Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Open Thread: Prop 8 Decision and Coming Out

Ted Olson, was integral to the recent decision on Prop 8. A Reagan and Bush Solicitor no less. And his Conservative case for gay marriage shows a rational basis for his support of not discriminating against folks. Which, is the proper case for good Conservatives.  

I hesitate posting up another opportunity to shout from the mountaintop to a throng of folks who already tend to agree with the idea that folks need to mind their own damn business where other folks’ marriages are concerned.

I do though, because my daughter came out to me this week as bisexual.  

Let’s be a little clearer. She didn’t “come out” with breathy confession and looking at me obliquely to see if I was disappointed in her, but rather she told me about her new crush at school. Her best friend Allison, who she likes to hold hands with when they run around as young girls are sometimes wont to do. She didn’t think too much of it, just letting me know who she was palling around with, and she told me with the same air as the boys that she’s liked. Because we raised her up to be honest and open, and share with us.

What did I tell her?  To not hit on straight girls, and to be careful around the Fundie types who abound in Upstate New York. And to find someone that she likes, even loves.

That’s really all that is important. That’s all I want for her. To find happiness, and to comfy in her own skin. And I hope to hell that she never has to make a “choice”–something that the gay community is sometimes as guilty a the straight community of trying to force–because she shouldn’t have to choose who she falls in love with, and if it’s proper or correct. Not in that sense at least. She finds love, and someone who treasures her?  That’s all a father can ask for: someone who loves her and wants to make her happy and keep her safe.

The decision on Prop 8, the picking apart of DOMA, it points towards a loosening of the idiocy of trying to legislate a religious morality as the foundation of marriage, and I welcome it. Because it has no place in this country. It has no place in my putative party, and I am glad that Olson was the one who worked on this case, because it illustrates the divide within my party.  The Religious Right is nearing an end to its usefulness, and even relevance to the American political process, and I cannot wait for its passing.

Not out of despising faith, or the values that religion teach. Not out of a hate for the faithful. But I welcome a day when bigots can no longer hide behind the trappings of religion to shield their bias. Using religion to justify your bigotry is the opposite of the teachings of near every faith in the world, yet, we seem to tolerate it a bit, when you invoke Jeebus to cast stones.

That the Religious Right has hijacked my party’s platform to preach a brand of divisive radicalism offends me. It offended me long before I had a daughter, and long before she held hands with a girl named Allison, but now I have more than just philosophical musings. I have a stake in the game, beyond my brothers and sisters who have already been discriminated against, and told that their love isn’t as valid. Now, you slack jawed, mouth breathing radicals are pointing fingers at my little girl, and damn you all to the 10,000 Hells for insinuating that the sweetest, most open hearted girl in the world is somehow less deserving of love and affection and a chance at happiness.

Get in the way of a father who wants his little girl to be happy. I fucking dare you.  


  1. Mind you, that was back in the day, and since he’s adopted, he probably felt the danger of being ‘disowned’ even more acutely.

    My niece came out in her early 20s, but in her late twenties decided she was straight again. Go figure. Indeed, I have two formerly Lesbian friends who suffered ostracism from their former friends for going straight.

    So, as you say, it’s all about following your own desire and journey, being comfortable in your own skin. I think that actually everyone has their own sexuality. I certainly felt I had to ‘come out’ some 12 years ago, much to the outrage of my gay kid brother, when I decided I didn’t want to live in a fairly sexless marriage anymore.

    Whatever the desire, as long as it is between two consenting adults, should not be banned. And whatever route to mutual happiness you find, take it.  

  2. Hollede

    And I am glad that your daughter has a father like you. The world today is better than it was some 28 odd years when I came out. When I told my parent I was a lesbian at 18 years old, I did

    “come out” with breathy confession and looking at (snip…my parents…snip) obliquely to see if (snip…they were…snip) disappointed in

    me. It was such a difficult moment and my terror at being disowned or trotted off to a psychiatrist (something many of my friends experienced in the early 1980’s) was palpable. I simply did not know what would happen, and the horror stories of others did nothing to make this easier.

    As it turned out, my Dad was very accepting, but it took a while for Mom to come to terms with my sexual identity. She has since come around and is very supportive, but the first year or so was tough.

    So again, it is gratifying to see a father give his daughter sound advise and the loving support she needs. Thank you again for your wonderful response to your daughter and thank you for sharing your story.

    It is especially poignant these days when the hatred of a few seems to take up so much room. I have alternated between hugging my TV when justice finally prevails and wishing I could crawl through it and shake some sense into the foes of equal rights. I have to remind myself (constantly) that these people are the last of a dying breed. It would, however, seem that they will not go down quietly. The hate and ignorance they spew is frightening. I understand Godwin’s Law and have invoked it more than once I am ashamed to say, but these days, it is harder than ever to not see the Fascist leanings of the Teapot party of NO. Whether it is about immigration or gay rights or the fight against HCR, I see these freaks doing a great deal of damage to our country.

    I long for the days of Republicans I could respect. When a mere five Republicans voted to appoint Elena Kagen to the Supreme Court, it hurts to see that once great party reduced to madness. I haven’t always agreed with Republicans or conservatives, but once upon a time, I could at least respect them.

    I am afraid I have lost my sense of humor as of late. Today Sarah 1/2 term had the audacity to suggest that President Obama is “in over his head”. It made my ears bleed to hear such drivel. I used to be able to laugh at such nonsense about a President who has accomplished more in his first two years than any other President since FDR. Now I just get angry. When I see a poll that states that only 42% of Americans believe that President Obama is a natural born American, I get angry. These are things I used to laugh about and am now burning with rage. I find it difficult to work on tube diaries, much less anything else, including simple comments. I am not sure what to do about this problem, but your story made me smile and gave me a bit of hope for our future.  

  3. louisprandtl

    including SoS remaines opposed to equality in marriage laws. I don’t know whether it is a principled stand stemming from religious convictions or a political decision. In both cases I think they are on the wrong side of history.

  4. Kudos to whoever it was who got rid of the splash on the right. I kinda liked the (my?) original design.

    However, I kinda miss the green too. The (my?) dark purple feels a bit sombre. Or maybe that’s just me.  

  5. HappyinVT

    No Moose, Balloon Juice, TPM, RumpRoast, etc. for me for somewhere around a week.  It wasn’t planned or intentional, but felt great nonetheless.  My blood pressure has been normal (except for work issues.  OY!)

    My brother suggested I join a social networking site in order to see pictures of my young nieces (all four of them under the age of three!!).  Well, I saw some pictures but, boy, did I find the games, too.  Farmville, Frontierville, Kingdoms of Camelot, Retail Therapy…sometimes I think I’m folding sheep and feeding dresses but it is sure addictive.  I’m trying to rebuild my troop strength after I accidentally attacked a well-fortified wilderness because I soooo want to conquer someone.  Who knew I had the bit of virtual blood lust in me.

    I also get a new computer next week so I’ll be able to do more than one thing at a time.  Yippee!!

    There certainly has been some great news this week, and while the overturning of Prop 8 heads the list, Kagan was confirmed, Pete Hoekstra may actually leave the national stage, BP appears to be capping the well…now I’m ready to pay attention again.

  6. The whole show was great.  

    An evangelical Christian woman started it off by suggesting her fellow Believers “render unto Ceasar” and STFU on the whole issue.  What a government calls a “marriage” and what a church does are separate thing and Jesus was pretty clear about where he stood on such distinctions.

    A couple calls later the Lawyer lady came on, and she was pathetic (she wasn’t involved in the case but leads the legal effort of one of the other big anti-gay Christian groups).  Her rationale for opposing gay marriage was so pathetic the host had a hard time being polite and everyone was laughing about them for the rest of the show:

    o  “Straight couples make the best parents.”

    – When the host pointed out that research showed that there was no evidence for this whatsoever (ever, anywhere, despite extensive study in places where gay marriage is legal) she danced around and muttered something about maybe it’s different here and lurched into her next point, which really started the laugh fest.

    o  “Only a straight couple could accidentally make a baby.”

    – um.

    – No.  Seriously.  Could you repeat that?

    – The host tried to be professional but still had to ask: “You mean straight marriages are better because someone could get pregnant if a rubber breaks??”

    This was a person who had been leading a major anti-gay legal battle for years, and that was the best she had?!?!?!  It is becoming painfully obvious to all but the zealots that there just isn’t any reason other than your personal adherence to a given mythology, and the legal precedent is pretty clear on that one (“Well then, don’t eat fish on Wednesday if you believe Baal disapproves.”)

    The first caller’s point is the real issue, though.  Discussing this issue here during previous rounds I reached the same conclusion as the first caller: the problem isn’t equality it is semantics.  We have a problem because we use one word to mean more than one thing.  I understand the practical reasons why the pro-gay-marriage effort has stuck on the word, but the problem is not fundamentally a straight-gay issues it’s a larger legal issue.

    What Donna and I have is not a “marriage” in the Christian sense – we explicitly never asked The Holy Ghost to recognize our relationship (or Mohammed, or Buddha, or the Great Spirit) and have no expectation that a religious community would see it the same as two people who were joined in their mystic ceremonies.  We not only do not want to be and have no expectation of being explicitly included in a group defined for theological reasons, we want to not be included in such groups.  We have nothing against Christian “marriages” or any other religious living arrangements, but whether or not we want to get involved in those is hermetically separated from our decision to “marry” in the eyes of the law (or our own hearts).  If you try to stand outside the courthouse and give us membership cards in your club because we just got hitched we’ll politely decline and ask you to send your info kit to devnull.

    I think the popular push for “gay marriage” has been necessary even though I now think it is slightly mis-aimed.  We had to have this conversation and there wasn’t another way to get there.  But this whole thing isn’t about getting “gay marriage” recognized along with Christian “marriages”, it’s about getting Christian/Hindu/Wiccan/… “marriages” out of the court’s “marriage” definition.

    Personally I think the government has a role in declaring the existence of a Civil Union between two people, but “marriage” is something people do with their churches.

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