You got DADT, now STFU


One Battle Won, Gay Rights Activists Shift Sights

As gay people around the country reveled on Sunday in the historic Senate vote to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a liberal media watchdog group said it planned to announce on Monday that it was setting up a “communications war room for gay equality” in an effort to win the movement’s next and biggest battle: for a right to same-sex marriage.

[...]

Mr. Obama ran for office promising to be a “fierce advocate” for the rights of gay people, and he pledged his support for goals deeply important to them.

Obama and the Democrats threw LGBT’s a bone, and they better be happy gnawing on it because that’s all they’re gonna get for a while.


Curb your enthusiasm


It looks like DADT will finally be repealed. It was a bad law, a compromise to prevent something worse. I’ll remain skeptical until it is dead and buried and gays and lesbians are serving openly in our military.

But lets not get too excited. When Truman desegregated the military it didn’t end segregation in the rest of the nation, and it also meant that young black men could be used as cannon fodder in the jungles of Vietnam.

Despite what Rachel Maddow and others might think, Obama didn’t cover himself in glory on this issue. He fought court challenges against DADT and when he lost he appealed. Even now the White House won’t commit to ending discharges of gay and lesbians:

Saying that they had been “focused” on the vote, a senior White House aide intimately familiar with the administration’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal efforts was unwilling to say whether President Obama agrees with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that DADT-releated investigations and discharges should be halted immediately.

But even if gays and lesbians can now serve openly they still can’t get married.

DADT only affects a minority of the LGBT community. Repealing DOMA and legalizing gay marriage affects all of them.

BTW – What is to stop another Congress and POTUS from reinstituting the ban on gays in the military?

The court ruling that is under appeal said that DADT was unconstitutional. The repeal of DADT doesn’t affect it’s constitutionality.


Yo Barack, how about an EO on this?


From Bilerico via Corrente:

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place–wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling.

The worst parts of this tragedy have nothing to do with any hospital rules:

Without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold’s lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home.

The two men were unable to see each other during the final three months of Harold’s life, and almost everything they owned is gone.

Sonoma County is about an hour north of San Francisco, just above Marin County. When I lived up that way in the mid-eighties it was a fairly liberal place with a sizable LGBT community. Not exactly a hot bed of homophobia.

Words fail.


Cindy McCain Supports Gay Marriage


From The Guardian:

John McCain’s staunch opposition to gay marriage was one of the key parts of his presidential campaign. But it has become clear this was not supported in his own household. His daughter, Meghan, is a vocal advocate of gay rights. Now his wife, Cindy, has appeared in a poster campaign against California’s proposition 8 – a law banning same-sex marriage.

[...]

Cindy McCain appears in the poster with silver duct tape across her mouth and the campaign slogan, “NOH8″, marked on her cheek.

[...]

“Aligning yourself with the platform of gay marriage as a Republican still tends to be very stigmatic, but Cindy McCain wanted to participate in the campaign to show people that party doesn’t matter.”

John McCain’s office said in a statement that he respected the views of his family but remained opposed to gay marriage. “Senator McCain believes the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman,” it said. In 2008 McCain backed a measure in his home state of Arizona to ban same-sex marriage.

Meghan McCain also appears in the poster campaign. “I couldn’t be more proud of my mother for posing for the NOH8 campaign,” she wrote on Twitter. “I think more Republicans need to start taking a stand for equality.

“I was there when she did it and I almost started crying during the photo shoot.”

Totally uncalled for cheap shot:

Pam Spaulding, who blogs on gay issues, was reminded of an infamous and foul-mouthed bust up between John and Cindy during a campaign in 1992. “Given the Senator’s hot temper, and the fact that he called his wife a trollop and ‘you c*nt’ … this was a nice ‘screw you’ for picking that dimwit Palin and derailing the campaign,” Spaulding wrote.

Kudos, props and thumbs up for Cindy and Meghan McCain. Shame on John McCain and Pam Spaulding.


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Punk’d

2-face-obama

The Two Faces of Obama

This would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.  Obama throws some more of his most loyal supporters under the bus:

This week, the Obama administration is facing the ire of gay rights groups after it filed a brief in California federal court defending the Defense of Marriage Act and calling it a “valid exercise of Congress’ power” that is saving taxpayers money.

This is an occasion where there is no pleasure in saying “We told you so!”  Okay, well maybe a little – Kool-aid blogger John Aravosis:

We just got the brief from reader Lavi Soloway. It’s pretty despicable, and gratuitously homophobic. It reads as if it were written by one of George Bush’s top political appointees. I cannot state strongly enough how damaging this brief is to us. Obama didn’t just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn’t motivated by any anti-gay animus. He argued why our Supreme Court victories in Roemer and Lawrence shouldn’t be interpreted to give us rights in any other area (which hurts us in countless other cases and battles). He argued that DOMA doesn’t discriminate against us because it also discriminates about straight unmarried couples (ignoring the fact that they can get married and we can’t).

Andy Sullivan is barely starting to realize he should have spent more time looking at Obama’s homophobic BFF’s and less time rummaging through Sarah Palin’s panty drawer.

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Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, NCLR, GLAD, the ACLU and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force  issued a joint statement:

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CAG Jerry Brown asks California Supreme Court to Void Prop. 8

Edmund "Jerry" Brown

Edmund "Jerry" Brown

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

State Attorney General Jerry Brown, in a surprise turnabout, asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to overturn Proposition 8, saying the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage violates basic rights guaranteed in the state Constitution.

Brown, who is required to defend state laws unless he cannot find reasonable legal grounds to do so, said after Prop. 8 passed Nov. 4 that he would support the initiative before the state’s high court.

But in a lengthy filing late Friday, he argued that the constitutional amendment was “inconsistent with the guarantees of individual liberty” in California’s governing charter.

“Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification,” Brown said.

The authors of the state Constitution, he said, did not intend “to put a group’s right to enjoy liberty to a popular vote.”

I haven’t read his brief but I agree with his logic.  Minority rights should not be subject to the whims of the majority.  The state Constitution shouldn’t be easy to amend, especially when you consider that it requires a 2/3 vote to raise taxes here.  Taking away our civil rights should require at least as much.

Jerry Brown, aka “Governor Moonbeam,” was the last liberal governor of California.  He also served as the California Secretary of State and the Mayor of Oakland.  He and his father, Edmund “Pat” Brown, bookended Ronald Reagan’s tenure as governor.  His sister Kathleen Brown was formerly the state treasurer and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1994 against incumbent Pete Wilson.

Sometimes dynasties aren’t such a bad thing.

Churches and Gay Marriage: Why Don’t They Mix?

(NOTE: My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of terrorism in Mumbai. Such a terrible tragedy. I just can’t write more about it today.)

Why Is This Scary?

Why Is This Scary?

After the passage of California’s Proposition 8,  I’ve been shaking my head over why many religious institutions are virulently against gay marriage. This interview with Richard Rodriguez, an author, fervent Catholic, proud Hispanic, and “out” gay man, has a very interesting take on the subject. According to him, it’s all about the family and the wimminz, and how the church is afraid of losing its power over them both. I have to admit that I’ve never heard of this theory before, but Rodriguez makes a convincing case for his point of view.

The first couple of paragraphs pack quite a wallop.

For author Richard Rodriguez, no one is talking about the real issues behind Proposition 8.

While conservative churches are busy trying to whip up another round of culture wars over same-sex marriage, Rodriguez says the real reason for their panic lies elsewhere: the breakdown of the traditional heterosexual family and the shifting role of women in society and the church itself. As the American family fractures and the majority of women choose to live without men, churches are losing their grip on power and scapegoating gays and lesbians for their failures.

Rodriguez goes on to say this about how the feminist movement and the gay rights movement are linked, in the minds of those who are invested in religious institutions:

American families are under a great deal of stress. The divorce rate isn’t declining, it’s increasing. And the majority of American women are now living alone. We are raising children in America without fathers. I think of Michael Phelps at the Olympics with his mother in the stands. His father was completely absent. He was negligible; no one refers to him, no one noticed his absence.

The possibility that a whole new generation of American males is being raised by women without men is very challenging for the churches. I think they want to reassert some sort of male authority over the order of things. I think the pro-Proposition 8 movement was really galvanized by an insecurity that churches are feeling now with the rise of women.

Monotheistic religions feel threatened by the rise of feminism and the insistence, in many communities, that women take a bigger role in the church. At the same time that women are claiming more responsibility for their religious life, they are also moving out of traditional roles as wife and mother. This is why abortion is so threatening to many religious people — it represents some rejection of the traditional role of mother.

In such a world, we need to identify the relationship between feminism and homosexuality. These movements began, in some sense, to achieve visibility alongside one another. I know a lot of black churches take offense when gay activists say that the gay movement is somehow analogous to the black civil rights movement. And while there is some relationship between the persecution of gays and the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, I think the true analogy is to the women’s movement. What we represent as gays in America is an alternative to the traditional male-structured society. The possibility that we can form ourselves sexually — even form our sense of what a sex is — sets us apart from the traditional roles we were given by our fathers.

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