marriage

The Perfect Sense (Tennessee Intellectual Remix)

Firestarter: Detail of frame from FLCL, episode .

Simon McCormack tries, desperately, to explain the situation, for Huffington Post:

A Tennessee judge said the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide has left him unable to determine what constitutes divorce.

A Signal Mountain couple, Thomas and Pamela Bumgardner, are still legally married even though they don’t want to be because of Hamilton County Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton’s stance, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

“The conclusion reached by this Court is that Tennesseans have been deemed by the U.S. Supreme Court to be incompetent to define and address such keystone/central institutions such as marriage, and, thereby, at minimum, contested divorces,” Atherton wrote in his decision last week.

“With the U.S. Supreme Court having defined what must be recognized as a marriage, it would appear that Tennessee’s judiciary must now await the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court last to what is not a marriage, or better stated, when a marriage is no longer a marriage,” he added.

It is true that the question occurs to wonder why conservatives are the ones so often complaining about judicial activism.

This is the pertinent question: What the hell is wrong with these people?

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McCormack, Simon. “Judge Won’t Divorce Straight Couple Because Gay Marriage Is Legal”. The Huffington Post. 3 September 2015.

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Pretty Much Required Reading

The context is actually, unfortunate, especially since it seems strange the discourse is only getting around to this part, this prominently, at this time, but, still―

… marriages haven’t always involved a man and a woman and certainly haven’t required religious beliefs to be considered valid. Claiming that marriage is a static institution that hasn’t continued to evolve in extreme ways over time or that the type of marriage defended by people like Brown is the only kind of marriage that has existed throughout history is just wrong.

Noah Michelson and Sara Boboltz of Huffington Post dive into Stephanie Coontz’s 2005 book, Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage. 'Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage' - Detail of cover art from book by Stephanie Coontz (Viking, 2005) This book really should have been required reading for everyone taking part in the marriage equality debate, though it is true some have greater need than others―Yes! I’m looking in your direction, “traditionalists”!

Still, though, it really is worth reading if you think you have a stake in the marriage discourse. And, yes, Michelson and Boboltz offer a convenient and enlightening glimpse into Dr. Coontz’s fine historical review.

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Image note: Detail of cover art for Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage, by Stephanie Coontz (New York: Viking, 2005).

Michelson, Noah and Sara Boboltz. “Here Is All You Need To Prove Bigots Wrong About ‘Traditional Marriage'”. The Huffington Post. 3 September 2015.

Fabulous

Briefers Rock, from 'Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt'.

“Now that we can get married and queer people having children is becoming more and more accepted, it seems we’ve forgotten that sexual liberation has always been, in my mind at least, a cornerstone of queer liberation. And it seems some queers think we’ve just been having all of this sex and pushing back against all of these sexual boundaries for all of these years as just another way to pass the time until we could become just like straight people. Like, ‘Hmm. We can’t get married yet. What should we do in the meantime? Needlepoint? Nah. Competitive baking? No. Oh, I’ve got it! Let’s get off!'”

Noah Michelson

Y’know … he’s not wrong.

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Michelson, Noah. “I’m A Gay Man Who Loves Sex (And Here’s Why That’s Suddenly A Problem)”. The Huffington Post. 13 August 2015.

The Rand Paul Show (Picking Up His Balls)

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to guests gathered at the Point of Grace Church for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff on April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa. The Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, a conservative Christian organization, hosted 9 potential contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nominations at the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Because, you know, gay marriage is just the last straw.

No, seriously. The one and only Rand Paul:

The government should not prevent people from making contracts but that does not mean that the government must confer a special imprimatur upon a new definition of marriage.

Perhaps the time has come to examine whether or not governmental recognition of marriage is a good idea, for either party.

Since government has been involved in marriage, they have done what they always do — taxed it, regulated it, and now redefined it. It is hard to argue that government’s involvement in marriage has made it better, a fact also not surprising to those who believe government does little right.

Strangely, the Kentucky junior has no real grasp of political optics. We have heard this sort of talk before in Oklahoma, or as Mr. Paul noted in his special to Time, Alabama. But when it comes to the proposition that if you can’t make all the rules you’ll just pick up your balls and go home and pout, is that really a caliber of behavior we might reasonably describe as presidential?

There really isn’t any more time to adjust; Americans have had nearly two decades to accustom themselves to same sex marriage, and if they chose to spend those years bawling and stomping and fighting and pouting, why should everyone else have to wait even longer just so they can find new ways to pitch tantrums?

Is Mr. Paul capable of comprehending the optics, understanding just how ridiculous he looks striking this pose? Well, okay, of course he doesn’t; this is a guy who has trouble grasping the basics of plagiarism.

Stupid and petulant is no condition for mounting a presidential bid.

Oh. Right. Clown car, all that. He trails Bush, Walker, Rubio, and Carson. Maybe that’s the problem. Given the stupid factor in effect, Mr. Paul’s terrible shitty brat routine doesn’t really stand out as extraordinary, does it?

That still doesn’t mean the self-certified ophthalmologist has a clue about political optics.

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Image note: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to guests gathered at the Point of Grace Church for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff on April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa. The Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, a conservative Christian organization, hosted 9 potential contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nominations at the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Paul, Rand. “Government Should Get Out of the Marriage Business Altogether”. Time. 28 June 2015.

Rubin, Jennifer. “Rand Paul has another problem”. The Washington Post. 8 November 2013.

Almost Funny

Round Two: Detail from FLCL episode 1, 'Fooly Cooly'.

No, really, this is very nearly funny:

Last month, Nick Jensen wrote an op-ed for the Canberra CityNews in which he claimed that he and his wife Sarah would “as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognize the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnization of same-sex couples.” Jensen went on to attribute his beliefs to the definition of marriage as a “union of a man and a woman before a community in the sight of God.”

In response to these claims, Jesse Mount, also an Australian citizen, created a Facebook group for people who will celebrate the Jensen’s divorce by having a massive party once marriage equality comes to the country as a whole. The group currently has over 175,000 members who have RSVP-ed for the party.

(Nichols)

In the end, though, it’s just sad. You know, though, that couple probably shouldn’t be married, anyway. If the fact of gay people having human rights is enough to compel them to get divorced, it occurs to wonder why the hell they ever got hitched in the first place. Seriously, this is enough to wreck the marriage? What the hell kind of marriage is that?

Very nearly funny. In the end, though, this is just sad.

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Nichols, JamesMichael. “175,000 Pledge To Party If Anti-Gay Australia Couple Divorces Over Same-Sex Marriage”. The Huffington Post. 19 June 2015.

The Ted Cruz Show (Cover Songs)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Saturday, March 7, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC)

“Is there something about the left―and I am going to put the media in this category―that is obsessed with sex? ISIS is executing homosexuals―you want to talk about gay rights? This week was a very bad week for gay rights because the expansion of ISIS, the expansion of radical, theocratic, Islamic zealots that crucify Christians, that behead children and that murder homosexuals―that ought to be concerning you far more than asking six questions all on the same topic.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

There are a number of things we might say. Sure, the state of Ohio might be trying to unmarry a dead man, Louisiana might be looking to shield discrimination by state employees, and Christians might be eyeing re-education camps for insufficiently Christian children, but, you know, hey, they’re not actually executing anyone, so … you know, get over yourselves.

And, hey, you know, we might also mention that doing better than Daa’ish is hardly a reasonable standard for American political health. We might look at Ted Cruz, then, and suggest that, hey, it’s not like we’re actually having dogs rape your ass while forcing you to say you like it, so, you know, get over yourself.

In truth, the functional problem with actually saying that would be legitimizing Mr. Cruz’s stupidity.

Bobby Blanchard tries to explain:

[Cruz] got in a light sparring round with reporters, mainly working on his attacks on Hillary Rodham Clinton and defending his views on same-sex marriage.

Ted Cruz for President 2016 logo.“Is there something about the left―and I am going to put the media in this category―that is obsessed with sex?” Cruz asked after fielding multiple questions on gay rights. “ISIS is executing homosexuals―you want to talk about gay rights? This week was a very bad week for gay rights because the expansion of ISIS, the expansion of radical, theocratic, Islamic zealots that crucify Christians, that behead children and that murder homosexuals―that ought to be concerning you far more than asking six questions all on the same topic.”

Cruz also said he did not think his opposition to gay marriage will hurt his chances with moderate voters.

“With respect, I would suggest not drawing your questions from MSNBC―they have very few viewers and they are a radical and extreme partisan outlet,” Cruz told a reporter. He cited the expansion of “mandatory same-sex marriage” as an assault on religious liberty in the United States.

(more…)

The Value of Their Values

Lebanon ... and Hei (top), in thought (lower left), and mourning (lower right).  Details of frames from 'Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor'.

Speaking of incoherent, sputtering rage, because, well, nobody actually was, we do have this sort of sputtering, incoherent something to either amuse or distress or merely distract us:

The Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver is behind a new online petition asking supporters to reject a potential Supreme Court decision if justices vote in favor of making it unconstitutional for states to prohibit same-sex marriage.

“The Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage,” which Staver co-authored with Deacon Keith Fournier of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, defines marriage as “ontologically between one man and one woman” and “not based on religion or revelation alone, but on the Natural Law, written on the human heart and discernible through the exercise of reason.”

Although specifics of how the pledge will be enacted are scarce, the authors nonetheless ask supporters “to stand together to defend marriage for what it is, a bond between one man and one woman, intended for life, and open to the gift of children.”

(Wong)

Of course the specifics are scarce; they’re supposed to be when one is scratching around for straws to build a wall.

(more…)

Happening (Sooner Than Never Mix)

D City Rock: Detail of frame from "Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt", 'Help! We Are Angels', by TeddyLoin featuring Debra Zeer.

When word emerged last year that an Oklahoma Republican legislator was considering the idea of getting rid of marriage entirely in the Sooner state rather than entertain gay marriage, it was easy enough to sort of chuckle and joke about how well they were taking it. After all, they were just venting steam. It’s not like they would actually go there, right?

Well, technically, no. But they managed to come up with something that might actually be worse.

In an effort to block the state’s involvement with gay marriage, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday (March 10) to abolish marriage licenses in the state.

The legislation, authored by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, amends language in the state law that governs the responsibilities of court clerks. All references to marriage licenses were removed.

(Horton)

So far, so … er … ah … well, right. So it would seem they went there. Except they didn’t.

Russ said the federal government is attempting to change the traditional definition of marriage, so his legislation would place the responsibility for officiating marriages in the hands of clergy.

“Marriage was historically a religious covenant first and a government-recognized contract second,” Russ told The Oklahoman.

The legislation has sparked controversy, both in the Legislature and with groups such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Oklahoma Democrats are concerned that the legislation will lead to a “Pandora’s box” of issues, including polygamy, once the government’s authority to regulate marriage is removed.

Americans United released a statement opposing the bill, saying it is biased against same-sex couples and nontheists, including atheists. Russ has been unapologetic in defending his exclusion of nontheists from the right to marry.

This is where they went.

Oklahoma!

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“Oklahoma Lawmakers Consider Preventing All Marriage: Report”. The Huffington Post. 25 January 2015.

Horton, Greg. “Oklahoma Bill Would Give Clergy Power Over Marriage Licenses”. The Huffington Post. 12 March 2015.

A Spectral Shape Between Them

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 22 February 2015.

Right.

There are moments between people, and then there are moments between people.

And yet there are still other moments between people we would rather never imagine, except that we will imagine it, just not about anyone we know.

Why am I hearing a Robyn Hitchcock song in my head?

And why can’t it be a different song?

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Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 22 February 2015.

The Value of Woman in South Carolina

Undated photo of South Carolina state Sen. Thomas Corbin (R-05, Greenville/Spartanburg).

The question sometimes arises: What the hell is wrong with Republicans?

And, yes, there is a reason for this. No amount of pathetic equivocation―no mewling about how both parties are the same―can really stand up to scrutiny; they are the words of embittered surrender.

Because, really, while many might stop to wonder about the abysmal situation in South Carolina, most are also quietly and sadly aware that according to Palmetto virtue things can only get worse. After all, this is a state where prosecutors argue that women are not allowed to defend themselves against domestic and intimate violence.

And when we stop to look at who the people of South Carolina are choosing to represent them, we need not wonder how those Palmetto virtues have become such an embarrassment to pretty much everyone. We might also add that in South Carolina, if embarrassment is the worst one suffers for this situation, they ought to consider themselves fortunate. In a state where women cannot defend themselves yet unsettle those Palmetto virtues by going and dying of domestic violence at a rate of one every ten days on average, people like state Sen. Thomas Corbin (R-05, Greenville/Spartanburg) pretty much sum up what’s wrong with South Carolina:

Chauvinist in any context, Corbin’s remarks occurred during a legislative dinner this week to discuss domestic violence legislation. Sources present at the meeting told FITS that Corbin directed his comments at fellow GOP state senator Katrina Shealy, the sole woman in the 46-member chamber.

“I see it only took me two years to get you wearing shoes,” Corbin told Shealy, who won election in 2012. Corbin, the site explains, is said to have previously cracked that women should be “at home baking cookies” or “barefoot and pregnant,” not serving in the state legislature ....

.... Indignant at Corbin’s rank sexism, Shealy asked him where he “got off” making such remarks.

“Well, you know God created man first,” a smirking Corbin replied. “Then he took the rib out of man to make woman. And you know, a rib is a lesser cut of meat.”

(Brinker)

Ah, South Carolina. And this is the part where we should just crack a glib joke about what passes for “family values” in the Palmetto State, but the truth of the matter is that this just isn’t funny.

South Carolina, where domestic abuse victims should not be allowed to defend themselves, according to prosecutors in Charleston.We might wonder just how much gravity such dense ignorance as Sen. Corbin’s might actually have, and even make the point about his bizarre obsessions in general, including the time in 2013 he suggested Sen. Shealy (R-23, Lexington) leave the room while he discussed children performing oral sex on older men.

It probably wouldn’t help to ask him to explain why, if the Adam’s rib story is supposed to be true, God went so far as to make all humans female by default. No, really, even XY starts out female; hormones received in utero trigger the physiological male development. We ought not be surprised that the Bible has it backwards; after all, we’re talking about a bunch of men writing down oral traditions.

Sen. Corbin was elected in 2012; the question remains whether Palmetto virtue in District Five want another four years of this sort of madness. Then again, it’s South Carolina, so … right.

An equally fair question: What the hell is wrong with South Carolina?

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Brinker, Luke. “GOP lawmaker calls women ‘a lesser cut of meat'”. Salon. 13 February 2015.