I have no choice. I have to hit that button.
May 5, 2009 1:56 PM   Subscribe

Maine House votes in favor of marriage equality, 89-57. In the process, Rep. Sheryl Briggs reveals that she cannot vote for the bill, despite the fact that her daughter is a lesbian. No word yet as to whether Governor John Baldacci will sign the legislation, but a campaign for a People's Veto is already underway.
posted by hermitosis (175 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, could still veto it. Mr. Baldacci opposed same-sex marriage before the bill was introduced this year, but he has since said he is keeping an open mind. ... “He absolutely is listening to what people have to say,” [Baldacci’s spokesman] said. “But at the end of the day, I think it will come down to what he believes is the right thing to do.”

Translation: the right way to get re-elected
posted by Joe Beese at 2:01 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gay marriage fits in with Maine's state motto, "Dirigo," which is Latin for "Whatevah!"

Seriously, you could have taken a statewide poll and seven out of ten respondents would have said "Wait, do I have to marry a homo? No? Then who friggin' cares?" The other three would have ignored the question and asked the poller if s/he wanted to buy some weed.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:01 PM on May 5, 2009 [21 favorites]


Rep. Sheryl Briggs reveals that she cannot vote for the bill, despite the fact that her daughter is a lesbian.

Well, that's one way to get out of having to pay for a wedding.
posted by ColdChef at 2:01 PM on May 5, 2009 [48 favorites]


Jordan river go a roll, Jordan river go a roll.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:03 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


She has never ever heard me express my opposition to this in her life … I would never hurt her. I would got to end of the earth for her.

Apparently the wedding hall is juuuust past the end of the earth.
posted by ColdChef at 2:03 PM on May 5, 2009 [110 favorites]


...because I feel so strongly about opposed to this bill, blame it on my upbringing or the good book...

Can I blame it on your being an ignorant, hateful bigot?

That would be my first choice.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:04 PM on May 5, 2009 [29 favorites]


so... A "People's veto" is actually a call for a referendum, and they need 55K valid signatures in 90 days to get Maine to hold said referendum. A small part of me thinks everyone from NY and up should flood Maine and provide all manner of bogus signatures to throw a monkey wrench in the petition process, somehow it'd probably backfire though.
posted by edgeways at 2:04 PM on May 5, 2009


or the good book...

Is that the same pro-slavery, pro-murder, pro-bigamy, pro-rape, good book I think she is talking about?
posted by edgeways at 2:07 PM on May 5, 2009 [20 favorites]


Mom: "I'd go to the ends of the earth for you, honey!"

Daughter: "Great. Could you pick up my civil rights for me while you're there?"

Mom: "Let me check the Good Book." (beat) "No."
posted by scody at 2:09 PM on May 5, 2009 [21 favorites]


Yeah, I foresee an awkward Christmas there. I have this weird vision of Briggs getting the Hanover Fiste treatment in Heavy Metal ...

"She has never ever heard me express my opposition to this in her life" — subtext: Sorry, sweetie, I couldn't keep it from you any longer. And, oh yeah, this is the forum I chose to deliver it in. But hey, personal drama keeps the voters comin' back!

"But because I feel so strongly about opposed to this bill, blame it on my upbringing or the Good Book ... " — subtext: That's how I was raised and my religion, don't criticize me for it.

"We are here to fix things. To make things better for everybody." — subtext: Unless you want to count all those lesbians, gays, or bisexuals!

"I ask each citizen in the state of Maine on both sides of the aisle to please respect our individual decisions." — subtext: Because it's not like we're elected representatives or anything!
posted by adipocere at 2:09 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is wonderful news.
posted by dersins at 2:10 PM on May 5, 2009


"I ask each citizen in the state of Maine on both sides of the aisle to please respect our individual decisions."

...including our individual decisions to deprive gay and lesbian citizens of making a certain individual decision of their own!
posted by scody at 2:13 PM on May 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


Why is it that our elective representatives find it compelling to vote with their conscience when it comes to gay marriage but never when it comes to endless kickbacks and dubious legislation that nobody could ever think was a good idea?

Don't answer that.
posted by setanor at 2:14 PM on May 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Translation: the right way to get re-elected

Actually, he's term limited. He cannot run for another term.
posted by anastasiav at 2:17 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Isn't Maine the state that made incest legal?
posted by Postroad at 2:21 PM on May 5, 2009


It is nothing less than amazing to see the pure illogic of almost every GOP position on every issue suddenly hit the American electorate all at once. Can you believe it? I remember in 2004 it was going to be the downfall of the Democrats. Now it is all the rage. You'll see other states adopt it much more quickly than that. NY will soon follow suit.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:21 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


The guy whose head shot is featured on the "People's Veto" page has "furthest stall on the left" written all over him.
posted by maxwelton at 2:24 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]




Also, the public hearings on this bill were an amazing, powerful experience. Because of the 4000+ people who attended they held the hearings at the Augusta Civic Center rather than in the State House, and the folks from EqualityMaine had all their supporters wear red.

It was a sea of red. I'd say (just from the visual) that it was 4 pro to 1 against.

The hearings ran for 11 hours, and I can't recall the last time I cried so much. Probably the most moving moment (of many) was when some 115 clergy, from a wide range of denominations and dressed in their most formal clerical robes and vestments, stood up to say with one voice that it was time for same-sex marriage to be the law in Maine.

Even if Baldacci vetos it (which I don't think he'll do, but I do think it will end up on the ballot in the fall) I'm really, wicked proud of my state right now.
posted by anastasiav at 2:28 PM on May 5, 2009 [14 favorites]




Luke 12:51-53:
Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
Luke 14:26:
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
posted by designbot at 2:29 PM on May 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yay Maine!

Boo Gov. Baldacci!

I do, however, feel a certain bitterness at politicians talking about "individual decisions" while voting to deny others an individual decision. Hypocrisy of that magnitude is enraging.

And, what a shitty thing to do to her daughter. "I love you honey, and would do anything for you, except you know, vote to give you equal rights."

In general, people with gay friends and family are more supportive of gay issues. Obviously, that doesn't include everyone. What an asshole. Worse, she knew that the bill would pass but she still felt the need to give a big fuck you vote to her daughter. She couldn't abstain, or be on the campaign trail that day, or even say to herself "hey, its going to pass no matter how I vote, why don't I be something other than a total asshole and vote for it". Nope, she had to do her best to hurt her daughter. What an asshole, and what a lousy bit of shit in an otherwise wonderful bit of news.
posted by sotonohito at 2:30 PM on May 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


I'm really, wicked proud of my state right now.

I believe it's time for another spontaneous midnight Monument Square dance party.
posted by setanor at 2:30 PM on May 5, 2009


I'm really, wicked proud of my state right now.

Isn't that a great, and admittedly rare, feeling?
posted by joe lisboa at 2:31 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Candies Foundation announced Tuesday it has appointed teen mom Bristol Palin as its new ambassador. The foundation, which encourages abstinence to prevent pregnancy among teenage girls, has chosen Palin to help promote National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy on May 6.

...Which would be the same foundation that also runs PSAs from Jamie Lynn Spears! And what, pray tell, would be the script for that PSA? "Hi girls! I'm Jamie Lynn Spears! I'm really cute and was in show business and stuff. I've also had premarital sex, which resulted in having a baby when I was still a teenager! I totally love my baby and all, but seriously, don't do what I did! It got me on the cover of a million magazines and stuff! DO NOT HAVE SEX, no matter how awesome it obviously is. kthxbye!"


anastasiav, thanks for the link regarding the public hearings. Those images are wonderful indeed!
posted by scody at 2:33 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do, however, feel a certain bitterness at politicians talking about "individual decisions" while voting to deny others an individual decision. Hypocrisy of that magnitude is enraging.

What about those fascist gays who are trying to deny conservatives their individual right to deny gays their individual rights?
posted by dersins at 2:33 PM on May 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


She couldn't abstain

Which clearly is why she has a (gay) daughter. It's not like her faith points to a man willing to kill his own son on apparently divine fiat for a model or anyth ... ah, fuck it. I forgot it's uncouth to mock the hateful and pridefully ignorant here. God forbid.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:33 PM on May 5, 2009


Come ON, New Hampshire, we are NOT going to let those coffeebrandy-drinking flannel-clad toothless pseudoCandian lobsterfuckers beat us, are we? Let's get this gay marriage thing settled into law FIRST and FAST for the same moral reason that always compels us to act: raw spite toward our neighbors.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:34 PM on May 5, 2009 [28 favorites]


Other related news: Miss California topless photos surface. || NBC video [02:15].
"Why does it matter? Because holier-than-thou religious fundamentalist Bible-thumpers don't get to flash their breasts for profit and shrug it off as just another youthful indiscretion. You don't get to lecture me about my morality when your morality is the equivalent of a Playboy centerfold."*

"Alicia Jacobs, Entertainment Reporter at KVBC in Las Vegas, has seen all six of the photos and says some are much more revealing. Alicia believes the flicks may have been taken after Carrie’s pageant-financed breast augmentation about six weeks ago. Hmmm…These explosive pictures could be devastating for Miss California, whose anti-gay marriage campaign recently resulted in a partnership with the National Organization for Marriage and helped to make made her increasingly popular with right-wing conservatives. Can you guys believe the nerve of this bozo? Using the Lord Jesus Christ as an excuse to support inequality when she’s just as big a sinner as anyone?" *
posted by ericb at 2:35 PM on May 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


In the process, Rep. Sheryl Briggs reveals that she cannot vote for the bill, despite the fact that her daughter is a lesbian.

A maneuver known as "The Cheney".
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on May 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


The idea of Maine and New Hampshire trying to out-do each other in progressive liberalism out of raw spite is a compelling one until you realize it would end with the election of the first Drow Elf Real Doll Governor.

And then Quebec would invade.
posted by The Whelk at 2:39 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


C'mon, Meatball, sign the effin' bill!

(He won't sign it. He'll let it enact itself without his signature. He may not be able to run for governor again, but a good politician never jeopardizes his future chances if he can help it)

Seriously, you could have taken a statewide poll and seven out of ten respondents would have said "Wait, do I have to marry a homo? No? Then who friggin' cares?"

Ordinarily, I'm with you all the way, Mayor, but the polling says public opinion is 50% against, 47% for, 3% too chicken to say. If this does end up on the ballot in November, it'll be a very hard fight. Every other time gay rights have gone to ballot, it's been voted down. I'm hoping they won't be able to mobilize enough people fast enough to get it on the ballot.
posted by briank at 2:40 PM on May 5, 2009


You know who else felt that they had no choice and had to hit that button?

Look, I don't hate homosexuals...
'Please continue.'
But my daughter is...
'It is absolutely essential that you continue'
I don't want to vote this way...
'You have no other choice, you must go on.'

"I ask each citizen in the state of Maine on both sides of the aisle to please respect our individual decisions"

Nnnnah. Up yours, lady. I don't base practical moral decisions on how I feel. Cowboy the fuck up and make the call yourself.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:42 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice one, Maine. Lead the way!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:42 PM on May 5, 2009


A maneuver known as "The Cheney".

Dick Cheney has been quite liberal on same-sex marriage, publicly opposing a constitutional amendment to ban it and stating that marriage rights for same-sex couples should be decided on a state-by-state basis.

In some respects, that's more liberal than Obama's position.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:43 PM on May 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


A little derail to the joemygod blog – Joe, you're not my god, and I don't like your squinty "whee i can use a camera" self-portrait staring at me while I try to read your posts. In fact, I didn't read anything, because your EYES keep SQUINTING at me. Great that you have opinions on everything gay under the sun, but disappear, like the real god, will you? Alleviate my suffering.
Thanks, Love, gorgor. *breathes*
posted by gorgor_balabala at 2:44 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


The governor will sign. I'm not sure why he's refused to say so before. Was he afraid to hold a controversial point of view? The reps and senators weren't--they could have easily sent it straight to referendum, but they didn't. Part of me wonders, perhaps wishfully, if the governor stayed mum because it had a better chance of passing with him staying neutral. Not sure though.

It will definitely go to referendum via people's veto. All controversial laws do. The referendum will be the bill's toughest obstacle yet, but I actually think it'll survive it! Imagine that--Maine could be the first state to enact same sex marriage by popular vote!

It's going to be awesome.
posted by lampoil at 2:44 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


So Miss California, if you're going to quote the Bible as justifying your anti-gay hate ("The way that I answered might have been offensive ... but for me, it was being biblically correct."), heed all of the words of your holy book:
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array" -- 1st Timothy 1

"Unfortunately for Miss Prejean, mixing various fabrics together is forbidden in the book of Leviticus which means her entire pageant gown is biblically incorrect. Sorry, but Jesus says I have to stone you. Now, smile!" *
Hypocrisy's a bitch, a'int it?
posted by ericb at 2:45 PM on May 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Majority of Americans say gay marriage is not a threat to heterosexual marriage
"The religious right has two main talking points when it comes to gay marriage.

1. Gay marriage threatens heterosexual marriage.
2. The majority of the country is on their side.

Not any more. Not only do recent polls show that more Americans support than oppose gay marriage, but a whopping 58% say that gay marriage does not threaten heterosexual marriage. For the first time ever in the discussion of this issue, the religious right is representing the minority view. That's rather huge."
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on May 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


"I ask each citizen in the state of Maine on both sides of the aisle to please respect our individual decisions."

We regret to inform you, Ms. Briggs, that we cannot grant your request at this time. You see, as more of your side dies and more of our side turns 18 your "individual decision" becomes increasingly less worthy of respect in the eyes of this country. Your finger is in the dam, ma'am, and the only thing left to do is to wait for the inevitable breach. Your decision to ally yourself with bigotry, ignorance and superstition has condemned to become a punchline in history. Sputter on, Ms. Briggs, the historians will need illustrative quotes to show the sort of ignorance that we overcame at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

-The Winners

P.S. Guess what we get to write?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:49 PM on May 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


Mayor Curley's comments about his native state are always entertaining. And correct: Most Mainers, when polled, will use the term friggin'.

I'm writing to Gov. Baldacci, generally a good guy, in support. I have to write in support of those gays and their marrying. Really, it's so sweet that people want to get married. We should encouraged them.
posted by theora55 at 2:49 PM on May 5, 2009


adipocere : I have this weird vision of Briggs getting the Hanover Fiste treatment in Heavy Metal ...

"Sternn Briggs is nothin' but a lyin', cheatin', back-stabbin', double-dealin', larcenous perverted WORM!! Hanging's too good for him! her! Burning's too good for him! her! He She should be torn into little-bitty pieces and buried alive!"

*queue cheesy '80s music*
posted by quin at 2:53 PM on May 5, 2009


...and the folks from EqualityMaine had all their supporters wear red.

What a simple, yet brilliant idea!
posted by ericb at 2:57 PM on May 5, 2009


Not to derail, but I'm honestly offended by all the Miss California hate. This is the "worst answer in pageant history" that apparently justifies demonizing her as a "dumb bitch" and prying into her personal life:
Perez Hilton: Vermont recently became the 4th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit - why or why not?

Miss California: Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage, and you know what, in my country and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be between a man and a woman.
I'm all for legalizing gay marriage, but is there anything especially unusual or outrageous about this answer?

Barack Obama on gay marriage:
"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."
posted by designbot at 2:57 PM on May 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ah, yes, designbot. But are there any topless photos of Mr. Obama?

Oh, wait.
posted by The World Famous at 3:12 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


He also didn't get a new set of tits to help him win the election. Although I guess that couldn't have hurt.
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:14 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman

If Prop 8 hadn't just passed this would not be much of an issue.

So Miss California is lying about thinking it's great that homos can choose "opposite marriage" or not, and I think Obama is lying about the sanctified thing (ie. he wouldn't have any theological problem with one of his daughters marrying a woman).
posted by mrt at 3:17 PM on May 5, 2009


I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man white and a woman white. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be between a man white and a woman white.

Do you find anything outrageous about the answer now?

And yes, Obama is a big a hypocrite as she is.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:21 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it’s probably fair to say that he’s not as strong on the issue as most of his supporters would like him to be.

On the other hand, he’s not used it as a wedge issue to win any elections.
posted by Artw at 3:25 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is yet another data point in my ongoing suspicion that people in colder places tend to be a little more open-minded about the personal freedoms of others. Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, etc. I wonder if there's any basis for it, if I could even come up with a way to measure it. There's a study in there, somewhere.
posted by adipocere at 3:25 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


How can a mother do that to her own daughter?

I'm absolutely fucking gobsmacked.

I think about my gay friends and family and I couldn't ever face them and say "I'm going to deny you this right because I feel it would hurt me."

I just cannot fathom it. Does not compute.

And doublewhiskey is 100% correct. Their generation is dying and my generation look at the issue the same way. As much as two guys making out doesn't turn me on it's not my place to get myself involved in their relationship. The religious right are going to be their own undoing and become a secularist promoting footnote in the books of history just like how we look back on the majority of Christianty's history and say "we're never doing that shit again".
posted by Talez at 3:26 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is yet another data point in my ongoing suspicion that people in colder places tend to be a little more open-minded about the personal freedoms of others. Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden,

and Alaska!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:26 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ. I had no idea we were still living in such a neanderthal wasteland. I mean, I would have thought that we'd progressed beyond this point; that people would see the silly limitations of the cruel stereotypes and moralized strictures we place on a whole segment of society, limiting them, categorizing them and preventing many of them from being what they choose to be.

That is to say: we still have beauty pagaents? I thought they ended those goddamned things years ago.
posted by koeselitz at 3:30 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't even know how to spell the fucking word. It's been so long since I've seen it.
posted by koeselitz at 3:32 PM on May 5, 2009


And yes, Obama is a big a hypocrite as she is.

Ohh, watch your mouth around these parts. Pointing to Obama's squishiness when it comes to gay rights is sure to draw grief.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:34 PM on May 5, 2009


Ohh, watch your mouth around these parts. Pointing to Obama's squishiness when it comes to gay rights is sure to draw grief.

Oh, stop it. There's plenty of Obama supporters "around these parts" who are perfectly capable of acknowledging his bullshit position on the question.
posted by scody at 3:37 PM on May 5, 2009 [21 favorites]


I would never hurt her.
I think you're wrong.
I would go to end of the earth for her.
I think you're wrong.
posted by Flunkie at 3:38 PM on May 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


A comment* from the article that anastasiav linked to made me kind of teary:
The three speakers who impressed me the most while I was there were three older men. One of whom entered a mixed race marriage in the 1960's and then could not travel out of the state with his wife, because his marriage was not legal in so many other states. The second was the man who described himself as a bear defending his cubs, one of whom is gay. Rural, Catholic, veteran that he was, he apparently loves BOTH his daughters enough to want them to be married on his front lawn if they so choose. And the last was the 86-year-old WWII vet who took a moment to describe his battles. He was there because a woman asked him last June at the polls if he believed in equal rights for gays and lesbians and his response was , "What do you think I stormed Okinawa for?!" He and his wife raised their 4 sons to be good Americans. All 4 served in the armed forces. Apparently nothing in his experience convinced him that the one of his sons who is gay was not worth loving. I spoke to him outside the building and he said that he had never done anything political before but this was important. He also said two of his sons are dead now. I assured him that they would be very proud of him for what he had done today. Being an old-time Mainer, what he did today took almost as much courage as storming a French beach. And, I defy anyone to make a COGENT argument that these three men are wrong in any way.
*Scroll down - couldn't figure out how to link directly to a comment

My mom used to live in Maine and I know without a doubt that if she were still alive she would point the Finger of Shame at Rep. Briggs (is it mere coincidence that she shares the name with John Briggs of Briggs Initiative infamy? Probably).

Nice family values you got there, Rep. Briggs. Go you.
posted by rtha at 3:38 PM on May 5, 2009 [24 favorites]


> A maneuver known as "The Cheney".

There are a lot of evil, awful things Dick Cheney has stood for, but this is not one of them.

He has not voiced explicit support for gay marriage, but he has consistently voiced opposition to those who have tried to ban it at the federal level, with a libertarian-like "my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone." [cite]

Cheney would press the button to nuke Iran in a New York minute. He'd repeatedly press a button to electrocute a terrorist suspect. He wouldn't press a button to deny his daughter the rights she deserves.

How does it feel to be more of a disgrace than Dick Cheney, Rep. Briggs?
posted by toxic at 3:41 PM on May 5, 2009 [11 favorites]


designbot: I would say, it isn't an unusual answer. In fact, it's just as bigoted and offensive coming out of Barry's mouth as out of a pageant queen's. What IS refreshing and unusual is the public reaction to the question. In the time between Obama having said his religious bigotry and Miss California having voiced hers, the willingness for such statements to be accepted has decreased substantially. I find this pleasing.
posted by hippybear at 3:41 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perez Hilton: Vermont recently became the 4th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit - why or why not?

Miss California: Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage, and you know what, in my country and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be between a man and a woman.

I'm all for legalizing gay marriage, but is there anything especially unusual or outrageous about this answer?


Her answer can be compacted as follows: "Americans can choose one way or the other, and that's great. We live in a land where people get choice, but I believe in man-woman marriage."

So far so good, til we get to the last sentence: "However, I believe that it should be exactly as I believe, despite the greatness of the availability of choice in America."
posted by explosion at 3:42 PM on May 5, 2009


pseudoCanadian?!?!

*shakes fist*
posted by kaspen at 3:44 PM on May 5, 2009


Although I am not fully on board with the argument that referenda violate the Guarantee Clause of the Constitution, I cannot express my contempt enough for referenda and look forward to the day that states get rid of the practice and remind citizens that those elections we have regularly are the proper vehicle to achieve desired votes. Elections matter so vote.
posted by dios at 3:44 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Today is a day that I am proud of my state.
posted by miss tea at 3:45 PM on May 5, 2009


More Perez Hilton, in which Marie Osmond, of course not an elected official, opts to extend a different message to her own lesbian daughter.
posted by Morrigan at 3:51 PM on May 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Waiting for Baby Boomers to die to get your way is repugnant. Stop it.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:51 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Waiting for Baby Boomers to die to get your way is repugnant. Stop it.

As soon as Baby Boomers stop having a general attitude of "civil rights for gays over our dead bodies," we will.
posted by explosion at 3:56 PM on May 5, 2009 [19 favorites]


I knew there was a reason I had a crush on Marie Osmond when I was a kid!

Really, it makes me unreasonably happy to know this about her.
posted by rtha at 3:58 PM on May 5, 2009


As soon as Baby Boomers stop having a general attitude of "civil rights for gays over our dead bodies,"

Uh, does that include the millions of gay and lesbian baby boomers?
posted by scody at 3:58 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


(Not to mention the millions of straight baby boomers who support their gay and lesbian children?)
posted by scody at 3:59 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Waiting for Baby Boomers to die to get your way is repugnant. Stop it.

Apparently Maine will be holding a referendum to keep old people alive as long as possible. If their voices will be silenced, it will be over the loud racket of a life support machine and not the dreaded lisp of the Gay Mafia. Members of the AARP who aren't having nap time have already expressed some support for this measure.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:59 PM on May 5, 2009


You jest, but our population is exceedingly elderly..
posted by mbatch at 4:03 PM on May 5, 2009


Seriously, you could have taken a statewide poll and seven out of ten respondents would have said "Wait, do I have to marry a homo? No? Then who friggin' cares?" The other three would have ignored the question and asked the poller if s/he wanted to buy some weed.

Do you work for the Maine Department of Tourism or something? Geez.

Maybe I can transfer to the Portland office...
posted by dilettante at 4:03 PM on May 5, 2009


Like anastasiav , I was down in Augusta for our state's public hearing. Our side had a sea of red shirts, and their side had an invisible ghost zombie, which they kept referring to, but nobody saw.

On our side, we had couples, gay and lesbian, who had been together for 30plus years, talking about how their shared businesses, property, etc. couldn't be recognized by the state, and that when they died (some of their partners had already died), the fact that the state would refuse to acknowledge their lifelong commitment (as hetero couples get) was going to make it nearly financially impossible for the survivor to keep their estate intact.

We had the head of the state psychology board come up and say there was essentially no difference in children being raised by hetero or homo couples.

We had religious leaders come up and say that the historical eras of WHEN the Bible was written are very important to keep in mind when reading that good book. (I went and shook that guy's hand. Always a sucker for historical context).

We had straight families come up and say "hey, letting these people marry isn't going to destroy my hetero marriage at all. We're fine!"



On their side, they had a guy come up and say that he was with a woman for 9 years, and then one day he came home to find her with a woman, and she outed herself...so therefore, gay marriage shouldn't be legalized.

Not kidding.

Oh, they also had every crazy Christian meatball this side of Otter Creek up there, espousing the whole bag of tricks they have. From ties to beastiality, incest, molestation, AIDS and venereal disease, et al.

Quite a day, I tell you.
posted by gcbv at 4:03 PM on May 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


Waiting for Baby Boomers to die to get your way is repugnant. Stop it.

Yeah, what are you guys waiting around for? Surely you Gen-Xers can hurry things up a bit. Delay health care reform as long as possible! I kid, of course.

Generational shifts in attitude are one of the main ways a society progresses, and since that generation has had their bite at the apple I don't see what's wrong with pointing out that they are no longer ascendant and the next generation's views are going to start carrying more weight. Am I missing something?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:11 PM on May 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Waiting for Baby Boomers to die to get your way is repugnant. Stop it.

It's repugnant only to the degree that the "waiting them out" strategy replaces the "attempting to convince them of their folly" strategy. But they are dying and also losing this argument in the process.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 4:12 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Am I missing something?

Yes.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:15 PM on May 5, 2009


The VD argument is always funny, since lesbians seem to get most types of VD at lower rates than gay males or heteros, due to the mechanics involved. If the "god hates fags" crowd follows that line of reasoning, then lesbian relationships are clearly what God had in mind, and everything else is wrong.

Of course, expecting consistency from people who take leviticus seriously (no shellfish? really?) is a bit of a lost cause.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:21 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]




How can a mother do that to her own daughter?

I don't get this. I don't get how having a lesbian daughter is supposed to make her supportive or even permissive of gay marriage. If you believe something is a sin, then how solid is your conviction if you dump that belief whenever it's inconvenient, uncomfortable, or unpopular?

I could see how having a gay child might be a catalyst in changing religious beliefs, but I don't think we should necessarily expect it or be stunned when it's not the case.

Of course, we can't really say "You believe in irrational things and don't get to vote on this.", but we can hopefully increase the volume at which we say "Please keep your religion (whatever it may be) out of our government, thanks."
posted by ODiV at 4:38 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


but a campaign for a People's Veto is already underway.

Man, I didn't notice it at first, but that sounds like what a Pinko Commie would call it.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 4:40 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know how much I agree with the outpouring of hate—to be honest, I'd rather every one of those people who have expressed the belief that gay marriage is wrong were as, uh, cordial as this. Her request for mutual respect and dignity earns a lot of points. And reading Sherly Briggs' speech, her story really stood out to me:

I have been struggling with this bill for months knowing it is going to come forward … that I'm going to have to choose … I'm so sorry I'm going to hurt my family, friends, citizens of the state of Maine. See, my daughter is gay. I have known this for about 15 years. Throughout all this time, I have kept my personal feelings on this matter separate … She has never ever heard me express my opposition to this in her life … I would never hurt her. I would got to end of the earth for her... But because of who I am and where I am and as a member of this legislative body, ethically it is my duty and responsibility to publicly say to my daughter that I do not support [gay marriage]. I just had to finally confess to her exactly how I feel and now i have no choice… I ask each citizen in the state of Maine on both sides of the aisle to please respect our individual decisions.

Sometimes I think all you gay people have no idea how hard this whole thing has been for people like Sherly Briggs. Can't you understand how painful it is to have feelings and beliefs that you're afraid to express because you know your friends and family won't understand? Geez. Look, I know it's difficult for you gay people to comprehend this, but all she asked is that you respect her individual decision. Maybe someday you'll have some feeling or belief that it's hard to share with other people—maybe someday you'll see how much it hurts when you can't express some deeper part of who you are because you don't want to be alienated—and then maybe you'll understand how hard this was for Sherly Briggs.
posted by koeselitz at 4:42 PM on May 5, 2009 [23 favorites]


WolfDaddy: Waiting for Baby Boomers to die to get your way is repugnant. Stop it.

Agreed. I find it morally reprehensible that people feel like this kind of thing is the solution to our problems.

Stop fucking waiting already.
posted by koeselitz at 4:45 PM on May 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


I have a question that I can't figure out being the dirty foreigner that I am. Why do these traditionally progressive and liberal states have such socially conservative douchebags for governors?

Take for instance John Lynch, Governor of New Hampshire from ericb's link:

"I still believe the fundamental issue is about providing the same rights and protections to same-sex couples as are available to heterosexual couples. This was accomplished through the passage of the civil unions law two years ago. To achieve further real progress, the federal government would need to take action to recognize New Hampshire civil unions."

New Hampshire. New "Live Free or Die" Hampshire. And the governor is acting like a some social conservative mouthpiece. What the hell?
posted by Talez at 4:46 PM on May 5, 2009


Why do these traditionally progressive and liberal states have such socially conservative douchebags for governors?


Because they're traditionally, like most representatives, completely full of shit.
posted by gcbv at 4:53 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wasn't able to go down to Augusta that day, but really proud to say I called and hounded my reps to support the bill without any amendments. For one call I actually spoke to a real person, Rep. Sara Stevens, who informed me that she certainly was supporting it, she had co-sponsored it.

Kudos to our reps for being so accessible...was able to call Ms. Stevens at her home number.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 4:53 PM on May 5, 2009


Not to derail, but I'm honestly offended by all the Miss California hate.

Not me! Ok, calling her a "dumb bitch" and all that is out of line, but she's having a great time playing Good Christian Martyr Girl, which means I have no problem with people asking, O RLY? (possibly NSFW)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:55 PM on May 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't see a problem there, really. That's pretty much what Jesus was wearing on the cross, afaik.
posted by ODiV at 4:57 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


C'mon, Meatball, sign the effin' bill!

Oh, they also had every crazy Christian meatball this side of Otter Creek

Apparently this word doesn't mean what I think it means?
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:59 PM on May 5, 2009


Not to derail, but I'm honestly offended by all the Miss California hate.

Read this and see if you're still offended.

Choice quote: "these attacks on me and others who speak in defense of traditional marriage are intolerant and offensive."

My eyes are rolling in my head so fast I think they're about to pop out.
posted by dead cousin ted at 5:11 PM on May 5, 2009


Here is my guideline.. is the criteria for for the law relevant to some aspect of the person? No? Then its not equal protection under the law. The gender of the spouse is not relevant to being qualified to be a spouse.

Lets take a counter example, is your quality of vision or the physical ability to use a car relevant to safely driving? Yes? Then its equal protection.
posted by MrLint at 5:15 PM on May 5, 2009


> I don't get how having a lesbian daughter is supposed to make her supportive or even permissive of gay marriage.

This bill was going to comfortably pass, with or without her vote. She doesn't have to be supportive or permissive of gay marriage. She doesn't have to push the Yes button. She doesn't have to mention her daughter on the floor. She could simply vote without commenting, abstain, or conveniently be out campaigning that day.

Instead, she chose to grandstand. She loudly put her religious beliefs (and potentially her political aspirations) ahead of her own family. If her words are true, she did it without telling her daughter first. I'm sure that in some circles, that sort of behavior is seen as very daring and righteous. In my circles (and thankfully, an increasing amount of circles in this fine country), that behavior is worthy of every ounce of scorn that is being heaped upon her.

Not because she's on the wrong side of the gay marriage issue -- she's certainly allowed to have her opinion. She's worthy of the scorn because of how, where, and why she sold out her own daughter.
posted by toxic at 5:20 PM on May 5, 2009 [23 favorites]


From time to time I think my family is screwed up and seriously dysfunctional... then I read about assholes like this and think, "eh, could be worse".
posted by edgeways at 5:42 PM on May 5, 2009


Not to derail, but I'm honestly offended by all the Miss California hate.

Barack Obama, whatever you want to say about his various same-sex marriage vacillations, has never taken money and backing from anti-same-sex-marriage organizations and stood up in front of a mike at anti-same-sex-marriage events and loudly proclaimed that he will do "whatever it takes to protect marriage" from homosexuals.

That, to me, is no better than Joe the Plumber getting in front of a mike and saying that he won't have gays anywhere near his children even though, yes, he has tons of gay friends -- and, even better -- says that those friends know and understand that he would never have them anywhere near his children.

When Obama does all of the above, get back to me and remind me again about Carrie Prejean's innocence and purity.
posted by blucevalo at 5:57 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why do these traditionally progressive and liberal states have such socially conservative douchebags for governors?

I wouldn't really call either Maine or New Hampshire "traditionally progressive and liberal". NH, in particular, is a "red state" more often than not - albeit with a strong "Don't tread on me" libertarian bent.

In Maine, we have two female republican Senators that are now probably the two most moderate R's in the Senate (now that Specter has crossed the aisle). I'd best categorize Maine as "fiscally conservative but socially progressive". We've had more than our fair share of Independent Governors, as well - two in the past thirty years, which is two more than most states have had.

Mayor Curley's comment above was kind of flip but is mostly on-target. Nobody really cares what you do in your own home so long as we don't spend tax dollars on it and its not hurting anyone else. That being said, however, there was a long, long, long fight here in Maine to get specific protection for people based on Sexual Orientation (read more about that long, sometimes ugly fight here). Now, however, I think we're seeing the fruit of 15 year battle ready to harvest ... because it took so long to get the non-discrimination amendment passed, the citizens, even in rural areas, are very well educated about what effect discrimination based on sexual orientation can have on their neighbors and friends. The passage of this bill is a natural extension of that.

I do believe Baldacci will sign the bill. I do also believe the People's Veto people will get their votes, and yet again we'll vote on civil rights for all Maine citizens. But I also believe -- strongly believe -- that if it goes to the ballot it will pass, and pass strongly. EqualityMaine and the other organizations working in concert with them have a strong and experienced infrastructure, and the ability to door to door canvasses in even the most rural parts of the state. Its those individual conversations that will be crucial, as well as members of the community telling their own stories.

At the hearing, there was some wingnut who got up and said, basically "Gay Marriage will give the homos and pedophiles access to our children." As soon as it became obvious what direction his testimony was going, not only did the "red shirts" (the EM pro-marriage folks) turn their back on him (literally) but virtually all of the "againsts" did as well. Scare tactics won't work well with this crowd.

Here's a quote from another Portland Press Herald article that was published the day after the hearings. "The Bishop" in question is the Catholic Bishop who seems to be the spearhead/spokesman for the anti- side of things.

"Monica Hamkins, 73, of Brunswick testified in favor of the bill with her daughter and her daughter's partner. Hamkins said she's been married for 51 years and is CatholicC. She said her daughter's relationship is every bit as strong as her own.

"The bishop does not speak for me," said Hamkins. "God made gay people. I don't believe he made them to live their lives alone.""

posted by anastasiav at 6:08 PM on May 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


> Why do these traditionally progressive and liberal states have such socially conservative douchebags for governors?

Because they're not the "progressive and liberal states" you're imagining them to be. Reality is a lot less black-and-white than that. Depending on what issue you want to cherrypick, both Maine and New Hampshire could look very 'liberal' (abortion) or 'conservative' (gun rights). But nor are they necessarily 'Libertarian' states, although NH is probably the closest to being so, in my opinion anyway, of any place in the US.

One of the reasons I've always liked New England politics in general, and northern New England politics especially, is its stubborn resistance to conform or even fit well into the labels used by the rest of the country.

Anyway, to answer your question about governors, my suspicion is that you see governors with strange opinions on social issues mostly because they're not really elected based on those issues, but to act as administrators and keep the state running. Baldacci won in 2002 on name recognition and promises to balance the budget without increasing taxes; at least to my recollection, his stances on social issues didn't really figure heavily into the election, aside from being basically inoffensive to most voters (i.e. not offensive enough to push would-be voters to the Republican or Green Party candidate).

I think eventually, all the New England states will come down on the side of social permissiveness when it comes to gay marriage, but at least within those states where it is not already a fait accompli, it won't be a "liberal" or "progressive" issue; there will be pro-gay-marriage Republicans who are 'conservative' as hell on other issues, as well as anti-gay-marriage Democrats who will be 'progressive' when it comes to anything else.

In my opinion, the way to speedy victory is to win over a lot of fence-sitting people quickly and avoid a drawn-out battle where lots of out-of-state resources can be brought to bear; the way to do that is by not stereotyping one position as 'liberal' or 'progressive,' which will only alienate people who don't think of themselves as liberal or progressive but might be in favor of, or at least not opposed to, gay marriage.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:10 PM on May 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


I have been struggling with this bill for months knowing it is going to come forward … that I'm going to have to choose … I'm so sorry I'm going to hurt my family, friends, citizens of the state of Maine. See, my daughter is gay. I have known this for about 15 years. Throughout all this time, I have kept my personal feelings on this matter separate … She has never ever heard me express my opposition to this in her life … I would never hurt her. I would got to end of the earth for her. But because I feel so strongly about opposed to this bill, blame it on my upbringing or the good book. … I can't change how I feel … But because of who I am and where I am and as a member of this legislative body, ethically it is my duty and responsibility to publicly say to my daughter that I do not support [gay marriage]. I just had to finally confess to her exactly how I feel and now I have no choice.

The agonized feeling Rep. Briggs is describing here has a name: it's called "coming out of the closet."
posted by gerryblog at 6:15 PM on May 5, 2009


I cannot believe Rep. Briggs used THIS VOTE to publicly tell her daughter she doesn't support it.

Grandstanding politically at the price of your own daughter. Holy shit, that's truly not a family value, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by gcbv at 6:30 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mainers, can you please see to it to hand Ms. Briggs her ass to her come next election day? Thank you.
posted by zardoz at 6:42 PM on May 5, 2009


Instead, she chose to grandstand.

Duh! Of course! Thanks for your comment, toxic. I took the original "How can she do that?" comment to be solely about continuing to believe what she does and voting that way (which hopefully is how I came across). I missed the whole grandstanding aspect somehow, don't ask me how.
posted by ODiV at 6:56 PM on May 5, 2009


Holy shit, that's truly not a family value, as far as I'm concerned.

For a lot of American families, hating your children is a family value. But times are changing, slowly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:45 PM on May 5, 2009


> Instead, she chose to grandstand. She loudly put her religious beliefs (and potentially her political aspirations) ahead of her own family. If her words are true, she did it without telling her daughter first. I'm sure that in some circles, that sort of behavior is seen as very daring and righteous. In my circles (and thankfully, an increasing amount of circles in this fine country), that behavior is worthy of every ounce of scorn that is being heaped upon her.

Not because she's on the wrong side of the gay marriage issue -- she's certainly allowed to have her opinion. She's worthy of the scorn because of how, where, and why she sold out her own daughter.


I'm going to swim against the tide here and say that I actually respect Briggs more than I do the average anti-SSM voter. Unlike any I've seen (and argued with), she seems to actually be grappling with the human cost of her position, and is actually making a difficult choice between family and principle.

Not that I have any real respect for any of them, but Briggs doesn't seem as bad as most of them. And c'mon--she's a Maine state rep who made a speech on the house floor. That's not grandstanding, that's having the courage to explain why you voted to the people who'll actually listen. If she wanted to grandstand she could have given interviews to reporters and bragged to the far right about throwing her daughter under the bus.
posted by fatbird at 7:45 PM on May 5, 2009


bragged to the far right about throwing her daughter under the bus.

That is sort of what her speech was.
posted by gcbv at 7:51 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mainers, can you please see to it to hand Ms. Briggs her ass to her come next election day? Thank you.

Briggs represents District 93 - Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Mexico and Peru. That's a sparsely populated timber area in Western Maine near the equally-rural northeast New Hampshire border. I'd be surprised if she represented anyone who sees this thread. Honestly, people in that area have more pressing concerns than gay marriage-- there are hardly any jobs, winter lasts until mid June and right about now the moose are starting to get really horny.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:12 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


That is sort of what her speech was.

I think that if she was auditioning for poster girl for the Family Research Council, she'd have gone into much greater detail on why she voted against it, rather than her very wishy-washy "blame it on my upbringing or the good book. … I can't change how I feel". If she was looking for a payoff from voting the way she did, she'd have prepared a much stronger statement of how strongly she feels about SSM.
posted by fatbird at 9:10 PM on May 5, 2009


I suppose you could call openly disowning her daughter on national television a "courageous" act. I call it the work of a monster.

And that's what this is. If I came out as gay, my mother may or may not approve (I'm honestly not sure), but she wouldn't choose a public venue such as this to get around to telling me that she didn't approve of my choice of life partner because of the shape of their genitalia.

Because my mother isn't a monster. My mother is a loving mother and Jesus Christ, now I have to order some flowers for Mother's Day.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:18 PM on May 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why do these traditionally progressive and liberal states

There's a reason they call New Hampshire the Texas of New England, and it ain't the shoreline.
posted by dhartung at 9:21 PM on May 5, 2009


What IS refreshing and unusual is the public reaction to the question. In the time between Obama having said his religious bigotry and Miss California having voiced hers, the willingness for such statements to be accepted has decreased substantially. I find this pleasing.

I'm not sure the time is the biggest factor there. People are predisposed to think that beauty pageant contestants are stupid, and many of the people who support gay marriage have negative views about such contests. OTOH, many/most of the people who support gay marriage generally like Obama, and are predisposed to be less critical.
posted by wildcrdj at 10:16 PM on May 5, 2009


I suppose you could call openly disowning her daughter on national television a "courageous" act. I call it the work of a monster.

She wasn't on national television, unless CBS has decided that the proceedings of the Maine House Floor will bring in the much needed maple syrup demographic.
posted by fatbird at 10:22 PM on May 5, 2009


I suppose you could call openly disowning her daughter on national television a "courageous" act. I call it the work of a monster.

The trend we're seeing here goes back to Sarah Palin. Crazy fucking bitch is in right now, politically.
posted by troybob at 10:24 PM on May 5, 2009


She wasn't on national television, unless CBS has decided that the proceedings of the Maine House Floor will bring in the much needed maple syrup demographic.

Doesn't change the fact that she is behaving despicably. I feel for her daughter. God, what suffering that poor girl must have been put through!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:41 PM on May 5, 2009


It's worth remembering, with New Hampshire being mentioned, that on the same day the NH Senate passed the marriage equality bill it killed the transgender rights bill. If you're local to the area, next time this sort of thing comes up, please pay attention to all four letters of the LGBT.

fuck the HRC
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:41 PM on May 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


A maneuver known as "The Cheney".

Dick Cheney has been quite liberal on same-sex marriage, publicly opposing a constitutional amendment to ban it and stating that marriage rights for same-sex couples should be decided on a state-by-state basis.

In some respects, that's more liberal than Obama's position.


???
Dick didn't state his position very loud, did he?

Anyway, Cheney's the biggest Dick in the world. This is the only time that I hope to god the biggest Dick I've ever seen is behind me, for good.

Sheryl's daughter probably became a lesbian because she saw how brainwashed her mother was in the first place.

Lesbians. The two I know are super smart, and really well balanced, and live in a totally different world than me. I think they have one of the most fair/just/equal cultures on the planet (exclude Dicks daughter, and Lindsey Lohan (every group needs sellouts though)), probably better than Buddhist monks. After LGBTs get the same rights as all Americans, they need to get into the school system (I'm saying k through 12), and start making their presence known face to face, instead of through crazy Christian filters. Then we'll ALL learn how to act around each other. And maybe young men and women will begin to get past image, sex, and violence, and onto knowing a person. This will help us all.

I'm hetero, but Sheryl Briggs reminds me of my father: probably not aware of how much a betrayal hurts.
posted by Flex1970 at 3:53 AM on May 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wish people would lay off Rep. Briggs. She's a nice lady (I've met her) -- a conservative Democrat from a small town in rural Maine. I think a lot of people are projecting their own issues with their parents on to her, honestly. In a lot of families, it is possible for a parent to disagree - even vocally disagree - with the lives their children lead without there being any less love in the family.

On the other hand, if you want to do something positive, call Gov. Baldacci's office and urge him to sign the bill. The number is 207-287-3531.
posted by anastasiav at 5:33 AM on May 6, 2009


I ask each citizen in the state of Maine on both sides of the aisle to please respect our individual decisions

I hope she likewise respects her constituents' decision not to reelect her for failing to represent their opinions.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:52 AM on May 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is yet another data point in my ongoing suspicion that people in colder places tend to be a little more open-minded about the personal freedoms of others. Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, etc.

The idea is not a new one.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:16 AM on May 6, 2009


It's worth remembering, with New Hampshire being mentioned, that on the same day the NH Senate passed the marriage equality bill it killed the transgender rights bill. If you're local to the area, next time this sort of thing comes up, please pay attention to all four letters of the LGBT.

Yes, in a truly shitty vote that had even the sponsors of the bill vote against it.

It continually baffles me why the LGBT community doesn't take a hard stance on inclusive civil rights legislation given that it consistently polls better than domestic partnerships and same-sex marriage.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:28 AM on May 6, 2009


Yay! Go Maine! On the day this becomes law, let's have a Portland meetup and we can all gay marry each other.
posted by rusty at 6:39 AM on May 6, 2009


Hmmm, I'm not (I hope) one to blindly assume the best about Obama just because he's Obama, but I think his position on gay rights/marriage is getting a bit of an overly bad rap here.
Barack Obama on gay marriage:

"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."


posted by designbot at 10:57 PM on May 5 [4 favorites +] [!]

I think there's a few things to take away from that link that contradict what seems to be the blanket assumption in this thread - that Obama is on the wrong side here.

Firstly, marriage aside, his record of votes and statements on gay issues is about as strong as you could hope for in mainstream politics.

Secondly, he has said repeatedly that he supports the "strong" version of civil unions, with rights that are identical to the legal institution of marriage.

So that leaves only the issue of having so-called 'separate but equal' institutions. I've said before that (as a queer) I'm actually perfectly happy with that as a short to medium-term solution; I just don't think that nominal, symbolic bigotry actually has any significant effect on me (though I recognise that others may feel differently). I would still be free to call myself married and it would be correct in all but the most pedantic sense, so what's it to me if some asshole tries to "correct" me on my words? Since they're identical in effect, colloquially, the two institutions would cease to be separate -- whereas a separate drinking fountain, bus or school is obviously, materially separate, and often not actually equal either.

Obama does oppose the Defense of Marriage act, which would give actual substance to that division between CU's and 'marriage'. And further than that, I don't think there's any evidence that his words against "gay marriage" are any more than just that, words, meant to avoid inflaming the religious right. Look at the wording in the quote above. "I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sancitified between a man and a woman." That's not a statement of political position, it's a statement of personal, and/or doctrinal position. And in fact he explicitly makes a distinction between that and his intentions as a legislator: "I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue."

I believe he's working towards real progress on this issue (full civil unions) while leaving the door open for a progression to full equality ("gay marriage") once the political waters have settled. I'll start believing otherwise if and when he actually makes concrete moves to close that door.

(Maybe he's made other statements that I've missed, though I've had a google around and I think what I could find backed up my position.)
posted by teresci at 7:25 AM on May 6, 2009


Lesbians. The two I know are super smart, and really well balanced, and live in a totally different world than me. I think they have one of the most fair/just/equal cultures on the planet (exclude Dicks daughter, and Lindsey Lohan (every group needs sellouts though)), probably better than Buddhist monks.

I'm trying to decide whether this comment or keyboard cat wins for the most hilariously bizarre thing I've seen today. And it's only 10:30 in the morning! God damn, today looks to be shaping up like one wild fucking ride!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:39 AM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Greg Nog: Come ON, New Hampshire, we are NOT going to let those coffeebrandy-drinking flannel-clad toothless pseudoCandian lobsterfuckers beat us, are we? Let's get this gay marriage thing settled into law FIRST and FAST for the same moral reason that always compels us to act: raw spite toward our neighbors.

It's attitudes like this that have me wanting to move to Maine (mom moved back from there to marry my dad and has been wanting to return for 35+ years; I've told my boyfriend I'm not waiting THAT long). We call my cousins there "cranky Yankees" -- this is pretty much verbatim the kind of thing they'd say. Go Maine!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:41 AM on May 6, 2009


You see, as more of your side dies and more of our side turns 18 your "individual decision" becomes increasingly less worthy of respect in the eyes of this country.

More on the demographic (i.e. age) component of the issue...

Signs G.O.P. Is Rethinking Stance on Gay Marriage
"More significant is evidence in polls of a widening divide on the issue by age, suggesting to many Republicans that the potency of the gay-marriage question is on the decline. It simply does not appear to have the resonance with younger voters that it does with older ones.

Consider this: In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released on Monday, 31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view."
posted by ericb at 7:43 AM on May 6, 2009


California pageant eyes Prejean for contract violations
"The directors of the Miss California USA pageant are looking into whether title holder Carrie Prejean violated her contract by working with a national group opposed to gay marriage and by posing semi-nude when she was a teenage model....

The detailed document prohibits the titular [Hey!] Miss California from making personal appearances, giving interviews or making commercials without permission from pageant officials. In the last 10 days, Prejean has made televised appearances at her San Diego church and on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage.

The contract also contains a clause asking participants to say whether they have conducted themselves 'in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards.' As an example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude."
posted by ericb at 7:46 AM on May 6, 2009


No surprise here -- Mormon Congressman Opposes D.C. Council Same-Sex Marriage Bill.
posted by ericb at 7:58 AM on May 6, 2009


Nice editor's "Hey", ericb.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:42 AM on May 6, 2009


I finally joined AARP this year. Not everybody over 50 thinks the same way.
posted by theora55 at 8:47 AM on May 6, 2009


Well, everyone knows Obama is a secret Mormon.
posted by Artw at 8:52 AM on May 6, 2009


teresci: Oh, I don't think anyone believes that Obama's position is anywhere near what we would have from a McCain. But this is an issue on which Obama does tend to triangulate trying to satisfy both sides, in a way that I don't think is particularly ethical or possible at this time. His response to the California Supreme Court decision last year was a wishy-washy waffling appeal to state's rights, and his 11th-hour appeal against Prop. 8 was too little and too late in that fight. (To be fair, Clinton was practically in the same boat.)

I don't see Domestic Partnerships as a compromise, first because the right are adamantly opposed to them as well, and second because it means that on each and every privilege of state marriage not explicitly addressed by statutory law, same-sex couples will have to fight legal battles to convince court jurisdictions that DPs are legally equivalent to marriage. And this is exactly the situation that started the whole defense of marriage crusade to start with, not uppity queers getting married on city hall, but same-sex couples with lawyer-constructed partnerships going to courts over issues like parental rights, powers of attorney, separation, and insurance.

Obama, in my opinion, is someone who might do the right thing in terms of gay rights if sufficient pressure is placed on him, not a champion who will broker the necessary compromises necessary.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:59 AM on May 6, 2009


I'd like to apologize for calling the representative a monster. I still think she's a pretty awful person, but I'll save "monster" for people in the government who actually torture and kill.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:26 AM on May 6, 2009


teresci: It's all good to want to be an apologist for someone you admire when they express views which are actually reprehensible, hoping that maybe you can find some middle ground which will let their views make sense.

However, it's pretty well established that "separate but equal" doesn't work. Read through this study done in New Jersey about how well their civil union law is serving the citizens of that state. It becomes rapidly clear that it isn't working, it isn't providing anything close to equal, and it remains very separate.

I like Obama. I think he's well-spoken, thoughtful, and seems to actually be moving things forward with our government after what seemed like zero action for the past four years at least. But I will not jump on his bandwagon when he comes to his expressed views about marriage equality. Because what he said is, I don't deserve to be equal, and that sucks.
posted by hippybear at 9:27 AM on May 6, 2009


And part of the reluctance to fully embrace Obama comes from the fact that early in his campaign, he got a big boost through fundraising tours with anti-gay pastors. Over the course of the year, he became more and more vocal in his lukewarm support of gay rights. But the Rick Warren fiasco shouldn't have been a big surprise either. He keeps one foot in the camp of liberal gay-positive groups and another foot in the camp of rather vocal anti-gay groups, and tailors his message to both.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:40 AM on May 6, 2009


As much as two guys making out doesn't turn me on it's not my place to get myself involved in their relationship.

But two girls making out is hot, amirite?!?
posted by spinturtle at 9:45 AM on May 6, 2009


Baldacci signed the bill today

Same sex marriage is now legal in Maine.
posted by anastasiav at 9:47 AM on May 6, 2009


hippybear, that report looks interesting - I will read it in full later. I would say that for all my talk about Obama, I'm actually in the UK; there are some differences between the implementation of civil unions here and in the US. For instance, they are recognised equally across the nation. It also seems there's more commitment to make them identical to marriage in areas like taxes and medical issues.

As well, it's simply less of a deep-seated, hot-button issue here (not that it doesn't provoke plenty of argument in some settings) which dilutes the symbology and psychological issues that the report mentions somewhat.

Still, I take your point, and my support of Obama in this area is certainly cautious. However, from my outsider perspective, I still don't entirely blame him for his ambiguous public position in the political circumstances - for all that I wish that someone in his position would just bite the bullet and come out forthrightly on the side of freedom and equality.
posted by teresci at 9:54 AM on May 6, 2009




Thanks, hippybear -- it worked when I posted it.

Here are Baldacci's remarks (from Maine.gov)
posted by anastasiav at 10:07 AM on May 6, 2009


If I hadn't developed an allergy to shellfish, I'd have a lobster - a Maine lobster - in honor of this. I lived in Maine briefly in the late 80s/early 90s and...well, go Maine! Yay!
posted by rtha at 10:07 AM on May 6, 2009


FUCK YES
posted by Greg Nog at 10:08 AM on May 6, 2009


Maine, welcome to the club! Equality marches on.
posted by ericb at 10:12 AM on May 6, 2009


Here are Baldacci's remarks (from Maine.gov)
"I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage. This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs. It does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of church and state. It guarantees that Maine citizens will be treated equally under Maine’s civil marriage laws, and that is the responsibility of government."
Well said!
posted by ericb at 10:14 AM on May 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Good job, Maine!
posted by dersins at 10:24 AM on May 6, 2009


I gave a little WHOOP of delight in the car when I heard it on the news this morning... and so did the person next to me in traffic. We looked at each other and grinned. One more step on the road to equality!
posted by scody at 10:33 AM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


BTW -- next Sunday (May 17) marks the 5th. anniversary of same-sex marriage licenses being issued in Massachusets. The sky hasn't fallen. There have been no reports of gay marriage destroying those of straights. Life goes on.

Many cities and towns will be holding public celebrations next week, such as Belmont's Freedom to Marry Ice Cream Social, Cambridge's City Hall Open House and Boston's MassEquality Picnic and Fair.
posted by ericb at 10:40 AM on May 6, 2009


Good on ya, Maine.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:46 AM on May 6, 2009


I have never been so glad to be wrong about a politician. Congratulations, Maine! Way to go, Meatball!
posted by briank at 11:11 AM on May 6, 2009


C'mon, Meatball, sign the effin' bill!

Oh, they also had every crazy Christian meatball this side of Otter Creek

Apparently this word doesn't mean what I think it means?


Governor Baldacci is affectionately known as "Meatball" for his longtime campaign gimmick of throwing spaghetti dinners for voters and serving the food himself.

I think "crazy Christian meatball" pretty well explains itself.
posted by briank at 11:22 AM on May 6, 2009


Coming soon to a state near you.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:40 AM on May 6, 2009


I'm really, wicked proud of my state right now.

Isn't that a great, and admittedly rare, feeling?


Less and less rare in New England. Way to go Maine, that's so wonderful.
posted by jessamyn at 11:45 AM on May 6, 2009


Ayup.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:11 PM on May 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


Seems like maybe you *can* get there from here, after all.
posted by spinturtle at 12:12 PM on May 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


In a lot of families, it is possible for a parent to disagree - even vocally disagree - with the lives their children lead without there being any less love in the family.

I think the fact that legislation is involved in this particular parent-child relationship is what has some of us concerned.
posted by odinsdream at 12:28 PM on May 6, 2009


Hey, while we're all celebrating I'd like to point out that a ton of Baby Boomers had a hand in making this happen. I think my crack above didn't make this clear enough and I want to clear the air. When I talk about my side turning 18 and their side dying I'm not saying "Won't it be great when all the Baby Boomers are dead because then everything will be great." That would be a stupid statement that no one should make.

I will note, however, that demographics suggest that the older you get the more likely you are to oppose gay marriage, and the younger you are the more likely you are to support it. This is an encouraging fact for the supporters of gay marriage because time marches inexorably so having the youngun's on your side is more conducive to long term success than the elderly. Yes, yes, I know that the elderly tend to vote in droves while the young do not. However, as I said, time moves inexorably so there is even an inevitability of our crowding out the elderly vote as well. It happens every day. Not only does their side die and our side turn 18 every day, but their side dies and our side retires every day.

I think when Iowa allowing gay marriage was the proverbial sack of Atlanta. Now comes the political march to the sea. With every state that legalizes gay marriage we tear up another of their railroad ties and wrap it around a tree.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 12:33 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


There have been no reports of gay marriage destroying those of straights.

Well, obviously because The Librul Media is refusing to report them!
posted by scody at 12:35 PM on May 6, 2009


Via Andrew Sullivan, possibly the most creative argument against gay marriage yet:
It is no secret that resistance to homosexuality is highest among the black population (though probably other ethnic minorities are close contenders). I fear that it will be harder than usual to persuade black men of the obligation to marry the mother of their children if the inevitable media saturation coverage associates marriage with homosexuals.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:52 PM on May 6, 2009


I will note, however, that demographics suggest that the older you get the more likely you are to oppose gay marriage, and the younger you are the more likely you are to support it.

I do not thing you are saying what you mean here, or what the demographics suggest.

Currently, older people in the US are more likely to hold on to the social mores they grew up with. Younger people have a different set of social mores.

It is not logical to suggest that all these young people are going to grow up to be old people who oppose gay marriage.
posted by hippybear at 12:57 PM on May 6, 2009


er, um... I do not think you are saying...
posted by hippybear at 12:59 PM on May 6, 2009


I will note, however, that demographics suggest that the older you get the more likely you are to oppose gay marriage, and the younger you are the more likely you are to support it.

I guess that explains why my two-year-old put up all those anti-prop 8 signs then. I didn't know she could even read yet.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:00 PM on May 6, 2009


I fear that it will be harder than usual to persuade black men of the obligation to marry the mother of their children if the inevitable media saturation coverage associates marriage with homosexuals.

That is some seriously loony shit right there. I have seen a lot of loony shit over the years, so I know what I'm talking about.

Maybe I'll eat lunch before I read the entirety of the essay linked in Sullivan's blog.
posted by rtha at 1:01 PM on May 6, 2009


Younger people have a different set of social mores.

Yep. Cases in point:
"More than 200 [high school] students gathered at the northeast corner of Lincoln High School's campus [in Des Moines] Tuesday [May 5, 2009] afternoon to counter a protest by about a half-dozen anti-gay pickets from a controversial Kansas church [Fred Phelps's Westboro Baptist Church]". *
_________________________________________________

"A group of seven congregants from [Fred Phelps's Westboro Baptist Church in] Topeka, Kan., set up outside Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda yesterday [Friday, April 24, 2009] to protest the sexual orientation of the poet for whom the school was named.

The police presence -- 40 officers, five horses, blocked-off streets and a football field's length of yellow tape -- seemed comically disproportionate until the counter-protest arrived.

At the 2:10 p.m. dismissal, 500 students issued forth from the campus and lined up, several students deep, along the police tape, across Whittier Boulevard from the congregants. They alternately chanted the school name and 'Go home!' -- drowning out voices from across the street."* _________________________________________________
You go kids, We're proud of you for standing up for everyone and not just some!
posted by ericb at 1:45 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


The NH House passed HB 436 by a 178-167 vote, meaning that the bill will go to Lynch to veto or not. I suspect that he won't sign but won't veto, meaning that it passes, making NH the 6th state overall and the 5th state in New England to recognize gay marriage. Which means Rhode Island, well, get with the team.
posted by allen.spaulding at 2:22 PM on May 6, 2009


It passed. Signed into law by Baldacci 5/6/09.

“In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions...I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.....Even as I sign this important legislation into law, I recognize that this may not be the final word. Just as the Maine Constitution demands that all people are treated equally under the law, it also guarantees that the ultimate political power in the State belongs to the people.”
posted by now i'm piste at 2:41 PM on May 6, 2009


disregard that, redundant.

still great news.
posted by now i'm piste at 2:44 PM on May 6, 2009


In regards to briank's comment from yesterday, I provide words from the governor himself.
“In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” Governor Baldacci said. “I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.”

“Article I in the Maine Constitution states that ‘no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor be denied the equal protection of the laws, nor be denied the enjoyment of that person’s civil rights or be discriminated against.’”

“This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs. It does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of Church and State,” Governor Baldacci said.
You realize civil union is not equal to civil marriage? And you support the separation of church and state? Fantastic!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:53 PM on May 6, 2009


Maybe I'll eat lunch before I read the entirety of the essay linked in Sullivan's blog.

And Sullivan's reaction to conservator commentator Heather Mac Donald's essay (and the quote referenced above)
"This is a close equivalent to the argument about gays in the military: since some feel they have cooties, it would wreck the whole enterprise. At least Heather concedes the unfairness of it - using bigotry as a reason to perpetuate bigotry - but it does fall into the Byron York trap of treating one minority as somehow not being real or equally valid citizens. And while this might have remained a cruel, unjust but utilitarian model in the past (however trivial homophobia might be as a factor in shoring up African-American marriage), it doesn't really work in a world where gay couples and their kids are public, unavoidable realities.

Once that happens, the dynamic is a little different. It becomes actively denying basic rights to one group in order to placate the prejudices of another. I can't see how this could work in an open and free society. It's so baldly discriminatory and unfair."
Ah, she's the one who also authored the December 2008 article The Campus Rape Myth -- "The reality: bogus statistics, feminist victimology, and university-approved sex toys."
posted by ericb at 3:11 PM on May 6, 2009


conservator

*conservative*
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on May 6, 2009


The NH House passed HB 436 by a 178-167 vote, meaning that the bill will go to Lynch to veto or not.

The New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition is urging Americans to sign a petition and/or call Governor Lynch asking him to sign the bill into law.
posted by ericb at 3:34 PM on May 6, 2009


It is not logical to suggest that all these young people are going to grow up to be old people who oppose gay marriage.

Whatever. It is not illogical to say that an incredibly larger percentage of young people support gay marriage than do their elders. Again, this is not to say that homophobia will be eliminated by legalizing gay marriage any more than racism was solved by electing a black guy president. You are silly, however, if you refuse to acknowledge that young people support gay marriage to a far greater degree than old folks do.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:44 PM on May 6, 2009


Sheryl's daughter probably became a lesbian because she saw how brainwashed her mother was in the first place.

Idiot.

“This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs. It does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of Church and State,” Governor Baldacci said.

Repeat frequently to all and sundry.

Democracy is coming to the USA!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:23 PM on May 6, 2009


Um... Doublewhiskeycokenoice: Maybe you should read again what I wrote. Because what I wrote is not what you are responding to.
posted by hippybear at 7:27 AM on May 7, 2009


Doublewhiskeycokenoice just want to say I love the Atlanta/March to the Sea analogy.
posted by sotonohito at 9:03 AM on May 7, 2009


Governor John Lynch on the bill that New Hampshire legislators have approved and passed onto him:
"I'm going to talk to legislators and I'm going to talk to the people of New Hampshire and ultimately make the best decision I can for the people of New Hampshire."
posted by ericb at 9:15 AM on May 7, 2009


Other related news: Miss California topless photos surface.

Yesterday (Wednesday, May 6, 2009):
"We have been told by Carrie Prejean there are no other photos other than the one circulating in existence. She should know better than anyone [pageant spokesman Ron Neal said]."
Oops. Hours later ... Another Racy Prejean Photo Emerges; Website Promises More.

In additon to hypocrisy, lying's also a bitch!

TMZ:
"We told Keith Lewis [Co-Executive Director of Miss California USA] about [more] photos. His reaction: 'I'm absolutely stunned. This completely changes things for us. Yesterday we thought she had explained things accurately. We need to revisit this issue with her.'"
TMZ also reports on the possible origins of Prejean's views on gays:
"In one of the docs [filed in her parents' divorce], Carrie's dad describes a confrontation he had with her mom in 1996, in which he recounts an argument in a restaurant parking lot, where 'Ms. Prejean accused me, in front of our daughter, of homosexuality.' The papers also quote a court-appointed doctor who said 'The mother questioned [within hearing of the girls] whether [her father] was a homosexual or had a homosexual roommate.' Carrie's mom says the 'gay' allegations went both ways. In court papers dated May 16, 2000, a report from the court-appointed counselor says 'The mother also alleges the father told the girls their stepfather was gay, that all men with mustaches are gay.' The father's response: 'The father acknowledges talking with the girls about the stepfather's brother being gay, not the stepfather.' Also in the docs -- a handwritten letter from Carrie's older sister, in which she recounts a weekend stay with her dad: 'One time my sister & I went in the hallway of my dad's apartment, & his roommate's door was open all the way & we saw [the roommate] in bed with another man. I don't think it's right for my sister & I to have to live that way.'"
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on May 7, 2009




I will note, however, that demographics suggest that the older you get the more likely you are to oppose gay marriage,

I would love to see a cite for this. Any cite. Because it sounds like what you're saying is that one can support gay marriage at the age of 25, but when you hit 40, or 50 - look out! You're going to stop supporting gay marriage.

Older Boomers are less likely to support gay marriage, true. But I'd guess they wouldn't have supported it in their 20s, either. There's been a gigantic cultural shift in the last 30-ish years around gay rights, and it's not surprising that someone born in, say, the 1980s, who grew up with gay issues being much more prominent in the media, who grew up perhaps having openly gay friends, would see gay rights as a cultural norm and doesn't think gay marriage is weird. This is much, much less true of someone born a generation or two earlier, when homosexuality was still the love that dare not speak its name (rather than the love that won't stfu already). And don't forget that the widening availability of no-fault divorce, beginning in 1970 in the U.S., also changed the cultural perception and treatment of (heterosexual) marriage.

While people's politics may become a little more conservative as they grow older, I find it incredibly hard to believe that you go from one end of the spectrum to the other just because you're eligible for an AARP membership.

A more accurate statement would be "I will note, however, that demographics suggest that the older you ARE the more likely you are to oppose gay marriage." That certainly holds water.
posted by rtha at 9:01 AM on May 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


New England's Identity Bolsters Gay Marriage Tolerance -- "Religion, politics often held apart."
posted by ericb at 1:28 PM on May 11, 2009


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