Monday, May 4, 2015

The Lively Mobocracy, stirring in their own juices

As the hardcore haters announce another declaration of resistance to marriage equality- one supposes the upside is that even those most invested in the antigay cause have thrown in the towel- you can count on some to draw lessons from the French Revolution and up the ante:

[A]nti-LGBTQ activist Scott Lively announced that the only way to thwart marriage equality is with the “threat of the mob.” Lively is walking a line as like those who have come before – wanting people to take his call seriously, even as he characterizes it as but a metaphor.
“The elites need to see the angry mob – liberals and conservatives together – surging through the streets, pitchforks and torches held aloft, ready to tear down Frankenstein’s castle with their bare hands if need be. For Christians it’s Jesus and the moneychangers time!  Making a whip of cords like He did with His own hands, and letting these arrogant puppet-masters know we mean to use it (metaphorically speaking).”
“The only way to deter the elites is with the threat of the mob,” Lively concluded. “They need to see the pitchforks and torches to know they’ve gone too far and need to back down.”

There is an art to brushing with incitement to violence. It is an art with which the Far Right in the U.S. is very familiar. Anti-choice militants often engage, or threaten to engage, in activities that walk up to or actually transgress personal and property boundaries of many kinds, including violence. But we have also seen the federal courts recognize that threatening language can morph into a “true threat” – as happened in the case of American Coalition of Life Activists v. Planned Parenthood.

As attorney Maria Vullo told me in an interview in 2002, that the case did not harm freedom of speech. “When you cross over the line into threatening violence,” she says, “it’s not free speech.”

35 years, and they ain't learned nuthin'

Conor Williams at Talking Points Memo:

The Republican platform of 1980 stresses two themes that are not as harmonious as Republicans suppose. One is cultural conservatism. The other is capitalist dynamism. The latter dissolves the former. Capitalism undermines traditional social structures and values. Republicans see no connection between the cultural phenomena they deplore and the capitalist culture they promise to intensify.

Which is as pithy an analysis as you’ll get of the dilemma for Republicans who’d like to remake their movement. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign helped solidify the party’s demographic problem into a political narrative: “Republicans are the party of wealthy, white Americans.” They generally reify the market as a natural meritocracy and celebrate its winners above all others.

Republicans desperate to swap out these labels have offered a series of conservative proposals that support “traditional social structures” in the United States, policies that are purportedlypro-family” and/or “pro-middle-class.” But these efforts have repeatedly run up against the party’s core ideological commitments: protecting low tax rates for the wealthy and avoiding redistribution of resources to poor children and adults. As a result, each dramatic new reform unveiling has turned out to be substantively similar to past Republican efforts to redistribute wealth to the wealthy.

Or, to use Will’s framing from above, the Republicans keep siding with capitalism over families and the market over the middle class.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

"A cross section of a sliver"

In South Carolina, the circus didn't come to town this weekend, but the clown car did.

Jack and Crystal O'Connor won't sell them pizza. Barronelle Stutzman won't sell them flowers. Aaron and Melissa Klein won't sell them a wedding cake.

Vivian Boyack and Alice "Nonie" Dubes say it is never too late for people to write new chapters in their lives.
Surrounded by family and a small group of close friends, the two held hands as the Rev. Linda Hunsaker told the couple that, “This is a celebration of something that should have happened a very long time ago.”
The two met in Yale, Iowa, where they grew up, and moved to Davenport in 1947.
Boyack was a longtime teacher in Davenport, directing the lives of children at Lincoln and Grant elementary schools.
“I always wanted to be a teacher,” Boyack said Saturday after the ceremony. “My plan at an early age was to teach in the school where I was then going, and my teacher would move on to another school.”
Dubes worked for the Times and Democrat for 13 years in payroll. “I signed the paychecks for everybody, including Bill Wundram,” she said. After leaving the news business, she worked for Alter Corp. for 25 years.
Over the years, the two have traveled to all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada, and to England twice.
“We’ve had a good time,” Dubes said. Boyack added it takes a lot of love and work to keep a relationship going for 72 years.
Jerry Yeast, 73, of Davenport, has known the couple since he was an 18-year-old landscaper working in their yard.
“I’ve known these two women all my life, and I can tell you, they are special,” Yeast said. “This is a very special day for all of us.”

Friday, May 1, 2015

Specious reasoning on specie

As the Art Pope North Carolina legislature winds its way through the pressing issues of the day- abortion, relaxing gun laws so you can keep one in your bathtub and carry to Tupperware parties; extending the waiting period for abortion to "forever," jamming through the erection of a graven image of Billy Graham in DC- they are nonetheless concerned about giving students a 21st century, knowledge based education. Starting with how money should be backed by gold.

Charlie Pierce sums up the state of play:
The difference between the Carolinas these days is not vast.

When the stigmata's on the other foot, and other nice ironies of the conservative antigay machine

The hilarity of the times takes many forms, and much defective and deceptive reasoning.

Over the last twenty years, I have been handed my head more than once by African-American leaders who took offense at references likening the gay right movement to some aspect- usually in terms of equal protection analysis in constitutional law. No way is what you people deal with like what we did, they'd say.

And, at a factual level, their responses were not without merit. No one went looking for free labor among the 17th and 18th century black homosexuals of Africa, after all. As for "waking up black every day," another common trope, well..some do, and some don't in the gay tribe.

A previous generation of conservatives despised Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movement he led; their slow, steady resegregation of public schools- by withdrawing from them into private, white, schools, is one manifestation. Nowadays, they embrace Dr. King's rhetoric even as their advocacy groups litigate to undo the reach of the Civil Rights Acts. Mike Huckabee was early to this rodeo: in 2008 he said gays could not claim they were part of a civil rights movement until they got their heads cracked in like the blacks did.

Now, of course, he peddles the line that gays have bulked up in the gym, going from the namby-pambies of the hair salons and florist shops to "homofascists" bullying others into submission. Or- his mind is rarely far from the larder- that without the right to discriminate, Christian cake martyrs will be reduced to the status of eating bacon-wrapped shrimp.

Now, having fought the good- and well-funded- fight for a quarter century, the antigays are realizing they have lost public opinion. What's more, thy are being called out for the hate and animus they have spewed, and the discriminatory legislation they now champion.

And they don't like it a bit.

So it's perfectly reasonable- if, at the same time, risible- that white Southern male conservatives seeing their biggest fundraising "other" morphing into the couples who keep their yards up and actually adopt unwanted kids instead of going on about keeping others from doing it while not doing it oneself.

Thus we get Todd Starnes, who, here, explains how he is the new face of the civil rights movement:

And here is Maggie Gallagher, who has risen from an unknown, angry woman to a famous, wealthy, angry woman demonizing gays, finds her whole reason for being is being, itself, rejected by the vast public she was certain would make her She Who Must Be Obeyed.

And she doesn't like it a bit either.

She has posted an open letter to Justice Anthony Kennedy, asking him to rescue her from being one of the "newly stigmatized" by handing her back her power to stigmatize others.

The ironies pile. This the Facebook fanpages for Barronelle Stutzman and Aaron & Melissa Klein fulminate, how dare shut down their highly lucrative crowdfunded welfare operations. They demand that it continue to give them access for they can make money being martyrs for wanting to deny other people access to their businesses. God is the ultimate tie-breaker in such arguments. They were happy for you to know how fast they were raking in the pelf when they had gofundme accounts; now; reduced to sheltering under the wing of Franklin Graham (who just signed a laughable pledge to defy a Supreme Court ruling on marriage if they don't like it), they have gotten all secretive. I have asked- three times- at Barronelle Stutzman's Facebook page, how much she is getting (on top of the $173,000 her gofundme page raised) from Memories Pizza, whose owners said last month they will share their $842,000 haul with her. No answer.

And I have asked how much the Kleins made before they were shut down, and how much since. How close are you to making your penalty? They won't say, either.

Both have a lot of self-victim talk, though. They are martyrs, after all, and when martyrdom starts to exact its price, it sure is nice to be able to erase that worry asking others to make your bail.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jabba the Evangelist explains it all to you.

Carson jostles, ever so politely, for some daylight between Rbio, Cruz, Santorum and Huckabee for the hate vote

Ben Carson says he's not homophobic in one breath; in the next, compares himself to Jesus; then trots out the old "special rights" canard, and, finally, triumphantly calls for impeachment of judges who enable marriage equality.

All this for a South Carolina Republican audience, of course.

Texas governors continue process of de-evolution as citizens slough off limbs and head for bodies of water

The request comes a day after more than 200 people packed a meeting in rural Bastrop County and questioned a U.S. Army commander about whether the government was planning to confiscate guns or implement martial law. Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape said "conspiracy theorists" and "fear mongers" had been in a frenzy.

Pape thanked Abbott for the letter to the Texas State Guard, which he believed helped emphasize the benefit of the military training rather than further fuel theorists.

"It's a sad when people's greatest fear is their own government," Pape said. "Think about the ramification of that. If Americans go to sleep at night worrying whether their own government is going to sell them out before morning, it'd be hard to sleep."

Suspicions about Jade Helm intensified on some conservative websites and social media after a map labeled Texas, Utah and parts of California as "hostile" for the purposes of the three-month training exercise that begins in July. Such war simulations aren't unusual, though the Army has acknowledged that the size and scope of Jade Helm makes it unique.

The thought that actions have consequences never seems to have crossed her mind.

Barronelle Stutzman, her Discrimination Gravy Train at having been cut off, is undeterred:
Gofundme has closed our account down. We are exploring other opportunities to raise funds. We will provide an update at a later time or contact Arlene's Flowers directly.

Like · Comment ·  · 

Two truly opposing points of view

Yesterday, one of the architects of marriage equality, Evan Wolfson, discussed the topic with Brian Brown, the National Organization for Marriage president who has spent more money losing more cases than anyone thought possible. A good chance to hear something besides soundbites, this discussion runs one hour.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The inside scoop, as best it can be divined

Those interested in marriage equality and the Supreme Court cases need only look one place for detailed, non-spin-doctored news: SCOTUSBlog, the Supreme Court site started at the dawn of the Internet by a DC law firm with a big practice before that court.

Here's their pithy summary of the day's views on oral argument among the chatterati:

This morning the Court heard oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which it is considering whether states must allow same-sex marriages or recognize such marriages when they take place in another state. Lyle Denniston covered the arguments for this blog, Amy Howe explained the argument in Plain English, and Mark Walsh provided a “view from the Courtroom.”
Other early coverage of the arguments comes from Pete Williams at NBC News, Chris Geidner atBuzzFeed, Ariane de Vogue, Pamela Brown, and Jeremy Diamond at CNN, Lydia Wheeler at The Hill, Sam Baker at National Journal, Adam Liptak at The New York Times, Lawrence Hurley atReuters, Richard Wolf and Brad Heath at USA Today, Laura Meckler, Brent Kendall, and Jess Bravin at The Wall Street Journal, Robert Barnes and Fred Barbash at The Washington Post, Greg Stohr and Mark Drajem at Bloomberg Politics, Daniel Wilson at Law360, David G. Savage and Timothy M. Phelps at Los Angeles Times, Susan Ferrechio at Washington Examiner, Ryan J. Reilly and Jennifer Bendery at Huffington Post, David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo, Josh Gerstein at Politico, Jaclyn Belczyk at JURIST, and Bill Chappell at NPR.
Early commentary on the arguments comes from ACSlaw, which has posts from Samuel A. Marcosson and Amy Bergquist. At The New York Times, Joseph Landau explores why Chief Justice Roberts might support same-sex marriage. At the New York University Law Review Online, Ryan H. Nelson discusses what he calls the “third nail” in the “proceed with caution” argument against same-sex marriage. Other early commentary comes from Ilya Shapiro at Cato at Liberty, Daniel Fisher atForbes, Mark Joseph Stern at Slate, Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress, German Lopez at Vox, and Garrett Epps at The Atlantic.

The fisking of a snark, or how an Alliance Defending Freedom/ACLJ lawyer pretends to have once favored marriage equality

At  the NR frat house, David French has 'em high-fiving him for cleverness (read his article and then his bio below and then consider whether you should believe he ever believed in marriage equality). Fact is, he's just slapped some retreads on old arguments; in 2010, he also discovered he had evolved about marriage, just like this time!

Waldo's comments are italicized.

Like the President and Hillary, My Views on Marriage Have Evolved

by DAVID FRENCH April 27, 2015 1:23 PM 

I’ve evolved. In the not-so-distant past, I held a view that has since proven to be oppressive, a view of the law and culture that I now see as stifling the rights of others and damaging the fabric of our families and our democracy. 

I supported same-sex marriage. 

[As you well know, from your words published in 2010, you never supported it.You just "didn't oppose it" for a few minutes in 2004.]

The year was 2004, and I was a partner in a large commercial law firm. Despite working mainly in commercial, contract litigation, I’d cultivated a constitutional practice and represented a number of Christian ministries. So, when the Massachusetts supreme judicial court legalized gay marriage, a number of fellow Christians asked for my thoughts. 

And in a January 2004 op-ed in our local newspaper, I shared them. While I can’t find the full piece online anymore, 

[The Lexington, KY News-Leader ran the piece February 11, 2004, for one. On May 7, 2010, you published, "I Was Wrong About Gay Marriage" in Speak Up, and there, too, quoted your 2004 article.]

this excerpt should give you the flavor: 
Unfortunately, the conservative argument against gay marriage often reeks of hypocrisy. Our society stopped viewing marriage as a sacred (God-ordained) institution long ago. Since the invention of no-fault divorce laws, divorce rates have skyrocketed. Now, almost half of all marriages end in divorce. 
I continued: 
For those who believe gay marriage is morally wrong for Biblical or other religious reasons, this decision changes nothing. Churches can still speak out against sexual immorality and can still choose not to perform gay weddings. The gay couple down the street in no way makes our own straight marriage more difficult or challenging, nor can any decision of any court of law change the definition of marriage in the eyes of God. 
[The next paragraph, in other, published versions, said this: "In the days, weeks and months to come, we can expect to hear many conservative commentators decry the continuing decay of our culture. In the debate that follows -- and as accusations of intolerance and immorality fly between left and right -- remember that Christians and conservatives long ago met the real enemy of the sacred institution of marriage -- and we are that enemy."]

My thesis was rather simple: Since the advent of no-fault divorce, the secular definition of “marriage” had become nothing more than a voluntary arrangement less binding than a refrigerator warranty. Adding same-sex couples to that already thoroughly secular institution would be, at most, an incremental, largely irrelevant cultural and legal change. 

I could not have been more wrong. Indeed, this sentence — “For those who believe gay marriage is morally wrong for Biblical or other religious reasons, this decision changes nothing” — may have been among the most inaccurate predictions in the history of punditry. 

[Why, then, should anybody give a rat's ass what you think now? You clearly have no reliable judgment; in your first- 2010- apology, you wrote, "Now, why would I remember an op-ed from 2004, when I sometimes can’t even remember blog posts I read five minutes ago? Because I wrote it. For some time after the Massachusetts decision, I supported legalizing same-sex marriage — or, to be more precise, I did not oppose its legalization. 

["Why? I can basically sum it up in one sentence. I have a strong libertarian streak and was completely fed up with the cavalier way in which the Christian community treated its own marriage vows. But I was wrong. No, I wasn’t wrong that Christians have their own marriage problem. That much is obvious. I was wrong in believing that there was essentially- no harm, no foul- legally or culturally in recognizing gay marriage. I was wrong to believe that the proper response to the damage to done to the institution of marriage was to essentially throw our hands up and allow even further damage. And I was definitely wrong to believe that legalizing same-sex marriage- as a practical matter -is a libertarian decision in the real world. 

["With so many college students jumping on the same-sex marriage bandwagon, often for the very reasons I did, it might be helpful to explain why I was wrong, and why I came to understand that marriage must be defended. 

["First, it’s important to note that I initially approached the marriage question from a fundamentally incorrect starting position — implicitly adopting the argument that marriage exists for the benefit of adults, for their fulfillment and enjoyment. This is a fundamentally selfish view of marriage (I’m getting married to fulfill me). Instead, marriage is the fundamental building block of the family, the cultural cornerstone of a society, and it exists primarily for the benefit not of adults but of children. 

["Why does that distinction matter so much? Because we now know — after decades of social experimentation for the benefit of adults (from the disaster of no-fault divorce to the widespread acceptance of out-of-wedlock births often to avoid ―stigmatizing — that’s right — the adult), we now understand that we have made a horrific cultural error: VOTE YES ON NOVEMBER 6TH FOR THE MINNESOTA MARRIAGE PROTECTION AMENDMENT: A NON-VOTE IS A NO VOTE"]

As recent history decisively demonstrates, if you believe gay marriage is morally wrong, virtually everything is changing. 

As I noted in a piece last week, there is a concerted legal and cultural effort to not just carve out a legal space for same-sex couples but to essentially banish orthodox Christianity from public life — to treat it with the same respect that mainstream culture treats abhorrent ideologies like white supremacy. Christians must lose their jobs, lose their businesses, and close their schools, unless they bend the knee to the sexual revolution. 

[How many? When? Where? How many people have been fired, in the same period, for being gay, or getting married, or announcing plans to marry? Is that somehow, not expressive of all the bad feelings you decry when you and yours are on the receiving end?]

Bonds of friendship and loyalty are meaningless if the cultural conservative holds the wrong view on same-sex marriage, 

[I have never cut off anyone who opposes same-sex marriage. Having grown up a white Southern Republican, I have had a goodly portion of friends, family and business colleagues cut me off- not for anything to do with same-sex marriage. It was just for coming out. My mother's family made its start in business in timber harvesting. Imagine my bemusement when an aunt and uncle sent their daughter to ask me to drop them from my business newsletter after it mentioned my partner. They wanted to use less paper and save trees, I was told.]

and Christian clubs are vile discriminators if they simply want to be led by Christian leaders. 

[Never mind, for example, the city of Seattle employee who shut down the functioning of a GLBT employees group disrupting its meetings with his antigay rants.] 

In the “blue” sectors of America, particularly the academy, some Christians feel that they have to live under deep cover to protect their careers. 

[Interesting. Aside from the obvious, "How many is 'some'?" , how to explain prominent antigay activists like Robert P. George, cofounder of National Organization for Marriage, who holds a tenured chair at Princeton? How is being forced 'under deep cover to protect their careers' more disagreeable than forcing others to work "under deep cover to protect their careers' for being in a same-sex relationship? Or married? or just gay?] 

It’s important to understand that this wave of coercive intolerance is not mere aberrational excess but the natural and inevitable byproduct of grafting same-sex relationships into an institution that is a key building-block to civilization itself. Even in the face of strong sexual-revolution headwinds, our law and culture continue to not only protect marriage and incentivize marriage, it is still seen by hundreds of millions of Americans as the ideal family relationship. In other words, by grafting same-sex relationships into marriage, activists want their relationships to enjoy all the legal and cultural protections marriage has built up through millennia of human experience. To oppose “marriage” is to oppose civilization. 

[Were you opposing civilization when you were for same-sex marriage? Oh, wait, I forgot, you really weren't.]

But marriage did not become an “ideal” or civilizational building-block by simply being the most intense and committed form of adult relationship. In fact, at its core, marriage is not about adults — or adult happiness — at all. It has been at the heart of every enduring world culture not because these cultures share the same faith, or share the same ideals about romantic love and adult happiness, but because life has long taught us cultures thrive when children are raised in stable, two-parent, mother-father homes. Indeed, spouses from many cultures would laugh at the notion that “happiness” or “romance” has anything to do with the nature and familial bond of their marriage. 

[Back before heterosexuals began destroying marriage in the 1960s, the rich and famous could get in and out of marriage as many times as they liked. It was just everyone else who was stuck in the Calvinist hell you so miss here].

I agree with the notion that gay couples should be able to make health-care decisions for each other, write each other into wills, solemnize their relationships if they wish, and otherwise enjoy many of the same bundle of rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples, but it is easy and simple enough to write those protections into law without changing the very definition and nature of marriage. 

[Why hasn't it been done, then? 

[Why do conservatives oppose doing it, and why have they since the 1990s? Is it because, as your employer, Alliance Defending Freedom, says, it will just lead to demands for marriage?

[And while we're at it, Mr. French: which benefits should same-sex couples have, and which should they not. There are something like 1400 at the federal level and thousands among the states. Can you explain why they shouldn't have the ones they shouldn't, like a surviving spouse's right to a valuable fishing or hunting license? Should the options you get at Alabama's civil unions salad bar be different from Maine's? Or Minnesota's?]

Cultures that have sought to alter marriage from its fundamental norms do not have a happy history.

[Examples,please? Broad generalizations really do not a powerful argument make. Among the lower information antigay sorts, it is gospel that homosexuality called the fall of the Roman Empire, but you'll will be hard put to find that cause and effect in the historical record.]

 Polygamy has hardly proven conducive to enduring cultural strength,

[-which has what to do with same-sex marriage, especially given that it has been practiced exclusively as a matter of one man and many women, except in ant colonies? Why do antigay groups like yours spend so much time proselytizing in Africa, where it is still practiced- by antigay leaders, and tactitly endorsed by American ones in the LDS Church?]

and when segments of the young American nation changed thousands of years of marriage traditions by injecting white supremacy into what was once a color-blind institution,

[Be still, my heart! I love a good euphemism. Care to unpack it?]

it commandeered marriage into the unsustainable and ultimately ruinous practice of race-based chattel slavery and race-based economic, cultural, and legal discrimination.

[Ditto, Rush! Ditto!] 

But now we’re racing off on our own cultural experiment, one that began two generations ago when Baby Boomers decided they needed to shed their spouses at will,

[See above, then explain how gays had anything to do with that. How is the irresponsibility, and continuing unwillingness to address it, of heterosexuals assuaged, and the problem cured, by barring others from marriage who want not to shed spouses, but rather to get and keep them?] 

and continues now with the equally radical step of redefining who a “spouse” can be and re-ordering marriage to center completely and totally on adult emotional contentment. 

[Back to the misery loves company argument. What's wrong with Dolly Parton's argument, that she saw no reason why gays wouldn't be as miserable married as straights? Or, as Justice Ginsberg asked today, why is a state divorce decree enforceable nationwide when a marriage is not? The Church Lady says, "How conveeeeee-nient."]

And we’re racing on despite the clear record that families who maintain the traditional bonds do far better — in aggregate — emotionally, socially, and economically than families who shun tradition to carve out their own definitions of “ideal.”

[Which studies, by which discredited pseuds, are you relying on? Is George Rekers hiding in the statistical woodpile?] 

In 2004, I was wrong and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were right. The definition of marriage should not change. In fact, Ms. Clinton was so right, that I’ll close by quoting her: 
I believe that marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman. [It’s a] fundamental bedrock principle that exists between a man and a woman, going back into the mists of history as one of the founding, foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principal role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults. 
Exactly right, Hillary. As I said once before when discussing my own intellectual journey, the tides of history and opinion are not irreversible. It’s not inevitable that everyone will follow the Obama/Clinton path to transform the very nature of this “foundational institution.” People can, in fact, move back towards time-tested tradition. I’m living proof.

[Aside from demonstrating you can be as breathtakingly cynical and self-serving as a candidate for president, what's your point?]

Here's French's NR bio:

David French is a staff writer at National Review, an attorney (concentrating his practice in constitutional law and the law of armed conflict), and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is the author or co-author of several books including, most recently, the No. 1 New York Times bestselling Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the past president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and a former lecturer at Cornell Law School. He has served as a senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom. David is a major in the United States Army Reserve (IRR). In 2007, he deployed to Iraq, serving in Diyala Province as Squadron Judge Advocate for the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He lives and works in Columbia, Tennessee, with his wife, Nancy (who is also a New York Times bestselling author), and three children.
Mrs. French, who told one Christian group's interviewer she is a really funny writer, proved it in spades when she ghosted Bristol Palin's memoir. Making a high school slut out as a good girl would seem to be the sort of moral relativism Mr. French accuses evangelicals of when it comes to marriage, but I digress.

Another justice murmured, "Interesting."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg official portrait
Ruth Bader Ginsburg official portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In oral arguments today, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg struck to the heart of things:

JUSTICE GINSBURG:  It is ­­ it is odd, isn't it, that a divorce does become the decree for the nation?  A divorce with proper jurisdiction in one State must be recognized by every other State, but not the act of marriage.

The transcripts are here for Questions 1 and 2. There is also audio for each argument.

A conservative's dilemma

William F. Buckley, Jr.'s great-nephew comes out:

“As the fact that I’m gay became increasingly difficult to deny, I struggled to identify with a conservative political community that disdains who I am, and a gay personal community that largely disagrees with what I believe.”

North Dakota legislator pulls a Weiner on Grindr

Another Republican closeteer gets busted, automatically assumes victim's position.

"You're here already. Whatcha gonna do? Walk home?"

A New York state senator who always spews at National Organization for Marriage's annual rally- busing in his constituents- rarely tells them what they are there for. Last year, it was a tour of the monuments. This year? The answer is at the 44 second mark: