So NOM has started up another front group, like the ruth institute, called DefendDOMA.org.
Honestly its sick-making on so many grounds, the homophobia and bigotry expressed, but also the hypocrisy.
The rights of the minority cannot be in the hands of the majority, its one of the many lessons learned during the process of moving towards equality in this country.
Defending DOMA is unethical because marriage is not threatened, and nobody has come up with an iota of proof that allowing marriage equality would damage heterosexual marriage in any way.
The hypocrisy comes from the flip flopping, currently its the vote of the people meme, they know whats best, but were it the people supporting it they’d still be clamoring to the representatives/senators that they had to stand firm against the gay tide.
This to me is still the best argument against the tactics is this video on Reel Love
This is an open letter to the ‘Land of the Free’, and indeed, all those living under the colourful tones (and yes, I mean colourful… I’m a Brit!) of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’. This is a letter both to and about America and her people. This is a letter about liberty, democracy, equality, opportunity, merit, forgiveness and compassion. This is a letter about basic human decency.
Dear United States,
What the hell is going on with you? I grew up being taught of the many wonderful ideals that America held dear, and it once gave me some belief that there was a country in this world with the sense of fairness and decency to act out those ideals. Some of those ideals are supposedly the founding principles of your nation, and some of them simply ideals that America holds dear… ideas and ideals worth defending. Much of your country, after all, was founded with a population that grew from those that escaped the tyranny, persecution, and oppression they found in Britain, and even in Ireland. Yet more people have joined you since then from around the world, some of whom were slaves -OK, not a bright point in history, but at least Americans saw fit to eventually put an end to it – indeed, that Mr. Luther King was able to stand up as he did as a figurehead of the civil rights movement is just one example of how a man can supposedly start from humble beginnings and rise to greatness in America. Actually, I had grown up to think of you not just as a world leader, but one that leads by example.
Sadly, I no longer believe in that magical land of freedom I was taught about. It doesn’t seem to exist any more, and it’s a great loss to the world that it doesn’t exist. It is of course no great loss to LGBTQIA Americans, who have grown up with first hand experience of the flaws of your once great nation which serve to ensure that it is not free. All men (and women) under the American flag are not equal! Your levels of gun crime are truly shocking, and entitlement to healthcare was a shambles until recently, and is threatened to be so again by a Republican led congress determined to engage in culture war rather than concentrate on jobs, with jobs being the policy they were elected on. Britain is not perfect in this department either, but that excuses neither country and Britain isn’t the so-called ‘land of the free’.
The GOP led house has just voted to remove funding for Title X provisions; provisions which any civilised society should provide to anybody that needs them. Unfortunately those that cannot afford to pay for it can no longer gain access to…
- pelvic exams and Pap tests, important for early detection of cervical cancer;
- breast exams and instruction on breast self-examination
- testing for high blood pressure, anemia, and diabetes;
- screening and appropriate treatment for sexually transmitted infections; and
- basic infertility screening.
… and how are those unable to access these things supposed to have a choice over their own health, let alone their own lifestyle? Is this is an ill informed attack on women in an attempt to keep them fidelitous and stop them having sex? Why? Is it because a bunch of so-called Christians in your country feel that only God’s way is the right way, and so do all they can to bend and shape your nation into their theocratic image? I mean, what’s the difference between a theocratic society and laws based on theocratic ideas anyway? How is such theocratic rule supposed to be any better than that of any other theocratic state… like, for example, Iran? Of what value is separation of Church and State if the secular laws of the land are created by those who wish to enshrine their religious beliefs into legislation intended to enforce the moral code of their favoured deity and holy book?
Why, in this enlightened age, are abortion doctors murdered by those who profess to be ‘pro-life’?.. and on what planet is the murder of an abortion doctor ‘justifiable homicide’, as recently proposed by Republican Representative Phil Jensen in South Dakota? Why are transgender people in the US denied treatment known to be successful for their condition, and why are they so often denied the right to ammend their documentation appropriately… even reported by names they were no longer known by after their deaths and mistreated at the hands of public servants.
What about marriage equality… why? Why is it that an LGBTQIA person can serve their country in any number of patriotic ways, and yet be denied the right to be married? Why is it that when Proposition 8 passed (dubiously) in California, it was hailed as a show of the democratic will of the people, but it doesn’t work that way around when opponents of marriage equality fail to impress with their bigotry. Instead, in a state like New Hampshire where most people support already existing marriage equality, Republicans try to pass bills to repeal it… and when that fails, people like Republican Representative David Bates suggest that a consitutional amendment could serve the same purpose if the bill is defeated… Where’s the democracy in that, in a state with 29% against marriage equality, 9% neutral, and 62% in favour of it? This isn’t representing the people! This is using the people as pawns to get into government in order to use their position in an effort to force through THEIR views, not the people’s!.. and it’s happened on both a state and federal scale!
Making it worse, what’s happening about an immigration policy that not only has no policy for gay people, but specifically refuses to recognise the marriages of those who ARE in a state where their marriages are recognised. Where is the American dream or the freedom, liberty, fairness and compassion in throwing someone out of the country or refusing to let them in, just because they happen to be gay, where a straight person in the same circumstances would be welcomed?
Oh America! How can you go to war on false pretences of WMD’s that don’t exist with a claim of “spreading democracy and freedom around the world”, when such monumental democratic failings, culture wars, and illiberty permeate your once great nation?
Much of the western world has woken up to the bigotry, hatred, discrimination, and illiberty of the past. Many countries now recognise transsexual men and women for who they really are, and even allow them to get married accordingly. Many countries in the western world allow same sex marriage, and many of those that don’t offer a non-marriage civil union which is not enough, but at least something. America doesn’t even reliably offer a civil union, and it’s benefits are limited where it IS available! America, are you really willing to be left behind and stand there as a pariah state of intolerance, hatred and bigotry in not affording these people recognition of their relationships on your soil, for immigration purposes or otherwise?
I used to look up to the United States as a country of freedom, fairness and opportunity. Now, the United States is simply a disappointment. Would the real United States please catch up?
These wonderful activists decided to try to get the basic human freedom of marrying the person they love. Sad to see that there were too many bigots at the licensing office in many states.
Two things stuck out to me, one was the woman in california who was so apologetic of the situation, and wrote an IOU a marriage license and said she would be honored to give them one when she could, it kinda made me cry. The other was a man saying “you aren’t helping your cause” what a little shit, and I say that with love and compassion… We will do what ever we can to raise the issue and fight for our basic human rights of equality. You wont stop us.
I wish i’d been out with these brave people, sadly obviously not in the US at the moment… more bigotry in action.
I’m a left of left ultra liberal, socialist, eggheaded, feminist, antitheist, bisexual, anti-war, anti-corporatist, pro-labour, lesbian identified transwoman…. I don’t like conservatism because it stands against on pretty much every issue. But I also realize that people have and are entitled to different perspectives. There are LGBTQIA people who believe in fiscal and defense conservative issues. I don’t like their viewpoint, and I consider them “good queers” but i think they have a right to believe what they do.
Star Parker and others disagree however, they consider that should someone who is LGBTQIA, then they should have no right to claim the conservative mantle. No matter their belief on defense and fiscal issues according to Star Parker, the fact that they ignore levitical law, and focus on reality rather than God, means that they do not fit with her definition of marriage. It seems clear that the walkout from CPAC by many of the anti-equality social conservatives that they want to deny the right of LGBTQIA conservatives a voice or even in a place within the political movement they are a part of. Its good to see that some within the Conservative movement such as Mitch Daniels have made it clear that such intolerance is not welcome, and they need to move past it, but the backlash against him suggests that GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans are certainly being kept out and thats outrageous given that 30% of LGBTQIA people voted for republican candidates this time (Allegedly).
Look I get it like Rush Limbaugh, that Star Parker wants to criminalize acceptance of LGBTQIA persons, and roll back any rights we have won. They cannot stand the idea that other conservatives are waking up to the realization that equality is right and just. The baptist god is not the absolute ruler of conservatism or the republican party, and denying the bile soaked religious dogma as the mantra of conservatism is the right way to go. Melanie Philips recently complained that David Cameron the conservative Prime Minister of the UK stood up for marriage equality, because while he is a fiscal conservative, and a defense conservative, he has not let the bigotry of social conservatives rule him. There will come the day when conservative republicans will recognizing that marriage equality is the right thing to do. I wish they would stand up for it today, but they are still cowards.
You damage your movement Star Parker, by trying to keep the new blood of the “Good Queers” out as well as their allies.
Sometimes I find it difficult to understand the vehemence of NOM and their crowd. They have to know their actions cause unimaginable suffering and pain. When I get realistic, I remember that they have a pathological separation with reality. Indiana is moving closer to intolerance with a rights denying amendment passing through the state house yesterday. NOM is already crowing over their success, with this video announcing their summer of hate starting in Indiana.
This is their video from their last year’s bus trip of gay-bashing across America when it visited Indiana.
All of you throughout Indiana need to let your lawmakers know, that they must stand with justice and equality rather than apartheid and injustice…
From Nom’s own video archives
Not much to report, beyond an amendment to enforce bigotry passing the Indiana house. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the progress through the state senate, but hopefully sanity and justice will prevail.
I’ll add more on Indiana, its politics, nature and demographics tomorrow, just a quick report for now.
Another helpful story found via NOM
I’ve seen it reported in US media from time to time, that same sex marriage exists in the UK. It doesn’t. What exists in the UK is a segregated system of sexuality based apartheid. If you’re straight, you can get married, and if you’re LGBT, you can have a ‘civil partnership’. However, the issue of marriage equality is now emerging into UK public consciousness.
A civil partnership is largely like a marriage in terms of its legal effects, but it is not a marriage. In fact, it was deliberately stripped of any and all emotional or spiritual connotations entirely. A marriage in the UK is binding from the point that vows are spoken, and yet, a civil partnership is created instead from the signatures on a legal contract. A straight couple who hold a religious or spiritual faith may choose to incorporate elements of their beliefs into the ceremony. They have the option of making their marriage special in their way, and to honour their love and commitment in the manner most meaningful to them. LGBT people do not have this option. For married people, adulterous behaviour is grounds for divorce if they so choose -the same is not true of civil partners. Even if these differences did not exist, the law makes clear that a civil partnership is not a marriage. Marriage equality is what was sought, and the UK gave LGBT people something less. They deliberately segregated gay and straight people, and effectively said that gay people should not be afforded the right to get married or celebrate their love and commitment in anything that resembles a personal, spiritual way, and so creating a greater and a lesser form of partnership. In fact, this discrimination is so firmly entrenched that transsexual people, if married, must actually divorce only to then obtain a civil partnership in order to have their personal details officially corrected.
Ever since the Civil Partnerships Act recieved Royal Assent in 2004, there has been a cry for full marriage equality. A cry which is finally beginning to be heared across all three major political parties, with the Liberal Democrats having even gone so far as to make marriage equality a matter of their party policy… and well they might, as marriage equality in the UK is a very popular move to make. Opinion polls show a consistent majority in favour of equal rights and an end to the discrimination. Sadly though, the politicians are slow to practice what they preach.
Currently, the Government is faced with an opportunity and with pressure to end this discrimination as stipulated by legislation passed last year. The legislation makes very clear that no religious institution opposed to same sex partnerships would be required to perform them or to allow their places of worship to be used for them.
Many Liberal Democrats will no doubt be quick to claim any extention of LGBT rights towards marriage equality as a sign of their success and moral standing in Government. However, it should also be noted that the provisions which call for the change allowing LGBT people to involve their religious beliefs in their civil partnerships comes from an Equality Act, written last year under the leadership of a Labour Government (the self same act that effectively rolled back some of the rights of transsexual people, and decided that LGBT bullying in schools should not be specifically remedied). The implementation of the law allowing for this positive step towards marriage equality has in fact been delayed for a year by the current government. The fact is, when it comes to LGBT rights, none of the political parties have a particularly good record when it comes to actually fighting to do something about it -some worse than others, the worst, sadly, being the party leading the current Government!
Even so, this is a remarkably important step forward, at least in its potential, and it should be considered as such. The consultation undoubtedly will involve many churches vehemently opposed to marriage equality. These churches are worried that with the key difference in the ban on religious components to civil partnerships being removed, there would be no real reason not to call them marriages – and rightly so, because they’re right! However, there is no word from the Government on whether Civil Partnerships will be changed so that they may be referred to as marriages… it’s not really even on the agenda. The Government has simply suggested that it might think about it some time. The question is whether it is right that LGBT people who wish to be able to recognise their beliefs in a ceremony marking their partnership should be able to… and if their beliefs (or those of their church) allow for this, is there any fair reason why they should not be allowed to? No. There isn’t.
The right wing press is predictably spinning and overblowing the comments of church leaders to suggest a fear that they will be forced to perform gay marriages. It’s as predictable as it is tiresome. Left unchecked, extremist churches and right wing mariage equality opponents may well water down any eventual positive step towards marriage equality, or block it altogether. This should not be allowed to happen – at least not without firm opposition to such underhanded and homophobic intentions.
Fellow No More Lost writer Gemma, in her recent piece about France’s failure to ensure mariage equality, notes the way that the energy of the movement was lost following a homophobic court ruling in 2004. Reading her article, and noting the lack of widespread opposition to marriage equality, I have to wonder why. It seems to me that an explanation may be that unless related to an oppositional religious group, most heterosexual people aren’t exceptionally bothered by marriage equality, given that they don’t really have much cause to think about it and it doesn’t effect them.
For that reason, and that reason alone, as the issue of marriage equality enters the UK public consciousness, and as the right wing press spews out it’s typical homophobic propaganda and lies about the reality of what’s going on, it’s more important than ever that we make our case. It is more important than ever that we make ourselves heared. It is now more important than ever that we, LGBT people and our heterosexual allies, ensure that the public at large have more information than just the usual nationally disseminated lies and propaganda, and that the public consciousness of the issue also forms around an understanding of the wrongs and impacts that marriage INequality gives rise to.
Here’s an article from 1999, about the collapse of the opposition to marriage equality in France. The country famed for liberty and equality, the Fifth Republic of France was ready to step forward and lead on equality.
So why today, 12 years later is Pat Robertson’s pet news agency, One News World reporting that France’s highest court continued blocking marriage equality.
Sadly that energy was lost, indeed in 2004, there was another homophobic court ruling annulling a gay marriage due to “The Traditional Family” a long since passed french concept. The president had a divorce and married his girlfriend AFTER his election to president, and nobody batted an eyelid. But apparently a lesbian couple wanting the same rights as other families, thats a step too far.
I look up to France, I idealize their principles, the social institutions and french character, including sensible views on sex and marriage. I am normally so proud of my french ancestry, except for at the moment. Intolerance has won this battle and we have to keep up the fight, ignoring the insult that french civil partnerships are.
I know that France is not the egalitarian progressive utopia I would love it to be, BUT I honestly assumed that the french people would stand up and demand real equality from their courts. Hopefully next time the battle is fought it’ll be a slam dunk, but honestly its time for President Sarkozy to step up and lead on real marriage.
Rather than what France claims to stand up for, their motto might be L’esclavage, la hiérarchie, Vendetta, please rise to the challenge….
Senator Kittleman of the 9th District of Maryland has stood up against the almost insurmountable forces of intolerance at the heart of his party.
Initially when the tides of equality seemed to be heading towards the Maryland Legislature, Kittleman chose to try to find a compromise by proposing a civil unions bill. Now while I may not agree, i applaud his efforts towards bridging the divide between progressives and intolerants. However when his own side refused to support such a measure, he chose what he felt was right for his constituents over the platform of his party.
More than that however, he went against the tenets of his own faith, which are firmly conservative christian, and instead went with his principles on the constitution that clearly state we are not a theocracy.
I know I’m generally fairly anti-religious in my viewpoint, this represents the way things should be in American Politics, a devout member of a faith, disagrees on the basis of his religion but then when he enters the legislature he does not drag his or her faith in behind him.
Allan Kittleman, I’m sure we would disagree on so many things, but you are a True American and an honorable man, thank you for your courage.
Via our friends at the NOM Blog who keep telling us about the brave and courageous people they hate and want to destroy.
Barbera Bush, daughter of George “re-elect me and keep the hate alive” W Bush, stood up a few days ago with this simple message about equality in my adoptive home of New York State
There is another marriage equality bill working its way through the NYS legislature, hopefully this time the bigots will not stop it this time.
Here was the news report from last time the state voted against equality.
Yes i know shameless self-plug i was on the news about it
When California legalized equal marriage in 2008, I really felt uplifted, one of the two homes of equality now recognized equality in law. I then heard rumblings about Proposition 8, and assumed unwisely that it would fail to get on the ballot, let alone pass. I had not reckoned with the forces of hatred and intolerance unleashed by conservative christians.
Prop 8 the musical really did catch the mood of shock and horror we felt, across the USA…
It felt as though at the moment the country was walking forwards into a brighter better future, we were yanked back, it honestly made me feel sick and despondent. However we had to pick ourselves up and start moving forwards.
My understanding of the California constitution, makes it cut and dried, the proposition was unlawful, it was a change to the nature of the constitution, and so should have needed 2/3rds majority. It should have been struck down on principle by every court of the land and i’d cheer that.
However I don’t think for once that’s the right way to go. I think we need to refight the battle we lost and win the war. The numbers ended up at 52 for 48 against, I think we can win, and we can win big.
Throughout the US every time its come up for a public vote, hatred and intolerance has won on the issue of marriage equality. This does not mean our time has not come, it means we have not out fought the religious right yet. While California is not the liberal utopia we’d love it to be, its still the home of San Francisco, our Vatican, our Mecca and our Shangri-la. So its time we take California back for equality.
We need to put marriage equality back on the ballot for 2012, we need it to be our issue, we need to fight the fire of the Mormons, the Baptists and the other haters with the water of the truth. We have the money, we have the power, and we can win.
I’m sure some would talk against this idea as risky, but I think we need an unequivocal victory against intolerance. We need an example to hold up when NOM comes out and says “We always win when it comes to the ballot”, and i think thats worth the risk to start the march towards marriage equality at the federal level.
We can win, we must win, and we have to step up to start the next battle.
Is there an issue of “redefining marriage” in England? Charlie Butts of OneNewsNow appears to believe so. So much so in fact that he elected to write an article about it for the American Family News Network. It begs the question of who this family is – most certainly not a gay one. No, the American Family News Network is an offshoot of the American Family Association founded by the religious right conservative Donald Wildmon, dedicated to purveying “Your Latest News From A Christian Perspective”. Quite why this group feels it has a monopoly on what a Christian perspective is is anybodies guess, but that goes for many such right wing so-called family groups.
It has to be wondered whether LGBTQIA Americans are “letting the side down” at the moment, because quite evidently, this was a slow news day. There must have been very little ammunition against Gay people in America on the day of publishing for this non-story to reach our screens! Why else would the author have written about such an irrelevant story? By the authors assessment, that issue of which he writes is unlikely to amount to anything anyway, so why would the American Family News Network pay such attention to something which is nothing to do with America, and in their belief, would prove inconsequential. That there are people in the UK who would like to see same sex marriage recognised as legitimate is no secret and it’s nothing new. Indeed, if there were a story worth a mention at all, it would be that the Liberal Democrats (a party currently in Coalition Government in the UK) voted to support Same Sex Marriage as a matter of policy -That was some time ago!
Lets cut to the chase here – is same sex marriage a redefinition of marriage? Only so if you define marriage as between a man and a woman… but that is not the definition of marriage itself. Indeed, here in the UK we have civil partnerships which were incorrectly described as marriages in all but name by those that created them! Clearly then, the concept of marriage is not especially perceived as being primarily between one man and one woman, but rather, is perceived as the loving union of two people before the state. It is NOT perceived as being before God by anybody but the religious, which is why in the UK, civil ceremonies exist.
So, perhaps redefining marriage is not the issue in England. Perhaps the possible existence of same sex marriage is an issue and a more accurate way of describing that issue. Indeed, that much is true, but again, Mr. Butts has the wrong end of the stick. In fact, a 2009 Populus opinion poll, as reported by The Times Newspaper, reported that 61% of people agreed that “Gay couples should have an equal right to get married, not just to have civil partnerships”, with just 33% disagreeing. Clearly, that’s a very definite suggestion that the “redefinition” of marriage “at issue” which Mr. Butts perceives is in fact the exact opposite of the issue that actually exists in England. Englanders aren’t “fighting back the horde of ‘gay activists’ trying to advance their ‘homosexual agenda’”. Englanders in fact realise that gay people deserve the same basic opportunities and rights as straight people, and they support gay marriage. The “issue” therefor is that of bigotry on the part of so called “pro-family” groups.
I guess the term “pro-family unless you happen to be gay” is a bit less catchy, but it’s closer to the truth. It is in fact the “pro family” groups that have the issue, not the rest of society. Considering the specifics of the article in question, the case being brought to the courts regarding marriage is not purely a “same sex marriage” issue. It’s an equality issue. It’s a question of why gay people and straight people should be segregated by law. It’s a question of what possible reason there could be for denying straight people the right to a civil partnership, and by comparison, why gay people should be equally be denied the right to marriage. Mr. Butts suggests that the case reeks of judicial activism, but judicial activism is when judges step beyond the realms of their station to make a point. It is quite within their station to make judgements on points of law, and that is exactly the task before them here. The judges are required to look both at whether there is a valid reason for denying civil partnerships to straight people, and if not, whether there is therefor a reason to deny marriage to gay people too.
In any case, regardless of the outcome of the case, public and political opinion is increasingly shifting in favour of same sex marriage, because the public is increasingly realising that there is no good and wholesome reason to deny it. The only unsavoury agents in the arena on this issue are in fact pro-family groups and religious right activists baying for the ability to discriminate and segregate… to oppress and hate.
So why the interest in UK matters from an American Family group? It’s probably the same reason that Fox News recently used footage of the student protests against tuition fee rises instigated by a right wing government as a suggestion that the people of the UK were following in behind the Tea Party movement of the US. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, and the student movement here has been consistently on the left, not the right. Far right groups and organisations want people to believe that they are not raving, ranting, hateful and regressive – to ensure it, they want people to believe that other major players in the world are in agreement with their views, and are prepared to lie about it and misrepresent the facts. This speaks of just how sinister they can be, and how much they are actually worth listening to.
Lies, deceit, hate, bigotry and intolerance are not pro-family. Perhaps that’s part of why gay people often make better parents.
This is a really good visible campaign, of course being called on their crap frustrates NOM, so they responded claiming the children are being exploited.
The response makes me sick, how dare they talk loving families and say these children are not allowed a voice.
We are here, we have marriages in reality if not in law and people we love, and surprisingly we want share that positive environment with our children. I really don’t care that your neolithic religion doesn’t like the fact that i fuck my girlfriend and I think like everything else from that ignorant age it should be thrown on the trash heap…
Pop on over to FCKH8.COM and show your support
I’m just making a clarification here, that not all branches of the judeochristianislamic pantheon of religions cling to the homophobic tennets preached by the christian right. I do not intend to criticize the enlightened sects that remained true to the positive aspects espoused by those faiths, and if anyone took offense i do apologize, your faith is not for me but you are entitled to it.
I found this via my friend Mari, and i think it defines why the gay marriage fight is more of a symptom than the problem that needs to be fixed.
You look at NOM, and all their fucked up “Marriage is between a man and a woman” which has never been true. Arranged marriages happened to perpetuate societal structure, and then the respective parties would then have affairs on the side. Everybody knows who Abe Lincoln was doing on the side…. So please don’t preach marriage is a sacrament, because its just been about perpetuating convenient lies.
The reason is not about marriage, its about love and who we share that love with. They want to be able to walk down the street and only see straight couples, they want their children to see only straight mummies and daddies at school, and they definitely don’t want us to be proud of who we are.
I want the haters to be the ones who feel ashamed (if anyone should be feeling shame), i want them to be reminded that their intolerance is disgusting and peverse, if you want to sit in a cave and say “fags go to hell” go do that, out here in the 21st century all us fabulous fags, dykes, queens, kings, trannies, fudge packers and muff munchers are finding little pieces of heaven with who we love. You can’t stop it, you can’t repress it, so just accept it or FUCK OFF!
Footnote: NOM – National Organization for Marriage
Footnote 2: NOMexposed for background on NOM.