"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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

NSA Data-Trolling Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

From Digby. It's long, and difficult to excerpt, so here's the set-up, from McClatchy:
Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

It gets worse. It gets much worse. Here's Digby's summation:

Maybe this is just another way of reducing the federal workforce. Nobody normal should want to work there.

When the Department of Education is searching for "insider threats" something's gone very wrong.

I'm starting to wish Iceland didn't have such long winters. They're the only ones who seem to be doing things right.




Antonin Scalia, Then And Now

The opinion in Lawrence v. Texas was handed down on this date in 2003. Justice Antonin Scalia, in his dissent, said:
If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is “no legitimate state interest” for purposes of proscribing that conduct…what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising “the liberty protected by the Constitution”? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry.

Funny how times change. Now that same-sex marriage is before the Court in two cases, Scalia is singing a different tune:

With a potentially ground-breaking decision on gay marriage expected next week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Friday morning that he and other judges should stop setting moral standards concerning homosexuality and other issues.

Why?

We aren’t qualified, Scalia said.

In a speech titled “Mullahs of the West: Judges as Moral Arbiters,” the outspoken and conservative jurist told the N.C. Bar Association that constitutional law is threatened by a growing belief in the “judge moralist.” In that role, judges are bestowed with special expertise to determine right and wrong in such matters as abortion, doctor-assisted suicide, the death penalty and same-sex marriage.

I'm not aware that anyone has asked the Supreme Court, or any other court, to determine questions of morality, since the particulars of moral behavior vary so widely. It seems to me that what the Court is being asked to determine, as it has in the past, is whether the state has the right to enforce a particular sectarian standard of morality -- because it's a sectarian standard that's at issue in these cases -- on the people as a whole.

Granted, there are certain moral standards that are not only appropriately enforced, they're necessary if a society is to hold together. It's instructive, though, that of the Ten Commandments so beloved of "Christians" in this country, two and a half are actually enshrined in the law: You don't kill the neighbors, you don't take their stuff, and in some circumstances, bearing false witness will land you in really hot water.

Scalia doesn't seem to know the difference between law and morality. Somehow, that doesn't surprise me.

(There's been some speculation that Scalia is unhappy with the way the decisions are going in Windsor and Perry, hence his fulmination on the courts and morality. I hope so.)



Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Suppose I Should Notice This

A group of "Christians" have declared themselves to be above the law. Again.
Experience and history have shown us that if the government redefines marriage to grant a legal equivalency to same-sex couples, that same government will then enforce such an action with the police power of the State. This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights. We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch. Religious freedom is the first freedom in the American experiment for good reason.

The Supreme Court has no authority to redefine marriage and thereby weaken both the family and society. Unlike the Legislative Branch that has the power of the purse and the Executive Branch which has the figurative power of the sword, the Judicial Branch has neither. It must depend upon the Executive Branch for the enforcement of its decisions.

As Christians united together in defense of marriage, we pray that this will not happen. But, make no mistake about our resolve. While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the true common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross.

It's easy to take this as empty rhetoric, which it mostly is. I'm not going to bother to parse it -- that's being done all over the place, and it's really too easy to waste pixels on it. Aside from the sheer, unadulterated hubris of a statement like this -- they "will not allow" marriage equality to become the law of the land? By what authority? -- it's really nothing more than a temper tantrum.

John Aravosis, in his post on this at AmericaBlog, made a point that I want to reinforce. Since I'm feeling lazy this morning, I'm just going to repost the comment I left there:

A point that John made that I think needs to be emphasized:

". . . religious right leaders admitting publicly that they do not believe in democracy in general, and in America’s democracy and our system of governance as laid out in the Constitution, in particular. . ."

The revolutionary concept in the creation of the United States was the idea that society would be ruled by laws created by the people through their elected representatives, measured against the Constitution, and not the will of kings or oligarchs. Here we have a group of religious fanatics (well, some of them -- most of them, as far as I can tell, are just con artists, but I suspect all of them are sociopaths), who regularly don the mantle of "real Americans," proclaiming that they are above the law.

That's the issue, not the particulars of how they intend to disobey a court decision they don't like -- that part is just empty rhetoric, nothing more. That's the point that needs to be made, loudly and publicly: they are opposed to the fundamental principles of American society. We need to brand them as anti-American, again and again and again, until it sticks.

There are lots of ways to dress this up, all of which point out the fundamental dishonesty of the statement and the signatories' complete disdain for the principles that they so loudly claim -- just for starters, what about the religious freedom of Quakers, the Unitarian Universalists, the UCC, Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Judaism, Pagans, etc.? If the law precludes same-sex marriage, their freedom to conduct such marriages in accordance with their beliefs is being denied.

What they're doing is attempting to stir up backlash -- but don't expect them to take any responsibility for any injuries or deaths that result from anti-gay hate attacks. They all belong to the party of (everyone else's) personal responsibility.

By way of antidote, here's HuffPo's list of the eight best marriage ads, starting with one of my favorites.


Here's another of my favorites, that didn't make HuffPo's list:

.

Now that you're all sniffly and have forgotten the religious freaks, check out the ad post -- there are a couple more links in the comments.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Exodus To Shut Down

Exodus International, the largest "ex-gay" ministry in the world, is closing down.

Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality announced tonight that it’s closing its doors after three-plus decades of ministry. The Board of Directors reached a decision after a year of dialogue and prayer about the organization’s place in a changing culture.

“We’re not negating the ways God used Exodus to positively affect thousands of people, but a new generation of Christians is looking for change – and they want to be heard,” Tony Moore, Board member of Exodus. The message came less than a day after Exodus released a statement apologizing . . . to the gay community for years of undue judgment by the organization and the Christian Church as a whole.

“Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living, breathing organism,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus. “For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”

Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin, who attended this year's Exodus conference, live-blogged the session in which Chambers made the announcement.

First, I want to express my admiration for the courage Chambers has displayed in not only realizing he's wrong, but admitting it publicly, and even more, his part in disbanding the organization that did so much damage. I do take exception to Tony Moore's statement about "the ways God used Exodus to positively affect thousands of people." I haven't seen any positive effects, unless you consider teaching people to consider themselves damaged and inferior to be positive. I don't. If it's a matter of bringing your basic make-up into conformity with your religious beliefs, I have one reaction to that: religion is a choice; sexual orientation is not.

This all goes back to one of the things that I find most objectionable about Christianity as it has developed over the course of the centuries. It stems from the old Judaic idea of submission to God's will (something you find as well in Islam). Submission is not really part of my repertoire. I mean, one can recognize the realities of the universe and realize that there are things you can't do anything about -- like tornadoes and earthquakes. But the idea that someone else should be making my choices is one I find thoroughly repellent. (There's a line in, of all things, Gensomaden Saiyuki, that reflects this, when Sanjo says words to the effect that "Who your enemies are is not something someone else should be deciding for you.") And yet, that is the basis of Christianity -- someone else is making your decisions.

At any rate, before this turns into a ramble, I just want to note that the remains of Exodus apparently intends to move the office furniture to new digs and set up under a new name, with, one hopes, a new mission. Via Chris Geidner:
“Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living, breathing organism,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus. “For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.” …

For these reasons, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to close Exodus International and begin a separate ministry. “This is a new season of ministry, to a new generation,” said Chambers. “Our goals are to reduce fear (reducefear.org), and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming, and mutually transforming communities.”

I'm reserving judgment until I see what shape this new ministry takes. If it's still in the camp of evangelical Christianity, it's going to take some serious remodeling to make me believe it.

I may come back to this as I run across more.

Update: Here's an OpEd by an ex-gay survivor, one of those who confronted Alan Chambers on Lisa Ling's segment on "Our America" on "Gays and God," which airs tonight.





Monday, June 17, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Coming December 13

Six months from today.


Yeah, I'm going to see it. Of course I'm going to see it. And I will bitch about Peter Jackson's problems with pacing. So what else is new?

Photo du Jour

Via Balloon Juice

The Storm Lord at Play

Via Digby, this sequence of the formation of a supercell, taken on June 3 in Texas:


Watch it full screen.

Mike Olbinski is the photographer -- he tells the whole story at his blog.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Marriage News Watch, June 10, 2013

Surveillance, Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Being Watched

The NSA thing has been growing. Aksarbent has been following it closely, and has pulled together a lot of very interesting articles -- just read the posts for the past week. This stuck out:

3. It May Not be Legal

The statute allowing such intrusions into Americans' privacy, 50 USC § 1861, requires "reasonable grounds to believe that the tangible things sought are relevant to an authorized investigation... to ... protect against international terrorism ..."

Relevance, most would agree, is amongst the vaguest terms of legal art. Anything could be arguably relevant to a terrorism investigation. That is why discretion is generally vested in judges to make reasoned decisions. We'd be curious to know if there was any reasoning used at all when the judge approved tracking every Verizon-serviced cell phone in America.

Finally, note that the statute requires "minimization procedures" to be adopted by the Attorney General. These are supposed to detail retention and dissemination of information concerning "unconsenting United States persons" and presumably would limit the amount of time the NSA can store the data (though there is no specific time limit in the statute).

Aside from questions of government overreach, there is a fundamental issue of privacy here. Digby ran across this article from Daniel J. Solove that deals substantively with why this kind of surveillance is so reprehensible. It's hard to excerpt, so read the whole thing. This, I think, is key:

Another metaphor better captures the problems: Franz Kafka's The Trial. Kafka's novel centers around a man who is arrested but not informed why. He desperately tries to find out what triggered his arrest and what's in store for him. He finds out that a mysterious court system has a dossier on him and is investigating him, but he's unable to learn much more. The Trial depicts a bureaucracy with inscrutable purposes that uses people's information to make important decisions about them, yet denies the people the ability to participate in how their information is used.

The problems portrayed by the Kafkaesque metaphor are of a different sort than the problems caused by surveillance. They often do not result in inhibition. Instead they are problems of information processing—the storage, use, or analysis of data—rather than of information collection. They affect the power relationships between people and the institutions of the modern state. They not only frustrate the individual by creating a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, but also affect social structure by altering the kind of relationships people have with the institutions that make important decisions about their lives.

Read Digby's comments, as well.
It's not that I am hiding anything. It's that I know how simple it is to put together disparate strands of a persons life to make it look as if they are someone they are not. And when it's people with the full force and power of the United States government who are doing it, it changes how I see such principles as the bill of rights. It becomes a mere concept, not something solid that I reflexively rely on in the way I conduct my life as an American. It's a small change that may not mean anything in itself. But as the article points out, it's the accumulation of those small changes that eventually leads to a very different society than the one we have.

Digby's another one whose posts for the past week on this are worth reading.

My summation is a lot less nuanced: it's a violation of my person and my emotional security.









Saturday, June 08, 2013

It's Pride Month

And in honor of that, read this post by Joe Jervis at Joe.My.God. I think the ending resonates most with me (but all of it's true):

I'm proud because I'm a middle-aged gay man who has more dead friends than living ones and yet I'm not completely insane. I've lived through a personal Holocaust (here we go again) in which my friends and lovers have been mowed down as thoroughly and randomly as the S.S guards moved down the line of Jews. You, dead. You, to the factory. And you, you, you, and you, dead. I am inexplicably alive and I am proud that I keep the memories of my friends alive. I am proud of my people, the ACT UPers, the Quilt makers, the Larry Kramers, the Harvey Fiersteins. I'm proud that I'm not constantly curled up into a ball on my bed, clutching photo albums and sobbing. And that happens sometimes, believe it.

And outside of my personal experiences, I am proud of my tribe as a group. Sometimes I think that gay people are more creative, more empathic, more intuitive, more generous, and more selfless than anybody else on the planet. Sometimes I think that if an alien culture were surveying our planet from light years away, they might classify gay people as an entirely separate species of humans. It's easy to spot us because of our better haircuts.

But sometimes I think we are the worst people in the entire world when it comes to standing up for each other. The gay people who'd like to soothe their personal image problems by selectively culling some of our children from Pride events? They disgust me. They appall me. They embarrass me. To them I say: The very road that YOU now have the privilege of swaggering upon was paved by those queens and leather freaks that you complain about as you practice your "masculine" and give us butch face. If you want to live in the house that THEY BUILT, you better act like you fucking know it. United we stand, you snide bitches. America's kulturkampf ain't gonna be solved by making flamboyant people go away.

I'll end this by making one final Jewish reference. Possibly you've heard the Jewish in-joke that sums up the meaning of all Jewish holidays? "They tried to kill us. We won. Let's eat." My Pride version?

They wish we were invisible.

We're not.

Let's dance.

About All That Data Mining

And the government/industrial complex in general, a clip from the 19997 film Good Will Hunting:


The president has dismissed it all as "hype":


"When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That's not what this program's about," Obama said. "As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls. They are not looking at peoples' names and they're not looking at content. But by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism."

Ah, yes -- the "may" identify folk who "might" engage in terrorism. How reassuring.

About that metadata that doesn't really tell the government any of your secrets, via Digby, this article from The Atlantic, with some real eye-openers:

The answer, according to the mathematician and former Sun Microsystems engineer Susan Landau, whom I interviewed while reporting on the plight of the former N.S.A. whistleblower Thomas Drake and who is also the author of “Surveillance or Security?,” is that it’s worse than many might think.

“The public doesn’t understand,” she told me, speaking about so-called metadata. “It’s much more intrusive than content.” She explained that the government can learn immense amounts of proprietary information by studying “who you call, and who they call. If you can track that, you know exactly what is happening—you don’t need the content.”

For example, she said, in the world of business, a pattern of phone calls from key executives can reveal impending corporate takeovers. Personal phone calls can also reveal sensitive medical information: “You can see a call to a gynecologist, and then a call to an oncologist, and then a call to close family members.” And information from cell-phone towers can reveal the caller’s location. Metadata, she pointed out, can be so revelatory about whom reporters talk to in order to get sensitive stories that it can make more traditional tools in leak investigations, like search warrants and subpoenas, look quaint. “You can see the sources,” she said. When the F.B.I. obtains such records from news agencies, the Attorney General is required to sign off on each invasion of privacy. When the N.S.A. sweeps up millions of records a minute, it’s unclear if any such brakes are applied.

Read the whole article -- it gets worse.

It occurs to me that it's maybe slightly more difficult than a total no-brainer to set up systems that are going to correlate certain batches of metadata to show the patterns that Landau is talking about -- Google and Amazon do it all the time. (See this bit from TPM about a company that actually does this. Although they're denying any government connection, even though their first client was the CIA.) Do you really want something like this being run by people who operate in secret, under the auspices of judges who meet in secret and whose decisions are secret, all for something as vague as "national security"? And tell me, who's going to insure our security from programs like this?

And do we dare ask who has access to this information?

Things like this are probably a major reason that I'm into total escapism these days.



Friday, June 07, 2013

Privacy? What's That? (Updated)

From the Washington Post:

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

Also, check out this series of graphics that explains just how it works and who's involved.

If you really want to get your blood pressure up, read the whole article -- it's a combination play by the NSA, the Bush and Obama administrations, Congress, and the courts. It's too lengthy and detailed to summarize here, and there are links to related articles -- WaPo has been on this one for a while (and it's nice to see WaPo actually committing journalism).

And of course, it's all under the battle-cry of "National Security!!1!eleventy!"

Assholes.

The Guardian also has a story.

Here's a reaction from the editorial board of NYT. Also worth a read.

Update: Also read Digby, here. It's not "open and transparent" if the American people don't know what you're doing.

And another comment from Digby:

Someone should introduce Senator Feinstein to Senators Udall and Wyden because she just went on TV to explain that all of this is well known and that nobody in the government objects. It's all very above board, legal and by the book.

See my comment above about who knows what.

Update II: It seems Glen Greenwald broke the story in the Guardian.





The Only Appropriate Response

Via AmericaBlog, this:


Here's the commentary from the YouTube poster:
So there was this crazy preacher lady yelling in the UU for 3 hours today, talking about how we're all damned to hell and how we're sinners but she's a saint because she's spreading the word of God (you know, the usual). She was just beginning a rant on traditional marriage and why gay people are evil when this happened. Highlight of my week.

I can't really add anything to that.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Today's Republican Party

There's a new report out, commissioned by the College National Republican Committee that focuses on the GOP's image among younger voters. It ain't pretty:

“In the focus group research conducted in January 2013,” the report said, “the young ‘winnable’ Obama voters were asked to say what words came to mind when they heard ‘Republican Party.’ The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”

Note -- this is the "winnable" Obama voters. One wonders how many of them there are.

It gets worse -- much worse. I've embedded the whole report below.

As I noted when the post-election post-mortem was going on among Republicans, in regard to their brilliant observation that they needed to polish up the rhetoric, they just don't get it: it's not the rhetoric, although that's bad enough. The problem was that their message, the substance of their policies, such as they are, came through loud and clear. That's what turned people off.

Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation



Monday, June 03, 2013

Marriage News Watch, 6/3/13


One objection: marriage has not "lost" in Illinois. It just hasn't come to a vote yet.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Illinois Marriage Update

It's not over:

The Illinois same sex marriage bill had its deadline date for approval extended into the summer.

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) acted quietly on Friday night before the House adjourned to extend the bill’s deadline for approval until August 31.

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) told a packed House chamber on Friday evening that he had to put off a vote on the proposal until November.

However, were Governor Pat Quinn to call lawmakers back to Springfield in the summer for a special session to address pension reform, which also was left without resolution, he could include Senate Bill 10 in a special session proclamation.

If Quinn declines to include marriage equality in any order to lawmakers to return to Springfield, Madigan could call a House special session of his own at the same time to take up the legislation, an insider noted.

“It’s a fascinating move,” said one, long-time lobbyist. “It suggests that there is plan to get it done.”

Two points: as far as the "plan to get it done," Madigan wants it. Whether he really wants it or whether he's decided his power is being challenged makes no difference: he's decided it's going to happen. And if you know anything about politics in Springfield, you know that when Madigan decides something is going to happen, it does.

And apparently twelve "yes" votes pulled out at the last minute. Those people are going to be getting some heat.

I've heard speculation that someone brought pressure to bear on Madigan -- some even going so far as to suggest a call from the White House. 1) the White House is not going to make that call. 2) Madigan doesn't respond well to authority.

There is one big caveat: candidate petitions have to be filed in December, and there are a number of Democrats, in particular (no one's looking for more support from the Republicans than is already there), would prefer to wait on a vote on this until it's too late for primary challengers to file. That could delay it still further -- although some of them may find themselves facing challenges from the left.

So it's going to be an interesting summer. Let's see if the Illinois pro-gay activists can get their shit together and get this done.


Cute Story du Jour

OK -- this could never have happened at my high school. From HuffPo:
When 18-year-old Chelsea posted a photo of her classmates Brad Taylor And Dylan Meehan to her Tumblr blog this week, she did not anticipate the incredible response it would receive -- within 24 hours, the entry had been shared almost 100,000 times.

The image was taken from her high school yearbook, and she included this caption:

"Two of my best friends won Cutest Couple of our senior class. First time in my school history a same sex couple has even been able to run for this category, not to mention winning it. So proud of them, and my school."


Brad and Dylan's reaction is an eye-opener:

This whole thing has been a bit surreal for us because we have been raised to believe that love is love. We never realized that our happiness and openness would inspire so many individuals. The support we have received from our family, friends, and even strangers has led us to believe that our affection for each other is normal ... When we started dating a year [ago], the thought of a photo of us traveling throughout the world would be a bit frightening, but now we are proud to be part of the LGBT community.

I think we have a couple of really savvy activists in the making.

And congratulations.

Via Joe.My.God.



Saturday, June 01, 2013

Stalled

Well, the Illinois House has once again proven its inability to make a decision -- SB10, the "Religious Freedom and Equal Marriage Act," did not come up for a vote yesterday, the last day of the legislative session. From the Chicago Sun-Times, quoting Rep. Greg Harris, the chief House sponsor:

“As chief sponsor of this legislation, decisions surrounding the legislation are mine and mine alone. Several of my colleagues have indicated they’d not be willing to cast a vote on this bill today, Harris told a crowded House chamber.

“And I’ve never been sadder to accept this request, but I have to keep my eye, as we all must, on the ultimate prize. They’ve asked for time to go back to their districts, talk to their constituents and reach out to their minds and hearts and have told me they’ll return in November with their word that they’re prepared to support this legislation.

“And I take my colleagues at their word they shall.”

The Sun-Times credits the Black Caucus with the failure to bring the bill to a vote:
Stubborn resistance within the House Black Caucus, a 20-member bloc of African-American lawmakers who have faced a withering lobbying blitz against the plan from black ministers, has helped keep Harris’ legislation in check, with several House members still undecided.

Several in the caucus had urged Harris to push the issue into the fall veto session.

“The sense I have is blacks are tired of being lobbied or targeted. They’ve kind of turned back on some of the advocates and lobbyists and are asking, ‘Why don’t you get some Republicans?’” one high-level Democratic insider said Friday.

Two comments on this: I wonder how these Africa-American representatives feel about being successfully manipulated by NOM and its allies. And if Harris, et al., start pulling in Republican votes on this or any other issue, where is their clout?

Much has been made in the blogosphere about President Obama's support for the bill, which should have done a lot to sway opinion in the black community. What you don't hear is that his support was voiced at a private fundraiser, no reporters or cameras allowed. Publicly -- (crickets).

The response from the usual suspects has been no more than we would expect.

From Brian Brown of the badly misnamed National Organization for Marriage:
"So much for the inevitability of gay marriage. With a coalition that included strong support from the African American community as well as so many others throughout the state, we did what nobody in the intelligentsia thought was possible. This is a huge victory at a pivotal time, and totally undercuts the lie that somehow same-sex marriage is inevitable. Our thanks go out to champions such as the African American Clergy Coalition; Rev. James Meeks and Bishop Lance Davis; the Illinois Conference of Catholic Bishops and their director Bob Gilligan; the Illinois Family Institute and their director David Smith; the Illinois Family PAC and their director, Paul Caprio; and the Coalition of African American Pastors and their chairman, Rev. Bill Owens. Everyone pitched in everything they had to stop this ill-conceived legislation. We at NOM are honored to have been part of the coalition effort. And those Republicans who betrayed principle will soon learn that their political careers are headed for the same dustbin that met former GOP Chair Pat Brady when he betrayed the cause of marriage."

And from the Peter:


It's remarkable how these guys try to snatch victory from the jaws of nothing. Just a reminder: You can't really say a bill has been defeated until there's a vote.

On the other hand, a more accurate assessment comes from our Governor, Pat Quinn:
Gov. Pat Quinn issued a statement saying he was disappointed.

“This is not over,” he said. “The fight goes on. We will keep on fighting until marriage equality is law in Illinois.”

The bill will be back. It will be back this fall. Count on it.