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a roundup of some LGBT victories--including Jared Polis--

amberglow's picture

the first openly-gay person to be elected to Congress--ever (Baldwin and Frank came out while already in office). The article takes stock all around the country.

“Jared Polis is the first openly gay man to be elected to Congress as a non-incumbent, and he joins Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank as the three out members,” said Denis Dison, a Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund spokesperson."

“a bittersweet election for gay people.”

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TonyRz's picture
Submitted by TonyRz on

Another race we closely watched live on Tuesday. She was a one-trick pony and that trick was gay-bashing. Without GOP money propping her up, she went down in flames.


a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

I hadn't heard about this. Another reason to be cheerful.

We can't afford not to have single-payer!

Andre's picture
Submitted by Andre on

arguably the single most powerful person in this country (and therefore the world?) in the handling of the financial mess. I'm very proud of that as well as Anthony Romero, head of the ACLU, who is openly Gay.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on -- "... Barack Obama has, on numerous occasions, emphatically expressed his support for repealing DOMA. When he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, he wrote a letter to Chicago's Windy City Times, calling DOMA "abhorrent" and its repeal "essential," and vowing: "I opposed DOMA in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor." But he went on to cite what he called the "the realities of modern politics" in order to proclaim (accurately) that DOMA's repeal at that time -- 2004 -- was "unlikely with Mr. Bush in the White House and Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress." After Tuesday, that excuse is no longer availing.

Democrats have a particular responsibility to erase the stain of DOMA. ..."

oceansandmountains's picture
Submitted by oceansandmountains on

that repealing DOMA is compatible with the brand new Official Party Line of the inexplicable need to "govern from the middle"? After what happened in California on Prop. 8?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and it's just another promise of Obama's that was worthless and a lie, but would help repair the enormous and active damage he did to us.

oceansandmountains's picture
Submitted by oceansandmountains on

I wonder if there's been any analysis of the fact that African-Americans supported Prop 8 by 70%. I wonder if there's been any reaction by the AA community regarding these protests.

I hope the protesters keep up the pressure. And I really hope that they wake up to Teh Precious' involvement (or lack thereof) in this. I went to and saw a number of messages from young people so disappointed in Prop 8 passing and expressing the hope that Obama would do something about it. They have no clue. Not only can he not do anything about it in any legal sense, but I doubt he would anyway. He needed the evangelical vote and the LGBT community was the price to be paid.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

if the LA Times article is correct:
At the polls Tuesday, voters throughout the state said proponents' argument about schools was a major part of the answer.

"I'm concerned about having to educate children," Sharon Smith said after she voted in Altadena.

Smith and other African American voters played a crucial role in the outcome. An exit poll of California voters showed that black voters sided in favor of the measure by margins of more than 2 to 1. Not only was the black vote weighted heavily in favor of Proposition 8, but black turnout -- spurred by Barack Obama's campaign for president -- was unusually large, making up roughly 10% of the voters. The exit poll was conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for a consortium of news organizations.

The campaign against Proposition 8 also did relatively poorly in Los Angeles County, where voters were divided almost evenly. By contrast, on the other high-profile social issue on the ballot, Proposition 4 on abortion, the liberal side carried Los Angeles by a margin of almost 200,000 votes.

On Wednesday, the proposition's backers celebrated their victory.

"Marriage has been protected," said Cal Schell, 65, a resident of the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova.

Schell said he felt sad that "there's a lot of people who have a lot of angst over this. But it is very important that this be protected. . . . Go to any country, any place in the world. Marriage between a man and a woman has been a part of our being clear back to the days of early time."

Hmm. Wonder how he missed the Nuer:

Answers tells me this about their traditional form of marriage:

Anthropologist Edmund Leach rejected universal definitions and instead approached marriage as a ‘bundle of rights’. Among the classes of rights allocated by institutions ‘commonly classed as marriage’, Leach noted that in different societies ‘marriage’ may serve:

(i) to establish the legal father of a woman's children;
(ii) to establish the legal mother of a man's children;
(iii) to give the husband a monopoly in the wife's sexuality;
(iv) to give the wife a monopoly in the husband's sexuality;
(v) to give the husband partial or monopolistic rights to the wife's domestic or other labour services;
(vi) to give the wife partial or monopolistic rights to the husband's labour services;
(vii) to give the husband rights over the property of his wife;
(viii) to give the wife rights over the property of her husband;
(ix) to establish a joint fund of property, a partnership, for the benefit of the children of the marriage; and
(x) to establish a socially significant ‘relationship of affinity’ between the husband and his wife's brothers.

About goes on to say that "Leach's essay, and the debate it provoked in the late 1950s, had a seminal influence on approaches to marriage as an ethnographic problem, as a culturally specific set of beliefs, practices, and institutions. Because marriage did not establish all of these types of rights in any known society, Leach concluded that the ‘institutions commonly described as marriage do not all have the same legal and social concomitants’ and that the meaning of marriage in any society could emerge only from detailed investigation of its ethnographic context. At the same time, Leach's essay typified an approach that has focused on how marriage may structure relationships between individuals and among groups, and has stressed the interrelationship of principles of descent, rules of residence, and issues of power over property."

Yet such jural approaches have serious ethnographic limitations, as even the basic conditions of sex between spouses and reproduction of legitimate offspring are not invariably present in relations understood as marriage. A form of woman-to-woman marriage among the Nuer in eastern Africa, observed in the 1930s, created conjugal relationships that furnished heirs for barren women but excluded the sexual partner of the child-bearers from the marital relationship. Nuer also practised a form of ‘ghost marriage’ between dead men and living women — marriages undertaken by the male relatives, usually younger brothers, of men who died heirless — in order to preserve the names of the deceased in their lineages. In this context, the jural marriage existed between the living and the dead, not between the sexual partners.

Bet that'd make Schell feel even better about what his vote helped 'protect' Tuesday, wouldn't it?

Dan Beaver's article at About also contains this gem:

Furthermore, a distinctive European pattern of marriage and inheritance has been identified, developing after the fourth century ce and marked by ‘extensive prohibitions’ of close or cousin marriage; abolition of the levirate and sororate (customary unions with the wife of a dead brother or the sister of a dead wife) and an increase in widows who did not remarry; the limitation of adoption; and the proscription of concubinage. More controversially, it has been suggested that this pattern resulted from the Christian Church's use of its power over laws of marriage and family to secure property for its temporal purpose.

And that brings us back to what I think the "Yes on H8" movement's really all about: another facet of "I've got mine, screw you" aimed at People Who Are Different, because different is icky.

You know, this is like ... enshrining cooties in the state constitution in California ... only really, it's more venal and petty and stupid than even enshrining cooties would have been, because it's aimed at taking away equality -- it's aimed at using lies and prejudice to deny people equal protection under the law.

It is, I contend, therefore unconstitutional, and it needs to be struck down as such posthaste. However, given the current composition of the USSC, it's unlikely that such a result will occur soon. Still ... there is some hope; the USSC of 1879 refused to recognize polygamy (Ironic, eh? since most of the money behind the Yes on H8 campaign has been traced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, aka the Mormons, who still honor (and practice) the Principle of Plural Marriage) as being protected under the First Amendment, according to Michael Grossberg's article at About (same link as above, scroll down).

Submitted by lambert on

"Enshrining cooties."

And, of course, the people who do it are "cootie enshriners."

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

but seriously, California? they elected the Governator. Twice. And Reagan before him. (I may never forgive them for that.) How in the world could anybody think they're open to progressive ideals as a political entity?

(The Texas Constitution has, like, zillions of amendments -- the document dates back to the end of Reconstruction, hence our weak-governor structure. Somewhere in there, it enshrines cooties.)

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

This is such a good way of phrasing what goes on. I'm so glad I live in a cootie-resistant state. Merely, we can't get anything done - see 1776. Nothing much has changed since then. But I've spent most of my political life here, so I'm used to it.

We can't afford not to have single-payer!

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Boycotts work because they pressure the people who are either indifferent or persuadable to act based on their economic interests in alignment with boycotters' ideological goals.

They don't work on the the virulently and ideologically committed. The Mormon Church (even if they did pour money into Prop 8 -- I haven't seen any numbers and the claims seem to all be coming from sites who are painfully trying to blame anyone but Osupporters) isn't going to be persuaded to greater tolerance of gay rights anytime soon. Or to spend any less money the next time California votes on a Prop 8.

But by all means, let's ignore the obvious answer -- pressuring the Democratic Leadership, which should be ostensibly open to using their wild popularity to advance the cause of human rights -- and aim it at the people who are least likely to be persuaded.

MassEquality's success at defeating a similar constitutional amendment was largely and successfully an effort of lobbying and educating the middle. They showed many politicians that a vote against a ban would not lose them their seats; they educated the many people who thought that civil unions were good enough that they're not; they got the people (like me) who were already on their side to understand that just voting right wasn't good enough, I had to get out and volunteer.

I really hope Equality California and the other rights groups are planning on deploying resources to fight this more smartly and strategically than Aravosis.

(btw, what's with the appeal 19th century appeal to the shame of illegitimacy? "They just took marriage away...and made their children bastards." Weird.)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

against Colorado back in the 90s, against Coors, against others too. Money always talks.

Sunday they're protesting at Rick Warren's church, CNN said--that should be something to see--if the media covers it.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

The boycott against Colorado was against the state itself. Boycotting, say, Kansas for Colorado's homophobia would probably not have had much of an effect.

I'm not saying boycotts at all don't work, but that this boycott is useless. (except possibly for fundraising purposes by riling up supporters against the Mormons)

Boycotting Coors worked because Coors is a corporation that wants to make money. Take the money away and it begins to reconsider mixing money and politics a bit.

Boycotting Utah would only (maybe) make the people of Utah put pressure on -- who? The Mormon Church? The state government, which is significantly peopled by people of the church? Sure they are rich (the Church) and care about money, but they care about their religious beliefs and ideology much, much more.

The boycotts that work are those where the boycotters are denying the boycotted their own money or other support that the boycotted cares about. The Mormon Church is in the business of saving souls, not making money, I'm betting if they have to make a choice, they will go with the former. It's kind of like if freepers decided to boycott Corrente. Would anyone here care?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

very smart too-- -- Out Utah Legislator McCoy asks LDS Church to demonstrate its commitment to equality -- "... Equality Utah and state Sen. Scott McCoy have asked LDS Church leaders to follow up on statements that they would support civil unions or domestic partnerships. Previously, LDS Leaders urged the church’s followers to actively oppose California’s Proposition 8, the successful ballot question that placed a constitutional ban on marriage equality.

Equality Utah made the following statement in advance of a press conference:

Throughout the recent election cycle, the LDS Church has demonstrated its willingness to participate in political issues by asking its members to do all they can do, including donating their means and their time, to support California’s Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution and eliminated same-sex couples right to marry by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The LDS Church has articulated it is not “anti-gay” but rather pro-marriage and it “does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.” On November 5th, Elder L. Whitney Clayton stated the LDS Church does not oppose “civil unions or domestic partnerships.” In response to these statements, Equality Utah is drafting legislation for the 2009 General Session of the Utah Legislature to address each of the issues mentioned by the LDS Church.


Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

either smart or good news, amberglow?

Here's what the DeseretNews describes as the LDS position:

LDS Church leaders Wednesday took an official stand in the politically charged debate over same-sex marriage, issuing a statement that a church spokesman said supports state and federal efforts to constitutionally ban gay marriages.

The statement issued by the church's governing First Presidency reads: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints favors a constitutional amendment preserving marriage as the lawful union of a man and a woman."

While the statement said the church isn't endorsing a specific amendment, spokesman Michael Otterson said it shows support of all proposed constitutional amendments banning gay marriages.

The church statement comes just days before Monday's scheduled debate in the U.S. Senate on the Federal Marriage Amendment (SJR 30), which would constitutionally define marriage as "the union of a man and a woman."

The proposed Musgrave-Allard amendment would federally ban gay marriage and would not allow states to be required to recognize other domestic unions. It would need two-thirds of the votes in each the House and Senate before going to the states for ratification.

That was in July, and it sounds to me like it's very anti- marriage.

Here's what the LDS leadership wrote to California Mormons:
A letter sent to Mormon bishops and signed by church president Thomas S. Monson and his two top counselors calls on Mormons to donate "means and time" to the ballot measure. A note on the letter dated June 20 says it should be read during church services on June 29, but the letter was published Saturday on several Web sites.

A direct quote from that letter:

"The church's teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and the formation of families is central to the Creator's plan for His children," the four-paragraph letter states.

"We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to ensure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman," church leaders say in the letter. "Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage."

California Mormons — there are more than 750,000, according to a church almanac — have heard and heeded similar calls from their leaders before


I think what's going on is "separate but equal." I'm having a tough time wrapping my head around the 2-for-H8 to 1-against-H8 black vote in California anyway. That a people with a history of persecution like the Mormons' wants to persecute other peoples makes just as little sense.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

publicly took a position on other rights we need--and will be held to them.

it's a making lemonade thing.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on -- "... The official start of gay marriages came a month after Connecticut’s highest court legalized the unions, and the court announced only last week that Wednesday would be the official first day of nuptials. Many gay and lesbian couples said they would wait to apply for their licenses, which expire after 65 days, as they planned big wedding celebrations for the spring and summer.

Advocates for same-sex marriage predicted there would not be the same rush for licenses here on Wednesday that there was in 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize the unions, and in June, when California began performing the ceremonies. They cited the short notice of Wednesday’s events and the fact that Connecticut has had civil unions for gay couples since 2005. But the lawyers who argued the case and others called the day momentous, especially as a counterpoint to last week’s passage of a ballot measure in California invalidating that state’s court decision legalizing gay marriage. ..."