At first glance it does seem rather unfortunate. But maybe what the FRC is trying to do here is enlist the closet cases in the fight against same-sex marriage. Maybe what this logo says is, "Out of the porn shop video booths and into the streets!" And maybe little kneeling blowjob guy is saying that he'll join the fight against gay marriage just as soon as finishes giving one last blowjob in the back of this porn shop. But FRC can't quite understand what little kneeling blowjob guy is saying because little kneeling blowjob guy's mouth is full... of cock... and the person whose cock little kneeling blowjob guy is sucking is the one who's saying "I'm in." Maybe it's that? Or maybe this is the most unfortunate anti-gay logo and slogan in history.
On your knees? I'm in? Little kneeling blowjob man? If this isn't the work of a gay graphic designer I'll eat my laptop.
Either way, Seattle queers, the Family Research Council wants you to "fall to your knees" on Sunday, June 30. See if you can fit that in sometimes before, during, or after the Pride Parade, okay?
Comedian Cameron Esposito wrote a beautiful essay about her father, her family, coming out as gay, coming out as adopted, and the gift the Supreme Court gave her family yesterday.
A heartbreaking quote from Judy Shepard:
"After Matt came out to me, he once asked me if I thought gay couples would ever be allowed to get married. I told him I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but it probably would in his. It’s so sad, and ironic, that it turned out the other way. But this case warms my heart, to think that his dream is still coming true. Dennis and I look forward to the day when loving, committed couples are able to marry in every state.”—Judy Shepard on the Prop 8 decision
I wish Matt's mom and my mom—his Judy and my Judy—had been able to meet. I think they would've become great friends.
Slog tipper Benjamin first said "my boyfriend and I have been regularly checking Slog all morning for any information on WHERE THE PARTIES ARE GOING TO BE! We wanna PARTY IN THE STREET! Please do keep us informed."
Then Benjamin sent us this link: There's an event from 5-6:30 p.m. in front of the federal appeals court on 5th Avenue and Madison Street (it seems this will be a press conference/gay jubilation affair).
Where are the other parties, Slog?
A reader writes...
DOMA has been struck down but that doesn’t ensure equal benefits for all same-sex married couples. Because federal agencies use different standards to determine who is married—some use a “place of residence” standard and others use a “place of celebration” standard—many SSM couples who are married in one state but residing in a state where same-sex marriage is prohibited won’t be eligible for many federal benefits. President Obama can change all of this at the stroke of a pen by issuing an executive order mandating a uniform place of celebration standard. This would mean that, effectively, everyone in the country would be able to get a federally recognized same-sex marriage and all attendant federal rights and responsibilities.
Here’s my Whitehouse.org petition asking the president to issue that executive order.
I'm just some nameless internet nobody, but I was hoping you could promote the petition.
A legal victory this morning, a cultural victory in pro sports this weekend:
During the Mariners game Sunday against the Chicago Cubs, Safeco Field will fly the rainbow Pride flag, said Adam McRoberts, spokesman for Seattle Out & Proud. It will make Major League Baseball history as the first MLB team to publicly fly the Pride flag at a game. The Mariners game coincides with the 39th annual Seattle Pride Parade, which is celebrating “Equality: Passed, Present & Future.”
THANK YOU, MARINERS! THIS IS GAYTASTIC!!!! Praise where it's due: You can send the Mariners a thank-you note here.
Timed with today's landmark strike against DOMA, the ACLU's website reports they've hired a top Republican strategist:
With the goal of working both with and within the Republican Party, the ACLU has hired Steve Schmidt, vice chairman of public affairs at Edelman. Schmidt has provided strategic counsel to Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and nonprofits. Previously, he has worked on Capitol Hill as the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee, served as one of the top strategists during President Bush's 2004 re-election and as a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush. Schmidt also directed strategic communications for the nomination of Chief Justice Roberts and led the nomination of Justice Alito. In 2006, he was campaign manager for the re-election of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and served as the senior advisor to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.
At least five cases on gay marriage are currently percolating through the federal courts toward SCOTUS, so there's little doubt that the big question—are bans on gay marriage unconstitutional?—will reach the high court and the parties will, finally, have standing. There's also little doubt that the Supreme Court is, more than just a judicial body, usually echo of popular opinion on controversial social issues.
So if the the ACLU shifts the consensus among moderate conservatives toward gay marriage, it stands to reason that they'll also move the Supreme Court toward gay marriage.
The US Supreme Court has found that it lacked jurisdiction to hear a case on California's same-sex marriage ban, thereby sending the case back to a lower court which already nixed the law for California on constitutional grounds—but not other states.
In the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the State of California had refused to defend its gay-marriage ban. The ban was passed by citizens initiative and the sponsors of that initiative defended the law in court. "We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here," the court majority writes.
The justices sent back the case to the lower courts. As SCOTUS Blog's wonderful Amy Howe explains, "the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the intermediate appellate court, has no legal force, and it sent the case back to that court with instructions for it to dismiss the case." That would let an earlier federal district court ruling stand—which found Prop 8 unconstitutional in 2010—thus allow same-sex marriages to proceed in the nation's most populous state.
The opinion is here.
UPDATE at 8:06 AM: Bloomberg reports that the decision didn't fall along the court's typical ideological lines:
In the California case, the court said the sponsors of Proposition 8 lacked power to appeal the trial judge’s order. California officials had refused to defend the measure. The justices split along unusual lines, with Roberts, Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan in the majority. Kennedy, Thomas, Alito and Sotomayor said the court should have ruled on the constitutionality of the California ban.
I'm just guessing here—but not really—that Justice Thomas (friend of bigots and corporations) and Justice Sotomayor (who actually has human DNA) had very different motivations to try ruling on the constitutionality of gay marriage.
SCOTUS Blog reports from the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage, "is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment... DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled ot recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty... The opinion and its holding are confined to those lawful marriages."
The upshot: Same-sex couples who are legally wed in their respective states (such as Washington State and New York) are now equally entitled to more than 1,000 federal benefits, the same as straight married couples, including tax breaks and Social Security coverage.
Authored by Justice Kennedy—on behalf of himself and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan—the majority opinion finds, "The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others."
The decision is here.
Hell yes. (Much more to come)
UPDATE at 7:17 AM: The dissent telegraphs that—as many people predicted, based on oral arguments—that the court will punt on Proposition 8, California's law banning same-sex marriage. In Chief Roberts's minority opinion, he notes that "we lack jurisdiction to consider it in the particular context of Hollingsworth v. Perry." The court still hasn't released an opinion on that case, which will come later, but it seems the court won't make a definitive ruling, thereby passing on the larger issue of whether same-sex marriage bans are inherently unconstitutional.
UPDATE at 8 AM: The New Yorker has the photos... how Edith Windsor discovered that she won.
OH MY GOD LET'S LIGHT SOME STRAIGHT MARRIAGES ON FIRE!
— Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) June 26, 2013
"DOMA unconstitutional as a matter of equal protection," Pete Williams at NBC reports. "This is a very broad ruling." It's also a 5-4 ruling, which was expected, with Justice Kennedy writing the decision for the majority. The PDF of the decision is here.
UPDATE: There's a reference to the Prop 8 decision in one of the dissents in the DOMA decision. And...
Dissent in DOMA says the Prop 8 ruling will be no standing.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 26, 2013
This means—I believe—that same-sex marriage can resume in California, as lower court decisions striking down Prop 8 would take effect.
UPDATE 2: The president tweets his reaction from Air Force 1:
Today's DOMA ruling is a historic step forward for #MarriageEquality. #LoveIsLove
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 26, 2013
UPDATE 3: It's official: Supreme Court punts on Prop 8, rules that the opponents didn't have standing. Same-sex marriages can resume in California.
And the good folks at the Heritage Foundation are reminding us why social conservatives are working so hard to ban divorce for straight couples and to require all single pregnant women to get state-funded abortions.
The US Supreme Court will unleash its ruling in two monumental gay-rights cases within 24 hours. According to Chief Justice Roberts, SCOTUS Blog reports, "Tomorrow at 10 a.m. will be the last day and we will release all the remaining opinions."
The cases concern the Defense of Marriage Act (United States v. Windsor) and California's Prop 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry). Here's an excellent flow chart from the New York Times on how the court could rule in those two cases. Tune into Slog—or pretty much any website on earth—at 7 a.m. Pacific Time tomorrow for the decisions.
I think it's fair to say that Senator Marco Rubio is not going to be remembered as a legendary civil rights figure:
"If this bill has something in it that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I'm done," Rubio said Thursday during an interview on the Andrea Tantaros Show. "I'm off it, and I've said that repeatedly. I don't think that's going to happen and it shouldn't happen. This is already a difficult enough issue as it is."
Yeah! How dare an immigration reform bill give people rights? And so forth? Giving people rights as citizens is totally antithetical to the very idea of an immigration reform bill. Anyway, giving people rights is just too difficult. Why even bother?
...are biblically illiterate.
The debate about marriage equality often centers, however discretely, on an appeal to the Bible. Unfortunately, such appeals often reflect a lack of biblical literacy on the part of those who use that complex collection of texts as an authority to enact modern social policy. As academic biblical scholars, we wish to clarify that the biblical texts do not support the frequent claim that marriage between one man and one woman is the only type of marriage deemed acceptable by the Bible’s authors....
In fact, there were a variety of unions and family configurations that were permissible in the cultures that produced the Bible, and these ranged from monogamy (Titus 1:6) to those where rape victims were forced to marry their rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and to those Levirate marriage commands obligating a man to marry his brother’s widow regardless of the living brother’s marital status (Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Genesis 38; Ruth 2-4). Others insisted that celibacy was the preferred option (1 Corinthians 7:8; 28).
Although some may view Jesus’ interpretation of Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:3-10 as an endorsement of monogamy, Jesus and other Jewish interpreters conceded that there were also non-monogamous understandings of this passage in ancient Judaism, including those allowing divorce and remarriage.
In fact, during a discussion of marriage in Matthew 19:12, Jesus even encourages those who can to castrate themselves “for the kingdom” and live a life of celibacy.
The authors of the piece—which appeared in today's Des Moines Register—go on to point out that the bible forbids interracial marriage (Ezra 10:2-11), that Jesus encouraged his followers to castrate themselves (!) and live a life of celibacy (Matthew 19:12), and that Martin Luther (heretic!) could find nothing about men being limited to "one woman" in the Bible (“I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not oppose the Holy Scriptures”).
1. Is gay marriage already legal in New Mexico? Gary King, the state's Attorney General, says it probably isn't:
“Based on extensive research, we cannot state definitively that New Mexico law currently permits same-sex marriage. Although state statutes may limit marriage to couples of the opposite sex, this does not mean they will pass constitutional muster, King said. "New Mexico statutes that preclude same-sex couples from marrying are vulnerable to challenge under the equal protection guarantees of the federal and state constitutions.”
Looks like this one is going to court.
2. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, same-sex couples can now apply for marriage licenses.
The debate was earlier this week and the House of Lords approved gay marriage. The UK is now set to the be 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage. The NYT summarized the debate in today's paper. They found it surprisingly civilized— even opponents of equality went out of their way to say nice things about the not-fit-for-marriage gays—and the whole debate demonstrated, once again, the crucial importance of being out:
“Many years ago, I had the great fortune to meet someone,” declared Baroness Barker. “She and I have loved each other ever since.” Another peer mentioned his lesbian daughter. A third, Lord Black of Brentwood, said, of his partner of nearly 25 years, “I love him very much, and nothing would give me greater pride than to marry him.” And still another peer, 86-year-old Baron Jenkin of Roding, said he had been supportive of gay rights since he was a college student and his grandfather first explained gay people to him.
I don't think Baron Jenkin's grandfather would've been able to explain gay people to him without actually knowing one or two. The bigots did get a chance to speak:
While noting that "homosexuals are often very delightful, artistic and loving people," Baroness Knight of Collingtree observed that "a man can no more bear a child than a woman can produce sperm." Other critics revealed themselves to be preoccupied with the possible physical aspects of the situation and how those might contradict the accepted view of traditional marriage. "'One flesh' involves a physical and spiritual union: the joining together of the reproductive organs of a man and a woman,” said Lord Edmiston, alluding to the Bible. "It is a physical impossibility in a same-sex relationship for the reproductive organs to be joined together."
Actually, Lord Edmiston, it's not impossible :
Docking: mutual masturbation by inserting the glans penis into the foreskin of another penis.
Lesbians who want to join their reproductive organs together require an assist, of course, but it can be done. But if "the ability to join together reproductive organs without some silicone" is the standard by which we intend to issue marriage licenses, well, then only opposite-sex couples and gay male couples comprised of one or two uncircumcised men should be allowed to marry. But that seems silly, doesn't it? Because marriage is about more than smushing genitals together—so much more.
After a tense final day of the Illinois legislature, the state House is not expected to consider the marriage equality bill, advocates expect.
Friday is the last day of this session of the state legislature, but the measure could be considered in the “veto session” this fall.
Some are still holding onto a shred of hope, but it's looking highly unlikely at this point. The bill passed the Illinois State Senate and the governor has vowed to sign the bill into law, but it looks like the votes just couldn't be mustered in the House. If this news is true, it's a bummer after such a long streak of good news on the marriage equality front, but it's still only a matter of time—and probably not a very long time at that—before Illinois legalizes gay marriage.
UPDATE 4:56 PM: And then there's this:
Rep. Harris to @chicagophoenix in regards to reports of no vote one #SB10: "Wait." #il4m #LGBT #twill
— Chicago Phoenix (@ChicagoPhoenix) May 31, 2013
UPDATE 5:14 PM: A sponsor is discussing the bill right now on this livestream. Sounds like they're holding it off until November. "We will be back and we will be voting on this bill in this legislature." He apologizes to gay Illinoisians that he's not presenting the bill today.
This is unfortunate:
According to multiple sources, the iconic cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was evacuated today after a far-right Catholic activist shot himself in the mouth in front of the altar in front of hundreds of tourists, in what appears to have been a protest against same-sex marriage.... Dominique Venner, age 78, was a well-known essayist and a former member of a paramilitary group known as the Secret Army Organization (OAS), which waged a bombing and assassination campaign in the early 1960s to protest France giving Algeria its independence. Mr. Venner was also close to the anti-marriage equality movement and an outspoken critic of France’s new marriage equality law, which President François Hollande signed on Saturday. He made no verbal statement before he shot himself, but a letter was found on his person. The contents of Mr. Venner’s letter have not yet been released.
FINALLY Minneapolis can pop the question to St. Paul.
— A. N. Cargo (@cargeaux) May 13, 2013
The vote is supposed to come around 10 AM our time. The Minnesota state house has already approved the bill, and the state's Democratic governor has pledged to sign it. If the Minnesota senate approves the bill, Minnesota would become the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage—and the third since the Supreme Court heard arguments in cases challenging the federal "Defense of Marriage Act" and California's Proposition 8.
Conservatives complained about ads like the one above before Prop 8 passed in 2008, and they complained about protests outside Mormon temples after it passed. But those protests worked. Mother Jones:
It's remarkable what has happened in the marriage fight since the Mormons decided to abandon it. Consider that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the single biggest funder and organizer of the 2008 campaign to pass California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in one of America's most liberal states. The church is estimated to have directed at least $20 million to that effort, along with significant organizing clout. Documents unearthed by activist Fred Karger showed that the Mormons had 77 people working full time at the church's Salt Lake City headquarters to get Prop. 8 passed.
The church, in fact, had been a crucial (if not always visible) player since the 1990s, when it helped fend off efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii and California. As far back as 1996, high-ranking LDS officials were coordinating behind the scenes and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to orchestrate what became the first state-level vote to ban gay marriage in Hawaii. Top church officials were also heavily involved in the creation of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the primary player over the last decade in the fight to outlaw gay unions.
But after the Mormon involvement in Prop. 8 was fully exposed, the backlash was severe—and apparently unexpected. The church became a target for public protests, and lost a considerable number of members who were unhappy with its involvement in a political issue that had caused individual LDS families a lot of grief. In the campaign's aftermath, a top church leader even apologized to gay church members for the pain they'd suffered.
This is not to say that the Mormons have had a change of heart about gay marriage. The church is still adamantly opposed to it.
No one was asking the church—the Mormon church or the Catholic church or any other church—to change its doctrine and embrace gay marriage. (No one who isn't a member, perhaps I should say.) All non-Mormons want from the Mormon church is to be left alone. The Mormons and the Catholics and the Batshits are free to impose their own religious beliefs on their own members. They don't have a right to impose their beliefs on non-members. And Mormons and Catholics are not being oppressed—or persecuted for their faith—when their religious beliefs are not given the force of law. Married gay people don't oppress Mormons and Catholics anymore than divorced straight people do. (Via JoeMyGod.)
BREAKING: Key vote puts Minnesota in line to become 1st Midwestern Legislature to pass gay marriage law. -SS
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 9, 2013
Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted in favor of the freedom to marry by a vote of 75-59! The bill will now be heard by the full Senate next week. The Senate is scheduled to vote on the marriage bill on Monday, May 13.
UPDATE: HA HA HA HA HA! Stupid haters!
Minnesota voters went to the polls last November and rejected a constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage, the first electorate in the nation to do so. In years past, Republicans placed anti-gay amendments on the ballot as a means of motivating their voters, but that tactic backfired in Minnesota in 2012. Not only was the Republican-backed amendment rejected 52.6% to 47.4%, but voters returned control of the state legislature to the DFL, Minnesota’s Democratic party.
Hoist with their own hatetard.
Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida who is now a frontrunner for the "Democratic" nomination for governor, has come out... in support of same-sex marriage. "I most certainly support marriage equality in Florida and look forward to the day it happens here," Christ wrote on his Facebook page.
Why does this matter? Because Crist is a notoriously calculating politician who is willing to do and say whatever it takes to win election. Back in 2006, when running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Crist opposed marriage equality and touted his support for "traditional" marriage. But Crist has now apparently determined that supporting gay marriage is what he needs to do to win the Democratic nomination in 2014.
So this is less about Crist's evolution on the issue, and more about the evolution of the Florida electorate. And if gay marriage is becoming a winning issue in Florida, that's a pretty big deal.
Now that nearly one out of every four states has legalized gay marriage, and now that the Supreme Court is on the verge of releasing its decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA, US Catholic bishops are sending out an insert to drop in bulletins in Catholic churches nationwide, ThinkProgress reports. The insert reads, in part:
The Court is expected to rule on both cases by the end of June. A broad negative ruling could redefine marriage in the law throughout the entire country, becoming the “Roe v. Wade” of marriage. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has joined with many other organizations in urging the Supreme Court to uphold both DOMA and Proposition 8 and thereby to recognize the essential, irreplaceable contribution that husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, make to society, and especially to children.
The insert includes information about what Catholics can do to fight gay marriage, including "PRAY, FAST, SACRIFICE," and "ADVOCATE FOR MARRIAGE." The thing that strikes me about this insert is how helpless it sounds. The avenues for doing battle with gay marriage are quickly closing up, and all the fasting in the world isn't going to change anyone's mind on the matter.
Zach Ford at ThinkProgress sees this language as the Church preparing to take action against gay marriage the way it has done battle with abortion, by slowly stripping rights away, piece-by-piece. But I just don't think that's going to be possible with same-sex marriage. Once the world doesn't end in states that legalize gay marriage, and once more examples of happily married gay couples are seen in the media, this is going to be a dead issue for all but the wingnuttiest of Jesus freaks.
Both houses of the legislature in Delaware have now voted to legalize gay marriage. The governor of Delaware has already pledged to sign the bill into law. But don't be sad, Minnesota! You'll make it an even dozen!
UPDATE: The governor of Delaware is signing the bill right now:
Good work, haters!
There's a livestream of Rhode Island's gay marriage bill becoming a law right now over at NBC 10.
Paul Ryan now supports gay adoption. He voted against it thirteen years ago. This means that maybe by 2026, he'll be on the right side of gay marriage, too!