You are browsing the archive for Marriage Equality.

Apostrophe Abuse Is Never Right and Other Observations

2:44 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

– One of my pet peeves recently has been a rise in the number of ostensibly native English speakers who have no clue how to use apostrophes. I have seen apostrophe misuse, abuse, and ignorance in all income and cultural settings. For instance, the graphic displayed in this posting by the Rhode Island branch of the right-wing anti-equality group NOM (hat tip to Laurel Ramseyer) incorporates text reading as follows: “Your religious?! Your opinion has no equality here!” For future reference to RI-NOM: The first word should read “You’re”, which is a contraction of the two words “You are”. Usage demonstration: “You’re very into making non-sequitur-based bullshit assertions, aren’t you?”

– Last August 4, President Obama was photographed in the act of skeet shooting. Those GOP base members whose, ah, idiosyncrasies are the result of nearly five decades of nurturing via the Southern Strategy have responded pretty much as you would suspect to this: By claiming without evidence that the photo was faked.

– Another Republican horndog caught abusing the public trust. This time, it’s Nebraska’s (now former) lieutenant governor, Rick Sheehy. Maybe he and David Petraeus can form a support group.

– The National Weather Service fired Bill Proenza, one of its top managers, in an act that to me and many others stinks to high heaven of retaliation. He’d dared to tell the Washington Post a few days ago that the NWS was already hurting because of the cut-here-cut-now-don’t-tax-the-rich mentality gripping Capitol Hill, and that the cuts mandated by sequestration would worsen an already-bad situation to the point where severe storms could escape the Service’s notice until it was too late.

Marriage Equality for Minnesota

6:37 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

When the amendments for voter restriction and marriage restriction went on the 2012 ballot in Minnesota, it was widely assumed that both would win, and likely by big margins. Yet both went down in defeat last November, marking the first time that either type of state constitutional amendment had lost at the polls.

Now, for Minnesotans favoring marriage equality, comes the next step: Repealing the anti-equality laws currently on the state books, the ones the proposed ballot amendment had sought to embed into the state’s constitution.

Minnesotans United for All Families, the leaders in the fight to stop the Marriage Restriction Amendment and keep bigotry from being enshrined in the Minnesota constitution, are now leading the fight to remove bigotry from Minnesota statutes with a new petition. It’s not been out very long from what I gather, yet it’s already got over 10,000 signatures as of this writing.

You know what to do, Minnesota firepups.

Why Has the Director of Minnesota’s Chief Anti-Marriage-Equality Group Suddenly Gone Silent on That Issue?

10:20 pm in 2012 election, LGBT, Politics, Religion, Republican Party by Phoenix Woman

Andy Parrish, as seen by Ken Avidor

There has been a lot of verbiage produced by those who would keep couples of the same gender from marrying, verbiage that all too often is comical and horrifying at the same time — a recent example being former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey’s unbelievable and grotesque statement claiming that anti-gay and anti-marriage-equality persons like himself were victims like Jews in Nazi Germany. (Considering that gays were singled out for especially brutal treatment by the Nazis, something that Lord Carey as an educated person should know better than many, this is particularly vile of him.) [UPDATE: Turns out the quote being bandied about from Lord Carey is only a portion of the full quote, which is in fact anti-bigotry: [Lord Carey] rejected suggestions that the true “bigots” were those who advocated gay marriage and would not listen to legitimate concerns of religious groups who disagreed.

“Let’s have a sensible debate about this, not call people names,” he said. “Let’s remember that the Jews in Nazi Germany, what started it all against them was when they started being called names. That was the first stage towards that totalitarian state.”]

In Minnesota in particular, where the anti-equality forces have got their pet Republican legislators to put an amendment on the ballot that would embed anti-equality laws into the state’s constitution, there has been a lot of verbiage. So much, in fact, that when a key producer of that verbiage suddenly falls silent on that issue, it draws attention.

The director and a key spokesperson for the anti-equality group “Minnesotans for Marriage” is Andy Parrish, a longtime Republican operative with close ties to Michele Bachmann and other persons in the Theocon wing of the Republican Party of Minnesota. He used to use his Twitter account all the time to push M4M and the anti-equality cause. That is, he did until he suddenly stopped nearly two weeks ago. As Bluestem Prairie’s Sally Jo Sorensen notes:

As deputy campaign director of Minnesota for Marriage (M4M), Republican political operative Andy Parrish has never been shy about tweeting and Facebooking about the marriage restriction amendment.

Until October 2.

Since then, his tweets and Facebook page have been nearly all A Stronger Minnesota, the new political committee that’s supposed to be the conservative answer to A Better Minnesota. We count three M4M-related posts out of over fifty tweets and retweets, as well as only A Stronger Minnesota material on his Facebook page.

Sorensen goes on to note that Parrish has also vanished from press accounts of M4M, and apparently even failed to attend a key M4M event hosted last Monday. Yet he is still drawing his director’s pay, as far as anyone knows, to the tune of $5,000 every two weeks, per the 42nd Day report filed with the Minnesota State Campaign Finance Board.

Why the sudden silence on what is currently one of the two hottest political questions in Minnesota politics? As Sorensen points out, it’s hard to imagine that Parrish’s new role at “A Stronger Minnesota” would take up so much time that it would prevent him from being a very vocal M4M director, being that ASM is only involved in four legislative races this cycle.

Other people will no doubt have different takes on this, but the only interpretation that makes sense to me has as its basis the fact that the anti-equality amendment is slipping below 50% in the polls. Being that amendments to the state constitution need at least 50% of the vote to pass, anything less than that is a defeat for the amendment, and speaking strictly for myself, I would presume that a longtime political operative like Andy Parrish would know this — and also know when to stop wasting time on a lost (albeit personally lucrative) cause and start working on something else. If anyone has a better explanation, I’d like to hear it.

Minnesota’s Gay Community Apologizes to Amy Koch for Ruining Her Marriage

9:47 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Breaking news — Minnesota’s gay community, in the person of John Medeiros, has officially apologized to Amy Koch, Republican state senator and former Majority Leader in the Minnesota state senate, for causing her to ruin her own marriage by straying with a staffer widely rumored by insiders to be Michael Brodkorb.

The apology starts as follows:

On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community’s successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage. We are ashamed of ourselves for causing you to have what the media refers to as an “illicit affair” with your staffer, and we also extend our deepest apologies to him and to his wife. These recent events have made it quite clear that our gay and lesbian tactics have gone too far, affecting even the most respectful of our society.

Both Koch and Brodkorb are noted for their opposition to marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

Proof The Minnesota GOP Has Gone Off The Deep End

1:56 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

You would think, in an era where Gallup Polls show that a majority of Americans favor marriage equality, the Republicans would, maybe work on jobs and budget bills instead of trying to fan anti-gay bigotry flames.

You would, but the Republican Party of Minnesota has different ideas.

First off, they push a piece of anti-marriage-equality legislation intended to serve as a get-out-the-vote mechanism for the bigots that make up their base voters — a piece of legislation so vile at least two Republican House members, John Kriesel of Cottage Grove and Tim Kelly of Red Wing, refuse to vote for it. Then, they invite infamous anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-pretty-much-everything “preacher” Bradlee Dean (real name Bradley Dean Smith) to serve as House Chaplain for the day earlier today:

Whose bright idea was this? No Republican’s dared step forward yet to admit to it, but freshman State GOP Representative Ernie Leidiger (R-Mayer) did the invitation, according to Minnesota Public Radio’s Tom Scheck. Betcha he’s not allowed to have any more bright ideas for the next two years, if ever again. [UPDATE: It's now been confirmed that Leidiger was the person who invited Dean to make the invocatory prayer.]

As for Bradlee Dean himself, his stock has dropped quite a bit by his giving the Minnesota GOP’s homophobic game away in such a blatant fashion; freshman Republican senator Paul Gazelka, who was an honored guest on Bradlee Dean’s radio show a few weeks ago, moved to keep Dean from appearing at a subsequent Capitol press conference today. (Irony: The man Gazelka succeeded, by defeating in a primary election before going on to win in the general election, is none other than Paul Koering, who was marked for liquidation by the local religio-bigot right-wing when he came out as a gay man.) When even Kurt Zellers (he who is wrong on professorial pay) realizes that this is a stupid move — and I note that it was Zellers and not Matt Dean (who you may remember from his first appearance in these webpages two weeks ago) who had the presence of mind to immediately apologize for the incident — you know it’s a stupid move. Too bad this didn’t happen a few days earlier, or Nick Espinosa could have glitter-bombed Bradlee Dean, along with Newt Gingrich.

Even better: Bradlee Dean’s decompensating in front of the Minnesota House’s TV cameras has managed to delay, if not outright halt, the further progress of the piece of anti-gay right-wing get-out-the-vote legislation that Kurt Zellers and the other Capitol Republicans had intended to have passed today. Zellers still claims to have the votes to pass it, but not many people believe him on this at this point.

Standing And Fighting: Minnesota Marriage Equality Edition

6:20 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

It happens like clockwork: Another election cycle, another bill aimed at creating a ballot measure using fear of gayness to herd “values voters” into the voting booth and the Republican fold, another scene of panicked Democrats fearing to take a stand for gays because it might drive some socially conservative voters into the arms of the GOP.

But something funny happened to the clockwork this time out, at least in Minnesota — the Democrats are refusing to panic. Instead, led by our new governor, Mark Dayton — who is turning out to possess more calmly-controlled fire in the belly than anyone dreamed possible — they’re standing with the GLBT community, and for marriage equality.

And when I say “fight”, I mean fight. The local Democrats are going after this not just as yet another GOP-designed distraction from the Republican-controlled legislature’s failure to come up with meaningful jobs bills (one of the Republican Party of Minnesota’s key issues last fall), but also taking on the “morality” question itself: Instead of allowing the social conservatives to have the morality playing field all to themselves, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor folks are questioning a “morality” that, under the pretext of respecting religious-based versions of morality, sends the government snooping into our bedrooms and legislating against the actions of consenting, loving adults. Or, as state representative Steve Simon puts it in the video segment above, “How many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether or not God actually wants them around?”