People become Republicans because of religion

At least for the vast majority, that is. See here:

With no debate, Republicans at the party’s spring meeting here on Friday unanimously approved a number of resolutions, including one that reaffirmed the party’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

“The Republican National Committee affirms its support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America,” the resolution read. The 157 RNC members present approved it in a voice vote.

I’ve made the claim in the past that the reason people turn to the GOP is out of their conservative Christianity. To me, this is a very tiny, very obvious claim. Basically dishonest people who aren’t interested in critical thinking (or doing any research, but I digress), such as the odious Michael Hartwell, have tried to spin my statement in a way where in order to prove it I would have to explicitly know the minds of every single Republican. Under his requirements, we could never surmise why anyone becomes anything if the group we’re discussing is sufficiently large. (This is interesting, too, since he has gone the racist route of claiming that blacks vote for Democrats because they benefit from and like handouts.)

At any rate, I think this is all quite obvious: Most people who become Republican are first fundamentally religious, soon recognizing that there is a political party which reflects their religiosity. The re-affirmation of the GOP’s opposite to marriage equality is a perfect example of this because there are no good (or even honest) secular arguments against allowing same-sex couples their constitutionally guaranteed right to marriage. That is, it is the base Christianity that underlies the Republican party that has caused this vote and view; we don’t live in some backwards world where people became bigoted Republicans all on their own, later noticing that a particular cultural religion happens to exactly reflect their positions.

Gays don’t belong at the back of the bus

But that’s where we keep putting them:

Frederic Deloizy says his life began the day he met Mark Himes by chance at a birthday party in April 1990.

Himes had recently started a job with Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and Deloizy was studying at a nearby college. The strangers arrived at the party at the same time, and Deloizy held the door open for Himes, catching his eye.

“It was love at first sight. We felt we belonged together,” Deloizy said.

What followed was a whirlwind romance lived out across two continents, through overseas phone calls and hand-written love letters.

Deloizy, a French national, spent the past two decades in and out of the United States leapfrogging from one visa to another, in hopes of creating a life together with Himes, who was born and raised outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

But 21 years and four adopted children later, the couple — who were married in California in 2008 — is fighting to stay together since Deloizy’s final visa expired in September.

And, of course, DOMA is forcing this couple to the back of the bus. Hell, it’s kicking one of them out of the vehicle all together. How anyone can’t see that this is wrong is beyond me.

I would love to hear some conservative bigot try to justify this. Oh, marriage is for the protection and well-being of children? Then how about we make the lives of the four children involved here a whole lot better? I realize that the emotional and financial well-being of human beings who are different isn’t important to most conservatives, especially those conservatives of the religious variety, but it is nothing short of hypocrisy to want to deny this small litter of kids their parents. It can only be a good thing to facilitate a loving home. That fact is nothing but improved under the presence of children.

Anti-gay bigots misstep

Anti-gay bigots are making a stink about the judge who struck down Prop 8 in California. They’re arguing that he should have recused himself or at least disclosed that he is in a long-term relationship with another man:

“Only if Chief Judge Walker had unequivocally disavowed any interest in marrying his partner could the parties and the public be confident that he did not have a direct personal interest in the outcome of the case,” attorneys for the coalition of religious and conservative groups that put Proposition 8 on the November 2008 ballot wrote.

Saying Walker’s sexual orientation is cause for vacating his ruling would be like saying a black judge who rules in favor of other black people is acting improperly. I don’t think this argument will fly, especially since the ruling is being appealed anyway.

But that isn’t what’s really interesting about this. Look at the argument the bigots are trying to piece together. The only way the public could be confident of Walker’s impartiality is if “he did not have a direct personal interest in the outcome of the case”. And, of course, the reason they claim he has a direct personal interest is because he’s gay. So I presume a straight judge doesn’t have a direct personal interest in the matter? So if the only way a judge would have no personal interest in this case is if he was straight, then how is it that any straight people have any personal interest? It seems to me that the bigot organizations just argued that straight people have no legitimate personal interests to raise when dealing with gay marriage.

But then, I don’t really expect any coherent arguments from these sort of people.

Target makes things worse

Target donated money to a group that then supported a bigoted candidate for governor in Minnesota this past election cycle. (The guy lost.) This caused problems with non-bigots, especially the ones who are being actively denied rights. As a result, many pro equal marriage protests have been taking place against Target stores across the country, including in San Diego. Now Target has decided to make things worse for itself:

Target Corp. is suing a San Diego pro-gay marriage group to get it to stop canvassing outside its San Diego County stores, alleging its activists are driving away customers.

Yeah, that’s kind of the point of protests. Now expect a lot more of them, Target.


Same-sex marriage in Maryland

If there’s one thing we know about the U.S. constitution, it’s that none of our laws are allowed to support any particular religion. And by “we”, I mean those of us who haven’t been blinded by, well, a particular religion. For that other group – you know, the irrational one – things aren’t so clear.

Supporters of same-sex marriage came to Annapolis on Tuesday armed with personal stories, emotional pleas for equal treatment and arguments about how allowing gay couples to marry could help Maryland’s economy.

Opponents countered with biblical verses, research suggesting that children are better off with both a mother and a father, and warnings that “redefining marriage” could undermine other social institutions.

Emphasis added.

As for the rest, there is no research which says children are better off with a mother and father versus with two mothers or two fathers. This is exactly what I was talking about when I lamented the abuse of science. It’s so ugly when science is abused to support bigotry. The only silver lining here is that this makes it all the more clear that the bigots have no real arguments; their dogma demands they resort to just making it all up.

Fortunately, according to the people on the right side of history, this bill has a good chance.

Before the proceedings, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) put the chance of passing a same-sex marriage bill by his chamber at 60 to 70 percent, saying a vote could come next week.

If the bill clears the Senate, then the House of Delegates, typically the more liberal chamber on social issues, would take up the issue, deciding whether Maryland should join the District and five states that allow same-sex marriage.

I don’t know what the state’s citizen appeals process looks like, much less how many bigots populate the state, but all the reports make it sound like it’s just a matter of time until Maryland becomes the newest state to treat more of its citizens fairly – and with absolutely no ill consequences, just like in every other instance.

Bigots defeat bill containing anti-bigotry

The GOP/Tea Party/Bigots prevented the passage of a major defense spending bill because they’re sexually immature.

Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an effort by Democrats and the White House to lift the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, voting unanimously against advancing a major defense policy bill that included the provision.

An estimated 13,000 people have been discharged under the law since its inception in 1993. Although most dismissals have resulted from gay service members outing themselves, gay rights’ groups say it has been used by vindictive co-workers to drum out troops who never made their sexuality an issue.

As usual, the party of hate and ignorance is advancing an agenda which is actively harmful to the lives of fellow humans. The worse part, I think, is that (with very few exceptions) this isn’t being done with the plausible explanation that the Republicans honestly think their policies will be good for most people. They just hate gays.

BMA: Gay conversion therapies are harmful

No surprise here.

Following a year-long undercover investigation by a reporter, the British Medical Association has determined that “gay conversion therapy” is not therapy, is more harmful to patients than helpful, and should be banned.

Journalist Patrick Strudwick posed as a patient seeking “gay conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy” for a year. In his report on his experience, he described what amounted to psychological torture; Strudwick went to two conversion therapists. One, a Christian, focused on turning him to focus on her god and tried hard to convince Strudwick he’d been sexually abused. The other focused on explaining to Strudwick that he was somehow “wounded”, and that he had to find the source of those “wounds” to discover the roots of his sexuality.

This is merely anecdotal, but I’ve had discussions about sexual orientation with one youth minister where it was an ingrained assumption that the only reason anyone is gay is due to sexual abuse. Of course, he had no relevant training for anything that didn’t involve the narrow literary criticism that is the uselessness of theology, but that didn’t stop him from having full faith in what he believed. Evidence be damned, right?

The British Medical Association has determined that such “therapies” have been discredited, are damaging to patient, and should be banned. The Association’s membership further agreed that the NHS should investigate any cases of such conversion therapies, and terminate any public funding to such practices.


Obama helps correct misdeeds against Constance

Constance McMillen is that girl whose school denied everyone prom because she’s gay and they’re bigots. The school then encouraged parents to host their own prom while sending Constance and a couple of others to a fake prom. It’s pretty disgraceful, full of ignorance, and plainly ugly. Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Mississippi, like much of the rest of Mississippi, has a lot of sexually immature Christians running around. But then, it’s always nice to have more explanation why the state routinely ranks last in education.

Fortunately, Constance will now be attending a LGBT reception at the White House.

McMillen will attend a White House reception Tuesday for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens from around the nation in recognition of gay pride month.

The White House confirmed Friday that Obama will host the event and is expected to deliver brief remarks.

After the prom controversy, McMillen said, she faced a hostile environment from her peers and transferred out of her northeast Mississippi school district to a school 200 miles away in Jackson.

In the more educated environment of the Obama administration, she won’t have to face such aggressive hostility.

Don’t visit Fulton, Mississippi

Constance McMillen wanted to go to her senior prom with her girlfriend. Her school said no and canceled the event out of nothing more than pure bigotry. Upon the news, donations, scholarships, and invites to privately held, inclusive proms ensued. Soon a judge ruled that Constance’s rights had been violated, but he did not force the school to go forward with the prom for two reasons: 1) it was originally scheduled at a time too soon from when the ruling happened and 2) a private prom to which Constance was to be invited was being hosted. That didn’t stop her town of bigots from excluding her, though.

McMillen tells The Advocate that a parent-organized prom happened behind her back — she and her date were sent to a Friday night event at a country club in Fulton, Miss., that attracted only five other students. Her school principal and teachers served as chaperones, but clearly there wasn’t much to keep an eye on.

“They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them,” McMillen says. “The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to.”

Last week McMillen asked one of the students organizing the prom for details about the event, and was directed to the country club. “It hurts my feelings,” McMillen says.

Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. “They had the time of their lives,” McMillen says. “That’s the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom].”

To make things worse, there’s actually a Facebook fan page called Constance quit yer cryin. Here are the sort of comments from her fellow students (comments that are now buried under posts from the decent people who have discovered this bigotry):

Mitchell Henderson: lulz rug munchers are hilarious. Come join me in hell, there’s ipods all around for dance parties. As long as you bring someone to scissor with.

Melody Carol: JAlthough, she asked and they said no, she should have just stfu and dealt with it. The school did not need to cancel the prom to shift attention from here. That’s just gay.

Brittany Kay Brown: jeremy, that’s your fault for not coming out of the closet. IAHS is not a bigoted school. This whole town is based on Christianity.

Caleb Waddle: i just wish she would shut up and quit makeing the freakin county stupid you say well its there fault but since when did the public do anything to you just shut the freak up already.

Traci Taylor: Carnathan who wants to c 2 girls makn out…especially one of them thats parents are totally against it.

Comments via PZ.

Kelly Glossip

Every so often I will get a comment on a post from a person I’ve specifically discussed or who is specifically involved in the topic at hand. Sometimes those posts are inane. Other times they are worthwhile and concise. Then there are the times when they deserve to be highlighted for the sake of their sincerity, meaning, and even application to bigger social issues (even if that application has no bearing on what the commenter would say one way or the other).

So Dennis is shown gratitude for giving his life while he was working for the state of Missouri by leaving his entire debt onto his life partner. It just doesn’t seem like the state appreciated his life. This simply makes me sad; because he loved his job and loved helping others. Yet to show their gratitude for his life; the person that Dennis loved more than anyone (and yes I have the documentation to prove it, he kept a journal in his handwriting) he often states that I was his one and only and the person of his dreams. I’m thankful for Dennis giving his life for the safety of others, for that I will pay off his debt on my own. Because I unconditionally loved him and that is what love is.–May the Peace of the Lord be always with you and your family.

Written by Kelly Glossip, this was in response to my post about Highway Patrol Cpl. Dennis Engelhard. Engelhard was a Missouri patrolman who died in a traffic accident while on duty last Christmas. Under Missouri’s anti-equality laws, his partner, Glossip, is not entitled to any of the benefits upon death that would be awarded to married couples. Missouri has failed to make any steps forward in granting protections to such couples, instead forcing them to feel like they mean nothing, both socially and morally, not to mention economically and as productive members of society; of these four examples of forced demonization and degradation, the moral matter is the most important. However, given the nature of the concern over the loss of benefits upon death in the original article, the economic impact cannot be ignored. Glossip and Engelhard shared a home. Whether they jointly owned or not it is unclear (and Glossip need not clarify, both because my point can be made without further information and for his own privacy), but if the two are homeowners, it’s entirely plausible that the loss of one of them could result in the loss of a home. For those who make the disingenuous economic arguments against same-sex marriage (“What’s the benefit to the prosperity of the government?!?!”), this is one convincing reason to abandon such inane stances.

Of course, it has never been about the triviality of economic welfare.