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11-14-2012 09:31 AM
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

This is excellent and useful humor:

Gay marriage.

11-13-2012 05:18 PM
Filo V.
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

Push Expands for Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

Douglas Emmons of Maine, who had opposed same-sex marriage, said his daughter, Holly, helped persuade him to change his mind.

Elated by their first ballot victories, in four states, advocates of same-sex marriage rights plan to push legislatures in half a dozen more states toward legalization as they also press their cause in federal courts. They are also preparing for what they hope will be another milestone: the electoral reversal of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman, in Oregon in 2014.

Nine states and Washington, D.C., have now legalized same-sex marriage. Though it remains unpopular in the South, rights campaigners see the potential for legislative gains in Delaware; Hawaii; Illinois; Rhode Island; Minnesota, where they beat back a restrictive amendment last Tuesday; and New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in February.

A rapid shift in public opinion is bolstering their cause as more people grow used to the idea of same-sex marriage and become acquainted with openly gay people and couples. “The pace of the change in opinions has picked up over the last few years,” said Michael Dimock, associate research director of the Pew Research Center in Washington, “and as the younger generation becomes a larger share of the electorate, the writing is on the wall.”

A close look at this year’s campaigns, from Maine to Washington State, shows how rights activists intend to hasten that shift in the future, relying especially on patient, labor-intensive personal dialogue.

Here in Maine, voters rejected same-sex marriage only three years ago, 53 percent to 47 percent. Mainers United for Marriage, which advocates same-sex marriage rights, phoned some 250,000 residents or knocked on their doors, engaging many of them in 20-minute conversations about love, marriage and commitment and persuading some to rethink their views. “We asked people what marriage meant in their lives,” said Matt McTighe, the group’s campaign manager.

Last Tuesday the numbers were reversed, with Maine legalizing same-sex marriage by 53 percent to 47 percent.

Douglas Emmons, 52, of Biddeford voted against gay marriage in 2009 but changed his mind this year, he said, after urging by his daughter, a recent college graduate, and an hourlong discussion with Randy Hazelton, a field organizer for Mainers United for Marriage.

“It’s still something that’s uncomfortable; it doesn’t seem quite natural,” Mr. Emmons said. “But I guess everybody should have an equal chance at marriage if they want it.”

In the latest state elections, rights advocates also moved beyond abstract appeals about civil rights, using advertisements that hit home with more conflicted voters, said Amy Simon, a pollster with Goodwin Simon Strategic Research in Oakland, Calif., who advised the rights campaigns in Maine and Washington.

Many television commercials presented loving, committed gay and lesbian couples or endorsements from straight, respected people from unexpected corners of the community, like a firefighter in Maine.

The advocates benefited from a threefold advantage in fund-raising, with large donations in Washington State from Jeff Bezos of Amazon and his wife and from Bill and Melinda Gates, and large personal contributions to all four campaigns from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York. But most of the money came as small donations, raised nationally by gay-rights groups.

The most ardent opponents of same-sex marriage, led by evangelical Christians and the Roman Catholic Church, have vowed to redouble their defense of “natural marriage,” even comparing it to the continuing fight against legal abortion.

So far, these opponents say they do not believe that the national tide has shifted against them but rather that they allowed themselves to be badly outspent in liberal-leaning states.

“We lost by small margins in bastions of deep-blue America,” said Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. He noted that 30 states have constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. He said he expected Indiana to vote on such an amendment in the next year or two, “and we will win.”

But some Republicans question whether their party should try to resist a seemingly unstoppable demographic trend. “The die is cast on this issue,” said Steve Schmidt, who advised the presidential campaigns of Senator John McCain and George W. Bush and has for years urged Republicans to accept same-sex marriage. “Why should we sign a suicide pact with the National Organization for Marriage?” Mr. Schmidt asked, saying the party should instead endorse the principles of federalism and let the states decide the matter.

Beyond seeking repeal of Oregon’s marriage amendment, rights activists feel they can win in a repeat ballot in California if the courts do not first invalidate Proposition 8, the 2008 referendum that banned same-sex marriage, but faces a legal challenge.

But repealing amendments would be much harder in many other states, where one or two years of legislative action must often precede a public vote.

In the end, strategists for marriage equality say, broad national change is most likely to come through the courts, as restrictive policies are challenged as unconstitutional. This month, the Supreme Court will decide whether to consider cases involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal programs from recognizing same-sex marriage, and California’s Proposition 8. But few expect the justices to require sweeping national change at this point.

“Marriage discrimination will end when the Supreme Court brings the country to a national resolution,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, a group that provided money and tactical help to the four state campaigns this year.

“But the Supreme Court doesn’t typically jump in early,” Mr. Wolfson said, citing the long struggle to abolish restrictions on interracial marriage. In the meantime, he said, “we are working to build a critical mass of state policies and public opinion, creating the climate for the Supreme Court to act.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group, disputed the notion that history is on the side of same-sex marriage, arguing that the legalization of abortion by Roe v. Wade in the 1970s had set in motion a powerful and still growing backlash.

Over time, Mr. Perkins predicted, as people see what he called the consequences of same-sex marriage — grade schools’ endorsing homosexuality, business owners and religious institutions forced to act against their religious beliefs — opposition will rebound.

Rights advocates say such conflicts are rare and not caused by marriage laws. They cite polling data that points the other way: most people in states with same-sex marriage say it has not affected them, and in those states, as throughout the country, as people get to know gay and lesbian couples, they are more likely to support marriage rights.

Mr. Emmons, the Maine voter who switched sides, said his opposition was shaken when he attended his gay nephew’s wedding in Massachusetts. “It was very nice; it seemed O.K.,” he recalled.

The ballot referendum in Maine this year was the first to be proposed by gay-rights advocates, rather than forced upon them by opponents. More initiatives are planned, but electoral challenges should be used sparingly, said Mr. Wolfson, the gay-rights strategist.

“You don’t want to put it up to a vote unless you think you have the votes,” he said. “This is only part of the mix, along with the courts and legislatures.”

Frank Schubert, a consultant to the National Organization for Marriage who managed all four state campaigns to block same-sex marriage, said, “I think the messaging was working; we just didn’t have enough of it.” He said he expected to continue running advertisements warning that “changing the definition of marriage” would have negative effects on society.

But Zach Silk, the campaign manager of Washington United for Marriage, an advocate for same-sex marriage rights, argued that what he called “scare tactics” had fallen flat this time, and he predicted they would probably fail again. “The fear and confusion they used to win in other places, it’s an old playbook and it doesn’t work any more.”
11-10-2012 09:08 AM
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

11-10-2012 08:11 AM
Filo V.
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

Jarrett: Obama "So Absolutely Delighted" With Marriage Equality Votes

Obama senior adviser spoke to the nation's leading LGBT political group, praising victories for marriage equality and the election of Tammy Baldwin to the Senate.

Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama's closest advisors Thursday evening hailed Tuesday's electoral victories for the LGBT community, telling a gathering of activists that Obama was "so absolutely delighted" by marriage equality wins in Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota.

On a conference call with supporters of the Human Rights Campaign — the nation's largest LGBT political group — Jarrett said Obama believes voters in those states "all came down on the right side of history."

The remarks are the first public comments on the president's reaction to Tuesday's votes approving marriage equality in Maine, Maryland and Washington and rejecting a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex couples from marrying in Minnesota.

She also said, "We couldn't be more thrilled that Wisconsin is sending Tammy Baldwin to the Senate," noting that Baldwin, who will be the first out LGBT senator, will be joining several other women in the class of new senators this January.

Other officials speaking to the LGBT group's supporters on Thursday night included New Hampshire Governor-Elect Maggie Hassan; Sean Patrick Maloney, elected to the House of Representatives from New York; and NAACP president Benjamin Jealous, whose organization formally endorsed marriage equality earlier this year.
11-10-2012 08:08 AM
Filo V.
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

Analysis: Gay marriage votes could sway U.S. Supreme Court

After victories for same-sex marriage initiatives in Maryland, Maine and Washington state this week, the two sides in the national debate over gay marriage are positioning for advantage as the issue moves toward the U.S. Supreme Court.

The votes came two weeks before the Supreme Court justices are to meet, on November 20, to decide whether to review six gay rights cases that have been brought before the court.

Four of the cases test the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states or foreign countries where they are allowed. Another seeks approval for Proposition 8, a 2008 measure that outlawed same-sex marriage in California. The sixth case concerns gay rights in Arizona.

A critical question for the Supreme Court is how much political clout gays and lesbians have - and that's where Tuesday's votes could come into play.

Under the legal analysis that applies to equal protection challenges, laws that discriminate against politically powerless groups receive greater scrutiny from the court. Some of the lower courts in the current cases found that gays and lesbians are a disadvantaged group that qualifies for more rigorous protection.

Opponents of same-sex marriage are now arguing that Tuesday's voting results, which brought to nine the number of states that allow same-sex couples to wed, show that gays and lesbians have plenty of political power.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, said this argument may appeal to Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the swing vote between the court's liberal and conservative camps.

"Kennedy will look at this and think, why create a new culture war and bypass the democratic process to impose gay marriage on the country when this is being worked out on a state-by-state basis?" Brown said.

Finding either the Defense of Marriage Act or California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional would be the equivalent of imposing gay marriage on the populace, Brown said.

But lawyers who have challenged DOMA say Tuesday's ballots could have the opposite effect, helping to convince the justices that gay marriage's time has come.

Historically, the Supreme Court has provided a single national framework on social issues like same-sex marriage, said James Esseks, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. But it generally does so only after much of the country has reached a consensus, said Esseks, who helped bring one of the challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act.

In 1967 the court ruled that Virginia could no longer ban interracial marriage, reversing a ruling that had stood since 1883, after several states repealed their anti-miscegenation laws. And in 2003 the court found that Texas could not ban sodomy, noting that the number of states with laws banning homosexual conduct had dropped from 25 to 13 since it had made the opposite finding in 1986.

"Every time it becomes clear marriage equality is more accepted and popular, that helps us in the Supreme Court in some hard-to-quantify way," said Paul Smith, another lawyer who represents people who are challenging the Defense of Marriage Act.

Supporters of gay rights and some academics also note that more than 30 states have passed laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, which they say shows that gays and lesbians still need special protection from the courts.

"The test for whether the court applies extra careful review does not hinge on whether a few ballot measures pass in favor of gay people's equality," said Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School. Rather, it's a much more far-reaching inquiry into systemic discrimination and underrepresentation, she said.

One thing everyone seems to agree on is that the Supreme Court is almost certain to take up at least one of the Defense of Marriage Act cases before it.

Federal appeals courts in New York and Massachusetts have already found the 1996 federal law unconstitutional, putting pressure on the Supreme Court to create a national standard.

"The court can't live in a world where the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in the Northeast and constitutional everywhere else," the ACLU's Esseks said.

This is especially true after Tuesday's votes, because with more states allowing same-sex marriage, more people are potentially adversely affected by the Defense of Marriage Act, said Arthur Leonard, a professor at New York Law School.

"It becomes much more urgent to get an answer whether the federal government can continue to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage," he said.

Legal experts said Tuesday's ballot results were unlikely to influence the Supreme Court's actions as it deliberates on whether to review Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage. While voters in the three states on Tuesday voted to approve gay marriage, California voters took the exact opposite action when they approved Proposition 8 just four years ago.

A sixth case before the Supreme Court challenges an Arizona law that limits healthcare benefits to state employees' spouses and dependents, excluding their domestic partners.
11-10-2012 07:42 AM
Dmitry Verdasco
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

These are my arguments for gay rights to marriage and adoption..

- It doesn't affect straight couples at all, and it makes gay people happy, so why stop someone else from being happy if it doesn't affect you?

- Even if it's not ideal (not saying it isn't) but what is ideal? One could argue a loving father and a loving mother, who both love eachother - and I can see their argument. But why does that stop gay people from raising children and being apart of their own family? Single people have children, divorced people have children, my grandmother raises her great grandchild as her daughter. In my opinion, a loving parent is the only thing ideal for a child.

- This is going to happen. It will. It's only right, and everyone knows that. So why fight it? It might hold things up for a while, but all it's going to do is make this generation look like another one that denied the basic equality, rights and love of one minority in the eyes of history. Just like we look back on racial segregation, slavery or ethnic cleansing, anyone who actively fights against these basic rights for people is doing nothing but creating division and looking plain stupid.

I feel that if you present a reasonable argument, people against gay marriage have very little to stand on except for the fact that they just don't like gay people. Personally, I believe a lot of this comes from to things.

1) the idea of anal sex disgusts them
2) the femininity of some gay men offends them?

I work in a group of straight Australian men, no females, and none of them know I'm gay. I know one guy who boasts about his experiences with anal sex (with women) but I still believe that the idea of what goes on in the bedroom between two men is a large part of why people fight gay rights. I don't think female sex is as worrying to them because straight men here find that hot. Personally I couldn't think of anything worse
11-10-2012 06:39 AM
Filo V.
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

10 Reasons Why Marriage Equality Won This Year
Chad Griffin
President, Human Rights Campaign

This year, marriage equality won four unprecedented victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. For years, organizations like the so-called National Organization for Marriage have bragged that equality always loses at the ballot box. This year we took that talking point away once and for all. Here's how:

1. The President supported marriage equality -- and was re-elected for it.

In 2008, President Bush was firmly opposed to any measure of equality. This year, President Obama's support for marriage equality led many Americans to take a fresh look.

2. Faith coalitions were on our side.

In 2008, our opponents talked like they had a monopoly on faith. This year, the prominent voices of pro-equality faith leaders like Reverend Delman Coates and organizations like Catholics for Marriage Equality made a huge difference.

3. Americans' opinions evolved.

In 2008, a Pew poll found that 38 percent of Americans supported marriage equality, while 49 percent were opposed. This year, 16 national polls have found that a majority of Americans are now in favor of equality.

4. The next generation stood up.

In 2008, older Americans' staunch opposition to marriage equality still dominated. This year, four years' worth of new young voters came out for equality in a big way.

5. Our opponents lost their momentum and relied on tired arguments.

In 2008, California voters responded to emotionally charged anti-equality advertisements claiming gay marriage would be taught in school. This year, our adversaries ran the same ads, but voters rolled their eyes.

6. Businesses made the case for equality.

In 2008, a few trailblazing companies like Google and Levi's weighed in against Prop 8, but most others didn't yet realize what the issue had to do with them. This year, huge coalitions of consumer-facing brands like General Mills, Starbucks, Amazon and Nike took courageous stands against discrimination.

7. Our opponents' money is drying up.

In 2008, our adversaries -- joined by the Mormon Church -- spent $40 million towards victory in California alone. This year, the opponents of equality only spent $11 million across four states; the Mormon Church left the arena and the Catholic Church attempted to fill the void. Our side was able to outspend them 3 to 1.

8. Pro-equality messaging broke through.

In 2008, the supporters of Proposition 8 convinced voters that the family was under attack. This year, marriage equality advocates won the battle by framing these debates around family, commitment, equality and freedom.

9. Partisan lines broke down.

In 2008, few if any Republicans wanted to approach the marriage issue. This year, young Republicans supported equality in record numbers. Major GOP donors like Paul Singer, party leaders like Ken Mehlman, and elected officials like NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, advocated and donated to express their support as well.

10. We outworked our adversaries.

In 2008, our opponents swamped us with cash and grassroots footwork. This year, our supporters included national civil rights organizations like the NAACP, and pro-equality coalitions in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington consisted of hundreds of congregations, businesses and civic organizations. Every single one of them came prepared to win.
11-10-2012 06:29 AM
Filo V.
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

The Gay-Rights Election

Richard Socarides says politicians will recognize that their embrace of us is not only the right thing to do, but leads to success at the ballot box.

Probably the best thing about the election, for me, was how many “how far we've come” moments it provided. We won our first marriage equality ballot initiatives -- in fact, winning all four of them: in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State. We elected our first openly gay or lesbian member of the U.S. Senate, a club historically restricted unlike any other in Washington. We added new openly gay members of the House of Representatives. (I am particularly proud of my friend Sean Maloney, who I worked with in the Clinton White House, who beat a one-term incumbent tea party-er, who had no business representing the people of her district in the first place.)

Perhaps most importantly, we helped reelect the most pro-gay president in history. In fact, we more than helped. Exit polling suggests that record numbers of gays and lesbians showed up at the polls and that we represented as much as 5 % of the self-identified total electorate -- and that 77 % of us supported President Obama. Thus, strong support from gays and lesbians put the president over the top in the popular vote and probably was crucial in several swing states.

Early on in the president's first term, I was one of his harshest critics because I felt the time had come to work more aggressively on gay rights issues, as the president had said he would when he declared he would be our “fierce advocate.” Many other people who care about civil rights pressed him very hard during those first two years and it unquestionably paid off. We were able to achieve the repeal of “don't ask don't tell.” The president instructed the Department of Justice to no longer defend against sexual orientation discrimination claims in the federal courts, especially relating to the Defense of Marriage Act. And most importantly, in May of this year, the president announced his personal support of marriage equality.

That was a real turning point, perhaps even bigger then it appeared at the time. I strongly doubt that we would have been able to pass marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, and Washington State—and stave off an anti-gay, anti-marriage constitutional amendment in Minnesota—without the president’s support for same-sex marriage. Surprising to me at the time, people said no one would be persuaded by the president's endorsement, as if he couldn't change anyone's minds. What's clear now is that the opposite was true. He changed a lot of minds; got a lot of people to take a second look at where they were on this issue, and it made a world of difference.

It certainly was not the only thing that we had going for us this year. Among them: changes in the polling nationally, even before the president announced; changes in the society and larger entertainment culture; more and more people coming out. And all the hard work advocates and activists and regular people have done over the course of the last decade. All that helped -- but at the end of the day having the president's backing made a huge difference.

The other item worth noting is this: When I was on the White House staff of President Bill Clinton as a senior advisor in 1996, one of his top political advisers told me during his reelection campaign that President Clinton would lose the election if he supported same-sex marriage. Only 16 years later, look how far we have come. (Although even then I didn’t think the political adviser was correct.) President Obama's support for marriage equality helped him win the election and helped us win the ballot initiatives. During this latest campaign, President Obama's support for gay-rights was never an issue used by Republicans against him. In fact, it worked to his advantage to energize progressives and young people. The Democratic Party needs to finally realize once and for all that being on our side works for them.

Moreover, there is the flip side. The main problem the Republican Party has right now is that they are out of step with emerging demographic groups, like young people, Hispanics, and gays and lesbians. The fact that the Democrats were willing to take action on our issues helped propel them to reelection. Smart Republicans -- and I think they are out there -- will realize that they have to come over to our side. They not only have an “immigration problem” with Hispanics, an “out of step” problem with young people -- they also have marriage problem with gays and lesbians. I'm hoping this realization brings more and more Republicans to support for basic fairness and marriage equality. I think it will and we need to be ready to take advantage of it.

Is the influence of the right wing over? Certainly not. But as the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 in its current term, we will be able to point to success in this very important election as guidance on where America now stands. It's clear that America is now finally ready for gays and lesbians to be treated equally. (We certainly have a lot of work to do to help our transgender brothers and sisters catch up to the progress we've made. I for one am ready to help them.)

By next June, when the Supreme Court announces its decisions, California will likely be re-added to the list of states where same-sex marriage is legal. The Defense of Marriage Act is likely to have been stricken down as unconstitutional, which would make marriage fully recognized in each of the states that allows it. And with the addition of California, Americans will live in ten states representing over 25% of the U.S. population where marriage is fully accessible to all.

For as long as I have been in politics—which is all of my adult life—it has been “Washington groupthink” that gay issues are dangerous and only mean trouble for elected officials, even ones who are sympathetic to our cause. It is now a new day – one that has been a long time in coming. Politicians need to recognize that their embrace of us is not only the right thing to do, but leads to success at the ballot box.
11-10-2012 06:28 AM
Filo V.
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

Originally Posted by Jverweij View Post
Filo as much as I sympathize with the case made here, you do have a tendency towards the paranoid when it comes to people making comments in your posts. Just because they disagree with you, doesn't make them homophobes (or jackasses for that matter).
I deal with tons of homophobic abuse on a daily basis. Almost all the people who really hate on me, are also homophobic, and have made homophobic comments in the past. I just call it like I see it. I agree, not every instance of criticism of my posts is homophobia, but a lot of it is.

That doesn't mean there are a number of tools on this site who do seem to be homophobic btw. I just pity them.
I don't pity them. I find homophobes morally and emotionally abhorrent. They are awful human beings.
11-10-2012 05:12 AM
Dmitry Verdasco
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

Originally Posted by rocketassist View Post
Yup. The OP is a heterophobe, but that's acceptable.
11-09-2012 05:55 AM
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I love straight people. I hate homophobes and jackasses.

Look at all these pressed ass bitches on this page talking shit. You all just can't handle other's happiness So sad. I'll pray.
Filo as much as I sympathize with the case made here, you do have a tendency towards the paranoid when it comes to people making comments in your posts. Just because they disagree with you, doesn't make them homophobes (or jackasses for that matter).

That doesn't mean there are a number of tools on this site who do seem to be homophobic btw. I just pity them.
11-09-2012 03:25 AM
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

Originally Posted by vucina View Post
Another nail in the American coffin.
11-09-2012 01:46 AM
Filo V.
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

I love straight people. I hate homophobes and jackasses.

Look at all these pressed ass bitches on this page talking shit. You all just can't handle other's happiness So sad. I'll pray.
11-09-2012 12:50 AM
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

Good news imo
11-08-2012 10:49 PM
Re: For the first time in history, marriage equality wins popular vote on ballot!

Originally Posted by safin-rules-no.1 View Post
I knew you were retarded, but this is thick even for you.

Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
That's because you're a foolish straight white man.
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
Today is the most proud and happy I've ever been to be gay. Being gay is a gift. The hard times are definitely tough, but that just makes the good times that much rewarding.
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
Gay men are more personable overall than straight men
He's a heterophobe.
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