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Should Republicans Boycott Gay Confabs?

I want to begin this post by commending the various gay organizations spearheading  “Meet in the Middle” event in Fresno yesterday.  They’re taking a step in the right direction by gathering in a more Republican region of the state, understanding that they need “explain who we are to the heartland,” as Orange County gay activist Linda May put it.

I believe, Prop 8 will be overturned, if those organized in favor of a new ballot initiative doing just that, work to change people’s minds by making the case for gay marriage (instead of attacking supporters of the institution’s traditional definition).  To that end, they need develop a strategy to reach Republicans, given that Republicans, like Fresno residents, voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop 8.

I did not attend “Meet in the Middle” (even as I had considered going as it might provide fodder for blog posts) for a great variety of reasons, chief, among them, that while approximately one in every four self-identified gay voter votes Republican, organizers included no Republicans on the event agenda, as just as their confrères (and soeurs) invited no Republicans to speak at the Decision Day Rally, as they had no Republicans at a Town hall on gay marriage at LA’s Gay and Lesbian Center, as they included no Republicans in the officials program of the “Equality Summit.”

See the pattern?  In conferences on gay marriage, the organizing groups regularly exclude gay Republicans.

To overturn Prop 8, they’d do well to include those who know how to talk to a group which voted overwhelmingly in favor of the ballot initiative.

Perhaps gay Republicans should start boycotting such confabs until the organizers acknowledge our presence in the community.  If we were an approved minority which threatened such action, they would bend over backwards to accommodate us, even holding seminars exploring their own internalized bias against political minorities in the gay community.

More on this anon, much more.

Excusing Obama for Conduct Which Earned Excoriation for Bush

When I first skimmed Bruce’s post on the President’s trip to New York to keep a campaign promise to his wife (as the Washington Post put it), I thought my co-blogger was grasping at straws in his eagerness to “get” the Democrat.  But, the more I thought about the situation, the more I realized he had a point.

First, just a quick aside to address the Post‘s spin, since he’s keeping a promise to his “most important supporter” couldn’t he keep one to the rest of the people who elected him by acting on that “net spending cut” he talked about “throughout” his campaign?

Our critics may be onto something when they fault then-President Bush for appearing aloof after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, but if they’re going to fault him for his apparent indifference then, shouldn’t they also fault his successor for this taxpayer-financed jaunt during the same week he told Americans that “We’re out of money.”  Yeah, that’s what most people do when they’re out of money, fly to New York for dinner and a show.

To repeat a notion Bruce addressed, can you imagine how differently the media would have treated this had Bush taken a jaunt town to North Carolina to keep a promise to Laura to attend a NASCAR race?  (I mean, when Democrats go to the theater, don’t Republicans go to such races?)

Look, I don’t begrudge the President his pleasures (or his privacy).  But, while the MSM tries to spin this as a campaign promise kept or a romantic evening enjoyed, we see yet another example of the favoritism they show this Democratic President.  Just look at how our critics chime in to remind us of Republican recreation during times of crisis.  What they found as problematic then doesn’t bother them now.  (more…)

Reflections on a Yard Sale

Perhaps, it comes from being a writer or perhaps it comes from my own nature, but I do perhaps reflect on experiences a bit overmuch. And have been accused of thinking too much in at least two, maybe three languages. But, there was something fascinating about yesterday’s yard sale, to me at least.

This was, to be sure, not my first yard sale. I had participated in one with the same friend who hosted yesterday’s just about two-and-one-half-years ago in the same place, only I then made half as much money as I did this weekend. Back then, I quickly gathered up a few excess possessions cluttering up my apartment, wanting to help this talented actress raise the funds to finance her head shots.

This time, I collected so much stuff that I barely had room in the car for the ice to keep our waters cold. My goal was to sell enough stuff so that I would only need the trunk to store whatever was left until I could donate that balance to a worthy charity. And there was room to spare when I left the sale–in a trunk which, six hours previously, I’d had trouble closing.

The first forty-five minutes was a madhouse. As I was unloading stuff, people were trying to buy. The word, “vultures” described a few. The better part of them were not buying things for themselves, but to resell at “swap meets.” For a moment, I thought maybe I could charge as much as they would earn as such “meets.” But, then, I realized how much harder they would have to work for that extra buck for every DVD they sell. They wanted to get what they could get from this sale before going on to the next sale and the next and the next. . . for the better part of the morning.

If I priced too high, they would just move on.  And those who came later in the day might not be willing to fork out as much.

I just wanted to earn a little extra cash while getting rid of excess stuff. What was supplemental income for me may well have been “bread and butter” to them. (more…)

See Up

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:00 am - May 31, 2009.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV

And that, my friends, is the essence of what I have to say about the latest release from Disney-Pixar.

Evita & Michelle Spend Your Money For Broadway Junket

The Peronistas of America are headed to NYC tonight, on the taxpayer’s dime of course, to catch a Broadway show.


How many of you have been able to jet back-and-forth to NYC lately?  But its okay, we will never know how much it cost.

For the evening, the first couple jetted to New York City for date night. A Broadway show and probably dinner were on tap.

The White House refused to say how much the trip was costing taxpayers.

“Hi, guys,” Obama said to reporters and visitors gathered at the White House as he and Michelle left for their night out.  Both were decked out:  She wore her hair up, heels and a sleeveless black ruffled dress that fell below the knee while he went tieless in a dark suit and white shirt.

My first thought:  what is wrong with staying in DC?

If the Obamas wanted to catch a show closer to the White House, they had some choices in Washington: Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia” at the Folger Elizabethan Theatre; Valerie Harper in “Looped” at the Lincoln Theatre; “Rent,” at the Warner Theatre; Noel Coward’s “Design for Living” at the Shakespeare Theatre Company; or Stoppard’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll” at the Studio Theatre.

Had this been the Bushes, the networks would be breaking into primetime to begin criticizing the trip.  But lucky for Obama, he has an aggressive media somewhat like the Soviets had.

Aren’t liberals even the teeniest upset about this junket, too???  I wonder when the American people will wake up and realize that they elected a Diva and his Wife to the White House.   While Barack spends our future in billions and billions of dollars, he enjoys a Broadway show tonight. 

Good one, Mr. President.  That hurt.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

On the Complementarity of Actors & Writers

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:36 pm - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: LA Stories,Literature & Ideas,Movies/Film & TV

Just over ten years ago, as I was outlining my first screenplay, I dreaded having to write a scene near the story’s climax.  A middle-aged man would come face to face with the woman he had always loved, but whose affection he rejected for the sake of social propriety, his defining flaw.  Given how much needed to be “said” in that scene, I feared my skills as a writer were inadequate to convey the characters’ conflicting emotions as they faced each other, aware of their passion, but accepting that they would never share it.

Once I started writing the scene, I realized how easy was my task.  I just needed to write the words.  It was up to the actors to convey the emotion and the internal conflict.  It’s one reason I want Angela Bassett cast as the woman; she’d give Martha a depth which no script could convey.

A film buff now for nearly twelve years, I’m still amazed how actors can do just that, give the dialogue meaning that you don’t see when you just read the words on the page, sometimes give it greater meaning than even the writer intended and a meaning, entirely consistent with the character he crafted.  To cite just one example, take a gander at Helen Mirren‘s Oscar-nominated* performance as Mrs. Wilson in Gosford Park.  When you know the film’s twist and watch it a second time, you realize that you might have figured it all out had you just paid close attention to her face.

The ability of actors to transcend the script has been much on my mind in recent weeks, particularly in watching one movie (on DVD), episodes of a television series (also on DVD) and seeing a play (live on stage).  In each production, the actors made the script seem almost meaningless (there might be a bit of hyperbole in that statement).

If it weren’t for the last two-thirds of Spartacus, Kirk Douglas might have won an Oscar for his performance as the eponymous leader of a Roman slave rebellion.  For the first hour, he barely speaks, yet dominates every scene he’s in.  He doesn’t need to.  You know what kind of man his character is just by watching.  Only when he opens his mouth does his performance seem to suffer.   It’s as if speaking detracted from his acting.  

For Patrick Stewart, however, words become the medium for him to transcend their meaning.  Watching him in the various episodes in Star Trek The Next Generation – Jean-Luc Picard Collection, you quickly forget how clunky much of the dialogue is (Star Trek writers do better with the stories they created and the issues they explore than with the dialogue they write).   (more…)

What Price to Avoid Boredom?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:58 pm - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: LA Stories,Movies/Film & TV,Random Thoughts

Oscar Wilde once wrote, “The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

That idea came to mind Wednesday when, as my headache was beginning to ease up, I had to run a few errands.  I was at the Grove checking out prices and specs of a new Mac while buying a few necessities.  To make things easier on myself, I decided to grab a quick bit at the adjacent Farmer’s Market where I could get a cheese plate at Monsieur Marcel.  My sister-in-law insists that cheese is good for headaches. (Whether or not science backs her up is immaterial; just believing it is true transforms eating one of my favorite foods from a delightful and nutritious experience to a pleasant and therapeutic one.)

As I contemplated a sit-down meal, I pondered what I would do to deal with the boredom while I waited to order and be served.  There were only so many ideas I could scribble into the note-pad I keep with me at all times.  Would it be worthwhile to buy a book, I wondered (and not for the first time in such a situation), just to have something to occupy my time?  Or, maybe a magazine, much cheaper than books they are. (more…)

Of Headaches & Common Sense

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:31 pm - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: Health & medical,Random Thoughts

In my previous post, I mentioned “aggravations” I had experienced this past week.  That word seemed appropriate to encompass the frustrating process of going through my closets looking for stuff to sell and enduring a headache which slowed me down for the better part of Wednesday.

And it was a headache I could have avoided.  Back when I was in my early 20s, I used to get these really bad headaches that would last for an afternoon or evening, then disappear totally by the following morning (if I got a good night’s sleep).  My father told me that his Dad, my grandfather, also used to get really bad headaches in his 20s and 30s, but sometime in his mid-30s, they started occurring with less and less regularity.  The same thing happened to me.  I get fewer headaches nowadays and can usually avoid most such aggravations by making sure to drink enough water on hot days and not to wear my contacts for longer than a month.

Well, I started wearing my last pair sometime in mid-April which means I should have replaced them last week.  But, well, I wanted that pair to last me until the end of the month.  I put them on on Tuesday before going to the Decision Day Rally and could feel the buildup of enzymes or whatever accumulates after I’ve worn them for so long.  I know that if I wear contacts which feel as those did, a headache often ensues.  But, after a few minutes, my eyes began to adjust, so I didn’t let it bother me.

On Wednesday, I woke with an excruciating headache. (more…)

More MSM coverage of anti-Prop 8 Protests than of Tea Parties?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:55 pm - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Media Bias,Tea Party

In my picture post on the “Decision Day Rally” in West Hollywood earlier this week to protest the California Supreme Court’s affirmation of Prop 8, I speculated that such “pro-gay marriage rallies will get better coverage in the MSM than did the anti-tax and spend rallies last month.”  Because of a variety of obligations and aggravations this week, I have not been able to investigate that hypothesis, but a post (to which reader Peter Hughes alerted me) at Newsbusters seems to back up my theory.  Note, I say, “seems.”  I have yet to explore this in depth.  Maybe some media watchdogs can help me out.

Over at Newsbusters, Colleen Raezler writes:

ABC, CBS and NBC combined devoted nearly 11 minutes of air time during their evening and morning news shows to the May 26 California Supreme Court ruling that upheld Proposition 8, the 2008 state constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage. The networks gave gay rights activists more than seven minutes of air time, through interviews and footage of their protests, while they gave Prop 8 supporters less than one minute to talk about their victory.

Now, I wondering, did the networks give that much time to the Tea Parties on Tax Day.  It would be interesting to compare the coverage.

In both cases, we had genuine grassroots gatherings, but only the anti-Prop 8 rally seems to meet the standard MSM definition of what a legitimate protest is supposed to be.

Gay Lefties Beginning To Realize Democrats Are Liars

My only response:  I TOLD YOU SO.

AMERICAblog reports:

Obama joked about gay protesters asking him to keep promises: “I don’t know which promise he was talking about.”

So, Mr. Obama doesn’t know which promise the protester was talking about? Did he even know what was going on in California? About the Prop. 8 decision? Does he know who Lt. Choi is? Who briefs Obama on LGBT issues? Anyone? Because, it was well known that the LGBT community would be protesting. And, as for promises, there were several. To remind him, we could say check the White House website for a list of the promises Obama made to the LGBT community during the campaign. But, that wouldn’t probably wouldn’t do any good.


Obama, The First Gay President?  Hardly.  The ADVOCATE is reporting today that the White House will not move on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Here’s a wise commenter from the ADVOCATE story:

I read all these comments slamming Obama, but we all know he will still get your votes when he runs again, regardless of his stance on “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the Defense of Marriage Act.  How do I know this?  Because he has a D after his name, and when it comes to discrimination, being a Democrat means never having to say your sorry.

Here’s another news item that should set the Gay Left’s panties on fire this weekend:

Washington Blade: Gay rights bills remain stalled in Congress

So let me get this right.   When the Democrats held the Congress for nearly 40 years (until 1995), there was no significant gay-rights legislation passed.  And now, after all of the promises and money given by The Gays — no progress after the Democrats have held Congress for two more years and now the White House.

Hey, Gays Who Support Democrats:  You are suckers.  Hopeandchange, hopeandchange!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Thoughts about a Blue Jean Jacket:
or, Continuing the House Cleaning

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:50 am - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: LA Stories,Random Thoughts

When I first posted on my house cleaning yesterday early in the afternoon Pacific Time, I had intended to take only about an hour or so to go through my closets and cupboards so I could come up with some stuff to sell at my friend’s yard sale.  And just in case, you’re in LA, here are the details again, tomorrow Saturday May 30 from 8am-3pm as the corner of Cahuenga and Bloomfield in Toluca Lake. One block south of Moorpark. East side of Cahuenga.   (In the Valley.)

So, I posted on it, headed out to run some errands (including a stop at Staples to buy some storage boxes).

When I returned from my errands, I decided to dispense with blogging and my workout to continue what I had begun earlier in the day.  I removed all my T-shirts from my closet–and took most of my shirts on hangers off the bar.  I even removed everything from three shelves in my built-in linen cupboard.

It was amazing how much stuff I had accumulated, some stuff that I just removed from boxes when I moved here, now nearly a decade ago, from Washington, D.C. and put into the space it occupied . . . until today.

As I removed stuff from my closet, I took note of my blue jean jacket.  Not until I looked at it, did I recall how much I loved wearing that jacket back when I was in law school.  I don’t think I’ve worn it since.  I graduated in 1994.  At least I can’t recall wearing it.  Previously, when I looked for shirts to give away, I had the exact same experience I had had yesterday.

This time, I finally moved it to the sell pile.

Only when I look at it do I recall how much I once loved it.  I guess that’s why I refused to give it away in the past.  When it’s gone, I’ll have a little more space in my closet.  And I’ll think about it exactly as much as I did when it took up that space.


A Typical Bush Critic

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:07 am - May 29, 2009.
Filed under: Bush-hatred

In an article on former President George W. Bush’s speech in Michigan, AP Reporter James Prichard asked Mark Brewer, chairman of the state Democratic Party, for his reaction.   And this representative of the political party of the Governor of his state, the state with “the highest jobless rate” in the nation sounded a lot like some of our critics:

“I think it takes a lot of gall for him to come into Michigan without acknowledging the damage that his policies have done to the state,” Brewer said. He did not offer any specifics.

Typical of so many Bush critics, fault him without specifying what he did wrong.

Slow Blogging/House Cleaning

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:52 pm - May 28, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,LA Stories,Random Thoughts

One of my closest friends is organizing a yard sale for this Saturday and has invited some of her friends to participate.  Seeing that as an opportunity to clean out some of the clutter in my apartment, I started to go through my closets, cabinets and cupboards.  It was amazing how stuff accumulates.

Within 30 minutes, I had six pairs of jeans to sell, 10 pairs of khakis, seems I hadn’t sorted through those pants since sometime in the early 1990s.  I found a pair of pants I hadn’t worn since 1994 or 95–and to think I moved that pair clear across the country!  While it’s exciting at first when you find things to give away, after a while, it becomes exhausting, especially if you want to keep insist on holding onto things with sentimental (but not practical) value.

I even found an old coffee maker.  Instead of getting rid of it when I replaced it, I simply moved it to a kitchen cabinet. . . . And I still have yet to dispose of my vintage microwave.

If any of you Angelenos are in need of cheap stuff, you’ll have to check us out. . .

Here are the details:

This coming Saturday May 30 from 8am-3pm as the corner of Cahuenga and Bloomfield in Toluca Lake. One block south of Moorpark. East side of Cahuenga.   (In the Valley.)

Easily Debunking Villaraigosa’s Claim of CA’s Broken Budget System

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:59 pm - May 27, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,California politics

I have updated the post when a reader caught an error in one of my figures.  Teaches me to double check me math and shows you one of the advantages of this medium.  While we lack editors, we have commentators who can draw our attention to errors in our posts.  Thanks for catching that, Pat, and drawing it to my attention!

Yesterday, when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa addresed the Decision Day Rally in West Hollywood, he mentioned his recent trip to the state capitol and whined that our state’s budget woes were caused by a “broken system.”  (Note how he used the passive to deflect responsibility.)

And that got me thinking.  Earlier in the day, I had read about the California Scare Campaign where the folks that Democrat is courting as he prepares his run for Governor, “California’s political-journalist class was gearing up to frighten-slash-chastise Californians about the ‘annihilating cuts’ coming their way now that petulant voters failed to heed the weary wisdom of their betters“:

Calfornia lawmakers, and the unions who put them into office, will do everything in their power to cut services first, employees last. That is indeed a crucial reason why we got here in the first place. Any analysis that doesn’t explore how a higher-than-inflation-plus-immigration budget has failed to deliver on any increase in services, is not an analysis worth taking more seriously than common propaganda.

So, with that bolded expression in mind, I decided to do a little web investigation.  And a few google searches helped me discover just how profligate our state legislators have been.

I decided to use 1999 as a baseline, the year Democrat Gray Davis succeeded Pete Wilson as Governor.  That year the population of the Golden State was 33,145,121 (according to Census Bureau estimates).  By 2008, the latest figures I could find online, the population has grown to 36,756,666, an increase of 3,611,545 or 10.89616%.  (Please note that in my original draft, I had failed to double check my math and has a lower figure.  Thanks for reader Pat for catching the error.)

Calculating inflation over that period was easy, once I discovered the handy-dandy US Inflation Calculator online.  I plugged in 1999 and 2008 to get a rate of inflation change of 29.2%.

Thus, combining an inflation plus population increase, we get a rate of 32.38%.

(Pat, in the comment below, uses a different method of compounding percentages, I get a 43.27% rate.)

According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), “California’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor,” the 1998-99 Budget totaled 57,827,075,000.  If we multiply that by 32.38%, we get an in incease of 18,724,407,000.  Without any budget cuts, allowing funding to increase by the rate of inflation plus population grown, the 2007-08* budget should be $76,551,482,000.  (With Pat’s method, we get $82,848,850.)

According to the LAO, the 2007-08 budget was over $100 billion.  Even with cutbacks, expenditures haven’t fallen below $90 billion.  Is that the result of a broken system or of legislators failing to hold the line on spending?  Or is it governors letting them get away with it?


CA Supreme Court’s Prop 8 Decision & the Way Forward on Gay Marriage

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 11:51 am - May 27, 2009.
Filed under: California politics,Gay Marriage

Over a Pajamas, they’re running my piece on yesterday’s California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8:

With the California Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8 yesterday, the initiative Golden State voters approved last fall to amend our state’s constitution to recognize only unions between one man and one woman as marriages, advocates of gay marriage have their work cut out for them.  Since the court refused to respond favorably to their opinion, they must go back to the people and ask them to reverse Prop 8.  To do that, they’ll need make a better case than they did last fall.

While the court did overturn Prop 8, the decision was not entirely bleak for gay people.  The court upheld the marriages of same-sex couples performed after it struck down state statutes limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples “but prior to the effective date of Proposition 8 remain valid.”   Moreover, in its ruling, the court made clear that this was an issue of state constitutional jurisprudence:

. . . the principal issue before us concerns the scope of the right of the people, under the provisions of the California Constitution, to change or alter the state Constitution itself through the initiative process so as to incorporate such a limitation as an explicit section of the state Constitution.

You can read the rest here.

Over at the Corner, Williams Duncan offered the best short summary of the decision I have found on the web:

The court said Proposition 8 does not have “even a minimal effect” on the framework of government in California. If it had such an effect, it would have had to be approved by the legislature before going to voters. The court also said Proposition 8 did not change the judicial function or interfere with the separation of powers.

North Korea Declares “Restart” of War on USA

For all intents and purposes, the United States and South Korea are again at war with North Korea.  The MSM won’t say it that way, but it is true after NK made this declaration today:

North Korea threatened a military response to South Korean participation in a U.S.-led program to seize weapons of mass destruction, and said it will no longer abide by the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.

“The Korean People’s Army will not be bound to the Armistice Agreement any longer,” the official Korean Central News Agency said in a statement today. Any attempt to inspect North Korean vessels will be countered with “prompt and strong military strikes.” South Korea’s military said it will “deal sternly with any provocation” from the North.

Meanwhile, Russia fears a nuclear exchange over the rising tensions.

Does any rational, thinking person think that any of this would be happening under President George W. Bush or VP Dick Cheney’s watch?  They reduced the proliferation of nuclear weapons (Iraq & Libya).  Obama has increased it by at least one (North Korea), and soon Iran.

Folks, we are bound to protect South Korea from an invasion from the North and we have tens of thousands of US troops in between.  Do they still teach all this in the publik skools?

I’d like to see how Obama and Hillary are going to shake hands, push the “reset button” and talk their way out of this one.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Decision Day Rally in West Hollywood – Preliminary Report

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:00 am - May 27, 2009.
Filed under: California politics,Gay Marriage,LA Stories

In my post yesterday on the California Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8, I wrote that the reaction of the activists to the ruling could well determine if voters overturn the ban when a initiative to do so is placed on the Golden State ballot.

To see just how some were reacting, I decided to trek down to the Decision Day Rally in central West Hollywood last night.  I was actually impressed with the gathering.  There was a large crowd.  It seemed to be about the size of the Van Nuys Tea Party when I arrived (about 3,000), then grew, maybe to twice that, perhaps even more.  I was in the middle of it so couldn’t really tell.

And while there were a few angry T-shirts and a number of nasty signs, I didn’t get the same vibe as I did last November when I witnessed a march protesting the passage of Prop. 8.  It seemed there was more anger on the podium than there was in the crowd.

Like the Santa Monica Tea Party, it had more of a festive than protest atmosphere.  This is not to say there wasn’t any anger there, but that people by and large kept it under control, save for a few of the speakers, two in particular.


I took some pictures of the crazy signs, but am hesitant to publish them because they were not the defining feature of this rally (so I may just post them later, then bump this post so it leads the blog).

Running into my friend Kerry, the aforementioned lesbian for liberty (I wonder if we were the only people here who had also attended a Tea Party) I ended up joining the march, something I had not anticipated doing.  As she and I talked, my observations coalesced into a kind of conclusion which found expression in this maxim,”First, do no harm.”

I don’t think the rally today will do anything to harm the movement to change minds and overturn Proposition 8.  There was, to be sure, some overheated rhetoric (more on that in a subsequent post, which may end up as a “previous” post if I bump this one).  While the rally will not do any harm, I’m not sure it will do any good either. (more…)

Decision Day Rally Pictures

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:58 am - May 27, 2009.
Filed under: California politics,Gay Marriage,LA Stories

When I headed to the rally, I expected to encounter a vicious crowd, similar to those I witnessed in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8 last fall.  To that end, I was on the lookout for some of the more extreme signs.  I did get a few of pictures of such placards.  

But, let me caution those of you who might want to smear the entire rally by a few of its most extreme participants.  Such extreme banners may have constituted a majority of hand-made signs, but they represented only a fraction of the signs being waved, most of the people holding signs waved ones like these:


I ran into my friend Kerry with whom I had rallied at the Santa Monica Tea Party.  Like those rallies, this one (and this was one of many across the nation), was a genuine grassroots gathering. But, I dare say the pro-gay marriage rallies will get better coverage in the MSM than did the anti-tax and spend rallies last month.

As Kerry and I walked together down Santa Monica Boulevard, she offered an interesting thought, “What’s the next generation going to do when there’s nothing to get into the streets about?”  It does seem that some of the participants wanted to create a new generation of protest.  


Decision Day Rally in West Hollywood–The Speakers
Once Again A “Diverse” Roster Includes No Republicans

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:27 am - May 27, 2009.
Filed under: California politics,Gay Marriage,LA Stories

Because my overall impression of the Decision Day Rally was a favorable one, I have decided that after completing this post (my second on the gathering), I will bump my first post (more positive than this one) so that it leads the blog.  I based that on my overall reaction to the protest, talking to the people there and watching their reaction.

In this piece, I’ll focus on the speakers.  And they seemed to harbor more hatred than the marchers (save for the handful with some of the signs I’ll post later).  Those speakers, by and large, sounded like they were addressing a left-wing gathering, some wanting to rally the troops, others just to vent.  Few should appear on television (or otherwise before ambivalent citizens) the next time gay marriage comes up for a vote.

Only one, an attorney, made a particularly positive case for gay marriage.  On the whole, the speakers seemed to be leading a rally, so their rhetoric wasn’t entirely out of place.  And they all, even the Mayor of Los Angeles (more on that anon) seemed to shouting their speeches.  Maybe that had something to do with the sound system which kept breaking down.

Two of the speakers in particular, West Hollywood City Councilman John Heilman and Robin Tyler, one of the petitioners in the court case handed down today, seemed more interested in scoring points with left-wing activists than in making a case for gay marriage.

Heilman said that any “shred of hope” he had was “annihilated” with the court ruling. He wondered he was next on the “radar screen of the far right,” as if now with their victory in California, social conservatives will start to disenfranchise minorities.   Then, he took a cheap shot at Carrie Prejean, the only one I heard last night.  He seemed very angry, like a child throwing a temper tantrum after his parents took away the toy he had stolen from his brother. (more…)

CA Supreme Court Upholds Prop 8

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:04 pm - May 26, 2009.
Filed under: California politics,Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

I believe the justices made the right decision this time. The decision was 6-1.  Now, the issue is developing a strategy to repeal the state constitutional provision defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. And to do so in a manner which respects those who favor that definition.

The court said the scope of the decision was narrow.  I’m trying to get the opinion on line, but the State Supreme Court’s site is understandably slow. Here’s a link to the decision. Seems their The decision boiled down to the use of the term “marriage.” whether Prop 8 was an amendment to or revision of the state constitution.  A revision must first pass through the legislature.  The court concluded that this was an amendment because as

. . . a qualitative matter, the act of limiting access to the designation of marriage to opposite-sex couples does not have a substantial or, indeed, even a minimal effect on the governmental plan or framework of California that existed prior to the amendment.

Basically, this means the state will still recognize same-sex relationships, but will not call them marriages.

The court has upheld the same-sex marriages that took place between the Court’s ruling last year and Election Day 2008.

UPDATE:  The real test to see if gay marriage advocates have learned the lessons from their failure to defeat Prop 8 at the ballot box will be how they respond to this decision.  Should they respond as did many angry activists in the wake of the passage of the proposition, they reduce their chances of changing the constitution.

Should they instead behave responsibly (as I suggested here), showing respect for supporters of the status quo, they increase the chances of repealing the constitutional provision enacted with votes approved Prop 8 last fall. (Law Dork offers a similar perspective, asking people to eschew anger: “Rather than spouting anger at these rallies, organizers and speakers should be spouting information about legislative battles going on in their states and counties.“)

UP-UPDATE:  I’m reviewing the opinion now.  Seems the court finally gets the idea of judicial restraint:

Regardless of our views as individuals on this question of policy, we recognize as judges and as a court our responsibility to confine our consideration to a determination of the constitutional validity and legal  effect of the measure in question.  It bears emphasis in this regard that our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values.

Shouldn’t judges always so adjudicate cases?

The justices see their ruling as a narrow one:

. . . the principal issue before us concerns the scope of the right of the people, under the provisions of the California Constitution, to change or alter the state Constitution itself through the initiative process so as to incorporate such a limitation as an explicit section of the state Constitution.

UP-UP-UPDATE: Seems some activists would rather accuse than argue. AP reports demonstrators changing “shame on you” in front of the San Francisco courthouse where the ruling was announced. Let’s hope such juvenile antics don’t define the response to the ruling.

UP-UP-UP-UPDATE: Law professor William A. Jacobson reviews the ruling.

UPDATE FROM BRUCE: A great perspective from Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades! Read the whole thing!!

Our laws and constitutions are not meaningless.  And our courts are not so broken as people claim. The justice system works and works well most of the time.  Should we tweak it with appropriate legislation (and props, where possible) and by appointing hard-working minimalist judges? Hell yeah.  But exclaiming every time a court decision goes the other way that “the activist black-robed tyrants are at it again” undermines the very point that laws exist for a reason.

[RELATED STORY: Prop 8 upheld by CA Supreme Court – Patrick Range McDonald]