Talk About a SmackDown: WWE’s Stone Cold Steve Austin Comes Out for Gay Marriage

By: Friday April 25, 2014 4:15 pm

What’s remarkable about the exchange is how unremarkable it is. Austin’s indignation and dismissal of intolerant faith-based counter arguments represents an increasingly mainstream point of view. The fact that so much time has been spent over the last year questioning whether the NBA or NFL was ready for openly gay players seems silly in light of this rant.

 

Mozilla CEO Steps Down Amid OkCupid Led Backlash to Anti-Gay Marriage Views

By: Friday April 4, 2014 5:01 pm

That this decision was inspired by a dating website standing up for the rights of their membership is a pretty powerful reminder of how far we’ve come.

Is Marriage Equality Almost Here? Six Possible Outcomes of the DOMA and Prop 8 Cases

By: Wednesday June 12, 2013 6:00 pm

In 2007 Edie Windsor married Thea Spyer after already being together for 40 years. When Spyer died, in 2009, their home state of New York recognized marriage equality, but because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the federal government did not. As a result, Windsor was faced with paying more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes because Spyer had left her estate to Windsor.

Had the federal government recognized their marriage and given it the same status as opposite-sex married couples in the state, Windsor would not have to pay any estate taxes.

Marriage Discrimination Proponents Use Recycled Racist Rhetoric

By: Thursday May 16, 2013 4:00 pm

“There goes the neighborhood” is a phrase I grew up hearing from racist neighbors in the white, middle-class suburbia of my 1960s and 1970s childhood. The phrase — or better said, epithet — packed a lot of meaning. It expressed the opinion that when a black family moved into an all-white neighborhood, expectations were that the place was destined for hell and decay, taking property values down with it. “White flight” was the prescribed remedy.

Conservatives Upset by Other Conservatives Being Conservative on Marriage Equality

By: Wednesday March 27, 2013 4:31 pm

Russell Kirk once said conservatism was not a set of ideas as much as “a mood.” If so then conservatism is in a curious mood as gay marriage gains wider acceptance. There has always been a schism between fiscal conservatives and social conservatives but as homosexuality has become more normalized and less taboo, particularly to younger people, the conservative movement seems to be confused and having new and strange feelings towards progressive social positions. But when confronted with their hidden truth they lash out. A love that dare not speak its name?

TV Recognizes the “Modern Family” — Why Not Governments?

By: Saturday February 23, 2013 6:41 pm

I’m struck by how fast family realities change and how slowly laws and societal perceptions about what’s “right” reflect those changes. The couples depicted in Modern Family, the prime-time sitcom depicting “non-traditional” — e.g., same-sex, interracial, and inter-generational — couples, were surely seen by society at large as more unusual in 2009, when the show first aired, than even just five years later.

House Republican-Funded Pro-DOMA Legal Team Strikes Out Again in Second Circuit

By: Thursday October 18, 2012 12:00 pm

A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, upholding lower-court rulings that found the law, which discriminates against the marriage rights of gays and lesbians, unconstitutional. The author of the opinion, Dennis Jacobs, is a very conservative George H.W. Bush appointee. But even he had to acknowledge the nature of the case, ruling that discrimination of LGBT individuals deserves heightened scrutiny, and that therefore a federal law which discriminates against them must be treated skeptically.

DHS Issues Written Guidance for Immigration Officials That Same-Sex Couples Are in “Family Relationships”

By: Friday September 28, 2012 1:00 pm

The Department of Homeland Security today announced a change to immigration rules, saying that they would consider same-sex couples as “family relationships” for the purposes of immigration policy. Specifically, the written guidance reads, “In an effort to make clear the definition of the phrase ‘family relationships,’ I have directed ICE to disseminate written guidance to the field that the interpretation of the phrase ‘family relationships’ includes long-term, same-sex partners.” This means that same-sex couples in binational relationships would have their coupling considered as part of any immigration proceedings. There are roughly 36,000 such couples today.

Thoughts on Day 1 at the DNC – The Rise of the Social Liberals

By: Wednesday September 5, 2012 6:49 am

You can read the big prime-time speeches from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and First Lady Michelle Obama. They tell a coherent story of success borne out of struggle, the importance of government investment in education and opportunity as a bridge from the bottom, and the need to give everyone those same chances. They were well-told tales.

Virtually all of the speeches last night, from Ted Strickland to Deval Patrick to even Martin O’Malley, were well-told. For all the hype about Republicans and their “deep bench,” I think it’s clear that Democrats have better speakers and better speechwriters at this stage of the game.

Romney Cites Desire for Privacy on Mormon Church Tithing

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 1:29 pm

Gawker just dumped 950 pages of internal documents, mostly internal audited financial statements, from 20 funds tied to Bain Capital, investment vehicles for Mitt Romney, which they claim “reveal the mind-numbing, maze-like, and deeply opaque complexity with which Romney has handled his wealth, the exotic tax-avoidance schemes available only to the preposterously wealthy that benefit him, the unlikely (for a right-wing religious Mormon) places that his money has ended up, and the deeply hypocritical distance between his own criticisms of Obama’s fiscal approach and his money managers’ embrace of those same policies.”

The documents are quite jargon-heavy, and much of the information in the document dump that’s been revealed so far consist of reiteration or extended details of information that has already been revealed about tax-dodging schemes. So I’m not totally sure that we’re going to get so much out of these Bain documents, at least not right away. They add some color to the well-known fact that Romney, like many rich people, goes to great lengths to shelter his money from taxation.

However, we did learn something pretty valuable about Mitt Romney’s tax situation today. Romney doesn’t want to make his tithing public.

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