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Jeb really wants to remind voters of his anti-'same status' plan for gay couples

by Jeremy Hooper

When a candidate releases a book in the middle of a primary, every chapter, word, and comma is carefully orchestrated. So you can be sure that Jeb Bush included this in his new ebook, Reply All, because he thinks it's a virtue worth touting:

Mr. Cortada, an artist, was alarmed that Mr. Bush’s brother, President George W. Bush, was proposing to amend the Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage – and was unsettled that the governor backed the idea.

“When one of us is denied equality, then all of us are denied liberty,” Mr. Cortada wrote to Mr. Bush. “Today, I am feeling particularly denied and particularly unequal.”
“I don’t believe that your relationship should be afforded the same status in the law as a man and a woman agreeing to marriage,” he wrote.

FULL: Jeb Bush’s Emails as Governor Show His Feelings on Same-Sex Marriage [NYT]

Out of all the email terminology available, it's fitting he called the book "Reply All." "Forward" would have been a big lie.

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Maine: NOM finally forced to hand over its tiny, out-of-state, incestuous donor roll

by Jeremy Hooper

The list itself holds few surprises, showing the same names we've long known (Templeton, Fieler, Caster, Knights of Columbus) having financed NOM's operations in Maine. But having covered this saga for all the years that NOM tried to obstruct justice, I do feel compelled to post this final chapter:

Breaking: NOM Hands Over Donor List From Maine Campaign Against Same-Sex Marriage – Details [NCRM]

The whole thing is already starting to feel nostalgic.

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This delusional primary: Huckabee claims 'same-sex marriage is not the law of the land'

by Jeremy Hooper

The US Supreme Court did not "write a law," obviously. Instead, the majority found that same-sex couples have the right, under our constitution, to enter into civil marriages. In fact, the laws that were passed to try to muddy and ultimately stop that right (both federally, with DOMA, and with all the state marriage bans) are what court after court found unconstitutional; SCOTUS agreed.

But now listen to Mike Huckabee, a presidential candidate who wants nothing more than to entwine church and state into a covenant marriage, throw some red meat at Iowans in hopes that they will support his pipe dreams:

MIKE HUCKABEE: Well, let me correct you. Same-sex marriage is not the law of the land. And let me tell you why. Because the Supreme Court cannot make law. And so I know we say it is, but — let’s be very clear. Let’s go back to the fundamentals of the Constitution. Three branches of government equal to each other. Each has checks and balances with each other. No one branch can just do something and say, to heck with the other two branches. It doesn’t work like that.
FULL TRANSCRIPT: Mike Huckabee: “Same-Sex Marriage Is Not the Law of the Land” [The Pulse (an anti-gay conservative site)]

And of course Huckabee throws in Dred Scott since that's become the gross, cynical, and divisive talking point social conservatives love to toss out there in order to make our love seem like one of history's ugliest chapters. Huck says:

HUCKABEE: I don’t mean to overwhelm this, but here’s what I think we’ve got to understand. In history, there have been times — Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, all ignored Supreme Court decisions that they clearly knew were unlawful. The most notorious was the Dred Scott decision in 1857 which said black people weren’t fully human. Let me just ask, does anybody here agree that that decision was the right decision? I mean, it was the Supreme Court’s decision. So if the Supreme Court decides something and it’s now the law of the land, shouldn’t we now be disrespecting black people? Why do we not? Well, because one, Abraham Lincoln refused to accept it. He refused to abide by it. And he instead signed the Emancipation Proclamation and later we passed the Fourteenth Amendment, which codified into law what Lincoln said was the obvious law.
FULL TRANSCRIPT: Mike Huckabee: “Same-Sex Marriage Is Not the Law of the Land” [The Pulse (an anti-gay conservative site)]

But even in his disgusting attempts to play a "slavery" card, he trips up in his own rhetoric. Yes, he's right that Lincoln reacted in outrage to the heinous ruling. But until new laws were passed, Dred Scott was legally binding, something Lincoln himself acknowledged in his first inaugural address. The president and allies had to engage in political efforts to ultimately overturn the ruling and damage done.

And yes, a theoretical President Huckabee (shudder) could use the same political will, moving to pass new laws and even shooting for a far-fetched constitutional amendment. But that never-going-to-happen, only-in-Huck-and-Santorum's-dreams scenario still wouldn't change the fact that same-sex marriage, circa the summer of 2015, is the law of the land in all of these United States. This idea that it is not is simply Huckabee's delusion and nothing more. It is not a serious idea for a serious electorate.

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The 'Yeah. Duh. Of course' phase of this fight

by Jeremy Hooper

A U.S. District judge ruled today that Kim Davis, the clerk from Rowan County, Kentucky, who went viral when she was filmed denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples, must issue such licenses or ultimately face some pretty steep consequences:

Judge Orders Kentucky Clerk to Issue Gay Marriage Licenses [AP via ABC News]

Davis' lawyers vow to appeal. Because of course they are. It's likely a fruitless exercise based on the lower court's findings.

At one time this would have been the kind of story that make me raise a hearty, "hell yeah." But now? Now it's something different. Now I can't muster much more than a "Yeah. Duh. Of course."

In another story in the cycle today, whipsmart legal eagle and DOMA hero Roberta Kaplan and her team are vowing to bring down Mississippi's heinous ban on adoption by same-sex couples:

Mississippi Ban on Adoptions by Same-Sex Couples Is Challenged [NYT]

This is the only ban on its kind remaining, and even the former governor who signed it says he regrets doing so. Most anyone who knows anything about gays and the law and the trajectory of such things believes that the ban is as good as gone.

And again, at one time I would have been like, "in your face, opposition!" But now? Now, when considering the prospect of this, the last of these bans to fall, I'm more like, "Yup. Duh. Of course; crossing another off the list."

It's not that I don't care anymore. Indeed, I care about all of these injustices and their righting. I always will. It's just that I, like everyone else paying attention, know that all such injustices are on the way to correction, and soon. And when it comes to something like a clerk issuing licenses, those of us who have already won this fight have little to gain from the sustained wins. I mean, don't get me wrong—it's fun and right and worthy of note. But it's also now the norm. An unchangeable norm here in the U.S.

Once again, I must give the caveat that there are some fights remaining, some fights to come, and perhaps even some small pieces of ground that we will lose. I also must note that the international stage is still a hefty slog. I should proceed to say that anti-LGBT mindsets and biases, as systemic and ingrained as they are, will likely linger in real, hurtful, and even damaging ways for years and years to come. This is all true. Vigilance is pertinent.

Even so, the ground has shifted too much and too fundamentally for the major injustices to linger in law or within our politics. Protections will only increase. The last vestiges of discriminatory laws will fall away. Defiant types with the anti-equality movement will eventually realize that their movement has sold them a bill of goods. At this point, all of our victories are now more like overdue compliance with the notion that we are equal citizens whose rights and protections and benefits don't come with special exceptions, asterisks, or carve outs. There are few chances for those who just now getting with the program to write their own profiles in courage or tout their laudable changes of heart. At this point, you support basic fairness because "Yeah. Duh. Of course."

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Trailer: 'Stonewall'

by Jeremy Hooper

I'm admittedly sidestepping the controversy for now (and there is some; Google it) and the fact that it, like all historical dramas with a fictional character as an entry point into the story, will be a bit revisionist. I just think it looks like a Hollywood take on an event that benefits from wider exposure, and I'm looking forward to seeing it:

I caught the mid'90s Stonewall movie on cable late one night after my parents had gone to bed, and it clicked even more things with in my constantly clicking brain. These stories do that.

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And now NOM is literally pleading with its (theoretical) supporters

by Jeremy Hooper

"Please don't" begs an organization whose supporters have every reason to flee their failed experiment in discrimination:

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 At 5.13.57 Pm

Even that one bird is like, "I'm outta here." The rest will follow soon enough.

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Add 'professional advocate for anti-gay scouting' to list of bygone career choices

by Jeremy Hooper

It's not perfect, what with its allowing church-led groups to sidestep the change. But still:

Boy Scouts End Nationwide Ban on Gay Leaders [NYT]

One small step for outdoorsy gay dads; one giant leap for an entire minority population sick of the insinuation that pedophilia is likely to be lurking under just under the surface of their sexual orientations.

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NOM to lasso the White House with a rosary. Or something.

by Jeremy Hooper

No longer needing to pretend they are something other than the thoroughly Catholic organization they've always been, the National Organization For Marriage has announced this little stunt:

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 At 12.10.36 Pm

I love how it's all about supposedly men and women coming to gather, but then they say "Our goal is to have at least 500 men (and women) gathered..." As if women are just some separate, lesser, parenthetical element to the men.

At this attempt to turn the White House into the Vatican, NOM will be joined by Alan Keyes, a man whose name is synonymous with anti-gay extremism. So yeah, things are going well for them.

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NOM's new plan? To beat up its org-crushing loss until it becomes a win.

by Jeremy Hooper

Legislatively? Nope. The bad laws they passed were unconstitutional, and recent years have turned in our favor anyway.

Electorally? Nope. The last four states to vote for marriage went in favor equality, and all credible polling for a few years now shows majority support for marriage equality.

Judicially? Puh-leeze! In addition to two crushing Supreme Court blows in two years' time, scores of federal courts have sided with fairness over discrimination.

We all know NOM knows how to beg for money, which is basically the only thing the org. does these days. Constantly. And humorously. Several times in the same day, sometimes.

But begging for cash isn't enough to stay in the game. So NOM's new plan: To punch equality in the face, apparently:

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 At 9.17.37 Pm

In the subsequent text, NOM proceeds to lay out its ridiculous "plan" for changing things toward their favor. Something about rubbing a lamp and hoping for a genie. Or something similarly plausible.

Those gloves though. Are you as scared as I am? I certainly hope you are. We could all use a nice peaceful sleep after the years of dehumanizing bullshit NOM has called a cause.

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By the time you read this headline, we'll be ten more seconds beyond stagnant anti-gay 'culture wars'

by Jeremy Hooper

Since it's summer vacation time, perhaps you've found yourself at a theme park. And at said theme park, perhaps you've found yourself sitting on some sort of tram watching the tableaus of an attraction play outside your moving window. When your car stops and the tour guide is engaging you and your fellow passengers in the show, you might have observations or opinions or debates with your fellow riders or whatever else about the subject matter in front of you. You paid for your ticket; you're immersed in this world. Perhaps it's even one of those 4-D type deals that manages to temporarily lessen your comfort with something that's wet or foul smelling. If it's a good ride, you'll feel enough of an involved party to form and share your reactions. If it's a bad ride, you might just snark at it.

But good or bad, your car soon moves on. When it does, you take the experience and lessons and memories and possibly even nausea with you, but you too move on to the next adventure. Others will follow behind and have their own run-ins with the past, but they too will move on soon enough. And so on and so forth, day after day and season after season. After all, the cars only run in one direction.

And this is what the militant, dogged, increasingly desperate anti-LGBT activists don't realize. They are now a frozen-in-time scene from a much larger human experience, and the vast majority of us—including many of the "us" who flirted with their positions at one time or even currently—are all zooming right past to what comes next.

Yes, right now, pro-discrimination organizations like The Family Leader can get mainstream Republican candidates to join their little summit. Yes, right now people like Ryan Anderson can find an audience for a book insisting that the marriage debate isn't really over. Yes, right now a number of anti-gay conservatives can find a niche media outlet willing to entertain their views. Yes, right now far-right politicians like Kansas governor Sam Brownback can even sign executive (dis)orders that enshrine discrimination. They can even still use marriage and related fear mongering to drive up some electoral support. The conservative movement has been building up its infrastructure for years; that doesn't just disappear overnight.

But all of this is happening in a stagnant swamp. These ideas—their ideas—are old, musty, failed ones. Their conversations are part of a previous generation's "culture war." It's not only that their policy ideas are notions that will either go nowhere or will ultimately be overturned. It's more than that. The ideas themselves, with stopping marriage equality chief among them, are now historical remnants. The notions are themselves dated, with archivists already boxing them up for planned museums and future university study. Their ways, once politically viable and menacing, are now regressive scripts for ever-repeating animatronic characters to act out within an unchanging diorama.

And there is simply no way to upgrade them for a new generation. It's not just that their policy ideas are broken; it's much deeper than that. The very notions that they are pushing (e.g. the "right" to overturn minority rights via majority tyranny, the "right" to exalt discriminatory faith views against LGBT people against civil policies and inclusive faith views, the "right" to limit people's lives in unfair ways simply because of who they are) are false values and flawed notions that the changing tide is sweeping off the table of consideration. It's not like the consensus—the majority of the public, young people, corporate America, the media, universities, intellectuals, power brokers from all walks of life—is saying "Rework this whole lesser-than status thing and we'll see if we can hash out a deal." We are saying to those who made discrimination their bag: "You're drunk with intolerance; go home."

If that sounds dismissive of me, then good. Because it is. Unapologetically so. Proudly so.

With every passing minute, the right (as in correct) side of the debate is distancing itself from a non-moving, non-compromising, non-evolving attempt to justify patently unjust discrimination. A movement that was once a great nuisance in the lives of millions of Americans is now becoming a fading curiosity, at best. By autumn, more so. By next year, even more so. By the time the 2016 election is over (and particularly if it goes one certain direction), I think we'll all be shocked by how much the 21st century gay rights battles seem more like documentary footage than the brutal thing that we all lived.

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