RECENT  POSTS:  » Riiiiiiight, FRC. And 'Desperate Housewives' is still TV's hot new show, too » After death do us part: Indignity of Idaho's marriage ban threatens lesbian veteran's final wishes » NOM's Chair to Oregon: We have a right to tell courts our personal, conservative Catholic opinions! » Nice try, anti-equality movement, but the lesbian 'throuple' story makes our argument, not yours » Jonah Goldberg can't see the hornets' nest for its hornets » Video: Male on mail » Jodie Foster in 2013: 'I am'; Jodie Foster in 2014: 'I do' » AFA promotes its new app in only way it knows how » Robert Oscar Lopez says I perform 'psychological operations routine' on him when I quote his own words from his own web site » Matt Barber's ever-classy site suggests gay people are literally crushing fellow humans  

04/24/2014

Riiiiiiight, FRC. And 'Desperate Housewives' is still TV's hot new show, too

by Jeremy Hooper

In 2004, marriage equality was lagging somewhere in the 30% range. In some southern states, it was in the low teens.

To hear the Family Research Council tell it, that's where it still is. Based on a new NY Times poll that shows support in reliably red states like Arkansas and Louisiana is below the current national average (shocker!), the Family Research Council is pushing this ridiculous claim:

"While the media is busy declaring an end to the debate, the reality is that most voters are just as opposed to redefining marriage as they were 10 years ago."
[Family Research Council]

This is a truly ludicrous statement even for FRC. Even in the states on which FRC hone its gaze (AK, LA, NC, KY, OH), the current level of support is much higher than where it was. But when looking at the national picture, support is not only higher, but all credible polls consistently put it above or even well above the 50% mark. That was simply not the case in 2004. In '04, those of us on the side of history that was always right but that was certainly feeling some hurt back then would've been thrilled to have even one poll that showed national support above the 50% mark. Nowadays, we'd be surprised to find a credible poll that didn't show us winning. That's a major change.

I know FRC hates the fact that they've lost the public on this issue. 2004 was a "good" time to be them. They had a friend in the White House, DOMA in the law, only one state with equal marriage, courts that were reluctant to advance the freedom, bans that reliably passed in legislatures and ballot boxes, and a divisive and discriminatory little cause from which they could raise some dirty lucre. I get why they are crestfallen about the way this thing has played out. But just because they don't like the trend lines doesn't mean they can lie about them.

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04/24/2014

After death do us part: Indignity of Idaho's marriage ban threatens lesbian veteran's final wishes

by Jeremy Hooper

Like all marriage bans, Idaho's is destined to end up on the ash heap of history. But for now, proud veterans must still take time out of their mortal lives to fight for their own personal ash heaps' final resting spots:

"Protecting marriage—what a crap stain on history. America will be deeply embarrassed by this someday. Some of us just got an early start.

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NOM's Chair to Oregon: We have a right to tell courts our personal, conservative Catholic opinions!

by Jeremy Hooper

No one in the state of Oregon who would have true standing to do so sees an interest in defending the state's discriminatory marriage law. This is a big statement—one that the people of Oregon made when they voted for the elected officials they chose to represent their interests.

But the National Organization For Marriage, a pro-discrimination special interest group based hundreds of miles away should get the right to come in and state their Catholic-driven objections, simply because they feel like it. That's the basic argument of John Eastman, a man who has referred to homosexuality as a modern form of "barbarism":

Images 5"What is occurring in Oregon is the plaintiffs are colluding with the government to get a pre-ordained result that fits with their political agenda notwithstanding the fact that the voters of Oregon voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as one man and one woman. Judge Michael McShane held a hearing in Oregon yesterday where everybody participating--two sets of plaintiffs and two sets of Defendants, including the Governor and the Attorney General, all argued that Oregon's marriage law served no rational purpose. Attorneys for the government announced that they could not even conceive of any argument in favor of marriage between one man and one woman. The hearing highlighted in a profound way the importance to our adversary process of actually having adversaries.The National Organization for Marriage has asked to intervene in this case to serve as a genuine adversary to the plaintiffs and the state, and to represent our members and the voters who firmly believe that marriage between one man and one woman serves the public interest. We're very pleased with Judge McShane's order on Tuesday allowing briefing and argument on our motion to intervene. We look forward to the argument on May 14, and then to full participation in this important case thereafter. And we look forward to mounting a vigorous defense of traditional marriage and making the strong arguments in favor of marriage that no one made to the Judge yesterday."

National Organization For Marriage Chair John Eastman

NOM's spokesfolks are starting to sound more and more like little kids demanding ponies.

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Nice try, anti-equality movement, but the lesbian 'throuple' story makes our argument, not yours

by Jeremy Hooper

Social conservatives are itching to make hay about a story of a lesbian trio who live together and are planning to raise a family:

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Nice try, I guess. But no. Three times no.

The fact of the matter is that this is not a legally married trio. Two of them are married to each other, and the third woman is connected via as much legal paperwork as is available to enjoin the three. They are not legally married because it is not legal for three people to legally marry under civil law—and no marriage equality group that is focused on same-sex marriage is arguing for that to change.

The reason I say it makes our case more than the opposition's is because of the marriage ceremony that the three did, in fact, have. Like all of us, these three women were perfectly free to have a ceremony. Whether it is a religious celebration or some other form, there is very little limitation on what kind of love-honoring event that American citizens are allowed to host. The reason for this is because the ceremony itself is not the legally-binding element of marriage. Yes, we vest power within religious people who can them solemnize the union, but the ceremony itself is always optional, at least in terms of the civil law.

And of course equal access within the civil law is the only thing for which the marriage equality movement is fighting. Our belief as a movement, stated often and loudly, is that everyone can and should be free to make the ceremonial decisions for themselves, but same-sex couples should have the freedom as opposite-sex couples to obtain a civil marriage license. In this particular instance, two of the women obtained a civil license, as they were legally allowed to do under the laws of Massachusetts, and then someone pronounced them to be married. For this matter, that is where the marriage equality conversation begins and ends. That is the only thing for which the organized marriage equality movement has fought. Once that civil license is legally obtained, where the couple takes the paperwork, how they choose to solemnize it, and what kind of household they run is pretty much up to them. This goes for the religious couple who finds a mainstream Baptist church ready and willing to throw a major church wedding that will bound the two in what they believe are the eyes of God, and it goes for a trio who wish to have a non-binding ceremony and live together in a scenario where two are legally married and the third is as legally connected as she possibly can be. Barring unlawful choices, people are basically free to choose how to conduct their wedding ceremonies, as well how to conduct the lives they will proceed to live within the context of their marriage.

In their own way, these three women are highlighting that the choice of ceremony, religious or otherwise, and the personal fulfillment of vow are, in fact, detached from the freedom to marry one person under civil law (i.e. our movement's one and only marriage goal). The anti-equality social conservatives don't get this because they are so hellbent on closing their ears to what marriage equality activists are seeking and saying, and because they are so determined to force the always-optional religious ceremonial element of marriage onto this civil rights conversation. They want to use their personally-held views on the supernatural elements of marriage to dictate civil marriage policy. This is a wrongheaded view whether it comes from someone who believes he or she has a spiritual right to have multiple spouses or from someone who believes his or her Catholicism limits marriage to one man and one woman.

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Jonah Goldberg can't see the hornets' nest for its hornets

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 At 9.30.14 AmConservative columnist Jonah Goldberg:

"I think it’s admirable that some advocates of same sex marriage are relatively magnanimous in victory (and I’m certain it’s preferable to the scorched earth alternative the signatories decry). But it seems to me that if you’ve spent a decade or more advancing the argument that opposition to same sex marriage is morally equivalent to opposition to interracial marriage and other Jim Crow laws, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise when people who bought your argument then go out and apply its ruthless and unforgiving logic." [SOURCE]

As always, the social conservative is overstepping the very real things that opposition movement has done to create this "culture war" in order to make the ones who have suffered—and suffered cruelly—seem like the tyrants.

For decades, the anti-LGBT movement has decried gay people as broken, immoral, dangerous, and worse. They've tried to "change" us through highly discredited and deeply dangerous programs that do nothing but instill shame. They have gone after our families in the cruelest ways imaginable. They have attacked every one of our rights and protections, from simple employment protections to the ability to serve our nation, and have even tried to change the federal constitution so that is explicitly bans us. They have used truly disgusting language to make us seem nearly Hitler-esque in our quest for basic peace. Through it all, they have cultivated pointedly hostile messaging that has wounded the psyches of many on both sides of this debate, leading to mental and physical torture that most of us wouldn't wish on our worst enemies.

So to back up Jonah's thought and take it back to its more obvious root: It seems to me that if you’ve spent decades or more advancing the argument that homosexuality is morally equivalent to any number of awful and ungodly things, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise when people who have suffered—and suffered hard—under your argument reach a breaking point. You can't keep poking people with a stick and expect them to just sit there and take it.

(**And to be clear, I say this as a pacifist who very much wants to turn rather than ratchet up hostility.)

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Video: Male on mail

by Jeremy Hooper

As always, Colbert's faux outrage over LGBT issues closely mirrors (or is even less hysterical than) the real thing:

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04/23/2014

Jodie Foster in 2013: 'I am'; Jodie Foster in 2014: 'I do'

by Jeremy Hooper

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Congrats to the veteran actor, who recently married Alexandra Hedison:

Jodie Foster Marries [E! Online]

But was it Jodie, or was it her mother, with whom she had switched bodies? Freaky.

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AFA promotes its new app in only way it knows how

by Jeremy Hooper

We've gone through all of their examples a bajillion times and pointed out all of the distortions, excised details, and bad arguments that they use to turn these supposed examples of persecution into national examples of how marriage equality harms America. No use doing it again.

Instead, just have a good laugh at how AFA is incapable of doing something as straightforward as promoting their app without making it all about us and their obsessions therof:

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[SOURCE]

I truly adore the idea that an AFA supporter needs on-the-second information so he or she can "quickly and effectively engage the culture when our Christian brothers and sister come under attack from homosexual aggression." In my mind, the ensuing sequence plays out like this:

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Don't stop until full equality



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