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Saturday, December 20, 2003

Defying Party Labels

from the Minneapolis Rumours list.....

Dyna Slutyer recently wrote a long rant - which included much "Republicans are evil and bigoted" type drivel. Several people responded:

Connie Nompelis:
Says who? I am pro-choice and in support of equal freedoms (such as contract) for glbt individuals. If that doesn't make me "moderate" I don't know what would.

Neal Krasnoff - Anti-Gay Democrat......

I'm generally pro-life and against same-sex contracts - marriage -
but agree with the DFL on labor issues.

You're a moderate, I'm a centrist.

Neal Krasnoff
Active Member, Communications Workers of America
Loring Park

I'm pro-life, pro-choice, pro-freedom, pro-labor and think government should get out of the marriage business and leave it to churches.

I'm a right-wing, conservative Republican.

Chris Johnson
Fulton

Chuck Muth's News and Views on Gay Marriage

Freedom to Choose

"I agree that civil unions should be allowed. Just as the choice should be mine if I wear that seat belt (I'm not hurting anyone else if I choose not to), gay people should have the right to join in union. It does not hurt me."

- News & Views reader Martina McHugh

************************************
Stop the Federal Marriage Amendment

Citizen Outreach launched and is hosting an online petition where you can voice your opposition to the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. As we've said in this newsletter time and again, you do NOT have to support gay marriages in order to OPPOSE a constitutional amendment prohibiting them. This is an issue best left to the states. Please take a minute to help derail this unwise effort by signing our "Stop the Federal Marriage Amendment" petition.

Andrew Sullivan on O'Reilly/Drudge Conflict

quoted in Chuck Muth's News and Views

The BS Zone

"On Monday, Fox News star Bill O'Reilly had bragged to NBC's Today Show that 'We've outsold that guy [Franken] all over the place. We're running against Hillary for most copies of non-fiction books sold this year!' The results, alas, showed that Bill O'Reilly's oeuvre, 'Who's Looking Out For You,' was easily bested by Al Franken's screed 'Lying Liars' and way behind Senator Clinton's largely unreadable account of meeting lots of African prime ministers, 'Personal History.'

"...Alarmingly, I find myself agreeing with (O'Reilly) on many issues. But he is so obnoxious, so transparently phony, so gung-ho in a crude populist know nothing kind of way that I'm almost embarrassed to be on the same side much of the time. Does anyone say 'I may be wrong' more disingenuously? Is there anyone more aggressively watchable because he is so awful?"

- Columnist Andrew Sullivan

EY: The big laugh about O'Reilly was him calling "Inside Edition" a legitimate news show - it wasn't - it was a tabloid show.

Friday, December 19, 2003

What Did the White House Know and When Did They Know It?

from a post by Charlie Swope on MN Politics Discuss.

"I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," said national security adviser Condoleeza Rice on May 16, 2002.

"How is it possible we have a national security advisor coming out and saying we had no idea they could use planes as weapons when we had FBI records
from 1991 stating that this is a possibility," said Kristen Breitweiser, one of four New Jersey widows who lobbied Congress and the president to appoint the
commission.

Not only were there the FBI records but there had actually been a previous attempt to use planes in this way. Some years ago the French thwarted an attempt to crash a civilian airliner into the Eifel tower. This was well publicized at the time.

Charlie Swope
St. Paul

Michele Bachmann - Shiite Republican

A friend of mine submitted this letter to the editor about Senator Michele Bachmann.... Stillwater - her district - is no Corcoran.

To the Editor:

Halloween is long past, but Michele Bachmann continues to masquerade as a freedom-loving, tax-cutting patriot. Unfortunately, her true colors are starting to show through her red, white and blue costume.

Bachmann's legislative report would have us believe that she's been busy balancing the budget, protecting grandma in the nursing home and single-handedly reforming education. But her actions of late belie her slick brochure's message. Over the past several weeks, Bachmann's headline-grabbing stunts have included calling for installing the Ten Commandments in public buildings and classrooms; a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages, which she shrilly termed "judicial tyranny" - and a "decision that could forever change our people"; and a call for teaching creationism in science classes.

It would be nice to have a state senator who was actually concerned about representing her district, rather than one who is bent on advancing her own name recognition and narrow, ideologically driven agenda in a quest for higher office. Maybe even a senator who brings people together rather than one who drives wedges between them with intolerance and divisive fringe issues.

Bachmann's radical vision for a fundamentalist, theocratic state would be better suited to Alabama—or Iran. But it has no place in Minnesota, particularly representing the citizens of Senate District 52. We can do better than this in 2006.

What did Bush say about Marriage?

Everyone is still confused. Andrew Sullivan and Steven Miller suggest that Bush is saying he is supportive of Civil Unions. Log Cabin Republicans criticizes Bush for stating he might support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages, but also mention that his language suggests support for Civil Unions.

Chuck Muth weighs in [see Lawfully Wedded Press Release Section for original] and clarifies things:

Bush's Marriage Statement Raises More Questions Than It Answers

"Split the Baby" Positioning Doesn't Take Controversy Off the Table

(WASHINGTON, DC) - Citizen Outreach President Chuck Muth issued the following statement in response to President Bush's remarks to ABC's Diane Sawyer Tuesday evening on a potential federal marriage amendment:

"Rather than take the highly emotional issue of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage off the table in his comments to Diane Sawyer, President Bush instead assured the issue will continue to be hotly debated, especially among limited-government conservatives. In reality, the president's "split the baby" statement raises more questions than it answers, to wit:

1) By saying he'll support a marriage amendment "if necessary," does the president mean only if the federal Defense of Marriage Act is somehow nullified by a court? And if protecting states' rights is his objective, why not just codify DOMA in the Constitution rather than support a national ban on gay marriage?

2) Would President Bush support gay marriage in Massachusetts, or any other state, if the state passed it through their legislature rather than via court edict?

3) One thing about the current language of the FMA is that not only does it prohibit gay marriage, it also prohibits "the legal incidents thereof" - meaning civil unions. Does the president support an amendment that would ban civil unions as well?

4) If a constitutional amendment is passed banning gay marriage, how would the obvious conflict be resolved with the First Amendment protection of religion should a church in the U.S. decide to recognize gay marriages?

5) In saying he supports protecting "the sanctity of marriage," does that include heterosexual weddings performed by Elvis impersonators at drive-through windows in Las Vegas and marriage-for-money heterosexual unions performed on network TV?

"The more deeply conservatives look at the idea of amending our founding document to define marriage, the more they see this is a very bad idea. The best thing government can do to help protect the institution of marriage is to get out of it altogether and turn it back over to the churches and other cultural institutions."

Citizen Outreach is a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C., with over 25,000 supporters who champion limited-government public policies.

# # #

EY: Chuck is correct. Bush's statement raises more questions than it answers. It is rather typical of the way politicians muddle through this issue.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

AFA Bigots Not Getting the Poll Results they want.....

From: American Family Association
Subject: Those favoring gay marriage voting 5 times greater than those opposing it
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 17:01:41 -0600




THOSE FAVORING HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE VOTING 5 TIMES GREATER THAN THOSE OPPOSING IT

Since midday Wednesday, those favoring homosexual marriage are casting five times more votes than those who oppose it. Their votes have risen from about three percent to nearly fifty percent.

We have received several emails from homosexual marriage supporters saying they are forwarding news about America’s Poll on Homosexual Marriage to all their friends.

Credit must be given to those supporting homosexual marriage. They care enough to get involved. They are dedicated to their cause. And the poll numbers are showing that dedication.

Have you voted? Go to www.marriagepoll.com to vote and then forward the poll to your friends.

Sincerely,

Don

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association

P.S. Please forward this email to at least one friend.

Polls on Gay Marriage

from the FRC Daily Bleating.....

American Public Increasingly Opposed to Same-Sex "Marriage"

While the battle to preserve marriage in America is far from over, I believe a poll released today on the subject is encouraging news. According to USA Today, Americans oppose homosexual "marriage" by a more than 2-1 margin (65% to 31%). The margin among those who feel strongly about the issue was 3-1 (52% to 17%), meaning those who oppose same-sex "marriage" are more adamant about their position than those who support the redefinition of marriage. It's clear the defense of marriage is a political winner. Every poll taken in the past several months shows a growing opposition to homosexual "marriage."

EY: Actually polls are volatile on this - and say different things depending on what question is asked. Polls consistantly show clear opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment (support between 10-20%) which FRC is pushing.

The bleating continues:
Why is that? I believe that as the American public sees this debate shift from the theoretical idea of same-sex "marriage" to the real public policy possibility that marriage could soon be open to homosexual couples, they increasingly are against it. It's very similar to what we saw in the debate over partial-birth abortion. The more the issue was talked about in the media and debated on the floor of Congress, the more educated the American people became on the horrors of the procedure and the public opinion polls began to reflect that opposition. Not only did larger majorities of Americans begin to oppose the partial-birth abortion procedure but the abortion culture as a whole. I believe we're seeing that same phenomenon now on marriage. We must continue to be in the public square standing firm to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Increasingly, it's not only the right thing to do, it's the popular thing to do. Elected officials should take notice.

EY: Actually with the so-called "partial birth abortion" issue, there's been much misinformation about the issue. In fact I'm still unsure of whether the recent bill passed by congress prohibits "partial birth abortions" when the fetus is dead.

The public is put off by the idea of gay marriage. The public is also put off by anti-gay bigotry - and the more visible the Leviticus Crowd is - the more appalled the public is by them.

Bush threw a huge bit of red meat to the Leviticus Crowd - and they are still whining.

A Conservative Petition Opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment

Join the likes of Andrew Sullivan, Chuck Muth and Yours Truly and sign.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Concerned Women for America Has a Hissy Fit over Bush Interview.....

CWA Warns: Presidential Embrace of Civil Unions Undermines Pro-Family Effort to Save Marriage 12/17/2003

"Creating counterfeit marriage is immoral and destructive," CWA’s Sandy Rios says.

Washington, D.C. - President Bush last night drove a wedge into the pro-family effort to preserve the institution of marriage by signaling that his administration supports the creation of homosexual civil unions or domestic partnerships at the state level.

In answer to a question by ABC News' Diane Sawyer, Bush said:

"If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment which would honor marriage between a man and a woman, codify that, and will - the position of this administration is that whatever legal arrangements people want to make, they're allowed to make, so long as it’s embraced by the state or - start at the state level."

Sandy Rios, president of CWA, had this response:

"The president is right on marriage, but tragically wrong on civil unions. Whether it's done by a state, a court or the federal government, creating counterfeit marriage is immoral and destructive. It is not compassionate to create incentives for people to engage in homosexual behavior which leads to rampant disease and early death, especially among homosexual men."

Robert Knight, director of CWA’s Culture & Family Institute responded, "President Bush is rejecting Judeo-Christian moral teaching in order to please homosexual activists and some misguided advisors who think this will be politically advantageous. But this is not only immoral, it is bad politics. It will serve only to unite his enemies and demoralize his base."

Jan LaRue, CWA’s chief counsel, said: "Marriage is protected by law as the unique relationship and foundation of civilization. The President has courageously led the war on terrorism. We were counting on him to exhibit the same leadership in the war on marriage. His stated position on civil unions is greatly disappointing, and we hope he reconsiders what’s at stake."

Tune in tomorrow to Concerned Women Today to hear Sandy Rios and Robert Knight discuss the President’s comments. The show reaches over 1 million listeners per week and can be heard in the Washington, D.C., area on WAVA 105.1 FM at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

For Information Contact:
Rebecca Riggs
(202) 488-7000
media.cwfa.org

Log Cabin Republicans responds to Diane Sawyer's interview with President Bush
December 16, 2003

(Washington) Log Cabin Republicans agree with President Bush that marriage issues should be governed by the states but express concern over his possible support of any anti-gay Constitutional amendment. In an interview with Diane Sawyer on Tuesday evening, President Bush said, "The position of this administration is that whatever legal arrangements people want to make, they're allowed to make, so long as it's embraced by the state or at the state level."

"While we are pleased that the President has clearly stated his support of states' rights, we are concerned that the President said he might support amending the United States Constitution," said Log Cabin executive director Patrick Guerriero. "Log Cabin has consistently and clearly opposed any effort to write discrimination into the United State Constitution. A November 2003 poll from the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans are opposed to amending the Constitution. Log Cabin urges the President to avoid a divisive culture war that will only divide the American family. As the nation embraces the holiday season, united in the war on terror and with an improving national economy, there is no need to divide Americans on social issues," added Guerriero.

"We absolutely agree with Vice President Cheney, and now President Bush, that these issues should be dealt with by the states. Conservatives have always believed in states having authority over these issues," said Guerriero. "The proposed Federal Marriage Amendment would not only ban civil recognition of gay families, it would also strip fundamental rights and responsibilities from those families. Supporting the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment is wrong, it is not necessary and would codify discrimination in our Constitution," concluded Guerriero.

Log Cabin believes in civil recognition of loving gay and lesbian couples in law-abiding,tax-paying committed relationships. This basic recognition will encourage stabile families, offer tax fairness, insure inheritance rights and guarantee hospital visitation rights. Civil recognition will in no way interfere with religious traditions or religious freedom.

###

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest gay Republican organization, with state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee.

John Aravosis's Take on Bush Pandering to the Bigots

THE LIST - EXTRA
Washington, DC
December 16, 2003

SUBSCRIBE: http://thelist.c.tep1.com/maabLRpaa2ZB7b5qPwnb/
UNSUBSCRIBE: http://thelist.c.tep1.com/maabLRpaa2ZB8b5qPwnb/
SUPPORT THE LIST: http://thelist.c.tep1.com/maabLRpaa2ZB9b5qPwnb/

---------------

BREAKING NEWS: BUSH WILL SUPPORT ANTI-GAY CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

ABC News has just reported that President Bush said today that he WILL support adding an anti-gay amendment to the United States Constitution if such an amendment is necessary to ban gay marriage. "If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment which would honor marriage between a man and a woman, codify that," Bush reportedly told ABC's Diane Sawyer today.

Some pundits are trying to give the president wiggle room because he said "if necessary." That's a distinction that's hardly heartwarming. If necessary, the President of the United States has announced that he would support enshrining anti-gay bigotry in the great constitution of our nation. The thought should sicken every American, and any foreigner who ever looked up to America as a beacon of hope in a troubled world. To flippantly support desecrating the American constitution in order to suck up to a bunch of evangelical anti-Christs. Have you no decency, sir?

Winnie Stachelberg of the Human Rights Campaign, America's largest gay civil rights organization, warned that Bush's amendment could eliminate scores of civil rights protections for gays and lesbians:

"It could strip away any legal protection for millions of hard-working, tax-paying Americans and their children, including the right to Social Security survivor benefits, to the right to inherit a partner's property without heavy tax penalties, even the right to visit a loved one in the hospital. And any attempt to use this amendment to score a few votes is a strategy sure to backfire and cost elected officials their claims of compassionate conservativism."

Whether you're gay, straight, Democrat or Republican, if you have an ounce of self-respect you will no longer support President Bush. Over the past several months, scores of gay Republicans came forward and said they would leave the Republican party if Bush supported this hateful amendment. Now is the time for gay and gay-friendly Americans to show who's side they're really on. As the president is so fond of saying, you're either with us or against us.

I recommend everyone contact the President and the Republican party national headquarters and let them know that it will be a cold day in hell before you ever support them again. You might also like to ask
them why we need a constitutional amendment to protect us from the Vice President's lesbian daughter:

** President Bush
mailto:president@whitehouse.gov

** Republican National Committee (RNC)
mailto:ChairmansOffice@rnc.org
mailto:membership@rnchq.org
mailto:info@rnc.org
mailto:support@gopteamleader.com
mailto:Political@rnc.org

** Ed Gillespie, RNC Chairman & Maria Cino, RNC Deputy Chairman
Phone:202/863-8700
Fax: 202/863-8774

** Office of the RNC Co-Chairman, Ann Wagner
Phone: 202-863-8545
Fax: 202-863-8631

You can find the contact info for the Republican party in your state
Via this link - contact them and let them have it:
http://thelist.c.tep1.com/maabLRpaa2ZCab5qPwnb/

More on this story later this week. And please send this special update to all of your friends. Everyone needs to know of George Bush's Christmas gift to gay Americans.

JOHN

HRC CAUTIONS PRESIDENT NOT TO JOIN ATTACKS ON AMERICAN FAMILIES BY
ENDORSING ANTI-GAY CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT


For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003

Contact: Mark Shields
Phone: (202) 216-1564
Cell: (202) 716-1637

Contact: J. Smith
Phone: (202) 216-1580
Cell: (202) 716-1650

A Discriminatory Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is Never Necessary, Warns HRC

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign cautioned President Bush today not to join attacks on American families by supporting a discriminatory anti-gay amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The measure currently pending in Congress would bar any state from granting marriage rights and could permanently deny any legal protections to same-sex couples - including civil unions, even if they were granted by state legislatures.

In tonight's ABCNEWS Primetime interview, Bush said "if necessary" he would "support a constitutional amendment which would honor marriage between a man and a woman."

"It's never necessary - in fact it would be shameful - to insert prejudice and discrimination into the U.S. Constitution," warned HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg. "To use this country's most cherished document to strip away individual liberty and freedom would be nothing short of a disgrace - with which the vast majority of the American people disagree."

"The president also said tonight that it is his job to do everything he can 'to protect America and Americans.' This amendment would strip away any legal protection for millions of hard-working, tax-paying Americans.

For instance, after spending a lifetime together, when one partner dies, the surviving partner could lose their home because of they are denied Social Security protections and are heavily taxed where spouses are exempt - this amendment would codify that kind of injustice," added Stachelberg. "The American people will see through attempts to use this constitutional amendment for political purposes - a strategy sure to backfire and cost any elected official at the ballot box."

According to a November 2003 survey by the Pew Research Center, only 10 percent of Americans favor a constitutional amendment to ban marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Many leading conservatives have also announced their opposition to amending the Constitution for this purpose, including Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-N.Y., Morton M. Kondracke, William Safire, David Brooks, Chuck Muth, George Will, Ward Connerly, Jonah Goldberg and David Horowitz who said, "To do this in peacetime would be unwise; to prosecute it in the midst of war is reckless."

For a complete listing of quotes from conservative leaders and pundits opposed to this, visit here

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the
public to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

-30-

The FRC Bleating on Bush's Statement on the FMA

FRC Says President Bush's Statements on Marriage of Concern

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In an interview with Diane Sawyer to air tonight on the ABC network, President Bush was asked about his position on a Constitutional amendment to defend marriage. In an early transcript released by ABC News, the president is reported to have said he supports an amendment "which would honor marriage between a man and a woman." He also says, "The position of this administration is that whatever legal arrangements people want to make, they're allowed to make, so long as it's embraced by the state or at the state level."

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement regarding President Bush's comments:

"While I'm encouraged President Bush says he supports a Constitutional amendment honoring marriage between a man and woman, I'm very concerned about his additional comments which seem to suggest the definition of marriage, which pre-dates western civilization and the United States Constitution, can be redefined at the state level."

"This sounds as though the administration would support civil unions which are counterfeits of the institution of marriage. The President's remarks also undermine state legislators who are fighting to protect the institution of marriage in states like Massachusetts.

"Marriage is about more than tax credits and other financial benefits. For a variety of reasons, the institution of marriage is the bedrock of our nation and no state should have the ability to alter that."

EY: In otherwords, he's not kowtowing enough to the bigots.... Still FRC is serving as a good foil....

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

HRC Statement on Bush Support of the FMA

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003

STATEMENT BY WINNIE STACHELBERG ON REPORTS OF PRESIDENTIAL SUPPORT OF AN ANTI-GAY CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

WASHINGTON – Human Rights Campaign Political Director Winnie Stachelberg made the following statement regarding an ABCNEWS.com report that President Bush told Diane Sawyer in an interview airing tonight that "he would support a Constitutional amendment ‘which would honor marriage between a man and a woman.’"

"We are gravely concerned by reports that the president would join in these attacks on American families. We will closely monitor this interview to more completely understand his position. To be clear, it is never necessary to insert prejudice and discrimination into the U.S. Constitution – a document that has a proud history of being used to expand an individual’s liberty and freedom, not to take them away. Of all people, the American president should know this.

"The amendment pending in Congress would go much further than defining marriage as between a man and a woman. It could strip away any legal protection for millions of hard-working, tax-paying Americans and their children, including the right to Social Security survivor benefits, to the right to inherit a partner’s property without heavy tax penalties, even the right to visit a loved one in the hospital. And any attempt to use this amendment to score a few votes is a strategy sure to backfire and cost elected officials their claims of compassionate conservativism."

According to a November 2003 survey by the Pew Research Center, only 10 percent of Americans favor a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that GLBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

-30-

EY: It will be interesting to see what LCR does with this one.

Bush supports FMA

According to a Dianne Sawyer Interview (according to SiriusOutQ News)..... It will be interesting to see what LCR does with this one.

Don't the Boys in Blue Have Better Things to Do?

Deep in the heart of Texas (near Dallas).... via Atrios.