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Friday, October 17, 2003

Theocrats Lose Big Time on Marriage Protection Week

If Marriage Protection Week was such a great idea for Bush politically, why didn't he mention it in his weeks wrapup?

Seems like Bush is trying to distance himself from the anti-gay bigots promoting the federal marriage amendment.

Meanwhile FRC got two signers of that Marriage Protection Pledge. LOLOL......

Latest FRC bleating claims 10s of thousands of messages sent through their site (some of which may have been pro-gay messages sent by folks like me - and others from the Signorile radio show - a gay talk show) - and they brag of two signers of the Marriage Protection Pledge.

HRC got 100,000 pieces of mail to Senators or Members of Congress, and 200,000 signers for the Millions for Marriage petition.

The complete text of the Bush email I received today can be viewed here.

Appeals to Gays are under the radar and in the closet with Democrats. Appeals to theocrats are under the radar and in the closet with Republicans.

Rumblings of Backlash Against Pushing the Tax Burden to Singles

Business Week covers this in detail:

Rumblings of a Backlash
The tensions between traditional families and the new households are already starting to spill out all over society -- in offices, neighborhoods, and political campaigns. Pollsters Celinda Lake and Ed Goeas say the marriage gap could become an issue in the 2004 Presidential campaign since George W. Bush draws so much of his support from the wedded, who give him approval ratings 15 percentage points higher than the single or divorced. Meanwhile, the numbers of Democratic-favoring singles continues to grow in number and power. There are also rumblings of a political backlash as nontraditional families balk at lopsided tax burdens. Dual-income, kid-free cohabitants, and elderly retirees on fixed incomes, for example, are joining forces to oppose school bond issues, a growing argument now that only 20% of the electorate has children. Charlotte Ness, a 55-year-old childless single, fumes about the way she pays the same school taxes as the married couples in her Vienna (Va.) neighborhood but will only get half the capital-gains break on the sale of her home. "It's nothing other than theft by a government of married people," she says.

Some singles are challenging zoning laws that limit the number of unrelated people who can live together, while others are forming homeowner associations that ban kids. Then there are those who are working to bar travel-industry practices that force them to pay 40% to 100% more for single-occupancy hotel rooms as well as auto and health-club rules that limit discounts to spouses. "You never used to have this," says David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. "Those without children and those who aren't coupled have begun to mobilize much more than they did in the past."

EY: It's about time.

Eva

NGLTF shows that organizations pushing "Marriage Protection Week" just focus on anti-gay bigotry

Analysis Finds 'Marriage Protection Week' Co-Sponsors Have Little
Interest in Building Strong & Healthy Marriages

10/16/03 9:27:00 PM

To: National Desk

Contact: Roberta Sklar, 212-866-7785, or Sheri A. Lunn, 323-857-8751,
both for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

NEW YORK, Oct. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- An analysis released today shows
that the organizations sponsoring "Marriage Protection Week"
disproportionately focus on homosexuality compared to issues with far
greater impact on marriage and family life, that the resources of
these organizations dwarf those of the supposedly "rich and powerful
gay lobby," and that contrary to an Oct. 3 official proclamation by
President Bush, the planned activities of "Marriage Protection Week"
have no focus whatsoever on building strong and healthy marriages.

The analysis was prepared by the by the National Gay and Lesbian Task
Force Policy Institute, the gay community's think tank.

"The hypocrisy of the organizations sponsoring this so-
called 'Marriage Protection Week' is stunning," said Matt Foreman,
executive director of the Task Force. "They feign commitment to
strong marriages and families. In reality, they are fixated on
attacking gay and lesbian people while largely ignoring the real
problems facing married couples and American families."

A coalition of 29 conservative political and religious organizations
is sponsoring "Marriage Protection Week," (MPW) from October 12 to
18, 2003. The organizations include the National Religious
Broadcasters, Focus on the Family, which has an annual budget of $126
million, and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the official
ministry of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention,
the nation's second largest religious denomination. The co-sponsors
plan to reach millions of Americans during the week through events at
thousands of churches, programs on Christian television stations, and
a network of several hundred radio stations. On October 3, President
Bush issued an official proclamation in support of the week.

The analysis looked at website content of nine of the sponsoring
organizations with search engines and found that documents containing
the word "homosexual" far exceeded those discussing topics such as
divorce, health insurance, domestic violence, child abuse or poverty.
The web sites of nine of the co-sponsoring organizations have a total
of 2,369 documents containing the word "homosexual," but only 1,423
that contain the word "divorce", 952 with "health care," 832
with "poverty," 207 with "health insurance," 190 with "domestic
violence," and 85 with "child support."

For example, Concerned Women for America (CWA), a $12 million-a-
year "public policy women's organization," has 602 documents that
contain the word homosexual, more than double the number of documents
that have the word "divorce," "health care," "poverty," "domestic
violence," " or "child support" combined. The only issue with a
greater number of references is "abortion," which the organization
believes to be the equivalent of murder and seeks to outlaw.

The analysis also found that -- contrary to the repeated assertions
of the sponsoring organizations -- their resources dwarf those of the
nation's leading gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy
organizations. The Task Force was able to obtain recent income
information for 13 of the 29 organizations co-sponsoring "Marriage
Protection Week." The combined income of just those 13 groups was
$217 million, outstripping the combined income of the 13 largest
national gay advocacy organizations -- just $54 million -- by a
margin of more than four to one.

"These facts turn the myth of the 'rich and powerful gay lobby' on
its head," said Sean Cahill, Ph.D., director of the Task Force Policy
Institute. "This is Goliath vs. David multiplied exponentially. This
is rich and politically-connected organizations using their immense
power to try to scapegoat and hurt a stigmatized minority."

The analysis noted that income data was not available for 16 of the
week's sponsors, including several with enormous resources and clout,
such as Bott Broadcasting, which owns at least 28 radio stations, and
the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm of
the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's second largest
denomination.

Finally, the analysis found that contrary to President Bush's October
3, 2003 proclamation, there is no focus at all in the week's planned
activities on building strong and healthy marriages. (President
Bush's proclamation states that the week "provides an opportunity to
focus our efforts on preserving the sanctity of marriage and on
building strong and healthy marriages.") Instead, all of the publicly
announced and suggested activities focus exclusively on the supposed
threat that the effort to win equal civil marriage rights for gay
couples poses to the institution of marriage. For example,
participants are urged to contact their U.S. Senators and Members of
Congress urging them to support amending the U.S. Constitution to
prohibit the recognition of same-sex marriages, and to prohibit any
court from interpreting any statute to extend benefits to unmarried
couples. The week's sponsors also urge the use of two model sermons,
both of which are replete with inflammatory anti-gay language but
devoid of references to building strong marriages. Finally, elected
officials are being asked to sign a pledge not to support even the
most basic forms of partner recognition, such as hospital visitation
rights or health insurance coverage.

"This is another chilling example of the disingenuous but brilliant
tactic of the Bush Administration -- the President speaks in kind and
gentle language while what is really being encouraged is divisive and
ugly," Foreman said.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force analysis, "'Marriage
Protection Week' Sponsors: Are They Really Interested in 'Building
Strong and Healthy Marriages?'" is available in the Task Force
publications library at http://www.ngltf.org/library.

Republican Pollster Richard Wirthlin writes Memo, suggesting that Republicans try to capitalize on anti-gay bigotry in the Black Community

The AFA Press Release reprinted below refers to a Newsday article by Mark O'Keefe that talks about an alliance between white anti-gay theocrats and anti-gay African Americans to push for the Federal Marriage Amendment.

From the article:

Michigan legislator Triette Reeves has few evangelical Christians living in her Detroit district. As a black Democrat, she has never associated with religious conservatives.

But there she was at a recent news conference, standing with white evangelical Republicans in support of a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as an institution involving a man and a woman -- blocking legalization of same-sex marriage.

Across the country, unusual alliances are forming to protect the traditional definition of marriage from anticipated court rulings. While the movement draws from a variety of demographic groups, it relies heavily on two -- white evangelicals and religious blacks -- that have historically been at odds over issues ranging from affirmative action to welfare reform.

On gay marriage, they seem to be reading from the same Bible.

"I know people are trying to make this into a sexy thing, like, `Ooh, it's a conspiracy, they're getting together,"' said Reeves. "I have no interest in being a Republican. I'm a Democrat. But I believe there should be some diversity in our party, and the diversity I'm talking about is the freedom to be consistent with our moral beliefs.

"From the African-American perspective, which is the only perspective I can give, our focus is, `God said it, we believe it, and we should promote it.' I know that sounds elementary but it's really that simple."

The article goes on to mention a memo written by Republican pollster Wirthlin to undisclosed recipients (the Republican National Committee? The Bush Campaign?) about how to use the issue of Gay Marriage as a wedge issue. I wrote Mark O'Keefe asking him for a copy of the memo, and he told me to do my own reporting.

From: Eva Young [mailto:eva@usucceed.com]
Sent: Monday, October 13, 2003 11:47 PM
To: mark.okeefe@newhouse.com
Subject: Wirthlin memo

In a recent article, you mention:

A May 7 memo by Republican pollster Richard Wirthlin calls a federal
marriage amendment "an ideal wedge issue." It says supporting such an
amendment "does not alienate the base" while potentially peeling a
percentage of African-Americans away from the Democrats.

"In sum," the memo concludes, "it is an issue that if handled properly can
work very much to the advantage of Republican candidates, if it gains some
visibility prior to the 2004 election."

Do you have a copy of this memo? I would be interested in seeing it.

Eva Young
Columnist
Lavender Magazine

From: "Mark O'Keefe"
To: "'Eva Young'"
Subject: RE: Wirthlin memo
Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 10:23:27 -0400
Organization: Newhouse News Service
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.4510
Importance: Normal
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by www15.web2010.com id h9EGOgxq023314

Sorry, but I can't share my sourcing on that story with you or any other
journalist. You'll have to do your own reporting.

Mark O'Keefe

Values and Philanthropy Correspondent
Newhouse News Service

1101 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 202-383-7857
Fax: 202-296-9537
Email: mark.okeefe@newhouse.com
Bio and recent articles: http://www.newhouse.com/okeefe.html

Anti-Gay Activist Group AFA of Michigan Accuses Gay Nation Columnist of Racism

Group blasts racist attack on blacks and Hispanics who oppose homosexual "marriage"
American Family Association of Michigan | October 9, 2003 | Tracey Lee

Posted on 10/09/2003 8:29 PM PDT by AFA-Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thurs., Oct. 9, 2003 CONTACT: Tracey Lee 989-835-7978

Reportedly "gay" columnist for The Nation draws fire for disparaging minorities

DETROIT -- A Michigan group that supports traditional one-man, one-woman marriage Thursday expressed outrage over what it called the "blatantly racist" comments by the gay issues columnist for The Nation, who charged in the prominent national newsmagazine's current issue that African-Americans and Hispanics strongly oppose homosexual marriage because they are uneducated and poor.

EY: Read the article for yourself.

"What this man is clearly saying is that African-Americans and Hispanics oppose homosexual marriage because, according to him, we're too dumb and too poor to know any better," said Tracey Lee, an African-American attorney from metro Detroit and spokesperson for the American Family Association of Michigan.

"The blatant racism of such a patronizing slander is matched only by its arrogance," Lee said. "African-Americans and Hispanic Americans strongly oppose so-called homosexual 'marriage' because our strong religious beliefs teach us that such behavior is wrong. How dare this big-time New York City columnist slam millions of people of color throughout America, claiming we disagree with his lifestyle only because, he says, African-Americans and Hispanics haven't been sufficiently educated."

Lee said she was surprised "that a respected national magazine with a liberal viewpoint would publish such a racially insensitive and obviously bigoted characterization of African-Americans' and Hispanics' faith-based views about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. I certainly hope The Nation will exercise better judgment in the future."

Lee was responding to a column appearing in the 138-year old national magazine's October 20th issue, already available on the magazine's web site. The Nation, which states that its mission is to "wage war upon the vices of...exaggeration and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred," is published in New York City.

Doug Ireland, the magazine's regular "gay" issues columnist, wrote regarding the strong opposition among racial minorities to gay marriage:

"All the national polls show that the lower down voters are on the education and income scales, the more anti-gay they are; thus, blacks oppose gay marriage by a whopping 65 to 28 percent, while among Hispanics it's 54 to 40 percent, according to an August New York Times poll." http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20031020&s=ireland

Ireland goes on to criticize former Martin Luther King, Jr. aide Rev. Walter Fauntroy for being a leader of "the antigay Alliance for Marriage, which backs the Federal Marriage Amendment," saying "the group's board is stacked with bishops and pastors from the African Methodist Episcopal Church."

An online report by the Media Research Center in 1998 referred to Ireland as a "gay left-wing media critic." (See item 3, "Outed to Reporters? Love, Sidney" at https://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/mediawatch/1998/mw19980601rev.html)

EY: Actually this item talks about a double standard being applied to conservatives and liberals with regard to attempting to out people:

Liberal media outlets usually despise politically motivated "outings" of alleged homosexuals. In 1989, the media raised a furor when a Republican National Committee memo about then-Speaker Tom Foley contained just a suggestive title: "Out of the Liberal Closet." (The aide who wrote it was fired.) In Time, Margaret Carlson demanded the RNC chairman's head: "[Lee] Atwater's fouling of the civic atmosphere with vicious misinformation is bad enough: compounding that with White House hypocrisy is too much. If Bush really wants to prove himself a political environmentalist in search of a kinder,gentler America, he'd sack Atwater."

But in the March 30 edition of The Nation, gay left-wing media critic Doug Ireland was alarmed in late February when MSNBC reported Clintonites were leaking derogatory rumors about Ken Starr's staff. Ireland found: "Three members of the media confirmed to me that Sidney Blumenthal, the White House media counselor, had indeed been spreading such stories: They'd heard him do it. These reputable members of the Beltway media agreed to tell me what they knew only if guaranteed complete anonymity; they were afraid of losing access to White House sources, and of possible reprisals. Two said that Blumenthal had told them directly of the same-sex orientation of a member of Starr's staff, and a third said he had been present for a conversation in which Blumenthal made such a comment to a third person." Blumenthal denied it. But none of the national media picked up on this line of inquiry, or passionately called for Blumenthal's ouster.

The AFA bleaters continue:

Lee is the Oakland County chapter president and metro Detroit media spokesperson for AFA-Michigan, which has for months been leading the call for a Marriage Protection Amendment to Michigan's state constitution to define marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.

The amendment was introduced in the Michigan Legislature this week with bipartisan support, including that of lead House sponsor Rep. Triette Reeves, an African-American Democrat from Detroit. In a nationally-syndicated report this week by Newhouse News Service regarding strong African-American opposition to so-called homosexual "marriage," Reeves explained why she supports a state constitutional amendment reaffirming marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.

"From the African-American perspective," Rep. Reeves said, "which is the only perspective I can give, our focus is, 'God said it, we believe it, and we should promote it.' I know that sounds elementary but it's really that simple.'" http://www.newhousenews.com/archive/okeefe100703.html

# # #


Police Brutality in Minneapolis

Minneapolis officers accused of assaulting suspect
Howie Padilla and David Chanen, Star Tribune Staff Writers

Published October 14, 2003 JAIL15

Two police officers were suspended with pay pending the results of an FBI investigation into allegations that they assaulted a suspect during a drug raid.

Chief Robert Olson said that during the execution of a search warrant Monday at a Minneapolis residence, officers found marijuana and a substance they believed to be cocaine, cited several people and took two people downtown. There, one suspect was released and the other was booked.

However, after the suspect was booked, he notified a jail supervisor that he had been assaulted. Olson said officials began an immediate investigation into the allegations, which he said were ``very serious.''

More

In a story the next day, John Delmonico from the Police Union was quoted.

Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said that when serious allegations are made, "we take them seriously and they should be thoroughly investigated." The police union won't be involved with the case because it involves a criminal investigation, he said.

The next day, Delmonico reversed himself, and was on television calling for a lie detector test for the victim of the alleged assault.

Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, talked to Jindra and Babekuhl and said the officers are having a difficult time dealing with the allegation.

"Porter portrayed himself as some victim at the news conference and then doesn't let reporters ask him questions," Delmonico said.

Also in the same article:

Fourth Precinct Inspector Tim Dolan said he stands behind the accused officers. He called Jindra "unmatched" when it comes to "quality narcotic busts." He described Babekuhl as a "steady Freddy" who always comes to his shift with a hard focus on what work has to be done.

Although Dolan declined to discuss the allegation, a retired police officer who once supervised both officers said that Porter's allegations could be a ploy to avoid facing another drug charge that could potentially send him off on a long prison term. Porter has not been charged in connection with Monday's drug raid.

"If he'd been convicted on this he'd have a whole bunch of time that would have been crashing down on him," former police Sgt. Bob Gretton said of Porter. "The motivation [for making the accusation] is that he's got a ton of time hanging on him in state court and any convictions will put him away."

EY: This is speculation intended to damage the victim.

Batala-Ra made the following observation of the Minneapolis Rumours list:

Hmmm, it's interesting how there was so much criticism of Black leadership
surrounding David Jennings and the validity of the position taken by
members of the Black community.

BUT ...

There has been little comment about the two incidences of sodomization of
Black men while under police custody and the shooting death of another young
man by MPD.

Batala-Ra
Old Highlind

And Mike Atherton responds:

The Black leadership has stated their case in press releases and the filing of an injunction. I don't believe that the officers involved in the cases you cite have made public statements regarding these events.

Would you be as quick to assume that Kobe Bryant is guilty of rape as you are to assume that these officers are guilty of sodomization?

Michael Atherton
Prospect Park

Meanwhile Shawn Lewis criticizes Randy Staten for having Steve Porter, the alleged victim star in a Press Conference.

The Coalition of Black Churches’ leader Rev. Randy Staten made a major mistake in putting alleged victim of police brutality, Steve Porter, in front of cameras to tell his story. Why did this organization expose this person to the public media so quickly after being release from jail? Who and where was his attorney? Why did his legal counsel allow this individual to give public testimony in front of camera? By the way, I hope Rev. Staten took Mr. Porter to the hospital for a medical examination before the press conference.

Shawn Lewis, Field Neighborhood

Dyna Slutyer and Terrell Brown discuss the background regarding the raid.

Writing about a couple of Minneapolis cops accused of assault Dyna Sluyter writes:

The house where these perps were busted has been supplying drugs and prostitutes for months now. After a couple of this gang's other drug houses in Hawthorne were closed down they continued operations at this house and a neighboring one. As well as the "retail" trade, it appears that they "wholesaled" to some of the street dealers in Hawthorne. Sadly, it appears that only one of these perps is in custody so this drug house should be open again for business as usual by the weekend.

And Terrell Brown responds:

[TB] What may have been taking place in that house has no relevance to the accusations of assault. Last night we heard suggestions on Channel 5 that the handcuffed victim was sodomized with a plunger handle. Not much different from a case in New York City where at least one cop ended up in federal prison.

Although I fully expect that someone will write here that I need to give the cops a break or tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about because I didn't ask him, I will say that its about time that someone takes a claim of police misbehavior seriously. One wonders if whatever happened did happen because previous cases have been ignored? Or will the feds consider this terrorism and unleash the same tools they've used against Zacarias Moussaoui.

How many Minneapolis cops were present at this raid? Were there only 2 of them who served the search warrant at a house with 8 people in it? What were the other cops doing? Were they witnesses? Will they speak up or cover up?

Still seems that we hear of accusations about police brutality in Minneapolis but not in St. Paul. Is department leadership part of the problem?

Terrell Brown
Loring Park

Thursday, October 16, 2003

What's Mississippi Governor Candidate Haley Barbour doing hanging out with the white supremacist group the Council of Conservative Citizens? See his mugshot on the CofCC website.

Andrew Sullivan covers this. The Mississippi Clarion covers Barbours use of the confederate flag issue, all the while trying to court black voters here.

Log Cabin Republicans in the past put out a press release condemning Lott for his connections to the Council of Conservative Citizens. It will be interesting to see if LCR condemns Barbour for campaigning to the worst in people.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Egroup for Anti-Gay Bigots

Check out "Stop the Gay Agenda" described thus:

As an American, it is your sacred duty to defend our nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Homosexuality is not an alternative lifestyle choice, an ethnic group, or protected category under EEOC. It is time for everyone to stand united against them. It is time to protect America from the enemy within.

The group has the tagline: No hate, no bigotry, just plain common sense. Peruse the archives, and find typical rants like this one:

As I said earlier, why would anyone want to visit an anus when a vagina is available.
I don't eat dinner in the toilet.
I believe that each organ in the body was created with a specific purpose. Sure we can find other uses for each if we are creative enough, I understand that some in the gay community prefer to use rodents in their act of "normal" lovemaking.
Call me a prude, but I use the avenues that are open to me rather than to try and force my way down the Hershey highway.

EY: Yup, just plain common sense.

Pat Robertson, Terrorist

Now he's suggesting that it would be a good idea to Nuke the State Department:

Robertson, who has been a frequent critic of the State Department, made the offending comments during an interview with a like-minded critic of US diplomacy, columnist Joel Mowbray, who has written a book entitled "Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens American Security."

"I read your book," Robertson said, according to a transcript of the interview posted on his Christian Broadcasting Network's website (www.cbn.com).

"When you get through, you say, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer'," he said.

"I mean, you get through this, and you say, 'We've got to blow that thing up.' I mean, is it as bad as you say?" Robertson asked.

Mowbray responded: "It is."

EY: A friend of mine had a rather good point:

Probably ought to refer this to Ashcroft with the suggestion that the
guy be held as an "enemy combatant". Since enemy combatants don't get
trials, it saves the taxpayers some expense and we don't need to listen
to the guy anymore.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Theocrats get their Voice in Chuck Muth's News and Views

A Theocracy, If You Can Keep It

“I'm gonna put this bluntly: The Bible says homosexual acts are to be punished by death. Further it not only authorizes but insists governments exercise God's justice on earth; that is a principal role of government in God's eyes as it is that all power comes from Him as do all rights.

“Finally, our outward form of government while being that of a Republic, does not diminish the fact that the whole universe is under a Theocracy with not any man as its head; but with God himself as the theocratic head of all governments. God (Jesus Christ) is the King of Kings, whether we accept it or not and whether we believe it or not. Homosexual acts were at one time a capital offense in this and other countries and needs to be again.”

- News & Views reader “Taliban” Mike Girard

EY: As far as I know, this guy isn't running for anything but the following moron is.

**************************************

Who Are the Liberals?

“They are the homosexual activists, the teachers’ unions, the pro-abortion fanatics, the Hollywood elites, the radical feminists, the burned-out hippie peaceniks, the socialists posing as college professors and journalists, the gun grabbers, the environmentalist granolas, the animal rights extremists, the tax and spend junkies, the vegetarian lesbian atheists, the government bureaucrats, the ACLU lawyers, and the racial agitators like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.”

- Vernon Robinson, GOP candidate for North Carolina’s 5th congressional district

EY: Robinson is attacking his GOP opponent for promoting the "homosexual agenda" - whatever that is.

Andrew Sullivan promotes Chuck Muth's Las Vegas Times article opposing the FMA

But you saw it here first.

Disputed Poll cited by Sullivan and Sprigg on Gay Marriage

Read the article for yourself and decide.

Pay No Attention to the Bigots Behind the Curtain

The Family Research Council (the notoriously bigoted Minnesota Family Council is an affiliate) is attacking Senator Gordon Smith for introducing a bill to allow benefits for domestic partners to be exempt from federal income taxes. What is interesting is there is a Democratic Co-sponsor (Bob Graham of Florida) of this bill - and they aren't attacking the Democrat.

The FRC has just lost big time when Arnold Schwartzeneger won the California Election - and their candidate - Tom McClintock got 13 percent of the vote. This was after an all out advertising effort by the Traditional Values Coalition Against Arnold, and the "voter guides" put out by American Renewal which gave voters information about the candidates stands on abortion, gay marriage and domestic partner benefits. They may have hurt their candidate with those voter guides.

Norm Coleman has learned that pandering to anti-gay bigots can have political consequences, when he lost the election to Jesse Ventura in 1998. When Coleman ran in 2002, he avoided the anti-gay appeals he used in 1998. He won narrowly in 2002 (though there were many other factors in this election).

Thanks to Gordon Smith for taking the lead on this bill. I hope Senator Coleman will follow Gordon Smith's courageous lead.

The FRC bleats:

Our nation has become so focused on the benefits that marriage is granted by society that too many people have lost sight of the benefits that marriage actually gives to society. Marriages that are strong and healthy are in fact so beneficial to the culture at large that we in turn reward married couples - financially and otherwise - in an effort to set the marriage relationship apart from other "arrangements" that are not equally beneficial.

EY: Now how does the possibility of gays getting married do anything to reduce the high divorce, adultery, gambling and illegitimacy rate among heterosexuals? These are difficult problems and what anti-gay bigots want to do is blame gays - just as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blamed acceptance of gays in the US for the World Trade Center attacks (God was punishing America).

Sunday, October 12, 2003

On Gays and Heterosexual Divorce

Eva:

One more talking point on gays and heterosexual divorce:

When the theocrats use the state to encourage and enforce heterosexual marriage among gay folk, many of those gay folk will ultimately decide that heterosexual is wrong for them and get divorced. Thus, the divorce rate is increased by the very policy engineered to keep it down.

Interesting point, true?

Charlie Mehler, Kansas

Andrew Sullivan Calls Out the Anti-Gay Bigots from the Family Research Council

Andrew Sullivan recently wrote an Oped for the Wall St Journal on the subject of Gay Marriage. It has gotten alot of attention, and has called out the anti-gay organization - the Family Research Council to respond.

I had a few responses to their response.....

Questions on Same-Sex Unions Answered: Responding to Andrew Sullivan

In this Perspective, Senior Director of the Center for Marriage and Family Studies Peter Sprigg responds to Andrew Sullivan's October 8, 2003 op-ed, "The State of Our Unions: If it's not a crime to be gay, why can't we get married?"


by: Peter Sprigg

EY: A Professional Anti-Gay Activist

Sprigg:
Andrew Sullivan ("The State of Our Unions," October 8) says that in the wake of the Supreme Court decision declaring sodomy a constitutional right, there are questions regarding homosexuality and marriage that social conservatives need to answer. I am happy to oblige.

EY: I'm sure you are.

Mr. Sullivan asks, "What is the social conservative position on civil unions?" The answer is: we are unalterably opposed to them. To preserve the definition of the word "marriage" as a union of a man and a woman is important, but it will be small comfort if the social institution of marriage is stripped of its unique natural and historic significance by the creation of counterfeit parallels such as "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships."

EY: And the FRC's Attack on Gay Families pledge reads:

The Attack on Gay Families Pledge

I, ______________________ , pledge to the families of the state of ___________________ , and to all the American people that I will protect the inviolable definition of marriage. I firmly believe this definition is as follows:

Marriage, whether entered into within or outside of the United States, shall consist of the legal union of one man and one woman. Every person has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, subject to state laws based on age and consanguinity. The uniting of persons of the same or opposite sex in a civil union, domestic partnership or other similar relationship shall not be valid or recognized with any legal benefits or privileges in the United States.

Bush's statement differs from this considerably:

Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and my Administration is working to support the institution of marriage by helping couples build successful marriages and be good parents.

EY:

Bush signed a bill that allowed Washington DC to offer domestic partnership benefits to their employees. This goes against the so-called "Marriage Protection" Pledge proposed by the FRC. Bush's proclamation notably avoids taking a stand on the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. Bush's proclamation also avoids taking a stand on civil unions or domestic partner arrangements.

Sprigg continues:

He next asks, "What aspects of [civil unions] can conservatives get behind?" The answer is: we can support the notion that any two adults should be free to open a joint checking account, jointly own property, leave their estates to whomever they choose, and designate one another to make medical decisions in an emergency. But, as Mr. Sullivan admits, all of these ends can already be achieved under current law through private contractual arrangements.

EY: Which don't always protect the people entering into them. And the pledge the FRC is pushing could be interpreted to overturn these "privileges".

Sprigg continues:

He goes on to ask, "What details [of "civil unions] are they [social conservatives] less convinced by?" The answer is: we are not convinced that government should adopt any policy that "rewards and celebrates" any sexual relationship except the marriage of a man to a woman.

EY: Ok....

Mr. Sullivan suggests that social conservatives are inconsistent in condemning "gay promiscuity" while also opposing "measures that would encourage gay monogamy," like same-sex civil marriage. "What," he wonders, "do they want?" The answer is simple: we want people to abstain altogether from engaging in homosexual acts. We believe that sexual self-restraint is a virtue. That's why we call on heterosexuals to exercise significant degrees of it as well--by abstaining from sexual relations both before and outside of marriage and by remaining faithful to one spouse for life.

EY: In other words, gays should be celebate during their whole lives.

Sprigg continues:

Mr. Sullivan also committed a significant error of fact when he said that a recent poll "found that 67% of the 18-29 age group believe that gay marriage would benefit society." In fact, only 24% said that; the other 43% he referred to said it would "have no effect." More remarkable is that even in this generation--raised from birth on unrelenting pro-homosexual propaganda from the news and entertainment media and the educational establishment--the number who thought legal marriage for same-sex couples would "change society for the worse" actually exceeded the number who thought the change would be "for the better" by 32% to 24%. In "the public as a whole," the "worse/better" ratio was a whopping 48% to 10%.

EY: Sullivan has issued a correction in his blog:
I should add that my mentioning that 67 percent of the 18 - 29 age group in the USAToday poll thought same-sex marriage would benefit society was mistaken. It should be that 67 percent thought it would be harmless or a benefit to society. An innocent mistake, I assure you. And the point endures.

Sprigg continues:

Mr. Sullivan notes that the Texas sodomy decision makes it impossible for the law to treat homosexuals like "drug users or speeders." He then asks what other "legal, noncriminal minority" remains subjected to a "negative social policy." I can think of at least two: gamblers and smokers. While gambling, like homosexuality, has achieved wider visibility and acceptance in recent decades, social conservatives would hardly favor government benefits to facilitate such behavior.

EY: Actually, I think the racino bill in Minnesota is being pushed by some social conservatives who would financially benefit from it. And there's really nothing on the FRC site that talks about the problems with state sponsored gambling.

Sprigg continues:
In the case of smoking, the legal constraints have grown tighter in recent decades, largely because that behavior has devastating health consequences. The same is true of homosexuality.

EY: Actually, there are specific sexual behaviors that have health consequences - and straights and gays engage in these behaviors. Anal sex (which is what the FRC and others like to focus on) is a behavior engaged in by around 70% of gay men and around 30% of straight couples.

Oral sex is engaged in by around 90% of sexually active couples.

Both of these behaviors were illegal in Minnesota until the statute was overturned. And the statute prohibits these behaviors between consenting adults is still on the books in Minnesota.

The legal behavior: vaginal intercourse also has health consequences - but the FRC doesn't like to talk about that one.

Sprigg continues:

Mr. Sullivan also asks how a homosexual union could "undermine the heterosexual marriage of the people who live next door." One answer is: it could destroy it. Forty percent of the people entering "civil unions" in Vermont were previously in heterosexual marriages--just like the new Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson, who left his wife and children for a homosexual lover.

EY: Well what about Arnold Schwartzenegger and Bill Clinton? Was it homosexuality that caused the problems in their marriages? What about all the self-righteous moralists who have been married themselves multiple times?

Sprigg continues:
An indirect effect is more likely, however. As the transient, promiscuous, and unfaithful relationships that are characteristic of homosexuals become part of society's image of marriage, fewer marriages will be permanent, exclusive, and faithful--even among heterosexuals. Mr. Sullivan is optimistic that legal unions would change homosexuals for the better; it seems far more probable that homosexuals would change marriage for the worse.

EY: And there aren't enough examples of that sort of marriage among heterosexuals - again, let's look at Arnold Schwartzenegger and Bill Clinton as examples (both these men oppose gay marriage though I believe Clinton has recently said that DOMA and DADT were mistakes). What about Wilt Chamberlain - who brags about 20,000 women in his book? What about DOMA author Bob Barr - who is on his 3rd marriage, I believe. Were gays at fault with all these examples?

Sprigg continues:
Finally, Mr. Sullivan speaks of "gay citizens" being denied their "constitutional right to marry." This is nonsense. As noted above, many "gay citizens" have already been married. On the other hand, many people who once identified themselves as "gay" have now abandoned homosexual behavior and are happily married to people of the opposite sex. "Gay citizens" already have the same right to marry as anyone else--subject to the same restrictions. No one may marry a close blood relative, a child, a person who is already married, or a person of the same sex. However much those restrictions may disappoint the incestuous, pedophiles, polygamists, and homosexuals, the issue is not discrimination. It is the nature of marriage itself.

EY: And now it comes - the usual bigoted ranting comparing homosexuality to incest, pedophilia and polygamy.

Any more questions?

EY: What about taking a stand about marriage laws (especially in the south) that allow for 12 year olds to get married. Doesn't this seem like pedophilia to you?

And I'd be interesting in a comment about the descrepancy between FRC's goals and objectives with pushing "Marriage Protection Week" and President Bush's proclamation.

And where is your organization on the expansion of gambling?



The Rake Interviews Local Boy with a Bestseller Al Franken

Frank Rich on Arnold

Forget California. For America, the Arnold juggernaut is here to stay. Measured against the disappointing returns of "Terminator 3," his political career has far more box-office clout than his waning future as a Hollywood leading man. In a mere two months, he did far more than George W. Bush's touchy-feely "compassionate conservatism" to demolish his party's image as the nation's moral scold. (For starters, it's hard to imagine the White House talking up its crusade for abstinence-only sex education with Arnold on the team.) He fronted a campaign of such seamless
make-believe that reality could barely intrude even when it came knocking at the door wearing a swastika. Though the fusion of entertainment with politics is an American perennial, Helen Gahagan Douglas, Jesse Ventura and of course Ronald Reagan all had passionate ideological convictions to go with their showmanship. Unlike the Gipper, the Groper has none, except a belief in his own
stardom. He only bothered to vote in two of the last eight state elections.

More

Chuck Muth: An Unappologetic Conservative gives 10 Reasons to Oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment

Federal Marriage Amendment

As the country begins "Protect Marriage Week" today, you can read an op/ed published this weekend in the Las Vegas Sun where I outline ten reasons for conservatives to OPPOSE the federal marriage amendment currently being discussed in Congress. Just surf over here.

Schwartzeneger Breaks First Campaign Promise

From ABC News "The Note"

"One thing that isn't likely to happen very soon is a new discussion of the sexual harassment charged that dogged Schwarzenegger in the final days of his campaign. Speaking on NBC last weekend, he said he would provide a more complete explanation of his actions after Tuesday's election day."

"But Schwarzenegger shrugged off a reporter's shouted request for that promised explanation at the end of Thursday's news conference."

"'Old news,' he said, as he walked briskly off the stage."

The Attack on Gay Families Pledge

I, ______________________ , pledge to the families of the state of ___________________ , and to all the American people that I will protect the inviolable definition of marriage. I firmly believe this definition is as follows:

Marriage, whether entered into within or outside of the United States, shall consist of the legal union of one man and one woman. Every person has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, subject to state laws based on age and consanguinity. The uniting of persons of the same or opposite sex in a civil union, domestic partnership or other similar relationship shall not be valid or recognized with any legal benefits or privileges in the United States.

Bush's statement is much more mild:

Marriage Protection Week, 2003
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation



Marriage is a sacred institution, and its protection is essential to the continued strength of our society. Marriage Protection Week provides an opportunity to focus our efforts on preserving the sanctity of marriage and on building strong and healthy marriages in America.

Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and my Administration is working to support the institution of marriage by helping couples build successful marriages and be good parents.

To encourage marriage and promote the well-being of children, I have proposed a healthy marriage initiative to help couples develop the skills and knowledge to form and sustain healthy marriages. Research has shown that, on average, children raised in households headed by married parents fare better than children who grow up in other family structures. Through education and counseling programs, faith-based, community, and government organizations promote healthy marriages and a better quality of life for children. By supporting responsible child-rearing and strong families, my Administration is seeking to ensure that every child can grow up in a safe and loving home.

We are also working to make sure that the Federal Government does not penalize marriage. My tax relief package eliminated the marriage penalty. And as part of the welfare reform package I have proposed, we will do away with the rules that have made it more difficult for married couples to move out of poverty.

We must support the institution of marriage and help parents build stronger families. And we must continue our work to create a compassionate, welcoming society, where all people are treated with dignity and respect.

During Marriage Protection Week, I call on all Americans to join me in expressing support for the institution of marriage with all its benefits to our people, our culture, and our society.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week of October 12 through October 18, 2003, as Marriage Protection Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, activities, and ceremonies.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-eighth.

GEORGE W. BUSH

# # #

Will Bush sign the FRC's bigoted pledge? Does FRC's pledge call for anything that encourages heterosexuals to stay married?