The Watering Hole: Wednesday, 6/26/13: SCOTUS DECLARES MARRIAGE UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!

The Supreme Court of the United States just issued its long-awaited ruling on the gay marriage cases pending before it. In a stunning decision that surprised constitutional law scholars on both sides of the aisle, the Supreme Court struck down marriage as unconstitutional.

In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Scalia, the high court ruled all marriage laws violate the Constitution. “Nowhere in the Constitution is marriage mentioned.” Scalia’s opinion stated. “As a strict constructionist, if it isn’t in the Constitution, the government has no business regulating it.”

“Our founding fathers knew about marriage, and if they wanted to include marriage in the Constitution, they would have. But the Constitution is silent on the issue. One searches in vain through the Federalist Papers and other correspondence written between the founding fathers for any mention of marriage as a Constitutional right.”

“On the other hand, the pecadillos of Ben Franklin are well-known. And that Thomas Jefferson fathered out-of-wedlock children is indisputable.”

“But the case was made, and the point well taken, that marriage is a sacred institution, ordained by God. That being said, the First Amendment compels but one decision, and one decision only. All laws respecting the institution of marriage impermissibly impinge on the First Amendment’s “wall of separation” between church and state.”

“While prohibiting some people from getting married based solely on their gender may be violative of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection mandates, we do not reach that decision today. For today we must reach a different conclusion. And that conclusion is that all laws respecting the sacred institution of marriage are unconstitutional and are hereby declared null and void.”

Justice Thomas concurred, writing, “What he said.”

THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD, AND WILL REMAIN SO, UNTIL DEATH DO US PART

The Watering Hole, Monday, February 18th, 2013: Pope-Pourri

Separated At Birth?

Separated At Birth?

On February 11th, Pope Benedict XVI, aka Joseph Ratzinger, aka Emperor Palpatine, announced that he was leaving the sinking ship giving up the leadership of the “Worldwide Catholic Church” (or NAMBLA), effective on February 28th, 2013. A papal conclave will soon be convened by the College of Cardinals to determine the next Pope, possibly by the end of March.

The New Yorker provides a few-holds-barred critique in John Cassidy’s blogpost “The Disastrous Influence of Pope Benedict XVI“, an interesting read which succinctly summarizes the regressive Papal policies of both Pope John Paul II (with then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s aid) and Pope Benedict XVI. I really recommend this article, as it clearly outlines the conflicting forces within the Church, which currently favor the conservative side.

I wholeheartedly agree with E.J. Dionne’s opinion piece from February 15th in the Washington Post, as he discusses why “The Best Choice for Pope?” is “A Nun.” As a veteran of 13 years of Catholic schooling, I can confirm that the nuns were more responsible for educating us in school subjects as well as religious subjects than any of the priests or the Monsignor of our parish. The nuns also set much better examples of Christ-like ideals and actions, as we all now know.

Yesterday, I signed a petition from Catholics United, urging Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the former Archbishop of Los Angeles, not to participate in the upcoming papal conclave.

Former L.A. Archbishop John M. Mahony

Former L.A. Archbishop John M. Mahony

From a Catholics-United Press Release on February 14th:

“WASHINGTON – After the stunning news that Pope Benedict XVI will be stepping down effective Feb. 28, Catholics in Los Angeles are urging Cardinal Roger Mahony to stay home instead of participating in the election to determine the next pope. Mahony was recently stripped of his public duties for his part in a sex abuse cover-up while he led the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.”

“It’s the right thing to do,” said Andrea León-Grossman, a Los Angeles member of Catholics United. “In the interests of the children who were raped in his diocese, he needs to keep out of the public eye. He has already been stripped of his ministry. If he’s truly sorry for what has happened, he would show some humility and opt to stay home.”

The Washington Post Editorial Board published a scathing piece on February 13th entitled “The Sins of Cardinal Mahony”; here’s a few excerpts:

“Eleven Americans will be among the 117 cardinals of the Catholic Church heading soon to Rome to select the next pope. One of them, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony…is lucky not to be in prison, for there is no dispute that he orchestrated what amounted to a cover-up of clerical sexual abuse in Los Angeles…the scale of the misdeeds in Los Angeles, the largest archdiocese in the United States, counts as a particular disgrace. And it is Cardinal Mahony, who resigned as archbishop two years ago, who oversaw the whole dirty business. For that he has been publicly censured by his successor.”

In response to his public rebuke, Cardinal Mahony, who has a master’s degree in social work, wrote that nothing in his training had alerted him to the risks involved in the sexual abuse of minors. How about common sense, respect for the law and a basic understanding of human beings?”

And, for the last word on this issue (for today’s thread, anyway), here’s Andy Borowitz.

This is our Open Thread. Your thoughts?

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, January 30 – Mad Men

Cool. Makes you wish for the good old days. Or not? How was it really in the 1960s for:

Women

One in 5 women with children under 6 and nearly one fourth of women whose children were over 16 held paid jobs in the Sixties. Their pay, however, was 60 percent of the male rate.

I guess we are still fighting over that equal pay thing.

Gays

Police activity against gay men was rife throughout the 1950s. Many homosexuals were blackmailed, although only a fraction came to the attention of the police. The film Victim of 1961 brought these issues to a mainstream audience. It starred Dirk Bogarde as a repressed, married homosexual taking on the blackmailers who drove his partner to suicide.

African Americans

On May 2, 1964, Dee and Moore were hitchhiking from Meadville, Miss. and were picked up by James Seale. Seale and other Klansmen took the two men into the surrounding Homochitto National Forest and tortured and interrogated them about a possible influx of guns in Franklin County meant to arm blacks against their white attackers. Later the same day, several of the Klansmen put Dee and Moore in the trunk of a car and hauled them across the Louisiana state line, 100 miles north to a spot on the Mississippi River. Then they dumped the men into the river, weighting their bodies down with a jeep engine block and pieces of railroad track.

Environment

Despite many efforts to keep the environment clean, some 200 million tons of pollutants were filling the air each year, and clean air in many cities had been replaced by smog. The earth, air, and water were deteriorating as construction of highways, malls, and housing developments caused the destruction of fertile, irreplaceable farmland. Disposal of wastes was another dilemma to be dealt with. Burning could release poisonous gases into the air, and burial could cause harmful decay.

People with Disabilities ?

[...]In the mid-1960s, most of the developmentally disabled patients admitted to large state facilities were children under the age of 12. States offered virtually no support to families hoping to keep their sons and daughters at home and no education for those children living outside institutions.

So Mrs. Burns handed over her son to an institution in Gainesville, Fla., two hours from Daytona Beach, where she and her husband were living at the time. He was screaming and crying and clinging to her legs. She was crying, too. He was just 8 years old.

 

We have come a long way since I was growing up in rural Bavaria.To me it was not paradise. I welcome the changes that happened since and am glad that I do not have to refight the battles that got us here and which were only started then. Color me paranoid, but I think shows like “Mad Men” set the atmosphere for taking us back where we do not want to go. I enjoy watching, but sometimes I shudder at the thought.

This is our Open Thread. Add your thoughts!

This is My Body, Not Yours

Transcript:

This is my body.
I do what I want with it.
This is my body.
I make my own choices.
This is my body.
I use it as a canvas, tattoo it, decorate it, and pierce it.
I take medicine if I want to and only undergo medical procedures I choose.
I eat what I want, exercise for my health, and wear what I like.
I fall in love with whomever, fuck/sleep with whomever and marry whomever I choose.
I decide when and how to become a mother.
This is my body, not yours

These decisions have nothing to do with you. If I’m not hurting you or stopping you from pursuing your inherent right to happiness, it’s none of your business. This is my body, not yours.

Almost one in eight women in the United States will have breast cancer, the most invasive cancer for women worldwide. If I am black or white, rich or poor, married or single, gay or straight, formally educated or not, I have the right to be screened for this killer of women, whether I go to my doctor or rely on the services of clinics like those run by Planned Parenthood. Your desire to stop the funding of abortions has nothing to do with my right to defend myself against cancer. This is my body, not yours.

If I choose to have sex, I have the right to birth control and to be spared your demeaning insults you’d never want leveled against your daughter or mother. My pursuit of orgasm is neither unnatural nor dangerous nor scary nor an infringement of your religious liberty. My sexual activity is for my benefit, not your pleasure. And it’s never my fault if you rape me. I am done being excluded from decisions about my sexual and reproductive health. This is my body, not yours.

I determine who or what goes inside of my vagina and when. I make all decisions regarding my pregnancy. I will access prenatal care whether or not you agree with the choices made resulting from that care. I have the right to an abortion without facing intimidation, harassment, burdensome parental consent laws, or prejudicial taxes. If I decide to have an abortion, I will not undergo unnecessary, invasive medical procedures for the purposes of your moralizing and personal edification. I’m entitled to all health information from my doctor. And allowing myself to be penetrated once doesn’t assume your right to do it again on your own prerogative, for your own reasons. This is my body, not yours.

It is time for you to accept that I am fully aware, capable, and accountable for myself. I don’t need a hero or saving because I’m not in distress. I’m not defined by my need of a man or partner, but I have the right to be made happy by one, in a safe and supportive relationship. I’m not defined by my weight, hair, make up, skin color, or breast size. I do not exist to be your play toy. I won’t wait my turn nor be quiet nor heed you. I know my physical and mental strength and I do not fear you. I’m beautiful, despite what you think, with or without your approval. This is my body, not yours.

This is my body.
I’m through with legislators telling me what to do with it.
This is my body.
Keep your salacious, aggressive, sexist insults to yourself. I’m not listening.
This is my body.
I have the right to marry my partner, woman or man.
To equal pay
To health care
To education
To divorce
To safety
To protection of the law
To respect and dignity
To complete equality
This is my body, not yours.

Do not be afraid of a world in which women know themselves, their voice, and their power. That world has arrived.

————

Don’t like it?  We aren’t asking you if you like it; we’re telling you how things are.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Does it really Matter?

Ok, so for the next few months, if you’re in a “swing” State, you’ll be inundated with SuperPAC commercials designed to get you to vote against your own best interests. We will also be systematically bombarded with messages from the Mainstream Media designed to influence our thinking.

IT’S ALL A SHOW. IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER.

If the Powers That Be really want Obama out, all they have to do is raise gas prices to about $5.00/gallon. Instead, gas prices are going down, heading into the summer vacation season. That’s not to say they won’t go up between now and the election – but they are an accurate predictor of where our economy will head. So, pay attention to the pump, not the talking heads.

Ok, that’s my $0.0199 cents. And you?

OPEN THREAD
JUST REMEMBER
EVERYTHING I SAID
DOESN’T REALLY MATTER

 

The Watering Hole, Monday, May 14th, 2012: Teh Crazy, Local to International

For this Monday’s mix, let’s start with local (to me, anyway) weirdness:

A different aspect on ‘robbing the poor’ involves attempted theft from a local drop box. According to the Patch news article, three men allegedly were not only stealing from the drop boxes, they were stealing the drop boxes themselves. The men stated that they worked for a company called “God’s Property”, although my quick search of the googles/bing could only come up with a house-cleaning service by that name.

On the national crazy homefront: The religious right is celebrating what they believe to be President Obama’s downfall in November, now that the President has officially endorsed same-sex marriage. Adding to the craziness in this article from The Daily Beast is the following quote from Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association:

“President Obama just torpedoed his chance to win in November,” Bryan Fischer, the firebrand spokesman for the American Family Association, told The Daily Beast. “This was a move born of desperation, a Hail Mary pass. The results in North Carolina make it abundantly clear that the American people are not with him on gay marriage. This is a golden opportunity for Mitt Romney. If he will send a strong, consistent and unambiguous message in support of natural marriage he will win the election in a landslide.”

Yet this is the same Bryan Fischer who managed to get Mitt Romney’s openly gay foreign policy adviser, Richard Grenell, to resign from Romney’s campaign staff; then accused Romney of weakness for caving to a self-described “yokel.”

“If Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me? I don’t think Romney is realizing the doubts that this begins to raise about his leadership.”

So, I’m guessing that Bryan Fischer is going to stay home on Election Day this November?

For the foreign crazy, here’s a pair of articles from Foreign Policy’s website about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the possibility of an Israeli strike against Iran. It appears that some former Mossad leaders are speaking out against the idea, while Netanyahu’s recent political moves send mixed signals both for and against an attack on Iran.

Lastly, from Slate, some interesting little stories about various Vice-Presidents, from Aaron Burr to Joe Biden.

This is our daily open thread — feel free to discuss one of the above topics, or whatever’s on your mind!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, February 23rd, 2012: I Have a Thesis. And It’s Mine.

Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Virginia) is currently in the process of reviewing the Commonwealth’s restrictive new “personhood” law prior to potentially signing it into law. This is the bill (SB484) that contains the “informed consent” language, which (translated from the legalese) “[R]equires that, as a component of informed consent to an abortion, to determine gestation age, every pregnant female shall undergo ultrasound imaging and be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound image of her fetus prior to the abortion.” I’m sure that pregnant women of Virginia will be ever-so-thankful if Bob grants them a free poke-and-a-prod prior to having an abortion. (Yes, that was snark.)

You may remember Bob McDonnell as the newly-minted and previously unknown Governor who provided the Republican rebuttal to President Obama’s first State of the Union speech. (Or you may not – he was not impressive.)

Well before Bob McDonnell acquired the power to possibly make a lot of women more unhappy than they already are, he had ditched his job and decided to attend Regents University. His recently resurrected 1989 thesis, titled “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of the Decade”, is a frightening vision indeed. I’ll just give you the introductory “Abstract”, and let you read the entire work for yourselves:

“The traditional family is the cornerstone upon which Western civilization has been built, but changes in demographics, ideology, and political philosophy during this century have resulted in the decline in the strength of the family institution. The model relationship among church, state, and family, based on history, law, and scripture, is presented as a framework in which legitimate public policy decisions must be made to facilitate family restoration.

“Fundamental Republican Party principles concerning the family and the role of government are articulated, and recent federal legislative initiatives are analyzed for consistency. Political factors affecting family policy development are examined to determine why Republicans are not more successful. The paper concludes that Republicans must stay consistently committed to their principles, communicate more effectively with the American public, and take bold action to restore the family to a position of strength in modern society.”

Between the Abstract and the Introduction, McDonnell includes a quote from, inevitably, Saint Ronnie Reagan.

(Sigh) I’ll leave you to it, then.

This is our Open Thread: have at it, folks.

Oh, and my apologies to John Cleese’s character Ann Elk and her theory.

Sunday Roast, February 19th, 2012: I Couldn’t Have Ranted Better Myself

Our old friend Jurassic Pork posted a fantastic rant at his blog, as a response to the following GOProud tweet:

JP’s post, if it were a TV show, would be rated “TV-M: L/S” – “contains adult language and sexual situations” – but here’s a bit of his lead-in to probably the single most comprehensive commentary EVER concerning gay Republicans:

“GOProud, the conservative gay rights organization…decided at their soiree today in between privately making fun of the busboy uniforms and hotel decor, that we and not the right they try to represent are the enemy, the “we” being “teh Left.”

Read the rest here – this one is a keeper.

GOProud's Headquarters ("Not meant to be a factual Statement")

This is our Open Thread: feel free to discuss this issue, or whatever else is on your mind.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, October 5, 2011.

This past weekend a group of “delegates” held a “Constitutional Convention” in the Bohemian Grove, a coastal redwood forest near the tiny town of Monte Rio, California.

Headed by none other than former Governor Sarah Palin, the group set about on a monumental task of rewriting the Constitution of the United States of America. Sources reveal their plan is to introduce their new Constitution shortly after Republicans regain control of the Senate and the White House, together with control of the legislatures of 38 States, ensuring its passage.

Eyewitnesses report the Grove had various notable politicos and various influential guests arriving and departing at all hours of the day and night, including brief visits by Michelle Bachmann, the Koch Brothers, Ann Coulter, Mitt Romney and Ginther, a local stand-up comic that does Al Jolsen imitations with a Southern German accent.

After the “Constitutional Convention” wrapped up, local dumpster divers, looking for left-over filet mignon, lobster and abalone, discovered a copy of their final-revised-completed-top-top-top-secret menu, as well as the handwritten copy of our next Constitution.

We, here at The Zoo, have spared no expense to bring this highly sensitive, potentially politically explosive document to you, our beloved Readers.

PREAMBLE

We, the Citizens of this Great God-Given Land, in order to form a more Perfect Union between us and Our Lord and Savior, and to prepare the way for His Coming, as He has promised us He would, do hereby adopt this Constitution of the Citizens United States of America.

ARTICLE 1

Congress.

Congress is useless, and a waste of taxpayer’s money. All laws shall be proposed by the United Citizens of this Great Country by posting them online on Facebook, or other such similar website as the President may declare from time to time. Those proposed laws that receive the most votes shall become law, unless of course, the President disagrees, in which case it shall not become a law, but it will be deemed a good idea anyway.

ARTICLE 2

The President.

The President is God’s Representative here on earth. He, or She, reigns supreme over the land, and the fighting forces, and all the animals and plants and birds and fishes and natural resources.
The President shall be elected by a direct vote of the people eligible to vote, that is, white men who own property, just as our Founding Fathers wanted. All votes shall be tabulated by Deibold voting machines, or by such similar machines as a successor company shall make. Votes shall be counted according to the net worth of the voter.

ARTICLE 3

The Judiciary.

The Courts shall deal with criminal matters only. People with civil disputes should resolve them before God, not a judge.

ARTICLE 4

Full Faith and Credit.

We put our Full Faith and Credit in God. All previous debts and obligations incurred by the United States when it was in the throes of pagan, heathen, secular-humanist, liberals are hereby refudiated.

ARTICLE 5

Taxes.

None.

ARTICLE 6

Amendments to this Constitution.

Ain’t gonna happen.

ARTICLE 7

Marriage.

Gay people can’t get married.

ARTICLE 8

Guns.

People can buy all the guns and ammo they can afford.

ARTICLE 9

Abortion.

See Article 6.

Oh, and all the previous laws of the United States are hereby declared null and void and to no effect whatsoever. And States, you can do whatever you want as long as you don’t want to do anything that’s not allowed by this Constitution.

This is our Open Thread. Speak Up!

Sunday Roast: Hey, have you heard the news…?

(image: Newseum)

In an action that brings this country one step closer to equal rights for all citizens, the New York state Senate passed their marriage equality bill Friday night, 33-29. Celebrations abound!

Oh look…the sun came up this morning, plagues of locusts nowhere to be seen (at least in my neighborhood), and I haven’t been forced to get “gay married.”  Maybe tomorrow…

Congratulations, New York!  We’re proud of you!

This is our daily open thread — Grab a mimosa and have a chat

Breaking News: New York State’s Marriage Equality Act – Almost There? PASSED!

Tonight, the New York State Senate passed the religious exemptions amendment to Governor Cuomo’s Marriage Equality Act, 36-26. This is an exciting and important step forward, bringing the MEA much closer to becoming a reality.

State Senator Steve Saland (R-Poughkeepsie) made the all-important move from undecided to ‘Yes’.

Watch the live feed from the New York State Senate here, as Senator Saland is going to speak shortly.

Also, Rachel Maddow is covering this live.

10:30pm UPDATE!!! By a vote of 33-29, the New York State Senate becomes the first Republican-controlled legislative body to pass a Marriage Equality Bill.

“Calloo, Callay, O Frabjous Day!

Marriage Equality for New Yorkers?

The New York State Senate could be voting on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Marriage Equality Act as early as today. The State Assembly, which is led by Democrats, has already passed the legislation – in fact, this is the fourth time that the Assembly has passed similar legislation, but it has never passed in the State Senate. It now goes to the State Senate, which is led by Republicans (32-30.) The proposed MEA, while it would legalize same-sex marriage, contains some exemptions which would protect any religious organizations or churches from lawsuits if they refuse to marry a same-sex couple (which, in my mind, somewhat negates the “equality” part of it.) Two of the Republican State Senators have said that they will vote for the legislation. One, Joel Miller, R-Poughkeepsie, is one of the few Republicans in the chamber to consistently vote in favor of same-sex marriage. I like what Senator Miller had to say in The Journal-News article.

“I have no problem with people who talk to God. I have problems with people who think God is talking to them,” Miller said, adding, “It is basic to America when we talk about land of the free and home of the brave. You can’t say land of the free and home of the brave except for one group I don’t particularly like.”

As of now it appears that one more ‘yes’ vote will be need to get it passed. Attention is now being focused on Republican State Senator Greg Ball, who represents District 40 (Putnam County, where Wayne and I both grew up and where we work.) Wayne spoke to Senator Ball regarding the same-sex marriage issue recently outside of our local supermarket in Patterson, Putnam County:

“I had a chance to talk to Greg Ball in person at one of his Senate on Your Corner events…I was trying to avoid speaking to him at all but I got funneled into a channel and he stepped up to shake my hand and introduce himself. I told him I knew who he was. So, not having anything prepared to say to him, I thought I would ask, “Where do you stand on gay marriage.” (A mistake, I know, and had I pre-planned the discussion, I would have used the words “marriage equality.)”

“He told me he was against it and I asked him why and he said that he thought it was “wrong.” He had concerns that churches might be forced to participate (or conduct) same-sex marriages against their will. I said that shouldn’t be a concern and that if they didn’t want to, they shouldn’t be forced to. (I honestly do not know the specifics of the Marriage Equality Bill, so I do not know how concerns like this are addressed.) I said gay people should be allowed to get married by a Justice of the Peace just like my wife and I were. (We were married in the restaurant where the reception was held.) He also said he thought most people were against it. Sensing, I guess, that he wasn’t going to convince me that he was right (based on the non-argument he gave), he blurted out that the Marriage Equality Bill “didn’t have the votes.” He said that somebody told him (I don’t know if it was the Governor or the Senate Majority Leader) that they didn’t have the votes to pass it. Keep in mind that this was about a week and a half ago and things have (apparently) changed since then. He then called over a friend of his (staffer? I don’t know) and asked him what he thought of it. The man said that he was Catholic and that he was against it. I said that if he was against it because of his own religious views that that was not a valid reason. Not everybody practices his religion and that no religious views should even be considered. That’s what separation of church and state was about.”

“He did tell me that he supported civil unions “fully” and that he favored letting voters decide on the marriage part itself. I reminded him “marriage” was not something owned strictly by religious people. I also said that the civil unions idea was relegating gay people to second class citizenship status that it was wrong. (I wish I thought to mention that you shouldn’t put Rights up to a popular vote, since the majority will all-too-frequently – and wrongly – deny a minority the same rights they have.) I said that civil unions weren’t the same thing at all. At the end of our discussion he remained unpersuaded, so I was surprised to hear people mention that he was “on the fence.” It did not appear that way to me.”

Ball is still holding out, arguing that the exemptions don’t go far enough to hold harmless the afore-mentioned religious organizations. Unfortunately for Ball, attention is also being focused on one of his staffers, who improperly used a constituent’s thank-you letter to Ball by altering it and sending it to media outlets, including the New York Daily News, via a false email address that the staffer created.

We will have to wait and see if New York, “The Empire State”, finally becomes the tenth ‘enlightened state.’ Expect an update on this story in the next day or two.

6/20, 9:55pm UPDATE: No vote yet. See articles from The Journal News here and here.

6/21, 9:55pm UPDATE: GOP-led NY State Senate still holding out, see today’s Journal News article here. See Greg Ball on CNN, via the Journal News’s “Politics on the Hudson” blog, here.

“Pledge to America”

The GOP will release its new “Pledge to America” today in a bid to capture the votes of a majority of Americans this November. CBS news managed to receive a final draft of the “Pledge” before its release.

This 48-page document purports to put forth “a new governing agenda built on: The Priorities of Our Nation, the Principles we Stand For; and America’s Founding Values.”

But does it?
Continue reading

Prop 8 Hate

Well, the decision is out on Proposition 8: it’s unconstitutional.  No real surprise to any Constitutional Law scholar.

And just as unsurprising is the immediate hate-filled reaction from its supporters. They decry the judge for overturning “the will of the people” while ignoring the fact that the judge upheld the Constitution. But, in their convoluted logic, the judge usurped the Constitution as well. Somehow, equal protection under the law does not mean equal protection for everybody, just equal protection for whichever faction can garner the most votes at any given time.

The Constitution was designed to be very difficult to change, and to protect everyone from the tyranny of the majority. Judges were intended to be the people’s last bastion of hope, of refuge, against such tyranny. What we see now is the anger of the “majority” when they don’t get their way, even if getting their way means taking away Constitutional Rights from others.

We are witnessing the fruits of the politics of division, the politics of fear, the politics of hate. Over two hundred years ago, wiser heads than this writer observed, “united we stand, divided we fall.” The Bible, the sacred book revered by those preaching the most hate now, noted that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

The United States is such a house now. “Terrorists” don’t have to attack us to destroy us; the likes of Rove and Rush, of Bachmann and Beck, of Palin and O’Reilly have done their job for them.

So, how do we save America? Essentially by ignoring the hate. Let them have their demonstrations and blow off their steam. Then vote Progressive.

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Texas accidentally banned ALL marriages

This made me laugh out loud. That baby has been thrown out with the bathwater, as we say.

AUSTIN — Texans: Are you really married?

Maybe not.

Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state. (read whole story)

 

Schmidt Ex-McCain Aide: “Urges GOP To Drop Opposition to Gay Marriage”

Steve Schmidt, a key architect of John McCain’s presidential campaign, is making his first public return to Washington a bold one.

Schmidt will use a speech Friday to Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group, to urge conservative Republicans to drop their opposition to same-sex marriage, CNN has learned.

“There is a sound conservative argument to be made for same-sex marriage,” Schmidt will say, according to speech excerpts obtained by CNN. “I believe conservatives, more than liberals, insist that rights come with responsibilities. No other exercise of one’s liberty comes with greater responsibilities than marriage.”

Vermont Legalizes Same Sex Marriage

Vermont has had a bit of a roller coaster ride of late, in regards to same sex marriage with the legislature overriding the Republican governor’s veto of the bill.

From the Washington Post:

The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

Congratulations!  Vermont becomes the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage, following Massachusetts, Connecticut and last weeks ruling in Iowa.

Update:  Vermont is the first state to legalize same sex marriage through legislation while the other states legalized it through the courts.

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Portia De Rossi Apologizes For Being Selfish and Marrying Ellen

She apologizes to Elaine Sutler, who suffered debilitating paper cuts from holding up her message of choice.  To Amanda who came down with pneumonia from standing in the rain protesting my marriage.  To George Binder whose mind was so tragically blown by the idea of two gays getting married that he has to spend the rest of his life wearing this hat.

Look very closely at the dog that is wrapped in the Prop 8 sign, by his butt is a McCain/Palin Sticker =)

Group that Fought Gay Marriage Now Wants to Outlaw Divorce

The Florida Family Policy Council announced earlier today that it is seeking to ban divorce.

This is a late-breaking story, only available on a video on this link at the moment:

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=11857555&ch=4226713&src=news

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The Man Behind Proposition 8

While doing some follow-up research on the Prop 8 story, I came across this article. It deserves as wide an audience as possible:

While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ public role in Prop 8 has engendered a growing backlash from its more liberal members, and Broekhuizen’s involvement attracted some media attention, the extreme politics of Prop 8’s third largest private donor, Howard F. Ahmanson, reclusive heir to a banking fortune, have passed almost completely below the media’s radar. Ahmanson has donated $900,000 to the passage of Prop 8 so far.

“My goal is the total integration of biblical law into our lives,” Ahmanson once said.

Continue reading

Time to stop talking, Pastor Rick

The Raw Story

Now the pastor of Saddleback Church is making analogies between gay people and pizza…

Mmmmmm, sexy...

Mmmmmm, sexy...

“Just because I like pizza it doesn’t mean I should marry it. Biologically, I am predisposed to enjoy the immaculate melding of mozzarella cheese, red sauce and thick crust baked to tasty perfection.

“But that doesn’t mean I should enter into a lifelong commitment with Sicilian or plain, nor bed it down, nor bring children into the world and have them have to explain to their classmates why their mom’s crust is not a crisp as it once was.

“Does any child deserve to have their friends tossing Monday 2 for 1 coupons in his face? Not in my world they don’t. Yet, to say that I am against pizza-eaters or gays is absurd. Our Saddleback Church offer more weight-watchers meetings to overeaters than any other evangelical megachurch on the west coast.”

Um, what the hell are you talking about, you idiot!?

Check “teh gay” at the church door…

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I was looking around Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church website this morning (sorry, I’m not linking to it, use the Google), and came upon a section called “Living on Purpose.”  While perusing this section, it occurred to me that, given the exposure Pastor Warren is getting these days, there was a giant unwritten “BUT” hanging in the air.

Walk with me…

1.  You Were Planned For God’s Pleasure: You are alive today because God chose you to be here.  You exist for his benefit, his glory, his purpose, and his delight.

BUT, if you’re gay, God is apparently just messing with you, and isn’t really all that delighted.

2.  You were Formed for God’s Family: Because God is love, he treasures relationships.

BUT, if you’re gay, you are not to have a relationship with the one your heart desires.  God isn’t “love” for everyone.

3.  You Were Created to Become Like Christ: Spiritual growth is not so much about “doing” as it is about “becoming” – becoming more like Christ…Ultimately, the Christian life is about building an intimate relationship with Jesus….and loving others the way Jesus loves us.

BUT, if you’re gay, you can forget about that “becoming” crap.  You’re to deny a part of your very existence, and accept the conditional love that comes your way.  Smile, dammit.

4.  You Were Shaped for Serving God:  When we become a Christian, God gives us salvation and the hope of eternity in heaven. He also gives us purpose and significance in our lives….God didn’t design ministry for just a few people.

BUT, if you’re gay, Pastor Rick’s ministry really is just for the straight and the deniers.

5.  You Were Made For a Mission:  God is at work in the world, and he wants you to join him. God wants you to share His love where you are….Every corner of the world is available to you.

BUT, if where you are is being gay, you won’t be allowed to be who you are and find God in Pastor Rick’s church.  The world is not quite as available to you.

6.  Experiencing Life Together:  Life is meant to be shared. God intends for us to experience life together….Real fellowship is much more than just showing up at services. It is experiencing life together. It includes unselfish loving, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving, sympathetic comforting, and more “one another” experiences.

BUT, if you’re gay, you’ll be expected to be dishonest with yourself and the world about who you are, so Pastor Rick and his congregation can feel good about themselves.  You will have to have those “one another” experiences with someone other than the one you truly love and desire. Continue reading

Asking the wrong questions

Unless you have been floating in the middle of an ocean somewhere on this – or another – planet, you are aware of the controversy over Pastor Rick Warren giving the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration. If you are not familiar with the issue, you can read up on it here, here, here, and most definitely here (the last link is John Avarosis’s first foray into blogging at the Huffington Post and it is very funny).

There is great unhappiness over this, coming from both sides of the political spectrum.  Neither social conservatives or those who support the LGBT community are happy about the choice of and acceptance by Warren; most are rabidly unhappy, actually.  But I think everyone is looking at this the wrong way and asking the wrong questions.

The questions which should be asked are not why Warren (someone who goes against everything Obama has said he stands for) was selected, but:

  • Why is ANY pastor giving an invocation at a presidential inauguration?
  • Why is, yet another religious leader, giving a benediction?
  • What happened to the separation of church and state?

Someone needs, to borrow a phrase from Rachel, Talk Me Down.