Our nation’s capital–the swampland, the village, the District, DC–became the sixth place in the nation to recognize the importance of marriage equality as same-sex marriage became legal. Congratulations to the new couples in DC who have chosen to make their love official.
It was cold and drizzling outside the City Courthouse just after 6 a.m. on Wednesday, but no one seemed to mind among the same-sex couples waiting excitedly for the chance to apply for a marriage license.
“This is a dream come true,” said Sinjoyla Townsend, 41, as she smiled ear to ear and held up her ticket indicating she was first in line with her partner of 12 years, Angelisa Young, 47. “We wanted it so bad.”
Gay-rights advocates hailed the day as a milestone for equal rights and a symbolic victory as same-sex marriage became legal in the nation’s capital.
And shockingly, good for Chief Justice Roberts and his decision to reject a request from opponents of marriage equality to put the new law on hold. John Roberts sure is fabulous.
As the Republican House of Cards threatens to blow over from a strong wind of corruption and incompetence at the federal level, it’s easy to forget how important the many hotly contested gubernatorial contests are this year.
The prospect of more Democratic governors isn’t nearly as sexy as the idea of Democrats running one or both houses of Congress. Yet much of the progressive change that happens in America takes place at the state level.
Wisconsin and Ohio exemplify just how important gubernatorial elections can be to the culture and economic future of the States. Last night’s gubernatorial debate in Milwaukee was an impressive battle between two polished politicos: Governor Jim Doyle and Congressman Mark Green. One of Doyle’s most devastating arguments was his blunt warning that many researchers will simply look elsewhere for jobs if Mark green wins the election. Although Wisconsin is the original home of stem cell research, the Christianist wing of the GOP controls the state legislature. Mark Green tries to pretend he’s in favor of stem-cell research, but he’s a rabidly anti-choice candidate who opposes abortions even in the case of rape or incest, as well as any medical advances that Jerry Falwell wouldn’t approve of. Jim Doyle represents a high-tech future of medical progress; Mark Green promises only a Bible and more tax cuts for special interests to grow Wisconsin.
In Ohio, Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell is easily the most extreme candidate nominated for governor in the history of the state. Blackwell is militantly anti-gay and anti-choice; much of Ohio’s GLBT community will feel unable to stay if he wins. College professors who happen to be gay have already fled Ohio since voters passed a gay marriage ban in 2004. The constitutional amendment bans not only gay marriage but equal benefits to gay state employees. Luckily, since Democrat Ted Strickland has a double-digit lead in every poll taken, this shouldn’t come to pass.
Americans vote with their feet, and unless Ohio and Wisconsin go blue this fall, both states will be drained of some of their most economically productive citizens. Neither state’s economy can afford such a body blow.
National Public Radio’s Mara Liasson did a story on a hot button issue that could galvanize Democratic voters and turn them out in record numbers at the polls in the fall. The issue is the minimum wage. Democrats are and have always been the party of the people. We think of America as a family and when one member of the family is weak, it pulls the whole unit down. Republicans see it differently. They believe that it is best to engage and afford opportunity to those at the top, those who don’t need help and those who are doing okay on their own. They consider everyone else to be a drag on society.
Just like the Republicans were successful in driving up turnout in 2004 using the issue of gay marriage, the Democrats hope to capitalize on the issue of the minimum wage on state ballots across the country. Today, the federal minimum wage stands at $5.15 per hour. The majority of Americans feel that the minimum wage should be increased, but the Republicans in Congress disagree, theyâ€™d rather give tax cuts to the rich and wage pre-emptive wars around the world.
President Bill Clinton was out in Colorado speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival and he affirmed what we all believe. The Democrats will do well in November if they stick to the message and talk about issues that Americans care about.
Clinton also believes that the GOP strategy is weak; the whole idea of pandering to the GOP base by introducing legislation that is is bad for America is not going to do the job in the fall.
The Republican strategy is weak, he said.
â€œLetâ€™s forget about global warming and talk about flag burning and gay marriage,â€ Clinton said. â€œI donâ€™t know how long you can milk that old cow.â€
Democrats, he said, need to focus on their differences with the GOP and on promoting what they stand for. One of those things should be fighting climate change, he said.
Clinton said America is losing jobs and its economy is suffering without investment in the future of energy.
â€œThis decadeâ€™s new jobs are in clean energy, and we havenâ€™t seized them,â€ he said. â€œWe have a short time in the life of the planet to turn this around.â€
He said Democrats should seize on the opportunity to stress the national security angle of clean energy. He said climate change is a far more important issue than he thought when he was in office.
The Republican plan for America = stay the course in Iraq and ban gay marriage. I guess Americans will really have a BIG choice to make.
Can you spot the sentence? How does one become leader of the most deliberative (hah!) parliamentary body in the world when one can’t form a complete sentence? Transcript from Raw Story:
O’Brien defended CNN, “We are covering but I think there is — a lot of what you say there — Americans are not hearing that particular message. As the majority leader, isn’t that part of your job?”
Frist replied, “Well, you know, it’s part of my job and your job and your whole coming into this was, again, saying [from] Harry Reid that we are spending all of our time on marriage — which is important. That we’re spending all of the time on flag without mentioning what we’ve done of the floor for six weeks. Iraq, the war on terror, making you safer… where’s your coverage of that? What you do is concentrate on things that are spun to you from the other side of the aisle and that’s why that message doesn’t get out.”
The Republican Party in America today is dying and its leaders are engaged in a desperate attempt to excite the most hateful in their political base. At this moment in time, it may behoove them to read some of Sen. Barry Goldwater’s quotes from his long career as a far right-wing Republican leader from Arizona.
It’s amazing to me that even guys like Goldwater understood the hypocrisy in saying that you’re the party of self-determination and less intrusive government and still try to subjugate an entire portion of the population. It’s just crazy. Read some of these quotes from Goldwater to see how much this party has changed in the last 50 years. Most come from a speech that Goldwater delivered during this speech:
This is for you, Dad.
â€œWe have wasted enough precious time, money and talent trying to persecute and pretend. It’s time to stop burying our heads in the sand and denying reality for the sake of politics. It’s time to deal with this straight on and be done with it. It’s time to get on with more important business.â€
â€œThe rights that we have under the Constitution covers anything we want to do, as long as its not harmful. I can’t see any way in the world that being a gay can cause damage to somebody else.â€
â€œYou don’t need to be ’straight’ to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.â€
â€œThe conservative movement, to which I subscribe, has as one of its basic tenets the belief that government should stay out of people’s private lives. Government governs best when it governs least – and stays out of the impossible task of legislating morality. But legislating someone’s version of morality is exactly what we do by perpetuating discrimination against gays.â€
â€œBut most Americans should be shocked to know that while the country’s economy is going down the tubes, the military has wasted half a billion dollars over the past decade chasing down gays and running them out of the armed services.â€