Archive for the ‘Prop 8’ Category

>Boies and Olson continue to persuade

August 9, 2010

>Get used to it.

I mean, I could get used to looking at pictures of people solidifying their commitment.

The right to marry the person you love has always been in our constitution, and we are now moving toward the recognition of that right.

These pictures of loving couples are courtesy of a google search.

David Boies and Ted Olson did a super job in the courtroom in tearing down Prop 8, and they convinced Judge Walker of the validity of their case.

They are now doing the same with the public, on Fox News and on CBS, on the Sunday talk shows.

Chris Wallace, Fox News, “I gotta say after your appearance today I don’t understand how you ever lost a case on the Supreme Court sir.”

Watch the entire interview, it’s just 6:38 long.

Meanwhile, his legal buddy David Boies took on Tony Perkins on CBS and Face the Nation.

So here’s the deal. We’ve said for years that the key to Equality is coming out, talking to our neighbors and co-workers, and that when people know us, and understand the discrimination on a personal level, their attitudes, and their degree of support, changes.

That is true.

But now this case has become a teachable moment, or a lot of teachable moments. Unless you read the ruling (which was pasted on this blog a few days ago) or followed the case as it was developing, you missed out on the personal aspects of it and how the plaintiffs were affected.

But you cannot miss the legal truths that have been revealed, and the explanation of those truths, which can be found in the 138 page ruling, or heard by listening to the successful attorneys. And every time one of these guys is on TV, more people are made aware of the constitutionality of the ruling, and minds are changed, and public opinion moves more in the direction of Equality.

Now, enjoy a few more pictures.

>Prop 8: the ruling

August 5, 2010

>You gotta love the 14th amendment of the U. S. Constitution.

Section 1.

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.

That clause should mean that my partner and I shall be able to marry, just like all three of my brothers have, to the person I love.

It may take a few years, but that will be the law of the land in Alabama before its over with.

Yesterday, Judge Vaughn Walker wrote:

“…Prop 8 both unconstitutionally burdens the exercise of the fundamental right to marry and creates an irrational classification on the basis of sexual orientation.”

And more.

Here is the entire ruling (I’m having a hard time loading the whole thing here. Come back if you can’t see it now).

Prop 8 Ruling

I love it when people express their feelings.

Here’s Sam Harris.

Remember, I posted a video by Sam after Prop 8 was passed. He expressed his feeling at that time also.

Anyway, the ruling is a huge victory, if you are interested in Equality and Liberty. I will be writing more about this for a magazine!

The confirmation of Elena Kagan today is a great thing, as well.

>Why Rick and Bubba matter

June 17, 2010

>Emails are flying and phone calls are being made to sponsors about Rick and Bubba’s anti-LGBT Pride rant. Some are questioning what the big deal is, after all, its a free country and we have freedom of speech here.

No one denies that. Let the phobic minority spin the scriptures and rally their armies all they want. That’s not the real issue.

On the other side of the country the closing arguments in the Prop 8 trial took place yesterday. By all counts, Ted Olson hit a home run, and the Prop 8 defender Charles Cooper struck out.

I kept up throughout the day by following the closing arguments on Prop 8 Trial Tracker where live blogging by several fast typists kept me informed.

Kate Kendall from the National Center for Lesbian Rights was in the courtroom, and in her remarks afterwards, she made a very good point.

She said,

“…Yes, people feel uncomfortable about gay people. Yes, people may be nervous about, gosh, if their kids think its ok for gay people to marry maybe they’ll think about being gay. But you know what, we just have to deal with all those issues. We have to have those conversations. We have to show them real data. And people have to understand, it’s OK to be gay. And that was really the central thrust of what Ted Olson was saying….The entire push behind Prop 8 was to say that being gay is not OK. Its bad, its something to be afraid of, its something we don’t want our kids to be exposed to. and it was that motive, those emotions, that voters brought with them to the ballot box when they passed Prop 8.”

Hear her comments following the closing arguments, including the part I quoted.

That pretty much explains why combating Rick and Bubba is important.

Attitudes in this state need to change. People here in Alabama agree with the 2008 voters in California.

It is not OK to be gay.

And Rick and Bubba perpetuate this message. Rick Burgess may claim that the message was to his like minded Biblical World View Christians.

But the airwaves reach mom’s of gay children driving in their cars. Quite possible a questioning kid is in the back seat hearing it. “It’s not OK to be gay”, the mom and her son hear. The son decides to hide his feelings from his mom. He has no one to turn to.

Whether one is a progressive Christian or is not, we should not accept the hurtful (notice I said “hurtfull”, not “hateful”) message of religious right wingers to spread their message unchallenged.

Changing the conversation from, “It’s not OK to be gay”, to “It’s OK to be gay,” is the name of the game. And Rick and Bubba win the game, if we don’t fight.

And if we lose the fight, the young man who feels that he can’t talk to his mom, may end up like Bobby did in Prayers for Bobby. (A true story)

>Prop 8 Response and Bessemer Meet Up

May 26, 2009


The California Supreme court just upheld Prop 8.

If I say that the gays are saddened or disappointed or feel cheated because Prop 8 was upheld in California I know I can depend on the homophobes to poke fun as they have before. But sure, there is disappointment. But I will respond with what has become a cliche: It only strengthens our resolve.

Because, as Cody Daigle said in his Prayer for Prop 8, “…if we are forced to fight this fight again (and we will fight this, and we will win, because justice is ultimately on our side), Tuesday’s ruling makes us wiser, stronger fighters.”

Efforts are already underway to gather signatures to bring the issue up again in 2010. The fight will not end until equality and justice are realized.

Here is the real question the justices were asked to answer. Can a majority of voters take a right away from a minority? Well, they did.

A right, like the right to fall in love and establish a legal partnership, exists, whether we recognize it or not. I mean, people are getting married, right. It’s just a matter of recognizing that the right applies to all. California is having a hard time recognizing that, because there are those who want to exclude those who are different. It’s just a power thing. They see themselves as better and as long as they are able to deny a group of people equality, they retain that status.
But like Martin Luther King, Jr. said, we are getting tired of waiting. As Dr. King once wrote, “For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait,’. It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ ”

And as we wait, the resolve strengthens in California. And in Bessemer. California is a long way from Bessemer, but the same prejudices and hatred and misconceptions are prevalent in our community, and today, inspired by and responding to the announcement in California, the efforts to bring Bessemer into the 21st century begin in earnest.

The Facebook group Bessemer Equality continues to grow and we will meet tonight to discuss our strategy. Bessemer Equality is a group of straight and gay people who believe that our city can only grow and prosper if all of its residents are treated with dignity and respect.

Communities across the country are responding to today’s announcement, just as they did after the passage of Prop 8 in November. Join us on Facebook where you can learn details of tonight’s meeting. If you are not on Facebook, but are interested, email me.

As for President Obama’s reluctance to act on issues like DOMA and DADT as quickly as expected, read Frank Rich’s recent column from the New York Times.

To go along with the column, here’s Adam Lambert singing “A Change is Gonna Come” from last week’s Idol finale. Sorry, no live video (the sound and video were not in sync on the video’s I saw.)

>Polls, Statistics, Money, and a Dog

November 17, 2008


If you make it through this post, you will be rewarded with a great picture at the end.
An anonymous comment asked the following:

In a blue state like California, who voted for this ban? Democrats overwhelmingly carried this state. Since blacks and Hispanics are more traditional concerning gay rights it would seem to me that the very people who supported Obama voted for this ban. So in theory Obama supporters did this. What is Obama’s position on this ban? How can he go against his supporters in the state of California? I really don’t agree with the term gay marriage, but I do understand the need for rights, privileges, and financial protection. But protesting where the advertising money came from seems odd when the people of the state voted. Should we protest that they also voted for Obama?

These are important concerns, and Jeff posted a response while I was writing this. You can read Jeff’s response in the comments to yesterday’s post.

In California, 61 % ( 7,342,729) of voters voted for Obama and 37% (4,501,611) for McCain and 2% (225,488) voted for third party candidates.

52% (6,242,786) voted for Prop 8, 48% (5,727,336) voted against Prop 8.

The difference between Yes and No votes on Prop 8 was 515,450, so if only 257,726 people changed their vote, but still voted, the Prop would have failed.

Some people that voted for president (12,069,828 voters) did not vote on Prop 8 (11,970,122 voters), a difference of 99,706.

Because the number that voted for 3rd party candidates (225,488) is fairly close to the number of vote flips that would need to change the outcome of Prop 8 (257, 726) it is hard to make a statement that the number of Obama voters who voted Yes is significant. If I used all of the statistics I learned last year, and had SAS or SPSS on this computer, I could back this up, but I don’t.

But the exit polls showed that African Americans, who voted heavily for Obama, also voted heavily in favor of Prop 8. Further examination of the exit polls shows that the more educated one was, the more likely to vote No.

Voting Yes: those with a high school only education (56%), some college (57%). College grads were evenly split (50%) and those with post graduate education voted yes only 40%.
So it gets complicated, but it seems to be more a divide because of education than race. Blacks and Latinos are less likely to have a college degree or post graduate degree, and their numbers swing toward Yes votes. And it seems likely that education could influence one’s beliefs about same sex marriage and civil rights, where race in itself would not.

As to protesting against where the money came from, I see no problem. Right wing Christians have protested against Disney, Ford and McDonald’s for their (sometimes wavering) support of gay rights by calling for boycotts (with limited success, I might add). They wanted to hold those corporations accountable for their support for equality (in general, not on Prop 8).

People who donated to Yes on 8 are listed on the State of California web site, just as those who donated to No on 8 are. Business owners need to realize that they might be held accountable for public support of the issues, just as Disney and Ford and McDonald’s were held accountable for their support of issues. And if they feel strongly enough to donate money, they should be proud regardless of the consequences.

However, they should really feel shame, for donating money to take away an established right from a particular group of people.

And because the money was used to create negative ads that used lies and misconceptions to scare people regarding their children and to manipulate them into voting Yes, then certainly, exposing the ones who contributed is justified. Anyone who was faced with losing the right to equal treatment would do the same thing.

OK, here’s an unusual sight, from Morgan County, AL.
A pick up truck, from Alaska, with an Obama sticker. And a great dog. And another sticker that reads, “Alaska Girls Kick Ass.”

In part because I am a southern gentleman, but mostly because the dog was keeping his eye on me, I asked the driver if I could photograph her truck. She laughed and said yes, and that I was the first person to ask. She said people take pictures all the time, she could be stopped in traffic and people would get out of their cars and run up and snap a picture.

I didn’t ask what she thought about Sarah Palin.