Friday, June 21, 2013

Ex-Gay Organization Closes, Apologizes

I first heard the term "ex-gay" in 2004, when we organized to support the new Montgomery County sex ed curriculum. There were people saying that if you talked about gay people in schools you had to also talk about "ex-gays," that is, people who had stopped being gay.

I didn't know anything. I hadn't paid any attention to the politics of sexual identity, as far as I knew the world was crawling with people who "used to be gay."

But no, it wasn't that. It was a hoax to try to get homosexual adolescents to feel shame and pretend to be straight. There were religious people who claimed that God wanted you to be heterosexual, and if you just ... prayed, I guess ... and worked real hard at it, you could be straight, too. Young gay men, especially, were targeted by these groups. Those young men who felt an important tie with their religion and their God were torn between their beliefs and their feelings, and were made to believe that their feelings of love were sinful.

The main group advocating this position was Exodus International. There were a few other groups, too, including the ultra-nutty PFOX, but the people at Exodus were the best organized.

The "ex-gay" angle is a clever piece of propaganda. They will tell you there are thousands, hundreds of thousands of ex-gay people out there, but they can never produce more than the same three or four of them. They claim that the rest of us are discriminating against "ex-gays" by not mentioning them as a sexual orientation, along with straight, gay, and bisexual. In our suburban county this was used as a lever to oppose a sensible and comprehensive sex-ed curriculum.

In the meantime there were counselors, camps, church groups, all over the country working with young gay men, mostly, to get them to stop being gay. The damage done by "reparative therapy" is immeasurable. There is no way to count the suicides, or the tears, attributable to the black-hearted attempts to instill shame and get people to doubt their own sense of love and affection for others.

Exodus closed up shop this week and issued an apology to the people they had hurt. Here is Exodus President Alan Chambers' statement to the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) community, as posted on the Exodus blog, with some explanation, under the title I Am Sorry:
To Members of the LGBTQ Community:

In 1993 I caused a four-car pileup. In a hurry to get to a friend’s house, I was driving when a bee started buzzing around the inside of my windshield. I hit the bee and it fell on the dashboard. A minute later it started buzzing again with a fury. Trying to swat it again I completely missed the fact that a city bus had stopped three cars in front of me. I also missed that those three cars were stopping, as well. Going 40 miles an hour I slammed into the car in front of me causing a chain reaction. I was injured and so were several others. I never intended for the accident to happen. I would never have knowingly hurt anyone. But I did. And it was my fault. In my rush to get to my destination, fear of being stung by a silly bee, and selfish distraction, I injured others.

I have no idea if any of the people injured in that accident have suffered long term effects. While I did not mean to hurt them, I did. The fact that my heart wasn’t malicious did not lessen their pain or their suffering. I am very sorry that I chose to be distracted that fall afternoon, and that I caused so much damage to people and property. If I could take it all back I absolutely would. But I cannot. I pray that everyone involved in the crash has been restored to health.

Recently, I have begun thinking again about how to apologize to the people that have been hurt by Exodus International through an experience or by a message. I have heard many firsthand stories from people called ex-gay survivors. Stories of people who went to Exodus affiliated ministries or ministers for help only to experience more trauma. I have heard stories of shame, sexual misconduct, and false hope. In every case that has been brought to my attention, there has been swift action resulting in the removal of these leaders and/or their organizations. But rarely was there an apology or a public acknowledgement by me.

And then there is the trauma that I have caused. There were several years that I conveniently omitted my ongoing same-sex attractions. I was afraid to share them as readily and easily as I do today. They brought me tremendous shame and I hid them in the hopes they would go away. Looking back, it seems so odd that I thought I could do something to make them stop. Today, however, I accept these feelings as parts of my life that will likely always be there. The days of feeling shame over being human in that way are long over, and I feel free simply accepting myself as my wife and family does. As my friends do. As God does.

Never in a million years would I intentionally hurt another person. Yet, here I sit having hurt so many by failing to acknowledge the pain some affiliated with Exodus International caused, and by failing to share the whole truth about my own story. My good intentions matter very little and fail to diminish the pain and hurt others have experienced on my watch. The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this.

Friends and critics alike have said it’s not enough to simply change our message or website. I agree. I cannot simply move on and pretend that I have always been the friend that I long to be today. I understand why I am distrusted and why Exodus is hated.

Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite—or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.

More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection. I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives. For the rest of my life I will proclaim nothing but the whole truth of the Gospel, one of grace, mercy and open invitation to all to enter into an inseverable relationship with almighty God.

I cannot apologize for my deeply held biblical beliefs about the boundaries I see in scripture surrounding sex, but I will exercise my beliefs with great care and respect for those who do not share them. I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage. But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God’s command to love my neighbor as I love myself.

You have never been my enemy. I am very sorry that I have been yours. I hope the changes in my own life, as well as the ones we announce tonight regarding Exodus International, will bring resolution, and show that I am serious in both my regret and my offer of friendship. I pledge that future endeavors will be focused on peace and common good.

Moving forward, we will serve in our pluralistic culture by hosting thoughtful and safe conversations about gender and sexuality, while partnering with others to reduce fear, inspire hope, and cultivate human flourishing.
Chambers and his organization have done untold harm over decades of misinforming people and nurturing prejudicial judgments of LGBT people, and it is lame to compare his lifelong mission of discrimination to a wreck caused by trying to swat a bee on his dashboard.

That being said, it is good to see this propaganda machine finally put to bed. The fact is, sexual orientation is not something you choose. You don't choose to be gay and you don't choose to be straight. Praying won't change you, wishing and hoping won't change you, this is a much better world when people accept who they are, and when the people around them accept who they are.


Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "breaking news? [Exodus international closing]I guess a lazy person might think so Chambers' interview aired last weekend and everyone here was alerted to it by a commenter last week".

False. I wasn't referring to the interview of Chambers on Lisa Ling's show, I was referring to the apology he issued June 18th (two days before my posting) and on June 19th (the day before) the Exodus board of directors announced they were shutting down. This is breaking news.

Bad anonymous said "in all honesty, there is no documentation of "all the harm" caused you mean stress or anxiety from trying to change their inclinations why is this any different from Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, or programs to stop smoking?".

That of course is a lie, its not that you are unaware of the documentation of all the harm these quacks cause, its that you are too dishonest to acknowledge it because innocent people's lives mean less to you than promoting unjustified oppression and avoiding admitting you are wrong:

Schidlo and Schroeder

Exgay survivor project

The stress and anxiety comes from people being falsely told they will be tortured eternally for being gay, that they are disgusting and inferior, and from being unable to stop having same sex attractions despite their best efforts to do so and then being told its their own fault that they couldn't change, that they just didn't believe enough, . "Exgay" survivors have committed suicide, dropped out of school, developed PTSD, and ironically resorted to extreme promiscuity because "If I'm going to hell for having gay sex in a monogamous relationship there's nothing to lose by having sex with every random person possible.". Depression is a serious and deep illness, people trying to quit smoking, overeating, or drinking often experience some frustration, but certainly never clinical depression. Your dishonest attempts to characterize the anxiety caused by quitting those things as clinical depression, as similar to what people in "exgay" "therapy" suffer is absurd. People who drink or eat to excess or who smoke aren't living in fear of eternal torture if they don't quit and unlike people in "exgay" "therapy" they have very good chances of quitting rather than being doomed to failure regardless of how motivated the participant is. This often utterly destroys self-esteem and mental health.

June 21, 2013 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...There were people saying that if you talked about gay people in schools you had to also talk about "ex-gays," that is, people who had stopped being gay..."

Yes, that would be people from the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, who wanted ex-gays included in the Montgomery County Public School's most recent sex education curriculum revision. The CRC invited their expert, Dr. Warren Throckmorton to represent their point of view.

However, Dr. Warren Throckmorton has undergone a change himself. The research he conducts has proven to him reparative therapy does not work.

"... Warren Throckmorton, an evangelical psychologist who studies sexual identity, eventually concluded that there was no evidence reparative therapy worked and became a strong critic of the ex-gay movement’s claims. The well-known psychiatrist Robert Spitzer publicly renounced and apologized for his controversial 2001 study that had been greeted as a holy grail for those looking for evidence therapy could change sexual orientation....."

"...Warren Throckmorton, a psychologist and professor at the evangelical Grove City College, has heard this [John Smid's disappointment that his own 24 years of reparative therapy did not work] before. He recently surveyed 239 men in "mixed-orientation marriages," in which the husband is attracted to other men and the wife is heterosexual. About half the men had been through some conversion therapy.

Over the course of their marriage, the men's "attractions to the same sex ... increased" and "the attractions to their spouse decreased," according to Throckmorton.

Another study by Mark Yarhouse, a researcher at Regent University — which was founded by Pat Robertson — came to the same conclusion. Throckmorton says the research by evangelical and secular scientists puts ex-gay ministries and conversion therapy on the defensive.

"They're not finding support within the professional community. That's for certain," he says. "And they're losing support within the evangelical community."..."

And now Exodus has shuttered its doors.


June 21, 2013 1:59 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 21, 2013 2:01 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "homosexuality is immoral and a sin according to every major world religion".

Irrelevant. Every major world religion has made outrageously absurd false claims about all manner of aspects of human psychology, life, and science:

Skeptics annotated bible

What is moral is "Doing whatever you want but harming no one". Gayness harms no one and by definition is moral. Your attempts to destroy loving gay and lesbian relationships and to destroy their mental health, wellbeing, and happiness is harmful and by definition immoral. If Christianity was real and just, it would be you going to hell, not gays and lesbians."

Bad anonymous said "those who venture into sin are always haunted by it, temptation will never go away in this life homosexuality isn't in a different category "

Gay and lesbian romantic relationships are not a wrongdoing so it is pointless for anyone who desires one to deprive themselves of it and be haunted for life (your words). Choosing to deny oneself a romantic relationship and to be haunted for it the rest of one's life makes no more sense than choosing to refrain from exercise and then being haunted by the bad decision for the rest of one's (shortened) life.

Bad anonymous said "Alan Chambers himself doesn't appear to have suffered any harm".

An honest person would have read Alan Chamber's apology before making such a statment. He admitted that for years he suffered needless shame for being who he was. He may not have (yet) admitted he suffered other harm but he did admit that for years he lied about still being same sex attracted. He also profusely apologized for the harm, trauma, suffering, people who committed suicide, and that he had been the enemy of the gay and lesbian community. Its ironic and shows an incredible lack of self awarness and thought that you would acknowledge that people who go into these "therapies" will be haunted for the rest of their lives and then in the very next sentence you try to claim there is no harm.

You won't acknowledge the well documented harm sexual orientation change efforts have caused gays and lesbians because if you did so you'd have to acknowledge what a terrible person you've been. And there's no way you're going to be honest about that.

June 21, 2013 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 21, 2013 2:31 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Someone just had a temper tantrum.

Moron's comments will be deleted.

June 21, 2013 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Someone just had a temper tantrum."

I know you're lazy but, really, assertions like that require proof. You have none.

As usual.

More likely, it was a commenter who refused to call fantasy reality.

"Moron's comments will be deleted."

How could that be, lazy Priya?

You've made four of the six comments here and only one was deleted.

June 21, 2013 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

woo hoo!!

lazy Priya cowers under a withering verbal assault

June 21, 2013 9:56 PM  
Anonymous lazy days said...

"its not that you are unaware of the documentation of all the harm these quacks cause, its that you are too dishonest to acknowledge it because innocent people's lives mean less to you than promoting unjustified oppression and avoiding admitting you are wrong"

no, it's that I think telling someone they're wrong about something is not causing them some horrendous harm

even if I were theoretically wrong

the alternative is that there could never be any discussion about morality, for fear that if someone realized they were wrong, morally wrong, they would kill themselves

this is preposterous

"The stress and anxiety comes from people being falsely told they will be tortured eternally for being gay, that they are disgusting and inferior, and from being unable to stop having same sex attractions despite their best efforts to do so and then being told its their own fault that they couldn't change, that they just didn't believe enough,"

that would only cause "stress and anxiety" if they chose to believe it

but, again, all you're talking about is the anxiety of thinking someone might disagree with you


we all have that, in myriad ways

why should homosexuality be given special treatment in this regard?

""Exgay" survivors have committed suicide, dropped out of school, developed PTSD, and ironically resorted to extreme promiscuity because "If I'm going to hell for having gay sex in a monogamous relationship there's nothing to lose by having sex with every random person possible.""

actually, no one ever said they were going to hell for an inclination but for surrendering to an inclination

so, these stressed individuals, who supposedly suffered so much harm, weren't really paying attention and, further, probably didn't notice that Christianity says everyone is sinful and going to hell, not just homosexuals

"Depression is a serious and deep illness,"

and not caused by the promotion of traditional sexual morality

increasingly, it's thought to be a chemical imbalance

June 22, 2013 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"people trying to quit smoking, overeating, or drinking often experience some frustration, but certainly never clinical depression"

if there is any extra measure of "depression" when someone can't overcome deviant sexual desire, it's not due to the program but society's view of the action

elements of our society celebrates drinking and eating but most people find homosexuality disgusting

that is the source of the anxiety, not the program seeking to free people from bondage to deviant inclinations

"Your dishonest attempts to characterize the anxiety caused by quitting those things as clinical depression, as similar to what people in "exgay" "therapy" suffer is absurd"

as I said, it wasn't trying to quit that was the problem

it was that they know both man and God consider their actions immoral

"People who drink or eat to excess or who smoke aren't living in fear of eternal torture if they don't quit"

actually, Christianity recognizes gluttony, drunkenness and purposeless destruction of your health to be sins and holds all sin as worthy of hell, not just homosexuality

and there is no data to back up your assertion that people who are unsuccessful at overcoming these don't commit suicide

again, if there is any variation, it's likely due to societal factors, not the program trying to assist the process of overcoming

and, btw, people who are homosexuals will continue to try and overcome their deviancy and fail and commit suicide at the same rate next year, even after Exodus has disbanded

their group didn't cause the problem and likely helped many, regardless of Chambers' current view

June 22, 2013 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and unlike people in "exgay" "therapy" they have very good chances of quitting rather than being doomed to failure regardless of how motivated the participant is"

ex-gays have just a good chance of quitting as the others

the gay propaganda movement has cleverly defined success as never wanting to engage in deviant behavior again

by that definition, however, alcoholic and over-eating programs are just as hopeless

people who go through those programs continue to experience temptation throughout the remainder of their lives, just like ex-gays

"This often utterly destroys self-esteem and mental health."

gays already have low self-esteem and mental health issues

it's not the fault of the program to help them

it's due to society's view of them and, honestly, their own agreement with it

"Blogger Priya Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author."

typical behavior for someone too intrinsically lazy to review their comments before posting

June 22, 2013 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Irrelevant. Every major world religion has made outrageously absurd false claims about all manner of aspects of human psychology, life, and science"

in your opinion, which is developed with disturbingly little knowledge

"What is moral is "Doing whatever you want but harming no one". Gayness harms no one and by definition is moral."

as has been pointed out to you repeatedly, this definition of morality is deficient

since you have so much free time on your hands, you should consider signing up for a philosophy course at the local university on ethical philosophy

a person could cause no direct harm to anyone and still be immoral

take, for example, someone who never contributed to society but sat around waiting for others to support them

that would be immoral even though you could argue this person's laziness caused no direct harm to anyone

basically, we're all tied together so virtually everything we do affects others indirectly

that's not necessarily an argument that homosexuality is immoral, just that your argument supporting it is invalid

and, Priya, even if you got into a program to overcome your laziness, sofa spuddery would continue to be a life-long temptation

gee, hope I haven't caused you so much stress, anxiety and low self-esteem that you fall into clinical depression

"Your attempts to destroy loving gay and lesbian relationships and to destroy their mental health, wellbeing, and happiness is harmful and by definition immoral."

they are already unhappy and mentally disturbed

"If Christianity was real and just, it would be you going to hell, not gays and lesbians."

Christianity is real and just and it's position is that everyone is going to hell, not just gays

"Choosing to deny oneself a romantic relationship and to be haunted for it the rest of one's life makes no more sense than choosing to refrain from exercise and then being haunted by the bad decision for the rest of one's (shortened) life."

just as there is always another path to jog down, there will always be another deviant willing to whatever

June 22, 2013 9:28 AM  
Anonymous those crazy, lazy, hazy days of summer said...

you can just see lazy Priya, huddled in a darkened corner of someone else's apartment in a dank, depressing section of Sakatchewan, ruing ever commenting, fearful of saying any more

June 22, 2013 9:37 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...


Since 2005, you have provided a place for people to expose the canards of the "ex-gay" groups. And I would like to think that you had at least a small part to play in the changes in Dr. Throckmorton's thinking, as well as the thinking of others who were caught in the web of their own preconceptions.

The battles over the last decade regarding these therapies confirm Justice Brandeis's oft-quoted maxim: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

Thank you.

June 22, 2013 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Mrs Brown's lovely sons said...

someday, someone will find a cure for the disturbing tendencies that some suffer from, David

dampening hope is nothing to thank any one for

June 22, 2013 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Nice summary, Jim. You capture the nature of the ex-gay movement. I echo David's sentiments.

As an aside, PFOX (which one can hope will eventually follow Exodus' example) has declared July to be "ex-gay" Pride Month; I suppose because July is sort of, what, ex-June?

June 23, 2013 1:21 AM  
Anonymous those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer said...




and, yet, with the exception of Priya, they're all very likable fellows

and I refuse to believe that Robert will not, someday, be ex-crazy

he wasn't born that way!!!

June 23, 2013 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I love you too, Darling.

June 23, 2013 8:59 AM  
Anonymous lhcdos said...

as they say in Bawlmore:

Believe, hon!!

June 23, 2013 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservatives Pledge To Defy Any Marriage Equality Ruling The Supreme Court Reaches

"The Supreme Court has yet to announce its decision on the two gay marriage cases. However, that has not stopped conservatives from pledging to defy marriage equality, if the high court makes a pro-LGBT decision.

In a letter released Thursday, more than 200 conservative activists -- ranging from the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue to Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern (R) -- vowed to ignore any ruling in favor of same-sex couples. The group of endorsers, signing under the moniker of Freedom Federation, is composed of anti-LGBT Christian conservatives, many of whom have fallen from prominence in recent years.

"We stand together as Christians in defense of marriage and the family and society founded upon them," the letter reads.

Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver and Deacon Keith Fournier, the editor-in-chief of Catholic Online, drafted the "Marriage Solidarity Statement" that attacks marriage equality by invoking "Natural Moral Law" and questioning the authority of the Supreme Court.

"This Natural Moral Law gives us the norms we need to build truly human and humane societies and govern ourselves. It should also inform our positive law or we will become lawless and devolve into anarchy," the statement warns. "Redefining the very institution of marriage is improper and outside the authority of the State. The Supreme Court has no authority to redefine marriage."

While the letter ends with a vague threat that the signers must draw a line on the definition of marriage and will not cross it, the statement does not specify what the Freedom Federation intends to do if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality.

Raw Story makes a good point, writing: "What, exactly, they intend to do is unclear, since their churches presumably do not perform same sex unions, and because they themselves do not work in the wedding business or grant marriage licenses."

The Supreme Court is expected to release its decision on the two marriage equality cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, sometime next week. The former questions whether California's Proposition 8 violated the constitution, while the later challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act's definition of marriage.

Though an online HuffPost/YouGov survey conducted earlier this month indicated that Americans are sharply divided on whether the court should overturn DOMA, another poll released by Pew Research revealed that 72 percent of Americans say the recognition of same-sex marriage is "inevitable."

Click over to Liberty Counsel to read the full letter."

June 23, 2013 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Meanwhile, progress continues... said...

Air Force Times reports:

Donley retires; Under Secretary Fanning becomes acting AF secretary

"Air Force Secretary Michael Donley retired Friday after five years as the service’s top civilian.

At a retirement ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised Donley for always recognizing that national security is “above and beyond politics.”

Donley said he was “most grateful to have had this opportunity to meet, to know, and to represent America’s airmen.”

President Obama has not yet named Donley’s replacement.

In the interim, Under Secretary Eric Fanning is acting secretary.

Fanning previously served as deputy under secretary of the Navy and deputy director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism before becoming under secretary of the Air Force on April 29.

Donley thanked Fanning and the other Air Force under secretaries he has worked with for their stewardship during his tenure.

Fanning is an Ohio native, as is Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, the highest-ranking woman in the Air Force, a point of pride for Republican Rep. Michael R. Turner, whose district includes Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“With this news our community can be proud to have two local high school graduates in the leadership of the Air Force,” Turner said in a statement. “I look forward to working with him in support of the Air Force and their mission at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.”

Fanning, who is openly gay, takes over at the Air Force just as the Supreme Court is set to rule on the Defense of Marriage Act, which blocks same-sex couples from receiving the same benefits as heterosexual couples. He told the Washington Blade in a recent interview that he hopes the Defense Department will adopt a non-discrimination policy to protect gay and lesbian service members.

“Speaking personally, I always think it’s important to have non-discrimination policies codified to include everyone,” Fanning said in the interview. “The military, because it has a chain of command, has a different attitude about this and a different way to try to go about protecting airmen, sailors, soldiers, Marines — but Eric Fanning? Yes. I personally like to see these things in writing and codified.”"

June 23, 2013 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colorado transgender first-grader Coy Mathis wins civil rights case

"The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled in favor of Coy Mathis, a transgender 6-year-old boy who was was barred from using the girls' bathroom at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain.

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund said Sunday it would a hold a news conference on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol at noon Monday to explain the decision.

"Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her," Kathryn Mathis, Coy's mother, said in a statement. "All we ever wanted was for Coy's school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally.

The Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 told Coy's parents in December that the first-grader would not be able to continue to use the girls' restroom after the holiday break.

The family filed a civil rights complaint in February.
"This ruling sends a loud and clear message that transgender students may not be targeted for discrimination and that they must be treated equally in school," said the funds' executive director Michael Silverman stated. "It is a victory for Coy and a triumph for fairness.""

June 24, 2013 9:29 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

Over on the previous thread, Theresa tried to explain:

“the intent was never to discriminate.

the bill did not have exclusions for the following things :
1) religious exemption
2) places of shared nudity
3) elementary schools, pre-schools and middle school teachers.

It still doesn't. my rights and my children's rights are trampled on my the gay and trans rights.”

Your intent was belied by the fact that you and the CRG crew did not focus on these three items. Instead you guys focused on conflating transsexuals with sexual predators, pedophiles, and the mentally ill. All though these 3 items were brought up, you can still look at “” or view testimony from you folks and see that it is nothing more than a carefully coordinated effort to demonize, delegitimize, and dehumanize anyone and everyone who doesn’t fit into your tiny little “male” and “female” categories. If you guys had spent more time on the items you claim were the intent, rather than attacking innocent trans people, perhaps the county council would have found your arguments more compelling.

On the 3 items above specifically:

1: Religious Exemption

A: There is no compelling reason for the state to foster discrimination within religious institutions. History has shown that discrimination all but inevitably leads to anti-social behavior by someone who thinks that discrimination is justified – especially if it is “sanctified by God.”

B: The only discrimination against trans people evident in the bible is a mention that eunuchs should not be allowed to marry. A eunuch was one of the first people that was converted to Christianity. Tellingly in this story, there is no mention that the eunuch was mentally ill, a threat to children, or some kind of “abomination to god.” This being the case, I would expect a lot more Christians would try to convert me to their religion. Surprisingly though, many of them are most interested in telling me to go to hell. There is simply no justification from a biblical standpoint to justify discrimination in jobs, housing, lending, and taxi services - which is what the law was about.

C: There are trans people of all religious faiths. I’m sure you can find one that subscribes to the same faith you do.

2: Places of shared nudity

A: The language that specifically allowed trans people to use the restroom of their choice was in the fifth draft of 23-07. It did not pass. The 6th version of the bill did and it did not include those protections. You got what you wanted.

June 24, 2013 11:09 AM  
Anonymous svelte_brunette said...

3: elementary schools, pre-schools and middle school teachers

A: Again you are insinuating that trans people are inherently dangerous to children. You have no evidence to justify this accusation. I work with children every odd Sunday of the month, and the parents of those children are happy to have me look after them while they are in church. I do not discuss my trans history with the children, and wouldn’t do so unless asked to by their parents – most of whom (if not all of them) are well aware of my medical history.

B: Trans people can be explained in an age-appropriate fashion to children of all ages in about 5 minutes. It’s not a big deal. They go on and continue playing with their toys, iPhone, reading or whatever they were doing before. No detailed discussion of genitalia is necessary.

“but I am straight, so I will always lose that battle.”

You keep losing the battle not because you’re straight, but because you lack a compelling argument that doesn’t depend on people’s ignorance, fear, and existing negative stereotypes of trans people.

“It's unbelievable, and we will retire in Texas. and you can have this state.

PS .... we will take our estate with us.”

Why wait until retirement? I hear they don’t have income tax in Texas. Maybe you can find a job down there with a private company that doesn’t depend on US taxpayer money feeding our over-bloated military industrial complex. I’m sure you’ll feel a lot happier knowing that your paycheck doesn’t ultimately come from the government.

Have a nice day,


June 24, 2013 11:09 AM  
Anonymous More progress! said...

New Jersey poised to become second state to ban anti-gay therapy

"(Reuters) - The New Jersey Assembly voted on Monday to ban so-called conversion therapy, taking a step toward becoming the second U.S. state to prohibit licensed therapists from counseling gay and lesbian youths to change their sexual orientation

The bill passed by a 56-14 vote, with seven abstentions, and it was expected to be adopted by the state Senate in a vote on Thursday.

Governor Chris Christie in March said he opposed the practice of conversion therapy, but on Monday his office declined to comment on whether he would sign or veto the bill.

If enacted, the measure would ban therapists or social workers from performing therapy that aims to change the sexual orientation of patients under age 18.

Currently, California is the only U.S. state to outlaw the practice. But, a federal appeals court has put that law's implementation on hold while it weighs the issue.

The New Jersey vote comes a week after Exodus International, a U.S. Christian group that once promoted conversion therapy, closed its doors. Operating since 1976, Exodus was affiliated with roughly 260 ministries across North America.

The New Jersey legislation would not ban conversion therapy by religious counselors.

Ross Murray, a spokesman for gay rights group GLAAD, said minors are often forced to go into therapy by their parents who may feel guilt or shame.

"Those who promote such programs advocate that gay and lesbian people are somehow "broken" and need fixing, which is not the case," he said.

The legislation cites American Psychiatric Association studies that found sexual orientation is determined at birth.

"The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient," the bill reads.

Opponents feel the law interferes with parental rights and is based on flawed research.

"There's nothing that shows that talk therapy is harmful," said John Tomicki of the League of American Families. He said he believes the legislation is unconstitutional and could even prevent some teenagers from talking about abuse by an adult."

June 25, 2013 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Truth about Issa comes out.... said...

On another thread back on May 15, 2013 at 5:07 PM, I pointed out that progressive groups as well as tea party groups had been targeted for special scrutiny when applying for 501(c)(4) status from the IRS. It's now confirmed, as is Issa's hand in hiding that fact from his committee and the rest of us:

"Liberals have naturally never much cared for Darrell Issa, but after he seized on a Treasury Department Inspector General report that appeared to show the agency had improperly singled out Tea Party tax-exempt groups for extra scrutiny, even we thought he might be on to something. Jon Stewart practically disowned the president. After a long string of failures, it looked like Issa had finally found something real, even if he was a bit overeager in hyping it.

How wrong we were. Now it’s clear Issa played us this whole time, thanks to new documents that show the IRS also targeted ”progressive” and “Occupy” groups, in addition to Tea Party ones. And if it targeted groups on both sides, it wasn’t really singling anyone out (the only group actually denied tax-exempt status was a progressive one, after all) and the whole scandal falls apart.

It’s not that there were no warning signs. In his zeal to implicate the White House, Issa jumped to conclusions unsupported by evidence. Then he selectively disclosed parts of transcripts that supported his narrative, and threw a fit when Democrats wanted to release the rest, which revealed that the IRS official in charge of the program was a conservative Republican. The whole scandal seemed to be falling apart, and now we know for sure.

Did Issa know the IRS targeted progressive groups too? Why didn’t the inspector general’s report mention this critical bit of data? Russell George, Treasury’s IG, told lawmakers that the “inspector general launches audits on topics requested by lawmakers. The targeting audit requested by House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa specifically requested a review of IRS actions related to conservative groups,” Politico reported yesterday.

So it seems this entire scandal exists because Issa skewed the outcome of the IG report by asking to keep it narrowly focused on conservative groups, then trumped up its findings’ charges and tried to keep exculpatory evidence out of the public eye. If this were court, the case would not only be thrown out, but Issa would be scolded for prosecutorial misconduct.

Of course, we probably should have seen this coming from Issa, who has been at best an unimpressive House GOP scandal czar, and at worst, an effective conspiracy theory huckster bolstered by the weight of his lofty office. Even some fellow Republicans have spoken up. “I really am concerned that it could tip this into the political realm rather than a true detailed investigation to get the facts out,” Rep. Charles Boustany, a senior Ways and Means Republican who chairs the panel’s Oversight subcommittee, said of Issa’s propensity to blab about any new details he finds while investigating."

June 25, 2013 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas Senate Lifestream of Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis' one-person filibuster.

June 25, 2013 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two hours to go and Senator Wendy Davis is still going strong, standing up for the women of Texas.

June 25, 2013 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas abortion bill falls after challenge

"AUSTIN, Texas — Despite barely beating a midnight deadline, hundreds of jeering protesters helped stop Texas lawmakers from passing one of the toughest abortion measures in the country.

As the protesters raised the noise to deafening levels in the Texas Senate chamber late Tuesday, Republicans scrambled to gather their colleagues at the podium for a stroke-of-midnight vote.

"Get them out!" Sen. Donna Campbell shouted to a security guard, pointing to the thundering crowd in the gallery overhead that had already been screaming for more than 10 minutes.

"Time is running out," Campbell pleaded. "I want them out of here!"

It didn't work. The noise never stopped and despite barely beating the midnight end-of-session deadline with a vote to pass the bill, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said the chaos in the chamber prevented him from formally signing it before the deadline passed, effectively killing it.

Dewhurst denounced the protesters as an "unruly mob." Democrats who urged them on called the outburst democracy in action.

In either point of view, a raucous crowd of chanting, singing, shouting demonstrators effectively took over the Texas Capitol and blocked a bill that abortion rights groups warned would close most abortion clinics in the state.

"They were asking for their voices to be heard," said Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, who spent nearly 11 hours trying to filibuster the bill before the outburst. "The results speak for themselves."

The final outcome took several hours to sort out.

Initially, Republicans insisted the vote started before the midnight deadline and passed the bill that Democrats spent the day trying to kill. But after official computer records and printouts of the voting record showed the vote took place Wednesday, and then were changed to read Tuesday, senators retreated into a private meeting to reach a conclusion.

At 3 a.m., Dewhurst emerged from the meeting still insisting the 19-10 vote was in time, but said, "with all the ruckus and noise going on, I couldn't sign the bill" and declared it dead.

He denounced the more than 400 protesters who staged what they called "a people's filibuster" from 11:45 p.m. to well past midnight. He denied mishandling the debate.

"I didn't lose control (of the chamber). We had an unruly mob," Dewhurst said. He even hinted that Gov. Rick Perry may immediately call another 30-day special session, adding: "It's over. It's been fun. But see you soon."

Many of the protesters had flocked to the normally quiet Capitol to support Davis, who gained national attention and a mention from President Barack Obama's campaign Twitter account. Her Twitter following went from 1,200 in the morning to more than 20,000 by Tuesday night.

"My back hurts. I don't have a lot of words left," Davis said when it was over and she was showered with cheers by activists who stayed at the Capitol to see her. "It shows the determination and spirit of Texas women."..."

That's the Way the Girls are From Texas!

June 26, 2013 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dem Rep. Markey Wins U.S. Senate Election In Massachusetts

June 26, 2013 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

today's a big day in nutty TTFland

see everyone outside the Supreme Court

June 26, 2013 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Democrats who urged them on called the outburst democracy in action."

glad to hear this is now how Democrats think democracy is supposed to work

a couple of years ago, they were horrified when Samuel Alito dared to call Obama wrong in the Senate chamber

face it, Democrats believe anything is fine if it accomplishes their goal of destroying the lives of innocent children

it's democracy (mob rule) in action

isn't this how the Nazis got started?

June 26, 2013 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get your post ready, Jim

SC ruled DOMA unconstitutional and is letting the overturning of Prop 8 stand

June 26, 2013 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The decision was 5-4, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

“DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,” the ruling said. “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”

June 26, 2013 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's democracy (mob rule) in action

isn't this how the Nazis got started

Yeah, it's how the MOB RULED in the Florida recount in 2000. Moron!

June 26, 2013 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the 2000 was a vote involving millions in one of our largest states that was too close to call

the SC had to make a call

no mobs were involved

last night a mob of hundreds stormed a democratically elected legislature and prevented a vote, which would have actually been "democracy in action"

hopefully, even a flippin' imbecile like you can appreciate the difference

June 26, 2013 10:58 AM  
Anonymous no constitutional right to deviant marriage declared said...

By a 5-4 vote, the justices held in Hollingsworth v. Perry that the traditional marriage activists who put Proposition 8 on California ballots in 2008 did not have the constitutional authority, or standing, to defend the law in federal courts after the state refused to appeal its loss at trial.

“We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “We decline to do so for the first time here.”

Roberts was joined in his majority opinion by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan. Justice Anthony Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor.

The judgement of the Ninth Circuit was vacated and the case remanded with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

California voters added Proposition 8 to the state's constitution in 2008 through a ballot initiative that reversed the state Supreme Court's recognition of same-sex marriage earlier that year. Two same-sex couples challenged the ban in federal court, and by the time their suit reached the justices, two lower courts had declared it unconstitutional.

The court's ultimate disposition of the case nevertheless avoided the plaintiffs' central contention: that Proposition 8 deprives them of their constitutional right to equal protection by denying them the ability to marry. In so doing, the justices left other same-sex marriage bans across the country untouched.

June 26, 2013 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"no mobs were involved" [in 2000 in FL]

Annoted photograph of the mob in a Florida recount office in FL, provided for education of the Bubble Dweller!

1. Tom Pyle, policy analyst, office of House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R- Texas)

2. Garry Malphrus, majority chief counsel and staff director, House Judiciary subcommittee on criminal justtice.

3. Rory Cooper, political division staff member at the National Republican Congressional Committee.

4. Kevin Smith, former House Reublican conference analyst and more recently of

5. Steven Brophy, former aid to Sen. Fred D. Thompson (R-Enn) later worked at the consulting firm KPMG.

6. Matt Schlapp, former chief of staff for Rep. Todd Tiahrt (sic), (R-Kansas), later on the Bush campaign staff in Austin.

7. Roger Morse, adie to Rep. Van Hilleary (R-Tenn)

8. Duane Gibson, aide to Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska) of the House Resources Committee.

9. Chuch Royal, legistlative assistant to Rep. Ji DeMint (R-SC)

10. Layna McConkey, fomer legislatvie assistant to former Rep. Jim Ross Lightfoot (R-Iowa)


"The Brooks Brothers riot is the term coined to describe the demonstration at a meeting of election canvassers in Miami-Dade County, Florida on November 19, 2000, during a recount of votes made during the 2000 United States presidential election. The name refers to a traditional brand of suits associated with conservative business dress, reinforcing the allegation that the corporately attired protesters sporting "Hermès ties" were astroturfing, which is to say that they were not, in fact, just ordinary local citizens expressing their concerns about counting practices. Hundreds of "paid GOP crusaders" descended upon South Florida to protest the state's recounts, with at least half a dozen of the demonstrators at Miami-Dade paid by George W. Bush's recount committee. Several of these protesters were identified as Republican staffers and a number later went on to jobs in the Bush administration.

The demonstration was organized by Republican operatives, sometimes referred to as the "Brooks Brothers Brigade", to oppose the recount of 10,750 ballots during the Florida recount. The canvassers decided to move the counting process to a smaller room and restrict media access to 25 feet away while they continued. At this time, New York Rep. John Sweeney told an aide to "Shut it down." The demonstration turned violent, and according to the NY Times, "several people were trampled, punched or kicked when protesters tried to rush the doors outside the office of the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections. Sheriff's deputies restored order." DNC aide Luis Rosero was kicked and punched. Within two hours after the riot died down, the canvassing board unanimously voted to shut down the count, in part due to perceptions that the process wasn't open or fair, and in part because the court-mandated deadline was impossible to meet."

What's the next lie you're going to try to spin?

June 26, 2013 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Reminders for BubbleHead said...

TUESDAY, NOV 28, 2000 12:49 PM EST
Miami’s rent-a-riot

Sweeney and the Siege of Miami
Posted Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2000, at 5:59 PM

MSNBC video:
Maddow & Scarborough: Two Views of the 'Brooks Brothers Rioters' of 2000

June 26, 2013 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not a decisive incident

there were multiple recounts in Florida over weeks

besides, my original point is the hypocrisy of Dems applauding the mob that descended on the Texas legislature to prevent it from passing a law protecting the lives of innocent children from those who find them inconvenient

or, are you saying you agree that the "Brooks Brothers mob" was an example of democracy in action?

June 26, 2013 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON -- Justice Antonin Scalia lashed out at the Supreme Court for intervening in the gay marriage debate.

The court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday in a 5-4 decision. In a dissent choked with rage, Scalia dismissed the majority's reasoning as "legalistic argle-bargle."

Scalia's dissent is less a legal argument and more a plea for recognition that there are "good people on all sides." In it, he repeatedly played the role of victim, complaining that it is unfair that his opposition to gay marriage is no longer considered legitimate.

"It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race," Scalia wrote, accusing the majority of "declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency ... In the majority’s telling, this story is black-and-white: Hate your neighbor or come along with us."

"To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution," said Scalia, before using his dissent to re-argue the legality of sodomy. Wednesday's decision was inevitable, he said, when the court sanctioned "homosexual sodomy," and striking down the Defense of Marriage Act will inevitably lead to fully legal same-sex marriages.

"When the Court declared a constitutional right to homosexual sodomy, we were assured that the case had nothing, nothing at all to do with 'whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter,'" he wrote. "Now we are told that DOMA is invalid because it 'demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects,' ante, at 23 -- with an accompanying citation of Lawrence.

"It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here — when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’s hateful moral judgment against it. I promise you this: The only thing that will 'confine' the Court’s holding is its sense of what it can get away with."

Along with debating sodomy, Scalia drew a connection to polygamy, noting "the Constitution neither requires nor forbids our society to approve of same-sex marriage, much as it neither requires nor forbids us to approve of no-fault divorce, polygamy, or the consumption of alcohol."

Scalia argued that the question of same-sex marriage should be left to Congress and the states.

"We might have let the People decide," he said. "But that the majority will not do. Some will rejoice in today’s decision, and some will despair at it; that is the nature of a controversy that matters so much to so many. But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better. I dissent."

June 26, 2013 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.

So we welcome today’s decision, and I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.

On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.

The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free."
President Obama

June 26, 2013 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We STILL will not go backwards!

June 26, 2013 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) railed against the Supreme Court on Wednesday, blasting the justices for declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and allowing gay marriages to resume in California.

Appearing with other House members during a press conference, Bachmann said the rulings were "offensive on so many levels."

"This decision is one that is profound because the Supreme Court not only attacked our Constitution today, they not only attacked the equal protection rights of every citizen under our Constitution, they attacked something that they have no jurisdiction over whatsoever, the foundational unit of our society, which is marriage," Bachmann said.

She continued, "That is something that God created. That is something that God will define. The Supreme Court, though they may think so, have not risen to the level of God."

Earlier Wednesday, Bachmann issued a written statement condemning the court's decisions:

Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted.

For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman. Only since 2000 have we seen a redefinition of this foundational unit of society in various nations.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to join the trend, despite the clear will of the people’s representatives through DOMA.

What the Court has done will undermine the best interest of children and the best interests of the United States.

June 26, 2013 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Bye Bye! said...

"It took Nancy Pelosi just two words on Wednesday to take Michele Bachmann down a notch.

The House minority leader was asked during a press conference what she thought of Bachmann's intense denunciation earlier in the day of the Supreme Court's historic rulings in favor of gay marriage. She replied with a shrug:

"Who cares?"

Bachmann, whose staunch opposition to gay marriage is long and storied, had insisted in a written statement Wednesday morning that, "Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted." She would resume that line of attack later during a press conference, calling the Court's decisions an affront to the Constitution, and to "the foundational unit of our society, which is marriage."

Pelosi's economical dismissal was received with laughs from her Democratic colleagues. It doubtless was not received so well by Bachmann, whose star has dimmed considerably of late: two summers ago, the Minnesota congresswoman was in the thick of the Republican Party's presidential primary, but now she finds herself serving out the remainder of her final term in Congress."

June 26, 2013 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The court did not invalidate Section 5 of the law, which empowers the federal government to require preclearance of voting changes for certain states and localities. But without a formula to determine which regions are subject to the extra scrutiny, Section 5 is effectively neutered.

Roberts invited Congress to "draft another formula based on current conditions."

Sensenbrenner says he plans to do just that.
"Section 5 of the Act was a bipartisan effort to rectify past injustices and ensure minorities’ ability to participate in elections, but the threat of discrimination still exists," he said.

"I am disappointed by the Court’s ruling," he added, "but my colleagues and I will work in a bipartisan fashion to update Section 4 to ensure Section 5 can be properly implemented to protect voting rights, especially for minorities."

Sensenbrenner's views found support from at least one other member of the GOP on Capitol Hill: Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio, who also serves on the Judiciary Committee.

“I am disappointed that the Court invalidated the Voting Rights Act’s coverage formula, which has been used for decades to help protect the voting rights of millions of Americans," Chabot said.

"However, by leaving Section 5’s pre-clearance requirements intact, the Court has given Congress the opportunity to amend the coverage formula to preserve these important protections. I am hopeful that we will work together to enact an appropriate fix in the same bipartisan manner and spirit that we did when reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act in 2006.”

Meanwhile, the top House Democrat is already eying legislation to overturn the Court's decision.
"It's really a step backward, and it's not a reflection of what's really happening in our country in some of these places," Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told The Hill.

House Democrats are meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss what a legislative fix would look like.
Pelosi is already floating a name for a possible bill: "I would like to see something ... called the John Lewis Voting Rights Act," she said.

Southern states are already promising to make voting more difficult by requiring photo IDs, reducing early voting, eliminating same day voter registration, and more.

June 26, 2013 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Marriage," said Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann when the Supreme Court handed down its decision banning DOMA, "was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted."

The kind of marriage this holy God has instituted is described in that book he wrote, the Bible, which is what opponents of gay marriage lean on, implicitly and not, when they talk about "traditional marriage." But the kind of marriages described in the Bible have nothing to do with the one man-one woman principle that the religious right claims is the original, divinely inspired, fully-licensed marriage 1.0.

Let's start with Abraham and his wife, Sarah. After ten years of (geriatric) marriage, Sarah could not get pregnant, so she gave Abraham her maidservant, Hagar, so that, through her, she could have a child with Abraham. She did, and we call him Ishmael. But Ishmael was not born to Sarah, but to her property, Hagar, therefore he did not inherit Abraham's spiritual mantle, as Isaac, the son Abraham and Sarah eventually had, did. Ishmael was sent away with the clothes on his back.

This arrangement was a common one, and Abraham's grandson Jacob had two wives, Rachel and Leah, and then also had kids with their handmaids, Bilhah and Zilpah. And this, in fact, was the traditional, Biblical model of marriage. There was the main wife or wives—the Sarahs, the Rachels, and the Leahs—and their handmaids—the Hagars. The husband owed the main wife certain financial support and protection, she had a certain legal status, but the handmaids were just there to pick up the pace when the main wives slacked in their childbearing. They, and their children, were lesser legal entities, and were not entitled to the same benefits and inheritances. In fact, the children of the handmaids belonged in some way to the wives. Both Sarah and Rachel describe having their husband father a child with their servant girl as "being built up through her."

And then there's the straight-up polygamy. Jacob had two wives, acquiring the second one after being tricked into marrying the first one. Esau, Jacob's older brother, had three wives. David had at least five wives and countless fecund concubines. The wise King Solomon had "seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines." Even Moses had a second, Cushite wife, and God had his back, punishing Moses's siblings, Miriam and Aaron, for speaking out against the marriage. In Deuteronomy, there is even a legal provision for how to split up the inheritance between sons born to two wives, rather than to a wife (isha, in Hebrew) and a handmaiden (pilegesh): The firstborn, even if born to the wife you love less, still gets double what the son, born to the wife you love more, inherits.

So there you have it, traditional marriage from a holy God. Here's hoping we'll never have to experience such tradition.

June 26, 2013 6:04 PM  

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