Ix-nay on the Omo-hay Ate-hay

Steve M at the excellent No More Mr. Nice Blog has an interesting analysis on the right’s relative silence (so far) on the overturning of Prop 8. As Steve notes, Maddow addressed it on last night’s show.

There are wingnuts flipping out about the Sodom and Gomorrah-ization of America, of course. They include what passes for the intellectual voice of the conservative movement over at William F. Buckley’s desecrated online grave.

But the response has been strangely muted. Even Palin declined to tut-tut the destruction of the family when spoon-fed a line by Sean Hannity during her bizarre appearance on his show earlier this week. She claimed she hadn’t had time to read the ruling. Since when has ignorance ever stopped Palin from opining?

The theory is that the tea-hadists appeal to swing voters on a libertarian basis and that overt social conservatism would drive independents back into the arms of the relatively sane Democrats. All true, I think. Steve speculates the word has gone out to keep the insane homophobia under wraps until the election is over so as not to frighten off moderates.

As we’ve all noted before, the tea-hadi element is the Bush dead-enders rebranded, led by lunatics like Glenn Beck. If the nutty discussions on their message boards are any indication, I’m not sure they can keep the homo-hatred under their tri-cornered hats until November.

And that’s one reason it’s a crying shame Obama chose to react to the overturning of Prop 8 in such a tepid, illogical and unhelpful manner. I didn’t expect him to hail the ruling or undergo an epiphany on marriage equality—he’s been clear about his position.

However, the fact is, he’s where most moderates are on the issue, which is not where we lefties are, but not where the far right (including the tea-hadis) are either. This might have been a good time to bring attention to that distinction and simultaneously goad the homophobes into overplaying their hand. It’s not too late, Mr. President.

Posted by Betty Cracker on 08/06/10 at 08:37 AM • Permalink

Categories: LGBTPoliticsNuttersSarah PalinTeabaggery

Share this post:  Share via Twitter   Share via BlinkList   Share via del.icio.us   Share via Digg   Share via Email   Share via Facebook   Share via Fark   Share via NewsVine   Share via Propeller   Share via Reddit   Share via StumbleUpon   Share via Technorati  

With regards to Obama’s tepid reaction, I think he’s probably trying to keep it calm for the same reasons the right is trying to keep a lid on the rampant homophobia - November is approaching fast and he doesn’t want to rock the boat with conservative Dems.

No doubt, Tom, and certainly in the past when I was hoping Obama would come out swinging, a calm approach proved extremely effective. I just think maybe he’s missing an opportunity to underscore that his position is similar to most moderate Americans’ position and to further paint the tea party loons as, well, loons. That seems to be the DNC strategy for the mid-terms (not that their political acumen is above reproach).

Thanks for the kind words. 

And as for Obama, he has a position that’s either nuanced or convoluted, depending on how you look at it (gay marriage is wrong but banning it is also wrong).  It would be great if he could get righties to overplay their hand, even by deploying a position I find very disappointing—but making nuanced positions sound simple and clear and commonsensical hasn’t really been his strong suit, has it?

The loons will be loons, and the White House can stay above the fray and let them hang themselves.

I rather enjoyed watching Axelrod stammer and squirm his way through that tortured answer.  I’m glad it was hard for him to get the words out.  I hope they stuck in his throat.  And I hope he went back to Obama and told him, man, I can’t keep doing that for you.

That being said, I’m over the whole bully pulpit thing.  All that happens if Obama comes out definitively for anything is that it strengthens the GOP’s resolve to take that thing and pull its wings off and burn it with cigarettes while masturbating over it.

They’re keeping quiet now. Today. Das Base wants moar homo-hate (fReeperville went to Kill ‘Em All! as soon as the ruling came out).

I expect the lunatics running the asylum will soon bow to their wishes, especially if Walker turns down the Flop 8rs request for a stay until it reaches IX. (Filings from both parties are due today. Stay tuned ...)

As for Obama: I passed the point where I could be surprised when he pulls some ancient kung-fu magic out of a sleeve and knocks his opponents on their ass back during the primary. Now I just watch his hands in hopes of seeing how he does it.

Todd’s gay I KNEW IT!!! She’s been hiding him this whole time…

...making nuanced positions sound simple and clear and commonsensical hasn’t really been his strong suit, has it?

I think that’s a Democratic governing philosophy problem more than an Obama problem. Wingnut positions are so much easier to boil down to a slogan like “Drill, baby, drill!”

I think that’s a Democratic governing philosophy problem more than an Obama problem. Wingnut positions are so much easier to boil down to a slogan like “Drill, baby, drill!”

Ah-yup. And even when Dems do find a good framing (fwiw, I thought Clinton’s “keep abortion safe, legal, and rare” was pretty solid), it’s not like it actually changes anybody’s mind. It may make “the base” (whoever they are) feel better about having that reassurance in a soundbite, but it’s not necessarily going to translate into more votes for a liberal policy.

It’s a little odd watching this play out from over here.

There’s no way you could claim that homophobia’s dead in the UK, but the days when there was any great political capital to be gained from taking a grand stand against such things as discussing homosexuality in sex ed in schools and civil partnerships for gay couples appear to gone, at least as far as the mainstream parties are concerned.

And we do call them civil partnerships. The certificate I share with Ms. YAFB is also a civil partnership, as there was no religion involved. But people call us married, and the piece of paper’s called a marriage certificate.

And gay friends here also colloquially refer to themselves as being married, talk about their husbands, etc.

From listening and reading, I understand it’s not just a question of terminology, but of according equal respect without even a nuance of differentiation to imply one arrangement is inferior to another.

But I wonder how many of those moderates you mention are hung up on the language, not the reality of the rights (and responsibilities) such a union confers?

I think you nailed it, YAFB—it’s the language that’s the sticking point, and I believe it is inextricably linked (as are so many things over here!) with our eternal battle over the separation of church and state.

I would be happiest if we got rid of the concept of “marriage” altogether as a legal entity—even people who are “married” in church don’t have legal status until they sign the state’s paperwork. So I’d prefer civil unions with full rights and protection across the board. If churches want to call it something else, fine.

But as Betty points out, that’s a tough nut to crack. And I completely understand why gay-marriage advocates kick back against the notion of “civil unions” as a way of enshrining second-class citizenship in perception, if not policy.

My gay sister and her partner are all for just calling it a civil union if that will afford them the same protections and benefits my hubby and I got with a $25 marriage license.

It’s easy for me to be an absolutist, but they, on the other hand, had to spend several hundred dollars in legal fees to establish all kinds of contingency plans, and they still miss out on other benefits I take for granted, like tax treatment, etc. Luckily, they can afford it. Many can’t.

Bottom line, it’s a sucky situation. I think a “separate but equal” measure will pass before true marriage equality ever happens in the US. We make progress. But slowly.

I really didn’t get it until I got it.

A marriage license, that is.

We were already registered domestic partners in California, a designation that was already on track to provide us with as close to the same benefits of marriage that are up to the state to determine.  We’ve actually been required to file state income tax jointly for several years, which necessitates filing individually with the Feds, then preparing a mock 1040 as if we were married filing jointly to obtain the correct figures to transfer to our CA tax form.

Norberto and I rushed to obtain our license and marry on June 17, 2008, the first day they were issued, primarily because we anticipated the backlash of Prop 8, and also because we wanted to make ourselves part of the class of Californians with valid same-sex marriage licenses for the inevitable lawsuits.

But the actual process of the marriage itself made us equal in some weird way that our existing “civil partnership” did not.  Our families are now, for lack of a better word, forced* to view each other as relatives, even past our individual lifetimes.  Our partnership has the same impact on all the rest of our relationships that yours does.

If calling it something else is the concession that finally pushes it over the threshold into reality everywhere in the US, I’ll be open to discussing that option at that time.

But for now, I’m a “Give me marriage or give me death” guy.

* Really, it’s not as bad as that word sounds, but yes, some of our relatives still need a lot of coaching. It’s not hostility or ill wishes, it’s more the thousand cuts of awkward silence.

I think a “separate but equal” measure will pass before true marriage equality ever happens in the US.

Hard to say.  This was an impressive victory since it was decided on constitutional grounds.  It will undoubtedly end up in the Supreme Court and if the decision there is that marriage discrimination violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the constitution with respect to gay and lesbian individuals, as the judge in CA concluded that it does, then gay marriage would suddenly be legal everywhere.

But for now, I’m a “Give me marriage or give me death” guy.

Hear! Hear! (And congrats!)

Really, if people are quibbling over semantics, they’re either about to shut up about it all together (so keep pushing) or they’ll never shut up (so ... fuck ‘em with Maggie G.‘s dick).

Or to put it another way, the fRighties aren’t all “Well we’re cool with that,” when states pass civil union laws.


Hmmm. I wonder if Walker looked at the Commerce Clause angle?

To be clear, my objections have to do with my own pissy feelings about churches (some of them, anyway) believing that their institutional prejudices should be enshrined as a matter of law, and their fixation on “sacred unions” just feeds that beast, IMO.

If “marriage” is this big sacred dealie for them, then let them have the ceremony and call it whatever the fuck they want. But the only thing that actually MEANS anything legally should be the secular law.

Of course, I can’t imagine any circumstances under which I’d want to be married - or under which anyone would ever want me as their ball and chain. ;)

To be clear, my objections have to do with my own pissy feelings about churches (some of them, anyway) believing that their institutional prejudices should be enshrined as a matter of law, and their fixation on “sacred unions” just feeds that beast, IMO.

Churches are already perfectly free to not recognize marriages that they don’t approve of.  The Catholic are past masters at this as far as divorced folk getting married again, people marrying in another church, etc.  Nothing about this decision will force them to recognize same sex marriages if they don’t want to.  Marriage is a civil contract between two people and the state and whether certain church folk approve of it or not just shouldn’t enter into the argument.

But the only thing that actually MEANS anything legally should be the secular law.

Well, them’s the rules now and have been for who knows how long. That’s one reason anyone (especially if they’re married) who claims this is some sort of assault on religion deserves a punch in the face.

And, the priest or rabbi or whoever has to be licensed by the state to perform marriage ceremonies. But some how the NOMers aren’t fighting to wrest these sacred functions from the state’s grip.

That’s one reason anyone (especially if they’re married) who claims this is some sort of assault on religion deserves a punch in the face.

Yup, and that’s really all they’ve got—corner them on it, and they’ll point to a line in a book every single time. Their other arguments collapse, as Judge Walker so painstakingly documented, god love him.

Like I said, I’m an absolutist on this issue. But it’s easy for me to be so, since I’m married to a dude and all. I can sympathize with gay couples who just want the damn rights under whatever nomenclature too.

Some asshat letter writer in the New York Times today was moaning about how this was an assault on “divine and natural law.” Fuck that. Our laws are based on the constitution, period.

I guess (big picture now) I have never really understood why the state has any business regulating private adult romantic relationships in any form—I mean, now that women aren’t legally chattel and all. Parents should be required to support their children, regardless of marital status. Beyond that, I don’t see why it’s necessary for the state to certify whether two consenting adults want to call themselves “married.” In other words, if I had my ideal world, two people could decide to be married and make up their own contract regarding how the mutual property would be divided, medical power of attorney, etc. (Oh and hey, speaking of—not married, so I better get one of them-there death-panel living-will thingamabobs in place!) And everyone would pay taxes at the rate for single people—with deductions for dependent children divided fairly between the parents.

Of course, such an ideal world also presupposes the existence of universal health coverage that doesn’t make people rely upon partners or employers to get healthcare, and of a world where hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions don’t get to deny visitation rights because they don’t like gay relationships. So you know—it’s not gonna happen, so let’s just make marriage a right for everyone. (Except Rush Limbaugh—fuck that guy!) I mean, why does the state have to put a seal of approval on who people choose to partner up with?

But Betty is right—opponents of gay marriage really HAVE no good constitutional arguments, so they are forced to go back to “divine law” or “natural law.” I hope (and would pray, except for that whole “atheist” thing) that this case will end up being what Loving vs. Virginia was for interracial marriages.

One more thing: I think my general disgruntlement over marriage debates boils down to the assumption that marriage is preferable to single-ness, that married people make the world a more grown-up and stable place, are the bedrock of our society, etc., etc. Having seen how much collateral damage can be caused by spectacularly mismatched folks, I have no patience with that line. So maybe what I really am advocating is closer to this.

Comment by Oblomova on 08/06/10 at 03:59 PM

And here I hasten to add that I’m not talking about my own dear departed parents, who had a pretty darn good union for 41 years and who would have—and did—find it appalling that their gay friends and relatives weren’t allowed to have the same kind of legally recognized union.

Heh, The Onion comes through again. I think there’s something to be said for the institution (marriage, not the laughing academy). I don’t mean in the sense that it’s superior to being single, but rather that it’s nice that when you form a unit, your family and society at large recognize it and ideally support it.

That could happen in any number of ways, of course, but in our culture, it’s called “marriage,” so it frosts my cookies that so many couples are excluded from it due to widespread sky fairy delusions. Absurd.

Yeah, I just think the particulars of how that unit is recognized should be left up to the participants—let them tailor it and create contracts that serve THEIR needs, not the perceived imperatives of society. It’s one of the many things that drives me nuts about American culture—the continuing belief that there must be one-size-fits-all solutions, no matter how increasingly diverse and complicated things get.

But you know, I’d like to see more progressives talk about the links between a poor economy and divorce rates and say “If you REALLY want to encourage stronger families, you’d make it easier for families to get healthcare so they don’t face medical bankruptcy. You’d make it easier for there to be affordable childcare and elder care so that people in the ‘sandwich generation’ don’t have to choose between their kids and their parents. Look around: how many divorces do you know came about because economic stress killed the relationship?”

Of course, they’d just respond with some bootstrap nonsense as Newt Gingrich dumps Wife Number Four or Five for another idiot ingenue to whom he will pledge his eternal undying sacred troth.

See I have been saying this for years.  (And echoing YAFB) ALL marriages should be civil unions unless they are performed in a Church (and I do not believe that we should force Churches who are opposed to it to perform marriages).  DH and I were married by a magistrate, so basically what we have is a “civil union” we choose to call ourselves “married” but of course it is simply a civil contract performed in front of the magistrate.  The easiest way to get round this entire mess is to declare all marriages “civil unions” and infering all the rights thereto on the parties thereby making us all equal, if you get “married” in a church or a synagogue or whatever then it is a “marriage”.  I absolutely loved looking at the pictures of John Barrowman’s “civil commitment ceremony” to his long time love on his website.  The doggies were the bridesmaids.

(And echoing YAFB) ALL marriages should be civil unions unless they are performed in a Church

To be fair, I wasn’t saying that they should be, so much as making the more banal observation that they are civil unions—in law. Even those that have a religious ceremony attached.

Of course, that ignores the human need for romance—which I think has to include the freedom to name and define your relationships however you want, without it being greeted by raised eyebrows, or worse. But that’s something you have to figure out for yourself, with the state—indeed, everyone else in the world—butting out as far as possible.

Whatever. I’ll never understand how some people can be so threatened by other people’s relationships and how they choose to live their lives. Surely most of us have enough on our plates trying to figure out what the heck we’re doing ourselves without trying to police others at that level, let alone pretend that we’re somehow superior, or even perfect?

Page 1 of 1 pages

Sorry, commenting is closed for this post.

Next entry: Sarah Tweets Lies

Previous entry: Grizzly Deeds, Womanly Words*

<< Back to main