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Posts for November, 2012

Maggie’s Freudian slip

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2012

Writing in National Review Online, the National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher opined with her observations about what drove last night’s election results:

The Obama electorate defeated marriage. I’m guessing we lose at least three of tonight’s four races, and maybe four of the four. We were outspent eight-to-one — and no one was willing to speak for marriage, while the whole Democratic establishment and Hollywood campaigned for marriage. Last night really is a big loss, no way to spin it.

Catch it?

“…the whole Democratic establishment and Hollywood campaigned for marriage.”

Not “campaigned against traditional marriage”, not “campaigned for articifical marriage”. No, Maggie got it right.

The Democratic establishment and Hollywood (and a whole lot of others) campaigned FOR MARRIAGE, for the integrity and dignity of a treasured institution that it not be sullied by exclusion or animus or smug superiority.

(oh, and someone slip Brian Brown a note about spinning)

“queers can…”, part 2

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2012

No, this isn't Michel Bachmann with a bad haircut.

Remember Janice Daniels, Mayor of Troy, Michigan? The one who was elected last year. And then was discovered to have posted “I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there” on Facebook. Yeah, that Janice Daniels.

Remember her? Well you can forget her now.

Because the lovely Ms. Daniels is mayor no more. She lost last night in a recall election. (Daily Tribune)

It was a tight race throughout, but the effort to recall Troy Mayor Janice Daniels officially passed early Wednesday morning.

With all 31 precincts reporting, the yes vote won 20,763 to 18,993.

I hope she didn’t get around to throwing out her I Love New York bag cuz she may need it to pack up her mementos of her days of public service. And I’m sure there is still a spot for her in the world of real estate.

[Update: to get a real sense of the lovely Janice – and the moment in which her fate was probably sealed – check out this video]

Tony Perkins Reacts

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

It looks like they had a conference call to coordinate their responses:

This was supposed to be the morning when Americans got up and shook off the nightmare of the last four years. Instead, they awakened to a new one: a profound drubbing of the Republican Party that is supposed to be the guardian of the conservative vision our nation so desperately needs. On every level–presidential, congressional, social–it was a bruising day for our movement that no amount of spin can improve…

Among the more demoralizing losses yesterday were the outcomes in Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, and Maine, where natural marriage lost for the first time in America by popular vote. It was a significant moment for the radical Left, which was helped to victory by the most pro-gay President in American history. But contrary to what the Left will say, the narrow margin for victory in these four states offers plenty of evidence that a solid majority of Americans still opposes same-sex “marriage.” Despite being outspent 8-to-1 in some of the most liberal states in the country, we witnessed record-setting petition efforts that crossed every racial, party, and socioeconomic divide. And while homosexuals may be celebrating an end to our movement’s perfect record, they still have a long way to go to match the 32 states where Americans voted overwhelmingly to protect the union of a man and woman. And that includes North Carolina, where President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex “marriage” likely cost him the state’s electoral votes.

In a glimmer of good news on the marriage front, the support for marriage in these four states actually out-polled Mitt Romney, who won 48% of the popular vote. In the weeks and months ahead, we’re confident that as voters see and experience the consequences of redefining marriage, many will reconsider their support. How can I be so certain? Forty years after Roe v. Wade, the nation is more pro-life, and the abortion issue is far from settled. As with same-sex “marriage,” the Left can make it legal, but they can never make it right.

Frank Schubert Reacts

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

Did he plagarize from NOM or was it the other way around? (PDF: 147KB/1 page

I am, of course, very disappointed with the very narrow defeat it appears we’ve suffered in each of these four states. It appears that we have lost by a point or two in each state. It’s important to consider that these battles occurred in a very difficult political landscape. We were contesting in four deep blue states and were outspent very badly in all of them – at least four-to-one, and greater in some states. I have to accept that losing in this very difficult political environment was always a real possibility.

“I firmly reject the spin surely to come that this result signals a fundamental shift in American opinion in support of gay marriage. It means that we very narrowly lost four difficult contests in four very deep blue states after being badly outspent. Despite the outcome, I am extremely grateful to all the donors, volunteers, staff, vendors and committee members who were part of our team. I am honored to have played a role in these campaigns to preserve marriage in America. It is an institution worth defending, and I look forward to continuing to play a role in this historic debate

The French symbol of anti-equality

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2012

The National Organization for Marriage is joyously reporting that France’s faithful Catholics are in opposition to marriage. And accompanying that article is this rather perplexing photograph:

I have no idea what this guy is doing, but it does raise an interesting question: Why wear neck-to-knee underwear under your skin tight body suit if your junk is going to show anyway?

Minnesota Was NOT the First State To Defeat A Constitutional Ban on Same Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

That distinction goes to Arizona, which became the first state to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage in 2006 when voters rejected Prop 107 by a margin of 48.2% to 51.8%. Prop 107 would have been a comprehensive ban, prohibiting same-sex marriages as well as any “legal status for unmarried persons… that is similar to that of marriage.” That was the sticking point for Arizona’s large number of co-habiting seniors who remain unmarried in order to protect their pension benefits. Once that clause was removed, Prop 102 passed in 2008.

A lot of people are celebrating Minnesota’s defeat of Amendment 1. I, too, am overjoyed to see Minnesota — as Midwestern a state as they come — declaring that discrimination stops here. But it is really bugging the hell out of me to see so many media outlets proclaiming Minnesota as the “first state in the nation” to reject a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. That is not correct. I live in one of the most god-awful, backward and angry states in the union, but for two lovely years from 2006 to 2008, my adopted home held the distinction for being the only state to turn down a marriage amendment, and it will always remain the first to do so.

So that truly wonderful feeling that Minnesotans are feeling right now? That feeling that the world has changed in a most woderful way? That feeling that you get when you look at your neighbors with the confidence of knowing that they also see you as their neighbor in a way you perhaps hadn’t felt before? I know that feeling very well, and I’m thrilled that others are feeling it again today. And I’m not giving that memory up. It’s one of the very few proud memories around here to hold on to.

Meanwhile, in France…

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2012

New York Times

The French cabinet approved a draft bill legalizing same-sex marriage on Wednesday after weeks of loud opposition, especially from religious figures and the political right.

The draft law redefines marriage to stipulate that it is “contracted between two persons of different sex or of the same sex,” and the words “father” and “mother” in existing legislation are replaced by “parents.” The bill would also allow married gay couples to adopt children.

Dodging a bullet

A Commentary

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2012

This spring I had a conversation with a community activist who expressed concern that should the President not be elected, some might be able to spin the story to blame his loss on his support for marriage equality. I agreed that would be a real challenge to our ongoing efforts for equality, but I didn’t see that as a likelihood.

I posed to him another challenge, one I saw as having greater possibility. My biggest fear for yesterday was that we would lose in Maryland and that it could be attributed to the black vote.

When proposition 8 passed in California and exit polls reported 70% support from black voters, a certain amount of racism and resentment resulted. Things were tense for a while and I feared that should there be an appearance that African-American voters had blocked equality that hostilities would escalate.

We have been fortunate recently that tension between the two communities have diminished to a great extent – and this has been due mostly to the leadership and integrity of those who are greatly respected in the African-American community. Perhaps the largest share of credit goes to President Obama, whose administration has stepped boldly and strongly on the side of equality and encouraged many African-Americans to join him.

And while exit polls showed that less than half of the black vote supported marriage equality, it is a significant improvement over the vote four years ago, and there is no reason to believe that our communities will not continue greater support and cooperation.

The states of marriage and the state of the marriage fight

A Commentary

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2012

For some reason I woke up humming this song:

Winning four marriage battles last night was a victory I had not dared expect. It’s a joyous day, a true turning point, and a moment in history I think we will all remember.

But our fight isn’t over, and the battles we won yesterday were fought on our own turf. And while they are enormously important, we need to see them in context.

Here is the map of American states which offer some recognition of same-sex couples as of January 2013. Green states offer full marriage equality, blue states offer domestic partnerships or civil unions with all or nearly all the rights of marriage, and orange states offer some form of formal registration with limited rights. (There is also some legal argument that New Mexico and Wyoming might recognize out-of-state marriages).

It is great to see three more green states. However, yesterday’s vote did not color in any states that were not already in one of these categories. Washington had all-but-the-name domestic partnership rights, Maine had limited domestic partnership rights, and Maryland recognized out-of-state marriage.

I don’t bring up this point to throw a wet blanket on our celebration, but to remind us that the hardest battles will still be in front of us and encourage us to be prepared. We will win (time and justice are on our side) but it will not be easy.

Frankly, the quick and easy numbers say that we should have done better. National polls have shown for a few years now that a majority of Americans support marriage equality. And as we know our supporters aren’t dominating Texas and Alabama, it would seem logical that the blue states should support marriage in numbers around sixty percent or more.

But I don’t think that this means that the polls are wrong. I think it means that the polls and the votes reflect two different things. Polls taken away from election cycles reflect the emotional “what I want to believe” response while votes reflect “what I think is best” response and, at the moment, those who oppose equality are able to deceive or scare those who want to support equality into thinking it is a threat.

In other words, a hefty chunk of our support is weak support. And, other than a few states, the upcoming battles will be in places where scare tactics and lies may be most effective.

Of course the courts could rule marriage-bans to be unconstitutional (as they obviously are), and our legal issues would be over. And yesterday’s vote will heavily weigh in our favor in their upcoming deliberations.

Nor will any victories won in the courts be reversed by Congress. There simply will not be sufficient political will to get a two-thirds vote in the Democratic Senate – or even in the Republican House – for a Federal Marriage Amendment. And ratification by three-fourths of the states is a near impossibility.

But should such legal protection not be forthcoming in the next year or so, let’s consider at our political choices. Looking at the map, I cannot identify too many white states that are poised to join the equality states.

Minnesota has a long history of support for liberal ideas and politicians and, having just defeated an anti-gay amendment, is ripe for some legislation for civil unions or perhaps even marriage equality. New Mexico and Arizona are also likely candidates for some recognition of same-sex couples. Arizona has a constitutional ban on marriage, but the people rejected a ban on other forms of recognition. I suspect that these two states might be receptive to domestic partnership legislation.

I’m going to offer one odd possibility that may seem bizarre: Utah. Right now this state has a constitutional ban on marriages and civil unions. But Utah is unique in that public opinion on pretty much any issue can change in one day due to the announcement of one church’s leadership. And it is my belief that the Mormon Church hates that it is to a great extent considered to be the voice of intolerance and bigotry. I would not be entirely surprised to see the Mormon Church seek to diffuse this impression by having Utah change their constitution to provide some limited measure of rights to same-sex couples.

Beyond that, the only states where I think we hold much hope right now are Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and I may well be delusional about those. And, some distance down the road, Ohio, Michigan, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. As some of these will require reversing constitutional amendments, this won’t be easy or straight forward. Otherwise, the geography doesn’t look good.

Our strategy will likely be to seek increased status in domestic partnership or civil union states. A legislative vote in Hawaii, Delaware and Rhode Island seems likely and 2014 will probably see an effort in Oregon to reverse their constitutional ban. And so on.

The likely eventual scenario is one in which there are states which offer marriage and states which offer nothing. And I believe that at that point, the civil union compromise would be off the table and our fight will be all-or-nothing battles state by state. We will eventually win, but it won’t be easy in Alabama and Texas. Or even Nebraska and Florida.

But I don’t want to leave us in a gloomy spot on this glorious day. Should they not do so before, it is almost certain that after we have won victory in the popular vote in several states, the Supreme Court will discover that there is no asterisk in the Constitution that excludes gay people from the rights granted to citizens (they tend to delay civil justice until there is healthy support). And, if nothing else, time favors us. Younger voters are overwhelmingly supportive of equality.

We have a hard difficult road ahead of us, but yesterday’s voting was the best possible stride down that road that we could have hoped for. We are energized and our opponents are shocked.

Oh what a beautiful day.

Joseph Farah Reacts

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

We’re getting what we deserve:

For many of us, the unthinkable has happened. America has decisively turned the corner away from the constitutional principles of limited government and self-government with the re-election of Barack Obama.

…That’s what Obama represents to me – God’s judgment on a people who have turned away from Him and His ways and from everything for which our founders sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. …But, at the end of the day, people generally get the kind of government they deserve. When you turn away from the ways of God Almighty, this is what you should expect, if you are a student of the Bible and history.

…Maybe we deserve this punishment for taking our lifestyles for granted. Maybe we deserve this judgment for our own individual and collective sins. Maybe there’s still time to turn things around because we serve a Creator of second and third chances. One thing is for certain: Our national condition is going to get much worse before it gets better.

Scott Lively Reacts

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

The apocalypse is near:

It’s official, the 2012 presidential election is over and we Americans decided not to downshift into Republican. Instead its now full speed ahead toward the progressive’s Godless Utopian fantasy (aka “the cliff”) with Mr. Obama and the Evil Party.

The good news is that we can all stop pretending that Mitt Romney is a conservative. The bad news is that the Stupid Party will, of course, interpret their loss as a sign they were too conservative and move further to the left. The better or worse news (depending on your theology) is that the age of apostasy is more clearly upon us, which means that the return of Christ is drawing near. These next few months and years will be an exciting time for students of prophesy, and an exceedingly challenging time for all believers as the stand for biblical truth becomes more and more costly.

NOM Reacts

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

Nope. Nothing historic to see here:

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), released the following statement today:

“Obviously we are very disappointed in losing four tough election battles by narrow margins. We knew long ago that we faced a difficult political landscape with the four marriage battles occurring in four of the deepest-blue states in America. As our opponents built a huge financial advantage, the odds became even steeper. We ran strong campaigns and nearly prevailed in a very difficult environment, significantly out-performing the GOP ticket in every state.

Despite the fact that NOM was able to contribute a record amount to the campaigns (over $5.5 million), we were still heavily outspent, by a margin of at least four-to-one. We were fighting the entirety of the political establishment in most of the states, including sitting governors in three of the states who campaigned heavily for gay marriage. Our opponents and some in the media will attempt to portray the election results as a changing point in how Americans view gay marriage, but that is not the case. Americans remain strongly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states.

Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it. Marriage is a true and just cause, and we will never abandon the field of battle just because we experienced a setback. There is much work to do, and we begin that process now.”

From 1961 to 2012: Today’s Victories Were A Long Time Coming

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

Fifty-one years ago today, José Sarria, a drag performer at San Francisco’s famed Black Cat bar, lost his bid for election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Desite the loss, his election was historic as an openly gay candidate stood for election for the first time. Sarria earned nearly 6,000 votes, putting him in nineth place city-wide in a contest for five at-large seats. Ninth out of thirty-four, which mean that, as Sarria later recalled, “From that day on, nobody ran for anything in San Francisco without knocking on the door of the gay community.”

Fifty-one years later, the long-unimaginable happened. A president ended a ban on gays in the military, ordered his Justice Department to stop defending the DOMA, and announced his full support for the rights of everyone to marry. He was re-elected, against a candidate who was against all of those things. Five openly gay candidates for Congress won their races, and for the first time, a lesbian will sit in the Senate. In none of those races were the candidates’ sexual orientation a major issue.

And after voters in 31 states voted to add bans on same-sex marriage to their state constitutions, Minnesota voters stopped the tide and refused to write discrimination into their organizing document. But that’s not all. Voters in three states (assuming the victory in Washington holds) have gone much further than ever before. Citizens in Maine, Maryland and Washington have given their approval to allow their gay and leasbian neighbors to actually begin marrying in the next couple of months. They didn’t just say no to a permanent ban while existing laws continued to prevent gay people from marrying. They changed existing law so that those marriages can take place.

And they did that at the ballot box. Remember how our opponents always said that every time voters weighted in on marriage , they always voted to deny marriage equality? No more. I would love to be sitting in the offices at the Family “Research” Council and National Organization for Marriage right now. They have seen their era end right before their eyes. But make no mistake: they will also steadfastly refuse to acknowledge its importance.

Right now, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry. By the end of January, two and probably three more states will join them. But in the best case, less than 16% of Americans will live in states with marriage equality. Yes, that’s nearly a third higher now, but it just goes to show how far we still have to go.

It will be generations, I think, before we can win marriage equality throughout the U.S. at the ballot box. In fact, there are some states where that will never happen; it will also take some key court victories before all Americans are created equal. We will undoubtedly experience more losses and setbacks in the years ahead. But every great movement moves forward one step at a time. This was a big step, but it is only the latest one in a long line of just putting one foot in front of the other. We’ve been doing that for more than half a century. But right now it feels pretty good, now that we’re starting to get the hang of it.

Very strange…

Rob Tisinai

November 7th, 2012

This morning when I opened the door to let out the dogs, a rush of bluebirds and small forest animals streamed inside to make my bed, pick out my clothes, and recycle my big empty bottle of election-night wine.

What could be happening?

Voters Send Record Number of LGBT Pols to Washington

Jim Burroway

November 7th, 2012

“Now, I am well aware that I will have the honor of being Wisconsin’s first woman senator. And I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay member,” Baldwin said to loud cheers and chants of “Tammy, Tammy!” from her supporters. “But I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference.”

Yesterday’s election was a watershed moment for LGBT equality. Not only did voters defeat attempts to deny marriage equality in four states at the ballot box, but a record number of LGBT representatives will be going to Washington to serve in Congress, including the nation’s first openly gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin (D) from Wisconsin. With 99.6% of the vote counted, Baldwin defeated former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) 1,528,941 (51.5%) to ,363,994 (45.9%).

Five other openly gay representatives have won their races for Congress. Returning to Congress are Jared Polis (D-CO) and David Cicilline (D-RI). New gay members include Mark Takano (D-CA), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and Mark Pocan (D-WI). Pocan made history himself be becoming the first openly gay representative to take over a House seat from another openly gay representative when he won Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s old seat.

Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema (D) leads in a tight race over former Paradise Vally mayor Vernon Walker (R) to become the first openly bi member of Congress. All precincts have been reported, but there are still a number of provisional ballots to be counted, making a final call in that race impossible.

Click here to see the latest results for Congress.

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