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Saturday, February 28, 2004

Very Good Question from Kerry's Web Forum

Question...if you are for gay marriages...and are against a constitutional amendment...because you want to respect the const..and don't want to disrespect it with something that is not natural to it..Other than personal bias, how can you be for Roe Vs Wade? It is not in any way shape or form in the Constitution...The reason I am not a liberal is that they don't seem very fact or logic driven..and it leads to contorted positions like the one I mention.

Another White House Press Briefing on Gay Marriage

White House Press Briefing
Feb. 25, 2004

[snip]
Go ahead, Helen.

Q Does the President really think that the fact that men and women get married will be jeopardized by gay marriage -- I mean, the tradition would be actually hurt? In what way would it be affected?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President actually talked about this in his remarks. He talked about how the union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution. He said it was honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. He went on to say that ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Redefining marriage would hurt those efforts. It would undermine those efforts. And he went on to say that marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious, and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society. Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interest of all.

Q But would it really be affected, men and women?

MR. McCLELLAN: This is about preserving an enduring institution in our nation and in our civilization.

Q But how would it be hurt?

MR. McCLELLAN: And I just talked to you about the President's views on that. It's a value that we hold dear. It's part of the very fabric of our society. The President made that very clear in his remarks.

Q Can I ask you to expand a little bit on the children aspect of that? Does the President believe that gay marriage represents a threat to the welfare of children?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he's always talked about -- in welfare reform, for instance, we've talked about promoting healthy, stable families and strengthening marriage. And we've talked about some ways to go about that. But I think I would look at it the way the President described it.

Q But the way he described it suggests that he believes that same-sex couples who are raising children, those children are not as well off, they're endangered.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think you're suggesting things. The President talked about the importance of promoting efforts that you're mentioning, promoting -- he said in his comments, the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. He's always talked about the best place to put adopted children is in a loving home with a mother and father. He believes strongly in that.

Q Has the President been disappointed by the response of some Republicans, whether it was Mr. DeLay who said, we've got to go slow on this up here, or those outside the Congress, Alan Simpson and others who don't think this is a good idea?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think you're thinking -- I think what you're seeing is the congressional process begin. What the President emphasized is it's important for the people's voice to be heard in this process. You have activist judges and a few local officials who are seeking to redefine marriage, without regard for the voice of the people. The vast majority of the American people believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. It's important that their voice be heard in this debate. This is an issue of national significance. That's exactly what the constitutional process was set up for.

[snip]

Q On gay marriage, under the fastest track imaginable, it would take years for a constitutional amendment to be drawn up, ratified --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, some have taken as short as three months, and some have taken as long as 200 years.

Q It would take a long time. What is the President going to do in the meantime to act on his beliefs on this issue?

MR. McCLELLAN: We'll continue to call on Congress to act quickly. He said, I want Congress to act promptly to pass this and so we can get it to the states so the people's voice can be heard.

Q In the meantime, obviously, there is a spreading movement out there that is allowing gay marriages to go forward. Is that just going to happen until a constitutional amendment --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it's all the more reason Congress needs to move promptly.

[snip]

Q When Terry Moran cited Representative DeLay's questioning of support in
--

MR. McCLELLAN: He's already had his question, Scott. (Laughter.)

Q Aside from Representative DeLay, you have Representative Dreier, Senator McCain, there are others who have cited some skepticism and, in some cases, outright lack of support for a constitutional amendment. Did the President anticipate any kind of division within his own party over this issue?

MR. McCLELLAN: As I talked about yesterday, this is about acting on an important principle that the President has always held. And Presidents make decisions. Events have dictated that there is a need for action on this issue of national importance. That's why the President has called for Congress to begin the constitutional process, because he wants the voice of the people to be heard. The voice of the people is not being heard because of the activist judges and a few local officials who are seeking to redefine marriage.

Q A follow-up, Scott. You say this is a --

MR. McCLELLAN: Let me keep going. I'll come back. I'll come back. Let me keep going --

Q -- you say that he's always held this belief. How do you explain, then, the fact that, as a candidate in 2000, he said that this was a matter better left up to the states? How do you explain the change of heart?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, one, I disagree with the way you characterize it -- as I did with John, yesterday. The President's views were very clear in 2000; they were very clear even before that. The President has always believed that marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. The President strongly supports the Defense of Marriage Act. Now, there is no certainty that the Defense of Marriage Act won't be struck down by activist judges. Recent events have forced us to take another course of action. The President believes the only alternative for the people now is the constitutional process, so that their voice can be heard. But events have certainly changed, and it's important that we act decisively to preserve this sacred institution.

Q Scott, two questions, one on gay marriage. On the gay marriage question, the President has talked about it being in all cultures, all religions. But in the Muslim religion, Islam, you're allowed to have four wives. So how is -- and, yet, we don't agree with that here. How is that -- all religions --

MR. McCLELLAN: I will tell you the President's views again: Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. That's his view. That's the view of the vast majority of the American people. I would refer you back to the fact that 38 states have passed measures saying that marriage is between a man and a woman. I would refer you back to the congressional vote on the Defense of Marriage Act, which overwhelmingly passed, broad bipartisan support.

[snip]

Q Some people have raised the point or the question, they're saying that with the President standing now behind the need for a constitutional amendment on marriage, that he has revived the cultural wars of the 1990s for political purposes; that he's using this so he doesn't have to answer questions about the economy; that he's using this to energize maybe a part of his base who are disgruntled. What would you have --

MR. McCLELLAN: The President focuses on the economy every day. The President has made the economy and winning the war on terrorism our highest priorities. From day one of this administration, this President has acted to strengthen our economy and to create as robust an environment for job creation as possible. I just mentioned his two highest priorities; they remain his two highest priorities. He looks forward to talking about our record of accomplishment on those priorities, and talking about the additional steps that we need to take to continue the progress we're making on both those fronts. And this President has worked to elevate the discourse in this town. He has worked to bring the country together around -- around proposals that we all believe are important. This President has acted decisively, and this President believes strongly that this is an issue of principle, this is an issue that goes to the foundation of our society. That's why he came out with the announcement that he did yesterday. There is a lot of growing confusion. There is a lot of division going on in this country, but it's because of the recent events that have been occurring in places like Massachusetts and San Francisco. And a President makes decisions when it comes to issues of national importance, and that's what this President has done.

Q So, basically, the cultural war came to his doorstep, rather than him going out --

MR. McCLELLAN: Events, recent events certainly have dictated the need for action on this very issue.

Q So he made this decision in no way in reaction to the strong pressure that he's getting from his own base to make this decision?

MR. McCLELLAN: He makes decision based on principle and based on what is right for the country.

Q So there was no reaction --

MR. McCLELLAN: I addressed that yesterday, and I just addressed it again.

Q And one more. Does he plan to lobby for this amendment in the way that he has for Medicare or taxes --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he had a congressional meeting yesterday, and he talked about the importance of acting promptly on it. And he had a congressional meeting this morning, and he talked about the importance of this issue, as well.

Q Scott, two quick ones. Does the President expect --

MR. McCLELLAN: Sorry?

Q The "false Terry" has some breaking news. (Laughter.)

Q Two quick ones. Does the President expect Congress to send this amendment to the states this year?

MR. McCLELLAN: He wants it to act promptly.

[snip]

Q The President has yet to say which or what amendment language he would support. Is the White House going to develop its own language, or is it going to leave that --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we're going to work with Congress on the specific language. I have indicated that Congresswoman Musgrave's language, or at least her proposal, meets our principles. But we still need to work on the specific language for an amendment.

Q Now, there's some -- but there's some question about that, whether that would allow -- whether that would prevent civil unions. Is the administration going to back an amendment that permits states to allow civil unions, or is --

MR. McCLELLAN: I think the President's views have been very clear on that. He believes that states have the right to enter into legal arrangements that they so choose, and that would include civil unions.

Q And he believes that the amendment that you just mentioned protects that?

MR. McCLELLAN: It does -- he does -- he does believe that. But again, the specific language we need to continue to work with Congress on.

[snip]

Q Scott, a follow on Keith's question about the President continuing to call on the Congress on the marriage amendment. One subject that he has consistently spoken out about over the last number of years has been his judicial nominees getting blocked by Senate Democrats. Should we anticipate that the President would be as vocal on this issue as he has been on that one in his public speeches?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think you heard how vocal the President was. He believes strongly in doing what is necessary to protect the sanctity of marriage.

Q Would it be something that would be repeated in public speeches, that we should anticipate?

MR. McCLELLAN: He will continue to talk about the need for Congress to act promptly.

[snip]

A Question for Rusty (from Kirk "homosareperverse" Zimpfer)

From: "Rusty"
Date: Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:00 pm
Subject: Re: [usaqueers] Kerry gets some praise from a anti-gay
nutcase


1) the LCR has always been DOA as far as influence in the GOP goes, as we have seen over the last year. The only LCR members who have once ounce of credibility, honor or self-respect are those who are leaving it, leaving the GOP or publically stating they will not be voting for Republican Plank candidates, and will be voting for pro-equality candidates instead, working for their campaigns and supporting them, and working to garner votes for them. John Farina is a respectable person, LCR should follow his lead. In some fashion.

2)I am not voting for John Kerry, I will be voting for John Edwards, and the 10 votes that I can be 100% sure of taking with me will be as well...not to mention to all those who "probably" will follow my lead.

R.


Eva: A question for Rusty

Big damn deal that Rusty will vote for Edwards over Kerry in the primary when Kerry already has the nomination in the bag. If Rusty is really upset about Kerry's anti-gay stance in regard to gay marriage,
the guy ought to have the courage of his convictions and refuse to vote for Kerry at all. Any plans for Rusty to take a principled stance and vote for Ralph Nadar or the communist/socialist party
candidate?

I'm forced to defend you on this one. Rusty whines about your lack of principle, but when push comes to shove, he'll let Kerry sell out and still ultimately vote for him.

I used to respect Rusty in one respect -- at least the guy had the courage of his convictions and wouldn't accept politicians compromising. Now, it seems that if a Democrat sells out that is
perfectly okay.

KZ

EY: I've written an oped: Why I'm Staying in the Republican Party. I've submitted it to the Star Tribune.

Response to Misplaced Priorities of the Minnesota Republican Party

Dear Eva:

While mindful of your passions, earnest convictions and frustrations regarding the proposed constitutional amendment on marriage, it is WAY over-the-top (in ways that do not reflect well upon you) to suggest that
Republicans are working to deny gay and lesbian people access to the courts.

Even in this debate, there are boundaries. In my judgment, that kind of remark crosses the line.

And, moreover, it just doesn't help you, or your view one bit.

Sincerely,

State Representative

EY: Guess which state representative wrote this. My response:

I stand by my statement. The reason: the major reason given for pushing this amendment is to stop activist judges from making decisions on this issue. If the concern was activist judges, the amendment would be to stop activist judges - rather than an amendment to preclude judges from making decisions based on the constitutional equal protection guarantees.

Even the Federalist Society made that point.

Eva

Federalist on FMA

The Federalist Society is an organization that is very socially conservative. They have been the group that has been feeding judge nominations to Bush.

This is what they said about the FMA:

"In the end, this proposed marriage amendment does little more than bandage a lesion on a body consumed with cancer. In addition, it lends a false sense of security. If the issue -- as President Bush presented in no
uncertain terms -- is the imminent threat of judicial activism (and indeed it is), then the only constitutional amendment we should be considering is one that addresses JUDICIAL ACTIVISM."

EY: Exactly. But the anti-gay Leviticus Crowd's real agenda is to deny gay couples access to the courts.

Report on Call to Kerry's campaign

I called Kerry's campaign in Massachusetts today to ask whether they are planning on returning contributions from people who are angry about Kerry supporting the Massachusetts amendment.

They quickly put me over to a Lesbian staffer to take these calls. She tried to tell me his position on this issue hasn't changed. He has always been opposed to gay marriage. She also said that if Gay Marriage is your issue, Kerry can't be your candidate - and you might as well vote for Kucinich or Sharpton.

Personally I would rather have talked to a policy person - rather than be put off to the hired Lesbian who is there to deal with the other gays.

Kerry the Waffler (from Kerry's webforum)

I expect him to not support amending state constitutions to enshrine anti-gay discriminaiton within them as he is doing in MA and thus not only pissing off gay rights groups, gay people and supportive straights buty also giving the GOP ammunition on the "Kerry waffles/tries to stake out all positions" angle.

It was a stupid move on a principled level and a political level.

I expect him to lay out a position more liberal than that of George Bush but now that Bush is apparently also okay with "leaving it to the states" if they want to do civil unions, their positions are closer than ever, nearly identical in fact.

Dukakis and Kerry: Anti-Gay Liberals

from Kerry's webforum:

Just read the news on the Boston Globe Web site that Kerry supports an amendment to the Mass. Constitution that would outlaw gay marriage. He metioned the usuall hogwash about separate-but-equal civil unions. Great, so Kerry is in bed with the bigots. If this is the best that the Democrats can do, if the candidate elect can't get it together to take tough stands, why should I or any gay man pull a lever with his name on it?

Absolutely amazing isn't it! That our guy would be so mealy-mouthed and lame he would make George Bush look strong and principled by comparison!

Dukakis pulled something similiar during his run, denying two lesbians the custody of their child -- if I remember the case correctly.

I didn't vote for Dukakis for that one reason , and I will no longer vote for Kerry.

More from Kerry's Forum on his position on the Massachusetts amendment

Screw You!

Great job Kerry. Good way to make sure that those of us who are against discrimination can see very little difference between you and Bush. Nice work.

And just at the time when plenty, plenty of people were getting geared up about campaiging for you, you say to the gay and lesbian community, scr*w you!

Well, we're going to say the same back to you too.

**********************************************
EY: What a dumb thing to do. Edwards will benefit from this.

Another angry post:

In case anyone is missing the point: Massachusetts has Equal Marriage on the books now, licenses will be granted to same-sex couples there starting 18 May 2004.

ANY AMENDMENT TO EITHER THE US OR MA CONSTITUTION TO CODIFY MARRIAGE AS 'ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN' TAKES AWAY THE RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY IN MASSACHUSETTS.

John Kerry is not saying "Okay, let's give Massachusetts gays Civil Unions!"

John Kerry IS saying "STRIP MASSACHUSETTS GAYS OF THE RIGHT TO MARRY!"

Kerry gets fallout for support of Anti-gay Massachusetts Amendment

Hello,

I'm disappointed, feeling betrayed really, by John Kerry's endorsement of an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution banning gay marriage and providing civil unions.

This is exactly the amendment I've been at the State House rallying against three times, successfully thus far. To hear him back that amendment, which is in some ways worse than a federal amendment with the same language, is truly saddening.

If a federal amendment for example banned gay marriages but provided for uniform implementation of civil unions and if those civil unions were identical in all but name to marriage (i.e. all federal laws were amended to read 'marriage or civil union' or 'married or ?civilly united?' or 'spouse' instead of 'marriage', 'married' and 'husband' and/or 'wife', etc. so that all federal rights given to 'marrieds' applied to the '?unionised?', and the amendment included language that prohibited denying any right to someone in a civil union that would be granted to someone in a marriage) that would be better than a Massachusetts amendment banning gay marriage, defining civil unions and having none of the rights marriage bestows at the federal level.

But amending either constitution is wrong. Taking away the right (which gays already have in Massachusetts) to get married by amending the constitution is wrong and hopefully flat out unconstitutional.

I was planning on voting for Kerry, but at this point, no - he's just wrong to endorse adding discrimination to the oldest constitution in the world.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

Respond, please.
Pat

Log Cabin Republicans release National Poll Results

From: Mark Mead
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2004 12:41 PM
Subject: Log Cabin Republicans release National Poll Results

Log Cabin Republicans News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Mark Mead
Log Cabin Republicans Public Affairs
(202) 347-5306

New National Poll Shows Majority Opposing Anti-Family Amendment

Discriminatory Amendment Won't Help Bush Re-election Campaign or Congressional Republicans

February 27, 2004

(Washington, DC)-Log Cabin Republicans released results from a new national poll showing Americans deeply divided over the anti-family Constitutional amendment. This poll was conducted for the Liberty Education Forum-a non-partisan research and educational think-tank. "This new poll clearly shows American voters want states to have the authority to decide this difficult issue. Voters are concerned about creating jobs and jump starting the economy. They don't want our politicians using the Constitution as a political tool to discriminate against gay and lesbian families," said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Patrick Guerriero.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted by the GOP firm who handled polling for Senator Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign.

"The bottom line here is simple. America is divided on this anti-family Constitutional amendment, whether they're Republicans, Democrats, or independents. There's no consensus for writing discrimination into the Constitution. American voters are split on this issue, but they're united in their belief that lawmakers should focus on more important issues. Voters care about jobs, homeland defense, and healthcare. They don't care about an anti-family Constitutional amendment," said Guerriero.

Only 3% of voters cite "banning gay marriage" as an issue priority for them in deciding their Presidential vote. Nine other issues are more important to voters. "The President would be wise to focus his re-election campaign on the issues that matter most. Clearly this amendment isn't one of them," said Guerriero.

This research shows 50% of Americans oppose a Constitutional amendment that will take away individual states' rights to pass laws governing same sex unions. 42% support the anti-family proposal. Even among frequent church-goers and Bush voters, almost 40% oppose the anti-family amendment. Among those voters who describe themselves as most concerned about moral issues, 1/3 are opposed to an amendment. Almost 75% of likely voters, including two-thirds of Bush voters, believe this amendment is only being used as a political football.

"These numbers show how much division exists on the anti-family amendment. By starting a culture war, President Bush is dividing America and alienating the swing voters who will decide this election. Graffiti shouldn't be written into our sacred Constitution as a way of scoring political points in an election year," continued Guerriero.

This poll shows Senator Kerry leading President Bush 47% to 41%. Pushing an anti-family Constitutional amendment won't help the President make up his deficit. Moreover, among those voters undecided between President Bush and Senator Kerry, NONE cite "banning gay marriage" as an issue priority. Even among President Bush's voters, only 4% cite this issue as a priority. Two-thirds of undecided voters list economics, Medicare, social security or education as their top priorities. "The President should focus on these issues, not something his own Vice-President said should be left to the states," said Guerriero.

Among Bush's strongest supporters-evangelical Christians and people most concerned about moral issues-President Bush already receives 85% support. "The tiny increase Bush might get from pushing this anti-family amendment will be offset by the moderates who will be turned off by this culture war," says Guerriero.

"The unnecessary focus on social issues is hurting our party, including Congressional Republicans," continued Guerriero. The poll shows Democrats enjoying a significant advantage on the generic question of which party's Congressional candidate they'll support. Respondents give Democrats a 10 point advantage. The Democrats' advantage is driven by "jobs/economy" voters, "Social Security and Medicare" voters and "education" voters. "Amending the Constitution to discriminate against gay families won't help Congressional Republicans. Voters care about jobs, social programs and education. They want lawmakers to focus on the issues they care about," continued Guerriero.

"Log Cabin Republicans will be using the results of this poll to launch a coordinated national campaign in the weeks ahead to defend our Constitution from those who want to use it as a political tool to discriminate against American families," said Guerriero.

The poll was conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin and Associates which is widely recognized as one of the leading Republican public opinion research firms in the U.S. today. The firm served as chief pollsters in Senator Bob Dole's 1996 Presidential bid and has worked for a dozen U.S. Senators, numerous Governors and Statewide elected officials as well as scores of Congressman.

This survey of 1000 Likely Voters was conducted by professionally trained interviewers via telephone between February 17th and 19th. Sample selection was random within predetermined geographic units and the sample frame was stratified to reflect actual Presidential election turnout. This survey has a margin of error of +/-3.1% at the 95% confidence level.

###

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office and a federal political action committee.

Debate with Kirk Zimpfer on the Federal Marriage Amendment

Kirk Zimpfer was the person who got the Culture and Family Insitute to write several hit pieces on yours truly.

Dead on Arrival - this won't go anywhere. Bush did this to pander to the bigots. He's been successful in gaining Kirk's vote. He wouldn't need to do this for your vote, ___. Meanwhile he's losing a number of votes from moderates over this.

Eva

You live in such a fantasy world, Eva. Even John Kerry has come out and supported a state ammendment to ban gay marriage in Massachussetts (that is, until he changes his mind again).

When both candidates of both parties come out and oppose gay marriage, that means they knew the vast majority of the people are against gay marriage, including the entire amount of the swing voters.

Bush is going to gain those four million Christian voters back he lost in 2000 and lose the one million perverts that voted for him. That's called smart politics.

The LCR is what is DOA as far influence within the GOP.

KZ

EY: History will show who is correct on this point. This was originally posted on Conservativethinktank.

RUC on FMA: divisive, distracting and wrong

February 24 - The RUC profoundly disagrees with President Bush's decision to endorse the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would ban gay marriages, and likely ban civil unions as well--as proposed by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave. The FMA is a terrible betrayal of conservative principles of federalism and limited government. We believe this amendment is divisive and distracting from FAR larger and more important issues, and that it will ultimately fail in the Congress. The RUC will neither support nor defend this action.

Goldwater Rolling in His Grave

WASHINGTON WIRE

States' Gay-Marriage Battles
Signal Constitutional Hurdles

By JACKIE CALMES
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

GAY-MARRIAGE battles in states signal hurdles for a U.S. amendment.

Indiana House is paralyzed as majority Democrats block a Senate-passed state ban. In Idaho, a Republican Senate committee chairwoman shelves a House-passed ban as "divisive." A bipartisan vote in Wyoming kills an anti-gay-marriage bill. But Michigan and Iowa measures advance. In Missouri, Democrats fret push by foes of gay marriage to put the issue on November's ballot.

The Democratic National Committee boasts a record 24-hour haul, $166,000, after a fund-raising e-mail from Bill Clinton to two million loyalists coincides with Bush's call for a ban in U.S. Constitution. Clinton didn't cite gay marriage, but party leaders credit activists' anger for the response. Pro-gay rights and libertarian Republicans lament Bush move.

"Goldwater is rolling over in his grave," says Republican activist Charles Francis.

EY: Francis is the founding Chairman of the Republican Unity Coalition.

Biblical Principles on Marriage

Congressman Jim McDermott
House of Representatives
25 February 2004

From the Congressional Record

Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, the President's presidential prayer team is urging us to "pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to
Biblical principles."

With that in mind, I thought I would remind the body of the biblical principles they are talking about.

Marriage shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. That is from Genesis 29:17-28.

Secondly, marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. That is II Samuel 5:13 and II Chronicles 11:21.

A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. That is Deuteronomy 22:13.

Marriage of a believer and a nonbeliever shall be forbidden. That is Genesis 24:3.

EY: Great floor speech to put on the record. Hopefully some legislators here in Minnesota do the same.

Mikulski opposes FMA

Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D), facing a reelection battle this year, said in a written statement: "A constitutional amendment is not about helping families. . . . It is an election-year ploy to divide and conquer. With our country at war in Iraq, we do not need a cultural war here at home."

Mikulski said she supported civil unions that would permit same-sex couples "the same legal and financial protections as everyone else," such as property inheritance and hospital visitation.

EY: Michelangelo Signorile gave out Barbara Mikulski's number on the air during his show Thursday. He said that Mikulski was a "closeted Lesbian" who has a good HRC voting record, but voted for the anti-gay DOMA. It seems that the calls generated from the show called her out to oppose the amendment.

Also interesting from this article: Senator George Allen (R, VA) opposes this amendment.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Kerry loses votes over his position supporting the Massachusetts Amendment

I got a call last night from the Kerry campaign urging me to go to my caucus and support Kerry. I told them I had planned to go to the caucus and was considering supporting Kerry--until he came out with his support for the Massachusetts constitutional amendment B.S. I told the guy that convinced me to support Kucinich instead, to make sure the Democrats get the message loud and clear that they can't take the left for granted and they better stop cowtowing to the religious right.

He claimed Kerry was probably just trying to shore up the moderates or independents with that position, but I told him this would gain Kerry no votes from those people and instead, would alienate others for whom this is a critical issue--that it was just another example of political opportunism that would backfire. I also told him Kerry's got two votes that are very hard for me to swallow just now: the war on Iraq and the Patriot Act. And I told him to please pass on my comments about the gay marriage thing to the campaign.

EY: Independents oppose constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Kerry needs to look at the polls on this issue.

GAY MARRIAGE SONG & DANCE

by Chuck Muth (from Chuck Muth's News and Views)

Tuesday’s White House press briefing with spokesman Scott McClellan focused almost entirely on the president’s announcement that he was backing a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The first question out of the box went like this…

“…(F)our years ago, in the South Carolina primary debate, the President was asked, ‘So if a state were voting on gay marriage, you would suggest to that state not to approve it?’ And the response of the President was, ‘The state can do what they want to do.’ When did the President change his mind that the issue of gay marriage was not a matter for states and, in fact, was a federal issue?”

Hmmm. A VERY legitimate question. That’s when the ol’ Washington two-step took the stage...and never left. McClellan ducked the question, danced around it and never addressed it directly - along with many other valid, related questions - for the duration of the briefing. You can read the full masterful performance of McClellan’s song-and-dance transcript by accessing the “In the News” page at www.lawfullywedded.com.

Oh What the Hell

Subject: Oh what the hell....

...let's go ahead and codify a bunch at once:

The Bill of Restrictions

The President having, at the time of adopting the Perpetual War on Terror, expressed a desire, in order to prevent limitation of his powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added to the Constitution, and as extending the ground of public obedience to the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution; therefore be it resolved:

Article I

No person shall engage in any marriage, family, union or household arrangement other than an irrevocable, life-long bond between a man and a woman, which bond exists solely for the purpose of procreation.

Article II

A well regulated church, being necessary to the security of a free state, the requirement of the people to keep and bear the Holy Bible shall not be infringed.

Article III

The people shall engage in no form of sexual activity other than the intercourse of one penis and one vagina within the confines of a marriage and solely for the purpose of procreation.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation and shall seek guidance from the Book of Leviticus.

Article IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, but upon declaration of Yellow Alert at the sole discretion of the President.

Article V

Upon directive of the President, any person in Guantanamo or any other leased properties construed to be outside of United States territories, may be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, may be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself by means of aggressive interrogation, sleep deprivation, isolation or other form of privation, as necessary, and may be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Article VI

In all criminal prosecutions conducted in Guantanamo or any other leased properties construed to be outside of United States territories, the accused shall not enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; shall not enjoy the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; shall not enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him; and shall not enjoy the right to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor.

Article VII

In suits at common law the right to corporate profits shall be preserved.

Article VIII

At the sole discretion of the President, any accused person may be bound over to other nations in which cruel and unusual punishments may be inflicted.

Article IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain powers, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the Government.

Article X

Rights of the people not restricted by the Constitution may be restricted by executive order of the President.

Author Unknown

The Cheney File

by Crawford Young

In running down some biographical information on our distinguished alum Richard Cheney for the Department history project, I came across some intriguing material which makes excellent fodder...

He and wife Lynne Cheney co-authored a book in 1983 entitled KINGS OF THE HILL... The volume, which is a good read, recites the history of eight leading figures in the history of the House of Representatives, of which
Cheney was then a member.

His favorite of the eight (including characters like Thadeus Stevens, James Polk, Joe Cannon, and Sam Rayburn) was Henry Clay, elected at age 33 from Kentucky and immediately elected as Speaker of the House in 1811. In his conclusions (p. 191), Cheney writes:

Of all the assertions of power we have seen, the most spectacular was Henry Clay's. No one, not even Thaddeus Stevens, managed to do what young Henry Clay did -- thrust the nation into war. Audacious and bold, he and his war hawks were exhilarating company as they maneuvered a doubtful president and
a divided nation into a firm and fiery course..." -- but elation soon turns to confusion and fear -- the nation proved inadequately prepared, the prediction of swift victory proved wrong, a series of bloody defeats
followed...

The prophetic resonance of this conclusion becomes the more intriguing when one looks closely at the Clay motives... As a frontier representative, he was alarmed at the news that an Indian leader, Tecumseh, had stitched together an alliance of over 30 Indian tribes from the Ozarks to New York, in what Clay saw as a terrorist confederacy which was a serious menace to isolated frontier settlements... But the terrorist threat had to be confronted at its source: the state which offered succor and arms to the Indian axis of evil -- Britain. The solution: seize Canada to cut off the flow of arms to the terrorist confederacy. The problem: though
trans-Appalachian opinion enthusiastically supported the war summons, the east coast did not... The answer: rely upon the argument that Britain was a grave and gathering threat through its repeated seizure of American ships on the high seas, and impressment of sailors.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Misplaced Priorities of the Minnesota Republican Party

This slunk into my inbox today. It is from the Minnesota Republican Party newsletter:

2. PRESIDENT BUSH DECLARES SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE AMENDMENT TO CONSTITUTION

President Bush has announced his support for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman only. His announcement comes as Massachusetts courts and San Francisco city officials continue to make up their own laws while flagrantly violating those already in existence.

The President noted that, "after more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization."

A recent CNN poll shows overwhelming support for President Bush's viewpoint, with 64% stating that gay marriage should not be recognized under law.

EY: Well that got my blood boiling, so I sent this rant to the local log cabin list - as well as to the entire legislature.

Dear Chair Ebensteiner:

I think the Republican Party in Minnesota needs a lesson in Separation of
Powers. It seems that what you are really saying here is that Gays and
Lesbians should have no access to the courts? Are you saying that courts
should not have the authority to declare laws unconstitutional?

Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota has worked with the Republican City
Committee in Minneapolis for the last two years to reach out to the Gay and
Lesbian Community in Minneapolis. We've cosponsored booths at Twin Cities
Gay Pride and reached out there. There are many gay people who support the
President on tax and national defense policy. These people will not
tolerate a campaign that declares war on the gay community. I encourage
Gay Republicans to go to the March 2 Precinct caucuses and bring
resolutions forward in opposition to writing anti-gay discrimination into
the US and State Constitutions. I encourage gay Republicans to go to these
caucuses and speak out loudly and strongly against the morally bankrupt
policy of pandering to bigotry to gin up an anti-gay "base." Since I've
been "out" as a Gay Republican, I've gotten derided as a Jew for Hitler by
partisan Democrats.

This amendment won't just overturn decisions by "Activist Judges". It will
overturn local ordinances passed by duly elected local and state
officials. This amendment could also overturn a Wisconsin law (signed by
Republican Tommy Thompson) which allows gay partners hospital
visitation. After all that is part of the "legal instances thereof" of the
amendment being pushed by President Bush. This amendment could force
Massachusetts to ban gay marriages - even if voters in Massachusetts voters
defeat the proposed anti-gay Massachusetts amendment.

Our country faces serious challenges: a war on terrorism, war in Iraq,
spiralling job losses and a spiralling deficit. It is appalling that
instead of focusing on these serious and challenging issues, the President
has decided to focus on writing gays out of having constitutional
protections.

Democrat John Kerry is showing no courage on this issue either. He has now
taken a position in support of an anti-gay Massachusetts amendment. Gay
Democrats who say that Gay Republicans should cross party lines and vote
democrat now have a very weak case to make. John Edwards to his credit has
not supported anti-gay state amendments.

Will OutFront do the same here?

from the Indianapolis Star:

Gay Democrats ask for marital history of GOP legislators

By Tim Evans
tim.evans@indystar.com
February 24, 2004

Claiming divorce -- not same-sex unions -- is undermining the sanctity of marriage, a group of gay Democrats on Monday asked state GOP Chairman Jim Kittle to identify Republican legislators who have been divorced.

The request comes as House Republicans are attempting to force a vote on a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The amendment -- which Republicans last week called "the most important issue we're dealing with this session" -- was approved by the Senate but has been stalled in the House by Democratic leadership.

"We think it is fair to ask during this debate how many legislators who are demonizing gay marriage have actually committed the most grievous possible injury to the institution they claim to want to protect," said Linda Perdue, president of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats.

The political action committee, which works to elect gay and gay-friendly candidates to public office, also asked Kittle to release the marital histories of the party's two candidates for governor, Mitch Daniels and Eric Miller -- and their stands on a proposed constitutional ban.

"We will not be issuing a response to this," Kim Preston, press secretary for the Indiana Republican Party, told The Indianapolis Star.

A statement issued by Daniels' campaign said the candidate believes it is essential to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.

"If a constitutional amendment is necessary . . . then I will support it," Daniels said.

Ellen Whitt, deputy campaign manager for Daniels, said the candidate is married with four children. She would not comment on whether he had ever been divorced.

Miller said he supports an amendment as the best way to protect traditional marriage, which he called "the foundation of our society."

"Divorce is tragic, but it does not destroy the institution of marriage," said Miller, who noted he is divorced and has remarried.

"Legalizing same-sex marriage will destroy the institution of marriage."

In a related development Monday, leaders of the state's gay and transgender communities again urged legislators to update Indiana's civil rights law to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

"This is not a religious issue or a conservative or liberal issue. It's an issue of basic economic sense," said the Rev. Jeff Miner, chairman of the Interfaith Coalition on Nondiscrimination.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Bray, R-Martinsville, refused to allow a hearing on a bill that would have added those protections to the state law.

Chris Douglas, president of the Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, said discrimination against gay and transgender Hoosiers hurts efforts to attract new jobs.

"For sophisticated companies considering where to locate, that's a big issue," he said.

And until state leaders adopt a more inclusive attitude, Douglas warned, "Indiana will continue to be seen as a place where educated people and high-tech business are reluctant to settle."

EY: This would be a good one to push here. Stonewall DFL should do this.

The Question

from Atrios

The members of our sacred press corps are a wee bit slow, but eventually they start figuring things out. And, they've finally figured out the question which will be asked of just about every Democrat between now and November - "What's the difference between a civil union and a marriage?"

Edwards got a version of it yesterday.

Speaking to reporters yesterday afternoon, Edwards explained that he personally opposes gay marriage but supports civil unions, and believes each state should set its own marriage policy.

When asked why civil unions could not simply be called marriages, Edwards said, "My answer is the same."

Asked why states, not the federal government, should decide policy, he replied, "Because it's something I think should be decided by the states."

And when asked to explain his personal opposition to gay marriage, he snapped, "I'm done with that question."


I knew this would happen. This distinction was always a sham, because it's a distinction without a difference. Unless the candidates can articulate what the difference is, it's a losing strategy. Until they can articulate the difference, the press will keep asking.

EY: I think Ted Kennedy's term: civil marriage describes it better. This is really going to get nasty.

Senate Tally Anti-Gay Family Amendment

Money quote:

His most recent tally, which includes 61 Senators, is 28 for, 28 against, 3 cop-outs and 2 undecideds.

A couple of things stand out. One, the suprising unity within the Democratic caucus, with only the turncoat Miller supporting the amendment. Two, the fact that five Republicans have come out against the amendment, including Alexander (!), Campbell (kind of), Chaffee, Collins, and Hagel (!) (who is probably the Republican I most admire).

EY: This thing is Dead on Arrival. But the Massachusetts amendment is not. Kerry better hope no such amendment passes the Massachusetts legislature.

Stonewall Democrats Condemn Kerry

Statement on Kerry Support for Mass Amendment
Note: Statement is in response to comments reported today by the Boston Globe.

"Senator Kerry is wrong. We're disappointed and upset that he would endorse this measure. Amending a constitution is the most drastic step that can be taken. Senator Kerry has been a strong supporter of our community. We need him to now stand with us to fight any attempt to treat our families unequally.

Like the rest of the American public, we need to help Senator Kerry understand that there are major, substantial differences between civil unions and marriage. Civil unions do not provide the 1,049 federal benefits that only full marriage equality can guarantee."

- Dave Noble, Executive Director

This is a weak statement. I hope this stops the nonsense that LCR isn't speaking out strongly enough on this issue.

The FMA is dead on arrival in the Senate. There are a number of Republican Senators who have come out in opposition to this amendment. Collins, McCain, Bennett to name a few. Senator Coleman is not among them.

Daily Kos on Kerry:

As for Kerry and his support for a Massachusetts Hate Amendment? The guy's a spineless ass. What else can I say?

Republican Senate Candidates Support Bush - lose Republican Support

Dear Ms. Coxe:

I must sadly inform you that as a result of this latest press release regarding Mr. Martinez's support for amending the constitution, I cannot support his election to the US Senate.

To inscribe such a direct attack on states rights and on any particular segment of the American population into the US Constitution is unacceptable. Support for this so-called "marriage amendment" disqualifies any candidate for the Senate in my opinion. As a Republican, I have always subscribed to the principle that our party should strive to reduce and eliminate the intrusiveness of government from the private lives of citizens. The readiness of some Republican candidates to join a "culture war" quick to employ the heavy hand of the state contradicts that principle. I am obligated, therefore, to not only vote against Mr. Martinez in the Republican primary but to advocate as strenuously as possible that other Republicans reject Mr. Martinez's candidacy as well.

Member, [Local Florida] Republican Executive Committee

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
February 24, 2004 Contact: Jennifer Coxe
Phone: (407) 897-3130 ext 102/407-712-5300(cell)
www.melforsenate.org

Martinez Supports Protection of Marriage

Orlando, FL ­ Mel Martinez, the conservative Republican candidate for the United States Senate, issued the following statement in support of a constitutional amendment to preserve the sacrament of marriage between a man and woman.

“As a member of the United States Senate I would support a constitutional amendment to protect the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. It is unfortunate that liberal activist judges have
forced the legislative branch to amend the Constitution to protect an institution that is fundamental to the culture of American society.

“I applaud President Bush for his moral clarity on this issue at a time when liberals are using the judicial system to undermine the moral fabric of our society.

“When elected I will be a strong advocate for the confirmation of President Bush’s judicial nominees. Tom Daschle and the Senate Democrats should be ashamed of the political gamesmanship surrounding judicial confirmations that have brought us to this point. Florida families deserve better. America deserves better.”

###


Paid for by Martinez For Senate

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Bush FlipFlops on Marriage Rights

From Larry King moderating South Carolina debate, 2000:

Hat Tip Atrios


BUSH: It doesn't matter. Let's talk about that issue. Each person needs to be judged with their heart and soul. I don't ask the question what somebody's sexual orientation is. I don't ask the question.

KING: So if you have gays working for you, that's fine. And you don't have a problem. You'd appoint gays in the Cabinet, et cetera.

BUSH: Well, I'm not going to ask what their sexual orientation is.

KING: Oh, so you wouldn't know.

BUSH: I'm going to appoint conservative people in the Cabinet. It's none of my business what somebody's -- now when somebody makes it my business, like on gay marriage, I'm going to stand up and say I don't support gay marriage. I support marriage between men and women. KING: So if a state were voting on gay marriage, you would suggest to that state not to approve it?

BUSH: The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into.

KING: You just did. You have an opinion.

National Review Picks Up on Kerry's Position Statement on possible support of a Constitutional Amendment

KERRY ON FMA [Ramesh Ponnuru]

CNN has him saying the following: "If the amendment provides for partnership and civil union, which I believe is the appropriate way to extend rights, that would be a good amendment. I think that you need to have civil union. That's my position." What are we to make of this? The transcript doesn't make it clear what question he was answering, but he appears to be talking about the FMA. Could Kerry be open to an FMA that allows for legislated civil unions? I'm not sure. He may be saying that he would support an amendment only if it affirmatively established civil unions. Also, elsewhere in the transcript he indicates opposition to the FMA on states' rights grounds. But this leaves open the possibility that if FMA allows state legislatures to create civil unions, his objection would diminish, possibly to the point of support.

Clearly, opponents of FMA have decided that one of their strongest talking points is that it would prevent states from having civil unions, or other civil-rights protections for gays. I'm sure most of these opponents sincerely believe the FMA would do this. But they don't seem eager to debate the idea of an amendment that only bans same-sex marriage and judicial overreach. If I were sponsoring the amendment, I would do everything that can be done to clarify its language, so that there is no confusion about the amendment's scope.

EY: But doing this will anger the supporters of this amendment. It may get the support of the Alliance for Marriage - but other groups will have problems with this.

Larry King did very well with questioning Musgrove on the issue of judicial activism. She basically just doesn't want gays to have access to the courts. Unlike Bush, she was able to use the word gays.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Edwards Statement Opposing Constitutional Amendment On Gay Marriage

From Edwards Website:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 Contact: Jennifer Palmeiri
(919) 785-1900

Senator John Edwards (D-NC) released the following statement today:

"I oppose gay marriage. I also oppose President Bush's attempt to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage. Washington has no business playing politics with this issue. Marriage is left to the states today, and should remain with the states.

"I'm not surprised that the day after he kicked off his campaign, the president is already talking about gay marriage. He can't talk about jobs, because he has no new ideas to create jobs. He can't talk about health care, because he has no new ideas to hold down costs or cover every child. He can't talk about education, because he has no new ideas to help young people pay for the soaring cost of college.

"If President Bush wants to stand up for marriage, he ought to help millions of married couples who are living paycheck to paycheck. If he wants to stand up for marriage, he should tackle the marriage penalty that punishes poor families when they marry. He should help middle-class families save and invest. But instead of offering new ideas to help the families who are actually married, President Bush wants to play politics with the Constitution.

"We have had our Constitution for more than 200 years. We amended it to abolish slavery and ensure women could vote. We should not amend it over politics."

###

Monday, February 23, 2004

With Friends Like These?

Keith Boykin critizes John Kerry for suggesting he might support a Massachusetts anti-gay amendment and Jesse Jackson for going to Massachusetts to attack Gay Marriage.

From Keith Boykin's blog:

With friends like these, you know the rest. I like Jesse Jackson, and I don't necessarily have anything against John Kerry, but let's be honest. If you don't support marriage equality, then you don't support full equality for gays and lesbians. Civil unions are a step in the right direction, but they perpetuate the discredited doctrine of "separate but equal." If I drink from a "colored" water fountain and a white person drinks from the main fountain, we may be getting our water from the same pipe, but it can never be equal. I'm still a second-class citizen.

And we don't need any more history lessons about the suffering of black people that neglect the presence of black gays and lesbians. Not all blacks are straight and not all gays are white. They didn't have the names to describe themselves then, but there were slaves who were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.

If the civil rights movement was just about black folk getting our own, then it was a colossal waste of time. When some blacks urged Dr. King to focus only on racial injustice, he rejected their pleas and expanded his campaign to address poverty and war and other social maladies. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," he said.

That's why Jesse Jackson's comparison between blacks and gays misses the point. There's no virtue in black people positioning ourselves at the top of the hierarchy of oppression. It matters not which group is most oppressed, or which is first oppressed, or whether they are identically oppressed. What matters is that no group of people should be oppressed.

Kerry and Jackson have a history of supporting the LGBT community, so I'm not ready to give up on them without trying to educate them first. I don't expect everyone to agree with us, but I don't expect them to be against us either. Supporting a constitutional amendment against gays and lesbians is against us, and Kerry and Jackson need to know that many of us will draw the line right there.

EY: This point needs to be made with democrats regularly.

Rev James Meeks is the anti-gay Chicago State Senator

This article talks about how Meeks helped defeat a Gay Equal Rights bill in Illinois.

There's a web forum for Salem Baptist Church discussing Gay Marriage.

The church claims over 17,000 members.

From Debate on Kerry's webforum.....
Freedom, you're absolutely right. I'm a Black Baptist, and a lifelong Democrat. My pastor has encouraged the 18,000+ members of my church to be active in politics. This issue was mentioned specifically from the pulpit as one reason we need to make our voices heard. Absolutely NO to gay marriage--marriage is a man/woman thing!

I sent this person a personal message:

EY: What church was this?

Eva Young

The church is the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago, and my pastor is also a state senator.

EY: Perhaps this character needs to become an ex-state senator.

I'm now trying to get a name for this Pastor.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Passion of the Christ Nail Sale

Here. This should get an alt.tasteless award.