What a sad commentary on the direction the Republican Party is heading. When I first read this headline I thought I was reading The Onion, a satirical online website, but sadly this is all too true.
Yesterday, in an op-ed published by the Christian Post, Phyllis Schlafly — the founder of the Eagle Forum — suggested that increasing the pay gap will help women find suitable husbands when she wrote, “The best way to improve economic prospects for women is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap.” You can read more here.
This sort of thing really makes me mad. Feminism isn’t an ugly word. I’ve included the deliciously handsome PA State Rep, Brian Sims, who like me considers himself a feminist and supports equal pay. I’m sure I speak for Brian too when I say I’d like to tell Ms. Schlafly to close her mouth and go away, but I doubt she’d listen to me (or Brian) so I’ll just use my corner of the internet to point out that equal pay for equal work shouldn’t be an issue and the fact it is really irritates me.
Nearly 10 years ago Massachusetts became the first state to legalize “gay marriage”. At the time only The Netherlands, Belgium and parts of Canada had a similar law (source). Massachusetts was ridiculed and derided and while it gave many in the LGBT community a sense of pride and hope, we all felt terrible when after a brief window of opportunity in California, Prop 8 passed (source).
One could argue it was that demoralizing vote back in 2008 that made marriage equality the social justice and civil rights issue of our day. Lines were drawn and sides were taken and ever since that day, opponents of marriage equality have watched those lines continually be redrawn as more Americans (and now a majority) support the right to marry who you love.
However, back in 2008 and certainly in the years that followed, one could never imagine that the support of such a hateful law could come back to cause one to lose their job, but that is what happened today when Mozilla’s CEO, Brendan Eich, was forced to step down after employees of that firm drew attention to political contributions Eich made in 2008 opposing same-sex marriage.
The Washington Post has more about it here.
As the nation gets more accustomed to referring to “gay marriage” and “same sex marriage” by it’s proper name, marriage equality, those barely concealed homophobic laws enacted in the first decade of the 21st century banning gays and lesbians from marrying, seem to be falling faster than ‘Born Agains’ at a baptism. Erik Eckholm from The NY Times wrote an excellent piece this past weekend, Wave of Appeals Expected to Turn the Tide on Same-Sex Marriage Bans, that is worth reading.
Eckholm writes, “Legal experts say the country is entering what one called a “marriage spring” and predict that several of the circuit courts, which hold sway over a group of states, will rule that state laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman are unconstitutional.”
Give the article a read if you missed it and are interested in this sort of thing. It is brief and very easy to follow. You can read it here.
As the Crimean crisis has evolved it seems like some Republicans have been making rather odd comments. Last week The Daily Show pointed out how Bill O’Reilly, Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin (among others) have been publicly praising Putin’s “strong leadership”. These comments seem to coincide curiously with more conservatives deriding President Obama’s “weak leadership”. Has the world is suddenly gone upside down? Conservatives are usually hyper-patriotic and more likely to demonize countries like Russia than admire them from afar; let alone publicly proclaiming America as a wimp.
I can appreciate disappointment in Presidential leadership (I’m still traumatized by eight years of George W. Bush) so I won’t judge these conservative critiques of Obama too harshly. However, it does seem odd to deride your own country’s leadership while simultaneously “admiring” Putin.
I will admit I’m no expert on foreign affairs or the Crimea, but I don’t understand why America should be considered the primary check to Putin’s ambitions. Russia’s aggression is happening on Europe’s turf – if anyone should be playing tough it should be Europe. Russia’s economy is far more tied to Europe and European markets than America. It is the 21st Century and I’d like America to retire from policing the world and let the rest of the world community step forward and start to take more responsibility for policing itself. If that is perceived as “weakness” then so be it. I’d prefer to focus on “strengthening” America.
Last week ABC News and The Washington Post released findings from a marriage equality poll. The findings show that support for marriage equality is at an all time high with 59% of those surveyed indicating their support; up from just 32% in 2004 when Massachusetts first legalized same-sex marriage.
More interestingly those opposing marriage equality has dropped by 13% in the past two years. The poll also found that 81% of respondents oppose allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians. You can see the results of the poll’s 8 question survey here.
Did you happen to read Monday’s New York Times article “Republicans From the West Give Support for Gay Marriage“? The article notes that 20 Republicans including former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a longtime supporter of gay rights, and former Senator Nancy L. Kassebaum of Kansas, who said last year that she had reconsidered her former opposition to same-sex marriage, would send a brief urging a federal appeals court to declare gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma unconstitutional.
I find this interesting because as the Times journalist writes, “The brief was the latest sign of widening cracks in Republican opposition to same-sex marriage, even deep in the country’s conservative heartland.” With the majority of the public now supporting marriage equality a growing number of Republicans find themselves at odds with the more conservative elements of their party.
A fissure along social policy is a rare thing to see among Republicans, but I’m not about to celebrate this move until more prominent individuals come forward. If this continues to gain traction it could create for a feisty Republican Presidential primary, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Move over Alabama, it appears that Arizona would like to be the poster child for intolerance and religious zealotry in the United States.
Not quite content with their checkered past with regards to race relations; remember how Arizona lost their bid to host the 1993 Superbowl because their refusal to recognize MLK day or the xenophobic immigration legislation from 2010 that raised eyebrows and the ire of Latinos? This past month Arizona turned its bigoted gaze on ‘the gays’ when the state legislature passed SB1062, legalizing discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.
I’m not fooled by Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of this bill. Pressure from politicians (from her own party), the business community and the public made Gov Brewer’s veto inevitable. Well done Arizona – you’re quickly becoming our most backward and bigoted state.
What an inconvenient truth.
One month from today Boston’s traditional (although no longer truly) Irish neighborhood, Southie, will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Boston’s former mayor, Tom Menino, made news back in 1994 when he did the unthinkable in Irish-Boston and took the organizers of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade to court for banning “The Gays”. The parade that year was cancelled by the organizers rather than comply with the State’s highest court which ruled against them. Later they were allowed to maintain their “no gays” ban thanks to the US Supreme Court but Menino never joined the parade in the 20 years he served this city as mayor to show his support for Boston’s LGBT community.
This gay voter has a long memory and I wanted to say thank you to Mr. Menino. I remember 1994. Will & Grace hadn’t even premiered yet (it started in 1998). To put this in perspective, two years later in 1996 Bill Clinton would sell-out the LGBT community by signing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law.
I would have no issue making religious institutions pay taxes the same as any other business and making all ‘donations’ to such institutions no longer tax deductible. If people want to support such organizations I have no issue with that but why such financial contributions should be tax deductible is a mystery to me.
Yesterday, the traditionally conservative but trending progressive state of Virginia got a little more progressive when a Federal judge ruled that Virginia’s marriage ban is unconstitutional.
What a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift for the thousands of LGBT couples who call Virginia home. This was the second favorable ruling on marriage equality from a Southern state in as many days; a judge in Kentucky ruled on Wednesday that the Bluegrass state had to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The Virginia judge’s ruling follows similar decisions in Utah and Oklahoma federal courts.
Want to read more? Check out the Huffington Post article, here.
Many of you may be contemplating ordering flowers for Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to remind you that when you place an order with 1800Flowers you are helping to support Rush Limbaugh.
Help spread the word and buy your flowers elsewhere.
Not only do I think Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims is damn sexy, but I also agree with his politics – which in a strange way makes him even more sexy (incidentally didn’t even know that was possible).
So imagine my frustration when I Googled “Shirtless Brian Sims” hoping to feature him as this week’s Furry Friday (he MUST have a hairy chest) and nothing came up?!? Where is the justice? Has Brian never been photographed without his shirt? I think Pennsylvanians should immediately pass a law mandating Brian should be photographed shirtless. Until that time you’ll have to satisfy your more base desires with these devastatingly handsome photos of this progressive, out and proud State Rep. whom I hope we will eventually see on the national platform.
P.S. Brian… Like the song says, “Please come to Boston” or better yet, Provincetown this summah.
CNN is reporting that US Attorney General Eric Holder says he is set to extend the federal government’s recognition of same-sex marriages even in the 34 states that don’t consider it legal.
Eric Holder is expected to deliver this message tonight in NYC at the Human Rights Campaign gala dinner. I love the timing of this which happens to coincide with the Olympic Games and just a week before Valentine’s Day. I wonder how many more marriage proposals will be made this coming Friday? The NYT has more information about this here.
And that my friends is why I look beyond mere pocket book issues and often times vote against my own economic interests, because if you think for one minute a Romney Administration would make such a move, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.
Scotland’s first same-sex marriages are set to take place later this year after the Scottish parliament voted to pass the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill by a margin of 105-18 earlier today.
Let’s face it men in kilts are sexy and when you have two men in kilts it is twice as sexy so it looks like marriage just got a whole lot more sexy. Apparently, Timberlake isn’t the only one bringing sexy back. More information about Scotland’s landmark vote here.