusing when no one gives even a teeny tiny little fuck about your incoherent ass.

  29. 529
    Koshka

    jdrs0819,

    Thanks for the link. From it;

    When someone who wields political power does something you dislike or disagree with, it’s incumbent upon you to object, criticize, and demand a different course. Those who refuse to do so are abdicating the most basic duty of citizenship and rendering themselves impotent.

    Pretty much where the thread has gone.

  30. 530
    jdrs0819

    @25/525:

    Not arguing infallibility, but I find it curious that people would dredge up an article unrelated to the subject by an author who wrote something completely new and related on the subject today. Not even a mention. Especially, as Glenn says, when the president has a good record on LGBT issues.

  31. 531
    Jadehawk

    I reiterate… Can you not see the good in a US president in office acknowledging that gay marriage is a civil rights issue?

    lol.

    you realize he didn’t, right? he said it was a states rights issue, and civil rights issues are not states rights issues, they are federal issues.

    what he actually said is very close to the crap Chris Christie said a while back about how it would have been better if the rights of African Americans would have been put to the vote.

  32. 532
    Ze Madmax

    upagainsttheropes @ #27/527:

    I reiterate… Can you not see the good in a US president in office acknowledging that gay marriage is a civil rights issue?

    I can see the good that does. I can also see that saying that it’s up to states’ to decide whether same sex couples can or cannot get married outweighs whatever good his “personal belief” screed did.

    As means of comparison: You have a headache. I give you an aspirin. Then I shoot your kneecap off.

    Aren’t I nice for giving you that aspirin? You wouldn’t say I’m evil after I’ve given you an aspirin, would you?

  33. 533
    Rip Steakface

    Managed to read the first 400 comments before the portcullis.

    Summation of my thoughts:
    I’m totally with Josh SpokesGay, Esteleth, and Janine (I’m the most privilege prone person possible too – young, non-disabled, cis, straight white guy. The only thing about me that isn’t somehow the norm or privileged side is being an atheist). That said, I feel completely hopeless in helping people at this point.

    It’s something common to us millennials. We’re crisis-fatigued. Everything is shit, and it feels like there’s just not enough we can do to fix a single thing, let alone everything, ranging from gay rights to climate change. This is especially true for me – I’m not yet voting age, and my parents are too indifferent to everything to make the slightest change (they’re the “why does my vote matter? it’s just one vote!” types). Thankfully, I have only until next February to be able to vote.

    It’s just a continual downpour of shit, and there’s nothing we seem to be able to do about it. Our choices for about forty years straight, election wise, have been between an idiot/asshole and an idiot/asshole that will do everything in his Mighty Whitey power to fuck everyone else. What can we do?

    As said earlier, the “possible option” is to go be politicians ourselves. But think about who we have to get to vote for us – old conservatives who actually like to go vote! The reason voter turnout is so terrible is not because voting is inconvenient, but because it’s just a selection of getting fucked one way or a slightly harsher way. We just can’t seem to do anything. By the Emperor, why won’t the damn boomers die off already!

  34. 534
  35. 535
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    I didn’t say that

    No shit, Obama said that. And then you said we should “give [him] a break” for it. Uh. NOPE.

    I reiterate… Can you not see the good in a US president in office acknowledging that gay marriage is a civil rights issue?

    Can you not see the wrong in stating that a state taking that right away is acceptable? Do you think that suddenly goes away just because he says that it’s his personal opinion that same-sex couples should be able to get married? Do you know what the implication of “for me, personally, this is true” is, in a discussion about bigots taking away people’s rights?

  36. 536
    John Morales

    upagainsttheropes:

    I reiterate… Can you not see the good in a US president in office acknowledging that gay marriage is a civil rights issue?

    I’m neither American nor LGBT; my opinion is but philosophical.

    What I see is someone who claims to personally support something, but that said something is not for him to support officially; rather, that someone emphasises that its legality is up to individual States to decide, and not worth fighting for.

    (What specific good is there, other than the illustration that the Overton Window has moved enough that he thinks he can get away with claiming such a personal opinion, though not enough that he feels he needs make it clear that State’s rights supersede civil rights?)

  37. 537
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    I was just following the ‘fuck you’ tennis on TeT and saw that PZ was making a valiant but desperate effort to move the discussion to its own relevant thread. So here I’m iz.

    Obama’s remark is pretty weaselly, but does anyone honestly expect otherwise? We know what DC is like, we see the kind of invertebrates that the SCA hires as spokespeople as a prime example. Mumbled half-acknowledgements of an anticipated goal or plan are de rigueur for any politician, lobbyist, shaved monkey, etc. whose main goal is living off the vast waste machine that is Washington politics.

    What one can HOPE is a salvageable message from this depends on the outcome of the next federal election. Just as Clinton seemed to become something of a useful force on his second term while mostly ineffective in his first term, most progressives really have no choice but to hope that the same will be said for Obama. If he wins the next election, and if he has favorable numbers in the house and senate, and based on what was said in the interview today, is it not at least more likely now that he may modify his statement to reflect a position of not having anything further to lose? With everything laid out on the table, and all the loose ends tied up, I would think that his ‘states’ rights’ afterthought might suddenly become a memory. The hint may have been completely mishandled, but I would really expect it to be expanded upon in the next presidential term into something genuine and worthwhile. Because, really, what would be the point of pissing around then?

    Of course, we have seen how the Dems have completely unwound and become the party of nothing, that stands up to on one. This isn’t what people going into a booth to select representatives desire. That’s not even Mexico!
    What really needs to be done, if these half-assed nods at important issues (especially about freedoms and rights) are to be handled properly and with integrity is for the Democratic party of the US to be handed a pink slip. It doesn’t mean voting next time round for the GOP. It means finally telling the party that enough is enough, and their services are no longer required. When this country collectively realizes that new political parties are desperately required, then real, positive national policy change can be achieved. Washington has been far too long up its own ass, and the voting public MUST be made to realize it’s in its own best interest to disintegrate both Democrats and Republican national parties.

    A party truly dedicated to liberal issues, and not paying lip-service to those issues simply as a matter of re-election, is desperately required in this country. I would think the logistics of trying to manifest an entire national political party before the next election impossible. However, Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring uprisings show what effect the internet can have on a national political movement in a very short time. Put this effect into action enthusiastically over the next four years and I think it could take down a major political party, if done right and the right people finally understood the ‘by the people’ part and ran as candidates.

    Or…I may be completely and stupidly over-optimistic, even if he wins Obama dithers and does nothing, and we’re all completely fucked over by theocratic, know-nothing thugs that for some utterly insane reason the American voting public thinks are okay because Jebus sent them. It’s not a joke when I say I do have a plan on the back burner for the family to leave if shit gets much more ridiculous, but I honestly don’t want to imagine an entire nation being so fucking riduculous that I would have to flee. This isn’t (church-) Nazi Germany…is it? It certainly can’t be. Not yet. I have a cake baking.

  38. 538
    upagainsttheropes

    @Mak
    Thank you for ignoring the statement before your righteous indignation:

    “I get, I get it. There’s work to do and it’s abysmal to leave up to states, civil rights issues considering their historical record..”

    You are a dignitary and a dickhead.

    I disagree with his state’s right NC support but I approve of his moral idea and recognize the position as leader of a divided nation that I have to live in.

    Unless of course you have another solution you’d care to share

  39. 539
    Cipher

    I disagree with his state’s right NC support but I approve of his moral idea and recognize the position as leader of a divided nation that I have to live in.

    And you thought this was valuable information to bring to the thread.
    Noted.

  40. 540
    Robert B.

    Are you really talking about people ignoring other people, UATR? After you collapsed nearly everyone in the thread into “ignorant assholes” and dismissed what we said with the most staggeringly inapplicable “refutation” it’s ever been my displeasure to read, showing no sign that you’d even seen half our posts, let alone read them?

    You are a troll. You are a trolly trollface who trolls about trolling. Go squirt it in a pail with the other trolls, we don’t want it here.

  41. 541
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Hey everybody. As usual, I’m fashionably late to the thread.

    First, thanks to Josh for the new nym subtitle. He said that and I thought “Hey, I am pretty motley!”

    Second, fuck Obama. Seriously. How anyone can see his “I personally support gay marriage but it’s a state issue” thing as anything other than giving right-wingers carte blanche to continue to stomp all over us, I don’t even understand unless you’re either too stupid or too dense to grok what he actually said, not your (or the media’s) interpretation of what he said.

    I’ve also had it up to here with the various “twelve-dimensional chess” arguments made for Obama in general, and this in particular. This isn’t some clever trick so he can do something later. He’s just a pandering unfueled fuckrocket. He did this as a bone-throw to his progressive/fauxgressive constituents and to keep the Human Rights Campaigners around. The most they ask for is an expensive fundraiser dinner where they can quietly clap while politicians say that they don’t think we’re the Devil, but it’s just not “politically expedient” to treat us like human beings.

    If anyone thinks that this was all Obama could do, here’s a hypothetical statement I made on Facebook:

    How hard is it for a President to get up on stage, slam his fist on the podium, and say “Human rights abuses are happening every day in every community of our own country. People are suffering and dying because of it. Saying I support gay marriage is just a start; I’m writing legislation, I’m issuing executive orders, I’m setting up court challenges. I’m utilizing every resource available to me to fix a mess that should have been dealt with a long time ago, that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

  42. 542
    Jadehawk

    I [...]recognize the position as leader of a divided nation that I have to live in.

    his position is as follows:

    anything he says, so matter how mild or even right-of-center, will be spun to make the right-wing froth at the mouth

    this “divided nation” is majority pro-gay marriage now

    so: leaving out the “I’m all for states rights” BS wouldn’t have hurt him, because the nutters will hate him anyway, and the rest either doesn’t care either way or is pro-gay rights.

    and quite frankly, since every time he says something like this, he basically fundraises for the republicans by stirring up their base, he should make sure that such statements go far enough to undo the damage

    which supporting states rights doesn’t; quite the contrary, it supports the nutters’ position.

  43. 543
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Thank you for ignoring the statement before your righteous indignation

    Yes, my righteous indignation over the fact that people are cheering for this empty bullshit, and then telling me and my compatriots that we should just shut up and accept it as the best that we should hope for.

    How about you go fuck yourself?

    Unless of course you have another solution you’d care to share

    He can grow a fucking spine and stop acting like the rights of LGBT people are still something up for debate. Oh wait, he’d have to stop believing it himself. And people like you would have to stop justifying it.

  44. 544
    Ichthyic

    Then there’s this from Metro Weekly:

    which puts a positive spin on the fact that:

    the DoJ has NOT filed the requisite clarifications in the prop 8 case, as they should have.

    that Obama makes it even clearer that the overall position on rights in this issue should be left to the states (imagine if that was the decision regarding women’s suffrage or voting rights for minorities)

    that Obama, regardless of what his DoJ is doing BEHIND the scenes, failed miserably to make a clear statement regarding the reasoning WHY he has the DoJ doing what it is doing (limited as it is).

    It’s a good article, but it tries too hard.

  45. 545
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    I disagree with his state’s right NC support but I approve of his moral idea and recognize the position as leader of a divided nation that I have to live in.

    This “disagreement” dividing the nation is over the fact that I want to live my life with the rights I should have, and other people have settled on taking my civil rights away because, for the moment, it’s illegal to kill me. Both sides are not equally valid. Some are right, and some are fucking evil.

    I don’t have to respect the views of anti-gay bigots, which happen to include dragging people behind trucks and lashing them to fence posts. The President should be smacking these people down with that righteous indignation you seem to despise, but he just handed them a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s Oppression Factory.

  46. 546
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Rip Steakface #(5)33:

    The reason voter turnout is so terrible is not because voting is inconvenient, but because it’s just a selection of getting fucked one way or a slightly harsher way.

    [citation needed]

  47. 547
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    …or do I really need to point out that Rip Steakface is ignoring all of the Republican-sponsored voter suppression laws that conveniently wind up disproportionately affecting populations that tend to vote Democratic?

  48. 548
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Swordfish: Good post. I tip my bandanna to you.

    Amphiox: Though I grasped it quicker than you, as a canadian I too had to take a moment or two to figure out the ‘state rights’ shit and probably would have just absorbed the surface positivity of the message (as so many have). After all, it certainly is nice that Mr Obama personally supports equal rights.

    But if I learned anything about privilege, it’s that you should probably listen to what actual members of the groups and movements in question actually think about this stuff instead of telling them what they should think.

    I definitely learned something tonight by paying attention to what Josh and Caine had to say. I won’t forget.

  49. 549
    Cipher

    pandering unfueled fuckrocket

    ♥ …I’m so glad you’re here, RahXephon.

  50. 550
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    …or do I really need to point out that Rip Steakface is ignoring all of the Republican-sponsored voter suppression laws that conveniently wind up disproportionately affecting populations that tend to vote Democratic?

    But what about the law saying solid-gold Cadillacs can’t be parked within 200 feet of polling places? Red carpets don’t stretch that far! That obviously oppresses Republicans!

    Or at least rich ones. Oh wait, they don’t vote, they just pay politicians to write laws for them. My mistake.

  51. 551
    pentatomid

    ‘Patriarchy research council’… What?

  52. 552
    upagainsttheropes

    I wonder how the world would be like under your ideas, not how you think it would be but how it would really be.

  53. 553
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    ♥ …I’m so glad you’re here, RahXephon.

    Aww, thank you, Cipher! Woulda been here sooner but the traffic to the end of the thread was atrocious. So many trolls criticizing the driving habits of others while ignoring the fact that their “cars” are two wooden dowels and a cinder block.

  54. 554
    Robert B.

    pentatomid @ 51:

    It seems to be a ftfy for the “Family Research Council.” I like PZ’s version better than the official name, since all they seem to research is how to keep me from starting a family.

  55. 555
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    But what about the law saying solid-gold Cadillacs can’t be parked within 200 feet of polling places? Red carpets don’t stretch that far! That obviously oppresses Republicans!

    And of course no one is going to believe those robo-calls telling people that Democrats vote on Wednesday — everyone knows Election Day is on a Tuesday!

    No, no, the nonvoters are as smart as us in realizing that there’s no real options, but they’re also stupider than us in not realizing that one of the options is definitely and obviously worse than the other. That’s gotta be the only explanation, because voter suppression would never work.

  56. 556
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    I wonder how the world would be like under your ideas, not how you think it would be but how it would really be.

    Noisemakers like you wouldn’t dilute the public discourse, for one.

  57. 557
    Robert B.

    I wonder how the world would be like under your ideas, not how you think it would be but how it would really be.

    TROOOOOOOOOOOOLLL. Who the hell are you even talking to, troll? You just fired that one randomly into the crowd. Because you’re a troll.

  58. 558
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Noisemakers like you wouldn’t dilute the public discourse, for one.

    In my world, people too stupid to participate in public debate would be fitted with devices that replace every other word with a duck quack. Preferably Mallard. Or maybe we should use geese honking instead.

    I’ll leave this one up to the ornithological censors.

  59. 559
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    In my world, people too stupid to participate in public debate would be fitted with devices that replace every other word with a duck quack. Preferably Mallard. Or maybe we should use geese honking instead.

    I’ll leave this one up to the ornithological censors.

    Since the formal term is “duckspeak”, it has to be quacking.

  60. 560
    Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority)

    I’ve said it before, but this is further proof, if proof were needed, that the US is a nation whose citizens are restricted to a choice of two political parties, one on the far right, the other on the further right. The fact that Obama is accused of being “far left” by some Americans (yes, I know that doesn’t include the Americans here!) just goes to show the depth of the disconnection between the political spectrum of the USA and that of the civilised world. By contrast, the UK’s (Conservative) prime minister is trying to push through legislation to allow full marriage rights for gay couples (who can currently enter into “civil unions”).

  61. 561
    NuMad

    Imagine an armadillo. It wants to cross the highway. Obama comes along, picks the armadillo up and carries it…

    …and then puts it down in the middle of the highway. Hey, maybe Obama cheering for the armadillo to make it the rest of the way across will protect it from the incoming truck?

    Especially if it’s a really mild cheer that expresses a lot of deliberation on the issue of the armadillo not getting run over.

  62. 562
    Crissa

    It’s pretty simple. He doesn’t have to be a firebrand on this topic. He can be tepid.

    …Because his administration has done more to support same-sex couples than any other administration already.

    Because it is normal, and right, and there’s no reason to yell it to the hills. It just is. Other people will shout and yell.

    Anyone trying to denigrate Obama for coming out now – before the election – is someone who would not be happy with anything he does. Someone I can write right off from being reasonable.

  63. 563
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    I wonder how the world would be like under your ideas, not how you think it would be but how it would really be.

    So how would it really be, when us queers have basic human rights?

  64. 564
    upagainsttheropes

    ridicule only works when you’re in the right

  65. 565
    upagainsttheropes

    @Mak

    You’re as dumb as the day is long.

  66. 566
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Anyone trying to denigrate Obama for coming out now – before the election – is someone who would not be happy with anything he does.

    *checks off “You’re a bunch of whiny ingrates” box next to Crissa’s name on my clipboard*

    …Because his administration has done more to support same-sex couples than any other administration already.

    *checks off “You should be kissing Obama’s ass because a few good things happened around him, through no impetus of his own to do the right thing” box on clipboard*

    Because it is normal, and right, and there’s no reason to yell it to the hills. It just is. Other people will shout and yell.

    *attempts to check “Fucking non-sequiturs, how do they work?” box, pencil lead breaks*

    Thanks, Cupcake, now I’ll have to rustle me up another writing implement.

  67. 567
    Ze Madmax

    Crissa @ #62/562:

    Someone I can write right off from being reasonable.

    Right. Nothing reasonable about having the POTUS basically say that, while he personally is OK with it, he also thinks that the results in North Carolina earlier this week are also OK.

    Someone who thinks that it’s OK for the president to say that people’s rights are up for vote can, IMO, also be written off as unreasonable.

    And bigoted.

    And all around a major asshole, really.

  68. 568
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Marcus Hill #60:

    I’ve said it before, but this is further proof, if proof were needed, that the US is a nation whose citizens are restricted to a choice of two political parties, one on the far right, the other on the further right.

    By contrast, the UK’s (Conservative)…

    That is a contrast between the political realities of both countries specifically with regards to marriage equality.

    Saying that there is a contrast between the overall political reality is wholly ignorant of the fact that Tony Blair’s “New Labour” was/is in lock-step both with austerity and the Republicans’ foreign policy.

  69. 569
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Oh, yeah, and the LibDems aren’t different either, otherwise they’d have already brought the government down on a confidence vote =/

  70. 570
    Robert B.

    Crissa:

    Normally I would say something about reading the thread before you comment. But given the length of this thread I kinda get it.

    So here it is: If there’s no reason to yell it to the hills, there’s certainly no reason to mumble and prevaricate. The way he phrased his “support” constituted a baffling and arguably deliberate show of weakness. He could have just taken the weasel words out and done a lot more good.

    It would be nice if Obama had stated his support for gay marriage before the last election – or after it, or during the DOMA and DADT fights, or any convenient time really – rather than letting his stated position from his Senatorial campaign vanish into smoke.

    And it would be really fucking nice if Obama had refrained from then endorsing the state-by-state oppression that is actually deciding this issue. That’s the real killer. That’s what is, as someone put it, shooting our kneecaps off, and destroying the small and tentative gains he offered by explaining his oh-so-tentative personal opinion.

    And by the way, it would also be nice if you would learn what reasons we may have before you write us off as unreasonable.

  71. 571
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Crissa #62:

    Anyone trying to denigrate Obama for coming out now – before the election – is someone who would not be happy with anything he does. Someone I can write right off from being reasonable.

    Then you should have no problem addressing my first two posts:

    After having my “red pill” moment with the mainstream media, I have resigned myself to the conclusion that, for these elections only, any attempt to break the cycle of the Democrats quietly following the Rethuglican noise machine to the right counts as a victory.

    Less Republican noise come January means a greater ability to push the Dems for more.

    Please note also that I would not likely be as firm as I am in this had Kennedy made an attempt at realistically assessing his decision in Citizens United.

    For a group that advocates nuance you sure do not know how to put it into practice.

    The only nuance there is is that the Rethuglican noise machine has spent the past 30-40 years making it extremely hard to reasonably expect better.

    It’s still disappointing. The state of politics is fucking disappointing. And we damn well should be complaining about it.

    The things we can’t do are:

    1) lose sight of the reality that the Dems are not as far left as they should, or the MSM makes them out to be

    2) lose sight of the reality that not voting Dem means handing power to the nuts

    By telling us not to complain about how lukewarm this is, you’re setting us up for 1). Please don’t, because it only contributes to the problem.

  72. 572
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    Anyone trying to denigrate Obama for coming out now – before the election – is someone who would not be happy with anything he does.

    I’d say stating that civil rights are a personal opinion that can be debated on and put to a vote isn’t something one should be happy about.

    Stating full out that LGBT people should be able to marry and that it’s completely wrong to deny this, and to stand up against it, would be something I’d be pretty happy about.

    Because it is normal, and right, and there’s no reason to yell it to the hills. It just is. Other people will shout and yell.

    And those other people will be the ones saying that same-sex marriage is wrong.

    What you’re saying is that people are listening to a statement that isn’t being spoken, and are ignoring a statement that is being spoken. What you’re saying is that being quiet proves how right we are, and being loud proves how wrong they are. What you’re saying is that the only voice should be the dissenters, because there’s no reason to speak up against them. Is that really what you want to say?

    Do you really want to say that we have no reason to speak out against people who HAVE SUCCEEDED AND ARE STILL SUCCEEDING at treating us like shit?

  73. 573
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    You’re as dumb as the day is long.

    Prove it.

  74. 574
    Robert B.

    ridicule only works when you’re in the right

    Nice trolling! Again addressed to no one, to maximize the number of potential targets. And this time you combined a tone troll, criticizing the tactic of ridicule, with a completely unsupported statement that someone was wrong. Who was wrong? What did they say that was wrong? Nobody knows! But everyone is free to assume you’re disagreeing with whatever they said that they care most about, and so respond with maximum anger. That’s what trolls want, after all. And you’re a troll.

  75. 575
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Do you really want to say that we have no reason to speak out against people who HAVE SUCCEEDED AND ARE STILL SUCCEEDING at treating us like shit?

    That statement by Crissa reminded me of something from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (I haven’t read it, I saw this quote from a friend; if it’s indicative of the content as a whole, I’m not interested in its vague whiffs of pop philosophy) where the guy says something about how people who are loud about issues are so because they’re insecure in their positions.

    That’s patent bullshit. Sure, Republicans and Christofascist freaks on the right may be loud because they see that their fearmongering crap isn’t sticking as much as they’d like, but we have to be loud in response; anything other than full-throated opposition can be, and is, read as silent acquiescence.

  76. 576
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    anything other than full-throated opposition can be, and is, read as silent acquiescence.

    Yep. It makes us seem smaller and more powerless than we are. That’s why they keep telling us to shut up. For our own good, of course.

  77. 577
    pentatomid

    Robert,

    It seems to be a ftfy for the “Family Research Council.” I like PZ’s version better than the official name, since all they seem to research is how to keep me from starting a family.

    Ah, I see. I’m not familiar with all the various hate groups in the US, so I didn’t recognise it. I can imagine Petriarchy Research Council being a more appropriate name.

  78. 578
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    RahXephon #75:

    …people who are loud about issues are so because they’re insecure in their positions.

    I would say that this is one of the two major underpinnings of Haidt’s Trope (named after the psychologist who waves around his most/only relevant piece of work exclusively in support of this trope): that the Democrats/liberals and Republicans/conservatives have been growing more radical at an equal rate.

    The other one would be the golden mean fallacy.

  79. 579
    pentatomid

    Woops, That would be Patriarchy in my previous comment. Damn tpyos.

  80. 580
    SQB

    In for a penny, in for a pound, I say

    It’s not about rights, it’s about votes, I’m sorry to say.

    He’s giving a penny now, to hint at a possible pound later. He’s maneuvering himself in a position where he will look progressive enough — but not too much — to gain those swing votes. Everyone to the left of him will vote for him anyway, just as anyone to the right of Romney will vote for Romney — they have no other option. As we all know, it’s the voters in the middle he needs to win, and this is part of his strategy.
    </cynical>

    Will we get the pound after the election? “Yes we can” turned out to be “Yeah, well, maybe”, so I don’t know. I do hope that, with no re-election to worry about, he will be bolder in his second term ans show us that yes, we do can. After all, DADT was repealed, so that does give a little hope. And he still has his Nobel Peace prize to earn.

  81. 581
    Rutee Katreya

    Give Obama a break, he is the first US President in office in history to acknowledge that marriage is a civil rights issue that should be extended to all citizens.

    I’m going to be charitable and assume you mean “…between gay people”. Still, no. I will not give the man a break for basically throwing me to the wolves.

    Anyone trying to denigrate Obama for coming out now – before the election – is someone who would not be happy with anything he does.

    I’d be cautiously happy about a pledge to fight for the civil rights of gay people.

    …Because his administration has done more to support same-sex couples than any other administration already.

    You are aware that there are countries that aren’t the USA, right?

  82. 582
    Nick Gotts

    I missed most of this. And I admit, my first thought on hearing the news was “Oh well, it’s better than nothing”. But – like Amphiox – the point about Obama defining it as a “States’ Rights” issue just didn’t hit me as it should have (and I don’t have the excuse of being ignorant about American politics). So thanks for the education PZ, Josh, Caine, Janine, Esteleth, Ichthyic, others too numerous to mention.

  83. 583
    Louis

    {TRIGGER WARNING FOR USE OF SEVERE ABUSE AS METAPHOR AND SATIRE.}

    Dear Everyone,

    I have a story for you.

    I have been married twice.* My first husband was a monster, he used to get really angry and beat me all the time. He used to tell me I was not really human and that I deserved the beatings. He never used to tell me he loved me, and he used to let all his friends come over and beat me too, and they used to tell me I was not really human too. They’d beat me in every room in the house as often as they’d like.

    He and his friends beat me so hard I was clinically dead a few times. But it’s okay, I got revived in the hospital. The beatings took their toll psychologically too. I’ve wanted to kill myself so many times, and sometimes I’ve tried, but every time I’ve been revived. I guess I’m a fighter!

    The only place my husband and his friends didn’t beat me was the closet. Well sometimes they’d beat me in there too, and it wasn’t a very comfortable closet, it was all cold and hard. If stayed in there all quiet and well behaved I might not get beaten.

    Like I said, he was a monster. I left him. Oh yes, why would a good person like me want to stay with a monster like that?

    My second husband is an angel. He beats me too, just the same and just as hard as my first husband did, and he lets his friends come over and beat me too, but there are important differences.

    When my husband beats me he says I am his special little darling and that he loves me. He tells me I am fully human and that I don’t deserve to be beaten, but that my being beaten is just the way things are right now. One day, he says, the beatings will stop, but some of his friends think the beatings should continue. He works with these friends and needs to keep them on side, so he says he’ll beat me until his friends are all comfortable with him not beating me. I think this is very fair.

    When he lets his friends beat me he makes sure most of them tell me they think I am a special little darling and a proper human too, just like everybody else, and he only lets them beat me in certain rooms in the house. This is a vast improvement.

    His friend Joe is in charge of the kitchen. He like to beat me in there.

    His friend Bubba is in charge of the living room, he likes to beat me in there. He’s not very nice, he still tells me I’m not human.

    His friend Dave is in charge of the bedroom, he likes to beat me in there.

    His friend Mohammed is in charge of the bathroom, he likes to beat me in there.

    His friend John is in charge of the study, but John has a twin brother Rick. John doesn’t want to beat me but Rick does. So what happens is that John and Rick fight a lot. When John wins, I don’t get beaten in the study, but when Rick wins I do. It’s hard to work in the study for all the noise and fighting, but some weeks I don’t get beaten in there.

    My husband doesn’t have enough friends to have one be in charge of the closet, and my husband is rich so our closet is very big and padded with comfortable cushions. I never get beaten in the closet, so I spend a lot of time in there. It’s a big improvement over my last closet! If I sit in there in comfort on those big, fluffy cushions, sometimes I can believe my husband and his friends don’t beat me at all. After all some days when John is in charge of the study, I don’t get beaten in there at all! It’s a massive improvement.

    My husband said to me that the decision to beat me was down to the individual friend in charge of each room, eventually, given time, each friend will decide that I don’t need to be beaten, so I should be grateful. Well, all except Bubba, Bubba loves to beat me. Funny thing though, sometimes when I am in the closet not getting beaten, Bubba comes and visits me. He never beats me in there and seems quite friendly. He tried to have sex with me in the closet once, but I’m faithful, I said no. The next time I went into the living room Bubba gave me a really hard beating. I wonder why?

    I have two friends. My first friend said to me the other day that I should leave my second husband and that he too is a monster. I said that my second husband is much better than my first husband, and whilst my friend agreed, my friend said that this really wasn’t the point. After all it’s not exactly hard to be better than my first husband!

    I said to my friend that if I left my husband he’d just stay with his friends and they’d only beat the next person my husband married. Worse, my husbands friends, particularly Bubba, have my husband effectively hostage. If he stopped them beating me, or if he looked like he was going to stop beating me before they want him to, they would quit working with him. They’ve said as much. That would mean my rich husband was made poor! Our beautiful house would be destroyed as all his friends robbed him or quit talking to him, and the one safe place I have, the closet and sometimes the study, would be ruined. I might as well go back with my first husband if that’s going to be the case.

    My second friend agrees with me that I should stay with my second husband. My two friends are always arguing, my first friend says my second friend is blind and my second friend says my first friend is ungrateful and that I am ungrateful too.

    However, my first friend says I could leave my husband and be on my own for a while. That I don’t have to be beaten at all. My friend also says that I could try to get the police to lock my husband up, or stop my husband beating me. But some of my husband’s friend are police. My friend says I could leave my husband and find another husband, a third husband who didn’t beat me at all. HA! As if THAT is possible! My first friend says I have options, and that I should be angry, and that I should never accept being beaten at all, even if my first husband was worse than my second husband. My first friend says that whether or not my first husband is worse than my second husband is irrelevant if they both still beat me. My friend says that whilst my second husband tells me I’m human and my first husband told me I was not human, that the fact that both beat me to largely the same extent is the real problem. The beating have to stop, the words changing is not enough.

    My second friend says this is silly. That I should expect to be beaten because that’s the way things are. My second friend says that because my second husband uses nicer words and lets his friends decide whether to beat me or not, that I should be grateful. My second friend says I should work with my husband to stop him beating me, I can work with him and John to stop the other friends beating me too. If I play nicely and don’t complain too much and focus on the nice words of my husband and his friends, that the beatings will stop in time. After all my second husband and his friend John are a vast improvement over my first husband ans his friends. Not only that but my new closet is much more roomy and comfortable. Not only that, but if I leave my first husband it will ruin him, and I’ll have no husband.

    Which friend should I listen to?

    Louis

    * No I haven’t. For those of you who haven’t guessed this by the end, this post is something of a satirical comment. I’m pretty fucking ashamed of how obtuse some of my con-specifics are being.

  84. 584
    Louis

    I too would like to heap praise on my Fake Husband Josh, My Fake Sister Wives Caine and Janine, Esteleth, my soon-to-be-Fake-Brother-Husband Icthyic and all those many other who have been Teh Awesum. Especially Desert Son (Good to have you back, man).

    Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail was linked above. But reading it would involve clicking and reading. Much too hard for our less “angry” brothers and sisters. So I’ll quote the part I guess we are all thinking about, make it easy on the poor calm souls so troubled by our anger:

    I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    Nice, calm, “accomodationist”, quiet, good old MLK. He fucking hated your mealy mouthed setting of a timetable for someone else’s liberation.

    And so do I. Angry, confrontational, loud, nasty, rude me.

    Louis

  85. 585
    carlie

    Swordfish, that was a great post.

    After I went to bed last night, it occurred to me what this conversation is parallel to.

    Honey, you really need to be nicer to me, and then I can be nicer to you. I know I hurt you, but I had to, because you were being so whiny and mean to me. You made me beat you, because of how you were acting. If you’d just be a good girl and go along with me, we’d get along a lot better and I’d be able to be nice and give you all the things you want. It’s all up to you and how you decide to act, see. It’s not my fault I treat you bad, it’s yours.

    The Democratic party, or at least those apologizing for it and telling everyone not to rock the boat, is a controlling abusive spouse.

  86. 586
    carlie

    This in the WaPo today:

    Administration officials insisted that Obama had reached his own decision earlier this year but said that he told only a small circle of people, numbering roughly six or seven, and made clear to advisers that he wanted to announce his support before the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, scheduled for the first week of September.

    The timeline was sped up, however, by Biden’s comments, which aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the officials said in a briefing with reporters Wednesday at the White House, speaking on the condition that they not be named or quoted.

    “Earlier this year”. “Earlier this year”. And further in the article:

    But advocates were angered last month when the White House announced that Obama had no plans to sign an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity

    He held back on it, trying to find the most politically expedient time to make his announcement, and in the meantime announced that he was refusing to sign a nondiscrimination legal order, said nothing when the North Carolina debacle was roaring down and a statement could have made a difference to voters, and even said nothing for almost a week after Biden made his statement. And that was long after he had actually made his decision on it. Real leader, that guy.

  87. 587
    Louis

    Carlie,

    It seems the same thing occurred to me!

    Sick minds think alike! ;-)

    MWAH!

    Louis

  88. 588
    eigenperson

    #(5)86 Carlie:

    Wow.

    As usual, I ask the President:

    For what did I put you in office, if not to sign “an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity”?

    Do your fucking job.

  89. 589
    carlie

    From GOProud, a Republican gay rights group:

    “It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality. I am sure, however, the President’s newly discovered support for marriage is cold comfort to the gay couples in North Carolina. The President waited until after North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.”

    “This is hardly a profile in courage by President Obama. For years now, President Obama has tried his hardest to have it both ways on this issue.

    “The real kudos here goes to LGBT activists and their allies who finally forced the President into yielding on this issue.”

    Even Republicans are saying he should have gone further.

  90. 590
    carlie

    Louis – oh dear, we cross-posted! That calls for cake and rum. :)

  91. 591
    carlie

    And I obviously type a LOT slower than you do.

  92. 592
    carlie

    Oh, I see what I did – I got to the bottom of my refreshed page and then posted, not seeing that it had added a tiny link to “newer comments” and a second page. Damn you, pagination!!!

  93. 593
    Louis

    LOL Carlie…

    Perhaps I just rant better than most people!

    As for cake and rum….oh hells yes!

    I’m off to see some friends this weekend, making it the third weekend of debauchery in a row. The first two were inspired by rage, this one at least will be pleasure.

    Or at least pleasure until I discuss this current Obama issue with one of my friends who has taken a disturbingly right wing slant as he ages…

    Louis

  94. 594
    John Morales

    [meta]

    I see that over on Patheos, the Hemant is “thrilled” by this action (not to mention impressed with Edwina Rogers).

    Thoughts About Barack Obama, Sean Faircloth, and Edwina Rogers over there — and no, I care not to link to it.

  95. 595
    SQB

    Louis: wow.

  96. 596
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    ruteekatreya @81 wrote:

    You are aware that there are countries that aren’t the USA, right?

    That’s the thing that is probably the most outrageous about this whole situation. You can look at the countries and districts that have already passed gay marriage laws, and the walls of civilization did not crumble, no one was struck by angry bolts of lightning, dogs and cats weren’t living together, no mass hysteria.

    The panic-mongering and reactionary bullshit law-making is being driven by a fearfully frightening number of ignorant religious zealots who haven’t the fucking foggiest what gay relationships are about, or do nothing but think of it all the time…one can never be certain, because they’re all so full of shit it’s really hard to gauge an accurate line of reasoning. These pimps for ignorance live in other nations and cultures, but they were never allowed to grab the steering wheel of the entire discussion and drive the fucking truck off a cliff. The problem is sheer numbers. No other country is that chock-full of nuts.

    Worst of all is a president of a supposedly secular country having to pass his speech through the constricted sphincter of not awakening the church-lady bullhorns is fucking ridiculous, ESPECIALLY given the international glaring empirical data of nothing being at all fucking wrong with any two adults marrying each-other, regardless of gender. The saddest commentary of the sorry state of politics was that I was not in the least startled by the way Obama delivered his bombshell. It’s exactly the way I would expect it to be delivered in 2012 USA, and that’s quite depressing, really. When the Canadian Prime Minister revealed gay marriage laws I only remember the purely nutty fringe religions going off. And most notably was that it was generally accepted that they were the nutty fringe, not a driving force in national politics. Not only that, the entire governing party was behind the bill. There were no weasel words or half-mutterings and then cringing. A country that drives the discourse into that kind of shell has fucked itself into a conversational corner.

    Given the high-stakes chess match being played out for the collective soul of the country, a country which was supposed to be about freedom from the moment of its conception, the maximum amount of optimism I can muster is that somehow it was indeed a portent of a far more suitably worded comment and action in favor of freedoms in a second term. As someone posited earlier, not having that mere shred of optimism just opens the windows for the far more dangerous and unadulterated crazies to get the checkmate. That it comes down to a choice between the asshole or the assholier doesn’t say much about the position Americans have left themselves as far as voting options go, more specifically, options to counter the growing power of religious fuckwittery. That surely needs to be seriously addressed before the next federal election, or all this will just be done over again. And you know the axiom about doing the same foolish things over and over again expecting different results.

  97. 597
    Louis

    SQB,

    “Wow” bad?

    Louis

  98. 598
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m not American, I’m not part of the LGBTQ community, so my opinion doesn’t matter much, but for what it’s worth…

    What the hell is wrong with all the Obama defenders? Are you completely ignorant of how politics work? He is the president, every word of his statement was carefully planned. The first part, where he kinda waves an olive branch in the general direction of the LGBTQ community means fuck all when he follows it with the second part. That first part are empty words. The second part is the important one. For the good it will do, he might have as well kept quiet about his personal opinion (at least I see it that way, people to whom that matters personally may see it differently and I welcome the correction). Because in the end he says that (despite his personal opinion) states have a right to vote on people’s basic rights.

    It’s no wonder people are angry. Honestly, I’m impressed they still have enough strength to argue with every idiot here after all these disappointments.

  99. 599
    SQB

    “Wow” as in “do you have a Molly already?”

    Although, of course, I’m speaking from the privileged position of never having been abused, nor likely to ever be, so nothing was triggered in me.

    But I always enjoy your (sometimes absurd, almost always hard-hitting) contributions. Thanks.

  100. 600
    carlie

    He’s giving a penny now, to hint at a possible pound later.

    But he’s been hinting for four years. We’ve never gotten the pound. His entire first four years has been almost nothing but a run for the second election. At some point, you have to admit there is no pound.

    That’s something that’s been true of Obama from the very start – people pinned all their hopes (and change!) on him, reading into his carefully vague statements all that they wanted. It’s the twelve-dimensional chess strategy that was mentioned a hundred or two comments ago. However, reality seems to bear out over and over again that being vague and centrist-right isn’t a strategy, it’s how he actually is. At some point the preponderance of evidence has to win out and people will have to admit that he’s not a mastermind playing some sort of long game here.

  101. 601
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    At Taslima’s blog (and yes, I’m aware a lot of you don’t read it) she mentioned a letter she received from Obama. The last paragraph said thus:

    I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

    My emphasis.

    That’s where I have this frustration. Yay, we’re happy that’s the case, but our current political environment is not states enacting same-sex marriage, it’s states denying them. This is so frustrating, and it’s so bothersome he would even say something like that. It does not help to have a president say that states’ rights are important, when over half the states in the country deny the right to marry to same-sex couples. It’s a political dog bone, something to satisfy us and ignore the atrociousness of the argument.

    I want the President to come out and say straight out “same-sex couples have the right to get married” with no caveats about states’ rights. Rachel Maddow had a report about the interview and she said that personal opinions don’t matter if what the President does hurts people (prefacing it with Dubya’s personal “okayness” with gay people but his anti-gay policies.)

    Obama’s personal opinions on this don’t matter, what can he do for us? If all he is willing to do is say “yea, same-sex couples should get married” but not do anything to help, then it’s like being punched in the jaw. He needs to actively ensure those rights to all same-sex couples, regardless of which states they live in.

  102. 602
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    In our two party system, there is currently a third party that possibly stands a chance. I was reading up about them and I noticed how, even when they were questioned specifically about equal marriage rights for gay people, they were always careful to answer by confirming their approval of equal rights to (our equivalent of) civil unions. That’s probably a reason I quickly “got” why people are angry, even though my first reaction was being glad that Obama made a positive statement.
    The devil is in the details. It’s sad so many people are naive enough to fall for the flowery words and ignore the truth behind them.

  103. 603
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Wow… 600 comments already?

    Obama should have kept his fucking mouth shut. What he’s done is attached his unpopular name to marriage equality, without putting the weight of his power or popularity behind it. Literally the worse off both with the benefits of neither. He’s given the bad guys something else to rally around and draw in greater support, without doing jack shit to actually help the side he claims to be on.

  104. 604
    SQB

    Yes we can.

  105. 605
    markmyers

    When you are an elected leader you can only effect so much change so fast. He is tugging America in the right direction like a daycare leader stringing a line of preschoolers on a walk. No point pulling the rope hard cause each kid hangs on only voluntarily. All you can do is gently lead and hope they stay with you. A tough situation that requires wisdom and patience.

  106. 606
    SQB

    No point pulling the rope hard cause each kid hangs on only voluntarily.

    But if you don’t pull the rope at all, you get nowhere.

    And just like daycare leaders have other methods to get kids to come along, the PotUS has other methods as well. This is not a walk in the park. This is an emergency.

  107. 607
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Those who read PZ’s blog and comments have the benefit of hearing from those who are walking the halls of the beating house in their real lives. How to best lift the sentiments being spoken here and convey them to the general public about how insufficient, or even damaging ‘The King’s President’s Speech’ was to the cause of equality? When they read the news or see Obama’s comment on TV there are going to be so many that have no idea what the undercurrent of real reaction is by the community directly affected by it.

  108. 608
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    These analogies have been deconstructed at least a couple of dozen times only on this thread, but I’ll give it a go : He’s not pulling the rope, he said that he thinks they should walk, but it’s up to each one of them to decide if they are willing to walk along or not. Totally ok if they don’t make it to the park at all, as far as he’s concerned.

  109. 609
    Louis

    SQB,

    1) I have a Molly already (buggered if I know how). Thanks though!

    2) My post at #83 is not a true story, obviously, it is a satire. I am satirising the terrible state of LGBT rights in the USA and the ridiculous anti-”angry” arguments some people have made.

    In effect, LGBT folks in the USA have moved from a situation of oppression to a situation of oppression with slightly nicer language and occasional respite. Those people lauding Obama’s recent proclamation, whilst noting correctly that his personal views might sound nicer than those of presidents past, are missing that his political acts differ little from the oppression of the past, despite the nice language. As Carlie notes, it’s analogous to being partnered to an abusive spouse, with some people acting as apologists for the spouse’s abuse.

    BTW I’m male, married to a woman who would object to being called my husband and who only beats me when I ask very nicely or have been out drinking without Permission! ;-)

    Louis

  110. 610
    SQB

    (…) have been out drinking without Permission

    Is that her name?

  111. 611
    Louis

    The pulling the rope analogy fails unless individual preschoolers holding that rope occasionally get killed by their peers or kill themselves due to their peers harassing them or stopping pulling the rope.

    The people harmed by this failure to be rigorous on Obama’s part are very real. What he has done is not good enough. The pragmatics of what he has done are well understood, but the problem is that his gentle tugging on the rope (as opposed to full throated ripping it along) is giving people kind of holding onto the rope enough time to harass, kill and aid in the suicides of the LGBT kids holding on the rope too.

    He is relying on the fact that other people’s privilege remains sufficiently unquestionable for LGBT people to challenge it effectively. He is quite literally allowing, worse, permitting, the death and oppression of LGBT people at the hands and mouths of bigots for the sake of political expediency.

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Also The Hangman.

    We barter access to rights for others, rights we enjoy, for apparent pragmatism at our peril.

    Louis

  112. 612
    tbp1

    I get all the criticism, I do, and Obama has been in many ways a big disappointment, but it’s still HUGE that a sitting president has come out for same-sex marriage, however tepid and qualified the endorsement.

  113. 613
    Louis

    SQB,

    No, but it is capitalised for Good Reason.

    Never mess with the beloved Mrs, for she is mighty and her Wrath waxeth swiftly.

    I went out drinking last weekend without Permission. I arrived home and my beloved wife greeted me with silence.

    She then spoke on the topic for some forty five minutes.

    Louis

    P.S. Actual marital relations and fierceness of Mrs have been exaggerated for comedy effect.

    My wife is wonderful, lovely and has no problem with me having the odd night out. And vice versa. She’s an intelligent, splendid human being, why on earth would she mind?

    Anyway, as someone noted on another thread with great perspicacity, the Dopey Husband/Beleaguered Father Routine is a “crafty daft” method of manipulating our spouses into doing things since we useless men are far too bloody stupid to do these things. However, I feel it is also a great comedy device, and my wife isn’t actually fooled by it anyway, so I’m safe!

  114. 614
    truthspeaker

    joshuakundert
    9 May 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I would prefer that people clarify how they expect the President to do anything more here politically than just give his preferences.

    Give stronger preferences.

    Obviously he can’t change the law. All the more reason for him to come out strongly for gay marriage, and not say he thinks it’s a states rights issue. His personal preference doesn’t get voted on by Congress, so there’s no reason for him to moderate it.

  115. 615
    peterwhite

    @Swordfish
    thanks for the wall of text, I was happy to read the whole thing. Well said and an important message to pass on to people on both sides of the fence.

  116. 616
    truthspeaker

    tbp1
    10 May 2012 at 7:20 am

    I get all the criticism, I do, and Obama has been in many ways a big disappointment, but it’s still HUGE that a sitting president has come out for same-sex marriage, however tepid and qualified the endorsement.

    20 years ago it would have been huge. 10 years ago it would have been notable. In 2012, it just looks like he’s finally catching up to the rest of the population.

  117. 617
    Louis

    tbp1, @112,

    The problem is that it’s not merely a tepid and qualified endorsement. If that were all it were then, yes, we’d have taken a step forwards.

    In saying that “gay marriage” is a States’ Rights issue straight after the events in North Carolina what Obama has done is taken a deliberate, calculated, backwards step for the sake of political expediency.

    I am not a USAian, nor do I play one on television, but even I understand this aspect of US politics to some degree. In saying that individual states can decide the issue of “gay marriage” after the NC thing of recent days Obama has traded yet another opportunity to establish LGBT equality federally, across the USA, for the comparative lack of howling from all but the usual winger-loons.

    This is quite literally achieved over the bodies of LGBT people. As I alluded to above in #83, the difference analogous to the difference between a spouse who beats you and tells you you are inhuman, and a spouse who beats you and tells you you are human and might one day not get beaten. Perhaps. This is not a productive difference as long as the beatings continue.

    Louis

  118. 618
    humanape

    I’m an economic conservative but I agree with liberals about a lot of things including the idea that the government has no right to stick its nose into anyone’s private life. Absolutely no exceptions including same sex marriage. What other people think about this lifestyle doesn’t matter because it’s none of their business, it’s none of my business, and most certainly it’s none of the government’s business.

    If Romney wins the election because of our President’s brave and correct decision to let everyone do what they want to do, then he will be winning for the wrong reason. But as an economic conservative I won’t complain no matter how Romney wins.

    I suggest Mr. Obama saw the latest Gallup polls and decided he had nothing to lose. For a long time it looked like Obama would be reelected easily, but the most recent Gallup poll which I found at Election 2012 Trial Heat: Obama vs. Romney shows that Romney has a small lead (47% to 44%).

  119. 619
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Humanape:

    Oh go away with your lies. We all know you’re a homophobic asshole and you’ll be cheering if Romney gets elected.

  120. 620
    dianne

    Louis @83 (trigger warning: violence used as metaphor in this response):

    I regret to inform you that your second husband is lacking in brains, guts, backbone and appropriate reproductive organs. He doesn’t seem to have noticed that the majority of his friends’ friends and supporters don’t think you should be beat up. Well, except maybe for Bubba’s, but it’s hard to tell because Bubba beats them too so their real opinions are hard to come by.

    Also, I’ve seen your house and while the structure is quite nice, it’s a real mess right now. I don’t think your husband’s friends have really been working with him. I think they’re freeloading off him and pretending to work with him. Neither he nor they seem to realize that if they don’t work together, it’s his friends who will come off the worst. What are they going to do? Threaten to leave and build their own house? We saw how well that went last time. He needs to get his act together and stop the beatings NOW.

  121. 621
    CT Chimako.27

    Sorry, comments tl;dr and they seemed to end up on “you’re a dick” and “you’re a homophobic asshat”.

    My comment, as a data analyst, I think they waited on the NC results, weighed the data in relation to POTUS campaign, also weighed in the response of the rest of the country “those NC bigot racist homophobic assholes, I do NOT want anyone to think I’m like them”, then told him to speak.

    Is that politicking? not sure, but I’m somewhere around 75% sure this is really how it happened even tho I’m not there and don’t know anyone there.

  122. 622
    carlie

    Given that the right wing is already distorting the president’s message to saying he’s marching around calling for gay people to control the world, maybe it’s best if we do the same thing. Perhaps if sympathetic legislators and media people were all “Yay Obama’s for all gay rights and wants gay people to control the world!” and really ran with it, it would at least shame him into being a little more supportive. Maybe.

  123. 623
    see_the_galaxy

    Ask yourself this. Are the freepers saying, “hey Obama is for states’ rights! There’s no difference between Romney and Obama; who cares who wins?” Of course not. Only us. The point isn’t that Obama is right, but that his moving is a sign of our winning. So we can be right about that, but the second point is that we can be correct, and still disspirited and disunited, let the Right win…and then you get NOTHING. Think clearly people.

  124. 624
    Louis

    Dianne, #120,

    You’d get on very well with my first friend. My first friend has noticed the things you have noticed.

    I’d like the beatings to stop, I’d like to agree with my first friend and you, but my closet is so comfortable, and Bubba hardly ever comes in there now. There was this one time he wanted me to help him lift some luggage and he came to find me. And this other time he wanted me to check his stance in a toilet to see if it was too wide. Apart from that, and Saturdays when he takes methamphetamine, he’s never in there. I do wonder about Bubba.

    Not only that, but my second friend and my second husband both tell me I shouldn’t rock the boat. Of course the beatings will stop eventually, they both say so, but for the sake of my husband’s friends I have to hang in there and take the beatings until my husband ans his friends decide for me they will stop. Sure the nice house is not perfect, the first aid kit is terrible and most people aren’t even able to access it for example, but it’s better than my first husband’s house so shouldn’t I be grateful?

    Louis

    {Breaks character: You know I agree with you, right? I’m parodying the “wait it out”/”pragmatists”/”realpolitikers” and their glorious Stockholm syndrome.}

  125. 625
    Bernard Bumner

    Marriage for gays, gender equality, racial equality. Job done. Now all of you queers, feminazis, and blacks can stop complaining. Look at what we let you have. Please, please, there is no need to thank us.

    I’m an economic conservative but I agree with liberals about a lot of things including the idea that the government has no right to stick its nose into anyone’s private life.

    Gay marriage is an issue of privacy now? I thought it was an issue of granting the same basic human rights to everyone, no matter who they are?

    Equality is the point at which nobody cares or questions what you are in your public life, not merely your private life.

  126. 626
    futurechemist

    As a gay man, I’m proud of what Obama did. Yes, he could have gone further. But it was a huge step nonetheless (if completely unsurprising based on his “evolving” comments). And his announcment already got a couple of senators to announce their support also. This is the sort of cover that other politicians would need to officially state their support if they were officially on the fence before.

    Realistically, there’s a limit to how much he can do. He’s already told the DOJ not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in courts, a stronger statement wouldn’t influence the various judges that are hearing lawsuits. And I don’t think he’s going to convince enough Republicans to see any sort of widespread push to get rid of the many constitutional amendments already in place at the state level.

    I’m hoping for a smaller effect where he’s getting moderates to reconsider their view. Maybe it will help with the upcoming marriage equality votes in Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, and Washington, but seeing as how the vote in North Carolina was so lopsided, I don’t think an earlier announcement would have prevented it. That and it will hopefully have the net effect of energizing more people in his base than pissing off socially conservative, but otherwise moderate voters.

  127. 627
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    {Breaks character: You know I agree with you, right? I’m parodying the “wait it out”/”pragmatists”/”realpolitikers” and their glorious Stockholm syndrome.}

    Conveniently, for all their so-called reality, they’re blithely unaware of the reality of primaries and that by making enough noise we can do the same damn thing the teabaggers did.

    They’re as bad as the people who insist that governments need to issue debt and pay it back with interest. Probably are the same people, in fact.

  128. 628
    Matt Penfold

    Saying that there is a contrast between the overall political reality is wholly ignorant of the fact that Tony Blair’s “New Labour” was/is in lock-step both with austerity and the Republicans’ foreign policy.

    It is a bit of a stretch to claim that Labour under Ed Milliband is in lock-step with the Government’s austerity policy.

  129. 629
    carlie

    but the second point is that we can be correct, and still disspirited and disunited, let the Right win…and then you get NOTHING. Think clearly people.

    Tell me exactly HOW complaining to your own representative, who you voted for, and explaining to them how they can better represent you is “letting the Right win”.

  130. 630
    carlie

    Moreover, tell me EXACTLY how anything being said here is “letting the Right win”. Who said that they were now going to change their vote and cast it for the Right? You (and others) are conflating active participatory democracy and struggling to get your needs heard in your own fucking party who claims to want to represent you as somehow supporting the opposition. This is asinine. People will NEVER CHANGE if they are not told they need to change and shown how to change. Arguments here keep bringing up the analogy of parents and children, or teachers and students, and how to best get those children/students to learn. They will not learn if they are never told they are doing it wrong in the first place. And trying to get your own damned representative to represent you properly is in no way throwing your support to the opposition, and I really, truly want to know how you think it is.

  131. 631
    carlie

    onveniently, for all their so-called reality, they’re blithely unaware of the reality of primaries and that by making enough noise we can do the same damn thing the teabaggers did.

    This, this, this. We have actual evidence, not from older history but from RIGHT NOW, that agitating loudly and obnoxiously gets results. The Republican party is completely beholden to a group that was completely nonexistent fewer than 10 years ago. This did not happen because the teabaggers patted the Republicans on the head and told them they did a good job.

  132. 632
    rayfowler

    ” I’d have expected from a Democratic candidate running for office last century ”

    Excessive hyperbole. Howard Dean signed the civil unions bill in May 2000 and had to start wearing a bullet-proof vest as a result.

    Things are moving really fast, in the right direction. Let’s not rewrite history and act as if it could have been moving a lot faster.

  133. 633
    Anri

    (As posted elsewhere):
    Although the President personally supports mixed-race marriage, he really thinks that, as a legal issue, it should be left up to the states to decide.

    In other news, North Carolina recently added an amendment to their consitution to ban miscegenation statewide.

    . . .

    Although the President personally supports religious tolerance, he really thinks that, as a legal issue, it should be left up to the states to decide.

    In other news, North Carolina recently added an amendment to their consitution to ban Jews from elected office statewide.

    . . .

    etc, etc.
    Progress!

  134. 634
    Matt Penfold

    Excessive hyperbole. Howard Dean signed the civil unions bill in May 2000 and had to start wearing a bullet-proof vest as a result.

    Things are moving really fast, in the right direction. Let’s not rewrite history and act as if it could have been moving a lot faster.

    You knowledge is history is limited. Liberal politicians in Europe were calling for same sex marriage well before 2000. Is there any reason why the US should be so backward ?

  135. 635
    rayfowler

    “You knowledge is history is limited. Liberal politicians in Europe were calling for same sex marriage well before 2000. Is there any reason why the US should be so backward ?”

    I’m pretty sure the part of my post where I pointed out that Howard Dean had to wear a bullet-proof vest gave ample reason.

    Why is the US so backward on this issue? I have no idea. But it obviously is.

  136. 636
    ltft

    @John Morales, new set of comments #1, 501 overall

    You wrote, “So, the outcome would’ve been worse (in your opinion) had Obama actually endeavoured to legislate for marriage equality? (There are no limits to opposition, right?)”

    Yes, way back at #397 I argued that, politically for Obama, the costs and benefits were different depending on what statement he made. I think my position on the question you just asked is very clear in post 397 and I don’t see the need to repeat it.

    On a side note, and to re-emphasize: I do not think you can very much excuse the tepidness of Obama’s statement by referencing the political context the statement was made in. I wanted, however, to correct the political context described in shorthand by PZ and others to a more full (and, to my mind, more accurate) model.

  137. 637
    David Marjanović

    You knowledge is history is limited. Liberal politicians in Europe were calling for same sex marriage well before 2000. Is there any reason why the US should be so backward ?

    Well, yes, yes – plenty. The vicious circle between the Religious Wrong, the lack of health insurance and the micro-locally managed and financed public schools first and foremost.

  138. 638
    Matt Penfold

    I’m pretty sure the part of my post where I pointed out that Howard Dean had to wear a bullet-proof vest gave ample reason.

    Yet the fact remains the US is backward, and for that politicians must take a good share of the blame. For some reason you seem to want to let them off their moral failure to provide leadership.

  139. 639
    flex

    I’ve only read the first 117 comments of the second part of the thread, so maybe this has already been mentioned.

    First, marriages are already covered by state law not federal law. Maybe that should change, but aside from the inane DOMA, federal law has pretty much left the definition of marriage to individual states.

    So, while I believe Obama’s choice of words may be unfortunate, calling it a state right, what I get from his statement is that while he personally supports gay marriage he is not going to propose federal legislation to require states to acknowledge gay marriage.

    By doing this Obama has deliberately avoided conflating the issue of gay marriage and states rights. While I understand the disappointment of such a mealy-mouthed statement, he has very skillfully eliminated the argument that the federal government is taking power from the states. Possibly legislation will be introduced in congress next year to make gay marriage a civil rights issue, but it won’t come from Obama.

    Secondly, and I suspect even more importantly, Obama’s statement right now removes a certain amount of doubt about his position and re-opens the discussion among citizens well enough in advance of the general election for both education of the fence-sitters and to make it an old issue by election time.

    Now, I do not think Obama is playing Xanatos chess. But among the conversations my co-workers this morning (who are a surprising microcosm of American society), the opinions on gay marriage ranged from “I don’t think it’s right” to “who really cares”. The consensus was “As long as they don’t force me to watch, let them get married.” Just as the polls show, there is some movement toward acceptance of gay marriage. Not a joyful celebration of the love of two people, but at least not the unbending hatred shown by the opponents of gay marriage.

    I am frustrated about this issue myself. I don’t see any good reason why, if we truly are one nation, some of the regulations which are currently managed by individual states wouldn’t be managed better at a federal level. Things like drivers licensing, gun registration, laws of incorporation, and certainly marriage would all benefit by commonizing the wide range of state laws covering these areas. Certainly there were reasons the ability to regulate these areas were given to the states, both cultural and historical reasons, but those reasons are largely invalid in our modern society.

    To put Obama’s statement in a historical perspective, the 1957 Civil Rights Act did very little to advance civil rights. However, it was a symbol of the potential for more. I would recommend that we view this statement by Obama in the same light. The wall of opposition may not have crumbled, but a hole has been made. It is time to re-double our efforts, not to get discouraged.

    And, of course, since I’m writing this at work and having constant interruptions it’s quite possible that in the past 2.5 hours all what I have written above has already been said.

  140. 640
    carlie

    Let’s not rewrite history and act as if it could have been moving a lot faster.

    The first “Tea Party” event was held in 2007. The Tea Party congressional caucus was formed in 2011.

    How slow do political movements have to be in order to have a lot of influence again?

  141. 641
    rayfowler

    “Yet the fact remains the US is backward, and for that politicians must take a good share of the blame.”

    Non-sequitur.

    “For some reason you seem to want to let them off their moral failure to provide leadership.”

    No. You premise is based on the notion that Americans all look to their politicians for leadership on moral issues. That is, on its face, absurd.

    We all know where much of the gay-hate comes from. It’s religion… especially the “abomination” verse. Politicians have absolutely zero to do with that.

  142. 642
    Bernard Bumner

    Whilst politicians continue to treat this is a political issue, rather than an issue of basic equality and human rights, there will always be room for the right wing to pretend that this is an argument to be won or lost.

    There could be no mainstream posturing that racial equality is something that must be argued for, the benefits proven, and the costs weighed.

    If Obama turned this into a fight for basic human equality, then people wouldn’t need to be protected against their political opponents by bulletproof vests, those people would be called what they are; terrorists.

  143. 643
    pentatomid

    First, marriages are already covered by state law not federal law. Maybe that should change, but aside from the inane DOMA, federal law has pretty much left the definition of marriage to individual states.

    Well that’s true,

  144. 644
    Matt Penfold

    Non-sequitur.

    You need to explain yourself here, as it would appear you think politician have no role to play in changing public opinion, which would be idiotic. Assuming that you are not an idiot you not making any sense.

    No. You premise is based on the notion that Americans all look to their politicians for leadership on moral issues. That is, on its face, absurd.

    Oh, you are saying that they have no such responsibility. Oh dear, did you mean to say something so foolish in public ? If you want to take that back we can agree to forget you ever said it.

  145. 645
    rayfowler

    “The first “Tea Party” event was held in 2007. The Tea Party congressional caucus was formed in 2011.

    How slow do political movements have to be in order to have a lot of influence again?”

    Are you saying that the “Tea Party” was built from whole cloth rather than being a simple re-branding of an existing political group?

    How quickly did the Tea Party shed its “libertarian” facade and start pushing the standard Christian evangelical agenda?

    There is nothing new about the Tea Party except the banners.

  146. 646
    Louis

    Rayfowler,

    Things are moving really fast, in the right direction.

    So this is a vector quality with both magnitude (rate) and direction.

    1) Rate:

    Tell that to Jack. Or Matthew Shepard. Or… Fast enough for whom? See the MLK quote above. Who are you to determine whether or not the rate of (presumably) someone else’s liberation is correct?

    2) Direction:

    In saying this is an issue for individual states to determine, Obama’s declaration is a backwards step. It is essentially an appeasement of the more “moderate” conservative/anti-gay groups in the USA by avoiding making this a federal issue. I’d say that “even” in the UK our “conservative” government is finally getting it, but I’m not optimistic. I’ll wait until things actually happen.

    This is not a productive appeasement by the way, it has the effect of slowing the rate of change. Why? Because, as with the Tea Party etc, beleaguered politicians can horse trade the rights of LGBT people with the both moderate and extreme anti-LGBT bigots in order for a mandate.

  147. 647
    rayfowler

    “You need to explain yourself here, as it would appear you think politician have no role to play in changing public opinion, which would be idiotic. Assuming that you are not an idiot you not making any sense.”

    How quickly you resort to insults. Politicians pander to get votes and have done so for centuries. They represent the will of the people. The only role they have in “changing” public opinion is putting an official imprimatur on social changes that are occurring around them.

    “Oh, you are saying that they have no such responsibility. Oh dear, did you mean to say something so foolish in public ? If you want to take that back we can agree to forget you ever said it.”

    No, they have no such responsibility to provide moral leadership. Also, more insults.

  148. 648
    Matt Penfold

    I’d say that “even” in the UK our “conservative” government is finally getting it, but I’m not optimistic. I’ll wait until things actually happen.

    I’d say the Government got it, but that most of the Conservative party, and especially those on the right, are still clueless. That Cameron does not want to antagonise the right of his party any more might explain why there was no commitment to replacing civil partnerships with same-sex marriage in the Queen’s Speech. Of course that would mean he is somewhat lacking when it comes to moral courage.

  149. 649
    Louis

    Bugger…I screwed up the end of my #146.

    After the word “mandate” the post should read:

    “So instead of standing up for LGBT rights effectively, “liberal” US politicians are selling out LGBT people for the simple expediency of (remaining in) power. Sure this happens in Realpolitik, but the idea of a trade is that both parties get something. Since this does not advance LGBT rights, it positively retards them (imagine for example the analogies made by people above to do with slavery or miscegenation) then what has been gained for LGBT people and their rights is negative.

    Simply saying something sufficiently woolly to sound nice to someone not thinking about it is not progress.”

    Louis

  150. 650
    pentatomid

    How the… What? I was typing and then… Okay let’s try this again.

    First, marriages are already covered by state law not federal law. Maybe that should change, but aside from the inane DOMA, federal law has pretty much left the definition of marriage to individual states.

    Well that’s true, and actually Obama, to my knowledge, has always said he wanted to keep the definition of marriage a state issue.
    Now this is in no way a defense of Obama. Keeping it this way is just plain stupid, but it does mean that those claiming it’s a step backwards are wrong. It’s not a step backwards. It’s just plain nothing. A stand still.

  151. 651
    Louis

    Matt, #148,

    Cameron? Lacking in moral courage? You shock me, sir! ;-)

    You are spot on as ever. The absence of full marital equivalence in the Queen’s speech was very telling. I’m wondering where the Lib Dems are in this “coalition” because when it comes to policy they seems suspiciously ineffective. Especially as it seems that Cameron/Osborne are acting as if they have an overwhelming majority and clear mandate.

    It’s the perpetual problem of the Left, not progressive enough when in power because of the eternal compromises with the anti-progressive forces in power and society.

    Louis

  152. 652
    Matt Penfold

    How quickly you resort to insults.

    I am only insulting you if you think politician have no role in changing public opinion. However, since you clearly do think I insulted you it follows you do think they have no such role, which clearly does make you an idiot.

    I am a loss to understand why, if you are an idiot and you seem to be admitting that you are one, you object to me calling you one.

    Politicians pander to get votes and have done so for centuries. They represent the will of the people. The only role they have in “changing” public opinion is putting an official imprimatur on social changes that are occurring around them.

    Oh dear. It seems rather than admit you said something a bit foolish you want to continue being a fool. Well I cannot stop you, but please, do not complain when you suffer the consequences of being a fool. That would include complaing about being insulted when the facts of your foolishness are pointed out.

    No, they have no such responsibility to provide moral leadership. Also, more insults.

    I though offering you the opportunity to wipe the slate clean was being polite. I suspect your concept of politeness is somewhat flawed.

    Oh, and it is not polite to inflict your stupidity on the rest of us. If you want to talk about insults, learn to be polite first.

  153. 653
    strange gods before me ॐ

    In saying this is an issue for individual states to determine, Obama’s declaration is a backwards step. It is essentially an appeasement of the more “moderate” conservative/anti-gay groups in the USA by avoiding making this a federal issue.

    I don’t know about that.

    However I do agree with those who are saying that it’d be better if Obama simply did not mention the matter of the states. It’d be more effective for us if that came out of Eric Holder’s mouth, since the judges probably listen just as intently to Holder as they do to Obama, while the general public does not.

  154. 654
    rayfowler

    “Tell that to Jack. Or Matthew Shepard. Or… Fast enough for whom? See the MLK quote above. Who are you to determine whether or not the rate of (presumably) someone else’s liberation is correct?”

    My original point is that it was just 12 years ago when civil unions were so controversial that a politician had to sign the bill in secrecy and start wearing bullet-proof vests for protection.

    Now, just 12 years later, the POTUS is going on national TV and proclaiming that gays have the right to get MARRIED and half of the country is applauding him for it!

    That is amazing progress and represents a huge shift in societal opinions in a very short time. By comparison, overt governmental discrimination against blacks lasted for 100 years after the emancipation.

    Yes, it would be awesome if everyone in the country could change their opinion overnight on civil rights issues but we all know it doesn’t work that way.

  155. 655
    rayfowler

    “However, since you clearly do think I insulted you it follows you do think they have no such role, which clearly does make you an idiot.”

    I’m sure you are real popular at Thanksgiving dinners.

    Lighten up, Francis.

  156. 656
    Matt Penfold

    I’m wondering where the Lib Dems are in this “coalition” because when it comes to policy they seems suspiciously ineffective. Especially as it seems that Cameron/Osborne are acting as if they have an overwhelming majority and clear mandate.

    Well the Tory right is far from happy with the Queen’s Speech, saying it lacks any commitment to making the rich richer, taking rights away from workers and so on. And in way they are right. The proposed legislative program could have been worse. There are even some proposals that seem quite reasonable; the law on defamation does need to be changed, and curbing the power of the supermarkets does not seem unreasonable.

  157. 657
    Matt Penfold

    I’m sure you are real popular at Thanksgiving dinners.

    Why do you assume I am American ? It is not rather presumptuous of you to assume I am ? For someone obsessed with politeness that seems rather odd, and rather stupid. Care to explain your rudeness ?

  158. 658
    Anri

    Now, just 12 years later, the POTUS is going on national TV and proclaiming that gays have the right to get MARRIED and half of the country is applauding him for it!

    (emphasis added)

    But he didn’t say that.

    He said he’d like it if they could get married, but that the states get to tell them they can’t.
    He said, in effect “Well, heck, I’m only President – you guys need to get ahold of someone who can actually do something!”

  159. 659
    consciousness razor

    Politicians pander to get votes and have done so for centuries.

    Is that all they should do?

    They represent the will of the people.

    Occasionally. They should represent the will of the people.

    The only role they have in “changing” public opinion is putting an official imprimatur on social changes that are occurring around them.

    Their role could be as a leader, not just as a follower or a panderer. That is the role they should play. Many understand the laws better than the citizens they represent and thus ought to represent their interests better than they would be able to do themselves.

    (Be as realistic as you like, but try not to conflate is with ought in the process.)

    ps–Learn to blockquote: <blockquote> Quoted text </blockquote>

  160. 660
    matthewball

    Love you, PZ, but you are totally divorced from reality. Politics is the art of the possible. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.

  161. 661
    lowellluplow

    Post 457 – Now that was an absolutely superb post!!

  162. 662
    Louis

    Rayfowler,

    You seem to have missed what Obama actually said. As has been pointed out by MANY people on this thread.

    He did not say “I think gay people should be able to get married.”

    He did say “I would like it if gay people could get married but it’s a state rights issue.”

    The first sentence, which he did not say, would be progress. The second sentence, which is a summary of what he did say, is a backwards step, i.e. the very opposite of progress.

    You ignored that bit of my, and several other people’s comments.

    Louis

  163. 663
    rayfowler

    “Why do you assume I am American ? It is not rather presumptuous of you to assume I am ? For someone obsessed with politeness that seems rather odd, and rather stupid. Care to explain your rudeness ?”

    lol. Your responses are actually very entertaining. Do you mind if I share them with my co-workers? We were just having a discussion yesterday about internet posting behavior.

  164. 664
    Louis

    Matt,

    Yup. I’ve been involved in the campaign for libel reform, so I’m welcoming that change. Again, if it bears fruit.

    Louis

  165. 665
    Matt Penfold

    It would be interesting to learn what rayfowler’s take on Churchill or Roosevelt is.

    Both I think can fairly be described as taking a moral lead in standing up to Nazi Germany. Presumably rayfowler would think that they were being lousy politician when they did so. After all, that was not their job.

    Roosevelt’s job was clearly to pander to the majority of Americans in 1939 who wanted no part of a European war. And

    Churchill spent years in the political wilderness warning of the dangers of Hitler, whilst being ignored by most the British public. Again Churchill’s job in 1938 should have been to support appeasement with Germany, since in 1938 that was what the British public wanted.

  166. 666
    rayfowler

    “Both I think can fairly be described as taking a moral lead in standing up to Nazi Germany. Presumably rayfowler would think that they were being lousy politician when they did so. After all, that was not their job.”

    Thank you! They will love the Godwin’s Law violation. Now I just have to convince them that you weren’t doing this on purpose just for me.

  167. 667
    Matt Penfold

    lol. Your responses are actually very entertaining. Do you mind if I share them with my co-workers? We were just having a discussion yesterday about internet posting behavior.

    Do what you like. Make sure you tell them of your lack of honesty, and lack of manners. They probably already know you are an arsehole, but they might like you to confirm it for them.

    Oh, and I note you cannot offer an explanation as to why you assumed I am American. I am therefore taking your silence as you tacit admission is because you are stupid.

  168. 668
    Janstince

    Just for my own two cents, I have to agree with the majority of posters here.

    Yesterday afternoon, I saw the interview come out. I was joyful at the headline. I read through and got to the part where he was talking about his daughter’s friends, and how they have gay parents and how that made it personal to him. I was touched.

    Then, I read the part where he got to states’ rights. And I just thought, “Um, okay then, what was the fucking point?” I get it that we have separation of powers, etc. The federal government claims Full Faith and Credit, the states claim Amendment 10, and as marriage is not explicitly listed in the Constitution, the Religious Reich has legal strength to fight with. Which pisses me off.

    Reading here, I do realize now that the Civil Rights Act, which strictly could be seen as unconstitutional, has been upheld in court for over 40 years and is supported by the 14th Amendment. And it’s the same fucking thing.

    I think the best for now would be to add LGBT people to the list of protected persons in the Civil Rights Act. Personally, I’d like to see them (and women) added to protected status directly under the 14th Amendment. I don’t really have any hope for that since ERA died. Maybe in the future, if the RWAs don’t keep the power they have now.

  169. 669
    rayfowler

    “He did not say “I think gay people should be able to get married.””

    He was stating his personal conviction that gays should be allowed to be married. Coming from the POTUS on national TV, that is a huge step forward. That he threw out a meaningless states-rights bone which carries no weight on civil rights issue is secondary.

    IMO. You are free to disagree with me on the significance of that bone, but I think that’s more of a quibble in the grand scheme of things.

  170. 670
    Matt Penfold

    Thank you! They will love the Godwin’s Law violation. Now I just have to convince them that you weren’t doing this on purpose just for me.

    Not a violation, since we were discussing moral leadership, and Roosevelt and Churchill are apposite in such a discussion. If the topic is apposite to the discussion, but mentions Hitler then it does not violate Godwin’s law. Be sure to tell your colleagues how you made such a stupid mistake.

    That you are unable to address the points I made tells me that you do indeed think they were wrong to take a moral lead in standing up to the Nazis. Which tells us a lot about the type of person you are.

  171. 671
    rayfowler

    “Oh, and I note you cannot offer an explanation as to why you assumed I am American. I am therefore taking your silence as you tacit admission is because you are stupid.”

    You’re killing me! :D

  172. 672
    carlie

    That he threw out a meaningless states-rights bone which carries no weight on civil rights issue is secondary.

    For fuck’s sake. It’s not a “meaningless” bone, it’s the very thing that allows states to do exactly what North Carolina did two days ago. It is the very thing that guts any meaning from what he said. What is meaningless is what he personally, himself, feels. God, did you even hear him make that comment? It was couched in so many versions of “THESE ARE ONLY MY PERSONAL FEELINGS” words, and said so hesitantly and softly, that it was absolutely clear that the single and only thing he wanted people to take away from it was that it was his opinion ONLY, and should have no weight on law or other people’s opinions whatsoever.

  173. 673
    Matt Penfold

    You’re killing me! :D

    Well you have yet to offer an explanation, and we know you are stupid. So assuming you think everyone is an American seems quite possible for you.

    I note that you still cannot provide an explanation. You have had three goes, and you still cannot do it. How can not providing an explanation take three goes and still end in total failure unless you are stupid ?

  174. 674
    carlie

    To put it in some perspective: George HW Bush’s comments about how he feels about broccoli were issued with more passion, more certainty, and more conviction than Obama’s statement about gay marriage.

  175. 675
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Carlie, you could say the same thing about elder Bush saying that atheists should not be citizens.

  176. 676
    Gregory in Seattle

    I find it amusing — in a very sad, dispiriting way — just how many people with heterosexual priviledge are telling us queers to shut up and be grateful for the kind word that they worked so long and hard to have the president utter.

    Tell you what: when the President says that YOUR basic rights should be left to individual states to decide, one day after a state stripped away those rights and then some, your opinions will count. Until then, your condescension will get the consideration it so richly deserves.

  177. 677
    Matt Penfold

    Tell you what: when the President says that YOUR basic rights should be left to individual states to decide, one day after a state stripped away those rights and then some, your opinions will count. Until then, your condescension will get the consideration it so richly deserves.

    Am I right in thinking that on other equality issues the Federal Government has taken a lead because individual States had proven themselves unequal to the task of ending discrimination of the grounds of sex or race ?

  178. 678
    rayfowler

    “You have had three goes, and you still cannot do it. How can not providing an explanation take three goes and still end in total failure unless you are stupid ?”

    ok, for starters, I have a general rule about engaging in discussions with anyone who immediately resorts to insults because those people are generally more concerned about raising tempers or “winning” than about the actual points of discussion.

    Secondly, you have been so over the top that I haven’t quite been sure if you were serious or trolling, so I didn’t want to keep responding and be troll-bait.

    Finally, I’m getting concerned at this point that my friends will be convinced that I put you up to this, considering that we just had a discussion on this very topic YESTERDAY.

    But, at the risk of feeding you, the “Thanksgiving” reference was a clearly obvious metaphor and not intended as a declaration of your citizenship.

    Thanks again, whether you were serious or trolling. This exchange was an unexpected gift.

  179. 679
    Anri

    That he threw out a meaningless states-rights bone which carries no weight on civil rights issue is secondary.

    Meaningless?

    Well, I tell you what – try to register a same-gender marriage in North Carolina now, and when they cite the State Constitution, you cite the President’s statement, and you’ll get to see see which is meaningless.

  180. 680
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I love it when a newcomer accuses a regular of being a troll.

    *eyeroll*

  181. 681
    Louis

    Rayfowler,

    It is not a “meaningless bone” as Carlie and others have rightly pointed out.

    North Carolina just a few days ago enshrined a ban on same sex marriage in its state constitution. Obama, in saying that whilst he personally has “evolved” his position on same sex marriage, he thinks this is a matter for individual states is not opposing this state ban. He is in fact tacitly supporting it. That is not progress. Nor is meaningless to anyone wanting to get married or have their same sex marriage recognised in North Carolina.

    In fact the “states’ rights” issue cuts to the very heart of the problem. By relegating the issue of LGBT rights and equalities to matters for individual states, Obama has effectively granted anti-LGBT people everything they could wish for. He preserves his base to some degree, because his base cravenly toe the party line for fear of being ousted, he appeases the bigots by not making a strong statement and silently signalling that they can retain their anti-LGBT stances without fear of contradiction from federal government.

    This is not insignificant, nor is it a matter of “opinion”. The issue of slavery and states’ rights divided the USA sufficiently to facilitate a civil war. By bouncing the hot potato of LGBT rights to the state level Obama has been very wily politically, of that there is no doubt, but he has done so at the expense of LGBT people.

    Again, because you ignored it last time, these are real people, really experiencing real oppression, right now. Real people murdered for being LGBT. Real people harassed to death for being LGBT. Real people denied funeral access/rights for their life partner. Real people denied medical access/rights for their life partner. Real people relegated to a “not fully human” status because of which other consenting adults they desire.

    It is not progress when a supposedly progressive (he never was tbh) president throws the vulnerable and discriminated against under the train when chasing votes. His remarks amount to no more than vague personal preferences couched with sufficient anti LGBT dog whistles to cause minimal rustling of bigot-jimmies.

    It’s not good enough, it’s not progress, and you’re ignoring that fact because you’re clearly starry eyed that the big boss fella said “I don’t hate they gays as much as that other guy”.

    Louis

  182. 682
    Matt Penfold

    ok, for starters, I have a general rule about engaging in discussions with anyone who immediately resorts to insults because those people are generally more concerned about raising tempers or “winning” than about the actual points of discussion.

    Yet you have no problem with being rude yourself. Right, I can see you have an inflated sense of entitlement.

    Secondly, you have been so over the top that I haven’t quite been sure if you were serious or trolling, so I didn’t want to keep responding and be troll-bait.

    Sorry, not accepting that as an excuse.

    Finally, I’m getting concerned at this point that my friends will be convinced that I put you up to this, considering that we just had a discussion on this very topic YESTERDAY.

    To be honest, what your friends think is not important to me. Although I would hope they think you a total fuckwit.

    But, at the risk of feeding you, the “Thanksgiving” reference was a clearly obvious metaphor and not intended as a declaration of your citizenship.

    Sorry, not accepting that either.

    Oh dear, a total failure to explain once again.

    And as for complain about my insulting you, if you are so thin skinned why the fuck are you here ? By being you accept people can and will insult you, and that there is no point whining about it. Them’s the rules, you accepted them and now you are complaining. Just so you are very clear, here is what PZ has to say:

    This is a rude blog. We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.

    Care to explain why you think you should be treated any differently ? How come you think the rules do not apply to you ?

    If you so fucking stupid, and so thin-skinned you think I have crossed some line in insulting you this is not a place for you. And trust me, when it comes to be insulting, anything I have said is mild compared to that might be faced with.

  183. 683
    Matt Penfold

    Oh an rayfowler,

    use HTML blockquotes. You know how to, since someone has explained this to you. Again, it seems that you think different rules on behaviour apply to you.

  184. 684
    alkaloid

    @markmyers, #105

    When you are an elected leader you can only effect so much change so fast. He is tugging America in the right direction like a daycare leader stringing a line of preschoolers on a walk. No point pulling the rope hard cause each kid hangs on only voluntarily. All you can do is gently lead and hope they stay with you. A tough situation that requires wisdom and patience.

    I don’t believe that for a second. Why is it that conservative politicians can effect a massive amount of negative change quickly, and centrist politicians (or rather, the proper term for them: conservative enablers) can effectively defend negative changes, but its only minorities and everyone who isn’t rich that is expected to be endlessly patient?

    We’re the only people that are expected to play by these rules-not even the people that for the most part, have successfully managed to run this country into the ground by getting more or less everything they ever wanted.

  185. 685
    flex

    carlie wrote,

    it was absolutely clear that the single and only thing he wanted people to take away from it was that it was his opinion ONLY, and should have no weight on law or other people’s opinions whatsoever.

    Yes. That is how he phrased it. And a stronger statement would have been nice.

    But, it is important to remember that even though he was clear that his opinion has no weight on law, his opinion is valued by many people. His opinion has already sparked discussion throughout the media and among individuals. A discussion which will likely continue throughout the election season. A discussion which will continue long enough to enable people to reflect on their positions, and having the POTUS come down on one side of the issue, however tentatively, will add significant weight toward acceptance of gay marriage.

    I could be wrong, but I think that this statement, by the POTUS, on this subject, at this time, will have far more repercussions than G.H.W. Bush’s comment on broccoli. Even if Bush spoke with more conviction.

  186. 686
    Anri

    But, it is important to remember that even though he was clear that his opinion has no weight on law, his opinion is valued by many people. His opinion has already sparked discussion throughout the media and among individuals. A discussion which will likely continue throughout the election season. A discussion which will continue long enough to enable people to reflect on their positions, and having the POTUS come down on one side of the issue, however tentatively, will add significant weight toward acceptance of gay marriage.

    And – correct me if I’m wrong – but his opinion apparently is that the State government has the right to decide if two consenting adults can marry, based on the shape of their genetalia.

    I don’t agree with that opinion. Do you?

  187. 687
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    @ Flex, 185

    But, it is important to remember that even though he was clear that his opinion has no weight on law, his opinion is valued by many people. His opinion has already sparked discussion throughout the media and among individuals. A discussion which will likely continue throughout the election season. A discussion which will continue long enough to enable people to reflect on their positions, and having the POTUS come down on one side of the issue, however tentatively, will add significant weight toward acceptance of gay marriage.

    No. This is a tarp. I’ll follow the example of prior posters and quote from the OP:

    He might as well have. In response to that tepid and qualified and ineffectual statement, American hate groups like the American Patriarchy Association, the Patriarchy Research Council, and the Catholic League are already denouncing him furiously. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say — I dare Obama to now stand up and fight for this right. None of this pussy-footing around — he’s going to get screwed by the haters already — so he might as well take a strong stand and earn the goddamned liberal/progressive vote.

    He might earn a little respect, too.

    He has nothing to gain politically, quite the contrary. Taking a strong stand on this issue would have been to his politcal advantage. Not to mention that it’s just plain fucking the right thing to do.

    I mean, basic human rights put up for vote? MEOWRLY? How the FUCK is this even approaching okay in the year 2012?

  188. 688
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    To those saying that a federal law banning LGBT discrimination would never pass in this political climate:

    Yeah, I know that.

    If Obama had called for such a law and said in clear language that LGBT rights are civil rights, and those opposed to LGBT rights are bigots – even knowing that it would not happen, then two things would have happened immediately:

    (1) The Right would have screamed and wailed, called him a commie-fascist-traitor-Muslim, and been obstructionist assholes.

    (2) The Right would, simultaneous with the above, be put in the position of having to articulate plainly that LGBT people are icky.

    Maybe, if the left got fired up about it enough, the compromise position of the repeal of DOMA would have been arrived at. The buck of expansion of LGBT right would have been moved forward.

    Here’s what happened instead:

    Obama said something weasely about states rights, his personal opinion, and how hard it is to accept that LGBT people are people; and called for DOMA to be overturned.

    The Right is screaming and wailing, calling him a commie-fascist-traitor-Muslim, and being obstructionist assholes.

    The compromise position will be the maintenance of the status quo. DOMA is already on its way out and everyone – the Right included – knows it.

    The buck of expansion of LGBT rights will stay where it is.

    This is the first rule of negotiation! You demand something that you know you aren’t going to get so and only cede ground when your opponent does. Seriously, do you not understand this?

    I am angry at Obama because he had the opportunity to DO SOMETHING and he didn’t.

  189. 689
    yellowsubmarine

    Ok. I understand where people are coming from when they say this is the panzy-assiest way Obama could have supported gay marriage and, in principle, I agree. But to be honest I got a great bag of mixed feelings when I read that he was openly supporting gay marriage even from a personal standpoint because I live in California. When prop 8 was originally introduced, it didn’t have the nearly the support it needed to pass. I speicifically remember thinking “Ha! What douchebags. There’s no way that’s actually going to pass here.” Then over several months the republican party and the mormon church (mostly the mormons) dumped several million dollars into a campaign to popularize the idea that gay marriage was bad for society. And if you’ll recall, it fucking worked. I’m willing to reserve judgement on Obama until his second term when he doesn’t have to worry about how his policy will effect his reelection, so quite frankly I’m confused as to why on earth he would take even a panzy assed stance now instead of having an officially “evolving” opinion towards gay marriage until after election season when he can go whole hog and say, “Marriage is a civil right regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.” If I have to watch our country vote Obama out over this because the republicans are wealthy enough to inundate every state with “THE GAYS ARE RECRUITING YOUR CHILDREN” campaigns and because Obama gave them just a little more than they already had, I’m going to lose what shred of hope I have left. Now if you must throw rotten vegetation at me, please no bananas. I hate bananas. *Puts on helmet*

  190. 690
    Louis

    Panzy assed?

    You’re going to get more than fruit lobbed at you. Even dear old Dan Savage apologised for the inherent homophobia in using that term recently.

    Not being a homophobe U R DOING IT RONG.

    Louis

  191. 691
    R Johnston

    @rayfowler #169

    You are wrong, and that’s not a matter of opinion, so go stick your IMO up your unwashed ass.

    Words mean things. Saying an issue should be left to the states is saying that the right at issue should not exist. Period. Without exception. Obama statement was definitively against marriage equality and arguing otherwise is showing yourself to be the fool.

  192. 692
    flex

    Anri wrote,

    I don’t agree with that opinion. Do you?

    No I do not.

    I also don’t know if Obama’s opinion is that state governments should be the ones to decide if two consenting adults can marry. What he said is that it is (present tense) a right of individual states to regulate marriage. This gives us no clue as to what Obama’s position is for the future.

    I do know that the law is currently structured, as Obama said, that the state governments do regulate marriages with only a few exceptions put in place as part of the civil rights acts.

    You may well say that I’m being disingenuous by suggesting that Obama’s desire for the future may be different than his statement about the present. I’d rather say that I’m cautious about making statements without evidence, but I can see where my caution may be seen as blindness.

    @Gregory in Seattle,

    Again, I haven’t read all the comments, but I hope that no one here is telling you that you should be grateful and now be quiet about gay marriage rights simply because the POTUS has acknowledged that gay marriage should be allowed. In the comments I’ve read I really haven’t seen that attitude, and if my comments were read in such a way I dispute that interpretation.

    Instead, I see the comments of the POTUS as being a call for continued effort, and increased if possible. Obama’s statement yesterday, regardless of whether it was inspired by Biden, or the polls, or his own personal conviction, shows that the movement to allow gay marriage is winning. When change has begun, it is not the time to rest. It is a time to redouble our efforts. There is still a great deal of cultural inertia to overcome, and the bigotry, discrimination, attacks, and deaths of LGBT people will not abate until the culture (and it’s laws) accept LGBT people as equal.

  193. 693
    RichardAustin

    yellowsubmarine:

    Ok. I understand where people are coming from when they say this is the panzy-assiest way Obama could have supported gay marriage and, in principle, I agree.

    Really? In a discussion on gay rights, you couldn’t have used a different phrase? Really?

    But to be honest I got a great bag of mixed feelings when I read that he was openly supporting gay marriage even from a personal standpoint because I live in California. When prop 8 was originally introduced, it didn’t have the nearly the support it needed to pass. I speicifically remember thinking “Ha! What douchebags. There’s no way that’s actually going to pass here.” Then over several months the republican party and the mormon church (mostly the mormons) dumped several million dollars into a campaign to popularize the idea that gay marriage was bad for society. And if you’ll recall, it fucking worked.

    Yeah, it’s amazing how putting money and political power behind a position can change minds. Too bad Obama hasn’t done either.

    I’m willing to reserve judgement on Obama until his second term when he doesn’t have to worry about how his policy will effect his reelection, so quite frankly I’m confused as to why on earth he would take even a panzy assed stance now instead of having an officially “evolving” opinion towards gay marriage until after election season when he can go whole hog and say, “Marriage is a civil right regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.”

    You know, waiting until it’s safe is a useless thing. He’s expecting us (GLBTs) to vote for him. He needs us, both as voters and as contributors. He damned well better do something to earn those votes; this speech was the exact opposite of that. I am now less inclined to vote for him than I was before, because of his “state issue” concept.

    If I have to watch our country vote Obama out over this because the republicans are wealthy enough to inundate every state with “THE GAYS ARE RECRUITING YOUR CHILDREN” campaigns and because Obama gave them just a little more than they already had, I’m going to lose what shred of hope I have left.

    Political reality: the people who wouldn’t vote for Obama for supporting gay marraige already thought he supported it, before this statement, and thus wouldn’t have voted for him either. If anything, this is a pander to the bigots on the “state issue” front: hoping to win back some independents who may disagree with his opinion but love that he’s letting them discriminate at will.

    Beyond that, however, it’d be nice if my rights and freedoms weren’t used as a political football by someone who is at the same time the best option for me. You ever have that coworker you absolutely hate because he’s a douche and rude and constantly upsetting everyone, but he’s also the only person in some critical position in the company so everyone has to be at least cordial to him to get his help when they need it?

    Yeah, that. Welcome to how many in the GLBT community feel at the moment. We’re trapped between GOP and GOP-light, and GOP-light knows we don’t have a choice.

    And then douches come along and tell us we should be grateful for being tossed a one-step-forward-two-steps-back comment.

  194. 694
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    flex, please read my comment @188. Please. It explains why you are wrong.

  195. 695
    petejohn

    Good to know that HOPE and CHANGE meant “I’m not Bush, but I’m going to be almost as useless, but with a D next to my name.”

    President Obama thinks that gay marriage is fine and dandy. He SHOULD think that. Every single person with a functioning brain should as well. It’s patently ridiculous that conservative whining and Democratic wimpiness have allowed a basic human right, the right of people in love to share their lives together, to go ignored and actively stamped out for so long in this country.

    What I care more about is what Obama is going to do now that he’s shared this thought with the American people. My guess is he’ll do what he always does… “Hey, you Republicans, you should really stop being so mean to them, so let’s compromise and come up with ways you can be less mean to them. Like only strongly dislike them, instead of mega-loathing them. If you still mega-loathe them though, well, you shouldn’t, but let’s compromise anyway.” Then at the end of the day no progress will have been made and a huge chunk of the population will be left out in the dark by the very party that supposedly stands up for them, but in reality couldn’t give a shit less.

    What Obama seems incapable of grasping is that the other side doesn’t give a rat’s fuck about compromise and will hate him as a socialistic, fascistic, foreign, dangerous, subversive, lying, Muslim, Jeremiah Wright loving douchenozzle anyway (so many contradictions there it makes my head hurt, but that’s how these morons think). What he’s doing now is alienating the only people who may support him. Making friends with everyone will soon leave him with no friends at all.

    Our political system in this country is so fucking fucked. We’ve got spineless cowards on one side who tumble over themselves in the name of compromise duking it out with a party that has lost its collective mind and yearns for the good old days of 1850 when everyone went to church, and “the blacks” knew their place. What a friggin’ mess.

  196. 696
    flex

    Gen, Uppity Ingrate @187 wrote,

    He has nothing to gain politically, quite the contrary. Taking a strong stand on this issue would have been to his politcal advantage. Not to mention that it’s just plain fucking the right thing to do.

    I think we could, and have been, arguing exactly how much political advantage (or disadvantage) taking a strong stand on this issue would have been.

    I don’t think that we have reached an agreement that a strong stand would have been to Obama’s advantage.

    As much as I would have liked to have seen a more principled stand (i.e. the right thing to do), I cannot say that it would have been the most politically wise move. I honestly don’t know if a more principled stand would have alienated more of my parents generation who think of marriage as more of a religious thing, or attracted more of my step-son’s generation who generally think that the debate is silly and we ought to just allow gay marriage and move on.

  197. 697
    nooneinparticular

    Far too many posts to really read them all, but wow. Some really stand out, but if there is one that hit’s hardest for me, it has to be Swordfish’s story. That is not to say his is more moving than others, but if I had to pick one story that makes me reach for the pitchforks, it would be that one.

    Sorry for your pain, Swordfish, and everyone else who’s suffered from the oppression. Times are changing and it can’t come fast enough.

  198. 698
    Anri

    flex:

    Ok, we’re seeing things very differently.

    When a state amends its Constitution to ban same-gender mariage, and the President then gets on TV and says ‘Well, as much as I think same-gender marriage is ok, it’s really the state’s decision’, that doesn’t strike me as progressive.

    It strikes me – at best – as a stetement of helplessness, and at worst as a tacit approval of the policy enacted.
    If the NC issue had been, let’s say, interracial marriage instead of same-gender marriage, and the President had said the same thing, I’d take it that he was unwilling to stand up for equal rights in any way that counted.
    That’s what this sort of equivocating pass-the-buck business usually meant during pretty much every other social justice movement, and I see no reason to assume it means anything else now.

    If he thinks the NC amendment was wrong, he should say so.
    He didn’t.
    I have no idea if that’s because he doesn’t think it’s wrong, or if he doesn’t think it’s important to say it’s wrong. Neither strikes me as progressive.

  199. 699
    RichardAustin

    “And I continue to believe this is an issue that is going to be worked out on the local level because historically this has not been a federal issue.
    [...]
    What I’m saying is different states are coming to different conclusions. I think it’s important to recognize that folks who feel very strongly that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective.”

    So, in simpler terms, what the President of the United States of America – arguably one of the most powerful political figures in the world – just said is that he is okay with discriminating against gay people so long as it’s not from a mean-spirited perspective and done at the state level. That there isn’t a “right” conclusion (just “different conclusions”) on the issue of gay marriage that should be pushed.

    This is not a message of support.

    Why the fuck are people not seeing this?

  200. 700
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    This is the first rule of negotiation! You demand something that you know you aren’t going to get so and only cede ground when your opponent does. Seriously, do you not understand this?

    Exactly. The GOP and conservatives in general have been using this tactic for years with deadly efficiency while everyone else tries to fall over themselves because *gasp*, we must be NIIIIIIIIICE! And CIIIIIVIIIIIIL. And Not Stoop To Their Level.

    Well guess where all that Not Stooping got us? Here, in 2012, this is still a fucking issue! Rights are being chipped away right and left and it’s being allowed to happen because *Gasp! Must. Be. Nice!* accomodationalist bullshit.

    It’s fucking ridiculous and even worse: it’s fucking counter productive!

  201. 701
    R Johnston

    As much as I would have liked to have seen a more principled stand (i.e. the right thing to do), I cannot say that it would have been the most politically wise move.

    It’s fair to say, however, that what Obama did was the least politically wise move he could have made, which only means that he most likely said what he really believes.

    There’s simply no upside, beyond vacuous approval from a certain class of pundit and setting himself up to punch the hippies who dare to tell his that fundamental rights are not a state issue, in Obama saying that he personally thinks it’s okay if gays marry but fuck ‘em, the state’s power to enforce bigotry is much more important.

    Saying nothing would have been politically better.

    Cutting his statement off before yammering on about how states have the power to enforce bigotry by law would have been a lot politically better.

    A full throated endorsement of gay marriage would have been marginally more politically dangerous–no more than marginally because the noise machine will react the same either way, and the mushy moderates for whom the difference might matter and might cause them to vote against Obama are spectacularly ill informed folks who get their news, if they get it at all, from the noise machine–but would have had a lot more potential political upside as well as the virtue of being the morally responsible thing to do.

  202. 702
    flex

    Esteleth, Who is Totally Not a Dog or Ferret, wrote @194,

    flex, please read my comment @188. Please. It explains why you are wrong.

    Comment @188 read.

    If I am parsing your arguments correctly you are saying that if Obama strongly called for LGBT rights to be listed as a civil right, DOMA would be repealed by congress.

    Conversely, because of what Obama did say, DOMA will also eventually go away because it will be defeated in the courts. And it will have an easier time being defeated in the courts because the DOJ will not defend it.

    The difference as far as DOMA goes seems negligible.

    In either case the expansion of LGBT rights is marginal with the defeat of DOMA, and it’s going to be defeated either way.

    As far as negotiation goes, I really, really hope that you don’t think that Obama is negotiating for expanding the civil rights act to include LGBT categories. I’ve seen nothing in his policies that suggest he is negotiating for this. I don’t think he opposes gay marriage, but he is not, and never has been, an ally in this battle.

    It would be nice if Obama was actively fighting for gay marriage rights, but he isn’t. So don’t expect him to take a strong stand in order to compromise later on an issue which doesn’t appear to concern him much.

  203. 703
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I read the first 500 and searched for Bush, so forgive me if this is redundant, but I wasn’t there last night and this absolutely needs to be said:

    George W said this is a states’ rights issue.

    Romney has said this is a states’ rights issue.

    Obama has said repeatedly that this is a states’ rights issue. Typically he frames it as, “Well I’m opposed, but I’m not going to stop some state that wants to legalize it.” Now he’s said, “Well, I personally don’t see the harm because my kids think it’s normal and I learn morality from my kids rather than the other way round. But there’s no way I would stop some state that wants to ignore the full faith and credit clause or, where it’s already illegal, vote to make same legal-sex marriage unconstitutional as well.”

    So Obama was a states’ rightist before and is a states’ rightest now – but personally he’s somewhere between Romney and his 2009 self on the hate queers side and Dick Cheney circa 2005 on the pro-queer side.

    This man has just endorsed – again – a policy provision that W and Romney hold, while couching it in language less sympathetic than Dick Cheney.

    And to double-super clarify: he is articulating that there is no “right” to determine your spouse from among the population of adult, consenting, and non-blood-related persons. There is instead a “right” of the states to choose, on a whim of the legislature or the majority of the electorate, to declare certain consenting, unrelated adults to have a relationship too icky to be called a marriage.

    We also know that they are doing it primarily under the rationale of religion. We can argue about whether that is in fact the motive in the hearts of most of these voters, but if being someone who does things not approved of by Christianity is a legit reason to disallow marriage (as is being argued by Obama), then the state can, at any time, ban the marriages of Buddhists, Universalists, atheists, and, not incidentally, people who speak ill of others.

    He’s better than Romney?

    On economic issues yes. On killing citizens without trial? No. He’s worse. On almost every important issue of the day other than economic ones, no. In some cases worse.

    And on queer marriage? He’s in frickin’ lockstep with the right wing of the republican party.

    Why would we praise him for taking the position that W took 12 years ago before he was president and repeatedly after he was president (although, yes, he flirted with an anti-marriage amendment during 2004, he was a states’ rightist from 2000-2003 and again from december 2004-to the end of his presidency.

    If you want to say that Obama took a big step forward, **Please show some evidence that this is actually a step forward by comparison with the policies of past presidents.**

    Jeez, how basic is this?

  204. 704
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Flex

    I honestly don’t know if a more principled stand would have alienated more of my parents generation who think of marriage as more of a religious thing, or attracted more of my step-son’s generation who generally think that the debate is silly and we ought to just allow gay marriage and move on.

    And the argument put forth throughout this thread is that this flip-flopping does absolutely nothing to secure votes he didn’t have before and, in fact, has the opposite effect of LOSING him votes that he could have had.

    It neither keeps your parents’ generation’s vote nor recruits your step-son’s. It has, in fact, alienated a huge deal of his constituency who were placing all their hope on him. And it does this without gaining anything, politically! Other than playing right into the GOP and “Family (but only our kind of family counts amirite!) Values” folks’ hands.

    Those who are against marriage equality already will take this flip-flopping as something radical and the most LIBERAL thing EVAR in any case, despite it not being a step forward but rather a step back. Because that’s how shifting the Overton Window works.

    Because first rule of negotiations and all.

    Someone earlier on the thread said that the GOP plays this game incredibly well, and this is becoming more and more evident. They’ve shifted the Overton Window so far right that a Democrat Liberal cannot say “I support gay rights” without having to worry about losing votes!

    I cannot express to you how absurd to the nth degree I find this – and more yet, how absurd it indeed *is* that one of the ONLY TWO parties in the Western World’s “most liberal”, “most democratic” democracies cannot seem to grasp this very basic concept of politics.

  205. 705
    flex

    R Johnston wrote @201,

    It’s fair to say, however, that what Obama did was the least politically wise move he could have made,….

    Here I’ll just say that I think it’s far too soon to tell the wisdom of this move. Ask me again on November 12th. ;)

  206. 706
    Anri

    Welcome to how many in the GLBT community feel at the moment. We’re trapped between GOP and GOP-light, and GOP-light knows we don’t have a choice.

    And, sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any recognition that there is a third option between ‘voting for us’ and ‘voting for them’. It’s called ‘being too disgusted to vote at all’.

    What’s strange is that the GOP is always willing to do whatever it takes to rev up their supporters, no matter how underhanded, reality-denying, patently unfair it might be. Whereas the Dems seem unwilling to rah-rah for an issue with a clear and obvious moral answer, in an above-board, honest manner.
    I understand unwilliness to make political hay by taking the low road. I cannot comprehend unwillingness to do so by taking the high.

  207. 707
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    flex,

    As far as negotiation goes, I really, really hope that you don’t think that Obama is negotiating for expanding the civil rights act to include LGBT categories. I’ve seen nothing in his policies that suggest he is negotiating for this. I don’t think he opposes gay marriage, but he is not, and never has been, an ally in this battle.

    No. He is not negotiating for this.

    He should call for it, knowing that it won’t happen, so that the Overton window shifts, and it becomes possible sooner rather than later.

    THAT is my point.

  208. 708
    Gregory in Seattle

    @Crip Dyke – Very well put. Thank you.

  209. 709
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Flex, your reading comprehension, it sucks.

    Esteleth is saying that Obama has done fuck all when he could have forced negotiation years ago, progressing the battle for gay civil rights. Instead, they’re stuck at a stand-still while the status quo is maintained and more states will go on to discriminate against gays.

    Was that easier to understand?

    ___

    I’m amazed at how many people fail to grasp the nuance (it wasn’t even nuanced) pandering of Obama’s remarks. I wish I had a stake in it other than as a concerned outside observer and fellow gay human, because I’d have the political ability to maybe do something other than get angry and talk about it. As it is, I can say that I’m sorely disappointed in Obama and continuously I become more disappointed at the apparently weak political will of the US populous. At this rate things will only get worse. I cannot see a way around that with the present political climate.

  210. 710
    RichardAustin

    Anri

    And, sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any recognition that there is a third option between ‘voting for us’ and ‘voting for them’. It’s called ‘being too disgusted to vote at all’.

    That isn’t a viable option. Having Romney in office would be worse that having Obama, and one of the two will be there. As I said in part of the comment you didn’t quote, Obama is still the best option. He’s a crappy option, on this issue and others, but he’s still the best one. Not voting for him is politically equivalent to consenting to the election of Romney, and I can’t do that.

    And that’s what makes this all the more frustrating, as another poster pointed out in a different thread: we’re stuck, and it sucks, and people who are unaffected by this telling us we should be happy just rubs more salt in the wound.

  211. 711
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Ah, Cripdyke beat me to the point of how Obama’s position is no different from Romney’s.

    Imagine that kind of logic applied in other scenarios? “Well I think slavery should end but I’m not going to actually interfere.” Like, what the fucking fuck?

    That was pretty much Lincoln’s position when he was elected. And if the south hadn’t gone all apeshit over his election, we might still have legalized slavery in the US.

    Fuck, is it going to take another Civil War to get the country to recognized GLBT rights? I hope not, because the RWAs have all the guns.

  212. 712
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Way too tired today to smack around trolls, who all kinda sound the same on this thread. Lots and lots of excellent comments. Just a few paltry replies…

    Carlie: The accommodationist analogy was perfect. Pity that it was and will be lost on so many.

    Swordfish: That post was amazing. Welcome.

    McCthulhu:

    Given the high-stakes chess match being played out for the collective soul of the country, a country which was supposed to be about freedom from the moment of its conception….

    Freedom for certain people only, and that included freedom to abuse their “lessers.” Sound familiar?

    Louis: I had never heard of “The Hangman” before. Thank you for posting it.

    Finally, Anri at #133 beat me to the topic, but chew on these statistics:

    In Mississippi about a year ago, Republicans, who are a vast majority in that state, were polled on whether interracial marriage should stay legal or be banned. Forty-six percent want it banned. Another 14% are “not sure.”

    If marriage is “left up to the states to decide,” don’t count on them stopping at same-sex marriage.

  213. 713
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Here’s the other thing about Lincoln and the slaves: the abolitionist absolutists demanded that he emancipate the slaves immediately.

    Lincoln’s response: “Make me.”

    Meaning: “Work to create societal opinion, agitate, and make it politically necessary.”

  214. 714
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Richard #210:

    Look at what happened under Bush. Because he was a republican, liberal voices critiquing unchecked surveillance were heard around the US and in many part of the non-US world. He was forced to defend having terrorists tried in military vs. civilian courts.

    Obama? He does away with trials altogether and the powerful elected democrats either support him or don’t get heard.

    Having Romney as president wouldn’t be *necessarily* be worse than having Obama. Romney is a spineless panderer and, as such, may very well cave to left-wing (as defined in the US) criticism as often as Obama caves to the right.

    And how often does Obama cave to left-wing criticism, even though his basic policies on everything other than economics are in lock step with right wing republicans?

    Never.

    Romney might be worse in some of the positions he has taken on the campaign trail.

    **But would he be worse in practice?**

    That is a different question and one whose answer dramatically depends on whether you will be more affected by the eventual economic policies that actually achieve implementation or whether you will be more affected by the policies implemented (or more often NOT implemented) in other areas.

    You’re probably better off with Romney if you are likely to be killed for being the son of someone who said that dropping bombs on wedding parties is not accidental in the sense that the US totally had no capacity to prevent itself from flying over the airspace of another country and dropping large explosive devices, and thus that al Qaeda has a reasonable case to make that it’s fighting in self defense and in defense of fellow muslims, which would be a good thing in the Koran.

    okay, maybe you’re not the son of a US muslim preacher whose position on US bombs killing foreign muslims might get you killed without trial.

    But maybe you’re queer-but-not-trans and would like pretty please to not get fired from your job for falling in love. Has it occurred to you that in trying not to be tarred with the same bigot brush that has so deservedly colored theocrats that Romney might push hard for ENDA, giving cover to the republicans in congress who might also want to not be seen as theocrats (yes, there are a few)?

    This is the type of dynamic that made W better on so many issues than Obama is. It will also apply to Romney.

    I’m not saying Bush didn’t kill the economy. The two people more responsible than any others for the US economic disaster are Phil Gramm and W. And that’s hurt everyone to greater or lesser degrees.

    But how much jobs are paying is irrelevant if you can’t keep yours, of if your government kills you.

    It is not a given that Romney would be worse.

  215. 715
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Romney has said this is a states’ rights issue.

    Ah, Cripdyke beat me to the point of how Obama’s position is no different from Romney’s.

    Incorrect analysis, though. (NB: he may have said something different earlier, for all I know.)

    Romney was asked in August if he thought states should be allowed to legalize gay marriage. He said no:

    “I believe the issue of marriage should be decided at the federal level. [...] I believe we should have a federal amendment in the constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and woman, because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.”

  216. 716
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @215 –

    thanks for that, pitbull. I missed that statement. He has said many times in the past that it was a states’ rights issue.

    Clearly he has said otherwise since. I wonder what his current position is right now.

    But, even granted that Romney is worse than Obama, Obama is the same as Bush was for most of his presidential campaign and career…

  217. 717
    flex

    Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist
    wrote @209,

    Flex, your reading comprehension, it sucks.

    Esteleth is saying that Obama has done fuck all when he could have forced negotiation years ago, progressing the battle for gay civil rights.

    I did get that from Esteleth’s post.

    You do understand that Obama is not fighting that battle?

    He’s done a few things that advance it, and he is an ally when it is politically expedient. But he was not elected on a platform of gay civil rights, he has never suggesting that a driving passion of his is gay civil rights, and even though an increasing proportion of possible voters support gay civil rights not all of them do.

    How do you turn Obama (or any politician) from a reluctant ally to a strong supporter? Keep hammering at public opinion until it’s clear that a majority of his electorate support gay civil rights. Query and ensure the people we elect to congress support gay civil rights, and get a democratic majority in congress, where many of them support gay civil rights.

    If a democratic majority occur in congress after this election, I would expect at least one representative to introduce a bill expanding the Civil Rights Acts to LGBT people, and if it passes Obama will sign it.

  218. 718
    consciousness razor

    I think it’s important to recognize that folks who feel very strongly that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective.

    Who is Obama fooling, when he frames his “support” of gay marriage by saying this shit? So he’s not going to do jack shit other than pander to people with his bullshit opinions. Noted. But what could this opinion possibly accomplish for people who aren’t anti-gay bigots? Why is this about them and their feelings, and why is he spreading their lies?

  219. 719
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Flex!

    LISTEN

    When you say

    You do understand that Obama is not fighting that battle?

    We say (1) we know and (2) HE SHOULD BE.

  220. 720
    see_the_galaxy

    Honestly I don’t know what this is even all about at this point. #131 carlie says we
    have evidence that agitating loudly gets results. THEN AGITATE and ORGANIZE MORE!
    There ought to be ten thousand people in the street. ALL I’ve tried to say is that
    Obama’s beginning to come around–and that’s what it is–is a sign we’re winning, and
    we need to do more OURSELVES, not trust the politicians. And that said, the Dems who
    come around aren’t dogs and they aren’t enemies, just as they aren’t saviors or leaders.
    Movement conservatives, Bible believing Christians, and the Republican infosphere
    generally ARE our enemies BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION.

  221. 721
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    thanks for that, pitbull. I missed that statement. He has said many times in the past that it was a states’ rights issue.

    I thought I saw him say that in the paper today, but I can’t find it now.

    Anyway, thanks pitbull.

  222. 722
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Esteleth,

    Good point re: Lincoln. He even gave some of those people key posts in his cabinet.

    Obama’s not going to lead on this issue. The best you can hope from him is that his party will force him to follow.

  223. 723
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @220-

    On policy he is not coming around. On policy he’s apparently (I’ve been corrected) left of Romney but dead on the spot with Bush when Bush left office, and for most of his term.

    On personal sentiment, he’s between Romney and Dick Cheney.

    How then, does this constitute and advance?

  224. 724
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    ack, “an” advance.

    FTFM

  225. 725
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Flex, may it be that your country, again, has the benefit of a Democratic majority.

    I appreciate where you’re coming from in this politically expedient bent you’re taking but, from my perspective, governments should make decisions on civil rights because they’re the right decisions to make, not because a majority of voters think they’re the right decisions. That’s what your president should be doing, but I admit that no president ever seems to have done that.

    As it is the States has a miserable record at deciding on civil rights issues because it’s the right thing to do. It seems to take significant civil upheaval (even civil war) before anyone in a position to make the right change, makes it.

    That doesn’t bode well for your proposed tactic and I willingly admit that my hope, which is more or less how LGBTQ equality took place in my country, is at all likely in the States. I maintain, then, that the political climate in the States presently seems to make it unlikely that the fight for LGBTQ equality will make any significant strides in any near future, despite what future statistics say about the feelings of people.

    As I recall, it was barely 45 years ago that riots fomented the start of the fight for LGBTQ rights in the States. I don’t expect it to take anything less than that to further the interests of LGBTQ people, especially considering the way Obama has just essentially turned his back on LGBTQ Americans.

    I add that I won’t be characterised as merely pessimistic; I’ve put a lot of consideration into this and in my own country the LGBTQ already have equality. This, sadly, seems to be the state of the States as far as I can see.

  226. 726
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    I think it’s important to recognize that folks who feel very strongly that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective.

    Shorter Obama: Intent is Magic!

    Fucker.

  227. 727
    strange gods before me ॐ

    But, even granted that Romney is worse than Obama, Obama is the same as Bush was for most of his presidential campaign and career…

    I’m not sure that’s right. Obama did oppose Prop 8. IIRC, Bush was silent on the subject. I think it’s accurate that Obama is as good as Cheney on gay marriage.

    Having Romney as president wouldn’t be *necessarily* be worse than having Obama. Romney is a spineless panderer and, as such, may very well cave to left-wing (as defined in the US) criticism as often as Obama caves to the right.

    Nobody caves to the left because the right wing outnumbers us tremendously; polls consistently show there are twice as many self-identified conservatives as liberals.

    On ENDA, the last thing we know about Romney is that he opposes it at the federal level. I see no scenario where this would be a political liability to him, since most of the country just does not care, and his base opposes it.

  228. 728
    R Johnston

    Nobody caves to the left because the right wing outnumbers us tremendously; polls consistently show there are twice as many self-identified conservatives as liberals.

    And those same polls show that the country is far to the left of the Democratic party when you ask people about issues rather than about identification.

  229. 729
    dianne

    I think it’s important to recognize that folks who feel very strongly that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective.

    How? I can’t think of a single argument against same sex marriage that isn’t mean spirited.

  230. 730
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I think it’s important to recognize that folks who feel very strongly that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective.

    What is this? The Forced Birthers aren’t misogynstic argument for Teh Gayz?

  231. 731
    flex

    Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist, wrote @225,

    As it is the States has a miserable record at deciding on civil rights issues because it’s the right thing to do.

    Agreed. It would be nice if this was an issue which was resolved without additional bloodshed, but our history suggests differently. From the Civil War, to the Labor Movement (now sadly losing some of the gains it had during the last century), to the Right for Women to Vote, to the Civil Rights movement, and I’ll even through in Prohibition into the mix, social changes in America have always been associated with violence.

    Were it not so.

  232. 732
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @228

    And those same polls show that the country is far to the left of the Democratic party when you ask people about issues rather than about identification.

    Ya know, that’s probably what one should expect when a label is demonized but the underlying issues aren’t, at least not to the same extent.

    For example, people on Fox News use terms like socialist, communist, liberal, all of them without context or definition. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if I meet someone soon that says “I support state ownership of the means of production, but I’m not a socialist!”

  233. 733
    strange gods before me ॐ

    flex,

    If a democratic majority occur in congress after this election, I would expect at least one representative to introduce a bill expanding the Civil Rights Acts to LGBT people, and if it passes Obama will sign it.

    He’d sign such a hypothetical bill, sure, but it wouldn’t pass either the House or Senate. On these issues you have to count Blue Dogs as if they were Republicans, and in the Senate there is unlikely to be a Democratic supermajority any time soon.

    I don’t expect this to happen legislatively.

    What we do have is the possibility that some judge’s decision to apply suspect classification to sexual orientation (perhaps this one) will stick, and become the law of the land, at which point really all sorts of options become available to us through the courts. Pretty much every obviously substantive issue of discrimination would fall, although we might be stuck with “separate but equal” civil unions except in states like California which had previously granted the title of marriage.

    Full, widespread implementation of suspect classification seems like it’s maybe 10 years away, though.

    +++++
    Louis,

    Real people murdered for being LGBT. Real people harassed to death for being LGBT.

    On these points we should note that Obama has done something; he passed the Matthew Shepard act, which established federal hate crimes regarding sexual orientation, and thereby allows the FBI or other federal agencies to bring charges in jurisdictions where the local police are too bigoted to care, or (as is occasionally the case) too strapped for cash to do a thorough investigation.

  234. 734
    strange gods before me ॐ

    And those same polls show that the country is far to the left of the Democratic party when you ask people about issues rather than about identification.

    Indeed. But those who won’t self-identify generally aren’t activists. Sometimes not even voters; a lot of those who show up in polls as quite left-wing are young people who have the absolute worst turnout rates.

  235. 735
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @flex -231:

    The violence is here, it has been here. The only question is whether the change will come fast enough to prevent a generation of young radical queers from thinking that the only reasonable and viable tactic is to bash back.

    I hope it never happens. I remember Queer Nation’s stickers “bash back” and chants like:

    “Gays and lesbians under attack: what’cha gonna do?
    Act up! Bash Back!”

    The chant originated with the AIDS relief and anti-AIDS activism group, ACT-UP. In its first incarnation, it used “Fight back” not “bash back”, but I was too young in the 80s to know about it & the first I heard of it was in the hands of Queer Nation, using the bash back version.

    I don’t think that anyone I heard chanting that is likely to have actually physically bashed any heterosexist (or just heterosexual) folks. But there was huge amounts of hostility directed at bi-folk and straight folk that marched in pride parades during the early-to-mid 90s where I was.

    But on the side of creating reasonable fear that violence could get worse instead of better, there’s the recent case of CeCe McDonald.

    I’m note saying she should not have defended herself. Nor am I saying that she should have been prosecuted/convicted/locked up.

    I’m just saying that violence isn’t some thing that might happen in the future. It’s happening now and has been happening for decades. Treating it as hypothetical instead of real only encourages people like me and Josh and CeCe and so many others to believe that no one else will protect us and thus we have to protect ourselves.

    Some of us may feel like we have good options in response to threat and oppression other than violence. Some of us may be opposed to using violence even in self-defense*. But some of us will have too few options and will feel too desperate.

    If we treat violence as something hypothetical, in the future, we more effectively cut off those among us who are desperate and don’t know of another effective defense then violence.

    In those circumstances, we perpetuate violence by minimizing its current extent. I would argue then that if you want to speak about violence that you do so in a way that is much more explicit that it is real, it is now, it is in no way hypothetical.

    *(I count myself among these hippy pacifists, though only in the sense that I am extremely unlikely to use physical self-defense. I don’t say that others do not have the right to do so).

  236. 736
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Flex,

    let me reframe my comment. I don’t want it to seem in such opposition to yours.

    I realize that I read “additional bloodshed” as being additional to *other* movements when you might have been semi-explicitly referring to the blood shed by LGBT folk qua LGBT folk.

    If that was the case, then I think we’re in agreement, I just misunderstood you.

  237. 737
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @pitbull

    Suspect classification will never happen if by that you mean “Suspect Classification”.

    If you mean “Quasi-Suspect Classification” as a form of [lower case] suspect classification, then, yes, there’s room in Romer, Lawrence, and other cases to suspect that QSC may very well be in the works. Oncale v. Sundowner helps here, too, though it is framed as sex discrimination and not sexual orientation discrimination, the opinion was written by Freuding *Scalia*. So it’s more than possible that something like this will occur eventually.

  238. 738
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden, while I don’t think that flex was thinking in your more generous terms, I want to say for myself, as the instigator of flex’s post, that I am acutely aware of the current and past violence perpetrated against the LGBTQ. Of course, neither my post nor flex’s are a denial or dismissal of that fact, but rather, on my part, my statement is a foresight that riotous behaviour (not necessarily violent) by LGBTQ may be the only way forward in the States.

    I think, by flex’s own words, that xe see’s that possibly violent future as regrettable but potential nonetheless.

  239. 739
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Crip Dyke,

    Suspect classification will never happen if by that you mean “Suspect Classification”.

    You may well be right, and I don’t think you’re being pessimistic to say so, but it’s worth noting that strict scrutiny has at least been floated as a possibility for sexual orientation, by Vaughn Walker.

    Trying deliberately to be optimistic, I can imagine sexual orientationn being held to strict scrutiny even while gender remains at intermediate scrutiny, because discrimination based on sexual orientation can harm men. :/

  240. 740
    Inaji

    Swordfish @ 15:

    Is this the part where I start cackling evilly? Or do I need to wait until the Gay Agenda™ arrives and thrust it to the sky, crowing “Its power is now MINE!” first? ;D

    Yes, you may start cackling evilly now. After all, everyone knows the queers hold all the power, amirite?

  241. 741
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Trying deliberately to be optimistic, I can imagine sexual orientationn being held to strict scrutiny even while gender remains at intermediate scrutiny, because discrimination based on sexual orientation can harm men. :/

    Laughing myself silly and crying while I’m at it.

    I got nothing else.

  242. 742
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Caine, Fleur du mal, OM, in the context of this current issue and the apparent terror of people like Donahue, I have to wonder if that’s not something they actually believe. Just look at how many previously pious, good Christian men have been turned by us licentious gay perverts (am I repeating myself)? If we don’t have all the power, well, we must have some particular power to convert those good hetero-men to our dick sucking and ass fucking ways.

    I begin to think that those who think like that may have a real reason to be afraid.

    Wield that power Swordfish and thrust it to the sky. Beware the drool that will pool at your feet if you do. *wink*

  243. 743
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Maddow’s blog is noting that Obama’s statement has nudged senator Jack Reed to publicly support gay marriage, a bipartisan group of senators is going to bring up ENDA again, and Colorado’s governor is reconvening the state legislature to force a vote on civil unions. I don’t see any obvious sign that this last event is really a ripple, but it’s hard to tell.

    Last night Maddow went through a list of substantive things that Obama has done to advance gay rights. I’ll post the transcript later when they write it up.

  244. 744
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Crip Dyke,

    Laughing myself silly and crying while I’m at it.

    Yep, it’s fucked, but I can see it.

    I’m out of time for now, but as usual it’s been nice chatting with you. Thanks for the tips in #237.

  245. 745
    Louis

    LILAPWL, #233,

    That’s cool. I hope I wasn’t implying/saying/giving the impression that Obama is all bad on the issue of LGBT rights, as you note, he isn’t. But I strongly think that this latest pronouncement is not a forwards step, nor is it to be lauded from the high heavens as the dawn of a new gay.*

    Louis

    * Huh? Huh? See what I did there? Oh come on, that’s gold that is. ;-)

  246. 746
    flex

    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden, wrote,

    If that was the case, then I think we’re in agreement, I just misunderstood you.

    We are in agreement. I wasn’t clear enough in my post. When I said additional bloodshed it was referring to, with regret, the blood which has already been shed as a result of hatred of LGBT people.

    If I write about violence with less intensity than others it is because I have very little direct experience with it. I do try to listen closely to those who have those experiences, which means I often spend a lot more time reading than writing.

  247. 747
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Flex wrote:

    When I said additional bloodshed it was referring to, with regret, the blood which has already been shed as a result of hatred of LGBT people.

    And so I insert my foot into my mouth. Apologies for my ass-umption a wee bit up-thread.

  248. 748
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    One thing that annoyed me about the Maddow “List O’ Things You Uppity Ingrate Gays Should Be Grateful For” is that she kept saying “Reagan didn’t care about gays in private but he allowed gays to die of AIDS! How terrible! Bush Junior used a ban on same sex marriage to get people to the polls for his reelection! Shock and awe! But hey, Obama’s public now with his support for gay people!” So…her examples are two previous presidents who did terrible things to gay people while privately having no problem with them. Now we have a president who publicly has no problem with gay people, but is still allowing terrible things to happen to us.

    PROGRESS!

  249. 749
    yellowsubmarine

    “Really? In a discussion on gay rights, you couldn’t have used a different phrase? Really?”

    Yes I could have and I apologize for not catching it. How about “politically non-commital”? I’ve never thought of that word as being specifically anti-gay, but apparently it is and I didn’t know. Sorry.

  250. 750
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    PROGRESS!

    So that’s what it’s called!

  251. 751
    Ing

    Cross posted

    What I’m saying is different states are coming to different conclusions. I think it’s important to recognize that folks who feel very strongly that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, many of them are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective… A bunch of them are friends of mine, pastors and people who I deeply respect…

    Deer god with halo antlers, it’s even worse than originally reported. He “respects” them…DEEPLY. And they’re not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective!? Hey, it affects them ZERO percent…how is it NOT mean spirited!? How can I possibly go over and shit on someone else’s icecream and it NOT be mean spirited!?

  252. 752
    Ing

    Obama did not give words of support. He gave words of support to BOTH sides…and reasserted that he won’t personally help any side. He’s neutral…in the same way in you can be neutral while opening up big accounts for German gold.

  253. 753
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    A bunch of them are friends of mine, pastors and people who I deeply respect…

    Well, fuck. It’s much worse. I said earlier that it wasn’t nuanced. It’s fucking transparent. Obama, you’re not helping. What a pandering turd. Fuck!

  254. 754
    Ing

    I support victims of spousal abuse, but one has to remember that people who beat their spouses are not acting out of malice and we should try to be understanding of them…that although I disagree with them they are acting out of sincere love

  255. 755
    Inaji

    RahXephon MQ, :pounces and hugs: I adore unfueled fuckrocket. That will be used.

    On a more sour note, fuck each and every stupid moron in this thread who thinks what Obama said was just dandy, it was politically expedient, it’s okay, because he has a plan, it’s okay, just sit there and wait like good little queers, people will acknowledge your humanity eventually, it’s no big deal when people queers die or are beaten or have their families ripped apart, after all, that sort of thing isn’t meant or done in a mean spirited way.

    Fuck. Every. Single. One. Of. You. Go drown in your privilege.

  256. 756
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    RahXephon MQ, :pounces and hugs: I adore unfueled fuckrocket. That will be used.

    Aww, thanks, Caine! Anything I can do to add creative insults to the Pharyngula Lexicon.

    On a more sour note, fuck each and every stupid moron in this thread who thinks what Obama said was just dandy, it was politically expedient, it’s okay, because he has a plan, it’s okay, just sit there and wait like good little queers, people will acknowledge your humanity eventually

    Indeed. That’s something I mentioned earlier. I’m fucking sick of being told to wait while President Biparti-pants plays twelve-dimensional chess with my rights. He doesn’t have some grand plan that our puny minds can’t comprehend, he’s just a calculating, triangulating Democratic politician.

    It’s like I was trying to explain to someone on Facebook: I see no functional difference between the active oppression of the Republicans and the passive oppression of the Democrats through their inaction. “Vote for me because I’m not actively oppressing you” is simply un-fucking-acceptable.

    it’s no big deal when people queers die or are beaten or have their families ripped apart, after all, that sort of thing isn’t meant or done in a mean spirited way.

    I have a friend whose position is “hate the sin, not the sinner”. He’s fine with me being gay, he just happens to think what I do is wrong and against God and I shouldn’t have rights or be able to get married. He doesn’t think he’s doing it in a mean-spirited way, he thinks he’s just upholding Gawd’s laws! Thing is, God (if he existed) is an evil being.

    I thought about writing a sci-fi story where humanity finds out God is real, but because of all the evil he’s done (such as being the biggest mass-murderer in history, for a start) we declare war on him.

  257. 757
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    And Greg Laden has the unmitigated gall over on Lousy Canuck’s blog to actually tell me to stop complaining so I don’t wreck Obama’s chances and allow Romney to get in and spoil the Supreme Court. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

    And Jason Thibeault’s fee-fees are hurt because I’m telling him to stop trying to “balance” my legitimate complaint. Poor fucking straight men. Life Iz HARDS..

  258. 758
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    And Greg Laden has the unmitigated gall over on Lousy Canuck’s blog to actually tell me to stop complaining so I don’t wreck Obama’s chances and allow Romney to get in

    Sorry, Greg. I don’t see a big difference between Barack “Unfueled Fuckrocket to the Panderian Homeworld” Obama and Mittens “I Was For Myself Before I Was Against Myself” Romney. Both are political snake-oil salesman who will tell people whatever they wanna hear to get power.

    spoil the Supreme Court.

    I opened up my container of Supreme Court and it was totally curdled, so…too late.

  259. 759
    Louis

    Josh,

    Well, straight men mustn’t have their FEE-FEES hurt. Why? They are proper MAN FEE-FEES.*

    Silly poof. Naughty. Run along back to the closet and stop hurting my MAN FEE-FEES.**

    Louis

    * IMPORTANT.

    ** I’ll be along to the closet later to check if you are lifting your luggage correctly, make sure your stance on the toilet is correct and see if you have any meth on you…

  260. 760
    'Tis Himself

    And Greg Laden has the unmitigated gall over on Lousy Canuck’s blog to actually tell me to stop complaining so I don’t wreck Obama’s chances and allow Romney to get in and spoil the Supreme Court. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.

    I have had Laden kill-filed for years and I’ve never intentionally gone to his blog. He was an asshole when he was trolling his own blog and he hasn’t changed.

    And Jason Thibeault’s fee-fees are hurt because I’m telling him to stop trying to “balance” my legitimate complaint.

    I’ll go over there and yell at Jason.

  261. 761
    Inaji

    Josh:

    Poor fucking straight men. Life Iz HARDS..

    You’ll have to wait while I try to work up a tear. Anyone have an onion?

    Here’s another sour note: To every single fuckwitted moron who drones on and on about how the Prez who sold us out for nothing is the lesser evil and we really, really have to vote for him, we. already. know. that. and. we. are. fucking. heartsick. about. it. because. he. betrayed. us.

    Try. To. Get. That. Through. Your. Fuckwitted. Thick. Skulls.

  262. 762
    Inaji

    RahXephon MQ:

    Barack “Unfueled Fuckrocket to the Panderian Homeworld”

    +10

  263. 763
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh that was good, Rah!!!

  264. 764
    R Johnston

    Here’s another sour note: To every single fuckwitted moron who drones on and on about how the Prez who sold us out for nothing is the lesser evil and we really, really have to vote for him, we. already. know. that. and. we. are. fucking. heartsick. about. it. because. he. betrayed. us.

    The abominable excretion against democracy that is the electoral college means there’s absolutely no reason at all for most people who actually care about issues to vote for Obama. If you’re one of those people, don’t even think about voting for him. As a New York voter I certainly won’t.

  265. 765
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Caine

    Woot! I hope these points are redeemable at the Pharyngula Giftshop, I need a new squidblaster.

    @Josh

    Thanks. I posted on Jason’s thread. Laden sure is a fuckwitted douchetrout.

    I wonder if he’d acknowledge his logic error about “criticizing Obama = voting for Romney” if I pointed out that that’s the same process creationists use when they say “proving evolution wrong = the Bible’s literally correct”.

  266. 766
    Inaji

    R Johnston:

    As a New York voter I certainly won’t.

    It’s nice that you’re a New Yorker. I’m not. I’m smack in the middle of a very red state.

  267. 767
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    @dianne:

    I regret to inform you that your second husband is lacking in brains, guts, backbone and appropriate reproductive organs.

    What are those “appropriate” reproductive organs?

    You saying a good and proper man has testicles? You saying he’s lesser if he doesn’t have them?

  268. 768
    Jadehawk

    I wonder how the world would be like under your ideas, not how you think it would be but how it would really be.

    you know how in Europe people protest at the drop of a hat?

    That’s how it would be. Oh, the horrors.

    Because it is normal, and right, and there’s no reason to yell it to the hills.

    wow, that’s fucking dumb.

    It’s supposed to be normal, but unless we shout, and unless we always expect more, it will never actually get there.

    And on that note… why should I ever be satisfied with anything other than full equality? You lot keep on saying that if we pat the president on the head for this, he’ll be motivated to go in our direction more, but look at the reality: he keeps on moving in the direction of those who will never agree with him! If we’re quieter than them, we’ll just allow them to drag the Overton Window in the right-wing direction, ffs.

    ridicule only works when you’re in the right

    aside from the fact that we are in the right, this isn’t even correct. ridicule can denigrate correct ideas in favor of incorrect ones just as well as the other way ’round.

    It is good to see that after intense political pressure that President Obama has finally come around to the Dick Cheney position on marriage equality.

    yeah; when you’re to the right of Darth Cheney on something, there’s absofuckinglutely nothing to be proud of about that.

    Obama should have kept his fucking mouth shut. What he’s done is attached his unpopular name to marriage equality, without putting the weight of his power or popularity behind it. Literally the worse off both with the benefits of neither. He’s given the bad guys something else to rally around and draw in greater support, without doing jack shit to actually help the side he claims to be on.

    indeed. like i said, if he was going to say something that would fire up the rightwing base, it better had been something that would do enough political good to make up for motivating the wingnuts to give money and show up to vote.

    He is tugging America in the right direction like a daycare leader stringing a line of preschoolers on a walk.

    nope. these kinds of speeches are “one step forward, two steps back”.

    No point pulling the rope hard cause each kid hangs on only voluntarily.

    this is ass-backwards. Obama isn’t leading on this issue, he’s following and he’s the one holding back the rope. Over 50% of Americans are pro-same sex marriage; there are hosts of Republicans more progressive on this issue than Obama is, ffs.

    His personal preference doesn’t get voted on by Congress, so there’s no reason for him to moderate it.

    QFT

    First, marriages are already covered by state law not federal law.

    not since Loving vs. Virginia, they aren’t. (also, the existence of DOMA makes it pretty fucking obvious that when it wants to, the federal government has no fucking problem involving itself in marriage issues)

    By doing this Obama has deliberately avoided conflating the issue of gay marriage and states rights.

    he’s done the exact opposite of that.

    They represent the will of the people.

    bah. that’s obviously bullshit, or else the US would have a public option in healthcare and federally legalized gay-marriage.

    Am I right in thinking that on other equality issues the Federal Government has taken a lead because individual States had proven themselves unequal to the task of ending discrimination of the grounds of sex or race ?

    well, that’s pretty much what the civil rights amendment was. which is why i said earlier that Obama’s comment isn’t that different from what Chris Christie said a while back about how he thinks it would have been better if civil rights would have been voted on back then.

    But, at the risk of feeding you, the “Thanksgiving” reference was a clearly obvious metaphor and not intended as a declaration of your citizenship.

    then you could have really used something a bit less American-centric. not like holiday dinners in general happen only in the US.

    THEN AGITATE and ORGANIZE MORE!

    we are, numbcake. and people like you criticize us for it.

    What is this? The Forced Birthers aren’t misogynstic argument for Teh Gayz?

    yep. because intent is magic and saying that people are mean is worse than being mean.

    A bunch of them are friends of mine, pastors and people who I deeply respect…

    and this is “not my nigel” for Teh Gayz

    And Greg Laden has

    eh. Laden hasn’t gotten any smarter since switching blogs. See also his “To punish the Greeks for voting for Nazis, let’s do some more of that thing that made them vote for Nazis so they’ll stop voting for Nazis” post

  269. 769
    nmmng

    PZ, I gave up on you after you made yourself the lapdog of the all-men-are-rapists brigade, but I have to make one final comment.

    Barack Obama just committed political suicide and that still isn’t enough for you?

    GO FUCK YOURSELF, ASSHOLE.

    Have a scheiss life.

  270. 770
    Rutee Katreya

    PZ, I gave up on you after you made yourself the lapdog of the all-men-are-rapists brigade.

    I’m sure yours is a voice worth listening to…

    Barack Obama just committed political suicide and that still isn’t enough for you?

    He committed political suicide, such as it is (It isn’t) by being a wishy washy jackass, not by coming out in support of gay people.

    GO FUCK YOURSELF, ASSHOLE.

    Right, the dude who is in support of gay rights is the asshole for coming down even a tiny bit hard on a jackass president who will drag his feet, complain, and try not to do things for gay people.

    Have a scheiss life.

    stick the flounce.

  271. 771
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Why is it so hard for self-described allies to understand that their role is to (1) listen, (2) listen some more and (3) let us lead?

    Seriously.

    Oh, and nmmng, have a porcupine and get out.

  272. 772
    Cipher

    PZ, I gave up on you after you made yourself the lapdog of the all-men-are-rapists brigade, but I have to make one final comment.

    That strawman was battered to shreds and buried months ago. You didn’t need to dig it up and drag it into your pathetic flounce. I give it a 2.

  273. 773
    Jadehawk

    the all-men-are-rapists brigade

    I could have used that straw for mulch, you know. why are you wasting it on this?

  274. 774
    Inaji

    I just got an email from avaaz.org – they’re looking to send a ‘huge’ thank you card to the prez who sold us out. They want 20k sigs so it will be delivered directly to the white house. Bah.

  275. 775
    Inaji

    nmmng:

    GO FUCK YOURSELF, ASSHOLE.

    Right back atcha, fuckwit. By the way, the strawman building contest is thataway ——->, so feel free to get the fuck out of here. Ta.

  276. 776
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    PZ, I gave up on you after you made yourself the lapdog of the all-men-are-rapists brigade, but I have to make one final comment.

    Barack Obama just committed political suicide and that still isn’t enough for you?

    GO FUCK YOURSELF, ASSHOLE.

    Have a scheiss life.

    I swear, I leave for 20 minutes to go to the grocery store and I miss the best troll yet.

    Newsflash, lackwit: acknowledging that women are people with rights and feelings and all that “full-fledged human being” stuff, including a right to their own safety, does not make one a “lapdog to the all-men-are-rapists brigade”. Nuance, it’s not just a city in France.

    Also, Barack Obama didn’t commit political suicide. The people who hate what he said already hated him, nothing could’ve made any difference anyway; instead of going for broke he pandered and made himself look weak to both sides, which is something he’s done his entire presidency.

    All you’ve got is a random non-sequitur reference to RW, which in internet terms is ancient fucking history, and a bullshit claim that Obama fell on his sword for us. I’d tell you to take your clowncar of farts back where you came from if I hadn’t already let the air out of your tires.

    Now, stick the goddamn flounce.

  277. 777
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    To add to the Pharyngula Lexicon again today, I would call that a “flounce pounce”. A troll comes in, drops a shitbomb on the thread, and then several of us get piled up trying to counterattack and end up saying a lot of the same things. :P

  278. 778
    Amphiox

    All you’ve got is a random non-sequitur reference to RW, which in internet terms is ancient fucking history

    It is a pitifully transparent attempt to derail the thread.

  279. 779
    Inaji

    RahXephon MQ:

    To add to the Pharyngula Lexicon again today

    I’m going to build on an earlier contribution of yours and refer to particularly egregious ‘support the prez on this at all costs’ peoples an Uncle Fuckrocket.

  280. 780
    Amphiox

    This thread has made me realize that although over 50% of Americans are polling as supporting marriage equality, a significant fraction, if not majority, of them support it only in the way they support apple pie. In other words, if asked, they will agree, but they do not believe in it passionately enough to actually fight for it. If the price of apples suddenly goes up, they will not be demonstrating against manipulation of the apple futures market, they will just go buy blueberry pies instead.

    In fact a substantial fraction of them are still uncomfortable with the very idea of someone else upsetting the peaceful applecart by fighting for it, and may even actively get in their way.

    I used to naively think that the battle for marriage equality was all but won, that the sheer weight of demographics made it inevitable, that it was only a matter of time. That the recent wave of action against it was just the last reactionary snarl of a rabid drooling dog chained behind the shed, waiting to be shot. Now it’s clear that even if lots of people agree the dog is rabid and should be shot, hardly a handful are actually willing to pull the trigger, and none of those actually have access to the gun. And the dog is already halfway done gnawing through its restraining collar.

    No doubt this has long been obvious to those of you who are more engaged in this issue, but I was not sensitive to the obvious signs until now.

    This is depressing. I think I’m going to slink off somewhere and get drunk.

  281. 781
    Ichthyic

    Barack Obama just committed political suicide

    ROFLMAO

    how stupid can one person get?

  282. 782
    Amphiox

    Frankly, now that I have had a night to think about it, Obama’s statement seems tailored specifically to appeal to the centrist block where the majority are nebulously in favor of marriage equality in principle, but are quite queasy about the thought of fighting vociferously for it.

    In other words it was a very calculated political ploy aimed at one of the major blocks he wants to woo for the election.

    In fact, the outrage generated in his progressive base may well have been anticipated. He calculates that this base will still vote for him (just as the evangelical African American part of his base will still probably vote for him), and having “left-wingers” angry at him and raging at him actually makes a lot of the so-called “muddled-centrists” look at him for favorably.

  283. 783
    Inaji

    Amphiox:

    Now it’s clear that even if lots of people agree the dog is rabid and should be shot, hardly a handful are actually willing to pull the trigger, and none of those actually have access to the gun. And the dog is already halfway done gnawing through its restraining collar.

    In a nutshell.

  284. 784
    Akira MacKenzie

    Awww man! I missed out on quite a rumble! It makes me REALLY hate my employer’s selectively enforced policies against surfing the web. (e.g. The CSRs in eBanking are allowed to browse wherever they want in-between calls, but we in EBT are under tighter security restrictions and must stick to the company’s intranet. Don’t ask me why.)

    At first, I too was guardedly elated at Obama’s statement, until P.Z.’s post made me aware of the fine print. I made my displeasure with Obama and my reluctance to vote for him again known on my Facebook page and I was quickly assailed by many of my friends with the usual defenses for Barry:

    “1.a: You’re insane if you can’t see the difference between Obama and Romney!”

    “1.b: A vote not going to Obama is a vote for Romney! Therefore YOU are supporting homophobia by not giving him your support!”

    How is Romney’s desire for a constitutional ban on same sex marriage worse than Obama’s tacit approval of state-level bans while pandering to the LGBT community for votes? Either way, same-sex couples are still being screwed (and not in the fun way).

    If anything, the magic-underwear clad Neanderthal is being far more honest than Barry.

    “2: Progress takes little steps!”

    Riiiight, and while your shuffling along toward your hypothetical progressive future, what about the people in the hurting in the here and now? The change you are hoping for centuries or decades in the future, if it comes at all, is a cold comfort to those who are hurting NOW.

    Anyway, things quickly devolved from there. I don’t think I’m going to have as many FB friends by the end of the night as I used to.

  285. 785
    Akira MacKenzie

    Whoopsie! Sorry for the blockquote fail!

  286. 786
    Inaji

    Akira MacKenzie:

    I don’t think I’m going to have as many FB friends by the end of the night as I used to.

    Don’t be surprised. There’s been a shitload of straightsplainin’ going on here, even from regulars. (The discussion started in TET, then moved here after PZ got this post up.)

  287. 787
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Akira MacKenzie

    I think I know how you feel. Despite having had a low-level seething rage over the various ways my rights and the rights of other LGBTQ (and any other letters/labels) for as long as I can freaking remember, a confluence of events upset me a few days ago and I went on a tear on Facebook about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few people unfriended me.

    I think what did it was the NC vote, and Obama’s crapulence, and a video I watched by a gay man and his horror story involving his partner dying and his Christian bigot family taking his partner’s body away and all this shit and how he had absolutely no legal recourse…

  288. 788
    'Tis Himself

    A non-vote for Obama is not a vote for Romney, certainly for those of us in blue states. Here in Connecticut I intend to for a congresscritter, a senator, and a slew of local offices. I’m undecided if I’m going to vote for Obama or not, but I’m leaning towards not.

    I don’t see Obama as a good president. Sure, Romney would be worse but then Romney would be worse than almost everybody. “Hope” is becoming hopeless. Guantanamo is still running, health care is still controlled by insurance companies, nothing’s being done about AGW, the 1% is winning the class war, peak oil is going to peak in the near future, and now Obama is playing silly games with basic human rights.

    So it’s becoming more and more likely that Obama is going to win Connecticut but he’s not going to win with my vote.

  289. 789
    'Tis Himself

    Addendum to my post #288: There is no senatorial race here. I don’t get to watch Lieberman leave office for another two years.

  290. 790
    Amphiox

    Strategic voting would suggest that if you live in a swing state, you should vote for Obama to prevent Romney from winning, but if you live in a blue state you should not vote for Obama, but vote for a liberal democrat for the House and Senate. Assuming that the democratic party keeps the stats, the low voter turnout for Obama in a state he expects to comfortably win, coupled with a high turnout for more progressive democratic candidates in the other races (ie lots of ballots that are pointedly blank on the presidential portion) should help apply the kind of pressure that might help pull Obama leftward.

    This is assuming that you actually have candidates more progressive than Obama in the House and Senate races.

    If you are in a red state where Obama has no chance of winning, then you could well be safe spoiling your ballot in a creatively illustrative fashion.

    But there is always the chance that your supposed red state might unexpectedly swing into the swing state category, as some of them seem to be doing right now. So by voting for Obama there and contributing to a surprise Obama victory there, you would actually send a rather rebuking message to the Republican party, which may help pull THEM leftward (or at least towards non-obstructionism).

    And the reverse applies if you are in a blue state that unexpectedly turns right and becomes a swing state.

  291. 791
    Lion IRC

    “…debacles like the recent anti-gay ballot in North Carolina…”
    ?
    Thats DEMOCRACY you’re talking about PAL!

    Speaking of democracy.

    Internet poll on who won this debate…

    http://www.rationalskepticism.org/formal-debates/debate-gay-marriage-should-not-be-legalised-in-society-t30800.html

  292. 792
    Cipher

    Lion IRC, you’re a pile of burning dogshit who doesn’t belong in civilized society.

    For the people who might wonder whether to click that link, it leads to a “debate” about same-sex marriage between Lion IRC and another person, in which Lion IRC continues to be a pile of burning dogshit.

    I don’t particularly recommend going there.

  293. 793
    Amphiox

    Thats DEMOCRACY you’re talking about PAL!

    My Poe monitor is fritzed so I can’t tell if the above is serious or not.

    But point of fact, it isn’t democracy. Democracy is supposed to have protections that ensure minority rights against the potential for tyranny by the majority. Or in other words, separation of powers and checks and balances extends to include checks against the unfettered power of the majority. In a true democracy certain things are not allowed even if supported by a 100% majority.

    It Plurocracy, the tyranny of the mob.

  294. 794
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Lion IRC

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seriously, everyone, click that fucking link. Lion IRC is proud of this “debate” that makes him look crazier than a bag of cats. I’m not sure how Dolly Parton and Planet of the Apes are supposed to convince me gay marriage is wrong.

    As far as the “democracy” thing, plenty of people voted against miscegenation (that’s people of different races marrying; I figured I’d explain since your brain has obviously been replaced by a slurpie machine and it doesn’t even have any good flavors) awhile back. Those people also happened to be FUCKING WRONG and what they were voting on SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN PUT UP FOR A VOTE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

  295. 795
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    My Poe monitor is fritzed so I can’t tell if the above is serious or not.

    The Lion IRC is a fuckwitted presuppositional godbot whose word consists of lies, bullshit, and even more bullshit. But it is serious. And we LAUGH AT IT AND ITS ABJECT FUCKWITTERY.

  296. 796
    Lion IRC

    I supposed there must be a “civilized” society (somewhere) which can talk about its constituents as burning piles of dog s..t who dont deserve to exist. Anyway, thanks for not voting Cipher. Your abstention counts too!

  297. 797
    Ichthyic

    Lion (IRC) Insipidity, Godbotting

    The stupid comments would have been tolerable (at least, ignorable) if they hadn’t been accompanied by such undeserved self-pride in his attempts at wit, and such unwarranted and affected pretension. In other words, dumb as a turd and completely oblivious to it.

    -PZ Myers, Pharyngula Dungeon.

    goddamned banned motherfucker.

    get lost, fapwit.

  298. 798
    Ing

    I thought about writing a sci-fi story where humanity finds out God is real, but because of all the evil he’s done (such as being the biggest mass-murderer in history, for a start) we declare war on him.

    Dreams with Sharp Teeth anthology, first story in the collection

  299. 799
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    I supposed there must be a “civilized” society (somewhere) which can talk about its constituents as burning piles of dog s..t

    First off, lol self-censorship. You’re adorable, cupcake.

    Second, you’re right…you’re not a burning pile of dogshit. You’re an overloading nuclear reactor of shit melting its way through the floor. If you came from the sun, you’d be a coronal ass ejection. The slow arcs the galaxies take through their gravitational dance are to slingshot around the supermassive black hole of your shittiness. You’ve achieved asshattery on a cosmic level. Be proud.

    And then shut the fuck up.

  300. 800
    Inaji

    Oh look, it’s Lyin’ Irk. Oh PZ! Would you consider dropping Lion IRC into the quarantine zone? We’re about dying for a cage match.

  301. 801
    Ichthyic

    coronal ass ejection

    wow, two additions to my lexicon in 10 minutes.

    I think that’s a record!

  302. 802
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Ichthyic

    Yeah, I’ve been on a space theme for insults today. I should’ve been an astronomer instead of a historian.

  303. 803
    Ichthyic

    just in case someone needed verification:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/plonk.php

    yes, Lion was banned from Pharyngula (the elder) long ago.

    hasn’t changed a bit, so I see no reason for even a short leash here.

    off with his head!

  304. 804
    Inaji

    Ichthyic:

    goddamned banned motherfucker.

    Not here, unfortunately. Lyin’ Irk was one of those who received general amnesty after the move. Of course, I don’t expect that will last long. I want the lying, hypocritical shitbag quarantined to Zombie Land.

  305. 805
    Ichthyic

    I should’ve been an astronomer instead of a historian.

    any reason you can’t be both?

    hell, I’ve worn at least 6 hats in my life, so far.

  306. 806
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    any reason you can’t be both?

    hell, I’ve worn at least 6 hats in my life, so far.

    True, but…ugh. So much math. I think my brain would get a stitch in its side.

  307. 807
    Ichthyic

    Thats DEMOCRACY you’re talking about PAL!

    Them’s FIGHTIN’ words!

    Just let ME find my CAN of spinach!!

  308. 808
    Lion IRC

    I thought the “slurpie machine” with no good flavors was funny…
    …in a try not to laugh kind of way.

  309. 809
    Ichthyic

    So much math

    oh, right.

    math scares me too.

    never finished my second degree in chem because I just couldn’t stomach re-learning calculus again to wade through physical chemistry.

    fair enough.

    amateur astronomy though… that only requires trig, right?

  310. 810
    The Swordfish, Ambulatory Memory Leak

    RahXephon:

    “Unfueled Fuckrocket to the Panderian Homeworld.”

    This had me laughing for a solid minute. Favorite metaphor ever.

    Thanks to everyone for the warm reception. :) Wish I could have participated in this thread beyond the one post, but antidepressant withdrawal is playing merry hell with my faculties, so I doubt I’d have had anything coherent to add.

    Caine: Well, of course! Silly of me. Should’a noticed that before. *casually overthrows government of Chile just for kicks*

    Thomathy @ 242: Heheh. ;D

    nmmng:

    PZ, I gave up on you after you made yourself the lapdog of the all-men-are-rapists brigade, but I have to make one final comment.

    Barack Obama just committed political suicide and that still isn’t enough for you?

    GO FUCK YOURSELF, ASSHOLE.

    You do realize you read like a complete parody, don’t you? Seriously, if I were mocking MRAs, this is exactly what I would write.

    Also, if you gave up on PZ, why the hell are you reading his blog? Is the nasty Gayluminati™ using their evil mind-control powers to make you come here?

  311. 811
    Lion IRC

    Someone unkindly suggested to me that Obama only changed his mind/came out
    after seeing my arguments against same-sex “marriage” in that formal debate.

  312. 812
    The Swordfish, Ambulatory Memory Leak

    coronal ass ejection

    My lungs hate you, RahXephon. I, on the other hand, love you. :D

  313. 813
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Someone unkindly suggested to me that Obama only changed his mind/came out
    after seeing my arguments against same-sex “marriage” in that formal debate.

    No wonder you were banned, you’re pretty fucking boring and tedious after awhile.

    As far as your “arguments”, which seem to be part Dr. Bronner’s Soap labels and part Google Image Search results, I think they’re so stupid they could make Fred Phelps pro-gay marriage. You are right that that’s an accomplishment, for a really fucking narrow and pathetic definition of accomplishment.

    Also, shove your scarequotes up your ass sideways.

  314. 814
    Inaji

    Swordfish:

    the nasty Gayluminati™

    :falls over laughing:

  315. 815
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Swordfish

    That’s why my jokes usually come with asthma inhalers.

    Also, I thought your first post was awesome. It definitely got people talking. All I’ve been doing is sniping at trolls, lol.

  316. 816
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    I admit it, I’m part of the Gayluminati. Our first project after we take over the world is to redraw all national borders so every country is dick-shaped.

  317. 817
    Inaji

    Our first project after we take over the world is to redraw all national borders so every country is dick-shaped.

    Now, Rah, don’t be so gender exclusive. I’m sure there’s room for vulva shapes and blends of vulvas and penises and some breastses here and there.

  318. 818
    carlie

    Our first project after we take over the world is to redraw all national borders so every country is dick-shaped.

    And Italy and Florida sit back comfortably and say “finally, we have the last laugh”.

  319. 819
    carlie

    …While Tasmania is sad.

  320. 820
    Amphiox

    Our first project after we take over the world is to redraw all national borders so every country is dick-shaped.

    I’m afraid the Republican Party has already done it, with their gerry-mandering.

  321. 821
    Ing

    Obama did not come out. That is a fairly disgusting slam on gays.

  322. 822
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Now, Rah, don’t be so gender exclusive. I’m sure there’s room for vulva shapes and blends of vulvas and penises and some breastses here and there.

    Yeah, you’re right. I think we should put the breastses in the mountainous areas and keep the dongs to the peeninsulas.

  323. 823
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    I just wanted an excuse to use the word “peeninsulas”.

  324. 824
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Ahhh, so this is the shithead ‘Lion IRC’ I read so much about.

    Come here so I can eat you.

  325. 825
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Someone unkindly suggested to me that Obama only changed his mind/came out
    after seeing my arguments against same-sex “marriage” in that formal debate.

    Good thing you’ll never be that important or notable, though.

    Just another wet fart in the winds of History.

  326. 826
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    That was seriously disappointing. I tried to have a conversation with Jason on that thread and he just kept going “I’M DONE WITH THIS, Y’ALL ARE HATERS!” Jeeze.

  327. 827
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Oh he’s a peach, RahXephon. I just got all vulgar on his ass (as I’m wont to do). Why bother with anything else? Menz don’t listen anyway.

  328. 828
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    His attitude reminded me perfectly of the faugressive doodz I’ve seen come in and infest feminist discussions, saying they really care about feminists issues and then proceeded to ignore all the women there to tell them what’s REALLY sexist and that hey, they’ve come a long way, baby.

    If that’s the kind of “ally” he wants to be, he can get the fuck out of my Gay Alliance!

  329. 829
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    That’s because it is the same, Rah. We’ve just been man-splained to. Just the same way they fucking condescend to women.

  330. 830
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Yes, and it never occurred to him that if I’m not “getting what he’s saying”, maybe he sucks at saying it. Nope, gotta be the gay doodz not listening cuz our ears are full of dickplugs, apparently.

  331. 831
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Great, that fucking slimy gob of phlegm, Lion has shown up. That asshole is one of the few persons that I called for to be banned. (Usually, I warn a troll that a ban is coming.) This was shortly after Patricia’s husband died. Patricia was online and did not appreciate the smug godbotting of Lion. Lion said to her, Unlike you, I do not want to hurt anyone.

    He is a fucking smug smiling monster. I visualize a jackass with Ted Haggard’s smile.

    I would call for him to rot but his brain rotted decades ago. So all I want is his body to follow.

  332. 832
    ltft

    Hi Akira @284

    You wrote, “How is Romney’s desire for a constitutional ban on same sex marriage worse than Obama’s tacit approval of state-level bans while pandering to the LGBT community for votes? Either way, same-sex couples are still being screwed (and not in the fun way).”

    Even ignoring the differences between, ‘this is the Constitutional reality I think we live in’ (Obama) and, ‘this is what I would want to do regardless of the Constitution’ (Romney)…

    Are you really arguing that something that bans gay marriage in 50 states with no exceptions is no worse than something that might result in a ban in, say, 30 states and forces those 30 states to recognize marriages that occur in the other 20? Really? That somehow makes sense to you?

    There’s a lot to criticize about Obama’s statement, but equating his position to Romney’s? That’s a bit crazy.

  333. 833
    ltft

    Hi Ing @251

    You wrote, “How can I possibly go over and shit on someone else’s icecream and it NOT be mean spirited!?”

    Well, my dog shits on a neighbor’s lawn every morning (though of course I pick it up). I don’t think my dog means it in a mean way; it’s just the instinct of an unthinking creature walking around on a short leash.

  334. 834
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Fuck you, ltft! Being prevented in thirty states from being able to marry is not fucking acceptable! How fucking dare you suggest that having half a load of shit is better then not being allowed at all.

    Dammit! I wish I could suggest that in three fifths of the world that straight people cannot get married or not even have sex and then tell the straight people who complain that they are not being fucking reasonable nor nice.

    Fuck you up the ass the a razor covered dildo.

  335. 835
    Jadehawk

    I’m sure there’s room for vulva shapes

    the daily show has already found one: Vagistan

  336. 836
    Inaji

    ltft, it’s a fine and wonderful thing you like shit so much. Shovel a load of shit into your mouth, Cupcake, and chew. Stop telling us the shit on that keeps being slopped onto our plates is a good thing.

    We are tired and mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore. Get the motherfuck out of our way.

  337. 837
    ltft

    Hi Janine @334.

    You said, “Fuck you, ltft! Being prevented in thirty states from being able to marry is not fucking acceptable!”

    I never said it was. I do not think it is acceptable either.

    You said, “How fucking dare you suggest that having half a load of shit is better then (sic) not being allowed at all.”

    I don’t think there’s even a question; a half a load of shit (assuming shit is bad) is definitely better than a whole load of shit. Being able to marry in a few states is better than not being able to marry in any states. That doesn’t make the half load right or okay, but it’s unquestionably better. And again, that does not mean the half load is acceptable, but I’m not sure how you can argue that denying a right to 100% percent of a population is no worse than denying a right to 60% of a population.

    You said, “…and then tell the straight people who complain that they are not being fucking reasonable nor nice.”

    I have never said, and likely never will, that you have to be reasonable or nice. However, arguing that half a load of shit isn’t better than a whole load of shit… How can you possibly argue that? There is more than enough to argue and complain about Obama’s statement without saying something incredibly stupid like that. You can argue that a half load is still too much and I’d agree with you. You can argue that Obama misread the political atmosphere and I’d agree with you. You can argue that Obama needs to step up when he sees a wrong and confront the problem regardless of the political environment and I’d agree with you.

    But agreeing with you when you agree with Akira that allowing gay marriage in some states is no better than preventing marriage in every state? Uh, no. I can’t agree with that.

  338. 838
    Inaji

    Jadehawk:

    the daily show has already found one: Vagistan

    :snortle: Oh, perfect.

  339. 839
    ltft

    Hi Caine @336,

    I don’t like shit very much. That’s why I’d rather have half a load in my mouth than a full load.

    Let me know when you find me saying it’s a good thing, too, by the way. I disagree with Obama’s statement and do not think it went far enough (though I do think it was political beneficial for him and could have been worse). But I disagree with stupid just as much, and if someone’s going to argue that preventing gay marriage in every state is no worse than preventing marriage in 60% of the states (as Akira, and now apparently Janine and yourself) I’ll disagree with that, too.

  340. 840
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    But agreeing with you when you agree with Akira that allowing gay marriage in some states is no better than preventing marriage in every state? Uh, no. I can’t agree with that.

    You motherfucking condescending shit for brains! How I wish that I could prevent you from being able to exercise your right in sixty percent of the world and when you complain that this is wrong: I could tell you to stuff it, it is not as bad as one hundred percent.

    Drop dead, you privileged assclam. At least the plants could make use of you.

  341. 841
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Hey, having only one of your arms lopped off is not as bad as having both. And we will be reasonable, we will only lop off the non-dominant arm.

    How fucking dare you complain!

  342. 842
    ltft

    Hi Janine @341,

    So, wait, you agree that having one arm lopped off is not as bad as having both arms lopped off? Fantastic! You agree with me! That’s great!

    Now can we go and criticize Obama in ways that actually make sense and, you know, might actually convince people he’s wrong/to change/to make progress?

  343. 843
    Inaji

    It’s late, I’m beyond weary and I’m going to leave this thread now because I truly want PZ to make it rain banhammers on pieces of rotten, disgusting piece of shit like ltft. If wishes were horses and all that.

    If nothing else, you rotten, disgusting piece of shit, do us a favour and Shut The Fuck Up.

  344. 844
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Now can we go and criticize Obama in ways that actually make sense and, you know, might actually convince people he’s wrong/to change/to make progress?

    And how would you suggest we do that, cupcake, and what makes you think that’s not what we’re doing in the first place?

    Oh, that’s right, nothing makes you think that. We’re just not kissing his O-ring to your satisfaction. I don’t know about you, but I don’t give a medal to the very last person to cross the finish line in a race, especially since Obama shit his pants in the last ten meters.

  345. 845
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Now can we go and criticize Obama in ways that actually make sense and, you know, might actually convince people he’s wrong/to change/to make progress?

    So, you think that Obama’s calling for state’s rights to settle the issue of civil rights is a very idea. You know, the concept off putting rights up to a vote?

    That has been my argument, fuckface.

    Take a dive off a cliff. I will make sure there is a glass of ice water for you to land in.

    Trust me.

  346. 846
    Lion IRC

    Legalizing same sex “marriage” in a few convenient locations provides an easy NIMBY way out of the problem and alleviates the conscience of the folk in Nth Carolina (& Mr Obama)

    Export your whingers to Gay Marriage “ghetto” jurisdictions.

    Arguments like “that’s not enough…we want more….” play right into the hands of the slippery slopers who already think the SSM lobby wont be happy until every single church in the country is legally compelled sanctify L G B T I Q polygamous unions, baptize their adopted children and keep running the orphanages and soup kitchens. (oh yeah! and take away their charity status too!!!!)

  347. 847
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    So, wait, you agree that having one arm lopped off is not as bad as having both arms lopped off? Fantastic! You agree with me! That’s great!

    You do notice the part where someone chops someone else’s arm off? Hint : you don’t want to have your arm chopped off, so one isn’t as bad as two, but it’s still pretty fucking bad.

    But I guess gay people should just be grateful they aren’t being killed on the streets without any repercussions for the attackers… Oh wait, that still happens. But anyway, it could be worse, so they should really kiss the feet of all the non-murdering folks out there. Even if those folks won’t let them enjoy same rights everyone else has. But hey, it could be worse!

  348. 848
    ltft

    Oh, wow, Caine, well, since you bolded it. Wait, no, bolding it doesn’t do anything. And neither does making a ridiculous argument.

    What do you want me to say? Cutting both arms off isn’t worse than cutting one arm off? Being blind in both eyes isn’t worse than being blind in one eye? Denying a right to every single person in this country is no worse than denying a right to 60% of the people in the country? I can’t agree with any of that.

    None of those things are acceptable, one arm or two, one eye or two, 60% or 100%. The denial of marriage rights to LGBT couples is not acceptable. Obama’s statement isn’t acceptable.

    I’m honestly curious… do you really think denying a right to everyone in all the states is no worse than denying it to *only* people 60% of the states? Or are you just annoyed that I pointed out a bad argument?

    Some of us don’t just preach to the choir here at Pharyngula, you know. The arguments made here pop up again and again and again on message boards across the interwebs. And when a dumb argument pops up it degrades all the arguments on that topic.

  349. 849
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Go fucking die in a fire, Lion.

    And, no, I am not fucking kidding.

  350. 850
    vaiyt

    Lion: lrn2 democracy.

    The majority cannot take away rights from the minority. That’s what distinguishes democracy from mob rule.

  351. 851
    ltft

    Good spaghetti,

    To RahXephon @344,

    I’d say that you should email and call your Congresspeople in favour of LGBT marriage and I’d say you should talk to as many people and go to as many message boards as you can to argue our (yes, our) case.

    I hope everyone here is already doing that… but I hope they’re doing it with better arguments than, ‘Denying a right to everyone is no worse than denying it to some of the people’.

    I’m not unhappy that people are not supporting Obama. I’m unhappy that people on a skeptical board are making bad arguments. Again: there is plenty about Obama to complain about.

    To Janine @345,

    I think the state’s rights idea is a horrible idea. I do think leaving it up to the states is better than having the federal government ban gay marriage entirely, however. That is my position. Do you disagree? Would you rather just have a federal ban? Keep in mind- I am not happy with Obama’s statement, but it’s better than Romney’s (though still perhaps not worth a vote for Obama).

    To Beatrice @347,

    I think chopping off an arm (or blinding an eye, since I brought that up) is very bad. And I think denying a right to 60% of the population is very very bad, too. But, as you agree, one arm is not as bad as two arms, and a federal ban on all LGBT marriage would be worse then bans in 30 states.

  352. 852
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Some of us don’t just preach to the choir here at Pharyngula, you know.

    ECHO CHAMBER?! YESSSSSSS

    What? It was the last spot on my troll bingo card.

  353. 853
    ltft

    RahXephon @352,

    Damn, caught me! I knew I should have gone with Hitler for the block.

  354. 854
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I think chopping off an arm (or blinding an eye, since I brought that up) is very bad. And I think denying a right to 60% of the population is very very bad, too. But, as you agree, one arm is not as bad as two arms, and a federal ban on all LGBT marriage would be worse then bans in 30 states.

    Fucking party! It is not as bad as it could be. So take that shit.

    And I repeat, dive off a cliff.

    Or better, reason with Lion. It is not so bad, he may be missing a brain and empathy but at least he has an operating brain stem.

  355. 855
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    I’d say that you should email and call your Congresspeople in favour of LGBT marriage and I’d say you should talk to as many people and go to as many message boards as you can to argue our (yes, our) case.

    Oh, yeah, because none of us fucking do that. You sure got our number down, Sparky. All we do is sit here on Pharyngula and complain all day. Fuck you.

    Again: there is plenty about Obama to complain about.

    You don’t seem to get this, cupcake. Obama’s statement was that he thinks it’s a state issue. That means every state in the US can ban gay marriage and he’s totally cool with that; his personal opinion means JACK. SHIT. to me. His actual policy position means he’s no different from any other Republican, other than that he’s letting bans happen state by state rather than a federal constitutional amendment. You’re saying we should choose the death by a thousand cuts instead of the sword to the gut because you think they’re functionally, rather than superficially, different.

  356. 856
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    But, as you agree, one arm is not as bad as two arms, and a federal ban on all LGBT marriage would be worse then bans in 30 states.

    Please, do yourself a favor and drop this analogy. It stinks. When the government wants to cut off your arm you shouldn’t have to be grateful that it didn’t cut both of your arms off! For fuck sake. We are talking about basic human rights. About equality. Just because it could be worse doesn’t mean we should give a pat on the back to anyone who is proposing something not so bad but still not acknowledging people’s rights. Or in president’s case, putting them up to vote.

  357. 857
    ltft

    Hi RahXenon,

    Wait a second… you complained when I said everyone should write their congressperson etc? You explicitly asked me what I thought people should do. Did you not want an answer? Why then did you ask? And I said I hoped people here were already writing their congresspeople; why do you assume I assumed no one was?

    Beyond that, you wrote, “You’re saying we should choose the death by a thousand cuts instead of the sword to the gut because you think they’re functionally, rather than superficially, different.”

    That I (almost) agree with. I do not think we’re approaching a death by a thousand cuts but I do think there’s a legitimate difference between allowing absolutely no one to marry and allowing a few people in a few regions to marry. That difference between our opinions is, I think, the only difference I have seen betweeen my opinions and those of most others recently on this thread. I have no problem with the tone, aggressiveness (can’t think of a better word at 3:30AM), etc expressed here. And of course I don’t want anyone to sit back and enjoy Obama’s statement or the inability to marry.

  358. 858
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I do not think we’re approaching a death by a thousand cuts but I do think there’s a legitimate difference between allowing absolutely no one to marry and allowing a few people in a few regions to marry.

    PARTY!

  359. 859
    ltft

    Hi Beatrice @356,

    You said, “When the government wants to cut off your arm you shouldn’t have to be grateful that it didn’t cut both of your arms off! For fuck sake. We are talking about basic human rights. About equality. Just because it could be worse doesn’t mean we should give a pat on the back to anyone who is proposing something not so bad but still not acknowledging people’s rights. Or in president’s case, putting them up to vote.”

    I agree completely. When you see me saying, ‘Vote for Obama’ let me know. When you see me saying, ‘Be grateful you can get married in 20 states’ let me know.

    I have said Obama’s administration is probably not as bad as Romney’s (though maybe not worth a vote, as I said earlier). I have said that the current situation is not good enough. I have said that we should try to convince as many people as we can that LGBT marriage is a basic right and should be legal everywhere.

    I have never said we should be happy we can still get married in a handful of states. I have never said we should thank Obama for what was an inadequate statement.

  360. 860
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    PARTY!

    And don’t forget the Thank you! poster.

  361. 861
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Wait a second… you complained when I said everyone should write their congressperson etc? You explicitly asked me what I thought people should do. Did you not want an answer? Why then did you ask? And I said I hoped people here were already writing their congresspeople; why do you assume I assumed no one was?

    You originally said that what we were doing doesn’t make sense, wasn’t constructive or going to change anything, that’s a pretty clear indication that you assumed none of us was doing anything other than coming on here to complain.

    By the way, my original question was rhetorical.

  362. 862
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Fuckface, there is an old wobbly slogan that I buy into.

    An injury to one is an injury to all!

    Big fucking deal that not all fags, dykes and genderqueers have their rights denied. As long as it can happen in one place, it can happen everyplace.

    And Obama’s actions does not help in making the possible for everyone.

    And it is fucking insulting for him to suggest that homophobia can come place that is not mean spirited, therefore reasonable.

    I so want to be able to oppress you and then tell you it is not so bad, others are not oppressed.

  363. 863
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m listening to Tracy Chapman and there’s an appropriate verse form Subcity:

    I’d like to please give Mr. President my honest regards
    For disregarding me

  364. 864
    Amphiox

    and a federal ban on all LGBT marriage would be worse then bans in 30 states

    In medical science, when we consider the results of experiments, we look a TWO kinds of significance. Statistical significance, and clinical significance.

    Statistical significance tells us if the result we see is real, or likely enough to be considered to be real.

    Clinical significance tells us if the result we see is relevant and useful.

    And clinical significance trumps statistical significance. A sufficiently clinically significant result can sometimes be accepted and used, or at least investigated further, even if it turns out not to be statistically significant. A statistically significant but clinically insignificant finding is discarded.

    An median cancer survival of 62.1 months with the experimental chemotherapy versus one of 61.8 months without with p = 0.000008 is statistically significant, but it is not clinically significant.

    And when we are talking fundamental human rights, as in medicine, clinical significance is the whole ball game.

    So yeah, maybe you could make a case that Obama’s position on marriage equality is different from Romney’s in a statistically significant fashion.

    But it is not clinically significant. And therefore it is useless.

    There are other issues wherein Obama might be considered clinically significantly superior to Romney, but this one isn’t one of them.

    At least not right now.

    Oh, and one other thing: a federal ban on marriage equality would be significantly easier to reverse in the future than separate individual bans in multiple states. And in this issue, that is a BIG DEAL.

  365. 865
    ltft

    Hi RahXephon,

    You wrote, “You originally said that what we were doing doesn’t make sense, wasn’t constructive or going to change anything…”

    No. I said a portion of Akira’s argument in #282 didn’t make sense and wouldn’t convince anyone we were right. Big difference between my saying one argument is bad/unconvincing/etc and that everything everyone here is saying is senseless or unconstructive.

  366. 866
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I have never said we should be happy we can still get married in a handful of states. I have never said we should thank Obama for what was an inadequate statement.

    Well, then either you have a problem with expressing yourself or all the rest of us responding to you have some comprehension problems. Guess which one I’m betting on. Because that’s exactly what I’ve been reading from you. Or why else did you bother repeating time after time that it’s not so bad? I realize it could be worse. Things can always be worse. Good for you to notice.

  367. 867
    ltft

    Hi Amphiox,

    I agree with your argument but not your conclusion. I’d say a setup where some people can get married, even if others can’t, would meet the criterion for clinically significant. I mean, people in 0% of states can versus people in even 10% of states can… that seems pretty clinically significant.

    On the idea that a federal ban would be easier to overturn… In theory I agree, but in practice I disagree- there would still be state bans that need attention.

  368. 868
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    On the idea that a federal ban would be easier to overturn… In theory I agree, but in practice I disagree- there would still be state bans that need attention.

    The fucking state bans that Obama fucking supports.

    I would spit on your shoes if I could.

  369. 869
    Amphiox

    So you can go to say New York, say, and get married. What good does that do you if North Carolina and 30 other states will not recognize your union? You cannot freely travel within your own country and have your partnership and all it’s associated rights recognized or protected. You have to choose between staying in New York, almost as if imprisoned, or risk losing your marriage rights. Your freedom of travel, freedom of association, freedom to work (what if your job requires relocation to another state?) all are restricted.

    You are still effectively a second class citizen. Your “marriage” in New York is NOT EQUAL to a heterosexual marriage IN NEW YORK, or anywhere else. You effectively HAVEN’T BEEN GIVEN THE RIGHT TO MARRY. You’ve just been given something else, something LESS THAN MARRIAGE, but just given the NAME “marriage”, which DOESN’T carry with it the same degree of rights, privileges, or protections. In some ways this is even worse than civil unions. At least civil unions, on paper, are supposed to confer the same rights and protections are marriage.

    That to me is NOT clinically significant any more than additional 0.3 weeks of survival is clinically significant.

    On issues of fundamental human rights, not going far enough is functionally the same as not going at all – it is like the threshold for neuronal activity. Anything below the required minimum is effectively the same as zero.

    I used to think what Obama has done was clinically significant. I hoped it would be. I WANTED it to be. But it isn’t. It just isn’t.

  370. 870
    Rutee Katreya

    Oh, fucking straight people. IF you must insist on protecting Obama from what he’s done, can you not do it in front of us? I’d fucking appreciate it.

  371. 871
    ltft

    Hi Beatrice @366,

    I’m betting on the comprehension problem.

    I’ve posted on this topic eleven times so far (though I may have missed something). I have never said I agree with Obama’s position. I have never said I thought the current situation was good. I have said, multiple times, that things are very bad. I have said, multiple times, that it is not acceptable. I have said, multiple times, that Obama is wrong. I have said, multiple times, that whatever tone etc people want to use is appropriate.

    I keep repeating that things could be worse because several people have argued that, no, denying everyone in the country the right to marry is no worse than where we are right now. In the last few posts Amphiox and Janine have begun to enunciate reasons why they believe this. I disagree with both of these reasons, but regardless of that: the absence of these reasons is why I kept repeating myself.

  372. 872
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Y’know what? My Uncle Paul died in the hospital while the person he loved, and who loved him, couldn’t even visit, nor make decisions, nor even talk with doctors about Paul’s health.

    Until that changes, I don’t give fuck-all what Obama says. And I give less than half a fuck-all what ltft thinks.

    Half a turd is a full turd with a slap in the face.

    Fuck. That.

  373. 873
    Amphiox

    The whole POINT to a human right is the HUMAN part. That is, the right is attached to YOU, the human. It goes where you go. Even when you travel outside your home country, there are international treaties that allows your government at least some influence in protecting those rights for you.

    A “right” that you have in only one part of your own country, but not another, that you can lose just by traveling somewhere else within your own country, is not a right.

  374. 874
    Ichthyic

    I’m betting on the comprehension problem.

    right, because of course dozens of people reading your screeds are all just suffering reading comprehension issues.

    on your posts only.

    remarkable.

  375. 875
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    In the last few posts Amphiox and Janine have begun to enunciate reasons why they believe this. I disagree with both of these reasons, but regardless of that: the absence of these reasons is why I kept repeating myself.

    Fuckface, I was repeating myself long before you plopped your big bad self here. Ask Amphiox. At first, she did not understand why the regular LGBT members of the Horde were upset. But she paid attention.

    Hell, she did a damned good job of explaining why going the state’s right route is so very shitty in post 859 (359).

  376. 876
    ltft

    Hi Amphiox,

    That 3 month increase in life expectancy? With 70 years (roughly) as a baseline? I agree that’s clinically insignificant. I mean, it’s what, one 280th? That’s not much.

    But the states that allow gay marriage… so far they’re what, 10% of the population? That doesn’t seem clinical insignificant to me.

    On the idea that LGBT individuals and LGBT marriages are still second class… I agree completely, unfortunately. It is not acceptable and it’s a reason to hold any politician’s toes to the fire. Like you, I do not think what Obama has done is clinically significant.

  377. 877
    ltft

    Hi Ichthyic @374,

    Well, 369, 370, and 372 seem to think I’m arguing for Obama, despite repeated complaints about him and arguments that he probably doesn’t deserve his vote. I guess if the shoe fits?

  378. 878
    ltft

    Hi Janine,

    I understand why you’re upset and am also, I just disagree with the idea that a few states is as bad as 0 states. I also disagree that this argument is an argument that could convince many people.

    You quoted the saying, ‘An injustice to one is an injustice to all’. I agree with that completely. I agree it’s a reason to seek a permanent and federal solution to allow LGBT marriage. However, I don’t think it argues effectively that having a few states allow gay marriage is as bad as having 0 states allow same.

  379. 879
    Amphiox

    Janine, I’m actually male.

    Not that it really matters with respect to this (or most other) subject.

  380. 880
    ltft

    Hi nigel @372,

    I agree, Obama’s statement doesn’t go far enough, he probably doesn’t deserve our vote, it beyond sucks what happened with your uncle Paul, and the current state of affairs is worth getting pissed off about.

    But you say, “Half a turd is a full turd with a slap in the face.”

    To that I’d say: the people who live in states that allow marriage probably value their half of a turd quite a lot (while still recognizing, unfortunately, that it really is half a turd). Does that make everything good? Of course not. But having some people who don’t have to go through what your uncle Paul went through is better than making everyone go through that horror. (and better yet would be if no one had to).

  381. 881
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    ltft,

    You’ve made your fucking point. If you’re bound and determined to die on this hill, then go do it somewhere else.

  382. 882
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Sorry, Amphiox. Thanks for correcting my mistake.

  383. 883
    Amphiox

    First if all ltft, that’s 0.3 months, not 3 months (3 months is actually VERY clinically significant in the realm of cancer treatment).

    Second of all, I already explained that it isn’t 10% of the country, it’s still ZERO percent of the country. Because a right to “marry” that isn’t recognized IN THE ENTIRE NATION just as heterosexual marriage performed in any state is recognized by ALL states, is not a right to “marriage” at all. It is no better than civil union, and is NOT marriage equality.

    And thirdly, there is supposed to be a constitutional principle of reciprocity, one that says that a right afforded by one state cannot be denied by other states when citizens travel. This could have been used as a weapon for equality in federal court to fight state bans, so that even if NC refuses to grant marriage equality to its own citizens, it must still recognize New York’s. NC’s recent constitutional amendment explicitly states that they will not recognize same sex marriages performed in other states. The federal government COULD have used the reciprocity concept to challenge NC’s ban as federally unconstitutional, but Obama is basically signaling that at least right now he will not fight this fight. And in doing so he is effectively TAKING AWAY some marriage rights from same sex couples in NEW YORK and those few other states that do have same sex marriage (I will not call it marriage equality because it isn’t) because it effectively emboldens all those other anti same sex marriage states to refuse to recognize their unions.

    And if their unions are not recognized throughout the country, then they effectively AREN’T married in the same way heterosexuals are married and they DON’T have marriage equality.

  384. 884
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Louis,

    But I strongly think that this latest pronouncement is not a forwards step, nor is it to be lauded from the high heavens as the dawn of a new gay.*

    Well, you previously said it was a step backwards, which is not accurate. His words on the states reiterate the current situation, so at worst, it’s no movement. Arguably not a forwards step, but clearly not backwards.

    Now that I’ve got some time, I’d like to explain why I think that, all told, it’s probably a step forwards. I realize I’m Pharyngula’s starry-eyed optimist (and no, I don’t know where to get any more of that, what are you, a cop?) but please hear me out anyway.

    Preliminaries: again, he shouldn’t have said that stuff about the states. It’s definitely not helpful, and it’ll probably end up in some anti-gay robocalls. That was an unforced error. And the “not [...] mean-spirited” point, while often true, was tangential and probably ineffective. It is possible to prime people to act more fairly by reminding them that they are people who value fairness, but that tactic goes something like this: “I know that you want to treat people fairly, with kindness and empathy, and [here is why my case is fair and empathic].” He left out a crucial component, so that bit was just distracting. These are negative effects, and they bother me.

    Even so, it’s always somewhat helpful when a celebrity publicly supports gay rights. And this guy is pretty influential. I’m guessing Obama’s support is worth that of at least three or four NFL quarterbacks.

    This is going to produce some bump in public support for gay marriage. That’s already evident from the type of story this has become. The straight people I associate with offline are talking about this, and none of them appear to have noticed the details that bother me. Honestly, the average American needs to spend a lot of time with political geeks to even notice that the talk about states has any significance. All I’ve heard so far is “wow, Obama supports gay marriage now! You must be happy!” That’s what the story is, and if that’s what it remains then it will be largely positive in effect. I find myself considering these expectations to be reasonable:

    Jeran Artery is the chairman of Wyoming Equality, a group that supports the state’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. He said Obama becoming the first sitting U.S. president to support same-sex marriage could only help gay-rights efforts across the nation.

    “You are now hearing headlines about this almost daily on the national level, and they are mostly positive and progressive,” he said. “And when you are seeing more higher-up elected officials come out and support gay marriage, it helps everyone.

    “And I think it could help (Wyoming pass legislation) during the 2013 session.”

    Wyoming last saw same-sex marriage or civil-union proposals in 2011. During that legislative session, a bill to create civil unions failed to move out of committee by one vote.

    Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, who is openly gay, sponsored the legislation. She said Wednesday that there are plans to bring bills next session to create civil unions, allow same-sex marriage and make it illegal for employers to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    She said Obama’s announcement could help tip the balance and lead to the passage of new legislation.

    “I feel like putting this on the public agenda is a good thing,” she said. “With the president wholeheartedly supporting and pushing it, more people will be talking about it, and that is a good thing.”

    In addition, she said it is good to see how people can change their views on the issue.

    Through his campaign and presidency, Obama has said his opinions on same-sex marriage were continuously “evolving.”

    Connolly said she hopes people and lawmakers who did not support the position in the past will see it’s OK to similarly adjust their views.

    “It is positive for individuals to have the ability to change his or her mind,” she said. “I think that is something we all want: For all elected officials to be able to step back, think about the issue, talk to their constituents and be able to come to a different position.”

    I think it’s worth noting that all the LGBT orgs I’ve noticed* are figuring that this will help them with messaging. Yeah, they’ll do that by selectively quoting him, but that’s fine; it’s important that the dominant narrative, for people who are currently going through their own opinion shifts, be simply one of support. And that’s how it’s looking right now.

    Lots of other folks are happy about it too. I’m not quite excited but my evaluation can only be this: average citizens don’t do nuance, and in this particular case, that will minimize any negative effects while amplifying the positive.

    *Except the Log Cabin Republicans, who are just saying yeah yeah it’s nice Obama has finally come around to Cheney’s position. But even they don’t consider it a step backwards.

  385. 885
    ltft

    Hi Amphiox,

    On 3 months versus 0.3 months- oops.

    On 10% versus 0% due to a lack of equality in the marriages- I’d argue that the lack of equality does not render that 10% (or whatever the number is) down to zero. I’m not sure many of the people who actually got married would agree with you, either (demonstrating that they perceive a value to their married status). You even point this out, mentioning that Obama is taking away some marraige rights from same sex couples in New York. Some. Not all. And while still not good enough or acceptable, some, to my mind, is better than none.

    I do agree the inequality exists, I agree it’s a problem, I agree it’s worth getting pissed about, and I agree that there’s a simple judicial remedy that Obama is sadly not pursuing.

    Thanks for the chat. The clinical discussion and bit on the relative ease of overturning a federal law were very helpful.

  386. 886
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @life

    Forgive me, but I’m extremely exhausted.

    To make this short, your counterargument seems to be that this is good as a PR move because people you know think Obama supports marriage equality. And then you say those people don’t understand what Obama actually said, which is that it’s a states’ rights issue and that he’s not actually going to do anything at all and he’s basically a big waste of space for the LGBT community. Yet you think that’s a good thing.

    I disagree.*

    *See? I said I was tired. You’re not gonna get A material from me at 4 in the morning.

  387. 887
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    ltft:

    Does that make everything good? Of course not.

    I appreciate you think that half a right is better than no right at all. Yes, there are people (and couples) that are better off with the half-a-right. At one point, I used to think shrug and say, “Hey, it’s better than nothing.”

    But it’s not.

    As we get closer to actual societal parity, it’s easy to say, “Eh, we’re closer than we were.” While this statement is true, it trivializes the fact that parity doesn’t yet exist, while simultaneously reducing the societal pressure to make things equal.

    There is a gradient that starts from the recognition of societal inequity that continues to the point where that inequity no longer exists. At the beginning, there are those who recognize the inequity and are willing to fight against it. As you move along the gradient, the inequity decreases, but so does the societal desire to eliminate it.

    Take, for instance, a societal issue that has become important to me personally. There was a time when black people were not allowed to marry white people. Those laws eventually went away, and that made life better, in that black people were allowed to marry white people.

    Today, you’ll find folks who claim there’s no problems with black people marrying white people. That’s bullshit. There are still societal issues, even if it’s just that the bride’s mom refuses to come to the wedding because she doesn’t approve of the groom. You’ll find folks who claim that bias does not exist — we’re post-racist, goddamnit, and there’s no such thing as white male privilege.

    My point is, attempting to say things are better than they were isn’t sufficient. It depends on what your definition of “better” is. My definition includes societal recognition that there is a problem. There is a calculus that involves the real lives of real people (just as you describe) and the societal pressure required to eliminate the problem. You argue that the problem is reduced, so everything is better. I argue that there is less societal pressure to fix the problem, so the problem isn’t any better, even though some lives are made better.

    I definitely agree that many folks lead better lives than they would if this were the ’50s. But honestly, shouldn’t we have better standards than that?

    Compared to the ’80s, for instance, I think my calculus indicates things are getting worse. Apathy driven by ideas like, “Well, it’s better than the ’50s,” don’t help at all. In fact, it drives us backwards.

    Uncle Paul was my favorite uncle. He introduced me to lava lamps and the concept that I was my own person, whatever career I decided to pursue. I ended up as a computer geek rather than an explosives expert because of him. While my life is more sedentary, I’ve never bled from my ears, like a couple of my brothers.

    While his life was not as bad as it might’ve been in the ’50s, that’s not good enough. The calculus indicates the fight is just as severe now as it was back then, and “It’s better than it was” apathy is part of the problem.

    At least, that’s how I see it.

  388. 888
    Louis

    Janine, #362,

    An injury to one is an injury to all!

    Abso-fucking-lutely!

    As I mentioned back in my #611 (#111 this page), this is far from an original idea (I know neither you nor I claim it is btw).

    Dan Savage makes this point well, and the video we have of Bill Donohue on this issue recently does the same thing (unintentionally): when the religious right are done policing the genitals of homosexuals, they’re coming for heterosexual genitals too. In fact, most of the time they run both genital monitoring projects simultaneously!

    “If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.” Che Guevara.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Louis

  389. 889
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Amphiox? Are you a lawyer type? Forgive me but I think you’ve got this bit wrong:

    The federal government COULD have used the reciprocity concept to challenge NC’s ban as federally unconstitutional,

    Wouldn’t that first require a court challenge by someone who has standing, which is generally a citizen who’s being harmed by the law, which generally requires the law to begin to go into effect first? That’s why the Prop 8 case is Some Woman Named Perry vs Brown, no? What you’re suggesting is quite out of the ordinary, and wouldn’t necessarily result in a strong case.

  390. 890
    Inaji

    Rutee:

    Oh, fucking straight people. IF you must insist on protecting Obama from what he’s done, can you not do it in front of us? I’d fucking appreciate it.

    It is worth noting that plenty of GLBT people are falling all over themselves to bake Fuckrocket in Chief a cake, just about every gay rights organization out there is getting out the huge thank you, thank you cards, etc.

    Look at what SG wrote in this thread. A fine example.

  391. 891
    strange gods before me ॐ

    RahXephon,

    To make this short, your counterargument seems to be that this is good as a PR move

    for gay marriage as an issue in public debate. Not necessarily for Obama himself; that’s harder to predict, though I imagine it’s probably a wash. But it’s always somewhat helpful, to public opinion, when a celebrity publicly declares even toothless support for gay people, and that’s what happened here.

    because people you know think Obama supports marriage equality. And then you say those people don’t understand what Obama actually said, which is that it’s a states’ rights issue

    More or less.

    and that he’s not actually going to do anything at all

    Well, I don’t think that’s in evidence. He already did publicly oppose Prop 8 while it was on the ballot, so he’s done stuff and I expect that this recent statement will effectively oblige him to voice some opposition to particular ballot issues this November.

    Yet you think that’s a good thing.

    I disagree.*

    Well, it’s not my intention to tell you that you too should consider this a good thing. If his statements had been more unambiguous, I might be willing to attempt that, but at this time I’d consider that presumptuous.

    I only want to express why I personally consider it to be (probably) (all told) a (relatively more) good (than bad) thing.

  392. 892
    Inaji

    Nigel:

    Y’know what? My Uncle Paul died in the hospital while the person he loved, and who loved him, couldn’t even visit, nor make decisions, nor even talk with doctors about Paul’s health.

    Damn, Nigel. Just Damn. I have known way too many people who have been in this exact situation. It’s bitter, dark, full of despair, anguish and pure heartbreak. I am so sorry this happened to Paul and his loved ones.

  393. 893
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Anyone here (other than RahXephon and the SpokesGay, who were commenting) taken a gander at the comments over at Jason’s place?

    After reading that thread, I’m left wondering why we keep Greg Laden’s ignorant privileged ass around…

  394. 894
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Caine,

    Look at what SG wrote in this thread. A fine example.

    Well that’s kind of you to say. But I wonder that you didn’t notice a minor detail: I haven’t thanked him.

    I am still a utilitarian who doesn’t believe in moral desert. So I only evaluate things in terms of whether they are likely to cause more good than bad effects. He can’t deserve my thanks because nobody can ever deserve anything for their actions, et cetera.

    I appreciate the chance to offer my perspective.

  395. 895
    Amphiox

    re #389;

    No I’m not a lawyer-type. I could well be wrong about that detail of the mechanics of how the law works.

  396. 896
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Caine:

    Damn, Nigel. Just Damn.

    Yeah. Damn.

    I try to separate my personal feelings from the whole issue, but it’s hard. On one extreme, I have my uncle, whom I rarely saw, but when I did, we hit it off like gangbusters. My favorite memory of him was a discussion of Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty album, back in around 1982. Much earlier in life, I got to hang out with him a couple of days — that’s when I saw my first lava lamp. This must’ve been about 1978 or so. Way cool.

    Sorry. I really did love my Uncle Paul. He died way too young (and no, not from AIDS, so all you ghouls who thought that, shut the fuck up). I wish I could’ve known him better. And his partner, with whom I barely interacted (them being in Oregon, and me in Alaska).

    I just wish I could say, “his husband.”

  397. 897
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    sgbm #391:

    I only want to express why I personally consider it to be (probably) (all told) a (relatively more) good (than bad) thing.

    I did the same in my first comment (which should be about #504 or so), no matter how vomit-inducing it was.

    For me, it’s a matter of priorities. Yeah, I fucking hate it — but the fact of the matter is that for the past 30-40 years the Republican/Right noise machine has been making it extremely hard to reasonably expect anything better. The Dems have been growing a spine over the past year, but we’re still mostly stuck in the tired old trope of the Thuglicans being the ‘default’ party (the Beltway hacks parroting the trope hardest apparently have never heard the term “Reagan Democrat”, or for that matter looked at electoral maps and noted which party has the most “sure” electoral votes) while the Dems constantly have to reach across the aisle lest everyone run back to the Thuglicans.

    This isn’t so much a reflection on Obama as it is a reflection on the US’ extremely sad, twisted political reality.

    Right now — and I mean right now, as in right until the ballots are cast and votes counted in November — we need to focus on supporting the Dems in their pushback against the noise machine as hard as is fucking possible. We all agree that the Republicans are a massive problem, we need to push them out of power now so that half of Congress isn’t churning out constant Christofascist crankery next year.

    But the instant that is done, we need to take up the other, harder half of the battle, the half that the Teabaggers did in 2010: hold the Dems to their stated liberal principles. We need to pound this through 2013, primary out any remaining “Blue Dogs” (read: closet Republicans) and cement Congressional majorities for 2014, and then pound even harder to primary in a decent Presidential candidate come 2016.

    If we do this, the absolute least that will happen is that the public discourse will move to the left, even if we’re still stuck with “establishment” candidates in 2016.

    But we have to push, and push hard — and we’re going to have to do some of the hardest pushing against the Beltway noise machine that keeps marginalizing liberals by screaming “be nice” at us whenever we complain about any non-Republican.

  398. 898
    Amphiox

    And while still not good enough or acceptable, some, to my mind, is better than none.

    Not when some is too little to be clinically significant. Then it is functionally the same as none.

    (demonstrating that they perceive a value to their married status)

    Doubtless heterosexual people also perceive value to their married status. Neither instance of perceived value has one whiff of relevance whatsoever to the larger issue of marriage equality in America. A patient may also perceive value in 0.3 weeks additional survival, that doesn’t necessarily make it clinically significant.

    And let’s not forget that my original claim that you argued against is not whether the current number of states that allow same sex marriage is a clinically significant difference from no states allowing same sex marriage – it is whether or not Obama’s actions with respect to his recent announcement constitute or will produce a clinically significant difference compared to the way things were before he made the statement or if he had not made the statement.

    So even if I grant you your full 10% (which I do not), the comparison is NOT between 10% and 0%, it is between 10% and 10.00000001%.

  399. 899
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Amphiox: ah. Well, Crip Dyke is, IIRC. Maybe if she checks into this thread again she can sort us out.

    But whether it can be done or not, still, doesn’t mean it would necessarily make an effective case. Civil rights lawyers frequently try to look for the perfect plaintiff (read: vanilla). This is harder in relatively rare cases like Lawrence, but a statewide marriage ban will produce a lot of options to pick from, so I’d like to see that sort of challenge done without rushing.

  400. 900
    ltft

    @Amphiox #398

    You said, “And let’s not forget that my original claim that you argued against is not whether the current number of states that allow same sex marriage is a clinically significant difference from no states allowing same sex marriage – it is whether or not Obama’s actions with respect to his recent announcement constitute or will produce a clinically significant difference compared to the way things were before he made the statement or if he had not made the statement.”

    Erm, no. At the least, I am absolutely not arguing that Obama’s actions have any benefits. I’m arguing that the current state of affairs, which includes Obama, is clinically significantly better than the state of affairs would be if Romney got his way (originally I started off making this argument against Akira @284, who argued, “How is Romney’s desire for a constitutional ban on same sex marriage worse than Obama’s tacit approval of state-level bans while pandering to the LGBT community for votes? Either way, same-sex couples are still being screwed (and not in the fun way).”)

    If we’re talking only of Obama’s recent announcement: that did jack. Not a fan.

  401. 901
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Also, Amphiox, I recently explained why I think that reciprocity argument (the full faith and credit clause is what you’re referring to, I assume?) wouldn’t work yet to challenge any particular state law, basically because DOMA circumscribes it. DOMA has got to go first, I’m pretty sure.

  402. 902
    ltft

    hi nigel @387,

    Again, a story like Paul’s should never happen.

    I agree with the framework you put forth. I hadn’t considered, in this case, that progress could possibly decrease the motivation towards change because I think we’re very far from the point where we lose that motivation.

    On the idea that, ‘it’s better than it was’ might induce apathy. Yeah, I can definitely see that. Again, I don’t think it will (especially not in this crowd) at this point in the struggle, but I can see where you’re coming from. Cheers.

  403. 903
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    lftf:

    …I think we’re very far from the point where we lose that motivation.

    But that’s exactly what your argument represents. Obama’s statement could have been stronger by actually taking a political stand, while sacrificing nothing. He alienates those against same-sex marriage simply by advocating for it. He would do far better politically by stating without reservation that he will campaign for same-sex marriage. By defending his half-assed and milquetoast statement, you are basically defending the status quo (which is, after all, what Obama’s statement represents).

    The insistence by many here that Obama should have done better (let alone sooner) represents the side I’m on — the side that refuses apathy, or compromise, or half-turds shoved down our throats. It’s the side the says, “Half-turd, full-turd, it doesn’t matter. You’re not shoving that thing down my throat.”

    That’s where the slap in the face comes in. Having shit shoved down your throat is actually less insulting than having someone shove shift down your throat and try to explain, “But it’s not bad, since it’s half of what I might’ve done.”

    Excusing anything less than full equality is a form of apathy. It’s an acceptance of inequality simply because it’s better than it was.

    That’s tantamount to claiming you’re OK with inequality, as long as it’s not as bad as it was in some half-remembered time in the past.

    I know you’ve said time and again you’re not OK with it, but you do so in the same breath as you try to explain the “political reality.”

    The political reality is this: there’s inequality. Accepting the reality of the inequality while rationalizing your acceptance is just a slap in the face while other people force half a turd down our throats.

  404. 904
    Louis

    ltft,

    There is also the glaring elephant in the room of Obama’s intentions for his views, and the actual effects of those views.

    Whilst I can be overjoyed that a president of the USA has said that he personally favours same sex marriage, I can simultaneously be dismayed that the manner and caveats he has placed around saying it are actually harmful to progress.

    Rendering the full equality of LGBT people a states’ rights issue is a retrograde step, not progress. It’s inimical to equality. As others have pointed out, it’s hardly like the federal government wants to stay out of their citizens’ pants. DOMA being a classic example.

    Louis

  405. 905
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Rendering the full equality of LGBT people a states’ rights issue is a retrograde step,

    *doublechecks dictionary*

    Nope, still not accurate.

    There’s no rendering here, only reiterating.

  406. 906
    Louis

    LILAPWL,

    Oh crap, I think I missed your #384. Let me go back and check!

    Louis

  407. 907
    Louis

    LILAPWL,

    Okay, hands up, I missed #384. I screwed the pooch. I dropped the ball. My bad.

    I suppose I can both partially agree and partially disagree with you.

    I agree with you that:

    a) I was wrong to say this is a retrograde/backwards step when it’s just maintaining the status quo. My bad.*

    b) People on average don’t do nuance and yes, this can be spun (and is being spun) as a PR coup.

    I disagree that this is on balance “good”. Although, YMMV and this is more an opinion than anything.

    PR coups can pave the way for change, and Obama has done a few things for the LGBT community. So sure, in reality I think your optimism is not entirely without basis. However, I am really dismayed that Obama has rendered reiterated that this is a states’ rights issue. I think he could have done so much more, not idealistically, but realistically.

    Destroying DOMA would be a good start, a bolder, unambiguous assertion that LGBT people are full US citizens and to be granted full rights, would be even better. As I said, it’s not like the federal government keeps its hands out of your pants at the moment. It could put its hands in your pants in a nice way by freeing your parts up for consensual use in the same way my parts are free.

    I think the reiteration of same sex marriage as a state issue is a convenient hypocrisy. The homophobes are already alienated. I think he risks too little by being conciliatory. I want that Overton window to shift dammit!

    Louis

    * Obviously, this “error” on my part was due to everyone, you included, misreading me. My intentions were perfect. I am a special snowflake. I am very sorry if you were confused or offended. How did I do? ;-)

  408. 908
    John Morales

    [looks at #384]

    ॐ:

    [1] His words on the states reiterate the current situation, so at worst, it’s no movement. [2] Arguably not a forwards step, but clearly not backwards.

    1. Not just that. Not just a reiteration, but a reinforcement. An affirmation. An endorsement. An abnegation. (etc.)

    2. Not strictly, but it impedes future progress.

    I think it’s worth noting that all the LGBT orgs I’ve noticed* are figuring that this will help them with messaging.

    But does it help them more than the opposition, which can now say that even Obama (though he is personally for it) accepts that it’s a state right, not a civil right?

    (I’d like to see you argue Josh OSG’s contentions, which I found persuasive)

  409. 909
    flex

    nigelTheBold, who sings like a needle to the ear, wrote @387,

    As we get closer to actual societal parity, it’s easy to say, “Eh, we’re closer than we were.” While this statement is true, it trivializes the fact that parity doesn’t yet exist, while simultaneously reducing the societal pressure to make things equal.

    This.

    I saw this happen in the 1970′s with the ERA and the feminist movement. A little lip-service occurred, and the movement lost steam. With the result that we are still putting up with the crap of gender inequality. This doesn’t mean that the members in the feminist movement aren’t working hard to make changes, but that the issue has largely dropped out of sight for the general public. People are apathetic rather than enraged.

  410. 910
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Lion IRC

    I thought
    As the Mythies say “There’s your problem.” You and thought divorced years ago.
    after seeing my arguments [fuckwittery]

    FIFY. Still the abject ignorant loser Lion IRC. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

  411. 911
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Louis, thanks for your reply.

    Destroying DOMA would be a good start

    He’s trying to do that. The importance of this action is frequently misunderstood; it’s not an opting-out of the court battle against DOMA, but instead providing substantive assistance to the plaintiffs in the Pedersen and Windsor cases, by informing the court of precisely why sexual orientation should be considered under heightened scrutiny (IIRC, this is intermediate scrutiny, aka “Quasi-Suspect Classification” as Crip Dyke mentioned), and thus why DOMA is unconstitutional. This is active support.

    I think the reiteration of same sex marriage as a state issue is a convenient hypocrisy.

    It might be. This may be where we speak different moral languages. I evaluate alleged hypocrisy the same way I evaluate any other plan of action: what are its likely consequences? Like I said before, I think this was a bad statement because it will probably show up in anti-gay robocalls. But as to whether or not it’s hypocrisy, I have a hard time remembering how to care.

    The homophobes are already alienated.

    From voting for him? Statements like that can only be somewhat true at varying degrees of confidence. I know white supremacists who voted for Obama and probably will again. From my perspective, most straight men are almost unbearably homophobic, including most of those who I like to like. Different flavors of homophobic cluster around certain ideologies, but overall they span the ideological spectrum. Plenty of “the homophobes” already support gay marriage. Plenty are persuadeable in the next few years, and plenty more over the next decade. Plenty will take it to their graves.

    But you assume his answer is primarily a partisan calculation. I’m not sure; it may be he said it’s up to states because that’s just how he’s accustomed to thinking about it. Notice that when we brainstorm about how to make marriage equality happen federally we are talking on scales of decades and there are at least half a dozen reasonable theories of how it might be done, but none of them are a totally safe bet. Realistically conceptualizing how this would be secured federally is an exercise fraught with many ifs, ands and buts.

    Anyway, though, we apparently have a different metric of what it means for something to be “more good than bad”:

    I think he could have done so much more, not idealistically, but realistically.

    You appear to feel that it requires approximating, to some large degree, what’s possible.

    I’m sympathetic to such views, but my own understanding is that it means moving closer to a goal, rather than further away, as compared with the previous moment. So I suppose we’re likely to disagree about a great many things. Thanks for listening, at least.

    +++++
    Morales,

    2. Not strictly, but it impedes future progress.

    Assertion not in evidence. It will only actually impede progress if said robocalls tip the balance of a given vote. That’s possible, but we can’t know yet.

    But does it help them more than the opposition, which can now say that even Obama (though he is personally for it) accepts that it’s a state right, not a civil right?

    Probably, as long as the dominant narrative is “Obama supports gay marriage”, which is currently is.

    State right, civil right, these concepts are basically gibberish to 90% of the population; they only have affective valences by association. To get them to parse these concepts and contrast that parsing with their basic understanding that “Obama supports gay marriage” would require tremendous effort. Our work on his words is comparatively much easier; the media has already done most of the pounding already.

    (I’d like to see you argue Josh OSG’s contentions, which I found persuasive)

    As I understand it, his contentions are

    1) that Obama’s talk about the states is a bad thing, worse than PZ noted. I agree.

    2) that full faith and credit should by default establish something like federal gay marriage once one state has it. I agree but as I explained, I think that’s functionally one of the weaker arguments against DOMA, since the full faith and credit clause pretty much gives Congress carte blanche to define its scope in any particular instance, and DOMA is arguably how they’ve done so. Full faith and credit will become more interesting when DOMA falls.

  412. 912
    ltft

    hi nigel @403,

    I disagree with a lot of what you wrote in #403.

    Your argument hinges on three main parts. First, I think Obama is peachy. Second, by recognizing gains made I become apathetic to further progress. Second, by recognizing gains made I inherently accept and excuse the current inequalities left untouched by those gains. Third, this acceptance makes me apathetic to future progress. Is that about correct?

    Because all arguments, with respect to what I’ve posted, are bogus.

    On the first point: I’ve repeatedly criticized Obama for his statement. If he believes this is an equality issue, as you do and as I do, it should absolutely not be a state issue (though I did, at old #39something, argue the possible political thinking behind his half-assed position).

    On the second point… Saying, ‘LA doesn’t produce as much garbage as California’ is not in anyway apologizing for the trash-generating habits of LA. Similarly, saying ‘only (an unfortunately large portion of) states banning gay marriage is better than the whole nation banning LGBT marriage’ is not in any way excusing those states that have banned gay marriage or the individuals who have argued for either those bans or states’ rights (as, in the case of the latter, Obama has done).

    Again, I have explicitly argued against Obama’s statement over and over again. I have repeatedly come back to one point, though, and again, that is that allowing same sex marriage in some states is better than not allowing same sex marriage in any states at all (the converse, that the two positions are equivalent, was argued by Akira back at 284).

    Do you agree that having some states with gay marriage is better than having no states that allow gay marriage?

    If you agree with the above statement then I’m not sure why you’re arguing with me. I agree that LGBT marriage is not equal to hetero unions. I agree that this is not acceptable. I agree that we have to keep pushing.

    On the flip side, would you rather block all incremental progress beneficial to thousands of people in the here and now so you can get one big wonderful triumph at some point in the future? Is that what you’re arguing? After all, allowing gay marriage in only some states is still half a turd.

    Do you honestly think we should not have incremental progress? (and again, I am not arguing that Obama’s statement represents any real progress).

    I reject the idea that I have anywhere accepted the inequality or rationalized that inequality. All I’ve done is argue against the position taken by Akira- that a Romney-led federal ban on all gay marriage would be no worse than a hodge-podge of local decisions. That does not mean I think this should be a states’ rights issue; I do not think equality should be left to the states. That does not mean that I think LGBT marriages are currently on equal footing with hetero unions; they clearly are not. That does not mean that I accept the current state of affairs as anything close to adequate. It is not.

    You wrote that, “Accepting the reality of the inequality while rationalizing your acceptance is just a slap in the face…”

    I think it would be much more truthful to say, ‘Recognizing the reality of the inequality helps combat that inequality.’

  413. 913
    ltft

    Louis @404-

    I agree. The states’ rights idea is horrible.

  414. 914
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    Yeah, Setar, I saw the latest bits of anal drippings from Jason. That shitbrick is trying to spin what I say like he’s a fucking cotton candy machine.

  415. 915
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    You quoted the saying, ‘An injustice to one is an injustice to all’. I agree with that completely. I agree it’s a reason to seek a permanent and federal solution to allow LGBT marriage. However, I don’t think it argues effectively that having a few states allow gay marriage is as bad as having 0 states allow same.

    Sure, things were bad for blacks before the Civil War, but they could’ve been worse. Surely you can agree that having 16 states ban slavery was better than having 0 states ban it.

    Why couldn’t they see that?

  416. 916
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    And I really don’t see why all you feminists are so concerned about abortion rights. Sure, in some states they make it virtually impossible for poor women to get abortions, but hey, it’s not like they ban it.

    Can’t you see that that’s so much better?

  417. 917
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    I mean, why does it take a heterosexual white male to explain to you all how grateful you should be?

  418. 918
    ltft

    Hi Maroon @415,

    Wait… are you arguing that it would have been better if slavery had been universal before the Civil War?

    ‘An injustice to one is an injustice to all’ sums up nicely the idea that denying LGBT couples the right to marry is a horrible injustice regardless of how many states deny that right. But it says nothing to the benefits, however unequal, felt by the individuals in ‘free’ states who are allowed to marry.

  419. 919
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Meanwhile Greg Laden puts on more of his Bullshit Road Show telling us if we’re annoyed at Obama we should just see how bad Mitt Romney is.

    Serious question—What the fuck is wrong with him and why does he have a platform here? Not only is he a dishonest obnoxious jerk, but he seems to actual (I’m not being sarcastic) cognitive problems understanding really basic concepts. He sucks, objectively.

  420. 920
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    ltft,

    I’m saying that “things could be worse” is a shitty message to be insisting on to people who are subject to abuse, violence, and denial of basic rights. I’m saying that if you keep pounding on that point, you’re an insensitive, tone-deaf jerk.

  421. 921
    Amphiox

    Wait… are you arguing that it would have been better if slavery had been universal before the Civil War?

    No, he is saying that the actual situation before the Civil War, in comparison with slavery being universal before the Civil War, was not clinically significantly different, in that the course of actual action appropriate to take would be the same in either case.

    BOTH situations are injustices worth fighting a war to change. At that threshold of required action, there is no ethical clinical significance between the two.

  422. 922
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Well, that ^^^ too.

  423. 923
    alwayscurious

    This blog has been very helpful in shaping my opinion on the matter. It seems to me that if the federal government is going to recognize marriage as an institution (for purposes of taxation, social security benefits or any other reason) it is OBLIGATED to explicitly define it and NOT leave it up to the states. Otherwise it plainly violates Equal Protection. And it stands to reason that federal law should include same-sex marriage.

  424. 924
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    @Josh

    I went and looked at the post you were talking about. I left a comment saying that his attempt to scare me into voting for Obama just because Romney is worse is pathetic. It was moderated.

    I have the feeling all the comments are being moderated. Moderation on a blog with as little traffic as his is normally completely unnecessary, unless he just doesn’t want to have a discussion about his bullshit.

  425. 925
    ltft

    Hi Amphiox @420,

    You’re back with clinically significantly different again. You added ethically, though. That makes an enormous difference.

    You write, “The actual situation before the Civil War, in comparison with slavery being universal before the Civl War, was not clinically significantly different in that the course of actual action appropriate to take would be the same in either case.”

    Accepting the new definition of clinically significantly different, I agree with this completely.

    You also write, “BOTH situations are injustices worth fighting a war to change. At that threshold of required action, there is no ethical clinical significance between the two.”

    Again, with the addition of ‘ethical’, I agree completely.

  426. 926
    Amphiox

    You’re back with clinically significantly different again.

    What do mean ‘back’?

    You added ethically, though. That makes an enormous difference.

    No it doesn’t. It makes none it all. Just explicitly narrows the field to what had been implicit from the beginning. Learn how adjectives are used.

    Here’s a hint clinically references clinics. What KIND of clinic?

    Because I’m certainly not saying neurosurgically clinically significant in this context, and never have.

  427. 927
    ltft

    Hi Maroon @420 (oops, Amphiox was 421),

    On my side, I’ve been a bit annoyed that posters have been denigrating the improved lives of thousands of people who have been able to marry. ‘Oh, you’re married? You got that thing you fought for? Well to hell with that, it doesn’t matter until I’ve got mine.’

    It did not occur to me that the ethics issue Amphiox brought up at 421 was even remotely in question; that seems like one of those ‘no kidding’ things everyone realizes.

  428. 928
    Amphiox

    And by the way, the term clinically significant, in ALL its contexts, has ALWAYS included, implicitly, the idea that whatever ACTION is appropriate to address the situation is changed.

    In fact that is the MAIN reason the concept of clinical significance was developed in the first place.

  429. 929
    Amphiox

    It did not occur to me that the ethics issue Amphiox brought up at 421 was even remotely in question; that seems like one of those ‘no kidding’ things everyone realizes.

    Sheesh.

    The ethics part was ALWAYS IMPLICIT.

    I only made it EXPLICIT because it was clear from the content of YOUR POSTS that you did not appear to comprehend it.

  430. 930
    ltft

    Hi Amphiox,

    Um, back means you hadn’t posted for several hours and now you’re posting again.

    On clinical significance- you talked about cancer survival. You talked about (e)quality of marriage and implied, to my mind, that quality of life could and should be included in the idea of whether having some states with LGBT marriage was better than having none (which is what I’ve been arguing).

    Again, I didn’t realize the ethical side of things was up for debate. Again, it should not be. I do not know what you’re getting at with ethical cancer clinics, though.

  431. 931
    ltft

    Amphiox,

    If you would have included that definition at 428 in your initial description of clinical significance this entire mess could have been skipped. After your first post on the subject, talking about the practical side of cancer survival rates, I assumed you were going with Wikipedia’s definition #1 for clinical significance, not definition #2. Sorry for that.

  432. 932
    RichardAustin

    I want to repost what alwayscurious said up above.

    This blog has been very helpful in shaping my opinion on the matter. It seems to me that if the federal government is going to recognize marriage as an institution (for purposes of taxation, social security benefits or any other reason) it is OBLIGATED to explicitly define it and NOT leave it up to the states. Otherwise it plainly violates Equal Protection. And it stands to reason that federal law should include same-sex marriage.

    This is important. Is there any other institution that has tax consequence at a federal level that the federal government doesn’t also define? I’m thinking maybe inheritance, but for the purpose of federal taxes, I think even that is explicitly defined.

  433. 933
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Legalizing same sex “marriage” in a few convenient locations provides an easy NIMBY way out of the problem and alleviates the conscience of the folk in Nth Carolina (& Mr Obama)

    Export your whingers to Gay Marriage “ghetto” jurisdictions.

    Watching a godbotting monster like Lion IRC talk about ‘conscience’ is laughable. It’s like watching a man born blind from birth try to describe colors to me. (no offense intended to the sight-impaired)

  434. 934
    Inaji

    Flex:

    I saw this happen in the 1970′s with the ERA and the feminist movement. A little lip-service occurred, and the movement lost steam. With the result that we are still putting up with the crap of gender inequality. This doesn’t mean that the members in the feminist movement aren’t working hard to make changes, but that the issue has largely dropped out of sight for the general public. People are apathetic rather than enraged.

    Yep. ERA got tossed into a bottomless pit and here we are, still caving for it. The same thing will happen in regard to equal rights for GLBT peoples, especially when so many are happy to take a weaselly act of cowardice as a ‘wonderful step forward’. We had a ladle full of shit splatted onto our plates and a whole lot of people are eating it up as though it were cake. Yay us.

  435. 935
    Pteryxx

    TLC: Or watching a sightie try to explain blindness to a blind person? ~;>

    youtube link to a couple of Toph jokes

    /derail

  436. 936
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Pteryxx: I think I like your analogy a tiny bit better.

  437. 937
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Another reason why marriage is a federal concern:

    My wife is from Spain. We got married after living together for several years in part to ensure that we could stay together in the same country. She has dual citizenship now (as do our kids). If at some point we decide to move back to Spain (or somewhere else in the EU), I can do so without too much hassle, and I can begin the process of getting citizenship there.

    As far as I know, married couples have these rights in just about every country in the world. The barriers for married people from different countries to stay together are pretty low. But if the person you love is from a different country and you can’t get married, or have your marriage legally recognized, the barriers are a lot higher.

  438. 938
    The Laughing Coyote (Canis Sativa)

    Either way, Words like ‘Ethical’ or ‘Conscience’ are polluted curse words to me when uttered by someone who gets their ‘morality’ from the bible.

    The foulest of curses.

  439. 939
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    (tap tap) Is this thing on?

  440. 940
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    OK, for some reason I wasn’t able to post this after two tries, perhaps because of the link. So, now it’s link free; anyone who’s interested can google “lesbian couple denied divorce” to see what I’m talking about.

    On my side, I’ve been a bit annoyed that posters have been denigrating the improved lives of thousands of people who have been able to marry. ‘Oh, you’re married? You got that thing you fought for? Well to hell with that, it doesn’t matter until I’ve got mine.’

    But even for those thousands of couples who are lucky enough to live in places like NY or MA, things are only marginally better. What happens when their job gets transferred to NC or they have to move to VA to care for an aging parent, and suddenly their marriage isn’t recognized and they can’t even get a divorce if they want to?

    Not to mention the swings of the pendulum that they have to endure in places like CA, where they have to check the calendar every morning to see if the state considers their marriage legit.

  441. 941
    Inaji

    What a Maroon:

    But if the person you love is from a different country and you can’t get married, or have your marriage legally recognized, the barriers are a lot higher.

    Yeah, ask Aratina Cage about that one.

  442. 942
    RichardAustin

    Not to mention the swings of the pendulum that they have to endure in places like CA, where they have to check the calendar every morning to see if the state considers their marriage legit.

    This is more the point: a right that is granted can be taken away. Until same sex marriage is protected at the federal level in such a way that it cannot be taken away by the whims of the majority, can we really consider it a right?

    It’s good that there are places where same-sex couples can marry at the moment. It’s just not good enough. And it’s certainly not good that the same rules that allow those couples to marry in those states also bar other couples in most other states from marrying. That means the rule is broken and needs to be fixed, even if some people we like are benefiting from it.

  443. 943
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    And the “not [...] mean-spirited” point, while often true, was tangential and probably ineffective.

    A few posts after this, you say you are a consequentialist. Which is it? People going out of their way to shit on my life are by definition doing it from mean-spiritedness. I don’t care if thy call it ‘loving witnesing’ they are acting out of hatefulness. From a consequentialist viewpoint, acting in a harmful way is a mean-spirited act, no matter what rhetoric is used about it. It’s the same as the previous posters who have used the metaphor of a battered spouse; it doesn’t matter if the abuser makes professions of love and affection in between beatings , it’s still mean-spirited abuse.

  444. 944
    see_the_galaxy

    This Josh hasn’t given a single argument or fact yet. If the
    ‘states rights’ issue from Obama is so important, how come
    Republicans are blasting him for promoting gay rights? His
    remarks are being widely taken as supportive because they
    are supportive and they’re meant to be supportive. Now I don’t
    mind the wealthy Republican gays at GOProud and the seminar
    trollers and the fanatics and Josh, but do no that a lot of
    people CAN tell the difference between anger and thought, and
    between namecalling and reasoning, and between friends and
    enemies. And the Republican party has made itself out to
    be the enemy, and no amount of efforts by the do nothings at
    GOProud to ingratiate themselves with other Republicans
    by preventing Obama from getting credit is going to change
    the basic fact that the GOP is an enemy of gay rights. And
    citing Cheney doesn’t help–he’s not in office and is not
    running for anything, though he does deserve credit for
    speaking out by the way.

  445. 945
    RichardAustin

    see_the_galaxy

    This Josh hasn’t given a single argument or fact yet. If the
    ‘states rights’ issue from Obama is so important, how come
    Republicans are blasting him for promoting gay rights? His
    remarks are being widely taken as supportive because they
    are supportive and they’re meant to be supportive. Now I don’t
    mind the wealthy Republican gays at GOProud and the seminar
    trollers and the fanatics and Josh, but do no that a lot of
    people CAN tell the difference between anger and thought, and
    between namecalling and reasoning, and between friends and
    enemies. And the Republican party has made itself out to
    be the enemy, and no amount of efforts by the do nothings at
    GOProud to ingratiate themselves with other Republicans
    by preventing Obama from getting credit is going to change
    the basic fact that the GOP is an enemy of gay rights. And
    citing Cheney doesn’t help–he’s not in office and is not
    running for anything, though he does deserve credit for
    speaking out by the way.

    Obama has stated that he supports states defining marriage.

    In response to a question highlighting that states are taking away same-sex marriage, his response was basically, “Well, states are coming to different conclusions…”

    Which means he’s okay with states taking away or banning same-sex marriage.

    I don’t care what the right-wing media says. I don’t care what the left-wing media says. I don’t care if this earns Obama more votes and helps him get re-elected. None of that matters to the critique of the statement and what it means about his officially supported position.

    This concept – that it is okay for states to ban same-sex marriage – is BAD. It is not the perspective of someone who legitimately supports gay marriage.

    Based on his own statements, I can’t call Obama a friend; this doesn’t necessarily mean he’s an enemy, but he’s certainly no advocate for gay rights. Any questions?

  446. 946
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    My previous comment #443 was @ Life is like a pitbull with lipstick
    @See_the _galaxy
    The right wing noise machine will go apeshit about Obama no matter what he does. Their reaction is not a valid basis for judging the impact of anything whatsoever.

  447. 947
    Amphiox

    Here’s one more cardinal feature of marriage, enshrined in all the most common forms of the vows “to love, honor, and cherish, until death do us part.” Sure it is not so rigid in reality, but the implication is clear – marriage is supposed to be a permanent union, and the only two people who have the right to dissolve it are the two people who are married.

    What happened in California makes a complete mockery of this. If a third party like the state can just dissolve your marriage by fiat, against both of your wills, then you were never married in the first place. You were never given marriage equality. You were given something else, something much LESS than marriage, that was just called “marriage” as a condescending sop to keep you quiet.

    No form of marriage equality that is NOT a federal constitutional amendment counts as marriage EQUALITY, just another form of civil union with a fancier name.

  448. 948
    Amphiox

    When Prop 8 passed in California, every progressive married heterosexual couple who supported marriage equality and opposed Prop 8 should have immediately filed for divorce en masse*. They should have made the statement, in as visible and powerful a way as possible, that they do not believe in an institution of marriage that is not equally open to all, and they will not participate in one that isn’t.

    Such a protest could still be done. Large groups of heterosexual couples voluntarily relinquishing their marriage rights and pledging to not remarry until such time as full marriage equality is the law of the land. Let the self-appointed “protectors” of traditional marriage choke on that for a while.

    *at least those for whom doing would not be too much of a financial burden.

  449. 949
    feralboy12

    This Josh hasn’t given a single argument or fact yet. If the
    ‘states rights’ issue from Obama is so important, how come
    Republicans are blasting him for promoting gay rights? His
    remarks are being widely taken as supportive because they
    are supportive and they’re meant to be supportive.

    Republicans are blasting Obama because that’s what they do–reflexively criticize everything he does. The clearest example might be “Obamacare,” which Republicans characterize as some sort of Hitlerian Communist takeover of the health care system, despite it being fundamentally indistinguishable from the plan their own presidential candidate implemented while governor of Massachusetts.
    And generally people expect more out of a president than vaguely supportive statements undermined by “state’s rights” crap in the next sentence. Anybody can make supportive statements–presidents are expected to do stuff, and fundamental human rights should not be left up to whatever band of yokels manage to gain control of local governments.
    Obama is a very calculating politician, and the math says the country has passed a tipping point in its views on gay marriage. He knows he’s not ever going to win the votes of the Christian right-wing anyway, so this is seen as a statement constructed to seem more supportive than it really is, and which does fuck-all to actually guarantee fundamental rights.

  450. 950
    'Tis Himself

    see_the_galaxy #444

    This Josh hasn’t given a single argument or fact yet.

    Actually he’s given a couple of arguments and a shitload of facts. Just because you disagree with his arguments and ignore his facts doesn’t mean they haven’t been presented.

    If the ‘states rights’ issue from Obama is so important, how come Republicans are blasting him for promoting gay rights?

    Aren’t these the same Republicans who call Obama a fascist and a socialist in the same sentence? When a bunch of folks call a center-right politician a socialist, then we know they’re either pushing propaganda or they’re idiots. These two choices are not mutually exclusive.

  451. 951
    Amphiox

    If the
    ‘states rights’ issue from Obama is so important, how come
    Republicans are blasting him for promoting gay rights?

    What the republicans blast Obama for is breathing. Everything else is just a code-word for that.

  452. 952
    see_the_galaxy

    No eleventh commandment following Reaganoid could say less bad against the conservatives/republicans/Romney than the purity trolls here. Gotta make sure the libruls stumble around in the dark peeing on each other, while the Republicans are united in hate and “full of passionate intensity”.

  453. 953
    Cipher

    No eleventh commandment following Reaganoid could say less bad against the conservatives/republicans/Romney than the purity trolls here. Gotta make sure the libruls stumble around in the dark peeing on each other, while the Republicans are united in hate and “full of passionate intensity”.

    That was the best argument I’ve ever read. I am completely convinced of all of your awesome opinions. Clearly you are completely correct that we “purity trolls” who actually give a shit about queer people’s rights never, ever say anything bad about Republicans.

  454. 954
    R Johnston

    Watching a godbotting monster like Lion IRC talk about ‘conscience’ is laughable. It’s like watching a man born blind from birth try to describe colors to me.

    Nah. Lion actively rejects the concept of having a conscience. It’s more like listening to a man who was born with perfect vision but who poked out his own eyes on purpose lecture you about how the fact that you’re blind, which you aren’t, means you’re going to hell.

  455. 955
    Amphiox

    No eleventh commandment following Reaganoid could say less bad against the conservatives/republicans/Romney than the purity trolls here.

    Dude. What are you ON?

  456. 956
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    So, I tried to go back and make a response to Greg but it turns out he seems to have blocked several people from Pharyngula and deleted our comments.

  457. 957
    Aratina Cage
    But if the person you love is from a different country and you can’t get married, or have your marriage legally recognized, the barriers are a lot higher.

    Yeah, ask Aratina Cage about that one. –Caine

    Yes, it’s true. I bet I’m not the only one in a binational same-sex relationship on FTB, either. There is also James Randi who is and has been in a spousal relationship with a man from a different country for decades, and his partner had to go to extreme lengths that appear to have broken the law just so they could stay together (which has sadly caught up with them) all because of the legalized anti-gay discrimination in this country. My de facto husband and I almost ran out of time last year ourselves, but some last minute developments allowed him to return to the USA for now.

    You know, that experience made me realize that it’s nice to be able to end a relationship on one’s own terms instead of having that “decision” forced on you by the federal government. This whole states’ rights thing is a total sham, and President Obama knows it damn well. There is no way he is planning on turning over all the federal services based on marriage to the states any time soon, though the teabaggers would be delighted if he were to do so. As anyone who is following the PropH8 trial knows, marriage has been found to be a fundamental right at least 14 times in the high courts of the USA already. (However, as tomh was reminding me at Brayton’s blog, opposite sex cousins don’t seem to thoroughly share that right in the states–a right that even violent criminals locked up in prison are supposedly entitled to.)

    I’m glad the president said what he did about his personal feelings changing (or more likely going back to the way they were before he became an experienced politician) because I was expecting him to say yet again how he thinks that same-gender couples aren’t good enough for marriage. So he surpassed my dismal expectations for him. I mean, you think he was bad this time? His position was absolute shit before. It used to be right up there with the worst of them. I think it is good he got that out of his system and I’m glad people rewarded him for doing so while recognizing he isn’t 100% out of the bigot closet on the marriage front. The best that can come of his personal statement supporting marriage equality is that other politicians will see that it isn’t a big deal after all and that the cost for doing so is negligible. Already some anti-gay people have claimed that they will be supporting Obama even though they disagree with him. A recent poll shows he lost at most something like 20% of people who were more likely to vote for Romney anyway–big whoop. If Obama wins this next election, that should be the last we hear of major national Democratic politicians supporting bullshit civil unions or everything-but-marriage policies.

  458. 958
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Dalillama,

    And the “not [...] mean-spirited” point, while often true, was tangential and probably ineffective.

    A few posts after this, you say you are a consequentialist. Which is it?

    Consequentialist. As you suggest, I shouldn’t (and generally don’t; as time goes by I manage to be more consistent about this) care about intentions as a moral matter.

    I wasn’t offering up the fact that they’re often not mean-spirited as though it has any moral significance. I was simply noting that it’s a true statement regarding their motivations. This doesn’t make it less bad — and here I probably disagree with Obama, as I disagree with most non-consequentialists — but it often means that effective persuasion techniques are different than they would be for someone who’s consumed by anger or a delight in causing harm.

    People going out of their way to shit on my life are by definition doing it from mean-spiritedness. I don’t care if thy call it ‘loving witnesing’ they are acting out of hatefulness. From a consequentialist viewpoint, acting in a harmful way is a mean-spirited act, no matter what rhetoric is used about it.

    I don’t happen to have that particular consequentialist viewpoint, and I initially wasn’t sure I understood it, but maybe I get it:

    you seem to be saying that some essence of the act itself is mean in effect, and this essence is the spirit of the act, thus it’s mean-spirited.

    I think that’s neat, actually, and not obviously incoherent, but I fear it may be misleading since — I think — the typical use of “mean-spirited” refers to the person’s affect rather than effect.

    So, while I think I get what you’re saying, I don’t think I can adopt your vocabulary.

    It’s the same as the previous posters who have used the metaphor of a battered spouse; it doesn’t matter if the abuser makes professions of love and affection in between beatings , it’s still mean-spirited abuse.

    I’d agree with the latter because I can’t conceptualize of battering that is not coupled with an intent to cause pain, however brief.

    But with “marriage is definitionally between a man and a woman”, for instance, there is sometimes no desire to cause pain; and I think these people account for a lot of those who have changed their minds in recent years. I mean, we are seeing pretty swift changes in public opinion this decade. I think a lot of these “new recruits” to our side, they’ll tell you that last year when they still opposed gay marriage, they didn’t really want to hurt anybody, they just didn’t really understand the issue all that well, hadn’t thought about it, hadn’t really come to terms with the human face of the problem, or some such.

    What I’m saying is some of it really is due to ignorance. And these people aren’t all that hard to change; and they account for some of the quickening pace in public opinion shifts. (I think it’s implausible to account for this quickening pace by saying that lots of people really wanted to hurt queer people and all of a sudden they don’t want to hurt us anymore.)

  459. 959
    strange gods before me ॐ

    There is a way in which people cling to perceived order because it makes their lives somewhat less stressful. That looks like a trivial statement but try taking it very broadly: I mean people get existentially attached to logical (mathematical) consistency and cognitive closure, and even the meanings of words.

    See generally the meaning maintenance model, or specifically turn-frogs and careful-sweaters and maybe its citing articles.

    When a girl child says that she will grow up to be a nurse and not a doctor because doctors are men, she has of course internalized sexism but it doesn’t mean quite that she’s being a bigot toward herself and other girls. It’s not malice, it’s just how she thinks the world works.

    Forgive me if I’m skipping some connections at the moment; I’m trying to lay out all my thoughts before they escape me. More in a moment.

  460. 960
    strange gods before me ॐ

    In the 2009 thread “Dogs can be good without god” (where one dog drags another injured dog out of highway traffic), A. Noyd made an interesting point which I think expresses this type of categorizing that (at least) social animals do:

    My guess is that it’s distressed by the wrongness of the first dog’s situation and is trying to fix it. Dogs, for whatever reason, are pretty big on the concept of “how things are supposed to be.”

    I think that a dog thinking dogs aren’t supposed to lay down in the street, and a girl thinking she’s not supposed to be a doctor, and (in some cases) an adult thinking gay people aren’t supposed to get “married”, are really (this is not an analogy) doing the same thing: activating cognitive functions of categorization, without then applying critical thinking to the output.

    Adults aren’t children or dogs, of course. And I’m certainly not saying we can’t demand better of them; we must. I’m just trying to enumerate the ways in which opposition to gay marriage can occur. A few of those ways are definitely hatred, disgust, and cultural superiority (by this last I mean approximately what Natalie said, though when gay marriage is normalized it will be almost as kyriarchal and ugly as straight marriage is now with regard to unmarried people, but that’s a complaint for the 2060s; remind me later). However I don’t feel that those things go away quite as quickly as we’ve been seeing opinion shift. So I think there’s at least one more possibility to enumerate:

    We do know that adults sometimes default to thinking which is characteristic of children, especially when they are stressed and sometimes when they just haven’t been asked to apply skeptical thinking, haven’t been asked to think of ways in which this thing which feels normal might not be true.

    When I was little I did learn by default that men married women, and I didn’t learn any other way. Unfortunately I do not recall how and when I learned differently. It was probably around age 10 or 12 but I just don’t have any insight.

    Somehow I learned a more expansive category, and however it happened, it must have required some cognitive work, to overwrite, or repurpose, or store a new idea and lose track of the old one; however it works I know it takes calories; it takes work. And some people have invested more existential meaning in certain concepts than others. Just hypothetically, I would be troubled to learn that Milton Friedman was right about pretty much everything policywise. I think I could adjust to campaigning for his negative income tax stuff, but it would initially be something of a shock.

  461. 961
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Some time in my late teens I became acutely aware of the spread of writing without the serial comma. It might not have been a real change in the nation, maybe I was just reading different sorts of writing, but in any case I started noticing it a lot. I recall that this bothered me; it felt wrong, sort of like Mac OS 9 and earlier.

    About a year ago I was trying to explain, to a perfectly literate and intelligent adult, that birds are dinosaurs. “I know dinosaurs are descended from birds,” he said. I tried drawing a clade and explaining that if all the other members of the clade were dinosaurs, then birds were dinosaurs too. He was very mildly offended by this; it was clear he thought I had either misunderstood something or just wasn’t using words quite properly. I gave up. I could see that for him, birds and dinosaurs are just different kinds of animals, such that ancestry was fine but a superset was not.

    This kind of thinking, that things are and just ought to be the way I am most accustomed with, can blossom into bigotry:

    Of course I’m faking it to stave off nihilism. What choice do I have? After all, I’m a child of the revolution, as deracinated as they come. In fact I was born in the Year of the Revolution 1968, the year my dreams died. I was brushed by the last few wisps of the dying culture and appreciated them. As I grew older the sense of being disinherited grew and with it the awareness that our country had been replaced with an administrative zone by powers that despised us. All I want to do is “fight for my people, survival and self-esteem”, liberate the ‘hood from the invader.

    But I suggest that the mere feeling that something’s not right about this new experience, and that one would prefer to return to routine, is not inherently mean-spirited, not yet; though it can account for the existence of some thoughtless, insensitive, and hurtful understandings of how the world ought to be.

  462. 962
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    @life is like a pitbull
    What I’m saying is that to actively work against someone’s rights is not an action that can be motivated by genuine good feeling. The actor may convince themselves that they do it for the victim’s ‘own good,’ rather than out of some type of anger, fear, or hatred, but that’s a self-serving lie to preserve their ability to perceive themselves as a good person. I have no patience whatsoever with people who convince themselves that they ‘don’t mean> to hurt anyone’ while going out of their way to do things that can have no other outcome. When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action, and your intent must be inferred thereby. Basically, I believe actions over words, because they provide a better gauge of what’s going on underneath.

  463. 963
    strange gods before me ॐ

    What I’m saying is that to actively work against someone’s rights

    I probably should have indicated that I was focusing on people who aren’t activists, who just say “I don’t believe in gay marriage” when the discussion comes up, and will vote against it if it’s on the ballot, but no more. Activists’ views are often more complicated. I think my statements still hold for some activists, but more rarely.

    is not an action that can be motivated by genuine good feeling.

    Evidence indicates otherwise.

    There are a lot of people who believe that 14-year-olds should not be allowed the right to vote. Now, some of these people really hold teenagers in contempt.

    But I think plenty of them are worried that it’ll ultimately cause an increase in teen drug use and sexual activity, which they regard as generally detrimental to teens’ health. Without commenting on whether this opinion is right or wrong, I see genuine good feeling behind it, and yet it is working against people’s rights.

    The actor may convince themselves that they do it for the victim’s ‘own good,’ rather than out of some type of anger, fear, or hatred, but that’s a self-serving lie to preserve their ability to perceive themselves as a good person.

    I don’t think that’s right. In addition to anger, fear and hatred, this “own good” stuff can come about from viewing strangers as abstract members of categories, rather than as complicated four-dimensional subjects. I’m not saying that’s admirable, but we all do it sometimes, and it’s not the same as anger, fear or hatred.

    I have no patience whatsoever with people who convince themselves that they ‘don’t mean to hurt anyone’ while going out of their way to do things that can have no other outcome.

    To be clear, I’m not advocating that you ought to have any patience with them. Patience can be part of an effective strategy, but it is not the only possible way forward. I’m really not sure what is generally most effective; a tremendous amount depends on just who you’re talking to and what is your interpersonal relationship with them.

    When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action, and your intent must be inferred thereby.

    This is great rhetoric, and I’ve seen it sometimes used effectively when directed to an individual who is acting badly, but it isn’t really true.

    Consider the standard trolley problem. Can it be said that those who don’t flip the switch “want” the five workers to die? Can it be said that those who do flip it “want” the one worker to die? The truth is that almost everyone doesn’t want any of them to die. But their actions are constrained such that their most positive intent cannot manifest. Pretty much everything in life is like the trolley problem to some degree, and we all frequently misunderstand the likely consequences of an action.

    But I think I have an idea of why you think this way.

    Basically, I believe actions over words, because they provide a better gauge of what’s going on underneath.

    That is a pretty safe and useful heuristic which will help keep you alive.

    But psychological studies can be better gauges than either, and some of them show motivations which are much weirder than we would first suppose. (To be sure, that’s not the only thing going on. Pro-gay and anti-gay rhetoric, and acquaintance, matters a lot in determining what a person learns to consider normal, else we wouldn’t be seeing shifts in public opinion.)

  464. 964
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I realize that my statement of choice and consequences was rather simplistic, and I am of course far more nuanced in my views. In cases like the ‘hypothetical’ CEO, I would generally assume, barring evidence to the contrary, that externalites, positive and negative, had simply never entered the CEO’s head. However, acting without concern for consequences is in and of itself a malevolent act, practically speaking. Also, acting entirely without regard to potential outcomes outside a narrow sphere of interests is much more likely to result in harm than benefit to a third party, all things considered.

  465. 965
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Amphiox @ 383:

    there is supposed to be a constitutional principle of reciprocity, one that says that a right afforded by one state cannot be denied by other states when citizens travel. This could have been used as a weapon for equality in federal court to fight state bans, so that even if NC refuses to grant marriage equality to its own citizens, it must still recognize New York’s. NC’s recent constitutional amendment explicitly states that they will not recognize same sex marriages performed in other states. The federal government COULD have used the reciprocity concept to challenge NC’s ban as federally unconstitutional,

    and to respond to Pitbull @ 389 & 399, not to mention 411:

    You’ve covered the basics of Full Faith & Credit so I won’t hit those, but just respond to whether or not the Feds could sue NC to stop implementation of the state constitutional amendment.

    Interestingly, there’s a case on a related FF&C point. It’s this one about queer second-parent adoptions.

    What might interest folks – including amphiox – the most is on page 7, with starts with a big roman numeral “II”.

    IIa is the section on jurisdiction of the courts to hear the controversy. It states as plainly as courts do what the qualifications for a plaintiff actually are. Although it focusses on individual plaintiffs, the US could qualify as a plaintiff itself or there could be a “federal government” challenge that does not use the US itself as the named party. These types of challenges go all the way back to McCullough v. Maryland (and further, really, but this is the oldest case that is likely to be know by anyone with only a cursory history of US constitutional law… and even it is unlikely to be known by those who don’t know much about con law. Still, it’s easily searchable on the net, so I make no apologies for mentioning it here).

    However, for the fed government to file suit, it would have to be injured or acting on behalf of a citizen injured-party (the way the EEOC often does – though this has statutory authorization and which statute might or might not authorize such would depend on the hypothetical injured party and is a question of federal statute rather than constitutional law, would fall outside my knowledge).

    Currently the US benefits in terms of tax revenue and in a number of other ways when partners are prevented from marrying. I don’t off the top of my head know of a way in which it could claim it was injured. That would leave it arguing that it was intervening on behalf of an injured individual party. The thing is, that individual party would need to have standing to sue.

    The Feds effectively make use of standing that already exists, they don’t “create” standing by virtue of being the federal govt.

    As for whether or not it would be a strong case, the case would effectively be the same whether a person would be suing directly or whether the feds would be suing on someone’s behalf. If there were a legit US federal interest harmed, that might be a very different case and its strength would depend on the nature of the interest. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

    But here’s where you’re wrong: it absolutely would NOT require the law to go into effect. Laws are enjoined pre-enforcement all the time. Once the law is on the books in a way that has sufficiently specified their effects (which isn’t always the case from day 1, sometimes it takes some time enforcing the law to figure out what the effects will actually be), the law can be challenged based on those effects, whether or not the law has yet been enforced.

    hope that helps.

  466. 966
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Darn it, that bit that follows “amphiox @ 383″ above was supposed to be a blockquote. Messed up the html, apparently.

  467. 967
    strange gods before me ॐ

    hope that helps.

    A lot! Thanks, Crip Dyke.

    +++++
    Dalillama,

    Also, acting entirely without regard to potential outcomes outside a narrow sphere of interests is much more likely to result in harm than benefit to a third party, all things considered.

    I agree.

    However, acting without concern for consequences is in and of itself a malevolent act, practically speaking.

    Which limits the meaning of “malevolent” to connotations that don’t involve deliberate intent — so not “wishing evil or harm to another or others” as dictionary.com has it — thus in my opinion contradicts the common use of the word, and is an impediment to understanding.

    I could agree it’s insensitive, selfish, and demonstrates a lack of respect. But as with “mean-spirited”, I don’t think I can agree with your creative use of the word. Some terms just lose their moral implication under consequentialism; they can’t all be stripped of the reference to intent. It’s still awful even if I can’t say it’s malevolent.

  468. 968
    John Morales

    ॐ:

    However, acting without concern for consequences is in and of itself a malevolent act, practically speaking.

    Which limits the meaning of “malevolent” to connotations that don’t involve deliberate intent — so not “wishing evil or harm to another or others” as dictionary.com has it — thus in my opinion contradicts the common use of the word, and is an impediment to understanding.

    No. It doesn’t limit it, rather it overloads it*.

    (You are however correct that it’s an inappropriate use of the term; amoral would be more appropriate)

    * Computerese.

  469. 969
    supermental

    Refreshing.
    I agree. Thank you PZ.

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