Rand Paul’s Long Game For Defeating Same-Sex Marriage
April 8th, 2013
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calls for a tactical retreat on the federal level in the short term in exchange for a thirty-year state-by-state ground game:
(at 5:29) I think that we’ve got a long history with marriage. I’m not willing to give up on it yet, and the family unit, even above and beyond America and before America, the family unit is something that has come about for thousands of years, you know. We’ve had a family structure and thing it’s an important structure. And not everybody in the country is going to agree with me on that. You know, there are people, and young people seem to be changing their opinions. But I think we should still be in favor of what what we’re in favor of. And that there is a traditional family unit and that it’s important.
The law is going to be someone different in the sense of where marriage is adjudicated, whether it’s at the federal level or at the state level. We’ve always had marriage certificates and we’ve had them at the state level. If we keep it that way, maybe we can still have the discussion going on without making the decision go all the way one way or all the way the other way. Because I think right now if we say we only believe in a federally-mandated one-man, one-woman marriage, we’re going to lose that battle because the country is going the other way right now. If we were to say each state can decide, I think a good 25, 30 states still do believe in traditional marriage, and maybe we allow the debate to go on for another couple of decades and see if we can still win back the hearts and minds of people.
Still Looking Backwards
April 8th, 2013
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) suggests that if states offered civil unions to same-sex couples, that would put an end to the marriage equality debate and let him keep DOMA:
I’ll say this, I do believe this could be solved greatly by a civil-union law that would give gay people the same rights as married people,” said Hatch, who mentioned hospital visitations and tax benefits. “I think we can solve this problem without undermining the very basis of marital law in our country.”
It looks like someone has decided to jump on board the last decade’s bandwagon.
This Will Probably Be the Last Announced Support for Same-Sex Marriage from a Democratic Senator for a While
April 8th, 2013
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), who has already said that he will not seek re-election next year, has now come out in support for same-sex marriage:
“After lengthy consideration, my views have evolved sufficiently to support marriage equality legislation,” Johnson said in a statement. “This position doesn’t require any religious denomination to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom.”
Since March 15, when Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) became the first sitting Republican Senator to announce his support for marriage equality, there has been a veritable avalanche Senators following with their announced support for same-sex marriage: Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Kay Hagen (D-NC), Bob Casey(D-PA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have all joined the march to the right side of history.
There are only three Democratic Senators — Sens. Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), and Mark Pryor (AR) — who still do not support marriage equality. Manchin reitreated his opposition last week and Pryor has said he is undecided. Meanwhile Landrieu is trying to take the coward’s way out by saying that she’s on board personally but won’t go against her constituents, citing her state’s voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Someone might want to remind her that Portman — Republican Portman — also represents a state with a voter-approved marriage ban, as do Begich, Hagen, Heitkamp, Nelson, Tester, Warner and, of course, Johnson, whose announcement means that there are now 54 supporters for marriage equality in the Senate.
Not Exactly “Profiles In Courage”
April 5th, 2013
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), one of only four Democratic U.S. Senators who doesn’t support marriage equality, takes the most cowardly stance possible:
Landrieu told CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta in an interview Friday that she personally believes “people should love who they love and marry who they want to marry,” but that her obligation rests with the people of Louisiana who elected her.
“My state has a very strong constitutional amendment not only against gay marriage but against gay partnerships. So I’m looking at the people of Louisiana trying to represent their interests,” she said.
As a Senator, the only thing that matters is what she will do as Senator. Save the “people should love who they love” bullcrap for Oprah.
Which GOP Senator Will Be Next To Support Marriage Equality?
April 5th, 2013
Help me contact Thomas Peters at NOM!
April 4th, 2013
I’ll have to push today’s video for the National Marriage Organization to tomorrow. Unlike my allies, Brian Brown and Thomas Peters of NOM, I don’t get paid to do this, and thus have other work to complete.
Speaking of Thomas Peters, could you all help me out? Thomas made me sad the other day when he tweeted this:
most gay activists who attack me have less than 10 followers. They don’t even have the courage to say mean things with their real account!
— Thomas Peters (@AmericanPapist) April 2, 2013
Actually, it wasn’t Thomas Peters who made me sad, but the gay activists who mocked him for this tweet. See, apparently Thomas’ very big brain is so very strained with his many main arguments against same-sex marriage that he has forgotten about his very sensible policy of blocking gay activists who address him with their real accounts.
I mean, he did that to me, and I totally deserved it. What kind of decent person would ambush the Communications Director of an organization by calling him at work to ask about one of the organization’s communications?
But I also realized — now that I’m blocked I have no way of telling Thomas I’ve switched to his side! Since I don’t have a video to post today, would you mind taking those 60 seconds to tweet one or more of my videos to Thomas? And also to NOM?
I’d surely appreciate it. I feel confident in saying my little videos completely capture the spirit and depth of their organization.
PS Here are some short links for you:
- Redefining marriage: http://goo.gl/mVmp5
- Think of the children: http://goo.gl/QQVlO
- Leviticus: http://goo.gl/zzXY6
Sen. Bill Nelson Finally Supports Marriage Equality
April 4th, 2013
With the Florida Democrat’s announcement, we now have 51 supporters in the Senate:
It is generally accepted in American law and U.S. society today “… that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I believe that. The civil rights and responsibilities for one must pertain to all.
Thus, to discriminate against one class and not another is wrong for me.
If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then why shouldn’t those be attainable by Gays and Lesbians?
Simply put, if The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn’t, and I won’t.
So I will add my name to the petition of senators asking the Supreme Court to declare the law that prohibits gay marriage unconstitutional.
Sen. Nelson joins fellow fellow Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill (MO), Mark Warner (VA), Mark Begich (AK), Jay Rockefeller (WV), Jon Tester (MT), Kay Hagen (NC), Bob Casey (PA) and Tom Carper (DE) in shifting to the right side of history over the past two weeks. The cascade of new support for marriage equality in the Senate began on March 15 when Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) became the first sitting Republican Senator to announc his support for marriage equality. On Tuesday, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) joined his fellow Republican in making the switch.
The remaining Democratic holdouts in the Senate are Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), and Mark Pryor (AR).
Uruguay Senate Approves Marriage Equality Bill
April 2nd, 2013
Uruguay’s Senate, after several hours of debate, approved a bill which would provide marriage equality to same-sex couples in a 23-8 vote.
Sen. Rafael Michelini opened the hours long debate by declaring that same-sex marriage represented a “radical change” that future generations may compare to the abolition of slavery. “Of course I cannot compare it to finaly abolishing slavery, because they were fighting that for hundres of years, but for the purposes of a person acquiring rights, is it not a kind of liberation?” Opposition Senator Francisco Gallinal objected to characterizing same-sex marriage as “marriage equality,” warning that other members of society may demand the legalization of polygamy. The bill was strongly supported by the ruling Broad Front party, while the main opposition parties allowed their members a conscience vote.
The Senate version of the bill is slightly different from the version approved by the Chamber of Deputies in December. The bill now goes back to the lower house for final approval. President José Mujica has said he will signed the bill into law when it reaches his desk.
Sen. Tom Carper Finally Supports Marriage Equality
April 2nd, 2013
Given that Sen. Tom Carper is a Democratic Senator from Delaware, where residents strong pro-marriage equality sentiment, this hardly qualifies as a profile in courage. It nevertheless brings to 49 the number of Senators who are now on record as supporting same-sex marriage:
As our society has changed and evolved, so too has the public’s opinion on gay marriage – and so has mine. I pray every day for God to grant me the wisdom to do what is right. Through my prayers and conversations with my family and countless friends and Delawareans, I’ve been reminded of the power of one of my core values: the Golden Rule. It calls on us to treat others as we want to be treated. That means, to me, that all Americans ultimately should be free to marry the people they love and intend to share their lives with, regardless of their sexual orientation, and that’s why today, after a great deal of soul searching, I’m endorsing marriage equality.
Delaware’s sole Congressman, John Carney, Jr., (D) has also announced his support for marriage equality. A bill to allow same-sex marriage is expected to be introduced in the Delaware statehouse sometime this year.
Sen. Carper is the latest to join Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Kay Hagen (D-NC), and Bob Casey (D-PA) in shifting to the right side of history. Not only are we grateful, but so will be their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Remaining holdouts among Democratic Senators are Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Bill Nelson (FL) and Mark Pryor (AR). Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) remains the only sitting Senator GOP to announce his support for marriage equality.
Sen. Bob Casey Supports Marriage Equality
April 1st, 2013
After much deliberation and after reviewing the legal, public policy and civil-rights questions presented, I support marriage equality for same-sex couples and believe that DOMA should be repealed,” Casey (D-PA) said in a statement exclusively first released to PGN (Philadelphia Gay News) Monday afternoon.
..Part of that process (of reassessing his position) included considering feedback from LGBT Pennsylvanians and their families, Casey said.
“These stories had a substantial impact on my position on this issue,” the senator said. “If two people of the same sex fall in love and want to marry, why would our government stand in their way? At a time when many Americans lament a lack of commitment in our society between married men and women, why would we want less commitment and fewer strong marriages? If two people of the same sex want to raise children, why would our government prevent them from doing so, especially when so many children have only one parent or none at all?”
Casey referenced one lesbian woman from Southeastern Pennsylvania who contacted him, detailing the financial and societal setbacks she, her partner and their children have faced from being denied the right to marry.
“As a senator and as a citizen, I can no longer in good conscience take a position that denies her and her family the full measure of equality and respect,” Casey said.
Sen. Casey joins Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Kay Hagen (D-NC) in ambling over to the right side of history. Remaining holdouts among Democratic Senators include Tom Carper (DE), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Bill Nelson (FL) and Mark Pryor (AR). Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) remains the only sitting Senator GOP to announce his support for marriage equality.
Marie Osmond Supports Marriage Equality
April 1st, 2013
Ahead of last week’s Supreme Court arguments in two same-sex marriage cases, Alan Osmond led a rally against marriage equality in Utah. But this weekend, Marie Osmand’s voice proved louder.
She says that her lesbian daughter “deserves everything that she desires in life.”
March 28th, 2013
Anti-marriage folks are still promoting Gracie Evans, the 11-year-old who testified against same-sex marriage before the Minnesota legislature, asking:
Which parent do I not need: my Mom or my Dad?
I wrote a lengthy response to Gracie, but sometimes we just need a quick reply. If anyone pulls this bit on me, here’s my plan to shift the conversation:
Some kids aren’t asking which parent they don’t need. They’re asking, “Why can’t I have a parent at all?”
Support same-sex adoption.
NOM’s idiotic trumpeting of a mangled third hand report
March 27th, 2013
You have to love this declaration from NOM:
UKDailyMail: “Christian Opponents Easily Outnumbering Advocates for Gay Marriage”
It all started with Yahoo’s Chris Moody reporting an incident in the events of yesterday. He followed the NOM marchers’ progress:
When members of the crowd rose, they pressed on further down the street, where they were met by another small group of people that had stretched out a rainbow flag in front of them. When they refused to budge from the street, NOM organizers urged everyone to just go around them.
From which the Daily Mail, apparently not present and completely unaware of any other media coverage on the planet, extrapolated to mean:
Both sides of the debate were out in force, with Christian opponents easily outnumbering advocates for gay marriage.
And which led the integrity-deprived National Organization to pretend as though it were true. Personally, I’d be embarrassed to engage in such shameless behavior.
And I can’t help but wonder: if your pants are forever aflame, does that mean that you’re already in hell?
DOMA Oral Arguments Released
March 27th, 2013
Audio and transcript of today’s oral arguments forWindsor v U.S. are available here.
My Heart Broke a Little Today
March 27th, 2013
83-year-old widow Edie Windsor is suing the government to strike down DOMA, and today was her day in front of the Supreme Court. She spoke on the sidewalk afterward about the heart attack she had not long after her wife Thea’s death and how the government had treated their relationship like it never existed.
What moved me most was her description of how she’d been closeted for so many years, and how she was so grateful today for the kindness in how the Justices treated her.
She was grateful for their kindness.
Take a moment to realize that for most of her life, this kindness — this civility and dignity and respect — was something she and Thea had no reason to expect. It breaks my heart with regret at what these women had to live through, and it breaks my heart with joy that this heroine has never let it overcome her. Edie Windsor has overcome, no matter what the Court decides.
This is a precious moment in the struggle for dignity. The dignity our elders were denied, the dignity they fought for and won, the dignity we feel today, and the dignity we’ll pass down to those who are now only kids, starting to wonder if they’re gay, and taking hope from the courage of this tiny 83-year-old lady.
Sen. Kay Hagen Supports Marriage Equality
March 27th, 2013
Sen. Kay Hagen (D-NC) comes in just under the wire:
Marriage equality is a complex issue with strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for varying opinions on the issue. After much thought and prayer, I have come to my own personal conclusion that we shouldn’t tell people who they can love or who they can marry.
This wasn’t a decision I came to overnight, like my Republican colleague Rob Portman expressed recently on his own viewpoint. Last year, I opposed Amendment One because I was concerned about the negative consequences it could have on North Carolina families and our economy. The fabric of North Carolina and what makes our state so special is our families and our common desire for a brighter future for our children. No matter what your family looks like, we all want the same thing for our families – happiness, health, prosperity, a bright future for our children and grandchildren.
Religious institutions should have religious freedom on this issue. No church or minister should ever have to conduct a marriage that is inconsistent with their religious beliefs. But I think as a civil institution, this issue’s time has come and we need to move forward. Jobs and the economy are the number one issue for me and for North Carolinians right now, and I’m not going to take my eye off that ball at a time when so many are still struggling.
Sen. Hagen joins Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Jon Tester (D-MT) in sparing their grandchildren the eternal embarrassment of being on the wrong side of history. Remaining holdouts among Democratic Senators include Tom Carper (DE), Bob Casey (PA), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Bill Nelson (FL) and Mark Pryor (AR). The silence of Sen. Carper, who represents a state with strong pro-marriage equality sentiment, is particularly baffling.
On the GOP side, Sen. Rob Portman (OH) is the only sitting Senator to announce his support for marriage equality.
Welcome Out and Congratulations, Jenna Wolf and Stephanie Gosk
March 27th, 2013
People magazine brings us the news that Jenna Wolf, weekend anchor for NBC’s Today, and her partner, NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk, are out and having a baby:
“This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to us,” the Today weekend anchor tells PEOPLE exclusively in its new issue. “But I don’t want to bring my daughter into a world where I’m not comfortable telling everyone who I am and who her mother is.”
Together for three years, Wolfe, 39, and Gosk, 40, began discussing starting a family last year — and had little trouble getting pregnant.
“We were constantly on the road, juggling a thousand balls at once,” Wolfe says. “It’s a miracle we got it all together.”
The couple is also planning to wed, but admit they’re more excited for the baby.
Sen. Jon Tester Supports Marriage Equality
March 26th, 2013
…Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) announced his support for same-sex marriage on Tuesday, the day the Supreme Court considered the constitutionaly of Proposition 8, California’s gay marriage ban.
“Montanans believe in the right to make a good life for their families,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “How they define a family should be their business and their business alone. I’m proud to support marriage equality because no one should be able to tell a Montanan or any American who they can love and who they can marry.”
Sen. Tester joins Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mark Begich (D-AK) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) in the last-minute upper-house rush to be on the right side of history before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments tomorrow in the Defense of Marriage Act case. The last Senate holdouts on the Democratic side of the aisle are: Tom Carper (DE), Bob Casey (PA), Joe Donnelly (IN), Kay Hagan (NC), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin (WV), Bill Nelson (FL) and Mark Pryor (AR). On the GOP side, Sen. Rob Portman (OH) is the only one to make future generations of Portmans proud, beginning with his own son.
I’ll tell you when, Justice Scalia
March 26th, 2013
JUSTICE SCALIA: You — you’ve led me right into a question I was going to ask. The California Supreme Court decides what the law is. That’s what we decide, right? We don’t prescribe law for the future.
We — we decide what the law is. I’m curious, when — when did — when did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted? Sometimes — some time after Baker, where we said it didn’t even raise a substantial Federal question? When — when — when did the law become this?
Scalia rants as though there is no date, as though this is all arbitrary and subjective and up to some whimsical liberal social ‘living constitution’ interpretation of law. He is mistaken.
There is a date, a specific date, upon which it became unconstitutional under the provisions of the US Constitution to exclude homosexual couples from marriage.
On the day, the very first day, that a same-sex couple decided that they would avail themselves of the equal provisions of their governmental contract and seek the protections afforded by marriage, and on the very first day that this same-sex couple was told that, no, they were excluded – explicitly excluded – from the protections offered by the state because they were an unfavored people, on that specific day, Justice Scolia, the state acted in an unconstitutional manner.
Yes, the Supreme Court of the United States “decides what the law is”. But the wording of our contract – our agreement with the Federal Government that they may govern us and patrol our liberties and, at times, curtail our freedoms when necessary – is not decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. And that wording, that guarantee, allows the Federal Government to serve as our representative government only within certain confines, among which are that all citizens are provided with the same rights.
That provision exists either with or without social recognition. It exists whether or not a Supreme Court “decides” that it is the law.
It is inevitable that some day the Court will recognize – not decide – that gay citizens are equal citizens and that arbitrary animus-based discrimination such as that which Justice Scalia defends is a violation of our national contract. And some day, a Supreme Court will decide that the law is such that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a gross violation of the clear provisions of the US Constitution.
But that will not be the day in which such discrimination becomes unconstitutional. That day has passed.
Prop 8 Oral Arguments Released
March 26th, 2013
Audio and transcript of today’s oral arguments for Hollingsworth v. Perry are available here.