Socarides: ‘the bottom line is the government continues to oppose full equality for its gay citizens’

As John reported last night, the Obama administration is still defending DOMA in the courts. The President and his Department of Justice don’t have to do it, but they are. And, that’s just wrong. I don’t think this counts as “evolving.”

From Ben Smith:

Gay groups are furious with a Justice Department brief defending — though in quite narrow terms — the Defense of Marriage Act, which Candidate Obama, unlike even his Democratic rivals, had pledged to repeal in full.

“DOMA is supported by rationales that constitute a sufficient rational basis for the law. For example, as explained below, it is supported by an interest in maintaining the status quo and uniformity on the federal level, and preserving room for the development of policy in the states,” says the government’s brief (.pdf) in two cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The brief focuses solely on the virtues of keeping the federal law while state’s experiment, and not the underlying question of marriage.

The half-heartedness of that defense didn’t offer much solace to activists who — despite the Justice Department’s traditional role defending federal laws — are demanding that Obama return to the full support for same-sex marriage that he advocated in the 1990s.

“There are some improvements in tone in the brief, but the bottom line is the government continues to oppose full equality for its gay citizens,” said Equality Matters chief Richard Socarides in an email. “And that is unacceptable.”

Completely unacceptable. And, this is going to be a problem for the reelection campaign. Soon-to-be Campaign Manager Jim Messina is going to have to figure this one out. The President is going to have to be clear about his full support for marriage equality.


—  admin

Our bottom line is equality. Businesses can decide if ours benefits or threatens their own

In light of the whole Chick-Fil-A brouhaha of this past week, we keep getting the same note from the company’s defenders. Whether in email or in forums, both on this site and elsewhere, there’s this idea that by simply making note of an announced sponsorship or united advocacy campaign, we on the pro-LGBT side were acting like big, bad meanies. That’s a compelling claim, if you consider the basic facts.

In order to start controversy, all this site had to do was simply make note of The Pennsylvania Family Institute’s announced sponsorship with Chick-Fil-A. That’s it. We simply had to repost a flyer that PFI had already created! From there, others weighed in, PFI abruptly scrubbed the flyer (without noting their action), and Chick-Fil-A Corporate tweeted its own interest in the matter (before issuing a carefully parsed statement two days later)

Now, If Chick-Fil-A was proud of the support and its public illumination, then there would be ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM ON THEIR END. That’s the way it is with any number of pro-equality corporations, who quite proudly support LGBT events, pride marches, conferences, etc. Pro-equality companies tend to embrace diversity, progress, and inclusion, as well as those who advocate for it. I’ve consumed enough corporate-donated food and stashed away enough corporate-branded swag to know this to be true.

So that’s what’s so darn telling about these kinds of corporate developments. When we highlight them, more often than not, the company (be it privately or publicly held) tends to back away, demand their name be scrubbed, renounce support, etc. Whereas the reaction, both from Chick-Fil-A and PFI could’ve been “So what?” or “Yeah, we’re proud to support each other on ‘protect marriage’ causes,” we instead got walk backs, disavowals, convenient explanations, shot-messengers, and scrubbed flyers. And this is how it plays out almost every time.

That corporate reality is not on us, our movement, or the canard that “militant” gays wield a mutant power of intimidation. Everyone — consumers, business owner, stock holders, advocacy groups — has their own outlooks, choices, and free will. In America’s marketplace, equality is the outlook that seems to be winning, with “pro-family” outreach an increasing liability.


*Oh, and this also goes for our more recent revelations about Chick-Fil-A/WinShape’s connections to the larger marriage movement. If they are proud of this fight, then they should like our bringing it to light.

Good As You

—  admin

Bam Bam Barber’s bottom line: ‘Time to reunite church and state’

It’s refreshing to have all the cards on the table, isn’t it? In the past the bigoted Dominionists usually like to cloak their naked ambition a bit, but as LGBT rights have progressed around the country, the increasing hysteria on the fringe has called for full-out official conflation of church and state like Matt Barber’s WND op-ed, “Time to reunite church and state.”

The U.S. Constitution, indeed our entire republican form of government, was crafted by deeply pious men who were overwhelmingly Christian. It was fashioned within the context and framework of the Judeo-Christian zeitgeist of the time and was further intended to function in harmony with a Judeo-Christian worldview – period. Though leftists may deny this reality, it remains indisputable fact. The historical record is unequivocal.

…Part and parcel of Obama’s agenda has been to push, at a fever pitch, the most extremist pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Christian agenda in American history.

Indeed, in contrast with the deeply held religious and moral values embraced by our Founding Fathers, today’s America is governed by an “immoral” and “irreligious” chief executive. Barack Obama is the high priest of secular-socialism.

He seeks to undermine – if not altogether dismantle – the American exceptionalism that, hitherto, has been fundamentally woven throughout our national fabric.

In this diatribe, we see the resurrection of the Marxist Obamazombie-freedom-crushing meme:

He aspires to the lowest common denominator. He seeks to uproot Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” and relocate the “land of the free and the home of the brave” to a much lower altitude, alongside those Euro-Marxist nations he so admires and wistfully desires to emulate.

The U.S. Constitution was neither intended to, nor can it, work in harmony with the postmodern secular-socialist worldview embraced by those on the political left. Such a worldview is, by its very nature, counter-constitutional.

Whereas the Constitution was intended to guarantee individual liberty and justice, limit the size and scope of the federal government and secure freedom of speech and religious expression; the goal of the secular-socialist is to control nearly every aspect of an individual’s life, to massively expand the size and scope of the federal government and to suppress – if not altogether smother – freedom of speech and religious expression.

Where do we see this happening, Matt? We just saw Arkansas school board member Clint McChance idiotically express himself freely – the blowback didn’t come from the government. Society didn’t accept his bigotry as compatible with the control he had over his school district and they spoke their minds. How, Bam Bam, can you turn the clock back to make society reflect your ideal?

So is Matt calling for a poilitical uprising, burning of the Constitution and overthrow of the government?

People with conservative values – particularly Christians – need to take back America. We must take charge of government at every level from the municipal hall to the White House.

It’s time for men of the cloth – as they did during the first American Revolution – to exercise true leadership, return to the pulpit and call for national revival, both spiritual and political. As George Washington so astutely observed, the notion that political issues, and those of “religion and morality,” are somehow mutually exclusive, is patently absurd. They are one in the same.

Am I calling for a theocracy? Of course not. Am I calling for men and women of strong faith to retake control of all high-level positions of influence in government, academia, media and entertainment? Absolutely.

He and his BFF The Peter need to just shack up and get some relief; it may do them some good to unwind because both of them are reaching epic levels of stress over societal change.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Here’s The Dilemma Trailer Without Vince Vaughn’s ‘So Gay’ Line. Makes Everything Better, Right?

Above, the new The Dilemma trailer from Universal Pictures, without Vince Vaughn's opening line about electric cars being "so gay," which got Anderson Cooper so upset. An unnamed Universal exec originally said the studio screened the trailer for the folks at GLAAD, who had no problem with it; GLAAD says that was a lie. So in order to see Vaughn's character utter the line, you'll have to buy a movie ticket, because Universal didn't strip the dialogue from the actual film. Success?


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—  John Wright

Afternoon View – F Line

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

NOM’s latest mailer: Typo in first line, goes downhill from there

NOM and direct mail: They sure “knows” how to exploit kids/fear/foliage:

Natl Org For Marr 1

Natl Org For Marr 2

*SOURCE: NOM uses kids to attack pro-marriage Maine candidates [Equality Maine]

Marriage in fear quotes? The idea that NOM is part of Maine’s “special way of life,” even while sending the mailer from their DC address? NOM asking voters to fill up representatives’ personal emails with either praise or condemnation? Chatter about kids that become part of the next generation, while completely overlooking the fact — THE FACT! — that a portion of those kids will be LGBT? Light pink roses for a fall wedding?!

Ugh. Sorry, trees that had to die to for this astroturfed silliness.

Good As You

—  John Wright

Stars Line Up for McNally Play

ALAN CUMMING 201009 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMA one-night only staged reading of Some Men, Terence McNally’s
2007 off-Broadway hit which chronicles gay men over the past 80 years,
has attracted an all-star cast for its West Coast premiere. Daily News

—  John Wright

Stars Line Up for McNally Play

ALAN CUMMING 201009 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMA one-night only staged reading of Some Men, Terence McNally’s
2007 off-Broadway hit which chronicles gay men over the past 80 years,
has attracted an all-star cast for its West Coast premiere. Daily News

—  John Wright

David Cicilline: Capital D.C. already on his monogram — next his address line?

From the Victory Fund’s Gay Politics:

Cicilline Election NightProvidence, R.I., Mayor David Cicilline has won the all-important Democratic primary in the race to represent Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, a key victory in an overwhelmingly Democratic state.

If he wins the general election in November, Cicilline will become just the third openly gay, non-incumbent candidate to win a congressional seat, and only the seventh openly gay person to serve in the U.S. Congress.

BREAKING: Cicilline wins Democratic primary for Congress [Gay Politics]

(Pic., L to R: Eric Hyers, campaign mgr.; DavidCicilline; Victory Fund’s Chuck Wolfe)

Cicilline will now face Republican state Rep. John Loughlin in the general. A man who recently said this:

A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, [Loughlin] said, he sees no reason to repeal the military’s “don’t ask-don’t tell” policy for gay servicemen because “service in the military is about defending our country … it is not necessarily about open sexuality of any kind.”

GOP Loughlin launches bid to unseat Kennedy [Pro Jo]

So basically, candidate Loughlin will now fight a metaphorical battle with a man who he doesn’t even think deserves the basic right to fight literal battles free from the fear that the merest of identity acknowledgements will derail his life and career. We’ll leave it at that for now.

Good As You

—  John Wright

SLDN asks supporters to call Senators: ‘Repeal is on the line’

Today, SLDN sent an action alert to its supporters urging calls to Senators to ask for a vote on the Defense Authorization in September. The action alert is here. SLDN’s press release lays out the case for a vote in September. If that vote doesn’t take place, we’re facing the prospect that even the compromise DADT bill won’t pass this year — and that could mean repeal won’t happen for years:

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), issued a national action alert today urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to schedule a floor vote on repeal the week of September 20. The alert also targets Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who has been a vocal opponent of repeal. TWEET this action alert now:

“We cannot let the defense budget bill slide any longer. Repeal supporters need to call Senate leadership today and ask they move the defense bill to the Senate floor the week of September 20th,” said Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. “Sen. John McCain has been a strong and vocal opponent from the start and it is critical that we beat back any filibuster threat, defeat attempts to strike repeal, and defeat any crippling amendments. The focus will also continue on Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell; we need this bill up on the Senate floor the week of September 20th.”


· If the defense budget bill doesn’t move in September and slides into the lame duck session, many Republicans have made it clear they will only agree to a Continuing Resolution to keep funding the Defense Dept.

· If a Continuing Resolution is passed, the hard earned House passage of repeal dies. Recall, repeal advocates made it to the House floor vote bypassing the House Armed Services Committee as we didn’t have the support of the Democratic Chairman, Ike Skelton.

· If the defense budget bill doesn’t move to the Senate floor by the end of September, DADT repeal may not happen for SEVERAL MORE YEARS.

· How will repeal die if there is no vote in September? If Republicans take back the House in November, as many are beginning to predict, SLDN doesn’t see Speaker Boehner pushing a vote on DADT next year.

SLDN knows what is going on. OVer the past couple days, Aubrey Sarvis has raised the level of concern. Over the past two days, we’ve posted on recent DADT developments here, here and here. This is a really serious situation. Call your Senators. The main number is 202-224-3121. They’re still in recess this week, so calls to the in-state offices help, too.

This is the closest we’ve been to repeal ever. And, even the compromise language isn’t a done deal. It really is on the line.

The only thing that can possibly change the current course is pressure — and lots of it.


—  John Wright