We’ve known since last summer that Republicans wanted to offer a “poison pill” amendment to the DADT language. The long-expected amendment would add all the Service Chiefs to the certification process. Last night, Mitch McConnell tried — and failed:
A last-ditch effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to complicate the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was blocked Tuesday night after Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) objected, Senate aides said.
McConnell attempted to add an amendment to the so-called stripped-down defense authorization bill that would have required the consent of the military service chiefs to proceed with “don’t ask” repeal. Under legislation passed by the Senate last week, certifications are required from the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. All the incumbents in those positions support repeal.
“It was a McConnell proposal,” a GOP aide confirmed. “There was an attempted to get unanimous consent for it to be included in the defense bill and someone objected.”
Washington State’s Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna likes to portray himself as a moderate, as noted recently. That false image was shattered when he endorsed numerous virulently anti-gay candidates in the 2010 elections.
As if to reinforce the point that he is ardently anti-gay, on Friday Mr. McKenna posted an email (pictured right) asking supporters to do ballot rehab for two outspokenly anti-gay candidates Vincent Buys and Hans Zeiger. Full email text is below the fold.
According to the radical-right 2010 Washington Voter Guide survey, Vincent Buys opposes domestic partnerships, opposes marriage equality and opposes a woman’s right to choose.
Hans Zeiger is even more extreme than Buys. Besides opposing domestic partnerships, marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose, Zeiger called the National Education Association and the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network “terrorist organizations” and claimed that a Girl Scouts USA national convention “will be a gathering of radical feminists, lesbians, and cookie peddlers” and is “allied with the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood”. In addition, Zeiger reportedly works for a radical right Christian organization dedicated in part to preventing lesbian and gay couples from marrying.
As of Friday, Vince Buys was only 150 votes ahead of pro-equality incumbent Rep. Kelli Linville, and Hans Zeiger was only 40 votes ahead of pro-equality incumbent Rep. Dawn Morrell. With a recount imminent, campaigns are doing “ballot rehab” described as taking “the list of ballots that have been rejected by…County Elections due to signature issues and identify friendly voters and then collect signed affidavits to ensure that each of those votes count”.
Pulling out all the stops to get anti-gay candidates like Buys and Zeiger elected is not something a moderate would do. Once again Mr. McKenna’s actions speak volumes.
On numerous occasions we’ve asked you to pay some focus to Minnesota, where Maggie Gallagher and the rest of the National Organization for Marriage have so obviously been laying the exact same kind of framework for a potential ballot initiative that they did prior to launching efforts in California, Maine, and elsewhere. Speaking engagements have been booked. Salvatore Cordileone, the so-called “father of Prop 8,” hasbeen tapped. Local bishops have placed Op-Eds in local papers. NOM’s been running ads telling citizens that they have the right to vote on marriage. NOM’s also currently sticking their organizational nose into the state senate and gubernatorial elections, knowing that since there’s no direct I/R procedure in Minnesota, they need to change the legislative and executive makeup as much as they can before they move forward. All of this in hopes of getting out ahead of the pro-equality side, should basic human rights every be put to a majority vote in the North Star State.
Now, via The Courier newsletter of the Diocese of Winona (no relation to Judd), we learn that the state’s Catholic coalition is getting even more aggressive in gearing up their troops for a potential fight. In fact, they are actually sending anti-equality DVDs to every parishioner, turning many family movie nights into a cinematic call to arms:
Within the next week or so, you will receive a letter from me and a DVD. The bishops of Minnesota are alarmed by the continuing attacks on the institution of marriage, and we are taking action. First, we want every Catholic to know the church’s teaching about marriage. From the beginning, the church has taught that marriage is a lifetime relationship between one man and one woman. It is a sacrament, instituted by Jesus Christ to provide the special graces that are needed to live according to God’s law and to give birth to the next generation.
There are several current attacks on marriage. The most threatening now are efforts to legalize “same sex” or “gay” marriage, that is, marriage between two men or between two women.
The DVD provides more detail about the Church’s teaching on marriage and about the possible effects that a same sex marriage policy would have in our state. When they arrive, I hope that you will read the letter and watch the DVD. Then, I hope that you will become one of the thousands of Catholics who have contacted legislators and told them that marriage is a lifetime relationship between one man and one woman. Any other kind of relationship simply is not a marriage. This is our time to stand up and defend marriage as a unique institution that, from the beginning of human history and in every culture, is the union of one man and one woman for the propagation of the human family and the upbringing of children.
In a way we gays and lesbians should be flattered. Our lives are just so important that a major religious group is seriously making movies about our benign existences. Andy Warhol predicted everyone’s 15 minutes of fame — The Catholic church of Minnesota is delivering as much to all gays.
But mostly, it’s just creepy. If they asked to see our wedding videos, most of us gay folk would probably show them. But this feels like they snuck in our house and seized the footage, then re-edited it in a dramatic way that’d impress even the “Real Housewives” producers. It feels not only offensive, but also invasive. Like an underground game of telephone (or television, as it were), where propagandistic whispers have replaced actual discussion, religious condemnation has replaced religious freedom, and where “The Blind Side” in DVD players is anything but “Precious.”
The latest effort by the right wing opponnets of same-sex marriage in California have lost another one.
As reported earlier this week, the Pacific Justice Institute went to court in an attempt to force Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown to defend Prop. 8. The Governor is the named defendant, but both he and Brown have refused to defend Prop. 8. The supporters of Prop. 8 are worried about their standing to appeal the case, hence, this legal “Hail Mary.”
It didn’t work.
Today, the California Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, rejected the Pacific Justice Institute’s suit.