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“As Maine Goes, So Goes The Nation?” Bull. Part Two.



The Tyranny Of The Majority Is Unacceptable

This is Part II. You can read Part I here.

So, the results in Maine suck.

I need you to take a deep breath and stay with me for a minute.

If someone came up to you and said, “Hi! I’m going to give you this fabulous prize – which you already deserve – and all you have to do is jump fifty hurdles, which no one has ever cleared even one of before, what do you think? Are you ready?” You’d say, bullshit.


“Hi! I’m going to give you marriage equality – which you already deserve – and all you have to do is get the majority of voters to say yes in each of our fifty states, which no one has ever won even once before, what do you think? Are you ready?”

That’s right.


Take another deep breath.

There are several truths I need you to accept.

Marriage is a civil right. Disagree? The U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t. It’s already stated marriage is a civil right.

The United States was designed to protect the rights of all people, and to free them from the “tyranny of the majority.” Think it doesn’t exist? Plato did. He first floated the concept back in 380 B.C. Disagree that America was designed to protect minorities? Founding Father James Madison thought it was. So did did Alexis de Tocqueville – he coined the term in 1835 when he wrote “Democracy in America.”

If you live in this country and do not identify 100% as heterosexual, you are oppressed. You are automatically and effectively judged and treated differently than those who do. To what degree depends on your socio-economic status and geographic location.

David Mixner yesterday called this “Gay Apartheid.” I have struggled with the term all day. While I agree we share many of the same challenges in theory as Blacks in South Africa, the practices against us are not so blatant. That’s the beauty of oppression executed well – accomplishing it so the oppressed do not recognize their own oppression. In the end, the term doesn’t help us win hearts and minds, and that is still a battle I’m struggling with as well.

While we’re on the subject of the LGBTQ community’s relationship with the African American community, let me say this. Our struggle is similar. Our challenges were and continue to be similar. African Americans in this country are in terrible straits, and they, too, have every right to be angry. Just as we say no one is equal if we’re not, we must say no one is equal if they’re not. And they – African Americans – are not treated equally. We all can learn so much from each other. And we must.

It’s time to partner with the African American community. It’s time to understand their anger and their pain and realize that they are us in a few short decades if we don’t work together to solve the problem of class and inequality.

One of the “perks,” if you will, of being gay was that we were indoctrinated almost from birth with the supposition that we couldn’t possibly get married and have families. We ended up working a lot and making a lot of money. It’s true, the disposable income of gays and lesbians in America was the focus of marketing studies and every CEO ten years ago.

But now we’re forming families and raising children and you know what? That “perk,” that extra disposable income factor is slipping away. I was talking yesterday with Justin Elzie, the first Marine to come out under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 1993. He asked me, “Are we going to be able to afford all these marriage battles?” The answer, quite frankly, is, “No.”

We’re not going to win marriage equality at the ballot box. Nor should we be forced to try. Nor should we ever have agreed to it. It is morally reprehensible to ever have asked us to offer our rights up for a vote. No other group in this country ever had to try to secure equality at the ballot box. It has always come from the judicial or legislative branches of government, not from the people. As former governor Jesse Ventura said election night, “If you put it up to the vote of the people, we’d have slavery again.”

So should we, as I wrote the Washington Blade mused yesterday, “make the more pragmatic push for civil unions?” Hell no.

Can you imagine if African Americans or interracial couples had been offered domestic partnerships but not full marriage equality, in essence and in name? Can you imagine, for example, Asians, banding together to secure “everything but marriage,” as we did on Tuesday in Washington state? What if “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” were applied to Hispanics? Or if you could be fired in twenty-nine states just because you were blond?

Americans today would never stand for that. Nor should we.

It is time for this country to cease half-measured attempts at solving full-measured crises. As I wrote in Part I, this Rumsfeldian battle-on-the-cheap didn’t work in Iraq, it didn’t work in California, and it didn’t work in Maine.

It’s time to demand full equality, in essence and in name, in every aspect of our lives. And it’s time to look at our leaders and say, “We’ve grown up. We’re not playing your games anymore.”

Oh, I know. “Be patient.” “Work with your elected representatives.” “No battle for civil rights was ever easy.” “It’s a long hard slog.” (Sorry, that “Rumsfeldian” thread is still in my head.)

I disagree.

We can no longer continue to buy into the concept of incrementalism, getting and giving up and getting and giving up our rights, slowly but surely, for decades to come. Win marriage in California. Lose marriage in California. Win marriage in Maine. Lose marriage in Maine. And yes, forces are forming now to repeal New Hampshire’s hard-won gay marriage law.

The time has come to say to Uncle Sam, enough.

Civil rights are federal.

Who investigates civil rights abuses? The Federal Bureau of Investigation. Because civil rights are federally protected. And marriage is a civil right.

In a country that tells us from the moment we’re born that we can be fired in twenty-nine states – just for being gay, that you cannot marry in forty-five states, that your government will not recognize your marriage at the federal level, that you cannot serve in the military, well, tell me that is a free society that offers full equality for all its citizens?

There is a difference between society not accepting groups of people (which is wrong to begin with,) and the government actively making laws against a group of people, taking away rights from them – rights enjoyed by the majority. And that’s what has happened here. Laws have been made that take away rights that exist because we are human beings. Inherent rights all humans possess, by virtue of their being. We cannot allow this to continue. We must find a different path to secure our equality.

So, you will ask, will I continue to fight for marriage? Yes. Will I continue to fight for marriage state by state? Yes. Because to not would be unfair to us all. Will I continue to fight for repeal of DADT and DOMA, and enactment of ENDA? Yes. Will I continue to fight to have the LGBTQ community included in the Civil Rights Act of 1969? Yes.

But will I work to take us out of what I call the “whack-a-mole marriage machine?” Will I work to get us to the point where we decide what the game is and how we’re going to play it? Hell yes.

This is Part II. You can read Part I here.

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‘Going for the Jugular’: Legal Scholar Warns ‘Trumpers’ Want to End Major Civil Right



One of the nation’s top constitutional scholars has issued a strong warning that the GOP will be working to overturn one of the most consequential, landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions in modern American history. Griswold v. Connecticut established the precedent for the right to privacy, laying the foundation for the right to contraception, abortion, same-sex intimate relationships, and same-sex marriage.

Two years ago next month, the right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v.Wade, which for nearly 50 years had established the constitutional right to abortion. In his concurring opinion, embattled Justice Clarence Thomas issued a call for cases to be brought before the nation’s highest court, declaring that rulings that had also established the rights to contraception and same-sex marriage were, in his opinion, wrongly-decided. Justice Thomas declared the Court “should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell” — making clear he wanted the Court to overturn those rulings, and by doing so, strike down the constitutional rights to contraception, same-sex intimacy, and same-sex marriage.

“All three cases—and numerous other landmark decisions—are built upon the right to substantive due process found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, which prohibit the government from depriving ‘any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,'” as TIME reported in 2022.

READ MORE: Republicans Grind House to a Standstill After Democrat Says ‘Trump Is Not a King’

Griswold, decided in 1965, established the right of married couples to use contraception. The Justices at the time cited various reasons for declaring a Connecticut law banning the use of contraception unconstitutional, including by establishing the right to privacy, which far-right justices on today’s Supreme Court have indicated they do not support.

Months before the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling striking down abortion, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who is now running for re-election, was attacking Griswold – and Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson along with it.

“Constitutionally unsound rulings like Griswold vs. Connecticut, Kelo v. the City of New London, and NFIB vs. Sebelius confuse Tennesseans and left Congress wondering who gave the court permission to bypass our system of checks and balances,” Blackburn said in her 2022 video. “It is the 11th hour and Judge Jackson’s stance on the Constitution remains a secret.”

Now, as far-right groups and the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party’s nomination for president work to advance opposition to the right to contraception, Blackburn’s extremist video has turned up again – this time in a social media post Wednesday from the Biden re-election campaign.

READ MORE: ‘Not an Accident’: Trump’s ‘Unified Reich’ Video Alarms Historians and Fascism Experts

The Biden campaign on Wednesday also posted these videos from far-right activist and Christian nationalist Charlie Kirk, and from Donald Trump.

University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Laurence Tribe, a professor of law and top constitutional scholar who wrote a major textbook on the U.S. Constitution, responded to the Biden campaign’s post featuring Sen. Blackburn by blasting “Trumpers,” the MAGA Republicans.

“The Trumpers are now going for the jugular in attacking the great 1965 precedent on which nearly all federal rights of privacy and personal autonomy depend, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, upholding the right to use contraceptives when having sexual relations,” Professor Tribe warned.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

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Republicans Grind House to a Standstill After Democrat Says ‘Trump Is Not a King’



Republicans ground the House to a halt Wednesday afternoon after U.S. Rep. Erin Houchin (R-IN) objected to remarks made by Rules Committee Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA), during which he delivered a short overview of the 88 criminal charges Donald Trump is facing, and civil court findings including one deeming him an adjudicated rapist.

“Take down his words,” Congresswoman Houchin declared, interrupting Rep. McGovern. “I demand that his words be taken down.”

For more than one hour, according to Fox News’ Chad Pergram, the people’s business stopped as Republicans, angered by the Democrat’s factual remarks, had them investigated by the House Parliamentarian.

“Donald Trump might want to be a king, but he is not a king,” Congressman McGovern observed. “He is not a presumptive king. he’s not even the president – he’s a presumptive nominee.”

READ MORE: ‘Deeply Dangerous’: Critics Slam Trump and Allies Over False Biden Assassination Plot

“At some point,” McGovern told his congressional colleagues, “it’s time for this body to recognize that there is no precedent for this situation. We have a presumptive nominee for President facing 88 felony counts, and we’re being prevented from even acknowledging it. These are not alternative facts. These are real facts. A candidate for President of the United States is on trial for sending a hush money payment to a porn star to avoid a sex scandal during his 2016 campaign, and then fraudulently disguising those payments in violation of the law. He’s also charged with conspiring to overturn the election. He’s also charged with stealing classified information and a jury has already found him liable for rape and a civil court. And yet, in this Republican controlled House, it’s okay to talk about the trial but you have to call it a sham.”

The decision to strike McGovern’s “offensive” remarks appears to have come from U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-AL), who was presiding over the chamber. He cited House Rule XVII, which Pergram reported “says House members are prohibited from impugning the motives of fellow House members, senators or the President. And in this case, the former President.”

Earlier, before Rep. Houchin demanded his remarks be stricken, McGovern also blasted Republicans for traveling to New York in their “cult uniforms,” to show support for Donald Trump at his criminal trial in Lower Manhattan.

The Massachusetts Democrat told his colleagues, “my friends over the other side of the aisle have pandered to their most extreme members over and over and over again. They let the extremists kick out their own Speaker. They let the extremists dictate the agenda on the House floor. They let the extremists take down seven rule votes since January 2023 – a stunning indictment of their ability to get anything done. And speaking of indictments, Republicans are skipping their real jobs to take day trips up to New York to try to undermine Donald Trump’s criminal trial. No time to work with Democrats, but plenty of time to put on weird matching cult uniforms and stand behind President Trump with their bright red ties like pathetic props.”

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

“Maybe they want to distract from the fact that their candidate for president has been indicted more times and he’s been elected. Maybe they don’t want to talk about the fact that the leader of their party is on trial for covering up hush money payments to a porn star for political gain, not to mention three of the criminal felony prosecutions he’s facing. Now I understand why my Republican friends want to distract from Donald Trump. They don’t want to talk about how Trump had the worst jobs record since the Great Depression, how we sold out our allies and empowered our adversaries. So they bring silly things like this to the floor to deflect blame and distract from the fact that they have no real vision, just division, and no real plans to make life better for the American people.”

But removing McGovern’s remarks procedurally required the Clerk to read them aloud:

Later, Rep. McGovern on social media remarked, “The point I was making is that saying Trump’s trial is a sham is *in order* on the floor. But simply saying there *is* a trial is against the rules. You can only talk about the trial on the House Floor if you’re using it to defend Donald Trump.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Incomprehensible’: More Classified Docs Were Found at Mar-a-Lago, Unsealed Court Filing Reveals

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‘Not Going to Comment’: Johnson Dodges Trump-Stormy Daniels Allegations



Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is refusing to comment on the allegations at the center of Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial, that he paid “hush money” to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

“You’ve been very clear about your disdain for the hush money case, but what about the underlying alleged conduct of paying off a porn star to keep this extramarital affair allegedly quiet?” CNN’s Manu Raju asked Speaker Johnson Wednesday (video below). “You’re a deeply religious man, a moral man, does that alleged crime cause you any concern about the former president’s character?”

Johnson, a Christian nationalist who has said the Bible is the basis for his “worldview,” and, “I am a Bible-believing Christian,” would not weigh in on the indicted ex-president’s alleged infidelity.

“At least 26 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, with allegations stretching back to the 1970s and running through 2016,” Business Insider has reported.

READ MORE: ‘Deeply Dangerous’: Critics Slam Trump and Allies Over False Biden Assassination Plot

“Melania gave birth to the couple’s only son, Barron, in March 2006,” BI continues. “Adult film star Stormy Daniels alleged that she and Trump had a sexual encounter just four months later, in July 2006,” and “Playboy model Karen McDougal alleged that she started an affair with Trump even closer to the birth of Barron in June 2006.”

Trump has denied all the allegations.

Johnson ignored the 34 felony charges brought by the State of New York. They include falsification of business records with the intent to cover up the hush money payments to unlawfully influence the 2016 presidential election.

Instead, the Speaker claimed District Attorney Alvin Bragg is “going after” Trump “for who he is.”

But Johnson also promoted a Trump talking point, falsely claiming that “the case is patently absurd, you’ve had every legal analyst across the board acknowledge as much.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Not an Accident’: Trump’s ‘Unified Reich’ Video Alarms Historians and Fascism Experts

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