Archive for moment of happy

Poll-itics: Dear conservatives, you lost... again. Support for marriage equality hits new high.

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The Washington post has a new Washington Post-ABC News poll up. They include a few graphs, including the one above, and the good news is that 58% of respondents think gay couples should be able to marry legally:

Public support for gay marriage has hit a new high as Americans increasingly see homosexuality not as a choice but as a way some people are [...]

The poll shows that 58 percent of Americans now believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married; 36 percent say it should be illegal. Public attitudes toward gay marriage are a mirror image of what they were a decade ago: in 2003, 37 percent favored gay nuptials, and 55 percent opposed them.

That first sentence is remarkable. Read it again.

Hillary Clinton has announced her support for marriage equality. The "reinvented" Republican party's John Boehner didn't. In fact:

The Growth and Opportunity Project report also states that when voters who recently left the Republican Party were asked to describe the party, they used phrases like, “scary,” “out of touch,” “narrow-minded” and full of “stuffy old men.” 

But will the Supreme Court feel the same as most Americans? Or will voters add five of them to the out of touch, narrow-minded, stuffy list?

Today Think Progress sent out this email:

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over whether same-sex couples should get the same federal protections and rights that straight couples enjoy. The moment could mark an important tipping point in the history of the LGBT community.

Here’s a little background on the case:

In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) codified discrimination into law by defining the federal government’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

What does that mean? It means that immigration laws can senselessly break up families; that military spouses can’t get financial assistance to buy a home if their partner is the same gender; and that the wife of a woman killed in combat, or stricken down by cancer, won’t get survivors’ benefits.

Luckily, President Obama’s administration decided to stop enforcing DOMA, and, when the case was accepted by the Supreme Court, his administration filed a brief urging them to overturn it. But House Republicans who support the law have allocated $3 million to continue defending it -- money that, surely, would be better used elsewhere.

Still, it’s not all bad news when it comes to DOMA. Major players in the political debate have come to their senses and denounced discrimination. A prominent Republican Senator just flipped his stance on marriage equality, saying that he wanted his son to have the same rights as his other children; twenty-one senators who voted for DOMA changed their minds and now oppose it; nearly 300 companies and municipalities filed briefs urging the Supreme Court to strike down the law; and sociologists and major medical organizations have told the justices that they need to put an end to the discrimination.

Even former President Bill Clinton -- the man who signed DOMA into law in the first place -- wrote in a recent op-ed, “I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution.”

We, the people, know what’s right. We overwhelmingly support marriage equality, because we know that it’s what our Constitution provides us: Equal protection under the law.

Now it’s time to see whether the Supreme Court thinks so, too.

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"It is not the pro-gay rights position that has been reduced to absurdity, it is Scalia himself."

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Today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "The 'animus' of Justice Scalia," Editorial, Dec. 13

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's argument is, as you say, "abstract and not terribly helpful," but it is anything but logical.

Scalia commits the fallacy of false analogy. In the case of murder, it is not mere disapproval that grounds the law; murder directly harms other individuals and society, so the state must use its power to protect its citizens. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage are private, self-regarding behaviors that do not harm others in any material way. Hence, anti-gay laws rest on mere disapproval (animus), which cannot be a legitimate reason for intruding on individual liberty.

The irony of Scalia browbeating that law student for not appreciating his "logic" is almost too much to bear. It is not the pro-gay rights position that has been reduced to absurdity, it is Scalia himself.

James S. Stramel

Los Angeles

***

Scalia would make being "morally reprehensible" sufficient justification for deciding whether a law violates the Constitution. Strange, but I cannot find that phrase anywhere in the document itself. Perhaps Scalia can find it in the minds of those who wrote the Constitution, which he claims to be able to read.

The important judicial question in this case is whether being morally reprehensible is also sufficient justification for removing a Supreme Court justice.

Angus Andrews

Westlake Village

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What marriage equality looks like: "You know, we woke up and we realized, we don’t have to rush."

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Via the L.A. Times:

Vicky Dalton, the Spokane County auditor who headed the statewide marriage licensing effort, said the turnout Thursday for same-sex marriage licenses in Spokane County was lighter than she expected.

So she asked a question to a newly reassured, very heartened gay man: Why didn't you rush to get a marriage license now that you have the legal green light?

Best Answer Ever:

"They said, ‘I thought you guys would have been one of the first,'" she recalled, "and he said, 'You know, we woke up and we realized, we don’t have to rush. We don’t have to worry. This is not going away. We can get a marriage license wherever we want now.'

"There’s no rush, nobody has to get down here immediately," Dalton repeated to herself. "That was probably one of the most powerful moments of the day for me."

Or to put it another way, progress.

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Poll-itics: Elizabeth Warren still leading Scott Brown in Massachusetts

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Western New England University Polling Institute: Elizabeth Warren leads Scott Brown in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race, 50-45%.

Via The Hill:

The findings show Warren ahead by roughly the same margin as in the same poll taken in early September, but this latest survey shows voters largely making up their mind with just a short while before the campaign season ends — only three percent of those polled said they were still undecided.

Fingers crossed. We need Elizabeth in the U.S. Senate.

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Mark Halperin. Yes, Mark Halperin: "The Fox News Sunday round table... sounded like a postmortem explaining a Romney loss."

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When Mark "Obama's a Dick" Halperin-- no liberal he -- says that "conventional wisdom" is that Willard M. Romney's in deep doo-doo, well, hey, that gets my attention. Actually, yesterday I wrote a post about some of what Halperin covers: Mitt Romney’s playing field is experiencing shrinkage. However, I also noted that I don't take anything for granted, and with the GOP in full-on voter suppression mode, among other dirty tricks, I am only cautiously optimistic.

But this kind of reporting from Halperin does give me hope:

The danger for the Romney campaign right now is the congealing conventional wisdom that the Republican emerged from Tampa and Charlotte meaningfully behind and is now facing some tough Electoral College reality.

This CW is driven by the post-convention polls showing a bump for the President, prominent Politico and New York Times stories citing key Republicans acknowledging that Boston is behind in Ohio and other must-win states, Barack Obama’s outraising Mitt Romney in August and weak Romney and Paul Ryan answers in interviews on such topics as health care, the U.S. military and the budget. The Fox News Sunday round table yesterday sounded like a postmortem explaining a Romney loss. [...]

Romney is an awkward, unlikable candidate... on the current trajectory, Romney faces more troubled days ahead.

Please read the whole post. During this nasty, crazy election season, it was nice to get a little good news to start the week.

Update: Team Romney calls surveys showing Obama bounce a 'sugar high'

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Gabrielle Giffords to deliver Pledge of Allegiance at Convention

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Roll Call:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will make a surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, Roll Call has confirmed.

She will deliver the Pledge of Allegiance, according to a source close to the former Congresswoman, kicking off the night that will culminate in President Barack Obama accepting the Democratic nomination for president.

Her recovery has been nothing short of miraculous.

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Meet a first-grader who's wiser and more secure than most conservative adults

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This exchange is even more pertinent in light of the inclusive and uplifting atmosphere of the first night of the Democratic Convention. Via a friend who witnessed this scrumptious conversation between two little first-grade munchkins:

Boy: "Should I marry you?"

Girl: "I don't know."

Boy: "Maybe I could wait to marry you until after I've married another boy."

Girl: "Huh?"

Boy: "Or maybe I could marry you and then marry another boy."

Girl: "Why do you want to marry another boy?"

Boy: "Because I can."

What we find touching, sweet, funny, normal, and beautiful, many conservatives would find repugnant, sick, and perverse. Anyone who claims there's no discernible difference between the parties would be wrong.

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