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With Courts Upholding Bans on Gay Marriage, Issue Loses Punch at Ballot Box

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:41 pm - October 15, 2006.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

I don’t often read the New York Times, but have observed that despite that paper’s bias, it occasionally produces some very solid reporting. A Friday the Thirteenth article on gay marriage shows that the Old Gray Lady seems to “get” the reality of one aspect of the gay marriage debate. In that piece, “Gay Marriage Losing Punch as Ballot Issue,” reporter Kirk Johnson notes that this year this issue “has largely failed to rouse conservative voters.

While he notes that some “of the proposed bans are struggling in the polls,” I would expect most, it not all of them to pass, given the track record of such referenda. But, we’re not hearing so much about the issues as we have in the past. Johnson notes that the momentum has shifted:

The momentum against same-sex marriage at the ballot box has also been hurt by court cases that have upheld bans on same-sex marriage– notably rulings by the highest courts in New York and Washington this summer — by removing some of the urgency for constitutional amendments.

Exactly. As long as state courts stay out of this issue, most Americans won’t see the need for referenda defining marriage as it has long been defined — as the union of one man and one woman.

In this new environment, advocates of gay marriage need to focus on developing means to make their case the American people. This strategy will require not only solid arguments, but also patience. In the short term, we will likely have to accept a number of defeats as the American people don’t yet seem ready to expand the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. In some cases, we will have to settle for civil unions. Indeed, I recommend looking to last year’s legislation in Connecticut as the appropriate strategy for now.

As long as the courts stay out of this, I believe we will be able to convince the American people — and their elected representatives — to support legal recognition of (and benefits for) same-sex couples. The victory may not be as swift as a court decision, but a victory harder won could provide longer-lasting benefits and less social division.

-Dan (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)

Only US Congressman Who Admitted to Statutory Rape Dies Suddenly

Well, that would be the headline if US Rep. Gerry Studds were a Republican.

Studds, 1st Openly Gay Congressman, Dies – AP 

Instead, the media coverage has glossed over this minor little inconvenient fact and has focused on the reaction of liberals hailing Studds as a “gay pioneer”.

“Gerry’s leadership changed Massachusetts forever and we’ll never forget him. His work on behalf of our fishing industry and the protection of our waters has guided the fishing industry into the future and ensured that generations to come will have the opportunity to love and learn from the sea. He was a steward of the oceans.”

– U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

“No one fought harder for human rights, particularly in Latin America; for our environment; and for the fishermen of New England and the entire nation. He was a true pioneer.”

– U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., whose wife, Lisa, once worked as an aide to Studds.

“Gerry often said that it was the fight for gay and lesbian equality that was the last great civil rights chapter in modern American history. He did not live to see its final sentences written, but all of us will forever be indebted to him for leading the way with compassion and wisdom. He gave people of his generation, of my generation, and of future generations the courage to be who they are.”

– Dean Hara, who married Studds in 2004.

Yep, Studds is in the same league as other pioneering gay icons like George Michael, Mark Foley and Jim McGreevey.  Except Studds actually did have sex with an underage Congressional page… and boasted about it

Studds was never ashamed of the relationship with the page. 

“This young man knew what he was doing,” Hara said. “He was at (Studds’) side.”

Studds told his colleagues in a speech on the floor of the House that everyone faces a daily challenge of balancing public and private lives.

“These challenges are made substantially more complex when one is, as am I, both an elected public official and gay,” Studds said at the time. 

So bravo, Gerry Studds.  You were the first Congressman to be out, proud, and a confessed child predator who is still bravely defended by your political party.  What a great role model for gays who followed you.  I shall miss you.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)