Archive for Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gay leaders blame TV ads, Obama for loss in Maine

November 5, 2009

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Two women argue their differences regarding same-sex marriage in front of City Hall in Portland, Maine, on Wednesday, a day after voters rejected the gay marriage law.

Two women argue their differences regarding same-sex marriage in front of City Hall in Portland, Maine, on Wednesday, a day after voters rejected the gay marriage law.

— Stunned and angry, national gay rights leaders Wednesday blamed scare-mongering ads — and President Barack Obama’s lack of engagement — for a bitter election setback in Maine that could alter the dynamics for both sides in the gay-marriage debate.

Conservatives, in contrast, celebrated Maine voters’ rejection of a law that would have allowed gay couples to wed, depicting it as a warning shot that should deter politicians in other states from pushing for same-sex marriage.

“Every time the citizens have voted on marriage, they have always sided with natural marriage,” said Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based Christian legal group. “Maine dramatically illustrates the will of the people, and politicians should wake up and listen.”

Gay activists were frustrated that Obama, who insists he staunchly supports their overall civil rights agenda, didn’t speak out forcefully in defense of Maine’s marriage law before Tuesday’s referendum. The law was repealed in a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent.

“President Obama missed an opportunity to state his position against these discriminatory attacks with the clarity and moral imperative that would have helped in this close fight,” said Evan Wolfson of the national advocacy group Freedom to Marry. “The anti-gay forces are throwing millions of dollars into various unsubtle ads aimed at scaring people, so subtle statements from the White House are not enough.”

The White House, asked about the criticism, had no immediate comment.

Key battlegrounds

The marriage debate is simmering in at least a half-dozen states where a same-sex marriage bill is pending or where a court ruling or existing law is being eyed by conservatives for possible challenge.

Had Maine’s law been upheld by voters, it would have become the sixth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to affirm it by popular vote. In Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Iowa, gay marriage resulted from court decisions or legislation.

California is sure to be a major battleground over the next several years. Last year, conservatives succeeded in winning public approval of Proposition 8, which overturned a state court ruling allowing gay marriage. Gay rights groups want to take the issue back to the voters but are divided on a timetable.

In the aftermath of the Maine vote, some California activists appealed to their supporters for money to help them put a measure on the 2010 ballot. Other activist leaders want to wait until 2012.

“It’s never too early to go back to right a fundamental wrong,” said Chaz Lowe of Yes! on Equality, who favors shooting for 2010. “A lot of people are angry, a lot of people are upset. It at least has the potential to be a mobilization for the grass roots.”

Some California activists said the outcome in Maine strengthened their belief that it will fall to the U.S. Supreme Court — not the voters — to make gay marriage legal. A federal lawsuit challenging Prop. 8 is scheduled to go to trial in January, the first step in a legal journey that is expected to reach the high court in a few years.

“The results in Maine underscore exactly why we are challenging California’s same-sex marriage ban,” said Chad Griffin, president of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the Los Angeles group spearheading the lawsuit. “The U.S. Constitution guarantees equal rights to every American, and when those rights are violated, it is the role of our courts to protect us, regardless of what the polls say.”

Nationwide

The situation elsewhere:

• In New Jersey, the election Tuesday of Republican Chris Christie as governor puts extra pressure on gay rights supporters to win passage of a pending same-sex marriage bill before the legislative session ends in January. Christie says he would veto such a bill, while lame-duck Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, says he would sign it.

• In Iowa, where the state Supreme Court legalized gay marriage last April, conservatives have no quick way to overturn the ruling. Their only option would be to amend the state constitution through a ballot measure — in 2014 at the earliest — and that effort would need approval from a legislature whose current Democratic leaders don’t even want to debate the issue.

• In New Hampshire, conservatives have filed legislation to repeal the state’s new gay-marriage law and amend the constitution to ban such unions. Kevin Smith, executive director of the conservative Cornerstone Policy Research, said he doubts the measures will pass, but hopes the vote in Maine will give gay-marriage opponents ammunition for the 2010 elections.

“It gives us more fodder to go back to people and say, ‘Look, they aren’t letting you vote on it,’” Smith said.

• In Washington, D.C., conservatives are trying to force a popular vote on a bill headed toward City Council approval that would legalize gay marriage. Michael Crawford, one of the leaders of the local pro-gay marriage campaign, said the result in Maine increased his determination to avoid a ballot measure.

“The same cabal of anti-gay groups who stripped away marriage equality from our families in California and Maine now have their sights on D.C.,” he said.

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, came away with a different message.

“Over and over again, the American people have affirmed marriage at the ballot box and turned aside the demands of a movement that remains largely driven by Hollywood, some extreme activists and a few activist judges,” he said.

“We hope the message sent by Maine’s voters will be heard in Washington and state capitals around the nation.”

Comments

Flap Doodle 5 years, 5 months ago

Dear Leader does what is good for Dear Leader. Offending his Black supporters by supporting the GLBT community wasn't in his best interest.

jafs 5 years, 5 months ago

consumer,

Everyone has the right to believe whatever they like about homosexuality, as they have the right to believe whatever they like about women, black people, etc.

However, that doesn't give them the right to deny equality under the law to all Americans.

puddleglum 5 years, 5 months ago

yeah, it is totally Obama's fault.

maybe the people just didn't want to be known as fruit-cake chapel-land anymore?

canyon_wren 5 years, 5 months ago

If the gay group would focus on getting "domestic partnership" or "civil union" accessions--such as benefits, etc.,--I think most people would support that, even when they disapprove of homosexuality. It is that group's obsession with the term "marriage" that everyone opposes, and rightly so, in my opinion. It's unrealistic of the group to insist upon using that term when they have real needs that should be addressed.

ferrislives 5 years, 5 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says…

"But snap, at least 90% of blacks will still vote for him no matter what he does. After all, some of them thought Palin was his running mate. LMAO!!"

What you and snap says doesn't make any logical sense! The black and Hispanic vote you refer to voted overwhelmingly against gay marriage in California, which is why it failed there. Most people were surprised by that result, because of statements similar to yours that were made previous to that vote. Using that California vote as proof, the minority vote does think for themselves, no matter how much you want to deny that.

Obviously there aren't many minorities in Maine, so they shouldn't even be mentioned. But of course you to have to bring up the race card; you can't help it!

canyon_wren 5 years, 5 months ago

At least they can't blame the Mormons for the Maine vote!

kidicarus 5 years, 5 months ago

"consumer1 (Anonymous) says…

they have to blame someone, they don't realize the majority of American believe homosexuality is wrong. This is something that goes against their agenda of trying to normalize the what most american find to be a perversion."

I don't think you can equate opposition to gay marriage with thinking that homosexuality is "wrong" or "a perversion". Many people are opposed to gay marriage, but open to civil unions or something equivalent.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

.... and so the blame game commences.

the leaders of the LGB community can be just as full of bullhooey as leaders of any other large group of people. i still love gay folks and their accusatory "leaders" aren't going to change that.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

blessed, how did i know you would be one of the first folks up in here thumping his bible harder than anyone else?

jafs 5 years, 5 months ago

Blessed,

Given the overwhelming statistics about heterosexual marriages (eg. affairs/divorce), it is amazing to me that anyone holds them up as some sort of righteous thing.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

tom, you're right, darling... alot of blacks and hispanics voted for obama because he is brown. just like alot of white folks voted for mccain because he's not. which is better?

sfjayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

They should blame the bigoted homophobes.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

jafs, i know, right? they act like there is such a sanctity going on w/ male-female marriage that it is an example to behold. its just like when a gay celebrity breaks up w/ his/her signif other and people are like "see? those unions never work!" duuuuh.... there are only a handful of celebrity marriages that work PERIOD. the vast majority end up crashing and burning. and they never mention anyone like elton john and his partner and how they've been together for a couple of decades... whatever.

same w/ the non celebs though. but humans are very tribal people by nature (pack animals) and that is one of our biggest flaws. we tend to group together and then cast out others who don't fit into out whatever category we consider ourselves a part of. we practice exclusivity pretty much by nature. however, since we supposedly are NOT "animals" and we can reason and are supposed to have the capacity to sympathize, empathize and show compassion, we should be able to rise above the pack animal mindset.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 5 months ago

How many times does this article use the term "liberal" to describe gay activists? Zero.

How many times does it use the term "conservative" to describe defenders of traditional marriage? Eight.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 5 months ago

When justice has prevailed 31 of 31 times, I guess all the other side has left is labeling people "Bible thumpers" and "bigoted homophobes." It still doesn't put you on the right side of the issue.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

marion, i am familiar w/ that term. so what is our point?

puddleglum 5 years, 5 months ago

basically turning people into animals..............

uh, yeah, that's what people are.

now if you said that homosexuals were trying to turn people back into .....uh, non-breeding homozygotes, then you'd be spot on.

canyon_wren 5 years, 5 months ago

BlessedSap--Obama is no more to be thanked than blamed for the results.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

OMG, rooster, you bring up such a great point! my mouth is agape w/ your profound relevance!

puddleglum 5 years, 5 months ago

obama is a bad guy. he sit on a steeple and don't like gay people.

nascar!

jonas_opines 5 years, 5 months ago

"the leaders of the LGB community can be just as full of bullhooey as leaders of any other large group of people."

ftw

Satirical 5 years, 5 months ago

I need some help from liberals....

When public opinion and democratic rule goes against what I want, what names should I call the opposition? I ask liberals because they are well known for their ability to personally attack those with which they disagree.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

^^^ you'll have to elaborate. i don't understand what "ftw" means (i'm not up on textese).

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

and that was in context w/ the quote from me HOW?!

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

i meant "your" but i type too quickly for my brain to catch up at time-- hence my many many typos.

i'm still not getting your uncle tom reference. you and sat are confusing the bejeezus out of me right now.

9070811 5 years, 5 months ago

I think most people against same sex couples/sex/marriages/civil unions/whatever, are just scared of their own genitals. Which in turn makes them scared of the thought of their sexes' genitals.

I don't understand people who classify committed partnerships by genitalia.

Citizens should not vote on whether two people can receive the same legal standings of other couples.

What difference does it make to the heterosexual couple if two men have sex? If it sickens you, don't think of it. If you don't want your children to be exposed to them, shelter your children from them. If you don't like gay marriage, don't get one.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

really blessed? do tell what sexual morality is.

Satirical 5 years, 5 months ago

Honeychild… “and that was in context w/ the quote from me HOW?!”

Since I didn’t make the comment I can only guess, but based on how the phrase is typically used, jonas_opines was signifying that he greatly approved and agreed with the comment he quoted. In other words, ftw = best comment.

Hope that helps.

jonas_opines 5 years, 5 months ago

honeychild (Mel Briscoe) says…

"and that was in context w/ the quote from me HOW?!"

Most accurate comment on the thread. And thus, all that needs to be said. (not that it will be. the only thing said, that is)

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 5 months ago

Since I have no understanding of homosexual I will not comment on that aspect. However, I did hear President Obama say that marriage is between a man and a woman. I am proud of being an Roman Catholic and a religious person. I have got used to being insulted because of that, though I don't care what faith someone else does, no does not practice. When something is put to a vote, the most votes wins. It is just that simple. This has nothing to do with the "Christian community" or President Obama, it has to do with the fact that the majority of people in Maine voted no.

tbaker 5 years, 5 months ago

It seems that gay people, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of Mr. Obama, have something in common with republicans, who voted overwhelmingly against Mr. Obama.

They both don't like being reminded of the fact elections have consequences.

jafs 5 years, 5 months ago

Blessed,

That's the whole point - if it's a religious belief, it shouldn't be forced on the rest of us who aren't part of that religion through our secular government.

And, if you find it difficult to teach your children your moral beliefs because of our secular culture, you are free to move to a religious state.

STRS,

There was a time when popular opinion was that black people were not human, that women didn't have the right to vote, etc.

9070811 5 years, 5 months ago

Why are people allowed to vote on someone's ability to marry whomever they choose? It is not as simple as the voting preferences of the people.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 5 months ago

jafs,

As you correctly point out, our society has corrected past injustices to minorities and women. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean we can or should transform marriage into something it isn't.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

hmm... i think he has been a useful person at times. especially way back in the day, the 60s and 70s and such when he was the voice of consumer advocacy. that was a needed thing and he did a pretty good job at it, from what i know.

now? i think he may be outdated. i don't follow his politics too closely, i'm just going to be honest about that... w/ the gore v. dubya election, tho, i think mr. nader was a tool. what little respect i had for the man pretty much disapated w/ the way he threw that big monkey wrench in the election and made a bad situation worse.

okay.... so let me volley that right back to you: what do YOU think of ralph nader?

Chris Golledge 5 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps Marion is referring to what are called Uncle Tom laws (or is it Jim Crowe laws?). Basically, between the civil war and about the 1950s or 60s, there were a number of laws created that basically were designed to keep those of African descent down, without being written in such a way that the color of the persons skin was directly identified as the reason not to allow them whatever rights or privileges as the white majority.

It's a bit of a loose analogy, but it still works. The laws under discussion today don't state the reason is because the majority finds homosexual sex offensive (Despite the fact that many, if not most, heterosexuals engage in the same acts.); they just prevent same-sex marriage, with no mention of the sexual orientation of the individuals.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 5 months ago

BTW, Satirical and STRS, Change of topic, but on the health care issue, you argued that young people should not be forced to buy insurance, found fault with my inference that you mean that it is OK for young people to expect others to pay for anything bad that happens to them, and then refused to answer my question of who you thought should pay for it when a young (or otherwise) uninsured person incurred medical bills beyond anything that they could pay for.

I'm detecting the same pattern here.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

cg, they were called jim crow laws... and they weren't so ambiguous, they were pretty blatant when it came to excluding black people from this and that because of race. but i get your point and now i atleast understand what marion was hinting toward.

Satirical 5 years, 5 months ago

cg22165... "I'm detecting the same pattern here."

I would ask you to elaborate and/or explain yourself, but based on your recent history re: same-sex marriage, and your last post, it appears you are still trying to finish that bag of K2; therefore any attempt on your part to explain yourself would result in incoherence.

I will just chalk it up as another baseless and unsubstantiated attack.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 5 months ago

Hi Honey, I believe you, but I also remember something about a law that said you had to be able to read and right in order to vote. This was made in the context of a place and time when very few black people could and most white people, or at least non-poor white men, could. That's just what came to my mind.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for not answering the question, Satirical.

Satirical 5 years, 5 months ago

cg22165... "Thanks for not answering the question, Satirical."

Did you forget the question mark....because I don't see a question. I also didn't see you explain what you meant by "the same pattern here." But hey, there's nothing wrong with claiming others are dodging questions when you are the only one doing it....right?

parrothead8 5 years, 5 months ago

BlessedSap (Anonymous) says… Other than the spread of deadly disease, accepting these lifestyles also makes it hard to teach children about morality as it relates to sexuality for those who still recognize the two are related. The whole movement wants to throw out the idea that our sexuality has a moral responsibility attached. This responsibility is a fundamental part of American Christianity and a fundamental part of many religions.

Okay...first of all, heterosexual sex spreads much more disease, deadly or otherwise, than homosexual sex. So don't even bring up disease, because it just makes you look uninformed. Second...WHOSE morality are you teaching? And to whom are you teaching it? Just because you believe it doesn't mean it's right for all humankind. Could your beliefs be wrong? The founding fathers of this country foresaw religious freedom, not religious compulsion. By turning this into a religious issue, Christians are attaching religious compulsion to the making of a law by forcing people who do not share the same views to adopt and uphold a Christian viewpoint. If Thomas Jefferson could see this, he would not approve. Third...the "whole movement" does not want to "throw out the idea that our sexuality has a moral responsibility attached," and if you think so, then you obviously don't know much about the "whole movement." (And don't come back with the "I have gay friends" statement. That's irrelevant.) What is more responsible than marrying and remaining faithful to the person you pledge to love and cherish in front of the god of your choosing?

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 5 months ago

cg22165,

If the health care debate truly focused on insuring the uninsured and not on a total government takeover of 1/6th of the economy, I would more fully engage in that debate.

Even so, your question is a straw man - using extreme examples to advocate such a broad agenda is disingenuous.

puddleglum 5 years, 5 months ago

wow 12 people killed at fort hood! 31 people injured! holy crizzle

Chris Golledge 5 years, 5 months ago

Satirical (Anonymous) says…

cg22165… “Thanks for not answering the question, Satirical.” Did you forget the question mark….because I don't see a question.

I said, "...who you thought should pay for it when a young (or otherwise) uninsured person incurred medical bills beyond anything that they could pay for."

Maybe this will refresh your memory

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/nov/04/maine-repeals-gay-marriage-law-historic-vote/#c1039567

You posted another response further on, but you still didn't answer the question.

And this series,

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/oct/08/expert-debunks-health-care-myths/#c1014074

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/oct/08/expert-debunks-health-care-myths/#c1014139

To be fair, you may have dropped off before I posted the exact question referenced:

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/oct/08/expert-debunks-health-care-myths/#c1014362

However, the pattern remains, when you are shown the faults in your argument, or are asked a question which you can't answer without making the faults obvious, you digress, or ignore the question.

Satirical 5 years, 5 months ago

cg22165...

So you were really asking about another topic? Based on your last statement referencing the current thread, it reasonably appeared you were using the past as comparison to what you claim I am currently doing, and that is what you wanted to dicsuss/challenge. If you want me to answer a question about the past, and the present, it would help me if you posted it as such.

Having said that, I am still not going to revisit past off-topic arguments today.

"However, the pattern remains, when you are shown the faults in your argument, or are asked a question which you can't answer without making the faults obvious, you digress, or ignore the question." - cg22165

Your post at 2:48 p.m. stated "I'm detecting the same pattern here." So again, back to my original response to that post, please provide an example of how I have “digressed and ignored a question” prior to your post at 2:48. Otherwise, your attack is baseless.

Calliope877 5 years, 5 months ago

It never fail to amuse me when someone who claims to "blessed" or "righteous" conveniently overlooks the "judge not lest ye be judged" thing...how unChrist-like.

Calliope877 5 years, 5 months ago

Correction: It never FAILS to amuse me; and there should be a "be" before "blessed."

It was a long day...

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

jafs (Anonymous) says…

"Given the overwhelming statistics about heterosexual marriages (eg. affairs/divorce), it is amazing to me that anyone holds them up as some sort of righteous thing."

Which I guess would beg the question of why gays are so adament about wanting the same thing. Kind of like saying 'It's not fair you can have bubonic plague but you're denying me my right to have it too!'


honeychild (Mel Briscoe) says…

"alot of blacks and hispanics voted for obama because he is brown. just like alot of white folks voted for mccain because he's not. which is better?"

Wow, you're serious, aren't you?

If the same percentage of white voters had voted for McCain as that of black voters who voted for Obama, this headline would have had at least one word different.

jumpin_catfish 5 years, 5 months ago

We the people, people. The people of Maine have spoken.

KansasPerson 5 years, 5 months ago

Maybe you're just not funny! :)

(Sorry, I'll go back to lurk-mode now)

TopJayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

comrade. How could you be fooled? Did you not research his voting record?
Did you not research his associations, his mentors, his statements of the past? No you did not. (obvioulsy) this is excactly how he got elected. Everyone liked the way he looked and sounded. No one paid any attention to the substance. Now we have a Marxist who is trying to bring down the country in order to fundementally change it.....DUH!!!

jafs 5 years, 5 months ago

nota,

That's interesting, but highly flawed logic.

The idea of marriage is a noble and beautiful one - that's why gay folks want to be able to marry.

What if gay/lesbian folks would do a better job of being faithful and staying married than straight ones?

My point is that the reality of heterosexual marriage in this country should deny any thinking person the right to claim moral superiority based on sexual preference.

sfjayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Maine voted down gay marriage by three little percentage points, barely a blip that won't last long. Twenty years ago, the point spread would've been far larger. In fact, legal gay marriage was so unthinkable back then that it wouldn't have made it anywhere near a public vote in the first place.

Bottom line is fear and homophobia are just doing their typical, reactionary thing, throwing up an scared/angry little barrier and trying desperately to slow down the inevitable.

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