Jive in the [415] Blog | Gay LGBT News Political Commentary: March 2013 March 2013 | Jive in the [415] Blog | Gay LGBT News Political Commentary

March 31, 2013

Jive Five: The 5 Most Popular Blog Posts of February 2013

In February 2013, these were the five most popular Jive in the [415] blog posts based on page views. These 5 blog posts were related to two subjects - Pope Benedict XVI and Bravo’s hit television show Top Chef.

As a gay Catholic scandal erupts in Vatican City, with accusations of blackmail, gay priests, and lots of intrigue, what is Pope Benedict XVI hiding? A gay man? Or is he a gay man?

Part one of the finale for Bravo's "Top Chef Seattle" will be airing Wednesday night, and Brooke Williamson, Sheldon Simeon, Kristen Kish or Lizzie Binder could win. This culinary battle for the ages takes place in Tom Colicchio's Los Angeles restaurant.

Rev. Federico Lombardi announced  that Pope Benedict XVI has a new title, a new address, and he’ll wear the same white dresses - but NOT the red Prada shoes. WTF?

A Review of the “Top Chef Seattle” Season 10 finale. Kristen Kish faced off against Brooke Williamson and Kish was declared the winner.

Let’s handicap Bravo's “Top Chef Seattle” Season 10 Finale - Part 2 that  will air Wednesday night. It's an all-female final with Kristen Kish facing off against Brooke Williamson.

straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com                
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March 30, 2013

Legal Analysis: The Supreme Court and the Proposition 8 Gay Marriage Ban

The US Supreme Court Building and the inscription equal justice under the law.

A Brief History Of Gay Marriage In The Golden State And Beyond

By Roy Steele

This was a historic week in the burgeoning marriage equality movement that’s been steadily gaining support across the United States. I know that we can’t predict the future, so it’s impossible to speculate where marriage equality will stand in six months - but we can make an educated guess.

The political landscape ten years ago was markedly different and pretty bleak. There were very few politicians embracing gay civil rights, and Republican legislators in the House and Senate introduced a Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) to amend the Constitution. The proposed FMA would limit marriage to a union of one man and one woman, and expressly stated that no court could extend marriage rights to any couple under any circumstances.

Today the political climate and the court of public opinion is clearly on our side.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two separate appellate actions related to same-sex marriage.

While I think it’s unlikely that the court will find the discriminatory Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are constitutional measures, it’s likely that the court’s opinion will be narrow, and that’s OK.

We would love a broad sweeping decision that legalizes gay marriage nationwide, but the oral arguments revealed that the court is reluctant to move in that direction. Regardless, it’s the love and commitment we have for each other that legitimizes our relationships, not these two court decisions.

On Tuesday the court’s focus was on Hollingsworth v. Perry, which is also known as California’s Proposition 8 case.

January 2004 - The San Francisco Experiment

In 2004 newly elected Mayor Gavin Newsom authorized the San Francisco County Clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In a 4 week period, over 4,000 gay couples descended on San Francisco from all 50 states to get married. The California Supreme Court ruled that Mayor Newsom lacked the authority to bypass state law, and voided and annulled the marriages.

Various parties filed suit in the California Supreme Court, challenging the state’s civil code and marriage regulations that limited marriage to opposite sex couples.

In late 2007 and early 2008, gay marriage opponents began gathering petition signatures for a statewide ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage in the California Constitution.

Gay marriage --- now you see it....

In May of 2008 the state Supreme Court issued their decision that marriage was a fundamental right that applied to all California citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation. The Court held that the state’s previous same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional, and that any state law that prescribed anti-gay discrimination was constitutionally suspect. California became the 2nd state to extend marriage equality to same-sex couples.

There were thousands of same-sex couples that rushed to City Hall to obtain their marriage license, and get married as quickly as possible. Many other gay couples announced their engagements, consulted with wedding planners, and prepared to walk down the aisle to Wagner’s Lohengrin Wedding March.   

In June 2008 the California Secretary of State announced that the anti-gay same-sex marriage opponents had gathered the requisite number of signatures required to place the citizen’s initiative to ban gay marriage on the November 8th ballot. This proposed law would be known as Proposition 8.

The Mormon Church and the Roman Catholic Church formalized their plans to organize and finance the Proposition 8 campaign. These tax-exempt religions committed their considerable resources to overturn the state Supreme Court ruling, and take away the the newly granted marriage rights that same-sex couples had sought for years.

Gay marriage --- and now you don’t....

On election day November 8th, 2008, voters of every stripe were thrilled and excited that our nation elected Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) as the first African-American President of the United States. While most of the nation celebrated, many LGBT Californian’s were in a state of disbelief. A majority of California voters endorsed Proposition 8, which meant that at 12:01am on November 9th, same-sex marriage would be illegal.

Everyone knew that the battle over this contentious issue would return to the courts. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Attorney General Jerry Brown (D-CA) believed that Proposition 8 was discriminatory, and they refused to defend the law.

The Legal Dream Team And The Appeal

In 2009, lawsuits were filed challenging the validity of the same-sex marriage ban, and the California Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 8 was a lawful amendment to the state constitution.

In 2010 the legal dream team of Theodore Olson and David Boies were retained by the American Foundation for Equal Rights to act as the lead attorneys challenging the validity of Proposition 8 in the ongoing appeals process.

After a lengthy trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses in the US Constitution.

Proposition 8 supporters appealed the District Court decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2011, and a 3 judge panel affirmed the District Court ruling 2-1. The Proposition 8 campaign then requested an en banc review in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which requires a case to be heard before all the judges that comprise the Court of Appeals. The request was rejected, and the Proposition 8 attorneys filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court, which they granted in 2012.

SCOTUS: The Oral Arguments And Legal Analysis

After listening to the oral arguments held on March 26th, 2013, and reading the transcript from the proceeding, it’s hard to speculate how the Supreme Court will rule in this complex case.  

Prior to the oral arguments, many legal analysts suggested that the Court would concur with the lower courts, and rule that Proposition 8 violates the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. This overly optimistic view also suggested that under this scenario, the Court would make a sweeping decision that invalidates similar same-sex marriage bans in other states.

I think it’s highly unlikely that the Court will make a sweeping decision that will affect any state other than California, because the Supreme Court cannot consider the merits of Proposition 8, until they decide that the campaign proponents of the law have legal standing to represent the interests of the state of California.

When the governor and attorney general refused to defend Prop. 8 - the entities behind the political campaign stepped in to promote and defend the law. Many of the Justices found this prescription to be problematic. If the Court rules that the Prop. 8 attorneys don’t have legal standing to represent the state of California, the case will be returned to the District Court, and the lower court’s ruling will stand.

If the Court finds that the Prop. 8 attorneys do have legal standing, they will have to review and evaluate the lower court’s ruling that Proposition 8 violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses in the US Constitution, and based on the line of questions during oral arguments, the Justices appear to be reluctant to do so.

I strongly believe that the Supreme Court will find a way to issue a narrow decision that invalidates Proposition 8, and only applies to California. Whether their ruling centers on the issue of legal standing, or they consider the legal merits of Proposition 8, I think they will conclude that the state of California’s same-sex marriage ban is discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The US Supreme Court will render their decision in late June.

straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com                
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San Francisco: Thousands March To Promote Marriage Equality And Gay Rights

 The march for gay rights and marriage equality in San Francisco, California 3/25/2013 jiveinthe415.com.

The march for gay rights and marriage equality in San Francisco, California 3/25/2013 jiveinthe415.com.

San Francisco, California --- There were marriage equality events in cities and towns from coast to coast this past week, to support the legal challenges to Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the historic oral arguments heard by the US Supreme Court.

The "Light the Way to Justice" gay marriage equality vigil in San Francisco, California 3/27/2013 photo by jiveinthe415.com.

The "Light the Way to Justice" gay marriage equality vigil in San Francisco, California 3/27/2013 photo by jiveinthe415.com.

In San Francisco, thousands of LGBT people (including myself)  participated in a jubilant equality march on Monday night that started at gay ground zero (Castro and Market), and concluded at City Hall. The mood was festive and fun, and there was a palpable optimism in the air.

The "Light the Way to Justice" gay marriage equality vigil in San Francisco, California 3/27/2013 photo by jiveinthe415.com.

James Patterson described the march in the Bay Area Reporter:
Joy at the prospect of marriage equality, and sorrow for countless LGBT families that never were due to AIDS and bigotry, rested in the hearts and minds of an estimated 3,000 people who gathered in the chill at Harvey Milk and Jane Warner plazas Monday, March 25 ahead of historic arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on same-sex marriage.
In what was described as one of the largest gay rights demonstrations in San Francisco in recent years, activists, LGBT leaders, and allies marched to City Hall, with some saying that they were inspired by civil rights leaders like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and slain city supervisor Harvey Milk.
On Tuesday and Wednesday night there was a marriage equality vigil at the Earl Warren Building, which is the home of the California Supreme Court. I couldn’t attend the Tuesday night event, so I participated in the Wednesday night vigil.

The "Light the Way to Justice" gay marriage equality vigil in San Francisco, California 3/27/2013 photo by jiveinthe415.com.

I have to applaud Billy “Equality” Baldwin! He did an outstanding and exemplary job planning and coordinating the march and vigil.

The "Light the Way to Justice" gay marriage equality vigil in San Francisco, California 3/27/2013 photo by jiveinthe415.com.

I met some incredibly nice people at the vigil, and have to give a shout out to Monterey Martin, and the gorgeous and glorious gals from Glen Park (5th photo above) .

[NOTE: If you appear in one of my photos and want a digital copy, please send me an email]

straight talk in a queer world.       jiveinthe415.com                
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March 22, 2013

Colorado Civil Unions Bill Signed Into Law

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signs the Civil Unions bill into law.

Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 11 into law yesterday, and with a stroke of his pen the state of Colorado will recognize LGBT relationships under the state’s new Civil Union law.

Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels described the bill signing ceremony:
Amid cheers and tears, Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday signed a civil-unions bill into law, erasing a generation of anguish for supporters of gay rights in what once was dubbed "the hate state."
"Unbelievable," Hickenlooper said, looking at the gays and straight allies who were crammed into the History Colorado Center to watch history being made.
The atmosphere at the bill-signing was electric, with huge cheers when lawmakers and the governor took to the small stage. Senate Bill 11 gives same-sex couples many but not all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage. It goes into effect May 1.
BRAVO Colorado!

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March 20, 2013

Hillary Clinton: I Support Marriage Equality

2008 debate Hillary Clinton Barack Obama jiveinthe145.com

In January of 2008, there were seven serious candidates competing to be the Democratic party nominee for president.

I’d read Barack Obama’s books, and heard his 2004 convention speech, and I was excited by the prospect of him running for president. I talked about him to anyone that would listen, and my Republican sisters got tired of hearing me utter his name, and told me to stop bringing him up.

Senator John Edwards (D-NC) was the favorite, because he was John Kerry’s running mate in 2004. Whenever I saw his fake smile and perfectly coiffed hair on the evening news, I couldn’t envision him in the White House.

I completely underestimated Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and her widespread appeal, and I’ll admit that I was wrong about her.  I was living overseas when she and her husband left Washington and moved to New York. I knew she was elected to the US Senate, and as a New Yorker, that pissed me off.  I viewed her as a carpetbagger and an opportunist, and didn’t take her or her candidacy seriously.

I knew that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was too liberal for most Democrats, and that Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) didn’t have the name recognition he needed, and that Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) might do well in the tri-state area (NJ/NY/CT), but that folks in the rest of the country would think that he talked funny because of his northeastern accent.

Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) had a good reputation as a legislator, though he was gaffe prone - and I thought he was too old, and had too much political baggage to be taken seriously.

I thought that the primaries and caucuses would be a slugfest between Edwards and Obama, and hoped that Obama would be the victor and get the nomination.

As we know today, the slugfest was between Obama and Clinton, and there was no love lost between them by the time that Obama clinched the nomination. John Edwards imploded because of the tawdry revelations of his extramarital affair, and the remaining candidates all flamed out.

In 2008, same-sex marriage was legal in just one state, and the LGBT community was whispering about “commitment ceremonies,” because that’s what we’d invented to take the place of the wedding ceremony, that we were never going to have.

When the press asked Obama or Clinton if they supported same sex marriage, they both had the same reply. They supported civil unions for LGBT couples.

Hillary Clinton announces her support for marriage equality 2013

Fast forward to today. It’s just a week before oral arguments will be heard in the US Supreme Court, where they will decide 2 of the most contentious and consequential civil rights cases, on their docket this year.

Are you surprised that President Obama and Secretary Clinton, both have evolved and now support marriage equality unequivocally?

Secretary Clinton announced her support for marriage equality on Monday, in a video that was produced by the Human Rights Campaign Fund. She said:
"LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones, and they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage.
That's why I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples. I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law.

"A few years ago, Bill and I celebrated as our own daughter married the love of her life, and I wish every parent that same joy."  
Of course Hillary supports marriage, or she would have left her husband years ago.

Is this a signal that Hillary Clinton is positioning herself for a 2016 presidential run?

Run Hillary run! Run run run!

straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com                 
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March 19, 2013

The Right-Wingers Are Humdingers And They’re Destroying The GOP

CPAC 2013 - I see scary people. Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan

CPAC 2013 Straw Poll Numbers Do Not Add Up

By Roy Steele

The Republican party lost the 2012 presidential election, lost seats in the US House of Representatives, lost seats in the US Senate, and House Democrats received more than a million more votes than House Republicans.

Over the last 6 presidential elections, the GOP received the majority of votes once (in 2004). That’s the year that Karl Rove employed the “southern strategy” and placed marriage equality on the ballot in as many states as possible, to motivate evangelicals to vote on election day.

Since most evangelical Christians are anti-gay and likely to vote Republican, Rove knew that gay marriage would ensure that a record number of evangelicals voted, which would increase the odds of the unpopular George W. Bush being re-elected.

In 2012, Willard Mitt Romney believed that he was going to defeat Barack Obama on election day, and has admitted that even after viewing the early returns and exit polls, he thought he was going to win.

In the Election 2012 post-mortems, various explanations and excuses have been given to explain why the GOP keeps losing. Losses have been attributed to the gifts Obama gave to voters, bad candidates, poor communication skills, weak messaging, and not being conservative enough.

The party standard bearers ignored the fact that their pollsters had inaccurate polling data. They failed to acknowledge that the GOP alienated women, disenfranchised the LGBT community, and wrote off Latinos, African-Americans and Asian-Americans. They didn’t recognize that their incendiary rhetoric, and unimaginative policy proposals didn’t excite younger voters, or the country at large.

CPAC 2013 - Donald Trump asks where are the white European immigrants?The only fact that Republicans were willing to acknowledge was that they would continue to lose elections if they didn’t appeal to Latinos.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) commissioned a study to investigate why they did so poorly in 2012, and called it the Growth & Opportunity Project.

On St. Patrick’s Day Sunday - the Conservative Political Action Conference that’s also known as the annual gathering of Crazy Politicians Are Conservative (CPAC) - wrapped up their 2013 confab  at the GAYlord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

CPAC conducts a presidential straw poll at each annual gathering. In 2012, Willard Mitt Romney edged Rick ‘Sicko’ Santorum. In 2010 and 2011, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was the victor.

The CPAC 2013 straw poll had 2,930 participants, and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) won the straw poll with 25% of the votes. Senator Marco Rubio received 23% of the vote, and Santorum was the third place vote getter with 8%, followed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with 7%.

The four day conference consisted of speeches and seminars from the right-wing extremists in the Republican party.

Reality television personality Donald Trump complained about the low numbers of white European immigrants (i.e., caucasians), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) made an  unconvincing argument that even though you’re against marriage equality and equal rights for the LGBT community, you’re not a bigot.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) tried to make a joke about being a proud wacko-bird that was disingenuous and fell flat, and the unemployed former half-term governor of Alaska managed to offend anyone within earshot of her vitriolic speech, particularly mainstream Republicans (Karl Rove et al) in her own party.

If you look a little closer at the CPAC 2013 straw poll, which is based on 2,930 CPAC attendees casting votes, they have a math problem. While every media outlet has reported the results of their straw poll, I can’t for the life of me understand how everyone missed that fact that the percentage of votes attributed to the candidates add up to 103%.

Because they didn’t release that actual number of votes that each candidate received, I can’t double check their percentages, and this straw poll doesn’t pass my sniff test.

I think Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who famously can’t add or subtract, must have been a vote counter.

Then again CPAC doesn’t pass my sniff test. This sad gathering of people who are anti-gay, anti-science, anti-women, anti-people of color, anti-immigrant, and anti-middle class, that embrace the politics of fear and hate, won’t pass your sniff test either.

Contrary to what CPAC believes, hate and vitriol are NOT family values, and their popular appeal and political viability is tenuous at best.

Can RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and his “study” save the extremist wing of his party from extinction? Not bloody likely.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus conducted a press conference to discuss the report’s findings on Monday March 18th, 2013. Stay tuned for my interpretation of the results of the RNC study tomorrow.

straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com                
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