"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, December 07, 2012

I know, I know. . . .

I haven't been posting much lately. That's what reading the news these days will do to you. Let me see if I can find something of interest. . . .

First off, one of the Liars for Jesus(TM), Brian Brown, who has this to say in the wake of Maryland's successful ballot initiative to recognize same-sex marriages:

Well, actually no. No one's being "forced" to do anything.

"We’re a Christian-owned company, and we just can't support gay marriages," Grubbs said. "We're not trying to make a statement. We're not trying to make a point. We're just trying to be faithful Christians."

A couple of things about this: Maryland has had a gay-inclusive non-discrimination law on the books for a while. Suddenly, when it involves legal recognition of same-sex relationships, it's an intolerable burden on the religious beliefs of the owner of a public accommodation. Interesting timing, isn't it?

And yes, he is trying to make a statement -- if you read the story, he's petitioned for a religious exemption to the non-discrimination laws on the basis of his personal religious beliefs. The statement he's making is that his private beliefs trump everyone else's right to be treated equally under the law.

Read the comments at the article -- the ones about "government guns" are a scream.

And there you have a sterling example of why "Christian" has come to be synonymous with "bigot."

Oh, and Brian Brown is lying, but we sorta figured that. It's Brian Brown, after all, who I think gets today's Tony Perkins Award.

And next, the Liberty Counsel, trying to push the idea the belief is fact:

Pay special attention to the first sentence, and then read the rest. "Drug addiction"? That's certainly respectful, isn't it? It occurs to me that one could draw the same parallels, with a stronger correspondence, between drug addiction and adherence to certain forms of Christianity -- that certainly becomes a dependency, which, if you know anything about the science of sexual orientation, homosexuality is not.

The whole screed comes from some alternate universe, it really does.


On the home front, so to speak, marriage equality is coming to Illinois, one way or another, pretty soon. Some interesting numbers from PPP:
Fifty-eight percent of voters under age 45 support marriage equality, compared with 37 percent who oppose it, the poll found. Black voters supported same-sex marriage 60/16, PPP said. Latinos supported Illinois marriage equality at 70/23. The majority of white voters did not support same-sex marriage in Illinois with 40 percent supporting and 51 percent opposing.

The overall figure is still a plurality, and there's no way to figure how that's going to translate into votes in the legislature, but there's a court case that the state if refusing to defend, so the whole question of legislative action may become moot.

Maybe I should start husband-hunting.

The "fiscal cliff." Gods! what a bunch of bullshit. Margaret and Helen, bless 'em, have the best take:

In truth, I am pretty disgusted with all politicians right now. They’ve all gotten a little too predictable for my taste. Republicans want more money for the wealthy and more war. Democrats want to take care of the poor, the elderly and want more money for education programs… On second thought, I’m really just disgusted with Republican politicians.

If this is the best we can expect from Republican leadership, we have a bigger problem than going over some cliff. How about we just pass the President’s plan? If it fails, the Republicans might actually stand a chance in the next election. If it succeeds, the Republicans might finally have to move into the 21st Century.

Show me a fiscal cliff and I will gladly push McConnell and Boehner over the edge. Maybe then the grown ups can roll up their sleeves and get something done. Because how the hell is any deep thinking going to happen if those two insist on spending the whole day pissing in the baby pool? I mean it. Really.

Footnote: This is just the frosting on the cake:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced legislation to raise the debt ceiling on Thursday, apparently with the intent of showing that even Democrats would not support such a bill.

However, McConnell’s plan backfired after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called for a vote on the legislation, which would have given the president the authority to raise the federal debt ceiling on his own. The top Senate Republican was forced to filibuster his own bill.

And here I though Rand Paul was the stupidest sitting senator.

This is the Republican-controlled Senate:

And on the happy side, Washington State began issuing marriage licenses at 12:01 am yesterday. And lots of couples were there to take advantage of the early opening.

Jane Abbott Lighty and Pete-e Petersen, a West Seattle couple of 35 years, were the first couple to get a license, after waiting decades to get marrired. As the clock struck midnight, a crowd led by King County Executive Dow Constantine clapped and cheered, and Lighty, 77, and Petersen, 85, raised their hands to take an oath.

"People who have been waiting all these years to have their rights recognized should not have to wait one minute longer," said Constantine, who stayed up into the wee hours to issue the county's first marriage licenses.

"To have our 35-year loving relationship publicly honored and celebrated and have this be a legal marriage means everything to both of us," said Lighty, a former nurse. She and Petersen, a former Korean War flight nurse, will be wed at a Seattle Men's Chorus concert at Benaroya Hall this weekend.

Because of Washington's three-day waiting period, the first weddings will take place on Sunday.

And in Maryland, which also began issuing licenses yesterday, the couples have to wait until Jan. 1 to be married, although the attorney general said it was OK to issue post-dated licenses.

Maine's marriage law takes effect on Dec. 29, a Saturday, but there's no waiting period. And the Portland City Hall will open at 12:01 am.

There, that's enough of a catch-up.

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