Monthly Archives: September 2012

Former P.G. Republican chairman speaks out

Jason W. Papanikolas, former chairman of the Republican Central Committee for Prince George’s County, has written an opinion piece for the Gazette, titled “Call for Republicans to support same-sex marriage”. Excerpt:

The Republican Party has historically supported equal rights for all individuals. It was President Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican, who saw our nation through its bloodiest conflict to ensure that all men were born free. When liberty was threatened by Jim Crow, Republicans rose up again to challenge the institutions of power and ensure that freedom, given to us by God and protected by our Constitution, was secured. We are again summoned to defend the sovereignty of the individual. …

It is the height of hypocrisy to call for the government to get out of our lives in one area and interfere with it in another. Our party must lead or get out of the way. We are either for limited enumerated powers being granted to our government or else we are no better than the Democrats on this issue.

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Welcome David Frum/Daily Beast readers!

David Frum has a fantastic column at Newsweek/Daily Beast telling about our efforts to rally Maryland conservatives, Republicans and libertarians in support of freedom to marry, Question 6 on the November ballot.

David, with Danielle Crittenden Frum, generously hosted our reception last night to benefit Maryland for All Families and Marylanders for Marriage Equality.

At present Maryland for All Families is set up to take only check donations; you can find out how to donate here. We also encourage donations to Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the separate and much larger group that runs the overall Question 6 campaign; they can take online and credit card donations here.

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In the news, September 25

  • All hands on deck: Washington Blade reports that Freedom To Marry is entering Maryland marriage fray with its own PAC;
  • No empty chair this time, just straight talk from Clint Eastwood on the Ellen show about the “leave everyone alone,” fiscally responsible values that attracted him to the Republican Party.
  • Now here’s something we’ve been waiting for: a business coalition to support freedom to marry in Maryland. Our friends in Washington state and Minnesota have led the way with strong endorsements from worldwide and Main Street businesses alike. Let’s do the same for Maryland!
  • Hello, Liberty 101? Examiner columnist Gregory Kane weirdly finds Chris Kluwe’s pottymouth worse than Del. Emmett Burns’ abuse of high government position;
  • I’m on this Cato Institute daily podcast laying Supreme Court odds on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

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Fundraiser Thursday!

Come to our fundraiser Thursday in Washington, D.C.! Tell your friends!

Danielle Crittenden Frum and David Frum have kindly offered to host a reception benefiting Maryland for All Families (our group!) and also Marylanders for Marriage Equality. To ensure that many people can join in to spread the word, they’ve made it WHATEVER YOU CAN AFFORD (of course bigger contributions are especially welcome).

We need people to RSVP promptly for purposes of planning this event, and in advance, please (not a drop-in event).

Details:

Thursday, September 27, 6 to 8 p.m.
[RSVP for address, Washington, DC]
Donation: what you can afford
(or champion-level: $250 person, $500 couple)
Cocktails/business dress
RSVP hannahgnt – at – gmail – dot -com, cc: wo – at- walterolson – dot -com

It’ll be a chance to meet heroes of the cause like Carrie Evans of Equality Maryland, Maryland Sen. Allan H Kittleman (R-Howard), R. Clarke Cooper of the Log Cabin Republicans, and of course hosts Danielle and David Frum, both well-known writers.

Please contact wo – at – walterolson.com if you’d like to:
1) Spread the invitation to others (answer will probably be “yes” within reason)
2) Donate even if you can’t attend; I can give details. Maryland for All Families has the special mission of rallying support for freedom to marry among conservatives, Republicans and libertarians in Maryland. Marylanders for Marriage Equality, with whom we’ll be splitting the funds raised, is the overall campaign FOR Question 6 on the November ballot.

Tell your friends!

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From Minnesota, Republican voices for freedom to marry

“Republicans Against the Minnesota Marriage Amendment” is (so to speak) our sister group working on the ballot measure in Minnesota. They have a page of their own on the website of the overall campaign, Minnesotans United for All Families.

Click through and you’ll find videos and a discussion sheet (PDF) much of which could be adapted to our own situation in Maryland. It stresses individual liberty and the pursuit of happiness, religious liberty for churches on both sides of the divide, and the importance of socially reinforcing rather than undermining the capacity we all have for love, commitment, and taking responsibility for families of our own. Here’s a letter to the editor making similar points. And this extraordinary, must-watch video featuring state Rep. John Kriesel (R-Cottage Grove):


Note that in Minnesota the ballot measure is couched in an opposite way from ours, so that while we need to vote FOR Question 6, they need to vote no to defeat a state constitutional amendment that would foreclose marriage.

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“The demographics in our party are shifting…”


“This conversation now has to happen, conservative to conservative, Republican to Republican,” says Sarah Longwell of Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, interviewed at the GOP convention. You can also watch here.

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In the news, September 11

  • Del. Emmett Burns backs off his bid to silence Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo [Baltimore Sun, earlier here, here] A Sun editorial says Del. Burns’ unfamiliarity with the principles of the First Amendment “suggests he has neither the temperament nor the basic understanding of government and law to continue in office. The fact that the use of his office letterhead for the purpose may have violated General Assembly ethics rules only underscores the point.” More analysis of the free speech issues from Hans Bader at CEI;
  • “Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman stresses Maryland same-sex law ‘enhances freedom'” [Michael Lavers, Washington Blade]
  • “On gay rights, Romney should look to Republican women” [Casey Pick, BlogHer]
  • Our friend David Lampo traces the weird disconnect between the throwback platform plank and the actual views of most Republican voters [HuffPo] Plus: “Why Are We So Afraid of Gay Republicans?” [Rob Smith, HuffPo]

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Del. Emmett Burns vs. Brendon Ayanbadejo: Day Two

  • Reporting on Del. Emmett Burns’s appalling attempt to silence Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo, NFL.com seems to have a lot of trouble identifying which political party Burns is from. News alert: He’s a Democrat. According to the ratings from Maryland Business for Responsive Government, his voting record was 90 percent anti-business last year (PDF), so we’re not exactly talking about a Republican in Democrats’ clothing here.
  • Eugene Volokh finds Burns’ letter: “a pretty inappropriate thing for a legislator, speaking in a way that stresses his role as legislator, to say to a private employer. There is no express threat of retaliation here, but such letters to private businesspeople — who often have to deal with legislature on various regulatory issues — tend to carry something of an implied threat, especially when they stress the author’s legislative position.” Burns sits on the Economic Matters Committee and its business regulation subcommittee.
  • “Leviticus should be followed to the letter – minus the shellfish condemnation, because after all this is Maryland.” — classic comment by Brian T. Robinson, prompted by the Volokh post.
  • Okay, Maryland Dems, how about we ask disgraced Del. Don Dwyer to step down and you ask power-abusing Del. Burns to do the same? Deal?
  • More coverage: Josh Alper/NBC Sports, Ty Duffy/The Big Lead, Chris Greenberg/HuffPost Sports, Jim Buzinski/OutSports, John Riley/Metroweekly, Mike Rosenwald/Washington Post.
  • Contrary to our hopes, relatively few big-name conservative commentators — the people who turned politicians’ intimidation of Chick-Fil-A into a big national story — have, as of yet, taken any note of Burns’ abuse of power. And it certainly does complicate the narrative, popular in some quarters, that only backers of traditional religious views on marriage have anything to fear about retaliation against their jobs and livelihoods.

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Del. Emmett Burns to Baltimore Ravens: silence Brendon Ayanbadejo

Wow. Del. Emmett Burns (D-Baltimore County), an opponent of same-sex marriage, fired off a letter to the owner [PDF] of the Baltimore Ravens on legislative stationery demanding that he silence Brendon Ayanbadejo, an outspoken marriage advocate. Pretty much every conservative commentator in America (properly) denounced the Boston mayor and Chicago alderman for menacing Chick-Fil-A. I hope some of them will speak up against this abuse of government office as well. [NBC Sports Pro Football Talk][cross-posted from Overlawyered]

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