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Gay Groups–Preferring to Side with “Oppressed” than with Gays?

Something struck me late last month when I read the title of the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) press release faulting the Bush Administration for voting “to deny United Nations consultative status ” to two LGBT groups. HRC headlined its release “UNITED NATIONS: U.S. ALIGNED WITH IRAN IN ANTI-GAY VOTE.” With such a headline, it would seem that HRC routinely addresses the persecution of gays in the Islamic Republic. And although I receive HRC’s press releases via a list-serve and check their web-site regularly, I don’t recall reading much HRC criticism of this oppressive anti-American regime.

Indeed, a search for “Iran” on their site yields only 10 hits — exactly as many as a search for “Alito.” And there have been documented cases of anti-gay policies and actions in Iran for years before President Bush tapped that good man for the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s not just that. Only one of those documents, a July 22, 2005 press release on the execution of two teens in Iran, directly addresses the anti-gay actions of that oppressive regime. Interestingly, the primary purpose of that release was to publicize a letter HRC President Joe Solmonese had sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking the State Department to condemn the atrocity.

It thus seems that the only way to get HRC to condemn anti-gay abuses in an anti-American regime is to find a way to do so by questioning or criticizing the Bush Administration. More often than not, HRC focuses its venom, not on the worst oppressors of gays in the world but on President Bush and Republicans. And they’re not the only gay group to do so. Other gay groups also seem more interested in promoting a leftist agenda than in addressing gay concerns. And some are even worse on this score than HRC.

Last week, The Malcontent‘s adorable Robbie noted how the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) prefers the anti-gay Palestinian culture to “a liberal Israel that protects gay rights.” In a January 9 e-mail to members of its International Advisory Committee (IAC), IGLHRC Executive Director Paula Ettelbrick and her board liaison for IAC, Adrian Coman, explained why they thought the group should not participate in a LGBT World Pride celebration to take place this summer in Jerusalem:

While IGLHRC sees as its mandate the promotion of human rights everywhere, and would typically wish to support local organizations and activists, and participate in any world conference where the discussions and goals included LGBT rights, as a human rights organization, we do not feel it is appropriate to participate in a ‘world pride’ event in the middle of an occupation and in a location were our colleagues from the region could not travel to Israel to participate.

(This from an excellent piece by Richard Rosendall on FrontPagemag.com which Robbie references in his post and to which David Horowitz alerted me when I saw him last week at the Wednesday Morning Club luncheon.) While wanting to steer clear of the capital of one of the few democracies in the Middle East, IGLHRC, however, did not find Beijing and Havana, capitals of oppressive regimes, off-limits for its representatives.

The only reason thier colleagues couldn’t travel to Israel is because some Muslim governments ban entry (in into their nations) of “people with Israeli stamps in their passports.” Ms. Ettelbrick and IGLHRC are thus blaming Israel for the policies of nations opposed to its existence.

The difference, you see, is that Beijing and Havana represent regimes of the “oppressed” while many on the Left find Israel an oppressor regime. This sympathy for the “oppressed” explains one self-proclaimed diaspora Jew’s proclivity for the Palestinians: “Obviously, the Israelis are Jews, so they are my people. But, the Palestinians are oppressed, so they’re my people more.” (Via Best of the Web.) Perhaps, this is why some gay groups would rather take issue with conservatives than with repressive third-world regimes. They see themselves on the side of the “oppressed.” And they hesitate to take on anti-American regimes because by those governments’ opposition to America, they are on the side of the oppressed.

Perhaps, that conclusion is just speculation, but it is striking that practically the only time HRC brings up Iran, one of the most anti-gay regimes in the world, is when it attempts to tie that regime to its number one nemesis — President Bush.

Even when HRC raises a valid criticism against the Bush Administration — as it appears it has done when it faulted the U.S. for voting against consultative status for those two LGBT groups — it compromises its own message by its over-the-top rhetoric. In its release, not only does HRC link Bush to Iran, but it also quotes a variety of officials from left-wing orgnizations, including IGLHRC’s Ettelbrick, the woman who has qualms about sending a delegation to Jerusalem (while sending ones to Havana or Beijing). Thus, if I were to follow HRC’s lead, I could title this post – HRC Aligned with anti-Israel Group in Anti-American Release.

As we have noticed in numerous posts (e.g., here, here and here), many gay organizations seems more committed to the ideology of the Left than to genuine advocacy for gay and lesbian concerns.

By linking the Administration to Iran, HRC is trying to suggest that the Administration’s policies are close to those of that oppressive regime. Just as they reference Iran in the various documents on their web-page not to attack that regime but to suggest that that tyranny’s policies are similar to those which social conservatives advocate. Once again putting them in sync with the angry Left.

This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, DNC Chairman Howard Dean suggested the president’s policies could turn us into “a country like Iran where the President of Iran can do anything they want at any time.” Just like HRC, others on the Left only reference tyrannical anti-Western regimes so that they can compare them to their ideological adversaries.

And unless they’re engaged in such comparisons, too many gay groups ignore the anti-gay behavior of these regimes. They would rather not deal with facts which do not accord with their ideology which sees their movement as part of a struggle of “oppressed” minority groups against the “oppressors” that is, the ruling classes of Western nations.

Because they see themselves as part of this “coalition of the oppressed,” gay groups are ever eager to unite with other left-wing groups in opposition these “oppressive” Western regimes, particularly those with conservative governments. Yet, these “oppressive” regimes almost always allow gay men and lesbians more freedom than do those governments which leftists believe represent the oppressed. It’s time that gay groups break away from left-wing ideologies which, in many cases, embrace not only anti-American regimes and causes, but also some of the worst abusers of gay rights in the world.

Instead of seeing everything in terms of President Bush, HRC and other gay groups need to stop focusing on standing together with the Left and start concentrating instead on standing up for the dignity of gay and lesbian individuals at home and abroad.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

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76 Comments

  1. I think your description of IGLHRC explains why the Bush Administration opposes it. So why did it make a weird claim that they were worried about approving of pedophilia?

    And while HRC is not my favorite organization, in fairness I will point out that they have a completely dismal record on international gay and lesbian politics of any kind, not just this particular instance.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — February 10, 2006 @ 12:01 am - February 10, 2006

  2. LOL…..this isn’t even a question.

    Several HRC Executive Board members, including its current president Joe Solmonese, defended giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to an FMA supporter because she was pro-abortion and a Democrat.

    We can also get into HRC’s penny-pinching on state initiatives while they give literally millions of dollars to people who, if they applied their own definitions regardless of political party, would qualify as vicious, evil, hatemongering homophobes in thrall to the religious right.

    And the main reason ILGA got the boot is because the Bush administration found out that they support pretty much zero restrictions on sex, including age of the participants. IGLHRC supports terrorist organizations, so that one was easy.

    And before HRC gets its panties in a wad, hey, they’re the ones praising and funding the ACLU while it tries to get NAMBLA off the hook for putting up websites to teach people how to coerce, lure, and rape children, then cover their tracks.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 10, 2006 @ 12:13 am - February 10, 2006

  3. Patrick, the ILGA had had this consultative status prior to 1993 when Senator Helms noted that one of its member groups was NAMBLA. So, he “pushed through legislation in Congress calling for an end to all U.S. funds to the U.N. unless the U.N. could certify that none of its member organizations were pedophile groups or groups sympathetic to pedophilia.

    The ILGA has since dropped NAMBLA as a member group.

    ND30 in #2, because I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to do a google search of IGLHRC, but wondered if maybe they, like HRC, routinely engaged in Bush-bashing.

    Given that HRC rarely (if at all) presents a side of the view not favorable to its case, I’ve wondered if they were aware of this. I’ll have to look into it. Let me know if you have information that might help.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — February 10, 2006 @ 12:57 am - February 10, 2006

  4. I’m a victim!
    You’re a victim!
    He’s a victim!
    She’s a victim!
    Wouldn’t you like to be a victim too!

    Comment by rightwingprof — February 10, 2006 @ 9:09 am - February 10, 2006

  5. LOL!!!! Leave it to the prof to put it as succinctly as possible! Nicely done, my friend…

    I really wish someone would tell me why the hell so many gay Americans continue to glory-hole the whole victim mindset!!! For the love of everything fabulous, aren’t we among the most prosperous and successful citizens of this country?

    Eric in Hollywood
    happily exploiting adorably clueless straight people in the name of entertainment since 1977

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — February 10, 2006 @ 9:22 am - February 10, 2006

  6. I really wish someone would tell me why the hell so many gay Americans continue to glory-hole the whole victim mindset!!!

    I think it’s the whole drama-queen, center-of-attention, corpse-at-every-funeral, bride-at-every-wedding thing. Face it, we live in a culture where making stupid choices gets you a guest spot on Oprah, but making smart choices just gets you a higher tax bill.

    Comment by V the K — February 10, 2006 @ 10:13 am - February 10, 2006

  7. While HRC isn’t my favorite organization either (I agree with the criticism of HRC on penny pinching on local initiatives), their focus is on US gay civil rights. Its entirely consistent for them to only focus on abuses of LGBT rights by the US government within and outside of the United States.

    It is unfortunate that there really isn’t any high profile LGBT group that can focus attention on global LGBT issues. The recognition of LGBT NCO’s by the UN might have helped there.

    I’d be willing to support an Intl LGBT group that fought against Saudi and Iranian executions of Gay men, persistent lynchings in Jamaica and Alabama, blatent discrimination against freedom of association and speech by LGBT groups in Nigeria and Poland, discriminatory prosecutions in the UAE, Egypt, and Kansas, and denial of legitimate asylum rights by LGBT individuals by the US and some EU states.

    I find it hard to believe that Bush would have supported any voice for LGBT persons at the UN regardless of the applicant organization. Please feel free to let me know if you have information to show otherwise.

    HRC may be wrong on a lot of things, but not on this one. Bush deserves criticism for this.

    Does Horowitz support LGBT rights? Just curious.

    Comment by Tom in Utrecht — February 10, 2006 @ 11:00 am - February 10, 2006

  8. There’s a larger structure at work here, one that defines and energizes the whole leftliberal world: all politics must be seen to serve the chosen victim. Now victims are not all equal: first we have people of color (or honorary people of color, such as Muslims, who are a religion), then we have women (or wymyn, if you’re a traditionalist) and then the poor. The Holy Trinity of Race, Gender and Class. Homos are honorary wymyn, and since we’re mostly white and male, we’re really only occasionally honorary wymyn. Tainted by likeness to the Great Satan. So when a victim group like Palestinians are at play, they get first dibs. And victims, despite the bullcrap about alliances, don’t like to share the stage. You can always predict leftliberal behavior if you just follow this simple outline. They haven’t surprised me in years.

    Comment by EssEm — February 10, 2006 @ 11:28 am - February 10, 2006

  9. Tom, not so sure…

    First of all, that’s a pretty cheap shot to say that you find it “hard to believe that Bush would have supported any voice for LGBT persons at the UN regardless of the applicant organization”, then suggest it’s someone else’s burden to prove you wrong.

    Secondly, there has been no proof this group has dissolved its ties with these pedophile groups even though they say they have. They have not provided any information showing they are no longer affiliated with them. Bush is doing THE RIGHT THING here.

    Third, if HRC is focused on US gay “rights”, why does it care what goes on in Iran in the first place? Oh yea, I remember now, it’s a way to attack our president during a time of war. Perfect.

    Fourth, an international gay “rights” group would go nowhere as we, America, are the defenders of human rights the world over. If any group existed, it’d have to naturally come from a group such as HRC. Clearly they have no interest in promoting simple gay rights (such as, say, not being stoned to death for being gay), and are much more intersted in abusing the phrase gay “rights” to flog the current administration. Until the most liberated nation in the world can prove that its own gay “rights” NGOs can act responsibly, I’d say our chances of an international group to do the same are pretty slim.

    Finally, I’d propose (without knowing for sure) that Horowitz probably supports gay rights, but wouldn’t necessarily define them the same way.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 10, 2006 @ 11:40 am - February 10, 2006

  10. p.s., my apologies for the split-infinitive. Yesterday’s skiing sunburn seems to have fried my grammar a bit too.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 10, 2006 @ 11:46 am - February 10, 2006

  11. EssEm,

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, I haven’t heard language like that in 15 years. Wymyn? (actually I think it was womyn – not wymyn – but you may be the expert on this one). Ahh memories…

    Most of us dumped the fringe left years ago. I never supported them. I don’t see how abortion is a LGBT issue, I don’t like the moronic 1960’s assclowns that ruin any protest and organization with their dumbass giant puppets, off-message politics (such as Hemp Now! and incoherent rants about Peruvian land reform and globalization), and violent behavior. Its all very counterproductive. And those people don’t really support anyone else but their own narrow agendas. They usually just involve themselves in LGBT organizations in order to push their own agendas.

    The NGLTF was a major victim of this, in my opinion, for many years.

    But that was a long time ago.

    Comment by Tom in Utrecht — February 10, 2006 @ 11:55 am - February 10, 2006

  12. Colorado Patriot,

    Point made, I will not ask you to prove a negative. We’ll just have to disagree on Bush’s intentions.

    HRC doesn’t concern itself with Iran (it should) or Jamaica, or Nigeria, Poland, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt. However, it would be in character for them to criticise US policy or US votes in UN regarding those nations. Its completely consistent.

    Criticism of our government is patriotic. Even in time of War. Exactly how is the criticism of a US vote with Iran harmful to the War on Terror? If it is no longer patriotic for responsible criticism (and this was) then maybe the enemies of freedom have already won. I’d argue that the US allying itself with Iran was at least as bad as some Gay group attacking the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Bush gets criticised when his adminstration behaves badly.

    This adminstration isn’t defending human rights when it comes to LGBT rights. I’ll ask you to defend a positive. How is the Bush Administration protecting human rights by LGBT individuals in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Jamaica?

    Comment by Tom in Utrecht — February 10, 2006 @ 12:17 pm - February 10, 2006

  13. #7) “I find it hard to believe that Bush would have supported any voice for LGBT persons at the UN regardless of the applicant organization. Please feel free to let me know if you have information to show otherwise.”

    Of course you do, because you’re prejudiced against Republicans and Bush in particular. When he presents invalid reasons for rejecting a gay organization, then that will be the proof to support your judgement against him. I suggest the burden of proof is on you to support your assumptions about what’s going on in his head.

    If you’re equating his position against activist-court-enforced gay marriage as believing LGBT should have no voice, I consider that a radical leap of logic that can only be explained by a deep prejudice.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 10, 2006 @ 12:21 pm - February 10, 2006

  14. EssEm has the psychology pegged. This expalins the silly demurrals some gay activists tend to put on comparisons of Jim Crow laws and anti-gay discrimination “Of course there is no comparison between what blacks have suffered and what gays suffer!” No there isn’t – when was the last time someone’s family disowned him whenthey found out he was black, and how long has it been since black people were forbidden to marry black people, but that isn’t what matters, is it?

    Utrecht is right about the fringe and its uselessness. It is never anything but a distraction – idiots pointing to Fred Phelps to slag evangelicals (WTF) idiots pointing to 7 ft tall drag queens at Pride Parades to slag us, idoits to the left of me, idiots to the right of me – clack the Claymores and clear the air.

    Comment by Jim — February 10, 2006 @ 12:25 pm - February 10, 2006

  15. The real question here is why would any organization representing people with any kind of ethics, morals or principles want to sit in on an organization that serves primarily to defend murdering thugs.

    Comment by rightwingprof — February 10, 2006 @ 12:39 pm - February 10, 2006

  16. #9) “Finally, I’d propose (without knowing for sure) that Horowitz probably supports gay rights, but wouldn’t necessarily define them the same way.”

    Horowitz was actually against FMA and has always been very gay-friendly and supportive of equal treatment by our government. However, he got so upset with the way the left used gay marriage as a villianization tactic against conservatives that he changed his position and supported FMA. I like him overall, but I thought the way he did it made him seem kind of petty and reactionary.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 10, 2006 @ 12:43 pm - February 10, 2006

  17. Tom in Utrecht, #7, you raise a fair point about HRC’s focus being on domestic issues. That doesn’t, however, justify their overheated anti-Bush rhetoric.

    I would also be willing to support the kind of international LGBT group you envision–one which looks and reports on actual anti-gay discrimination and persecution, unhindered by ideology, a group like Amnesty International was designed to be.

    As I said in the post, HRC appears to have raised a valid criticism of the Administration, but compromised its case by its rhetoric. Still, I want to know more about the two groups and should I get time will do a few searches to see if I can come up with anything on them. I mean, if those two groups were like HRC, constantly criticizing the president, then we could understand the Administration’s justification in voting to deny them consultative status.

    Are you sure there are lynchings of gay people in Alabama. I have not read such things.

    David Horowitz has published numerous pieces by gay people and welcomes us to his meetings. I’m sure what legislation he advocates on gay issues, but has certainly proven himself to be friendly to many gay people, including myself–and especially Tammy Bruce whose work he promotes. He is certainly opposed to the anti-gay ideology of social conservatives.

    Well said, EssEm, in #8. To many on the left, it’s all about victims or, as I put it, the “oppressed.”

    And Tom in #11, the NGLTF remains on the fringes. Check out their press releases.

    A lot of good comments here!

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — February 10, 2006 @ 1:12 pm - February 10, 2006

  18. I really don’t understand the idea of being gay and being a conservative. Gay rights, by its very definition, is a liberal cause. You are trying to reshape society into something it never was. It is not conservative. It is rather, the essence of liberalism.

    So, when I read blogs like this, it just puzzles me. It’s like a peanut butter and ham sandwich. Maybe there’s somebody out there that likes that, but they just don’t go together very well.

    Comment by Brock — February 10, 2006 @ 2:05 pm - February 10, 2006

  19. Thank you for saying it politely, Brock.

    Short answer: No. Gay rights, by its essence, is a libertarian cause. A matter of individual rights.

    And today’s “liberals” (really meaning liberal Democrats or their ideological friends) are opposed to genuine individual rights. They want the government, or the PC “speech code” committee, to basically regulate/control everything. In a word: Socialism.

    Libertarian conservatives, or “classical liberals”, are the true defenders of true individual rights in today’s society.

    Comment by Calarato — February 10, 2006 @ 2:28 pm - February 10, 2006

  20. P.S. And for the record, Bush is NOT a consistent libertarian conservative, and ought to be criticized on a great many things he does.

    Where Bush does defend individual rights, is in standing up to Islamo-fascists who want to kill us, or alternatively, to truly destroy our rights. Defending America from them is inherently a pro-gay undertaking.

    Comment by Calarato — February 10, 2006 @ 2:39 pm - February 10, 2006

  21. #18) Wow, Brock. Completely off-topic kind of like talking arithmetic in a calculus class. By starting off with such a blanket assumption, you have identified yourself as being rather close-minded which doesn’t seem to jive with the idea of having a “liberal cause”.

    I suggest you read the blog a while and you’ll see why that assumption is not correct. There is no short answer to correct your confusion. I think the whole point of this blog is that the stereotypes people have about liberals and conservatives are just that-stereotypes. The realities of politics are grayer than that.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 10, 2006 @ 2:40 pm - February 10, 2006

  22. Off topic, but you asked. Alabama’s recent history vis-a-vis murders of men on the basis of percieved sexual orientation:

    2004 – Bay Minette, AL – Scotty Weaver was lynched (stabbed over 50 times + body mutilation – I’ll say it qualifies as a lynching) by people he percieved to be lifetime friends. The victims percieved sexual orientation was a factor in his killing, according to police.

    2005 – Birmingham, AL – Professor Sammie Speigner of Birmingham Southern College was murdered (by shotgun). The defendent used the “he was hitting on me defense”. As if that justified him shooting him, robbing him, and leaving him to die in a ditch. The judge allowed the “he was hitting on me” defense. And the jury apparently bought it as they convicted the defendant of a lesser charge.

    2004 – Montgomery AL – Roderick George was shot to death in downtown Montgomery by a man that said in his defense “He was hitting on me”.

    2005 – Montgomery, AL – Billy Sanford (percieved to be Gay by his attacker) – a 52 year old man remains in a uncommunacative coma after his October 19 attack by a 26 year old man. The 26 year old man beat Mr. Sanford repeatedly on the head with the claw end of a hammer. His defence…”He was hitting on me”. Even if true, somehow I think a 26 year old could get away from a 52 year old.

    2005 – Montgomery, AL – An 80 year old man, James Oliver, was beat to death by a 20 year old man who used a two by four to beat the 80 year old to death with repeated blows to the head because “he was hitting on me”. Please..the man was 80 years old.

    This is the last 18 months in a small area with very few Gay people. These are all separate attacks. There is a real problem here. This has been going on for years, and virtually ignored by the media. The cases from 1997-2001 were even more staggering in their scope and violence, but are left out because they are not so recent.

    A note about scope, metro Montgomery has about 300,000 people. 3 murders on the basis of percieved sexual orientation would be the equivalent of 23 murders in metro Charlotte.

    Ok..we can go back to the other discussion.

    Comment by Tom in Utrecht — February 10, 2006 @ 2:41 pm - February 10, 2006

  23. However, he got so upset with the way the left used gay marriage as a villianization tactic against conservatives that he changed his position and supported FMA

    Actually, Horowitz changed his position because of the Massachussetts court decision, and he saw no other way to prevent another group of judicial activists from waving their magic wands and creating legislation across the United States. And he changed his position apologetically.

    Comment by rightwingprof — February 10, 2006 @ 2:43 pm - February 10, 2006

  24. I really don’t understand the idea of being gay and being a conservative. Gay rights, by its very definition, is a liberal cause.

    I am an American. I will vote for what’s best for America, and not what’s best for my dick. As for changing society, I have no desire to do so. All those family values need to be preserved. All of them.

    Comment by rightwingprof — February 10, 2006 @ 2:45 pm - February 10, 2006

  25. Dale, regarding your comment on Horowitz changing his mind because he didn’t like who was opposing the FMA. That’s more than petty. It shows a total lack of conviction.

    Comment by Tom in Utrecht — February 10, 2006 @ 2:48 pm - February 10, 2006

  26. #24 – But why be an American? Why is that worth defending? — Just because it’s your tribe?

    No. Because the ideas of freedom, limited government and individual rights are inextricably intertwined with America, and worth defending.

    And whether you want them to or not, America and those ideas do benefit you as a gay man (or “dick” as you put it). So there needn’t be any conflict, or any subordination of one to the other. The Gay Left makes it a conflict, but that’s part of why they’re wrong, and not to be followed.

    Comment by Calarato — February 10, 2006 @ 2:54 pm - February 10, 2006

  27. #13) Dale, prejudiced against Republicans? Nope. Just when you hold them to the same standard as Democrats, they don’t stand up very well.

    I’m perfectly willing to support Republicans if they are supportive of my community. In Texas, I would be willing to support anyone supportive against Democrats Cuellar, Rose, and Madla. I wont be giving any money to Harold Ford. And I cheered when George Ryan beat the anti-Gay Democrat (with the support of Gay Chicago) for Illinois Governor a couple of years back.

    But if you support ENDA, oppose firing of Gay Federal workers, wish for commonsense HIV/AIDS education, want our soldiers to be able to serve honestly, wish for equal treatement under immigration and tax laws, oppose criminalization of homosexuality(done by an activist court – please tell you don’t oppose that),oppose book banning of LGBT books, oppose funding/special privilages for groups that discriminate, support asylum for victims of LGBT violence overseas, oppose scapegoating of LGBT persons for politcal gains, then you should have some problems with the current administration and the current GOP.

    I’m perfectly open towards supporting the GOP. They just give me every reason to not support them. It isn’t prejudice; its cause and effect.

    Comment by Tom in Utrecht — February 10, 2006 @ 3:25 pm - February 10, 2006

  28. commonsense HIV/AIDS education

    You’re twenty years late — twenty years of education. Anyone who doesn’t know how to prevent HIV transmission now is too stupid to live.

    The time for education is past. It’s time to be honest about prevention, instead of giving out rubbers and telling people as long as they use them, they can screw as irresponsibly as they like.

    Comment by rightwingprof — February 10, 2006 @ 4:58 pm - February 10, 2006

  29. #27) if “then you should have some problems with the current administration and the current GOP.”

    Perhaps, but it’s not saying much. The administration’s stance on many of those issues is either mixed or vague, much like John Kerry, Bill Clinton, and many other Democrats in or running for National office. Bush hasn’t tried to make a change to the don’t ask/don’t tell policy put in place by the Clinton administration so no difference there. Was Clinton or Kerry going to provide equal treatment under immigration and tax laws? You’re judging Republicans for failings when you don’t pass judgement on Democrats for the same thing, much as the MSM does.

    I’m sure I don’t agree with you on many of those issues. There are laws I don’t agree with and yet I don’t necessarily think it’s the court’s job to write or unwrite those laws. It’s their job to interpret the constitutionality of them and while states have a lot of stupid laws, stupid doesn’t mean unconstitutional.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 10, 2006 @ 5:18 pm - February 10, 2006

  30. I did a search to try to get more specifics on Kerry’s stance on some gay issues and got this:
    http://lesbianlife.about.com/cs/workschool/p/JohnKerry.htm

    Meanwhile, you get to the end and it has a link for Bush’s stance on gay issues:
    http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/lesbianactivism/a/Bush.htm

    Is the contrast between these two not striking? Notice how the ONLY topic on the Bush page is FMA? It doesn’t mention that he supports Civil Unions for instance. You won’t get that from liberal sources. This is the type of villianization I was talking about. They spin positive on Kerry and even soften his stance when it’s negative (he’s “against” gay marriage per his own words and was very publicly supportive of anti-gay marriage amendments at the state level, but they just say he doesn’t support it). They don’t want to talk about the subtleties in Bush’s case because it wouldn’t serve their purpose of villianizing him.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 10, 2006 @ 5:41 pm - February 10, 2006

  31. Tom, when I was in high school (a very long time ago) I wondered what the difference between Democrats and Republicans. And no one could tell me.

    Libertarian rhetoric likes to talk about the Democrats and their clones the Republicans and Republicans and their clones the Democrats, all addicted to “other people’s money.”

    Yes, there are differences, but they are mostly variations rather than differences in type. With apologies to the Republicans here… it’s just not that huge a “mismatch” to be Gay and Republican rather than Democrat because there isn’t that much of a difference between the two. Not in *practice*.

    Republicans are slightly more into a free market economy and their care for other people is colored by the belief that it’s better to have real opportunities than be given handouts. The charges that Republicans don’t care about social issues, and particularly equality, have no basis at all in actual *motive* only in what they believe should be done about it. Democrats, of course, believe that what should be *done* is that the government step in like a parent and *make* everyone play nice. The Republican’s oppose the measures but rather than portray it as a disagreement about methods, it’s portrayed as a hatred for the oppressed.

    On topic to this thread… *were* those gay advocacy groups rejected because they were gay advocacy groups or is it *possible* that there was some other reason… maybe not one that you agree with, but a reason none-the-less?

    Last election there was a lot of complaining about how people voted for Bush *against their interests*. Poor people voted for Bush. Women voted for Bush. Hispanics and other minorities voted for Bush. But see, this element of faith… that Republicans are bad for poor people, bad for minorities, and also bad for gays, is really just that… an element of faith. You may not agree, but many people do, that the *best* thing for them personally is to make it without a hand-up and then to keep more of what they earn. It makes perfect sense to support economic and foreign policy that you feel will make you better off and safer.

    My feelings about the Democrats, other than economic and foreign policy disagreements, is that their advocacy of oppressed minorities is big on hot air and weak on concrete results. That it is often more important to be *seen* to do something than it is to actually do something that *works*. So they make lots of noise in all the right places and about all the right things.

    But as Dan was pointing out in his post… if you look a little closer, the noise isn’t helping you.

    What sense does it make to diss Israel in favor of the oppressed Palestinians when you’re *supposed* to be promoting women’s rights and gay rights?

    If you agree with Democratic ideas about the economy and foreign policy, by all means, be a Democrat. If you’re with them because they claim to support your community (loudly and often), then maybe you should look closer and consider being a Republican instead. It will be harder in a whole lot of ways, but it may be the right thing to do.

    Comment by Synova — February 10, 2006 @ 5:53 pm - February 10, 2006

  32. #12

    If it is no longer patriotic for responsible criticism (and this was) then maybe the enemies of freedom have already won.

    How, exactly, is suggesting that the U.S. is in cahoots with Iran “responsible criticism”?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — February 10, 2006 @ 5:55 pm - February 10, 2006

  33. How is the Bush Administration protecting human rights by LGBT individuals in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Jamaica?

    By demanding that their governments loosen up.

    All of the places you mention could use work on basic human rights, period. LGBT freedom isn’t going to come until several others are already in place.

    Now, several people have asked me about my assertion regarding the ILGA. As writer Rawley Grau points out, while ILGA did under pressure require its member groups to sign a statement saying they do not support pedophilia, they rescinded this requirement in 1996 — because groups refused to sign and started withholding donations.

    As for ILGHRC, they have regularly supported the Palestinian militant splinter groups fighting Israel — ironic, but in keeping with the Cindy-Sheehanesque “freedom fighter” mentality to which they adhere.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 10, 2006 @ 6:01 pm - February 10, 2006

  34. #31 – “[It seems that Democrats’] advocacy [for] oppressed minorities is big on hot air and weak on concrete results. That it is often more important to be *seen* to do something…”

    Yea more!

    The one thing you can always, ALWAYS count on a Democrat politician to do is: expand government.

    Even when they claim to be reducing it or protecting rights, they still find ways to expand government. E.g., abortion rights would SEEM to be an absence-of-government proposition – “let’s just not ban it or make arrests about it” – but in the Democrats’ hands, it then becomes a question of *government funding* for poor women’s abortions, funding for abortion advocacy (in some instances), penalties on states that don’t do it “right”, etc.

    So the dual agenda of the Democrats is always:

    1) Be SEEN to be doing something (regardless of whether it stands a chance of actually helping with the problem);

    2) Be ABSOLUTELY SURE that whatever you are SEEN to be doing is an expansion of government.

    Now, as you’ve rightly pointed out Synova, Republicans constantly fall prey to the same disease. But Republicans fall prey to it, say, 70-80% of the time, while with Democrats it is 95-100%.

    Either way, real friends of liberty and limited government are screwed, which is the reason I can’t bring myself to go Republican. (Nor am I a Democrat any longer – I was one for 15-20 years).

    Comment by Calarato — February 10, 2006 @ 6:16 pm - February 10, 2006

  35. Tom (#12): Let me just start by thanking you for your respectful disagreement. It’s always refreshing to find someone who thoughtfully has a different perspective rather than simply resorts to name-calling.

    That said, I’m not sure what your point is about being “patriotic”. I never brought it up and as I read Dan’s post, neither does he. It’s really not germaine and nobody was ever questioning anybody’s patriotism. This is a common tactic by the Left…to construct the strawman about patriotism to deflect a discussion. Not sure if that’s what you’re trying to do, but if so, please stop it.

    Furthermore, you are completely (and unfairly) slandering our Country by suggesting that “US [is] allying itself with Iran”. That is preposterous and you should know better than to say something so irresponsible. Simply becuase we have the policy for opposing these groups (for, in my opinion, very different reasons), we’re “allying” ourselves? That is an incredible debasement of the argument and not worthy of the other thoughtful things you wrote.

    Finally, to your point about proving Bush’s support of human rights for gays &ct, I’d point only to the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq. It amazes me that so few people can bring themselves to admit that we’ve done a good thing by liberating these nations. (Not to mention Condie’s words about Iran’s actions, but I thought we’d already been through all that.) Again, I love Jay Nordlinger’s proposition that there are some in this country who would rather see homosexuals stoned to death than they be liberated by GWB.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 10, 2006 @ 7:35 pm - February 10, 2006

  36. And finally, finally, finally, I get a chance to disagree with Calarato (#19):

    I heartily disagree with you that “Gay rights, by its essence, is a libertarian cause”. (That is, if you define “Gay [‘]rights[‘]” as it is usually described here.)

    Here are my two very glaring reasons why (I have more, but it took me so long to come to grips with the thought of disagreeing with you I had to regain my composure):

    1) Employment rights: If this is one of the things you include in the category of “gay rights”, there’s nothing libertarian about that. Any philosophy that allows the government to tell a business owner whom he can hire/fire or serve/refuse is completely against private ownership of business and therefore very non-libertarian.

    2) Gay Marriage: Without getting too far into this, although it is about liberties, it’s not libertarian. I have a whole post in my head about this that I need to write which will most certainly stretch the patience of Dan and Bruce, but the long story short here is: Gay marriage is the epitome of the Left’s take-over of what was once a libertarian nation. And it’s a bad thing. (Now that this can of worms is now officially open, I’ll have to get to that post soon.)

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 10, 2006 @ 7:47 pm - February 10, 2006

  37. Dale, I made a blanket statement because the blog itself I thought was a bit incoherant and pointless, like a rambling wreck.

    Calarato, your views on liberalism, socialism and libertarianism are a bit off base. The ACLU is the largest libertarian advocacy group in the United States, but I doubt you are an ACLU supporter. The ACLU supports all speech, even when it is not popular and they do not agree with the message. The same can’t be said of the Republican Party or conservatives in general. A good example of that would be the burning of the American flag as a political statement.

    And back to Dale. Arguing that Bush has support Clinton Administration policy on gays and that that alone is evidence that President Bush is as good as Clinton was on gay rights is a red herring. Clinton was President during the 1990’s. He moved gay rights forward as much as her could, often speaking about equality for gays during his presidency. President Bush, in his 5 years in office, has not seized upon President Clinton’s momentum and advanced the gay rights movement, at all.

    Comment by Brock — February 10, 2006 @ 7:55 pm - February 10, 2006

  38. 😉 ColoradoPatriot. The libertarian view would be (of course) that marriage isn’t rightly the business of government at all.

    Comment by Synova — February 10, 2006 @ 8:00 pm - February 10, 2006

  39. Brock, I would hardly call the ACLU a libertarian outfit. It once was, but is no longer.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — February 10, 2006 @ 8:04 pm - February 10, 2006

  40. Synova: Shh! Don’t give away my whole post!

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 10, 2006 @ 8:05 pm - February 10, 2006

  41. Of course, we have been lucky that gay rights have been advanced over the past 5 years, thanks to the liberals on the Supreme Court. And right there is another example of how Bush is overtly hostile to gay rights. He doesn’t say he will appoint justices like Stevens and Kennedy. He says he wants Scalia and Thomas. Now, whether he got a Scalia and Thomas in Roberts and Alito remains to be seen, but it is certainly the goal of the Bush Administration to tilt the Supreme Court away from making decisions like the one in Lawrence v. Texas.

    Comment by Brock — February 10, 2006 @ 8:10 pm - February 10, 2006

  42. Do the libertarians consider the ACLU libertarian?

    I don’t think that Bush is very interested in advancing Gays as a group. Which isn’t surprising as Republicans, of course, prefer to operate as though group identity ought not matter. Identity politics is the Dem “thing.”

    It may be true that Clinton “did all he could.” What I wonder, sometimes, is what people think that Bush “could” do but hasn’t.

    The push for gay marriage resulting in the various state ammendments defining marriage (supported by Dems like Kerry) and the margins by which they passed, might suggest that Bush couldn’t have advanced the gay rights movement even if he’d been inclined to do so. He *could*, I suppose, issue an executive order that persons in particular military specialties be retained even if they are openly gay and justify it as a wartime emergency measure. But it’s the congress that has to change the law (and likely why Clinton just directed the military not to “ask”.)

    Comment by Synova — February 10, 2006 @ 8:21 pm - February 10, 2006

  43. I’m calling bullshit here.

    There’s no way Brock can be for real. How could someone honestly so encapsulate so many of the caricatures of the Left in only a couple posts:

    First you prove an earlier point by saying that Clinton, merely by “speaking about equality for gays during his presidency” somehow did something. Then you actually laud the legislative tendencies of far-Left judges.

    You can’t be for real, seriously. You make it too easy to build a case about how out-of-touch with reality the Left is.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 10, 2006 @ 8:22 pm - February 10, 2006

  44. #36 – It’s a pleasure to have you disagree with me, CP. 🙂

    I guess I should explain what I mean by “rights”. Basically, real rights are the rights to use (or dispose of) one’s own life, liberty and property. They are NEVER the right to use (or dispose of) others’ life, liberty or property, without their voluntary permission.

    To get more specific: Barry Goldwater opposed the 1960s so-called “civil rights” acts, rightly, because they violate property rights. If I own a motel or whatever, I should be free to discriminate any way I want – *and I pay the price*, because others are equally free to then denounce me, NOT associate with me and NOT give me business. That’s the classical libertarian view. We’re all grownups and all free – or should be.

    On that reading, the Left version of “gay rights” does indeed suck. Coercing other people to accept gays (against their will) is indeed wrong.

    The only semi-plausible argument in favor of gay “employment rights”, so-called, is that the same type of injustice (i.e., government-coerced acceptance) has already been written into law on behalf of other groups – so why not our group too? Let’s face it, that’s one weak argument.

    With gay marriage, the argument works a little better, because marriage isn’t only a legal contract between the two individuals involved; it is a contract with the rest of society as well: the rest of society has role in upholding any given marriage.

    Many modern libertarians try to deny that and say “It’s just between the individuals; why should the State have any role?” I think they’re wrong about that. The Legislature defines marriage; it’s legitimate for gays to work through *legislative persuasion* (not activist judges) to change the definition in our favor.

    But that touches on my final point. There are LEFT libertarians, and there are RIGHT (or conservative) libertarians. The Left libertarians are, well, leftists – trying to expropriate / corrupt the language of liberty and “rights” for their own purposes. Too many of them are in the so-called “Libertarian Party”, which is why I won’t go with that party either.

    Put me firmly in the camp of the Right libertarians, or as I phrased it, “libertarian conservatives”.

    Do we agree now? 🙂

    Comment by Calarato — February 10, 2006 @ 9:03 pm - February 10, 2006

  45. P.S. And the ACLU: Total LEFT libertarians, which is to say, not real libertarians at all.

    The ACLU’s founder openly proclaimed his intention to establish Communism in the United States (by means of ACLU litigation). There is a famous quote out there somewhere.

    For the record, totalitarian socialism of any kind – whether Communism its “international” flavor, or Fascism its “national” flavor – is the opposite of what I stand for.

    Comment by Calarato — February 10, 2006 @ 9:09 pm - February 10, 2006

  46. You got me on a roll about the ACLU – I have to say more.

    I did support them (I’m talking decent-size donations) for about 10 years. This was during the same 15-20 years I was a Democrat.

    I had bought into the Left’s fake notion of “rights”: that it is about government deciding who gets to coerce whom and the injustice of group X being on top and group Y on bottom, which should be rectified – all by government fiat.

    What I’m going to leave out here, for brevity, is the story of how I eventually saw through that and understood the true concept of rights that I gave in the first couple paragraphs of #44.

    During that same time, the ACLU went more and more with the Left’s artificial, coercive notion of “rights”. It’s true that they will defend the KKK guy’s right to speak his hate speech. But that is just about the only real libertarian position they have left.

    What finally drove me away from them forever was the Michigan pro-discrimination case. I think it was in 2004?

    Basically, the State of Michigan was discriminating in its admissions on the basis of race. They put a very heavy thumb on the admissions “scale” in favor of certain unqualified and undeserving kids who just happen to be one race, at the expense of other races. (Or maybe their thumb is against one particular race – I have forgotten.)

    That is the opposite of Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision. He wanted color blind government institutions. As do I.

    Anyway, long story short – The good guys lost that battle in the Supreme Court, because Sandra Day O’Connor was muddle-headed about these matters. And the ACLU, of course, stood completely with the racists – window-dressing it as “affirmative action”.

    The ACLU President wrote a letter to the whole membership defending his stand in favor of racism, and that letter was the last straw for me. I couldn’t evade any longer the fact that the ACLU was (or had become) a racist organization and the opposite of what I stood for.

    In polite but firm language, I wrote the ACLU president to tell him so, and I have not given them a dime since.

    For those who truly care about liberty, Institute for Justice is a much better outfit.

    Comment by Calarato — February 10, 2006 @ 9:30 pm - February 10, 2006

  47. 23: Why is affirming “equal protection under the law” the same as “judicial activism”? I’d like to drop you folks into the early 1950s and see how you feel about Brown vs. the Board of Education. That was a pretty radical decision that asserted equal protection under the law (even went so far to say seperat but equal was unequal), but you guys would call it judicial activism and denounce it. Then again, you must enjoy what you get as conservatives as you don’t mind remaining second-class citizens some respects. Just stop attacking others who want equal rights.

    Comment by Kevin — February 10, 2006 @ 9:35 pm - February 10, 2006

  48. Calarato:
    Still not in complete agreement, but going too far into it now will blow the post I’m trying to put together, so I’ll hold off for now. But you’d better be there to argue with me when I put it up!

    By the way, disagreements or not, yes, I still have my intellectual crush on you 🙂

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 10, 2006 @ 11:17 pm - February 10, 2006

  49. #25 Tom in Utrecht — February 10, 2006 @ 2:48 pm – February 10, 2006

    Dale, regarding your comment on Horowitz changing his mind because he didn’t like who was opposing the FMA. That’s more than petty. It shows a total lack of conviction.

    Lack of conviction? Are you serious. In the 1960s and 1970s, Horowitz was a member of the far left. He edited Ramparts Magazine and wrote more than a few books on left wing politics and economics. He had a fairly sudden conversion in the early-to-mid 1970s and became a member of the far right.

    I’ve read the reason that he gives for his fairly sudden conversion, but it never made any sense. Why not suddenly convert from the far left to the center?

    Reading between the lines, I suspect that his sudden conversion was really, at base, financial. He could see the demise of the far left wing, which would leave little market for his lefty Ramparts magazine and books, and foresaw the upswing of the right, with a similar market opportunity at that end.

    Lack of conviction? Yes, indeed.

    Comment by raj — February 11, 2006 @ 12:40 am - February 11, 2006

  50. Why is affirming “equal protection under the law” the same as “judicial activism”?

    Because it doesn’t apply to pedophiles, polygamists, incest practitioners, and others.

    You see, judicial activism is when judges use a constitutional interpretation to overturn only a portion of legislative action, and not the whole law or related body of law. If the judges had been ruling consistently in Goodrich, they would have been forced to overturn ALL statutes limiting marriage in Massachusetts. But they instead amended only the laws they chose — a violation of separation of powers, since only the legislative branch is allowed to pass, repeal, or change laws.

    Then again, you must enjoy what you get as conservatives as you don’t mind remaining second-class citizens some respects. Just stop attacking others who want equal rights.

    Sorry, Kev, but you and the other liberals on this board have already made it clear that stripping gays of rights and denying them equality “does no harm” when Democrats do it. Indeed, you and your fellow Democrats have never ONCE called it antigay or bigoted for Democrats like John Kerry to support stripping Massachusetts gays of the right to marry.

    So don’t give us that bullshit about how you support “equality”, Kevin; it’s quite obvious you would call concentration camps “equality” if the Democrats told you to do it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 11, 2006 @ 1:37 am - February 11, 2006

  51. #2 NDT,

    One final question about your fury at John Kerry over the Missouri anti-Gay amendment. Will you attack John McCain for doing the same thing? He opposes FMA, but actively campaigns (which is more than Kerry did in Missouri)for the Arizona anti-Gay amendment. And didn’t McCain vote for DOMA? Does McCain support civil unions?

    Comment by Tom in Utrecht — February 11, 2006 @ 7:19 am - February 11, 2006

  52. #29 Dale,

    So you feel that a law allowing Texas to throw Gay men in prison for the crime of consensual sex between adults in private is constitutional?

    How about a law telling parents that you cannot designate your Lesbian sister as the custodian of your child if both parents become incapacitated?

    At what point would you draw the line and say that a law passed by 50.1% of the population is unconstitutional? Anywhere?

    Comment by Tom in Utrecht — February 11, 2006 @ 7:37 am - February 11, 2006

  53. #50 North Dallas Thirty — February 11, 2006 @ 1:37 am – February 11, 2006

    You see, judicial activism is when judges use a constitutional interpretation to overturn only a portion of legislative action, and not the whole law or related body of law. If the judges had been ruling consistently in Goodrich, they would have been forced to overturn ALL statutes limiting marriage in Massachusetts.

    Sorry, this is incorrect. After the plaintiffs have shown discrimination based on a particular characteristic, the burden passes to the state to prove that there is at least a rational basis for the discrimination. The MA marriage statute does not expressly discriminate against same-sex couples, but it is inferred. The plaintiffs in the Goodridge case had the burden of showing discrimination, which the MA Supreme Judicial Court held (inferentially) that they had satisfied. The burden of showing that there was at least a rational basis then passed to the state, and the SJC held that the state had not satisfied its burden.

    The various sections of the MA marriage statutes (particularly Chapter 207 , sections 1 through 14) define limitations on the right to marry. Sections 1 and 2 define degree of consanguinity. Section 4 relates to polygamy (section 6 does, as well, to some extent), and section 7 relates to age.

    Now, the Goodridge case involved at most sections 1 and 2 (consanguinity), at least inferentially. On the other hand, if an opposite-sex couple within the prohibited degree of consanguinity wanted to marry, they could do what the plaintiffs did in Goodridge, that is, bring an action, prove discrimination, and have the state provide a rational basis. If the state provided at least a rational basis, sections 1 and 2 would stand; if the state did not the sections would fall.

    The degree of consanguinity was not at issue in the Goodridge.

    If a couple (whether opposite sex or same-sex) wanted to engage in a polygamous marriage with a third party, that would have involved Section 4. Assuming that the plaintiffs could prove discrimination, the burden would shift to the state to prove that the discrimination was rational. If the state provided at least a rational basis for the discrimination, in which case section 4 would stand and, if it could not, the section would fail.

    Just to let you know, the question of whether there was a “rational basis” for laws against polygamy was considered by the US SupCt in an 1879 case out of the Utah Territory, Reynolds vs. US. The Court held that Congress’s statute against polygamy in the Utah Territory was within Congress’s power to pass (Congress has plenary powers in the territories–that is, its powers are not limited to the powers in Article I section 8), and further that there was a rational basis for laws against polygamy. Of course, that decision would not be binding on the MA SJC, but it does suggest that plaintiffs in a MA case might have a hard row to hoe in proving a rational basis.

    The same would go for discrimination based on age, section 7.

    So, the SJC’s striking down the discrimination on same-sex marriage would not have required them to strike down sections on consanguinity, polygamy, or age.

    The text of sections 1-14 of Chapter 207 is available through http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/gl-207-toc.htm

    Comment by raj — February 11, 2006 @ 8:11 am - February 11, 2006

  54. At what point would you draw the line and say that a law passed by 50.1% of the population is unconstitutional? Anywhere?

    When that law violates specific applicable language found in the Constitution. No ‘penumbras.’ No ’emanations.’ No ‘products-and-consequences.’ It’s the legislature’s job to worry about products and consequences, not the courts.

    Because once the Constitution can be twisted to produce any outcome a judge desires, it becomes a meaningless document, and we no longer have a rule of law, we have a rule of (wo)men.

    Comment by V the K — February 11, 2006 @ 10:04 am - February 11, 2006

  55. And for God’s sake, American laws should be judged in the context of our American Constitution, and not the laws of some declining Third World Craphole… like France.

    Comment by V the K — February 11, 2006 @ 10:20 am - February 11, 2006

  56. He opposes FMA, but actively campaigns (which is more than Kerry did in Missouri)for the Arizona anti-Gay amendment. And didn’t McCain vote for DOMA? Does McCain support civil unions?

    I’ll be more than happy to vent my spleen on John McCain, Tom, because it is wrong in my opinion to use state constitutional amendments to discriminate against gays. It’s my understanding that McCain supports limited rights, but not full-fledged partnerships or marriage.

    However, Tom, the big difference between McCain and Kerry is this; McCain never lied to gays and told them he supported their rights. Kerry lied to gay groups and paid gay activists to spread his lies, then (as expected) reversed himself and walked away.

    So in short, while McCain is no perfect gem in terms of gay rights, at least he didn’t steal tens of millions of dollars from gays based on his lies.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 11, 2006 @ 11:47 am - February 11, 2006

  57. Sorry, this is incorrect. After the plaintiffs have shown discrimination based on a particular characteristic, the burden passes to the state to prove that there is at least a rational basis for the discrimination.

    You have read the decision, right? It says that moral disapproval is not sufficient grounds for rational basis. In that case, if the court were being consistent, it should have struck down all provisions restricting marriage, since they ALL are based on “moral approval”.

    But keep going, Raj; I do love watching people contort themselves into knots over why attacks made to get gay marriage on the basis that the state should have no power to regulate relationships don’t also unravel the rest of the laws related to that.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 11, 2006 @ 11:52 am - February 11, 2006

  58. 53: Thanks….I was about to look this up, but your response is excellent. It shows the fallacy that exists in the whole “judicial activism” BS that the right wing is pushing down the throats of Americans. It’s made to sound as if justices themselves bring up cases for review. It’s also the push that some conservatives lawmakers are trying to insert in bills before congress to make the laws themselves completely free of judicial review or any test of constitutionality. It’s extremely dangerous in a great democracy such as ours.

    Comment by Kevin — February 11, 2006 @ 6:34 pm - February 11, 2006

  59. 50/57: Excuse me, but I do not blanketly approve everything that all Democrats say, just like I don’t automatically disagree with everything every Republican says. If you check other posts I have made, I’ve said this (ie agreeing with wiretapping, even though not with the secretive way it’s being carried out)

    Also, I don’t normally share personal information on these boards, but here goes: A few weeks ago my father passed away and I returned to my home state for the funeral, to help with the arrangements, to comfort my step-mother, etc. My father and step-mother were/are very active in the Republican party there and have many friends who are as well as elected officials (one of their Republican US Senators sent a representative from his office to the viewing). During this time I had to speak with a number of them, some of them who I knew to be rabid homophobes and one guy in particular who is a state senator, extremely homophobic and who pushed and passed in legislature the anti-gay marriage law in my home state. I spoke with respect and dignity to these people without even the idea to use this as some kind soap box for political discourse. Interestingly enough also, my father was a former marine and very involved with sports. I have 2 brothers who each fit into each of these categories (the one who is a Marine is currently serving in Iraq and came home for the funeral) as well as being die-hard republicans as well. Both of these brothers had essentially abandoned contact with my father for the last several years, while I regularly spoke with the folks, visited them when I could and took them on vacations. Because of their military/sports/political affiliation, the brothers were the ones who were heaped with praise by the attendees of the funeral and for having so much in common with my father. My brothers refused to even come by our house at all (except for the sports brother, who made a point to come by just before he left town so he could take posession of my father’s 2 sets of golf clubs). Annoyed about this? yes, but more importantly though, I was the one who stayed at the house with my step-mother throughout a difficult time and she (and interestingly enough, her family) appreciated it beyond anything they could say.

    So, as far as your labelling me as some kind of liberal nutcase my friend, please feel free to stick in your pipe and smoke it.

    Comment by Kevin — February 11, 2006 @ 7:12 pm - February 11, 2006

  60. Actually, if I had to go home for a funeral, and I had a brother who was a shrill, self-righteous prick and who was so delusional and paranoid he thought Republicans were out to exterminate him, I’d probably try to avoid spending time around him as well.

    Comment by V the K — February 11, 2006 @ 8:35 pm - February 11, 2006

  61. Excuse me, but I do not blanketly approve everything that all Democrats say, just like I don’t automatically disagree with everything every Republican says. If you check other posts I have made, I’ve said this (ie agreeing with wiretapping, even though not with the secretive way it’s being carried out)

    And yet, you have never ONCE disagreed with homophobic Democrats. Nor have you flung the same hate-laced invective against them that you do against others who support constitutional amendments to strip gays of rights.

    Meanwhile, for your personal story. I am sorry for your loss and for your stepmother’s loss.

    I will point this out:

    I spoke with respect and dignity to these people without even the idea to use this as some kind soap box for political discourse.

    And yet, you made pains to tell us how awful these people and your brothers were because they’re Republicans.

    And one question….aren’t you wondering why you weren’t publicly scorned, flogged, and paraded off to concentration camps at the point of a gun, given all the Republicans you were around?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 11, 2006 @ 11:49 pm - February 11, 2006

  62. Dittos.

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    At the same time, your story does scream “missing information – two sides”. If I were a Marine in Iraq, and I thought one of my brothers had no appreciation for that, and that he even thought I was a bigot eager to exterminate him… I would indeed steer clear of that brother, especially in my father’s funeral time. Whether or not I was truly an asshole.

    Just wondering – have you ever thanked him for his service?

    Comment by Calarato — February 12, 2006 @ 1:05 am - February 12, 2006

  63. And, V the K…..sigh.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 12, 2006 @ 1:47 am - February 12, 2006

  64. V the K, North Dallas Thirty and Calatro….Thank you for once again proving that you are 3 people here who continually make assumptions about other people without getting all the infromation. And here you are doing it one after the other. You 3 strike me as pretty mean-spirited, nasty pieces of work, based on the vitriolic venom you spew in your posts here. At least the others who post here regularly know the difference between the political and the personal.

    Just so you know, we don’t discuss politics or being gay in my family. Also, as I posted in another topic here a while back, I pray for his safety regularly, even though we don’t get along.

    Comment by Kevin — February 12, 2006 @ 9:09 pm - February 12, 2006

  65. Kevin,

    I agree V phrased his thing harshly, but let me point out that #62 (mine) makes no assumptions about you. It is filled with questions not answers… more “ifs” than assertions.

    Its only assertion is my own perception or observation that your story presents a single side (yours). I stand by it.

    Apparently, it hit a nerve in you. That does not surprise me, because of (1) past behavior I’ve seen from you here (including the “they’re out to exterminate me” thing in this forum being overboard); and (2) the inherently sensitive nature of your loss, for which I am again sorry (having gone through it).

    Let me repeat my earlier question: Have you ever thanked your Marine brother for his service?

    You did not answer that question. You DON’T owe me an answer; keep it private by all means; but I note that you DID choose to make a public response and in that response, you skirted the question. You say you pray for your brother’s safety, and that’s wonderful, but it is not the same as thanking him personally.

    You also say you don’t discuss politics with your brother, with an unspoken implication (for our consumption?) that he therefore would not know about your considering him a bigot who wants to exterminate you.

    Well Kevin, a word to the wise: People are smarter than that. Yes, even military people. Even conservatives. You don’t have to “officially” discuss politics with him, for him to “get” what you think of him. Trust me: He knows. There’s no way he couldn’t.

    Comment by Calarato — February 12, 2006 @ 10:17 pm - February 12, 2006

  66. You 3 strike me as pretty mean-spirited, nasty pieces of work, based on the vitriolic venom you spew in your posts here. At least the others who post here regularly know the difference between the political and the personal.

    Sure they do.

    Really, Kevin. You call what I said to you MEAN? (shakes head) You haven’t even come close to hearing mean from me yet.

    When I question your sexuality, as you do mine, that will be mean.

    When I say that you want gays imprisoned, as you do of me, that will be mean.

    When I say that you want gays to be stripped of their livelihood and housing, as you do of me, that will be mean.

    Right now, the fact that I regularly point out your complete and utter inability to criticize homophobic politicians because of their party affiliation is your threshold of “mean”. I don’t doubt it is to you, being as it happens so infrequently in liberal circles, but really….don’t come in here with that kind of attitude and whine about “vicious vitriol” when you and yours regularly fling barrels of it in our direction.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 13, 2006 @ 1:54 am - February 13, 2006

  67. If there were a game here NDT, it could conceivably be this one:

    “I told them about a personal difficulty, and they didn’t rush to coddle and pity me and ‘validate’ my subjective side of the story as leftists would; and I really knew they wouldn’t, but let’s pretend otherwise… so now they must be REALLY NASTY which retroactively justifies my nastiness! so I don’t have to look at myself or feel guilty! I’m better!”

    Of course, V really was nasty (sorry V). But I guess V had “had it” with Kevin. I haven’t followed a good chunk of what Kevin writes you guys.

    Comment by Calarato — February 13, 2006 @ 3:17 am - February 13, 2006

  68. Nasty — yes. Accurate — also, yes. Basically, Kevin’s “look what a martyr I am, caring for my step-mother while my evil heartless Republican Marine brothers blew her off in her time of need” act just didn’t impress me. I don’t care much for people who brag about their “good deeds” to begin with… even less when they do so in the context of exploiting a private family tragedy to make a political statement. (Cindy Sheehan, anyone?) It just rubs me the wrong way.

    And, yeah, the whole act Kevin does with attacking people on the right with the same cliched stereotypes, then whining every time a gay group gets critcized is pretty tired as well.

    Comment by V the K — February 13, 2006 @ 7:09 am - February 13, 2006

  69. You have a point. It was the aspect of “look at me promote my own virtue so I can score points on Republicans and you”, that told me something was off.

    Remember some debate we were having last summer, where Reader (or QP or PP or one of those identities) staged a giant, lengthy scene of “caring” and kissing goodnight between him/her/it and “Laurie”, a fake “dead soldier mother” character he/she/it invented? Kevin’s thing almost got to having a touch of that flavor, for me. Honest doers of good deeds don’t then deploy them as weapons.

    Comment by Calarato — February 13, 2006 @ 11:52 am - February 13, 2006

  70. #52: “So you feel that a law allowing Texas to throw Gay men in prison for the crime of consensual sex between adults in private is constitutional?

    How about a law telling parents that you cannot designate your Lesbian sister as the custodian of your child if both parents become incapacitated?”

    Quote the language in the constitution that says otherwise. And just to be clear, since you’re a liberal and this subtlety might be lost on you, I’m not asking you to explain why it’s a bad or stupid law. I’m asking you to show me how it’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL. I know it’s a stupid law. I think it’s a stupid law that someone can’t use drugs in the privacy of their home and that law should be changed, but it would be an act of judicial activism if a judge made that decision.

    We have a means to change the constitution if we think it’s failing somewhere. It’s called an amendment. I can think of a few I’d like to push through. I’d even be supportive of a “Right to Privacy” amendment, depending on how it’s worded, of course.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 13, 2006 @ 1:23 pm - February 13, 2006

  71. “LOL!!!! Leave it to the prof to put it as succinctly as possible! Nicely done, my friend…”

    RightWingProf is a debate sniper. He takes careful aim and in one or two sentences, some liberal propoganda statement has its’ proverbial brains splattered all over the concrete.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 13, 2006 @ 1:30 pm - February 13, 2006

  72. Here’s where I think I have to disagree with you on something, Dale.

    By its very nature, the purpose of the Constitution is to limit government and retain rights for the people. It spells out what powers the government has – Not what powers the people have.

    Of course, some people said “Well if we don’t spell out some of the most basic and essential rights, they’ll all get infringed over time.” And we got the Bill of Rights.

    The counter-argument to that was, “If we spell out some of the people’s rights, then people will start thinking the Constitution is a charter to spell out (and limit) the people, rather than the government”. And, sadly, that has proved true, among both liberals and (non-libertarian) conservatives.

    But to try to defeat that, the Framers put in the 9th Amendment, which says “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    In addition, the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people“. [emphasis added]

    Bottom line:

    – Most Constitutional law in the modern U.S. is in direct violation of the 9th and 10th Amendments and the intent of the Framers.

    – Taking the 9th and 10th Amendments together, the people absolutely retain a right to privacy, to homosexual sodomy, to baking cakes, playing checkers, or any other right you could possibly think of people choosing to do in their own lives, that does not conflict with powers explicitly delegated to government.

    – Liberal and conservative interpretations of the Constitution are both wrong. The liberal way is to interpret government powers expansively, AND SOME of the people’s rights expansively. While the conservative way is to interpret both government powers narrowly, and the people’s rights narrowly (e.g., “there is no right to homosexual sodomy in the Constitution”). But a correct interpretation (meaning: consistent with the Natural Rights and Limited Government theories of the Framers, and the 9th Amendment) would interpret government’s powers narrowly AND the people’s rights expansively, at the same time.

    So yes: Laws limiting what people can do in their private lives are inherently unconstitutional.

    Note: If restrictions on abortion are an exception to that (i.e., are acceptable), the reason would be that at some point, you have to consider the fetus’ rights as well as the mothers. I consider that point to be late in the pregnancy, i.e., I favor late-term restrictions on abortion (and I oppose early-term restrictions).

    Comment by Calarato — February 13, 2006 @ 2:14 pm - February 13, 2006

  73. Dan, thanks for the link to my FPM piece. I just ran across this comments area today, so I haven’t finished reading all of them, but my first impression is of how much higher quality the responses are here than on the FPM discussion boards. I knew I would enounter lots of homophobia there, and was not disappointed. But that aside, even the obnoxious postings on here that I have read show more wit than the lame “Bunghole Mountain” jokes I was getting on FPM. I agree that David Horowitz is gay welcoming (he has published me four times, for example, and as has been noted, I am far from alone). I also agree with the comment that the reactive way he switched sides on the Federal Marriage Amendment did not impress. His editor, Jamie Glazov, has been fair to me, and asked me last week to suggest names of people to invite to participate in a web-based panel discussion dealing with the left and Islam. Among those I recommended were Bruce Bawer (whose important book, While Europe Slept, comes out this month), Paul Varnell (some of whose essays concerning Islam can be found at the Independent Gay Forum), and Michael Petrelis of the Petrelis Files blog, who has been very good on the Danish cartoon controversy. I have a column on that subject, by the way, that may appear later this week in Bay Windows (though I haven’t heard from my editor yet). I don’t know when that FPM virtual panel discussion will occur, but I’ll let you know. I am hoping, incidentally, that Bruce Bawer will be heading to the U.S. on a book tour, but when I reached him the other day he hadn’t heard yet from his publisher on that point.

    Comment by Richard J. Rosendall — February 13, 2006 @ 5:56 pm - February 13, 2006

  74. Calarato, you miss the point of affirmative action.

    As a program, affirmative action is not designed to simply be racist and give blacks preferential treatment. That is not its intended purpose. What affirmative action seeks to do is merely accelerate the change of the societal structure, the remaining legacy of slavery and segregation, that has most black people still living in urban ghettos.

    In determining whether you support affirmative action or not, you have to ask yourself; Should we as a society make sacrifices to erase the lingering stain of sins past or must we be color-blind now, even if that means societal change for the majority of black people will come about more slowly?

    It is a difficult question and despite your hardened position, there is no obvious right and wrong answer.

    Comment by Brock — February 14, 2006 @ 8:26 pm - February 14, 2006

  75. Calarato, OK i just read your post about the 1964 civil rights act. I suspect what I just wrote will resonate with you like Islam does to a Jew. LOL

    Government can not allow private business to discrimnate against people as they choose, otherwise you end up with situations like you did in the South prior to 1964. The market did not take care of that situation very well, did it? Private business is only private in that, it is privately owned. Once you begin serving the public, which most buiness has to do in order to turn a profit, you lose the rights you retain on private property.

    Comment by Brock — February 14, 2006 @ 8:52 pm - February 14, 2006

  76. Awesome! Your blog ROCKS! Man… If I was you I would be proud, so you should! Laterz dude….

    Comment by skiing — April 15, 2006 @ 4:03 pm - April 15, 2006

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