fresh voices from the front lines of change







"If any of you can show just cause why these two may not lawfully be married," goes the familiar line from the marriage liturgy, "speak now; or else for ever hold your peace." After Wednesday, there is no just cause why same-sex couples may not be lawfully married. But that doesn't mean the opponents of marriage equality are likely to hold their peace, now or ever.

First of all, no matter what you've heard, there have been no signs of the apocalypse since Wednesday. That's got to be a disappointment to the anti-equality right wingers who were expecting something like this.


That hasn't happened. The government is not turning everyone gay with chemical weapons . Not yet, anyway. But you wouldn't know if from the reactions of these conservatives.

An unusually calm and restrained (for him anyway) Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told reporters that the fall of DOMA signals the "end of a great civilization."

Given that France, Uruguay, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, and New Zealand have not been wiped off the face of the earth, it's probably too soon start digging a bunker.

Is your passport up to date? You might need to find another country to call home, because Rush Limbaugh declared that the DOMA ruling demonstrates the "disintegration of the United States."  Not to mention the "visible fracturing by the judiciary of American culture."

Does this mean no Elton John serenade at Limbaugh wedding no. 5, assuming there is one?

Pennsylvania Republicans invoked "God's Law" to stop a gay lawmaker from speaking about the Court's ruling on DOMA. No seriously.

State Rep. Brian Sims, a Pennsylvania Democrat, was blocked by conservatives from speaking on the House floor about the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision, which one Republican explained was because Sims would be violating “God’s law.”

WHYY-FM reports that Sims, who is the state’s first openly gay lawmaker, was prevented from speaking about the decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act via a procedural move. ”I wasn’t planning on chastising anybody. I wasn’t planning on discussing how far we have to come in Pennsylvania or that we really have no civil rights in Pennsylvania,” Sims said. “It was really just going to limit my comments to how important the cases were.”

Sims, to his credit isn't about to shut up. He took to the floor of the Pennsylvania House to demand those who blocked him from speaking be reprimanded.

The Pennsylvania House hasn't heard the last of him. Rep. Sims plans to introduce a marriage bill that, if successful, will make Pennsylvania the 14th state to affirm marriage equality.

Sen. Rand Paul (R- Kentucky) appeared to agree with Glenn Beck that overturning DOMA could lead bizzare consequences, like people asking "does it have to be human?"

Paul has since tried to walk back his comments .

Now, Sen. Paul claims it was all a joke .

One-time GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee took his tearing of hair and rending of garments to Twitter .

If anything, Huckabee is probably weeping because his 2011 prediction that the decision not to defend DOMA would "destroy" Obama. Not only did Obama win re-election, but now there's not much left of DOMA to defend.

Huckabee wasnt' alone in tweeting his disappointment that gay couples might have lower tax bills, along with hospital visitation rights, etc. Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy tweeted on behalf of the "founding fathers."

If I had to guess, I'd say the founding fathers would first have to recover from learning that there's a black guy on the Supreme Court, and another in the White House. Anyway, Cathy chickened out and deleted his tweet.

The American Family Associations Brian Fisher picked up where Sen. Paul left off.

 Fox News Todd Starnes tweeted visions of apocalypse., that could have been lifted from the script of the next Left Behind movie.

You can almost hear the hum of black pink helicopters and the march of rainbow-painted jackboots in those last two of Starnes tweets.

Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) smells a conspiracy. At a House Republican Study Committee press conference, Weber actually stood up and accused the Court of being "in collusion with the President and his Injustice Department."

He may not have burned down the Supreme Court over the DOMA ruling, but Justice Antonin Scalia blasted the majority with heated rhetoric. Scalia dismissed the ruling as "legal argle bargle," and accused the majority of being terribly mean to the anti-equality crowd just for wanting to insure that same-sex couples had a thousand or so fewer rights and protections than married heterosexuals, including these :

Just a Few Federal Benefits

Apparently, denying same-sex couples these protections does not "‘disparage,’ ‘injure,’ ‘degrade,’ ‘demean,’ and ‘humiliate’ our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual." At least, not in Scalia's book.

But the best conservative DOMA-related freakout and the best response has to be the "exchange between Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minnesota) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.


The Supreme Court has given the GOP a huge gift: one more chance to get on the right side of history. The tide has turned. Six in ten Americans think same-sex marriage should be legal.  Among those ages 18 to 20, 81 percent support marriage equality. And it's not just young people. Support for marriage equality has increased in each generation; from 25 percent in 2004 to 43 percent by 2012, among Baby-boomers; and from 37 percent in 2004 to 53 percent in 2012 among Gen-Xers.

Conservatives are about out of excuses on this one. Democrats are already talking about repealing what's left of DOMA, and they're likely to have a lot of public support if they do. Republicans, on the other hand, can't support a repeal because their conservative base won't let them. GOP leadership would rather not talk about marriage equality between now and 2014, but they may not have a choice.  Rep. Tim Hueselkamp (R-Kansas) has already promised to file a constitutional amendment to restore DOMA.

If Republicans can't see the writing on the wall, and can't bridge the generational chasm in their own party on this issue, Republicans risk being left behind — trapped in the corner they painted themselves into. If so, then maybe they deserve to be.

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