Archive for February, 2012

Republicans Have Awoken a Sleeping Giant and She is Furious

February 26, 2012

RMuse at PoliticusUSA writes,

“In an age where most families require two incomes to survive, it assaults decent men’s senses to think a few members of clergy and Republicans are intent on forcing all woman back into the kitchen giving birth every  ten months. There are conservative women who support the idea that their sole purpose in life is birthing and serving men, but their stupidity is not epidemic in the entire population. Republicans have awoken a sleeping giant and she is furious, driven, educated and certain to put the evangelical male supremacists where they belong; out of power and out of their misery. They are not alone because for every woman who opposes the GOP’s religious war on women, there are sons, husbands, brothers, and fathers eager to exact revenge.”

Read the full article here.

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Trapped

February 20, 2012

From PhotoShop artist Dean Hansen:

Birth Control Takes Center Stage in Presidential Election

February 20, 2012

Religion Dispatches columnist Joanna Brooks writes,

The contraception coverage controversy is taking on symbolic proportion as a battle between worldviews: one is driven by the religious conservative narrative of a secular “war on religion,” and the other centers around the lived realities of middle-class families trying to maintain an ever-more-precarious hold on work and family. As one priest put it: “...I see it every week at the Masses I celebrate at large suburban parishes…each one of those couples has 2.5 kids…”

And that, as Andrew Sullivan observed, may be the genius of the Obama policy. If, by moving birth control to the center of the national conversation, Obama succeeds in turning the presidential election into a battle over social conservative “values,” that’s bad news for Mitt Romney, good news for Rick Santorum and—in country where vast majorities (including Catholics and Mormons) still take contraception for granted as a human right—for Obama’s re-election campaign as well.

Read the full article here.

Why I Skipped Mass Today: A Practicing Catholic Objects to the Bishops’ Arguments Over Birth Control

February 15, 2012

Reproductive health politics are controversial enough, but they are even more so for a family of practicing Catholics. My spouse begged me not to put my name on this, concerned about our son, who is scheduled to receive First Holy Communion in a few months. Certainly, neither of us want him to be hassled, or to have his standing jeopardized because of his parents’ dissent toward an increasingly politicized Church. So please excuse the anonymity of this editorial.

There is a really cool website called Bible Gateway that serves as a Google-style search engine for the Christian Bible. Any visitor can search for key words in 46 languages, and the English options includes 31 different versions representing a wide variety of religious traditions, from the21st Century King James Version to Young’s Literal Translation. What kind of words can you look up? Anything, really. As a Catholic, my Bible Gateway is set to the New American Standard Bible, the same that is listed on the Vatican’s website. It’s interesting to note that, excluding articles, conjunctions, prepositions and other small words, the most common word in the Bible is Lord (6,726 times) and God is second (4,188 times). I have to admit that I was surprised that Jesus comes up only 990 times, but I am sure it’s a contextual thing.

Continue reading…

WA Residents: How to Report Sightings of Signature Gatherers for the Referendum to Overturn State’s Marriage Equality Law

February 14, 2012

Our readers who live in Washington State are encouraged to watch for signature-gatherers for the effort to get an anti-marriage equality referendum on the November ballot. Report your sightings to http://www.permanentdefense.org/volunteer/report/.

The Right to Form Imperfect Families

February 12, 2012

Andrew Sullivan published the following letter from an unidentified reader of The Daily Dish. It deserves to be propagated as widely as possible, and I hope he will not mind my reproducing it here.

I am a sociologist who does research on families and child well-being, and I am strongly pro-marriage equality. However, while I am aware of all of the social science showing that children of gay/lesbian parents do just as well as children of opposite-sex parents, I did not consider this evidence when forming my opinion.

Let me first say, marriage throughout history has not been about children. It is a social institution for adults, one that organizes intimate relationships and distributes resources. Essentially, marriage is an institution because it is good for adults and for society; often it’s good for children too, but that’s not the reason the institution exists.

More importantly, it is an empirical fallacy to impose expectations on individual behavior based on the average outcomes of groups. This is the first thing I teach my students every semester. By definition, most families are not optimal, but society does not allow only optimal families to have children. If it did, only married, Asian, college educated, wealthy, church-attending (but not evangelical), blue-state-residing people would be allowed to procreate. (The fact that stepfathers are more likely to abuse children does not mean that we prohibit men from marrying women have children from prior relationships.)

I initially expected children of same-sex parents, on average, to fare worse than those of opposite-sex parents on some outcomes, if only due to social prejudice, and the likelihood that these children experienced the dissolution of their biological parents’ relationship (most children of gay/lesbian parents are products of prior, heterosexual unions).

It has been a pleasant surprise to me, over the past 10 years or so, to find more and more credible research showing no disadvantage for children of same-sex parents (though more and better research is needed). But it would be unfair to those children and their parents to require evidence of this before supporting their families’ right to exist.

Gays and lesbians should have the right to form imperfect marriages, and imperfect families, just like the rest of us.

 

The Bent Angle Supports WA Marriage Equality Campaign

February 9, 2012

Today The Bent Angle is participating in a Washington United for Marriage and Daily Kos blog swarm to help support the marriage equality campaign in Washington State. I’m joined by bloggers from Bilerico ProjectPam’s House BlendGood As YouAMERICABlog Gay, the Prop 8 Trial Trackerthe Seattle LesbianThe Bent Angleon the-AveMadProfessahHRCHella BusHorsesass.orgStep ForwardLGBT POV,  FrontiersLAthe Left Shue and more.

This has been an incredible week! On Tuesday a three judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional. In the majority opinion, the court wrote,”Prop 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.”

On Wednesday, the Washington State House passed a same-sex marriage bill, and now it the bill is headed to Governor Gregoire’s desk for her signature. She promised to sign the bill before Valentine’s Day!

Please click here to thank Governor Gregoire.

Governor Gregoire’s leadership was instrumental to the success of passing a marriage bill in Washington State. She not only supported the bill, but she introduced the bill. This is as much her legislation as it is our community’s legislation.

Please join us during this blog swarm to thank Governor Gregoire for her leadership and her friendship. There is little doubt our opponents will make their voices heard, but we know that together our voice for equality is so much stronger.

Please click here to the Washington United for Marriage’s and Daily Kos’ joint petition to thank Governor Gregoire for making history.

When our friends speak up for us, we need to speak up for our friends, so join us in thanking Governor Gregoire today!

Did you sign the thank you petition? Share it with your friends: http://wufm.it/4

Washington State House Approves Landmark Legislation Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

February 9, 2012

Bill passes 55-43 on bipartisan vote; Governor expected to sign by Valentine’s Day

OLYMPIA – Washington United for Marriage, a broad statewide coalition of organizations, congregations, unions and business associations that will work to obtain civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples in Washington State in 2012, today hailed the Washington State House’s vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage legislation in Washington State.  The measure passed by a bipartisan vote of 55-43.

“We thank Speaker Chopp and Rep. Pedersen for their leadership, as well as the bipartisan coalition of representatives who voted today to recognize the love, honor and commitment of all Washington families,” said Lacey All, Chair of Washington United for Marriage.  “Many of us have known for a long time that recognizing the diversity and inclusion our state has to offer is key to our success.  The enactment of this bill will prove to the world that Washington is a great place to live, work and raise a family.  We do not doubt our opponents will be successful in placing a referendum on the ballot, and we will continue to build upon our momentum and win in November.”

“We’re simply overjoyed by the action of the State House today,” said Ryan and Jackie Lipstein from Oak Harbor.  “We’ve shared in each other’s lives for so long and never thought the day would come when our friends, family and neighbors could look upon us as a family like any other.  We can live our lives and contribute to our community just as we’ve always done, but with the same dignity and respect as everyone else.”

The bill now heads to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s desk for her signature.  She has five business days to sign it into law, which she has indicated she will do.  Opponents wishing to challenge the new law would have until June to collect 120,557 valid signatures – the amount required to place a referendum on the November 2012 ballot.

At this time, six states plus the District of Columbia recognize marriage for same-sex couples under state law: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.  Nine states—California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington—provide same-sex couples with access to the state level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.  Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and benefits in any state.

Washington United for Marriage is a coalition of organizations, congregations, unions, and business associations working together to secure civil marriage for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples. To find more information and learn how you can help, visit WashingtonUnitedForMarriage.org. Engage with Washington United for Marriage on social media at Twitter.com/WA4Marriage and atFacebook.com/WashingtonUnited.

Same-Sex Marriage: Where the States Stand

February 8, 2012

As of September 10, 2012, the following 11 U.S. states recognize same-sex marriages. Of those, seven also actively allow same-sex marriages. Three of the states are awaiting the results of referenda or court rulings before proceeding with full legalization.

States allowing same-sex marriage:

  1. Connecticut
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Iowa
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New Hampshire
  6. New York
  7. Vermont

States where same-sex marriage was legalized in 2012 but has been challenged and placed on hold:

  1. Washington (state law challenged by Referendum 74, to appear on November 2012 ballot)
  2. Maryland (state law challenged by Question 6, to appear on November 2012 ballot)
  3. California (state law overturned in 2010 by Proposition 8, then reaffirmed by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in 2012; now stayed pending further appeals and awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court later this year)

States that only recognize same-sex marriage for now:

  1. Maryland (also see above)
  2. Rhode Island
  3. California (recognizes marriages performed before 11/5/2008; also awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding challenges)

Also see The Guardian‘s interactive chart showing gay rights in the U.S., state by state as of May 11, 2012. To view details of the chart, click on the image below:

Gay Rights in the U.S., State by State

Rick Santorum’s Fact-Free and Logic-Tight Bubble

February 4, 2012

Santorum is flat-out wrong—empirically wrong—on every point he has made in this response. One would expect a man who regular speaks on this subject to eventually inform himself about it. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that marriage is in fact a right, not a privilege (Loving vs. Virginia, 1967); denying that right to same-sex couples is therefore discrimination; and gay marriages do in fact benefit society in numerous ways—e.g., by encouraging stable and healthy relationships, by providing secure and loving environments for children, and perhaps most of all, by reducing the divorce rates. Yes, there would be far fewer divorces if homosexuals who wish to have families had better options than closeting themselves and marrying persons of the opposite sex! Santorum seems incapable of adding all this up, and he’s in a fact-free and logic-tight bubble where no one can reach him. These are not the traits we want in a president.