The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

QueerlyKos – The “Can We Talk?” Edition

The hubby and I were watching Logo last night, and we caught an Advocate Newsmagazine interview with Howard Dean in which he talked about his 700 Club appearance, the Democratic platform, and same-sex marriage. (He’s for “equal rights under the law,” whatever that means.) I’ve been pretty hard on Howard lately, but I have to give him credit for something he said.Actually, it was something he said that wasn’t quite right, but I got the point anyway. On the Republicans’ exploitation of the same-sex marriage issue, Dean claimed the ‘Pubs are shooting themselves in the foot on this issue because “they started the conversation” and “once you start talking about something the more you talk about it, the more acceptable it becomes.”

Well, he’s wrong on the first part, because it was same-sex couples who started the conversation after realizing what rights and protections they lacked. But he may be right on the second part. More and more the question seems to be what rights and protections same-sex couples should or should not have, instead of whether we should have any at all. Over 10 years since the issue really entered the American consciousness, and the national conversation has raged on, more people (including some surprisingly conservative ones) have moved towards believing that same-sex couples should have some legal rights and protections. Now the discussion centers around just which ones.

So, can we talk?

  • As the gay marriage debate rages on, you might want a quick rundown of the legal and historical context, which NickKaters has kindly supplied.
  • Meanwhile waxingamerica uses a showing of Talladega Nights as a barometer of where folks in Wisconsin stand on gay issues, and how they might vote on the anti-gay marriage amendment Republicans are pushing in the state.
  • The right wing may be pushing its discriminatory agenda in Wisconsin, but it looks like folks there are pushing back. The state attorney general was among them when she offered an explanation of the amendment, suggesting that the question of whether it prohibited civil unions, domestic partnerships, and other legal arrangements would have to be solved by the legislature.
  • The argument has some interesting support, including that of a conservative radio host who thinks the state Republican party might be overreaching this time.
  • Althouse has more on the attorney general’s explanation and why the court might read the amendment more broadly that its supporters say it’s intended. There’s also the reality that the amendment might spur a boycott of the state, thus damaging tourism revenues
  • Meanwhile, Good AsYou brings news that the GOP candidate for Lt. Governor in Colorado made remarks comparing same-sex marriage to bestiality while on a PBS morning show. She’s still on the ticket, of course. She apologized, and then her press spokesman issued a statement taking to task those calling for her removal from the ticket, for not accepting her apology.
  • Speaking of acceptance, the controversy over gay bishops is still roiling the Episcopal church. Now Preemptive Karma says that anti-gay Episcopal conservatives are pleading for acceptance and understanding. Is it me or are we fast approaching the point at which the tolerance of those who are intolerant of you becomes the new tolerance; and intolerance of intolerance is the ultimate intolerance?
  • Howard also mentioned that Republicans planned to make gay adoption their next big wedge issue, but they backed off when the numbers said it wasn’t a winning issue for them. That may be true for the party leadership, but some of their constituents on the religious right are still gunning for our families. Yellow Dog Dem Woman was inspired by Tennessee state Rep. Debra Maggart’s claim that gays adopt children to molest them. Inspired, that is, to write a check to Maggart’s challenger Patrick Gardner.
  • Even Beenie Man, from the cancelled LIFEbeat concert wants to make it clear he’s not in favor of executing all gays, just the other kind of gay people. The ones that molest children.
  • And it ‘s not just Republican politicians spouting the adoption/molestation argument. According to Ex-Gay Watch, Paul Cameron (the discredited Doc behind the “statistics” Maggart and others spout) is experience a surge in in popularity among the wingnuts. Or at least his “work” is. They’ve realized that they can spout it in the media without being challenged by the media, because the media’s bending over backwards to appear “balanced” (by giving the imbalanced and open mic to rant into). And by the time somebody debunks them, their crap has already gone out over the airwaves and nobody’s listening anymore.
  • Nevermind the news that rightwingers sometimes molest their own kids, that is when they’re not too busy downloading internet porn.
  • Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was in the news this week. Activists in Little Rock, Arkansas, will try to enlist for military service after disclosing their orientations, in what’s begin called the Right to Serve campaign.
  • Good luck to our would-be enlisted queers. Queerty says that gay discharges (in the military, that is) increased by 10% in 2005. That includes 726 discharged at one base in Missouri, which is just a small part of the 11,000 discharged over the last 10 years.
  • Fortunately, the “war on terror” has yielded the perfect excuse for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, according to WorldNetDaily, now that Hezbollah defeated the Israeli army because it’s full of gay soldiers.
  • In the good news column, it looks like anti-gay activists in Cincinnati have abandoned their effort to remove sexual orientation from the city’s nondiscrimination law after admitting that they fell short of the required number of signatures, and some of the signatures submitted were fraudulent.
  • Right wingers in New Jersey are plotting their next move if the the state Supreme Court rules in favor of recognizing same-sex marriage.
  • In Arizona, non-married heterosexuals filed briefs with the state Supreme Court against the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment, saying the amendment would affect their domestic partnerships.
  • According to the blogger at 13th Floor, the state governing blog, the margins of support for anti-gay state marriage amendments are getting narrower, and in Wisconsin it’s close enough that the state’s anti-gay marriage amendment.
  • The city of Hillsboro, Oregon, unanimously approved a city-wide ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment, and public accommodation.
  • A new counseling center in Texas is seeking gay and gay-friendly foster families for gay teens tossed into the street by their families. Let’s hope the fundies don’t try and put a stop to it.
  • With all the efforts to either ban or legalize same-sex marriage, Lauren’s post reminds us of what we might be getting ourselves into, if the right to marry comes packaged with being pressured to marry.
  • Cole Porter was right. Birds do it. If they can, maybe we can too.Their number now includes two “gay storks” raising chicks at a Netherlands zoo. Good for them they’re in the Netherlands. I think that sort of thing is still legal there.
  • A court date has been set for three individuals involved in the gay bashing during San Diego Pride, reported in the last round-up.
  • In Canda, a maverick MP is taking on the religious right in his party as it attempts to unseat him for his support of same-sex marriage. My favorite quote: “”Am I supposed to change my mind and all of a sudden hate homosexual people because I’m facing a challenge in my riding?” (“Riding” is the Canadian term for a parliamentary constituency.)
  • The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is condemning the Ugandan president’s decision to ban same-sex marriage. This is a country where “sodomy” is punishable by life imprisonment.
  • I hope ILGHRC is planning a trip to Saudi Arabia, where a same-sex wedding ended with 20 men arrested. No word on what their punishment will be. But you can imagine.
  • I suppose the folks from ILGHRC can skip India, since that country may scrap its law making gay sex punishable by fine and/or up to 10 years imprisonment.
  • The ILGHRC may want to head over to Australia next, where word has it the government is about to ban gay adoptions.
  • And a stop by Estonia should be on the itinerary, since gay pride marchers were attacked with sticks and stones there, leaving 12 injured.
  • But they can skip the U.S. this week, as drudolph reports that George W. Bush signed the Pensions Protections Act this week, which will allow same-sex couples to roll over one partner’s retirement fund into another partner’s account.
  • One more thing, check out wclathe’s Knitting in Blue campaign, and why it will make a big difference for his family and the rest of California.
  • Finally, if you’re not tired of talking sex and politics, head over to rearlgrant’s diary and take the poll.

So, the discussion of what rights same-sex couples should or shouldn’t have goes on. Nobody seems to be getting all the answers they want. It reminds me of a joke I heard when I first moved to D.C. and started working in and around politics: If you come up with a solution that doesn’t make either side completely happy, you’re on the right track. I’m not sure whether that applies here or not. But I have noticed that in the 12 years since I moved D.C. the conversation has shifted from whether gay couples should have any rights to just what those rights should be.

That’s all I got folks. I still can’t believe the amount of stuff that happens in one week, even just LGBT-related stuff. I’m sure, as always, that there’s something I’ve probably missed. If you got ’em, share ’em in the comments. And don’t forget to drop me a line if there’s something you think I shouldn’t miss for next week, or if you want to be on the email list to be notified when these get posted.

‘Til next week, be good to yourselves!

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