Join 3,496 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Prop 8 Appeal: Still Unconstitutional
February 7, 2012 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Three years after California voters approved a ban on gay marriage in California, a Ninth Circuit court has ruled (in the appeal case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger) that Judge Vaughn Walker's previous decision is valid, maintaining that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and in violation of California's due process and equal protection rights. The decision came down to a 2-1 vote in favor of Judge Walker's decision.

Scribd link for the decision.
posted by zarq (269 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
I vote for keeping this one, has the link to the decision.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:17 AM on February 7, 2012


I'm so happy but so nervous about the damn Supreme Court. I don't trust Kennedy.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:17 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Note its a very narrow decision, designed to avoid appeal to supreme court that would allow national gay marriage.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:18 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, nuke mine please. This one's a way better post, I was just too excited.
posted by kmz at 10:18 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm so happy but so nervous about the damn Supreme Court. I don't trust Kennedy.

Well, Scalia thinks Kennedy wrote the anti-sodomy law decision to create gay marriage.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:18 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


=
posted by alms at 10:19 AM on February 7, 2012 [37 favorites]


Hey social conservatives, that noise you hear is you being on the wrong side of history. Again.

You'd think you'd have learned by now from women's suffrage, the civil rights movement, etc.
But if you were capable of that kind of reflection, well, I guess you wouldnt be social conservatives.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:19 AM on February 7, 2012 [59 favorites]


FUCK YEAH is pretty much what's all over my fb page.
posted by rtha at 10:19 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have been having arguments with all my friends for the past six months about whether, if the 9th Circuit framed it narrowly enough, the Supreme Court would not grant cert.

I think they might not. But all my friends (mostly lawyers and law students) think that they will anyway.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:19 AM on February 7, 2012


Ironmouth: "I vote for keeping this one, has the link to the decision."

No, it's okay.

Will flag, then copy and paste these links into the other post now. Easily rectified.
posted by zarq at 10:19 AM on February 7, 2012


Or simply designed to avoid appeal to the Supreme Court. (I heard somewhere a few years ago that SCOTUS really doesn't want to touch on gay marriage unless there's a circuit court split on a specific issue involved, but that might have just been a rumor floating around.)
posted by Navelgazer at 10:20 AM on February 7, 2012


Doh! Taz beat me to it. Am very sorry kmz. Didn't mean to steal your thunder.

But, thanks, Taz.
posted by zarq at 10:21 AM on February 7, 2012


Zarq, the other one's already been deleted, you're cool. So what happens now? When do people get to start GETTING MARRIED?
posted by KathrynT at 10:21 AM on February 7, 2012


I'm irritated that the 9th circuit site is down (hello, did you guys not anticipate this?), because I hate scribd. If anyone has an alternate link to the decision it would make me very happy.

Not as happy as getting to stay married to my partner, but still, happy!
posted by rtha at 10:22 AM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


I think the decision has been stayed pending a final decision (the 9th Circuit en banc, or Supreme Court, or the expiration of when those reviews could happen).
posted by insectosaurus at 10:22 AM on February 7, 2012


Oh, never mind - I see the link in the NYT.
posted by rtha at 10:23 AM on February 7, 2012


Well, no one's getting married any time soon. And the marriages, like ours, that have been legal since 2008, will continue to be legal.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:24 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cue thousands of awkward conversations in California from partners of folks who said "I won't get married until gay couples have the opportunity to do the same."
posted by leotrotsky at 10:24 AM on February 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


Another link for the decision.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:25 AM on February 7, 2012


Further proof that the 9th Circuit Court is a bunch of Anti-American Judicial Activists who Hate America and Americans and American Things and Want To Turn America into an Gay Islamic Dictatorship.

#shit_about_to_appear_on_a_million_facebook_walls
posted by delfin at 10:25 AM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


@leotrotsky - yeah, fuck this bullshit, I've been using that excuse for fourteen years, now what the hell do I do?
posted by dvdgee at 10:26 AM on February 7, 2012


So what does this MEAN for the people of California? Is gay marriage now legal there or what?
posted by Avenger at 10:27 AM on February 7, 2012


Cue thousands of awkward conversations in California from partners of folks who said "I won't get married until gay couples have the opportunity to do the same."

The things is that we don't have that opportunity, and we might not for many years (depending on the process that this goes through), even if it ends up with a favorable outcome, which it might not. And even if we could, the federal government will not recognize our marriages. And even if it did, other states might not recognize them.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:27 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


dvdgee: Do what I'm doing. Get married on Feb 29th and claim it's a 3/5ths Rule style compromise.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:28 AM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


For more analysis than you can possibly consume in the next few weeks, check in with Prop 8 Trial Tracker.
posted by psoas at 10:28 AM on February 7, 2012


Nothing changes in CA right now. The same-sex marriages that were legal are still legal. New ones will not be legal until this goes through SCOTUS. There's still a stay in place, and it's not going to be lifted any time soon.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:29 AM on February 7, 2012


Watching the rail against activist judges should be fun.
posted by zzazazz at 10:29 AM on February 7, 2012


So because of the way this is worded, it would only overturn the ban in California, and not make such bans in other states invalid? Am I reading this right? If so, that's kind of...disappointing.
posted by polywomp at 10:29 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


psoas: "For more analysis than you can possibly consume in the next few weeks, check in with Prop 8 Trial Tracker."

I couldn't open their site this morning. Long, long lag times.
posted by zarq at 10:29 AM on February 7, 2012


#shit_about_to_appear_on_a_million_facebook_walls

I must have trimmed my friends' list pretty well.

All I'm seeing is lots of WOOHOOs and FUCKING YEAHs.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:30 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


So does the stay get lifted once the Supreme Court decides not to touch this particular third rail?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:30 AM on February 7, 2012


Circuit court decisions only apply to that circuit. And this is a specific question of a California law. Not sure why you would expect it to apply to other states.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:31 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


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

There's no asterisk in there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:31 AM on February 7, 2012 [27 favorites]


Fuck yeah!
posted by Space Kitty at 10:32 AM on February 7, 2012


NPR writeup of the decision. As stated above, it seems specifically worded to avoid things going to the Supreme Court, saying that since Prop 8 specifically is designed to only take away rights, that's what makes it unconstitutional (at least, if I'm understanding that writeup correctly).
posted by inigo2 at 10:32 AM on February 7, 2012


Holy Zarquon's, yes - if the Supreme Court denies cert, then the decision is final, so the stay would get lifted.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:33 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The first time a cook married the ingredients in a sauce, every heterosexual marriage was instantly obliterated anyway, so I don't know what the wingers are on about in the first place, that ship sailed.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:33 AM on February 7, 2012


Dahlia Lithwick's 2010 article "What Will Kennedy Do on Gay Marriage?"

tl;dr: Who the fuck knows?
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:36 AM on February 7, 2012


I'm a bit fuzzy on how the circuit courts work, but since WA is part of the 9th Circuit, would this have implications for WA same-sex marriage?
posted by Fleebnork at 10:37 AM on February 7, 2012


Am very sorry kmz. Didn't mean to steal your thunder.

No worries! Seriously, Metafilter should be about best posts, not first posts.
posted by kmz at 10:37 AM on February 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


SCOTUS' blog.
posted by zarq at 10:37 AM on February 7, 2012


Fleebnork, according to the NYT article, no:
The court crafted a narrow decision that applies only to California, even though the court has jurisdiction in nine western states.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:39 AM on February 7, 2012


I'm a bit fuzzy on how the circuit courts work, but since WA is part of the 9th Circuit, would this have implications for WA same-sex marriage?

Only if Washington is covered by the California constitution.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:40 AM on February 7, 2012


Eh, yeah. I guess RTFA helps.
posted by Fleebnork at 10:40 AM on February 7, 2012


From my FB page: "The will of the people no longer matters. Welcome to 1984."

I got to remind him that the First Amendment protects Mormons like him from anti-LDS legislation, and maybe putting Civil rights up for popular vote is not a good idea.
posted by ambrosia at 10:41 AM on February 7, 2012 [29 favorites]


The Supreme Court accepting cert would be a good thing and would seem to signal a likely affirmation. It's hard to imagine a block of four justices would agree to accept cert in this case if they thought they were likely to end up in the minority. Kennedy's opinion in Lawrence v Texas can't make Scalia confident that Kennedy would reverse the 9th Circuit. So if cert is accepted, I'm thinking that the liberal wing is pretty sure that Kennedy (and who knows, maybe even Alito) would vote to affirm.

But I'm curious why the commentary seems to suggest that cert is a foregone conclusion, given how it is basically a game of chicken involving Kennedy's vote.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:41 AM on February 7, 2012


nuke mine

Off-topic, but that would be a really good band name.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:41 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I especially liked how the anti-marriage people argued that the old judge's post-retirement revelation that he was gay presented a conflict of interest, as though a straight judge deciding the matter would not have also been a conflict of interest.

If you decide what gay rights are, you necessarily decide what straight rights are. A straight judge, then, would have been in just as much a conflict of interest as a gay judge would be. Thus, no gay or straight judge could ever decide the case.

I take it as a sign that the anti-marriage people are scraping the bottom of the barrel.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:42 AM on February 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


So because of the way this is worded, it would only overturn the ban in California, and not make such bans in other states invalid? Am I reading this right? If so, that's kind of...disappointing.

I can see it being disappointing from a grand historical "they had a chance to strike a blow for universal marriage equality and didn't take it" perspective. But it does make it MUCH more likely to survive the Supreme Court challenge. And in the long run, having huge numbers of actual gay married couples in a state the size of California might be a more important step towards ultimate nationwide gay marriage than a ringing proclamation in a 9th circuit decision.
posted by yoink at 10:44 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I take it as a sign that the anti-marriage people are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Yeah, seriously. This became crystal-clear when the witnesses the pro-Prop 8 folks presented during the (Judge Walker) portion of this process all basically ended up testifying "Um, yeah, I got nuthin'."
posted by rtha at 10:47 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a straight man, I personally don't believe I have a conflict of interest in deciding whether or not to support gay rights, any more than I have a conflict of interest in deciding whether or not I support causes like drug legalization (despite the fact that I don't use drugs) or, had I been alive 50 years ago, the Civil Rights Act (despite the fact that I'm a white Yankee). Injustice done to others in the name of my government diminishes me, but I don't materially benefit from eliminating those injustices in any direct way.

The funny thing, though, is that according to the plaintiffs, a straight judge would have to recuse, wouldn't he? Because if same-sex marriage damages the institution of heterosexual marriage, then that straight judge has an incentive to rule in favor of Prop 8, to save his/her own union. Right?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:48 AM on February 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


Circuit court decisions only apply to that circuit. And this is a specific question of a California law. Not sure why you would expect it to apply to other states.

If the 9th circuit nixed Prop 8 on the grounds that the US Constitution in general protects the right of gay people to get married if they wish to do so, then that would be the reasoning the Supreme Court would be called upon either to endorse or to reject. If they endorsed such a decision (an iffy proposition) then automatically that would become the law of the land.

As it is, they can now endorse the 9th Circuit's reasoning about the formulation of a specific statewide initiative without choosing to say anything about the constitutionality of gay marriage per se.
posted by yoink at 10:48 AM on February 7, 2012


Kennedy hasn't been ruling particularly leftwards recently, so I'm not sure I want this to go before the SC just yet.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:49 AM on February 7, 2012


George Clooney will be very pleased. (This message brought to you by the letters W,T and F.)
posted by The Bellman at 10:49 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only if Washington is covered by the California constitution.

So, I haven't read the opinion yet because I'm at work, but I think this is wrong. The opinion found Prop 8 to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution (indeed, the Ninth Circuit isn't going to be offering opinions on the California Constitution). Right now, the effect is limited because the opinion is narrow; it explicitly doesn't find that same-sex marriage can't ever be denied, but only finds that it can't in this case.

In the event that someone in a Ninth Circuit state that bans gay marriage challenges it, the court would rule on the specifics of that case, but this holding would clearly be a relevant authority in that case.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:51 AM on February 7, 2012


From the decision:
We need consider only the many ways in which we encounter the word 'marriage' in our daily lives and understand it, consciously or not, to convey a sense of significance. We are regularly given forms to complete that ask us whether we are "single" or "married." Newspapers run announcements of births, deaths, and marriages. We are excited to see someone ask, "Will you marry me?", whether on bended knee or in text splashed across a stadium Jumbotron. Certainly it would not have the same effect to see "Will you enter into a registered domestic partnership with me?". Groucho Marx's one-liner, "Marriage is a wonderful institution... but who wants to live in an institution?" would lack its punch if the word "marriage" were replaced with the alternative phrase. So too with Shakespeare's "A young man married is a man that's marr'd," Lincoln's "Marriage is neither heaven no hell, it is simply purgatory," and Sinatra's "A man doesn't know what happiness is until he's married. By then it's too late." We see tropes like "marrying for love" versus "marrying for money" played out again and again in our films and literature because of the recognized importance of the marriage relationship. Had Marilyn Monroe's film been called How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire, it would not have conveyed the same meaning as did her famous movie, even though the underlying drama for same-sex couples is no different.
Perry v. Brown, No. 10-16696, slip op. at 38-39 (9th Cir. Feb. 7, 2012).
posted by Partial Law at 10:52 AM on February 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


I drove to work behind a car with a No Prop 8 sticker on the back; the driver seemed to be listening to the same news as I was and actually bouncing up and down in his seat.

FUCK YEAH EQUAL RIGHTS
posted by scody at 10:54 AM on February 7, 2012 [24 favorites]


my first reaction was yay but then there was the "road to the Supreme Court" stuff.
can we look forward to the learned and eloquent Supreme Court debate about if corporations can get married and adopt children?
posted by Bwithh at 10:54 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


can we look forward to the learned and eloquent Supreme Court debate about if corporations can get married and adopt children?

Well, how else could you explain Mitt Romney?
posted by entropicamericana at 10:56 AM on February 7, 2012 [33 favorites]


Between this news and the earlier news about Karen Handel stepping down from Komen, I think I've said FUCK YEAH more today than I have in the last year.
posted by rtha at 10:57 AM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Gay marriage advocates would be wise to keep this away from the Roberts Court until Obama wins a second term and has the chance to replace one of the Four Horsemen. The 9th Cir. knows what they're doing.

Otherwise it'll be playing very close to the fire of a SOCTUS ruling stating that marriage = one man and one woman.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:58 AM on February 7, 2012


got to remind him that the First Amendment protects Mormons like him from anti-LDS legislation,

One of the complaints about gay marriage is that it will slippery-slope to polygamy, so an LDSer being against gay marriage is rather amusing.

Of course, I actually kind of think it IS a slippery slope toward letting adults arrange their lives any way they want. There's a lot of total bullshit that the conservatives throw around about gay marriage, but I think that one argument is correct, that it's a foot in the door toward all sorts of non-traditional living arrangements.

But, while I think the argument is correct, I don't particularly care. My reaction is a giant shrug. "And?"
posted by Malor at 10:58 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Live stream of American Foundation for Equal Rights press conference (going on now -- Ted Olson currently speaking).
posted by ericb at 11:01 AM on February 7, 2012


In the event that someone in a Ninth Circuit state that bans gay marriage challenges it, the court would rule on the specifics of that case, but this holding would clearly be a relevant authority in that case.

No. Essentially the ruling says that the taking away of the previously granted right was unconstitutional. Only if the state had granted the right and then taken it away with out making any change at all to the right to raise children, etc. would it apply in the other states.

This is a very narrow decision.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:02 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Woo hoo! This is awesome! Fuck yeah, and fuck Prop 8!

(I am obviously still waiting for our talking points to be issued. We'll be at the LA downtown rally this afternoon, doin' our little gay dances.)

Couple of things:

—It's kind of a shame that this is a narrow ruling. I was hoping for the full 9th, i.e. that any similar law would be unconstitutional, but it makes sense why it's so narrow — the evidence collected only really applied to this one initiative. It's a good precedent, though, in affirming that explicitly discriminatory initiatives that serve only to affirm private moral holdings, should not have the force of law. TL;DR: If you don't want a same-sex marriage, don't have one, chump.

—One of the best things is getting this over with as soon as possible, as marriage (while really important) can easily overshadow a lot more practical LGBT concerns: Rea Carey's "We are not a one-issue movement" is apt.

—There are current rumors that Love, Honor, Cherish is going to march to the West Hollywood EQCA office to protest EQCA's decision not to fight for the repeal of Prop 8 in 2012 (conveniently ignoring that we were one of the original plaintiffs back in 2008 that legalized same-sex marriage anyway). It should be pretty hilarious if they actually do show up — we'll probably tell them to come inside and do phone bank work for the FAIR Education Act.
posted by klangklangston at 11:04 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


In case anyone reading about this decision on various sites comes across the "The 9th Circuit gets overturned more than any other circuit" thing, you might find this askme from 2009 interesting.
posted by rtha at 11:09 AM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hey social conservatives, that noise you hear is you being on the wrong side of history. Again.

You'd think you'd have learned by now from women's suffrage, the civil rights movement, etc.


Yeah, it's a shame President Obama is remaining on the wrong side of history with them on this with his opposition to gay marriage. Hopefully this decision will inspire him to come around.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:10 AM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Note its a very narrow decision ...

Exactly."The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. Constitution. The architects of Prop. 8 have vowed to appeal.

The ruling was narrow and likely to be limited to California.

The ruling upheld a decision by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who struck down the ballot measure in 2010 after holding an unprecedented trial on the nature of sexual orientation and the history of marriage.

In a separate decision, the appeals court refused to invalidate Walker’s ruling on the grounds that he should have disclosed he was in a long term same-sex relationship. Walker, a Republican appointee who is openly gay, said after his ruling that he had been in a relationship with another man for 10 years. He has never said whether he and partner wished to marry."

posted by ericb at 11:10 AM on February 7, 2012


This is great. Anyone who doesn't see the world solely through a filter of religion and homophobia can see that the Prop 8 was unconstitutional. It is great the court confirms this. We're one step closer to having gay marriage legal nationally.

The court was asked to look at a bad California law and did so. I think they went out of their way not to make this about more than California's laws just to not give the Supremes an excuse for overturning their decision on technical grounds.

For this to go to the Supreme Court, doesn't the Pro8 people have to take it there? It seems to me, the anti-gay marriage people should just stop now, let California have gay marriage. Because if it does go to the Supreme Court, it will settle the issue nationwide. If the stay is lifted in California, it wouldn't impact the anti-gay laws in other states. But if it gets to the Supreme Court, the anti-gay marriage people might wake up to gay marriage in places like Texas where they hated same-sex marriage they made it double-illegal (it was against the law, and then the also added it the constitution).

If you look at the analogy to Loving v Virginia many states that had laws outlawing mixed-race marriage that they had to stop enforcing after the decision. Lawrence v Texas was the same way on sodomy laws. The only way some of these individual states will move on these civil rights issues is by being forced to do so by the federal government.

The anti-gay marriage people should see as a state's rights issue according to these "conservatives" so if they let drop the Prop8 issue in California they can keep the inevitable from happening. The should let the sinners in California marry as our state government said. Before gay marriage was legalized here they thought we were all going to hell anyway.

Personally, I'd like the Supreme Court to settle this yesterday. It confounds me that something patently unconstitutional and a class of people are having their civil rights actively trounced upon. But here we are.
posted by birdherder at 11:10 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


blockquote FAIL
posted by ericb at 11:10 AM on February 7, 2012


Gay marriage advocates would be wise to keep this away from the Roberts Court until Obama wins a second term and has the chance to replace one of the Four Horsemen. The 9th Cir. knows what they're doing.

Wouldn't it be the intervenor-defendants (i.e. the supporters of Prop 8) who would be taking this to the SCOTUS as soon as possible to get the decision reversed, not gay marriage advocates?
posted by blucevalo at 11:12 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because if it does go to the Supreme Court, it will settle the issue nationwide.

No, the Supremes could just give the same narrow ruling that the 9th circuit gave. And, I suspect, that that's the most positive result one could hope for from the current court.
posted by yoink at 11:13 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stupid question: How many Supreme Court justices does it take in order for cert to be granted? Four? Five?
posted by rtha at 11:14 AM on February 7, 2012


Four.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:16 AM on February 7, 2012


Four.
posted by zarq at 11:17 AM on February 7, 2012


I found it interesting the extent to which the Ninth Circuit relied on Romer v Evans, apparently in a quest to craft the narrowest, most easily defensible ruling possible. It's probably also worth noting that Justice Kennedy authored Romer as well as Lawrence. Kennedy will really be in a box trying to square those opinions with a vote to reverse Perry.

This comes down to what it always should have come down to: what does "rational basis" really mean?

For those that see Prop 8 as nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to discriminate, it's impossible to conclude that a rational basis exists for its enactment.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:17 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm really not getting stuff in under the wire today, am I? :D
posted by zarq at 11:17 AM on February 7, 2012


Four.

Four.


Thank you both!
posted by rtha at 11:18 AM on February 7, 2012


No, the Supremes could just give the same narrow ruling that the 9th circuit gave. And, I suspect, that that's the most positive result one could hope for from the current court.


I'm not a legal scholar, but wasn't Lawrence v Texas something that was specific to Texas' sodomy laws? And when the court found it unconstitutional it invalidated similar laws nationwide.

I haven't read the anti-gay marriage laws in the other states, perhaps there is some language in those laws that would not apply in a situation where the Supreme Court agreed that gay marriage is a civll right that would survive. I don't know.

If it is only about the Golden State, then wouldn't that mean that unless there' a gay marriage constitutional amendment to the US constitution, wouldn't people in each state need to bring their own cases to the Supreme Court?
posted by birdherder at 11:19 AM on February 7, 2012


Wouldn't it be the intervenor-defendants (i.e. the supporters of Prop 8) who would be taking this to the SCOTUS as soon as possible to get the decision reversed, not gay marriage advocates?


Conservatives have been telling the Prop 8 supporters in California to calm the fuck down about getting cert simply because while the ninth circuit is a hole in the dyke (no pun intended), the Supreme Court can and has blown up the entire fucking dam.

No, the Supremes could just give the same narrow ruling that the 9th circuit gave. And, I suspect, that that's the most positive result one could hope for from the current court.

They could but one could argue the right to marriage has always been there but simply not exercised, right? Hopefully someone much smarter than me can quote a decision about rights present but not exercised in this context even if they prove me wrong and retarded.
posted by Talez at 11:19 AM on February 7, 2012


Wouldn't it be the intervenor-defendants (i.e. the supporters of Prop 8) who would be taking this to the SCOTUS as soon as possible to get the decision reversed, not gay marriage advocates?

That's right, I had it backwards, I guess gay marriage supporters don't have much say whether to appeal or not. My point was that the 9th Cir panel probably would rather not see this ruling go to the Supremes either, and they shouldn't be denegrated for declining to rule broadly. A narrow ruling on California-only grounds is much less likely to see Cert. granted, which probably good for the long term prospects of same-sex marriage until there's a change on the Court.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:19 AM on February 7, 2012


dyke (no pun intended)

Yes you did. The small dam is a dike. You spell it with a y and you got yourself a slur.
posted by birdherder at 11:22 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


And another question, not quite as stupid: if the pro-Prop 8 folks want to ask for an en banc hearing from the 9th, how does the 9th decide whether or not to grant it? Do different judges (from the ones who handed down this decision) look at the request and go yay or nay, or does every judge on the circuit cast a vote as to whether or not to hear it en banc?
posted by rtha at 11:22 AM on February 7, 2012


No, the Supremes could just give the same narrow ruling that the 9th circuit gave. And, I suspect, that that's the most positive result one could hope for from the current court.

Given that Kennedy authored both Lawrence v Texas and Romer v Evans, I think it's more likely that either (1) cert isn't granted or (2) cert is granted and the S Ct reading is even broader. I don't see why four justices would grant cert simply to affirm on this really narrow ground. If they think they have the votes, they'll grant cert and go for the big win. If they don't think they have the votes, they won't grant cert.

So if you're the bloc of Sotomayor, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan, you either figure that Kennedy is ready to proclaim himself Mr. Super Equal Rights Justice, and go down in history as a Huge Civil Rights Figure, in which case you grant cert and rule on the grounds that the Fourteenth Amendment includes the right of same sex marriage, as there can be no rational basis to deny it. Or, you figure that he's not willing to go that far and you deny cert, leaving the narrow ruling standing where it is.

I guess there can be a middle ground where you think you can get at least option B but hope for option A, too.

And if you're the bloc of Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and probably Alito, you just sit in your chambers and hope Kennedy gets hit by a truck and Romney wins the election.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:24 AM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


While this ruling is very narrow I also think it's going to be extremely helpful for Washington state marriage equality. If the law granting marriage equality is passed in the coming weeks (it looks so promising), it's going to be very difficult to get that law repealed or overturned via ballot proposition, short of a Supreme Court reversal.
posted by muddgirl at 11:25 AM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yes you did. The small dam is a dike. You spell it with a y and you got yourself a slur.

Someone should alert Wikipedia then. Nevertheless, flagged my own comment and my unreserved apologies.

That's right, I had it backwards, I guess gay marriage supporters don't have much say whether to appeal or not. My point was that the 9th Cir panel probably would rather not see this ruling go to the Supremes either, and they shouldn't be denegrated for declining to rule broadly. A narrow ruling on California-only grounds is much less likely to see Cert. granted, which probably good for the long term prospects of same-sex marriage until there's a change on the Court.

If the 9th wanted to keep it out of Kennedy's hands they wouldn't have sent the case hurtling along at warp speed and spent so much time dicking around on the standing issue so the Supreme Court wouldn't deny them cert for being sloppy on the issue.
posted by Talez at 11:26 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I found it interesting the extent to which the Ninth Circuit relied on Romer v Evans, apparently in a quest to craft the narrowest, most easily defensible ruling possible.

Ted Boutros and Ted Olson are currently speaking at the press conference about the Romer ruing and how it plays in this decision.
posted by ericb at 11:26 AM on February 7, 2012


Oh man. Here we are in Arizona, also in the 9th Circuit, hoping for a win for the good guys, yet, again, it's ARIZONA we're talking about.

Sometimes it's like we're right next door to California, and simultaneously on the other side of the moral universe.
posted by darkstar at 11:29 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not a legal scholar, but wasn't Lawrence v Texas something that was specific to Texas' sodomy laws? And when the court found it unconstitutional it invalidated similar laws nationwide.

Everything would depend on the scope of their ruling. The Supremes can say "this law is unconstitutional because any law attempting to do what this law does would, ipso facto be unconstitutional." Or they can say "this law, in this specific case, is unconstitutional because of these particular circumstances relating to the way in which it was drafted or the way in which it was enacted. And nothing we say here should be taken to express any opinion one way or another about the constitutionality of other laws of this type."

It's really entirely up to them. In a badly divided court like the present one there is often a deliberate drive to craft narrow opinions with limited further implications in order to gain the widest majority possible. Not, of course, in all cases.

But MoonOrb makes a good point above about the likelihood that they'd just deny cert rather than issue a narrow ruling.
posted by yoink at 11:29 AM on February 7, 2012


Regarding possible (likely) next steps for intervenor-defendants (i.e. the supporters of Prop 8):
"The other issue on everyone’s mind is, what comes next in terms of appeals? The losing side could appeal the decision in one of two ways. First, they could request what is called an en banc hearing. In most appellate courts, this involves the decision by a panel of judges (in this case, the 3-judge panel reviewing the Perry v. Brown case) being reviewed by all the judges on the appeals court. In the 9th Circuit, however (by far the largest appellate court in the country), an en banc hearing involves 11 of the court’s judges. In order for this review to occur, a majority of all active judges in the 9th Circuit must vote to rehear it. Many legal observers believe it is unlikely the court would allow an en banc hearing. The losing party could then appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has discretion over which cases it decides to hear, and hears arguments in only about 1% of all petitions filed for certiorari (judicial review) each term, so there is no guarantee it would take up an appeal of Perry. If four Supreme Court Justices agree to hear the case, the Supreme Court will review the case."
posted by ericb at 11:31 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nevertheless, flagged my own comment and my unreserved apologies.

Just so you know, based on the context, I didn't read it as a slur. I've made the same pun myself (and I am a dyke). I've also had it flung at me as a slur, and this didn't seem like that at all. I chuckled.

posted by rtha at 11:33 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is great news. But a potential SCOTUS hearing makes me sick to my stomach. Especially that the Prop 8 proponents would be perfectly content to wait for a President Romney to appoint a socially conservative SC justice, and/or replace the federal justices involved...
posted by sharkitect at 11:33 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I especially liked how the anti-marriage people argued that the old judge's post-retirement revelation that he was gay presented a conflict of interest, as though a straight judge deciding the matter would not have also been a conflict of interest.

No, see, the thing is, the argument was that Walker's being gay would bias him because he'd be directly affected, but if he'd been straight then he wouldn't have been directly affected. The anti-marriage argument against Walker seems to support the notion that gay marriage doesn't affect straight marriage at all.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:34 AM on February 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


One of the complaints about gay marriage is that it will slippery-slope to polygamy, so an LDSer being against gay marriage is rather amusing.

Except that the Mormon church does not believe in or practice polygamy.

That said, I have been very pleased to notice that none of my Mormon Facebook friends (which is easily half my Facebook friends) have posted anything negative about this 9th Circuit opinion.
posted by The World Famous at 11:35 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


@newtgingrich says: Court of Appeals overturning CA's Prop 8 another example of an out of control judiciary. Let's end judicial supremacy [link to Newt's campaign site]
posted by rtha at 11:36 AM on February 7, 2012


birdherder: " Yes you did. The small dam is a dike. You spell it with a y and you got yourself a slur."

The OED accepts both spellings as accurate as synonyms for "ditch" and "lesbian" (slang), fyi.
posted by zarq at 11:37 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's a shame President Obama is remaining on the wrong side of history with them on this with his opposition to gay marriage. Hopefully this decision will inspire him to come around.

I'd prefer he'd not do anything, as to not screw up his re-election. Then slap it to congress come Jan 20th or so.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:38 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just so you know, based on the context, I didn't read it as a slur. I've made the same pun myself (and I am a dyke). I've also had it flung at me as a slur, and this didn't seem like that at all. I chuckled.

To be honest I only used the word because when one thinks of trying to stem a giant flow with a small amount of manpower one naturally thinks of Hans Brinker (a.k.a The Little Dutch Boy).

The spelling was just my own ignorance and Commonwealth blood along with a lack of sources.
posted by Talez at 11:41 AM on February 7, 2012


Though he thinks it's an out of control judiciary, Newt, with his serial non-monogamy and the divorces that go along with them, has probably had more judges involved in his matrimonial history than 99% of the country. No wonder he carries a grudge.

In terms of the actual ruling, all I can manage now is a big old fuck yeah. Thanks for making my day folks in black robes many miles away.

And I just want to thank, in advance, those who can -- and take them time to -- answer the questions legal decisions like this raise so whenever I finally get around to reading the decision (with an informed but still mostly legally ignorant mind), I can come back here and find most of the questions I have answered for me.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:41 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's a shame President Obama is remaining on the wrong side of history with them on this with his opposition to gay marriage. Hopefully this decision will inspire him to come around.

I'll let his repeal of DADT, non-enforcement of DOMA, and support for same-sex couples in federal bureaucracies trump issuing of pointless (and toothless) memos, thank you very much.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:45 AM on February 7, 2012 [17 favorites]


Greg Sargent | Washington Post: Proposition 8 Is Overturned, And Obama Catches A Break On Gay Marriage
... There were two money quotes in the ruling. First, this: “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.” And second, the court shot down the reprehensible effort by Prop 8 supporters to argue that the Judge on the case was biased because he is gay, claiming there is no evidence for the claim.

So here’s an interesting angle on the decision: Gay rights advocates are hoping that this increases pressure on Obama to come out and unequivocally declare his support for gay marriage. He has said his position on it is “evolving.”

But one expert I spoke to points out that in fact, Obama has caught a pretty big break on this topic. That’s because the court’s ruling was narrow, and in effect actually affirms Obama’s position.

According to Richard Socarides, a prominent gay rights advocate, the key to the ruling is that it didn’t pronounce gay marriage a right under the U.S. Constitution. That broader ruling is what advocates had hoped for — and Obama would have been expected to declare agreement with it.

Rather, Socarides notes, the court today simply affirmed that you can’t take away by referendum a right to marry that citizens already enjoy under state law. And this is consistent with Obama’s position on Prop 8.

“We were hoping for a very broad ruling that held that there was a right under the Constitution to same sex marriage,” Socarides tells me. “If the court had ruled on those grounds, there would have been more pressure for him to move forward with his evolution on this.”

“The decision today is fully consistent with the president’s previously stated position that states should not take away rights by initiative,” Socarides continued. “He can continue to say, `my views are evolving but I completely agree that states should not take away rights by initiative.’ On this decision, he caught a break. Whether he will be able to continue avoiding the issue is still to be determined.”

Socarides says he doesn’t expect the decision to come before the Supreme Court this year.

Obama has done a great deal for the cause of gay rights, and he has left the clear impression that he fully supports gay marriage, even if he has not been willing to say so out loud. This has only stoked a desire among gay rights advocates for Obama to come clean about his true beliefs. But even if today’s decision doesn’t put any more pressure on him to do this, Obama can point to it to reaffirm, with real conviction, his oft-stated position that the arc of history bends slowly, but it bends towards justice.
posted by ericb at 11:45 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of the few times I am actually impressed by California. Now if they could only extrapolate precisely why these ridiculous referendums shouldn't be so common place they might not be bankrupt.
posted by karmiolz at 11:46 AM on February 7, 2012


If the opinion of the President is pointless and toothless he should have no problem changing it to be on the right side of history. I'm sure some politicians had to take a hit for supporting civil rights or women's suffrage too, but since his actions on gay rights are already so significant that means there is no way opponents of gay rights will be voting for him anyway.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:50 AM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Because if it does go to the Supreme Court, it will settle the issue nationwide.

No and yes. No, because legally the issue here is that gays had the right to marry in CA, and then Prop 8 took it away from them. While it may be better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, in legal terms it's better to have never enjoyed a right at all than to have enjoyed it and then lost it. So the Supreme Court is going to be looking at the question of whether a state can revoke a right it had explicitly granted (as opposed to regulating or restricting an activity that had previously been rule-free, a quite different situation). But yes, insofar as all SC decisions are inherently political and and any flowery language striking down Prop. 8 will almost certainly reappear in future arguments to strike down DOMA. Most people are not lawyers and are just going to think of a pro-Perry decision as 'SC approves gay marriage' so in that sense it's going to add substantially to the existing momentum.

I don't know why people are assuming that Kennedy will be trying to vote with the conservative wing just because he's conservative on some issues. It's abundantly clear that Kennedy supports gay rights, not least on the basis that such rights are a matter of individual liberty which the government has no business abridging. Kennedy practically laid out the legal framework for establishment of gay marriage in Lawrence v. Texas, and his jurisprudence on such issues seems relatively consistent to me: if there's no constitutional provision to the contrary, then he tends to support individual rights.

Whether he approves of gay marriage on a personal basis is beside the point. He's voted for abortion rights before despite his personal moral aversion as a Catholic; and while it's true there's nothing about gay marriage in the Constitution, there's nothing about heterosexual marriage either, or indeed any mention of marriage whatsoever, so he can be a small-c conservative jurist and endorse gay marriage.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:50 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Alliance Defense Fund: Prop 8 Ruling Was Orchestrated By Hollywood Elite
"We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage–tried in San Francisco–turned out this way. But we are confident that the expressed will of the American people in favor of marriage will be upheld at the Supreme Court. Every pro-marriage American should be pleased that this case can finally go to the U.S. Supreme Court. The ProtectMarriage.com legal team’s arguments align with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision on marriage in American history."

- Brian Raum, Senior Counsel for Alliance Defense Fund.
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on February 7, 2012


Tony Perkins: We're Being Oppressed!
"This ruling substitutes judicial tyranny for the will of the people, who in the majority of states have amended their constitutions, as California did, to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman. However, we remain confident that in the end, the Supreme Court will reject the absurd argument that the authors of our Constitution created or even implied a 'right' to homosexual 'marriage,' and will instead uphold the right of the people to govern themselves. Voters in 31 states have voted to uphold the historic and natural definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Twenty-nine, a majority of American states, have actually inserted such a definition into the text of their state constitutions."

- Tony Perkins, head of the Fascist Research Council.
posted by ericb at 11:54 AM on February 7, 2012


Except that the Mormon church does not believe in or practice polygamy.

Mostly. And even then, only because the US gov told them to knock it off or go to jail back in 1862.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:54 AM on February 7, 2012


Fuck yeah.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:55 AM on February 7, 2012


Catholic Group Reacts To Prop 8
"We always knew this case would be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Now that the Ninth Circuit has rendered its decision, the case can finally move to the U.S. Supreme Court where it will be decided on sound legal arguments rather than the emotional appeals by those trying to obliterate the only institution that unites children with their moms and dads. It is outrageous that judges continue to disregard the will of 7 million voters who voted to protect the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society. Failing to disclose that the judge himself was similarly situated as the plaintiffs (in a long-term committed relationship with a same-sex partner), Walker could find no rational reason for the voters to define marriage between a man and a woman and concluded they were bigoted and discriminatory."

- William May, head of Catholics For The Common Good.
posted by ericb at 11:56 AM on February 7, 2012


NOM Condemns Ninth Circuit Ruling Finding Prop 8 Unconstitutional, Imperiling the Marriage Laws of 43 states
“As sweeping and wrong-headed as this decision is, it nonetheless was as predictable as the outcome of a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition game,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “We have anticipated this outcome since the moment San Francisco Judge Vaughn Walker’s first hearing in the case. Now we have the field cleared to take this issue to the US Supreme Court, where we have every confidence we will prevail.” “Never before has a federal appeals court – or any federal court for that matter – found a right to gay marriage under the US Constitution,” said constitutional scholar John Eastman, who is chairman of NOM.

“The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the most overturned circuit in the country, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the author of today’s absurd ruling is the most overturned federal judge in America. Today’s ruling is a perfect setup for this case to be taken by the US Supreme Court, where I am confident it will be reversed. This issue is the Roe v Wade of the current generation, and I sincerely doubt the Court has the stomach for preempting the policy judgments of the states on such a contentious matter, knowing the lingering harm it caused by that ruling.”
posted by ericb at 11:59 AM on February 7, 2012


The OED accepts both spellings as accurate as synonyms for "ditch" and "lesbian" (slang), fyi.


I believe in the UK both dike and tire are spelled with a "y". I was jesting because the commenter went out of the way of saying there was no pun intended and then used the non-common spelling in the US for dike. I also forget when people say "no pun intended" they actually are making a pun. Sorry for the derail.

I'm thankful for those who took the time to answer my question about if the Supremes get it, it is the law of the land. I hadn't thought the Supreme Court would weasel out of settling the gay marriage issue by limiting the scope to just California. I guess they could, but it would also mean they'd inevitably get the question again. I do seem to suspect the Court might take the path of least resistance and refuse to hear it.
posted by birdherder at 12:01 PM on February 7, 2012


William May, head of Catholics For The Common Good Good of Those Who Agree With Us And Fuck Everybody Else
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:02 PM on February 7, 2012


The first of my Mormon Facebook friends have now started posting status updates about this. So far, every one of them (and these are very active, observant Mormons) is in support of same-sex marriage and the 9th Circuit's decision.
posted by The World Famous at 12:03 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


ericb: "attack on marriage"

No one's marriage is under attack. The institution of marriage is not somehow going to implode because gay people get the right to marry each other.

There's this idiotic trend in conservative circles to phrase every fucking political issue as if their grand, intolerant way of life somehow needs defending from [insert minority] Visigoths. The War Against Christmas. The Attack on Marriage. The War Against Illegal Immigrants. 'We in the majority must defend ourselves from the conquering hordes!'

It's easier for them to fearmonger than present intelligent arguments. So they devolve to lowest-common-denominator politics.

It's offensive and wrong.
posted by zarq at 12:04 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


rather than the emotional appeals by those trying to obliterate the only institution that unites children with their moms and dads.

Were these people just born without the part of the brain required to understand situational irony?
posted by Talez at 12:05 PM on February 7, 2012


Fuck yeah!

Well, at least now we know where C3PO stands on this important issue. Droid rights are human rights!

Also, fuck yeah!
posted by formless at 12:06 PM on February 7, 2012


Prop 8 Ruling Was Orchestrated By Hollywood Elite

Dude--they supposedly can't even get enough people to go to the movies. How are they gonna pull off something like this?
posted by Hoopo at 12:06 PM on February 7, 2012



One of the complaints about gay marriage is that it will slippery-slope to polygamy, so an LDSer being against gay marriage is rather amusing.

Except that the Mormon church does not believe in or practice polygamy.


My theory (entirely based on my deductions after my viewing of Season 1 of Big Love!) is that the official LDS opposition to gay marriage (and they did put a lot of resources into the CA debate) is that the church leadership are scared that it is the slippery slope to the legalization of polygamy for religious reasons. The official LDS church has long banned polygamy but it's practiced by many splinter groups and sects that left the official LDS church. So the LDS stance on the gay marriage debate is a proxy for a debate over polygamy down the road which if the official LDS church leadership is scared will undermine its power and enhance the standing of the "heretic" splinter groups in the Mormon world.
posted by Bwithh at 12:08 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I kind of like being thought of as a gay Visigoth. Maybe I should make a t-shirt or something.
posted by rtha at 12:08 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't think that's an exclusively conservative thing. Progressives often say that Roe v. Wade is under attack from the right, and the language of conflict is continually employed in economic debates and so on. For that matter, when I see talk of a 'war on illegal immigrants,' I tend to think of restrictionist/nativist policies such as those promulgated in Arizona and Georgia first, and the conservative meme of repelling an invading army a distant second.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:08 PM on February 7, 2012


Bwithh: "My theory (entirely based on my deductions after my viewing of Season 1 of Big Love!) "

*snort*
posted by zarq at 12:09 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Progressives often say that Roe v. Wade is under attack from the right, and the language of conflict is continually employed in economic debates and so on.

But Roe vs Wade is under attack. Conservatives pass laws to curtail the right of women to make their choices with their bodies. Giving someone else the right to marriage does absolutely nothing to people that already have that right.
posted by Talez at 12:13 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't think that's an exclusively conservative thing. Progressives often say that Roe v. Wade is under attack from the right...

I get you, but I think there's a false dichotomy there. Roe v. Wade is under attack from the right. War has been explicitly declared many times. Fighting for equal rights, however, is a totally different kettle 'o fish.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:14 PM on February 7, 2012


rtha: "I kind of like being thought of as a gay Visigoth. Maybe I should make a t-shirt or something."

Bronze Armor.
posted by zarq at 12:14 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Benny Andajetz: "William May, head of Catholics For The Common Good Good of Those Who Agree With Us And Fuck Everybody Else"

Much better and more accurate than my question wondering which word he and I didn't define the same "common", "good", or both?

I don't know if this will go to the Supreme Court or not, but the bit about "the case can finally move to the U.S. Supreme Court where it will be decided on sound legal arguments rather than the emotional appeals" makes me want it to do so, just to see, if it doesn't turn out in Mr. May's favor what would happen. Schadenfreude wouldn't even come close to describing my feeling at his head's explosion.

zarq: "No one's marriage is under attack."

Was going to fix that to say "No one's heterosexual marriage is under attack." Except even that isn't true. Because everytime one of these 'defenders of the institution of marriage' open their mouth, they cheapen that which they are trying to defend. It's been said so often that it has almost become a cliche but it is still true -- if your marriage between a man and a woman needs defending from a same-sex parallel, we gays aren't your biggest problem.

rtha: "I kind of like being thought of as a gay Visigoth. Maybe I should make a t-shirt or something."

im in ur base killin ur sacred covenant
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:15 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


My fear is that the SCOTUS could reverse these rulings by shockingly declaring that the rights of gays and lesbians are not protected by the constitution at all, and can thus have such rights removed by anyone.
posted by sharkitect at 12:15 PM on February 7, 2012


Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked if the White House had any official response to today's ruling upholding the strikedown of Proposition 8.

Said Carney:
“I don’t have a comment on litigation in general and in this litigation to which we are not a party.. Beyond that, I can say that the President has long opposed, as you know, divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples.”*
posted by ericb at 12:15 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


My theory (entirely based on my deductions after my viewing of Season 1 of Big Love!) is that the official LDS opposition to gay marriage (and they did put a lot of resources into the CA debate) is that the church leadership are scared that it is the slippery slope to the legalization of polygamy for religious reasons.

You and others might be interested in this article: The End of 'Big Love,' the Rise of 'Sister Wives': Mormons, Gays and Reality TV
posted by albrecht at 12:16 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the opinion of the President is pointless and toothless he should have no problem changing it to be on the right side of history. I'm sure some politicians had to take a hit for supporting civil rights or women's suffrage too, but since his actions on gay rights are already so significant that means there is no way opponents of gay rights will be voting for him anyway.

There are considerably more swing voters and marginally motivated conservative voters who could be energized to come out to the polls by an add featuring Obama endorsing gay marriage than there are who care one way or the other about DADT. Polling on gay marriage, nationwide, divides roughly 50/50. Polling on DADT has something like 15% saying that they "strongly oppose" its demise. And more importantly, the polling on gay marriage is particularly dicey in states like Ohio with large blue-collar constituencies that Obama already has trouble winning over. Recent polling in Ohio has gay marriage with something like 33% in favor and over 50% opposed. There are no states that I can think of where Obama would significantly improve his reelection chances by coming out in favor of gay marriage.

In other words asking Obama to openly endorse gay marriage now is asking him to take a significant hit to his chances for reelection for purely symbolic gain. Symbolic gains can certainly be useful, although the power of the Presidency as a "bully pulpit" is in general wildly overestimated (a huge number of political science studies have shown that Presidents can do very, very little to move public opinion on issues of this kind). On the other hand, I find the prospect of Romney getting to put two justices onto the Supreme Court far, far more frightening from the perspective of gay rights (and civil rights in general) than the absence of Obama's overt support for gay marriage: an issue on which his latest positions (essentially that he is in agonized indecision over it) seem to mirror the national conversation almost exactly.
posted by yoink at 12:17 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I love that as a divorced straight woman that the gays are taking all the heat for destroying this sacred instititution when folks like me are to blame. Muahahahahahaha! Muahahahaha!

Seriously, awesome news & hopefully SCOTUS won't trash it.
posted by pointystick at 12:18 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


"No one's marriage is under attack."

True. But the legal institution of marriage is certainly under attack. And it is under attack because it is, in most U.S. jurisdictions, an unfair, discriminatory institution.
posted by The World Famous at 12:19 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


There's this idiotic trend in conservative circles to phrase every fucking political issue as if their grand, intolerant way of life somehow needs defending from [insert minority] Visigoths.

It's not a trend, really, per se. They've been pulling this since at least Goldwater. It's just that it's become their all-consuming passion now to the exclusion of everything else.
posted by blucevalo at 12:20 PM on February 7, 2012


The World Famous: " But the legal institution of marriage is certainly under attack."

In a way yes. But 'under attack' implies that the right to get married could somehow be taken away from those who currently enjoy it. And the simple fact is that their marriages are not in any sort of danger from those asking for an expansion to the current eligibility criteria.
posted by zarq at 12:28 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


We are not surprised that this Hollywood-orchestrated attack on marriage

Aside: it kills me the way the right's favorite slur is "Hollywood", considering they're the ones who keep on electing Hollywood actors to high office. Reagan, Schwarzenegger... hell, even Clint Eastwood, Gopher and for that matter, the former Mr. Cher. Who we got? Franken?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:33 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


the emotional appeals by those trying to obliterate the only institution that unites children with their moms and dads

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:34 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


In a way yes. But 'under attack' implies that the right to get married could somehow be taken away from those who currently enjoy it. And the simple fact is that their marriages are not in any sort of danger from those asking for an expansion to the current eligibility criteria.

I don't recall ever hearing or reading any argument or implication that individual opposite sex marriages would be weakened by the legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The entire line of argument that same-sex marriage does not harm "marriage" because it does not harm "marriages" strikes me as, at best, willful linguistic ignorance.
posted by The World Famous at 12:34 PM on February 7, 2012


On the other hand, I find the prospect of Romney getting to put two justices onto the Supreme Court far, far more frightening from the perspective of gay rights (and civil rights in general) than the absence of Obama's overt support for gay marriage: an issue on which his latest positions (essentially that he is in agonized indecision over it) seem to mirror the national conversation almost exactly.

That's a terrifying prospect and in my opinion the single best argument to support Obama even if you're a disappointed DFH. Ginsburg is probably a lock to retire before 2016 and Kennedy is tied for the next oldest on the Court with Scalia, they'll both be 80 by the end of Obama II/Romney I. Replacing her would shore up the left flank for a long time, and another left leaning vote probably puts Breyer in the swingvote chair.

And two term Romney administration could easily sit 2 and possibly up to 4 Justices and leave only the two Obama appointees as the eternal 7-2 doormats on a Court with a still spry 71 year old Thomas as its elder statesman.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:35 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


If anyone sees me commenting over on Volokh on this subject, please kill me immediately. Or make me so drunk I forget what I'm doing.
posted by rtha at 12:37 PM on February 7, 2012


The World Famous: "
I don't recall ever hearing or reading any argument or implication that individual opposite sex marriages would be weakened by the legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
"

Are you kidding me? The whole 'gays would subvert traditional marriage' argument is predicated on the idea that changing a "universally accepted human institution" would somehow destroy our society and culture, by diminishing the sacred meaning of heterosexual marriages.
posted by zarq at 12:39 PM on February 7, 2012


the only institution that unites children with their moms and dads

What the fuck does that even mean? What an idiot. I can't wait until these assholes are swept into the dustbin of history like the trash they are.
posted by tetsuo at 12:41 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fuck yeah! I pay my state taxes with a much better grace today, California.

Anybody want to gay-spouse me to celebrate?
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 12:42 PM on February 7, 2012


Are you kidding me? The whole 'gays would subvert traditional marriage' argument is predicated on the idea that changing a "universally accepted human institution" would somehow destroy our society and culture, by diminishing the sacred meaning of heterosexual marriages.

We're talking past each other, apparently.
posted by The World Famous at 12:43 PM on February 7, 2012


The World Famous: " We're talking past each other, apparently."

OK. Am I misinterpreting you? Explain to me what you mean in small words, please.
posted by zarq at 12:45 PM on February 7, 2012


I don't recall ever hearing or reading any argument or implication that individual opposite sex marriages would be weakened by the legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The argument I've read is that SSM advocates are trying to change the definition of marriage, and by doing so, this lessens the meaning of marriage and respect for marriage.

Here's NOM on the subject:

4. What’s the harm from SSM? “How can Adam and Steve hurt your marriage?”

A: “Who gets harmed? The people of this state who lose our right to define marriage as the union of husband and wife, that’s who. That is just not right.”

A: “If courts rule that same-sex marriage is a civil right, then, people like you and me who believe children need moms and dads will be treated like bigots and racists.”

“Religious groups like Catholic Charities or the Salvation Army may lose their tax exemptions, or be denied the use of parks and other public facilities, unless they endorse gay marriage."

“Public schools will teach young children that two men being intimate are just the same as a husband and wife, even when it comes to raising kids.”

“When the idea that children need moms and dads get legally stigmatized as bigotry, the job of parents and faith communities trying to transmit a marriage culture to their kids is going to get a lot harder.”

“One thing is for sure: The people of this state will lose our right to keep marriage as the union of a husband and wife. That’s not right.”


I don't see how any of the above are *not* about how individual marriages will be weakened if SSM is legalized.
posted by rtha at 12:48 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


The whole "linguistic" argument is little more than a smokescreen. The Religious Right went on the offensive against same-sex marriage in the early 90s in response to a limited number of piecemeal rights: insurance benefits, anti-discrimination policy, and a few notorious custody and adoption cases. So we had a mess of laws and amendments forbidding same-sex marriage, and equivalent legal structures in states where marriage wasn't on the table.

And those amendments were used to build injunctions against insurance benefits in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. As we saw two years ago in Florida, domestic partnership and legal power of attorney in the absence of marriage is entirely discretionary.

The entire point is to build a legal case for challenging domestic partnerships in court.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:52 PM on February 7, 2012


If the opinion of the President is pointless and toothless he should have no problem changing it to be on the right side of history. I'm sure some politicians had to take a hit for supporting civil rights or women's suffrage too, but since his actions on gay rights are already so significant that means there is no way opponents of gay rights will be voting for him anyway.

Well, as pointed out by myself and others, politically speaking the opinion of the President isn't particularly toothless, it's the policies that would be pointless and toothless (due to GOP obstruction in Congress and the SC) and eat up time and attention that could be used to say, avoid Israel starting a war with Iran, or defaulting on our debts. Given the amount of shit like wars and debts already on his plate and the willingness of the right to use gay rights as a wedge issue (both for nominal bigots and disgruntled progressives), I have no problem with Obama not making a big stink about it. Nor, for that matter, do any of my family and friends who are GLBT and/or GLBT activists. It's generally accepted that the alternatives or inaction is way shittier for this and many other issues. Arguing about it just seems kind of petty at this point.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:53 PM on February 7, 2012


The idea that making gay marriage legal is a threat to straight marriage is a twisted way of not saying the obvious. To these people, being gay is immoral, pure and simple. To allow gay marriage is to legislate immorality. It makes our society immoral. This is their motivation. They want to impose their moral views on everyone. It is Christian sharia law. Maybe we need to address the real immorality of religion and its proponents? Hooray for the 9th Circuit Court! At least it's a start...
posted by njohnson23 at 12:54 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


“One thing is for sure: The people of this state will lose our right to keep marriage as the union of a husband and wife. That’s not right.”

I don't see how any of the above are *not* about how individual marriages will be weakened if SSM is legalized.


It is sort of how the 13th Amendment took away people's "right" to own slaves.
posted by birdherder at 12:54 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


They want to impose their moral views on everyone. It is Christian sharia law.

Well, I'm as big a supporter of same-sex marriage as you'll find, but somehow the idea of using the same logic that the opponents of same-sex marriage use doesn't seem all that likely to end well. "They want to impose their moral views on everyone" and "It is extremist gay activism written into law" are actual arguments that opponents of same-sex marriage make about gay people, over and over again.
posted by blucevalo at 1:04 PM on February 7, 2012


It is sort of how the 13th Amendment took away people's "right" to own slaves.

Or how the 19th Amendment took away men's 'right' to be the only ones who can vote.
posted by muddgirl at 1:05 PM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


"They want to impose their moral views on everyone" and "It is extremist gay activism written into law" are actual arguments that opponents of same-sex marriage make about gay people, over and over again.

Yes, except they're wrong. When gay-rights activists say "They want to impose their moral views on everyone," that really is what they mean. The religious right appears to want to get rid of everyone who is not like them, be it through conversion or whatever.

When the religious right says "They want to impose their moral views on everyone," what they mean is, "They want a world where people have the freedom to choose whether they want to live by our moral views or not."
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:14 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


It is sort of how the 13th Amendment took away people's "right" to own slaves.

No, no, no. Opponents of the emancipation proclamation and the 13th Amendment were merely "protecting freedom as something white people have."
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:24 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, if both this one and Citizens United stick, when will it be possible to gay-marry a corporation? (joke!)
posted by newdaddy at 1:25 PM on February 7, 2012


If anyone sees me commenting over on Volokh on this subject, please kill me immediately. Or make me so drunk I forget what I'm doing.

Why? They're basically right-libertarian on the whole. I think the majority opinion there will be anti-Prop 8. And the legal analysis is certainly sharp. Of course there'll be some fundamentalist nutjobs in the comment threads, but by no means a majority, I would guess. (I have to guess at the moment because for some reason there server seems to be down).
posted by yoink at 1:25 PM on February 7, 2012


I don't see how any of the above are *not* about how individual marriages will be weakened if SSM is legalized.

They may be about how individual marriages could be weakened, but that doesn't mean that they are correct and that individual marriages actually will be weakened.

Let's take two related items from NOM's list:

“Public schools will teach young children that two men being intimate are just the same as a husband and wife, even when it comes to raising kids.”
Wait, I missed it. How will that weaken individual marriages? There seems to be something unspoken that I'm missing. Let's keep reading.
“When the idea that children need moms and dads get legally stigmatized as bigotry, the job of parents and faith communities trying to transmit a marriage culture to their kids is going to get a lot harder.”
Okay, so it's harder to teach your comes something you believe. But what if the thing you believe isn't true? What if it's just bigotry. The actual social science on the subject indicates that children in two-parent same-sex households do just as well children in two-parent opposite-sex households.

Do you have a constitutional right to transmit bigotry to your kids? Maybe, but the state certainly doesn't need to support it by suppressing someone else's rights.
posted by alms at 1:28 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, no, no. Opponents of the emancipation proclamation and the 13th Amendment were merely "protecting freedom as something white people have."

How can something be precious if everyone has it? Protect traditional liberty!
posted by yoink at 1:28 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course there'll be some fundamentalist nutjobs in the comment threads, but by no means a majority, I would guess.

In previous Prop 8 threads, there have been many many many. I've been told by more than one commenter there that I'm not really married. "Well, Canada says I am," I replied. "They're wrong. You're not. Marriage is man-woman only!!11" is the kind of thing I get back.

Believe me, I've participated or read enough of the SSM threads there to know that if I participate again, you should just kill me.
posted by rtha at 1:31 PM on February 7, 2012


They may be about how individual marriages could be weakened, but that doesn't mean that they are correct and that individual marriages actually will be weakened.

Well, of course they're not correct, but that hasn't changed their rhetoric!
posted by rtha at 1:32 PM on February 7, 2012


Obama's spokesman: “I don’t have a comment on litigation in general and in this litigation to which we are not a party.. Beyond that, I can say that the President has long opposed, as you know, divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples.”

Jesus. I had to go back to ericb's link (thanks btw) to see if he didn't wink after saying this.

It just makes comments like this one so absurd. It is crystal clear to me that Obama, like me, supports gay rights. It is also crystal clear that there would be a significant political cost to him were he to speak out on this issue. Finally, it is not at all clear how him verbalizing his support would give any concrete benefits to the gay rights movement, especially since that would certainly reduce the probability of his being reelected.

With a clear cost to coming out in support of this decision and gay rights generally and no clear benefits, it's obvious to me why he limits himself to policy actions while letting his people say things like this for him. It's basically the positive, progressive version of the digusting racist dogwhistle-fest that has been the Republican Presidential Primary.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:34 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or how the 19th Amendment took away men's 'right' to be the only ones who can vote.

True. And that was less than a hundred years ago! It seems inconceivable to me that universal suffrage wasn't around since day one in this country. But I also cannot comprehend how people thought it was OK to own other human beings in this country.

I was reading about the Equal Rights Amendment that was sent to the states for ratification in 1972. It was signed and endorsed by Richard fucking Nixon! It required 38 states to become part of our Constitution. Thirty five states ratified it. If just three more of the civil rights trailblazers like Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia Arkansas had ratified it, it would be the law of the land.

What was the text of the law that scared so many people. Unlike a lot of legislation coming out of Congress, the language was pretty clear :
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
It didn't give women any more rights than men had. Now some people's revisionist granddaddy might say they were against it because there wasn't specific language keeping women from the draft, but in reality, it was all about keeping women in their place. Others argue we didn't need such an amendment because women are have equal rights already which is bullshit. This was an amendment that simply asked that women be afforded the same rights as men. But it literally doesn't say women in it. It says you can't discriminate by sex.

Now if that amendment which was essentially written to give women who are in a slight majority in this country, what chances would a gay marriage amendment have?

I wish there already was the following amendment in our Constitution:
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), national origin or physical disability.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Then again I'd like an amendment that explicitly gives us a right to privacy. I'd also like the 2nd amendment rewritten to be less ambiguous.
posted by birdherder at 1:36 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


When the religious right says "They want to impose their moral views on everyone," what they mean is, "They want a world where people have the freedom to choose whether they want to live by our moral views or not."

Sort of, but I think it's more complex than that. From a fundamentalist religious standpoint, the dilemma is whether to stand up for their beliefs and be punished by society, or go along with (what they see as) immoral social mores, and then burn in hell for all eternity. They really don't want to get thrown to the lions like early Christian martyrs did, or even suffer the milder modern sanctions of prison or fines if they refuse to respect the rights of others, but they do actually believe that granting tolerance to others is the same as granting implicit approval of what others do, and that doing so will be severely and irreversibly punished in the afterlife.

That premise (of a vengeful and inflexible deity) seems irrational to me, but the people that believe in it are genuinely fearful of finding themselves in such a moral double bind. When they say hateful things about gays (or whoever they are expressing their opposition to), they're not really trying to convince you or I, or even judges and juries, but are rather making a public confession of faith in God. In short, they are afraid to admit, express or even hold any opinion that is less rigorous than the most rigorous standard insisted upon by God in the Bible, because they believe punishment to be more likely than forgiveness. It's not objectively rational, but it is subjectively sincere.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:48 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Failing to disclose that the judge himself was similarly situated as the plaintiffs (in a long-term committed relationship with a same-sex partner), Walker could find no rational reason for the voters to define marriage between a man and a woman and concluded they were bigoted and discriminatory.

It's pretty disgusting that Catholics and Mormons keep bleating about Judge Walker "hiding" being gay, not only because there's no shame in his decision to keep his personal life private, but those same two churches are themselves hiding behind shadow organizations and other illegal tax schemes in order to prop up NOM and similar efforts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:56 PM on February 7, 2012


My theory (entirely based on my deductions after my viewing of Season 1 of Big Love!) is that the official LDS opposition to gay marriage (and they did put a lot of resources into the CA debate) is that the church leadership are scared that it is the slippery slope to the legalization of polygamy for religious reasons.

Actually the do and end run around the blatant bigotry by not directly condemning LGBT. Their excuse is pre-martial sex. So as long as gays are prevented from getting married, LDS can keep them out of the church.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:00 PM on February 7, 2012


The Prop 8 Ruling is Good News for Newt Gingrich
posted by homunculus at 2:02 PM on February 7, 2012


It just makes comments like this one so absurd. It is crystal clear to me that Obama, like me, supports gay rights. It is also crystal clear that there would be a significant political cost to him were he to speak out on this issue. Finally, it is not at all clear how him verbalizing his support would give any concrete benefits to the gay rights movement, especially since that would certainly reduce the probability of his being reelected.

Obama's noncommittal to making gay marriage legal is purely political. His wishy-washy-ness on the issue contrasts to all of his GOP opponents who pretty much have keeping gay marriage illegal part of their platform. Mitt Romney would say this afternoon that gays will be put in camps if he thought it would guarantee he'd win the election. (Later he'd say he misspoke or was taken out of context, he meant camps like campgrounds in national parks. The fun kind!). Perennial candidate Paul says gay marriage is a states' rights thing and so he's all for the status quo.

If today Obama was decisively for gay marriage he does run the risk of losing because there are a lot people that are otherwise pro-Obama but anti-gay marriage. This isn't' about losing the votes in New York, Illinois, California. This is about the swing states and winning there with people who don't like the GOP candidate and aren't crazy about gay marriage. On the same ballot where Californians voted for Obama, they also pass Prop8. So I can see why there's wishy-washy-ness. I think voters in OH/PA/FL and other swing states will behave the same way. Like abortion, the single-isssue anti-gay marriage voter won't vote for Obama anyway.

But he'd gain a lot more cred from me and most likely others if he mentions his support of gay rights in his acceptance speech in November (he could do it like Corey Booker did and be in support of it without saying the word). Or his inauguration speech in January (when Obama actually included "non-believer" in his inaugural speech I was touched. The president of my country had never included me before. That was cool especially after he had that fucker Warren do the benediction or whatever it was called). As a lame duck he can speak his mind a bit better. Consequently, he also can't do a lot to help the cause aside from speaking from the bully pulpit. I think Congress will still gridlocked for the next four years. There will be the same bullshit we've seen all this time. On matters weightier than naming new Post Offices or bridges congress will just argue and pass temporary spending authorizations and not do anything productive.
posted by birdherder at 2:03 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't totally trust Kennedy to get this right the first time around (he initially came down on the other side of the Lawrence v. Texas issue in the 1980s, but grew up, and/or possibly got to know many more openly gay clerks, etc. in the intervening years), but there's another wild card in the Roberts court: John Roberts. (For what it's worth, if you check around, there's some speculation, as there was about Souter, that Roberts is gay himself, but aside from the fact that it seems to be based on stuff like "he got married really late" and "come on, look at this picture" and hints that have been dropped by people, if they were intended as hints, who could well intend speculation on this topic as a slur, actually being gay is of course no guarantee of any kind of commitment to gay rights. Especially for conservative political figures. If the Court takes this up, though, I would be very curious to see what, if anything, people like Limbaugh do with these rumors.)
posted by Adventurer at 2:07 PM on February 7, 2012


Consequently, he also can't do a lot to help the cause aside from speaking from the bully pulpit.

The bully pulpit is largely a myth these days, with so many avenues for both information and propaganda. What he can do is stuff like appointing judges to the Supreme Court and federal courts like the 9th C, or refusing to enforce DOMA. Obviously voting against him because he's not vocal or angry enough to satisfy your tastes would be self-defeating on these counts, but that argument seems to be either lost on some people or they ignore it favor of shit-stirring for shit-stirring's sake.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:09 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually the do and end run around the blatant bigotry by not directly condemning LGBT.

The LDS church does formally condemn same-sex sexual conduct, regardless of the legal status of the relationship.

Their excuse is pre-martial sex.

Their "excuse" is the religious belief that sexual relations should only take place between a married husband and wife.

So as long as gays are prevented from getting married, LDS can keep them out of the church.

There are lots of gays in the LDS church. But the church's religious beliefs include the belief that sex in any context other than the confines of an opposite-sex marriage is immoral. Currently, the church's official, though non-canon, position on the matter is that sex between a married man and woman is not per se immoral as long as their marriage is legally recognized (though the church certainly also considers it possible for conduct within a marriage to nevertheless be immoral - abuse, for example). As I see it, that non-doctrinal position, which is likely influenced by the church's circumstances regarding marriage and U.S. law more than a century ago, be reconsidered.
posted by The World Famous at 2:09 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


*needs to* be reconsidered

Sorry to be so 'inside baseball.'
posted by The World Famous at 2:10 PM on February 7, 2012


> > In previous Prop 8 threads [at volokh.com], there have been many many many [nutjobs]

Sadly true. I stopped reading the comments there on any hot-topic entry a long time ago as a result.
posted by K.P. at 2:11 PM on February 7, 2012


The Prop 8 Ruling is Good News for Newt Gingrich

Newt can hit his morality problem among the GOP by saying that his two divorces were not due to his being an asshole and his infidelity (or in the case of the first wife, she wasn't pretty enough). He could blame the gays! Of course all of his divorces happened before it was legal to get married anywhere in the county. So he could petition to divorce Calista and list "the homosexual lobby" as the grounds.

I would also like Newt to expound on how he plans to end the judicial supremacy. It is like how dumbshit Perry talked about term limits for the Supreme Court. These things would require an overhaul to the constitution that I would think strict constructionist like Newt would be against. There is no fucking way either issue would get the supermajority in Congress to get a bill to president Newt's (shudder) desk. And I doubt there are 38 states that would approve it either. That is just telling his base what they want to hear. It is like when a candidate for high school student body president promises to get rid of detention. All candidates do this (even Obama) but Newt takes it up a notch to un-fucking-believable.
posted by birdherder at 2:14 PM on February 7, 2012


I read the Volokh comments more than ever now that the nutjobs have taken over. It's marvelously entertaining, especially in contrast to the legal reasoning of the actual bloggers.

Participate? Well that's different.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:16 PM on February 7, 2012


Mitt Romney:
“Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage. This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”
posted by ericb at 2:16 PM on February 7, 2012


Newt has previously said he would simply ignore Supreme Court rulings on terror that he disagreed with.
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:17 PM on February 7, 2012


but there's another wild card in the Roberts court: John Roberts.

And the case he provided advice on was Romer v Evans, the precedent relied upon so heavily by the Ninth Circuit. While I would hesitate to draw any inferences from his work on a single case, we can at least be assured that he has as much insight as any of the justices into the meaning of Romer. I'm just not sure that's necessarily a good thing or a bad thing.

I feel fairly secure about Kennedy. It would be hard to square Romer and Lawrence with a vote to reverse Perry. He didn't just participate in those decisions, after all, he wrote them.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:18 PM on February 7, 2012


Most definitely worth reading -- Proposition 8 Unconstitutional, 9th Circuit Rules: An Analysis.
posted by ericb at 2:21 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


> From a fundamentalist religious standpoint, the dilemma is whether to stand up for their beliefs and be punished by society, or go along with (what they see as) immoral social mores, and then burn in hell for all eternity .... they do actually believe that granting tolerance to others is the same as granting implicit approval of what others do, and that doing so will be severely and irreversibly punished in the afterlife.

Nope, I've never known any fundamentalists that believed this. They don't think that they're responsible for what other people do. It's mostly just regular moral outrage at other people doing things they think are wrong.
posted by nangar at 2:24 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


ericb: Tony Perkins, head of the Fascist Research Council.

Fascist Research Council? That's a bold name to choose. Oh, that's a play on the group's real name. Hah, well played.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:29 PM on February 7, 2012


Very nice. Very nice indeed.

There's a reason why the 9th is my favorite of the circuit courts.
posted by sotonohito at 2:38 PM on February 7, 2012


Mittens: "Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage."

Those judges are unelected because that is how it is written in the constitution. And the judges cast aside an unconstitutional law like they're supposed to do. If the people of California voted on taking the rights Mormons to live in the state they would have done the same thing but cited the 1st amendment instead of the 14th.

By placing Prop8 on the ballot a group of people attempted to go against the will of the people of the state. Our legislature passed a law making gay marriage illegal. Any time you have a vote of the people on granting or restricting the civil rights of a minority you're going to get the will of the majority. This is why, from what I can tell, in all the jurisdictions where gay marriage is legal, it was the legislature doing it. This is how it was supposed to be.

Now if Californians didn't want gay marriage they could have demanded of their representatives in Sacramento to not vote for it the first time, or have the next session repeal it. This is how democracy supposed to work. And Mitt, this is also how presidents get elected. We vote for electors and they vote for you. The Founding Fathers were afraid the huddled masses would do something like this.

Our ballot initiative process in California is fucked up. We're a state and economy that is too big to work like we're a frontier state. I'd like to see it go or at least modified somehow to stop the Prop8 and Prop13s of the world from happening again. And if we're going to vote for bullet trains or other expensive stuff, let's put in language in the bill specifically on how we're going to pay for it.
posted by birdherder at 2:39 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Their excuse is pre-martial sex.

That would be sex before joining the Church Militant?
posted by yoink at 2:53 PM on February 7, 2012


- Tony Perkins, head of the Fascist Research Council.

Speaking of the FRC: Tony Perkins: Star Wars ‘surrenders to gay empire’
posted by homunculus at 2:59 PM on February 7, 2012


Mittens

Just an FYI but Romney's nickname is now R-Money.
posted by Talez at 3:01 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Tony Perkins: Star Wars ‘surrenders to gay empire’

This message approved by Midichlorians for Christ

posted by anigbrowl at 3:10 PM on February 7, 2012


Just an FYI but Romney's nickname is now R-Money.

He'll always be Mittens to me thanks to Wonkette. Just as John McCain is Walnuts!

I guess I could call him Mittens R Money but is sounds like some sort of Toys R Us check cashing place.
posted by birdherder at 3:11 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


It is crystal clear to me that Obama, like me, supports gay rights. It is also crystal clear that there would be a significant political cost to him were he to speak out on this issue.

I agree on both points. It's also crystal clear to me that re-electing President Obama is vital to the future success of marital equality. Justice Ginsburg is 78 years old. Justice Kennedy is 75, and Justice Breyer is 73. I'm much more confident that any potential replacement justices that were nominated by President Obama would be supportive of equality than I am of anyone that Romney would nominate.

Coming out in favor of gay marriage during an election year would endanger Obama's prospects of re-election. According to a Gallup poll from May 2011, 53% of Americans support gay marriage. That's not a big enough margin for me to believe it wouldn't be a costly issue in swing states. Republicans are already attacking President Obama on ridiculous falsehoods. Giving them a legimitate issue to attack him on, one that many people are ambivalent about or outright hostile towards, could hurt is reelection chances.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:16 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mittens R Money. Brilliant!
posted by Talez at 3:17 PM on February 7, 2012


In other words asking Obama to openly endorse gay marriage now is asking him to take a significant hit to his chances for reelection for purely symbolic gain.

I can never keep track of what the general opinion is on this stuff around here. Last thread it was explained to me by another poster that this had nothing to do with pandering for votes. It kind of feels like you guys just pick whatever excuse is convenient. There are always a million reasons not to do the right thing, that's why it's so rare.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:42 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama's noncommittal to making gay marriage legal is purely political. His wishy-washy-ness on the issue contrasts to all of his GOP opponents who pretty much have keeping gay marriage illegal part of their platform.

Obama is not wishy washy about gay marriage. He is against it and has said so many times. He feels marriage between a man and a women has a sacred religious component and he believes that even if he did support it this is a states rights issue so he would not make any effort as President to legalize it.

It's absurd anyone is arguing with me that Obama is not on the wrong side of history here when he has said himself he thinks that is likely true. "It is my obligation, not only as an elected official in a pluralistic society but also as a Christian, to remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided...and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:52 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can never keep track of what the general opinion is on this stuff around here. Last thread it was explained to me by another poster that this had nothing to do with pandering for votes. It kind of feels like you guys just pick whatever excuse is convenient. There are always a million reasons not to do the right thing, that's why it's so rare.

No, you ignore what the general opinion is because it doesn't fit with your narrative and cherry-pick quotes to do so. Not to mention you define "not making public statements regardless of public actions" as "pandering" and have somehow made actively working to further gay rights as "not doing the right thing."

You've consistently refused to say what exactly it is that you want done, how exactly Obama can achieve that, and why you think that's possible. You're welcome to share all of that with us at any time, but it's shady that you keep on dodging it.

Obama is not wishy washy about gay marriage. He is against it and has said so many times. He feels marriage between a man and a women has a sacred religious component and he believes that even if he did support it this is a states rights issue so he would not make any effort as President to legalize it.

So, not only have you gone through even more logical contortions to conflate "evolving position" as "not wishy washy," but you also chose to discard his public actions as an elected official in the last 3 years in favor of likely personal feelings from 1996 through 2008. This is getting ridiculous.

It's absurd anyone is arguing with me that Obama is not on the wrong side of history here when he has said himself he thinks that is likely true. "It is my obligation, not only as an elected official in a pluralistic society but also as a Christian, to remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided...and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history."

Seeing as how Obama's term(s) and therefore positions have not yet been finalized, I think it's a wee bit early to declare the end of history just yet.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:06 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


It kind of feels like you guys just pick whatever excuse is convenient.

To be fair we haven't had a big meeting of progressives in the past five months because of Thanksgiving and Christmas so the caucus hasn't been able to determine our unified stance on these things.

Our next one is in about two weeks so we should all be perfectly in sync shortly after that.
posted by Talez at 4:07 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It kind of feels like you guys just pick whatever excuse is convenient.

The person you're responding to and the person you're linking to are different people and different people often have different ideas. "Other people" aren't necessarily a monolith.
posted by Winnemac at 4:22 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


You've consistently refused to say what exactly it is that you want done, how exactly Obama can achieve that, and why you think that's possible.

Actually I have said it quite a few times you just have a somewhat ridiculous habit of ignoring the content of my posts.

Have Obama say he is wrong that his religious beliefs do not allow gay marriage, that he is wrong that states have the right to treat gay people as second class citizens, and say that they should be allowed to marry.

The person you're responding to and the person you're linking to are different people and different people often have different ideas. "Other people" aren't necessarily a monolith.

To be fair we haven't had a big meeting of progressives

Yes I specifically said it was another poster.

Seeing as how Obama's term(s) and therefore positions have not yet been finalized

Yes, he very well may change his religious and legal position, that is why I am posting that he should, but for now his position is not wishy washy. It is firm opposition. I surely hope it does change later.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:00 PM on February 7, 2012


the only institution that unites children with their moms and dads

Yeah, I recall giving precisely zero fucks during my childhood about whether the state approved of my parents' relationship. Their marriage license certainly did not "unite" me with them. I would have cared, if, say, my dad couldn't visit my mom in the hospital. For example.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 5:11 PM on February 7, 2012


It kind of feels like you guys just pick

"You guys"? Come on.

Also, it would be very boring to turn this thread into a repeat of the whole lotta other threads we've had on exactly what Obama's position is on SSM/whether/when he changed his mind/whether/when he should use the bully pulpit etc. ad nauseam.
posted by rtha at 5:13 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think Obama is pretty relevant. If he doesn't support gay marriage, how are we to know he won't nominate anti gay marriage judges that might hear this case?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:20 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually I have said it quite a few times you just have a somewhat ridiculous habit of ignoring the content of my posts.

Your linked post says absolutely nothing about doing anything. It just says you want him to say something, which is toothless and useless from a practical point of view, which we've been telling you all along. It also says nothing about how exactly the bully pulpit would be so effective, given the plentiful evidence to the contrary. So, back to square one.

Yes, he very well may change his religious and legal position, that is why I am posting that he should, but for now his position is not wishy washy. It is firm opposition. I surely hope it does change later.

Look, obviously you believe his legal positions from the last several years are mythical, and that actual quotes about his feelings from the same period don't exist either. You also believe that somehow a president mouthing words will be a magic wand that will magically increase approval at both the state and federal levels rather than make head asplode across the entire political spectrum. This makes it seem as if either you're a ideologue to an extent that even many rights advocates don't adhere to, you're completely unaware of the processes of any of the three branches of the government, you're naive enough to believe that the president saying something will always create majority support, you actually believe politics has nothing to do with policy, or some combination of the four. At this point, it just feels like either willful ignorance or trolling.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:20 PM on February 7, 2012


I think Obama is pretty relevant. If he doesn't support gay marriage, how are we to know he won't nominate anti gay marriage judges that might hear this case?

Really? Do you think Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor are particular anti-gay? Do you think he'll balance those appointees out by nominating Fred Phelps or Rick Santorum?

I suspect the same people that though because the judge hearing the Prop 8 case should have disclosed he happened to be gay or recused himself from hearing the case, are going to be the same people that will ask out loud if Kagan and/or Soyomayor are lesbian and if they should be recused.

I feel much better about the prospect of anyone Obama puts on the Supreme Court above anyone Romney could possibly do.

Yes, he very well may change his religious and legal position, that is why I am posting that he should, but for now his position is not wishy washy. It is firm opposition. I surely hope it does change later

Maybe it is semantics but "firm opposition" to me is positions like Romney/Gingrich/Santorum/et al. Those guys are making part of their campaign to at best keep gay marriage at the status quo and at the worst close outlaw it completely. My wishy-washy is your firm opposition, I guess.
posted by birdherder at 5:35 PM on February 7, 2012


Actually I have said it quite a few times you just have a somewhat ridiculous habit of ignoring the content of my posts.

Your linked post says absolutely nothing about doing anything. It just says you want him to say something


Because that is all I want him to do. You call it toothless, but I think of those teens up in Bachmann's district and how they might feel if a politician young people idolize like Obama would stand up and say their love is just as sacred as straight marriage, and how they will feel if he tells them he thinks the federal government should not let their local/state conservative governments deny them their rights.

That's all I want. I've been very clear on that. So you can feel free and apologize for lying about me not saying what I want him to do as I have said this many times before.

Look, obviously you believe his legal positions from the last several years are mythical,

What? No. His legal position is that gay marriage is a states rights issue. I disagree and think the federal government has a role when states are determined not to recognize minority rights. Are you telling me he does not hold that legal position?

This makes it seem as if either you're a ideologue to an extent that even many rights advocates don't adhere to, you're completely unaware of the processes of any of the three branches of the government, you're naive enough to believe that the president saying something will always create majority support, you actually believe politics has nothing to do with policy, or some combination of the four. At this point, it just feels like either willful ignorance or trolling.

I do believe he could increase public support to some degree as he is a very powerful public speaker. That doesn't mean I think he can pass anything through a Republican congress, he can't, which is why I don't ask him to. Regardless, I think he should support gay marriage because it is right, it is Christian, and he should be very clear that it is a responsibility of the federal government to protect minority rights even if Republicans will not allow him to do so.

I an well aware of his feelings on the matter. However, his official position on gay marriage has been stated clearly and directly many times. He does not support it. I highly doubt if he was only pro-choice in the sense that he has said it is possible he would be pro-choice later but for the moment abortion is murder that folks would make the cheerful conclusion that he would not act on his current beliefs.

Please address my points, the ones I actually write, and avoid calling me a troll.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:36 PM on February 7, 2012


I think Obama is pretty relevant. If he doesn't support gay marriage, how are we to know he won't nominate anti gay marriage judges that might hear this case?

You mean, apart from the fact that both of the Supreme Court justices he (successfully) nominated have argued in favor of gay rights and were supported by the GLBT community? Or the fact that he nominated several openly gay judges (at least 4 as of July last year), including the first openly gay federal appeals judge (sadly, he dropped his name from nomination after GOP obstruction)? Or the fact that he nominated a judge who is openly in support of gay marriage (who also withdrew his name) to the same court who ruled today?
posted by zombieflanders at 5:41 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Really? Do you think Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor are particular anti-gay? Do you think he'll balance those appointees out by nominating Fred Phelps or Rick Santorum?

There are plenty of anti-gay marriage Democrats, one of them is the President. So I think it is clearly likely the President might nominate folks with views similar to his own. He does not believe in a federal right to gay marriage. I don't think it is a stretch to say his judges might agree with that legal opinion. Is recognizing the federal right not the hope some here are talking about as the best case scenario for an appeal here?

Maybe it is semantics but "firm opposition" to me is positions like Romney/Gingrich/Santorum/et al.

They have a more extreme opposition, there is zero doubt.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:42 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure what furiousxgeorge is saying that's so controversial. Obama may not be frothing at the mouth homophobic, but he's clearly stated, repeatedly, that he doesn't support same sex marriage. He does support civil unions. Obama and McCain had identical campaign positions on that point. As did Bush and Kerry before that.

I, too, would like to see Obama change his position, and would like to see him state that. He can't, in fact, unilaterally demolish DOMA. He has moved far forward on things like DADT and I appreciate what he's done on LGBT issues beyond marriage. That doesn't mean he's done anything close to the right thing on same-sex marriage.
posted by gingerbeer at 5:45 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Because that is all I want him to do. You call it toothless, but I think of those teens up in Bachmann's district and how they might feel if a politician young people idolize like Obama would stand up and say their love is just as sacred as straight marriage, and how they will feel if he tells them he thinks the federal government should not let their local/state conservative governments deny them their rights.

Or they could just pay attention to his actions that are actually helping them (such as hate crimes legislation) rather than words that will potentially lead to everything he's worked on being unraveled and leaving those teens in much worse situations than they are now.

That's all I want. I've been very clear on that. So you can feel free and apologize for lying about me not saying what I want him to do as I have said this many times before.

I should apologize for pointing out the complete and utter hypocrisy of a tactic that has rarely shown to be effective? Sure, whatever.

What? No. His legal position is that gay marriage is a states rights issue. I disagree and think the federal government has a role when states are determined not to recognize minority rights. Are you telling me he does not hold that legal position?

He says that's not really the case anymore, or at least that's what's implied by "evolving," and in the meantime his actions have borne that out.

do believe he could increase public support to some degree as he is a very powerful public speaker.

Then for the 3rd time in this thread, I'll ask you for proof of the power of the bully pulpit, particularly in the case of gay marriage.

That doesn't mean I think he can pass anything through a Republican congress, he can't, which is why I don't ask him to. Regardless, I think he should support gay marriage because it is right, it is Christian, and he should be very clear that it is a responsibility of the federal government to protect minority rights even if Republicans will not allow him to do so.

Then maybe you should pay attention to what he's done to promote that rather than depend on platitudes.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:52 PM on February 7, 2012


I think this argument revolves around the unspoken assumption that when Obama says he doesn't support gay marriage, he is speaking entirely out of political expediency and in fact does personally support it. (I tend to agree with this, and thus do not think that he will ever make or endorse any actual decisions that will foreclose gay marriage.)
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 5:54 PM on February 7, 2012


I an well aware of his feelings on the matter. However, his official position on gay marriage has been stated clearly and directly many times. He does not support it. I highly doubt if he was only pro-choice in the sense that he has said it is possible he would be pro-choice later but for the moment abortion is murder that folks would make the cheerful conclusion that he would not act on his current beliefs.

Prop 8 Ruling Reminds Everyone of President Obama’s Awkward Gay-Marriage Stance
Obama's cognitive dissonance on the issue — I think only heterosexuals should get married, but I don't support laws that say only heterosexuals should get married — seems like an attempt at walking a tightrope on a divisive issue, an effort to avoid alienating gays and gay-rights advocates as well as socially conservative Democrats and Independents.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that someone can dislike something but still be in favour of it.

For instance I hate nazi hate speech. But I wholly support your right to rail on about how you hate jews.
posted by Talez at 5:57 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Or they could just pay attention to his actions that are actually helping them (such as hate crimes legislation) rather than words that will potentially lead to everything he's worked on being unraveled and leaving those teens in much worse situations than they are now.

Yes, vulnerable gay teens should do careful political calculus and weigh every pro and con of someone influential saying God thinks their love isn't as valid as that of straight people. Jesus, someone show them the polling data and some charts!

That's all I want. I've been very clear on that. So you can feel free and apologize for lying about me not saying what I want him to do as I have said this many times before.

I should apologize for pointing out the complete and utter hypocrisy of a tactic that has rarely shown to be effective? Sure, whatever.


No, you should apologize for saying I have not said what I want Obama to do. You did not say you disagreed with it, you claimed I never stated it. You are now not only spinning the content of my comments but doing the same to your own.

He says that's not really the case anymore, or at least that's what's implied by "evolving," and in the meantime his actions have borne that out.

Evolving is an entirely vague statement. It is not at all clear if he is indeed saying his legal view of states rights on the issue would change, or if he saying his opinion that gay marriage is wrong would change, or both. What is clear is that he directly states it has not yet changed. It is not clear his position has changed until he says it has changed. He is still asking himself the questions.

The Advocate: Well, no doubt I think a pivotal moment. And I know that so many people who voted for you, LGBT folks who voted for you, did so because they believe that you were a fierce supporter of equality. Given what you’ve just said, Mr. President, do you think it’s time that gays and lesbians should be entitled to full marriage rights?

Well, I spoke about this recently with some bloggers who were here ...

Mr. Joe Sudbay.
Yes, and Joe asked me the same question. And since I've been making a lot of news over the last several weeks, I’m not going to make more news today. The sentiment I expressed then is still where I am — which is, like a lot of people, I’m wrestling with this. My attitudes are evolving on this. I have always firmly believed in having a robust civil union that provides the rights and benefits under the law that marriage does. I’ve wrestled with the fact that marriage traditionally has had a different connotation. But I also have a lot of very close friends who are married gay or lesbian couples.

And squaring that circle is something that I have not done yet, but I’m continually asking myself this question, and I do think that — I will make this observation, that I notice there is a big generational difference. When you talk to people who are in their 20s, they don’t understand what the holdup is on this, regardless of their own sexual orientation. And obviously when you talk to older folks, then there’s greater resistance.

And so this is an issue that I’m still wrestling with, others are still wrestling with. What I know is that at minimum, a baseline is that there has to be a strong, robust civil union available to all gay and lesbian couples.


Now, if you are generous in your belief in Obama you can read some positive dog whistles there, but to me he is just a politician, I can't read his mind, I can only go by his public position. That public position is wrong, legally and morally.

Then for the 3rd time in this thread, I'll ask you for proof of the power of the bully pulpit, particularly in the case of gay marriage.

He proved his persuasive power when he persuaded the country to elect him. There is no way to nail down any specific amount of gain he could get from an effort on this, but I am highly skeptical he would convince nobody. However, as I said right after the statement you quoted, "Regardless, I think he should support gay marriage because it is right".
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:13 PM on February 7, 2012


Proof of the power of the bully pulpit? Of the President of the United States? Really? That wouldn't seem to me to be in question.

I think the President stating clearly that he supported it would do an enormous amount to shift public opinion. Especially if he did it in the context of his campaign. Don't forget that his opposition was used BY the Prop 8 campaign back in 2008.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:19 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ted Olson is on Maddow. If you'd told me back during Bush v Gore that I would one day stand up and applaud how incredibly persuasive and articulate he is on the subject of same-sex marriage - "It is not a conservative or a liberal issue or a Republican or Democrats... This is an issue of American justice, American freedom, American equality..." - I would have said you were out of your tree. It's surreal.
posted by rtha at 6:25 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Approval of his State of the Union was polled at 91%. Now I know much of that is a result of careful speech writing, focus grouping, and polling to find the right notes to hit but it is still a very high number for a politician with 50% approval in general with at least 25% of the country foaming at the mouth in hatred of him.

I don't want to debate how many people he could persuade, but he can make a difference of some kind and give hope to a lot of young gay folks. (And, he should do it anyway because it is right)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:26 PM on February 7, 2012


Yes, vulnerable gay teens should do careful political calculus and weigh every pro and con of someone influential saying God thinks their love isn't as valid as that of straight people. Jesus, someone show them the polling data and some charts!

Yeah, not even close to what I meant, which was that there is tangible impact on their lives already in effect, and that you would apparently value speeches above that. Given that you're unwilling to point out the good he has done (like, ever, as far as I can tell) in favor of condemning him for the good left to be done, seemingly without regard for the consequences, is mind-boggling.

No, you should apologize for saying I have not said what I want Obama to do. You did not say you disagreed with it, you claimed I never stated it.

You've never actually said what you wanted him to do, only what you want him to say. And I find it fairly unbelievable that you care about what he says more than what he does, or at least that you would prefer that we imply that. What am I missing here?

Evolving is an entirely vague statement. It is not at all clear if he is indeed saying his legal view of states rights on the issue would change, or if he saying his opinion that gay marriage is wrong would change, or both. What is clear is that he directly states it has not yet changed. It is not clear his position has changed until he says it has changed. He is still asking himself the questions.

So let me get this straight: you're willing to take one thing he's said (which happens to be negative) at face value, but when he says that his opinion is changing, all of the sudden he's not to be trusted?

Now, if you are generous in your belief in Obama you can read some positive dog whistles there, but to me he is just a politician

So, to continue the train of thought from above, when he states a negative, it's a firm no; when he's showing some change in his outlook he's just being a politician. Which is it?

I can't read his mind, I can only go by his public position. That public position is wrong, legally and morally.

You claim you can't read his mind, but you claim to know what his legal position is despite plentiful evidence to the contrary in his actions?

Proof of the power of the bully pulpit? Of the President of the United States? Really? That wouldn't seem to me to be in question.

I think the President stating clearly that he supported it would do an enormous amount to shift public opinion.


Really? Did it shift public opinion on health care reform, either in the last 3 years or in the 90s? Did it shift public opinion on the stimulus or the bailouts? For that matter, did he go back in time and shift public opinion on gay marriage during the Clinton and later Bush years?

I don't want to debate how many people he could persuade, but he can make a difference of some kind and give hope to a lot of young gay folks. (And, he should do it anyway because it is right)

Maybe the young gay folks you know prefer to gain hope through a fancy speech. The young (and those that were once young) that I know prefer to gain hope by seeing what he's done and working to make sure that it's not undone because it wasn't "right" enough. Sure, a speech would be nice, but they're not so naive as to forget that perfect is the enemy of good. Many of them are veterans of past struggles for GLBT tights, and they've seen what happens when presumably well-meaning people forego and/or work against those willing to fight at least some of the fights when the only other options are far, far worse.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:48 PM on February 7, 2012


Dahlia Lithwick:
It’s not yet clear whether the proponents of Prop 8 will appeal today’s decision to a larger panel of the 9th Circuit, or directly to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, supporters of gay marriage will certainly benefit from a few more years of shifting public opinion in favor of gay rights, and more states like Washington poised to legalize gay marriage. All in all, today’s ruling amounted to decidedly undramatic drama. It was about the furthest thing from a Hollywood ending ever to come out of California. But then again, it could be shrewdly setting the stage for an awesome sequel.
posted by scody at 7:02 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, not even close to what I meant, which was that there is tangible impact on their lives already in effect, and that you would apparently value speeches above that.

I don't recognize an either or choice between passing things like DADT and stating support for gay marriage.

Given that you're unwilling to point out the good he has done (like, ever, as far as I can tell) in favor of condemning him for the good left to be done, seemingly without regard for the consequences, is mind-boggling.

I routinely acknowledge he has done positive things for gay rights. I ask you to apologize again for lying about my posting.

So let me get this straight: you're willing to take one thing he's said (which happens to be negative) at face value, but when he says that his opinion is changing, all of the sudden he's not to be trusted?

He has not said that his opinion is changing, he has said that it has the potential to change as he continues to ask himself these questions. He has clearly stated they have not yet changed and does not state certainty that they will. This is not my opinion, it is the text of the statement I linked.

So, to continue the train of thought from above, when he states a negative, it's a firm no; when he's showing some change in his outlook he's just being a politician. Which is it?

What he states is that he does not currently support gay marriage, and that position has not yet changed. I am not reading into it, I am just reading it.

You claim you can't read his mind, but you claim to know what his legal position is despite plentiful evidence to the contrary in his actions?

I do not read his mind to determine his legal position, I read what he states his legal position is.

Really? Did it shift public opinion on health care reform, either in the last 3 years or in the 90s? Did it shift public opinion on the stimulus or the bailouts?

He seems to be on pace to coast to a second term, so I think we can establish that even if he fails to persuade some it does not seem to cost him votes. That is one of the things that makes him such a powerful public speaker. Outside of fringe elements, he earns respect even with disagreement. That is why I pointed you to the State of the Union. 91% approval necessarily means that a large chunk of people who disagreed with him still approved of his speech. It means even a large chunk of the 25% hardcore conservative group was okay with it.

It is also a sign that the disapproval of many policies comes after the sausage making process in congress. The public option had 60% support, with some persuasive help from Obama, and yet didn't make the bill. That is one of the reasons I disprove of it. Since we are still in the stage of persuading the public, we don't have to worry about that yet.

For that matter, did he go back in time and shift public opinion on gay marriage during the Clinton and later Bush years?

I don't have polling data for how his position was received by voters at the time, but his skyrocketing political career does not seem to have been damaged by it, we can say that for sure.

Maybe the young gay folks you know prefer to gain hope through a fancy speech.

My concern is that too many of them seem to prefer suicide to waiting out your timetable.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:18 PM on February 7, 2012


(didn't read through 200 messages, sorry if this has been answered)

Was the dissent published anywhere? I expect it'll be a state's rights thing, but I'd like to be sure.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:35 PM on February 7, 2012


Never mind, found it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:37 PM on February 7, 2012


Mittens R Money = Hello Kitty's rapper name
posted by scody at 9:44 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't read his mind, I can only go by his public position. That public position is wrong, legally and morally.

But his public position, which is aimed at keeping himself electable (in a country where gay marriage couldn't even win 51 percent of the vote in California last time it came up), isn't all we have to go by. We have his actions, which include those judicial nominations. On a practical level there is also the fact that you are going to find very few exceptional legal scholars under a certain age who are guaranteed to be pro-choice but are not safe on gay marriage.

We also live in a country where an open agnostic would have no shot at the nomination. Unfortunately the only way to get somebody in who can push left in measurable lasting ways -- through legislation (which he is fairly crummy at, but I suspect his caution may have something to do with seeing what happened during and immediately after those first ambitious Clinton years, when the right pushed back so hard and successfully against miltary integration and meaningful health care reform that we somehow ended up with the Contract With America) through appointments -- is to suck it up and vote for somebody who is willing to pander. And somebody who has to win Ohio and wants to win Florida or else Roe v. Wade is over, to cite one example of a necessary thing that will be very difficult to ever reinstate, has much less room to maneuver than a candidate who only has to appeal to a single state or district, and whose opponent is not going to have the advantage of constant national media coverage.

I agree it's gross, but it's worth considering exactly how progressive presidents and presidential candidates have managed to be in the past (JFK talked a decent game but did very little for civil rights; Stevenson was extremely serious and sensible but got creamed by non-controversial Ike; look at what happened to McGovern), and what would have happened if the cowardly but relatively OK guy hadn't won. Take Lincoln. He was not what abolitionists wanted him to be. On a personal level, he started out a bigot, despite his distaste for slavery, and gradually got better. But despite earlier public remarks that seemed to indicate that he felt slavery had to end, he claimed while running that he wasn't an abolitionist. And indeed the Emancipation Proclamation was not a morally righteous document: it left slaves in Northern swing states twisting in the wind, because we couldn't afford to lose those states to the Confederacy. But this was the most radical man the nation could stand to elect, this contradictory wishy-washy figure who refused to say that he wanted to free the slaves, and even then half the states left the Union because they knew what he "really" stood for.

Of course gay rights don't threaten very rich bigots' economic interests so much, so nobody's going to go around starting a new country over it, but the fact is that half this country is, if you don't want to be diplomatic about it, insanely backwards and immoral about this -- and not just in the South; look at the reliably blue states that haven't been able to legalize gay marriage through a popular vote -- and another Buchanan would be much worse than a Lincoln. It is infuriating to have to choose a candidate who won't challenge people who insist that two and two come out to five and to have to locate evidence that it's not an article of faith for him, but unfortunately we have a great deal of evidence that there is not much we can do yet but sneak around these people. This is after all a country in which as of last year 49 percent of Gallup poll respondents said they would never vote for an atheist.
posted by Adventurer at 11:20 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


"I routinely acknowledge he has done positive things for gay rights. I ask you to apologize again for lying about my posting."

You compared Obama's "positive things for gay rights" by comparing them to Ron Paul not shooting black children as a positive movement on race. So maybe tone down the dudgeon a little bit, George.

"He seems to be on pace to coast to a second term"

You are high on the drugs. Though it is charming to see your apocalyptically grim view of Obama's statements on gay marriage, which to you are tantamount to slitting gay kids' wrists himself, with your Pollyannaish view of his electoral prospects.

1) The bully pulpit has limited ability to influence public opinion. This has been affirmed again and again in poli sci studies. If you really want, I can try to track some down, or you can do the legwork yourself.

2) Obama is actually in a pretty tight race for re-election, barring Romney eating a baby on TV or something. Same-sex marriage is a wedge issue for a reason.

3) Obama has pursued real policies that have made LGBT lives better, as well as appointing judges who have made LGBT lives better.

4) Ergo, the modest possibility of saving lives far, far down the causal chain must be weighed against the risk of Obama not being elected and Romney reversing many, many gains for the LGBT community, including appointing judges that are not LGBT friendly.

5) This is not at all a clear calculation, and the opprobrium and sanctimony you bring to this argument is in inverse proportion to any actual evidence you have brought.
posted by klangklangston at 11:30 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, is it just me, or do I remember Judge Walker being gay from the very beginning of the prop 8 trial. I seem to remember it being discussed all over the place when he was selected and during the arguments. My sleepiness and poor google-fu fail me at the moment ('Judge Vaughn Walker Gay' brings up not exactly what I'm looking for), but am I crazy?
posted by Garm at 12:17 AM on February 8, 2012


Depends on where you were and who you knew — Walker wasn't out publicly at the beginning of the trial, but within legal circles and San Francisco circles it was an open secret. For most folks though, they had no idea. Walker was always private about his private life.
posted by klangklangston at 12:27 AM on February 8, 2012


But his public position, which is aimed at keeping himself electable (in a country where gay marriage couldn't even win 51 percent of the vote in California last time it came up), isn't all we have to go by. We have his actions, which include those judicial nominations. On a practical level there is also the fact that you are going to find very few exceptional legal scholars under a certain age who are guaranteed to be pro-choice but are not safe on gay marriage.

It's entirely possible Obama is lying to the country about his views on this, but I don't think his judicial nominations really prove anything either way. He could simply not be using gay marriage as a litmus test while still personally opposing it.

His legal issue with DOMA, for example, is based on his understanding that states traditionally have the power to define marriage. So is he lying about that too?

You can't ask me to trust someone you are assuring me is a liar.

And somebody who has to win Ohio and wants to win Florida or else Roe v. Wade is over

For example, if you tried to tell me Romney is pro-life I might point to many actions in his political life in which he has acted in a pro-choice manner. So what do I believe, his public statement? Why should I do that?

Maybe he is just lying about his pro-life position to pander for Republican votes? In that case, why be scared if he beats Obama?

You compared Obama's "positive things for gay rights" by comparing them to Ron Paul not shooting black children as a positive movement on race.

No, empath praised Obama for not standing in the way of gay marriage encouraging me to ignore his public statement and support him for his lack of action on that bad opinion. I pointed out the flaw in that logic in a jokey manner.

You are high on the drugs. Though it is charming to see your apocalyptically grim view of Obama's statements on gay marriage, which to you are tantamount to slitting gay kids' wrists himself, with your Pollyannaish view of his electoral prospects.

Drug induced apocalyptic visions = Reading what he says his position is. Please don't misrepresent my views. I do not believe Obama is a murderer. I do however feel that everyone who contributes to the culture in which it is suggested homosexual love is not worthy of the same sacred institutions as straight love is contributing to a culture in which gay kids feel marginalized and hopeless.

1) The bully pulpit has limited ability to influence public opinion. This has been affirmed again and again in poli sci studies. If you really want, I can try to track some down, or you can do the legwork yourself.

I am fine with baby steps at the moment. With gay marriage supporters already in the majority without a public figurehead like Obama every percentage point edges the country closer to change on this issue.

2) Obama is actually in a pretty tight race for re-election, barring Romney eating a baby on TV or something. Same-sex marriage is a wedge issue for a reason.

Hey, if you seriously think one of the four stooges still in the Republican has a shot, that's fine. I know where the polls stand now but these guys won't be able to sustain it against Obama's charisma and record of success.

If I was Obama I would not fear gay marriage come election time, which has majority support. I would feel the health insurance mandate with 83% opposition. This was a policy he managed to sign, seal, and deliver through congress. All I'm asking for is a change in his personal position!

3) Obama has pursued real policies that have made LGBT lives better, as well as appointing judges who have made LGBT lives better.

Yes, I already stated he has done positive things for gay rights in the post you quoted.

4) Ergo, the modest possibility of saving lives far, far down the causal chain must be weighed against the risk of Obama not being elected and Romney reversing many, many gains for the LGBT community, including appointing judges that are not LGBT friendly.

Anything he would do to reverse Obama policies would have to go through the Democrats in congress. The President isn't a dictator who gets whatever he wants. But anyway, given Romney's previous support for gay rights it is possible he is secretly lying about being against them just to pander for votes. We can't discount that possibility.

5) This is not at all a clear calculation, and the opprobrium and sanctimony you bring to this argument is in inverse proportion to any actual evidence you have brought.

Of course it isn't clear, I respect Obama for his overall positive characteristics as a person and a leader. If he is lying about believing gay folks should not have equal marriage rights, I'm sure he thought long and hard about the decision to be dishonest to the country and to the people around the world who look to our nation for moral leadership.

This of course leaves us exactly where I started. It is a shame Obama is indeed putting himself on the wrong side of history on this issue as he is quoted as fearing.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:09 AM on February 8, 2012


It's entirely possible Obama is lying to the country about his views on this, but I don't think his judicial nominations really prove anything either way. He could simply not be using gay marriage as a litmus test while still personally opposing it.

For all your (misplaced) arguments about consistency, it's ironic that your criteria above was "how are we to know he won't nominate anti gay marriage judges that might hear this case?"--which I should point out, was after he had already nominated a pro-gay marriage judge to the exact same court that has been hearing the case--and now you don't think judicial nominations mean anything.

For example, if you tried to tell me Romney is pro-life I might point to many actions in his political life in which he has acted in a pro-choice manner. So what do I believe, his public statement? Why should I do that?

Maybe he is just lying about his pro-life position to pander for Republican votes?


Because his actions have belied his words. You chose a link to a picture from 1994. In 2005, he vetoed several emergency contraception bills, and since then he's attacked abortion consistently.

In that case, why be scared if he beats Obama?

Seriously? Do you not know that Roe v Wade is all but certain to be re-litigated in front of a fairly conservative SC? Or that Romney has the opportunity to appoint anywhere from one to three Justices and tons of federal judges if elected?

No, empath praised Obama for not standing in the way of gay marriage encouraging me to ignore his public statement and support him for his lack of action on that bad opinion. I pointed out the flaw in that logic in a jokey manner.

So, not only did you mischaracterize empath's position, but your sole evidence of "routine" acknowledgement of Obama's record of gay rights was a joke.

I do however feel that everyone who contributes to the culture in which it is suggested homosexual love is not worthy of the same sacred institutions as straight love is contributing to a culture in which gay kids feel marginalized and hopeless.

Man, having everything separated into for or against with nothing in between sure makes things easier for you, doesn't it?

I am fine with baby steps at the moment.

"* - even if it means that the baby steps could lead to a result in which most progress is removed"

With gay marriage supporters already in the majority without a public figurehead like Obama every percentage point edges the country closer to change on this issue.

Which (1) is a statement without a shred of evidence to back it up, and (2) doesn't take into account the fact that votes are done on a state-by-state basis rather than national polling like you linked to. If you could point out polls that specifically say that a majority in Florida or North Carolina or Ohio or Virginia would be more likely to vote for Obama because of support for gay marriage, then you've got something to stand on.

Hey, if you seriously think one of the four stooges still in the Republican has a shot, that's fine. I know where the polls stand now but these guys won't be able to sustain it against Obama's charisma and record of success.

Um, what? A majority of Americans have a negative view of Obama's ability to succeed. And pretty much every political scientist, commentator, and pundit has said that all it takes is a couple months of crappy job numbers or for the Eurozone to collapse for things to go south for Obama. Even GOP obstruction on economic success has so far affected Obama nearly as much as it has Congress, because so few Americans know how government works that they think he can't do anything.

If I was Obama I would not fear gay marriage come election time, which has majority support.

See again re: state-by-state.

I would feel the health insurance mandate with 83% opposition. This was a policy he managed to sign, seal, and deliver through congress.

Yeah, but he can't do anything through Congress, just like Johnson couldn't sign, seal, and deliver the Civil Rights Act until Congress worked on it.

All I'm asking for is a change in his personal position!

With no regard for consequences.

Yes, I already stated he has done positive things for gay rights in the post you quoted.

The one you referred to as "jokey" and where you claimed that he had only done "one good act" while engaging in bigoted actions?

Anything he would do to reverse Obama policies would have to go through the Democrats in congress. The President isn't a dictator who gets whatever he wants.

So, so wrong. First of all, he could choose to enforce DOMA, or not to enforce hate crime enforcement, or to remove all of Obama's executive orders granting GLBT federal staff equal rights, all without Congressional approval. And second of all, for all intents and purposes (thanks to a House majority and the Senate filibuster) Congress has been de facto Republican for a while. And most polling has pointed to the Democrats losing the Senate and failing (but coming close) to retake the House. And let's not forget that Democrats in Congress have not consistently been paragons of fortitude, even in the last three years. There's no evidence that they would oppose most, let alone every anti-gay marriage judge that Romney would nominate.

But anyway, given Romney's previous support for gay rights it is possible he is secretly lying about being against them just to pander for votes. We can't discount that possibility.

You mean his continuous vocal and public opposition to gay marriage from day one? His multiple statements supporting DOMA and its predecessors? His actions to try to block the Massachusetts courts' legalization of gay marriage? His executive order to clerks to refuse out-of-state petitions to marry? His resurrection of Jim Crow-style miscegenation laws that hadn't been enforced for over forty years to ensure that order was followed? His support for the courts' decision to uphold the law?

Where exactly is this previous support for gay rights?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:55 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Washington's House votes on same-sex marriage today at 1pm PST. Should be in the bag.
posted by Talez at 10:05 AM on February 8, 2012


Hey, if you seriously think one of the four stooges still in the Republican has a shot, that's fine. I know where the polls stand now but these guys won't be able to sustain it against Obama's charisma and record of success.

This is why we're arguing. The rest of us are certain that his general ineffectiveness and willingness to cede too much has alienated almost everyone who was attracted by his post-GWB message of hope. Remember September 2008, when it looked like McCain was going to win, even though we still had Bush right there in front of us every day to remind us what that would be like, and even though Palin was on the ticket? It was the economy tanking that turned things around. That's why Bush I lost in '92 despite huge post-war approval ratings. And even then a Democrat with fantastic campaign skills (not anymore, post-surgery, but then) and Elvis-like charisma needed a third-party spoiler to drain off a double-digit chunk of the Republican vote. He needed it in '96, too. That seems to be where the national mood is. Gore won the popular vote by himself, of course, and while handicapped by Nader, but he was also running with the help of a strong economy against a guy who was undeniably kind of an idiot. If he were a Republican under those circumstances he would have won by more.

It seems extremely possible that an old-fashioned (or rather non-DLC) Democrat who pushed progressive economic policies boldly and without shame might capture voters' imaginations to the extent that he (it would be "he") could get elected without assistance. But this "culture war" stuff, appealing to people's worst and most fearful and conservative in-group/out-group social impulses, is exactly how the Republican Party has been successfully convincing people to vote against their economic interests -- and wildly so -- at least since Nixon's "Law and Order" campaign and the inception of the Southern Strategy. Maybe a Champion of the People kind of candidate could sneak it in somehow, if such an animal could make it past the primaries, but that's clearly not Obama at this point. Nobody is actually happy with him. And given the numbers in 2008, and exactly what McCain's appeal was, it is extremely reasonable to say that supporting gay marriage, in those words, would have been the hill he died on. The fact that it's disgusting doesn't make it untrue. Look at what voters actually believe and how many social conservatives they've sent to Congress strictly on the basis of loud aggressive social conservatism.
posted by Adventurer at 11:06 AM on February 8, 2012


Washington's House votes on same-sex marriage today at 1pm PST. Should be in the bag.

Probably, but let's not count the chickens, just yet. It's likely that we'll have a referendum to go through.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:08 AM on February 8, 2012


I'll also say that it's annoying to have a thread on Prop 8 derailed into yet another referendum on Obama.
posted by klangklangston at 11:12 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is firm opposition.

Thus speaks furiousxgeorge describing Obama's position on gay marriage.

This is, however, simply a false statement. Obama has spoken out directly against Prop 8. He has applauded this current decision. He has spoken out in favor of every State-level initiative that has enacted same-sex marriage. And when asked directly about his own personal opinion on gay marriage he has said repeatedly for some time that it is "evolving."

To describe this as "firm opposition" to gay marriage is simply to say something that is demonstrably untrue.
posted by yoink at 11:14 AM on February 8, 2012


I'll also say that it's annoying to have a thread on Prop 8 derailed into yet another referendum on Obama.

It's an election year and Obama's views, be they evolving or stuck in the past, are as germane as ever. He does have a bully pulpit (e.g., Citizens United v. FEC, which has lead to increased public scrutiny and interest about campaign financing) so what he says about Constitutional issues matters.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:23 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed that it's 2012 and we still have, "greedy gays spoiling the election" as a meme.

We're all adults. Obama can play the politics of the possible and make the pleasing noises he needs to make to get elected, and the people who need marriage rights last week can continue to point out that they still don't have them. Disagreement is part of the long-game process.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:54 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


He does have a bully pulpit...so what he says about Constitutional issues matters.

There's a very good book on this subject called On Deaf Ears by George Edwards which summarizes a great deal of the political science research on this issue. The short answer is that Presidents may well have a "bully pulpit"--but no one is listening to their sermons. Presidents do not shape public opinion by giving speeches about things. This has been proven over and over and over again. It's one of those counter-intuitive findings that people just can't seem to take onboard. It runs against the grain of so much pundit-speak about politics. But if you're talking about the President using the bully pulpit, you're like those old baseball scouts in Moneyball talking about "good looking" players who are "real athletes" and so on. You're missing where the game is actually won and lost.
posted by yoink at 11:54 AM on February 8, 2012


Rachel Maddow Talks to Ted Olson About the Prop 8 Ruling.
posted by ericb at 11:54 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm disappointed that it's 2012 and we still have, "greedy gays spoiling the election" as a meme.

That may or may not be a meme, but I don't see it appearing in any of the posts in this thread. I see an argument about what Obama should or shouldn't do as a matter of political tactics/ethical obligation. To argue that Obama is probably making the right call not to come out explicitly in favor of a universal constitutional right to gay marriage is not to say that gays should stop agitating for that right.
posted by yoink at 11:57 AM on February 8, 2012


For all your (misplaced) arguments about consistency, it's ironic that your criteria above was "how are we to know he won't nominate anti gay marriage judges that might hear this case?"--which I should point out, was after he had already nominated a pro-gay marriage judge to the exact same court that has been hearing the case--and now you don't think judicial nominations mean anything.

There you go again. I did not suggest they don't matter, I suggested we can't be sure all his nominations will not disagree with his public position on gay marriage. I assure you the judges he has nominated do not march in lockstep on every issue.

Because his actions have belied his words. You chose a link to a picture from 1994. In 2005, he vetoed several emergency contraception bills, and since then he's attacked abortion consistently.

He maintained a pro-choice stance well beyond 1994.

Romney campaigned for governor in 2002, again as a pro-choice candidate. He responded to the National Abortion Rights Action League's candidate survey with this statement: "I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose. This choice is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not mine and not the government's."

Romney's running mate, Kerry Healey, vouched for his pro-choice credentials, saying, "There's isn't a dime of difference between Mitt Romney's position on choice" and that of his Democratic opponent.

Then came Romney's alleged epiphany. It occurred, he said, during the Massachusetts debate over stem-cell research, which coincided with Romney's plan to run for president. No longer worried about winning votes in Massachusetts, Romney was free to declare his commitment to the antiabortion crusade.


I think it's clear any later pro-life actions were just done to be elected President and seeing a need to pander for Republican votes in the meantime.

Seriously? Do you not know that Roe v Wade is all but certain to be re-litigated in front of a fairly conservative SC? Or that Romney has the opportunity to appoint anywhere from one to three Justices and tons of federal judges if elected?

As Romney is secretly pro-choice, it does not seem to be an issue.

So, not only did you mischaracterize empath's position, but your sole evidence of "routine" acknowledgement of Obama's record of gay rights was a joke.

Actually no, had you read the linked post you would have noted the complaint was about a separate comment. Regardless, as I have said in this thread, I routinely acknowledge he has made progress on gay rights just as he said he would during the campaign. That does not mean I am willing to accept an anti-gay marriage stance.

Man, having everything separated into for or against with nothing in between sure makes things easier for you, doesn't it?

“I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman,” Obama said.

Here is an in between position he could take. Publicly state his religious beliefs are not that gay marriage would not be sacred, still maintain his opposition to it.

"* - even if it means that the baby steps could lead to a result in which most progress is removed"


Do you have the data to back up that this will cost him the election when the majority will be behind him, but the health insurance mandate with 83% opposition won't? Can you explain how Romney will repeal DADT through a Senate with enough Democrats to filibuster? As Romney is secretly in favor of gay rights anyway, it doesn't particularly matter.

With no regard for consequences.

As I have already posted, I do not feel the consequences would be the same as you do. But I do think doing the moral thing is its own reward.

The one you referred to as "jokey" and where you claimed that he had only done "one good act" while engaging in bigoted actions?

No, the one you didn't read or are lying about that was the one I actually linked to. Amd many other comments in these discussions over time.

I understand he has done other positive things for gays

First of all, he could choose to enforce DOMA, or not to enforce hate crime enforcement, or to remove all of Obama's executive orders granting GLBT federal staff equal rights, all without Congressional approval.

DOMA is in the hands of the courts either way. Any thing he can change as executive is in permanent danger anyway. There is no scenario in which Republicans are kept permanently from the Presidency. If we do have to have one it is better it is someone like Romney who is secretly pro gay rights.

More seriously though, Romney is a flip flopping centrist who does whatever it takes to get his votes. He will try and cultivate a centrist image as President the same way Obama is doing. I don't believe he would seriously take unilateral moves to strip gay people of their rights since it would be a political loser for him with the majority of Americans.

You mean his continuous vocal and public opposition to gay marriage from day one?

Oh, how ridiculous! Public opposition? Who cares what he says in public?

this "culture war" stuff, appealing to people's worst and most fearful and conservative in-group/out-group social impulses, is exactly how the Republican Party has been successfully convincing people to vote against their economic interests -- and wildly so -- at least since Nixon's "Law and Order" campaign and the inception of the Southern Strategy.

It doesn't have the power it used to. You can see that in a primary electorate that will, in the end, be choosing Romney. He is the most centrist on social issues of the bunch and the most economically focused. However, his economic message is poisoned by his personal history of vulture capitalism.

Obama will characterize his record like this, and is one of the best campaigners in American history: He has a history of saving the auto industry and the stock market. He killed bin Laden. Removed Qaddafi. He got us out of Iraq and by election time will be talking about exiting Afghanistan.

He is a well liked President that would take a much more serious challenger to remove.

To describe this as "firm opposition" to gay marriage is simply to say something that is demonstrably untrue.

Do you have a quote in which he is asked his position on gay marriage in which he says he supports gay marriage?

On Deaf Ears


Obama is somewhat unique in his ability to connect with the populace. Political science didn't really suggest he was likely to be President in the first place.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:08 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


furiousxgeorge, is there anyway we could ask you to restrict you campaigning for Romney to threads that actually have something directly to do with the presidential election?
posted by nangar at 12:42 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


NO FREE SPEECH ZONES!

There are good reasons why Prop 8’s proponents should think twice before asking the US Supreme Court to take this case.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:49 PM on February 8, 2012


Oh, I'm not voting for Romney. Sure, like Obama he might secretly support gay marriage but I prefer folks who come right out and say it. I do agree with you though that folks should avoid responding to suggestions that people should support gay marriage by pointing to the Presidential election.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:50 PM on February 8, 2012


I don't believe he would seriously take unilateral moves to strip gay people of their rights since it would be a political loser for him with the majority of Americans..

Romney, while still Governor, openly supported an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. You know, the exact kind of amendment that Obama openly opposes.

He also, while Governor, openly endorsed and supported the Federal Marriage Amendment which would have amended the US constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Another measure that Obama explicitly opposed.

You have a very odd double standard, to say the least, in your assessment of these two politicians.

Oh and by the way, there is a big difference between saying that it really doesn't make much difference in public opinion for a President or a Governor to argue in the abstract for a particular position and saying that it makes no difference which concrete policy proposals they actively endorse and support. Those are not the same things at all.

Can you explain how Romney will repeal DADT through a Senate with enough Democrats to filibuster?

I'd say that DADT is a done deal. Public support for DADT is very low and I don't see any appetite in Congress to take that fight on again. But whoever is the next President will get to appoint two Supreme Court justices at a minimum. And there is no evidence at all that Romney has any intention of nominating anyone who is not a social conservative. Even if your bizarrely counterfactual theory that he is a "secret" liberal were true, the Republicans in Congress will not allow him to nominate anyone they see as a "moderate" (see Miers, Harriet). And gay rights--particularly such rights as marriage--are simply not widely enough supported in the general electorate for the Democrats in the Senate to be able to filibuster on that issue alone.
posted by yoink at 12:52 PM on February 8, 2012


Can you explain how Romney will repeal DADT through a Senate with enough Democrats to filibuster?

Because when the Republicans are in charge, they won't need 60 votes to blow their collective nose.

Although in this specific case, yeah, DADT is dead dead dead.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:59 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do you have a quote in which he is asked his position on gay marriage in which he says he supports gay marriage?

So there are only two possibilities available: either he explicitly says he "supports gay marriage" or he is "firmly opposed to it"? Well, I guess if words mean whatever you want them to mean, then you win this argument and every other argument you'll ever take part in.

For those of us, however, who think that "firmly" actually means something the claim that he "firmly opposes gay marriage" will remain false in the face of the massive evidence that he is actively opposed to every legislative attempt to prevent gay marriage and his own personal statements that this is an issue he is struggling with and on which is own position is "evolving." You might prefer him to say something stronger, but it remains simply a fact that he is clearly not "firmly opposed" to gay marriage.

Obama is somewhat unique in his ability to connect with the populace.

All democratically elected Presidents are, by definition, "somewhat unique" in their ability to connect with the populace. That's how they get elected. What On Deaf Ears demonstrates--rather exhaustively--is that the ability to "connect with the populace" is not the same thing as the ability to persuade them to adopt your views on things.
posted by yoink at 1:00 PM on February 8, 2012


There you go again. I did not suggest they don't matter, I suggested we can't be sure all his nominations will not disagree with his public position on gay marriage. I assure you the judges he has nominated do not march in lockstep on every issue.

Exact quote: "how are we to know he won't nominate anti gay marriage judges that might hear this case," to which I responded he hadn't actually nominated anti-gay marriage judges to hear the case, and had in fact done exactly the opposite.

As I have already posted, I do not feel the consequences would be the same as you do.

Which it's been pointed out to you many times, doesn't really have any basis in reality.

But I do think doing the moral thing is its own reward.

Which is a messed-up viewpoint in of itself, since it's a qualifier that implies that moral perfection is a better stance than political good.

No, the one you didn't read or are lying about that was the one I actually linked to. Amd many other comments in these discussions over time.

Exact quotes from what you said and linked to: "I pointed out the flaw in that logic in a jokey manner," and "one good act does not erase other acts of bigotry." And if you've got many other comments pointing out the good stuff Obama has done in this respect, I'd love to see them.

DOMA is in the hands of the courts either way.

Enforcement of it is not, thus the order to enforce or not coming from the Justice Department and not the courts.

Any thing he can change as executive is in permanent danger anyway. There is no scenario in which Republicans are kept permanently from the Presidency.

Well then what good is saying anything? A moral victory that ends up as a complete policy failure is nothing but a loss for gay rights.

If we do have to have one it is better it is someone like Romney who is secretly pro gay rights.

Which is basically a flat-out lie, as a pointed out in my last comment.

Oh, how ridiculous! Public opposition? Who cares what he says in public?

Is vocal and public denunciation not the argument you've been making all this time? Don't blame me if I turned that argument against you because I pointed out his many actions that went hand-in-hand with his words.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:03 PM on February 8, 2012


I appreciate that some people seem to be picking up on dog-whistle comments, or just reading what they want to in Obama's comments. He's clearly and obviously the most pro-LGBT president we've ever had. I am encouraged that the Administration changed its position on defending DOMA, in particular for Karen Golinski's lawsuit. I was excited to vote for him last time and will vote for him again. That doesn't mean that I take a whole lot of comfort in his "evolving" position on the topic.

Those of you not in CA in 2008 may not realize that we were treated to Yes on 8 robocalls of Obama saying he thought marriage was between a man and a woman. It's evolving in the right direction, for sure, but do I think my president wants me to be married? Not really, no.

Nancy Pelosi also wishes he'd just come out and say it.

I suppose it's inevitable that these conversations always devolve into hair-splitting about Obama, which is too bad when we could be talking about Marilyn Monroe and Grouch Marx instead.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:15 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Those of you not in CA in 2008 may not realize that we were treated to Yes on 8 robocalls of Obama saying he thought marriage was between a man and a woman. It's evolving in the right direction, for sure, but do I think my president wants me to be married? Not really, no.

You are aware that those calls were not made or authorized by the Obama administration, right? And that Obama publicly denounced Prop 8 before the election, calling it "divisive and discriminatory."

Does Obama "want you to get married"? I don't know. I suspect that he does, but who can say. But he clearly, explicitly and provably wanted you to be able to retain the right to be married that the California courts had granted you.
posted by yoink at 1:26 PM on February 8, 2012


Remember September 2008, when it looked like McCain was going to win

Not really. I remember McCain's approval ratings spiking (but peaking at 48.3%) after the Republican convention (September 1-4), then almost immediately starting to decline as people started to realize how big a nutjob Sarah Palin was. (Note that McCain's numbers had already started to drop rapidly before the stock market crashed in mid- to late September.)
posted by kirkaracha at 1:28 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I AM married, courtesy of the California Supreme Court. I'm glad others are content with Obama's statements about same-sex marriage. I'm not, and I think I'll leave it there.

I'd also really, really like my taxes to be easier.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:53 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a very good book on this subject called On Deaf Ears by George Edwards which summarizes a great deal of the political science research on this issue.

To follow up on what furiousxgeorge observed, most political scientists probably would not have believed there would be a black President in our lifetime.

That said, there are times when Obama has already spoken on Constitutional matters (see Citizens United, healthcare reform, extrajudicial killings of American citizens) where the public has followed up with assent, disagreement, or even just interest, enough that such issues are covered by the media. So, just looking at the evidence before our eyes is enough to question the authority of some political scientists.

It seems unlikely that Stephen Colbert, for example, would have been motivated to make his super PAC comedic fodder, were it not for President Obama making his views known at his State of the Union address back in 2010. Campaign financing laws are pretty dry stuff.

The claim that Obama expressing an opinion on the legality of same-sex marriage would fall on deaf ears seems to strike a tone-deaf note, not only for discussions on Metafilter but for the country as a whole. If Obama were to say something on this, just about everyone would listen, whatever their own opinion might be.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:06 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Related: The Making Of Gay Marriage’s Top Foe -- "How Maggie Gallagher's college pregnancy made her a single mom, and a traditional marriage zealot."
posted by ericb at 2:34 PM on February 8, 2012


Washington State House - Live Coverage

They're debating the same-sex marriage bill right now for anyone who's interested.
posted by Talez at 2:38 PM on February 8, 2012


The claim that Obama expressing an opinion on the legality of same-sex marriage would fall on deaf ears seems to strike a tone-deaf note, not only for discussions on Metafilter but for the country as a whole. If Obama were to say something on this, just about everyone would listen, whatever their own opinion might be.

I can't tell if you really don't know what the term "falling on deaf ears" means or if you are being faux-naif. Anyway, assuming you really don't, it doesn't mean that you were literally unheard (i.e., the implication isn't that hysterical deafness suddenly hits all the auditors) it means that your entreaties were of no avail. As in "I told them not to go spelunking there, but my warnings fell on deaf ears"--this doesn't preclude lots of discussion about the warnings, it just means that, in the end, they weren't heeded.

No one is suggesting that if Obama were to make a statement that he thinks there is a constitutional right to gay marriage that this would be ignored. Quite the contrary. It would be an immense brouhaha, and it would almost certainly be a huge boon for whoever runs against him in November. What we are saying is that it would not serve to change people's minds on the issue.

At this point those who wish to suggest otherwise have the burden of proof on them. Extensive research on Presidential speeches and public opinion have shown over and over and over again that despite widespread coverage of the content of the speech, public opinion remains unmoved by the President's arguments.

"Unmoved" that is, in terms of their personal positions on the issue at hand. They may be strongly moved as to their opinions about the President. Thus gay voters would certainly feel a great deal more positive towards Obama if he made such a statement and left-liberal voters in general would feel more positive towards him. Conservative and socially-conservative independent voters would feel much more strongly motivated to vote against him etc. etc. Again, the point is not that the speech is without consequences or that it is literally "unheard." The point is that it does not change public opinion as to the issue--it only changes public identification of the speaker as someone who either agrees or disagrees with them on that issue.
posted by yoink at 2:50 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


How Maggie Gallagher's college pregnancy made her a single mom, and a traditional marriage zealot.

Man, I read that twice as Maggie Gyllenhaal and was SO confused.
posted by yoink at 2:51 PM on February 8, 2012


55-43. Nice work, Washington.
posted by Talez at 3:27 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Quite the contrary. It would be an immense brouhaha, and it would almost certainly be a huge boon for whoever runs against him in November.

More than half the country supports same-sex marriage.

At this point those who wish to suggest otherwise have the burden of proof on them.

More than half the country supports same-sex marriage. The evidence, at least at this point in America's history, suggests that the "burden of proof" rests on liberals who argue that this issue is electoral poison for Obama.

Nonetheless, I think you or the political scientist who wrote that book needs a better understanding of what the phrase "falling on deaf ears" actually means. I provided at least three substantive examples where Obama making a statement has had a clear and measurable effect on public discourse.

At the very least, there is a direct causal link between Obama expressing disapproval of the Supreme Court's decision about campaign financing and more public scrutiny of politicians and their fundraising efforts.

Even despite shying away from questions about the topic, the substance of public debate over same-sex marriage itself has changed substantially over his term, and marks progress even beyond that. From the aforementioned article:

This milestone result caps a dramatic, long-term shift in public attitudes. From a low of 32 percent in a 2004 survey of registered voters, support for gay marriage has grown to 53 percent today. Forty-four percent are opposed, down 18 points from that 2004 survey.

That the public may not entirely agree with Obama when he does issue an opinion does not mean the issue has fallen on "deaf ears". He has chosen not to express a clear opinion at this time, and he has a recorded past of siding with evangelicals on this issue. You can agree or disagree with that strategy (I happen to think it is moral cowardice, personally) but you can't say that he is choosing to keep schtumm because the country wouldn't rally behind him.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:45 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


(Or, at least, that would be a tougher case to make today than eight years ago.)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:55 PM on February 8, 2012


More than half the country supports same-sex marriage. The evidence, at least at this point in America's history, suggests that the "burden of proof" rests on liberals who argue that this issue is electoral poison for Obama.

As I pointed out above, if we're talking electoral politics, then polling the nation as a whole is useless. Electoral votes come from the states, so state-by-state polling on the issue is necessary. FWIW, polling done in several swing states has shown no majority or plurality support of gay marriage: in NC a gay marriage ban currently has a majority; in FL, IA, OH, VA, and PA a majority oppose gay marriage but favor civil unions. Both Obama's platform and his public statements already reflect support for civil unions, so at least for most of the swing states already puts him with the majority opinion. I don't see any polling on how many of those who support civil unions would be turned off by support for gay marriage, but for most of the states the margins seem large enough (very large, in some cases) that it's hard to argue against it being electoral poison if it split down the middle or a close majority.

Nonetheless, I think you or the political scientist who wrote that book needs a better understanding of what the phrase "falling on deaf ears" actually means. I provided at least three substantive examples where Obama making a statement has had a clear and measurable effect on public discourse.

It's worth noting that in at least one of those scenarios (healthcare reform), the statement had a negative effect. For that matter, the same thing happened to Clinton in the 90s. That's with a majority of the country supporting reform of some sort, but being swayed by other forces or misunderstanding the makeup of the bills.

That the public may not entirely agree with Obama when he does issue an opinion does not mean the issue has fallen on "deaf ears". He has chosen not to express a clear opinion at this time, and he has a recorded past of siding with evangelicals on this issue. You can agree or disagree with that strategy (I happen to think it is moral cowardice, personally) but you can't say that he is choosing to keep schtumm because the country wouldn't rally behind him.

As mentioned above, at least on a state-by-state level, Obama's past opinion has been made clear, and he continues to revise that opinion in what we consider the right direction. Call it moral cowardice if you'd like, but there's very little support for either the argument that in electoral politics it would help him, or that he's not siding with a majority. Given that, I don't think there's reason enough to vilify him as an opponent of gay rights (or conversely to claim that Romney or any other opponent are secretly supporters), especially given the scenarios if he loses.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:36 PM on February 8, 2012


in NC a gay marriage ban currently has a majority; in FL, IA, OH, VA, and PA a majority oppose gay marriage but favor civil unions.

Really, one needs look no further than this phrase to understand exactly why Obama hasn't been more explicit about supporting gay marriage (even if, perchance, he is in favor of it). Call it moral cowardice or political expediency or possibly holding to his principles. But whatever, the brutal fact is that he probably would be hurt a little in some key swing states were he to come out in full-throated support of SSM.

Now, he COULD be able to use the bully pulpit to advocate for the moral cause. That's possible. But he could also end up losing an election for doing it, too. Which could set the cause back significantly. Whether Obama's trying to prioritize how he spends his political capital or what, I don't know.

Meanwhile, the state legislatures and the courts seem to be making incremental progress. I wish it had happened years ago, personally. But given those poll numbers mentioned above, the way we're going about it might be the best I could hope for, realistically.
posted by darkstar at 5:21 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


One other thought: at the end of this article by Joanna Grossman, she likens the changes in SSM laws to a game of Othello (i.e., Pente, Reversi) where the chips are beginning to flip. That seems a really apt analogy.

In the game, you take turns capturing chips and one play can reverse several chips, but actually be a weak play because on the very next turn, your opponent can flip them back and be in an even stronger position. If you've played the game, there comes a point at which you can tell you've won when, even though your opponent can still flip chips on their turn, their position is untenable and you know you can muster greater numbers turn after turn. It seems indeed that's where we are in the SSM battle.

We had a few victories 10 or 15 years ago, then the anti-SSM folks had their turn and got DOMA and a lot of state statutes and constitutional prohibitions into law. Then we had more states flip to SSM and domestic partnerships. Then Prop 8. Then our turn: ending DADT, a reversal of Prop 8 (at the Circuit Court level) and Washington state coming on board for SSM. It seems every time our opponents win a battle, we come back with an even bigger victory.

With the pro-SSM attitudes among younger folks, it's a game the conservatives are fated to lose, even though it is still going to be an agonizing fight for a while longer.
posted by darkstar at 5:59 PM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oops. This article by Joanna Grossman.
posted by darkstar at 6:09 PM on February 8, 2012


I would adore seeing Obama "come out of the political closet" swinging his ability to channel MLK in a powerful political speech supporting gay rights, gingerbeer.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:23 PM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


John loves John.
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on February 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Talez: "55-43. Nice work, Washington."

New Jersey Senate Votes to Legalize Gay Marriage. “The bill needed 21 votes to succeed and passed 24 to 16”, so while Christie has promised a veto, “ ‘Before today, I would have said the chances of an override were one in a million. Now I’d say it’s about one in two,’ [said Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, a gay rights group].

“Overriding the anticipated veto would require the approval of two-thirds of both houses, which in the Senate translates to 27 votes. But Democrats, who control the Legislature and have made the bill their top priority this year, argue that they have nearly two years — until the session ends on Jan. 14, 2014 — to muster just three more votes than they won on Monday.”

Of course, it has to pass the Assembly, too--that vote comes Thursday.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 10:04 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Washington law likely to go to referendum, NJ law passed but vetoed, and much more in this ThinkProgress roundup.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 8:07 AM on February 21, 2012


What Today's 9th Circuit Deadline Means for the Prop 8 Case
"Today, Feb. 21, marks a big deadline in the Prop 8 case that those of us who have been counting the days since the Ninth Circuit's decision have been eagerly anticipating: the last day that the proponents of Prop 8 can file a petition for rehearing with the 9th Circuit. The proponents have 14 days from the initial decision to do so, meaning that if they do not request an en banc review of the Feb. 7 decision with a larger panel of the appeals court, the three-judge panel's ruling will be the last word at this level of appeal.

At this point, there's no reason to speculate on whether or not the proponents will actually file for a rehearing today, as they may be waiting until the last moment to do so. One question that is probably on many minds, though, is what happens to the stay depending on the proponents' actions today. ..."
posted by ericb at 2:21 PM on February 21, 2012


Prop 8: Backers Of Gay Marriage Ban Want Review Of 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals Decision.
posted by ericb at 2:22 PM on February 21, 2012


Interesting, are they basically trying to drag it out as long as possible?
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:28 PM on February 21, 2012


Ah the usual excellent analysis at towleroad has the view that they see only upside in the en banc hearing, including the ultra-risky approach of broadening the scope of the decision to allow the supreme court more room to overturn.
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:47 PM on February 21, 2012


Maryland's governor has signed a measure legalizing gay marriage, joining seven other states and the District of Columbia ... However, opponents are expected to petition the law to a referendum on the November ballot. (AP, via TheAtlantic)

And the beat goes on...
posted by FlyingMonkey at 2:48 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Voters in the Garden State support legislation that would allow same-sex couples to get married 57 to 37 percent, a Quinnipiac University survey found.
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:41 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


YESSSS!


In your FACE, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Pat Robertson and all the other theocrats and moralizers that try to dictate to everyone else how they can and cannot live.
posted by darkstar at 9:36 PM on March 2, 2012


Rick Santorum wants to protect marriage so much that he's in favor of annulling the marriages of all the gay-married people!
posted by rtha at 7:10 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, that fucker's actually leading Romney in Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma. I hope to gawd he wins the nomination. Independents will be flocking to Obama in droves. It'll be a hell of a November for down-ballot races.
posted by darkstar at 9:05 AM on March 3, 2012


Romney is strongly preferred by the deep pockets in the Republican establishment. Yet, Santorum has the completely fluid morality only an ideologue can manage, well that's how he got named amongst the top three most corrupt senators during his brief tenure. Anyone who cannot play ball with Obama can probably play with Santorum.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:30 PM on March 3, 2012


« Older Indigenous groups in Panama have shut down parts o...  |  Atomic Bread Making At Home is... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments