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Rhode Island recognizes gay marriages the right way

After several tries, the Ocean State will start recognizing same-sex marriages on August 1.   Both houses of the legislature voted in favor of such recognition and the elected governor signed the bill into law.

And this legislation, like that in New Hampshire, addresses the concerns of those who contend such recognition would force churches (and other religious institutions) to perform weddings at odd with their faith’s doctrine.  According to the Associated Press’s David Klepper:

The bill that passed the House stated that religious institutions may set their own rules regarding who is eligible to marry within the faith and specifies that no religious leader is obligated to officiate at any marriage ceremony. The Senate added language to ensure that groups like the Knights of Columbus aren’t legally obligated to provide facilities for same-sex weddings.

With such provisions, the Ocean State not only recognizes same-sex marriages, but also protects religious freedom.


FROM THE COMMENTS:  Jayne contends that “union of 2 males or 2 females is, biologically, historically and culturally so vastly different from the union between a male and female that to define it with the same term renders the definition meaningless.”

I would agree that same-sex unions are different from different-sex ones merely because of the differences between men and women, but is she right, are they “vastly different”? (Emphasis added.)

Guest Post: My Ever Devolving Stance on Gay Marriage

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 5:23 pm - May 1, 2013.
Filed under: Gay Marriage

GP Ed. Note: This is a guest post by GayPatriot reader LJ Regine. 

LJ Regine is a blogger, writer and political junkie living in New York City. You can check out more of his work as a contributing writer for and his blog Whisky Dreams.


There is a book I recommend any young gay man read entitled Androphilia by Jack Donovan. I found it in 2008 and was confused, perplexed and challenged by it. I found it in 2008 and was confused, perplexed and challenged by it. It shattered everything I thought I knew about gay-ness and the gay identity. Donovan explained how gays needed to reject the gay community and reclaim the mantle of masculinity, as androphiles.

I’ve always been very interested in what it means to be a man (as I am one) and have found that as I get older — I get more and more in touch with my masculine side. Donovan has become a very prolific writer for me and has inspired many writings, creative and political, over the past couple of years. As someone who has always beat to my own drum, I find that I toe the line very smoothly between the gay and straight world. I never quite fit in with any one “community” or group of people. I’m an individual, believe in rugged individualism as an American ideal, am very patriotic — and have worked through and accepted many conservative view points. I could talk at length at how masculine I am or am not perceived to be, but I know that deep down, who I am, is unabashedly male.

The short end of the stick was being raised primarily by my mother with an ineffective father, who was taught from a young age to acquiesce to all the women in his life. Being raised and surrounded by, I grew up speaking the language of women. I was rejected by the boys on the playground as I was “too sensitive” and didn’t learn, til much later in life, how to man up and be part of the tribe.

As Donovan did, I found the gay community as some shelter from the storm of a world I thought didn’t understand me. But now, as I edge closer to 30 — I have begun to awaken the warrior within me. Men are violent, we are assertive, we are aggressive — but we are also noble, loyal, passionate and courageous. That is the man I am and aspire to be.

Now all this talk of gay marriage? I’m borrowing from Donovan’s thoughts on it — but I agree with him.


Silencing and slurring those with poltically incorrect views

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - April 12, 2013.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage,Liberal Intolerance

Pick any issue currently being advanced by progressives“, writes Doug Manwaring today in the American Thinker:

. . . same-sex marriage, state-mandated free contraception, abortion, man-made global warming and strict gun control, to name a few. Publicly question or resist any of these and be prepared to be judged as an anti-science, homophobic, misogynist, racist, xenophobic, Neanderthal.

As with little Anthony, to attempt to enter into legitimate discussion or debate on these issues is out of the question, and met with severe consequences. Your have only two options: Start thinking “happy thoughts,” or brace yourself for the cornfield.

Read the whole thing.  H/t: reader Heliotrope. Manwaring cites an episode of the Twilight Zone where little Anthony Freeman with his special powers will banish you to the cornfield if you don’t think “happy thoughts” or “say happy things.”

Even if we don’t agree with Manwaring on gay marriage (he’s gay, but believes “ the definition of Marriage is immutable”), we can at least recognize that instead of addressing the arguments of their critics, all too many gay marriage advocates resort to name-calling and ostracism of individuals who oppose their cause.

How often do they accuse such opponents of hatred?  (More on this topic as time allows.)

Piers Morgan upset that Republican Congressman opposed to gay marriage loves his gay son?

Seems CNN’s Piers Morgan is not much interested in the story of “Matt Salmon, the gay son of a Republican congressman” because the young man “refused to criticize his father, who is not a supporter of same-sex marriage.”  As Paul Mirengoff writes at Powerline:

The rejection of guests because they won’t serve as props to further the host’s simplistic narrative isn’t confined to CNN and MSNBC. I experienced it with a well-known Fox News talk-show host.

But using a son as a prop to bash his father seems to carry the joke too far. Moreover, O’Donnell and Morgan are missing the real story of the Salmons and the Portmans — the loyalty that stems from family love. Matt Salmon is loyal to his father; Rob Portman is loyal to his son.

Wonder who is going to examine the prejudices of Mr. Morgan (and Lawrence O’Donnell at MSNBC).  He seems to be assuming that because a man doesn’t support gay marriage, his son must needs criticize him.

Maybe we’re not as polarized on gay marriage as the sensationalist coverage of the issue makes it appear.

Actually there is a story here, one to which our friends in the media (and on the gay left) seem oblivious, that (most) opposition to gay marriage is not rooted in hate and that an opponent of gay marriage can love a gay child.  And that child can love his parents even when disagreeing with their views on social issues.

How many of us have relatives with whom we often lock horns on politics, but for whom we’d drive through a rainstorm to help them in their hour of need?

Another Senator Comes Out — For Gay Marriage

See my sarcastic response to Mark Kirk’s announcement in my first posting at Ricochet!

Quick preview:

I simply want to ask this question as Sen. Kirk’s announcement works into the national psyche.

Who cares?

Since President Obama’s “evolution” on gay marriage to the position long held by former Vice President Dick Cheney, there has been no substantive attempt at the Federal level to make any change at all with regard to the issue itself.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Personal Interactions matter more than arguments in shifting consensus on gay marriage

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:37 am - April 1, 2013.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Random Thoughts

Maybe it doesn’t matter that the debate on gay marriage has been (on the whole) so pathetic. Maybe we don’t need a national conversation on the meaning of marriage. Maybe it’s those myriad private conversations that are really making the difference.

Or maybe not even conversations. Interactions. When people see gay couples living together and fulfilling the responsibilities that inhere in a relationship, they understood that gay men and women are capable of marriage. They don’t need words to convince them; they have evidence.

Writing yesterday about the shifting consensus on gay marriage, Jennifer Rubin observed:

As more gay and lesbian Americans came out to friends, family and co-workers, the anti-gay-marriage voices were handicapped; they argued against an issue in the abstract while gay-marriage proponents could argue that Mike and Sam down the street or Sue and Ann at the office shouldn’t be denied the right to marry.

In the past few weeks, two Democratic Senators came out for gay marriage, both following the lead of their Republican colleague from the Buckeye State, Rob Portman, who changed his position on the issue after his son had come out to him.

Were the Democrats inspired by the Republican’s example?  Would the Republican have changed his mind without dealing with the flesh-and-blood experiences of his son?

Random Thoughts on Gay Marriage

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - March 31, 2013.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,New Media,Random Thoughts

A college classmate recently posted on Facebook about gay marriage.  And when I found myself weighing in, I offered a response a bit longer than I had anticipated.  It’s organized as are most of my post, more in the form of random thoughts, but since I took some time crafting it, I thought I would share with with you, slightly amended with links added:

As perhaps the only gay person on this thread, I must note that I have long been decidedly ambivalent on gay marriage, in part because many gay marriage advocates seem more interested in winning the culture wars than in promoting the institution and in part because of my studies of myth, psychology and anthropology and the longstanding human recognition of the importance of sex difference.  And marriage rituals of every culture (see van Gennep) are based upon bringing together individuals from different groups.

In my grad school paper for my Native American class, I researched the legends of the berdache, or two-spirit.  Many cite the berdacge tradition as an example of cultures which accept and embrace homosexuality and same-sex relationships.  And while many American Indian tribes recognized same-sex marriages, they all required one partner in such a union to live in the guise of the other sex.  Thus, if one man married another man, one would wear men’s clothes and go hunting with the “braves” while the other would have to wear women’s clothes and live as a “squaw.”  The one who lived as a woman could not go hunting with his same-sex peers nor could he participate in activities, rituals etc reserved for his biological sex.

Sex difference in short has long been inherent to the notion of marriage.

That said, I believe, states should — at minimum — recognize gay relationships as civil unions.  And perhaps the ideal would be for the state to simply call monogamous relationships “civil unions” (for all people) and let churches, synagogues, private individuals, etc. call them marriage — or whatever they want. (more…)

Magnanimity in the marriage wars

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - March 31, 2013.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

In a thoughtful piece yesterday in the New York Times, Ross Douthat contended that the view Andrew Sullivan offered on gay marriage in the 1990s “has carried the day almost completely.

That argument, much different from the one the one-time New Republic editor has offered in the current century, held that “far from being radical, gay marriage was more likely to be stabilizing, ‘sending a message about matrimonial responsibility and mutual caring’ to gays and straights alike.

Let us hope that message emerges from the current debates on state recognition of same-sex marriage.  Indeed, many same-sex couples who have elected marriage (and even many who have not) have lived that message, forsaking all others looking after their spouses in sickness and in health.  They provide examples of mature relationships between adults of the same sex and evidence that gay man and women are capable of the same kind of commitment our straight counterparts have shown.

Douthat, however, laments that as gay marriage advocates seem to be winning the argument, they aren’t conceding any points to defenders of traditional marriage:

A more honest, less triumphalist case for gay marriage would be willing to concede that, yes, there might be some social costs to redefining marriage. It would simply argue that those costs are too diffuse and hard to quantify to outweigh the immediate benefits of recognizing gay couples’ love and commitment.

Such honesty would make social liberals more magnanimous in what looks increasingly like victory, and less likely to hound and harass religious institutions that still want to elevate and defend the older marital ideal.

But whether people think they’re on the side of God or of History, magnanimity has rarely been a feature of the culture war.

Read the whole thing.  The debate on gay marriage is not entirely pathetic.

Would be nice if partisans on both sides of the debate could acknowledge the points their adversaries make.

Our pathetic debate on gay marriage

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - March 27, 2013.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage,Random Thoughts

A post (and the ensuing comment thread) my friend David Boaz linked today on Facebook reminded me why I have been so reluctant in recent days to re-enter the gay marriage fray.

For many years, particularly when I was in college and law school and working in Washington, D.C.’s public policy sector, I read widely about a great variety of issues, including social issues like marriage and child-rearing.  Conservative organizations presented much solid research on the social benefits of traditional marriage and the damaging effects of divorce.

I had always wondered why so few advocates of gay marriage looked at that research on traditional marriage in order to suggest that it could be applied to same-sex unions as well.  I am only aware of one group which has done so and blogged about it here.

In the current debate, instead of acknowledging the social conservatives’ broader point, all too many advocates merely repeat their slogans about “fairness” and “equality” while badmouthing anyone who would dare disagree with them, calling them “haters” –even going so far as to label hateful those who, like James Taranto, believe the Supreme Court should uphold “Proposition 8 and leave . . . the matter for the states to decide.

And whereas the gay left have engaged in name-calling (if you don’t believe me, just check your Facebook feed), the social conservative opponents of gay marriage have been little better.  Which brings me to David’s link, leading to his own post where he takes aim at “Jim DeMint, former senator and future president of the Heritage Foundation” for attempting in a USA Today op-ed to link “family breakdown” and “welfare spending” to state recognition of gay marriage.

Yes, there is considerable evidence that welfare spending undermines the family unit  – and is bad for children.  And there is also considerable evidence that divorce is bad for children.  But, Mr. DeMint, like many social conservatives making similar arguments, fails to show how state recognition of gay marriage is bad for children.  Or for society.  The former Senator, as David puts it, just makes his case “with a sleight of hand.” (more…)

Alas no more than a perfunctory post on gay marriage (just yet)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:09 pm - March 26, 2013.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Prop 8,Random Thoughts,Writing

I had hoped today to post something about gay marriage, given the oral arguments before the Supreme Court. I had even outlined the piece I’d like to write, addressing the issue of jurisdiction, believing, as I do, that this is an issue best left to the legislatures, but recognizing some of the constitutional concerns (i.e., standing) which could lead the court to overturning Prop 8 without granting a federal “right” to state recognition of same-sex marriage.

And I wanted to distinguish the liberty issue from the state recognition issue.  If the California constitutional provision (in question) deprived individuals of the freedom to marry rather than just one of state recognition of those unions, the court should strike down the law.  But, marriage can exists (indeed, long has existed) independently of the state.  And individuals can and do live as married couples without state recognition.  Indeed, in California, many gay couples call themselves married and live freely even without the state sanctioning their unions.

All that said, this are issues which I would rather address in a more thoughtful manner.  And since I have made writing my epic my top priority, I chose to work on that before turning to the blog.  That effort today was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated.  And I had to struggle with one section.  And I have a sense that this part may require significant revision–and perhaps a few changes in story line.

The point being that writing-wise, now I feel completely drained (even more so than I have on previous days when I put in a similar effort on the book).  And now I have to start preparing for a Seder tonight, so lack the time to give this issue the attention it deserves.  Will share with you though an exchange I just had with a Facebook friend when I replied a posting he offered just as I started writing this:

HE: Marriage equality [sic] seems pretty popular. Why wasn’t Prop 8 repeal on the ballot way back in 2012?
Unlike · · 17 minutes ago ·
You like this.

ME: My point exactly, well, except for calling it “marriage equality.”

ME: Even if the Court upholds Prop 8, [California] voters will overturn it in 2014. And it won’t even be close.

In other words, the state of California will recognize same-sex marriages, either in 2013 by judicial fiat — or, in 2014 via popular initiative.

As our readers surely have guessed, I would prefer the latter.

So, are we big 10th Amendment People now?

So, as I’ve said before, I’m mostly agnostic on gay marriage (I believe the entire institution should be left to personal/familial/community/religious devices and the government should remove itself entirely from the argument lock-stock-and-barrel). That said, you can’t be gay—well, or even straight it seems—in the United States today, according to the media, and not be completely and obsessively consumed by the issue (and, natch, your opinion can only be “FOR!”).

And since SCOTUS is hearing it this week, I suppose I might as well poke a stick into the monkey cage:

If we’re supposed to oppose DOMA on states’ rights grounds, should we then oppose the effort to overturn Prop 8?


-Nick (ColoradoPatriot) from HHQ

Excellent point made (and I don’t just say this because I have several captions vying for his “Best of” category) by VtheK from the comments:

This country would be so much better off if people cared as much about fiscal responsibility and economic growth as they do about giving same sex couples a piece of paper signed by a bureaucrat to legitimize their coupling.

Speaking of which, I think the time has come to push for polygamy. If gender doesn’t [matter], what’s so damned magical about the number 2?

(As for the first part, I have made this exact point many times myself, and I have much more to say about Viking’s second point, which perhaps I will anon…)

GOP Reaches Out to Gays

From the Shark Tank:

This past weekend, Congressman Trey Radel was the latest to joined the growing choir of Republican supporters for inclusion of gays into the Republican fold. Radel stated that he did not care what sexual orientation a person was, as long as they stood by conservative values and principles…

Although I do not confuse outreach to gays with support for gay marriage (and neither should you), this news is interesting for coming on the heels of shifts in public Republican support for gay marriage, such as Senator Portman’s. Also, Radel’s outreach fits well with the founding principles of GOProud.

(Note to Gay Left commentors: This post is Jeff talking, not Bruce or Dan. I’m a current Independent and former Democrat; never been a Republican, though I have some Republican friends. The tired remarks about gay Republicans that some of you may now want to utter will not hurt me; only make me roll my eyes. ;-) )

Weekend Gay Odds and Ends

Some weeks, life contains too many distractions and it’s hard to find time to blog.  At least that’s what happened to me this week.  My list of potential topics to write about keeps growing, but my time and, more importantly, my energy for writing about them has been rather limited.   In the meantime, I keep coming across links and articles of interest.  Here are a few things which caught my attention this week, that might interest our readers, as well, or at least generate further discussion.

I rarely look at the “Dear Abby” column these days, but this one caught my eye.  I wasn’t interested in the first item about the wife whose husband of 30 years was having an affair with a prostitute from a strip club.  No, the one that caught my eye was the second item, the one from the gay Democrat whose new romantic interest is a Republican, and suddenly, the Democrat finds that all his gay friends have cut him off and stopped calling him and inviting him to things.  I was intrigued to see gay leftist intolerance so openly acknowledged in a mainstream newspaper column.  Dear Abby responds:

I know several couples who have strong and happy “mixed” marriages in which the spouses do not always agree politically. It is a shame that you would be required to choose between the man you care for and your longtime friends, who want to ignore that there are also gay Republicans.

I see nothing wrong with continuing your relationship with Mark; however, I think it may be time for you to expand your circle of friends if this is how your old ones behave. You’ll all be happier if you do. Trust me on that.

On a related note, I appreciated this piece on “Coming Out as a Black Conservative” at PJMedia.  I’m sure most GayPatriot readers can relate to it.   I particularly liked its last point about the importance of independent thinking rather than group identity:

Independent thinking got you here. Independent thinking will keep you going. Group identity, or more specifically the group authority Shelby Steele writes about, degenerates into herd instinct in the unthinking. Individual rights can only be effectively defended by those who have rejected any claim upon their life. You do not belong to anyone. Your life is yours. Your mind is yours. Direct it intentionally. Choose what you believe and know why you believe it. Never let someone else, anyone else, tell you what you must think or do. By all means, consider trusted advice, but take responsibility for your decisions once made.

Also at PJMedia this week, VodkaPundit Stephen Green reflects on Rob Portman’s reversal on the issue of gay marriage and suggests that the best solution is to get government out of the marriage business in this piece.   As he explains, the left doesn’t really care about what’s best for gay people: “No, for the progressive left, gay marriage is just another club for beating America’s churches into submission to the State. First Catholic birth control, then Baptist gay marriage, and so on. Progressivism is a truly jealous god and will have no other gods before it — not even yours.”

Along similar lines, earlier this week, Rand Paul suggested that the best, most value-neutral solution, would be to get marriage out of the tax code.  Walter Hudson, author of the above-linked piece on “Coming Out as a Black Conservative,” also makes a related point in this article from January on “The Distinction Between Sin and Crime”:  “The uncomfortable truth surrounding the marriage issue is that heterosexual couples have long been subsidized by their unwed neighbors. It is that state endorsement which homosexuals covet, along with the social sanction it implies. Under government informed by objective morality, marriage contracts would be just that, conveying no special benefits beyond the terms agreed upon. As a result, religious individuals and institutions with conscientious objections to homosexuality would never be forced to violate their conscience.”


Full List of Republicans and Conservatives
Signing Prop 8 Amicus Brief has been given the full list of the Republicans and Conservatives who have signed onto the amicus brief on the Prop 8 case pending before the US Supreme Court.

This list has been provided to me by a highly-placed Republican source familiar with the Prop 8 issue.

Clint Eastwood, Producer, Director, Actor, Mayor
Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank Group (2005-2007) and Deputy Secretary of Defense (2001-2005)
Cliff S. Asness, Businessman, Philanthropist, and Author
Charlie Bass, Member of Congress, 1995-2007 and 2011-2013
Thomas J. Christensen, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, 2006-2008
Jeffrey Cook-McCormac, Senior Advisor, American Unity PAC
S.E. Cupp, Author and Political Commentator
Michele Davis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Department of the Treasury, 2006-2009
Janet Duprey, New York State Assemblywoman, 2007-Present
Tyler Deaton, Secretary, New Hampshire Young Republicans, 2011-Present
Chris Edwards, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Press Advance, 2005-2007
Mark J. Ellis, State Chairman, Maine Republican Party, 2005-2006 and 2007-2009
Juleanna Glover, Press Secretary to the Vice President, 2001-2002
John Goodwin, Chief of Staff to Raul Labrador, Member of Congress,2011-2013
Mark Grisanti, New York State Senator, 2011-Present
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director, Congressional Budget Office, 2003-2005
Cyrus Krohn, Digital Director, Republican National Committee, 2007-2009
Kathryn Lehman, Chief of Staff, House Republican Conference, 2003-2005
Alex Lundry, Director of Data Science, Romney for President, 2012
Beth Myers, Romney for President Campaign Manager, 2007-2008 and Senior Advisor, 2011-2012
B.J. Nikkel, Colorado State Representative and Majority Whip, 2009-2012 and District Director for Congresswoman Marylyn Musgrave, 2002-2006
Richard Painter, Associate Counsel to the President, 2005-2007
Ruth Ann Petroff, Wyoming State Representative, 2011-Present
Gregg Pitts, Director, White House Travel Office, 2006-2009
J. Stanley Pottinger, Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Civil Rights Division), 1973-1977
John Reagan, New Hampshire State Senator, 2012-Present
Adam Schroadter, New Hampshire State Representative, 2010-Present
Richard Tisei, Massachusetts State Senator and Senate Minority Leader, 1991-2011
John Ullyot, Communications Director, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 2003-2007
Sally A. Vastola, Executive Director, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2003-2006
Jacob P. Wagner, Chairman, New Hampshire Federation of College
Republicans, 2012-Present
Dan Zwonitzer, Wyoming State Representative, 2005-present
Frances Fragos Townsend, Homeland Security Advisor to the President, 2004-2008
Brian Roehrkasse, Director of Public Affairs, Department of Justice, 2007-2009
Larry Pressler, U.S. Senator from South Dakota, 1979-1997
Neel Kashkari, Interim Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability, 2008-2009
Aaron Mclean, Press Secretary to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 2007-2011
Luis Reyes, Special Assistant to the President, 2006-2008 [or Deputy Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, 2005-2006]
Josh Ginsberg, Deputy Political Director, Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor, 2006
Meghan O’Sullivan, Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan, 2004-2007
Jill Hazelbaker, Communications Director, John McCain for President, 2007-2008
Corry Schiermeyer, Director Global Communications, National Security Council, 2005-2007
Alicia Davis Downs, Associate Political Director, White House, 2001-2003
Ken Mehlman, Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
Tim Adams, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2005-2007
David D. Aufhauser, General Counsel, Department of Treasury, 2001-2003
Cliff S. Asness, Businessman, Philanthropist, and Author
John B. Bellinger III, Legal Adviser to the Department of State, 2005-2009
Katie Biber, General Counsel, Romney for President, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
Mary Bono Mack, Member of Congress, 1998-2013
William A. Burck, Deputy Staff Secretary, Special Counsel and Deputy Counsel to the President, 2005-2009
Alex Castellanos, Republican Media Advisor
Paul Cellucci, Governor of Massachusetts, 1997-2001, and Ambassador to Canada, 2001-2005
Mary Cheney, Director of Vice Presidential Operations, Bush-Cheney 2004
Jim Cicconi, Assistant to the President & Deputy to the Chief of Staff, 1989-1990
James B. Comey, United States Deputy Attorney General, 2003-2005
R. Clarke Cooper, U.S. Alternative Representative, United Nations Security Council, 2007-2009
Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director White House Office of Public Liaison, 2007-2009
Michele Davis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Department of the Treasury, 2006-2009
Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, 1981-1984 and 1987-1989
Lew Eisenberg, Finance Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2002-2004
Elizabeth Noyer Feld, Public Affairs Specialist, White House Office of Management and Budget, 1984-1987
David Frum, Special Assistant to the President, 2001-2002
Richard Galen, Communications Director, Speaker’s Political Office, 1996-1997
Mark Gerson, Chairman, Gerson Lehrman Group and Author of The Neoconservative Vision: From the Cold War to the Culture Wars and In the Classroom: Dispatches from an Inner-City School that Works
Benjamin Ginsberg, General Counsel, Bush-Cheney 2000 & 2004
Adrian Gray, Director of Strategy, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
Richard Grenell, Spokesman, U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations, 2001-2008
Patrick Guerriero, Mayor, Melrose Massachusetts and member of Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1993-2001
Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce, 2005-2009
Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, 2005-2009
Richard Hanna, Member of Congress, 2011-Present
Israel Hernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, 2005-2009
Margaret Hoover, Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, 2005-2006
Michael Huffington, Member of Congress, 1993-1995
Jon Huntsman, Governor of Utah, 2005-2009
David A. Javdan, General Counsel, United States Small Business Administration, 2002-2006
Reuben Jeffery, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, 2007-2009
Greg Jenkins, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Advance, 2003-2004
Coddy Johnson, National Field Director, Bush-Cheney 2004
Gary Johnson, Governor of New Mexico, 1995-2003
Robert Kabel, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, 1982-1985
Theodore W. Kassinger, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, 2004-2005
Jonathan Kislak, Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Small Community and Rural Development, 1989-1991
David Kochel, Senior Advisor to Mitt Romney’s Iowa Campaign, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
James Kolbe, Member of Congress, 1985-2007
Jeffrey Kupfer, Acting Deputy Secretary of Energy, 2008-2009
Kathryn Lehman, Chief of Staff, House Republican Conference, 2003-2005
Daniel Loeb, Businessman and Philanthropist
Alex Lundry, Director of Data Science, Romney for President, 2012
Greg Mankiw, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
Catherine Martin, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director for Policy & Planning, 2005-2007
Kevin Martin, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2005-2009
David McCormick, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2007-2009
Mark McKinnon, Republican Media Advisor
Bruce P. Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 2001-2003
Connie Morella, Member of Congress, 1987-2003 and U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2003-2007
Michael E. Murphy, Republican Political Consultant
Michael Napolitano, White House Office of Political Affairs, 2001-2003
Ana Navarro, National Hispanic Co-Chair for Senator John McCain’s Presidential Campaign, 2008
Noam Neusner, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting, 2002-2005
Nancy Pfotenhauer, Economist, Presidential Transition Team, 1988 and President’s Council on Competitiveness, 1990
J. Stanley Pottinger, Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Civil Rights Division), 1973-1977
Michael Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2001-2005
Deborah Pryce, Member of Congress, 1993-2009
Kelley Robertson, Chief of Staff, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Member of Congress, 1989-Present
Harvey S. Rosen, Member and Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
Lee Rudofsky, Deputy General Counsel, Romney for President, 2012
Patrick Ruffini, eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
Steve Schmidt, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Vice President, 2004-2006
Ken Spain, Communications Director, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2009-2010
Robert Steel, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, 2006-2008
David Stockman, Director, Office of Management and Budget, 1981-1985
Jane Swift, Governor of Massachusetts, 2001-2003
Michael E. Toner, Chairman and Commissioner, Federal Election Commission, 2002-2007
Michael Turk, eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 2004
Mark Wallace, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative for UN Management and Reform, 2006-2008
Nicolle Wallace, Assistant to the President and White House Communications Director, 2005-2008
William F. Weld, Governor of Massachusetts, 1991-1997, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Criminal Division), 1986-1988
Christine Todd Whitman, Governor of New Jersey, 1994-2001, and Administrator of the EPA, 2001-2003
Meg Whitman, Republican Nominee for Governor of California, 2010
Robert Wickers, Republican Political Consultant
Dan Zwonitzer, Wyoming State Representative, 2005-present

Cultural Earthquake Underway On Gay Marriage?

I know Dan and I agree that we prefer Gay Marriage, Domestic Partnerships and/or Civil Unions happen in the context of “the marketplace” (aka – The States) than by judicial fiat through the courts.

Therefore, I philosophically believe that the Prop 8 voters should be respected by the Supreme Court, though that would mean a further struggle in the marketplace in California to see gay marriage. Other states have accomplished it; quite quickly in fact.

That being said, there seems to be a cultural earthquake happening in the Republican Party and the Conservative movement aligned with the SCOTUS’ review of Prop 8 and DOMA.

Breitbart News has learned exclusively that Clint Eastwood has signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry. The brief, which will be released later this evening, has signatures from more than 100 Republican and conservative activists. It involves the case before the Supreme Court, seeking to overturn CA’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state.

Eastwood isn’t the story, folks. He’s probably always been pro-gay marriage — if not vocally. No, it is the names that previously opposed SSM, but will appear on this amicus brief.

Something is happening. The marketplace is working.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Grownups join the gay marriage debate

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - February 1, 2013.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

First, let me apologize for not getting to this earlier.  The New York Times reported the story on Tuesday.  And Stephen Miller drew my attention to it that very day. I had meant to blog about it on Wednesday, but a friend from out of town invited me to join him at Disneyland that afternoon.  The following day (yesterday), I was preoccupied with determining the reasons for the dragon’s attack on Nah-nathas.  (And for the better part of today, I was tweaking the now-presentable Chapter Six to better set up that attack.)

Okay, now the issue.  One-time gay marriage opponent David Blankenhorn is spearheading a new coalition which, as the Times reports,

. . . plans to issue “A Call for a New Conversation on Marriage,” a tract renouncing the culture war that he was once part of, in favor of a different pro-marriage agenda. The proposed conversation will try to bring together gay men and lesbians who want to strengthen marriage with heterosexuals who want to do the same.

Miller links the group’s mission statement indicating that the group wants to begin a

. . . conversation that brings together gays and lesbians who want to strengthen marriage with straight people who want to do the same. The new conversation does not presuppose or require agreement on gay marriage, but it does ask a new question. The current question is, Should gays marry? The new question is, Who among us, gay or straight, wants to strengthen marriage?

Emphasis added. It’s about time.  It seems that many advocates of gay marriage focus on what they deem the “right to marry” (but mean the privilege of state recognition) instead of the meaning of the institution.  By proposing to strengthen marriage, those in this new coalition understand that the institution is worthy of preservation and in need of strengthening.

Too often, gay marriage advocates tell us that marriage is declining, so why not include gays?  They should instead, as Jonathan Rauch has done, use their movement to secure state recognition of marriage to remind us of the institution’s importance.

Given the group’s roster, it seems pretty clear that its leaders want to have a conversation about the importance of marriage.  A welcome move.

Let us hope this group comes to dominate the debate.

“Marriage Rights” and Motives

Two events in the past few days have gotten me thinking, again, about the arguments for gay marriage.  On the one hand, there was the statement by GOProud on its support of gay marriage as an issue nationwide. And on the other, there was a recent article in The Atlantic on “The High Price of Being Single in America.”  The Atlantic article intrigues me because, in my reading of the article, it indirectly undermines some arguments for gay marriage by making the case that, for single people, at least, policy makers and other institutions haven’t necessarily been “fair” in granting special status to heterosexual marriage.  The “marriage isn’t fair to singles” argument, however, if fully unleashed, could have the potential to derail the case for gay marriage: after all, there are more singles (both straight and gay) than there are gays and lesbians in committed partnerships.

The Atlantic article is seriously flawed in both its methodology and its conclusions, but that is not why it interests me.  It interests me because, by making the “marriage isn’t fair to singles” argument, it unintentionally illustrates how far the “mainstream” case for gay marriage has deviated in recent years from the more thoughtful and high-minded case that was made for the issue at the time the first serious arguments for gay marriage began to appear widely in the popular press.  And the evolution (though perhaps devolution is the more apt term) of the argument in this way is completely apparent from the way in which those on the gay left greeted the GOProud announcement.

I believe that the push for gay marriage comes partly from two different places philosophically: one is the desire by gay couples to have the same sorts of legal and financial privileges as straight, married couples, which is a consequence of having written laws and policies designed to provide special status to married couples; but the second place it comes from is what has been called “the politics of recognition,” i.e., the desire of gay people to have their worth recognized or validated in some sense  through public policy. The second push comes more from a psychological need which might be emotionally appealing, but which doesn’t  necessarily qualify it as good policy. The first comes from a more legitimate grievance against a government with an interest in deciding which sorts of relationships are “more equal than others.” (The first motive–and kind of argument–is also, incidentally, key to winning over more  conservative and libertarian kinds of voters.)  The two different strands of the argument can exist together in a kind of symbiosis, but separated, they are potentially at odds with each other.


Is Gay Marriage Really a Libertarian Issue?

I’ll start off by saying, I’m not totally agnostic on gay marriage, but I’m pretty close. I think both sides argue the wrong points in turn, and since I’ve never really felt the need to appeal to the government for validation (let alone validation of my personal relationships), I say let the chips fall where they may.

In fact, the more libertarian I become (by the day, it seems), the less I care, frankly about gay marriage. My partner and I love each other and we don’t need a government stamp nor piece of paper to make it official. Heck, even if we didn’t have the support and acknowledgement of our family and friends (we, ftr, do), we’d be content just to “watch the world die”, so to speak, our love strong as it is.

Personal mushyness aside, however, Reason‘s Scott Shackford has me confused today. Fair enough, his post last week on the site’s Hit & Run blog (which I read habitually and I recommend to you as well) is after all entitled “The Libertarian Gay Marriage Paradox“. But it seems to me the paradox is misplaced.

He first suggests that the actual libertarian argument against gay marriage (that marriage as an institution itself isn’t any of the government’s business) “is indeed a conclusion, not an argument”, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. In fact, it’s the argument supporting basically all libertarian positions, isn’t it? It’s the one I use all the time on a wide range of issues.

Be that as it may, he goes on to build then knock down a strawman libertarian argument that doesn’t exist, to wit: “Opponents of gay marriage recognition are not arguing for smaller government; quite the opposite” because, he suggests opponents feel “we need government to make certain that humanity continues to procreate.” Sure, social conservatives are making that argument, but do you know of any libertarian who’s saying that? I sure wouldn’t. “Paradox”? I don’t see it.

What is paradoxical, however, is his approach to support for gay marriage:



Posted by Bruce Carroll at 3:34 pm - December 7, 2012.
Filed under: Gay Marriage

Hot off the presses from our friend Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether California’s Proposition 8 marriage amendment is constitutional and whether the federal government can refuse to recognize gay couples’ marriages for tax purposes and other reasons, the court announced Friday.

The long-awaited announcement, first reported by SCOTUSblog, puts Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines “marriage” and “spouse” in all federal laws as being limited to marriages between one man and one woman, squarely before the nine justices in the case of Edith Windsor.

The court also accepted the request by the supporters of California’s Proposition 8 that the justices hear an appeal of that case, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law as unconstitutional.

In addition to the questions about whether the laws are constitutional, the court has asked the parties to respond to questions about “standing,” a constitutional limit on who can bring a case before the court because of a constitutional limit that courts only can hear actual “cases and controversies.” If a party doesn’t have standing to bring an appeal, the court cannot hear an appeal.

More as things develop.  I’m looking for some reaction from gay groups, as well as mainstream political types…

UPDATE:  From the “Courage Campaign” –

Statement of Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of Courage Campaign, a leading progressive organization that has been at the forefront of the fight against Prop 8:

“Last month, voters from Maine to Washington stood up for equality. Now it’s time for the Supreme Court to catch up with the American public. Discrimination and hatred have no place in a country founded on the principles of liberty, justice and equality.

“Despite the efforts of a vocal minority, from politics to business to culture we are seeing a rapid and historic shift towards equality for all. Only a year ago, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed. Now, no one cares. Sooner than later, no one will care about loving gay and lesbian couples marrying any more than they care about their straight counterparts doing so.

“Each day of delay brings more suffering and hardship. We continue to have tremendous confidence in the legal team led by Ted Olson and David Boies and will work tirelessly to make sure the court does not reverse years worth of momentum in the this country towards equality.”

From” Freedom to Marry“:

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released this statement:

“By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA’s ‘gay exception’ to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall. When it comes to the whole federal safety net that accompanies marriage – access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities — couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married.”

“Additionally, gay and lesbian couples in California – and indeed, all over the country – now look to the Supreme Court to affirm that the Constitution does not permit states to strip something as important as the freedom to marry away from one group of Americans.

From NOM:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today praised the U.S. Supreme Court for agreeing to grant certiorari in the case determining the validity of Proposition 8:

“We believe that it is significant that the Supreme Court has taken the Prop 8 case,” said John Eastman, NOM’s chairman and former Dean (and current professor) at Chapman University School of Law. “We believe it is a strong signal that the Court will reverse the lower courts and uphold Proposition 8. That is the right outcome based on the law and based on the principle that voters hold the ultimate power over basic policy judgments and their decisions are entitled to respect.”

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)

Gay marriage advocates followed strategy I recommended in states which voted on gay marriage this month

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:25 pm - November 20, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Gay Marriage

I expect to have more to say about this later in the day, but have been quite busy.  Am just returning from a trip to Cincinnati to celebrate my twin nieces’ B’Not Mitzvah and am now preparing to head up to the Bay Area to celebrate Thanksgiving with my youngest nephews (and their parents).

I caught this in a BuzzFeed piece linked in HotAir‘s headlines.  Seems gay marriage advocates have followed my advice in making their pitch for state recognition of gay marriage in the states which voted on it earlier this month:

Among the key changes were a shift away from talk of “rights” to a focus on committed relationships; a decision to address “values” directly as being learned at home; and an attempt to give voters “permission” to change their minds, according to elements of the research shared with BuzzFeed.

I’ve long been saying advocates should focus on the meaning of the institution rather than the supposed “right” to state recognition.

Interesting that the research the various “marriage equality” groups conducted confirmed my points.

More anon.  I hope.