Monthly Archives: August 2012

In the news, August 31

  • So the Advocate is surprised libertarian David Koch backs gay marriage, and I’m surprised they’re surprised. [Priceless reactions from bewildered HuffPo commenters]
  • Opponents of the new Maryland marriage law are already conjuring up familiar fears concerning the law’s imagined effects on school curriculum and anti-discrimination law. All credit to the Baltimore Sun’s editorialists for correcting some misrepresentations.
  • Marylanders for Marriage Equality is throwing a celebrity-studded fundraiser September 13 in NYC, and among the hosts is former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman [Washington Blade; sign up here]
  • “A Very Civil Union: F.A. Hayek and Marriage Equality” [Moorfield Storey blog]

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Chip DiPaula for Marylanders for Marriage Equality

Email sent out this week:

As members of my party gather in Tampa for the Republican National Convention, I wanted to write to you about an issue that I believe transcends party lines — the issue of marriage equality and fairness for every American.

12 years ago I served as Convention Manager when my party nominated George W. Bush. Later I served as campaign manager and Chief of Staff when Bob Ehrlich became our first Republican Governor in nearly 40 years. As a lifelong Marylander, it was a great honor to serve him and the citizens of the state I love.

I am not alone among Republicans in my support for marriage equality. Former Vice President Dick Cheney and former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman do, too. Clearly, Republicans and Democrats can agree that equal marriage rights are essential in a free society.

Will you show your support for equality in Maryland and join me in voting FOR question 6 on November 6th?

Whether we are Republicans or Democrats, we can all agree that everyone deserves to be treated equally under the law.

“Like” this post if you agree and help send the message that marriage equality is about protecting all families — regardless of party lines.

Freedom is not a Democratic or Republican value. It is an American value. Freedom means every citizen enjoys equal rights under the law. Please join me and the hundreds of thousands of Marylanders who support this important issue.

Thank you,

Chip DiPaula

[via (among others) Opinionator of Wheaton. More: Washington Post]

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“Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”

More than most, Clint Eastwood gets that the Republican message is about individual freedom — and he’ll be speaking at the Republican convention.

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GOP convention special

Yes, that’s Sen. Allan Kittleman (R-Howard, Carroll Counties) prominently featured in New York magazine’s article on the Young Conservatives for Freedom To Marry event in Tampa. It’s a great short article if you need to catch up on why he’s such a hero of ours.

Tremendous amount of publicity out of Tampa for YCFM and Log Cabin Republicans, which jointly bought a giant ad in the Tampa paper advancing the message. And GOProud stole the show for nightlife, attracting hundreds of guests including Grover Norquist and S.E. Cupp.

Chris Geidner, at Buzzfeed, interviewed eight GOP delegates and two alternates about same-sex marriage, and found a set of views far more varied than the party’s antediluvian platform plank would suggest:

Of eight delegates and two alternate delegates interviewed, only three supported the Federal Marriage Amendment proposal. Two of those who supported the amendment proposal, however, added that they were in support of civil unions. Two supported full marriage equality, and several others took a states’ rights view, urging the federal government to limit — or end — all involvement in marriage issues altogether.

In other words, only one of the ten went on record in favor of the prescribed NOM/FRC position (Federal Marriage Amendment, no to civil unions). I’m not surprised by the strength of the “let the states handle it” position, which, even if it tends to dissatisfy the most passionate believers on both sides, in practice represents a huge improvement on the Republican Party’s current official stance.

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“Civil society long ago decoupled marriage law from church doctrines”

I have a letter to the editor in today’s Gazette (Frederick/Carroll Counties). Text:

Edward Baber of Frederick (The Gazette Forum, “Giving God benefit of the doubt,” Aug. 16) says no one will budge him from his religious views on marriage. That’s fine. But nothing entitles him to insist that those views be imposed on his fellow citizens.

To begin with, the churches themselves disagree: the Congregationalists, Unitarians, Reform Judaism, and large sectors within the Evangelical Lutherans, Episcopalians, Quakers, Presbyterians and other communities bless same-sex unions, even as many others do not.

The fact is that the state has not looked to the churches for its definition of marriage for a very long time. For centuries, leading religious authorities insisted that a divorced person could not validly remarry while an ex-spouse was still living, a position for which they could cite authority in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

But on that and countless other elements of marriage — from age, health, and racial prerequisites, to the consequences that marriage carries for property and inheritance — civil society long ago decoupled marriage law from church doctrines. And aren’t most of us glad it did?

America is a big country with freedom for everyone. Those of us who welcome legal recognition of committed gay relationships are no threat to the right of others to live freely with different beliefs.

Walter Olson, New Market

The writer is with Maryland for All Families.

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Boris Johnson and the “happy state”

Speaking of mayors for marriage, the rather wonderful Boris Johnson (Conservative mayor of London) just cut this video explaining why “that happy state” should be available to everyone. [“Out4Marriage” series, PinkNews] Also from Britain, MP John Howell on why all Conservatives should support gay marriage [Conservative Home, UK]

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“Marriage strengthens families, and we need more of that in this country, not less”


Republicans for Marriage Equality did this ad with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, timed for the convention. CNN coverage here.

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Hans Bader: “A Conservative Case for Gay Marriage”

Legal analyst Hans Bader (Competitive Enterprise Institute) contributed this thoughtful essay to the Examiner, which works out in more detail than I have seen elsewhere why the “religious liberty” objection to same-sex marriage is typically misplaced. In brief, if religiously grounded institutions dealing with the general public such as universities and hospitals are afraid of having to treat gay couples the same as they treat married heterosexual couples, then (given current trends in anti-discrimination law) they are fighting a battle they are doomed to lose, because the clear trend is toward requiring them to treat couples equally even where there is no same-sex marriage. On the other hand, if they are afraid that the government will reach into questions of church governance and clergy selection or persecute them based on conservative doctrinal holdings, then they are fated to win the battle either way, because the Supreme Court has made quite clear (most recently in Hosanna-Tabor) that the Constitution prohibits such interference, and, again, prohibits it whether or not the law of any state recognizes same-sex marriage.

I developed a very similar theme last year in a Wall Street Journal piece, but Hans in this piece sets out a more nuanced analysis based on a fuller exposition of the case law. As he points out, while it is possible to identify occasional cases where gay marriage strengthens the case of discrimination plaintiffs, it is also possible to identify occasional cases in which legalized gay marriage could assist religiously based defendants — in cases, for example, in which courts currently require service providers to treat all unmarried cohabitants as equivalent to married couples but might recognize a distinction between married couples and cohabitants as rational were gays allowed to marry.

Meanwhile, as he points out, the failure to acknowledge gay marriage carries with it very real harms and “indiscriminate inequities” to gay couples, which are predominantly harms of state action (tax, inheritance, and so forth) as opposed to alterations of status vis-a-vis private persons and institutions. The article is here.

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In the news, August 22

  • “Abysmal” GOP platform on gay issues: “This may well be the last time a platform will cater to the likes of the Family Research Council on marriage.” [Log Cabin Republicans] FRC’s Perkins: “I wrote” draft GOP plank on marriage [Advocate] “The Republican Party… as the party of Lincoln, has a proud tradition of expanding liberties.” [YCFM] And the Washington Post is the latest of many publications to notice that key GOP donors are also generously supporting the same-sex marriage cause [Dan Eggen]
  • “Akin ‘rape’ remarks draw attention to candidate’s anti-gay record” [Blade, RWW] “Democrats spent over $1.5 million trying to help Akin win his three-way primary” [WaPo, Aug. 8]
  • Political consultant/blogger Jon Henke: “I have been pro gay marriage for a very long time. Many Republicans are. A majority support either gay marriage or civil unions.” ‏[@JonHenke]
  • “I’d rather err on the side of love, wouldn’t you?” Cokie and Steve Roberts cite Washington GOP legislator Maureen Walsh [Tacoma News-Tribune]

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For freedom to marry: donate through us!

Good news! You can now contribute to Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the umbrella campaign FOR Question 6, through a special Maryland for All Families page. As you support this vital cause, you’ll also be making a special point about how backing for the freedom to marry cuts across conventional political, partisan and ideological lines. Give generously today!

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