Thursday, September 25, 2008

Michael Craven Piles Up the Logical Fallacies

This article is full of them, but I'll just highlight a few:

Indeed, in Sweden the out-of-wedlock birthrate is 55 percent, Norway is 50 percent, Iceland is approaching 70 percent, and in Denmark 60 percent of firstborn children are born out of wedlock. So what? you ask. So cohabitation has replaced marriage, big deal; men and women are still having children, only without the formality of a marriage certificate. What’s the problem? According to Dr. Kurtz, studies in these countries demonstrate that these unmarried families break up at a rate two to three times that of married couples. This has only exacerbated the welfare state that is unparalleled in Scandinavia. Kurtz points out that “no western nation has a higher percentage of public employees, public expenditures, or higher tax rates than Sweden.”

Craven makes no case whatsoever about why any of these things is even remotely negative. There is no evidence that out-of-wedlock births have any significant negative effects on children. If handled correctly, there's no evidence that any long-term damage is done to children whose parents break up. There's also nothing inherently negative about public employees or public expenditures. And a higher tax rate itself is not particularly negative, especially if you have fewer costs to pay.

All of the Scandinavian countries mentioned embraced de facto same-sex marriage, beginning with Denmark in 1989. The out-of-wedlock birth rates mentioned experienced their most dramatic increases in the decade following the acceptance of SSM in these countries.

Confusion of correlation and causation. What other factors might have contributed to the rise in out-of-wedlock births. He makes a clear point to show that not that many gay people married. And it's unlikely that gay couples were having a whole heck of a lot of out-of-wedlock births. And he still shows no harm caused by an out-of-wedlock birth.

Kurtz concludes by saying, “This suggests that gay marriage is both an effect and a cause of the increasing separation between marriage and parenthood. As rising out-of-wedlock birthrates disassociate heterosexual marriage from parenting, gay marriage becomes conceivable” In essence, SSM is simply the extreme and final step in a culture’s descent from absolute monogamy.

What an incredibly extreme, hate-filled and illogical slippery slope that is. Because gay marriage has an effect (it doesn't say how big or small the effect is) on the separation between marriage and parenthood, culture has reach the bottom of a final descent from absolute monogamy? Complete and utter nonsense. There was never any country where absolute monogamy existed in the first place and the millions upon millions of people are still getting married, so obviously, we have reached the bottom of the slippery slope that doesn't exist.

While the sky may not have fallen, effects that have historically taken generations to produce have already begun to manifest within just twenty years of the acceptance of SSM in Scandinavia, the first nations to risk their future on this perilous social experiment.

Seriously, how insane do you have to be to actually argue that the countries of Scandinavia are going to be destroyed because a few thousand gay people got married?

Catholic Conference Lies About Marriage

"Marriage makes babies"

The conference’s statement spoke of the importance of marriage for society and said that, while “cultural differences have occurred” in marriage, “what has never changed is that marriage is the ideal relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and the continuation of the human race.”

This isn't even remotely true. Historically, polygamy dominated much of the world. And it's certainly true that people that get married, but don't have kids, are still married by tradition and law.

The Real Point Behind Amendment 2... clear in quotes like this from WorldNetDaily:

Florida's Amendment 2 stands out for banning both homosexual marriage and "civil unions".

It's not about marriage, it's about making sure that homosexuals are second-class citizens that have no rights and WorldNetDaily -- an extremely conservative site -- applauds Florida's Amendment for going farther than those in other states.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From the Blogs

Perez Hilton: Floridians: Vote and Say No to 2!

Pushing Rope: Thought of the Day

Pensito Review: Anti-Gay Activists Outraising Marriage Supporters in California

Ybor City Stogie: Gay-Marriage Ban On Florida Ballot Generates National Attention

Pushing Rope: Orlando Sentinel Against Amendment 2

BlueHerald 2.0 (Question Girl): Florida’s Amendment 2

Pushing Rope: Say No 2 Video Contest

Incertus (Brian): Killing Amendment 2

United Against Amendment 2

City of Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober Says No To Amendment 2

City of Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober opposes Amendment 2. He joins more than 200 prominent leaders and organizations on Florida Red & Blue’s Advisory Board against the so-called “Florida Marriage Protection Amendment.”

Where do they stand

Monday, September 22, 2008

Citizen Interviews on Amendment 2





Orlando Sentinel Opposes Amendment 2

Story here:

What it would do: Memorialize marriage as a "legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife . . ." But it also declares that "no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

Good idea or bad idea? Bad idea. This amendment does more than just target homosexual unions. It puts all manner of domestic partnerships at a possible disadvantage. For example, after a similar measure passed in Michigan in 2004, the state's Supreme Court ruled that public institutions could no longer offer health and other benefits to domestic partners of the same sex. Many institutions found a way around the ruling, but why put people in Florida at risk? Besides, state law already restricts marriage to a man and a woman, and Florida doesn't recognize gay unions performed in other states. This measure seems more like a cynical attempt to bring out the conservative base in a presidential election year.

Our recommendation: Vote No.

Good to see the Sentinel on the right side of an issue...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Say No 2 Campaign Launches Make Your Own Commercial Contest

From Bilerico Project Florida:

Florida's SayNo2 Campaign against the dangerous and deceptive Amendment 2 has just announced a contest to create your own commercial against Amendment 2! They will be picking the top user-generated commercials to blast out on all of their social networking sites like MySpace, Youtube, Facebook, and more! We will also be posting some of the videos here on Bileirco-Florida!

We all know that if passed, Amendment 2 would take away existing benefits from all unmarried Floridians. The amendment would hurt all Floridians by taking away important domestic partnership benefits (like hospital visitation, pensions, and insurance). This massive government intrusion also puts the government where it doesn't belong - regulating the personal relationships of Floridians.

That's why the campaign needs your help! They want you to create a short commercial saying why you will Say No 2 Amendment 2 in November. Visit their website at to get information and see all the reasons why everyone should VOTE NO on Amendment 2! Contest details after the jump!
Apple iTunes

Here's what you need to know:

•The videos should be under 4 minutes in length

•It can be anything- a song about the consequences, your personal story about how this amendment would affect you, anything!

•Upload the videos to YouTube and send them the link at their MySpace account (

•Tell your friends and spread the word!

•The winners will get to see their videos on their sites, as well as receive a "SayNo2" Prize pack with t-shirts, buttons, and other campaign goodies!

So get creative and get involved! We need everyone to help out in the fight against this dangerous and deceptive amendment!

6 Reasons to Say No 2

Why You Should Oppose Amendment 2:

Taking Away Benefits
Amendment 2 could take away existing benefits from all unmarried Floridians

Hurting Seniors
Amendment 2 could force seniors to choose between important benefits like sharing health care and important government benefits.

"Gay Marriage" Bait & Switch
Amendment 2 claims to ban "gay marriage" but Florida already has multiple laws banning same-sex marriage

Massive Government Intrusion
Amendment 2 puts the government where it doesn't belong - regulating the personal relationships of Floridians

Hiring Expensive Lawyers
Amendment 2 could force unmarried Floridians to hire expensive private lawyers just to protect their basic legal rights

Dramatic Consequences
Amendment 2 could take away job benefits from university employees and be used as a defense to domestic violence - as in other states which passed similar amendments

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Younger Generation Gets It

From The Advocate:

Furthermore, more than two thirds of respondents under the age of 35 say that same-sex couples should receive the same recognition and benefits as heterosexual couples; less than 40% of those older than 35 agree with the younger age group.

Bigots beware, your numbers are shrinking and while you may delay progress, you can't stop it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From the Blogs

Pushing Rope: Miami Mayor Manny Diaz Against Amendment 2

Bark Bark Woof Woof: Hardwired

Pushing Rope: LGBT Update

Monday, September 15, 2008

Daytona Beach News-Journal Opposes Amendment 2

From their editorial:

While Amendment 1 aims to fight bigotry, Amendment 2 -- placed on the ballot by citizen initiative -- would foster prejudice. Even worse, it's deceptively worded so as to hide its true scope. Voters should see through this cynical ruse to draw ultra-right voters to the polls in a high-stakes presidential election year.

The amendment bills itself as "marriage protection." Its supporters say it's meant to keep Florida from being forced into recognizing unions between same-sex partners. Malarkey -- state law already bans same-sex unions in four different statutes, using language that has withstood legal challenge in other states.

But the real problems with this amendment go further than supporters are willing to admit. Legal analysts say it could be used to block companies that provide benefits for unmarried partners -- regardless of whether such unions are homosexual or heterosexual. It would needlessly tangle "Golden Girl"-style arrangements that allow seniors to share living accommodations while preserving inheritance rights for their descendents, and could also complicate child-custody arrangements for thousands of unmarried parents in Florida.

This amendment is heartless and pointless. The main beneficiaries: Attorneys who would reap fees from the endless litigation this amendment could spawn.

· RECOMMENDATION: No on Amendment 2.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Democrats United Against Amendment 2

As well they should be...

Word for the Day: Fairness

Daily Challenge

Okay, let's get to work. With only a few more than 50 days left before the election, we have a lot of work to do. If you aren't sure what to do, here are some strong suggestions I have for you:

1. Fight Amendment 2. If you didn't know, we have a blog dedicated to fighting the false "marriage" protection push from the religious right, The Hate Amendment. Link to it. Read it. Do what you can to learn more about the amendment and spread the word. Learn more about the amendment in Tuesday's video edition of the Word of the Day.

2. Get people to sign petitions for This is one of the biggest fights we should be engaging in right now. We get overly focused on the elections in front of us, but we need to keep the big picture in front of us. If you haven't done so already, download and sign the petitions. Tell your friends. Link to

3. Help Doug Tudor and other candidates who are being undercut by Debbie Wasserman Shultz. Call her at 202-257-3422 and demand she explain her "Don’t pull that populist stuff with me" quote to Tudor and ask her why she isn't doing more to help Florida's progressive Democratic challengers. It's her job. Read more about it...

Learn more about all three of these stories in last week's video edition of The Countdown.

California CPA and APA on Gay Marriage

From the legal brief filed against California's gay marriage ban attempts:

In Re Marriage Cases concludes that the law restricting the use of the term "marriage" did indeed violate both (1) the state constitutional right to marry and (2) the state constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws. The court held that the constitutional right to marry, which has long been recognized by California court decisions, is not limited to opposite-sex couples, despite the long tradition of allowing only such couples to marry. Looking at the substantive grounds for protecting marriage because of its importance to society and the individual, the court concluded that those reasons apply with equal force to same-sex couples as to opposite-sex couples, and therefore the constitutional right to marry covers the former as well as the latter. The court also concluded that denying the label "marriage" to same-sex unions while extending that label to opposite-sex unions impairs the same-sex couples' fundamental right to marry, because it denigrates their unions as being of lesser value, despite the existence of the same substantive rights.

Turning to equal protection, the court found that limiting "marriage" to opposite-sex couples discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation. In an important ruling of first impression, the court found that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is subject to the high hurdle of "strict judicial scrutiny" under the California constitution, under which the state must establish that the discrimination is necessary to achieve a compelling governmental interest. The court found that this standard was not met. Of significance, it rejected the state's argument that preserving the traditional definition of marriage by excluding same-sex couples is a compelling state interest, particularly in light of the stigma and harm to same-sex couples and their families from this discrimination.

Sound logic and constitutional law here. Eventually, when our Supreme Court is run by people who actually care about the law and not partisan/ideological nonsense, they'll rule the same way.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Crist Ambivalent About Amendment 2

Governor Charlie Crist sounds a bit ambivalent about the Hate Amendment:

“I’ll support it, I’ll vote for it, move on,” the governor said of the Amendment 2 gay-marriage ban in an interview during a trip to tour flood-damaged areas in Central Florida. “It’s not top-tier for me, put it that way.”

When asked if he’ll spend time plugging Amendment 2, Crist said, “I don’t think so. I think I will campaign for candidates much more extensively — Sen. McCain.” The governor also reiterated his position of precluding the Republican Party of Florida from spending money to support the gay-marriage ban.

Common Sense Prevails (As Does the Constitution)

Florida just got a little bit better:

A Monroe Circuit Court judge has ruled Florida's 31-year-old gay adoption ban "unconstitutional" in an order that allows an openly gay Key West foster parent to adopt a teenage boy he has raised since 2001.

Declaring the adoption to be in the boy's "best interest," Circuit Judge David J. Audlin Jr. said the Florida law forbidding gay people from adopting children is contrary to the state Constitution because it singles out a group for punishment.

Hopefully, this will be upheld and Florida will leave Mississippi as the only state to still enshrine this particularly insidious form of hate in law.

Hatemonger Mat Staver freaked out as a response:

Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of the Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, a conservative advocacy group, called the ruling "absurd."

"State and federal courts have already addressed the constitutionality of Florida's law, and both have upheld it," Staver said. He said Audlin "has no authority to disobey state and federal court precedents."

Wait..I thought these people favored states' rights?

Broward School Board Does the Right Thing

Bark Bark Woof Woof:

Concerned that a ban on gay marriage would mean losing employees or getting slapped with lawsuits, the Broward School Board on Tuesday voted unanimously to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment.

''It's just the right thing to do,'' said board member Jennifer Gottlieb, who brought the issue to the board after learning of the potential fallout from a member of the school district's diversity committee.

Opponents of the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment say it could have wide-ranging effects such as preventing businesses from extending health benefits to those with unmarried partners.

''I don't know how [the Marriage Protection Amendment] is protecting marriage,'' board member Eleanor Sobel said.

''The language is very vague.''

Other local governments should do this as well.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Wildcard for 9/9

Today's Florida Progressive Radio show will be focused on what people can do between now and election day. One of the key topics will be Amendment 2. Listen live from 2:00-2:15.

Vote Early Against Amendment 2

It doesn't count, but this poll could help sway people's opinions so go vote!

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz Opposes Amendment 2

Good to hear:

Mayor Diaz announced his opposition to Amendment 2 today in a press release where he said, “Amendment 2 won’t protect anyone’s marriage or solve any problems at all,” Mayor Diaz said. “Even worse, the way it’s written, it could actually take away important benefits like health care from people who are not married.”

See the full list of opponents & supporters of Amendment 2

Word for the Day: Hate

Our regular new daily video diary takes on hate in politics and Amendment 2:

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Countdown for 9/5

The Countdown is back! And this time it's a video! Seriously! This is a development so big it requires at least four exclamation points! Today's topics include the DNCC, Amendment 2, redistricting, Sarah Palin and Charlie Crist, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Doug Tudor. Check it out!

The Countdown for 9/5

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hiatus Over

Took a short break while attending the Democratic National Convention. Now that I'm back and rested, expect posting at this blog to really pick up between now and election day. If you'd like to help fight Amendment 2, send me an e-mail at