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Bush Issues New Call For Gay Marriage Amendment

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Bush Issues New Call For Gay Marriage Amendment

by Paul Johnson 365Gay.com Washington Bureau Chief

(Washington) In the wake of this week's California court ruling that declared that state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional President Bush on Wednesday renewed his call for an amendment to the US constitution to prevent gays from marrying.

At a White House news conference the president said that only with an amendment could judges be blocked from allowing gay marriage.

Bush denied that he has softened his position if favor of pursuing changes to Social Security.

"No, I haven't changed my position," the President said.

"And as a matter of fact, the court rulings are verifying why I took the position I took. And that is, I don't believe judges ought to be deciding this issue. I believe this is an issue of particular importance to the American people and should be decided by the people. And I think the best way to do so is through the constitutional process.

"I haven't changed my mind at all. As a matter of fact, court rulings such as this strengthen my position, it seems like to me. People now understand why I laid out the position I did.

The president was then asked what he intends to do to promote the amendment?

"Well, I-- you know, the courts are going to promote a lot of the action by their very rulings," he replied.

"And that no matter what your position is on the issue, this is an issue that should be decided by the people, not by judges. And the more the judges start deciding the issue, I'm confident the more the people will want to be involved in the issue" Bush said.

"Once again the President is pushing politics," Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Steven Fisher told 365Gay.com

"The California decision was about ensuring fairness and equality for every American family. That is the most basic value of all Americans."

An attempt by Republicans in Congress to move a proposed amendment along failed last July. (story) The measure was reintroduced in January. (story)

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"Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was born there, and learned to drive there, don't forget me!

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How many more times must we say:

"Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts"

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed. I need to get one of those bumper stickers...

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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Homophobe Judge Case

by Paul Johnson 365Gay.com Washington Bureau Chief

Posted: March 21, 2005 9:01 pm ET

(Washington) The Supreme Court, dodging a charged dispute over judicial nominations, declined Monday to consider whether President Bush overstepped his bounds in naming William Pryor of Alabama a federal judge while Congress was on a short break.

The court refused to hear a trio of criminal cases challenging the "recess appointment" of Pryor to the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year. The appeals argued that Pryor's temporary appointment was an end-run around the Senate's right to confirm or reject judicial nominees.

During his time on the Appeals Court bench, Pryor cast the deciding vote to uphold Florida's outright ban on gay adoption. (story) Florida is the only state in the country that explicitly bans children from being adopted by gays and lesbians.

Pryor has a long history of homophobia, and his appointment to the court angered Democrats - who had tied up Bush's original nomination of Pryor in the Senate - and gay rights groups.

As Attorney General of Alabama, he was the only attorney general outside of Texas to author an amicus brief in the Supreme Court defending Texas's anti-gay sodomy statute. Pryor argued that states have an interest in singling out same-sex relations for punishment, even though his own state's statute made no distinction between same-and opposite-sex relations. His brief also compared same-sex relationships to pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia.

While he served at A.G. of Alabama Pryor had links placed on the state website to anti-gay organizations and other conservative groups but not to groups with a neutral or differing views.

Last month Bush renominated Pryor for a permanent position on the Appeals Court. (story) If approved by the Senate, Pryor would be on the court for life.

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You all need to get a copy of, or listen to a recorded copy of, "Hilter's Niece".

While the history of WWII and the Holocaust are well-known, the "untold" story is how the Nazis hijacked German democracy and civil culture. The parallels are frightening. In sum, first they went after their political competitors, the communists, and then the Jews, etc... They used fear, division, and contorted truths to gain and consolidate power.

This isn't about "Republicans" versus "Democrats" anymore; it's much darker.

There's a special place in hell for Mr. Bush and his ilk.

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marriage, n. 1. the social institution under which a man and woman live as husband and wife by legal or religious commitments.

-from Webster's College Dictionary

I'm tired of the sentiment from the left that everyone who voted for Mr. Bush is either stupid or delusional, or both. I won't even stoop so low as to hurl such ridiculous comparisons and accusations at the democrats. America's voice was heard on election day. If you who call yourselves "liberals" are indead as such, then why are you so intolerant of the many Americans who hold to conservative social views. You who claim to be tolerant, open-mided, and advocates of freedom of action and expression exibit such qualities only when it serves your own agenda and purposes.

THINK ABOUT IT

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Unfortunately SuperJack you hit the argument on the head. It's an American tradition to allow dissention and free speech. Neo-conservatives label people who reject their agenda as unpatriotic or "un-Christian". Neither are true and neither is supported by fact.

Employing "Webster's College Dictionary" to help yourself "define" "marriage" is a weak facsimile to support your argument; you might just as well quote "The Bible". The Founding Fathers' created a secular society for a reason.

In any case, I did not write that supporters of Bush and the Neo-Conservative's are delusional nor stupid. What I did write was to suggest that we learn from the hate-mongering, fear, and contorted truths used dangerously by political parties in the past to inform our own present and future.

"Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it ..."

... so goes a famous aphorism. Study of the past carries great relevance for the present and future. To know the history of one's own culture and community is to know oneself. Just as the amnesiac has lost not only memory but identity, so people without a consciousness of their past (both failures and triumphs) have forfeited an understanding of who they are.

To go further, to learn the history of other cultures and communities--ancient and modern, Western and non-Western--is to grasp the grand tapestry of human creativity and tragedy, to see both commonalities and differences among cultures, to trace both continuities and changes from era to era, and thus to identify with the whole of humanity.

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I have no problem with conservative social views but certain republicans politician especially the one with the high power are trying to push it toward the gay people which totally violate their civil rights as American. You can practice your conservative values at your home and teach people to be intolerant, but do not "take away" the civil rights to the people that deserve it. Judging by everything he did since he is the president, I really dont see why people would vote for him. Is it becase of the war that cost a lot of innocent life, the tax break he gave to the rich people, the huge dificits or the great economic condition he provide us? I suggest that every Bush voter should automatically send one of his family member to the war in Iraq to show his support to Bush war agenda.

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Courtesy of Bill O'Reilly and the ("unbiased and fair") Fox News Network:

O'REILLY: You know, the Founding Fathers didn't write anything into the Constitution about gay marriage. Because back then, if you were gay, they hung you.

So -- you couldn't get married 'cause they put you in the rack. You know, if you were runnin' around wearing a chartreuse hat, you were in lots of trouble. So, we didn't even have to worry about these people gettin' married because if they come out of their closet in the log cabin -- somebody'll shoot them in the head. So, there really wasn't an issue back in the Founding Fathers.

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Courtesy of Bill O'Reilly and the ("unbiased and fair") Fox News Network:

O'REILLY: You know, the Founding Fathers didn't write anything into the Constitution about gay marriage. Because back then, if you were gay, they hung you.

So -- you couldn't get married 'cause they put you in the rack. You know, if you were runnin' around wearing a chartreuse hat, you were in lots of trouble. So, we didn't even have to worry about these people gettin' married because if they come out of their closet in the log cabin -- somebody'll shoot them in the head. So, there really wasn't an issue back in the Founding Fathers.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

O'Reilly...that poster child for openmindedness. The only reason they are pushing that homophobic amendment is to gain favor with the religious right. If that amendment passes its time for a revolution. Hell, its already time for a revolution. The only way to end this B^&*(^(SH^&^(^ is for every gay person to come out and do it now.

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Waccamatt:  If we're lucky the spirit of the Founding Fathers will prevail...if not, and I'm growing skeptical every day, then we're *ucked.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The SC legislature is trying to get one of those anti-gay marriage amendments on the ballot here, but we're fighting it tooth and nail. I bet if we had 100,000 at gay pride this May they'd do a double take. grrrrrrrrrrrr

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In Rhode Island we're moving closer to having an equal marriage law passed by our legislature, and further from any talk about a same-gender marriage ban. Last year there were two DOMA bills in the General Assembly, this year there is only one, and that bill only has 3 sponsors. The equal marriage bill had 11 sponsors last year, and this year has 27.

It is unlikely that the bill will pass out of both houses this year and be sent to the Governor, but we're hopefully that it will be voted out of the House Judiciary committee and sent to the floor. There's a chance that it could pass the full house this year.

If the bill passes out of the Judiciary Committee, it will be the first time a US legislative body has voted in favour of equal marriage rights (no "activist judges" here).

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In Rhode Island we're moving closer to having an equal marriage law passed by our legislature, and further from any talk about a same-gender marriage ban. Last year there were two DOMA bills in the General Assembly, this year there is only one, and that bill only has 3 sponsors. The equal marriage bill had 11 sponsors last year, and this year has 27.

It is unlikely that the bill will pass out of both houses this year and be sent to the Governor, but we're hopefully that it will be voted out of the House Judiciary committee and sent to the floor. There's a chance that it could pass the full house this year.

If the bill passes out of the Judiciary Committee, it will be the first time a US legislative body has voted in favour of equal marriage rights (no "activist judges" here).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Cotuit,

Isn't the same thing happening in Connecticut?

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Cotuit,

Isn't the same thing happening in Connecticut?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No, the Connecticut legislature is about to pass a civil unions bill, which the Governor has said she would sign.

Civil Unions fall far short of what marriage offers in the ways of rights and responsibilties and inter-state recognition. For example, if a Connecticut couple had a Civil Union in CT and then moved to Mass., they would then have to get married in Massachusetts. If they were vacationing in Rhode Island, they would have no recognition as a couple. If they traveled to Ontario they would have no recognition as a couple. The Federal Government would not recognize them as a couple and they'd have no recourse to sue to overturn the federal DOMA law as they would not be being denied marriage recognition by the federal government since they would in fact, no be married. Private businesses that have policies and procedures that recognize employees spouses would not be compelled to recognized a civil unioned partner in the same light. Even government agencies could refuse to extend benefits that married people recieve to civil unioned people. Banks would treat the couples differently when applying for loans and such. Protections such as not being compelled to testify against your spouse may not apply since the couple would not be spouses.

The civil unions law would create a totally seperate and unequal institution that the state would have to invest large sums of money into to create and maintain. The state also opens itself up to expensive litigation as questions about what applies to a civil unioned couple versus what gets applied to a married couple get challenged.

Rhode Island's marriage bill will simply and a provision to the marriage law making it clear that same-sex couples are allowed to marry. The law currently does not clearly allow or prohibit such marriages. The Rhode Island bill would also add language to the laws stating that religious orginizations would not be compelled to perform marriages which are counter to their beliefs, a protection that does not exist now for churches.

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Why Civil Unions Don't Add Up

Only marriage is recognized everywhere in the world as the universal statement of connection and responsibility.

By contrast, civil unions exist only in the state of Vermont. While civil unions provide some state-level protections, they face significant obstacles to being recognized beyond state borders.

Civil unions do not grant access to the 1,100-plus federal protections that only flow from marriage.

Finally, it is separate and unequal treatment to create a distinct status for gay and lesbian couples and their families.

The problems with civil unions

They confer second-class status. Rhode Island has a long tradition of fairness. To create a separate legal status just for committed gay and lesbian couples would be a powerful inequity. Marriage is the fairest and simplest way to provide the rights, protections and responsibilities every citizen deserves.

They provide no federal benefits. According to the General Accounting Office, at least 1,138 federal protections, benefits and responsibilities are directly linked to marriage. These include family sick leave and Social Security and pension survivor benefits that can mean the difference between security and poverty in one's final years. A couple with a civil union cannot even ask for these protections.

They end at the state line. Marriages are universally respected. Civil unions have not been accorded the same respect by states, in contexts ranging from custody matters to divorce.

They are legally ambiguous. Married couples can get divorced in any state where one of them resides. Civil unions in Vermont have created enormous legal burdens by requiring legal residency for one year before filing for divorce.

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Thanks, Cotuit, for the exhaustive summary of this issue!

Regarding "marriage" though...I thought that the passage of "marriage protection" legislation in a variety of states this past November allowed these states to deny the transfer of rights for married couples who are gay and were married in states that allowed gay marriage? (I'm not sure I said this right...do you know what I mean??)

Also, aren't all heterosexual marriages "civil unions" at the core? Can a straight couple chose to have a civil union but not a marriage?!?!?

THANK YOU for helping us understand this important issue!!!!!

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Thanks, Cotuit, for the exhaustive summary of this issue! 

Regarding "marriage" though...I thought that the passage of "marriage protection" legislation in a variety of states this past November allowed these states to deny the transfer of rights for married couples who are gay and were married in states that allowed gay marriage?  (I'm not sure I said this right...do you know what I mean??)

Yes, that is correct

Also, aren't all heterosexual marriages "civil unions" at the core?  Can a straight couple chose to have a civil union but not a marriage?!?!?

Correct me if im wrong, but i don't think civil unions even existed before the gay marriage issues. I think that civil unions came about soley as a means to deal with giving gays the rights of marriage, without the name. I am not entirely sure but i would assume that, in a state that allows civil unions, they would have to allow straight couples to enter into a civil union. Otherwise, they would run into the same constitutional barriers that marriage presented.

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No, the Connecticut legislature is about to pass a civil unions bill, which the Governor has said she would sign.

Civil Unions fall far short of what marriage offers in the ways of rights and responsibilties and inter-state recognition. For example, if a Connecticut couple had a Civil Union in CT and then moved to Mass., they would then have to get married in Massachusetts. If they were vacationing in Rhode Island, they would have no recognition as a couple. If they traveled to Ontario they would have no recognition as a couple. The Federal Government would not recognize them as a couple and they'd have no recourse to sue to overturn the federal DOMA law as they would not be being denied marriage recognition by the federal government since they would in fact, no be married. Private businesses that have policies and procedures that recognize employees spouses would not be compelled to recognized a civil unioned partner in the same light. Even government agencies could refuse to extend benefits that married people recieve to civil unioned people. Banks would treat the couples differently when applying for loans and such. Protections such as not being compelled to testify against your spouse may not apply since the couple would not be spouses.

The civil unions law would create a totally seperate and unequal institution that the state would have to invest large sums of money into to create and maintain. The state also opens itself up to expensive litigation as questions about what applies to a civil unioned couple versus what gets applied to a married couple get challenged.

Rhode Island's marriage bill will simply and a provision to the marriage law making it clear that same-sex couples are allowed to marry. The law currently does not clearly allow or prohibit such marriages. The Rhode Island bill would also add language to the laws stating that religious orginizations would not be compelled to perform marriages which are counter to their beliefs, a protection that does not exist now for churches.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

so ridiculous... they want to create this financial and legal clusterfudge that doesnt even do whats intended just because calling it marriage makes straight people feel "icky"

looks like the constitutional amendment wont make it onto the ballot in ma though, we gained enough seats with 2004 and the 05 special elections

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