It’s About Time


Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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63 Responses

  1. Avatar James B Franks says:

    I have a feeling that North Carolina’s bill was the tipping point for him. If we take him at his word that he has always supported civil unions with full rights, and his actions support this, and he was only hesitant on marriage because that word has many religious connections. Then his full support after a state passed an amendment banning civil unions makes perfect sense.Report

    • Avatar Scott says:

      Really, you think NC was the tipping point and not crazy uncle Joe once again babbling anything that comes to mind without regard to the larger implications?Report

      • Avatar James B Franks says:

        Yes, he has all along been promoting civil unions as equal in the eyes of the government if only to avoid stepping in the minefield that is marriage. North Carolina proved that people who are apposed to gays having any rights will stop at nothing.Report

  2. Avatar b-psycho says:

    That the view of one person on marriage means this much in the first place is indicative of a bigger problem, IMO. But whatever. Inches towards what should’ve already been obvious are still inches I guess.

    Pity he still accepts the “states rights” bit about it.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      As a gay person I can respect “States rights” so long as it goes both ways: states that ban gay marriage aren’t forced to recognize gay marriage BUT states the regognize gay marriage also gain their citizens access to all the federal aspects of marriage as well.Report

      • Avatar Dan Miller says:

        Why? We don’t let the states decide that race should be a qualification for voting, or that women should be allowed to own property. Equality is a human rights issue best handled at the federal level. That said, kudos to Obama–he’s not perfect, but he’s better than he was yesterday.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I’m a states guy, but I think it’s rather problematic in this case. The Full Faith and Credit Clause has never successfully been applied to marriage, but I think that it should be at least as it pertains to single-spouses.Report

        • Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

          I took a similar position in a different thread. It’s simply implausible to accept that people aren’t going to leave their own states from time to time, and it’s appalling to think that their marriage evaporates just because they do.Report

        • Avatar Alan Scott says:

          The Full Faith and Credit Clause has never successfully been applied to marriage, What? of course it has — just not in relationship to same-sex marriage, specifically because of DOMA.

          Repeal DOMA and it won’t matter very much that North Carolina doesn’t allow for Same-Sex marriage. The full faith and credit clause means that the folks who got married in New England can go down to NC and still count as married.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            ”No state has ever been required by the full faith and credit clause to recognize any marriage they didn’t want to,” said Andrew Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern University and the author of ”The Gay Rights Question in Contemporary American Law.” –NYT

            I used to think that FF&C did apply to marriages, but was corrected on that score. It’s rarely been an issue because states rarely refuse to recognize out-of-state marriages. Interracial marriages a historical exception, but up to the point they were declared unconstitutional, I believe there were still states that did not accept out-of-state interracial marriages.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

              Virginia, for one, which is why the Lovings couldn’t just take a trip and come back married. And Massachusetts, of course, had (and still has) a law saying it won’t marry out-of-state couples who can’t marry in their home state.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Smith says:

                Virginia’s law was somewhat unique, in that it refused to recognize the marriages conducted out-of-state. It was the perfect state in which to challenge laws against performing an interracial marriage for that reason. That the Lovings challenged on the grounds that the law itself was unjust, rather than Virginia’s refusal to accept another state’s marriage license violated FF&C, was a major part of the civil rights strategy. Once interracial marriage was legal across the USA, the FF&C argument was irrelevant to circumstances.

                Massachusetts’ law is partly a vestige of times. It was passed in 1913, so it’s almost 100 years old. At the time of passage, the two major marriage issues were interracial marriage and “transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes”. That second one as applied to Massachusetts law said (still does technically!) that if your home state wouldn’t let a girl marry until a certain age you couldn’t bring her to Massachusetts to marry younger, although Massachusetts also later raised their consent age to 18 which is one of the highest in the nation today. Massachusetts allowed interracial marriage and had a relatively low consent age at the time, so they were trying to avoid the FF&C squabble preemptively.Report

  3. Avatar BradK says:

    That pretty much sums up my feelings — cautious optimism. As I commented in Elias’ post, this reeks of pure political maneuvering and not some personal evolution. But the potential benefits are, I believe, far and wide.

    First and foremost it brings the issue further into the light and forces discussion. The more discussion, along with hopefully some self-examination of one’s views (and the reasons for holding those views), the better chance that logic will prevail. The anti-gay message has only ever been a subjective, drive-by, knee jerk reactionary one which has been horribly effective because it eschews any in-depth analysis. But the more that people cogitate on actual facts and the impact an anti position has on real families, the more ready and willing those people may be to revisit their views.

    By dragging this out even further into the public square BHO may accomplish just that, whether intended or not.Report

  4. Avatar Ryan Noonan says:

    Man, that map is depressing, especially when you figure out what the dark red is for.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      With all of the amendments to state constitutions, the only way we’re going to have nationwide recognizion of gay marriages in the next decade or so (perhaps longer) is either federal law or a Supreme Court decision. I suspect the SC will ultimately decide it in the next couple of years, though in which direction I don’t know.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      It would be depressing, except of course this is the most blue the map has ever looked. So chin up eh?Report

  5. Avatar wardsmith says:

    I seem to recall some pundits talking about Obama not wanting to ruffle his black constituency since they are largely against SSM. Then 1/2 hour ago there is this article at Time.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      If they’re looking for a fiscally liberal/socially conservative party, there is always the party of Lincoln.Report

    • Avatar b-psycho says:

      Who else are they gonna vote for?Report

    • Avatar Simon K says:

      Another contender for the stupidest article pretending Obama v magic underpants man is some kind of serious contest.Report

    • Avatar wardsmith says:

      The key for Obama is whether they come out to vote at all. Last election as I recall he got something like 97% of the black vote. If 50% stay home, it won’t matter if he gets 100% of the (remaining) black vote. Everyone knows about the Proposition 8 support from certain churches, but few like to talk about the strong black showing.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Ward, can you try re-posting your link?Report

      • Avatar wardsmith says:

        still getting used to the new (old) combox. Blacks, gays, and immutability. 70% of the voters for Prop 8 were black, highest showing.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

          70% of the voters for Prop 8 were black

          No. try again.Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          I think you mean 70% of black voters were for Prop. 8.Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

            Though that’s inaccurate too. A better number is 58%.Report

            • Avatar wardsmith says:

              By all means let’s play dueling statistics. How about the 2-1 vote count in North Carolina? I guess we’ll have to wait for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance to fund research on that and explain (away) the results. Lest you be confused (as always) realize my OWN BROTHER is gay. This is not my first time around the block on this issue. The facts are still facts and the majority of blacks are against gay marriage nationwide. Chris makes a good point here, this may not be a divisive issue for blacks although as the Slate piece (and many others) commented in ’08, the large black voter turnout (and since I know you are picky with English Shill, when I say large black voter turnout I don’t mean large black voters) was considered to be a tipping point for the referendum. There are more Tim Hardaway, Chris Brown, and Tracy Morgan”s out there than you think, I shouldn’t have to name them all to make the point.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                I’m picky about how my name is spelled too, but I’ll let that one go 🙂Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                The numbers actually seem pretty consistent.

                California: All voters,52% Black voters 58%
                NC: All voters, 60% Black voters 66%

                If you look at the paper I referenced above, black voters as a whole (in CA, at least) are still significantly more likely to favor SSM than self-identified Republicans or conservatives or people 65 and older. So, yes, there’s a trend there, but it doesn’t point to face being a decisive factor.Report

        • Avatar Alan Scott says:

          Except of course, that the 70% figure is way off–based on low sample sizes and bad methodology. Later figures showed black support around 55%, as opposed to something like 48% for white voters. That’s not a very big difference.

          I’m sick of these memes that pit gays against other minorities, be it black people, Mormons, or something else. Whatever impact those groups had, they make up a tiny percentage of California’s population. The reason that prop 8 passed is that half the state though that I and people like me shouldn’t be allowed to get married. If every black person in California had stayed home that November, or every Mormon in California had stayed home, then Prop 8 still would have passed.Report

      • Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

        I’m going to guess there’s about a zero chance that any large number of African-American’s are going to sit out this election. I’m sure Fox News will find a few random pastors out there who say they will, but there will be no significant drop in turnout by A-A’s in 2012.Report

        • Avatar Chris says:

          You’d have to be completely ignorant of what’s going on in the world to really think that gay marriage is going to be the issue on which the black vote will hinge in 2012 (or 20-anything, for that matter). Black people may be, as a whole, socially conservative, but the Democratic party’s support for abortion, for example, has never prevented them from voting overwhelmingly Democrat.

          Plus, I don’t think many people realize that many black people fully understand the implications of Obama only having one term. He’ll be looked at as a failure, and it will be ammo for those who believe (even if they won’t say it out loud) that black people can’t do the job. His second term is widely seen as being as important as electing a black person in the first place.Report

          • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

            Plus, I don’t think many people realize that many black people fully understand the implications of Obama only having one term. He’ll be looked at as a failure, and it will be ammo for those who believe (even if they won’t say it out loud) that black people can’t do the job. His second term is widely seen as being as important as electing a black person in the first place.

            This x10000.Report

  6. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Driving most of the day today, listening to talk radio.

    The meme being pushed today: Obama has calculated that there is no way he had the votes to avoid a landslide loss in November and so made this announcement as a way to get $ for negative campaign ads, because – I swear I am not making this up – thanks to activist judges, the gays have all the money now.

    Assuming this test balloon will die rather quickly on the vine.Report

  7. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    “Barack Obama is, for better or worse, a polarizing oppositional figure for some and his endorsement of SSM will only serve to further entrench their opinions rather than a signal for opponents to reconsider their position.”

    Yeah, perhaps. But I’m going to guess that those that hated the idea of SSM were never going to vote for Obama, and vise versa.Report

  8. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    The question is, if Obama married a man, would he look like Trayvon Martin?Report