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Replies to the Same Sex Marriage Symposium at SCOTUSBLOG.com

17 Aug

This summer Scotusblog.com is hosting a symposium of guest bloggers debating the future of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 in the court. My personal interest in this is that Maggie Gallagher has been asked to *cough* weigh in.

My intention however is reply to each of the bloggers articles and weigh them each on their merits.

Why would I do this? Well first of all, the stream of untruths and distortions that flow from the anti-equality side is near constant. However, some well intentioned allies get things wrong here too.

I value truth and facts over all else. I hope you to too.

 

Question for NOM #1

25 Jul

Can a gay couple who runs a reception hall deny services to an orthodox Christian couple getting married? If not, why not?

 

22 Jul

Get ready for crying on the religious right that it is no longer legal to fire gay people from the military simply for being gay.

Pentagon and White house certify DADT repeal. Effective in 30 days.

 
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NY Town Clerk quits over gay marriage

13 Jul

A Town Clerk in Barker New York has resigned rather than sign any gay marriage licenses according to the incorrectly named website “New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms”

In a resignation letter presented to the Barker Town Board on July 11, Ms. Fotusky presented the following letter of resignation:

“To the Town of Barker Board, Supervisor Dilworth, Attorney Lewis and the Town Residents,”

“I have been in contact with Jason McGuire from New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, our Town Attorney, Richard Lewis, and a Constitutional Lawyer regarding the Marriage Equality Act that was passed June 24, 2011.  There was no protection provided in the legislation for Town Clerks who are unable to sign these marriage licenses due to personal religious convictions, even though our US Constitution supports freedom of religion.

I believe that there is a higher law than the law of the land. It is the law of God in the Bible.  In Acts 5:29, it states, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men. The Bible clearly teaches that God created marriage between male and female as a divine gift that preserves families and cultures. Since I love and follow Him, I cannot put my signature on something that is against God.  Deuteronomy 10:12 says, ‘…What does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.

I would be compromising my moral conscience if I participated in the licensing procedure. Therefore, I will be resigning as of July 21. I wanted you to know my position as I understand the marriage law goes into effect on July 24.

 It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve the Town as Barker Town Clerk.”

I smell hypocrisy. If she was so worried about signing her name on something that was against God, was she refusing to sign the marriage licenses of all applicants who have been divorced? In Luke 16:18 says “”Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”. Mark 10:2-12 echos this.
So this town clerk has been signing her name to marriages that are against God, the Bible, and Jesus for as long as she has been in that role. I support her decision to stand by her moral convictions…. if only she were actually consistent about it.

I am an I.T. guy. I firmly believe that Windows XP is absolutely inadequate in a business environment from a security and performance perspective. If I went to my boss and said “I will no longer support Windows XP machines and will only support Windows 7 machines from here on out”, my boss would rightly fire me for refusing to do the job I am paid for. The Town Clerk’s job is to affirm that the applicants for marriage are eligible according to the laws of the State of New York…. not her own laws, or her God’s laws, or her Bible’s laws, or anything that her Great Aunt Mildrid says should be law. By formerly stating that she refuses to perform the duties that the job entails, she should NOT be allowed to resign but should be fired on the spot for negligence.

 
 

The debate carries on….. part 1

03 Jul

I’m going to start posting my replies to the internet hate crowd on here. Some of them are too good to leave out on the obscure facebook groups where very few can read them.

The first one is in a reply to James Young who, after I say I don’t follow the Bible but I do follow the Constitution, replies with:

“Follow the Constitution,” NOMTaunts? My copy doesn’t have a part which allows sexual deviants to redefine preexisting societal institutions, or — for that matter — protects sexual deviancy.

And when you’ve argued a case before the United States Supreme Court, perhaps you can tell use about the Constitution.

and then goes on to call me a coward for not posting under my own name, which if he “Liked” the NOMtaunts page on Facebook, he would find out instantly. Not that I’m hiding, I’m just promoting this here website thingy…

My reply to James:

It’s always about sex with you. Gay relationships were recognized in Grecian and Roman times, so how much more pre-existing do we really need to be? 2,000 years before the writing of the Constitution isn’t enough?

It’s about whom I pledge the rest of my life to and whether we have sex or not is really none of your business. You pledge your life to a woman (or a bunch of women one right after the other once you break each pledge) and you get over 1,000 rights and benefits. I pledge my life to a man and I get squat.

That is in direct violation of this: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Your Bible is NOT the law of the land and there are OTHER religions and interpretations of Christianity out there, thus:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

and

“In Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963), the Supreme Court required that states have a “compelling interest” in refusing to accommodate religiously motivated conduct.”

There is no compelling interest the state can show. You CANNOT claim a “compelling interest to preserve the family unit” because since marriage equality has been legal in Massachusetts, divorce rates have plummeted 27%. In fact, there is a compelling interest to the state to ENCOURAGE same sex marriage amongst the gay population. Marriage encourages monogamy and with monogamy, the spread of STDs is reduced. Since homosexual couples have children whether you like it or not, you also need to think about THOSE children and not just your own. Having two parents that are legally married helps to bring stability and security to the CHILD’s life as well.

So really, if you were to go into SCOTUS and defend discrimination based on “It has always been this way” or “Justice Kennedy, go look it up in a dictionary!”….. you’re going to lose and lose hard.

 
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Michelle Bachmann’s Promise of a Federal Marriage Amendment – All Bark, No Bite

30 Jun

The day after New York passed its landmark marriage equality bill, Michelle Bachmann was on Fox News to discuss bash it. During her interview she comes out as being for States’ rights before being against them. She believes that the states have the right to pass laws the way New York did, but then in the next breath promises to support an amendment to the Constitution to overturn the states’ ability to do so because she fears that gay marriage equality will spread to other states via the Judicial system.

With these statements, she tells us more than she intended to. First, it is clear from this that she does not believe the Judiciary is a co-equal branch of government. In her world, there is no need for checks and balances. Second, she doesn’t believe that the Defense of Marriage Act, more commonly known as DOMA, will stand up against judicial scrutiny. Without DOMA, the passage of marriage equality in New York would mean that my home state of Pennsylvania would have to recognize my marriage under the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution if I drove to Buffalo to get hitched. But most importantly, it shows that Michelle Bachmann doesn’t understand math.

To enact an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the act must first pass both houses of Congress by a two thirds vote. After that, the act must be ratified by three fourths of the states. Michelle Bachmann calls passing an amendment to the Constitution “tough”. For Michelle’s Pet Amendment, it’s not just tough, it’s impossible. Let’s do the math.

To pass the Senate, the act must have an aye vote from 67 Senators. The current make up of the Senate is 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and 2 Independents who vote with the Democrats. The Republicans would have to convince 20 Democrats to defect to their side before the Marriage Amendment would pass the Senate. There are 22 Democratic senators (plus both Independents) up for reelection in 2012. If Michelle thinks the Republicans will win 20 out of 22 of those seats (and lose none of the Republican ones), she is delusional.

To pass the House of Representatives, the act must have an aye vote from 290 representatives. There are currently 240 Republicans in the House. They would have hold all of those 240 plus win and hold 50 additional seats between now and 2012 with no members resigning for under stall foot tapping. To put that in perspective, 2010 was the largest swing of the party membership in the House in 72 years and they gained 63 seats. The problem for Republicans is those kinds of results are hard to duplicate and they pretty much shot their wad for a gain that large in 2010. We’ll list the Marriage Amendment passing the house as beyond extremely unlikely.

Let’s look at the states:

To win ratification, Michelle needs to convince a majority of the legislatures in three fourths (38) of the states. For the marriage amendment to be defeated we need to win in only 13 states. Six states already have gay marriage, so Michelle can count those states as lost. Even in Iowa, which is a fairly conservative state, the state legislature’s majority is currently sympathetic to our cause. So we only need to find another 7 states to vote on our side.

Think about these states for a moment and think if you can picture them voting for this amendment:

New Jersey – has civil unions

California – has civil unions

Delaware – has civil unions

Rhode Island – passed civil unions today

Illinois – has civil unions

Oregon – has civil unions

Connecticut – has civil unions

Maine – has civil unions

New Hampshire – has civil unions

Washington – has civil unions

Maryland – both houses of legislature are Democrat majority

Hawaii – both houses of legislature are Democrat super majority

 

Can you imagine at least 7 of those states not voting the amendment down? Remember, the vote for an amendment is not a popular vote of the people at large, but a vote of the legislatures currently in office. As more and more people become comfortable with gay marriage as our inclusion into the institution grows, the list above will grow as well. None of this is to say that we should be letting down our guard or stopping the fight for equal rights. However, with the passage of marriage equality, the tide is now decidedly on our side and the math for Michelle Bachmann has gotten tremendously harder.

 
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Dear NOM,

25 Jun

 

Marriage Equality passes in New York State 33 to 29.

 

 
 

Holy Crimes

18 Oct

One of my favorite bloggers has a recurring post called The Week in Holy Crimes where he lists all of the charges, indictments, and convictions against religious leaders that have happened in the last week.

I fall firmly on the side of “organized religion is unnecessary” and that most religions today seem to serve more of a solution towards our natural tenancy to “pack”. This creates an “us verse them” mentality in the minds of the members. Religion should be personal and private if you have it. Churches are not needed and are an utter waste of resources.

If Churches were really concerned about the poor, how many homeless could bunk in the chapel area of a typical city church?

One of the recent examples of churches ignoring their declared duty of charity is the Catholic Diocese of Minnesota spending money to produce, print, and mail over 1 million DVDs warning of the dangers of gay marriage. Let’s do the math.

The cheapest, same zipcode, MediaMail rate is $2.38 for first class.
The DVD case they used cost about $1.00 in bulk
Bulk printable DVDs are $0.38
Printing for case insert and DVD is another $0.75
Plus production cost and labor.

So, at minumum, the Catholic church spent $4,500,000 to tell everyone that gays give them the heebi-jeebes.

That’s $4.5 million that could have been used across Minnesota to help feed the poor or house the homeless.

And that, sir, is a Holy Crime.

 
 

Come out! Come out wherever you are!

27 Aug

It looks like this is the week for the anti-gay flying monkeys to come out of the closet. First, the notoriously anti-gay Ken Mehlman, G.W. Bush’s 2004 campaign advisor who helped to get gay marriage bans on the books in 11 states officially came out. Rumors have been flying about Mehlman’s homosexuality since at least 2005 and even Bill Maher mentioned Mehlman’s gayness on Larry King that far back. Mehlman’s description about how it’s taken him 43 years to come out and he wish he had “known” 20 years ago is vomit inducing, made for tearful Oprah show, book tour, quest for forgiveness tripe! I expect the book to be named something equally as vapid like “Coming out GOP” or “My Gay GOP Story”

Across the pond, equally notoriously anti-gay Tory Crispin Blunt has announced that he is leaving his wife and coming out as a homosexual.

In a statement, his office said: “Crispin Blunt wishes to make it known that he has separated from his wife Victoria.

“He decided to come to terms with his homosexuality and explained the position to his family. The consequence is this separation.

“There is no third party involvement, but this is difficult for his immediate and wider family and he hopes for understanding and support for them.

I really have no sympathy for these folks, even though I’m supposed to. I feel we should extend to them the same sympathy and courtesy they’ve shown the gay community during their tenures.

 

So sayeth he….

27 Aug

Dan Savage via Joe.My.God

“I have no beef with evangelical Christians who support full civil equality for gays and lesbians despite believing that gay sex is a sin. Heck, I’ll personally mow the lawns of evangelical Christians who refrain from actively persecuting gays and lesbians. I’ve said that the gay rights movement shouldn’t get into arguments about theology and that people have a right to their own beliefs. I frankly don’t care if someone thinks I’m going to hell after death and I’m not going to argue with him for the same reason I’m not going to argue with someone who believes that I’m going to the lost continent of Atlantis after dinner.

“All gays and lesbians want from evangelical Christians is the same deal the Jews and the yoga instructors and the atheists and the divorced and the adulterers and the rich all get: full civil equality despite the going-to-hell business. (And isn’t hell punishment enough? Do we have to be persecuted here on earth too? It’s almost as if they don’t trust God to persecute us after we die. Have a little faith, people!)” – Dan Savage.