Jennifer Roback Morse hates your planned babies.

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This is the appalling thing right there, I mean right there is the problem, okay? The way almighty God created our bodies, a man and a woman are supposed to come together in an act of love to produce a new human being. This is the way God wants the human species to continue, as a participation in his divine love and in his divine creative power. That is what is imprinted into our bodies, that’s what we’re supposed to do, that’s what we need to do, that’s what we want to do.

And what we’re doing now, Todd, as a result of the sexual revolution and all its fruits, is that we are in full-on retreat from human relationship between a man and a woman in order to create that child. So going online to buy sperm from a stranger is about as far as you can possibly get from the participation in divine love and divine creation. The fact that these two women want to have sex with each other has no bearing whatsoever on whether this should be permitted or not. You know, buying sperm on Craigslist should be abolished. Buying sperm at all should be abolished. And furthermore, these people should be in jail, I’m afraid.

I mean, you know, honestly, I just can’t even imagine where people think this is going to lead. You know, because the child is no longer a gift from God and a fruit of human love participating in God’s love. The child is now a product, manufactured by adults, and therefore the child cannot be fully the equal of its parent. The object cannot be the equal of its producer or its maker, you know. And so the further we go down this path, the further away we are going from the true ideal of equality before God, of equality before one another, of treating one another with dignity. And the child becomes a kind of chattel. So the legal complications and the sort of ick factor of all of this, it’s important to sort all that out and look at it, but let’s not take our eye off that ball, which is that we have defaced the creator’s plan and intention here by this behavior.

Listen, Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage: There is something you find deeply offensive about couples who plan their babies, rather than just letting the babies happen. This goes beyond hating gays (although that much is obvious) and clearly into the territory of resenting people who have the babies they want rather than the babies that result from torn condoms. You hate women who aren’t dependent on men, you hate families that don’t look like yours, and you’re not too fond of children, either.

“Struggle to explain how they lost”?

Zinnia Jones explains just how important it is that marriage equality made gains in state ballot initiatives this year. This is what I’ve been thinking, but she goes into further detail:

State-level gay marriage bans have a long, ugly, depressing history. Until now, the result was completely predictable whenever it was put to a popular vote: we lost. 30 to 0. Then 31 to 0. Then 32 to 0. It had become a crushing regularity for us, and our opponents knew it. This became their talking point: “every time same-sex marriage is on the ballot, the people vote against it.” And it hurt because of how true it was. It wasn’t entirely unexpected when North Carolina and Maine were the most recent states to vote against equality. But when California passed Proposition 8, that really stunned us. If even the people of California wouldn’t vote in favor of gay marriage, then who would?

I remember that talking point’s role in the debates.

It was part warning, part jeer. It was about telling us both that we were wrong, and that it wouldn’t matter if we were right because they’d beat us anyway.

The implication was that the popular vote was the only thing that counted, that marriage equality wasn’t legitimate unless it passed a voter referendum. And since no voter referendum had yet broken in favor of equality, that supposedly meant same-sex marriage was un-American.

The thing is, people can change their minds over time.

So, when the Maryland legislature passed a bill for same-sex marriage, the Enforcers of Tradition started promising to put the matter to a voter referendum this year, thinking that would take care of THAT little slip-up.

Meanwhile, the discussion of civil marriage raged on, the Really Bad Arguments were taken apart, and the polls showed increases in support for equality with each passing year.

So when we had pro-equality legislation, followed by yet another vow to put civil rights up to a popular vote, I looked around my state and I said, “You know what, homophobes? Bring it on! Let’s do this!”

Sure, they put civil marriage rights on the ballot. In the meantime, President Obama went on-record saying gay couples should be able to get married. I suspect that helped.

I thought this would be the year when Maryland would be the first state to uphold marriage equality by a popular vote.

It’s even better that we’re tied with Washington and Maine.

This is the year, not only that SSM was able to win the popular vote at the state level, but that it did so in three states at once, AND another state voted not to let their ban on SSM get any worse. This is the year that there were multiple victories for equality and NO LOSSES.

For the first time – ever – they’re the ones who are left reeling the day after. They’re the ones who will have to struggle to explain how they lost.

I don’t think it should be a struggle to explain at all. They lost because there are no good reasons to deny civil marriage to same-sex couples. The longer we fight over the issue, the more obvious it becomes to more people that the case against is made of paranoia, bad history, superstition and bigotry. They lost because they’re wrong.

 

Book Club Edition: The Internet is for Porn

Last Sunday, I was interviewed by Annie at New Books in Secularism about Charlinder’s Walk. The podcast isn’t up yet, but when it is, it’ll be the first fiction book featured on their site. She made me ‘fess up about things like Paleolan family values–they have strong family values, but not traditional family values–and Lacey. We spent a good deal of time talking about Gentiola, and also Lacey. She asked me about this one encounter that Charlinder has in a settlement with, as I put it, some “very strict rules about who can have sex with whom.” Those strict rules end up making life harder for some than others. I had some coherent things to say about Gentiola at first, such as her cultural background, and then we opened up a can of worms that led to me rambling on into McRandomness about some other aspects of Gentiola that are kind of tricky to explain outside the text. We talked a lot about sexual politics, religious beliefs, building families, language barriers and dealing with hunger.

However, one thing she did not ask me about was when Charlinder is actually shown enjoying some sexytimes. I have disclosed with a previous Storytime that there is Hawt Sex in this book, and you may get the impression from some reviews that the sexytimes happen with Gentiola. Since the reviews have been posted, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say: why, yes, they do. And I know I also said in a previous Storytime that I wouldn’t show you any more excerpts from Charlinder’s Walk, but today, I’m going to show you a little one.

Adult content after the jump!

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Concerned Women for America hate women in America. Hate ’em.

Ever notice how pretty much every advocacy organization in this country which includes the word “family” in its name is focused on misogyny, homophobia and racism? If we see it in the plural form, then it might be okay, such as “healthy families” or “women and families,” but in singular, it’s nearly always bad news. Groups like Family Research Council are full of terrible proposals for women and children, and they keep repeating this word “family” to make horribleness sound nice.

The House GOP just passed a reauthorization of VAWA with all the good new stuff taken out.

In past years, VAWA enjoyed bipartisan support and garnered little controversy. This time around, however, top Religious Right groups have rallied against the bill due to the protections it would extend to immigrant, Native American, and LGBT victims of domestic abuse. These groups, including the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, and the Southern Baptist Convention’sEthics and Religious Liberty Commission, made noise on Capitol Hill and are most directly responsible for the events that will unfold in the House today.

And…what do these people have to say? Concerned Women for America took the lead in writing to Senators:

We, the undersigned, representing millions of Americans nationwide, are writing today to oppose the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This nice-sounding bill is deceitful because it destroys the family by obscuring real violence in order to promote the feminist agenda. […]
There is no denying the very real problem of violence against women and children. However, the programs promoted in VAWA are harmful for families. VAWA often encourages the demise of the family as a means to eliminate violence.
Further, this legislation continues to use overly broad definitions of domestic violence. These broad definitions actually squander the resources for victims of actual violence by failing to properly prioritize and assess victims. Victims who can show physical evidence of abuse should be our primary focus.

They use “family” to mean that it’s better for children to grow up watching Daddy beat Mommy to a pulp (and possibly put her in an early grave) than to help Mommy take the kids and get away from Daddy. Such situations often also involve violence on children, but I suppose it would be so much worse for children to grow up without their fathers:

In 1998, Johnson was arrested by the Perrysburg Police, again on domestic violence charges. According to the police report, Johnson provided a “very similar” account of the incident to that his wife Ofelia and 14-year-old son gave police. Both wife and son reported that Johnson had Ofelia Felix-Johnson in a wrist lock, and when the son attempted to stop Johnson from hurting his mother, Johnson put the son in a head lock such that he was “unable to breathe and was choking up food,” according to the police report. After the son broke free, the police report continues, Johnson “put his right hand around [the boy’s] throat and pushed [him] against the wall with his back to the wall and choked [the boy] for about 5 seconds.”

Timothy Johnson is one of the people who signed the letter opposing the Senate’s version of VAWA. Yes, I’m sure a convicted wife-batterer and child-batterer would know all about the demise of families.

In a sane world, a phrase like “family values” would bring up a commitment to caring for your kids, loving your partner, being there for your siblings and taking care of your elderly parents and grandparents. In public policy discussions, “family values” should refer to policies that empower people to build and maintain healthy family relations, but there is no room for battering in a healthy family. Part of caring for your kids is not beating up their other parent. Part of caring for your kids is also raising them in an environment in which you, and they, are not subjected to violence.

To say it “destroys the family” to empower battered women to leave their abusers assumes that a family no longer exists if the husband and father is no longer in it. It assumes that upholding a man’s relationship to his wife and children—even if the relationship is a toxic one—is more important than allowing women and children to live without battering. If that’s what “family” means, then, fuck it: I’m promoting the Feminist Agenda. Concerned Women for America can go concern themselves right off a short pier.

 

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.

*shhhhh!* Grown-ups are talking!

Oh, the self-obliviousness is overpowering:

While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads. In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage. Or that – as great as her friends may be – we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.
In this situation, it was the other way around. I guess we can be glad that Malia and Sasha aren’t younger, or perhaps today’s press conference might have been about appointing Dora the Explorer as Attorney General because of her success in stopping Swiper the Fox.

Sometimes dads should lead their family in the right ways of thinking. In this case, it would’ve been nice if the President would’ve been an actual leader and helped shape their thoughts instead of merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of Glee.

Bristol Palin, you are the very last person whose opinion is of any use to us on well-adjusted families or the roles of fathers. Oh, and your grammar is lousy. Please learn the third conditional before you use “would have” in another sentence, will you?

Seriously, though, Pres. Obama has forgotten more about how to be a good parent than you have ever learned. Your comfort zone is not a good place to be.

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?

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.