The New Book About The Marriage Equality Movement Gets The Big Things Wrong

This isn’t the first time I’ve read an opinion that states this book got a lot of things wrong.

WASHINGTON — A 434-page book about a lawsuit that promised to bring marriage equality to all Americans, but only resulted in restoring marriage equality in California, is a tough sell. Unless the book can claim that the effort was the start of a revolution — and that the man who conceived of that effort is the gay rights movement’s Rosa Parks.

That is what Jo Becker, a reporter for the New York Times and Pulitzer Prize winner, attempts to do in Forcing the Spring, due out Tuesday.

Her book is missing the nuance or questioning eye that the story of marriage equality demands. The breakneck pace of the marriage equality movement in recent years has made it difficult for anyone to keep up with all that is happening on a day-to-day basis. Many moving pieces, from lawsuits to policy changes to campaigns, combined to turn a once unthinkable idea into an inevitability.

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A Fight For Credit In The Marriage Equality Movement

WASHINGTON — Few moments in the marriage equality movement have provoked more controversy than the 2009 decision of Chad Griffin to fight California’s Proposition 8 in federal court — and to enlist Ted Olson, a key official of the George W. Bush administration, to do so.

Now that the legal bill behind that legal effort has been revealed to be more than $6 million, some are asking questions about the steep fee for the lawyers in the Prop 8 case — especially as a slate of new marriage cases advance through the courts and lawyers jockey for position to argue the one that they expect will ultimately deliver marriage equality to all 50 states.

The debate over the Prop 8 price tag is just one part of a much larger battle within the legal world of LGBT rights: the fight for credit.

Since Griffin, now the head of the Human Rights Campaign, made the decision to go up against Prop 8 five years ago, the landscape for marriage equality has changed dramatically. Griffin, the campaign he put together — the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) — and the lawyers he recruited — Olson and David Boies — are in the midst of a public relations campaign to claim a big slice of the credit for that change. While the fight for credit continues, especially with the forthcoming publication of Jo Becker’s book looking at the past five years of the marriage fight, the questions about the costs of the case have percolated under the surface.

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Mormon Church states opposition to gay marriage but hints at subtler shift

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have one Mormon friend. Both she and her husband know I’m a Lesbian and neither have a problem with it. She told me that it’s because I’m not all in-your-face about it.

For the second time in two years, a top official of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has explicitly stated the church’s opposition to gay marriage.

At the church’s biannual conference in Salt Lake City Saturday, Neil Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve, the church’s second-highest governing body, said: “While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not. He designated the purpose of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults to, more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured.”

The statement is no surprise. Last year, another member of the Quorum said human laws cannot “make moral what God has declared immoral.”

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Once Devout Mormons Lead Push To Change LDS Church Stance On Homosexuality

This is amazing! I’m so thrilled that the NALT movement seems to be sprouting up even in the most unlikely of places. I have a friend who is a Mormon and though she is about as unconventional as one might be within the LDS church, we don’t talk about my relationship at all. She knows I have a girlfriend, but that’s about it. It’s an interesting friendship, to be sure, but I’m very fond of her and we have a mutual respect that we both can live with.

I also remember meeting a girl online a few years back who was Mormon and a little more devout, yet she was bisexual and saw no problem with it. Probably because she and her boyfriend/husband (can’t remember which he was) were into the whole poly-marriage thing and she’d have plenty of ready partners all around. To each her own, I suppose.

SALT LAKE CITY — SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Wendy and Tom Montgomery went door-to-door in their California neighborhood in 2008 campaigning for the passage of an anti-gay marriage proposition. They were among thousands of faithful Mormons following the direction of a church that spent millions on the cause.

Then they learned last year that their 15-year-old son is gay — a revelation that rocked their belief system.

Now, Wendy Montgomery is leading a growing movement among Mormons to push The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to teach that homosexuality isn’t a sin.

They are hopeful. The Utah-based church’s stance on homosexuality has softened considerably since it was one of the leading forces behind California’s Proposition 8. A new website launched this year encourages more compassion toward gays, implores them to stay in the faith and clarifies that church leaders no longer “necessarily advise” gays to marry people of the opposite sex in what used to be a widely practiced Mormon workaround for homosexuality. In May, church leaders backed the Boy Scouts’ policy allowing gays in the ranks. Some gay Mormons who left or were forced out of the church say they are now being welcomed back — even though they remain in same-sex relationships.

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CA Supreme Court Rejects Bid To Stop Gay Marriages

Stuff like this is what makes the law so confusing. Each state has the right to maintain its own laws regarding pretty much everything, yet federal laws can differ drastically and often do. Sometimes I think it would be better if federal law only pertained to the relationships of states among themselves and had nothing to do with personal matters. It’s just so contradictory and convoluted and confusing.

And while I hate that we don’t have full rights for marriage, I have to say that over-riding something that the voters in the state clearly voted for – this ban on gay marriage – doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy about the law and the justice system. This is going to go on forever, ad nauseum. The voters spoke their mind, something typically a part of a democratic system, but then it’s just over-turned because the federal government thinks it’s wrong? Believe me, I want this to be a fight we win, but not like this.

SAN FRANCISCO — California’s highest court refused Tuesday to block the state from sanctioning same-sex marriages while it considers a petition arguing that a voter-approved gay marriage ban remains valid in all but two counties.

Without comment, the California Supreme Court rejected a request from the elected government official in charge of issuing marriage licenses in San Diego County for an order halting gay marriages, which resumed in the state last month for the first time since the ban passed in November 2008.

County clerk Ernest Dronenburg Jr. sought the stay on Friday. He also asked the seven-member court to consider his legal argument that same-sex marriages still are illegal in most of California, despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision widely regarded as having authorized them and the state attorney general’s assertion that clerks throughout the state must issue licenses to gay couples.

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to return to the nation’s most populous state last month when it ruled that the sponsors of Proposition 8 lacked authority to appeal a federal trial judge’s decision that the ban violated the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian Californians.

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Geeks OUT calling for movie protest

I’m really sad to learn this news. I was actually looking forward to seeing this movie, but not now. 😦

It’s one of the most highly anticipated films of the upcoming holiday movie season, though “Ender’s Game” now has a considerable amount of controversy to go with the hype.

Geeks OUT has launched an online protest of the film due to author Orson Scott Card being an outspoken opponent of gay marriage. Called “Skip Ender’s Game,” the boycott urges potential audiences to steer clear of the film, which is based on Card’s popular 1985 novel.

“Do NOT see this movie! Do not buy a ticket at the theater, do not purchase the DVD, do not watch it on-demand,” Geeks OUT officials write. “Ignore all merchandise and toys. However much you may have admired his books, keep your money out of Orson Scott Card’s pockets.”

Geeks OUT is organizing a series of “Skip Ender’s Game” events in New York, Orlando, Seattle, and other major U.S. cities to coincide with the movie’s debut this November.

I’m surprised that his not-so-veiled threat against the US government has largely gone ignored.

Gay marriage would lead to polygamy

Well, I have to admit, this is a new (and creative) argument against gay marriage: that if you move beyond the bounds of the traditional man/woman relationship within a marriage then it will lead to polygamists demanding that polygamy be decriminalised. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter to me how many you want to marry. If everyone is happy and no one feels neglected, knock yourselves out. As it stands, those who live in a polygamist relationship can rely on the government for assistance. I mean think about it. One man and one woman can legally marry, yet other women (and presumably their children) live with them in a “marriage” that’s not considered legal. Any and all women who are not legally married to that one man are technically single mothers and can seek government assistance as such. I say let them all marry and get off government assistance!!

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s opposition to gay marriage is well established.

But as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to issue decisions on two major gay marriage cases this week, less well-known is his co-authorship, in January 2013, of a court brief that laid out an argument against the constitutionality of allowing same-sex couples to marry.

In the amicus brief, Cuccinelli, the attorney general of Virginia, and Greg Zoeller, the attorney general or Indiana, used a novel justification to make their point in one section of the 55-page brief — namely that gay marriage could lead to polygamy.

“Responsible parenting is not a justification for same-sex-couple marriage, as distinguished from recognition of any other human relationships. It is instead a rationale for eliminating marriage as government recognition of a limited set of relationships. Once the natural limits that inhere in the relationship between a man and a woman can no longer sustain the definition of marriage, the conclusion that follows is that any grouping of adults would have an equal claim to marriage. See, e.g. , Jonathan Turley, One Big, Happy Polygamous Family , NY Times, July 21, 2011, at A27 (“[Polygamists] want to be allowed to create a loving family according to the values of their faith.”).”

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Murkowski Backs Gay Marriage

I’m not sure I agree that ‘evolving view’ is overused, but perhaps I am wrong.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) expressed support for gay marriage Wednesday, becoming the third sitting Republican senator to do so.

The Human Rights Campaign, a pro-gay rights group, announced the Alaska senator had backed marriage equality in a statement.

“This is a hard issue. It is hard because marriage is such a deeply personal issue,” Murkowski told Anchorage television station KTUU. “There may be some that when they hear the position that I hold that are deeply disappointed. There may be some that embrace the decision that I have made.”

“I recognize that it is an area that as a Republican I will be criticized for,” she added.

Murkowski had said in March that her views were shifting on the issue. “The term ‘evolving view’ has been perhaps overused, but I think it is an appropriate term for me to use,” she said.