Archive for the ‘gay’ Category

Same-sex marriage on the ballot by proxy in three states today

November 2nd, 2010 4 comments

Even though same-sex marriage isn’t directly on the ballot today, there are several races flying well under the radar that will affect the rights of gays to marry in California, Iowa, and New Hampshire that bear watching tonight.

In New Hampshire, the legislature, which narrowly passed a same-sex marriage law last year, is likely to be taken over by Republicans who are eager to repeal the law. The only thing standing in their way would be the veto pen of governor John Lynch, a Democrat, who is narrowly leading in the polls. If Lynch is defeated, it means the likely forthcoming end to same-sex marriage in New Hampshire, so keep an eye on this election.

In Iowa, all of the press has gone to the effort by right-wing forces to kick out three of the judges who ruled for marriage equality in 2009. It will obviously be disheartening if these good judges are removed from office, but this will not affect their ruling. What could undo marriage equality in Iowa is one of two things. First, if the state legislature switches from Democratic to Republican control. Polls at the state level are not out there (that I could find) but several Iowa bloggers seem to think that the Senate is likely to remain Democratic. Still, keep an eye on this and check the Iowa newspapers to find out for sure. Of more concern is the ballot question asking voters if they wish to call a constitutional convention. Iowa votes on this issue every 10 years, and normally they fail by large margins. If this wins (and right wing forces are pushing for passage), then a convention could be held this year which would advance an anti-marriage amendment, passable by simple majority. Given that this is the quickest and most likely way the same-sex marriage in Iowa could be ended, I am very surprised that this has gotten no national coverage in gay or mainstream press.

Finally, California. The key races there are for governor and attorney general, the latter being most important. Currently, Proposition 8 is on the legal ropes – a big reason why is that the Attorney General has chosen to simply not defend the law. Because of this, there is a good possibility that the federal appeals court will rule that Prop 8 supporters do not have grounds to defend the law (only the state can defend the law) and Prop 8 will be history. If the Republican candidate, Steve Cooley, wins the Attorney General election in California, he has stated that he will defend Prop 8 – which would give that unjust law a new lease on life. His Democratic opponent, Kamala Harris, would not defend Prop 8. In other words, the future of Proposition 8 is quite dependent on this (relatively) obscure race, which has gotten no national coverage. Polls showed the two candidates nearly tied.

So, if you are concerned about same-sex marriage in America, keep an eye on results tonight from the New Hampshire governor’s race, the Iowa Constitutional Convention ballot question, and the California Attorney General’s race.

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Aid and comfort

September 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Imagine if Al Qaeda, working with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan, developed a devastating new bio-weapon to use against the US forces. This weapon has the following effect when deployed against our troops:

– Intelligently seeks out and permanently disables the most valuable and highly trained soldiers in mission-critical specialties
– Destroys unit cohesion in targeted units, damaging our forces’ ability to fight back and causing thousands of casualties
– Is a persistent agent, continuing to wreak havoc over time and resisting our ability to overcome the attack, resulting in a long-term weakening of our military

I have to imagine that if such a weapon were deployed against American troops, our military would spare no expense if figuring out how to counter it and how to take the fight back to the enemy.

The sad thing is, Al Qaeda and the Taliban don’t need to waste time developing such a damaging weapon, because it already exists, and is being deployed against our soldiers as we speak. Even worse, all the casualties from this attack are technically “friendly fire” because the weapon is called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and it is being deployed by our own military commanders, with the support of Congress and our President.

And just yesterday, the Senate voted to keep up the attack. Talk about giving “aid and comfort” to our enemies!

If you are curious, this short report is one of the best overviews of the damage Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has done to our military, and is a great way to familiarize yourself with the issue, especially if you only have a vague idea what it is and how it affects people. The Senate failed to act to fix the problem, and our Cowardly Lion of a President doesn’t seem too keen on making changes, but the issue will come up again, as indeed it should, as long as American soldiers are dying for their country and for freedoms that (sadly, ironically) are denied them.

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