Gay marriage, the GOP, & the albatross

So the big news today is the California court’s rejection of a stay of last month’s ruling on gay marriage. (See also Patrick Edaburn below.) Chris Crain warns, “Better buckle up, fellas. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…the justices were unanimous.” Emphasis his. Here’s the 1 page ruling (pdf).

Also in the news today, a USAToday poll showing that 63% of adults say same-sex marriage is “strictly a private decision” between two people. And Tim Rutten writing in the LATimes says the California Marriage amendment may backfire on the GOP. He suggests the people behind it are anything but a broad coalition:

Protect Marriage, the organization seeking to overturn the recent decision by the California Supreme Court, presented the secretary of state with a petition bearing 1.1 million signatures — and yet it is hardly a mass movement. California allows professional contractors that pay people to gather signatures for political measures, so anyone with enough money to spend can get an initiative on the ballot.

In this case, most of the money came from two wealthy Orange County residents who also happen to be fervent evangelical Christians. Billionaire Howard Ahmanson donated $400,000 through his Fieldstead & Co., and Edward Atsinger, owner of a chain of Christian radio stations, gave $12,500. (Each man previously contributed $100,000 to Proposition 22, the statute struck down by the Supreme Court’s May 15 ruling.) Another significant contributor — $133,000 — is Colorado-based Focus on the Family. Its founder, James Dobson, is a leader in the religious right’s anti-gay wing.

Meanwhile John Aravosis reports that John McCain — “on his second marriage, after having dumped his first permanently disabled wife for a rich trophy bride 17 years his junior” — “welcomes” the anti-gay ballot initiative to revoke marriage in CA.

And Towleroad tells us that in New York the Arizona-based Christian group Alliance Defense Fund is backing a group of five state lawmakers there in a lawsuit intended to block Governor David Paterson’s directive that the state recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere:

Governor Paterson, they contended, has “seized the Legislature’s authority, and overridden the will of the people.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Paterson said the governor’s office had not yet received the legal papers and could not comment on the case.

For some comic relief from the culture wars, I turn now to the innocent albatross…

I’m old enough to remember when the Religious Right used to argue that my kind — those who they used to call “confirmed bachelors” and refer to as “light in the loafers;” we are “friends of Dorothy,” you know, “not the marrying kind” — they used to argue that they couldn’t find us in nature. So we took to pointing to those instances where monogamous same sex relationships do occur in the animal kingdom.

Well yesterday LATimes blogger Alice Short took note of a NYTimes story involving long-term pairs of unrelated birds of the same sex in a colony of Laysan albatrosses on Oahu, Hawaii. I quote not from the story but rather from the comments. Here the first two:

What a lame attempt at justification. Ants commit genocide, and engage in slavery. Gerbils cannabalize thier young. Shall we chew up our foor and vomit it into our children as well?

This is pure propaganda and selective science at it’s dumbest.

Posted by: 032125 | June 03, 2008 at 06:13 PM

(sarcasm) Oh no, the sanctity of the heterosexual animal family is under attack. Here comes the fire and brimstone! Repent you animal abominations! repent!

Posted by: Jenn | June 03, 2008 at 06:19 PM

HA HA HAAAA HAA HAAA!! (The typos in that first tempt me to try a joke about the recent court decision [pdf] about teacher certification for California homeschoolers…)

It was my neighboring Congressman who introduced the most recent Constitutional amendment against gay marriage. Even he has to know it’ll go nowhere.

When I was in NY a couple weeks ago I took note of a plaintive NYMagazine piece in which a married man of my age “struggled with the desire for sexual variety.” Not a great article — I’m sort of tired of hearing straight men complain about married life — the key line from it comes from a person at the Kinsey Institute:

“I think we’re getting into a question of social stability. The male libido is considered a very dangerous and a potentially disruptive force in society. I think that’s why there are so many religious dictums and taboos around that. The idea that one is allowed multiple partners—this is something that has to be rigidly controlled.”

As true for homo as it is for heterosexuals, I’m thinking it’s only a matter of time until we’re fully included in both the rights and obligations of the society in which we live. Maybe, just maybe, that time has come.

  • Slamfu

    Gay marriage is just another issue that far right conservatives are just flat out wrong on. Someday it is my dream that the GOP will stop being scared and overreacting to things that aren’t really threatening them.

    What we need is legislation protecting marriage from the Brittany’s and Kfeds of the world, from lets get married gameshows and the 60% of people who get divorced. Fix those issues and you’d be doing the institution of marriage a real service. But its easier to pick on fags.

  • kritt11

    I honestly think the GOP’s stand on the issue has more to do with getting the votes of the religious right than any genuine conviction. Karl Rove noticed that the churches would organize members of their congregation for the Republican party around this issue and around outlawing abortion. It just comes down to getting reliable votes.

  • DLS

    “I honestly think the GOP’s stand on the issue has more to do with getting the votes of the religious right than any genuine conviction. ”

    It depends on the behavior and especially on the worst and most newsworthy behavior of the advocates of gay marriage. The USA, despite mischaracterizations when it is convenient for some, is not now the way it was in the 1950s and early 1960s. Mainstream society objects to extremism and pushing too hard, too harshly, or too loudly by some in the activist community who become their group-of-concern’s worst enemy. Plenty outside the religious right would object to rushing to push gay marriage too hard, too quickly (many people view marriage in the traditional sense and that is in no way evil). Plenty of people also object to judicial activism and leftist misuse of the courts as a political weapon — particularly if the objective is counter to the general community’s desires.

    McCain knows he and the GOP can get swing votes and other non-liberal votes in addition to the religious right votes, easily, on this issue, particularly if the other side is strident and obnoxious in any way or misuses the courts to get what they want instead of getting it the correct, legitimate way, through state legislatures.

    And no, that doesn’t make any and every “general community” a Jim Crow conspiracy. Forego the lies in advance, thanks.

  • DLS

    By the way, K., outlawing abortion (a federal probition, in particular) is out of the mainstream (as is the extremist position in favor of unrestricted and 100% government-provided abortion and fanatical law-and-morality-free rabid defense of Roe v. Wade and vicious attacks on anyone who even seems to frown at it).

  • kritt11

    DLS- I agree that widespread approval of gay marriage would not be a mainstream position. If it was, we would have approved it here in liberal Maryland by now.
    There are many in the black community churches here(who largely vote Democrat) who also abhor gay marriage. Karl was hoping to pick up some of those votes (as was the unsuccessful black GOP Senate candidate Michael Steele) for Republicans by bringing forth the wedge issue in 2004 and 2006. Karl actually recruited Steele — a fact which helped to defeat him when it became public.