Tag Archives: gay marriage

Neal Boortz is right: “social conservatives” will cost the GOP more elections

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In a recent talk radio show, while filling in for Sean Hannity, conservative-libertarian Neal Boortz (the co-author of the FairTax) warned that Republicans will not recapture the Senate this year, because, says Boortz, they have an insatiable “urge to get into social conservatism”.

Boortz believes Republicans will once again prioritize social issues above all others, advocate radical no-compromise policies on those issues, and once again make stupid statements on these issues. He points to Georgia GOP Senate candidate Paul Broun as an example. (Broun’s most famous statement, other than his defense of Todd Akin, is his claim that evolution, embryonics, and Big Bang are “lies straight from the pit of hell.”)

Shortly after Boortz made that statement, an avalanche of insults, attacks, and false claims was launched against Boortz from every “conservative” corner of the Net. His critics, and they are legion, claim Boortz is an “establishment liberal Republican” and a “blowhard” just trying to attract attention. They furthermore deny that social issues and radical socially conservative politicians like Akin and Broun have hurt the GOP in the past.

But no amount of denial and false claims can change the fact that Boortz is absolutely right: radical policies on social issues, and politicians espousing such policies, have cost the GOP heavily in the past, and will cost it even more elections in the future.

Why? After all, didn’t social issues mobilize millions of voters in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s to the GOP’s standard? Weren’t American voters overwhelmingly socially conservative in those times?

Yes – but those were totally different times, decades ago. To advocate returning to policies of long bygone eras enacted (or advocated) in a totally different society is to lead the Party to disastrous defeats.

Today, Americans are a completely different society than they were 20-30 years ago. The GOP’s problem is that it hasn’t changed with them.

17  ago, a vast majority of Americans opposed gay marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act was passed with over 80 votes in the Senate and signed by President Clinton. Today, though, according to reliable pollsters like Gallup, a large majority of Americans approves of legalizing gay marriage and of DADT repeal. Banning gay marriage and gays from the military is a decidedly losing proposition supported only by a small minority.  Over time,  this small minority will shrink even further as older, more socially conservative voters die and are replaced by younger, socially libertarian voters.

As for contraception, support for its legality is – and has long been – so broad that most pollsters don’t even bother to ask the question.

On abortion, Americans are roughly equally divided, with the pendulum slightly swinging one way or the other from time to time. However, only a small majority supports banning abortion in all or most cases (per Gallup). So radical social conservatives’ position is again that of a tiny minority and a sure election loser.

The fact is that social issues are electoral losers for Republicans. The American people don’t want politicians to legislate morality anymore than they want them to legislate prosperity (neither of which can be really legislated, BTW – but that hasn’t stopped politicians from trying :) ).

The truth, therefore, is that – as Boortz says – Republicans will continue to lose elections by landslides if they continue to take radical positions on social issues. Or nominate radically socially conservative candidates like Paul Broun.

This truth has proven itself over and over again, even in “red states” like Missouri and Indiana where Republicans should win easily. All it took for GOP Senate candidates to lose there by landslides was a radical position on abortion and one stupid remark about rape. Not only did Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock lose their races, they cost other Republicans (like Scott Brown) their races as well.

This is because the voters Republicans need to win over – siphon from the Democrats, to be precise – are suburbanites, most of whom are fiscally conservative but socially liberal (especially suburban women, and American women in general, who currently support Democrats by a large margin). Saying that abortion should be banned in all cases, that a raped woman should be forced by law to bear the child of her rapist, and that two loving people shouldn’t be allowed to marry based on sexual orientation, is an electoral loser with suburbanites, women, minorities, and youngsters.

Boortz’s critics claim this is just a call to make the GOP more liberal, more leftist, and more in line with the GOP Establishment.

On the contrary, if fiscal and defense, rather than social, issues were the conservative “litmus test”, the vast majority of the GOP’s Establishment and its past candidates (including Daddy Bush, Bob Dole, Dubya Bush, and Juan McCain) would’ve had no business being in the GOP, let alone being GOP presidential nominees. Nor would John Boehner have been Speaker.

It is social conservatives who have enabled these RINOs to hijack the party and the country. All these RINOs had to do to win social conservatives’ votes was to promise to work towards banning abortion and gay marriage, and social conservatives supported them, regardless of their lack of fiscal conservative credentials (to say it mildly). So-cons didn’t care that Daddy Bush denounced Reaganomics as “voodoo economics”, or that Dubya was a failed businessman. All they cared about were these RINOs’ useless promises on social issues. As long as the Bushes, McCain, Dole, and Boehner pledged to fight against abortion and gay marriage, social conservatives were willing to overlook everything else.

On social issues, the Bushes, McCain, and Boehner have solid records.

But if fiscal and defense, rather than social, issues were the conservative “litmus test”, those RINOs would’ve had no business being in the GOP. Ditto Eric Cantor, Rick Santorum, and Tax Hike Mike Huckabee.

Social conservatives protest that “social and fiscal issues are inextricably linked.” No, they are not.

In fact, trying to impose one’s preferred policies on social issues on the rest of the society is every bit as much a Big Government statist policy as trying to impose a health insurance mandate, a new tax, a soda ban, or a lightbulb ban. So-called “social conservatives” are every bit as much Big Government Statists as Michael Bloomberg, Bill de Blasio, and Nancy Pelosi. They only difference is what exactly their pet issues are. For “social conservatives”, it’s abortion, gay marriage, and contraceptives. For Bloomberg, de Blasio, and Pelosi, it’s lightbulbs, SUVs, soda, and fast food.

But these people are all the same: all of them want to take away YOUR right to do what you want with YOUR money, YOUR vehicle, YOUR stomach, YOUR body, and YOUR home.

As any real conservative will tell you, the ONLY legitimate purpose of any government is to protect our rights and our liberty against those who would take them away, whether that’s you, my neighbor, a religious group in my town, or the majority of the society at large. The only legitimate purpose of any government is to protect our rights and freedoms – and to let us live as we wish to, as long as we don’t threaten anyone else’s rights and freedoms.

Whenever a government goes beyond that purpose, it becomes Big Government – and a danger to people’s rights and freedoms, regardless of whether it tries to legislate morality or prosperity. (And Americans don’t want it to legislate either.)

Therein lies the problem with the two major parties: both want to take your freedoms away. The Democrats want to legislate the economy, while Republicans want to legislate morality. The Democrats want to dramatically limit what you can do with your money, while Republicans want to dramatically limit what you can do with your body. For the last four decades, both parties have tried to do that and look just how dramatically the size and scope of the federal government has expanded.

It is NONE of any government’s business to legislate whether you or I can use contraceptives, whom I can marry, and whether or not a raped woman can seek an abortion. It is NONE of any local, state, or government’s business – and NONE of YOUR damned business, social conservatives.

And just think about it: if abortion, gay marriage, and/or contraceptives were banned, that would require yet another government agency (or agencies), costing billions of dollars annually and employing tens of thousands of bureaucrats and agents, to enforce such bans. You think the IRS is bad and oppressive? Or that the NSA is? Just imagine what a National Abortion Police or a National Counter-Contraceptives Agency would do if social conservatives got their wish.

As for funding for abortion, the fiscally conservative answer is simple: end it.

Finally, social conservatives claim there is a “moral decay in America”, and that fiscal issues cannot be solved without tackling these problems.

To some extent this is true when you look at divorce, single motherhood, alcoholism, and drug usage rates. But instead of targeting these very real and very serious problems and formulating positive solutions to them, “social conservatives” have, in the last 4 decades, railed exclusively against abortion, gay marriage, contraceptives, and DADT, and still continue to obsess about them, even though they are all lost issues.

So few Americans support banning gay marriage and contraceptives, or reinstating DADT, that these issues are, politically, irrevocably lost. As for abortion, it is legally lost because no Supreme Court, especially not one led by John G. Roberts, will overturn Roe v. Wade. If “social conservatives”  couldn’t get Roe overturned in the last 4 decades, they never will.

In fact, abortion, gay marriage, contraceptives, and repealing DADT have not done any damage to America’s prosperity or well-being. Contraceptives have, in fact, helped stem the plague of STDs and unwanted pregnancies (they are highly effective at fighting both). Repealing DADT has saved taxpayers millions of dollars lost on discharging qualified, disciplined men who happened to be gay (and has not caused any turmoil in the military, contrary to grave predictions made in 2010).

Similarly, legalizing gay marriage has not done any harm to anyone. It has only increased people’s freedom by letting them marry whatever person they love. (A few decades ago, when bans on interracial marriage were being repealed, Southern “social conservatives” were saying exactly the same thing they clam today: that repealing the bans would threaten “the integrity of the institution of marriage.”)

If “social conservatives” were really concerned about America’s societal ills, like divorce and single motherhood, they’d be tackling them. But they don’t want to challenge the powerful divorce attorney lobby; instead, they prefer irrelevant issues like “gay marriage” and “contraceptives.”

Gay marriage is not a threat to anyone’s marriage, or to the integrity of the institution, in any way. Divorce – particularly no-fault divorce, now legal in all 50 states, is.

(BTW, know who was the first state Governor to sign legislation legalizing no-fault divorce in his state? Ronald Reagan.)

So Neal Boortz is absolutely right, and so.-called “social conservatives” (I prefer to call them social Big Government Nannies) are dead wrong. “Social issues” like abortion and gay marriage are sure election losers; they alienate suburbanites, youngsters, women, and minorities from the GOP; and advocating bans and legislating morality on these issues is every bit as much a Big Government Policy as banning sodas or SUVs is.

The Confederate Corner with George Neat Rantastic version – October 15th

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When: Tuesday, October 15th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Confederate Corner with George Neat on Blog Talk Radio

What: Yes there are Confederates north of the Mason-Dixon line, and George Neat is one of them. And we’re happy to bring his views to you in the “Confederate Corner” radio show.

For more information on George and his political views, please drop by the Confederate Corner at GoldwaterGal.com. (http://goldwatergal.com/goldwater-gal-media/confederate-corner/)

Tonight: So many issues, so little time! If it’s not healthcare, it’s the government shutdown. How about Michelle Obama’s garden? Or maybe it’s Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s statement about gay marriage. Yes, George is on a roll tonight! Only question is, which items will he rant about the most?

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Jabberwonky – July 21st

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When: Sunday, July 21st, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Jabberwonky on Blog Talk Radio

What:

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Whether it’s “down the rabbit hole”, or “through the looking glass”, the world of politics is often referred to in the lexicon given to us by Lewis Carroll. No matter what, those terms are resurrected when referring to something that has gone terribly wrong. And that’s what’s here on Jabberwonky…

Tonight: Liz Harrison brings up some interesting points about the what the left really has been up to when it comes to its agenda on gay marriage. Also, politicizing tragedy, and the real wars on women in the U.S. (yes, that is plural.)

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Understanding The History Of The SCOTUS DOMA Ruling

032713_al_doma_640

032713_al_doma_640No doubt. in the days and weeks to come, the talking heads will be edifying us on the complex nature of the DOMA ruling. In California, the voters mandated that “Marriage is between and Man and a Woman” period. Called “Proposition 8″, this vote was taken “to the people” and the “people” spoke. Historically an extremely liberal State ( I am a resident), it came as a surprise—-however, the voters of California had spoken.

Enter the “opposition” who took it to the 9th Court of Appeals, who overturned the ruling/proposition. However,  prior to that ruling,  it was heard at a lower  federal level in California.   An openly gay Judge, Judge Vaughan Walker, was assigned.  Judge Walker’s decision was key to continue that climb to the Supreme Court.  As Gerard V. Bradley, wrote back in August 2010

These high stakes have attracted a lot of attention to the California case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger. But not enough attention – in fact, almost none – has been paid to one very troubling aspect of the case.

This is the question of the judge’s bias due to his possible interest in which side wins the case.

Judge Vaughan Walker has surprised just about everyone with his unorthodox handling of the Prop. 8 trial.

Supporters describe him as iconoclastic and creative. Those less enamored have charged him with turning the proceedings into a sensationalized show-trial.

Both sets of observers could probably agree with the explanation offered by conservative commentator Ed Whelan who has observed that Walker has been determined from the outset “to use the case to advance the cause of same-sex marriage.”

I do not doubt that Judge Walker made up his mind about Prop 8 before the trial began.

But that is not the bias that has received too little attention.

Battalions of commentators have wondered about his bizarre handling of the case, and many have attributed it to Walker’s belief that it is unjust for the law to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Nor is the neglected bias related to the fact that (as several newspapers have reported) the judge is openly gay.

Of course, Walker’s opinions about marriage and sexual preference could be related to his own homosexuality.

But even if they are, it does not follow that he would be incapable of being impartial and of rendering a judgment in accord with the law in the Prop. 8 case – any more than a happily married heterosexual would necessarily be.

In fact, all judges have beliefs and personal habits which intersect from time to time with the matters in dispute before them. We do not require judges to be blank slates without a personal life. Judges are not automatons.

All we ask and what we rightly expect is that judges put aside those things insofar as they might interfere with deciding a case fairly and in accord with the law.

But no one is immune to all conflicts of interest or of belief.

So our law rightly requires that public officials – judges included – stay out of matters in which they have a financial stake. It is not that everyone would be corrupted by the prospect of financial gain. Not at all.

But some people would be corrupted. And everyone can have greater confidence in the outcome of public deliberations when they know that at least one temptation towards corruption has been removed.

The neglected bias in the Prop. 8 trial has instead to do with the fact that – as reported in The Los Angeles Times last month – Judge Walker “attends bar functions with a companion, a physician.”

If (as The Times suggests) Judge Walker is in a stable same-sex relationship, then he might wish or even expect to wed should same-sex marriage become legally available in California.

This raises an important and serious question about his fitness to preside over the case. Yet it is a question that received almost no attention.

When a judge is obliged to withdraw from a case due to a conflicting interest we call it “recusal.

Following the ruling, it was kicked up to the 9th Court of Appeals, one of the most Liberal Court of Appeals known.  The outcome:

The federal appeals court has declared California’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, paving the way for a likely U.S. Supreme Court showdown on the voter-approved law. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 Tuesday that Walker, a lower-court judge, interpreted the U.S. Constitution correctly in 2010 when he declared Proposition 8 to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

The Attorneys in the case, Boies and Walker always had the Supreme Court in mind.  Which brings us to today.  I think Ed Morrissey at HOTAIR sums it up best

This decision bothers me a lot more than the DOMA case.  The voters in California amended the state constitution by referendum legally, to define a legitimate government policy regarding the recognition of marriage.  The court is making the case that this is a matter for California to settle, not the federal courts, and there is a very good case to make there.  However, the effect of this is to overturn an election whose legality was never in doubt just because some people didn’t like the outcome.  That to me is a more dangerous outcome than a precedent-setting decision on standing.

“Upside” of today?  The court has evaded the question of whether same-sex marriage is constitutionally-protected in all states.  I’m sure that is the “next” move.

For great coverage of the overall unfolding of today’s ruling see http://hotair.com/archives/2013/06/26/open-thread-scotus-watch/

You can read the ruling here http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-307_g2bh.pdf

Prop 8 Ruling Avoided: Supreme Court clears the path for gay marriage in California

Image via LA Times
Image via LA Times

Image via LA Times

The Supreme Court has ruled that California citizens who want to uphold the gay marriage ban do not have the right to appeal the lower court rulings striking down the ban.

Proposition 8 was passed by the voters of California in 2008, but last year, the federal court of appeals deemed it unconstitutional.

This 5-4 decision is another win for gay marriage in America.

Dissecting the Argument for Traditional Marriage

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hmomoy (CC)

hmomoy (CC)

Since the Supreme Court is hearing the cases on gay marriage, of course there are piles of blogs, columns, and media commentaries about the oral arguments that were made in Court. In all honesty, I had no intentions of weighing in on this issue – at all – until a short exchange on Twitter with Charles (@repub9989) and the social media person over at The American Spectator (@AmSpec.) The whole conversation started because I had re-tweeted a link to Quin Hillyer’s piece on the matter – The Insufficiency of the “Procreation” Argument Against Homosexual “Marriage”. It’s a long title for a short piece of work that Hillyer freely admits really does need a much longer treatment. And he does point readers to James Taranto’s long-winded opinion on the matter. Of course that would have been much more useful if it had been a bit more simplistic.

Kudos to Taranto for engaging in an admirable performance of legal and linguistic acrobatics, however Justice Elena Kagan’s “trick” question had an answer that should have literally leaped into the mind of anyone that currently has, or previously had widow or widower over the age of 55 in the family (or even a really close friend.) Anyone currently receiving or about to become eligible to receive Social Security benefits knows this little gem. If a beneficiary is receiving payments due to a deceased spouse, those benefits are forfeit in the case of re-marriage. So, while procreation may be a logical reason to defend heterosexual marriage (and deny same-sex marriage) among younger citizens, Kagan’s argument about older citizens marrying is relatively rare anyway. Widows don’t tend to want to give up the benefits they receive even for the sake of love, so the new trend among seniors is co-habitation. If nothing else, it would have been priceless to see the looks on the faces of the Justices if Charles Cooper had replied with something akin to, “well, with all due respect, because individuals of that age could stand to lose governmental benefits if they chose marriage, they tend to choose to ‘live in sin’ instead – there aren’t very many people in that age group that actually want marriage licenses in the first place.”

It would have been amusing, even a bit refreshing, to see the honest truth displayed in the highest court, but it still would not have resolved the issue at hand. Is there a real reason outside of religious philosophy that can defend traditional marriage? Is there something that is not attached to ideology or religious belief systems to counter the secular left’s desire to render all gender neutral, at least as far as marriage is concerned? It is tempting to suggest that the left has become so steeped in science fiction that they are envisioning a country with the same sort of gender neutrality the writers and creators of Star Trek tried to create. Of course the real results that they are achieving are far from that world, and include militant feminists that refuse to accept that there are biological and psychological differences between the sexes. It also includes faithful atheists that believe they follow a religion, albeit the anti-Judeo-Christian sort that apparently reduces its “followers” to the point where they can be compared with Hollywood-style vampires that are terrified of any religious article. It would be comical if it wasn’t so sad – watching them fight against symbols of deities that they supposedly do not believe exist in the first place.

As an atheist, I find it particularly disturbing that I seem to regularly end up either defending deists, or the respective religions they follow. This situation is no different. As for defending the concept of traditional marriage from being sullied by permitting gay couples to legally marry, I have nothing. That is a religious affair, beyond my reach – and for that matter, it should also be beyond the reach of the Federal Government. As far as government in general is concerned, marriage is not sacred. It is already nothing more than a personal contract, and means for the government to keep tabs on taxpayers. Many years ago, I sat in a high school economics class where the teacher pointed out the entire problem with marriage. His contention was that it was far too easy to get married, and far too difficult to get a divorce. In the case of non-religious couples, at the very least there should be mandatory prenuptial agreements that must be completed before a marriage license could be acquired. I know this sounds suspiciously like increasing the work of government, but in reality, it would eventually reduce it. Imagine removing the necessity of having bureaucrats around to settle financial and custody matters for couples getting a divorce, because those matters were settled before they even got married. Yes, there would still be a need for them in extenuating circumstances, particularly in abusive relationships that fall apart. However, perhaps the process of completing the paperwork would in itself prevent at least a few of those doomed relationships from getting started in the first place. Individuals that choose to have their unions solemnized in a church would have to complete whatever their respective faiths required, and acquire a statement of permission from a priest or minister. That would be in addition to the required prenuptial agreement, since that would be the means for the state to guarantee an easy divorce. It was an interesting concept to say the least, but one that if it was in effect now, would arguably have settled this particular issue. While it wouldn’t have removed the state from the marriage business as many Libertarians are suggesting now, it would have placed a great deal of control over the process in the hands of the churches.

As Matt Lewis recently pointed out, conservatives have lost (are losing?) the culture war. Liberals are very big on pleasure and their right to do whatever they choose, as long as it feels good. Conservatives are focused more on the responsibilities that people must remember are inextricably linked to all rights. Instead of worrying about procreation, or even the concept of government protecting marriage from being destroyed by gays, conservatives should have shifted this argument to the realm of actions and consequences. The liberals do not play well in this arena, because they are so purely focused on self-gratification that they cannot shift gears easily to address the real consequences of their actions. Conservatives have been waging this battle for years over abortion. This argument really shouldn’t be about who may or may not get married legally, but about truly protecting the institution of marriage from the state. That old economics teacher had it right, because he recognized what religious leaders are oddly quiet about now. Instead of just saying allowing gays to marry is “wrong”, why aren’t they saying what has desperately needed to be said for years now? Why aren’t those leaders leaving the blame for the high divorce rate, and high numbers of single-parent families where it belongs? Yes, they often say it is the fault of liberal policies in government, but that idea should have been hammered home on the issue of same-sex marriage until even conservatives were complaining about the repetition. The bottom line remains that the true root cause of the erosion of the sanctity of marriage is a societal failure to accept responsibility for one’s actions. It is too easy for everyone to enter into marital relationships.

It’s unlikely that anyone would ever seriously suggest what I’ve outlined here as a solution to the problem, regardless of whether or not it actually would resolve the issue. I know social conservatives would never suggest it, at least not as I’ve stated it here, because it does not forbid same sex unions, per se. Admittedly, I intentionally avoided saying anything about that. The government has no place refusing such unions, because the state’s part in the process is purely the legalities – that is the case now, and should remain that way. Churches would be free to forbid those unions at will, and that would be protecting the sanctity of marriage – the state should not be able to dictate the actions of churches when it comes to the recognition of same sex marriage. Religion and politics do not mix well. This nation was founded because of that fact, but too many of us tend to forget that, or twist it to our own purposes. Too many people forget that the “separation of church and state” was meant to be a two-way street. It is meant to not only protect churches from interference by government, but also protect government from the same by churches. It was a good theory over 200 years ago, and it still is now.

Originally posted at PolitiChicks.tv.

In Deep with Michelle Ray – Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!

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When: Thursday, March 28th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.

Tonight: Let’s talk about sex. And marriage. And civil unions. And sex.

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Kagan ’09: ‘There is No Federal Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage’

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Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.  It’s 2009, and Elena Kagan is answering questions during her confirmation hearing for the position of Solicitor General within the Obama administration. According to William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, who posted this piece on March 25, this is what she had to say about gay marriage:

1. As Solicitor General, you would be charged with defending the Defense of Marriage Act. That law, as you may know, was enacted by overwhelming majorities of both houses of Congress (85-14 in the Senate and 342-67 in the House) in 1996 and signed into law by President Clinton.

 a. Given your rhetoric about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy—you called it “a profound wrong—a moral injustice of the first order”—let me ask this basic question: Do you believe that there is a federal constitutional right to samesex marriage?

Answer: There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

b. Have you ever expressed your opinion whether the federal Constitution should be read to confer a right to same-sex marriage? If so, please provide details.

Answer: I do not recall ever expressing an opinion on this question.

Since gay marriage has been thrusted into the political limelight again, Jacobson has resurrected his posts about Kagan from three years ago.  Now, when Jacobson posted about Kagan’s remarks, he was criticized by some conservatives, including Hot Air’s Allahpundit, over the semantics.  National Review’sMaggie Gallagher went a bit further, and called Jacobson’s post “shameful.”  Thankfully, Gallagher’s colleague at National Review, Ed Whelan, provided Jacobson with her letter to then-Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pennsylvania) at the time to clarify the issue.

In a March 18, 2009 letter (embedded below, at pp. 11-12), which is not publicly available but which Whelan kindly provided to me, Kagan supplemented her written answers at the request of Arlen Specter. Here is the language in the letter seized upon by my critics to show that Kagan really didn’t mean what she said, and really just was opining as to the current state of the law:

Constitutional rights are a product of constitutional text as interpreted by courts and understood by the nation’s citizenry and its elected representatives. By this measure, which is the best measure I know for determining whether a constitutional right exists, there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

These sentences do make it seem as if Kagan walked away from her prior written statement that “[t]here is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”

But these sentences are not the full supplemental response. Immediately preceding these sentences was the following language:

I previously answered this question briefly, but (I had hoped) clearly, saying that “[t]here is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.” I meant for this statement to bear its natural meaning.

When the full supplemental statement by Kagan is read in context, there is nothing to suggest that Kagan was walking away from her written statement that there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Of additional interest is that when the Massachusetts Supreme Court found a state constitutional right to same-sex marriage, 18 Harvard Law School professors signed onto an amicus [i.e., friend of the court] brief supporting that ruling. But not Kagan.

Now, it’s Justice Kagan, and I wonder if she still thinks that “there is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”  Then again, she could just hop on the bandwagon like everyone else.   Sorry Politico, but this is the real ‘gotcha‘ story.

(H/T Legal Insurrection)

Elena Kagan March 18, 2009 Letter to Arlen Specter

Gay Rights Debate Reaches the Supreme Court

by Jeremy Griffith

HRC symbol appearing on Facebook promoting gay marriage issue

HRC symbol appearing on Facebook promoting gay marriage issue

Have you noticed a strange symbol showing up on the Internet, especially Facebook? There is a red block with two pink horizontal and parallel bars showing up on FB to replace people’s profile pics. This symbol is an alteration of the more commonly seen emblem of the Human Rights Commission, an organization that supports gay rights, (normally seen as two gold parallel horizontal bars on a purple field). There is an article today in HuffPo that explains this very thing.

The reason for the promotion of this symbol is to show support for gay marriage nationwide as the controversial Proposition 8 is being discussed in the Nation’s Supreme Court. This California Law is the legally binding law, approved of by the voting public of California defining marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman, effectively banning the relationship of any other type.

Now, let’s get this straight, I am not in favor of gay marriage of any type, as I am a Christian and I believe in what the Bible has to say on this issue. I will never be in favor of gay rights per say. Whenever homosexuality or any sexual perversion is mentioned in the Bible, bad things happen, (regardless of straight or gay). But from a purely intellectual standpoint, I understand and respect what the gay lobby is trying to do.

Currently, no one is being treated substantially different under the current law of California. Gay people have the same rights as straight couples; they have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Of course, that’s not what they want. What they want is special treatment to marry someone of the same sex, which is a special status not currently allowed.

HRC's normal symbol often seen as a bumper sticker.

HRC’s normal symbol often seen as a bumper sticker.

Now from a strictly libertarian viewpoint, I don’t really care if gay people are allowed to get married or not. I don’t approve of that type of relationship, but who am I to judge my neighbor, as long as he is not picking my pocket or breaking my leg. I understand that the gay couple wants the same benefits from the government that I would get as a straight person, which include but are not limited to: a) passing on of employment benefits to a domestic partner, b) the privilege to adopt a child, c) the right to visit a sick domestic partner in the hospital without interference from other blood relatives.

These are admirable goals, which I think can be achieved outside of declaring sanction of gay marriage. Why shouldn’t gay couples have these benefits along with any straight couple? Clearly the states can enact specific laws regarding these very complex social issues.

Here is the slippery slop now. I work at the Mayo Clinic. Under current policy the Clinic accepts living wills or powers of attorney for patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses, and it tries to honor those. However, the Clinic will usurp that power of attorney or living will if a blood relative of the patient objects, negating the will of the patient. This is unacceptable whether we’re talking about straight or gay patients, this should not be. If I have gone through the effort to make my will known, why should anyone else, relative or not, be able to simply usurp my will while I lay helpless my deathbed? If you’re gay or straight, it doesn’t matter. Everyone should have their close friends by their side when dealing with a life-threatening or terminal disease. The right of the suffering patients should be considered above that of any other, period!

Obviously we should strengthen the force of powers of attorney and medical directives.

As for the adoption issue, I am fully in favor of letting gay couples adopt so long as social services is being involved. There is no evidence that I have seen that shows that a gay couple is any more or less prone to abuse a child than a straight family. I would rather see a child get a good home than remain wards of the state. Social service involvements can oversee parents, regardless of sexuality, to determine that the child is indeed being received by a safe and stable home.

Then there is the issue of employee and social services benefits. I am all in favor of employers extending benefits to same sex couples, but here again there is a slippery slope. Should the employer have to extend benefits to Muslim or Mormon families where there are multiple wives, multiplying the cost to the employer per the number of beneficiaries? Isn’t that discrimination? Is it fair to the employer?

I think that if we are going to recognize one type of relationship, then we are excluding the others. If we open up the definition of marriage, then we open a barrel of monkeys that will be hard to close. I believe that the employers should extend benefits to one spouse only, to the exclusion of relationships of multiple beneficiaries. But here is where the state can enact laws, with the consent of their citizens, to determine the details.

I have no objection to the individual states enacting laws that make sense to their voters. What I do object to is robed elites at the appellate and Supreme Court levels usurping the will of the voter. Let the people decide what’s best for them and let the courts mind their own business.

The only reason for the court involvement is that this loud and vocal minority cannot be satisfied and must usurp the will of the majority by going over their heads to the appellate and supreme courts. In my view, these courts have no authority to usurp these laws; their only jurisdiction is to determine whether the laws enacted are constitutional. I’ve read the constitution; I don’t think there is any reference there to marriage, gay or otherwise. The only logical decision the courts can do is kick back these lawsuits and let the legislatures do their jobs. But they won’t because there is a certain power and prestige that comes with the judge’s robe and they like to use it to their benefit. The minority concerns like the gay lobby make use of this fact. As long as judges are allowed to legislate from the bench, the will of the majority will be meaningless.

And why should the state be involved in endorsing marriage in the first place? Have we had enough of the nanny state as it is? Why should I as a single person be punished for remaining single while married people get tax breaks (or penalties in some states)? Isn’t this the federal government picking winners and losers? I have an idea, let’s treat everyone the same, with a flat income tax, starting at incomes of $20k or more that taxes everyone at the same rate. Wouldn’t that be fair? No winners or losers, everyone treated the same. Perhaps that’s an issue for another column.

All in all I believe this is a 10th Amendment issue. States have the right, with the consent of their citizens, to determine what laws to enact in their state, and as long as those laws don’t break the constitutional standard, they should remain issues of the state. Where the constitution is silent on an issue, so too should be the court.

Jimmy LaSilvia of GOProud.

Jimmy LaSilvia of GOProud.

I recognize there will be debate even among conservatives and libertarians in regard to this issue. I welcome polite interface with people of differing opinions. My friends at GOProud for instance might have a different take. I respect their opinion. It annoys me that my friend Jimmy LaSilvia and his organization were barred from attending CPAC. As a conservative, I think there is room for debate on these very controversial issues. What there isn’t room for in the Republican and Conservative circles is hatred and name calling. That is reserved for the lockstep Liberals and Progressives. It suits their narrow-mindedness and low tolerance.

Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

chocolate-covered-pretzels

It can be argued that one of the most important and treasured cultural aspects in the Black community is our faith. We are overwhelmingly  Christian.

The church has played a key role in our cultural and spiritual development almost from the time our ancestors were first dragged here in chains. At times, God and His church were all Black Americans had to cling to in the darkest oppressions. Even as we have moved from segregation to freedom we have always held fast to the tenants of God’s Word, and as a result we are largely socially conservative as a group. However, when it comes to our votes we don’t seem to carry that same adherence to our faith to the polls.

The official platform of the Democrat party embraces gay marriage, while the Black community sees this as antithetical to God’s Word.

Despite being only 12% of the population and representing over 35% of abortions, the majority of Black Americans still believe life is God-given; and yet the Democrat platform endorses abortion.

Record unemployment in Black communities and America in general, 47 million Americans receiving food stamps, skyrocketing energy prices and a debt that threatens to topple the country seem to have very little effect on Black Christians – by all indications they are still solidly in Obama’s camp.

Some say it is because they are uncomfortable with Romney’s Mormon faith, some genuinely believe that he (and his party) is racist and would roll back civil rights.

Some say that things really will get better if we just hang on a little longer and don’t change horses mid-race. My father-in-law, Victor Davis (a conservative Black pastor who served his community of Gary, IN for over 40 years) told me this: “I had coined the phrase “Chocolate Covered Pretzels”  to describe many of the “African-American church folk” after Obama made his endorsement of Homosexual Marriage. That represented to me the theological twisting and bending that they would go through to find a way to support their “black president-brother-man” and sadly that is what I hear and see more and more of.

Some are not able to differentiate between what a man “says he believes” and what a man legislates or enforces in the way of policies and laws. Even the unbeliever (Cyrus Ezra 6:4) can lead a nation in righteous decrees and provide an atmosphere in which the Gospel has freedom to be proclaimed and practiced (1 Tim 2:1-4) without restraint. However to contrast that, is when the “so-called believer” legislates Antichrist/laws, along with upholding the killing of God conceived babies and then work to restrict the “faith practices” of clear scriptural teaching, then that ” believer” is in direct conflict with the Kingdom purpose of God (that His will would be done on earth as it is in Heaven)”

I want to ask this question specifically to my Black Christian brothers and sisters: Do your political loyalties represent your faith? When you go vote on Tuesday, will you be voting as a “Chocolate-covered pretzel” or a participant in the Kingdom of God?

I know what’ I’ll be doing.

crossposted at kiradavis.net

When in Doubt – Call in Al Gore

Now, bear in mind that the Dems will undoubtedly claim that Al Gore came out on this all by himself, without any prompting from them. Could actually be the truth. But, other than a really massive grudge against America for 2000, why would Gore bother bringing this up now?

simone.brunozzi (CC)


Abolishing the Electoral College system is brought up from time to time. It’s usually dismissed out of hand, and should be this time. The only useful thing to consider here is the fact that Gore is bringing it up at a point when it makes absolutely no sense – not that he’s known for making sense, that is.

So, if we’re running on the premise that there is some prompting from the Dems here, what does that mean about their strategy going forward? Yes, they will be going for whatever they can to keep the spotlight off the economy, and Obama’s massive failures in general. But, does this also mean that the Obama camp might be thinking that their only hope is to rely on the popular vote?

It’s no secret that the Obama camp is in near panic mode, begging for money at least once daily via email, and any other way it can. And then there’s the situation with Hillary Clinton. In case you missed it, she’s going to the Cook Islands for a very important conference with a bunch of nominal nations that rely heavily on the U.S. for many things – like trade – but rarely show up in the headlines here unless there’s some sort of atrocity or natural disaster there. Yep, that’s MUCH more important than the DNC next week! Needless to say, people aren’t even bothering to whisper that this is probably to protect Hillary as much as possible from Obama fallout in 2016 – they’re shouting it from the rooftops at this point.

So what’s a floundering presidential campaign to do when it can’t manage to fill venues for its “coming out party”? Well, it could invite 20,000 Muslims. Why not? It’s not like the folks of Charlotte weren’t already annoyed with the Dem party endorsing gay marriage – sure, they didn’t vote to make such unions absolutely illegal, right?

If you’re getting lost here, my point is that the Obama camp has sunk so low at this point, throwing Al Gore in the mix couldn’t possibly make it worse, could it? I think maybe we should ask Clint Eastwood’s version of Obama on that one – at least we’ll get a more intelligent answer! But, here’s to Al Gore, for bringing up yet another non-issue to distract everyone. Next!

Gay Marriage, What’s at Stake for America

right and wrong II

Gay marriage.  Right or wrong?

According to Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy and many Americans of faith, the Bible has the final word.  Marriage = man and woman.  End of story.

This simple statement, and still widely held belief, has infuriated homosexual activists and become a focal point of the culture war that is engulfing America.  Gay marriage zealots, who claim to preach tolerance and love, instead hurl insults and openly wish financial ruin, injury or death upon anyone who dares to support a biblical definition of marriage.  The preachers of tolerance themselves have become wildly intolerant.  Accusing others of “hate” while in the same breath spewing forth a cocktail of profanity ridden vitriol, they become the very thing that they rail against.

Purveyors of hate and intolerance.

It’s an ugly scene.  Volatile.  And it’s going to get worse.

The proponents of gay marriage claim that their struggle is about equal rights, equal treatment under the law and the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

But, the issue is not about equality.

It’s not about rights.

It’s about right and wrong.  The question of morality.

Who will define it and by what moral standard should we, as a nation, live?

Ultimately, almost every law has a moral component to it.  Some more than others.  Since long before 1776, the colonies and their inhabitants looked to a single source for their understanding of right and wrong.

The Bible.

The American Revolution itself was kindled by the contradiction between the actions of King George III and the pronouncements of Scripture.  A simple reading of the Declaration of Independence confirms this in its most recognizable passage. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It was a radical statement for the time.  Rooted in biblical truth.

“…all men are created equal…”.  A not-so-veiled swipe at the superiority of the Monarchy and the institution of slavery.  The statement is drawn from numerous passages of Scripture that clearly indicate that we are all viewed equally in the sight of God.  We are all equally accountable to our Maker.

“…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”.  A clear declaration that all rights descend to all men from God, not from the throne and not by edict from any ruler or institution of man.  Anyone who tramples on those rights is guilty of an offense to God and man.

While early America’s view of morality and law was certainly based on biblical principles, it took 89 years for the nation to end the cruel and immoral practice of slavery.  Once again, as in the Revolution, the effort was led by people of the Bible—Christian abolitionists—and paid for by the blood of over 600,000 Americans.

It’s clear that Americans have always looked to the Bible as the source of moral teaching.  It’s part of our national heritage.  It’s in the American DNA.  It’s who we are.  It crafted our nation and our national identity.  One cannot understand America without understanding the role that the Bible has played in our development as a nation and as a people.  Over time, our nation has begun to stray from its biblical roots, but in large part the people of the nation still view morality from a biblical perspective—even if they are not aware of it.

So, is gay marriage moral?  Is it morally equivalent to the marriage of a man and woman and therefore deserving of the same status, rights and benefits?

Proponents say “yes,” that America has evolved beyond our dependency on the Bible as the source of truth and morality.   They believe that our laws should reflect the moral behavior of the current culture.

For gay marriage supporters and their Democrat party brethren, truth and morality are moving targets and are dependent upon the whims of society at any given moment.  In reality, what they advocate is a world where absolute truth does not exist and morality is determined by the behavior of the masses.

This is the horror of moral relativism.  And it is incredibly dangerous.

History is filled with examples of nations and peoples ruled by “of the moment” morality, whether it was imposed by executive order or simply embraced as the common, everyday behavior of the average person.

Dictators have murdered millions in the name of their own twisted moralities.  Nations have descended into decay and disorder as an unquenchable thirst to fulfill every human desire spread like a cancer, corroding cultures and shattering civil societies.

America, on the other hand, has been the greatest success story the world has ever known.  Rising from obscurity to become the dominant economic, military and cultural powerhouse of the world.  Why is that?

Is it our political or economic system?  The strength of our military?  Not so, say Chinese researchers.  According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, an official government institution, Christianity is where our strength lies.  “…Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful.  The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.”

In other words, America is successful because of our biblical heritage.  Our Christian culture and society.

Will America continue as a nation that draws its sense of morality from a biblical perspective or are the concepts of “right” and “wrong” simply to be determined by ballot or public opinion?

If the Democrat party and gay marriage advocates are successful in enacting gay marriage laws throughout the country, we will have started down a road of ruin where morality is not determined by any objective standard, but by political tactics, advertising and relentless publicity campaigns.

We will be vulnerable to continued attempts to define morality downward in an ever expanding search for unlimited personal freedom and the “right” to do all that we might imagine.  The freedom and right to do anything and everything that the human heart desires will drive our understanding of right and wrong, effectively removing “wrong” from the equation altogether.

Unleashed from our archaic understanding of biblical morality, we will then be free to express our darkest desires under the protection of law and with broad, societal acceptance.  We will be emancipated.  Free to live as animals do, without regard to our Creator and without concern for such things as decency, goodness and honor.  Our moral code will be limited only by the cravings of our corrupted hearts.

This is what the gay marriage issue is really about.

What is right and what is wrong.

The moral code upon which our society shall rise, or fall.

If that code is cracked, we are in great peril indeed.

 

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