The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘marriage equality

Good morning Widdershinners!  Do you feel the anticipation of the Trump and Chimps Show scheduled for this evening at 9:00 EDT?  I know, Trump and Chimps is like saying, “Chimp and Chimps Show,” but the headliner usually gets special billing.Exploding head

That great piece of must see teevee isn’t what is likely to cause exploding heads today.  It’s an update on something upon which I’ve previously written.  Remember the Kentucky kerfuffle around county clerks not issuing marriage licenses because of opposition to same-sex marriage?  I have an update – in fact, a primary update and four subsequent updates for good measure.

Yesterday the queen bee around all this buzz is a lady named Kim Davis, a county clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky.  Ms. Davis, led by her Liberty Counsel lawyer, filed suit yesterday in federal court based on the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  Yes, you read that right – the person who is failing to comply with the law is suing the Governor because he had the audacity to say, “Do your job.”

As I previously mentioned, the Liberty Law School’s sphincter muscle must be on the fritz because it is pooping out lawyers who offer the following type of logic and legal reasoning – and mind you, I’m quoting here:

Beshear (the governor) misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s decision in the marriage case.  The court ordered all states to recognize same-sex marriage, but it did not require every local official to do so.

Exploding Head ZoneSo according to Liberty Counsel’s grand legal reasoning, shooting someone dead would be illegal since it is specifically mentioned in the statutes, but if you come up with a novel approach not explicitly covered by statute like using compressed air ala No Country for Old Men, you are good to go.

If you aren’t yet wiping up gray matter, here’s another tidbit of rich information.  Kim Davis says because her oath of office included the phrase “so help me God,” she believed she never would have to “act in contradiction to the moral law of God.”  A religious free space — holy Sharia Batman!

The suit goes so far as to offer this legal pearl of wisdom:  It isn’t a constitutional violation to make someone drive one county over and get a marriage license.  Now, I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly a model law student, but I seemed to have missed the day when they taught the part about measuring constitutional rights by odometer.  Admittedly, I wasn’t there every single day.

It pays to keep a spare handy...

It pays to keep a spare handy…

And now for the real mind-blowing shrapnel courtesy of updates two through five.  Ms. Davis, the lady who is all up in the Governor’s grill about her devout religiosity, just happens to have been married not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times.  Seems like she missed the part in Matthew 19:9 that says:

And I say to you: whoever divorces… and marries commits adultery.”

According to the Liberty Counsel logic, it’s not like it is the real adultery or “adultery adultery” because who’d ever think you could be married four times.  Believe me when I say:  I’m not this creative – I couldn’t make this stuff up, “so help me God.”

 

We will be gathering for the live blog of tonight’s Trump and Chimps show around 8:30 EDT.  We want to have plenty of time to get our contest forms completed and our stopwatches synchronized.  See you then.

 

 

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Morning Widdershins, since Good Friday is also known as Great Friday, here’s hoping your day is both.

The legal and political commentary on this week’s Supreme Court cases has been about as helpful as life insurance ads inWe the people... an airline Sky Mall magazine — untimely, a bit scary, and a waste of resources, but otherwise they were a plucky bit of marketing for the Ralph Reeds, Tony Perkinses, and Gary Bauers of the world who will eagerly raise money off the issue.

While these two Supreme Court cases are important, they are also instructive as a barometer on where we are as a country. Along with these marriage equality cases, two very disparate things got me thinking about this — a talk radio NRA caller and yet another state passing so-called “religious freedom” legislation.

The talk radio NRA caller was bemoaning the fact that he had been delayed by almost an hour because of a background check. He was righteously irate in that his constitutional right to own an AR-15 was delayed by almost a whole sixty minutes. Of course, the blubbering walrus (take your pick, fill-in a name) radio host was also appropriately barking indignation.

Contrast that to the reasoning of marriage equality opponents who were counseling delay not measured in hours, but years by not going too far too fast. It seems even the liberal Justices are somewhat reticent citing the “Roe v. Wade lesson” of the inadvisability of acting too broadly and too precipitously. These “outcome fears” joined with the spaghetti salad of delaying excuses will likely postpone a sweeping decision granting full equality.

Justice Delayed is Justice DeniedIf this is the environment in which our “justice” is now measured, we have all lost. Simply put, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” Too often we as a people believe that “justice” is such an amorphous concept it can’t be measured, but that is wrong. Justice can be measured in the days, months, or years of its denial. When the purveyors at the highest echelons begin to worry about the delivery of justice because of the outcry and opinion of those who are not affected, we have all lost.

Overlay upon these facts, the American Family Foundation movement to pass “religious freedom” legislation. So far it has passed in some 17 states. What this legislation does is to allow citizens to ignore any law that runs counter to their “sincerely held religious beliefs unless there is a compelling governmental interest.“ Read the rest of this entry »

I chose this vintage pic of three white guys talking because you see, a Republican adviser has been talking and apparently what he’s had to say is this:  get over the gay shit…NOW.  And this is what I think three Republican white guys talking would look like!  😆

Jan van Lohuizen was a pollster for Dubya’s 2004 campaign.  He recently wrote a memo to go out to Republican operatives and it basically said to cease on the gay stuff.  The memo said support of gay marriage was becoming more and more acceptable among more groups and the Repubs had to pay attention to this.  The specific phrasing was  “at an accelerated rate with no sign of slowing down.”  What’s more, van Lohuizen wrote that the Repubs should embrace the idea of gay marriage because it’s a conservative ideal!!

As people who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone. This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government.

Uh, no Jan, I don’t think we’re gonna go that far.  While I’ll agree that yes, you Repubs do need to keep your nose out of peoples’ private lives, I’m not sure you are gonna get away with such a change in mid-stream, so to speak, because you’ve been mining the anti-gay trope for waaay to long.

If you are asking “how can the idea of gay marriage be gaining acceptance when an amendment outlawing gay marriages and even heterosexual common-law marriages was passed so overwhelmingly in North Carolina”?  (Okay, it didn’t outlaw anything but did limit the types of domestic unions that would be recognized)  Here’s a simple explanation:  the number of people who were voting “for” the amendment (i.e. the banning) exceeded the number of people who were “against” the amendment (those being the ones who didn’t want to set any limits on domestic unions).  And another reason?  Old people.  Gay marriage and the idea of it are gaining more and more acceptability but there are still folks out there who are against it.  Look at the chart below and notice the numbers for older voters.  It’s still one of the largest groups of those against the idea of gay marriage.  And one thing we know about older people:  they vote.

favorable for gay marriage by age/race/gender/religion

The next graphic just shows the acceptability numbers in a broader context.

You can see that the number of people opposing gay marriage has gone down in the last eight years, so Mr. van Louhizen can apparently read numbers.  Hell, he even has “talking points” to use for those Republicans who have seen the light.

Recommendation:        A statement reflecting recent developments on this issue along the following lines:

“People who believe in equality under the law as a fundamental principle, as I do, will agree that this principle extends to gay and lesbian couples; gay and lesbian couples should not face discrimination and their relationship should be protected under the law.  People who disagree on the fundamental nature of marriage can agree, at the same time, that gays and lesbians  should receive essential rights and protections such as hospital visitation, adoption rights, and health and death benefits.

Hey that the ticket!  😆  Why, we’ve all been in agreement after all, lo these many years; we just didn’t realize it!!
He even has talking points for the Republican who changes his mind on gay marriage that they can memorize uh recite, uh use when asked about related issues:

Follow up to questions about affirmative action:   “This is not about giving anyone extra protections or privileges, this is about making sure that everyone – regardless of sexual orientation – is provided the same protections against discrimination that you and I enjoy.”

Why public attitudes might be changing:  “As more people have become aware of friends and family members who are gay, attitudes have begun to shift at an accelerated pace.   This is not about a generational shift in attitudes, [Ed.:  yes it is, see chart above] this is about people changing their thinking as they recognize their friends and family members who are gay or lesbian.” 

Conservative fundamentals:       “As people who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone.  This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government. 

Hell, we’ve all been singing from the same choirbook for years and just didn’t realize it!  Quelle Surprise!

Now…I wonder how Willard is going to handle this sea change?

This is an open thread.  BTW:  I stole the cartoon of Mittens here.

Banned in North Carolina

We have a guest post today from our favorite bear, Fuzzy!  Enjoy the post.

North Carolina Bans Gay Marriage

This is Wednesday May 9th’s headlines.  We are supposed to be Shocked and Indignant that the conservative state that sent Jesse Helms to the U S Senate 5 times (that is 30 years, or 210 Dog years) did not reject what 29 other states have done to their constitution. Somehow, I cannot get angry at this.  My own Florida could not stop the prohibition of Marriage Equality, and we have a pretty high bar requiring a 60% super-majority to amend our constitution.

Do not get me wrong I think using ballot initiatives to legislate Civil Rights is not only wrong but also silly. These same people could conceivably pass state constitutional amendments to outlaw Evolution, Gravity, and Doughnuts with two holes.  I could just see the signs at the borders of states like Mississippi and North Carolina “Welcome to North Carolina hold tightly to the ground, Gravity is illegal here” or “Mississippi State Line, Evolution Stops Here.” (sorry I could not resist)

The thing about these laws getting on the books is that it is bucking the national trend: 50% of Americans believe in Marriage Equality.  That is up from 27% that supported Marriage Equality15 years ago. These laws like Segregation are a last gasp of a shrinking and ignorant minority trying to force its will on what is rapidly becoming the vast majority.

In a way these constitutional amendments’ very existence show us how we have already won the argument.  The fact that something is outlawed means there is a real fear that it may become fact. Because of the fact that Gays and Lesbians already live in committed relationships that are de facto marriages, all we need is for them to become de jure. The recent repeal of don’t ask don’t tell and the allowing of openly gay people to serve in the military has opened the door. Next comes job protection and marriage.

Of course, we could do an end run around these less enlightened states and our not quite up to speed fellow citizens by passing the ERA. If 51% of the population is female and 10% is LGBT and half of those LGBT folks are men, the ERA would extend full the American Franchise to over 56% of the population.

The struggle for women’s rights and LGBT Equality is the same. The struggle for Civil Rights and Women’s Rights is the same. The struggle of LGBT Rights and Civil Rights is the same. To paraphrase Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and she has amended that to “LGBT Rights are Human Rights”.  I think our girl is on to something the rest of the world needs to catch up to.

Many wonder when will the ERA become law enshrined in the Constitution next to the laws that allow us to speak freely and worship or refrain from worship as we see fit, the amendment that freed the slaves and gave women the right to vote. How long must we wait?

I believe that the ERA will be ratified or if necessary reintroduced and ratified after 2017,  shortly after Hillary Rodham Clinton is inaugurated as the 45th President. What a great thing for 38 of the states to do to acknowledge what is de facto true that:

1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state because of sex.

2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

I mean how illogical is it for the leader of the Free World not to have the guaranty of rights that the men who serve under her have? Just as Suffrage was extended when it became clear that the nation could not win the first “War to End all War” without the cooperation of women, Hillary with the Bully pulpit will make a case for the ERA.

That will be a day as great as winning WWII.

NOTE:  We  know now that Obama has since come out in favor of same-sex marriage.

I haven’t done any LGBT news on Feminist Friday in a while, so I am happy to have something good to report: Washington may just be the seventh state to jump on the marriage equality bandwagon. Even a couple of Republicans are taking the leap. Golly, didn’t they get the memo that same-sex marriage will lead to bestiality and polygamy, according to Sanctum Sanctorum and other experts on Teh Jeebus?

– Two Republicans come out for marriage: Sen. Cheryl Pflug (R) joins state Sen. Steve Litzow (R) to become the second Republican to support same-sex marriage. “I do not feel diminishedby having another human being experience the same freedom I am entitled to exercise. I would feel diminished by denying another human the ability to exercise those same rights and freedoms,” she said in a statement.

– Republican AG candidate supports marriage: Republican Attorney General candidate Reagan Dunn says he will back efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Democratic challenger Bob Ferguson, who already supports the initiative.

– Largest county endorses marriage: All five Democrats and three of the four Republicans on the King County Council endorsed the marriage equality bill. King is the most populous county in Washington.

– Tacoma City Council to vote on marriage: Councilman Ryan Mello announced that he “will be introducing an amendment to our State legislative agenda to indicate Tacoma’s full support for marriage equality in Washington in this short session.”

Woot woot! Hooray for W.A.!

Read the rest of this entry »

Widdershins, I have noted a definite atmosphere of hysteria in the louder and louder calls for Austerity which are coming from all the corporatists of the world in response to every economic situation, from the real debt crisis in Greece to the fake debt crisis in America. In fact, the phenomenon is becoming so prevalent that I believe Austerity plus Hysteria needs its own term: “Hysterity.” (UPDATE: I just found this term in a teeny article online, but I think it should mean the opposite of what they do; so I’m going to pretend I coined it. Neener!)

“Hysterity’s” ever-more-wild-eyed insistence that tax cuts and spending cuts will magically “save” every economy is coming, no doubt, in response to the popular uprisings against Austerity that are bursting out all over the world. Although I know you have read all about these “power to the people” moments in your daily newspaper (ha! ha! just kidding), I thought I’d give you all a tasting menu of what is REALLY happening out there. (Yes, there is a world beyond sex scandals and American Idol. Who knew?)

In Greece, an anti-Austerity protest camp has been established in the capitol square for more than a week. Look! In the cradle of democracy, they know Austerity = Murder. Meanwhile, global markets panic as Europe’s debt crisis is being compared to the fall of Lehman Brothers.

Neil Mackinnon, an economist at VTB Capital in London and a former Treasury official, said: “The probability of a eurozone Lehman moment is increasing. The markets have moved from simply pricing in a high probability of a Greek debt default to looking at a scenario of it becoming disorderly and of contagion spreading to other economies like Portugal, like Ireland, and maybe Spain, Italy and Belgium.”

Well, it appears that Spain is safe from economic “contagion,” as yesterday, it was able to auction off its debt without a problem. Protests against Austerity, however, have spread like wildfire. They’ve been going on since May 15th, but you wouldn’t know it from OUR national media. Look! They’ve got a freaking PHARMACY, for heaven’s sake. These young people are ready for REAL change – and real jobs (their unemployment rate is 21%)!

As for Ireland, it’s been under Austerity for quite some time now (as with the US, working people were forced to pay to bail out the banksters), and it’s not popular at all. Today’s IMF visit will prompt Greek-like protests, says the head of People Before Profit, Richard Boyd Barrett.

He said it was critically important that the IMF delegation was met with a “sea of resistance! by sections of society that were being !attacked to pay off bankers and bond-holders”.

And what about Portugal? Well, there were massive protests against Austerity in March of this past year – large enough to force the prime minister to resign. This month, a new prime minister was elected, who won by campaigning against Austerity. From what he says, I’m not sure he’ll do anything but impose a “kinder, gentler Austerity,” so we’ll see what happens there.

Read the rest of this entry »

EEA Logo

EEA Logo

We haven’t talked about marriage equality in a while, and I am sorry to have been lax in posting about it. It is one of the things that I feel most strongly about, and which I feel could be accomplished by ratifiying the ERA.

There’s a group called Equality Across America, which is one of the links on the left side of the blog. Their summer mission is to counter the latest effort by a friendly-seeming fundiegelical group to spread fear and hatred in the name of Jeebus.

July 6, 2010: Equality Across America (EAA), a coalition of grassroots activists and independent organizations, calls on LGBTQ activists across the country to take action and expose the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a non-profit organization that “has a mission to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.” This “mission” has been pushed by a campaign of lies and/or misleading propaganda in the form of television and radio advertisements and on line campaigns.

NOM recently announced the Summer for Marriage Tour 2010, where anti-equality activists will travel through nineteen cities and hold “pro-marriage” rallies to garner support for preserving the Defense of Marriage Act, a piece of legislation passed under the Clinton administration that disallows any same-sex marriage in any state to be recognized by the federal government.

EAA is launching a campaign to motivate activists in each of the 19 cities with NOM events scheduled to hold peaceful and positive events at the same time NOM rallies are taking place. In places like St. Louis and Indianapolis, event planning is already underway. EAA will support all actions being independently organized by publicizing information about the events through Facebook, Twitter and e-blasts.

Here’s a calendar of events for EAA:


Protest NOM Anti-Marriage Equality Bus Tour
Madison, WI
July 27, 2010, 11:00 am
Gather at the campus mall and march to the State Capitol

For more info: Email Us!

Prop 8 Day of Decision Rally
Sacramento, CA
The day the decision is announced, meet at 20th and K Streets

For more info: Email Us!

Prop 8 Day of Decision Rally
Rochester, NY
The day the decision is announced, 5pm, meet downtown

For more info: Email Us!

Prop 8 Day of Decision Rally
Austin, Dallas, Houston, TX
The day the decision is announced

For more info: Visit the EAA Texas Regional Website!

Protest NOM Anti-Marriage Equality Bus Tour
Atlanta, GA

Saturday, August 7, 2010
2:00-3:00 pm

For more info: Visit us on Facebook!

NOM Protest
Tampa, FL

Sunday, August 8, 2010
1:30-3:00PM

For more info: Visit our Website!


Nice to see that NOW is not the only organization willing to stand up to the constant right-wing assault on equal rights for LGBTQ. If you are so inclined, please do support their efforts! And may whomever conducts your wedding, NOT sound like this.

This is an open thread.


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