GOP’s anti-gay trifecta insures marriage will be an issue in 2012

Opponents of same-sex marriage have created a three-pronged effort that insures the issue will be a key topic in the Presidential election. There are efforts underway by Republicans legislators in Iowa, the first caucus state, and New Hampshire, the first primary state, to end their existing marriage laws. In Iowa, the GOP-controlled House has begun the process of passing a bill to put a ban on the ballot. In New Hampshire, both the House and Senate are now GOP-led and they could try to repeal the law later this year or in 2012. In Congress, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) indicated that he’s going to push legislation to block DC’s marriage law.

It’s like an anti-marriage perfect storm. These efforts guarantee that the GOP presidential candidates (except, of course, Fred Karger) who are traipsing through Iowa and New Hampshire will try to burnish their right-wing cred by engaging in the usual gay-bashing. And, the effort by GOPers in Congress adds fuel to the fire. We’ve already seen potential Republican candidates, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum, groveling before the haters. We can expect a lot more of that. And, just wait til the debates start. The GOP candidates will be doing contortions to show their base just how much they hate the gays.

Now, there’s something different about all three of the anti-gay efforts in DC, NH and Iowa. In each, it isn’t about preventing same-sex marriage. In those three jurisdictions, the homophobes are trying to take rights away from citizens. That should put these battles into a different light. If they can come for our rights, they can (and will) come for the rights of others.

In all three legislative bodies, Republicans vowed to create jobs and focus on the economy. But, they just can’t control their homophobia.

On the Democratic side, Obama needs to fully evolve on his support for marriage equality (or evolve back to his 1996 pro-marriage position.) It’s unclear if that will happen. As marriage becomes an issue for the GOP homophobes, Obama is going to have the chance to weigh in on efforts to strip away rights from citizens. Remember, despite repeated requests, Obama didn’t really say much about the 2009 ballot measures in Maine and Washington. Obama should take a very strong stand against these insidious, hateful efforts (and vow to veto any legislation on DC) — especially since it appears his Justice Department will still be defending DOMA in the courts. The President needs to stay true to what he said at the DADT bill signing, “We are a nation that says, ‘Out of many, we are one.’” And, we can’t be a nation that takes away rights. Period.

One thing is clear: Marriage will be an issue in 2012. There’s no way to avoid it. The anti-gay forces and the GOP presidential candidates are insuring it.




AMERICAblog Gay

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In NH, House GOP’s ‘legislative agenda will not include repealing gay marriage’

Interesting development from the Granite State, which I first saw via Joe.My.God:

The House Republican’s legislative agenda will not include repealing gay marriage.

House Republican Leader D.J. Bettencourt confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that jobs and the economy will be the top priorities that Republicans will use as their scorecard to measure themselves by for the next two years.

This is fascinating, if it proves to be true. As Joe says:

Stand by for NOM’s hissy fit.

This sure gives all those anti-gay GOP presidential hopefuls something to talk about. Good thing Fred Karger is campaigning in New Hampshire to provide some sanity.




AMERICAblog Gay

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GOP’s Dehumanizing of our LGBT troops

There are much to say about the Senate hearings that just concluded. I was quite taken aback to see Sen Evan Bayh emerge as a full-on gay rights hero. Ok, he’s not back up for re-election. But neither is Blanche Lincoln and she’s as useless as ever. So, good for him.

And there was a lovely irony seeing Lindsay Graham describe findings that most people are OK with gay people as “astounding.” Even more so, by the testy exchange he had with Admiral Mullen, where Mullen seemed frustrated with his fruitless attempt to impress on Sen. Graham that there is value in treating gay people with respect and dignity.

But I want to speak to a particular tactic I saw the GOP engaging in: the denial of gay as being a facet of a person’s identity. The idea, that being gay is only what goes on in the bedroom.

Cross-posted at Daily Kos, give a rec if you got it please.
We saw Jeff Session push this very overtly. He objected to comparisons to race, saying that gay people are defined only by acts not the color of their skin.

But to anyone who ever adjusted to the idea of accepting a gay brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father, we know this to be abjectly false. If all that mattered what what someone did in the privacy of their bedroom it wouldn’t be a significant revelation, anymore than you’d concern yourself if they liked it cowboy or reverse cowboy.

In truth, we recognize, it realigns our ideas, our expectations, our understanding of people who we’ve known and loved for years. More often than not, the revelation is overblown. But there are adjustments, the expectation of grandchildren, the challenge of welcoming partners into family gatherings that may not be exactly what were expected. There are concerns for their safety, employment, happiness.

The hypocrisy of this was in full display when Senator Scott Brown used the heart-rending episode of visiting a soldier in Walter Reid Hospital as a backdrop for his remarks. He described seeing a paraplegic veteran doing ab crunches.

Brown said, “I never asked if they were straight or gay.”

Fair enough. That might have been a out of bounds question.

But ask yourself, Senator, as you sat next to that soldier’s bed, did you ask him, “What’s next soldier? When you get home, do you have someone to care for you? Do you have someone who will help you dress your wounds? Do you have someone that may cook you meals, help you get onto the toilet? Do you have someone to drive you to physical therapy?”

Did you concern yourself for more than a passing instant for the reality of these soldier’s lives? Because for the LGB servicemembers, the difference in their coming home experience will be stark.

  • The partners of LGB servicemembers will not have access to VA support groups.
  • They will not be visited by most military chaplains.
  • The LGB servicemembers compensation will be different. The financial burden for a non-working partner will be greater for LGB families.
  • The partners of LGB servicemembers will not be ignored and forgotten. And the whole family will suffer.

We are bonded by more than acts in a bedroom. We are bonded by love.

The discrepancies will continue, until the Defense of Marriage Act falls. In the meantime, the gay community has stepped up to fill the void (see Servicemembers United’s new Millitary Partners program.)

We are family. Military prides itself on taking care of families, as they do the servicemembers. But DADT forbids that. DADT leaves LGB servicemembers’ families locked out, in the dark, without recognition or support. Active duty LGB servicemembers risk discharge every time they reach out an even so much as speak to their partners on the phone or send them an email.

America has moved on. America increasingly recognizes gay people are family too. Just yesterday Illinois passed a civil unions bill that will soon be signed into law, affording the LGBT families of Illinois a measure of legal recognition and the protection of the state on some of their interests.

It matters. Admiral Mike Mullen gets that. I was so pleased to see him engage passionately with McCain and Graham, defending the dignity of his LGB soldiers, and as he himself said, the integrity of the armed forces itself. He’s also conceded the military, which a proud tradition of leading on social issues, is “clearly not leading” on this one. He wants to play to catch up, the Senate needs to let him.

“We treat each other with respect or we find another place to work.”–Admiral Mike Mullen.

Photos courtesy of Jo Ann Santangelo, from her new book, Proud to Serve portraits of LGBT servicemembers. A great Christmas gift, available for here.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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Wait, NOM doesn’t know that they’re the ones wrecking the GOP’s future? Weird. Everyone else does.

On “Top Chef,” the contestants are always talking about being thrown under the bus (i.e. being sold out by one of their fellow contestants). Well today, it’s Chef NOM who’s serving up a heaping slice of nonsense over a bed of victimization, coated in a warm B.S. drizzle, and it’s those cooks in the GOP kitchen who prefer a more moderate temperature who are supposedly spoiling the feast:

Prediction: after Mehlman announced he’s gay, you will see an increasingly coordinated campaign by certain GOP establishment elites to jettison the marriage issue, an issue about which the majority of Americans–and 80 percent of Republicans–agree.

GOP Elites Try to Throw Marriage Under the Bus [National Organization For Marriage]

Only thing here? It’s Maggie Gallagher and NOM who have been throwing marriage — and, by extension, the GOP’s identity — under the bus for the past decade or so! Forget circus peanuts: It’s gay people’s marriage licenses that Maggie and crew have been using to tease the elephant, getting the party off course of so many actual societal discussion, and trampling so much good will under the pachyderm’s considerable feet. And increasingly, we’re seeing how the gumbo makes Dumbo feel all of his first four letters.

If there ever was a bipartisan bus in this country that might’ve been headed towards a shared sense of progress, then “the fight to save marriageā„¢” will surely go Images-1down in history as one of the most ignoble, wantonly divisive, cruelly obnoxious reasons for that bus’ derailing. Those Republicans who are making some sort of good faith attempt at unifying or at least getting us past the contentious conversation that surrounds this issue are the ones who are trying, to varying degrees, to wipe the “marriage wars” stench from society’s taint. They are not the ones leaving skid marks on marriage, history, and the Republican party!




Good As You

—  John Wright