Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Attacking the Arguments Against Same Sex Marriage

I am tired of hearing the same, simple-minded arguments against same-sex marriage that on their face are easy to discredit. Give me something real.

Today, former Bush-administration Solicitor General Ted Olson announced that he'll be co-counsel on Federal case about same-sex marriage. He is joining former rival David Boies, from the infamous Bush v. Gore case. On the blog where I read the story, some folks are arguing against same-sex marriage. Let's look at what they have to say:
Homosexual men can marry....women. Homosexual women can How are they not equal to heterosexuals?
You are right! But how does that defend the sanctity of a 5,000 year-old institution. I can enter into a fully-legal godless, sexless, loveless marriage with a militant and promiscuous lesbian so that she can get my health insurance, but I can't marry a man I love? What purpose does civil marriage then serve?
If the people, as expressed by vote or legislature, decide to change the legal definition of marriage, then that is like other legal definitions. When a court changes definitions in violation of 3000 years of jurisprudence, that is tyranny, and the government will have chosen to devolve its legitimacy.
And yet, we survived when they did the very thing in 1967 in the Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia. Until that day, anti-miscegenation laws were on the books throughout the south banning interracial marriage. The vast majority of Southerners supported those laws and yet the Supreme Court invalidated them because they clearly violated the Constitution. And today, all rational people support the idea that race should not be a legal barrier to race.
Marriage has many aspects, but one essential factor is the ability, or at least the latent potential, for a male and a female to join together and produce children, whether it is actualizable potential or not. Produce children via sexual reproduction. A man can not EVER do this with another man, nor can a woman with another woman. CASE CLOSED.
Very true. This is why we don't allow post-menopausal senior citizens to marry. Or cancer survivors who were subjected to radiation treatment. Maybe we don't want marriage because I hear the mandatory fertility tests are quite onerous. This is just about the stupidest among stupid arguments, the least among lessers. Marriage is not about procreation and hasn't been since the advent of modern medicine. A state that demands procreative ability is a totalitarian state that should be feared.
Ted Olson has a broken logic switch in his brain. No one is telling homosexuals they can't get together and enjoy whatever perversities they want, it is just existentially impossible for a man to marry a man or a woman a woman. Ted Olson thinks King Canute was wrong! Stay out, tide! The physical laws of the universe don't apply, here!
Perversities. This is where their agruments truly lie. They hate us because we are different. They fear us because we are different. They are lazy parents who don't want to explain differences to their children. They are dangerous leaders who want to drive apart our civilization. They long for the days when man would lord over another man. Equality is profane to them.

If you have a better reason, then tell me!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I really want you to march tonight. I want you to do everything you can to march tonight. I want you to leave work early, call out sick, or quit your job so you can march tonight. I want you to cancel plans or change them so you can march tonight. I want you to ask all of your friends and family to march tonight.

Taking to the streets will not change the election of November or the Supreme Court decision today. It won't give us marriage equality and fix a glaring hole in our experiment with democracy.

Marching also won't prohibit firing gay people just because they are gay in the 20 states where that is legal.

Marching won't extend the shield of the Hate Crimes Prevention Laws in the 19 states that don't protect sexual minorities.

Marching won't end the constant bullying that leads to a suicide rate among queer teens that is 3 times their straight peers.

Marching won't get you a date. (Okay, it just might!)

But it will send a message to California and the nation that the time is coming and dawn will break. Marching will tell the opponents of equality that we have you in our sights and will defeat you. Marching will show our elected leaders that we are serious about change, and that hope alone will no longer carry them to victory. Marching will bring you together with thousands of like minded individuals that need you by their side.

And tonight, during the 11:00 PM news, countless young, gay teenagers will tune in. They will see thousands of us walking in solidarity with them. One of those young teens might be a quiet young man from Woodmere, New York who will lead a city in finding its identity. (Harvey Milk) A young college student who feels so alone that he tried to kill himself might read about us in tomorrow's paper and know that he has a voice for a generation of gay men. (Larry Kramer) Or maybe a middle-class kid from the suburbs who secretly saves TIME Magazine issues with gay stories and scans MTV in the middle of the night to see if there are other gay people will see us on one of his favorite blogs. (Me!)

Please, come out tonight.

May 26: Black Tuesday

Today, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in the case about the constitutional validity of Proposition 8. The court made a Solomon's Decision, upholding the ban while maintaining that the marriages performed during those 5 months in 2008 are legal.

This is an issue that I am passionate about. And as the news unfolds today, I will have countless conversations with people about the decision. It will be difficult to comprehend my feelings on so many levels, but I want to preserve my thoughts from today.

So in a very meta blog post, I am going to copy some of the more important exchanges I have online today, including dialogs from Facebook postings.

Starting at 10:00 AM:

Brian Davis SHAME


Christopher Cole Shame on California. I am so grateful that I now live in Connecticut.

Brian Davis Shame on me? No offense, but f*ck you. I worked hard and care passionately. Shame on the people that voted yes. Shame on leaders -- National (um... President Obama) and local (um... the entire weak-willed Democratic Caucus) who couldn't make this state a priority. Who couldn't demonstrate real leadership, and who live in an echo chamber where ... Read Morethey treated the No on 8 campaign like it was an HIV Prevention campaign. And shame on the people that don't live here acting like they are lucky to have their full rights under the law.

Every queer and queer loving American has an obligation to take to the streets and make sure that our rights don't take a backseat to Union membership drives, the right to choose, or the right to own a godd*mn gun. And not just today, but every day until there is real change and not just change for less than 3% of the country.


Nicole C. Curran Sad day for CA, however there is so much more work to be done on all levels to fight for equality.

Brian DavisLike getting rid of the idiots that got us here in the first place... starting with our side.

Lauran Huff is officially a member of a minority within a minority

Brian DavisI love you dearly and still find it revolting that California now has a third faction, a special class. The compromise is so not inspired by the law but appeasing voters that it is truly shameful.

However, if you decided to have kids and are looking for a Godfather, I am a good one with 4 godchildren already. Likely my only chance to be part of a legal queer family. :)


Mckenna Poole Unbelievable. I'm ashamed to be a Californian.

Brian DavisLet's fix it! It's not our fault. It's the ignorant f*cktards on both sides who lost this for us. Let them eat cake, from the bottom of a basket.


Brian Davis What to think of friends that post cute funny news articles at the moment that you are having your dignity stripped from you by the California Supreme Court? Oh yeah... MORONS!


Christopher Cole to Brian Davis: Are you California, Mr. Davis? No offense taken, but I'm certainly not shaming the people, but the state, the institution that should stand for all, for equality, for justice

Brian DavisBe clear in who is too blame:

A weak progressive majority in Sacramento that has pulled out this issue just for campaign contributions.

A tonedeaf leadership in the queer community who are so far in the closet that they couldn't take a 30 year-old lesson about empowerment.

A intellectually uncurious community who throws millions to groups like HRC, GLAAD and Lorri Jean while Lambda Legal uses donated desks and does the real heavy lifting.

A president who took millions out of this state but didn't have the simple integrity to stand along side us in this fight.

A once-bold Supreme Court who once spoke out clearly on the side of justice, and yet seemed to pull together a decision based more on political popularity and job security (the lesson of Rose Bird) wrapped in the guise of the Constitution.

And a nation of queers who can't make a protest because they have dinner reservations.

But it's not the state of California's fault, and the responsibly spreads from sea to sea.


Bruce McFarland If we want the population to wholeheartedly support marriage equality, voters need to make it clear that they support it. It shouldn’t be forced upon them by judges after Californians voted to remove the rights of some individuals. Let’s do it again, and this time, let’s make sure everyone joins the campaign for marriage equality. It’s a fight worth waging, and the victory at the ballot box will be sweeter.

Brian Davis Easy to say. Harder to type with that ring finger being weighted down.

We don't need the populations to "wholeheartedly support" marriage equality. We need the LAW to support it. As it should, and as our constitution dictates.

On May 15, 2008, the Supreme Court said denying marriage equality violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Today, the clause is in tact in the Constitution but somehow I am a second class citizen.

I don't need the voters to interpret the Constitution. We have a mechanism for that. And the Court should protect the minority that one year ago needed protection.

Many in some parts of the country still don't "wholeheartedly support" the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, or Affirmative Action programs. That doesn't make them any less the law.


Brian Davis This is the way the law works in California, from Justice Carlos Moreno's dissenting opinion:

"The question before us is not whether the language inserted into the California Constitution by Proposition 8 discriminates against same-sex couples and denies them equal protection of the law; we already decided in the Marriage Cases that it does."

We have a constitution, which on it's face, discriminates.


Nicole C. Curran CA Broke our hearts today, but gave us the strength to fight for equality.

Brian DavisIt's a great spot, but what is the Courage Campaign's actual media plan? Really? A 60-second spot? I really think this is a fundraising ploy. Which is fine, but I want to know what the money is going to be used for...

Equality California, Lorri Jean, and the whole No on 8 people did this to me once already!


Andrew Lachman I hope to see everyone at Santa Monica & San Vicente today at 5

Eli Lipmen LipschultzI will be there in spirit.

Brian DavisWhy not in reality? Imagine if the Freedom Riders, the marchers in Selma, or those on the Capitol said, "Well, I have dinner plans" or "an important conference call." One more voice saying, "If not today, when?" and standing with their brothers and sisters will echo through history.

With the news cameras overhead, sending shots of tens of thousands instead of hundreds might get people to pay attention.

At the least, think of the quiet, gay 13 year old at home tonight in Bakersfield or San Bernadino. When he watches the news before closing his eyes, he'll know that others are marching for him.


Brian Davis So this is what HOPE smells like? Where is some real CHANGE I can believe in? (NOTE: This is from almost 3 hours after the announcement. In almost 3 hours, Robert Gibbs didn't hear a peep about the decision from the President?)


Megan Kakita Hirsch thinks it's time to move out of California...what's next, banning inter-racial marriages?

Brian DavisImagine if we had some national leader whose parents marriage would've been denied in most states, who could stand up and speak out on this issue?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sanctity of Marriage, My A$%!

The Right has used the "sanctity of marriage," "a 5,000 year-old tradition," and all the bunk to deny equal rights to a significant population.

Britney Spears enters into a completely legal 50 hour marriage. Still sacred.

Rev. Ted Haggard does blow off a male hookers six-pack abs while the wifey sits at home knitting. Still sacred.

Very married Senator David Vitter comes up with his family values campaign strategy while diapered up by a DC madam. Still sacred.

Newt Gingrich serves his dying wife divorce papers in a hospital so he can shack up with his young new girlfriend. Still sacred.

Bill Clinton gets a blowjob in the Oval Office from a twenty-something intern, and he's ready to be on the frontlines "Defending Marriage."

This isn't institution, it's a business interest. A campaign issue for the Right, despite the very real impact on human lives. Our leaders in Washington treat it like a joke. At least some get that it's just a sophisticated game of volleyball, throwing around ideas and hoping one will land.

Now GOP "Leader" Michael Steele debunks all the sanctity and tradition by being brutally honest... it's all about the money. He's trying out the line that Same-sex Marriage will hurt small business because of the costs of benefits and family burdens. So, not only is he trying to deny gay Americans equal rights under the law, but now he wants to deny us equal pay for the work we do.

This was never about the holiness of marriage or preserving tradition. The Republican Party is preying on naive Americans and their fear of people that are different to win votes, power, and money.

Monday, February 02, 2009

How does evil happen?

I am watching another Nazi movie. This one is a few years older than the surplus we've seen come out over the past 2 months. (I still recommend you see Defiance, if only because it's a little different and my friend Troy worked on it.) Probably because they are supposed to, but I can't help think watching the film, "How does evil happen?"

Not bad, things. I firmly believe that sometimes, bad things just happen. Yesterday, I hit my head three times -- once so bad I fell to the ground -- but I don't blame an absent deity or spiritual forces. Sometimes, you just hit your head.

But how does evil happen? How do a few people lay out a plot so reprehensible that it turns most of the world away, but manages to rally a buffer of support? How does the Holocaust happen? How does something like the Armenian genocide slip by, even considered fictitious by some? What forces must line up together for slavery, or apartheid, or internment to occur?

Personally, Proposition 8 is reprehensible but what about teenage boys being hung in crowded squares to cheers because they are gay? Religions that speak in favor of violence and bloodletting?

How does evil happen?

Are we each culpable? What is happening in the world today, as I type this, that makes me ashamed of my shared humanity? I feel like I need to do something, something big, but I don't know how. I wonder if this is what good hearted Germans felt in 1938 as their government slipped away from them, or the eloquent but not-battle ready abolitionists of the nineteenth century.

UPDATED: What would you be willing to do in the face of evil? I can't help but think that if the Vatican stood up to Hitler, and called on the world's Catholics not to submit, then a difference could've been made. But would you be willing to trade the peaceful life, the easy answer? Knowing death is imminent, or poverty, or your good name was at risk, would you speak out or take action or lead for change? A bumper sticker won't do it. Would you stand outside a Church or City Hall or Television station and speak the truth?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Come Dance with Me

As the evening settles on this monumental day, the criticism is rising and the opposition is gaining its strength. Those who didn’t vote for our new president, upset with the new paradigm in Washington, are starting their grumbling, calling him a false-prophet, and rallying on their side. They are tired of the hyperbolic praise and can’t seem to understand why we are excited.

Eight years ago, like much of the nation, we were numb from a controversial election and many of us weren’t content with the method by which it was settled. We were told by our candidate that the country would heal and we should move forward. We tried.

But that new president wasted no time scouring the country for ideologues bent on a new American century of impearlism and dominance. That president surrounded himself with advisors and secretaries that only saw things in the extremes of black and white, free of the burden of nuance and intellectual curiosity. But he was our president.

The administration laid the foundation for a financial disaster, committing generations to the debt of the day. A $300 check bought our souls for the benefit of a few. No thought to perpetuity was paid, just $300 and a smirk. The earliest accomplishments were tax cuts assailed by many in the administration’s own party – including the man who would carry the banner 8 years later.

He erased diplomacy in our own halls of democracy and his administration brought vulgarity to the floor of the United States Senate.

On September 11, when our nation and democracy was attacked and as the world rallied to our side, the administration played a game of bait and switch and set the stage for an unending war. Our cities were targets that day. All Americans lost something. Freedom itself was wounded, but the response was to turn the Federal guns inward.

The goodwill of the world was used against itself. We were misled into a war. A media, desperate for a seat at the table, bought WMDs, a Coalition of the Willing, and UN Resolutions to be ignored.

We tried to stay together.

And when a war didn’t consolidate power, when weapons went unfound and causes exposed as figments of powerful imaginations, they turned on us.

They wanted to see what we look at in libraries or who we talk to on our phones. They wanted to read our emails. They wanted to hunt us out.

For me, it got most personal when we our patriotism was questioned and our families pilloried. Gay people were painted with the same brush as pedophiles and traitors. We were labeled a threat of the most serious nature. They promoted a stain on the Constitution and used us to score cheap political points. And their strategy seemed to work.

The next targets were working people who sought protection under the law. Property owners were targeted for big box stores and the minimum wage jobs that stuff them. And we were told that the greatest threat to our lifestyle was a fat, bearded man from Flint, Michigan.

And the Democrats, the opposition, the lone voice in the wilderness chose to remain silent in the hope of not making too large a target and squeak by with insignificant victories.

A few rose up during this time. Some spoke of 2 Americans. Or a need to take our country back. Some reminisced and longed for anything from Hope. And one man, stood tall, and embraced and channeled that hope.

Yes, that man, our new president, speaks pretty. Yes, we don’t know what the next 4 years will hold. Yes, the challenges are huge. But if you wish ill will in the first 24 hours, if you don’t think you belong at the party, if must sulk in the shadows off the dance floor, it’s not because we don’t want you. We our proud of our new president, full of hope for what might be, and tired… dog tired… of being torn apart.

Come, dance in the sun with us. Engage us in spirited debate without the rhetoric spewing from talk radio. Hold to your values and seek to persuade us. But give us this day. Come, dance with me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What Makes It A Civil Rights Issue?

Mike Huckabee is Ignorant to Violence Against Gays

Yesterday, former Arkansas Governor and Republican Presidential Preacher Candidate Mike Huckabee was on The View. While talking about the election, Huckabee slipped in a little gem about the gay rights movement, declaring that marriage equality is not a civil right and what we are engaged is in not the same as the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. How does he decided what defines a civil rights struggle?


Fire hoses, beatings, police brutality, and murders defined the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, in the eyes of Rev. Huck. According to his understanding, he made the assertion – that went unaddressed by the ladies of The View – that gay men and women just aren’t in the same struggle.

How many more gay people need to die before it becomes a “civil rights” struggle? Governor Huckabee is apprarently ignorant to the horrific recent history of violence against gay people in the United States. We don’t need to go back decades. Moses “Tiesch” Cannon was murdered last week in an anti-gay attack.

In 1973, 32 people were killed when a gay bar was set on fire in New Orleans. This was after the Civil Rights movement. After Stonewall.

In 1978, Harvey Milk – one of the first openly gay elected officials in the nation – was shot and killed in San Francisco City Hall. A bloody line of gay people follows.

In 1982, Rick Hunter and John Hanson were savagely attack outside a gay bar. ER employees testified that the police repeated called the men “queers” and “sissies” while they were being treated for their injuries.

Brandon Teena was brutally raped and murdered in 1993 because he was transgendered. His story was portrayed in the film, Boys Don’t Cry.

The Otherside Lounge was bombed by Eric Robert Rudolph in 1997. Five bar patrons were injured. Eric Robert Rudolph was the “Olympic Park Bomber” who also target a women’s health center.

In October 1998, Matthew Shepard was driven out to a remote field, savagely beaten, and left to die. His murderers capitalized on their fame with an ABC 20/20 interview during which they suddenly changed their story and claimed the murder was a robbery – despite the fact that Matthew had nothing but his shoes taken from him and his home was left undisturbed.
In 2000, Ronald Gay stormed into a gay bar in Virginia and opened fire, killing Danny Overstreet and injuring 6 others.

In 2005, three-year-old Ronnie Paris died from brain injuries. His father repeatedly bullied his son, beating him, hoping to toughen him up out of fears he would grow up to be a sissy.

In 2005, a Jamaican mob chased down an anonymous gay man. Afraid of the crowd, the man jumped into the water and drowned.

In 2006, Jacob Robida entered a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts with a hatchet and attack customers. At least three sustained injuries.

Duanna Johnson, a transgender woman, was beaten and called a “faggot” and “he-she” repeatedly while in police custody in February 2008. Just this month, she was found dead, after being gunned down, lying in the street.

Lawrence King was shot dead in a classroom by a classmate in Oxnard, California in February 2008. Larry was murdered because he appeared gay and liked to wear make-up.

In case Mike Huckabee needs more violence before becoming concerned, I believe we should all remember some of these victims of anti-gay hate crimes: Terry Knudsen, 1979; Les Benscoter, 1979; Charlie Howard, 1984; Rebecca Wight, 1988; James Zappalorti, a Vietnam Veteran, 1990; Julio Rivera, 1990; Paul Broussard, 1991; Scott Amedure, 1995; Roxanne Ellis and Michelle Abdill, 1995; Jeff Whittington, 1999; PFC Barry Winchell, 1999; Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder, 1999; Steen Fenrich, 1999; Arthur “JR” Warren, 2000; Aaron Webster, 2001; Fred Martinez, 2001; Nizah Morris, 2002; Gwen Araujo, 2002; Sakia Gunn, 2003; Richie Phillips, 2003; Nireah Johnson and Brandie Coleman, 2003; Glenn Kopitske, 2003; Brian Williamson, 2004; FannyAnn Eddy, 2004; Daniel Fetty, 2004; Jason Gage, 2005; Jody Dobrowski, 2005; Michael Sandy, 2006; Roberto Duncanson, 2007; Sean William Kennedy, 2007; Steven Parrish, 2008; and Tony Randolph Hunter, 2008.

This violence comes from an attitude, a culture, that doesn’t respect or acknowledge gay people. When preachers like Mike Huckabee don’t value our relationships or individual humanity, his followers are left to interpret what is righteous. The slippery slope leads to a dark, lonely alley.

Opponents of marriage equality and gay civil rights are terrified to see “their” culture slipping away from them. For centuries, the majority has feared change and often acted in extreme measure to cling to their values. The crusades. The Inquisition. Salvery. Jim Crow. A half century ago, Americans stood up to cultural conservatives and demanded that they join the 20th century. These demands came from the courts and from marches in the streets. A “Southern” culture of segregation and supremacy was eliminated without a single vote cast at the ballot box.

But for some reason, we are resigned to allowing the majority exercise their will against gay people. We are satisfied with leaders like Governor Huckabee who are ignorant to the gentle lives snuffed out by violence. We are silent as we watch our fellow Americans relegated to second-class citizenship.

Contrary to what Governor Huckabee and the ladies of The View think, gay people are under assault every day. Until 2003, our private intimate lives were outlawed and subject to criminal prosecution in 13 states. Today, I could be fired from my job just for being gay in 31 states. I can be denied an apartment or a loan because I am gay. I can not legally fight our foreign enemies in service to this great nation without living a life of deception.

Opponents of gay rights fear the “promotion of homosexuality.” However, segregation sanctioned and endorsed by the government promotes fear itself. The irrational bigotry against gay people is supported by government policies that declare me to be less of a person. These policies, this attitude and culture, often leads to the violence that ends lives.

This month, America elected a President whose parents could not legally marry in 22 states in the year he was born. President-elect Barack Obama was born to an African father and white mother. We are told by Governor Huckabee that marriage is a 5,000 year institution that needs to be protected. This institution was one that outlawed the marriage of the parents of the future President in 22 states. Minds can change.

On the 40th Anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision, Mildred Loving left us with this:

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don't think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Missed Metaphors

At about 0:25:

If Barack Obama loses the election, it's not because of Bradley Effects and illegal voter purges. It'll because he screwed up the Top Gun metaphor.

Senator Obama's most recent, stinging criticism of John McCain is that he's been too close to President Bush. "You can't be a maverick when you are busy being a sidekick."

Sidekick is all wrong. It's WINGMAN! You can't be a maverick when you are too busying being a wingman!