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Politics & Pop Culture from a homocon.

Category Archives: Constitution

Dallas Morning News Endorses Marriage Equality


EDITORIAL

the_dallas_morning_news_logoThis newspaper applauds the Supreme Court’s recent decision to hear arguments in two same-sex marriage cases — one on California’s Proposition 8, which bans such marriages, and one regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

Same-sex marriage has been percolating at the state level for several years, leading to a patchwork of laws that create more confusion than clarity. The court can undo that confusion by determining the constitutional parameters of this issue.

We urge the Supreme Court to affirm the right of gay couples to marry based upon the fundamental American ideal of equality before the law. It is critical that the court also make clear that such a ruling won’t require churches whose doctrines oppose same-sex marriage to perform such ceremonies.

Debating the reversal of centuries of views about the institution of marriage cannot be considered without upheaval, and we recognize that the notion of gays and lesbians marrying can divide families, friends and, especially, generations. But the growing support for same-sex marriage, including within families whose gay members have changed the way these unions are seen, makes the embrace of gay marriage less of a radical shift.

Polls show that American attitudes have shifted dramatically on the subject. Surveys by organizations such as Gallup reveal that half or more of Americans support the concept of gay marriage. Equality in marriage laws is particularly embraced by younger Americans, including some younger evangelicals.

Even leading conservatives favor gay marriage. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is among the most notable. So, too, is former Bush solicitor general Ted Olson, who will lead the team arguing in favor of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.

Olson contends that the federal government lacks the right to deny gay couples the opportunity to marry. He also will argue that the ban denies gay couples the right to due process. As the Republican wrote in Newsweek, “This bedrock principle of equality is central to the political and legal convictions of Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives alike.”

We respect that some religious traditions see same-sex unions as an affront to their canons, scriptures and traditions. The First Amendment protects such places of worship from being compelled to conduct same-sex marriages. Additionally, the justices should take care to carve out strong and significant protections so that the institutions’ religious liberties, for instance their tax-exempt status, are not circumscribed.

In 2004, this newspaper opposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. We have backed efforts to outlaw discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation. Now, we believe that the Supreme Court should conclude that equality under the law includes the right of gay couples to wed.

What’s at stake before the Supreme Court is how a secular society should respond to the growing demand for same-sex marriage. That is where Olson’s arguments seem so persuasive. How can a secular government grant marriage rights to some but not others?

DOMA, Section 3: Unconstitutional


“To conclude, many Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans livein states where that is the law today,” the decision states. “One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage. Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress’ denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest.”

- U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals

My Thoughts on Amendment One


As you can imagine, the Obama campaign reacted to the passage last night of Amendment One in North Carolina with language we’ve heard many times in the past days, weeks and months.

After the North Carolina vote yesterday, the POTUS still could not give a straight answer about his true position, and probably won’t until after the election.  It’s a real shame he can’t level with folks.

For the record, the left pretending there was nothing the President could have done to help Amendment One opponents is ridiculous.

His campaign said in a statement, “he believes the North Carolina measure singles out and discriminates against committed gay and lesbian couples, which is why he did not support it. President Obama has long believed that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and legal protections as straight couples and is disappointed in the passage of this amendment.”

While I am very sad that Amendment One passed, I was happy that many conservative North Carolinians, including Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC), John Hood of the John Locke Foundation, and former Charlotte mayor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Vinroot, stood in opposition to the ballot initiative.

More and more conservative and Republican leaders understand that banning the basic domestic partner protections, which was the case in North Carolina, harms real families, gay and straight.

We can plainly see that this is an issue that our national leaders have to be led on.  So each day, we talk to Republican leaders across the nation and show them that while gay is different, gay is good.

…from Today’s Prop 8 Ruling


“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,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in the majority opinion.

Speaker Invokes Constitution


Recounting what he said to President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner said the following…

“As I read the Constitution, the Congress writes the laws and you get to decide what you want to sign.”

Agree with his politics or not, this is a spot on factual statement. And one I am proud to associate myself with.

DADT vs. Obamacare


Yes, I know that is an unseemly title, but bear with me.

Chew on this.  Now, I’m not a lawyer.  Nor do I play one on TV.  But I find it very hard not to ask this question: how can one say that the federal court striking down Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is an activist court, then turn around and cheer that same court system for striking down the major part of Obamacare?

For the record, I would like to see BOTH of them go the way of the dodo bird.

Senator Scott Brown Supports Repeal of DADT


Below is the statement from Senator Brown’s office -

Scott Brown Statement On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) today issued the following statement on the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy:

“I have been in the military for 31 years and counting, and have served as a subordinate and as an officer. As a legislator, I have spent a significant amount of time on military issues. During my time of service, I have visited our injured troops at Walter Reed and have attended funerals of our fallen heroes. When a soldier answers the call to serve, and risks life or limb, it has never mattered to me whether they are gay or straight. My only concern has been whether their service and sacrifice is with pride and honor.

“I pledged to keep an open mind about the present policy on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Having reviewed the Pentagon report, having spoken to active and retired military service members, and having discussed the matter privately with Defense Secretary Gates and others, I accept the findings of the report and support repeal based on the Secretary’s recommendations that repeal will be implemented only when the battle effectiveness of the forces is assured and proper preparations have been completed.”

###

An Open Letter to Congressman Barney Frank


Dear Congressman Frank:

I read with interest your recent interview with The Washington Blade.  I have one simple request.  Stop using the Republican Party as a boogie man to escape the failures of the Democratic Party on LGBT issues!

The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT), and passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and host of other LGBT issues could have passed at many points over the last two years.  But they didn’t.

Before January 2010, the House of Representatives had over 250 Democratic-held seats, while Senate Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority.  And yes, while the Democrats in the House passed the defense authorization bill including repeal of DADT, the Senate had its chance, and failed miserably.  But not because of what you or Majority Leader Harry Reid, or even President Obama would have the American people believe.

The reason not a single Republican senator supported the measure was not simply because of the inclusion of DADT.  Nor was it all because of immigration provisions in the bill.  It was about the process.  Senate Republicans wanted to offer germane amendments to the defense authorization bill that had no effect on the repeal of DADT.  But Senator Reid said no.  Senator Reid is responsible for prolonging the legislative process of repeal.

How dare you, sir, say that nothing will get done with Republicans in control when nothing got done with your party holding both gavels and the largest bully pulpit of them all – the Oval Office.

We are fighting for DADT repeal and for passage of ENDA not only because we believe in the Constitutional protection of equality, but also because of the fact that with these two pieces of legislation becoming law, they save jobs.

Obama v. DADT


Does anyone else see the irony of the Obama Administration pursuing in court to try to overturn what Judge Phillips has ruled, given that Obama himself has repeatedly said that he wants to end this policy?

As of last week, DADT has been declared unconstitutional.  It’s dead!  The only way to revive it is to appeal it to the 9th Circuit with the hopes that a lame duck Congess will act on it.  And we already know that Sen. John McCain has vowed to single-handedly filibuster it in the Senate.

When Dan Choi is not out being a media whore, he makes a great point in that “Obama should focus his attention on crafting an executive order instituting a non-discrimination policy.”

Obama: A Fierce Advocate for Himself


After he was elected President, Barack Obama said that he was a “fierce advocate for gay and lesbian Americans.”

Two years have since passed, and many gays and lesbians are wondering just who the President is advocating for.  Since taking office, I can count three things that have happened positively towards the LGBT community at the hands of this White House — the President spoke at last year’s HRC Dinner, hate crimes legislation became law, and the Ryan White Care Act was reauthorized.

Today, less than 48 hours since a federal judge ruled that DADT was unconstitutional in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America, the Obama administration has asked for an emergency stay of the judge’s order banning worldwide enforcement of DADT.  The Justice Department, according to Politico, vows to appeal the ruling, and argues that President Barack Obama favors an ‘orderly’ legislative repeal of the 1993 law.

Well I think now the cat’s out of the bag.  It appears that you’re looking out for yourself, Mr. President.  You are trying to stop the bleed out of what is shaping up to be worst political season for Democrats since 1994.  You are trying to soften the intensity of those who want to throw the bums out.

By the time you’re done twisting to placate every audience while offering no new commitments to assuage concerns that our priorities are your priorities, you won’t have a base to turn to.

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