In the Wall Street Journal, conservative Peggy Noonan offers a devastating critique of Republican prospects in the upcoming election. Get yourself a cup of coffee - sit down and enjoy her predictions:
The Democrats aren't the ones falling apart, the Republicans are. The Democrats can see daylight ahead. For all their fractious fighting, they're finally resolving their central drama. Hillary Clinton will leave, and Barack Obama will deliver a stirring acceptance speech. Then hand-to-hand in the general, where they see their guy triumphing. You see it when you talk to them: They're busy being born.
The Republicans? Busy dying. The brightest of them see no immediate light. They're frozen, not like a deer in the headlights but a deer in the darkness, his ears stiff at the sound. Crunch. Twig. Hunting party.
40 percent of Americans think marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages; 56 percent disagree. In 1967 at the time the Supreme Court lifted the ban on interracial marriage, 71% of the electorate was against lifting the ban.
Support has grown over the last dozen years; in 1996 just one in four Americans thought marriages between gays and lesbians should be valid. However, over the past four years support has fluctuated between 37 and 46 percent.
Support for recognizing same-sex marriages as legally valid, by region, according to this week's poll:
* 51 percent in the West; * 51 percent in the East; * 35 percent in the Midwest; * 30 percent in the South.
49 percent of Americans favor a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman, 48 percent oppose such an amendment.
26 percent of those who oppose legal recognition of same-sex marriages say they will vote only for candidates for major office who share their view on the issue. By contrast, only 2% of those who favor making same-sex marriage legal define themselves as one-issue voters on the subject.
This poll was conducted on telephone interviews with 1,017 national adults from May 8 to May 11, 2008. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points.
Ruling Undermines 'Ex-Gay' Propaganda And Lets Potential Recruits See The Truth About Same-Sex Relationships
NEW YORK - TruthWinsOut.org expressed jubilation over the California Supreme Court's decision to overturn a ban on same-sex marriage. The momentous 4-3 ruling is one of the biggest victories in the GLBT equality movement’s history. It also undermines "ex-gay" propaganda that demeans gay relationships to recruit new members.
"We are thrilled to be a part of history and experience a monumental victory for marriage equality," said Wayne Besen, TruthWinsOut.org's Executive Director. "The court made a bold decision and confirmed that all relationships, regardless of sexual orientation, are equal in California."
"Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest," the court said in a majority decision. "Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional."
The California court also said that the right to marry in the state's constitution "guarantees same-sex couples the same substantive constitutional rights as opposite-sex couples to choose one's life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized, and protected family relationship."
"This ruling is a devastating blow to 'ex-gay' cults, because it undermines their propaganda, which claims that same-sex relationships don't work," said TWO's Besen. "The images of happy couples marrying undercut their efforts to recruit vulnerable people."
The ruling will take effect and marriages will begin in 30 days. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement that said he will "respect the court's decision and will "uphold its ruling." He also said that he "will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling."
TruthWinsout.org is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.
It appears that race was a factor in the Democratic primary in West Virginia. Two in 10 white Democrats in the state said race mattered in how they voted - and 8 of 10 of these voters went to Clinton. Even more depressing, some Democrats were so desperate to vote for a white guy, that 7% cast their vote with John Edwards, even though he dropped out of the race months ago.
Hopefully, Obama can bring enough new voters into the election to override such backward attitudes.
In a major blow to national Republicans, a Mississippi congressional seat that once voted for President Bush by a twenty-five point margin elected a Democrat on Tuesday. Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers beat out Republican candidate Greg Davis, the mayor of Southaven, by a 54%-46% margin, a spread that several Republican strategists on Capitol Hill characterized as a startling wake-up call for a party in dire straits.
This is a disaster for the Republican Party and a good omen for the Democrats chances in the presidential election. People are clearly dissatisfied and want sweeping change. They are so fed up with Bush that they can't wait for the next election, to get rid of the stench that hovers over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Thursday around 10 a.m. PDT is the possible release of the same-sex marriage decision by the California Supreme Court. This decision, if affirming of equal marriage rights, will change the debate forever. This may be a historic day.
"What is it about gay sex that makes U.S. health officials want to play Chicken Little with AIDS prevention and public safety?" Tony Valenzuela writes in the latest Poz magazine, where he criticizes, "The clueless tabloid and public health hysteria over man-on-man sex."
Valenzuela points to "an imaginary 'super strain of HIV to the sci-fi MRSA superbug." And, he is correct that it seems the media and society seem to always take on the absurd posture that gay sex is a mysterious ticking time bomb.
It is important to remember that gay bashing is a multi-million dollar industry. There is a vested interest by fundamentalist groups to convince the public that gay people are morally inferior and diseased, thus a threat to children, society and themselves.
The notion that AIDS is a punishment from God is a staple of right wing literature. Instead of focusing on the condemnation of unsafe sexual practices, extremist groups say that the very nature of being gay makes one a candidate for an early death. For example, the so-called "ex-gay" group Exodus International uses the Bible to justify their belief in God's wrath and fury against homosexuals.
"Those who practice these sins 'receive in their own persons the due penalty of their error,'" writes former Exodus Executive Director Bob Davies in 'A Biblical Response to the Pro-Gay Movement.' "In today's society, homosexuality is reaping a bitter harvest...homosexual involvement reaps deep devastation in the lives of many who practice it."
The Traditional Values Coalition has published what they call a "fact-based report on the dangers of homosexuals and homosexual behavior to children and to our society." One "fact sheet" is called, "Homosexual Sex = Death From HIV Infection."
Focus on the Family offers that, "solid, irrefutable evidence proves that there are lethal consequences to engaging in the defining features of male homosexuality..."
Of course, blaming victims for deadly diseases is nothing new and has ushered in some of the most shameful and horrific acts in world history. In a recent New York Times magazine article, epidemiologist and physician Gary Slutkin (the article was about gang violence, not HIV) spoke of how Chinese Americans were once thought to be inherently prone to disease.
"Chinatown, San Francisco in the 1880's," Slutkin said. "Three ghosts: malaria, smallpox and leprosy. No one wanted to go there. Everybody blamed the people. Dirty. Bad habits. Something about their race...And people come up with all kinds of other ideas that are not scientifically grounded -- like putting people away, closing the place down, pushing people out of town. Sound familiar?"
John Kelly's book, "The Great Mortality" explains how Jews were blamed for the "Black Death" that wiped out an estimated one-third of fourteenth century Europeans.
"In January 1349, Basel burned its Jews on an island in the Rhine, while hygiene-conscious Speyer, fearing pollution, put its dead Jews in wine barrels and rolled them into the river," wrote Kelly. "Strasbourg marched its Jews to a local cemetery and burned them...In Worms the local Jewish community, faced with death at the hands of Christian neighbors, locked themselves in their homes and set themselves ablaze."
What I find bizarre is how the right continues to portray HIV as a gay disease when more than 80 percent of people infected worldwide are heterosexual. If God really wanted to punish the so-called "gay lifestyle" and send a message, wouldn't He use a smart bomb -- like blowing up gay bars on Saturday nights -- instead of an indiscriminate shotgun blast that claims the lives of hemophiliacs and babies? The last time God was this inefficient, He placed George W. Bush in the Oval Office to carry out his will.
For reasons of political convenience and conservative correctness, anti-gay groups pick and choose who gets blame. In Washington, DC, black residents account for 81% of new reports of HIV infection and 86% of people with AIDS, though the city's population is only 57% African-American. Based on anti-gay "logic," this would mean that the "black lifestyle" is dangerous and should be condemned. Interestingly, they only focus on homosexuality and ignore other demographics and the largely hetero International AIDS epidemic because the inconvenient facts don't mesh well with the right's anti-gay storyline.
Gay people were around for thousands of years before AIDS and will still inhabit this planet long after the disease subsides or is eradicated. In the grand scheme of the universe, HIV does not define homosexuality any more than past syphilis or gonorrhea outbreaks in Europe defined heterosexuality.
Illnesses, like natural disasters, are not God's wrath, but ordinary phenomena that affect different populations at any given time. History, however, teaches us that the most enduring disease is divisiveness in the name of the Divine, that predictably rears its ugly head at the very moments when healing is needed instead of hatred.
The New York Post got a transcript of Oliver Stone's tough feature film about Bush. Stone calls him "horrible . . . worst in history." Josh Brolin plays W.; Elizabeth Banks, Laura; James Cromwell, papa Bush; Ellen Burstyn, mama Barbara; Thandie Newton, Condoleezza. First-ever movie about a sitting president, shooting in Shreveport, La., is so hush-hush secret that all scripts are embargoed. Watermarked so that each is traceable. However, the Post got a copy and it is worth a read. The story uses real scenes from Bush's life and explains how he became and international disgrace that damaged American interests at home and abroad.