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“Tone Deaf” Campaign to Defeat CA Marriage Initiative?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:57 pm - June 10, 2008.
Filed under: California politics,Gay Marriage

In January, after attending a meeting the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center announcing a new initiative, LetCaliforniaRing, to promote gay marriage in California, I faulted the group’s campaign video for doing little that is likely to “change minds.” Their campaign seemed designed not to those voters skeptical of changing the state definition of the institution to include same-sex couples, but to make gay activists and their supporters on their left feel good about themselves.

If those spearheading that initiative are in charge of the campaign to defeat the initiative on this fall’s ballot proposing to amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, the proposition is all but certain to pass.

I’m not alone in this belief. Pointing out that “gay activists have lost nearly every fight to stop gay marriage bans,” Patrick Range McDonald, who blogs at the LA Weekly, faults the language of the initiative’s opponents:

Equality For All seems to be rolling out a decidedly partisan message. On its web site, for example, the coalition repeatedly cites “extremists” and the “right-wing” as the enemy. (The Human Rights Campaign also sends out emails seeking donations with references to “our right-wing opponents.”) These are political buzz words that will undoubtedly turn off Republican voters, much in the same way Democrats see red whenever Republicans disparagingly say “liberal,” and the gays cannot afford to needlessly offend anyone–no matter what the current polls say.

It never really is a particularly good idea to insult the people whose votes you’re trying to win:

All in all, the fiery language suggests political amateurs or the politically tone deaf are currently running the show for the gays. Even worse, veterans of past gay marriage defeats may be at the helm.

In many cases, those “veterans” sought to demonize the proponents of the traditional definition of marriage. They may help them feel good about themselves by projecting their own insecurities on their ideological adversaries, but it won’t do much to make those currently wary of gay marriage feel good about about voting to change the longstanding definition of the institution.

The idea is to show why gay marriage is good not just for gay people, but for society at large. I’ve said this before. And so have others. Now, the idea is to turn this message into a political campaign, one that changes minds in order to win votes.

Canadian Pastor Punished for Criticizing Gays

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:06 pm - June 10, 2008.
Filed under: Free Speech,Gays in Other Lands

Welcome Ezra Levant Readers! We support your man’s standing up to the Canadian thought police! But, don’t know that I’d call myself a “gay activist.” 🙂

In the update to my post on the politically correct investigation of an Irish politician’s wife for her intemperate remarks on homosexuality, I linked Mark Hemingway’s Corner piece on the result of a similar investigation in the Canadian province of Alberta.

An Alberta Human Rights (sic) Panel issued a ruling last month punishing the Reverend Stephen Boissoin for “causing to be published” in the Red Deer Advocate (a community newspaper in that Alberta town) in 2002 a letter which “was likely to expose homosexuals to hatred or contempt because of their sexual orientation.”

As a result of the allegedly hurtful contents of his letter, the Panel ordered Boissoin and his group, the Concerned Christian Coalition to:

. . . cease publishing in newspapers, by email, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals. Further, they shall not and are prohibited from making disparaging remarks in the future about Dr. Lund [the anti-Christian activist who filed the complaint] or Dr. Lund’s witnesses relating to their involvement in this complaint. Further, all disparaging remarks versus homosexuals are directed to be removed from current web sites and publications of Mr. Boissoin and The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc.

Boissoin also had to publish an apology and pay a fine. He remains defiant, vowing not pay “unless failing to do so prevents my ability to appeal.

Calling this, “the most revolting order I have ever seen in Canada,” Ezra Levant offers a more thorough dissection of this latest action of the Canadian kangaroo courts, officially known as Human Rights panels.

In this particular panel’s substantive ruling, Lori G. Andreachuk, the arbiter deciding the case, finds that “the publication’s exposure of homosexuals to hatred and contempt trumps the freedom of speech afforded in the Charter.” That charter is the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms. Seems a pretty flimsy charter if one bureaucrat can dismiss its protections with the flick of her wrist.


Hillary and Chelsea

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:07 pm - June 10, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics

In an interview last month with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Hillary Clinton “choked up” when relating how “her daughter’s presence on the campaign trail had been one of the ‘most incredibly gratifying experiences of my life.’” (Video available at the link via Don Surber.) That was one time I didn’t question the sincerity of the former First Lady’s emotion.

You see back when I lived in the Washington, D.C.-area in the 1990s, I briefly dated a guy who had served on a military detail which followed the then-First Lady. He reported that Mrs. Clinton was as cold and brusque as media reports indicated except when Chelsea was around. In the presence of her daughter, she warmed up, seemed genuinely concerned with her child’s wellbeing and even become more considerate of others around her.

Video clips of Mrs. Clinton and her daughter confirm his observation. She did seem more relaxed when she was campaigning with her daughter. Indeed, the most natural she seemed (at least from the clips and photos I watched) was when she appeared together in a forum with her mother and daughter.

This was quite a contrast from her attempting to imitate her husband’s gestures — or those of other politicians. She always seemed fake when pointing to someone in the audience or clapping during a campaign rally.

In reflecting on the warmth she showed when together with Chelsea, I wonder if Mrs. Clinton might have been better served in her unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination had she campaigned more regularly with her daughter.

Mark Steyn More Interested in European Gay Bashing than Joe Solmonese?

I decided to buy the paperback edition of Mark Steyn’s soon-to-be-banned-in Canada book, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, upon reading his post on the Corner noting that the introduction to that edition addresses “the Dutch gay-bashing spree.”

Mark is true to his word. On page xiii, he writes, “Gay-bashing is on the rise in the most famously ‘tolerant’ cites in Europe,” with half of the attacks in Amsterdam “committed by men of Moroccan origin.” Dutch researchers try to explain this away with theories of social marginalization and sexual insecurity, i.e., that the attackers are merely closeted gays.

Steyn, however, thinks there’s more to this increase than such politically correct explanations offered by liberal academics.

To be sure, the increase in gay-bashing helps confirm Steyn’s thesis about the perils of excessive tolerance of Muslim minorities in Europe. But, at least he’s talking about it.

Joe Solmonese, president of the largest gay political groups in the country, while ostensibly an advocate of gays, remains all but silent on an issue that Steyn, a leading conservative columnist, has addressed on more than one occasion.

I guess the increase in gay-bashings in Europe just doesn’t help confirm Solmonese’s theories about the need for more government to promote gay “equality.” Although many European nations, including the Netherlands have policies similar to those Joe advocates over here, gay-bashing is on the increase over there.

It would be nice if Joe and his confrères from other gay political outfits would show as much interest in the fates of our fellows in European nations as do conservative pundits.

Yawn, HRC Endorses Obama

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:10 pm - June 10, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Gay Politics

Just realized I had neglected to post on that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) endorsed Barack Obama for President soon after the Illinois Senator won enough delegates to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. I guess I forgot about it because HRC endorsing the Democratic nominee is about as newsworthy as Fred Phelps’ church protesting a funeral. It’s what they do.

I mean, HRC even refused to rescind its endorsement of Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection after that Democrat signed the Defense of Marriage ACT (DOMA).

There may be an interesting wrinkle to the HRC endorsement this year. A source told me the Board’s vote was far from unanimous. Apparently some Board members expressed strong reservations about backing the Democratic nominee this year. I am trying to verify that.

Such dissension would help confirm what I’ve been noticing about Gay Democrats backing John McCain as it suggests the HRC Board may be more broad-minded that its overwhelmingly Democratic membership would indicate.

UPDATE: As part of my attempt to verify dissension on the HRC Board about the decision to endorse the Democratic nominee, I contacted some politically-connected friends in DC who might be “in the know.” One wrote back: “I haven’t heard that… I would be a little surprised if that were true. I know most of the HRC folks were all in for Hillary but I would be shocked if there was any dissension on that board about backing the Democratic nominee.”

Gay Groups: Ill-timed Lawsuits set fight for Marriage Back

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:10 pm - June 10, 2008.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Gay Politics,Legal Issues

Since I first met Evan Wolfson, now of Freedom (sic) to Marry at the 1995 Log Cabin Convention in Cincinnati, I have faulted him for pursuing marriage through the courts. As I have expressed repeatedly on this blog, I believe the proper venue to push for this change is through elected legislatures.

As we have seen in the wake of the Goodridge ruling in Massachusetts mandating same-sex marriage in the Bay State, such court decisions prompt a backlash, with a raft of social conservative citizens’ groups pushing successfully for referenda and initiatives amending state constitutions to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

But, when state Supreme Courts fail to mandate same-sex marriage, holding that is the province of the legislature, the impetus for such ballot propositions diminish and those already on the ballot generate less support. In some cases, such judicial defeats lead to legislative action.

Today, I received an e-mail from Evan’s group with this statement:

Four LGBT legal organizations and five other leading national LGBT groups have issued a statement entitled “Make Change, Not Lawsuits.” The statement explains that while couples who go to California to marry should ask friends, neighbors and institutions to honor their marriages, they generally shouldn’t sue. The statement says that ill-timed lawsuits are likely to set the fight for marriage back, and that there are other ways to fight which are more likely to win.

(Emphasis added). Ill-timed lawsuits likely to set the fight back. Nice to see they finally get it.

I believe the recent California Supreme Court ruling will make it easier for the ballot proposition amending the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman to pass. It’s too bad Wolfson and his cohorts didn’t consider that before supporting the lawsuit which lead to that unfortunate decision.

McCain “Another Tacky Republican Man”?

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 12:30 pm - June 10, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Elections,2008 Presidential Politics

With the nominations on both sides now clinched, it appears that the media is exploring rumors circulating about John McCain’s past – especially concerning his first wife Carol:

Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: “I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is — deceit. When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it. Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better. This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.” (Daily Mail)

If you didn’t get the inklings beforehand, it looks like this is going to be a very nasty campaign with all kinds of personal charges being made against both candidates. A rather unpleasant prospect but it will be interesting to see how they both weather the proverbial storm. We’ve seen some of the airing of dirty laundry about Obama and now McCain is facing the same. One wonders what else is in store for the two that is soon-to-be-exposed and run the gamut of the media and blogosphere?

h/t – Five Feet of Fury

— John (Average Gay Joe)

India’s Navy Expanding Rapidly

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 12:16 pm - June 10, 2008.
Filed under: Military,Politics abroad

I’ve been reading about this for several years now, how India’s “blue water fleet” and submarine capacity is rapidly expanding. Given it’s population size, available resources and increasing technological capabilities, this increase of their naval abilities definitely makes them a regional power to be reckoned with. This could make our own interests in the region more difficult to maintain in the future if our “on-again, off-again” alliance with the Indians veers towards the latter. Hopefully in light of China’s own rapid expansion and the historic enmity between the two powers, our ties with India will be maintained postively. All in all, while India does still have many problems to overcome, it is an interesting look at how a once backward nation has transformed itself in a relatively short period of time.

While Chinese naval modernization efforts are capturing the attention of Western naval officials and analysts as well as journalists and even bloggers, little attention is being given to the Indian Navy’s massive expansion effort. Mohammed Ahmedullah, a leading defense writer, wrote in Military Technology (2/2008):

“With the second biggest Army in the world and a rapidly expanding Navy, India knows that it needs to modernize fast, leapfrog in technology and accumulate military assets rapidly over the next decade if it has to safeguard it growing economic might with military teeth…”

Within a decade the naval forces of India will include two large aircraft carriers, a large force of missile-armed surface warships, and a significant submarine flotilla, probably including three nuclear-propelled attack submarines. The rationale for the expansion of the Indian fleet is to protect the flow of oil to India’s rapidly growing economy… (Defense Tech)

UPDATE: The Futurist has a very intriguing post about why the United States will still be the world’s sole superpower in 2030.

— John (Average Gay Joe)