Marriage Equality Would Lead To “Kids Raised In Warehouses”

October 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Yep, that's the latest anti-gay bile coming from congressman Steve King. Chait takes the Sparta reference and runs with it.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Obama, Marriage And The Gay American Future, Ctd

October 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Obama-parents

A reader vents to the president:

You're the product of a relationship that would have been illegal in parts of the country only a generation ago, you're a liberal activist who grew up in the '70s and '80s, and you're a goddamned Constitutional scholar.  Fifteen years ago you supported our civil rights, so what's changed?  Oh right – you became a national political figure.  Now you say you're going to fight for our rights with one face, while standing idle or even actively opposing us with the other. 

Oh well, I'm sure you'll finish your evolution (or is that devolution?) after you're out of office, like every Democrat before you who could only muster political "courage" once there were no repercussions to fear.  And we'll hear grand moving speeches where you'll proclaim:

I think, what made me change my mind, I looked up and said look at all of this stuff you’re for. I realized that I was over 60 years old, I grew up at a different time, and I was hung up about the word. I had all these gay friends, I had all these gay couple friends, and I was hung up about it. And I decided I was wrong.

Oh wait, that was Bill Clinton – a decade after his presidency and a year after his wife's candidacy ended.

Another writes:

How can you applaud Obama for his pragmatism against Republicans but lambaste him for his strategy on DADT and DOMA?  And I think it is a pragmatic strategy – another example of his long game.  Even now, with congressional Democrats in the majority, he doesn't have the votes to repeal DADT or DOMA.  From that quote, and other things he's said, I believe he wants to do both, but knows he loses Blue Dog Democrats if he tries now or even admits that he wants to. In a better economy, he might be able to twist those arms, but Democrats are too vulnerable right now. 

I think Obama's priorities are:  fix the economy (or at least keep Republican from sending it further into the tank), get re-elected, and fight for the hot-button issues (DADT, DOMA, immigration) when the environment is better for Democrats and he's not trying to ensure another term.  Is it what I, or any of us, would like him to do?  Of course not.  But I don't see how he can play it any other way.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Maldives: Police arrest Muslim marriage celebrant who mocked foreign couple as “swine” and “infidels”

October 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Here is the video about which Marisol wrote here. The marriage celebrant has now been arrested. One does wonder, however, how many other marriages he has celebrated. Mocking the kuffar is good fun until it could start having a negative impact upon the tourism industry. “Maldives arrest marriage celebrant after ‘hate’ ceremony,” from AFP, October 29 (thanks to Ima):

COLOMBO (AFP) – Police in the Maldives have arrested a marriage celebrant who abused a foreign couple as “swine” and “infidels” during a luxury ceremony in the holiday paradise, an official said.

Maldivian police spokesman Ahmed Shiyam said the celebrant, who conducted the ceremony in the local language at an upmarket resort fringed by white sand and turquoise water, had been arrested with another hotel employee on Thursday.

A video of the ceremony, during which the hapless couple are taunted and subjected to a series of insulting and religious-tinged abuse, was posted on YouTube and has sparked fears for the country’s tourism-dependent economy….

“You are swine,” the couple were told. “The children that you bear from this marriage will all be bastard swine.

“Your marriage is not a valid one. You are not the kind of people who can have a valid marriage. One of you is an infidel. The other, too, is an infidel and, we have reason to believe, an atheist.”

The wife, wearing a white dress and carrying a bouquet, and her husband smile shyly through the ceremony, which was to renew their marriage vows at a cost of 1,300 dollars.

In front of a table decorated with incense sticks, the English-speaking couple bow their heads in prayer through the torrent of accusations, curses and swearing from the celebrant.

At the end of the 15-minute routine, they exchange rings as the staff clap, before heading onto the beach to plant a coconut tree in the sand.

The Islamic republic of the Maldives, a nation of palm-fringed islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, is one of the world’s most exclusive honeymoon destinations and its economy relies heavily on tourism.

Jihad Watch

What Do Marriage Equality And Marijuana Legalization Have In Common?

October 28, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Priapic graphs. So sue me.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Obama, Marriage And The Gay American Future

October 28, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

An Obama quote from yesterday:

I … think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that [marriage equality] is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about.

Actually, Obama's attitudes previously evolved in the opposite direction, since he (and his own church) favored marriage rights in 1996, as Dylan Matthews notes. So he was once in favor, then against, but now is leaning for again, but not yet. This pattern, if genuine, makes him almost unique among Americans. How many who were for marriage equality in 1996 are now against it?

This is so patently political it's frankly excruciating to read. But could the last Congress have realistically managed to repeal DOMA within two years in the biggest economic crisis in generations? In the real world, I doubt it, and doubt any president would have expended political capital on it in the circumstances. This is not an excuse; but it is a realistic explanation.

The failure to end DADT – which has massive popular support and is backed by even Bill O'Reilly – is a much bigger indictment of Obama, the Dems and the Human Rights Campaign.

And under Obama, we have done the important work of shifting public opinion and extending the areas where marriage equality is real, if only on a state level. We are, alas, working with a gutless Democratic party and a pathologically anti-gay party of the right. And for the next two years at the very least, the chances of any federal legislation that even acknowledges that gays exist, let alone deserve civil equality, are zero.

As the wider civilized world evolves forward, and America remains trapped in a polarized cultural gridlock, gay Americans will be increasingly be the most discriminated against in the developed world. This, I fear, is the deeper reality of one party captured by religious fundamentalism and another that sees gays as fundraising tools and people to be pitied. We will be alone again, as we fight to change the consciousness of the next generation and beyond.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Obama, Marriage And The Gay American Future

October 28, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

An Obama quote from yesterday:

I … think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that [marriage equality] is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about.

Actually, Obama's attitudes previously evolved in the opposite direction, since he (and his own church) favored marriage rights in 1996, as Dylan Matthews notes. So he was once in favor, then against, but now is leaning for again, but not yet. This pattern, if genuine, makes him almost unique among Americans. How many who were for marriage equality in 1996 are now against it?

This is so patently political it's frankly excruciating to read. But could the last Congress have realistically managed to repeal DOMA within two years in the biggest economic crisis in generations? In the real world, I doubt it, and doubt any president would have expended political capital on it in the circumstances. This is not an excuse; but it is a realistic explanation.

The failure to end DADT – which has massive popular support and is backed by even Bill O'Reilly – is a much bigger indictment of Obama, the Dems and the Human Rights Campaign.

And under Obama, we have done the important work of shifting public opinion and extending the areas where marriage equality is real, if only on a state level. We are, alas, working with a gutless Democratic party and a pathologically anti-gay party of the right. And for the next two years at the very least, the chances of any federal legislation that even acknowledges that gays exist, let alone deserve civil equality, are zero.

As the wider civilized world evolves forward, and America remains trapped in a polarized cultural gridlock, gay Americans will be increasingly be the most discriminated against in the developed world. This, I fear, is the deeper reality of one party captured by religious fundamentalism and another that sees gays as fundraising tools and people to be pitied. We will be alone again, as we fight to change the consciousness of the next generation and beyond.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

A shift in Obama’s same-sex marriage vow?

October 28, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Washington (CNN) -There may be some wiggle room in President Obama’s unwavering opposition to same-sex marriage. Speaking to a group of liberal bloggers Wednesday the President said that “attitudes evolve, including mine.”

It appeared to be a departure from his stance of supporting civil unions only but not same-sex marriage.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said this evolution in the President’s thinking is a result of discussions he’s had with “colleagues and co-workers and hears them talking about being treated differently.

And the President internalizes that.” Gibbs could not say if this process would eventually lead the President to embrace same-sex marriage as law, but he reiterated that conversations on this issue have enlightened Mr. Obama.

“They’re good parents, they’re good people, and that’s something that he thinks about.” This comes as the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is tangled in the legal system.

The Justice Department has appealed a court ruling that would allow openly gay people to serve in the military. Even though President Obama says the policy is discriminatory, he wants the case to be decided by Congress not the courts.


CNN Political Ticker

Steve King Predicts Children Will Be Raised In ‘Warehouses’ If Conservatives Don’t Defend Marriage

October 28, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Iowa Independent’s Lynda Waddington caught up with Rep. Steve King (R-IA) at the so-called “Judge Bus” tour — a campaign urging Iowa voters to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges who overturned an Iowa statute banning same-sex marriage in April 2009. King has long argued that judges shouldn’t “legislate” from the bench, and said that he feared the Court’s decision would turn Iowa into a “gay marriage Mecca.” Yesterday, at a bus stop in Cedar Rapids, IA, he told Waddington that if conservatives don’t restrict marriage to one man and one woman, children will be taken away from their parents and to be raised in warehouses:

“I think that if we can’t defend marriage, that it becomes very hard to defend life,” King said. “Marriage is the crucible by which we pour all of our values and pass them on to our children, and that is how the culture is renewed each time. So, if we lose marriage — for instance, if our children are raised in warehouses, so to speak. There have been civilizations that have tried to do that. The Spartans did that. They took the children away and taught them to be warriors. It’s a good way to defend a country, but not much of a way to run a civilization.

“So, I’m afraid if that happened — if we lose the marriage, we lose the home, we lose the nuclear family then we can’t teach our values. We won’t be able to teach our faith. We won’t be able to teach life. We won’t be able to teach our Constitutional values either. That’s why I’m afraid it’s going to be very, very difficult to defend life.”

Interestingly, none of the five states and one district (including Iowa) that have expanded marriage have constructed child-only warehouses and all of the research about same-sex parents suggests that their families are very similar to those with different sex parents. A recent IowaWatch study found that similarities range from the way men and women often view marriage to the more mundane tasks of married life, such as doing yard work. “Like people in traditional marriages, same-sex couples also talk about raising children and shielding them from the verbal slings of peers, the stability and unit-strength of a family and the value of loving relationships among parents and children, as well as legal necessities and financial security,” the study found.

For more on King’s lost history of bigotry, click here. (H/T: Right Wing Watch)

Wonk Room

Obama Suggests His View On Gay Marriage May ‘Evolve’

October 28, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

President Obama, who has said time and again that he is in favor of civil unions over same-sex marriage, yesterday suggested that his view may “evolve.”

Obama, who has drawn the ire of the LGBT community most recently by fighting to enforce Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell even while trying to repeal it, was grilled by Joe Sudbay of AMERICABlog during a meeting with progressive bloggers yesterday.

“I just really want to know what is your position on same-sex marriage?” Sudbay asked, according to a transcript.

“Joe, I do not intend to make big news sitting here with the five of you, as wonderful as you guys are,” Obama said.

“I am a strong supporter of civil unions. As you say, I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage,” he said.

But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine. And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.

And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today.

“The one thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trend lines are going,” he added.

Obama also said his administration has a strategy for repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell during the lame-duck session of Congress this fall. And he urged the Log Cabin Republicans — who brought the lawsuit that lead to DADT being ruled unconstitutional and whom he met with on Tuesday — to put their energies into getting Republican “yes” votes on repeal.

“You’re financing a very successful, very effective legal strategy, and yet the only really thing you need to do is make sure that we get two to five Republican votes in the Senate,” he said. “And I said directly to the Log Cabin Republican who was here yesterday, I said, that can’t be that hard. Get me those votes.”







TPMMuckraker

In Sit Down With Bloggers, Obama Hints At Change On Same-Sex Marriage, Reiterates DADT Approach

October 27, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

During a first-of-its-kind sit down with progressive bloggers at the White House this afternoon, President Obama told AmericaBlog’s Joe Sudbay that he didn’t think the LGBT community’s “disillusionment and disappointment” in his approach to issues like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was justified, saying “I guess my attitude is that we have been as vocal, as supportive of the LGBT community as any President in history.”

Speaking directly to the DADT issue, Obama reiterated that the policy “is not just harmful to the brave men and women who are serving…but it doesn’t serve our interests.” “I think that the best way to overturn it is for Congress to act,” he insisted, revealing that he asked Log Cabin Republicans’ executive director R. Clarke Cooper, who attended yesterday’s top level meeting about ending the ban, to “Get me those votes.” After district court judge Virginia Phillips ruled the ban unconstitutional and barred the Pentagon from enforcing the policy, LGBT advocates urged Obama to agree with her interpretation of the law and refuse to appeal her decision. The administration, however, is asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the injunction and reverse the ruling, insisting that it was bound to defend existing law.

During the sit down, Obama avoided Sudbay’s question about the constitutionality of the policy since “I’m not sitting on the Supreme Court,” he said. “And I’ve got to be careful, as President of the United States, to make sure that when I’m making pronouncements about laws that Congress passed I don’t do so just off the top of my head.” But he also hinted that he understood the community’s frustration with the pace of change, recalling how African American civil rights leaders responded to similar arguments about “patience and time”:

Now, I say that as somebody who appreciates that the LGBT community very legitimately feels these issues in very personal terms. So it’s not my place to counsel patience. One of my favorite pieces of literature is “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and Dr. King had to battle people counseling patience and time. And he rightly said that time is neutral. And things don’t automatically get better unless people push to try to get things better.

So I don’t begrudge the LGBT community pushing, but the flip side of it is that this notion somehow that this administration has been a source of disappointment to the LGBT community, as opposed to a stalwart ally of the LGBT community, I think is wrong.

Responding to Sudbay’s question about the growing support for same-sex marriage, Obama reiterated his belief in civil unions but conceded that “attitudes evolve, including mine.” “And I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about…while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about,” he said.

For a full transcript of Obama’s remarks, click here.

Wonk Room

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