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NH anti-marriage amendment dropped

Timothy Kincaid

November 2nd, 2011

In New Hampshire, there has been a two-tiered approach to reversing marriage equality. Anti-gay activists sought to have the legislature repeal its decision and also started a process within the legislature to present the voters with an amendment to the state constitution limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

The second endeavor has been dropped: (Globe)

The sponsor of a constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage has decided not to pursue the measure next year to clear the way for a debate over repealing New Hampshire’s law legalizing the unions.

State Rep. David Bates, the Windham Republican who also is sponsor of the repeal bill, told The Associated Press on Tuesday he wants to let the Legislature consider repealing the law enacted under Democrats two years ago before debating a constitutional change — a process that would take longer to implement.

That, and the fact that polls show that New Hampshire residents don’t want to repeal the marriage law.

And as for that bill winding its way through the legislature, it appears to me to have been crafted with pleasing special interest groups in mind, not for actually becoming law. It claims to replace marriage with civil unions … kinda.

The House Judiciary Committee voted last week to recommend replacing the law legalizing same-sex marriage with civil unions for any unmarried adults, including relatives. The committee recommended killing a bill that simply repealed the law.

The bill would not enact the same civil unions law that was in effect before gays were allowed to marry. That law granted gays all the rights and responsibilities of marriage except in name. The proposed civil unions law would be open to any two adults and would let anyone refuse to recognize the unions. It also would allow anyone to discriminate against such couples in employment, housing and public accommodations based on religious or moral beliefs.

My cynical side wonders if maybe the Republican leadership – which has shown reluctance to reverse the marriage law – didn’t deliberately draft this poison pill bill. It’s practically an invitation to vote no.

“Fellow legislators, while I support the age-old institution of marriage as defined by God, I simply cannot vote in favor of legalized incest”

and

“While I believe that civil unions are a better option for New Hampshire, I can’t vote for a bill that introduces a special right to discriminate.”

And should the bill pass the legislature, to override Gov. Lynch’s veto would require two-thirds of those present and voting. I’m fairly sure that a number of legislators, having voted to “protect marriage” once, will be ‘sadly unavailable due to an unexpected family emergency’ when it comes time for a veto override vote. They too have seen the polls.

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Lindoro Almaviva
November 2nd, 2011 | LINK

The House Judiciary Committee voted last week to recommend replacing the law legalizing same-sex marriage with civil unions for any unmarried adults, including relatives.

and they have the balls to say that gay marriage opens up the door to incest. LOL!

Ryan
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

How did I know that the first time Timothy would address this new repeal, he’d come out spinning like a top (starting with the post title)?

Sigh. The NH GOP is a couple months away from voting to take away marriage equality. There’s no way to spin that. The purpose of the fakey Civil Unions-ish law is to put gays on equal footing with any two people who need to be in a contract together for non-romantic, non-love related reasons. It’s a deliberate slap in the face to gay people. This repeal will pass overwhelmingly and eagerly. They even have 30 or so votes to spare in a veto override. It’s done. No more marriage equality in New Hampshire.

tristram
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

I’m afraid Ryan is right. The NH Republican leadership was not ‘reluctant’ to push for inequality. They needed to pay lip service to the ‘focus on jobs and the economy’ line that won them the moderate votes that gave them their supermajority. But they promised to end ssm in 2012 and they are right on schedule. The (largely-mythical) NH-Yankee-fiscal-conservative-social-moderates in the legislature are totally intimidated by the fundamentalist majority and precious few are going to step out of line. [And the anti-lgbt vibes are going to spill over to Maine and wipe out whatever (scant) hope there was of re-instituting ssm there in 2012.]

Ian
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Any two adults… does that include adults which are currently in another civil union?

customartist
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

I have said it before:

The Tea Party Campaigned On being “Un-concerned with Social Issues”, but then when elected, they got right to work.

North Carolina is another fine example.

enough already
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

The more of this we see, the more obvious it becomes just how much we have underestimated the hatred of our opponents.
We are losing ground, badly.

Mark F.
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Sorry, but we aren’t losing ground until repeal actually passes. And even in that case, the polling shows increasing voter support for same sex marriage, so any “victory” by the anti-gay forces will be short lived. Keep some perspective here.

However, lobbying the New Hampshire Legislature needs to take a high priority right now.

enough already
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Mark F.
Sorry, but that is exactly the mentality which is causing us to lose.
We are one supreme court appointment away from losing everything for decades.
And the odds of winning the presidency next year for the Christians are outstanding.
Time to drop the faux optimism and start fighting like people boxed into a corner. Which is exactly where we are.

Blair Martin
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Is the a difference between “faux optimism” and “chicken little-sim”? Seems several posters have a nasty case of the latter and none of the second word of the former.

Timothy Kincaid
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Blair,

I think for most it’s partisanship. But it isn’t blind or without justification. Seldom is it the case that Republicans, especially those in leadership, support gay marriage.

However…

I see a trend that suggests that much of the anti-marriage stuff is being stifled in parliamentary ways or sold as being ‘defense of marriage’ while in reality letting the Democrats bring marriage equality into being.

It definitely happened in New York. I suspect that something like it is happening with Boehner in the House (though that’s an argument most will not find likely).

And it looks to me like it’s happening in New Hampshire. This truly is a bizarre bill and I can’t fathom that no one noticed that it gives relatives a civil union using that language. There’s no way this can go to law without NH becoming a national scandal.

Now it may just be a flaw in my vision, a case of rosy glasses or wishful thinking. Or perhaps I’m paying closer attention and interpreting peculiarities in unexpected ways to find a reality behind the facade.

I guess time will tell.

Mark F.
November 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Yes, this bill would legalize “unions” between brothers and sisters. Come on, who is going to vote for this?

Ryan
November 4th, 2011 | LINK

Prior to allowing gay marriage, NH allowed gay Civil Unions. So in an attempt to get this bill repealed, they have to allow gays *something*, while still making it clear that a gay relationship is no more significant than one between to good friends or siblings. So, marriages are for heterosexuals who are in love and can procreate as God intended, and “unions” are for others. It’s pretty simple GOP logic.
And Timothy, I find it…odd you would title this post in the most misleading way possible (making it look to the casual observer that marriage equality is safe in NH) and then accuse others of partisanship. This entire article is one of the most blatant examples or partisanship I’ve ever seen on this site. The GOP is about to vote to repeal both marriage equality and gay Civil Unions, and allow discrimination in all cases, and you’re like “don’t worry, I’m sure it’s all part of some big scheme and they’ve really got our backs”. I mean seriously. If we can’t “Chicken Little” this new GOP plan, then we might as well just give up now.

enough already
November 4th, 2011 | LINK

I’ve been out and active in the fight for our rights since the mid-1970′s. That means I’ve made a lot of mistakes and, regardless of whether I’ve personally learned from them, over the course of time, one sure learns about them.
Partisan? You betcha. With all their flaws, the Democrats in America have done less to harm us than the Republicans.

Yes, I quite agree that mobilizing the hatred of many christians and the ignorance of low-information voters against has peaked. Definitely, this is a political model which is no longer the TKO guarantee it was in 2004.

Fine. Great. Wonderful. Totally concur.

That said, in my humble opinion there are four groups pulling against granting us full human status and civil rights. This is the source of what I call realism, and many are calling pessimism.

The four:
1) The hateful people who go from reds to blacks, to Jews to women to gays to the transgender to Mexican immigrants to…the hate-on flavor of the week, whomever it may be. Sometimes they like to mix and match.
2) The fundamentalist religious believers. Whether LDS or Catholic or Southern Baptist or whatever, they truly have no problem seeing the right to self-determination of women and our civil rights as a direct, mortal threat to their religious freedom. They are so threatened by freedom for women and us that they’ll even form alliances with their arch enemies – LDS and NOM, for example, to fight ‘back’ against the perceived threat.
3) Some in minority groups who resent anyone else getting above themselves. Before opening fire on me, go look at how I responded here after Prop. 8. I was torn to shreds for saying from the very beginning that it was not the black’s fault we lost but ours. So don’t bother going there, it ain’t the case.
4) Low information voters. These are the young mothers who turned against us in California, in Maine, in – well, they are the target group of those highly effective ads the Catholics and LDS run on TV.

Group 1 are beyond reach. Bad news: They vote. Good news: They are not that big a group of voters.
Group 2 have very deep pockets and the enormous advantage that they understand how to influence the easily influenced very much better than we do. They are our real enemy and it is unfortunate that too many state level groups underestimate them constantly. They are the ones who infiltrated the judiciary and civil service under Bush#43, they are the ones who know full well that all they need is one more Supreme Court Justice and they can block us for decades. Think that is me screaming my chiken-little hysteria? Fine. Remind me again when the anti-pot laws were struck down and the death penalty was struck down and Citizens United laughed out of court. Do, please, I’m obviously too D-U-M, dumb to recall.
Group 3 are our fault. We have not reached out to the black churches and their followers. They don’t have a clue who we really are and they don’t know that supporting our rights is in their interests. This is a tough slog, but a very worthwhile one to fight.
Group 4 are the ones we lost Maine to. Lost California to. Are going to lose New Hampshire and Maine to (again) because we have not accepted that they really don’t see the world through our double plus politically correct, let’s only show happy lesbians and older parents but no scary real gay men ads. Their ‘mommy, we learned that two girls can grow up to marry today in school’ ads blow our charming little old lesbian couples out of the water. And we do nothing, absolutely nothing effective to counter them.

So, fine, go right ahead and tell me I don’t know jack. Call me a pessimist all you like. Just, answer me one question. When the Republicans running now (not Eisenhower, not Goldwater, not Tricky Dicky, not Reagan, these Republicans) nominate the next one or most likely two Supreme Court Justices after we let them win in 2012, what sort of position will that or those Justices have on gay rights?

Yup, u-huh. You betcha’.

Timothy Kincaid
November 4th, 2011 | LINK

Mark F.

Spot on.

“Civil Unions” has the socially accepted meaning of “marriage without the name”. I cannot fathom anyone seriously thinking that NH is going to grant civil unions to siblings.

Timothy Kincaid
November 4th, 2011 | LINK

enough already,

you make some good points.

However, the first three groups you mention are almost non-existent in New Hampshire.

1. NH residents pride themselves on being “live and let live”. Their state motto is Live Free or Die and they see themselves as upholding that motto.

2. NH has (with Vermont) the lowest percentage of regular weekly church attendees (less than a quarter of residents). The largest protestant church is the United Church of Christ, which endorses gay marriage.

3. NH is 93.9% white.

4. I don’t think that a majority of NH voters are ignorant voters. As a small state in which representation is about one in 3,000 (CA is a hundred time that), NH residents are used to hands-on, know-the-official, get-involved politics.

Your points about threats to our equality are valid. But when applied to New Hampshire, they result in the opposite conclusion than what you assume.

enough already
November 5th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy,
I appreciate your taking the time for that analysis.
We usually disagree on our risk assessments.

This comes, I think, from your firm belief that there is a core of reason behind the actions of Republicans and christians in America.
I see nothing but hatred and base motives.

I genuinely, truly hope you are right and I am wrong. It would be a true blow to the hateful forces lined up against us were NH and Minnesota and Maine not to fall to their evil.

I see us definitely losing Maine, I see NH overriding the veto and a several year court battle ensuing (as it did in Romer, not Prop.8) and us losing Minnesota just barely, because, as usual, we undervalued the need to actually get out the vote.

Theo
November 5th, 2011 | LINK

Ryan and Enough Already are dead wrong. It doesn’t appear that either one of them has taken the time to assess the legislative landscape. Although the GOP does enjoy super-majorities of around 75% in both houses, they probably do not have the votes to override a veto. There is a substantial contingent of moderate and libertarian GOP reps who voted in favor of gay marriage in 2009 and an even larger contingent that voted against repeal in 2010.

As of right now, we would need about 30 GOP House members to join us, about 11% of the caucus. That is a lower percentage than the GOP swing in the NY Senate this year, where previously there had never been a single GOP vote cast in favor of gay marriage. In any event, according to what I have heard from several sources, while the threat of failure is real and should be taken seriously, the odds are in our favor. This is based on the GOP swing votes in 2009 and 2010, six polls showing 60% opposition to repeal, as well as the fact that the GOP House leadership is unenthusiastic about repealing.

One final point about Maine in response to Enough Already: I would not be so sure that we will lose. There are now 2 polls, including the very accurate PPP, which show support at 51%. Now, 51% is cutting it close, and it would be silly to deny that we could lose. But even if we lost by a slimmer margin, it would still be worth the risk.

The battle to get a gay rights law in Maine is very instructive and seems to parallel the marriage battle pretty nicely. Just as happened with gay marriage, the legislature passed it and the opponents killed it via the People’s Veto, by the very same margin of 53-47. Just as is happening now with gay marriage, the gay side made a second attempt 3 years later. They lost, but only by 51-49. The third time was the charm. It took place in 2005, 5 years after the second attempt. This time, with lessons from 2 prior battles under their belts, our side knew what they were doing. Their campaign was led by Jesse Connolly, the same guy who ran the No on 1 campaign in 2009. On the third try, the gays won 55-45 and it was such a solid victory that our main opposition was never able to muster sufficient signatures for a repeal effort and they no longer even try.

I think that we either will squeak out a win in 2012 or, failing that, we will get it on the third try a few years down the road.

Priya Lynn
November 5th, 2011 | LINK

Thanks for the positivity Timothy and Theo.

enough already
November 5th, 2011 | LINK

Sigh.
OK, let’s repeat, again.
Married to the same man since the day marriage became legal in our country.
Together in a faithful, true, loyal, loving, committed, monogamous relationship for nearly 30 years.
Out and active for our rights since the mid-1970s in the US (live in both countries), back when being out could get your nose broken.
Which it was.
Twice.
TV interviews in support of our rights. Active in ActUP!, seriously fought for….well, if that don’t do it, nothing will.
Look, instead of this false whoopety do positive mentality, we need to be fighting our asses off to beat our enemies.
There are a lot of us who have worked towards this for decades. We have learned that if you let up, even for a second, the christians come back at you harder than before.
But, hey – anyone who isn’t out drinking the koolaid and pretending to be 175% positive isn’t really interested in winning back our rights, right?
Wrong.
Look, nothing has changed in the reality of Maine. Our biggest weakness is still the moderate support of our allies and the passionate hatred and endless pockets of our enemies.
We still have not got a single, solitary effective counter the to highly effective and very hateful lies they use to swing the votes of the low-information mothers.
Nothing.
And, no, a few ads of very pleasant older lesbians and Methodist ministers and mothers, sitting in between to boys who look like ads for the Mormon Tabernacle – though 10 feet apart from each other – are going to answer the hateful ‘mommy, we learned in school today that a girl can marry another girl and both be a princess together!’

Please, I want us to win. I have invested enormous energy, money, time and effort into our winning. I won’t claim that I, personally, have accomplished anything, but I will not be told I am wrong by people who have consistently failed to address our enemies superior agitprop on every count.

Timothy’s comments were cogent and valid. We disagree on the fundamental nature of christians. I can learn from him and engage him. When, however, someone tells me I am just being a ‘the sky is falling’ chicken little then turns around and admits that there is no basis to believe they don’t have the votes to override a veto in NH followed by a clear acknowledgement that we have, at best 51% behind us….

No, my dears. We may not like each other (obviously) but our goals are the same: ENDA, marriage equality, full human and civil rights, an end to the bullying of our children, a recognition of the right of our non-cis gendered family members to achieve the physical manifestation of their true being.

Fake optimism is not what we need. Hard work and a realistic assessment of the task at hand is what won us New York.
That is what we must bring to these efforts.

Ryan
November 5th, 2011 | LINK

Theo said: “There is a substantial contingent of moderate and libertarian GOP reps who voted in favor of gay marriage in 2009 and an even larger contingent that voted against repeal in 2010″.

Actually Theo, only 12 out of 174 (decidedly not a “substantial” amount) Republican Reps in NH voted for gay marriage in 2009 (and no State Senators) and I looked and looked, and as far as I can tell, there was no vote for repeal at all in 2010.
There was an attempt at a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but it never really made it off the ground, given the high bar a constitutional amendment must hurdle. That’s why the GOP wisely dropped a constitutional amendment attempt this time. However, given that there are a lot more GOPers now, it’s certainly possible that 30 or so won’t vote against us. (Fingers crossed). So that gives me hope that I didn’t have before, though realistically, our chances are still pretty low. There are 297 Republican House members now, and if the same percentage vote against repeal who voted for gay marriage last time (6.8%), that only comes to about 18 or 19 votes in our favor. (And that’s assuming all Dems vote with us, which probably won’t happen either).
Add to that the fact that Lynch isn’t seeking reelection in 2013, which means if a republican Governor is elected, they’ll only need a simple majority for repeal. I don’t think anyone doubts that that would happen easily.
The “poison pill” theory of Timothy’s also doesn’t really make any sense, because if Republican Representatives claim they would’ve voted for repeal but don’t feel comfortable “legalizing incest” (which the repeal does NOT actually do), then NOM and their ilk would just pressure the GOP House to resubmit their bill for repeal without the troublesome “incest” language.
As for Maine, I’m actually pretty hopeful there, simply because *we* put the bill on the ballet. I’m not sure, but I think that’s the first time a marriage vote as been initiated by the equality side. I think that indicates a confidence of victory that must’ve been researched. As a contrast, EQCA did the math and realized we would lose in CA in 2012, so they didn’t go about gathering the signatures. I’m not saying victory in Maine is a slamdunk, but I’m cautiously optimistic and that front. NH still seems like an all-but-certain loss, though.

tristram
November 6th, 2011 | LINK

“Live free or die” means “no helmet laws, no bottle deposits, no gun control.” It does not mean that the current incarnation of the Republican Party in NH is not dominated by social conservatives. NH does not have Andrew Cuomo and the NY Times. It has John Lynch (for the moment) and the Manchester Union Leader. It might be possible to stop repeal in 2012, but it would take an enormous effort, which does not appear to be organizing.

In Maine, the Catholic Church is extremely influential, especially with the large french-canadian population. It pulled out all the stops to pass Question 1, and it will do the same thing in 2012 to stop marriage equality. 51% polling in favor of equality is, I believe, below the anti Prop 8 number in the California poll that put that state’s lgbt community to sleep. Last time around, Maine had a pro-equality governor and substantial support for equality among legislators. It now has an anti-gay tea party governor and a significantly more conservative legislature.

enough already
November 6th, 2011 | LINK

Right, tristram.
I want us to achieve full human status and have all the rights taken from us restored.
Pretending that false optimism will get us there is the exact reason we have failed to address our enemy’s attacks in the past.
False optimism is the reason we have misjudged and are continuing to underestimate the resources of our enemy, the hateful christians.
We have truth and justice on our side.
They have the far more potent resource of hatred and endless pocketbooks. They are not bound by truth or justice.

As much as I do not wish to, I am voting for Obama in 2012 because the alternative is too horrid to consider. If we don’t wake up, and soon, we are going to lose every millimeter progress we have made.

Theo
November 7th, 2011 | LINK

Hey Ryan:

A few responses to your last comment:

- The current NH House is 105 Dem, 295 GOP. There was a series of special elections, which resulted in several Dem pickups and 1 win by a GOP candidate who supports marriage equality.

- There were several votes – all on February 17, 2010 – relating to proposals for a straight repeal and for a constitutional amendment.
Here’s a list of the various votes on that day.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/nhgcrollcalls/rollcallsbyvotesummary.aspx

The straight repeal, HR 1590, failed 210-109, with 36 GOP Reps joining the Democrats to vote “inexpedient to legislate,” killing the repeal. (A “yea” vote is a vote against repeal.)

A very large number of GOP Reps did not vote, and one could reasonably assume that there are more moderate votes amidst these absentees. But even considering the 36 cross-overs alone, drawn from a much smaller GOP caucus, should cause you to be a lot more optimistic than you are. One of the cross-over votes came from the Rep. who is the current Speaker of the House, who insisted that no marriage vote would take place in 2011 and who got into a public fight with NOM over the issue. He likely will be on our side in 2012, and this can only help sway some fence-sitters.

BTW, we got these GOP crossovers at a time when there were no polls showing 60% opposition to repeal. Today, we have six such polls. I’d say that makes cross-overs more likely, not less.

Now in 2010, there was a GOP tsunami. But all or nearly all of the 36 Reps from the 2010 vote remain. And of the newly elected Reps, many surely understand that because of the extraordinary wave election of 2010, they are representing moderate areas that would not have otherwise elected them. These are more candidates for cross-over votes.

On the other side, there are, I think 3 or 4 Dems who voted for repeal who survived the 2010 election. I think it is prudent to assume that these folks would vote for repeal in 2012. However, it is far from clear whether these Dems would vote to override the veto of Gov. Lynch. Party loyalty might well take priority at that point, so I wouldn’t write them off.

Something similar happened in VT in 2009, when some Dems voted against marriage equality. The legislation passed and then was vetoed by the GOP governor. On the override vote, those Dems voted to override, even though they personally opposed gay marriage.

Finally, on CA: the dirty secret is that EQCA never intended to go back to the ballot. The whole thing was a dog and pony show to drum up money and to beef up their mailing list. They did absolutely nothing in 2010 and 2011 to lay the groundwork for a $50-60 million campaign. And they would have been crazy to blow that kind of money, assuming they could have raised it, to defeat a measure that has a decent chance of being killed within a 6-12 months in the courts. Although I agree with EQCA’s decision not to pursue repeal at the ballot, I think it was somewhat disgusting of them to put on an elaborate public show to make it seem like it was a real possibility. That poll they came up with is highly suspect, as they were just looking for something to support their announcement not to go forward. Too bad no one in the gay media called them out.

enough already
November 7th, 2011 | LINK

Theo,
I truly value your constructive input, especially as I absolutely disagree with you.
Regardless of what happens – and I really, really do hope you’re right and I’m wrong – it is valuable for us to have these discussions.
New York worked because my side of the gay house and your side of the gay house were willing to work together.
All too often, it is a pitched battle with no willingness on either side to work against our very united enemies, despite the obvious value of putting up with each other long enough to get our rights back, our human status restored.

Timothy Kincaid
November 7th, 2011 | LINK

Re: Maine…

Observation appears to allow us to interpret polls as follows:

The affirmative number that we have going into a vote has been proven to be very very close to our actual vote. The “undecided” number will go to the anti-gay side.

There appear to be enough elections now to see this trend as more than anecdotal. So while it isn’t a sure-fire thing, having 51% affirmatively on our side is reason for tentative and hesitant optimism.

Timothy Kincaid
November 7th, 2011 | LINK

enough already,

We may not like each other (obviously)…

I don’t dislike you. I wish you were not blinded (my opinion) by your presumptions about Republicans and Christians, but I think that your comments here (when that element is not expressed) are interesting and a contribution.

enough already
November 7th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy,
I certainly don’t dislike you, either. I am truly glad that boxturtlebulletin exists, not least because without you I don’t think Uganda would have been slowed down.

I suppose, regarding Republicans and christians, it is a matter of perspective. When my husband and I are at home, in Europe we have full civil and human rights and status. From the first moment we land and forget that we can’t go up to the Homeland security counter together to the second our airplane leaves American airspace and we can hold hands again we are constantly reminded that we, as are all GLBT people, denied humans status and civil rights.
The only movement on the part of the Republicans and christians I see on this is towards ever more discrimination.
You, for reasons beyond my grasp see it differently.

I truly think New York worked because we were all willing to unite. We lost Maine the last time because of many factors which I won’t list again. One big problem we had and still have was the refusal of the Democratic party – my party – to work with us. They could have helped us get those missing votes out. The fact remains – our enemies vote, always. We don’t. Our nominal supporters don’t. At 51% (tops) this means we lose 100%, unless we can either demotivate their supporters (very hard) or motivate our supporters (which we liberals are awful at).

Timothy Kincaid
November 7th, 2011 | LINK

The only movement on the part of the Republicans and christians I see on this is towards ever more discrimination.
You, for reasons beyond my grasp see it differently.

Perhaps its because I know a lot of Republicans and a lot of Christians. And I’ve personally witnessed change both individually and as a collective.

But I certainly agree that it was unity in NY that allowed us to win. Sometimes shifting a few Republicans is the answer; sometimes getting more Democrats out to vote works. We need both strategies and to support each other with a united voice and a united effort.

Theo
November 8th, 2011 | LINK

@Enough already:

Thanks for your insights and for your contribution to the discussion. For the record, I am not a Republican. I consider myself a non-ideological Dem. Although I am no fan of the GOP, it is pretty clear to me that the only way we can win and have our victories last over time is to develop some level of support w/in the GOP. We don’t have to get a majority or even anything close to a majority of the GOP. We just need about 10-15% to win in blue and purple state legislatures. NH, VT, NY are all good examples of how just a GOP crossover of that small magnitude made the difference b/t defeat and victory.

NOM understands this too and that is why they are on a jihad to punish the 4 GOP senators in NY who voted with us. Even if they could defeat all 4, it wouldn’t imperil gay marriage in NY. But they see it as a good investment to go after these 4 Republicans anyway, because defeating them may
terrorize GOP legislators in every other state who might be thinking of crossing over.

Leaving aside the legislatures and looking at popular opinion, the GOP is ripe for a shift. While Dems and Independents have shifted very substantially on gay marriage, the GOP clings to a 75-25 opposition. This is true even in blue states like Maine and CA, and it is the main reason we couldn’t cross the 50 percent threshold to score a win. 75/25 represents a very modest increase in GOP support for gay marriage, something like 10 percent or less, over the past decade.

75% opposition is sustainable when Dems and Independents also have majorities in opposition, as was the case up until fairly recently. But with Dems and Independents now showing solid majority support for gay marriage, and with support growing daily as new Millennial voters replace the Silent Generation and older Baby Boomers, a 75% level of opposition can’t stand. It wants to move. It just needs a push from us. Get that GOP opposition down from 75% to 60-65% and it’s game over.

enough already
November 8th, 2011 | LINK

Theo,
I agree with you that we have to have more support from Republican voters than we have had up till now.
Demographics will solve this to a great extent.
GLBT people coming out of the closet will also help. Probably more than anything else with the mindset which leads to people voting Republican to begin with.

At the same time, our biggest problem is that our demand for full human status and the restitution of our civil rights is seen as just another liberal cause by far too many of those people whose support we need. Since the Clinton era, there has been a sharp drift in the Democratic party away from unelectable politics to compromising every principle once held dear to just keep power (hence the curse of the blue-dogs in congress).
Comments such as last years top-placed DNC adviser saying we simply aren’t a large enough voter group to be worth pursing our civil rights are not a-typical, they are the opinion of those whose support we need but don’t have.
So – let’s focus on getting those Republicans (those who are left, anyway) who aren’t totally off their rockers to help us, sure. Primarily, though, we have to get the Democratic party off this ‘pander to them until they vote, then throw them off the bus’ mentality. That’s the major problem we face.

We’ve tried the meek and mild and ‘don’t fight back because that gives their arguments validity’ approach now for a string of continuous losses. It doesn’t work against an enemy with endlessly deep pockets, no desire to play fair and committed to our total destruction. Yes, I mean the christians. It is time to hit them and hit them hard where they are vulnerable. This means:
Getting campaign donation and initiative support laws enforced. Sicking agent provocateurs onto their most homophobic christian preachers and leaders. Publishing the pictures.
Exposing the lies behind their ads. Telling people the truth about the number of children their priests rape every day and how they go free.

At the same time, we must recognize the simple truth – their voters always vote. Our voters have to be motivated strongly to vote. This is where we still could have won in Maine – had we got enough more of the students out of bed and into the voting booths. The fact that even this is fought tooth and nail in the GLBT world shows just how badly we need to set aside our disagreements and too fight.

Sorry, Timothy. I think it is great you know some nice christians. I don’t. All I know are the ones who tortured me as a child and who now are doing everything in their power to turn the US into a country with laws similar to Germany in the 1930s.

Timothy Kincaid
November 9th, 2011 | LINK

enough already

So – let’s focus on getting those Republicans (those who are left, anyway) who aren’t totally off their rockers to help us, sure. Primarily, though, we have to get the Democratic party off this ‘pander to them until they vote, then throw them off the bus’ mentality. That’s the major problem we face.

I think that this is true, in general, in many of our battles (though, of course, it may not hold true in some specific circumstances.)

We’ve tried the meek and mild and ‘don’t fight back because that gives their arguments validity’ approach now for a string of continuous losses. It doesn’t work against an enemy with endlessly deep pockets, no desire to play fair and committed to our total destruction. Yes, I mean the christians.

Aaaaaannnd, here’s where hatred ruled the day.

Since we are talking about New Hampshire, I’m calling you on this. I’m sick of the slurs and mindless “all in one box” anti-Christian bigotry.

So tell me:

1. Are the Christians who belong to the United Church of Christ “an enemy with endlessly deep pockets, no desire to play fair and committed to our total destruction”?

Yes or No?

2. Are the Christians who belong to the United Methodist Church “an enemy with endlessly deep pockets, no desire to play fair and committed to our total destruction”?

Yes or No?

3. Are the Christians who belong to the American Baptist Church “an enemy with endlessly deep pockets, no desire to play fair and committed to our total destruction”?

Yes or No?

4. Are the Christians who belong to the Episcopal Church “an enemy with endlessly deep pockets, no desire to play fair and committed to our total destruction”?

Yes or No?

Because right there you have the largest four protestant churches in New Hampshire, which make up about 2/3 of NH Protestants. And their priests don’t rape children and go free every day.

And now,

5. Are those Christians who belong to the Roman Catholic Church and who disagree with the church on gay issues – roughly 50% of Catholics – “an enemy with endlessly deep pockets, no desire to play fair and committed to our total destruction”?

Yes or No?

Because if you answer yes to any of the above, I have to say that you have a completely distorted and perverse definition of “an enemy with endlessly deep pockets, no desire to play fair and committed to our total destruction”.

Theo
November 9th, 2011 | LINK

My last thought (on this thread, anyway):

Enough Already makes one very good point about Maine: the reason we lost was a failure of GOTV. A few months ago, I spent some time reviewing the figures, county-by-county, city-by-city. When you sift through the data, the truth fairly leaps out at you. Although it did a lot of things well and although it developed a great image in the press, No on 1 failed miserably when it came to GOTV. It didn’t just fail in rural areas or in very conservative areas. It fell short everywhere. And in an off-off-year, that was decisive. You could spend a thousand hours debating over the effectiveness of this or that TV ad. But if the GOTV effort in an off-off-year election is defective, then you are toast.

I understand the person who ran GOTV for No on 1 has moved out of state. Hopefully, the campaign organizers in 2012 will see to it that every key management position is filled with the very best and most talented people.

We won’t have to wait too long to see if they learned from past mistakes. I see that it is being reported today that the proponents now have 100,000 signatures in hand – way more than they need to put this on the ballot and gratifyingly the same number of signatures that the anti-gay side collected in 2009. So there is no doubt that we are going to have a Round 2 in Maine in 2012.

enough already
November 10th, 2011 | LINK

Theo,
I surely do hope they have learned from their mistakes.
So far, I have seen a willingness to review what other people think about their work – and that is totally different to last time when they very arrogantly told everyone that Maine was so different from everywhere else on the planet that only they knew what was right.

I deeply want them to win.

Timothy, you make lovely arguments. If I didn’t understand the true meaning of the term, I would call you a christian apologist.
Here’s the problem with your defense. Evil happens because good people do nothing. It is irrelevant how many of these ‘good Christians’ are nominally not out screaming for our blood – what they are not doing, at all, is taking their brothers and sisters ‘in Christ’ to task for their attacks upon us.
When you have been tortured by christians for being gay, you set the bar quite a bit higher than simply folding your hands in your lap and saying ‘well, really, they’re not our sort of Christians’. Which is exactly the level of support we are getting from these people.

That’s the problem you face with me and, from what I can see, throughout the GLBT blog-o-sphere. A very large number of us who survived the Aids epidemic, who know people who were beaten, thrown out of their homes, tortured, raped burned by those gentle people of god© are fed up and we are not going to put up with it anymore.

During those horrible years we lived in the US and those christians were torturing me, I learned what being a christian really means. Let them stand up for us, actually make a noise and work for us when it costs them money and power, then I will reconsider.

Timothy Kincaid
November 10th, 2011 | LINK

EA,
what they are not doing, at all, is taking their brothers and sisters ‘in Christ’ to task for their attacks upon us.

You are mistaken. I think that you have been so badly hurt by people who identified themselves as “Christian” that you have developed a mental filter that prohibits you from seeing any decency from anyone also going by that label. This is not rare; people who have been mugged will often take on strong negative feelings and apply then to an entire race. And you were – spiritually speaking – mugged.

But your filter is blinding you.

I could tell you of many many stories. Like the women in a UCC church in the conservative mid-valley who got together to be the local opposition to Prop 8. They didn’t actually know any gay people, but they thought it was what Jesus would have done. Or the Methodist Church in Hollywood who heard in the 80s that other churches were rejecting gay people so they put a 20 foot high AIDS ribbon on their church tower where everyone driving up highland can see it.

Rather than try to convince you, let me suggest a test. Use google to research news articles about towns in the US who h are proposing gays right ordinances. Read the local news story for who spoke to the city council.

I’m sure that you will read of someone there screaming about the Bible and Sodom. But I also bet that you will read of a local pastor there speaking in favor. Grab a piece of paper and keep track for a little bit and then get back to me. Okay?

I’ll let you be the one to convince yourself that there are more good loving decent Christians than you suspect at the moment.

Fair?

enough already
November 11th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy,
One of the great drawbacks of psychology is that it isn’t really a hard, or rather ‘natural’ science.
The field is a mixture of some truly brilliant insights into human behavior coupled with some outstanding progress in statistical analysis, burdened (if not shackled) by the inability of professionals in the field to abstract to a disprovable level.

And that’s what is wrong with the whole ‘filters’ concept. I was tortured. By christians. Specifically by christians because I am gay.
Any rational response to that other than to undertake every possible (not ‘reasonable’, possible) means to prevent it ever happening again is incomprehensible.

I note yet another GLBT victim of burning has turned up within a short span of only a few weeks – she is the fourth, I believe.
Burning is the traditional christian approach to killing us.

Clearly, there are always member of evil regimes who understand that they have gone too far. Claus Schenk, Graf von Stauffenberg was one. Oh, his own desires were not nearly as pure as popular history makes him out to be.
And in American christianity, there are similiar voices to be found. People, whose essential humanity has not been utterly subsumed by the most hate driven force in American politics.

They are, sadly, not those who determine our laws (and will appoint our Supreme Court Justices after the Democrats lose in 2012, locking in our persecution and sub-human status for decades).
Nor are they the overwhelming majority of ‘good Christians’ who say and do nothing to rock the boat. I am quite familiar with the Methodist church in this respect. Their decision to join with one of the most hateful of all christian churches a few decades back has so poisoned them, what was once a decent group of people are become a majority of true haters.

It’s not good looking back at what might have been, I deal in the here and now of scars which still burn when I am tired, of now near daily reports of children driven to suicide and adults burned to death for their non-cis gendered reality.

You have shown me that not 100% of American christians are vile haters. This is take note of. Until there is a true uprising of these christians to denounce the deaths, the rapes, the brutal burnings, I just am not going to be able to grant you more than that.

Timothy Kincaid
November 11th, 2011 | LINK

EA,

You have to stop!

At some point, your own personal bad experience does not excuse you from lying about people. Sorry, you just do not have the privilege of making sh!t up, or at least not at BTB.

I am quite familiar with the Methodist church in this respect. Their decision to join with one of the most hateful of all christian churches a few decades back has so poisoned them, what was once a decent group of people are become a majority of true haters.

True haters? You are trying to say that to someone who lives in California where the United Methodist Church officially denounced Prop 8, wrote an amicus brief in favor of marriage, and helped pay for a “no on 8″ ad?

Your smear on them is just a total pile of sh!t.

Prove it or take it back. Seriously. This isn’t “your opinion”, this is a defamation of a group of people who are not our enemies, many of whom are our allies, and who are become more supportive of our community every year.

And I’m sick of it. I’m sick of outrageous demands for things that – amazingly and worthy of credit – are already happening. You want a “true uprising”? Then pick up a f*cking newspaper and see what pastors are doing all over the country!

But this time you went to far. And now I’m saying to put up or shut up.

I’m not kidding about this: substantiate that the United Methodist church has become “a majority of true haters”. And you’d better be able to show just where the UMC is acting out that hate.

And if you can’t, then apologize and retract your spurious claim.

Because if you think that you can just post hate speech here at BTB, you are VERY mistaken. What happened to you doesn’t give you carte blanch to lie and demean and insult people who didn’t do a damn thing to you.

Either proof or apology will be the next comment that stays up here.

enough already
November 12th, 2011 | LINK

Certainly.
The Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church in the 1940s, right after the war.
Now, I acknowledge that there are some people within the Methodist church who have fought the hatred. I grant you that and apologize for tarring those few thousand with the same brush as those who unite with the haters from the former Evangelical United Brethren Church.
Here is their current position on homosexuals. They eradicate our very nature, deny our existence as immutable lifeforms.
http://www.bic-church.org/about/issues/english/homosexuality.pdf
You have to read through to the end, including the footnotes. The first paragraphs are the usual marble soap with fine engravings one found in certain shower stalls.

Timothy Kincaid
November 15th, 2011 | LINK

No. Sorry, but that was just plain wrong.

Whoever the hell Robert B. Ives is, he doesn’t speak for the United Methodist Church. And while the UMC’s current position is not what it should be (primarily due to a 2008 voting coalition of a minority of American Methodists joining with African and Asian Methodists), but no one is eradicating anyone’s very nature.

(By the way, finding someone who spouted what you want to believe about the UMC must not have been easy. However type in “United Methodist Church homosexuality” and their real position shows right up)

So here’s the deal:

You have now proven beyond doubt that you have nothing whatsoever to support your assertion that the UMC have “become a majority of true haters”. However, you also are showing that you just don’t care. You want to spout hate and don’t give a damn that I’ve asked you to stop doing so at BTB.

So, until you can apologize and recant your false accusations, I’ll be pulling your comments. It’s only fair.

Perhaps your pride or your hatred will make it impossible for you to back down. I hope not, as you do have valuable things to contribute. I guess we’ll see.

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