The Federal Prop. 8 Trial / Gay Marriage Catch-All

Who is that mustachioed gentleman with TJ Miller?

That was a surprise twist! Make sure and watch until the end!

In a very surprising turn, the chief witness for the pro-Prop. 8 folks during the trial, Mr. David Blankenhorn, has cut a video urging the citizens of Minnesota to vote against a gay marriage ban this November.

Here is the ad:

Tonight, Dr. Bill Tam is the loneliest man in the world.

Hot damn.

Edwin wrote:

Woot! One of the few times, when discussing gay rights, that I am proud of Anyone from Springfield.

Every time the people over at the National Organization for Marriage or other anti-marriage equality groups put out an ad against gay marriage, I should simply bet my entire paycheck that it will be misleading or just outright lying.

Let's start with this ad in Maine:

What the ad doesn't tell you is:

1. The O'Reilly's chose to settle with the lesbian couple instead of facing them in court.
2. The O'Reilly's admitted in that settlement that they had, in fact, violated Vermont's law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodation.
3. The O'Reilly's would have been guilty of violating that same Vermont law if they had prevented a non-married lesbian couple from using the facilities for any celebration.
4. The O'Reilly's chose not to hold any weddings at their Inn rather than have to comply with Vermont's non-discrimination law.

Since the O'Reilly's stated in the ad that they have "strong religious beliefs" regarding same-sex marriage, I am dying to know which "strong religious beliefs" led them to cut a completely misleading ad.

Here's another ad from Maine:

Yes, folks, if it can happen in Canada, it can happen in Maine because ... something.

The sad part is that Damian Goddard is just another useful stooge in NOM's misleading ads. What Goddard didn't mention in his ad was that he was a freelance writer with no permanent or full-time job or contract and was subject to termination at any time by Sportsnet. Goddard had also tweeted several other anti-gay comments and Sportsnet decided it was not in their best interest to keep him on as a freelancer.

NOM decided to do a 5+ minute ad of their own showcasing the tale of Don Mendell:

Mendell goes on and on about how terrible he was treated because he stood for traditional marriage. Mendell, however, didn't go into the details that paint a very different picture.

Mendell didn't just take a stand against gay marriage. He participated in an ad back in 2009 where he flat out lied and said that if gay marriage was allowed, children would be forced to have to learn about same-sex marriage. After cutting that ad, several of Mendell's colleagues filed a complaint with the State of Maine Board of Social Work Licensure because they believed that Mendell's public statement violated not Maine law, but the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. They believed that his public stand was problematic as he was a school counselor who might interact with LGBT students. The State of Maine dismissed the complaint on First Amendment grounds. There was no punitive action taken against Mendell, and he was never sued by the State of Maine or anyone else regarding the matter. He was never defamed by the state licensure board as he claims. A complaint was filed, the board reviewed the complaint, did an investigation, and determined the complaint was not valid.

How that is defamation is beyond anyone's understanding.

Meanwhile, over in Washington State:

This one is probably the worst of the bunch because it contains a blatant lie. In the middle of the ad, there is a banner claiming that same-sex couples already have the same rights as married couples via domestic partnerships.

Same-sex couples in DPs in Washington State do not have all the same rights as married couples. Here are the two biggest inequalities:

1. A DP in Washington State does not trump the desires of the immediate family. Marriage does. In every state in the union, marriage is supreme in determining who gets the final say. If you are in a DP in Washington State, the family of the person, not the domestic partner, gets the final say.
2. A DP in Washington State is not recognized by any other state in the union. At least a same-sex marriage in Washington State would be recognized in the other states that have gay marriage.

I am sure we will see more of these misleading and dishonest ads between now and election day.

I'm pretty sure this is the song referenced in Edwin's video.

From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:


That's brilliant

I love SMBC.

Some updates here before the election tomorrow.

1. The SCOTUS decided to conference the Prop. 8 trial cert request on Nov. 20. The speculation is that they did not want to decide one way or the other before the election. My guess is that the decision to take up Prop. 8 also will be determined by how things go tomorrow.

2. Washington State and Maine look very poised to grant gay marriage. If Maine does pass it, then the only state in New England to not allow gay marriage is Rhode Island. However, their legislature is taking up the issue in January.

3. Polls look good for the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Minnesota failing. In an interesting twist to this, the measure must pass with 50% of the vote or it will fail. Polls are showing 48-47 in favor of passage.

I called the top individual donors to reject gay marriage to let them explain their opposition. [The Stranger]

Edwin wrote:

I called the top individual donors to reject gay marriage to let them explain their opposition. [The Stranger]

The summary of that is something I agree with and have thought for some time - the majority of people who reject the notion of gay marriage are not hateful. They just have an association in their head of "gay marriage = bad" but they can't explain the jump from one end to the other. The problem comes from the fact that they believe that this is a belief they're entitled to and should be able to express without fear of retribution. You know, on par with "I think rocky road is the best ice cream". They really and truly don't understand their own belief beyond a value judgment they made without really examining it, and they really don't fathom how this impacts the lives of others (or their own, honestly).

This is what we get from a "agree to disagree" society, where people think that they're entitled to their opinion without it being challenged, or that's rude. Let me just have my opinion, they reason, and let's avoid actually discussing it so I don't have to defend how me pushing my beliefs impacts you.

I would call that hateful through ignorance.

That was beautiful Bloo Driver.

Edwin wrote:

I would call that hateful through ignorance.

Yup. I think giving them that benefit of the doubt helped get us in this "agree to disagree" bullsh*t in the first place. If you want to deny rights to certain groups of people, you're a bigot.

Edwin wrote:

I would call that hateful through ignorance.

Agreed. Maybe this is bad, but I'm really not in the mood to let the hateful off the hook anymore or coddle their hate with delicate words. Ignorant hate, malicious hate, whatever, I doubt there's much difference to the oppressed. Yeah, flies with honey, but I also have my doubts that honey will work on those flies.

No one against gay marriage considers herself hateful. The number of self-described bigots in the world is pretty small.

But Bloo's hitting on something here that I think has weight beyond just marriage equality. It's that cross section of libertarians and conservatives, who strongly believe in their rights to believe whatever they want, as well as the rights of everyone else to act accordingly. Disagreement is tolerated so long as action isn't taken. They've been the dealer at the poker table for so long that they're used to people complaining when the blinds increase, but are shocked when half the table refuses to pay.

This is the same argument driving the contraception debate. Personally, I think it's the same argument driving the gun control debate as well. People's invisible circle defining where their rights end and others' rights begin are drawn wayyy too far outside their private property.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Edwin wrote:

I would call that hateful through ignorance.

Agreed. Maybe this is bad, but I'm really not in the mood to let the hateful off the hook anymore or coddle their hate with delicate words. Ignorant hate, malicious hate, whatever, I doubt there's much difference to the oppressed. Yeah, flies with honey, but I also have my doubts that honey will work on those flies.

You know, I'm not letting anyone off the hook. What I'm saying is that it's just too easy to look at someone who makes choices or espouses viewpoints like this, and sum them up with one inaccurate word - hateful. What comes to mind when you say/think the word hateful? It's not a whole, complete person. It's some angry asshat probably going out of their way to hate and persecute others. I have a problem with the use of the word and it may seem like nitpicking, but I think it contributes to the problem.

It's not different to the oppressed, but your statement above really drives my point home. Because they do not agree with gay marriage, they're idiots and ignorant people who will never be open to discussion or changing their minds, and thus should just be shoved into the same box with folks like the Phelps family. I moved from one place to another that is full of people who are against gay marriage, but they're reasonable people in a lot of their daily lives. I've talked with many of them, and their opinions have come around over time. You know why? Because they've been exposed to others and learned to see them as complete and whole individuals, not just a pile of stereotypes and outside observations. That worked because they were likewise treated as humans to have discourse with, not a pile of stereotypes and outside observations.

So if you want to treat someone like those people in the phone calls - many of which were obviously not in crusade mode and could likely come around eventually - the same as our friend Rick Santorum in the idea that we're coddling the hateful who should just be punished and have their nose rubbed in it, I think that is in turn somewhat hateful and unfair as well. There is a spectrum of people opposed to gay marriage, not just one flavor of ignorant, backward idiot that we just need to wait to die off.

There's a difference between being morally opposed to gay marriage and preventing those that do want it from participating in it. The thing that makes it hateful is that they think their opinion on the subject should take precedence over the freedom of the people it'd directly effect.

I had the opportunity to vote No on the amendment to Minnesota's constitution to ban gay marriage, which isn't even legal anyways. Polls show it's probably getting shot down.

In a year or two, I'm looking forward to the opportunity to vote for an amendment to treat all human beings with equitable decency and let people damn well get married to whomever they please.

Bloo Driver wrote:

You know, I'm not letting anyone off the hook.

I disagree. If a person takes hateful actions, and I'd say opposing equality is a hateful action, any justifications or delusions they may have do not change that action, and as I said, it matters not a whit if the person taking that actions believes they did what they did out of love for the eternal soul, or whatever other reason they have, to the oppressed. Voting against equality is a material act with a material effect on the material world--the immaterial doesn't change it.

Bloo Driver wrote:

I moved from one place to another that is full of people who are against gay marriage, but they're reasonable people in a lot of their daily lives.

I still live in a place full of people who are against gay marriage. They are indeed reasonable people in a lot of their daily lives. Human beings are like that. But the thing is, where I am, many of those people have a very large, very organized culture buttressing them in their hate, yes, hate, telling them their hate is actually virtuous and comes from a place of love, and they've been raised to fall in line and follow. Furthermore they cast themselves as the victims, kinda in the same manner as the rest of your post. I've seen "Please hear out our perspective before you judge us," bandied about many a-time, and I don't think it's a plea worthy of hearing. It's actually pretty sickening, begging for acceptance of ignorance. I'm a pretty intolerant person, I admit--I don't have much tolerance for hypocrisy or self-deception. So, if someone supports hate, I'm going to say they're hateful. If they don't want to be called ignorant and hateful, maybe they shouldn't be those things, eh?

Many of those people will come around through experience. I know a bunch who have. It's great. But many others will never come around no matter how much experience and perspective they get, if they bother to seek such things out at all. Not much reason to kid glove them until they change, if they change.

But it seems you assume I must be foaming at the mouth all the time, constantly calling people Worse than Phelps. You shouldn't. I seem very reasonable in a lot of my daily life.

I made this post on G+ this morning, but felt like sharing it here.

Today, in the United States, we do a remarkable thing. We enter a small, enclosed area, and push buttons on electronic screens, check boxes on pieces of paper, or pull mechanical levers, all to control, to some extent, the world we want to live in, from the kinds of votes that will affect our next door neighbors, to the kinds of votes that will affect someone living in an entirely different state.

You all know me, to some extent, but most likely have learned something about me in the past year that you didn't know before. All kinds of political issues are rolling around in my head, but it is hard for any one of them to be as personal as my human rights. When you enter the voting booth today, think of me. Think of how what you do may affect my happiness from this day forward. Think of thousands in this country older than me who have been fighting for decades to have a better world. Think of all of the young people still growing into a world that wants to tell them they are faulty, and less of a person because of who they love. Think of your own happiness, how you achieved it, and what you have gained because of it. If you are married, look into the eyes of your spouse and savor those feelings for a moment. Think of that button, or paper, or lever, and consider that it only takes such a simple action to make a difference. To decide whether or not you want to encourage the idea that people should not be able to look into the eyes of someone and feel the same way, even though their gender is the same, and be able to call them their spouse.

I am a gay man. One day, I hope to be with the man I love, and to shoulder every burden, hope, fear, joy, sorrow, consequence, and benefit that comes with those rights. Please, think before you vote against that for me.

Very well written, Mike. Huge thumbs up.

Part of what motivated me to make sure I voted this election was because there's a push to vote out the Iowa justices who stood for equal marriage rights, and I wanted to be sure to vote that we keep them in.