Monday, November 28, 2011

The Thanksgiving Video War Massacre - competing messages about marriage equality over the Thanksgiving holiday

Maggie Gallagher handed the lgbtq community a victory over the Thanksgiving holidays in what turned out to be a contest of dueling videos.

Did I say contest? A contest would mean that two equal entities would be competing for superiority. What happened last week was a massacre.

Gallagher began the contest with a video she put out giving supposed tips on how to handle discussions of marriage equality during Thanksgiving. By tips, I guess Gallagher meant repeating the same tired talking points about people on her side of the argument unfairly being labeled as "bigots" and making false platitudes on respectful discussions while all the while folks on her side paint lgbtqs as folks seeking to corrupt children and (stop me if you heard this one) attempting to destroy the "special uniqueness of marriage being between one man and one woman:

To say that Gallagher's video wasn't popular would be an understatement. To say that she created the youtube version of Battlefield Earth and Plan 9 from Outer Space (two motion pictures renowned for how bad they were) would be more to the point.

Some folks have said that her delivery wasn't exactly comforting. Also, Gallagher simply didn't say anything we haven't heard before. If her aim was to tug at hearts, then my guess is that she used how the Snow White's wicked stepmother wanted to tug at her heart as a model.

And forgive for saying so because I am certainly not trying to rag on Gallagher's looks but the way her hair would bob in her face when she made what she thought were emphatic points totally distracted from her message. All the while Gallagher was talking, I kept thinking about that scene in the motion picture Valley of the Dolls when actress Pattie Duke was singing at a telethon and her dancing caused her necklace to bob and weave as if it took a life of its own.

Gallagher's video alone was poor, but the artificiality behind it was made evident due to another youtube video. This video, from Australia, featured  real situation where a gay couple meet, share time and family crises together, and then eventually get married:

The difference between the two videos speak for themselves. One featured a polarizing talking head repeating tiresome talking points behind a bland backdrop while punctuating her points with annoyingly flopping hair which didn't say "traditional marriage defender" but rather screamed "camp."

The other video featured a real-life situation involving a gay couple sharing time together, crises together, and finally wanting to share their lives together.

There was no competition.

Now there are some who call me biased for how I have criticized Gallagher's video. Well the facts bear me out. Gallagher's video, while at present time seen by less than 30,000 people, is tanking badly in terms of support.

In comparison, the Australian video has been seen by over 1 million people and has a vast number of supporters.

The simple fact of the matter is that this was a head-to-head competition and Gallagher's video lost because she didn't have an argument.

The other video simply didn't need one. It merely showed love, commitment, and devotion - all of the qualities which should make up a marriage.

All of the talking points in the world can't compete with that.

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'Barney Frank's best youtube moments' and other Monday midday news briefs

Barney Frank Will Not Seek Reelection In 2012 - By now you have heard that Barney Frank, a Congressional powerhouse and a hero to us younger lgbtqs is retiring. Aw hell. But in all honesty, the brother deserves his rest. Thank you Barney.

Barney Frank’s best YouTube moments - The quality which made Frank such an awesome figure was his honesty and director candor, whether it be about his sexual orientation or dealing with trifling folks. The Washington Post counts down his best moments caught on youtube. Pay special attention to how he deals with folks who attack his sexual orientation.

GOProud On Barney Frank's Retirement - Meanwhile, the conservative gay group GoProud calls Frank an embarrassment. Barney Frank spent decades in valued service in Congress and being an excellent role model for the lgbtq community. All GoProud does is kiss up to a GOP base which hates its guts. If the group did as much work trying to change the Republican party from within than wailing at the supposed "Gay Left," it would have some degree of credibility.

Don't Ask Don't Tell: Top Marine Says Service Embracing Gay Ban Repeal - Don't tell the religious right. It would ruin their day. Then again, feel free to tell them.

I've never seen a Youtube video with 0% like... - Maggie Gallagher's silly Thanksgiving video is TANKING!

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Prop 8 supporter fears the courts

With California's Proposition 8 looking very likely to be decided by the Supreme Court, supporters of it are not liking their prospects. Right now, the case is headed towards Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal:

Randy Thomasson, president of, suggests the Ninth Circuit judges will not side with supporters of traditional marriage.

"It doesn't look very good there," he warns. "Stephen Reinhardt, he's heading up this three-judge panel, he's the ultimate judicial activist." And Thomasson is not sure about how Justices Michael Daly Hawkins and Norman Randy Smith will vote on the merits of the case.

. . . Thomasson argues that this is an issue that should have never been taken to a federal court "because marriage is a state jurisdiction."

Ultimately, he says the court must decide whether the definition of marriage is something that should be decided at the state level.
We all know why Thomasson fears the courts. Probably because if the judges did look at the merits of case, Prop 8 supporters would continue to lose. At the very best, their case was weak. Many of those pushing for the law demurred when it came to testifying as to why the law was needed. They only could get two witness. One, David Blankenhorn, under cross examination made the case against Prop 8. Also, during closing arguments, proponents of Prop 8 said that they didn't need any evidence to prove their case.

Thomasson's whine speaks to what scares those against marriage equality the most. They like to sound the horn and cry "let the people vote" because they have the means and the money to manipulate that vote. They have enough pull to spread false stories about gays and children across any state, as well as cite junk science to prove their points.

In a court of law, however, things are different. In the words of David Boies, one of the lawyers who defeated Prop 8 in courts:

"In a court of law you've got to come in and you've got to support those opinions, you've got to stand up under oath and cross-examination," Boies said. "And what we saw at trial is that it's very easy for the people who want to deprive gay and lesbian citizens of the right to vote [sic] to make all sorts of statements and campaign literature, or in debates where they can't be cross-examined.

"But when they come into court and they have to support those opinions and they have to defend those opinions under oath and cross-examination, those opinions just melt away. And that's what happened here. There simply wasn't any evidence, there weren't any of those studies. There weren't any empirical studies. That's just made up. That's junk science. It's easy to say that on television. But a witness stand is a lonely place to lie. And when you come into court you can't do that.

Thomasson fears the simple fact that in the courts, where is there is no room for distortions or lies, the folks defending Prop 8 will continue to come up short.

And they deserve to.

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