I’d be worried if I were you.

Actually, I have some good news. Isn’t it fun to find out stuff is changing for the better?

“I think the president’s statement today is probably the most significant advancing of our cause since the bill-signing,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley told me during a meeting in Baltimore, two hours after President Obama announced his public support for same-sex marriage. A poll out just this morning quantifies how significant. If the vote to uphold Maryland’s marriage-equality law were held today, it would pass with 57 percent of the vote. Even more compelling, 55 percent of African Americans said same-sex marriages should have the same rights as other marriages.

That sound you hear is millions of “traditional marriage” enforcers tearing their hair out.

 

Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall calls the kettle black

Thorne-Begland was the only one of more than three dozen judicial nominees — including 10 others from the Richmond region — who was not elected to a judgeship following a marathon legislative session dominated by review of amendments to the two-year state budget proposed by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

And how, you may wonder, is Mr. Thorne-Begland uniquely unqualified among nominees for a judgeship in Virginia?

A number of conservative House Republicans with military backgrounds questioned Thorne-Begland’s decision to speak publicly about his sexual orientation while he was in the military and subject to its code of conduct.

“For me it’s not not about fear and bigotry and ignorance and so forth,” said  Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William. “It is very definitely about duty.”

In an email blast to supporters late last week, the Christian conservative Family Foundation questioned Thorne-Begland’s fitness for the bench given his support for gay marriage, which is not legal in Virginia. Thorne-Begland and his partner, Michael, live together and are raising twins.

Marshall, too had charged that Thorne-Begland pursued an “aggressive activist homosexual agenda.”

“Duty” here is code for “don’t make us uncomfortable.”

We can’t have a new judge who spoke out against DADT at the expense of his military career and who now raises twins openly with his partner. If you’re gay and pursuing a legal/judicial career in Virginia, you’d best stay in the closet.

But his nomination came under fire late last week, as the Family Foundation and Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, stoked fears that the 45-year-old attorney would allow his sexual orientation to influence his judicial decisions.

If you’re queer, and you might make judicial decisions that make life suck less for queer people, then according to Del. Marshall you are allowing your sexual orientation to influence your judicial decisions, and to him that is unacceptable. However, Del. Marshall doesn’t seem to consider that some might accuse him of allowing his bigotry to influence his legislative decisions, and in ways that would do a lot more damage than any “aggressive activist homosexual agenda.” Amanda Marcotte has more of his nonsense:

“Marriage is between one man and one woman, and the the applicant has represented himself in public in a relationship that we don’t recognize in Virginia,” Marshall said in an interview with WRIC, the ABC affiliate in Richmond.

Of course he’s just making shit up as he goes along. We don’t see him applying this “relationship propriety test” to people who are against marriage equality. I think he’s freaking out over the fact that support for civil marriage equality is shooting up like a rocket all over the country, and Tracy Thorne-Begland is a handy target for his anxiety.

The Caucasian Race allowed Jodie Brunstetter to happen.

The latest argument against marriage equality: “Because white people need to breed more.”

Pam’s House Blend points us to Yes Weekly, which shows us…this:

MICHAEL:

“I had my back to her like this. She said, ‘The reason my husband my husband wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasian race is diminishing and we need to uh, reproduce.”

UNIDENTIFIED POLL WORKER: “(Mrs. Brunsetter said) … the Caucasian race is diminishing. ?The reason that’s a problem is that it was white people that founded this country.”

Meanwhile Mrs. Brunstetter is all like, “Sure, I said that, but if I said ‘Caucasian,’ it wasn’t about race! Why won’t you people leave me alone, with your gotcha questions and your ‘facts’!”

This may seem incoherent, as reading this exchange has cost me a couple dozen IQ points.

So…like…North Carolina needs a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality, because by barring same-sex couples from marriage, they’ll be able to force white people to have more kids, relative to people of color?

But…what? On what planet does that even begin to make sense?

Won’t someone please think of the children who don’t exist!

By gum, Pastor Aaron Fruh is mad as heck and he’s not going to take it anymore! He’s not bigoted at all, it’s the gays who are prejudiced and hateful by demanding their right to marry their partners. The word salad is so special that I think it warrants a crazy-looking graphic. The emphasis is mine, but this is a direct quote…

Continue reading

This post is unrelated.

Since Gov. O’Malley signed the marriage equality bill into law last night, I joined a bunch of my friends for a little celebratory get-together at our local cafe, and while we were there, Greenbelt 2012 came to get our thoughts on the matter. What happened was, I got off the bus, went straight to the cafe, and sat down with my fellow queer Greenbelters over a beer and some baba ghanoush. After I’d pounded the beer and enjoyed some laughs with my peeps, Eric, armed with his suped-up camera and digital recorder, found me and asked if I’d answer some questions. And I was all like, “Yeah! I will totally answer your questions!” So he held up the recorder and I gave him my thoughts on civil unions, religious freedom, voter referenda and joining the 21st century. He doesn’t quote my answer about religious organizations that offer adoption services, but my thoughts were basically: you get public funding for your charitable organization, you follow the public’s rules. You do without the public funding, then you can follow your own rules.

He also took some surprisingly good-looking pictures. That first one is of your blogger.

 

The times, they are a-changin’.

Cokie and Steven Roberts have an opinion piece about how support for marriage equality is growing:

Last year, for the first time, national polls showed a majority of Americans favoring same-sex marriage. Statistician Nate Silver, writing in The New York Times, estimates that support for the concept is growing by 4 percentage points every year. By the November election, he forecasts, 56 percent will favor legalizing gay unions and only 40 percent will oppose them. Three years ago, the numbers were reversed.

As Bohanan discovered, this shift is driven mainly by young people. According to a recent Pew study, three out of five voters under 30 back same-sex marriage, while only one out of three over 65 share that view. As the conservative columnist George Will likes to say, young people think being gay is about as significant as being left-handed. And that makes them far more tolerant and open-minded than their elders.

Since we have a new bill for marriage equality in Maryland ready for Gov. O’Malley to sign into law, we are probably going to see a voter referendum on the matter in November. Opponents were already threatening to put the issue on the ballot before the House debate was even finished. They’re so eager to get a voter referendum because they’re convinced they know what the outcome will be. And I could divert this entry into talking about how voter referenda are so fucked up, an insult to representative democracy, the tyranny of the majority, and so on, but right now, whenever I hear some other “defender of traditional marriage” tell us they’re gonna put the issue on the ballot like it’ll teach us a lesson, all I can think is: “What makes you so confident?”

Admittedly, the track record for ballot initiatives has been very bad for marriage equality. So far, whenever voters have been given a chance to decide the fate of same-sex marriage in a state, they’ve always voted against it. And of course the Enforcers of Tradition are only too happy to remind us that voters have struck down marriage equality every chance they’ve had, like that’s supposed to show us that state representatives and courts don’t have the right to allow marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples. In relying on ballot initiatives, they are assuming that a majority of voters will always agree with them.

Why should they assume that?

The track record for direct democracy on civil marriage rights looks the way it does because, up until very recently, a majority of voters has been opposed to marriage equality. Recent polls on the matter have discovered that is no longer the case. To put it bluntly, the people who are most opposed to marriage equality are dying of old age, and the people coming to replace them at the ballot booths are increasingly supportive of gay rights, especially civil marriage. If the issue of marriage equality continues to be put in front of the voters, it will eventually win the election. Direct democracy isn’t going to “uphold the traditional definition of marriage” forever. There will come a time when no amount of lying and scaremongering through TV ads funded by tax-exempt entities (such as churches who supposedly don’t have the money to deal with lawsuits) is going to convince a majority of voters in a jurisdiction that gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

Who says that time won’t come this year?  And whenever that time comes, and voters turn out in favor of equality, how fast are the Enforcers of Tradition going to change their tune on the superiority of direct democracy?

(Off-topic, but be sure to see Del. Kach’s perspective on marriage as quoted in the Robertses’ opinion piece. We need more pro-life politicians like him.)

 

DELICIOUS anti-gay nonsense!

While I had a very good time behaving like an asshole on Twitter yesterday while the Maryland Senate debated a marriage equality bill (and they passed it!), I heard some amusing new variations on the usual ridiculousness, but not really any new arguments against.

I find that much of the case against legal same-sex marriage rests on daring us proponents to criticize religion and the privileges it has long enjoyed in our society. I realize it may be a fairly recent development for progressives to come right out and tell you that they have no problem with religious groups losing public funding for public accommodations if they do not follow the public’s rules, but they really should have figured out by now that showing us Bible verses is a hilariously stupid idea.

It’s like this: if you tell us that same-sex marriage is wrong because of a couple of verses in Leviticus, we will point and laugh at you. It’s not even about punishment, it’s just a simple matter of cause and effect. If you expect us to believe that God hates Teh Gheyz because it says so in the Bible, you will have a gaggle of smartassed liberals throwing popcorn at you. Go out into the rain without an umbrella, you will get wet.

 

Really Bad Arguments: Anti-Equality Edition

Good news for civil marriage equality: the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill yesterday to expand marriage rights to same-sex couples! It’s not finished yet, as we still have the state Senate, but our governor is pro-equality. While the House was debating the bill yesterday, I followed the #MDSSM tag on Twitter to keep up with the delegates’ arguments. While doing so, I failed to hear a new argument against marriage equality, which means I still have not yet heard a single reason to oppose equality that isn’t utter nonsense. That much is not news. What is news is that I realized something new about these Really Bad Arguments Against Marriage Equality.

They are mutually contradictory. Simply by virtue of their existence, some of these arguments cancel each other out.

For example: first, we hear the tired old battle cry of “Defend traditional marriage!”, which is in itself incoherent, as if heterosexual couples will suddenly be unable to get married, or stay married, if the institution of marriage is extended to include same-sex couples. However, later on in the same debate, we get that paranoid slippery slope of, “What next, legal polygamy?”

That’s when it hit me: legal polygamy (specifically polygyny, though there have been some cultures which practice polyandry) is a much older tradition than monogamy. There is nothing more traditional than a wealthy, powerful man with a clutch of dependent wives and an even larger group of concubines. If we really want to protect Tradition, then we should welcome the slippery slope to polygamy!

Your move, Enforcers of Tradition!

Yay!

I heard this on Facebook via Robyn Ochs today, but Anna North also comes bearing good news. Washington state now has marriage equality! Celebration!

Now, y’all should expect this blog to be quiet and terse for a while. An Authoring Situation has introduced itself, and it demands my attention now rather than later. Don’t worry! I’m okay! I just have to take care of this, and it’s going to take up all my spare time until it’s done.