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Tag Archives: Marriage Equality

Meanwhile, in crazy town…

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton announced today that “county clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on religious objections to gay marriage.”

Paxton called the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage “lawless,” and said “I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.”

My wife and I picked up registration tags for our car last week. Fortunately, the lady who waited on us wasn’t Amish.

Look, Mr. Paxton, you can disagree with a Supreme Court ruling. You can even call it immoral or unconscionable, as we now refer to Dred Scott (oh, and if you compare the marriage equality ruling to Dred Scott, which stated that the black man had “no rights the white man is bound to respect,” then you are a racist buffoon). However, what you can’t do is call it “lawless.” Please check a dictionary. You went to law school, for the love of Madonna! First years learn that laws are not inherently moral but are simply “the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties.”

Also, if you were that concerned about “standing in defense” of the rights of Texas citizens, you could just hire more clerks who don’t have an issue with same-sex marriage or even those who do but actually follow the law as their jobs require. I don’t like guns, so I don’t work for a gun manufacturer.

In 2009, a Louisiana justice of the peace refused to issue a marriage licence to an interracial couple. Even Bobby Jindal, who likes gays about as much as sensible people like him, called for his resignation.

“This is a clear violation of constitutional rights and federal and state law. … Disciplinary action should be taken immediately — including the revoking of his license,” the Republican governor said.

That was just 42 years after Loving vs. Virginia, but it’d be awfully efficient if we just skipped this obnoxious “standing in front of the courthouse opposing desegregation” step in the process.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Fables of Huckabee…

Fables of Huckabee…

Mike Huckabee and other religious conservatives claim their resistance to marriage equality is similar to Martin Luther King’s non-violent resistance to American apartheid. But if you actually look at history, Huckabee’s actions are more in tune with another former governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, who in 1957 defied a Supreme Court decision desegrating public schools and ordered the state national guard to prevent black kids from attending Little Rock Central High School.

Faubus’s own words should sound familar: 

Those who would integrate our schools at any price are still among us. They have seized upon the present situation to promote and foment concern and discontent, because of the temporary closing of the schools. They have spread wild rumors and attempted to organize demonstrations. These are the same people and the same forces who have all along been opposed to the majority will of the people of Little Rock and Arkansas.

Last year, I stated during the September crisis that I was not elected Governor of Arkansas to surrender all our rights as citizens to an all-powerful federal autocracy…. It is my responsibility, and it is my purpose and determination, to defend the constitutional rights of the people of Arkansas to the full extent of my ability.…

Some people dread, shrink from, and grow weary of the struggle in which we are now engaged. I grow weary, also, but is there any choice? Once integration is effected totally and completely, will the peace and harmony you desire be attained? If we are to judge by the results elsewhere, anywhere, once total, or near total integration is effected, the peace, the quiet, the harmony, the pride in our schools, and even the good relations that existed heretofore between the races here, will be gone forever….

Huckabee and others might try to run from their own history and hide in the shadow of better men like MLK, but the odiousness of their beliefs will forever anchor them in the past.

Charles Mingus recorded a song in “tribute” to Faubus — an “all-American heel.” And today, I listen to it in “tibute” to Huckabee.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Leave it to Mississippi…

There have been many unhinged responses to the Supreme Court’s decision today overturning same-sex marriage bans, and this is one of them:

Gov. Phil Bryant said Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage “usurps” states’ long-held rights to self governance and he’s studying the state’s “options.”

“Gov. Bryant will continue to do all that he can to protect and defend the religious freedoms of Mississippi,” spokeswoman Nicole Webb said.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves decried the ruling as “overreach of the federal government” that has expanded under the Obama Administration from the executive to the judicial branches.

This sounds familiar to the passionate resistance white Southern conservatives had to desegregation. That’s to be expected. It’s like Taylor Swift covering Dancing in the Dark — regrettable but no lasting damage was done. It’s not like the Mississippi government plans to do anything crazy.

State House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, said he’s still studying the ruling, but that one option might be for Mississippi to get out of the marriage business altogether.

“One of the options that other states have looked at is removing the state marriage license requirement,” Gipson said. “We will be researching what options there are. I personally can see pros and cons to that. I don’t know if it would be better to have no marriage certificate sponsored by the state or not. But it’s an option out there to be considered

If Gipson is already considering the option of “(getting) out of the marriage business altogether,” then it’s possible that the ruling has stumped even his keen legal mind. It’s like the lawyer for a restaurant studying the list of health care violations and suggesting, “Screw it, just start selling typewriters.”

On Friday, Gipson said: “What the Supreme Court’s decision does not and cannot change is the firmly held conviction of faith of myself and most Mississippians. We still believe that marriage is defined by God as the union of one man and one woman. As Bible-believing Christians, we will not change or alter our religious convictions to suit the whims of the court or the culture.”

I don’t think this is a “whim” of the court. I know Gipson is still “studying the ruling,” but it really is more in depth than determining where to go for lunch. There are legal opinions and everything.

Jennifer Riley-Collins, director of the Mississippi ACLU, said she hopes “that Mississippi’s officials will embrace everyone and will not attempt to set up barriers to this momentous decision.”

“I pray that the state of Mississippi is on the right side of history this time,” Riley-Collins said. “Aren’t we tired of being last?”

Good luck with that, ma’am.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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