RECENT  POSTS:  » Maggie Gallagher forfeits right to ever again talk about gay-related 'slippery slopes' » Extremely anti-gay FRC to lecture folks how to 'rightly' respond to 'wrong' SCOTUS decision » This is such a corrosive idea to put out into the world » Audio: Will you please stop 'attacking' NOM president for saying your sexual orientation, family are 'disordered'? » Video: Mike Huckabee, Republican candidate for increased book sells, vows to defy pro-equality SCOTUS ruling » Reliably tacky NOM turns Memorial Day into day of anti-gay politicking » Ireland: Not only a practical win, but also another tremendous psychological shift » Hillary Clinton campaign honors Harvey Milk, LGBTQ rights » You don't have to pounce on every less-than-pro-gay retailer, anti-gay conservatives! » Video: Tony Perkins tells pastors they 'may have five years' before being 'dragged kicking and screaming from your church'  

05/27/2015

Maggie Gallagher forfeits right to ever again talk about gay-related 'slippery slopes'

by Jeremy Hooper

In a piece in which she tries to make Jon Stewart look silly for questioning the businesses that want to exclude gay customers, and tries to make the GOP presidential field look more electable if they are more anti-gay, longtime marriage inequality activist Maggie Gallagher poses this question of gay consumers everywhere:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 At 8.57.49 Pm
[Pulse 2016]

"Why not ask gay couples [to] buy a cake next door instead?"

Now, if we were talking about one gay couple and one cake, that might be a negotiation worth having. If this were Gilligan's Island and a theoretically gay shipmate had a choice between a theoretically homophobic Ginger and theoretically pro-gay MaryAnn, then the small tribe of castaways could likely hash it out over coconut martinis around the campfire.

What Maggie Gallagher wants, on the other hand, is the ultimate slippery slope. Why just cake? And why just gay people, for that matter? If business owners across America win this newfound "right" to cite "religious freedom" whenever they encounter a customer whose otherwise perfectly in-line request runs afoul the business owner's abilities for the sole reason of the customer's sexual orientation, then there is no way to limit that newfound exclusion. Frankly, I don't see any way our longhand body of nondiscrimination law could hold up under that sort of setup. One could very easily insert many other biases into Maggie's couplet of questions that I highlighted above. If the kinds of policies that Maggie is pushing the GOP presidential candidates to back were to make it into law, it's no stretch to envision the many different types of business owners who would come up with novel ways to sidestep their chosen, public-accommodating, "all-comers welcome" duties in order to flout nondiscrimination policies in the way(s) that they prefer.

I know activists like Maggie don't like to talk about other, easily recognizable forms of discrimination because they insist that this time—this time!—it's different and the side opposed to greater protections actually got it right. But if they want to get away from those connections, this is a funny way of doing it.

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05/27/2015

Extremely anti-gay FRC to lecture folks how to 'rightly' respond to 'wrong' SCOTUS decision

by Jeremy Hooper

If you're an exceedingly anti-gay special interest group that has spent the past two decades prioritizing discrimination and general animus toward a minority population for the purposes of both politicking and fundraising, what do you do when you're living on the cusp of a high court decision that could deal you the biggest repudiation yet? You start spinning:

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[FRC]

You know, FRC, if you and yours had the right arguments all these years, you might not be working so hard to shape a "rightly" response. Just saying.

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This is such a corrosive idea to put out into the world

by Jeremy Hooper

I married quite young, have been with the same one man for twelve years, and feel that my marriage grows stronger every day. I'm quite the fan of the concept, and I would encourage anyone to give the notion of lifelong marital love and family a fighting chance.

But to Ryan Anderson, Heritage Foundation staffer and suddenly omnipresent "young person who opposes marriage equality," my marriage is only possible because of a previously weakened marriage culture (presumably due to things like no-fault divorce) and will inevitably create further decay in the institution:

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[RyanTAnd]

First we have to address the elephant in the room: That Ryan is unmarried. It's a point that usually doesn't require mention in political commentary, and it's certainly not something for which I would ever fault anyone. Obviously. However, when talking about someone who purports to be such an expert on this, a subject that is at least partially unknowable without having had the experience, it's certainly noteworthy that he himself is more of a "teacher" than a "doer." I note it as a bullet point pertinent to the discussion, not as a judgement.

That out of the way, let's move to more important things. Namely, that it's the height of arrogance to shoehorn certain kinds of marriages into the middle of this slippery slope conceit of Ryan's own design. First, he uses the phrase "redefinition of marriage" when he really means expansion of civil marriage rights independent of gender requirement. Because that's what folks on his team always do: redefine words and phrases so that a good is portrayed as an evil. It's much easier to sell the idea that the current marriage debate is just another step on this "weakened" journey if you make its proponents seem like shady shifters of the marital shape who are headset to "redefine" rather than as what we are: loving American taxpayers who have made the winning case for our deserved inclusion.

But beyond language, just the notion that he can (and does and does and does...) so flippantly put marriages like mine on this path tells me everything I need to know about the Ryan Anderson mindset. It tells me that he doesn't see us as human beings who so very much want to be a part of this institution that others have treated as so disposable and worthless. He certainly doesn't see us as capable of providing any strength or fortitude, to each other or to the culture. He sees our love as akin to divorce and trial separation and whatever else Ryan, a devout Catholic, has come to see as corrosive. Moreover, he sees our love and our families as catalysts that that are not only incapable of bettering the culture, but that will ultimately corrode it further. By marrying, we will do this. Somehow.

It's just nasty. He is already pre-blaming us for whatever might befall marriage in the future, because why not? But he's also demanding that our family-forming freedoms needed some sort of toxic petri dish in order to ever go viral in the first place. He's damning the present for damning the future; he's damning the past for damning the present. But the gays are always damned—dammit!

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05/26/2015

Audio: Will you please stop 'attacking' NOM president for saying your sexual orientation, family are 'disordered'?

by Jeremy Hooper

Brian Brown's mask is slipping, and the National Organization For Marriage president is now admitting that he just believes we are "disordered" beings who are not living our best:

[Relevant Radio]

Don't worry, Brian—your days of being "attacked" (by which you mean countered) are coming to a close. Political irrelevancy should be a nice respite.

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05/25/2015

Video: Mike Huckabee, Republican candidate for increased book sells, vows to defy pro-equality SCOTUS ruling

by Jeremy Hooper

Mike Huckabee, a candidate who only knows how to traffic in the language of a "supreme being" even though he is running for president (yeah right) of a nation that is not a theocracy, insists that he will disobey the US Supreme Court, if (/when) it issues a fifty-state marriage equality decision:

Good for those conservatives who are willing to highlight this joke of Huckabee's own making.

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Reliably tacky NOM turns Memorial Day into day of anti-gay politicking

by Jeremy Hooper

National Organization For Marriage president Brian Brown posted a Memorial Day message, complete with pictures of fallen soldiers' tombstones. Too bad it's all about defeating marriage equality, nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, and Hillary Clinton:

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 At 9.03.33 PmWe live in a challenging time, one where our national leaders increasingly seem to deny the importance of some of our founding national principles, not the least of which is religious liberty. Indeed far from being willing to fight to defend this core foundational principle so that is passed to the next generation, some national leaders seem intent on undercutting it. Indeed, we've seen baseless charges of "bigotry" and "discrimination" leveled at those with sincerely-held religious objections to participating in things like same-sex 'wedding' ceremonies and providing health insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs. For a large number of governmental and cultural elites, the concept of "religious liberty" is being reduced to being able to worship in private, but not to actually live your faith principles in the public square.


Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton took this even further recently when she said that the nation had to change its views on religion if we are to make progress on "women's rights" and other ideological causes favored by the left. Far from being a protector and defender of our first principles — the most important of which is a recognition that our rights derive not from government but from the divine Creator — so that they may be passed on to the next generation, she seems determined to change them to suit her vision of government.

This upcoming presidential election will thus be a pivotal moment in our nation's history. It will be, to borrow another quote from President Reagan, "a time for choosing." Will we as a nation choose to uphold the principles upon which America was founded, particularly religious liberty, that have made us the greatest force for good in the history of the world, or will we choose to follow a secularist path that effectively eliminates religious principle from social policy so that a leftist agenda can be more easily pursued?

This is not a mere rhetorical question. The next president will not only have tough decisions to make about how government policy will respond to issues of same-sex unions, abortion, gender identity and claims of sexual orientation discrimination, but he or she will very likely appoint several new justices to the US Supreme Court who will have a say in the critical constitutional issues involved.

As we embark upon this critically important national debate and discussion that will culminate in 2016 in the election of a new president, we do so with great reverence and respect, and immense gratitude, for all those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend the principles that have made America the beacon for liberty she is throughout the world. Let us give thanks to these heroes, and pray that their sacrifice will not be forgotten, but will be protected and defended so our national principles are passed to the next generation for them to do the same.
FULL:
A Blessed And Grateful Nation [NOM]

Such a gross organization. Kindly do your nation a service, NOM, and go gently into that good night (*or at least as gently as you can muster after all these years of obscene public spectacle).

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05/23/2015

Ireland: Not only a practical win, but also another tremendous psychological shift

by Jeremy Hooper

IrelandI am overjoyed by the resounding vote for marriage equality in Ireland. As a longtime activist who wants marriage equality across the globe. As someone with Irish ancestry. As a history buff who feels privileged to live in such a monumental time. As a former gay kid who knows what marriage equality would've meant for my wellbeing. As a gay adult who is lucky enough to have found and committed to my own marital love at a young age, and who is honored to be among the first humans to raise a kid with two parents of the same sex who have full state and federal marriage rights. I'm thrilled. Simply thrilled.

But beyond the practicalities of what more marriage equality means for its beneficiaries, the landslide vote in Ireland is another major moment for how we talk about, promote, consider, and win over previously closed hearts in this ongoing marriage debate. We now have a country—and a very Catholic country, to boot—that has voted in marriage equality in sweeping numbers. This was "the people" doing what they felt was right for their nation and its people. The winning side beat back all of the anti-equality arguments that the deceptively-named "Mothers and Fathers Matter" campaign threw at them, and did so quite handily. And importantly, the prevailing side did so with a lot of help from a lot of straight allies who understand why this fight is a fight for all of us.

The win is Ireland's to enjoy, and I hope locals (and particularly the triumphant "Yes" campaign staffers) celebrate for days and days. But the wallop from this referendum has seismic implications here in the states, too. Whenever we talk about marriage here at home, this is a new—and major—talking point. In addition to mentioning that a majority of the American public consistently supports marriage equality in all credible polling, noting that marriage equality is in nearly forty American states with no major controversy to report, reminding our fellow citizens that the last four votes in four different states went in favor of marriage equality, etc., we can now highlight the fact that other, deeply religious, very family-oriented countries are now moving towards the expansion of love and putting this matter to bed, once and for all. This, the idea of a nation that has cast such a vote, is just one more positive that has gone from theoretical to real.

And soon enough, we will likely have a United States Supreme Court ruling that gives us yet another huge shift. While it's true that this and other developments will make some of our opposing forces even more charged up than before, the distance between their attacks and their ability to land one is only going to become greater. These latest developments are not simply strikes against them—they are stark examples of how fully the other side has already lost. The anti-equality forces will rage for years to come, surely. I'm starting to see a not-too-distant future where we just won't have to care.

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05/22/2015

Hillary Clinton campaign honors Harvey Milk, LGBTQ rights

by Jeremy Hooper

In full-on activist mode, this one:

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[@HillaryClinton]

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Don't stop until full equality



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