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Friday, July 16, 2004

Dr Seuss Cover with Cornyn, Santorum and planty of Turtles

Via Atrios....

John Cornyn and his Box Turtle makes the Daily Show
Chris Nelson paraphrases Jon Stewart: 

So we need two-thirds of the Senate and 3/4 of the states to ratify an amendment that tells us that a man and a woman is better than a single man, which is better than two gay men, which is equal to a man screwing a box turtle.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

A Modest Proposal:  The FARM Amendment
By Jay Bookman, Atlanta Journal Constitution

If the real, underlying issue in this debate is the fear that human beings will someday be allowed to marry animals -- if Smoltz, Dailey and others are honestly and truly worried by that prospect -- then let's address that issue head on. Let's pass a Federal Animals, Relationships and Marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution that outlaws all interspecies marriages, period.

The FARM act would have two other important advantages over the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. First, this is a deeply divided nation, and the last thing we need is something to get us even angrier at one another. What we need instead is something that will unite us, a cause that all of us can rally behind. And surely all Americans -- with the notable exception of one very lonely guy out in Missouri -- can get behind the FARM act and thus protect human-to-human marriage from this dire threat.

By championing the FARM act, President Bush could finally make good on his promise to be a uniter, not a divider. And John Kerry could use the amendment to demonstrate yet again that there are some issues too important to compromise on. As far as I know, he is now and has always been opposed to human-animal sex, even during the '60s.
Second, and more important, my proposal would address a glaring loophole that Dailey, Smoltz and other courageous crusaders against bestiality have apparently overlooked.

Pixel, you see, is a female pony, which means that technically speaking, she and Mark in Missouri have actually enjoyed a stable, heterosexual relationship. A ban on same-sex marriage would do nothing to prevent them joining in holy matrimony. Only the FARM act can save the republic from that travesty.

Call your congress critters!

Ohio Focus Group on the role of Gay Marriage in the Presidential Campaign
Ohio is the battleground state.  From USA Today

There was one issue most say they already have heard too much about: gay marriage. "That's the kind of social issue that ought to be handled at the state level or some other level," Goddard says with exasperation. While their views on the issue differ, 10 of the 12 say they think politicians should be spending less time on it. They spoke on the eve of a procedural vote in the Senate that blocked a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

The Hammer Joins in the GOP Gay Bashing
From the Hill
The idea is "court stripping" - to strip federal courts of their authority to rule on DOMA related cases. 

Strike section 2(a) and insert the following:
1 (a) IN GENERAL. --- Chapter 99 of title 28, United2 States Code, is amended by adding at the end the fol-3 lowing:4 "§1632. Limitation on jurisdiction5 "No court created by Act of Congress shall have any6 jurisdiction, and the Supreme Curt shall have no appellate jurisdiction, to hear or decide any question pertaining8 to the interpretation of, or the validity under the Constitution of, section 1738C or this section.".

Delay wants to use this for other cases where he doesn't like judicial rulings. 
Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) told reporters yesterday that he plans to use "jurisdiction stripping" measures to achieve other social policy goals as well. [For an example of the legislative language that would be used, see below.]For example, he will push legislation to stop federal courts from hearing lawsuits related to the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.The U.S. Constitution establishes only the Supreme Court but leaves it to Congress to "ordain and establish" the lower federal courts. Arguably, therefore, Congress has the right determine the federal courts’ jurisdiction. "That [Supreme Court] building is the Taj Mahal. … Everybody should stay away from it," he said about Congress’s past unwillingness to challenge Supreme Court decisions. DeLay said the time is "not quite ripe" to apply the GOP’s new legislative tactics to the issue of abortion. The majority leader’s decision to consider voting on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is a change of tack. When authorities in San Francisco began issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples in the spring of this year, DeLay appeared to oppose amending the Constitution.But yesterday he told reporters that the Senate action had moved the politics of the issue ahead. "The fact that the Senate brought it up for a vote made you all write about it," he said, adding, "The debate has been joined.  The protection-of-marriage amendment is not an offensive action; it is a defensive action taken in direct response to the brazen usurpation of legislative authority by four judges in Boston."

There's also an effort to pass a DOMA in DC (whose residents don't have a vote in congress): 
Lawmakers kicked aides out of their weekly conference meeting yesterday to discuss alternative approaches to blocking gay marriage. Members of the Republican Study Group also discussed the issue.Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) has proposed a Definition of Marriage Act (DOMA) for Washington, D.C. DOMA has defined marriage in 38 states but not in the District of Columbia, which the Constitution gives Congress the authority to regulate. Davis told The Hill that one idea would be to vote on her proposal as an amendment to the D.C. appropriations bill. "That’s a thought; it’s something we are contemplating," she said. "It depends on leadership."

It sounds like it's pretty testy down there if they are kicking out congressional staff for their meeting on this issue. 
The Republican war against gays continues.  Stay tuned. 

Stupid is as Stupid Does (by Chuck Muth)

The timing of the Senate vote on the federal marriage amendment was rushed and political.  Everyone knows it.  Those trying to "spin" it otherwise simply are being disingenuous (at best).  What the GOP wanted was a vote on FMA to use against candidates in the fall elections and during the upcoming Democrat national convention.  They’ve said all along the purpose of bringing up a bill they knew wouldn’t pass was to get everybody on record.  And they fully expected the Democrats to filibuster the bill, accepting that, in itself, as a vote against the marriage amendment.

Well, as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for. 

The Democrats threw the Republicans an unexpected major league curve by AGREEING to an up or down vote on the bill the Republicans said they wanted an up or down vote on.  Why?  Because it turns out there’s even LESS support for this bad idea among Republicans than GOP leaders thought.
What was expected to be a defeat which could be used for political advantage in November’s election started to look like a truly embarrassing defeat which would completely undermine the issue’s potency at the polls.  Recognizing the potential for, not just a defeat, but a humiliating Custer-like rout, Republicans begged the Democrats to allow the bill to be amended to new language which wouldn’t be so objectionable.  The Democrats, understandably, told them to pound dirt.

So what we now have is Republicans, basically, filibustering THEIR OWN BILL.  Good grief.  So instead of an up or down vote on the FMA itself, we’re looking at a procedural vote on “cloture,” which is likely to pick up more GOP votes than a vote on the bill itself.  And Republicans hope to then be able to call their effort a “success,” even though it won’t really be a vote on the merits of their constitutional amendment for which there is little actual support.  Ah, the games people play.

The vote on *something*...who knows what, furious backroom machinations are going on 'round the expected to take place around noon today.  Let’s hope Republicans wise up, take their well-deserved loss and drop this constitutionally dumb issue once and for all. 

But something tells me even Vegas wouldn’t make book on that happening.  Stupid is as stupid does.

President Bush Reacts to FMA becoming DOA in the US Senate

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 14, 2004
Statement by the President

I am deeply disappointed that the effort to pass a constitutional amendment affirming the sanctity of marriage as being between a man and a woman was temporarily blocked in the Senate.

Activist judges and local officials in some parts of the country are not letting up in their efforts to redefine marriage for the rest of America -- and neither should defenders of traditional marriage flag in their efforts.

It is important for our country to continue the debate on this important issue, and I urge the House of Representatives to pass this amendment.


Daily Kos discusses Outing Story

When Push Comes to Shove, Kerry/Edwards went AWOL

Kerry and Edwards were the only two Senators not voting on the cloture motion - which was what killed the FMA in the Senate. This is from a Gay Democrat that was posted on a number of gay lists.

By a vote of 50 - 48, it's been determined the Federal Marriage Amendment will not be debated in this legislative session.

That's all that happened today; the amendment itself is not dead.

What I find highly suspicious, and am uneasy about, is there were only two United States Senators who did not cast a vote either for or against the amendment.

Senators John Kerry and John Edwards.

I don't like that - the presumptive Democratic candidates for President and Vice-President, and neither felt the issue was important enough for them to vote upon it?

Just as Bush is doing - Kerry and Edwards are playing politics with our lives and relationships. Now both can, truthfully, say they did not vote for allowing gays and lesbians to marry... and if the political winds should suddenly change, they can also truthfully say they did not vote against allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

I get the feeling, no matter which party wins in November, it's going to be a long, long 4 years.

This reiterates the need for having gays be active in both parties.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

FMA Loses Big Time in the Senate

The vote for cloture was 48-50 against. 60 votes were needed for cloture. They would have lost up to 12 Republicans if it had gone for a vote.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Creationist Drivel Sold at Grand Canyon

PZ Meyers comments.

Vatican Hypocrisy

From Andrew Sullivan:

RED-HANDED?: But pictures of priests having sex with each other and downloading child-porn is just a "childish prank." The Vatican has no comment. But allowing committed gay couples to marry will cause the downfall of civilization.

Daschle has it right

San Francisco Chronicle

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said Republicans could not "get their act together" and insisted that Lynne Cheney, the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, "had it right this weekend" when she told CNN that states should maintain their authority over marriage laws and refusing to answer directly whether she supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The Cheneys' daughter Mary is a lesbian who is working on her father's campaign.

"The wife of the vice president was right," Daschle said. "We ought to listen to her advice."

Bookburning by the Leviticus Crowd

Pharyngula explains.

Kerry/Edwards Punt


I'm disgusted that Kerry/Edwards aren't showing up for the cloture vote also. This is the only way they will be able to put themselves on the record with a vote on this issue.

Clearly the Democrats don't want to vote on the Smith version - marriage is between a man and a woman. The Musgrave version was too extreme.

Clearly Stonewall, the HRC and NGLTF are giving Kerry/Edwards a pass on the cloture vote. Kind of like the same crowd gave Bill Clinton and the Democrats a pass on DOMA.

As Dale Carpenter wrote:

I hope all my Democratic friends, especially those who've been raising money for Kerry, will call/email his campaign and tell them how important this is. Even if it's just a cloture vote, it will be tantamount to a vote on the substance. And it's important to beat this thing by the widest possible margin.

If Kerry/Edwards are not there for us on the most important issue of our lives, why should we trust they'll be there for us in the future?

Steve Miller on the Independent Gay Forum's Culturewatch and the Associated Press misleads us on this.

The AP is reporting, "Kerry, Edwards May Not Vote on Marriage." I suspect enough pressure will be brought to bear that they show up; if it's not, and they don't, then the foot lickers over at the Human Rights Campaign should be run out of town on a rail.

Kerry and Edwards are clearly punting here. However, the campaign has said they would vote if the FMA got to the floor. Ofcourse they very much want the Gordon Smith version of the FMA not come to a vote. I encourage people to call and email the Kerry Campaign asking that Kerry and Edwards show up to vote against cloture.

Log Cabin Republicans Respond to Bush's Radio Address Promoting the Divisive Anti-Gay Bush Amendment

Here..... and here. Go to the Log Cabin website to contribute to the fight for Inclusion and Liberty in the Republican Party.

Letter sent to Norm Coleman, R, Minnesota

Sen. Coleman:

Permit me to introduce myself. My name is [deleted]. I live in Jim Ramstad’s district, in Geoff Michel’s Senate District 41, in Alice Seagren’s house District 41A. I retired from twenty-seven year’s total service in the Army and Marines last Memorial day. I grew up in the Navy; my father was a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and I served in combat in Panama.

My family and I felt this election so important that I’m delaying finding a full-time job until after the elections so that I can spend my time as one of two Volunteer Coordinators for Bush-Cheney 04 in Bloomington.

I’m also volunteering for Alice in her state house race, walking precincts and helping with her sign committee. My wife and I believe that you teach your kids by example, and ours have at four and seven years old already walked precincts with us for the school levy last year, and will walk precincts for Bush and for Alice this year.

During my years in the service, I kept a copy of the constitution with me virtually all the time, even in the field, even in combat. I took my oath to protect and defend it seriously enough that I re-read it and highlighted and made notes in it every single year of my service. I went through eight or nine copies in twenty-seven years. I have risked my life to protect it. I have very little patience with those who would twist it to serve their own ends. I am willing to spend time and treasure to defeat those who would harm it and to aid those who protect it.

The issue of same-sex marriage represents a basic change in the social contract of America. Along with many other conservatives, I feel strongly that such a change should never be made by judges, but only by our elected representatives after the debate due such a serious issue. I have engaged in lengthy debates with Log Cabin Republicans here and in other states (email is a wonderful thing) about what effect same-sex parents might have on children, on society and on personal behavior. These are all legitimate subjects for debate, and the charges of “gay-basher”, “homophobe” or “gay-hater” flung out the instant anyone doesn’t adopt the position approved by Out Front or other radical GLBT groups irritates me because it is adolescent, ad hominem argument unworthy of a trained high school debater or student in Logic 101. In fact, it irritates me as much as signs at our state capital urging the death penalty for homosexuals, and for much the same reason.

It’s argued that the FMA is divisive. Gee, so what? All political issues divide people into for and against; that is the nature of democracy. It’s argued that the FMA is a hate amendment, which is nonsense, and intellectually on par with other ad hominem arguments. It’s argued that FMA enshrines discrimination into the Constitution; I hate to let on, but to discriminate means “to choose”. Arguing against discrimination is nothing less than demanding we give up the right to choose. Nonetheless, that last is a legitimate argument that deserves debate. I hope that happens – at the state level.

However, this debate belongs at the state level. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution enumerates all the subjects upon which Congress may legislate. All others are reserved to the States. Please respond to me and indicate by what logic you feel the Federal Marriage Amendment and marriage in general fall under its provisions. If you agree with me that the Constitution does not allow the Congress to consider this issue, I hope you reconsider your vote for the FMA.

By the way, in case any one in your office wonders, I’m straight, have always been straight, and have no interest in “the gay lifestyle”. I saw it up close and personal as a cab driver in the gayest city in the country, Seattle, before I joined the Army, and I found the kind of gay lifestyle that existed then and there personally repugnant. Unfortunately, I have principles, one of which is that an acid test proving whether one truly loves liberty is one’s willingness to defend behavior one in fact finds personally repugnant. I don’t trust the government to handle public affairs without the elaborate chains of check and balance hung around it by our Founding Fathers. I surely don’t trust the government to tell me I can’t practice one or another sexual habit with my wife in the privacy of our home. The government has no business in my bedroom, or anyone else’s.

I look forward to your response.

Letter send to Gordon Smith (R, Oregon) from an Oregon resident

As I mentioned to you at Dorchester after your speech, a Federal Marriage Amendment at this time is premature and will remain premature until the U.S. Supreme Court declares that full faith and credit must be accorded a same-sex marriage. Normal conflict of laws rules which allow states to refuse full faith and credit when the out-of-state act violates the public policy of the state in which full faith and credit is sought would very likely preclude any such decision.

In addition, the currently proposed versions of FMA would, by necessary implication, amend the First Amendment's Establishment and Free Exercise clauses, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments' Due Process clauses, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments' reserved powers provisions, and the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. This massive denigration of the major civil rights provisions of our Constitution is dishonorable and un-American.

I call upon you to resist any such approach to a problem which does not yet exist.

John Cornyn and His Box Turtle

Parody lyrics by Charles Eliot Mehler

(c) 2004, all rights reserved

Posted by permission of Author at Lloydletta

(To the tune of "Red Roses for a Blue Lady.")

Make way for John Cornyn and his box turtle
Mister Fam'ly Values has a friend
I hear he calls his turtle his "turtle dove"
They're poster children for the cause of human-reptile love
Make way for John Cornyn and his box turtle
Down in Texas, That's the way to be
They're living there in sin
And soon we'll see them in....
A sitcom on Thursday nights on N-B-C!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Sen Norm Coleman and the Gay Pride Proclamations

by Dan Dobson
published on Lloydletta with permission of the Author.

O.K. here is the story on Mische and the dog scratching at the door. When Norm first refused to sign the Pride Proclamation in 1973, it was shrugged off. In 1994 a group, ironically lead by Susan Kimberly tried to draft language Coleman would find acceptable. In 1993 I think he talked about being "gay" as a lifestyle choice. People must have gotten his ear, because by 1994, he changed his tune to, something like, "While being gay is not a lifestyle choice, bisexuality and trans-sexuality is, and since they are included in the proclamation, I won't sign it."

By the 2nd or 3rd meeting it was only me and Susan Kimberly and one other Trans-woman, who I didn't recall. At the next meeting it was only me Alberto Quintella. Quintella said, "Come with me, there's someone I want you to meet." He then introduced me to Eric Mische. We chatted amicably for about 5 minutes and he then told this story. Mische said that he had a little dog and each night that little dog wanted to come into his bedroom. And each night he locked that little dog in the kitchen and it scratched and scratched at the door and whined to be let into his bedroom. Then he said this, and I will remember it as long as I live, "And just like that little dog, no matter how much you scratch at the door, we aren't going to let you in".

Then when the ADL gave Norm a civil rights award shortly thereafter, Leo Treadway came dressed as a dog, to mock Mische's comments.

Cornyn and Box Turtles

Via Andrew Sullivan.

CORNYN AND BOX TURTLES: From Senator John Cornyn's press secretary: "For what it's worth, Sen. Cornyn did not, in his speech to the Heritage Foundation, use the 'box turtles' quote. The Post was given a copy of remarks 'as prepared,' but Sen. Cornyn did not like that passage, and did not use it. The Post, which did not attend the speech, reported the quote nonetheless. Sen. Cornyn said that he did not think that statement appropriate, that's why he didn't use it. I've advised the Post of this fact."

The Staff did it huh? If the remarks were an advance copy provided to the Washington Post, then there is no reason for the Post to issue a correction.

Might be worth asking event attendees to verify this.

Box Turtles?

"It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right. . . . Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife."

-- Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), advocating a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in a speech Thursday to the Heritage Foundation.

Hat Tip: Washington Post via Andrew Sullivan

Norm Coleman on the Hate Amendment

From constituent correspondance.

Thank you for contacting me regarding the “Federal Marriage Amendment” (S.J. Res. 30 and H.J. Res. 56).

The “Federal Marriage Amendment” was introduced in the U.S. Senate by
Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) on March 22, 2004. Its companion resolution in the House of Representatives was introduced by Representative Marilyn
Musgrave (R-CO) on May 21, 2003. Both resolutions have been referred to
each chamber’s respective Judiciary Committee for consideration.

These resolutions propose a constitutional amendment holding that only
marriages between men and women will be recognized as legal marriages in the United States. In addition, these resolutions would prohibit any state or federal laws that seek to confer marital status to unmarried couples or groups.

My two chief concerns about these particular resolutions are that the
language appears to go beyond the issue of defining marriage and into other matters like health care, for example and that they substitute the judgment citizens of each state should make through their legislatures. That said, I do support a constitutional amendment that would constitutionalize the Defense of Marriage Act, ensuring that the citizens of a state, through their legislature, have the right to define marriage as they see fit. While, this right is protected by current Federal law, recent court rulings suggest that a constitutional amendment may also be necessary. As you know, the Defense of Marriage Act passed the House and Senate by overwhelming, bipartisan majorities, 342 – 67 in the House and 85 – 14 in the Senate.

Thank you once again for contacting me. I value your advice. If I can be
of further assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to
contact me again.

Surprising Opposition to the FMA

Lynne Cheney on Late Edition expressed opposition to the Hate Amendment. Lawdork has some good analysis.