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: http://bit.ly/cJqRT2

“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.”

WHY WE NEED TO PASS DADT REPEAL IN SEPTEMBER:

· 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.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

‘Satan is behind gay marriage’ – gotta love those lovely NOM supporters

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Another video courtesy of the National Organization for Marriage's failed summer tour. Mercy, this is a good one from Washington D.C. Did you know that this fight is about “species” and that Satan is behind gay marriage?

One day, someone has to put all of these lovely videos together in a neat package.

More posts about those “Godly” protectors of marriage:

' Gay families aren't real families' – a NOM supporter further sinks their phony guise of love

A little ' state-sanctioned sodomy' for your Sunday night

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Brian Brown’s embarrassing NOM e-screed to supporters

The full e-screed by Brian Brown is after the jump. I thought I’d spare you that above the fold. After a bizarre and poorly attended NOM visit to Raleigh this week, he sends out an e-blast that sounds like a victory lap (with the required begging for cash).

Where are all these angry Americans who want to “save marriage” with Brian and Maggie? All I saw in Raleigh were some bored seniors and one unhinged woman from NOM’s The Ruth Institute.

Dear Friend of Marriage,

We’ve been busy. Our phone lines are flooded, and the emails are coming in loud and fast. As Rush Limbaugh said in his show on Prop 8, it is clear that “the American people are furious.” Judge Walker’s ruling has ignited a firestorm because it is the latest of a long string of insults and abuse directed at Americans whom the people with power in this country think they can abuse. They think they can ignore the voices and values of the American people, and boy, We the People are tired of it!

The media interviews are just one part of that story, but we have been determined to make sure that your voice and your values get heard in response to this ruling.

…”The American people are boiling. The American people are furious. My e-mails are unbelievable. This federal judge yesterday, this decision, Prop 8, California, has just put people over the edge, and all of these decisions are coming one after another from all corners of the federal government. It’s as if we have absolutely no say in what is going on all around us. Decisions are being made for us, in lieu of us and imposed on us….

“But what is a more fundamental right–a fundamental civil right in our system of government in a supposed republic–than the right to have our voice heard, to have our vote respected? You want to talk about civil rights? It doesn’t matter what the people of California vote. If the left doesn’t like it, they will use the bastardization of power in this country to reverse it. What about our vote being respected? Without that right, we’re no longer a republic.”


NOM Updates August 12, 2010
Follow us on Twitter!Join us on Facebook!Donate
Dear Friend of Marriage,

We've been busy. Our phone lines are flooded, and the emails are coming in loud and fast. As Rush Limbaugh said in his show on Prop 8, it is clear that "the American people are furious." Judge Walker's ruling has ignited a firestorm because it is the latest of a long string of insults and abuse directed at Americans whom the people with power in this country think they can abuse. They think they can ignore the voices and values of the American people, and boy, We the People are tired of it!

The media interviews are just one part of that story, but we have been determined to make sure that your voice and your values get heard in response to this ruling.

Anderson Cooper 360, CBN, Christianity Today, CBS News. ABC News, Associated Press, Reuters, CNN Headline News, USA Today, Janet Parshall's America, Wall Street Journal, Talk of the Nation, Lars Larson, National Review Online, the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle–even a hit from the Jon Stewart Show. (We LOVED that!–especially when the show crudely cut off Maggie's quote right before Maggie explains the reason she thinks Judge Walker is biased–because his rulings throughout this case have been so one-sided and unprecedented even the Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit have had to step in to slap him down! But hey, we don't expect a comedian to let the facts get in the way of making a good joke.)

The joke is turning pretty sour, as more and more people are waking up to realize two things: first, that Judge Walker's opinion is so extreme, it's likely to make his ruling vulnerable on appeal. Second, that the American people are not going to appreciate, a few months before an election, being called irrational bigots by a federal judge in San Francisco.

I'm sure all his friends and buddies there are backslapping and high-fiving his words. The reason gay activists love the ruling is that it sounds like it was written by an activist, not by a neutral referee.

Prop 8 does not ban anything. It establishes in the California Constitution the historic understanding of marriage, after that understanding was overturned by the California supreme court. Prop 8 says, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Judge Walker overturned it on the grounds that no rational person could believe that marriage is a union of husband and wife.

Rush Limbaugh put it best: Judge Walker "did not just slap down the will of seven million voters. Those seven million voters were put on trial, a kangaroo court where everything was stacked against them. …Those of you who voted for Prop 8 in California are guilty of hate crimes. You were thinking discrimination. That's what this judge has said! Truly unprecedented."

Yes it is.

The examples go on and on. But let me just pick one out for you that the mainstream media has totally overlooked. Take "fact" #79: "The Proposition 8 campaign relied on fears that children exposed to the concept of same-sex marriage may become gay or lesbian. The reason children need to be protected from same-sex marriage was never articulated in official campaign advertisements. Nevertheless, the advertisements insinuated that learning about same-sex marriage could make a child gay or lesbian and that parents should dread having a gay or lesbian child."

Translation: The campaign never actually said this, but Judge Walker ruled it is a fact anyway.
He can get inside the head of 7 million voters and determine–nothing in there worthy of respect.

Ed Whelan has pointed out the intellectually dishonest ways Judge Walker's opinion describes the actual record over at Bench Memos.

"Among the many distortions and falsehoods that Judge Vaughn Walker has tried to propagate through his anti-Prop 8 ruling," writes Whelan, "is his claim that the Prop 8 proponents … 'failed to build a credible factual record to support their claim that Proposition 8 served a legitimate government interest.' (Slip op. at 11.) Walker's claim, which many in the media evidently unfamiliar with the case have parroted, operates to divert attention from the manifest bias that he exhibited throughout the case and that pervades his ruling.

"But in fact the Prop 8 proponents offered a thorough case that Walker almost entirely ignored–a case resting on a broad array of judicial authority, recognized scholarship in various academic fields, extensive documentary evidence, and elementary common sense."

He goes on to cite one particularly egregious instance when Walker misdescribes what happened in his own courtroom. Chuck Cooper was arguing that the public purpose of marriage is responsible procreation. Walker asked him for evidence from the testimony. And Cooper proceed to cite the massive number of court cases in which judges have ruled this IS the state's interest in marriage.
Cooper then proceeded to present California cases stating (in Cooper's words, which may include direct quotations not reflected in the transcript's punctuation) that the "first purpose of matrimony by the laws of nature and society is procreation," that "the institution of marriage … channels biological drives … that might otherwise become socially destructive and … it ensures the care and education of children in a stable environment," and that (in a ruling just two years ago) "the sexual, procreative and childrearing aspects of marriage go to the very essence of the marriage relation."

Whelan goes on to point out, from a legal perspective, "Walker's question–'What testimony in this case supports the proposition?'–wasn't just flip. It was downright stupid–amazingly so, from a judge who has been on the bench for more than two decades. Even if one indulges the mistaken assumption that there was any need for a trial in the case (rather than its being disposed of, one way or the other, on summary judgment, with competing expert and documentary submissions), live witness testimony is merely one form of trial evidence. Exhibits submitted in evidence at trial are another form. And a judge is of course free to, and expected to, take judicial notice of certain facts."

Here's the zinger, the knockdown punch from Ed Whelan: A rational person "wouldn't know any of this from Walker's highly distorting clip of Cooper's statement–or from Olson's contemptible misrepresentation of it, or the media's mindless parroting of it."

He goes on to say "Walker's outrageous distortion on this point isn't an aberration. As I will show when I have time, it's representative of his entire modus operandi throughout his ruling."

Whew! Whelan 1, Walker nowhere after that round!

The list of voices criticizing Walker's opinions is growing. Many of them support gay marriage, but can recognize an overwrought opinion when they read it. Steve Chapman, a pro-gay-marriage libertarian columnist at the Chicago Tribune, called the decision "dismal" in its political and legal overreaching. "But it's silly to believe only nut jobs and bigots could rationally oppose same-sex marriage, or that millions of Californians who accept other laws protecting gays were acting irrationally." (Chapman also went on in the same column to endorse polygamy as the next change that should be made to marriage–although not by the courts–because after all, the same arguments apply equally well to polygamy or gay marriage.)

If you go to Prop8case.com you can follow along as we post all the scathing critiques emerging of Judge Walker's opinion–and a couple of great cartoons as well! My favorite shows the Founding Fathers gathered around a table, drafting the Constitution. "Let's put gay marriage here, in between abortion and socialized medicine," one of them says.

The media likes to say to us, Don't courts have a right to overturn laws? Well, yes, when they are actually against what's in our Constitution. The differences between gay marriage and interracial marriage are huge and one of them is this: Bans on racial discrimination are actually in our Constitution. The entire history of the 14th Amendment makes it clear that race is that amendment's central concern. Gay marriage? Well, even sensible liberals know that's a big stretch.

Not all the court news was bad. A federal judge just ruled for Protect Marriage Washington, agreeing that the names of people who sign on to the marriage amendment will not be released, at least not immediately. In Massachusetts and California, advocates of gay marriage put the names of known marriage supporters on websites that encouraged harassment, and in Washington state they threatened to do the same. Some of the leaders of Protect Marriage Washington have faced physical threats. The Supreme Court ruled that signers of referenda generally are not protected from disclosure and remanded back for trial the question of whether or not marriage supporters face enough of a threat to justify withholding their names. Congrats to James Bopp, Jr., and the Alliance Defense Fund for standing up for the core civil rights of all Americans to participate peacefully and safely in the democratic process.

And in Minnesota a pro-gay-marriage Republican, State Senator Paul Koering, just lost his seat. Thanks to you we were able to let voters in Minnesota know that his views and values were not the same as theirs.

I'm getting a lot of questions from reporters about the political impact of Judge Walker's ruling. As you know, we at NOM do not believe that marriage should be a partisan issue. But I think anyone who is seriously wondering how Judge Walker's ruling will play in Peoria should listen to Rush Limbaugh.

"The American people are boiling. The American people are furious. My e-mails are unbelievable. This federal judge yesterday, this decision, Prop 8, California, has just put people over the edge, and all of these decisions are coming one after another from all corners of the federal government. It's as if we have absolutely no say in what is going on all around us. Decisions are being made for us, in lieu of us and imposed on us….

"But what is a more fundamental right–a fundamental civil right in our system of government in a supposed republic–than the right to have our voice heard, to have our vote respected? You want to talk about civil rights? It doesn't matter what the people of California vote. If the left doesn't like it, they will use the bastardization of power in this country to reverse it. What about our vote being respected? Without that right, we're no longer a republic."

Among the people Judge Walker put on trial and implicitly denounced as an irrational bigot in his opinion is Dr. Alveda King.

Dr. King spoke at NOM's rally in Atlanta a few days ago, and she said, "As the daughter of Rev. A.D. King and my mother Naomi King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Sr. and his lovely beloved wife Alberta King, and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I come from a long line of Christian soldiers who have supported marriage and family! As I offer this testimony let me urge you to continue to stand firm for marriage by definition as one man and one woman. …I urge you today to encourage your family, friends, and communities to uphold and protect the definition of marriage. God, who created us and put us in the wombs of our mothers, uniting the seed of our fathers and the fruit of our mothers, imprinted us with His dream for marriage. We cannot let a few misguided judges and politicians erase the truth."

Amen.

Thank you for what you've made possible. I'm truly grateful and humbled by the outpouring of prayers and emails.

God bless you, and please pray for the efforts of all of us standing up for God's truth about marriage.

Until next week, keep fighting the good fight.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage
2029 K Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC  20006
bbrown@nationformarriage.org

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Dear Proposition 8 supporters – You lost because you lied

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Dear supporters of Proposition 8,

Please do not take my words as gloating but rather a clear and concise analysis of why you may be feeling dejected now over the overturning of Proposition 8.

In 2008, when you won, many of you stood with your arms raised in defiance of the bitter tears you caused in the lgbt community.

What a difference two years makes indeed.

But let me explain to you why you lost today. It’s not complicated, but rather simple.

Your side lost because you lied.

Oh I know that folks on your side will whine about “activist judges who make laws rather than interpret them,” but let’s be real here.

Your entire narrative has been a lie from the beginning.

Folks on your side, such as Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, and the rest of the pseudo defenders of morality will probably whine about how you all have been unfairly labeled as “bigots.” And I am sure that they will point out that every time there has been a public vote on marriage equality, the lgbt community has always lost.

But they will conveniently omit how these victories were attained. You won’t hear about how they invoked images of gay boogeymen molesting children in false ads nor will they admit to telling lies about children supposedly being taught about gay sex. 

You won’t hear them admit to exploiting people’s unconscious fears and ignorance of the lgbt community in order to spin outrageous scenarios of what could happen should lgbts be allowed to marry.

And don’t be surprised by this. Those like Gallagher will never admit to the depths they stooped to win not only in California but other places like Maine.

But there is a reason why this country has checks and balances. And there is a reason why people can’t arbitrarily vote on the rights of others without having to defend this vote in the logical arena of courts, where you can’t invoke panic by proverbially yelling fire in a crowded theatre.

In the courts, you must defend your position. And in the long run, you couldn’t. Or rather many of you wouldn’t. Again, the specters of gay bogeymen were invoked as your leaders spun false images of avenging hordes for their reluctance to be questioned in the courts about the unprovoked lies they said in pulpits, in speeches, and on commercials.

This time, it didn’t work. The court saw through the phony claims and realized something, which I hope that many of you now do – you have no logical reason to either deny us the right to love or to deny us the ability to protect the ones whom we love.

But please don’t think that even though we are celebrating, the lgbt community is naive to think that this ends the struggle for marriage equality.

We know this is just the beginning of a long fight to attain something that should have been ours from the beginning.

But that’s okay.

We are a community who learn from our past mistakes. At times we lose, but we learn to adapt and we eventually win.

So bring it on. We are not afraid.

Related post:

Message to the religious right – this isn't just about marriage, it's about history

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright