The Gay Fray

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Jul 28, 2004.

?

I am . . . .

  1. Homosexual

    25 vote(s)
    9.2%
  2. Heterosexual

    201 vote(s)
    73.6%
  3. Bisexual

    31 vote(s)
    11.4%
  4. Other (I would have complained if there wasn't an "other" option)

    16 vote(s)
    5.9%
  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,785
    It Comes to This?

    Oklahoma!
    So it comes to this ....


    It's probably been a while since people have heard the marriage equality rhetoric that takes the whole thing back to whether or not heterosexual marriges ever had to be approved at the ballot box. While it makes a certain point about equal protection, it is not something most people consider realistic.

    Or perhaps I'm wrong on that last count:

    One Oklahoma state lawmaker has proposed legislation that would throw out all marriage in the Sooner State.

    Rep. Mike Turner (R-Edmond) told News 9 constituents in Oklahoma are "willing to have that discussion about whether marriage needs to be regulated by the state at all." Turner said it would "be a realistic opportunity" to outlaw marriage.

    "It's something that would be part of the discussion," Turner said.


    (Huffington Post)

    In truth, I didn't see this one coming.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    The Huffington Post. "Oklahoma Lawmakers Consider Preventing All Marriage: Report". January 25, 2014. HuffingtonPost.com. January 25, 2014 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/25/oklahoma-marriage_n_4665726.html
     
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,785
    Putin Wants to "Cleanse" Russia

    Closeteer of the Year?
    Vladimir Putin hints at his own bisexuality


    Okay, sort of. There's a rationale behind the notion.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, who apparently hasn't gotten a briefing on the state of American jurisprudence in over ten years, announced yesterday that Russia needs to "cleanse" itself of gays if the country is ever going to be successful in having more babies.

    You see, in Russia, a straight guy will drop his wife in a nanosecond for a chance at getting some of that hot man-on-man action ....

    .... And while I'm pretty amazed that Putin is now dropping Hitler analogies, talking about needing to "clean up" the gay menace, and that Putin still believes that old canard about gay people being more likely to molest children (they're not), I'm equally fascinated that the Russian leader basically just admitted that he's bisexual.

    In his interviews yesterday, quoted by Al Jazeera, Putin reiterated his concern that Russia must get rid of the-gay, lest the country's birthrate not rebound sufficiently. Which is to suggest that somehow gay people will steal otherwise heterosexual Russians away from their opposite-sex spouses. And the only people who think that straight men would gladly leave their wives for a gay guy are men who would gladly leave their wives for a gay guy. They're called bisexuals (or closeted homosexuals).

    Welcome to the club, Vlad!


    (Aravosis)

    Really, I thought the old gay/bi dispute was done.

    Oh, right. Russia. It's true, they're not on our schedule. After all, the Russian president is running more than a decade behind; one of his defenses of the budding pogrom to "cleanse" Russia of homosexuality is that gay sex is illegal in the United States.

    And, you know, it's not like we didn't already suspect there was something up with Vladimir Putin. The slow return of the repressed.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Aravosis, John. "Putin wants to 'cleanse' Russia of gays, may have just admitted he's bi". AmericaBlog. January 20, 2014. AmericaBlog.com. February 1, 2014. http://americablog.com/2014/01/putin-now-wants-cleanse-russia-gays-may-just-admitted-hes-bi.html
     
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  5. Bells Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,024
    Ah the drooping manboobs.

    Is it really bad that when I looked at the image in that link, I had this dodgy Russian accent in my head saying "eat and gather your strength, for soon, I shall mount you and ride you like a horse"...?
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,785
    ¿On Horses and Wives?

    Well, it's better than my first thought, which was, "There are reasons why horses are better than wives".

    But it still slays me that this happens so much; there is a reason the "talking cure" was effective in Freud's day. Sure, it's a bit more complex today, given the number of "neurotic symptoms" we now know are neurochemical imbalances, but the point remains the same whether one is a psychotherapist or a barfly: Let people keep talking, and they will eventually get around to telling you the truth.
     
  8. Bells Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,024
    Purge gays from the RNC!.. Bleh..

    We've seen some awful homophobia floating out of the sea of excrement that homophobia usually finds itself at home in, some Republicans in the US have uttered things that would fit right at home in Russia and Putin's anti-gay establishment:


    Mary Helen Sears of Houghton County in the state's Upper Peninsula, elected vice chair of the Michigan Republican Party's 1st District last year, posted a rant in April on the Schoolcraft County GOP website -- preceded by a warning asking readers to "please use your discretion before taking any decisions based on the information in this blog."

    In the post, Sears claimed that homosexuals prey on children, argued that "Satan uses homosexuality to attack the living space of the Holy Spirit" and advocated that Republicans "as a party should be purging this perversion and send them to a party with a much bigger tent."

    Michigan's representatives on the Republican National Committee have lately stirred other controversy, mostly due to Dave Agema, a former state lawmaker who has regularly made anti-gay comments and has been condemned by fellow Republicans, including Gov. Rick Snyder.

    Last month, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak issued a joint statement asking Agema to step down from the RNC "for the good of the party." Instead, Agema's Michigan co-chair on the RNC, U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land (who had condemned Agema's anti-gay comments), resigned her seat, saying she wanted to focus on her campaign. Under party rules, the state GOP must pick a woman to take Land's place, according to the Detroit Free Press.

    Enter Sears, who is running for Land's vacated RNC seat. She's, "if anything, to the right of RNC Committeeman Dave Agema on the political spectrum," wrote Macomb Daily columnist Chad Selweski.

    Sears, in her post on the Schoolcraft County GOP website, wrote that Communist college professors were indoctrinating young people and claimed that Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory "gave rise to Hitler’s Third Reich, Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s Russia."


    Many Republicans are rightly terrified that this revolting human being could actually win. And rightly so. Sears' blog post is, by every single definition, repulsive. Unfortunately the "Admin Note" at the start of it, warning readers, does not do enough to actually prepare readers for the horror that unfolds in Sears' piece. While most Christians dismiss Leviticus for his hatred, homophobia and vitriol, not so Sears, who embraces it fully.


    The promise that when this horror show we call life is over, we will once again be reunited with the God of this Universe. The joining of two men or two women is a perversion of this Covenant and a direct affront to God. Satan uses homosexuality to attack the living space of the Holy Spirit, which is the body of the person.

    Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17,”Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
    By perverting the Covenant he keeps those who practice it away from God. He knows his time is limited, the more of us he takes to hell with him and the more pain he causes God by destroying His people the better he likes it. God says of homosexuality:
    ” Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Leviticus 18:22

    “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:13

    How then can we as Christians stay in a party that adopts Homosexuality into the fabric of the tent. I say we cannot. Homosexuals make up less than one percent of the total population. They must prey on our children to increase their numbers. Why then, would we, as a party, entertain this perversion? We as a party should be purging this perversion and send them to a party with a much bigger tent. When we lose track of foundational principles we lose the very essence of our party. By throwing God under the bus we become nothing more than the poor Democrats who have lost their way and by doing so have lost their party. They are nowhere near the party of Andrew Jackson or John Kennedy. They have opened the tent so wide that it no longer provides them a shelter or a solid base upon which to place their platform. I’m sure you all watched when the DNC voted whether to keep God in their party. Three times they voted Him down and someone who knew they would be raked over the coals by their throwing God to the curb, over road the crazed masses and declared the vote for God. Boos were loudly audible. The Democrats Boo’d God!


    Bleh..
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,785
    Hey, Hey, It's Kentucky!

    Hey, Hey, It's Kentucky!
    (People say they're Tuckin' around)


    Inevitable :

    In a ruling that could open the door to gay marriage in Kentucky, a federal judge has struck down the state's ban on recognizing same-sex unions performed in states where it is legal.

    U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled Wednesday that Kentucky's prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law by treating gays and lesbians “differently in a way that demeans them.”

    Ruling in a suit brought by four gay and lesbian couples and their children, Heyburn said that, while “religious beliefs ... are vital to the fabric of society ... assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law does not make it constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without other reasons.”

    Heyburn's decision strikes down part of Kentucky's marriage amendment, enacted in 2004 by 74 percent of the voters, which says “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky.”


    (Wolfson)

    To the one, Judge Heyburn found a path to the appropriate outcome according to precedents on the record. To the other, he did everything he could to duck Article IV considerations. If Kentucky is smart, they'll take this one on the chin and not push to federal court, because Full Faith and Credit will force itself back into the consideration. That is, as Heyburn wrote:

    Plaintiffs also seek a declaration that Section 2 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), 28 U.S.C. §1738C, as applied to Plaintiffs and similarly situated same-sex couples violates the Due Process, Equal Protection, Freedom of Association, and Full Faith and Credit clauses of the United States Constitution. The Court finds that Section 2 of DOMA, as a permissive statute, is not necessary to the disposition of Plaintiffs' case and therefore will not analyze its constitutionality.

    Think about that for a minute. Since it is possible to decide this case without Article IV, we'll throw out that part of the petition so we don't have to.

    A federal court won't overturn the Fourteenth Amendment part of the decision, but if Kentucky fights hard enough, a court might send the decision back to Heyburn with a note saying, "Yeah, actually you do need to resolve the Article IV issue."

    That is, I would assert His Honor is in error. A permissive statute? Sure. It attempts to give states permission to skip out on the U.S. Constitution. At some point, this question must be answered, and that answer is already known. Judge Heyburn is certainly not ignorant of this point.

    To the other, his is a state court, and while state courts are bound to the U.S. Constitution, many of them do everything they can figure to try in order to avoid touching those issues. The number of times in the Drug War bad searches and arrests weren't thrown out because the court decided it had no jurisdiction to consider the U.S. Constitution is ... well, it's how things went. And the larger part of the population never really complained until the precedent was carried to the War on Terror and turned against them. As long as it's "someone else", well, you know, we gotta stop crime. But as soon as one is part of that target group, they wail. Indeed, it's part of the reason I have no sympathy with the legions expressing their shock and outrage that the NSA would spy on Americans. When it was the reds or the druggies or the Muslims, they were just fine with it. Yeah, we know that sort of spying is paranoid bullshit, but maybe the masses should have given it more thought back when they had the chance.

    The relevance being that this is what happens when state courts skip out on the Constitution because they think they can.

    The last stake, Article IV, is a bright and shining artifact just waiting, even begging, to be recovered. Judge Heyburn passed on his opportunity:

    While Plaintiffs have many constitutional theories, the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause provides the most appropriate analytical framework. If equal protection analysis decides this case, the Court need not address any others. No one disputes that the same-sex couples who have brought this case are treated differently under Kentucky law than those in comparable opposite-sex marriages. No one seems to disagree that, as presented here, the equal protection issue is purely a question of law. The Court must decide whether the Kentucky Constitution and statutes violate Plaintiffs' federal constitutional rights.

    Still, though, as disappointed as I might be that the court punted on Article IV, it's a solid ruling. One can easily propose that Heyburn, seeing the outcome of this case writ clearly on the wall, passed on Article IV in order to hand down a stronger Amendment XIV ruling: "Ultimately, the result in this case is unaffected by the level of scrutiny applied." That is a big ouch for the traditionalists.

    The decision is laced with a contrast of what the Supreme Court of the United States decided in Windsor and Justice Scalia's complaint about the other shoe. And given the conservative pouting—

    Christians who affirm the biblical understanding of marriage as the union of a man and woman must now recognize that we can no longer count upon the government and its laws to reflect that understanding. Even the proponents of same-sex marriage must surely recognize the radical legal and moral shift in Western civilization and human history this change implies. Christians understand that marriage is one of God's greatest gifts to humanity and that marriage, as defined by the Creator, is fundamental to human flourishing.

    We now know that the government cannot be counted on to affirm this message. As a matter of fact, we have to face the reality that the government — even in the Commonwealth of Kentucky — may teach a radically different message through its laws. But the real question for Christians is not whether the government gets the question of marriage right, but if we do. In the grand scheme of things, that is the Church's real challenge.


    (Mohler)

    —it's suddenly hard to tell who Heyburn is actually sticking it to. Passing on Article IV suggests sympathy to the traditionalists. The weight of his Amendment XIV decision speaks clearly to the marriage equality argument. But it's hard to tell whether he's mocking Scalia or the Court majority.

    To the other, it's an interesting contrast. On the marriage equality side of the aisle, we're celebrating another Equal Protection win. On the tradionalist side, it would seem some are lamenting that the government cannot be counted on to violate its own Constitution.

    The Article IV question will have its day. If the traditionalists intend to fight on, they are best advised to not rush into a situation where a court feels compelled by neecessity to address the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Wolfson, Andrew. "Gay marriage in Kentucky gains foothold with federal judge's ruling". Courier-Journal. February 12, 2014. Courier-Journal.com. February 12, 2014. http://www.courier-journal.com/arti...rom-other-states-struck-down-by-federal-judge

    Heyburn II, John G. "Memorandum Opinion". Bourke, et al. v. Beshear, et al. United States District Court Western District of Kentucky and Louisville. February 12, 2014. JuryVerdicts.net. February 12, 2014. http://juryverdicts.net/BourkevBeshearGayRightsRulinginKentucky.pdf

    Mohler, Albert. "The Other Shoe Drops in Kentucky: Federal Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in the Commonwealth". February 12, 2014. AlbertMohler.com. February 12, 2014. http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/02...alizes-same-sex-marriage-in-the-commonwealth/
     
  10. Bells Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,024
    Cold shower in Kansas..

    An extreme anti-gay law that cleared the Kansas state House of Representatives on Wednesday contains language so broad that it could legalize discrimination against many straight couples.

    The bill, HB 2453, explicitly protects discrimination, provided that it stems from "the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender." Both private businesses and government officials are permitted to deny "services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges" along with "counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services" and "employment or employment benefits," in any way "related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement."

    While the legislation is clearly designed to target gay couples, the sheer scope of the discriminatory behavior authorized would permit businesses to deny services to straight couples if the proprietors do not approve of the couple's gender dynamic. State Rep. Emily Perry (D-Mission), who voted against the bill, warned that women who hold jobs or play other roles not condoned by hardline religious conservatives could face problems, as well.

    "It says 'sex or gender,' and I think that women could be definitely discriminated against in this situation, as well, along with homosexual relationships," Perry said in a HuffPost Live interview. "There are plenty of people who definitely, based on their sincerely held religious beliefs, don't believe that women should do X, Y or Z, and I think that this opens the door for discrimination against women."

    Pro discrimination laws..

    With most states and courts moving to abolish discrimination, Kansas is seeking to protect discrimination in the public and private sphere. Referring to this as an abomination, Mark Joseph Stern's explanation into this piece of legislation should scare the pants off people. It quite literally allows for discrimination to be legalised. Consider it a Jim Crow law, and its scope is so broad, it can apply to anyone at all, straight or gay, male or female and whatever colour or religion they happen to be. And it would all be protected:



    On Tuesday, the Kansas House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a measure designed to bring anti-gay segregation—under the guise of “religious liberty”—to the already deep-red state. The bill, written out of fear that the state may soon face an Oklahoma-style gay marriage ruling, will now easily pass the Republican Senate and be signed into law by the Republican governor. The result will mark Kansas as the first state, though certainly not the last, to legalize segregation of gay and straight people in virtually every arena of life.

    If that sounds overblown, consider the bill itself. When passed, the new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. Businesses that provide public accommodations—movie theaters, restaurants—can turn away gay couples at the door. And if a gay couple sues for discrimination, they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees. As I’ve noted before, anti-gay businesses might as well put out signs alerting gay people that their business isn’t welcome.

    But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to barring all anti-discrimination lawsuits against private employers, the new law permits government employees to deny service to gays in the name of “religious liberty.” This is nothing new, but the sweep of Kansas’ statute is breathtaking. Any government employee is given explicit permission to discriminate against gay couples—not just county clerks and DMV employees, but literally anyone who works for the state of Kansas. If a gay couple calls the police, an officer may refuse to help them if interacting with a gay couple violates his religious principles. State hospitals can turn away gay couples at the door and deny them treatment with impunity. Gay couples can be banned from public parks, public pools, anything that operates under the aegis of the Kansas state government.



    And this is not solely relegated to gay couples. It would apply to gay people as well, and to straight people too. If anyone believes you may be somehow involved with the gay community or have supported a gay couple, they can deny you service and care. If you are a gay couple with children, the school can deny your children admission into the school if the staff has a religious inclination to have an issue with homosexuality or homosexual marriage or couples.

    And there will be no legal recourse available to you.

    One would hope the Federal Courts would strike this down for the garbage it clearly is. This is an infringement on people's rights and their basic human rights. It is obscene. And it is in Kansas.
     
  11. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    856
    Disgusting.
     
  12. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,049
    surly its a waste of paper, how could this NOT violate the equal protection clause?
     
  13. superstring01 Moderator

    Messages:
    12,110
    I know, right!?

    This is one of the odd beauties of the American system (and subsequently the source of our greatest frustration). The many petri dishes of American politics (50 states) allow for a lot of tinkering. We reach a tipping point and the SCOTUS jumps in and creates uniformity in judicial oversight. It takes time, but it happens. By 2016, I may be getting married. Motherfuck, I can't wait.

    But the EPC has not been brought to bear. That's because all lawsuits involving it haven't been heard yet. But you're right, it's pretty clear. Just as importantly (or more importantly) Iran . . . errr . . . Kansas' refusal to recognize out of state marriages violates not just the spirit but actual WORDING of the Full Faith & Credit clause. Once that happens, fuck. It's over.

    ~String
     
  14. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,938
    It honestly amazes me that this is even still something in discussion...

    Equal fracking rights... period. Why is this such a hard concept? If you don't like it, don't do it. It isn't like this is a life or death thing... allowing same-sex couples to marry isn't going to set of a thermonuclear bomb in someones underpants... seriously, why are people so dense on this? It seems like a simple human right... the right to be happy with whomever you are happy with.

    *facepalm* Ugh, I hate humanity sometimes...
     
  15. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    856
    +100

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  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    Because Kansas is a hotbed of fire-and-brimstone Christianity, and "if you don't like it don't do it" is simply not good enough for fire-and-brimstone Christians. They believe that they are on a mission from God to make sure that the entire human race behaves according to (their particular interpretation of) God's will. If they fail, then God will punish them!

    It there's one gay person anywhere on this planet who hasn't gotten "God's word" and given up his "sinful lifestyle," then these Christians will have failed in their duty to God and God will punish them.

    You have to understand how these Religious Redneck Retards think. Unfortunately, that would be disgusting.

    Why hate humanity for something that only religious fundamentalists do? Especially since religious fundamentalism is dying out in most of the Western nations, with the glaring exception of the United States.

    I'm not clear on how much fundamentalism there actually is in the Islamic countries, since their militant wing is currently much more active than the militant wing of Christendom. The worst we've got is the pathetic Westboro Baptists, and even they aren't shooting people. There are actually millions and millions of moderate Muslims who don't like Al Qaeda and the Taliban any more than we like the Westboro Baptists and the entire state of Kansas. They drink alcohol, have pet dogs and send their little girls to school, just like we do.

    Maybe they're a little pissed off at Israel, but so am I, and half of my family members are Jewish.
     
  17. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    23,049

    I'm sorry but that's bullshit. Just because you chose not to call them terrorists doesn't make the abortion clinic bombings any less objectively a terrorist act, try this list (and this is only over one issue I might add)

    Oh and BTW why exactly do you think people should be required to drink in order not to be fundamentalist? to put that on par with female school attendance is really stupid

    Edit to add:

    Just found a Christian terrorist organisation specifically aimed at abortion clinics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_of_God_(USA)
     
  18. Bells Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,024
    Oh! Congratulations on the upcoming nuptials!

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    [HR][/HR]


    An update on the horror show in Kansas..

    You know it's bad when even some Church's are coming out against this pro-discrimination legislation.

    Some level of sanity may be prevailing, however.

    The Republican Senate leader in Kansas has stated the Bill will not pass with its current wording. Not because it is inherently and morally wrong, but because she was concerned with how it would impact businesses. She is not wrong, many businesses in Kansas have asked for this Bill to be reworked or abolished because it goes against their company's non-discrimination policies. Stating that public service must remain public for all, the Bill will be worked over and reworded, to protect the individual's religious bigotry *cough* beliefs, but also to not hurt businesses. I guess it's a case of 'it's better than nothing'.. I think it would have been more acceptable to have said 'no, this isn't going to pass because it just sucks!'.. But that's just me.
     
  19. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    13,938
    I would dearly LOVE to read a bible translated in such a way as to give them that kind of thinking... because I really, really can't understand where they get this crap from... seriously, do people not get the whole "Love Thy Neighbor" bit? Or the whole "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" bit? What the HELL man? It's pretty cut and dry that it is NOT our place to judge... the new Testament pretty much set that straight.

    It isn't so much that I hate humanity... I just hate the complete and total lack of common sense, good judgement, communal respect, and general lack of thoughtfulness. I mean, really, does what one couple does in the bedroom REALLY hurt someone who doesn't agree with it? (maybe if they are next door neighbors and have thin walls? I dunno, whatever)
     
  20. superstring01 Moderator

    Messages:
    12,110
    Yeah. We're heading to DC this summer to get married. Will be 8 years this year. Long past time.

    On an amusing note, the GOP today (in the Senate) introduced a [dead on arrival] bill to demonstrate just how much they hate gay people.

    ~String
     
  21. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,938
    Many congrats on that superstring! As I told my mother recently when she questioned why I was able to take her being with a woman after having been married to my (admittedly totally asshole and worthless as a father) "dad" for 25 years, it doesn't matter the gender so long as he/she makes you happy. In the end, that's what really counts.
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,785
    Virginia!

    Virginia!
    Turn your eye phasers to "Try Not To Weep"


    One of the wonderful things about judges in general is that despite the occasional exceptions that bring disrepute to the judiciary, they are committed first and foremost to the law. This sometimes manifests itself in frustrating ways, but if a judge is absolutely cornered, the decision is overwhelmingly more often than not correct. Sometimes the opinions seem as if they are read through gritted teeth, with a sentiment of, "I may not like this personally, but this is how it goes, and that's the job I asked for, so here you go."

    To the other, there are some judges who take their duty as guardians of the law, protectors of justice, gravely. I've witnessed this with my own eyes; I've also witnessed a bad judge with my own eyes. My faith in the judiciary remains unwavering.

    And then there are days like this:

    We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn't that what marriage is? . . . I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation's fears and prejudices have given way, and today's young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry. Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others . . . . I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.

    ―Mildred Loving (qtd. in Wright Allen)

    The Virginia prohibition against same-sex marriage has fallen. Judge Arenda Wright Allen was apparently not immune to the fact of Valentine's Day, handing down the ruling the night before, after the daily news cycle was winding down. Rachel Maddow noted the news would reach many in the Valentine's Day headlines.

    Judge Wright Allen, obviously, was clearly aware of the fact that this was Virginia, opening the ruling with the above quote. And, as Maddow likewise noted, the judge closed the ruling with Abraham Lincoln.

    We might pause to note, aside, that elections do have consequences. Presently, Republicans can win within states, but are having some trouble winning statewide elections; take Virginia, for instance, where the senators who put the former Commander in the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the United States Navy forward for nomination by President Obama were both Democrats, Jim Webb and Mark R. Warner. The contrast, of course, would be Republican situations in Georgia and Florida where GOP senators are refusing to advance their own nominees, or blocking confirmation of those they've already signed the blue slip on.

    There is no question that Judge Wright Allen is aware of all of these factors. Her decision is a breathtaking, reverberating endorsement of equal protection that verges on dignified outrage.

    Each of the parties before the Court recognizews that marriage is a sacred social institution. The commitment two individuals enter into love, support each other, and possibly choose to nurture children enriches our society. Although steeped in a rich, tradition- and faith-based legacy, Virginia's Marriage Laws are an exercise of govenrmental power. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, Virginia's laws ensures that marriage provides profound legal, financial, and social benefits, and exacts serious legal, financial, and social obligations. The government's involvement in defining marriage, and in attaching benefits that accompany the institution, must withstand constitutional scrutiny. Laws that fail that scrutiny must fall despite the depth and legitimacy of the laws' religious heritage.

    The Court is compelled to conclude that Virginia's Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry. Government interests in perpetuating traditions, shielding state matters from federal interference, and favoring one model of parenting over others must yield to this country's cherishe protections that ensure the exercise of the private choices of the individual citizen regarding love and family.

    Ultimately, this is consistent with our nation's traditions of freedom. "[T]he history of our Constitution ... is the story of the extension of constitutional rights and protections to people once ignored or excluded." United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 557 (1996). Our nation's uneven but dogget journey toward truer and more meaningful freedoms for our citizens has brought us continually to a deeper understanding of the first three words in our Constitution: we the people. "We the People" have become a broader, more diverse family than once imagined.

    Justice has often been forged from fires of indignities and prejudices suffered. Our trimphus that celebrate the freedom of choice are hallowed. We have arrived upon another moment in history when We the People becomes more inclusive, and our freedom more perfect.

    Almost one hunderd and fifty four years ago, as Abraham Lincoln approached the cataclysmic rending of our nation over a struggle for other freedoms, a rending that would take his life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of others, he wrote these words: "It can not have failed to strike you that these men ask for just ... the same thing—fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have."

    The men and women, and the children too, whose voices join in noble harmony with Plaintiffs today, also ask for fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as it is in this Court's power, they and all others shall have.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Wright Allen, Arenda L. "Opinion and Order". Bostic, et al. v. Rainey, et al. United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Norfolk Division. February 13, 2014. LegalTimes.TypePad.com. February 14, 2014. http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/edva-ssm-opinion.pdf

    Maddow, Rachel. The Rachel Maddow Show. MSNBC, New York. February 14, 2014. Television. MSNBC.com. February 14, 2014.

     
  23. superstring01 Moderator

    Messages:
    12,110

    Virginia is for [gay] lovers!†

    ~String

    . . . . . . . . . .

    For you non USAmericans, most of our states have TV commercials, pleading with other people to come to their state on vacation. Like what other countries do. I see a lot for Russia and Australia and Brazil these days. Anyhoo, Virginia's slogan used to be, "Virginia is for lovers!"
    "Ohio, the heart of it all."
    "I ❤ NEW YORK!"
    "Find your Alaska, here."
    "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegsa."
    "Louisiana, pick your passion."
    "Kentucky, unbridled spirit."
    "Montana, go deeper" (seriously, really!?)
    "California, dream big!"
    "Come see what's new in Pure Michigan."
    "West Virginia, boy you sure got a purty mouth."
     

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