House GOPers ‘will pursue legislation that would ban gay marriage’ in DC

We won in the courts last week when the Supreme Court refused to hear the DC marriage case. I wrote:

So, DC’s marriage law is safe from judicial attack. Now, we’ve got to keep our eye on those homophobic GOPers in Congress.

That didn’t take long. The homophobic GOPers in Congress are setting their sights on DC’s marriage law. Yes, they’re planning to use their power to strip rights from DC citizens. The Hill’s Molly Hooper reports:

House conservatives say they will pursue legislation that would ban gay marriage in the nation’s capital.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), told The Hill that he will push for a vote on the controversial issue in the 112th Congress. The RSC has 175 members.

“I think RSC will push for it, and I’m certainly strongly for it. I don’t know if we’ve made a decision if I’ll do it or let another member do it, but I’m 100 percent for it,” Jordan said.

This isn’t far-fetched. Republicans will use the legislative process to push their agenda. I outlined my concerns about how this could play out in November:

So, here’s the scenario that I fear: House Republicans include anti-gay language in their appropriation bills. We can’t strip that language on the House floor. Sure, the Senate won’t have similar language (we hope.) But, when the House Republicans get to conference committee with their anti-gay legislation and demand its inclusion in the final bill, who in the Senate will stop them? Not only do Democrats have a smaller caucus, a number of moderate-to-conservative Democrats are on the ballot in 2012 (Claire McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Jim Webb, Mark Pryor, Bill Nelson, Jon Tester, Kent Conrad, Joe Manchin). Think any of them will want to go out on a limb for gay issues?

Conference bills can’t be amended on the floor. The anti-gay provisions will be very small pieces of much bigger, must-pass bills. Does anyone really think Democrats are going to filibuster, for example, funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on behalf of gay marriage? And even if they tried, does anyone honestly think they’d win? And does anyone really think Obama would veto any appropriations bill “just” because it includes anti-gay language? I don’t think that’s where the White House will draw its line in the sand. I’d like to be wrong, but so far I’ve been sadly right.

Last year, Rep. Alcee Hastings tried to use the appropriations process defund the DADT discharges. The White House stopped him. Our side doesn’t play that way. The other guys do. Anyone who thinks the Republicans don’t is delusional. The Republicans will be tenacious and fight hard to include anti-gay language in any measure where it’s feasible, and the Democrats, in the Senate and the White House, will run away as far as possible, as they always do.

That’s still my concern. Unless, Obama evolves quickly on marriage and decides to fight against efforts to strip citizens of rights.

As I said in the post below, this should serve as a warning to everyone. Once legislators feel empowered to take the rights away from some, everyone’s rights are on the chopping block.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Mixed bag open thread: pedophiles, pathetic GOPers, a busted ex-gay therapist, and more

Here’s a look at what I’ve been Tweeting and Facebooking today.

* After Promising To ‘Repeal And Replace’ Obama’s Health Law, Republicans Have No Replacement. Gee, is anyone surprised? Think Progress:

When Fox News contributor Juan Williams challenged [The Weekly Standard's Bill] Kristol to explain “what are you going to replace it with?”, Kristol told Williams not to worry, because there would be hearings in a few months and Republicans would probably come up with something by then.

* Karen Ocamb @ LGBTPOV: Does Sen. John McCain Owe Gay Servicemembers an Apology?

* Joe My God – This Week In Holy Crimes. So many pious pedophiles – from all around the country – it gives you agita. Just one example -

Florida: Pastor Gordon Libby charged with kidnapping a 14 year-old from a Walmart and then masturbating in the victim’s presence. Libby is the founder of the clergy recruitment firm Pastors4U.

* Is the Black Church Dead? Debate Flares Among African-American Christians. This is about the “prosperity gospel” ministers of black megachurches:

They’re pastors, but they’re really in the Halloween costume of a Fortune 500 CEO. And in the process they’re trick-or-treating the people,” Jonathan L. Walton, an assistant professor of African-American religion at Harvard Divinity School, told an appreciative audience three days earlier at Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta.

* David Badash: Best Palin “Surveyors Marks, Not Crosshairs” Debunking Ever.

* QNotes: S.C. GOP strategist: Gays want ‘special protected class’. Consultant Wesley Donehue:

There are many Republicans in the General Assembly who will flat out try to kill any bill providing more gay rights. They aren’t the problem for the S.C Alliance (sic). Their problem will be the many forward-thinking Republicans who are sympathetic to their cause, but won’t go for putting more laws on the books and creating a special protected class.

Matt Comer of QNotes:

Unfortunately, Donehue is right on one point: Many South Carolina Republicans (and even some Democrats, mind you) will fight tooth-and-nail to stop pro-equality legislation. What’s sadder is that some legislators, like state Rep. Greg Delleney (R-Chester), will also fight to specifically exclude LGBT people from what should be relatively non-controversial health and education legislation.”

* MetroWeekly: A Kinder, Gentler DOMA? News Analysis: DOJ’s continued defense of DOMA may have taken on a softer tone, but it can’t erase the sharp underpinnings of the discriminatory 1996 law.

* Towleroad: Tea Party Holds Anti-Same-Sex Marriage Rally In Iowa.

The marriage debate in Iowa continues to heat up. About 35 people gathered in Council Bluffs, Iowa yesterday as part of a Tea Party sponsored rally in support of a ban on same-sex marriage in that state. Headlining the event was wingnut freshman Republican State Representative Kim Pearson who, along with Republicans Tom Shaw of Laurens and Glen Massie, has helped draft legislation to impeach the remaining four justices on the Iowa Supreme Court.

And this money quote from Pearson:

“The definition of marriage is between one man and one woman. God is our ultimate lawgiver.”

* And how about this great news from across the pond: Christian therapist who claims she can help gay men go straight faces faces being stripped of her psych accreditation.

Lesley Pilkington, 60, will appear before a professional conduct panel and faces losing her accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

…Mrs Pilkington, a devout Christian who says she ‘understands the issues’ because her son is gay, has treated around ten patients using the controversial Sexual Orientation Change Efforts programme over the past decade.

In tapes of her sessions with Mr Strudwick he asks her if she views homosexuality as ‘a mental illness, an addiction or an anti-religious phenomenon’.

She replies: ‘It is all of that.’

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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SLDN blasts Senate GOPers for holding Defense bill hostage to tax cuts: ‘This is unprecedented and it is shameful’

SLDN just sent out this statement:

“It is unprecedented that a tax reduction bill must pass before the Senate can act to fund our troops and the nation’s defense. We need to be clear about what’s happening here: the defense bill is being held hostage until Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and John McCain get the tax bill they want to pass. This is unprecedented and it is shameful. The National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the repeal provisions, must be called up in the Senate, debated, and passed before Congress leaves for the year. If the 42 GOP senators — including several who support repeal of ‘Don’t Ask’ — put process and procedure and tax cuts first, their continued delays and political jockeying will be an endorsement of the discrimination that has cost 14,000 men and women their jobs and threatened our country’s national security by discharging mission-critical service members,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Sure sounds like SLDN has had it with the games. And, they should be.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Pro-repeal Senators say they’ve got 60 votes for DADT, including several GOPers

The lame duck session represents so many hurdles, so little time, but there is this.

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent, said Thursday that he and other opponents of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay service members had secured the votes to authorize its repeal — provided that Senate leaders allow a free-flowing debate on the wider military policy bill that includes the repeal.

At the press conference, Lieberman mentioned GOP Senators Collins and Lugar are prepared to vote for the Defense bill. And I got a big chuckle out of this.

“The movement to end the injustice of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is alive and well and we are going to keep fighting — in the spirit of the American military — until we get the job done,” he said. “And we will get the job done.”

Mr. Lieberman conceded, however, that he had made no progress in persuading Mr. McCain, a close friend of his, to withdraw his opposition.

That is just too cute by half. I’d love to be a fly on the wall watching “Joementum” (snark) try to bargain with his pal “Walnuts” (no snark) to get him to come over to the side of equality.

UPDATE from Joe: Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade reports that Nevada activists have been told Senator John Ensign wants DADT repealed and is prepared to vote for cloture on the Defense bill after the Pentagon’s study is released. Via Igor Volsky, according to an Alaska reporter, that state’s newly reelected Senator, Lisa Murkowski “said that she would ‘not vote against a bill that had that repeal in it.’” Murkowski has been back and forth on this issue over the past couple days. So, this thing is fluid. It’s all about timing and process now.

The key thing to remember is this paragraph from the NY Times article, to which Tim linked:

Leaders of the new House Republican majority have indicated that repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not a priority for them, making it unlikely they would approve the bill again. That means if the repeal language is not approved by the end of this year, it will be effectively dead.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Shouldn’t matter, but top House and Senate GOPers on Armed Services vow to stop DADT repeal in lame duck

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. We know Rep. McKeon and Senator McCain opposed DADT repeal. They’re going to try to stop it in the lame duck. Pushing this. Those Log Cabin Republicans and GOProuds have their work cut out for them:

Already, the Republican widely expected to be the next House Armed Services chairman signaled that Republicans are not on board with trying to push for a vote in the last few weeks of the current session, while the Democrats are just a few votes shy of pushing it through.

“Republicans on both sides the Capitol are committed to passing a National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 that is not weighed down by the current majority’s social agenda items,” said Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-California, in a statement released Wednesday morning.

Before the election, the top Republican on the Armed Services committee, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told an Arizona television station he would “absolutely” filibuster any attempt to vote “until we have a thorough and complete study on the effect of morale and battle effectiveness.”

“The reason they tried to ramrod it through the Senate is they knew that the Senate will look different next January,” McCain said on 12 News’ “Sunday Square Off” on October 17. “I will filibuster or stop it from being brought up.”

This shouldn’t matter. McKeon and McCain don’t run the commmittees — yet.

Obama and the Democrats need to really focus on the passing the Defense bill as is. They let the GOPers get away with filibustering the Defense bill in September, which was a huge mistake. We’re in two wars, which should be reason enough to force the GOP’s handgs. Also, the Defense bill has to be one of the biggest jobs bills that Congress passes. It funds millions of salaries in both the government and private sectors. And, as the President noted yesterday at his press conference, there is a huge amount of support for ending DADT.

Let this be the first fight with the Republicans. But, make it a fight.

And, if you haven’t seen it, watch Alex Nicholson’s video on how we can prevail. He spells it out quite clearly:




AMERICAblog Gay

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McConnell: DADT is ‘controversial’ (but, that’s only because of GOPers)

Here’s video of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell talking about the Defense Authorization bill and DADT at his Capitol Hill presser today:

More from Kerry Eleveld, who was also at the press event:

McConnell, who spoke to reporters shortly before Reid, said the bill included several items that made the legislation “needlessly controversial,” including the repeal language and the DREAM Act.

“There are a number of elements in that bill that have nothing to do with defense,” he said, adding that the repeal provision allows “eliminating ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ without the study” from the Pentagon due out in December.

But he did not say one way or the other whether Republicans would filibuster the legislation.

“I can’t tell you right now how easy it will be to move forward with that bill,” he said.

When Reid was asked if he had the 60 votes to break the filibuster, he responded, “We’ll sure find out.”




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright