solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Okay, so the front-line names on Initiative 1552 (the anti-LGBT initiative that puts bounties on the heads of trans students) are three women nobody's heard of being particularly active in politics before: Kaeley Triller, Kristi Meritt, and Cassandra Nelson.

But! Guess what: their domain (justwantprivacy dot org) has a non-concealed owner! And that owner is Joseph Backholm of Lynnwood.

Joseph Backholm of Lynnwood is president of the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW), a long-time right-wing fundamentalist evangelical political group, and a legally-distinct but nonetheless listed affiliate of the Family Research Council, a decades-old anti-LGBT hate group spun off of Focus on the Family for specifically political actions. (You can find FPIW on FRC's state affiliates page here: )

FPIW were previously behind Referendum 74, which asked voters to reject our then-recently-passed marriage equality laws.

Joseph Backholm himself used to be with the similarly anti-queer and anti-woman's-rights ADF ("Alliance Defending Freedom," formerly "Alliance Defence Fund"), of Scottsdale, Arizona, which may be best known to larger audiences as supporting law making LGBT people illegal.

They also have ties to anti-LGBT/fundamentalist political groups such as the Pacific Justice Institute, the Thomas More Law Center, the Heritage Foundation, and the (dead?) "ex-gay" group Exodus International. The Heritage Foundation also supports states' rights to make LGBT people illegal.

So if, you know, you thought this was anything other than an attempt to peel off layers of the alliance to weaken the entire coalition so they can pick all of us off one layer at a time? It's not. That's exactly what it is.

Registry Registrant ID: CR212357711
Registrant Name: Joseph Backholm
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: 16108 Ash Way
Registrant City: Lynnwood
Registrant State/Province: Washington
Registrant Postal Code: 98036
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.4256080242
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email:
Registry Admin ID: CR212357713

(If you go to Google Maps streetview, you'll find their office, facing the parking lot in back, suite 113.)
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
I have no words for how angry I am right now, or how revolted.

So turns out Milo Yiannopoulos - who gets called a "conservative provocateur," who says women shouldn't be allowed to drive, who thinks women should be kept out of STEM, who thinks if women don't like violent harassment online that they should just log off, and who is SPECIFICALLY AND ACTUALLY A WHITE SUPREMACIST, but who is nonetheless treated like Someone Who Should Be Heard -

Turns out? He's pro-pederasty. Yeah, he thinks fucking 13-year-olds is (excuse me: can be) fine and that this "consent" nonsense is just arbitrary and oppressive. Particularly, I guess, when it comes to 13-year-olds.

YOU THINK I'M MAKING THIS UP? VIDEO. SECOND SOURCE. THIRD SOURCE (tho' I haven't listened to that version myself, the first link is the relevant section excerpted).

Can't wait 'till next next appearance on Bill Maher and Simon & Schuster extending his book contact, can you? Are you looking forward to his CPAC keynote speech this year? I SURE AM.

He's a sadist, and all of his fans are vicious, drooling monsters, and all of this was known already, but now he's also pro-pederast, in his own words.

And if that is finally enough to get him de-platformed, do not fucking forget, for one goddamn minute - not one - that being an overt white-supremacist and overtly savage misogynist and actual literal fascist...

...wasn't enough. It took this.

[Transcription mine. Some incidental anti-black racism, misogyny, and transphobia is elided intentionally]

MILO: We get hung upon on this kind of, this child abuse stuff, to the point where we're heavily policing even relationships between consenting adults... [interrupted] [aside, joking about a picture put up in the video feed]

HOST: The whole consent thing, for me, is, it's not this black and white thing that people try to paint it.

MILO: No, it isn't.

HOST: Are there some 13-year-olds out there capable of giving informed consent to have sex with an adult? Probably. But I was also a 13 year old. I hung around with 13-year-old guys when I was, you know, 13, and there were some of them that still thought girls were fuckin' icky at 13. Like not many, but they were just coming out of that phase... the reason that these age of consent laws exist, is that we have to set some kind of barometer here...

MILO: The law is probably about right... but there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age... people who are sexually active younger... I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way. And in many cases, actually, those relationships with older - and this is one of those, this is sort of stu-, this is why this is one of those reasons I hate the left, you know, I meant this sort of stupid, one size fits all policing of culture, this arbitrary - I'll be quick - this arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys, you know, understandings that many of us have of the complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex, and actually in the homosexual world particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of a rock, where they can't speak to their parents - some of those relationships are the most [interrupted]

HOST: It's funny because ... you gave me a few videos to watch to brush up on my Milo-isms, and one of the things that you said in one of these clips is that transgenderism is the new frontier of, you know, rights - my wording is bad here, but - the new frontier of social progress, and the next thing in line is going to be pedophilia, and yet here you are talkin' about how, look, some of these kids who get diddled by these priests, I mean, it's a good thing for them, they're getting this love, now they are also gettin' dick...

MILO: You're misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature; pedophilia is attraction to children, to children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is attraction to people who don't have functioning sex organs yet, who have not gone through puberty, who are too young to be able to understand the way their body works. That is not what we're talking about.

That's assuming even this does it. I'm not taking bets.

ETA: MY GODS, THERE'S MORE. Completely different interview. Watch Milo insist that everybody lusts after 14, 15-year-olds. Host says no, they're kids, Milo says he's lying.

This is bog standard molester logic. (Also, not incidentally, rapist logic.) Everybody does it, or would if they could, and you're lying if you say you don't want to. Bog standard.

solarbird: (molly-determined)
At the recent arguments against California's recently-adopted ban on marriage, you get a protester holding up a sign congratulating Harvey Milk's murderer as a hero (scene shot here); the domestic-parntership expansion bill here in Washington State is prompting the fundamentalist right to air a huge series of complete-fabrication hate ads against it (if you live in a swing district or any district targeted by these, please call your legislators to support the expansion), and the Mormon political machine is gearing up for more anti-queer action across the country, like in Illinois.

In non-queer culture-war bullshit, the current Pope Benedict upheld the excommunication of a mother who authorised an abortion for the twins her nine year old daughter was carrying after she had been raped buy her stepfather, a pregnancy which was under any circumstances life-threatening. The rapist stepfather has not been excommunicated. If you need a bigger sign of absolute wretched contempt for women by the Catholic church hierarchy, I don't know what's wrong with you. (Oh, and if you forgot, Pope Benedict has also been busy revoking excommunications of pro-Hitler Holocaust deniers.)

The only good thing about all this is that it's driving people away from Christianity in starkly clear numbers. Reap the fucking whirlwind, you evil bastards. The evangelicals are showing slightly up numbers, but the Christian Science Monitor thinks US evangelism is on the verge of sudden collapse, noting:
Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake. Evangelicals will increasingly be seen as a threat to cultural progress. Public leaders will consider us bad for America, bad for education, bad for children, and bad for society.
Yeah, and you'll be seen that way because that's what you've been. All you fucks have been doing is hating on me and people like me for decades now, and the entire religion has hollowed itself out to shrieking yahoos who don't give a rat's ass about anything other than worshipping torturers and bashing on queers and women. I mean honestly, when you have your reps talking about how he hopes the children(!) of "sexual promiscuity" die of AIDS to teach their parents a lesson, how much more wretchedly, perversely, direly, hatefully, sadistically evil do you think you need to be? I'm glad at least one of you recognises, at this late date, what you've become.

(The CS Monitor author is probably looking at the dramatic collapse in Catholic identification in New England following the continued church protection of child rapists and their protectors, like Bernard Law. "Oops, I think we're in trouble." I sure fucking hope so, you deserve to be.)

You look at this and then look in contrast to things like how in the officially Christian United Kingdom, PM Gordon Brown recently stated that "this [Proposition 8] attempt to undo good that has been done is unacceptable." And in Argentina - Argentina - you have banks running advertisements containing more overt queer respect than you see anywhere in the US. (Link courtesy [ profile] cow.) And you really realise that it's the US, the Islamic fundamentalist countries, the ex-Hitler Youth pope, and a few fascists in Russia vs. everyone else in the world. It's revolting.

Don't forget to call to support SB 5688 and HB 1727, the domestic-partnership expansion bills, and, for that matter, the dead-on-arrival SB 5674 and HB 1745, which would authorise marriage outright - it only adds a few seconds to the call. The legislative hotline 1.800.562.6000.
solarbird: (Default)
Anti-marriage activists in West Virginia - working on a marriage-banning state constitutional amendment - post video with queers targeting children through rifle sights. Very nice. Also, the Catholic church is ramping up it's anti-marriage/anti-gay efforts, now working on their own version of ex-gay quackery. A couple of stations decline to run anti-gay hate ads by the American Family Association on the basis that they "did not represent positive Christianity"; Focus on the Family screams gay censorship. Oh, and I've received email from the local fundamentalists talking about their planned anti-domestic-partnership referendum, coming soon to signature-gatherers near you, for the fall ballot.

Mr. Obama's "sunshine" pledge has fallen completely by the wayside. Perhaps he should be reminded of this promise.

Army Private Brandon Neely, a former guard at Gitmo, steps forward to talk about the torture he witnessed at Guantánamo Bay. This is just part of the Bush torture regime that Mr. Obama and the complicit national Democratic leadership do not want to focus upon.

The Pakistani government has decided to allow Sharia law in the Swat valley, an area likely to be used to further destabilise the Pakistan government and to provide safe-haven for the Taliban. You all should, of course, know what I think of Sharia law.
solarbird: (dmw)
Washington State already has a fucking DOMA. Washington State doesn't perform or recognise same-sex marriage. But that's not stopping a set of fucking haters who apparently have nothing better to do than stamp "fuck you, queers" into yet another year's legislative calendar by introducing a resolution to remind faggots how much they hate us by 1) introducing redundant legislation to make marriage extra illegal, 2) to write that into the state Constitution, and 3) to have every newspaper in the state run NO FAG MARRIAGE weekly in the run-up to any amendment vote. Fuck them, and if you support any part of it, fuck you too.
solarbird: (Default)
Someone got me a subscription to Foreign Affairs. That was unexpected. Thanks!

Pope Bastard the Latest calls for saving humanity from queers, comparing it in importance to saving the rainforests from destruction. Best yet, it was part of his Christmas address. Merry fucking Christmas to you, too, asshole.

Christopher Hitchens isn't pleased by the Rick Warren presence at the inauguration any more than I am, calling him a "vulgar huxter" who "is a relentless clerical businessman who raises money on the proposition that certain Americans—non-Christians, the wrong kind of Christians, homosexuals, nonbelievers—are of less worth and littler virtue than his own lovely flock of redeemed and salvaged and paid-up donors," and adding, "if we must have an officiating priest, let it be some dignified old hypocrite with no factional allegiance and not a tree-shaking huckster and publicity seeker who believes that millions of his fellow citizens are hellbound because they do not meet his own low and vulgar standards." Mr. Hitchens is particularly upset at Reverend Warren's commentary on Jewish people, but admits it generalises.

Many people (chiefly and first [ profile] flashfire) have pointed me at Melissa Etheridge's comments saying that Reverend Warren is not so bad, and that he "regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8," and so on. A lot of people have seen this article and read it and decided that this whole thing really is okay, in the end.

I don't buy it. I don't buy it because what I see is someone saying nice things on the phone to someone he wanted to work with at an event to keep them in the event. I don't buy it because he didn't just get into this gaybashing bullshit once, he's done it a lot; the fact that he hosts gay conversion ministries says everything that needs be said on that, really, but there's more. I don't buy it because he uses all the theoconservative weasel-words I'm used to hearing when they're talking to secular audiences - I hear echos of them in Ms. Etheridge's article - then follows the bog-standard practice of reverting to child-rapist smears when talking to his own. I don't buy it because I'm not surprised that someone who is in the business of charming people successfully charms Melissa Etheridge; charisma is a key part of his livelihood, of course he's going to be good at that. I don't buy that him trying to make nice with a musician, even a lesbian musician, makes all his other commentary and his works irrelevant. I don't buy that him being a "fan" of her music makes him think she's a person; the minstrel tradition is long and durable. And I don't buy it because the fundamentalist leadership doesn't buy it either - they think he's with them, with all that implies, and they're longtime experts at running stealth.

Atypically, I'm about to link to an article at TIME Magazine by John Cloud. It mentions Rev. Warren's idea that queers can and should magically change into heterosexuals, but more relevantly, talks about Mr. Obama's consistent opposition to equality - but in such a way that convinces his fans he doesn't really mean it:
Obama has proved himself repeatedly to be a very tolerant, very rational-sounding sort of bigot. He is far too careful and measured a man to say anything about body parts fitting together or marriage being reserved for the nonpedophilic, but all the same, he opposes equality for gay people when it comes to the basic recognition of their relationships.

... Obama reminds me a little bit of Richard Russell Jr., the longtime Senator from Georgia who — as historian Robert Caro has noted — cultivated a reputation as a thoughtful, tolerant politician even as he defended inequality and segregation for decades. Obama gave a wonderfully Russellian defense of Warren on Thursday at a press conference. Americans, he said, need to "come together" even when they disagree on social issues. "That dialogue is part of what my campaign is all about," he said. Russell would often use the same tactic to deflect criticism of his civil rights record. It was a distraction, Russell said, from the important business of the day uniting all Americans.
I've had the argument more times than I care to recount that saying something politely doesn't make the content of what you're saying any different. Saying politely that you think all queers are going to hell, need to convert to Jesus(tm), and are equivalent to child-rapists is not better than saying it crudely - and yet, saying it in calm and measured tones somehow gets it a pass. I don't understand why; if someone came up to a dog's owner and said quite calmly, respectfully, and politely that they were going to kill and dismember their pet, that certainly wouldn't help. Personally, I think it'd be even creeper. But somehow, saying these things about queers is okay, and if said politely, it's not just okay, it's showered with praise and is worthy of the kind of honour being given here.

I guess what I'm trying to say is simple: Tone is not content. Tone is not content. Tone is not content. I don't know why this is so damned difficult for people, but I know from long personal experience trying to get people to separate them that it in fact is. But I'll say it again: it doesn't matter how politely and respectfully someone says the twisted horrible things; they're still twisted, and still horrible.

Maybe someday people will figure that out.
solarbird: (Default)
They said this before - back when it passed - but Proposition 8 (or "h8") backers in California are now officially trying to have all previously and legally-issued marriages between GBLT couples nullified.

Some people seem to be surprised at this. I don't know why. They said this was the intent when the proposition was passed, they've said this was the intent every time they've passed one of these things, and they won't be happy until and unless it happens. After all, as James Dobson so famously said, queers getting hitched will destroy western civilisation. The leadership, further, won't be happy until Lawrence v. Texas (2003) is overturned so they can make queers illegal again. That's an explicit goal, and part of the "judicial tyranny" rhetoric since the decision: it's tyrannical to overturn laws making me illegal, just as their religious freedom is being impinged if they can't enact the mandates of their religion into civil law. They are being oppressed if they can't use the state to oppress me, and everyone like me.

So of course they're going to go after queers at any point they can. It's what they do, and they do it because they really do hate our existence and want to eliminate us from society, commercially, politically, and legally as best as they can, and all the polite words in the world can't erase that vicious reality.

And yet that keeps getting papered over and ignored and silently accepted and dismissed (even when demonstrated with direct quotes and complete context, as I spent years doing), which is why and how you end up with one of these people giving the invocation at Mr. Obama's inauguration. And it's how you get so many people - not on this journal, but many, many other places - supporting that decision.

So don't be surprised. Be disgusted, be angered, be whatever, But for the love of the gods, don't be surprised. Be anything but that.
solarbird: (Default)
A survivor of Rick Warren's ex-gay ministry comments on the Rev. Warren's selection to deliver the invocation. There's delight and hope from the Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, who stresses Rev. Warren's involvement in Proposition 8 and his firm and unwavering opposition to faggots on every front. Rev. Warren is of course thrilled to have been invited. Some fundamentalists are pretty cranky that Rev. Warren accepted, because of Mr. Obama's support for abortion rights.

For the record; I'm not against "engaging" with people like Rev. Warren; not doing so is not an option. I object to honouring them. I object even more to boosting their position and helping them with one of their major immediate and vital goals: keeping anti-queer hate-politics "respectable," and "polite," which is to say, in the game, which is what this does.

Allow me to explain.

A few years ago when I posted about a big theoconservative confab where people from Concerned Women for America and Focus on the Family were doing things like quoting Stalin without irony, I also posted how they were talking about how they were in danger of becoming like the racists, and had to avoid that same fate. Some people saw that as kind of an awareness that they didn't have any ground to stand upon. That's part of it, but they don't care; they're anti-rationalists anyway.

This is what they actually meant: the overt racists, the segregationists, and so on, were put out of the game because it it stopped being a respectable position. Having those positions alienated you from polite political society. After that happened, nobody would defend the selection of a segregationist with the inevitable argument, "He can be engaged. He does good work in many areas." It became a disqualifying attribute in many circles. Not all, of course, but many. The fundamentalist leadership saw this happening to them, and it scared them good. It should've; you don't easily climb back out of that hole.

Mr. Obama's selection of Reverend Rick Warren helps preserve and further their respectability. It arguably adds to it, within the Democratic party. It supports and elevates the idea that you can support work to have queer people be illegal, you can argue that we're paedophiles and that our relationships will destroy free speech, and even if someone else in the political class doesn't agree, or even finds it distasteful, they won't really hold it against you. It's not important enough for that. It's still reasonable. It's still respectable. It's still accepted in polite politics. You're still in the game.

The worst part is, continuing this is exactly the point. Mr. Obama wants some of that fundamentalist evangelical segment in the Democratic party. He's trying to wedge off some of the GOP's largest remaining base group, the theoconservatives; the "inclusiveness" he wants is to include them, knowing he doesn't have to give a rat's ass about us. He wants them to know that just because they hate queers, that doesn't mean they aren't welcome in today's Democratic party. He knows they haven't gotten what they want out of the GOP, and he's telling them, "it's okay; you can have a big hate-on for the fags, and we're just fine with that. C'mon over."

Chris Crain thinks this is all bullshit; he dismisses the anger as a "unity call" falling on "PC ears." He also thinks Mr. Obama will deliver on his campaign promises, talking about his campaign positions being "the most supportive ever on LGBT civil rights." I do not share this particular faith; I remember the last time that sentiment was expressed, and I remember what actually happened. I rather suspect we're being offered as the chip in this little exchange, and I assure you, I do object.
solarbird: (molly-kill-everyone-with-sticks)
President-Elect Barack Obama has picked fundamentalist evangelical Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Rev. Warren was a big supporter of California's Proposition 8, which wrote "fuck you, queers" into the California constitution and eliminating marriage rights in that state. He says same-sex marriage is the same as paedophilia, incest, and so on. He pushed the freakish lie that civil marriage for GBLT people destroys free speech. He considers abortion rights the same as the Holocaust, and supports efforts to keep GBLT people illegal in countries in Africa. Oh, and "mainline" Christian churches preach "Marxism in Christian clothing."

Andrew Sullivan calls Rick Warren "Dobson-lite" and gets the motivation - but calls it more wedge politics and says "not on the backs of gay people." Sorry, Andrew, it's the Democratic Party. Glenn Greenwald notes:
Obama's "inclusiveness" mantra always seems to head only in one direction -- an excuse to scorn progressives and embrace the Right. Not even Bill Clinton's most extreme Dick-Morris-led "triangulation" tactics involved an attempt to court Jerry Falwell.
Of course, he's getting plaudits from places like Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. But also, sadly predictably, people like Marc Ambinder at Salon are praising the choice for its "inclusiveness." Thanks, dicks. Will be seeing a representative of the Klu Klux Klan for the Benediction? How fucking "inclusive" would that be?

So, fuck you, Barack, and by the way, Merry fucking Christmas to you too. I'd like to be more surprised, but I'm not.
solarbird: (dmw)
I tell ya, there's nothing to put you in the holiday spirit like getting some anti-gay hate literature stuffed in with your groceries. How can these people be such screaming dickheads that they can't give it a rest for even one long weekend?


Nov. 15th, 2008 11:07 pm
solarbird: (Default)

Seattle Marriage Rights March, reaching Westlake

moar )


Nov. 8th, 2008 09:30 am
solarbird: (Default)
A relative of a Slog blogger voted Yes on 8 to reassure herself about her faith:
You already know we believe in the Church—and, by corollary, the importance of thoughtful and considered obedience to divinely called leaders, and have made our decision to stand in that place. ... But when we look back at polygamy or the “Negro question” for example, we feel like as awful as those things are, we wouldn’t have wanted to give up on our most important feelings and beliefs because of them. I guess I feel like we were not so much supporting Prop 8 as making this small signal that we believe in a prophet.
Hey, sure, fuck millions of people to make a personal statement about your internal belief system. Go the fuck ahead, why the fuck not? It's not like queers are actual people.

More at the link above, if you can stomach it.

The Associated Press has picked up on the Utah boycott story. In case you're curious, here's the MSI, which is the Mormon Stock Index.
solarbird: (not_in_the_mood)
An anti-gay Bradley effect can be seen clearly in numbers in California with Catholic voters, who both turned out in higher numbers than polled, and much more strongly against marriage rights than polled. Mark DiCamillo (director, The Field Poll in California) notes, "polling on issues like same-sex marriage that have a direct bearing on religious doctrine can be affected in a big way in the final weekend by last minute appeals by the clergy and religious organizations."

A movement to boycott Utah based on the Church's leading and overwhelming support for Initiative 8 has started. Commentary:
The Mormon church put up four out of every five dollars spent to ban same-sex marriage in California. More than 18,000 legally married couples in California were forcibly divorced on Tuesday...

Oh, and the leaders of the Mormon church - which financed all the bigoted distortions of the “Yes on 8” campaign (gay people recruit children! they’re going to teach gay sex in schools!) - are out there calling on people to treat each the with “civility, with respect and with love.” Uh-huh.

Sorry, douchebags, but you can’t throw a punch like that and scream “play nice!” or “you can’t be mean to us—we’re a church!” You wanna play politics with peoples’ lives? Fine. But they game’s on now and remember: you started it.
TerranceDC at Pam's House Blend (African-American, and queer) is extremely unhappy about "historically black homophobia:"
And no, by the way, I no longer give a shit about defending African Americans against the notion that they're more homophobic than whites, for the same reason I no longer give a shit about defending a Black politician like Harold Ford against the racist attack ads the Republicans are running against him. Because Harold Ford is no different than the racist Republican candidate running in Virginia, and the students at Central State University are no different than the Klan or a gang of marauding skinheads. I don't defend anyone who would turn around and leave me and mine twisting in the wind. I no longer care.
[ profile] nihilistic_kid has been out in some of the protests, and has pictures. Thanks, Nick. I like the "Save Sulu's Marriage" sign.

Barack Obama on LOGO telling lesbian and gay people they should work more on ENDA than, you know, being married.

Tony Perkins says the GOP needs to move further to the social right, blaming "moderates" for losses this election:
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told CNN that conservatives need to take back control of the GOP if the party is to return to its winning ways... Pointing to measures in California, Florida and Arizona barring same-sex marriage that passed Tuesday, Perkins said President-elect Barack Obama's election did not mean the country had embraced liberal social views.
Meanwhile, in Canada, the Conservative Party is getting ready to ditch platform language against same-sex marriage, having already effectively dropped opposition after a token reconsideration vote a few years ago.
solarbird: (Default)
The LA Times has a story on a protest outside a Mormon temple in response to the Church of Latter Day Saints's co-ordinated "Yes on 8" money and efforts. It doesn't include things you can see over here, on YouTube, where you can see one police officer strike a gay protester hard enough to throw him head-first into a cement retaining wall before arresting him and his partner.

This is of course a very bad situation. The millions of dollars sent by Mormons at the behest of the Church were well publicised (and not just in California; see here), and there is now an effort to file political-action complaints against the Church with the IRS, with the intent specifically to cost it its tax-free status on the basis of political activity not allowed to tax-exempt organisations. I don't think this has any chance of getting anywhere - initiatives are not considered "partisan," even when they obviously and clearly are - but the situation has become volatile. Being forcibly excluded will trigger that.

In addition to the initiative's backers, Eugene Volkoh thinks that the plain language of the amendment effectively divorces all previously-married same-sex couples. California's Attorney General has ruled that it only applies to marriages going forward, but I have seen threats (sorry, no link, I lost it) of a lawsuit to force the state to revoke those licenses. The ACLU promises to fight any such lawsuit effort.

Matt Yglesias comments on the anti-gay "backlash" narrative, disputing it.

On a personal note, my friend Thom was arranging his marriage to his partner Jeff next year before this hit. He's an Obama supporter and wanted to be part of the celebrations last night, but, as he says: the midst of those moments, though, I kept being reminded that the promises inherent in an Obama presidency were not truly mine, as a gay person in America, to fully share. And while at the time I wrote that I was happy again to be an American, the truth is that by the next morning, recognizing the passage of California's Proposition 8, I no longer felt as though I truly were even considered an American by even half my adopted home state of California, much less by anywhere near half the country as a whole... Fifty-two percent of California voters Tuesday night... amended the state's constitution to strip a civil right from one group of people only. ... That same night, 70% of California voters voted to give additional rights to farm animals raised for food.

How am I supposed to feel now that a sizable percentage of the people I see on a daily basis in my neighborhood, at work, in stores and restaurants, not only believe that my life and my relationship are worth less than theirs, but vote to back up their personal religious beliefs with the force of the state?
Thom's not the only person to note that the same California voters who stripped rights from queer couples endorsed - strongly - additional legal protections for farm animals. Which is nice and all, but the contrast really, really lets us know exactly where we stand.


Nov. 6th, 2008 11:10 am
solarbird: (Default)
National Review celebrates.

I can't link to this, but one of the married gay couples I know in California reports that their daughter was harassed at school today by a child of pro-8 parents, who kept running up and chanting ADAM AND EVE, NOT ADAM AND STEVE!!! in her face until she finally slapped him.

A California legal read of Andrew Sullivan's says the lawsuit against 8 as a "revision" rather than an "amendment" isn't frivolous under California's weird Constitution, and would, in a nonpolitical context, have a good shot in the courts. But he thinks the political context is very bad.

Glenn Greenwald suggests that repealing DOMA is the appropriate response to Proposition 8, noting:
Democrats have a particular responsibility to erase the stain of DOMA. It was Bill Clinton who signed DOMA into law. It passed overwhelmingly in the Senate (85-14) with massive Democratic support, including from Democratic icons such as Paul Wellstone, Chris Dodd, Pat Leahy, Tom Daschle, Patty Murray, Harry Reid, Barbara Mikulski, and the new Vice President-elect, Joe Biden...

But are they likely to do so? The conventional Beltway wisdom has already ossified, quite predictably, that Obama and the Democrats must scorn "the Left" and, despite polling data showing widespread support for equal rights for same-sex couples, such a move would be deemed by Beltway media mavens as coming from "the Left." Nancy Pelosi is running around decreeing that "the country must be governed from the middle," while Harry Reid emphasizes that Democrats have received no mandate from the election. ....

Even as leading Democrats flamboyantly condemn Proposition 8, and even with Obama's long record of emphatically vowing that he will support DOMA's repeal, there will be very strong currents pushing Democrats to do nothing.
I'm not holding my breath. But one thing I'm waiting to hear is whether Harry Reid remains Senate Majority Leader, and whether Nancy Pelosi remains Speaker of the House. That should say a lot about the party as a whole.
solarbird: (Default)
The lawsuit against 8 on the basis that it is a Constitutional revision rather than amendment - and therefore was not legally passed - has been filed. There is also a legal question of whether marriages made before passage are revoked; supports of Yes on 8 say it does and that this was the intent.

Turns out Mike Murray, a former high-level Microsoftie who I'd even met at some work event, donated $100,000 to Yes on 8. Thanks, asshole.

Andrew Sullivan disagrees with Megan Cardle at The Atlantic about strategy in the same way I would (and have done, with other people).

Dale Carpenter at The Volokh Conspiracy has a long and cogent discussion of the scale of this setback, pointing out in greater detail some of the things I pointed out earlier today, particularly related to the situation in which we lost. A lot of the commentary made by readers to his post is pretty vicious. And as a personal note to everyone who voted for Proposition 8 specifically to "smite the arrogant tyrants in black robes," as one commenter did, fuck you fucking stupid motherfuckers because you fucking smacked down the wrong fucking people to get your fucking revenge, you ignorant, vicious fucks. I hope you die in a fucking fire.

Wintersweet at Spira Mirabilis has an assortment of commentary I pointed to in comments but elevate to here, because hey, why not?

Colleen Lindsay introduces Californians to two of the people whose marriage they decided to undo.

What the Christianists want is to destroy your self-esteem and self-worth. It's over the wounded souls of gay people that they construct their politics of fear and division. But we endured centuries of cruelty, and after our first taste of liberation, we faced a plague of devastating proportions. But we came back stronger than ever. For the sake of those who never dreamed we would ever see civil unions, for those who died of the plague, for those whose marriages voer the ages were never recognized but were as real as any backed by law: fight on. Do not lose faith. Law never trumps love. And one day it will echo it.
Personally, I still feel sick to my stomach.
solarbird: (Default)
From No on 8:
Nov 05, 2008
Statement by No on Prop 8 Campaign on Election Status

Roughly 400,000 votes separate yes from no on Prop 8 – out of 10 million votes tallied.

Based on turnout estimates reported yesterday, we expect that there are more than 3 million and possibly as many as 4 million absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted.

Given that fundamental rights are at stake, we must wait to hear from the Secretary of State tomorrow how many votes are yet to be counted as well as where they are from.

It is clearly a very close election and we monitored the results all evening and this morning.

As of this point, the election is too close to call.

Because Prop 8 involves the sensitive matter of individual rights, we believe it is important to wait until we receive further information about the outcome.

Geoff Kors
Executive Committee
NO on Prop 8

Kate Kendell
Executive Committee
NO on Prop 8
I can't find anyone else who thinks these absentees will turn it around, but the No campaign is refusing to concede defeat so far, and hopefully that's more than wishful thinking; it would seem to require that absentee voters be disproportionally white and Bay-area urban. But I have no actual data on that at all.

Ah, cute

Nov. 1st, 2008 10:00 am
solarbird: (Default)
So the "Yes on 8" movement - the one saying that same-sex marriage is like supporting Hitler, and reviving old-time "queers want to rape your children and turn them into fags" language - have sent out a mailer claiming Senator Obama supports their efforts, quoting him on his stated opposition to marriage rights. However, he's also - arguably disingenuously, and only in a low-key written statement some time ago - stated his opposition to Proposition 8. The "No on 8" effort are asking for donations for an emergency response effort.

This puts Senator Obama into an amusing position. He can be silent on this, which is my expectation (well, okay, he might make a low-key comment that he's already stated his opposition to the measure as "divisive" or somesuch, but I doubt it), and remind all the gayfolk that he's opposed to actual legal equality, or he can make a clear and relatively strong statement against the initiative, and unleash the horde of "Obama's a faggot lover" commercials I rather suspect the fundamentalists of the GOP already have lined up.

Now as I've noted before, there's precious little support in the "progressive community" for Senator Obama sticking his next out for queers - quite the opposite, in fact, go read that post if you haven't already - so I don't think it'll hurt him with the bulk of even his pro-marriage supporters. Given that, it's not really much of a box - which side to break is pretty trivial. But it still illustrates the kind of box someone can build for you when you try to have things both ways.

(BTW, I do note with quite a bit of surprise that Bill Clinton recorded a robocall for the No on 8 side. Given the disaster of Don't Ask/Don't Tell, his trumpeting - at the time - of DOMA, and his vicious advice to John Kerry to endorse anti-marriage initiatives in 2004, I'm surprised - and not even sure how I feel about it.)
solarbird: (fascist sons o bitches)
I've added this link showing a spokesperson at the same "Yes on 8" rally talking about how queers can't reproduce, so must "recruit" instead. This is longstanding shorthand for "the faggots want to rape your kids and turn them queer." (I explain in a bit more detail in the previous post.) Andrew Sullivan takes note of the predictable (and by me, predicted) silence of the Obama campaign, as well as the silence of Governor Schwarzenegger, over here.

You can donate to the "No on 8" campaign here.
solarbird: (fascist sons o bitches)
The fundamentalists are bringing out the "gays == nazis" rhetoric again. C.f. this Yes on 8 speaker saying that if "we" don't overturn marriage for queers it'll be like accomodating Hitler and the Nazi party. The Yes on 8 side also just got another $4.5 million in funds in the last two days and is buying $2m in ads a day.

The "No on 8" campaign - the campaign to preserve marriage rights in California - has stated that their site came under DDOS attack earlier this week, preventing donations from being made, but that they have resolved this issue. Donate to the "No on 8" campaign here.

eta: More normal YouTube link here. And the speaker is the spokesperson for Yes on 8, so this isn't some random jackass. It's a specific and highly-placed jackass!

eta2: And at the same rally, they've got the old "they can't reproduce so they have to recruit" language revved back up. For those who don't know: this is 90s shorthand for "faggots will rape your kids and turn them into queers." In the 90s, they'd actually say all those words outright (adding "and give them AIDS" for bonus "kill your children" points) but that plays badly now. All this comes from the key fundamentalist dogma about homosexuality which requires that being GBLT is not in any way innate, but is instead a learned and sinful behaviour. Accordingly, this behaviour must be taught, which leads directly to a small variant on old-school blood libel, wherein adult queers rape children to "turn" them into queers. This is also the source of the no-longer-as-often-repeated "pedophilia is the basis of homosexuality" libel in the fundamentalist community.

So that's what they're talking about here: the longstanding (decades-old) rhetoric that queers want to kill your children by raping them, giving them AIDS, and turning them into queer monsters like themselves. That's what this clip's shorthand means.


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