The Anti-Gay Marriage Stupid is Happily in Its Last Throes

Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi are making their cases in a federal appellate court to maintain their gay marriage bans.  Their reasons for continuing these civil rights violations are so awful it’s just laughable at this point.  Let the stupid begin:

Louisiana went first, telling a federal appellate panel that giving gays and lesbians marriage rights is so risky and unproven that states must be allowed to protect their citizens against it.

Same-sex marriage is “a novel perception” in terms of recorded history, argued Louisiana’s special counsel, Kyle Duncan.

Only ten years of data has been gathered since Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriages, he said – not enough to know the consequences if courts keep overturning state-imposed bans.

Wow.  I understand that these three states are scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of state education rankings, but that argument is just atrocious.  How could you even keep a straight face listening to that?

Ten years of data?  What!?  As if to say there were zero gays and lesbians existing and living together prior to the Massachusetts ruling and zero studies of the effects on surrounding societies, which is just insane.

Happily, the Supreme Court appears to be on its way to finally taking up this issue and handing down a ruling that very likely legalizes gay marriage across the country.  This, of course, does not lift the black-eye off of them for all of their previous actions that did not reach this inevitability, a point mentioned in the article:

Only 14 states still prohibit same-sex unions, which may give the justices reassurance that the country is ready for a nationwide change.

Three earlier seminal high court rulings that outlawed state-backed discrimination – involving education, interracial marriage and criminal prohibitions against gay sex – were issued when similar fractions of the country still kept discriminatory laws on their books.

Justice may be blind but it apparently still reads the opinion polls enough to stick itself in the eye over and over.  Now, if only we could address that whole “corporations are people, too” thing…

Let’s Assume “Homosexual Impulses” Did Play a Role in UCSB Shooting…

In the aftermath of the recent mass shooting in Isla Vista, Dr. Robi Ludwig suggested the killer may have been set off by “trying to fight against his homosexual impulses” during an interview on Fox News.  She has somewhat backed off the assertion and probably wishes she had chosen her words a little more wisely.  But, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume she is 100% correct.

If he were attempting to fight these “impulses”, our first question should be: why?  Why can’t he just embrace the feelings and be happy with what his brain is telling him?  What is it about the culture of the alleged freest country in the world that causes him to suppress natural, harmless, and legally acceptable impulses?  (Quickly getting to the legal part nationwide anyway.)

If Dr. Ludwig wanted the answer to that, she should realize a big part of the problem is the network in which her image was appearing, Fox News.  It’s not hard to see the hatred and bigotry, much of which is very open and not the least bit veiled, on Fox News regularly, such as the pushing of state anti-gay bills or the absurdity that ensued over the Micheal Sam celebratory kiss or any other incident in a slew of despicable acts you can find over at http://equalitymatters.org/.

It is, whether people want to admit that or not.

The fact that fighting homosexual impulses could even be plausibly given as a possible contributing factor to such a vicious act should speak volumes about the amount of bigotry that exists in the United States and it should be addressed accordingly.  It is even reminiscent of racists in the distant past claiming things about African-Americans like, “the same weak impulse control that leads to such high crime rates among young black males inevitably means more disruptive behavior in school.”  And by distant past I, of course, mean two months ago.  But you get the idea.

The underlying reality here is people just want to feel like they are special and better than others and they will find whatever ways they can to first differentiate themselves from other groups and then explain why they are better.  Whether it is race, sexual orientation, religion, or even simple geography, people want to find differences and say they are the better breed of human no matter how similar to others they actually are.  And it’s this arrogant need to feel special that gives rise to this widespread hatred.  It’s difficult and sometimes even hard work making yourself feel special by uplifting others.  The easy and cowardly way to do it is by making others feel terrible.

If Dr. Ludwig was in any way correct, the list of questions we should be asking is not just why the killer let culturally suppressed homosexual impulses take control of his behavior and led him to commit this awful act.  The question should also be why so many others let their (sometimes culturally accepted) bigoted impulses take control of their behavior and end up hurting so many.

Gay Rights Progress and More Stunning NSA Tidbits for the Day

Gay Marriage in Texas

A judge in Texas has ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional while leaving the law in place upon further appeals.  Part of his ruling should be hammered home across the nation in the fight for gay rights:

“Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution,” (Judge Orlando) Garcia wrote. “These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex.” (Emphasis added)

Gay Adoption in Michigan

Another court case concerning gay rights is currently underway in Michigan and is focusing on the effects of same-sex couples on parenting.  People are allowed their opinions as to what they may think about gay parents but let’s get one thing clear: there is no legitimate scientific research supporting the idea gay parenting is in any way a detriment to children.  As stated in the article:

“The scholarly consensus is that children raised by same-sex couples are in no disadvantage,” said Michael J. Rosenfeld, a Stanford University sociologist…“The consensus (among sociologists) is a consensus opinion that this debate is settled.

The NSA Will Attack You Personally and Attempt Brainwashing

There appears to be no end as to how shocking and despicable the NSA actions and programs can be.  Glen Greenwald, through Edward Snowden’s whistle-blowing, is now showing us the proof the NSA was/is using covert operations on the Internet to go after political activists and discredit them in any way possible.

Are they texting my Momma?!

As bad as all of these actions are, take a close look at the last bullet point on the slide.  One has to wonder what guidelines were followed and what alleged crime had to be committed for the texts and emails to be sent out to friends and family.  And remember, these actions would have been taken against people who allegedly had done something bad, not criminals convicted in a court of law.

Another slide included in Greenwald’s article is just as astonishing and suggests making attempts at brainwashing people.  In a slide titled “Gambits for Deception”, we see Orwellian phrases such as “Present story fragments”, “Swap the real for the false”, “Repetition reduces vigilance”, “Repetition creates expectancies”, and “Channel behavior”.  How exactly is “swapping the real for the false” construed as being an important part of a democracy?

And let’s not forget there has been no proof any of the NSA’s unwarranted domestic spying activities have produced anything resembling useful actions that have stopped a terrorist, which is the justification for these programs.

Will Jan Brewer Sign Anti-Gay Bill and More

2dfd2d44-b56f-4bf8-977e-30d42e36470e-460x276A good article in The Guardian on Arizona’s anti-gay bill that’s up for signature or veto by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. It also includes information on the battles between gays and conservatives across the nation.

Read Here.

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The 5 Ways Gay Marriage Can Win at the Supreme Court – Molly Ball – The Atlantic

The 5 Ways Gay Marriage Can Win at the Supreme Court – Molly Ball – The Atlantic.

A great summarized prep in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling coming today.  Let’s hope we get ruling #1 and the inevitable legalizing of gay marriage for all will finally come to the United States.

Will the Supreme Court Continue to Show Cowardice on Gay Marriage?

Gay marriage before Supreme Court? Cases weighed – Yahoo! News.

The Supreme Court will decide whether it will finally take up the issue of gay marriage for the entire country or not and a few lines from this article say it all:

Gay marriage before Supreme Court? Cases weighed - Yahoo! News

Throughout U.S. history, the court has tried to avoid getting too far ahead of public opinion and mores. The high court waited until 1967 to strike down laws against interracial marriage in the 16 states that still had them…”What do they have to gain by hearing this case? Either they impose same sex marriage on the whole country, which would create a political firestorm, or they say there’s no right to same-sex marriage, in which case they are going to be reversed in 20 years and be badly remembered. They’ll be the villains in the historical narrative,” said Andrew Koppelman, a professor of law and political science at Northwestern University.

The truly wrongheaded thinking here is that the political firestorm would be such a bad thing.  The professor is definitely right about the outcomes he is suggesting but the question that should be asked here is, what do we truly have to fear from this so-called firestorm?  Will there be rioting?  Looting?  A zombie apocalypse?  Will team Edward or Jacob rise to victory?

The fact is we are admitting a decision against gay marriage will be overturned at some point in the near future and will be forever frowned upon by the generations to come.  So why not just get to the equal-for-all part of this issue by legalizing it nationwide now?  Even if there is a firestorm, why should anyone fear it?

The only element stopping this decision from already being made is the inability of people to change their minds and come to grips with the reality gay marriage is just fine and is fair for those currently being oppressed.  Why should the country be held back in progressing toward equality because a shrinking minority of people think the wrong way on a certain issue?

It’s sad the Supreme Court has chosen cowardice over justice for so long on gay rights and may continue to do so.  It’s even more heartbreaking our generation will be burdened with this ideology being associated with us in the forthcoming history books just as the Supreme Court decisions of the 1800s regarding slavery and Jim Crow laws will forever be intertwined with American beliefs of that century.  It’s a disgrace that only a tiny group of people have the power and ability to change and they still seem to be too afraid to do what is right.

Obama Won the Presidency But the Left Won Even More

To the shock of no one actually paying attention to the 2012 election, President Obama won his reelection bid along with the popular vote.  This was not surprising to anyone following the polls showing the lead he had in the electoral college vote.  But there was a series of even bigger victories worth noting for progressive ideology and a positive (albeit incremental) move for the country as a whole to the political left.

Four More Years
Four More Years

Taking a look at the highlighted ballot measures for individual states reveals how successful progressive beliefs were in this election and how far and fast the country has moved, particularly on the issue of gay rights.  The most eye-catching measures may have been the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado.  This change in drug policy is long overdue in America and these victories bring the country one step closer to alleviating the problem and cost of incarcerating people for this non-violent crime, not to mention hurting the wallets of the violent drug cartels in Mexico.  There is still work to do here since it is illegal on the federal level but there is little doubt now where the U.S. is heading on this issue.  The prohibition of pot is coming to an end and it is only a matter of time before changes on the national level are made.

The state of Florida delivered two victories for the left on ballot measures.  Voters decided blocking women from obtaining abortions using public funding was the wrong way to go and this highly controversial issue is put to rest for now but certainly hasn’t seen its final challenge.  The other issue voted down was the limiting of the Affordable Care Act, particularly voiding the individual mandate for the state.  This went down in Florida but was successfully passed in three other heavily conservative states.  These measures are just for show, of course, as they are likely to be challenged in the courts and struck down as federal precedent will override intrusive state laws.  Three victories for the right, in some respect, but only short-lived ones at best.

But the biggest progressive victory of the night was, without a doubt, gay rights.  Minnesota voters turned down the chance to put a ban on gay marriage in their state constitution, the first defeat in the country of this type of measure.  What’s important here is the fact most of the previous measures of this kind were passed with 60% or more of the vote.  This will likely be the first of many defeats to come for these state constitution amendments.  Three states also took the further step of legalizing gay marriage.  This group of victories was capped by the election of the first gay Senator in U.S. history, Tammy Baldwin.  It should be noted Baldwin’s election comes in the state of Wisconsin where conservatives were recently celebrating victory in Governor Scott Walker’s recall election.  The tide turned quickly in Wisconsin and has clearly turned on the issue of gay rights in the United States.

Tammy Baldwin
Tammy Baldwin

There was one curious loss for the left on election night and it came in a state believed to be one of the most progressive in the country: California.  A ballot measure to ban the death penalty appears to be headed for defeat by a comfortable margin, a victory for those on the right who believe every life is precious and only God can judge when someone lives and dies.  Now they can properly kill people just as God intended.  I think that’s what was intended.  Seemingly intended.  Wait a sec, I’m choking on the confusion of the right’s rhetoric compared to their policy positions.  Regardless, the state of California has decided to continue shouldering the enormous economic cost of keeping prisoners on death row instead of the cheaper and more moral route of life sentences.  The likelihood of this conservative position lasting over time is still slim despite this outcome.

Overall, election night was good for the Democratic Party and great for the progressive minded.  The United States took a small but significant step in the right direction politically and will assuredly continue this progression in the foreseeable future.

Edging Closer to Marriage Equality

Another appeals court has essentially pointed out the reality the marriage rules in the United States are unequal and they need to change.  The facts surrounding this area are covered well in the article but the key is the pressure is continuing to mount on the Supreme Court to address this issue and no longer dodge the inevitable decision it will make legalizing gay marriage across the country.  Marriage Equality

DOMA is clearly an unconstitutional piece of legislation along with the state constitutional amendments banning gay marriage and enough rulings have been made that the writing should be on the wall for everyone where this issue is headed and what the outcome will be when the highest court renders its decision.  In this way, the Constitution is much like the Bible for the people strongly against gay marriage.  They defend the Constitution and the principles within it…until the reality hits them there is something it says that goes so blatantly against what they believe.  Gay marriage will be legalized once the Supreme Court decides to take the issue on, the language in the Constitution will be the reason it will be legalized, and the country will be better off in the long run because of it.