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Archives – February, 2011

Video: What we can expect when #MARRYland goes to referendum

Cross-posted at Good As You

By Jeremy Hooper

First, “Protect Marriage Maryland” head Robert Broadus will fault the pro-equality side for being motivated, diverse early birds who are able to organize their peeps. Then he’ll say all kinds of other stuff about his personal faith, our public policy, and bisexuals who innately want to marry multiple people. Watch as much as you can stomach:]


Or use his time to show us which states are most defying God:

Pmm BackPmm Front


But don’t worry, Robert: We’ll make sure it gets heard once you all insist on putting our rights on the ballot.

60 Comments February 26, 2011

A Constitutional lesson for Brian Brown

By Adam Bink

Here’s NOM’s Brian Brown and his hissy fit op-ed in today’s Washington Post. Brian:

President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he will refuse to do his job when it comes to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is part of this stunning pattern of rejecting the democratic process. Obama said that his administration would not defend the law in legal challenges because it is unconstitutional but that it would continue to enforce the law selectively. This is incomprehensible and incoherent, except in nakedly political terms. The president is using his power to do what he – and his base – wants.


Particularly egregious is Obama’s unilateral declaration that homosexuals are a specially protected class under the Constitution and that this is the reason DOMA is unconstitutional. But the Constitution does not directly say so. Congress has passed no such law. Nor has the Supreme Court ever said that homosexual people are a protected class.

Two things.

One is that the constitutional lawyers among us can discuss this further, but we all learned in grade school that the President, aside from signing laws and legislative responsibilities, must enforce the law and preserves, protects, and defends the Constitution. Hey, look, Wikipedia even tells us so:

The President, according to the Constitution, must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”, and “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.

Last I checked, the President said his Administration is still going to faithfully execute the law while it is still on the books.

Second, this view may seem odd, but is it so crazy to say that we elect leaders to move forward on certain policies? I mean, Obama doesn’t allow discrimination based on sexual orientation in his Administration. He nominates people for the judiciary branch based on certain views. That is certainly different than what is actual enacted law or Supreme Court precedent, but I don’t think it’s so crazy that we elect candidates to carry out certain views and policies, and they go do that. The Administration is under no obligation to defend a law it thinks is unconstitutional (proving, ahem, the good people at AMERICABlog, and Richard Socarides, right on this issue), no more than the Governor and Attorney General of California are. That’s the way things were set up, Brian.

166 Comments February 25, 2011

TV: Courage Campaign member Shane Mayer talks about the human consequences of the California Supreme Court taking its time

By Adam Bink

You may remember that two Wednesdays ago, Shane Mayer penned an e-mail to Courage Campaign members asking you to share stories of same-sex couples who want to get married.

As I wrote this past Wednesday, over 430 stories poured in.

On Wednesday night, Shane and the story of him, his fiance John, and their family hardship they’re enduring while the California Supreme Court takes 6 months+ to drag its feet on the Perry case led off the 5 PM news hour on ABC 7 in San Francisco. You see, Shane’s father was diagnosed with cancer late last year and had to go to Houston for treatment. Their story of what happens while weeks turn into months is real.

As long as the California Supreme Court takes this long, families will break. Ed, one half of a gay couple in Riverside, has early Alzheimer’s disease. By the time this is resolved, he may not even be able to recognize his partner. Fathers may not make it to their son’s wedding days. An elderly lesbian fiancee may not be able to get out of the hospital bed.

Shane did a great job. We are carrying out what Shane said we would do in this e-mail- we are going to push these stories out into the media and in front of the Court’s justices so they see us out here, suffering while they drag their feet. We are going to be rolling out more of these stories, in video and text, over the next several days.

The ABC 7 video and full story can be found here. Please watch. And please and Like and Share the story on Facebook here.

And if you support the work we’re doing to push these stories in front of the Court and the public, please contribute here. We would like to do some travel to these couples in California to get stories like Shane’s and Ed’s- and worse, if you can believe it- on video and ultimately TV, and your contribution would help cover those limited expenses.

20 Comments February 25, 2011

10-year-old Will Phillips: "The waters of progress are wearing away at the ever-withering dam of hate."

By Adam Bink

Via Jeremy H., 10-year-old Will Phillips makes Fridays feel like, well, Friday:

He’s remarkably bright.

Also, Maggie, what Will said. You’re on the wrong side of history. And don’t be so “aggro“, dude.

23 Comments February 25, 2011

Sturm und drang, or not

By Adam Bink

The predictions from anti-equality leaders in response to the Obama administration’s move on DOMA are pouring in:

NEW YORK — Angered conservatives are vowing to make same-sex marriage a front-burner election issue, nationally and in the states, following the Obama administration’s announcement that it will no longer defend the federal law denying recognition to gay married couples.

“The ripple effect nationwide will be to galvanize supporters of marriage,” said staff counsel Jim Campbell of Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group.


“The president has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress,” said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. “It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the president’s neglect of duty.”


In Rhode Island, the Roman Catholic bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin, said Thursday that his diocese would “redouble its efforts’ to defeat a pending same-sex marriage bill in response to the announcement. In Iowa, conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats said the DOMA decision would invigorate a campaign to repeal the state’s court-ordered same-sex marriage law.

“This gives us more credibility than ever with this issue,” said Vander Plaats, who wants to topple the Democratic leadership in the state Senate that is blocking efforts to put a same-sex marriage repeal proposal on the ballot.


Perkins, the Family Research Council leader, suggested that House Republicans would risk alienating their conservative base if they did not tackle the marriage issue head-on.

“The president was kind of tossing this cultural grenade into the Republican camp,” he said.

“If they ignore this, it becomes an issue that will lead to some very troubling outcomes for Republicans.”


Brian Brown, president of the conservative National Organization for Marriage, predicted that Obama’s decision not to defend the federal DOMA would spur efforts in some of the remaining states to join the ranks of those with constitutional bans.

Indiana lawmakers took a step in that direction last week, and Brown said it was possible that amendments could gain traction in Wyoming, Minnesota, North Carolina and even New Hampshire, if GOP lawmakers succeed in repealing the state’s same-sex marriage law.

“This raises the stakes and makes clear the executive branch is not willing to carry out its responsibility,” Brown said. “I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination the tables have turned on this issue. People in this country know what marriage is.”

Thing is, as I look at the numbers and get a sense of people’s priorities when I travel the country, it’s harder and harder to find people who (a) are even clear on what DOMA is (b) prioritize it above whether their trash gets picked up twice or three times per week, or whether they have a job. I’m serious. I’m not saying there aren’t hard-right activists and politicians out there and we shouldn’t expect DOMA-style legislation in the states to fight, but for goodness’ sake, look at CPAC. For years it was the bedrock of everything anti-LGBT, anti-choice, school prayer, you name it. But younger conservative activists are coming into the party who are with us on some of the LGBT issues and, even if they aren’t, don’t give a flip. Not only that, but I took a class on European politics in college, and I always remember a fascinating paper demonstrating that legislation and regulation on non-economic “soft” issues- LGBT rights, drug policy, the environment, etc.- always advanced in strong economic times and never in poor economic times. Now, there are obviously exceptions to that- look at repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”- but my point is people have a few dozen bigger priorities in this economic climate, and with threats of climate change and other issues looming, when evaluating, say, their Presidential candidates, than DOMA, if they even understand what it is.

I think Perkins and the rest are expecting a very different party rise up than what they will see.

136 Comments February 25, 2011

Maryland Senate passes bill legalizing freedom to marry for same-sex couples

By Adam Bink

Fantastic news in Maryland just now:

After about an hour of discussions from opposing views, Maryland’s State Senate voted 25-21 in favor of Senate Bill 116, The Civil Marriage Protection Act on Thursday, Feb. 24.

A House version of the bill is expected to be introduced in House committee tomorrow.

If signed into law, the bill would grant same-sex couples legal marriage rights in the state of Maryland, while also protecting the rights of religious institutions to handle issues of marriage however they see fit.

The marriage bill was written by Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery), the only out gay member of Maryland’s Senate, and Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery).

Maryland State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. allowed Senators to talk before declaring a vote at 6 p.m., with debates from each side limited to 30 minutes after the vote.

Onward to the Assembly!

88 Comments February 24, 2011

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