Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is article about DOMA a case of positive overhyping?

According to Talking Points Memo, the issue of overturning DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) is a positive for Democrats due to the fact that it's no longer a wedge issue:

In the wake of President Obama's decision to drop support for portions of the Defense of Marriage Act, gay rights advocates have been unabashed in claiming that beyond the merits of their underlying argument they now have the political advantage as well. Not only does public opinion polling suggest they're right, but the reaction of gay rights opponents does, too.

On Wednesday, House and Senate Democrats held separate press conferences announcing the introduction of legislation to repeal DOMA. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), one of the sponsors of the House bill, was asked whether Democrats were politicizing gay rights as a wedge issue against the GOP, as Majority Leader Eric Cantor alleged last month.

"What do I say to the idea that this is a wedge issue? I say 'Hallelujah,'" Frank told reporters. "The fact that we've now evolved to the point where the Republicans are complaining about the fact that we introduced this bill because it causes them political problems is a great sign of progress. It used to be the other way around."
Frank noted that the original 1996 DOMA was used by Congress in part to put President Clinton in a tough political spot ahead of his re-election race against Bob Dole. Many political observers credited Republican efforts to ban gay marriage on the state and federal level with helping secure President Bush's re-election in 2004 as well. In his memoirs last year, Rove wrote that a 2003 Massachusetts court decision legalizing gay marriage "did affect the 2004 election by motivating culturally conservative Democrats and independents who might otherwise have voted Democratic to abandon Kerry over his wobbly views on marriage."

In his statement on President Obama's decision to abandon DOMA, Cantor revealed how much the tables have turned, calling the move "a clear political exercise by the Administration." A recent poll commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, found a majority of Americans opposed DOMA and backed Obama's position. Other polls have found support for legalizing gay marriage entirely trending rapidly towards a majority -- a recent Pew survey found 46% of respondents opposed to allowing gay marriage versus 45% who back the idea.

"The wedge has lost its edge," Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who worked on Bush's 2004 campaign, told The New York Times last month. 

Pardon me for being a bit cynical but we know the religious right works - some overly generous funds from anonymous sources, a couple of hundreds of thousands of glossy pamphlets blanketing a few states talking about how children will turn gay because of marriage equality, a few greased palms to various black ministers who will be more than eager to decry about the "highjacking of the civil rights movement" (you really don't think these ministers were raising hell out because of personal righteous indignation, did you), a few hundred thousand emails filled with homophobic talking points, a few visits to Fox News and BOOM:

The media will be talking about how DOMA has been resurrected as a "wedge issue."

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Why do African-American homophobes ignore Bayard Rustin?

Another day goes by and another ignorant black preacher sets himself up as the arbiter of just what the civil rights movement was all about. This time, it was in Iowa:

Speaking before a conservative-minded crowd of around 400 on the west steps of the Capitol, Rev. Keith Ratliff criticized gay rights activists for equating their struggle with the civil rights movement of 50 years ago.

“For the few victories that the gay community is claiming,” Ratliff said, “they have won it mostly based on the hijacking of them trying to parallel themselves on the backs of the civil rights movement, here in America.”

He said their is “no parallel” of what an “insult” it was for them to compare themselves with the civil rights movement.

Ratliff, of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, said not being able to marry a person of the same gender was no where near what it’s like to be denied service in a restaurant or hotel for the color of their skin.

“For those that spiritually see the big picture, this issue is a battle ground as we said and not a playground,” Ratliff said.

Every time I hear an African-American leader make such statement, I always wish I could ask that leader about this man, Bayard Rustin:

Bayard Rustin was an African-American openly gay aide of Martin Luther King, Jr. He organized the 1963 March on Washington. If it weren't for him, that march would NOT have been a success.

Michele Bachman to 'advance kingdom of God' and other Thursday midday news briefs

First look: NOM's soon-to-launch DefendDOMA site - Oh look. The National Organization for Marriage lauches a Defend DOMA so they can help defend that law in the courts just like they helped defend Prop 8. Oh wait . . . they didn't, or rather refused to.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein Introduces Repeal of the Defense of Marriage ActSpeaking of which . . .

Scarborough Meets With Bachmann to Discuss How To Advance The Kingdom of Christ - I'm just speechless cause it's too easy to say something.

Seton Hall gay student from Ridgefield Park sues over change in dorm room - I had college roommates who couldn't handle me being gay. THEY moved, not me.

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Media ignores lgbt youth in story about Christian foster parents

A recent case in Great Britain about foster parenting and lgbts have some of the right practically salivating in terms of how they can exploit the situation. And as it turns out, they got it all wrong. What's worse is how the mainstream media pushed the story.

This the scenario laid out:

Owen and Eunice Johns of Derby, England, were told by judges sitting in the High Court in London that gay equality laws must "take precedence" over the rights of Christians to act in line with their faith.

The couple, who have fostered 15 children, had sought a judicial review of a 2009 decision by the Derby City Council to defer their application to be approved as short-term, respite, foster caregivers because of their views on sexual morality.

The judges were asked to consider the abstract question of whether public authorities should consider applicants' views on sexual ethics when deciding to approve them as foster parents.

The judges stated that Christian beliefs on sexual ethics may be "inimical" to children and implicity upheld a submission by the publicly funded Equality and Human Rights Commission that children risked being "infected" by Christian moral beliefs.

If children are placed with parents who have traditional Christian views, "there may well be a conflict with the local authority's duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of looked-after children," the judges said.

The "discriminated Christian" angle is taking up all of the attention in the media. The following are the headlines laid out by various news sources:

British court rules couple too Christian to care for kids ‎ - USA Today
Pentecostal couple find no comfort in the High Court ‎ - Church Times

And several other articles feature personal exposes of the couple complete with pictures of the two in either a loving embrace or holding hands.

However it would seem that a lot of folks went for the senationalistic appeal of this story and did not bother to do suitable background work.