Friday, July 09, 2004

"Gay Marriage"

This is probably the first piece I ever wrote on this blog. I am reprinting it here because "Next week, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). This coming Monday (7/12) has been unofficially dubbed "Call Your Senator Day" -- literally hundreds of thousands of conservatives nationwide will be calling in to tell their Senators how to vote on the FMA. YOU need to be the counter balance!"

After reading this, I ask you to read the following post and to take action to protect our Constitution as it stands, as well as the Rights of millions of Fellow Americans, whose only "crime" seems to be loving the "wrong" person."



."Hey, honey, would you eat that snack cracker in your special outfit for me?" Alternative lifestyles, up next. And why Bush needs to leave the Constitution alone and uphold the 14th Ammendment as it stands. Gay marriage? "Why Margaret, isn't everybody 'gay' on their wedding day?" "Oh John, that was fifty years ago!"

Seems like a lot of folks have got their knickers in a twist over this whole Gay Marriage thing. The Big Question seems to be the "legality" of such unions. Some folks want them "outlawed", some folks favor so-called "civil unions" and some folks think they are just alright. I fall into the last category. Honestly, folks, what's all the hoopla about? Marry who-ever you want, ferchrissakes! If you don't approve of Gays & Lesbians, don't marry one!

Now a lot of you who still believe that homosexuality is a "choice" will argue that Gay Marriage jeopardizes the "traditional" family unit. Perhaps you're afraid your children may be led into "choosing" to be "queer". Nothing could be further from the truth. Just ask Dick Cheney or Dick Gephardt, both of whom have daughters who are lesbians. Were both Cheney and Gephardt "bad" parents? Were their children "misled"? Or is homosexuality something a person is born with? I work in the Entertainment business and I have a lot of Gay and Lesbian friends. We have discussed this ad nauseum over pints into the wee hours of many a morning. Not one of them said they chose to be Gay! In fact, one Lesbian friend of mine confessed to me that at times she wished she were straight because it would have made her life so much easier to deal with. Doesn't sound like someone who "chose" to be Gay to me. She can no more bring herself to view men as appropriate "partners" than I can. It's not her fault, it's not her "choice", and folks, it doesn't make her a "bad" person.

There is, however, one person in a position of authority here in the good ole U S of A who does get the whole thing though, our President, George Walker Bush. Bush realizes that this issue is NOT one of legality, but rather, constitutionality! The 1st Article of the 14th Ammendment of the Constitution of The United States of America states:

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Anybody see anything there that excludes Gays and Lesbians? Neither do I. That's why Bush wants to amend the Constitution to exclude Gays and Lesbians! So how would the 14th Ammendment look? Maybe like this:

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, unless said citizens are, (blush, gasp!), faggots.

What next? For all you Righties out there who love your firearms,(I know I love mine!), couldn't this lead to a re-Amendment of the 2nd Ammendment? You know, a "clarification" or re-defining of the "Right to keep and bear arms"? Anti-gun activists have long made the argument that this singular line guaranteeing our rights to self-protection actually refers to the individual state's right to form a militia and not the individual's right to own firearms. Maybe a future "liberal" president could "clear this up" for us.

The point is, it's dangerous to fool with the Constitution. Once you start, where do you stop? As for Gay marriage? Hey, if a religion doesn't want to perform them, fine. But until the Constitution is meddled with by fear driven homophobes, it is the States' constitutinal obligation to perform and recognize them and to extend to Gays the same rights and privileges enjoyed by the rest of us. As Scroff at Any Which Way would say, "Bush! Keep your Bible off my laws!"

(For more on this, from MY point of view, there is an excellent post at Any Which Way I would encourage you to read.


Now here's your chance to make your voice heard! The next post features several opportunites to petition your elected Reps to defeat FMA!

Sign The Petition Now

Okay, here's your chance to protect our Constitution as it stands, and the Rights of fellow American Citizens! I copied this from Any Which Way Throughout the post you will find a number of opportunities to make your voice heard. I urge you to take advantage of these opportunities and let your elected Representatives know that you do NOT want OUR Constitution meddled with!

Sign The Petition Now

Sign This Petition Too!

-Amending the Constitution to “define marriage as the union of a man and a woman” would actually deny more than 1,100 rights, protections and benefits to millions of devoted couples and their children.

-Amending the Constitution is very rare and is only done to address great public policy needs. In our Constitution's 214-year history, it was first amended to include the Bill of Rights in 1791. Since then, it has only been amended 17 times.

-Throughout American history, the Constitution has been amended to protect the rights and liberties of the American people. It has been amended to abolish slavery, to keep the government out of people's lives, and to give women and young people the right to vote. It should not be used to single out some Americans for discrimination.

-Many of the major civil rights advances of the last century have resulted from the judicial branch stepping in to ensure that all Americans are provided equal protection under the law. From Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 to Loving v. Virginia in 1967, the courts have provided a necessary and constitutional check on governmental abuses of power and violations of individual rights. Adopting this amendment would take away the constitutional power of the courts to protect individual rights.

-Such a cynical amendment illustrates a cruel irony about groups that call themselves "pro-family." The amendment proposed in the 108th Congress goes beyond defining marriage and seeks to deny gay families fundamental protections such as hospital visitation rights, inheritance rights and health care benefits. There is nothing pro-family about that.

-This amendment not only attempts to deny equal rights to gays and lesbians, but it also attempts to undermine legislative and legal efforts to protect American families who are gay and lesbian couples and their children.
Several leading Republicans and conservatives, such as George Will and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., oppose the amendment, seeing it as a clear violation of federalist principles.

-Leading legal scholars agree that the amendment could forever invalidate civil unions or other legal protections for same-sex couples, like the right to partner health benefits or fair taxation upon the death of a partner – even if state legislatures passed them and voters approved them.

-In a post-Sept. 11 world, it is very telling and shameful that the far right has nothing better to focus its energies on than introducing a gratuitous anti-gay constitutional amendment.

-There is no groundswell of support for such an amendment except from anti-gay extremists. More than half the country, or 51 percent, favors allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions and receive the same basic legal rights as married couples, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released March 10, 2004. Fifty-two percent of those polled in the March 4-7 survey oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriages and say the issue should be left up to the states. Same-sex marriage ranks as the least important of a dozen issues, including the economy, health care and the war on terrorism, it found.

-A majority of Hispanics in the United States oppose amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, according to an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll. Fifty-three percent of Hispanics surveyed said they are against such a move, the March 6-8, 2004, survey found. In addition, Catholics are evenly split, on the amendment, with 48 percent opposed and 48 percent supportive of the amendment.

-A Gallup Poll released in May 2003 showed that six in 10 Americans support giving same-sex couples the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples "regarding health care benefits and Social Security survivor benefits." The poll also showed that the country is evenly split, 49 percent in favor and 49 percent against, on allowing same-sex couples to legally form civil unions, giving them some of the legal rights of marriage. This is the strongest support to date in favor of gay and lesbian relationship recognition. In a Gallup Poll from May 2002, 46 percent of Americans favored civil unions, while 51 percent opposed them.

-Although anti-gay forces are trying desperately to make marriage a divisive election issue, a September 2003 Gallup poll showed that only 12 percent of Americans felt that policies toward gays and lesbians were an important election issue, while almost half of those polled cited the economy, the war on terrorism, the situation in Iraq, creating jobs and education as the important issues in the 2004 election.

-Past polling has shown that 90 percent of voters support hospital visitation for same-sex partners; and 66 percent support inheritance rights for same-sex couples.

Sign another petition now!

Next week, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA). This coming Monday (7/12) has been unofficially dubbed "Call Your Senator Day" -- literally hundreds of thousands of conservatives nationwide will be calling in to tell their Senators how to vote on the FMA. YOU need to be the counter balance!

After you sign the petition, in the "Write your reps" block in the lower right side bar you can locate your Representative's and Senator's contact information. (This is located on the mainpage of Any Which Way ) Contact them this Monday, 7/12/04 and let them know you believe marriage is a right, not a privelege that can be granted or taken away. Even convicted murderers, rapists, and criminals of the worst kind can be married. Even, in some states,young teenagers can be married. But the evangelical religious right makes the case, based on their bible, that gay marriage is wrong.

Don't let them force their religious beliefs on the rest of the country. With everything going on at this time in our country's history, Congress has better things to worry about than whether or not the love of two people for each other will be recognized by the state. Let them know you want them to kill this amendment and get back to work!

Keep your bible off my laws!

Sign still another petition now!

Thanks for all you do!

deuddersun & damagster, scroff & ruthalla

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

To Nat, from d with love...

Nat is someone I have come to know in the Blogo-sphere. I respect her opinions and she respects mine. Many times I agree with her. This time I don't. Recently she posted something at Any Which Way which I tried to answer. Apparently my answer was too long even for AWW's generous standards, so I have decided to post it here. Please don't think I'm picking on Nat, this post is directed to all of my Bush supporting cyber-buddies, it just kind of morphed from a response to a post into a post all it's own.


Nat, you are obviously an intelligent person. And a compassionate one, I believe. In the face of all the facts that are coming forth against Bush and the Neo-cons, how can you possibly support George Bush? Both mebrudder and me enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at a time when virtually no-one could be found to serve, including our Vice President and most of the other folks surrounding George Bush. Why did we do it? Who knows? I'd like to say that we were being patriotic Americans, but the truth may lie closer to the fact that we wanted to know, for ourselves, if we could cut it, if we could make the grade, if we truly were fit to be ranked amongst the "Baddest of the Bad". Whatever our reasons, we did it, and by doing so earned the right to say things that others might find objectionable. That's okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just have a hard time swallowing somebody telling me that because I don't support Bush's war in Iraq, I'm a traitor, or non-patriotic, or that I'm "hurting" our nation's efforts in the War On Terrorism.

Don't get me wrong. I know we are in a War. I know we are engaged with a new kind of enemy. One who doesn't have a "home base". A "particular country" we can invade, conquer and come home smiling over a job well done, as we did in WWII. We beat the Germans and the Japenese back then, Game Over, let the party begin!

Viet Nam was our initiation to the wars of the 21st century. John Kerry served with Honor and Distinction. The fact that those who never even served at home, (much less abroad), try to tarnish his service makes me sick to my stomach. Like myself and my Brother, John Kerry earned his right to his opinion. John Kerry wasn't just another pot smoking, coke toking hippie who criticized our government's involvement in Viet Nam. He was a decorated Veteran who saw the shit first hand, unlike our current Commander in Chief and most of his Cabinet. His actions after his service were motivated by the fact that he had seen the elephant, and realized, (like MacNamarra and others, 20 years later), that the men and women who had signed up to defend Democracy and The American Way of Life were merely pawns in a much larger game, a game he no longer wanted to play. His actions against the Viet Nam Conflict, (I won't call it a "war" because our government never deemed it a "war"), were motivated by a desire to save American lives, lives that were being thrown away in a "war" that we were not allowed to win. A "war" with no achievable resolution. We weren't allowed to beat them, but we couldn't let them win. Hmmmm, sounds like a Mexican stand-off to me, and one which cost some 55,000 American lives. In my eyes, that makes him a Patriot. I know for a fact that I love this country and I know for a fact that scroff does. As my mother used to say "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." We both ate the pudding, girlfriend, at a time when folks had to be dragged to the table.

This brings me finally to the subject at hand, Michael Moore. The one thing a liar hates most is being exposed as a liar, and this is what Moore does with Bush & Co. While it's true he has nothing new to say, he presents the facts in an orderly, easy to comprehend fashion, and it is this which frightens the neo-cons. This film is a reflection of Mr. Moore's views on the actions of the Bush Administration on the events of September 11, 2001. The fact that the Right has worked so hard to suppress it only illustrates the Right's total contempt for the average American's ability to view it, understand it and come to a rational, reasonable judgement regarding it. In other words, most of us don't really know what's good for us so a few of us will make the "important" decisions for all of us. Thank you, but, no thank you. Been there, done that, got the fuckin' tee shirt.

Nat, I only care about what's good for the United States of America. I know you have loyalties to Israel and that's okay. John Kerry won't let Israel hang out to dry. But you're in America now. The interests of THIS country have to come first. And it is NOT in the best interest of THIS country to be in Iraq right now. Not when Afghanistan is still a hotbed of Taliban resistance and NOT when the perpetrator of 9/11 is still free. Bush invaded Iraq not because it posed any kind of immediate threat to the United States, but because it is the keystone nation in controlling the Middle-east, and the oil the Middle East produces. If Bush was serious about "rogue nations" with WMD, we'd have invaded North Korea. And if Bush was serious about stopping Islamist Terrorism we would have invaded Saudi Arabia. (15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis-imagine if scroff and I and 13 of our friends did the same thing to Saudi Arabia, the outcry for justice against America would be deafening.) Moore only points out the hypocracy of the Bush administration. Here's what one expert had to say concerning the House of Saud: (This transcript concerns the death by beheading of Paul Johnson. It is reprinted here in it's entirety to illustrate the position of Saudi Arabia concerning the actions of Islamic terrorists.)


Hostage Beheaded in Saudi Arabia

Aired June 18, 2004 - 14:30 ET

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: If you're just tuning in to our breaking news, we are following the story that American hostage Paul Johnson has been beheaded.
Right now we have gotten word from the bureau chief of al Arabiya Television that he has seen the videotape of the beheading, also three chilling photographs on an Islamic Web site show the beheaded body of this American hostage, Paul Johnson, who was captured a week ago by Islamic militants connected with al Qaeda, a man by the name of Abdel Aziz al-Muqrin, a self-proclaimed military leader of this al Qaeda group in Saudi Arabia, a group by the name of al Fallujah Squadron.

He was kidnapped on Saturday. The statement now coming across the Web site: "We gave you the deadline, but you did not respect it. This is," the statement continues, "This is what we promised to do."

A 72-hour deadline was given by this terrorist group. In exchange, they would give Paul Johnson for freed jail militants. That, of course, did not happen. Now, we are reporting that American hostage Paul Johnson has, indeed, been beheaded by these terrorists.

We want to bring in Eric Haney, former member of the elite Delta Force. He also spent time guarding the Saudi family.

Eric, first of all, I want to talk to you about the hunt for these killers. And you know the Saudi family, you know more than well know how this -- how they will react.

ERIC HANEY, FORMER DELTA FORCE MEMER: Yes, I've got it and she's talking to me.

PHILLIPS: Can you hear me OK, Eric?


PHILLIPS: That's OK. I know you're working your sources and getting information right now. What I'm asking you is -- is about the hunt for these killers, these terrorists and what's going to happen right now from a military perspective, from the Saudis perspective.

HANEY: Well, from the U.S. perspective it's in the Saudi hands, and the Saudis have been reluctant -- it's a mild word. The Saudis have almost totally refused to ever cooperate with U.S. authorities over any incident within Saudi Arabia. They've been extremely obstructionist.

And the principal reason for that is there are so many ties in the Saudi security services and intelligence services with al Qaeda and other extremist groups. So don't look for anything drastic to happen right now.

Anything that the Saudis have done also in the past, they've moved very quickly when they've captured someone to execute them almost immediately. And a lot of that has to do with just protecting some people who were placed with inside the police and the security of Saudi Arabia.

PHILLIPS: Eric, put this into perspective for us. Because I thought Saudi Arabia was a strong ally of the United States, that there was a strong relationship here.

We talked a lot about the relationship between the Saudis and the Bush dynasty. When I say the Bush dynasty, I talk about the president and his father.

And you have Americans like Paul Johnson living in Saudi Arabia, helping this economy. Someone who showed a tremendous amount of respect toward the nation of Islam, to Muslims.

It seems hard to believe -- I mean you're saying it. You're saying it's in the Saudi hands and formerly, they have not been supportive in pursuing something like this, but isn't it time for that to change? I mean, it's not -- at least, this is not getting any better.

At what point did the Saudis say OK, we cannot tolerate this; we have got to take action?

HANEY: Well, the Saudis have been taking some tentative action, but it's been very lukewarm. And that's what provoked al Qaeda to move back to its original objective, and that is to depose the Saudi monarchy and to establish a radical Islamic regime inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, within the soul of Saudi Arabia.

We have to remember, the ideological homeland of extreme version of Islam is from Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden is from Saudi Arabia; most of al Qaeda's members have come from Saudi Arabia. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers are Saudis; the bulk of the prisoners at Guantanamo are Saudis. That's just a real fact.

When we think of the Saudis as allies, let's think of them, really, as just people that we do an extreme amount of business with, but with whom we have a great cultural -- cultural difference. And we in the West and particularly in the United States have failed to understand that.

And the objective here with the beheading of this man is to further drive Western workers, those professionals and craftsman and technicians, out of Saudi Arabia to hasten the collapse of the kingdom.

PHILLIPS: So you're saying that the more Westerners are driven out of Saudi Arabia, the more that situations like this occur, that you're saying it could lead to a tremendous economic hardship for Saudi Arabia?

HANEY: Well, it's going to further exacerbate it. There are just so many things that apply on this. But the Saudi monarchy has been complicit. And more than just complicit, historically. And this is something that we know quite well and the scholars of that region of the world know this.

That the house of al-Saudi, the ruling family, has been entwined with the Wahhabist movement since the 18th Century. And they support one another. It's a theocracy there.

And it's worked quite well until the last ten years with the rise of al Qaeda when bin Laden, in his messianic view, said the monarchy is so corrupt, it must be replaced, and it must be replaced by a pure Islamic regime. And that's been the objective all along of al Qaeda.

It's not to destroy the American government or to change our way of life or convert anybody to Islam. It's to form that pure Islamic government based on the soil of Saudi Arabia, the homeland of Islam. And this is part of that guerilla warfare to bring that about.

PHILLIPS: Do you find it ironic, at all, Eric, that you, as a former member of the elite Delta Force, have guarded the Saudi family and now this beheading, this horrific beheading of an American living and working in that country that there will be, as you say, tentative action to finding these killers?

HANEY: Sure. I guess ironic is the best word, but it's just part of the life in the world that we live in in these times. And this is going to further deteriorate before it ever starts to get better. Saudi Arabia, the government and the nation, is rapidly approaching a time of genuine crisis in what that nation will be in its view.

And I'll give you this, with Mr. Johnson that beheading, this killing, was merely to establish the bone fides of the group that perpetrated this act. That's why their demand was something that was unreasonable and couldn't be met. That's why the person they grabbed was a person without real power. Other than the fact that it's a horrific act.

The next captures that come about, maybe someone similar to Mr. Johnson, but eventually this group is going to grab someone, some Westerner who is either a political person or a person of such a corporate and financial standing that they do have power. And it will provoke both the Saudi and the U.S. governments into some real hard action.

And what they're hoping that action will be will be an overreaction so that it brings about increased repression inside Saudi Arabia, which influences the populace in their hatred and their disgruntlement towards the government. It's part of classic guerilla warfare that we're experiencing now.

PHILLIPS: Sergeant Major Eric Haney, a former member of the elite Delta Force; also had the assignment of guarding the Saudi family. Thank you, Eric -- Miles.

HANEY: Of course. [/QUOTE]

This fully supports Moore's contention of a "relationship" between the Bush Family and the House of Saud. What "Moore" do you need Nat? A building to fall on you?

Cheney still proclaims that Bin Fergotten had ties to Saddam. Bush has now changed the "Mission of the War" from "Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction" targeted for our cities, deployable within minutes, to "Hey, we liberated the Iraqi people and brought them Democracy." Yeah, right. Turn on CNN any time of any day and see how "overjoyed" the "liberated citizens of Iraq" are. Or ask any of the families of the 800 + American's killed in Iraq if this war was justified. (I personally do not know ONE Veteran who agrees with this War, not one! Where are all these Veterans Against John Kerry?) Some people, believe it or not, would prefer a Theocracy to a Democracy, who the hell are we to shove our way down their throats?

Point is Nat, Bush is a one & done President. He had a chance, a once in a millenium chance, after 9/11, to make this country the shining example of all that is good and right in this world, and he threw it in the gutter. And despite what all the Republi-cons have to say, his reign is over. He knows it, I know it and you know it.

deuddersun :deud: