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DOMA and Prop 8 bite the dust, and a brave one-woman filibuster finished off by a nice dose of civil disobedience preserve, for the moment, abortion rights in Texas.

I’ll come back later with commentary and links, but I wanted to post something.

Addendum:

Marriage Equality Celebration

Second addendum:

Here are excerpts from Justice Scalia’s “flaming dissent” of the DOMA decision.  He was actually on the side of the angels with Prop 8, rejecting the citizen’s group’s standing.  Justice Sotamayor actually dissented with the conservatives on the standing issue.

Never thought I’d see those words in one sentence in a Presidential inaugoration speech – not in my lifetime anyway.

Sometimes history moves agonizingly slowly.  Other times, it surprises you.

From the 1950s to today.

To the day when we look back at this time and roll our eyes out of pity for the perpetually fearful.

I’m sure there was plenty of number crunching, and probably he waited until today to avoid being accused of interfering with North Carolina’s insanity, but the discussion is now officially altered.  Remember that on the eve of the passage of the Civil Rights Act over eighty percent of the public opposed mixed-race marriage.  Sometimes the people lead.  Sometimes leaders have to lead.

It’ll probably cost Obama a swing state or two, but it puts Romney into a tough spot as to how to respond.  He wants to appeal to independents (who don’t see this as a political issue and don’t want it in the national discussion), but he has to worry about the tea party fringe.  I’m wondering if it was Lugar’s Waterloo rather than North Carolina which prompted this move.  Actually, I suspect it was planned.  Biden hinted at it several days ago.

Point is, calculated or not, this is a turning point in history.

The Log Cabin Club is already freaking out, complaining that it’s a dollar late and a day short.  They have a point.  But are they going to press Romney on the issue?  I doubt it.

Addendum:  Rick Santorum chimes in, attacking “cultural elites.”

Second addendum:  Romney responds, cautiously.  And even more cautiously on domestic unions.

And not all progressives are sanguine about the outcome.  This blogger thinks that Obama just handed Romney the Presidency.

And here’s a TPM article posted yesterday explaining why Obama wouldn’t do what he did today.

Third addendum:  Barney Frank doesn’t think it’ll cost Obama any votes.

This does not meant that the President’s decision today was entirely without some political risk, but I believe it will be clear in the days ahead that this will cost him no votes, since those opposed to legal equality for LGBT people were already inclined to oppose him, and that it will make it easier for us to mobilize the people in this country who oppose discrimination to help reelect him.

I disagree slightly.  Probably it won’t cost him many votes because while some, particularly in the African-American and Hispanic communities, oppose gay marriage, it isn’t a significant voting issue in Presidential choices.  Obama did quite well in 2008 when Prop 8 passed.  There was obviously some overlap.

Al Franken has some nice words.

Fourth addendum:  OBAMA FLIP-FLOPS, DECLARES WAR ON MARRIAGE!

That was of course a Fox Nation headline.

Fifth Addendum:  The interview.

Sixth Addendum:  Rush chimes in (after the Fox Nation headline was scrubbed) and a TPM poster responds.

David Johnson

” “We’ve arrived at a point where the President of the United States is going to lead a war on traditional marriage,” Rush Limbaugh said on his show Wednesday.” His first, second, third, and fourth wives could not be reached for comment.

As reported by TPM.

I’m completely behind the agenda, and yeah, her response was cold and unprofessional, but don’t use the kids.  If they’re old enough to act on their own initiative, that’s great, but this kid was clearly uncomfortable and it’s not fair to put him in this position.

This kid, on the other hand, is a little bit older and clearly acting on his own initiative.

So as of Tuesday morning, after midnight on the east coast, the prohibition of open homosexuality (or closed) in the military died.

Thanks to Mitch for forwarding this video of a soldier son coming out to his father.  This is true bravery.

….

Meanwhile, Navy Lt. Gary Ross planned a trip to Vermont and married at 12:00 a.m. exactly, the first official post-DADT marriage.

….

This WAPO article contains these two stories, and some more.

And that article led this gentleman to change his mind on the issue.  Sort of.

….

Addendum:  A soldier deployed in Iraq identifies himself as gay and asks whether Santorum would stop the progress made by gays and lesbians in the military.  Santorum says he would reinstate DADT, and shows that he either doesn’t understand the policy or lies, saying simply that “sex shouldn’t matter,” and erroneously implies that the policy applies only to sexual activity and not preference.  Note also that the soldier is booed by several members of the audience, but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of analysis to convince us that they weren’t really booing him personally and it’s really not so bad, yada, yada, yada.

I’m not saying I’m certain that there aren’t mitigating factors in the mental stability of the defendant.  But we passed laws which protect rape victims from certain defenses.  Obviously accepting a mitigation defense based upon “unwanted sexual advances” allegedly made by the victim is to basically justify the killing of a homosexual.  Period.  We would not accept such a defense from a woman facing unwanted sexual advances from a man, no matter what her sexual preference and no matter how boorish the advances.

Seven jurors were willing to go there.

The abuse from his father should be admissible.  Other factors about his mental stability.  But the victims sexual advances, real or imagined, should not be deemed relevant to any mitigation defense.  My opinion.

And I don’t think there will be any Prop 8 counterpart in that state.  California should be ashamed.

The discussion is essentially over.

And yet even many liberal Democrats are too terrified to take the issue on.  Always the lag time, but it’s really time for this to become a national political issue.  Actually, it’s been that time in moral and legal terms  since the 14th Amendment was passed, but in political context now is the time.

As I’m getting older I tend to see issues in nuance terms, where there are points of view to be considered on all sides.  Not this issue.  It’s time to adapt Peter Seeger’s lyrics.

July 2014
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