Gay marriage is a conservative idea

Lost amid the cheering as the Supreme Court finally ends the battle over gay marriage is a strange paradox. Gay marriage is a fundamentally conservative concept. Its legal basis was established and promoted by key conservatives. It exists as a ringing endorsement of traditional institutions, an expansion and strengthening of the community and family values on which conservatism has rested for centuries.

By “conservative” of course I refer to the term in its older traditional sense, the manner explained in this earlier piece. And when I refer to the conservatives who played such key roles in this process I am thinking most notably of Ted Olson, who built the constitutional case, and Andrew Sullivan, who helped form the public case for same sex marriage.

It wasn’t so long ago that same sex marriage was a deeply controversial concept in the gay community. It wasn’t so long ago that marriage itself, as an institution, was generally thought to be under sustained attack in our culture. Andrew Sullivan’s most prominent early fight, starting in the ’80’s, had less to do with getting the wider public to accept same sex marriage than with prodding the gay community to make it a cause. Promoting marriage in the gay community was seen by many as a capitulation to repressive conservative morality. In a sense it was. It still is. Why can’t people who call themselves “conservative” recognize this and celebrate a win?

One of the most frustrating consequences of Republican paranoia is way it has blinded us to opportunities. If the GOP could muster a shred of cool-headed sanity, practically every gay couple in America who wants to marry would be Republicans. Absent the bigotry that’s gripped the party, why wouldn’t they be?

The same goes for ambitious young immigrants, African-American families looking to seize new economic opportunities, young professional women, and on and on and on. There is nothing valuable – not one valuable thing at all – at risk of loss by extending the right to marry to homosexuals. Reflexive fear of change is leaving the party crippled and dangerous.

Between this ruling and the collapse of our quiet defense of Confederate values, maybe we can sober up. There is absolutely nothing left to gain from promoting public fear and loathing of gays. Perhaps this emerging cultural shift can force the party to rethink the Neo-Confederate alliances built up over the past few decades. Maybe we can remember who we are and start to build the optimistic, realistic agenda that the country deserves to hear from us.

Here are a few resources on the subject;

Ted Olson’s landmark conservative defense of same-sex marriage

Andrew Sullivan’s 1989 piece on same sex marriage

And from this blog’s archive:

Chick fil-A, Gay Marriage, and Your Grandchildren

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Civil Rights
160 comments on “Gay marriage is a conservative idea
  1. flypusher says:

    This is absolutely hilarious:

    Given CNN’s major goof over the parody ISIS flag at a gay pride rally, I’m inclined to cut that poor Walmart cake decorator some slack. But lots of righties are going to run with this.

    • 1mime says:

      I’m so glad ole Netzhammer included a picture of himself……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
      so we could clearly see he was not an ISIS kinda guy!

  2. “Gay marriage is a fundamentally conservative concept.”

    Indeed, it is. Our nation was founded on principles of individual liberty championed by the scions of the Scottish Enlightenment, John Locke foremost among them. The notion that *any* government should use it’s coercive might to curtail its citizens’ natural, “unalienable” rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” (not to mention property rights, and the rights to free association and free expression) would have been anathema to them. The SCOTUS gay marriage ruling was a triumph for individual liberty.

    What remains to be seen, now that the will of majority has been made manifest, is whether the rights of certain religious minorities will be protected. I.e., will fundamentalist churches, synagogues and mosques, (not to mention bakeries and pizza joints) who oppose gay marriage on the basis of their religious beliefs, be allowed to *abstain* from participation in gay marriage ceremonies? Let hope (and pray) that the 1st Amendment baby is not drowned in the 14th Amendment bathwater.

    • 1mime says:

      And, let us hope and pray, Tracy, that those who claim religious freedom aren’t posturing as a means of circumventing the intent of the law. No one expects a minister to marry someone who they feel (according to their religious beliefs and that of their faith) violates the cannons of their religion. But, to extend that “privilege” to bureaucratic clerks and judges is a bridge too far. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

  3. 1mime says:

    Monday’s SCOTUS decisions: (a mixed bag)

    A blow for the Obama environmental effort.

    A win for fairer elections through more fairly drawn electoral districts

    Don’t know what to say about this….the whole capital punishment issue, about which I have very mixed emotions. But, if it is going to be done, it should be humane.

  4. 1mime says:

    Well, Texas continues not to deviate from its arrogant refusal to follow SCOTUS rulings. The TX AG announced yesterday:

    “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sunday stated that county clerks, judges and justices of peace can deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples for religious reasons, arguing that the Supreme Court did not abolish religious liberty.
    Ken Paxton, in his nonbinding legal opinion, went on to add that “numerous lawyers” would be made available to defend public officials refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to The Associated Press.”

    Numerous lawyers – at taxpayer expense – and setting up yet another challenge to the SCOTUS decision based on “religious liberty”. There’s that canard again. I wonder what rights TX taxpayers have to claim damages for these endless lawsuits against federal government regulations and court rulings. Dollars that could be going to more critical needs.

    Read more:

  5. Anse says:

    Social conservatives warn that gay marriage could spell a complete transformation of society as we know it. I, for one, welcome the transformation. I don’t know if it will really be as radical as the rightwingers think, but we’ve already witnessed a complete reordering of traditional society, and it started with industrial capitalism. I have this theory that every social movement of the last 100 years has its roots in that. I haven’t worked it all out in my head, and I’m sure if I weren’t so lazy I could probably find academic literature that has already discussed it, but it seems to me that agrarian economies are much better at reinforcing traditional gender roles; the division of labor required, and the cycles of feast and famine, likely keep the traditional social order in place. Capitalism transformed us into a people who are becoming more comfortable with moral ambiguities (ambiguities that have always existed, of course); in the pursuit of personal wealth, all that matters is one’s ability to make a living, and the good fortune of prosperity leaves us with new freedom to luxuriate in comforts, technological advances alleviate the labors of old, and individual mobility and innovation is rewarded. Of course this mentality would be applied to our relationships, too.

    We want to be a free country, we should not be alarmed when people decide to press for their freedom. If you want a society that lives by less tangible, more spiritual ideals, you aren’t going to get it in a society that worships the almighty dollar above all things. I don’t mean to sound like I’m putting a negative spin on gay rights, because I fully support gay rights and legal gay marriage. What I’m saying is that we are a people that live by only one ideal: a quest for personal satisfaction. Gay people fought for this because they want and deserve the dignity afforded everyone else. But for the rest of society, for the millions of straights (liberal or conservative) who are shrugging our collective shoulders and saying “who gives a damn?”, for all the kids who are gay-friendly or at least tolerant in Red and Blue states across America, how can we be shocked that they’re not resistant to this transformation? The kind of faith religious conservatives espouse requires discipline. It requires a sense of self-effacement and humility and an acceptance of suffering as an inevitable cost of living in this world. But the economic philosophy they also embrace rejects this out of hand.

    • johngalt says:

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

      The “quest for personal satisfaction” was pretty much written in there from Day 1 of the United States and, with the notable exception of times of war, there has been a lot more asking what your country can do for you than the other way around.

      • Anse says:

        I’d say the rigors of life back in the 1790’s meant that how one chooses to pursue happiness is always somewhat dependent on how one is able to acquire his breakfast that day. For the wealthy elites who wrote the Constitution, life’s mundane drudgery was interrupted by enough time and personal liberty to muse on things like science and technology and what could make a country great. For the majority of the working masses, though, life was one task followed by another, and “freedom” meant having your own plot of land to work instead of having to work somebody else’s. Unless you were a woman or a slave, of course.

        I think we’re in an age now where freedom is no longer an abstract concept. We’re applying the idea literally to every corner of life. It includes petty conveniences, like being able to prepare breakfast in a microwave in five minutes. We work hard, perhaps as hard as we’ve ever worked, but it’s mostly for luxuries. “Need” is an even more subjective concept than “freedom” these days.

        In the age of the Founders, death was almost routine; plagues, illnesses, injuries that would be minor today, childbirth…death could reveal itself at almost any time. The forest was full of dangers and mysteries, the seasons orchestrated by divine intervention. We’ve worked hard to take command of nature. We’re not gods yet, but we’re not going to let ninnies behind pulpits tell us we can’t love who we want.

        I’m kind of rambling here, not sure if I’m making any sense, but my point is that we no longer view suffering as an acceptable and inevitable part of life. If we can get what we want, we’ll have it, and in the grand scheme of things, gay marriage is just the next step.

    • 1mime says:

      Per David Graeber of The Weekly Sift: “…people who assume authentic Christianity belongs to conservatives will be stunned…” (by the SCOTUS rulings)

      The world just got a little bigger and Christianity a little broader. Those who continue to press the religious liberty issue need to accept that no one is taking their beliefs away. Their right to traditional marriage is intact. Why then, are they so threatened by the extension of the right to marriage for others? Isn’t the very principle of freedom and liberty more pure when each individual is able to make their own choices? All people?

      • Anse says:

        What Christian conservatives in America need to admit is that in order for doctrine to be enforceable, it has to have the weight of law behind it. Once you sever doctrine and the law, people will inevitably drift away from the faith. It’s why radicalized Muslim theocrats murder and wage war to purify their territories of apostasy and heresy. It’s the only way to keep people on the narrow path of righteousness.

      • flypusher says:

        The “post-Christian” era is upon us:

        Won’t be losing any sleep over this.

      • 1mime says:

        But, here’s the thing about straight white males, Fly, THEY HAVEN’T LOST ANY RIGHTS!

        What has happened is that others have finally attained the same rights. Now, the white conservative group may be pissed that they didn’t get to keep things as they were, but they. didn’t. lose. any. rights.

        Get over it.

      • johngalt says:

        Fly, what incredible self-absorption on the part of that author. It’s hard to imagine how narcissistic one must be to pen something like that for actual publication.

      • 1mime says:

        JG, this statement, “It is the logical result of the Sexual Revolution, which valorized erotic liberty. ”

        Further, these greedy Americans who demanded equal marriage rights are really all about:
        ” a long-term campaign to remove tax-exempt status from dissenting religious institutions. The more immediate goal will be the shunning and persecution of dissenters within civil society.”

        I find that last sentence “shunning and persecution of dissenters” particularly ironic as this is how gays have been treated for ions by religious conservatives.

        As for the removal of tax-exempt status from dissenting religious institutions, this is probably an issue that needs to be assessed, from the 501C4 exemptions for campaign donations to those who claim tax exempt status from business profits while asserting their right to deny services and goods to certain persons – especially those who advocate “erotic liberty”. Undoubtedly there are legitimate lines to be drawn here, but at present, the Hobby Lobby ruling gave anyone who wanted to claim religious privilege a blank check.

      • flypusher says:

        The lack of perspective is also mind-blowing. There’s a pretty big gap between “the culture revolves around what we want and we believe” and actual honest-to-God oppression.

      • 1mime says:

        Ah, Fly, but when one is “used” to getting everything, losing anything – especially to those who are perceived as “sexual deviants” really, really hurts….I can almost feel sorry for them. Almost.

      • johngalt says:

        Certainly churches do spend some of their funds on legitimate charitable activities, but much of it goes to support the infrastructure of the church itself – its staff, the physical plant, utilities and the like. Why should my tax dollars subsidize someone’s feel-good club?

    • 1mime says:

      Excellent thought development, Anse! Traditional roles left many unhappy with their lot in life even as class culture dictated it. Democracy accompanied by the emergence of capitalism and probably war created tremendous opportunities for many who had been locked out of the inner circle. These men and women wanted better lives for themselves and their families. America is becoming a land of equal opportunity not just for white male head of households, but for all. Although there is still work to be done and hard-gained rights to protect, that Pandora Box of equal rights is open for good and America and the free world are better places as a result.

  6. texan5142 says:

    jeff77450 says:
    June 29, 2015 at 9:46 am
    The reference to the historian I heard on a radio-interview about thirty years ago. No, I don’t remember his name.

    So your whole argument is base on something you heard on a radio interview from thirty years ago and you don’t remember the persons name?

    Well I for one am convinced.

  7. jeff77450 says:

    The legalization of same-sex marriage is yet one more nail in America’s coffin. Over the course of about 5,000 years in the development of Western Civilization marriage eventually came to be defined as a union between one man and one woman and it needs to stay that way.

    Thirty-odd years ago a historian researched eighty-odd civilizations that had risen-and-fallen. He found that in the beginning they were disciplined societies with high moral standards (which, granted, must have varied based on the norms for each society). At the end they had abandoned the virtues/values that had made them great and in effect practiced “If it feels good do it” (and probably “every man for himself.”)

    I don’t just believe, I *know* that the mainstreaming of homosexuality and the other perversions, e.g. transgenderism, are going to have negative consequences for America. In 1960 the out-of-wedlock birthrate for both blacks & whites was ~3%. Then the various taboos & consequences that had held the worst impulses in check were done away with and LBJ’s Great Society/War on Poverty programs provided rewards for what had previously been viewed as bad behavior.

    If you punish a behavior that behavior tends to decrease and if you reward a behavior that behavior tends to increase. Out-of-wedlock birthrates are now its 20+% for whites and 70+% for blacks. A “kazillion” studies have confirmed the obvious, that children born & raised in single-parent homes have worse stats across the board re. high school graduation rates, drug usage and crime. The whole “free love” movement that began in the 1960s must have felt exhilarating & liberating in the beginning but the end-result has not been good.

    (Am I claiming to have lived a perfect life? No.)

    Wake up America!

    • flypusher says:

      “Thirty-odd years ago a historian researched eighty-odd civilizations that had risen-and-fallen. He found that in the beginning they were disciplined societies with high moral standards (which, granted, must have varied based on the norms for each society). At the end they had abandoned the virtues/values that had made them great and in effect practiced “If it feels good do it” (and probably “every man for himself.”)”

      Care to name this historian? Also can we get a statistical breakdown on civilizations that fell due to low moral standards and those that collapsed because of other things like military invasion, natural disaster, epidemic, or famine?

      • jeff77450 says:

        The reference to the historian I heard on a radio-interview about thirty years ago. No, I don’t remember his name.

        Let me guess: You think that the SCOTUS’ ruling is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

      • flypusher says:

        “The reference to the historian I heard on a radio-interview about thirty years ago. No, I don’t remember his name.”

        Then forgive us if we take that claim with a boulder or two of salt.

        “Let me guess: You think that the SCOTUS’ ruling is the greatest thing since sliced bread.”

        I think it was the right call. Also I can imagine a number of things that could realistically cause the downfall of America. SSM ain’t one of them.

      • johngalt says:

        If you are a small government conservative, the SCOTUS ruling was great. What could be a more overarching power for a government than the ability to tell someone who they can or cannot marry? This is more or less the point of this blog post. If you are a theocrat kind of conservative, then I get that you’re not happy with it, but then please stop saying you are for a smaller government, because you are not.

    • johngalt says:

      Jeff, you are more than welcome to your opinion, butI would suggest that “5,000 years in the development of Western Civilization” also defined marriage as between members of the same race, until less than 50 years ago in some places. There are today religious groups that will not sanction marriages between people of different religions (heck, Orthodox Jews won’t sanction marriage between people with different interpretations of the same religion). Homosexuality was common in the cultures of our philosophical forebears in Greece and Rome. If you are upset at homosexual behavior, trust me you do not want to know how the Spartans “educated” their male children.

      You are right that children raised in two-parent households generally do better. So how is it that legalizing marriage for more people is going to make that worse?

    • Crogged says:

      Arguing from conclusion. Check.

    • Anse says:

      I’m puzzled as to why God would let the pagan Romans become the most powerful force in the Western world for almost a thousand years, but the sky is gonna fall on America just because we let the gays get married. Apparently God hates gays more than he hates Zeus-worship.

      • flypusher says:

        You’d think that if God wanted to smite America for wickedness, the heyday of slavery would have been the moment. Also bonus Divine anger that people cherry-picked the Bible to justify the practice.

      • 1mime says:

        Don’t forget the reverends Falwell and Robertson who proclaimed that Hurricane Katrina was sent by God to rid New Orleans of sinful homosexuals. They must have had a really good pipeline to the man upstairs to get the scoop of the century.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Other than for straight, White, males, is the country in 2015 not substantially better than it was in the 1950s?

      • 1mime says:

        I submit that the country is better for all people. Straight white males haven’t had their rights taken away, they merely have to “share” equal rights with others who have been denied theirs. How could they possibly feel their rights have been abridged?

      • flypusher says:

        All the straight White males I know are doing great. The more conservative ones of course have been grumpy since Obama took office, but they’re really not worse off.

    • 1mime says:

      Jeff, have you looked at divorce statistics in the U.S. in recent years? Traditional marriage doesn’t guarantee happiness, fidelity, or that the marriage will last. In fact, statistics point out that approximately half of all marriages bite the dust.

      Now, I’m not making judgments about divorce, I’m just saying that as an institution, it has its foibles as well. If all who are so concerned about the sky falling in because of all these sexual deviants getting hitched, give it some time. As for these deviants coming after tax exceptions for institutions and individuals who claim religious differences, what is there to be afraid of? Let the courts decide? Oh, don’t like the courts these days, well, that’s too bad. I didn’t like them with Citizens United nor the ACA Medicaid expansion exclusion, or the gutting of voting rights, either.But, know what? I’m living with it until it can be changed – legally – through the Democratic process, or, not. It’s. the. law.

  8. flypusher says:

    OT but an interesting read. So many of our problems come from a lack of education:

    The questions some people ask……. Facepalms all around.

  9. 1mime says:

    I encourage all who haven’t viewed the movie “Amistad”, produced by Steven Spielberg in 1997, to do so. It is about the trials of Africans who were enslaved aboard the ship bearing the same name in the years 1839-41. Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Mcconnauhey, Morgan Freeman, and many other noteworthy actors star. The event reflects upon the issues of race, slavery, the abolition movement, property, the developing north/south conflict, international treaties, and portrays wonderful courtroom dialogue as the attorneys for the Africans defend them. It also illustrates how cases have been politically directed to the US Supreme Court for a very long time. Interestingly, at the time of the trial, 7 of the 9 Supreme Court members were slave owners from the South. Happily, the decision was decided in favor of the Africans, with only one dissension.

    A timeless and timely movie.

  10. vikinghou says:

    Here is an interesting article about the same-sex marriage ruling and the change in general attitudes about homosexuality have affected the sense of community among gay people.

    The short version is that, as a consequence of gays becoming mainstream, gay neighborhoods, gay bars, gay bookstores are disappearing. As a group becomes less and less oppressed, there is less of an urge to congregate in separate “safe” spaces. This certainly can be seen in the Montrose neighborhood here in Houston. It’s less and less of a gayborhood. One of my gay friends recently told me that at “gay” dance clubs like South Beach he can no longer tell who’s available and who’s not because half of the patrons are straight. Older gays who have been through Stonewall and the AIDS crisis lament this loss of cohesiveness. Younger gays have grown up in an environment of relative acceptance and don’t see the point.

    • flypusher says:

      “Older gays who have been through Stonewall and the AIDS crisis lament this loss of cohesiveness.”

      That’s reminding me of baseball after it integrated. That was the beginning of the end of the Negro Leagues, with all their history and tradition. But it was still the right thing to do.

  11. Doug says:

    “The fundamental liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices defining personal identity and beliefs…”

    “[T]he right to personal choice regarding marriage is inherent in the concept of
    individual autonomy…”

    Seems to me that a very good case could be made for polygamy as a Constitutional right.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    • flypusher says:

      Polygamy works best in cultures where women are chattel rather than people. Same sex marriage can be easily integrated into the existing legal structure. How do you propose to do that with polygamy, especially with that complication of women being legal persons and such?

      Also what’s your proposed solution for the inevitable social problems that will be caused by young men having diminished marriage prospects? Notice that the whack job polygamous cults in this country have that exact problem and deal with it in a very cruel way.

      • Doug says:

        This is about rights, not legal difficulties. The legal issues can be worked out. Dividing by three isn’t so difficult.

        “…young men having diminished marriage prospects…”
        There are five million more women than men in this country. That’s quite a bit of polygamy before anyone notices a shortage. It may be a good solution for older people, where women vastly outnumber men. Besides, who says polygamy can’t be multi man and one woman?

      • 1mime says:

        I’m gonna blow your mind here, Doug.

        “Who says polygamy couldn’t be multi-man and one woman?”

        ‘Cause the male ego would never allow it to work. Other than that, you pose an interesting Constitutional question, which , incidentally, Justice Roberts poses in his dissent.

      • Doug says:

        I don’t know, mime. Might be nice to have another guy watching the brisket now and then.

      • vikinghou says:

        I think I’ll leave the polygamy question to future generations to tackle. One thing for sure is that are plenty of Biblical precedents for such arrangements.

      • texan5142 says:

        Doug, I strangely agree.

      • flypusher says:

        I said “YOUNG men” for a very good reason. Large numbers YOUNG men without marriage prospects are a problem- you can look at parts of China and India where the sex ratio is badly skewed for an example. Also the surplus women here that you cite tend to be older, and the gap increases with age, which wouldn’t solve the problem, and older men who could have multiple wives would tended to marry younger. Also while polyandry is possible in theory, in practice it is extremely rare. So what do you do with a demographic that is the most prone to commit crimes being shut out of an institution that helps settle them down? That’s a problem SSM didn’t face.

        I don’t doubt that someone will agitate for it, and plenty of lawyers would lick their chops over the prospect of all those legal tangles. But I don’t see it as workable here, because our social arc has been expanding rights beyond the original privileged group of White, make, property owners. Do you think it is coincidence the places with a traditidion of polygamy are also places where women have 2nd class (or worse) status?

    • johngalt says:

      Many of the rights and responsibilities established by a legal marriage contract are binary – consider next-of-kin rights as they relate to medical decisions. If I am incapacitated and incapable of making decisions for myself, the law is clear that the ultimate responsibility for deciding my fate lies with one person, Mrs. Galt, not a committee. Now other family members can pitch a legal fit and drag it out, and they can enlist the assistance of grubbing politicians, but Mrs. Galt’s will will eventually be done. Changing this from two people to many is a more significant legal change than expanding the genders of the parties.

      That said, if a dude wants more than one mother-in-law, more power to him.

    • Creigh says:

      Doug, your remark on polygamy reminds me of what one wag said years ago regarding gay marriage: “Haven’t these people suffered enough??”

  12. RobA says:

    Ted Cruz being Ted Cruz.

    Yes, Cruz. Pearl Harbour, the Civil War, 9/11, slavery etc etc. All of that pales in comparison to having the civil government recognize the union of two people in love.

    No hyperbole here whatsoever.

  13. BigWilly says:

    This is a great day for America? Only time will tell. I have my reservations. The only choice I have is to deal with it. The Roberts court is a bit unpredictable with Kennedy and Roberts floating between left and right.

    Talk about transformative. I think they’ve changed the country in our era more than any other political entity. Anything from a routine era would be much clearer. This one seems pretty chaotic.

    • 1mime says:

      BW, you need to read one of my fav girl reporters NYT) who always manages to provide great commentary with a few chuckles. Here’s her “take” on the SCOTUS decisions – recent and a earlier. Lefties, she’s gonna wipe that smile off your face, (but she’ll put it back on, read on)

      “The Roberts Supreme Court is on a roll. Gay marriage, national health care and a surprising vote of support for the Fair Housing Act, all in a couple of days. Great job, guys! We are totally over the fact that you destroyed the nation’s campaign finance laws, limited workers’ rights to challenge wage discrimination and women’s rights to control their bodies. And basically disemboweled a 50-year-old Voting Rights Act that Congress had renewed by increasingly large margins on four different occasions.”

      And, this thoughtful piece by Timothy Egan, another favorite NYT journalist, who speaks directly to Lifer’s point about the problems within the GOP:

      “For the many Republicans who believe in free markets, less government and the racial legacy of Lincoln, the question has to be asked: What do some of society’s worst elements see in their party? It’s the coded language, yes, the hard voices of its broadcast wing, but also actions. Of late, this is the party that has been behind restrictive voting measures aimed squarely at blacks. Don’t give racists anything to root for, and they’ll crawl back under their rocks.”

      As I noted earlier to Ov, those who identify as Republicans have a responsibility to work within their party to return to the traditional core beliefs of free markets, less government and the racial legacy of Lincoln. Remaining silent is not going to get the job done, as Lifer has pointed out countless times. Likewise, those who identify as Democrats, have the same responsibility but thus far, the party has stayed mostly true to their core beliefs of equal opportunity and a level playing field for all. If and when they veer from that, they need to be called out by their base. And, they will be.

      • objv says:

        Mime, I do not mean to be silent, but one of my “core beliefs” involves freedom of religion, so you may think me wrong on some issues if they involve religious expression and matters of conscience. Republicans SHOULD focus on free markets and smaller, less intrusive government since they are our main unifying factors Of course, I would like the Republican party to distance itself from racists. Remember, I have a biracial husband. (-:

        I’m amazed that you think Democrats stay true to their beliefs and call out misbehavior on their own. The Clinton Foundation accepted money and speaking fees from countries and individuals that sponsor terror and have deplorable human rights violations. I would not want to be a woman or a homosexual in some of these countries. Yet, Ms Clinton will almost certainly get the party’s nomination for President.

        From Bill Clinton chronic misbehavior toward women to their history of lies and deceit over the years, I would think that Bill and Hillary should have been forced out of politics long ago.

      • 1mime says:

        Ov, I support religious freedom which should be obvious from all of my posts. In fact, I support religious freedom for ALL beliefs, which is sometimes a bit more challenging for some conservatives.

        As for the criticism of Democrats not tending to their own miscreants – you cite Hillary & Bill Clinton – Bill was certainly guilty AND called out for his gross disrespect of the Presidency. The charges against Hillary have been proffered but unproven. I haven’t done the research but feel certain that there are many Republicans who have accepted donations for their causes from persons and countries that hold different moral standards. If compelled, I will do the research. You may feel the Clintons are complicit by accepting money from nations that support terrorism, but you better dig deeper into your history book. Have you forgotten about rendition during the W. Bush wars when our country tortured in secret or authorized others to do so in our behalf? Or that we supported Saddam Hussein before we rejected him? It is wise to be careful about judging the moral sanctity of others lest our own glass houses come crashing down.

    • RobA says:

      Ive yet to see an example where giving more equality to more members of society turned out to be a negative, and we’ve got lots of examples in history to refer too.

      Not sure why literally every other example was a net positive, and yet this most recent example would be anything but.

      The day will come BW when even you look back and think “ya know, what was the big deal with all that stuff anyways?”

    • BigWilly says:

      The racial legacy of Lincoln? It’s far more complex than you portray it. I believe the Civil War was also much more complex than you would portray it. Reconstruction, it seems, is something you need to be more aware of.

      Tolerance I can tolerate, but you all have just shot me the bird. It’s a powerful statement all right, and not one that I will soon forget. Do you realize how perverted it is for the “gay rights” movement to use the rainbow as its symbol?

      I stick to my code as closely as I possibly can, which is why I tolerate. However surrender, and capitulation, are two things you will not receive from me.

      Lord, deliver us from evil.

      • flypusher says:

        Reconstruction was tragically botched, no disagreement from me on that point.

        Although I suppose there will be differences of opinion over who to blame the most. One opinion:

      • RobA says:

        A rainbow is simply sunlight hitting water in the air and being split into the different colours on the spectrum of visible light, much like happens when we shine a beam of light through a prism.

        Nothing more or less. It is not a covenant from God to never again flood the Earth.

        And anyways, if there is a God and Jesus was his Son, then if we go solely by Jesus teachings and works, he’s probably rejoicing up there.

        We’ve already established that the OT is invalid for todays moral codes, right? What with the raping is ok (as long as you pay her father and marry her; her consent not needed) and slavery is fine. And children who are disrespectful should be murdered.

        So since we can safely through out the OT, and since the only explicitly anti gay Bible verses come from the OT, I guess we can throw that out too.

        If Jesus was so concerned with gay marriage, surely he would have said even ONE thing about it, right?

        One thing he definitely DID talk about though is loving your neighbor and not judging others. He cavorted with sinners, prostitutes, and lepers. Basically the weak and shunned of society.

        If Jesus really is Lord, he’s rejoicing today.

      • 1mime says:

        Or, you can boil it all down to this: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

        It’s really that simple.

        And, BTW, BW, “tolerance” isn’t “tolerated”. You either are or you aren’t tolerant. That doesn’t imply agreement, but in the Democratic process it does require compliance. In a Democracy, rights often conflict. What makes a Democracy work is acceptance and compliance, individually and legislatively. The knee-jerk reaction of many in government to ignore or fight the U.S. Supreme Court rulings is not only arrogant but an incredible waste of taxpayer and legislative capital. The ability to bring about change through the Democratic process remains. Do the work.

        I wonder what conservatives would have had to say about SCOTUS if the rulings had gone as they hoped? Surely they would have felt vindicated and praised the court. The court ruled otherwise so now the Justices are villains? Selective logic undermines intelligent reasoning to the detriment of those who practice it. I can assure you that I didn’t like or agree with the court’s Citizen United ruling nor the changes that effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act.

        OTOH, Republicans might be quietly rejoicing, as this NYT commentary suggests.

        “Privately, some of the strategists advising Republican hopefuls believe the last week has been nothing short of a gift from above — a great unburdening on issues of race and sexuality, and on health care a disaster averted. Rhetorical opposition to the Affordable Care Act will still be de rigueur in the primaries, but litigating the issue in theory is wholly different from doing so with more than six million people deprived of their health insurance.”

        Wouldn’t it be a great thing for our country if Congress would address other serious issues that have been neglected in the legislative process? As Republicans hold the majority in Congress, they have a wonderful opportunity to “lead” – to make the 2016 election about our economy, jobs, health, education, infrastructure. And, to demonstrate they can govern – for all America.

        Do you think they’ll “grok” this?

      • BigWilly says:

        Frankly, I believe that those who selected the rainbow knew exactly what they were doing and why when they chose that for a symbol.

        We’ve not established the invalidity of the OT. Jesus said in Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

        Jesus was not a lawbreaker. I would also advise you to complete the passages so that they are understood correctly.


        “36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

        37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

        38 This is the first and great commandment.

        39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

        40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

        I don’t think you are interested in the first one, so the second is mooted.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Jesus Christ, BW…I really did not have you pegged as one of “those” people. I figured it was just years of non-linear thinking, a slightly cantankerous side, and maybe too much booze or pot.

        I’m moderately sure no gay folks are asking for your tolerance any more so than women are asking for your tolerance in letting them own property or vote. Let’s probably hope that people are at least as tolerant of you 20 years from now as you are of others today.

        Bless your heart buddy. There is almost no way you are going to enjoy the changes to the world in the coming decades.

      • johngalt says:

        BW, if that’s your position on the OT laws of Leviticus, then I hope you scrupulously keep away from bacon and shellfish, because those laws are pretty clearly stated. I hope you also stone disrespectful children. Homosexuality is no more or less condemned than those things.

  14. texan5142 says:

    I read a comment today some where along the lines of “Jesus is weaping” and I thought, yes he/she is,……………tears of joy.

  15. texan5142 says:

    I have had a smile on my face all day, just can’t help it.

    • 1mime says:

      TX – If you had an opportunity to view the Pres’s eulogy of Clementa Pinckney (got it right finally), you would have had more reason to smile. Amazing grace indeed.

      • texan5142 says:

        Yep I will watch it later tonight on the big screen, I did see him sing on the web today and it was moving.

      • way2gosassy says:

        I watched it several times. Amazing grace indeed!

      • objv says:

        Amazing Grace was written by a former slave trader and captain of a ship transporting slaves. John Newton had a spiritual conversion and eventually became a clergyman. When he wrote “Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me,” he was not exaggerating.

        Harriet Beecher Stowe added a verse that had been passed down in African-American communities.

        “When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
        Bright shining as the sun,
        We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
        Than when we first begun”

        Singing Amazing Grace was a great choice. It was a song about reconciliation with God. The message resonated with both slave and slave trader and was written by both.

    • texan5142 says:

      No words, just basking in the moment of the human experience.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      I was grinning all day, too.

  16. tuttabellamia says:

    I keep coming across supporters of same-sex marriage who seem more interested in gloating and reveling in the negative reactions of social conservative opponents.

    I see no reason to gloat. Let’s just be happy for the gay community.

    Good night.

    • objv says:

      Tutt, I hope you had a good weekend and that you were able to go on the road trip you mentioned in another comment.

      Yes, it is a time to be happy. I’ll be going camping next weekend. The campsite will be close to Telluride and should have great fireworks for July 4th. My friend’s daughter usually brings along her girlfriend. There may be a wedding in the future. 🙂

  17. 1mime says:

    I watched the President deliver the eulogy for Reverend/Senator Clementa Spencer. It was extremely thoughtful and will be remembered as one of his best. The link below provides the text of his remarks which was themed around the concept of “grace”. However, at the end of the eulogy, he spoke to the issue of gun violence and the need for more action to help America become a “just nation”. He also sang “Amazing Grace” at the end. It was moving.

  18. tuttabellamia says:

    I’ve written about this before — but the concept that keeps getting my attention in arguments about same-sex marriage, which I saw again in today’s ruling and I can’t say I agree with — is the idea that marriage in general is more for the benefit of society at large, as opposed to being for the benefit of the couple — therefore recognition of marriage, which is intensely personal and private, somehow must have the approval of outsiders who have no real vested interest in the matter.

    The argument also implies that if it benefits society to promote marriage, than being UNmarried is less worthy and less beneficial to society.

    I know that getting formal state recognition involves a seal of approval from the state, but should something so personal and private as marriage require a seal of approval from society more in relation to its benefit to society, than as a benefit for the 2 individuals involved?

    It seems ironic that something so personal and private as marriage should be defined by society instead of the individuals involved.

    Just some thoughts.

    • 1mime says:

      You raise valid points, Tutta. If I could suggest this possibility – the value to society (whether it is good or bad) is the system of laws that govern tax responsibilities, benefits, insurance, debt, and other legal issues (inheritance, etc) of those in relationships. I don’t disagree that the most important reason to marry, if that is the relationship one chooses, is first and foremost personal. Many people today are electing not to marry – older widowers (principally for income reasons) and young people, many of whom don’t see the need for a formal arrangement.

      In my view, if a couple (heterosexual or same sex) plan to include children in their family, marriage is a more stable structure. Without children, I guess it’s simply personal preference, but then that is still personal.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Government has no business in the marriage business, and so long as it does, it had better be available to all, and consistent with our laws and philosophy. Today’s ruling was a first step in the right direction.

      • 1mime says:

        We don’t disagree, Fifty, I was offering areas which might have concerned the court. As stated, marriage is first and foremost personal.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I know.

      • way2gosassy says:

        On the same page with ya 50!

      • johngalt says:

        Legal marriage is a contract between two people that spells out specific rights and responsibilities. While individuals could arrange much of this (other than the tax implications) outside of this contract, having this “one stop shop” is convenient for both the people who enter into marriage and for the courts that have to unpick it sometimes. This seems a perfectly valid government function.

      • fiftyohm says:

        A simple, preprinted form could serve as a completely valid contract, signed and properly witnessed. Check the boxes for standard options if you wish, or have one custom drawn for your needs.

        And the very notion that taxation is affected, one way or another, by marriage is absolutely appalling. That type of shit has to go. There’s a loophole for ya! Talk about tax simplification! Good grief, in a single bound you eliminate an entire filing status or three.

        So no – no business in this contract whatsoever should the government have, outside of assistance in standard civil contract enforcement.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Government’s nose in this issue is what got us in this mess in the first place, remember? It was government deciding just who could and could not be married. And it was about 50 “one stop shops”.

      • 1mime says:

        Ha! You mean there’s something to be said for the “Vegas quickie marriage” Fifty?!

      • johngalt says:

        Government’s “nose” has been in the marriage business since there first was government or marriage. Government sanction of marriage is not the problem. The unequal application of laws motivated by theology is (was) the problem.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I dislike ceremonies in general, but a “quickie” is definitely preferable to these horrific, irresponsible gushes of financial absurdity we read about in the social pages. And we have girls just dreaming about having them! It’s just twisted, if you ask me. Twisted, I tell ya.

        Show of hands, guys: Who among us wanted nothing worse than the wedding itself to just be over?

      • 1mime says:

        There are a few of us moms who share that view, Fifty. We gave our kids a choice: a gift of money and a small wedding, or a large wedding and no dough. What happened to the small, personal family wedding service? Like you, I find the extravagance distasteful, and the pomp more so, even tho I am probably in the minority on this.

      • fiftyohm says:

        JG – The Church was involved, (because it involved sex and money, I suppose), and government took over as a surrogate in *most* western cultures. I don’t see how this is relevant.

      • fiftyohm says:

        mime – Bingo! Mrs. Ohm and I think the same way.

      • flypusher says:

        “Show of hands, guys: Who among us wanted nothing worse than the wedding itself to just be over?”

        As a never-married person I can’t vouch for that end, but I have attended quite a few weddings, from the meticulously planned formal affairs to the informal DIY variety. My impression is that the married couple tended to be less stressed with the latter. The most recent wedding I attended (a few months back) was a formal one. A great time was had by all, but it was definitely a lot of work (had lots of stories from the bride about the preparations while they were in progress).

        I do think the fairy tale aspect is way over-hyped to young girls, and it can set them up for disappointment in real-life marriage. Also why the hell is Queen Victoria’s choice of a wedding gown still having so much influence. If I was ever to get married, the gown would be electric blue, dammit!!!!

      • flypusher says:

        “What happened to the small, personal family wedding service? ”

        When two of my best friends got married, the ceremony was bare-bones small and simple. Most of the $ went for the fine picnic party the day before and the reception after. A very smart allocation of resources, IMO.

      • fiftyohm says:

        FP – I’ve been to some great ones, and also to a few that were some of the most horrific, awful spectacles in memory – save perhaps for a funeral or two, and I hate those as well.

        But hey! I’m always up for a party!

      • fiftyohm says:

        BTW, FP – Would we be invited? Sounds like fun to me, especially if there’s beer involved!

      • flypusher says:

        “BTW, FP – Would we be invited? Sounds like fun to me, especially if there’s beer involved!”

        Yes, and absolutely yes. I would have a nice selection of pilsners, ESBs, and IPAs, and some margaritas!!

        Just have that pesky little detail of who would I marry to work out! 🙂

        And one amusing little story about a wedding of two other good friends- they asked me to provide them with their wedding march, as they figured I had the music they wanted. It turned out I didn’t when they asked (I was a poor grad student at the time, so I was expanding the collection slowly), but when I heard they wanted the Imperial March from Star Wars, I spent some of my beer $ on the CDs. The effect was as awesome as I had hoped.

  19. flypusher says:

    I have to share this little gem from freeperville (in response to Meghan McCain’s statement on this issue):

    “Meghan is the poster child for the most destructive force ever in American history; The female voter. They are responsible for the election of Odungo. Say what they will, but THEY are responsible for the total destruction of the rule of law in our IRS, DOJ, FBI, CIA, EPA, etc., mandatory, government-controlled health care where the gov’t (NOT the doctor and patient) decides who lives and who dies, the SURRENDER of the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan and the scores of U.S. troops who now have DIED FOR NOT, the proliferation of ISIS and Islamic terrorism as we sit and contemplate two men having anal sex and a Confederate flag.
    America DIED the moment THIS happened:

    Collectively, females KILLED America. Remember, it was a MARXIST, WHITEY-HATING, AMERICA-HATING FEMINIST who raised Odungo. ”

    See ladies, it’s all OUR fault. The beginning of the end was the 19th Amendment.

  20. easyfortytwo says:

    Chris – I’d advise caution when it comes to allowing the Log Cabin Club to gain a voice in your party. This is a racist organization (yes, there are plenty of gay racists, as ironic as this may seem), and that is why they support the GOP.

    • easyfortytwo says:

      Arrgh…I meant that to be a reply to your comment regarding the Log Cabiners way down below. Darn the WordPress confusion…

      • 1mime says:

        Wow, would you explain that further, easy?

      • easyfortytwo says:

        My experience is anecdotal, but I became quite familiar with many of their members during my 20 years in San Francisco (feel free to double-entendre). Many folks wonder “how can gay people support a party which has openly discriminated against them in the past.” The answer to this question is “racism.”
        They have even developed a vernacular code for speaking surreptitiously about (specifically) black people. They refer to this as “The Norwegian Problem.”

      • johngalt says:

        I worked with an openly gay man in North Carolina 20-ish years ago. He considered himself a Republican and was, frankly, overtly racist. He was a lot of contradictions in fact. This is a single individual and I extrapolate no further than this one person, but racist gay republicans exist.

      • 1mime says:

        Personal insecurity – whether it’s being a gay man or a working class white man, apparently “need” to find some group of people who are more disrespected than they are in order to feel good about themselves. A double tragedy.

        The working class white man is more open in his denigration of Black people than the gay Republican seems to be. Or, at least this was news to me. However, I can truthfully say I have never known a gay person who declared themselves a Republican. I must travel a much narrower path than I thought…..since they obviously exist. It would help explain why a gay man would affiliate with the Republican Party since there is no other logical reason for them doing so, given the consistent vilification of gays by those in the GOP.

    • goplifer says:

      if the organization still exists, I haven’t checked in a while, then what you’re saying wouldn’t surprise me much. Once you get down to a pool of ten or fifteen members it’s tough to keep out the riffraff. That said, I know Rich Tafel who founded the original group. He’s a pretty standard, old school Hamiltonian conservative.

  21. flypusher says:

    Had a peek at the chron comments section. I really need to invest in furniture manufacture, as there’s this big need for fainting coaches. We’ve got someone outlining a plan for TX to secede. Freeperville is exactly as you would expect. Poor guys, they have to deal with this ruling, and yesterday’s rulings, and the ruling that TX doesn’t have to issue Confederate-themed license plates. I need hard liquior futures too!

    • 1mime says:

      Keep your eye on Bastrop, Fly!

      Love the fainting couch. Maybe you could suggest a few for the legislature and the governor’s
      mansion? All at taxpayer expense,of course. But, the cause is just…can’t have any of those REpublicans falling and hitting their heads too hard…they might actually wake up different!

    • RobA says:

      If you invested in pearls last week you’d be a millionaire today.

      All that clutching surely broke many of them.

      I’ve got a brother in the trip corner hat industry and he said business hasn’t been this brisk in centuries!

    • way2gosassy says:

      Hey Fly, I’m pretty good with upholstery.

  22. nacinla says:

    For those of us who have been marching and working for equality for gay people since the ’70s, this is really overstating — and romanticizing — Andrew Sullivan’s role in the movement and what was accomplished today. Fact is, he was late to “the cause” for much of his early career. He did little or nothing to influence his party when many of my friends were dying in the ’80s, but when he himself, was diagnosed with HIV, suddenly it was a different story. In fact, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of dead men (and women) who remain anonymous, but who did more than Andrew Sullivan ever did and who deserve infinitely more credit than he does. So there might be a few Log Cabin types who regard him as a “leader” for the cause, but I doubt that today his name came to very many minds as someone whose contribution stood out. But that’s the past. The point now is: What are Republicans, gay or otherwise, going to do as their 13-and-counting candidates come out against today’s ruling and their party proposes a platform in 2016 that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman?

  23. RobA says:

    Some of the rhetoric coming from the Prez gop candidates is scary.

    Lots of talk about “unelected ” officials, Huckabee saying the only supreme that counts is the “supreme being ” and not an “imperial court”.

    This is the goddamn Supreme Court they’re talking about. Seems like the point of such rhetoric is to completely delegitamize the court itself.

    The whole “unelected” thing is especially insidious. They’re not some crony beaurecrats. The unelected aspect is done completely by design, and it is what keeps the SCOTUS pure.

    If there were elections, money/public opinion would corrupt it.

    And in a way, they ARE elected. They must be confirmed by Congress.

    • 1mime says:

      And, conservatives “love” SCOTUS when rulings are gong their way….Fickle SOBs, aren’t they!

      • flypusher says:

        Some freepers were still ragging on Roberts for the ruling yesterday, even though his ruling today was more to their liking. Something about his master Obama giving him a freebie today because of the ruling yesterday.

        I just cannot grok what passes for thought processes in some people.

    • 1mime says:

      Rob, I’ve been focusing on opinions about the Supreme Court and how it functions. This Atlantic Magazine article offers interesting insight. This body has so much power in our Democracy that it is important to understand what is happening within it. We tend to focus more of our energy (and angst) on Congress, but this body bears close monitoring. Read Scalia’s dissent in King v Burwell for a glimpse into the underbelly of the highest court in the land.

      “…Political differences need not be political divisions. Just as ideological differences need not be the cause, or the result, of personal acrimony…That opinions and dissents are now operating at the heights of moral messaging and the depths of ad-hominem attack is a relatively recent phenomenon—one that has a metaphor, if not a full analogue, in the bitter divides that have become so familiar in other branches of government. SCOTUS is acting like Congress.”

  24. johngalt says:

    Scalia’s dissent is marvelous. In it he writes, “Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views. Americans considered the arguments and put the question to a vote. The electorates of 11 States, either directly or through their representatives, chose to expand the traditional definition of mar- riage. Many more decided not to. Win or lose, advocates for both sides continued pressing their cases, secure in the knowledge that an electoral loss can be negated by a later electoral win. That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work.”

    How easy is it to replace the phrase “same-sex marriage” with “slavery” or “civil rights” and see the fallacy of this argument. The majority is not permitted to negate rights of the minority. There is no compelling social good put forth for discrimination in marriage equality to justify such laws. His opinion is that this should not matter – if a state wants to define marriage in a discriminatory manner, then so be it.

    He then spends the rest of it attacking the court majority opinion as “lacking even a thin veneer of law” before ponderously reflecting on the unrepresentative nature of the members of the Supreme Court (indeed, six Catholics, three Jews, and nine alumni of Yale or Harvard). He concludes by warning against hubris which, if there should anywhere be an expert in hubris, it would be Justice Scalia.

    It’s near the end of the full decision:

    • flypusher says:

      The whole point of creating a Constitional Republic is to prevent majorities from taking basic rights away from minorities.

      How can someone with all those fancy law degrees and years on SCOTUS miss something so basic?

    • Crogged says:

      But reaching back into English common law to find a ‘right of self defense’, such that these same passionate arguments and elected officials can’t tell you what and how many weapons you can possess in your home-of course, that’s different.

    • 1mime says:

      Hey, JG! Don’t forget the little weemen on the court! I really believe their presence has helped.

      Scalia is being exposed for what he is. He will go down in history as a justice who had great promise but allowed ego and personal views to prejudice his legal opinions. May he wallow in self-pity for the rest of his days.

    • 1mime says:

      Scalia’s dissent revealed more of his small character. When reading his dissent, note the petty comments he made to Kennedy’s opinion – hardly erudite, really juvenile and snide. One should expect a more dignified, scholarly response from a SCOTUS justice, don’t you think?

      “At one point, Scalia even goes line by line through parts of the opinion, adding critiques in parentheses, such as, “Huh?” and “What say?” He ends by declaring that the opinion will “diminish this Court’s reputation for clear thinking and sober analysis.”

    • JG, that was exactly the thought that went through my mind as I read Scalia’s dissent. Blinders can really color a person’s judgement.

      • 1mime says:

        Joy, Welcome to GOPlifer’s blog. My issue with Scalia is that he is so very public about his personal political views. Frankly, I expect more decorum – from all of them. After all, this is the “Supreme” Court which we hope will bring balanced, reasoned discussion to the momentous cases they hear. The snarky comments he wove throughout his dissent really lacked class. I believe that if he continues in this vein, he will lose the respect of his colleagues which will hurt him in his positions. He certainly has lost my respect.

  25. 1mime says:

    Chris, the last three decisions by SCOTUS are an interesting window into a much more “open”, if not progressive/liberal majority. I’m sure there will be lots of analysis on this, but it is interesting to me to examine how responsive the court is to the direction America is moving towards.

    This raises some compelling questions. Will this hasten Justice Ginsburg’s departure and replacement? What do these decisions presage for future opinions? I noted the “majority” changed with each opinion, but the minority remained pretty consistent. Will Scalia lose some of his power? How will these decisions roil existing GOP legislative efforts at the state level? Will the GOP learn from this new direction being taken by the Court? Will they use it merely as a fund-raising, gotv tool, or will there be a recognition that as America changes, the courts are being reflective of these trends? What bearing will these momentous, major decisions have upon the 2016 election?

    Interesting times. Lots of questions.

    • 1mime says:

      Extending my thought about the direction of SCOTUS, this Hill article elaborates.

      “Some legal experts say the court only appears more liberal because the big cases would have never come before the court if it weren’t so conservative.

      “The only reason they heard the Obamacare case is because we have some really deeply conservative justices who thought this could be used as mechanism to strike it down,” said Kent Greenfield, a law professor and Dean’s Research Scholar at Boston College. “With same-sex marriage, they’ve been avoiding taking the case.”

      For all who live in “fairyland”, here’s a wake-up call: politics is alive and well within the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, every now and then something roils the process and we get surprises such as we’ve seen. But all should note the pertinent fact that the Court “takes” cases it wants or not…which is in itself can be political, as noted in the Hill article. And, for all those conservative who are savaging the recent “liberal” decisions, I look back to how they lauded the Court for the ultra-conservative Citizens United decision and, especially, the changes that gutted the Voting Rights Act. Everyone on the “right” were mighty happy with the Court then, but now they aren’t. Fickle folks. I am looking forward to reading more from some of the more insightful SCOTUS scholars on this subject (and that includes you, Chris!)

      And, as has been noted by many observers, this ruling may have saved the GOP’s buns for the 2016 election. They didn’t have to come up with a “patch” for all who would lose coverage (which of course they don’t have and don’t want), and they can use this to rally their base $$$$. Deep down, Republicans are probably giving this a big “whew, that was a close one”.

    • 1mime says:

      Monday the Supreme Court will release its ruling on the constitutionality of independent, non-partisan, electorate approved voting commissions. Five states employ this concept as an alternative to legislative authority to gerrymander at will. (Both parties employ this practice.)

      Here’s NPR’s article in explanation of what’s involved. For me, the core issue is when does the will of the people as expressed in a legal referendum, trump the tradition and legal right of the Legislature to determine voting districts? Is the “will of the people” the ultimate expression of the Democratic Constitutional process? The Court vacated a major tool for minority voters to challenge overtly partisan voting district lines with the changes they made to the long-standing Voting Rights Act. With this bi-partisan tool for protection of fair and equitable voting district design “as determined by a majority of a state’s population in a legal referendum” further degrade the will of the people? Would these commissions have emerged if Legislatures had been doing their jobs responsibly? I am anxious to see how the Court will frame their decision in light of the Voting Rights change they ushered in. What recourse will remain to protect minority voting rights?

      “…for many legal scholars and good-government groups, the biggest fear is that if the court strikes down Arizona’s commission, it could be a death blow to hopes of removing politics and gerrymandering from the redistricting process.”

  26. flypusher says:

    A good idea is a good idea, and I don’t give a fruit fly’s nether regions where it comes from.

    There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. Then the sun will rise in the east, and people will get on with business as usual.

  27. RobA says:

    America became a better place today.

    This is going to be one of those things that in a very short time we will look back with incredulity.

    In 2020, Jr high kids will say “so wait, gays wernt allowed to marry until 2015?!?! Wtf?”

  28. Stephen says:

    I see this as a civil right issue and not as a religious issue. People should be treated equally under the law. What two or more consenting adults do in private is not mine or the government concern. But I draw the line on restricting what a preacher can preach or require him or her to do things they are fundamentally against like marrying gay couples . You have to draw correctly the division between religious and civil liberties. This position does not really please either pro gay rights people or religious fundamentalist but it is how I see it.

    • RobA says:

      That’s a non issue. Priests or pastors won’t be forced to marry gays against their religion.

      A Catholic can’t go to a synagogue and force them to marry him. This issue is a non starter.

      As far as Im aware, there’s absolutely never been a case of a gay couple demanding a specific religion or church marry them.

      They are simply demanding the right to be married, period. And there are real, practical benefits that married couples get , from tax benefits, to legal protection etc etc. It is wrong to exclude and entire grup of ppl from these benefits.

      You hear stories about the gay partnership that lasts decades and the one partner is not allowed by his loved ones bed as he lays dying in the hospital because the state doesn’t recognize their relationship and the mans family barred him from the room

      Stories like that are wrong. Period. Full stop.

      This is a great day for America.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Stephen, I don’t think preachers are being required to do anything. This is purely a civil issue. Problems will arise when government officials such as judges and clerks refuse to perform or process same-sex marriages on religious grounds.

      I don’t think they would have a leg to stand on, because marrying any and all couples meeting the legal requirements is part of their job.

      • RobA says:

        Talking about that on CNN right now. Apparently the Texas AG (of course) is demanding an exemption for civil servants to not allow same sex marriage if it’s against their beliefs.

        My guess is he can’t be that dumb. He’s just throwing red meat to the masses there in Texas so he can refer back to it next election.

        If a government official simply cannot in good conscience issue a marriage license after the SCOTUS ruled that they must, they’ll simply have to find a different job.

        Doesn’t matter what job you have, if you are unable or unwilling to perform the fundamental duties of your position, you won’t be employed much longer.

      • johngalt says:

        If a government official sworn to uphold the laws of the country finds that he or she could not in good conscious continue to do so, they are welcome to find another line of work. They can practice the bigotry of the religion on their own time, not on the taxpayer’s.

      • 1mime says:

        Tutta, you can count on civil obstruction in conservative states…Texas has already stated its position to deny civil unions. They control the purse and it will be interesting to see how long they will fight the new Supreme Court decision. More tax payer subsidized paranoia.

        Of course, expect the fundamentalist wing of the Republican Party to proclaim: “See, we told you so! America is going to the dogs! White people and traditional institutions are under attack!”

        As a cautionary note, those who seem to need little justification to commit violence when they feel threatened, may become more active. Irrational people commit irrational acts. Don’t look for them to fade away just because SCOTUS has ruled.

        I mean, the nerve of those supreme court justices! The nerve!!!

      • vikinghou says:

        Yes, it’s similar to some pharmacists who want to refuse to dispense birth control pills on religious grounds.

    • flypusher says:

      IF a gay couple crosses that line and tries to force any pastor/church to marry them, I’m predicting that it will smack right into the 1st Amendment. Some people just might try it as a troll. I’d be shocked if it even got as far as SCOTUS.

      • 1mime says:

        I really don’t think that will be the case. Gays have won the battle. They will find someone to marry them who wants to marry them. Why go anywhere else?

      • RobA says:

        Agreed, but highly unlikely.

        I know the far right think the only reason gays have been pushing for this is to rub it in “Christians” faces and to “push their agenda”. They couldn’t possibly just want the same equal rights that everyone else has.

      • 1mime says:

        You are so right, Rob. Those who feel threatened can’t possibly understand why others would want access to the same rights and opportunities, can they?

        Just listened to a CNBC discussion on the legal ramifications to the ruling (same sex). Federal law struck down taxation of benefits to same sex couples two years ago. Since then, 14 states (guess which ones) have refused to allow this same tax status. The SCOTUS ruling no longer permits individual states to tax benefits of those in same sex relationships. Huge financial and legal changes will follow.

      • flypusher says:

        “I know the far right think the only reason gays have been pushing for this is to rub it in “Christians” faces and to “push their agenda”. ”

        I’ve met a couple people I believe would do that. Like JG’s example of the person he met who gay and racist, I don’t consider them to be in any way representative. Some people absolutely do resent the fact that gays once had to be closeted, and conservative Christians get a lot of their blame. But they would be much better off taking their victory and living well (which is the best revenge).

      • way2gosassy says:

        I don’t believe they would be foolish enough to push the envelope that far this early. If they want to marry in a church for religious reasons there are churches that are more than willing to perform those ceremonies.

      • flypusher says:

        “I don’t believe they would be foolish enough to push the envelope that far this early. If they want to marry in a church for religious reasons there are churches that are more than willing to perform those ceremonies.”

        I really hope that’s what happens. There’s a lot of the RW declaring that they are TAKING A STAND and they won’t cooperate with any gay weddings and they are willing to GO TO JAIL rather than submit. The absolute best response would be for all the people who want to do a SSM to go to the churches/courthouses that aren’t taking this stand, patronize the florists/bakeries/etc. who are glad to take their business, and completely ignore the opposition. Quit while you are way, way ahead here. Resist the urge to rub RW noses in it some more, and the uproar will die down sooner.

        Which is why I wouldn’t have done the rainbow White House, despite how pretty it looked.

      • 1mime says:

        Even though you are essentially correct, Fly, about the rainbow White House, it isn’t often that this President has had an opportunity to celebrate. I can cut him a little slack on this one.

  29. 1mime says:

    Chris: “…If the GOP could muster a shred of cool-headed sanity, practically every gay couple in America who wants to marry would be Republicans. ”

    Not so fast, Chris. The gay people I have known and do know have many other issues with the Republican Party. Being “downtrodden and insulted and alienated” for years, this group of people have deep sensitivity to the same problems other interest groups experience. They understand those who have been denied jobs because they were different, and were the butt of bigoted people in words and actions. In short, they identify with the oppressed because they have walked in their shoes – even if it was for a different reason.

    And, don’t expect gays to reach back and applaud conservatives for their support of marriage when, as is so often the case, it was only “some” people who should deserve this status. And don’t expect them to forget the struggle to adopt children, serve our military without ridicule, and, importantly, WHO stood up for them in this last great battle.

    Nope, the Log Cabin Republicans will remain a mostly ignored, disrespected sector of the GOP. Most gay people have their eyes wide open about the Republican Party. Maybe a long time from now, IF the Republican Party ever musters “a shred of cool-headed sanity”, maybe then there might be a shot. But it won’t be soon or easy. History tends to serve as a visceral reminder of core values that are most difficult to change.

    • goplifer says:

      The **if** in that sentence is REALLY important. It’s too late now. We missed out chance. I just hope we manage to avoid squandering whatever new chances emerge.

      Remember that the GOP in Harris County came within a few votes in 1992 of putting Log Cabin Republicans in leadership positions. Steven Hotze and his brown shirts spent most of the 90’s dismantling the party infrastructure that had existed before – all because the party had previously been totally OK with gay conservatives.

      The rational, Hamiltonian base of the party could have won that fight. They didn’t, but it really was a close thing. Opportunity lost, then squashed, burned, and dragged through the streets.

      Frustrating. Time to look forward and be ready to fight harder next time.

      • 1mime says:

        The other option gays have is to work within the Democratic Party. They don’t “need” the GOP nearly as much as the GOP needs them. I would hope they would work to bring more fiscal discipline to the party (Democrat) that has had their back all along. As I have stated many times, I understand and support many conservative principles but absolutely cannot accept the narrow social views. This is so fundamental to the Republican platform that it will take a monumental change to see them embrace more balance in ideology. It can happen and really must happen for the GOP to remain viable, but it won’t be fast or easy.

        Hang in there, Chris. Conservatives like you are the hope for the Republican Party.

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