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  • « GNW 5: Gay couples marry in Calif. | Main | The bottom of the GOP barrel »

    June 17, 2008

    Obama not 'bothered' by CA marriages

    Posted by: Chris

    Obama_marriage_3 Barack Obama got his chance to talk about same-sex marriage yesterday, in response to a question on ABC World News by reporter Jake Tapper about yesterday's wedding ceremonies in California:

    OBAMA: I still think these are decisions that need to be made at a state and local level. I am a strong supporter of civil unions. I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I also think that same-sex partners should be able to visit each other in hospitals; they should be able to transfer property…
    TAPPER: Does it bother you what they're doing in California?
    OBAMA: No.

    The setting was different, of course, from the Tennessee crowd that cheered on John McCain's promise to defend "the sanctity" of heterosexual marriage. But the candidate was even more different.

    In a nationwide television interview, Obama restated his opposition to gay marriage while reaffirming the authority of states to decide the issue. In contrast to McCain's threats of late about a federal marriage amendment, Obama made no effort to carve out state supreme courts as some sort of illegitimate exception to that process.

    Asked whether he was "bothered" by gay couples marrying in California, the once-married Obama also didn't pander to "the sanctity" of "traditional" marriage like the adulterous, twice-married McCain but instead issued a quick and definitive "no."

    Here's the video via Towleroad:

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    Comments

    1. Hawyer on Jun 17, 2008 12:09:26 PM:

      I'LL REPOST HERE WHERE IT BELONGS. I INADVERTENTLY POSTED UNDER THE WRONG BLOG.

      Well of course, we homosexuals, unworthy as we are, simply have to hang on the tattered coattails of any Democrat - understanding full well that - at least at the national level- we are still the political third rail: touch us and you're dead.

      And woo-hoo Chris. Obama said he wasn't bothered by gay marriage in California. Now that's a rousing accolade of support. Sort of like saying your sister doesn't sweat much for a fat chick.

      For that, I am troubled by Mr. Obama's potential to come through in any proactive way. Here's the hawyer sniff test:

      1. Obama is a Negro (OK half Negro). And we already know his religious moorings. There is possibly no more homophobic claque in the US than black activist churches. Now maybe I missed the footage of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright comparing the struggles of homosexuals with the travails of slavery, but I'm betting that one is NOT in his polemic repertoire.

      2. Separate but equal. Now where I have I heard that one before? Ummm. Let me think. Who is this black man who now thinks that arrangement is just dandy when if comes to another politically unpopular minority.

      3. States rights. Now where have I head that one before? I'm thinking of Ronald Regan's 1980 presidential kick-off in Philadelphia, Mississippi - where he extolled the virtues of Nixon's Southern Strategy - AKA State's Rights. AKA unambiguous code for old school cracker bigots. AKA Southern Democrats disaffected by the civil rights movement. Who is this black man who now thinks "equal protection under law" should be up for majority vote at the state level.

      The Hawyer sniff test picks up tainted inventory.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 17, 2008 2:07:06 PM:

      Gee, I wonder why.

      Probably has something to do with the fact that Obama knows he's already been unconditionally endorsed by gays and lesbians, and that he can do whatever he wants without jeopardizing that in the least.

    1. David on Jun 17, 2008 2:46:54 PM:

      Did you really just use the term "Negro"? What an idiot.

    1. Chris on Jun 17, 2008 2:57:17 PM:

      Hawyer: Try sniffing the facts rather than your own "test" and you might find your permanent sneer isn't always appropos. Point 1: Obama wasn't asked, "What do you think of gay marriages in Calif?" He was asked if he was bothered and he said no. I'm confident you see the difference.
      Point 2: Jeremiah Wright and his church have a long history of welcoming gay congregants, fighting HIV and supporting gay rights. Enough for your ASS-umption to the contrary. Point 3: Every leading gay rights group, including Evan Wolfson's Freedom to Marry Project, is pushing "states rights" on gay marriage. What is your alternative? The U.S. Supreme Court issuing a Loving v. Va. ruling on gay marriage? Keep right on sniffing...
      Point 4: I agree with you on separate but equal but I reject the idea that Obama's race makes him more or less culpable for not seeing it that way. I would think that Southern whites (like you mayhaps?) would bear a greater burden of rejecting "separate but equal" given "our" own shameful history of abusing it.

      NDT: You missed the point, friend. With the gays in his pocket, as you say, Obama didn't pander to the center with a national audience the way Hillary has done (and no doubt would do). He stuck to his guns.

      David: What you said.

    1. Hawyer on Jun 17, 2008 7:36:09 PM:

      David on Jun 17, 2008 2:46:54 PM:
      Did you really just use the term "Negro"? What an idiot.

      Yo David. It strikes me as a curious position that my using the perfectly good English word "Negro" would make me an idiot. Would you have rather I used the term "black?" While I am loathe to characterize someone by his racial identity, this particular instance seemed unavoidable in order to categorize the ethnic identity at issue.

      I refuse to use the term "African-American" as I find it fatuous and stilted. Mainstream American blacks have about as much identity with Africa as I do with Romania - where I am told my ancestors may have originated.

      If you are insinuating that I am a racist, you obviously know nothing about me.

      Cheers

    1. Chris on Jun 17, 2008 8:06:10 PM:

      Hawyer: Forget 'idiot'; forget 'racist' -- instead let's call it 'jaw-droppingly arrogant.' How else to characterize your use of a term you know is deeply offensive to describe black people?

      Your dismissal of African American based on your own experience only makes adds to the arrogance. So what if you are out of touch with your own heritage. Black people can only describe themselves in a way that makes sense to you and your past? Puhleese!

      Of course it's absolutely commonplace for Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Polish Americans and so on to use similar terminology without regard to how many years they are removed from their homeland. Ultimately, you only discredit yourself and your argument, but then that's your choice.

    1. David on Jun 17, 2008 9:06:34 PM:

      I do not have to insinuate anything. You used a word that is widely considered an ethnic slur. In following your logic, I do think that African-American would have been much more appropriate. Barack's father being from Kenya and all. You know Kenya, right? It's a country in Africa.

    1. Hawyer on Jun 17, 2008 9:20:33 PM:

      Chris on Jun 17, 2008 2:57:17 PM: - A couple of rejoinders:

      .... [Every leading gay rights group, including Evan Wolfson's Freedom to Marry Project, is pushing "states rights" on gay marriage. What is your alternative? The U.S. Supreme Court issuing a Loving v. Va. ruling on gay marriage?]

      Well, you know, I still live in Georgia, and let me refresh your memory on where my [our] state put me [us] - and one of the largest gay communities in the country:

      In 2004, Republican operatives under the baton of Karl Rove, initiated gay marriage amendments in thirteen states (including Georgia) - to pack the polls with ultra right-wingers in the face of W's re-election gambit.

      Miraculously, when the original bill was first introduced in the Georgia House, it failed by 3 votes - thanks to a coalition of progressive Democrats from Atlanta Metro districts AND the Dem Black Caucus. Then by a quirk in Georgia law, it got re-introduced in the same legislative session and passed.

      The reason it passed was the Georgia Dem Black Caucus, ginned up by black preachers, split and joined ranks with Republicans. The message to the gay community was unambiguous: despite the commonality in deprivation of civil liberties, gays cannot count on mainstream blacks in the face of political target practice. In November of 2004, the voters of Georgia high-fived the measure by a resounding margin of 75%.

      So please don't lecture me on the high-ground of state's rights when it comes to equal protection under law. If a civil rights measure ever gets to plebiscite, it's already to late.

      Am I looking for a Loving v. Virginia? Yeah, I guess I am.

      .... [I would think that Southern whites (like you mayhaps?) would bear a greater burden of rejecting "separate but equal" given "our" own shameful history of abusing it.]

      Not sure what you're getting at here. I do REJECT "separate but equal" UNEQUIVOCALLY.

      Cheers --- good debate! (LOL)


    1. Charles J. Mueller on Jun 18, 2008 12:40:34 AM:

      While I may disagree with some parts of Hawyer's posts, I do agree with his comment that "If a civil rights measure ever gets to plebiscite, it's already too late."

      Just when did civil rights become an issue to be voted on in this country?

      Seems to me like a long stretch from "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" to voting away the rights of taxpaying citizens.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 18, 2008 2:54:35 AM:

      With the gays in his pocket, as you say, Obama didn't pander to the center with a national audience the way Hillary has done (and no doubt would do).

      Actually, amusingly, he said the same thing that Hillary has and would.

      It's merely a matter of expectations being lowered for the one and raised for the other.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 18, 2008 2:59:35 AM:

      Just when did civil rights become an issue to be voted on in this country?

      When our Constitution was prefaced with, "We, the People" and given a process by which said people could amend it.

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jun 18, 2008 10:14:09 AM:

      When our Constitution was prefaced with, "We, the People" and given a process by which said people could amend it.

      Yeah, and thank God for the courts and judges who protect the rights of unpopular minorities because they understand that these minorities can be oppressed by the prejudiced, irrational laws of the "people," who want everyone to conform to their majoritarian ideals.

      Most things can and should be put to a vote of the people. Civil rights is not one of them. Period.


    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 18, 2008 2:17:07 PM:

      It all boils down to what you put first, Strict Scrutiny; the belief that voters have the right to make their own choices, or that voters should be prevented from making the choices that you don't want them to make because obviously, anyone who disagrees with you is "prejudiced' and "irrational".

      Evidently you prioritize the latter.

    1. Hawyer on Jun 18, 2008 7:06:48 PM:

      North Dallas 30 ---

      While I am not a Constitutional scholar, there is a tad bit you are missing in your point of view - IF, that is, you are advocating carte blanche amendment of state constitutions by majority vote.

      ... And that is all state law must ultimately comport with the United States Constitution - therein which is contained the 14th Amendment:

      "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States ... nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

      Now while this was ratified in 1868 - and was originally intended to protect freed slaves which had been promptly legislated back into de facto slavery by white Southern legislatures after the Civil War --- its intent is unambiguous. Accordingly, the Supreme Court has leveraged it over the last 140 years to mandate a wide spectrum of equal protection to politically unpopular citizens where other jurisdictions voted or legislated them to second class status. (I won't do that research for you.)

      For that, amending state constitutions to create a separate class out of gay citizens is a [US] Constitutional hot potato. So far, while the Supremes have chipped away at peripheral issues (Lawrence v. Texas et al) to date they have declined to tackle the subject of gay marriage head-on; but sooner or later they must --- and when they do, a negative ruling will stall gay rights for at least a generation --- and a positive ruling could well knock the wall down for good.

      WHICH IS PRECISELY why the radical right want a US Constitutional Amendment which would block the Supremes from applying the 14th amendment to gay issues.

      WHICH IS PRECISELY why it is critical to elect a Democrat in 2008 - as up to four justices may be replaced in the next 4-8 years ... and we know what kind of justices McCain would put up, don't we ??

    1. Lucrece on Jun 18, 2008 8:02:49 PM:

      Wow, how unfortunate to be beat to a point by someone of NDT's caliber (or lack thereof).

      As horrid I may find this concurrence, I have to admit it: It seems that your Clinton-bashing spree has reached a level where you stoop to the level of setting up different standards for each candidate, Chris.

      This little exchange with Obama is such a let-down (expected, though). He could just not avoid parroting his vote-winning "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman" slogan and tired "It's an issue better left to the states" mantras (a.k.a. building a foundation that will excuse him from taking any action).

      Well, at least not all is gloomy; it could be worse. You know, we could actually delude ourselves *glances around* into thinking that McCain would do better.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 19, 2008 12:44:40 AM:

      Wow, how unfortunate to be beat to a point by someone of NDT's caliber (or lack thereof).

      Don't worry, Lucrece. With a record like yours, we're just happy you actually had a rational thought; speed will come with continued practice.

      Next up:

      Accordingly, the Supreme Court has leveraged it over the last 140 years to mandate a wide spectrum of equal protection to politically unpopular citizens where other jurisdictions voted or legislated them to second class status.

      Then, since you argue that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage to anyone in the United States regardless of the reason, you should be arguing for the immediate removal of any and all bans on marriage, including those on plural marriage, child marriage, and incestuous marriage.

      Furthermore, you should be also agitating for the removal of all nondiscrimination and hate-crimes laws, since, by creating protected and privileged classes, i.e. black people and women, who receive greater benefit than those outside the protected classes, i.e. white males, they violate equal protection.

      Finally, you should be denouncing the actions of judges of the type Obama would appoint like Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who argue that people who pay lower taxes do not enjoy the property protections guaranteed in the Constitution and may be forced by law to give up their possessions to the government to be sold to richer private individuals so that government may reap the profits and increased tax revenue.

      Clearly, though, you have no problem with denying marriage to people who you don't like, people receiving higher punishments for committing crimes against black people than against white males, and government taking property from poor people to sell to rich people.

      What that makes obvious is that "equal protection" is whatever leftist judges choose to make it, without regard to the Constitution.

      and we know what kind of justices McCain would put up, don't we ??

      Yup; ones who would read the Constitution and apply it, versus ones who make up new "rights" out of thin air while ignoring clearly-spelled-out ones that are inconvenient, like that whole thing about not abridging peoples' rights to own guns and not to have their property seized for governmental profit.

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jun 19, 2008 12:53:13 AM:

      ...because obviously, anyone who disagrees with you is "prejudiced' and "irrational".

      Well, you're partially correct. I think YOU are prejudiced and irrational. But most of the other commentors at on this blog are fine.

    1. Lucrece on Jun 19, 2008 2:00:32 AM:

      Oh, I won't have that "honor", NDT. With your definition (and demonstration) of "rational", I feel it would better serve my fellow sentient beings by choosing to be a raving lunatic. I'll leave the practice of rationality (as, substituted by cognitive dissonance)for you to indulge in.

      As for the striking down of the aforementioned issues, does "compelling state interest" ring any bells to you?

      And hate crimes laws do not discriminate against majority categories. You know this, though. I guess this is what we can learn from your "continued practice" of intellectual dishonesty. Slow down for us, will you?

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 19, 2008 2:57:16 AM:

      With your definition (and demonstration) of "rational", I feel it would better serve my fellow sentient beings by choosing to be a raving lunatic.

      That is really amusing after your post in which you admitted that I was right.

      I think YOU are prejudiced and irrational.

      Not really; that sort of description better suits people who say, for example, that religion is "just a bunch of middle eastern fairy tales and lies" and that religious people are "weak-minded fools who can't reason or think for themselves".

      Especially entertaining when you see what they're endorsing.

      As for the striking down of the aforementioned issues, does "compelling state interest" ring any bells to you?

      Oh, I see; equal protection isn't really equal, it's just when you like the people in question or not. How convenient.

      Intellectual and legal consistency would indicate that the state DOES have the right to restrict marriage and that the voters should exercise the final say in what is and isn't restricted. However, that would require actual persuasion of voters, which is hard to do when you're dealing with a population of people who regularly namecall and insult voters as "weak-minded fools who can't reason or think for themselves".


    1. Hawyer on Jun 19, 2008 9:15:10 AM:

      NDT - I'm not going to slog through your majoritarian rant, but cannot let this go:

      [Then, since you argue that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage to anyone in the United States REGARDLESS OF THE REASON [my caps], you should be arguing for the immediate removal of any and all bans on marriage, including those on plural marriage, child marriage, and incestuous marriage.]

      REGARDLESS OF THE REASON ???

      Come on NDT, what a school-yard rejoinder. "Equal protection under law" posits the concept of parity. And one would begin defining parity by the same precepts as heterosexual marriage: two consenting unrelated adults. When it is legal for heterosexuals to have plural marriages, marry children, and marry their siblings -- then I suppose gays would be entitled to campaign for the same parity.

      As tiresome as it is, if you're going to be a contrarian on this blog, at least give me some ammunition.


    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jun 19, 2008 11:36:27 AM:

      NDT,

      I have always supported people of faith, as long as they are good people, and Barack Obama is a good person.

      But, religion wasn't really the topic, was it? Funny how you try to win arguments first by completely distorting what the other guy says, and then, if that doesn't work you change the subject. It's kind of like a 5th grader who can't win the argument, so he gets the last word by saying, "Well you're fat!"

      How terribly pathetic. The only talent you really have is the ability to antagonize people, which you do exceptionally well. You know how to push buttons, but there is very little substance behind it, nothing new--just the same recycled talking points and links to the same news stories. There are rocks in my garden that are more creative.

    1. Lucrece on Jun 19, 2008 11:55:51 AM:

      He didn't even respond to my hate crimes observation, which was the aspect I was pinning his intellectual dishonesty to. Not surprising, though; it appears to be his M.O.

      Oh, and even the insane happen to stumble on some rare moments of clarity; let's just hope these events become more frequent for NDT.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 19, 2008 12:48:29 PM:

      But, religion wasn't really the topic, was it?

      The topic was being prejudiced and irrational; you claimed I was, and I demonstrated, with evidence, that you are.

      I have to admit amusement with your "some of my best friends are black"-esque response, though. So is Obama "weak-minded" because he believes in "Middle Eastern fairy tales and lies", or are you telling me that Obama is a charlatan who doesn't really believe what he's professing.

      Given Jeremiah Wright's public admittance that Barack Obama is an opportunist who will say whatever he has to say to get political power regardless of whether he believes it or not, I lean towards the latter.

      He didn't even respond to my hate crimes observation, which was the aspect I was pinning his intellectual dishonesty to.

      I thought it would be unkind to dwell on the fact that someone who had just publicly stated that a law that references skin color and spells out that punishments and available money for prosecution of crimes against people should increase based on their skin color does not discriminate.


    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 19, 2008 1:10:19 PM:

      Come on NDT, what a school-yard rejoinder. "Equal protection under law" posits the concept of parity. And one would begin defining parity by the same precepts as heterosexual marriage: two consenting unrelated adults.

      Unfortunately, the Fourteenth Amendment doesn't limit itself to "two consenting unrelated adults"; it says "any person".

      Furthermore, the law as it exists already had parity in every sense; marriage was limited to two consenting unrelated adults of the opposite sex, and that was applied regardless of the sexual orientation of the individual.

      (This is what the problem with the Texas sodomy law was; namely, that it applied only to homosexual couples, and not to heterosexual couples who engaged in the same behavior defined as sodomy.)

      Liberal gays argued that that was wrong, that "equal protection" meant you should be able to marry anyone you "love", that the state had no right to judge "love" based on the participants, and that your "love" relationships must receive all state benefits.

      The ludicrousness of making "love" the grounding is obvious. Pedophiles "love" children; therefore pedophiles and children, as persons, have equal protection and therefore cannot be denied the right to marry whomever they love. Polygamists "love" multiple spouses; therefore, polygamists, as persons, have equal protection and therefore cannot be denied the right to marry whomever they love. Incest practitioners "love" their blood relations; therefore, incest practitioners, as persons, have equal protection and therefore cannot be denied the right to marry whomever they love. Furthermore, since the California Supreme Court declared that the state MUST grant marriage to all "love" relationships because to do otherwise is to deprive people of "respect" and "dignity", all of the relationships in which the participants declare "love" must be recognized and ratified.

      The far more intelligent and consistent decision would simply have been to ratify that marriage, not being an enumerated constitutional right and with reams of case law upholding that the fact that you "love" and want to have sex with someone does not automatically entitle you to marry them, is an institution whose shape and definition belongs solely to the voters to change, modify, or abolish.

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jun 19, 2008 1:20:21 PM:

      The topic was being prejudiced and irrational;

      No, the topic was the constitution and whether or not civil rights should be put to a vote of the people. But you tried to deflect that and do your usual little dodge and evade, change the subject strategy.

      you claimed I was, and I demonstrated, with evidence, that you are.

      You are rather anti-marriage, and really, kinda anti-gay too. There is a volume of evidence of that on this blog. The only thing you've demonstrated with evidence is that you can't argue the facts. You have to cloud the issue, then say something false, and then claim victory.

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