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Congressmen file amicus in support of DC’s anti-gays

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2010

Two Senators and 37 members of the House (all Republicans) have filed an amicus brief in support of anti-gay activists who are suing to put marriage equality to a vote in the District of Columbia.

Their official reason is some mumble-jumble about serving “as members of the ultimate legislative authority for the District of Columbia and the very body which delegated to the District its limited legislative power under home rule”. But their basic beef comes down to, “When we said that DC residents could make their own decisions, we didn’t mean that they could make choices that we don’t like!!”

Relatedly, last night I saw GOP Party Chairman Michael Steele, arguing on Fox that Democrats are taking away the ability of people to live their lives the way they want… and using DC’s marriage law as example. I’m paraphrasing, but it seemed like he was arguing that DC residents were losing individual freedom because they were not free to vote on what their neighbors could do. Truly, it was an example of someone totally confused about the idea of personal liberty and individual freedom.

The good news is that these congressmen are only a small percentage of the Senate and the House and are even a minority in their own party (twenty years ago you’d have nearly all of the members of both parties). This is not to say that other Republicans would necessarily support marriage equality, but perhaps that they didn’t feel the need to identify themselves with the extremist right-wing caucus of Republicans who never lose an opportunity to attack the rights, freedom, and equality of gay people.

In a way, they did us a favor. We now have a nice list of the most extreme of the extreme. And while I didn’t see any surprises on the list (perhaps our readers might), it’s nice to have a compilation of equality’s biggest opponents all in one place.

Senators:

James Inhofe (Okla.)
Roger Wicker (Miss.)

Representatives:

Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio)
Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.)
Robert Aderholt (Ala.)
Todd Akin (Mo.)
Michele Bachmann (Minn.)
J. Gresham Barrett (S.C.)
Roscoe Bartlett (Md.)
Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.)
John Boozman (Ark.)
Jason Chaffetz (Utah)
John Fleming (La.)
J. Randy Forbes (Va.)
Virginia Foxx (N.C.)
Scott Garrett (N.J.)
Phil Gingrey (Ga.)
Louie Gohmert (Tex.)
Jeb Hensarling (Tex.)
Wally Herger (Calif.)
Walter Jones (N.C.)
Jim Jordan (Ohio)
Steve King (Iowa)
Jack Kingston (Ga.)
John Kline (Minn.)
Doug Lamborn (Colo.)
Robert Latta (Ohio)
Don Manzullo (Ill.)
Michael McCaul (Tex.)
Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.)
Patrick McHenry (N.C.)
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.)
Jeff Miller (Fla.)
Jerry Moran (Kan.)
Randy Neugebauer (Tex.)
Mike Pence (Ind.)
Joe Pitts (Pa.)
Mark Souder (Ind.)
Todd Tiahrt (Kan.)

Feel free to walk precincts, call volunteers, work get-out-the-vote, or contribute to the campaigns of their primary and general opponents as much as possible.

Comments

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Ben in Oakland
January 6th, 2010 | LINK

Congress has the ablity to override the DC marriage law. Apparently, these bigots don’t have the votes there.

KZ
January 6th, 2010 | LINK

Oh cool. Bob Latta is on the list. My very own reprensentative. And I’m NOT surprised at all.

This ‘voting on our rights’ crap is really irritating me. I didn’t get to vote on Maggie Gallagher’s or Brian Brown’s. I mean my freedom to decide the legality of these relationships (or any of the relationships of the politicians list above) has been taken away from me! Boo-hoo…

Ray
January 6th, 2010 | LINK

What poetry it would be to have one’s wedding in D.C. right on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Burr
January 6th, 2010 | LINK

If the people in D.C. hate it so much and care sooo much about banning gay marriage they can just vote everyone out and vote people in who will re-ban it.

Referendums aren’t the will of an engaged electorate. They are an appeal to the unwashed masses to vote reflexively when they otherwise wouldn’t care what happens in their legislature.

Pomo
January 6th, 2010 | LINK

I used to teach the grand daughter of the CA representative who signed the brief. I just sent him an email telling him what I thought about that…

mickey white
January 6th, 2010 | LINK

Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her unconstitutional votes at :
http://tinyurl.com/qhayna
Mickey

39 Bigoted Republician Congressmen Stand Against DC Same-Sex Marriage with Amicus Brief | CultureWarrior.com
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

[...] is a list of the 39 Congressmen from Box Turtle Bulletin: [...]

Marlene
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

KZ — I’m also sadly in Latta’s district (BG!), and he’s been nothing more than Boehner’s little pet/bootlicker since he got into Congress. His dad should be ashamed!

joey
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

I’m a bit disturbed by the tenor of the gay rights movement sometimes. In some ways, the tactics of the movement remind me a bit of American foreign policy–we’d have a lot fewer enemies if we’d stop treating people like enemies.

I’m a gay man, but I’m also an American. I don’t think the two are incompatible. The current anti-democratic tone of the movement kind of turns me off.

Personally, I think that we should EMBRACE democracy in everything we do. When we don’t, we kind of come off as bullies.

Let me give you some background. I live in Massachusetts, the first state to recognize same-sex marriages. I’m proud of that. After the Supreme Judicial Court overturned the old marriage laws (opposite-sex only) there were some citizens in the state who wanted to overrule the court. They had only one avenue–a constitutional amendment. The first step to amending the constitution was to place the question on the ballot. Gay activists worked hard to make sure that this never happened, and consequently the decision of the court stood. No voting was allowed.

I have co-workers and family members who disagree with me on this issue. One of them mentioned to me that the gay rights movement stripped him of his right to vote. He told me that same-sex marriage was shoved down the throat of the people of Massachusetts. I had a hard time arguing with him because he was right. We did strip him of his right to vote…and last time I checked, voting is a right. I’m not so selfish as to care only about the rights of gays, but about the rights of everyone. Even I had to admit that his rights had been violated in an effort to advance my rights.

I know that most gays would object by saying something like “We don’t vote on civil rights issues.” But that doesn’t mean that we DIDN’T shove gay marriage down their throats, it just means that we were right in doing so.

The truth is that we did shove gay marriage down the throats of some people who don’t agree with it. They were trying to achieve their goal by peaceful, democratic means and we were trying to thwart them. Am I the only one who is embarrassed by that?

Here’s the kicker–from all the polls I saw, I think we could have WON that fight! Instead, we decided to simply not have the fight, and declare ourselves the winners. We could have won a purer and more decisive victory if we had taken it to the ballot box and come away victorious. Sadly, the gay community of Massachusetts (or most of it) didn’t want to do that, and so the victory we won will always be tainted.

Even I have to admit that gays appear almost cowardly in this situation. We fought tooth and nail to avoid voting because we were afraid we couldn’t win.

Now I look at DC, and I say let’s not make the same mistake twice! I know that the whites in DC overwhelmingly support marriage equality. Blacks lean slightly against the idea. But I still think we can win! Why are we so afraid of voting?

Priya Lynn
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Joey said “We did strip him of his right to vote…and last time I checked, voting is a right.”.

No one has the right to vote on every issue that comes up, they have a right to vote on who their representatives will be and no one was stripped of that right. Minority rights should never be put up for a vote.

Joey siad “The truth is that we did shove gay marriage down the throats of some people who don’t agree with it.”.

That’s a lie. No one who doesn’t want a gay marriage is forced to have one. Gay marriage was not forced on anyone.

Scott P.
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Priya, thank you, I wanted to respond to joey’s assertions but my head was spinning from the illogical conclusions he came to and didn’t know how to address them.

Do I get to decide whether churches are allowed to illuminate crosses at night? No. Why? Because it’s not allowed by Constitutional law! Such crosses offend me, but it’s not up to a popular vote. That means their religious rights trump mine. BUT they don’t have the right to set up said cross inside of my apartment. So, just as their civil rights to express their religion are protected and not put up to a popular vote that SAME protection should be accorded to me and my right to marry the person I love!

If you don’t approve of same-sex marriage, don’t get one, otherwise it’s none of your business!

Burr
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

It doesn’t matter if we put gay marriage to vote in all states and win them all. It still sets a horrible precedent. It means the next 9/11, we can just go right ahead and vote away the 1st amendment rights of Muslims, as popular sentiment would easily pass such tyranny.

No. That’s just not how things work.

It’s heterosexism that’s forcing us to do things we don’t want and shoving impositions down our throat. We pay more taxes and get less protections for it.

Jarred
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Priya and Burr: Right on.

Honestly, has anyone thought about what a Pandora’s box “voting on controversial minority rights” really is?

Except, at least Pandora’s box contained hope, too. (At least in some versions of the myth.)

Ephilei
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Thanks Timothy. I don’t live in Don Manzullo’s district, but as vicechair of Illinois Gender Advocates, I will make electing his opponents a priority.

CPT_Doom
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

But that doesn’t mean that we DIDN’T shove gay marriage down their throats, it just means that we were right in doing so.

That’s right, we did, just as Rick Warren shoves his perversion of Christianity down all our throats – demanding acceptance and approval for what I believe is a horrific warping of the teachings of the Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth. It’s just like Rudy Guiliani, John McCain and Karl Rove shoving their adulterous lifestyles down our throats and demanding that their sinful sexual lifestyles with their mistresses are equivalent to true marriage.

And why is it that your friends and relatives disagree with you – for that matter why did so many voters in California and Maine disagree with our full equality as human beings and American citizens? Because they were lied to by an organized anti-gay hate movement that, having failed to maintain the criminality of our lives here in the US, have now exported their hate to places like Uganda and Russia.

David C.
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Except, at least Pandora’s box contained hope, too. (At least in some versions of the myth.)—Jarred

Minor nit-pick (FWIW): Hope was the last “plague” to escape into the world upon a second (and final) opening of the container. And it was a jar, not a box.

Ben in Oakland
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

No, joey, he was not stripped of his right to vote. He has a right to vote in every election. He has a right to vote for his representatives in whatever election they appear. He has no right to vote on every issue. Big difference. That is the nature of our constitutional system, our laws, and our government. And every other country in the world that has an actual democracy in place.

If he doesn’t like what his representatives have voted on– including all three branches of government– he has the right to vote them out of office, and vote in someone who will do what he wants.

This what i would say to your relative: Exactly WHAT civil rights of yours are affected?

Your “right” to get married? No.

Your “right” to have your marriage recognized by the state government, with all rights, benefits, and responsibilties attached thereto?? no.

Your “right” to practice your religion as you see fit? no.

Your “right” to teach your kids whatever you wish regarding the evils of gay people? no.

Tell me again…which civil rights of yours are affected? When do I get to vote on YOUR marriage? Ever?

In fact, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with you, except that it prevents the government from enforcing YOUR prejudices against people you do not know, know nothing about, and who have done you no harm. What we want is for our friends, and our families exactly what you get from our government: the same dignity, the same respect, and the same equality before the law that you demand for yourselves. That’s all of it. Our lives and our families are every bit as valuable as yours. You don’t have to approve of or accept gay people, or to be a part of our lives; we have plenty of people who do. We are not attacking your marriages, your families, your faith, or your civil rights, or preventing them from being legally protected.

Can you say the same about yourselves?

We want to take nothing from you. We want only the same rights and protections that you have. Nothing more.

And nothing less.

Ben in Oakland
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Joey– this is something I wrote before the prop. 8 election, and which was published in several newspapers here in california. Perhaps you should show this to your relative. some of it I already quoted in my previous posting.

To begin with, I am no one in particular. I’m just a happy, middle class, middle aged, middle-of-the-road gay man who hopes my marriage will survive the election. It seems to me that missing in all of the arguments about Prop. 8 are both a clear view of gay people, and a simple understanding about what marriage means to us. I would like to provide that perspective, in the form of a…

LETTER TO CALIFORNIA VOTERS CONCERNING MY MARRIAGE

Two months ago, I married the man I love and share my life with to the acclaim and pleasure of our families and friends. Paul and I have known each other for seven years, and have been married in all but name for the past six. Both of us are contributing, tax-paying, law-abiding, and productive members of our community. We live active, healthy, and positive lives. We are well thought of by family, friends, and colleagues, and live in peace with our neighbors. Despite all this, some people think that the fact that we are both men is the only thing of importance, and that this invalidates our love, our commitment, and especially, our claim to equality before the law. Some will even go so far as to claim we’re a threat to family, children, and faith.

We’re not a threat to anyone or anything. Nor is our marriage. We’re just Ben and Paul. And we want to stay married.

Let me tell you a little more about us. Gay people and straight people, taken as a whole, are pretty much alike. This includes matters like romance, family, marriage, and religion. And why shouldn’t we be alike? We’re your relatives and friends, your colleagues and neighbors. We’re you.

Our love is as deep and abiding and committed as any couple you can name. We married because we love each other, and share our lives and fortunes together– just like you. We were excited about our wedding, our rings, and sharing our joy with our loved ones– just like you. We have promised to be there for each other in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, and to be a married couple for the rest of our lives– just like you.

Because of the strength of these promises and our life together, our marriage contributes to society in exactly the same way that yours does. We don’t have children, but there are at least 70,000 children with gay and lesbian parents in California. If strong marriages build strong families, and marriage and family are the foundations of society, don’t our marriages, families, and children matter as much as yours? Why would you tell gay people to take their building blocks and stay home?

Our wedding and our promises mean as much to us, and to our friends and families, as yours do to you. Perhaps more. You see, you probably have never had to question whether you could marry the person you love best in all the world. It’s your right, after all. But it isn’t ours. Prop. 8 supporters claim that we gay people, via domestic partner laws, already have all of the rights afforded you by marriage. Maybe, except this one: the rightness, the validity, the very existence of your marriage will NEVER, EVER be debated, much less voted upon, by complete strangers. But you can vote on our rights and our marriages. Just as you can vote on the continued existence of those domestic partner laws, or on any statutory protection of our lives and families. Just as you can vote on laws that say that separate but equal is good enough.

Just like Prop. 8.

What if you had to ask 16 million people for permission to marry your beloved? How would you feel if the love and commitment you bear your beloved is, at best, diminished and devalued as unimportant? Or at worst, denigrated as sick, sinful, and dangerous, and such a threat to family and society that a constitutional amendment must be passed to protect them? Would you like it if someone had the power to make your marriage disappear? How would you feel if you were told that separate-but-equal was good enough for you? We Americans tried that before, and it doesn’t work.

Are we not human enough, not citizens enough, to grant us the right to marry? Paul and I want for us, our friends, and our families exactly what you get from our government: the same dignity, the same respect, and the same equality before the law that you demand for yourselves. That’s all of it. Our lives and our families are every bit as valuable as yours. You don’t have to approve of or accept gay people, or to be a part of our lives; we have plenty of people who do. We are not attacking your marriages, your families, your faith, or your civil rights, or preventing them from being legally protected. Can you say the same about yourselves?

We want to take nothing from you. We want only the same rights and protections that you have. Nothing more.

And nothing less.

Jason D
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Personally, I think that we should EMBRACE democracy in everything we do. When we don’t, we kind of come off as bullies.

We don’t live in a democracy. We are a democratic republic. Which means while people have a say in their government, we don’t vote en mass on every issue. Some issues are core fundamentals that aren’t up for debate. Civil rights are one of them.

skipping down…

I have co-workers and family members who disagree with me on this issue. One of them mentioned to me that the gay rights movement stripped him of his right to vote.

Really? Was he not allowed to vote for his senator? Representative? Mayor? Local Judges? President?

Your coworker was stripped of nothing except his overactive sense of entilement. He’s still allowed to vote. If he doesn’t like what his reps do, he can elect new ones. If he doesn’t like who they choose for the supreme court, he can elect new ones who will put people on the bench he supports.

That’s civics 101 in this country. Evidently you slept through class.

He told me that same-sex marriage was shoved down the throat of the people of Massachusetts. I had a hard time arguing with him because he was right. We did strip him of his right to vote…and last time I checked, voting is a right.

We don’t vote on every issue as a country. We vote for representatives, people who represent us and they vote on our behalf.

I sure as hell didn’t vote to invade Iraq.

I didn’t vote to invade Afghanistan.

But I, unlke your coworker, accept that I DID have a say, a VOTE, in who made those decisions for me. Again, this is how our country works.

I’m not so selfish as to care only about the rights of gays, but about the rights of everyone. Even I had to admit that his rights had been violated in an effort to advance my rights.

Ah yes, the old “selfishness” charge.

Does this mean your pal was going to vote for gay marriage, and gosh darn it, he just didn’t get a chance? I highly doubt that. How is he not selfish for wanting to deny you a right he enjoys?

What exactly is selfish about people wanting equality? What is so selfish about a couple wanting to make sure that if one of them ends up in the hospital, the doctors don’t get to pretend they’re legal strangers?

I know that most gays would object by saying something like “We don’t vote on civil rights issues.” But that doesn’t mean that we DIDN’T shove gay marriage down their throats, it just means that we were right in doing so.

Nothing was shoved down anyone’s throats. Except those who think their rights extend to telling me how to live and deciding how I do that.

The truth is that we did shove gay marriage down the throats of some people who don’t agree with it. They were trying to achieve their goal by peaceful, democratic means and we were trying to thwart them. Am I the only one who is embarrassed by that?

I’m embarassed that you bought all those lies and misinformation. I’m embarssed you think anything about our enemies is peaceful or democratic.

Here’s the kicker–from all the polls I saw, I think we could have WON that fight! Instead, we decided to simply not have the fight, and declare ourselves the winners. We could have won a purer and more decisive victory if we had taken it to the ballot box and come away victorious. Sadly, the gay community of Massachusetts (or most of it) didn’t want to do that, and so the victory we won will always be tainted.

Tainted, really? Is the freedom of African Americans tainted because we didn’t vote on freeing the slaves? What about when women got the right to vote? We didn’t vote directly on that one, either. When interracial marriage was made legal (also not through voting, FYI) does that mean it’s tainted, too?

Do you know ANYTHING about the judicial branch? About judicial review? About what the Supreme Court’s whole job?

Even I have to admit that gays appear almost cowardly in this situation. We fought tooth and nail to avoid voting because we were afraid we couldn’t win.

No, we fought tooth and nail because our constitution guarantees certain liberties are ABOVE voting. What you advocate is tossing out our founding principles in favor of mob rule.

Now I look at DC, and I say let’s not make the same mistake twice! I know that the whites in DC overwhelmingly support marriage equality. Blacks lean slightly against the idea. But I still think we can win! Why are we so afraid of voting?

Because civil rights aren’t and should NOT be decided by a majority. Has there ever been a minority right that’s been achieved by a vote? That isn’t how our government was founded, and that’s certainly not what it’s about.

I feel no sympathy for those who get mad because they weren’t able to prevent me from achieving equality, especially when they know almost nothing about how our government works, what rights we have, the very foundational principles of our government, and are completely unable to tell the truth.

Priya Lynn
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Well said Jason.

Paul
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

We in Michigan have long noted the homophobia of Thaddeus McCotter. He’s been the author or lead sponsor of a lot of the hate aimed in our direction, fortunately a good deal of it has not passed. Alas, Democrats keep throwing losers up against him (and he still won the last round by only 51%). I have my doubts about 2010 but hope I’m redistricted away from him in 2012.

Ben in Oakland
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

For once I beat you to it, jason.

but your response was far more nuanced.

so here’s another thought for you, joey. Let’s do a thought experiment, and pass a law that says that marriages are no longer a publicly recorded contract. We’ll pass a second law that NO ONE may tell another person they are married.

In that situation, could your relative then explain how anything has been, ahgem, shoved down his throat, how he loses, or in any way has been affected by my mariage?

BTW, i suspect Joey is a troll. i find it hard to believe that any self-respecting gay person would buy any of that garbage.

Scott P.
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Bravi, Ben in Oakland and Jason D., very well said.

Many people seem to get confused about our government, thinking it’s a democracy, and fail to understand that it’s a constitutional democratic republic.

And, to nit-pick further, the ancient Greeks didn’t have jars, they had amphorea, which would be closer akin to a jug than a jar. I’ve read many different versions of the myth and some say box (which the Greeks had) and some say jar.

Cassandra
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

The truth is that we did shove gay marriage down the throats of some people who don’t agree with it. They were trying to achieve their goal by peaceful, democratic means and we were trying to thwart them.

Yes, the goal of gay marriage supporters was thwarting the political, religious, and social goals of the anti-gay-marriage folks.

You seem to be putting forth an argument that those against gay marriage ought to have had a chance to achieve those goals simply because the ways in which they were trying to achieve them were “peaceful and democratic,” and that it is somehow shameful or should be embarassing to thwart those goals.

It is impossible for the goals of both sides of the gay marriage question to be enshrined into law at the same time.
Should gay marriage supporters feel shame that they used peaceful and democratic actions to thwart the goals of another group whose efforts and goals were at direct cross-purposes to their own? I don’t understand why the pro-gay-marriage folks would need to feel shame at that.

Gay marriage supporters did have other options: had they decided not to fight, to let the question be put to a vote, the populace might have thwarted the anti-gay-marriage group’s goals for us. Some might argue for this as a better choice for these reasons:
- the anti-gay-marriage people would have a vote and been happier.
- gay-marriage supporters wouldn’t have come out looking like the ‘bad guy target’ to those already inclined to disagree with us.

But those reasons don’t hold water:
- No matter which outcome a vote had, the anti-gay-marriage camp would use the results to demonize their opponents.
If gay marriage supporters lost: ‘see? The people don’t want this!’ ‘they’re still trying to fight–don’t they know they lost?’ If gay-marriage supporters won: ‘The majority is still wrong! We’re going to keep fighting until we’ve won!’
- Every time gay marriage supporters decide that their cause is not yet worth fighting for, they look weak to their friends as well as their opponents. The act of voting on behalf of gay marriage forces those who do so to consciously realize that they have become gay marriage supporters (and hence, political and social targets). The moment they decide to pull the lever is the sacrifical moment: they’ve decided to put themselves under attack on behalf of someone else. It seems hypocritical for existing gay marriage supporters to ask or expect others to make a conscious decision to become a target if existing gay marriage supporters are not willing to do so themselves.
- If we don’t fight early and hard for what we want, other people–opponents and supporters–will conclude it must not be that important to us.

Laws enacted through a peaceful, democratic process will not always be peaceful, democratic laws. What message does it send when pro-gay-marriage forces wait until anti-gay-marriage laws are on the ballot (or on the books) to speak?

Let’s say you’re out camping with your friend in an area where there have been a lot of horse traders. You’re a horse trader too, but you have a beautiful horse, a special one you’re not interested in selling at any price. The other traders are interested in getting the horse for themselves, leaving you horseless. Your friend knows how important that horse is to you, but doesn’t like horses himself, and isn’t a horse trader–he doesn’t have a pony in the race, so to speak. While you’re both sitting around, a trader comes by and asks you if you want to gamble for the horse.

Scenario A: You say, “no way, that horse is mine and it’s too valuable to gamble away!” The traders come back for a week, and you keep telling them off. They start getting fed up and call you and your friend and your horse all sorts of things. Finally your friend speaks up: “I don’t care about the horse, but it doesn’t look like my friend’s willing to negotiate. You’re annoying him and me. Go away.”

Scenario B: You don’t say anything. On the first night your buddy doesn’t say anything, but a week later he shrugs, looks at you, says, “why not?” and takes out a pack of cards. You and your friend and the trader stay up all night gambling. At first the game is going well but then you lose, and you have to rely on your friend. Then he loses, and in the morning you watch your special horse being led away. You turn to your friend and say, “why’d you gamble my horse away?” He says, “Me? But you gambled, too!” “I only did that so I could have a shot at winning once the game was underway! I never wanted to gamble at all!” He: “Why didn’t you say so in the first place?” “I felt I owed him a chance to take away that horse–even though I knew going in I would have done anything to keep it!” “Anything except saying ‘no’ to him or me, apparently,” he says. “He has a right to ask me if I want to gamble!” “You have a right to say ‘not for this horse!’” “But I was expecting you to say ‘no’ for me. When you didn’t, I had to at least make it a fair game. He would have been sore if he hadn’t gotten to play!” “So he would have gotten mad at me instead of you? I’m not going to stick my neck out there for your horse if you won’t!” “If only you’d gambled better, I’d still have my horse!” you moan. “If only I hadn’t met you or your stupid nag!” he says.

What a strange kind of self-hating shame it would evidence to others if pro-gay-marriage forces showed that we were willing to chance that others might take our relationships from us–as long as they were doing so in a democratically peaceful way that everyone agreed we could have said ‘no’ to at any time!

Where anti-gay marriage forces *have* put the question of gay marriage to the ballot and won, I have never seen any of them write, “The truth is that we did shove heterosexual-only marriage down the throats of some people who don’t agree with it. They were trying to achieve their goal by peaceful, democratic means and we were trying to thwart them. Am I the only one who is embarassed by that?”

That is the only thing I really think might be shameful.

Richard Rush
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Ben in Oakland said: “BTW, i suspect Joey is a troll. i find it hard to believe that any self-respecting gay person would buy any of that garbage.”

Have you every visited the GayPatriot blog?

Dan
January 7th, 2010 | LINK

Everyone should keep their eye on this case. Congressional intervention – which captures all the press attention – is not a real threat, but this case is. The DC Court of Appeals has not yet weighed in on this issue and they are not bound by any of the prior pro-gay rulings at the administrative level or in the superior court.

If the appellate court decides that the proposed initiative would not constitute a violation of the DC Human Rights Act, then there almost certainly would be a Prop 8-style vote, probably within a year. I think we will win the lawsuit, but if there is any chance of a disaster, it is at the Court of Appeals.

Ben in Oakland
January 8th, 2010 | LINK

Richard: I try to aovid the blatherings of any ideologue, left or right leaning.

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Ideology is the first refuge of the reality impaired.

Ben in Oakland
January 8th, 2010 | LINK

and since we haven’t heard anythingfrom Joey, I suspect my contentionis accurate.

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