Republican leadership, marriage equality, and the disconnect

January 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm 60 comments

By Adam Bink

I wrote a few weeks ago about NOM pushing to get RNC Chairperson candidates on the record against the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

Via ThinkProgress, it appears they’re all tacking to that line:

During today’s RNC debate, all four candidates vying to replace current RNC Chairman Michael Steele reiterated their opposition to expanding marriage rights to gay and lesbian people, insisting that marriage can only be defined as a union between one man and one woman. The frontrunners for the position — Steele and Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus — also walked a tight rope of sorts, arguing that while marriage formed the foundation of American society, culture and history, excluding gay people from that all-important institution did not deny “dignity” to the LGBT community:

– MICHAEL STEELE: “It’s foundational to who we are as a nation, how we define ourselves as people…not to the exclusion of others, not to diminish anyone’s individuality, but to say in a very supportive way that the family unit, the family concept, is an ideal that we aspire to.”

– REINCE PRIEBUS: “It’s foundational in our lives… I don’t believe anybody should be denied dignity in this discussion, everyone should be loved. But at the end of the day, I believe that marriage — through the sanctity of marriage — should be between one man and one woman.”

– ANN WAGNER: “It is the true fabric of our society.”

– SAUL ANUZIS: “I think very straight forwardly, marriage is both a religious and a cultural institution that has existed for over 2,000 years…I think that our both belief in our kind of activity to promote marriage and promote the nuclear family is an important distinction that we have in America versus almost every other country in the world.”

– MARIA CINO: “I believe in traditional family.”

What is really interesting is how the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire (a state that accords the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, though there’s a slight possibility that may change… more on that in the coming days) will play out. It actually represents a fantastic opportunity for confronting Republican presidential candidates with loving, committed couples- and their children- and pointing to how the sky has not fallen. And, given the number of Republicans that are supportive in the state legislature and in the community, it may not be as much of a “red meat” issue among the party electorate as the media will probably say it is. As I’m having conversations about where things are in the state, every person I’ve talked to from the state has told me New Hampshire is a “libertarian” and “live free or die” state. That may not hold up in the RNC Chairperson’s race, but it may in presidential politics- and may backfire on the folks over at NOM.

Entry filed under: Right-wing.

Happy New Year, welcome back, and a question Incoming IA Governor Branstad opposes judicial impeachment

60 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rhie  |  January 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm


    • 2. Kathleen  |  January 3, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      • 3. JonT  |  January 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm

        • 4. Ann S.  |  January 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm


          • 5. Straight For Equality  |  January 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

  • 6. Lesbians Love Boies  |  January 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Interesting – no title?

  • 7. Sagesse  |  January 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm


  • 8. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Here is hoping that this is not the only thing that backfires on NOM!

  • 9. Joel  |  January 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Way, WAY off topic, my apologies.

    Mark and I are one of the fortuitous “18,000”, and are legally married in the states that currently recognize marriage equality.

    We are currently preparing to move back to CA, for a number of reasons, and Mark has expressed his desire to me to take my last name; since we will be living in a state that recognizes our relationship legally, I am honored and proud, and grateful that Mark wants to officially be a part of my family (especially considering the way his family has behaved over the last ten years).

    I gues what I’m asking is: Is this a difficult/expensive thing? Should we wait till we relocate to SoCal? And just tangentially, when a man and woman marry, and the woman decides that she wants to take her husband’s name, does she have to jump over all these legal cow patty piles?

    Sorry again for being off-off Broadway…

    • 10. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 3, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      See what the laws are regarding matrimonial name changes in the state you were married in and also in California. I know when BZ and I got married in CT, if we move there, all I have to do is take the certified copy with me to the DMV to have everything changed on my driver’s license, and we will be able to establish any and all utilities, newspaper subscriptions, etc, in the Jernigan name. that is what we are fighting to have happen all over the country.

      @adam–What is the title of this thread?

    • 11. Kathleen  |  January 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      As someone who has gone through the name change thing a couple of times, I can tell you my own experience. It’ required showing my marriage certificate to all the agencies who issue identification – drivers’ license, social security, passport, etc. – to get new ID in my married name. It generally also requires changing one’s name on things like insurance policies, bank accounts, car registration, and such. That generally required showing marriage license and/or new ID to make the change.

      I imagine your husband will need to do the same. It involved a decent amount of hassle, but minimal expense – just the cost of issuing new ID, new checks, or anything that he wants to have the new name shown on.

    • 12. Joel  |  January 4, 2011 at 3:58 am

      Thanks, Kathleen and Richard!

      • 13. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm

        You’re welcome, Joel! And it is nice to have you here!

    • 14. Peterplumber  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:09 am

      It is neither hard nor expensive. You need a legal document showing the name change. For me it was a County court issued document. Getting that was just a matter of filling out the application and paying the fee of $150. That covered court costs, filing fees and 4 copies of the docs. I had the option of paying extra for a few more certified copies.
      Once you have that, you may want to get a new birth certificate showing your new name. Other than that, it is no harder than changing your address any time you move. Remember to send the name change to everyone you can think of, including credit companies, your former high school, the VA, etc. Everyone.
      Like any other task in life, be well prepared before you start, and the whole process will go smoothly.

    • 15. Kathleen  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:43 am

      When you change your last name due to marriage, you don’t retroactively change every document that contained your name prior to marriage. You only change current documents that need to be in your name for identification purposes (license, passport, soc sec) or have to do with current business (bank accounts, insurance policies and such.)

      You absolutely DON’T change your birth certificate. And If you need to match up your current name with old records in your prior name (for example if there’s any question that your old school records are yours), then you simply submit a copy of your marriage certificate along with the old records. Most applications for credit, school, etc., ask if you’ve ever used another name and you simply list your name prior to marriage as that other name. I’ve never had anyone question that my school records were mine, despite the fact that I attended high school under one name, started undergrad under another and received my law degree in a third.

      As for purchasing a document from the county, there’s absolutely no need. You already have your marriage certificate; that’s all you need. Some agencies might require certified copies of the marriage certificate, rather than just photocopies, so maybe you’ll have to lay out a little extra cash in that case, but you don’t need anything except your marriage license.

      • 16. Tim in Sonoma  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm

        I agree Do not change your birth certificate!
        Your changing your marital status, not your entire identity.
        I don’t think you can change a birth certificate, can you? It is what it is.
        And in the opinions of so many “Right wing traditionalist” who believe in the traditional family, traditional values and traditional marriage and that is the only family that counts.
        I was born into THAT family and I’m gay. What makes them think that just because I’m gay I do not possess any morals or family values?
        I value that family very much! How could I not? But how dare they try to deminish the family I have now,it’s still a family, and my family values still consist of a lot of love.
        What more could one ask for?
        Love Tim…

        • 17. Kathleen  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm

          There are instances where it’s appropriate to change information on one’s birth certificate, but a name change due to marriage is not one of them.

    • 18. Up&Adam  |  January 4, 2011 at 11:02 am

      Another great resource for gay & lesbian FREE legal information, based on current law and not opinion can be found here:

      • 19. Kathleen  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm

        How to deal with a name change after marriage is hardly novel, untested territory. Women have been doing it for a long time in this country. I, personally, have done it twice. This isn’t an esoteric legal theory requiring legal “opinion.” And just so you know, when I’m offering opinion vs. practical knowledge I have based on personal experience or my educational background, I let people know.

  • 20. Chris B  |  January 4, 2011 at 2:11 am

    I have to say that Obama had the same view about marriage too: marriage is man/woman.

    This is a tricky situation for any politician. There are still slightly more people opposed to gay marriage than for it. (Although for democrats, I am not sure why there is still opposition).

    Republicans, of course, rely on the religious right as a huge block of votes, and very few gays vote republican, so why would they need to change their opposition to gay marriage?

    • 21. fiona64  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:30 am

      Actually, Obama’s view is more nuanced than that. He made a clear delineation between his personal opinion and what should constitute law.

      Quote: In a letter to San Francisco’s Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, the presumptive presidential nominee said he opposed “the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution” and similar efforts in other states.

      I know that President Obama has not acted on the timeline that many of my GLBT friends and fellow straight allies would like … but don’t let’s misstate his position.


      • 22. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:54 am

        The article mentioned that then Senator Obama (in 2008) is “well on his way to being educated”I wonder what President Obama’s 2011 view is on marriage?

        Interesting the ever-present Brian Brown was mentioned….

  • 23. Jhonny  |  January 4, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Please get this story more attention Mecklenberg County in NC is outraged on Jame’s Comments Calling Gays Sexual Predators he is also a board member with a track record of seedy comments about gays that he cant back up with Facst has a petition to sign you can get a link in the article for him to be censured… Thanks

  • 24. Chris in Lathrop  |  January 4, 2011 at 5:20 am

    I wanted to share the pic directly, but I couldn’t get the code. Firefox has been acting up lately. :( But here’s the link: It’s Not Fascism When We Do It

    • 25. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Good pic! It hit the nail right on the head as far as their attitude!

  • 26. Rich  |  January 4, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I’m interested to know what the “slight possibility” comment means with respect to New Hampshire’s gay marriage law. I look forward to your posts on this topic.

    • 27. State Rep Christopher Serlin  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:32 am

      Greetings all. I am a fan of this site and have been following ever since the Prop 8 question first started to be debated and tracked. I wanted to chime in to say that unfortunately there is, at least on paper, better than a “slight” possibility here in NH of repealing Marriage Equality. The recent elections here pushed membership of both our State House and State Senate into “veto-proof” GOP majority territory. We Democrats are going to have a tough time of it defending Marriage Equality as well as a host of other important matters in the coming two years.

      We already have a number of repeal bills filed, as well as the perennial Constitutional Amendment question defining marriage. GOP membership are tripping over themselves to co-sponsor the bills. Also problematic – many of the moderate Republican members of the House in particular were ousted in primaries and so the GOP caucus membership is disproportionately *very* right-wing. As a caucus, the repeal of Marriage Equality is a stated goal. Our chances lay in education, getting couples married under our new equality law (1 yr old) to show up for testimony against repeal, and in appealing to the more “libertarian” minded here in NH. NOM will certainly have a huge presence during the effort, as will the Catholic Church which has a strong presence in NH and is in favor of repeal. If anyone here has friends / family in NH, please encourage them to follow developments in their local papers (there will be much talk about the matter), and come to Concord to testify against repeal whenever any of the bills come up in Committee.

      Thanks to all who are supporting this site and its reporting, and to all of you who are fighting for equality across the country. History and Justice are ultimately on our side.

      Rep Serlin
      New Hampshire State Representative

      • 28. Kathleen  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:57 am

        Rep Serlin, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting here.

        Besides contacting people who are in NH, is there anything that those of us who are out of state can do to help. I’m just sickened at the thought NH moving backwards on this critical issue.

        Best of luck to you and all the Dems in the NH legislature in your attempts to save your state from this swing to the far right.

        • 29. State Rep Christopher Serlin  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:20 am

          Thanks Kathleen and anonygrl for the notes. I try to stay informed.

          The most obvious thing I can think of aside from local action, which is hard for non-locals of course, is staying in touch with groups here in NH that are focused on the question at hand, helping them out as best you can.

          New Hampshire Freedom to Marry,, has been in this fight since day 1. What they lack in terms of website glitz they make up for with passion and a relentless drive to fight for equality. I’d say – visit the site and make a connections. They’ll have specific ideas on what anyone such as yourself might be able to do to help. The fact of the matter is that as with everywhere else, out-of-state money and influence will be a huge factor against equality. If they need your time, if you have some money to spare, I’m sure they can use the help.

          Spread the word. Thanks for all you do!

          • 30. Bob  |  January 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm

            Rep Serlin,,,, haven’t forgotten you, hoping to draw some attention back to your post,,,,,

            that hornets nest around prop8 can really get a lot of action, as we’ve just seen,,,,

            challenge now is, can we get the same kind of attention around other issues, like this one in New Hampshire..

            now that it’s back to wait and see for a while with prop8, hopefully we can get some dialog going around these concerns in New Hampshire…

            SUGGESTIONS people who’s from New Hampshire, can we get sme residents to come forward on here, and share what’s going down,,, for you,,,,

            and is there anyone who was married there in the last year who would be willing to step up, and speak out..

            how bout a spokesperson from New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, posting on this site,,, how can we work with you…

      • 31. anonygrl  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:02 am

        Thank you, Representative Serlin, for chiming in and helping get us up to speed. PLEASE continue to let us know how things go in NH, and definitely keep us informed as to how we can help. When the time comes and calls need to be made, and emails need to be sent, and people who are local should go visit their legislators and speak to them in person, we are absolutely HERE for you, and will jump right in and do everything we can.

        Personally, I think it is amazing that legislators read what we post here, and am deeply moved that I can be part of the voice we raise here in favor of equality, and am even more moved when I know for a fact that it is a voice that is heard. Just the fact that you READ along here is quite encouraging to me! And we have a number of very passionate and eloquent writers here who say amazing things and write some very powerful rants from time to time. Let me just say if anything we say here can help you in the fight, go right ahead and quote us!

        So thank you very much for following us, thank you even more for contributing, and please let us help YOU in any way we can whenever the need arises!

      • 32. adambink  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

        Hi Chris, thanks for stopping by the site. As we continue the push in NH, please continue to provide your insight.

      • 33. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm

        Representative Serlin,

        I am going to look up your office address so that I can write to you. I think my husbnad and I should be there to also testify as to the hardship that will be placed upon LGBT NH residents who would be forced to leave the state to legally get married if this repeal happens. And wwe would be speaking from first hand experience. We had to drive from North Carolina to PA, stay with some extended family there, and drive from there into CT to get married. All because we do not have marriage equality at home. I will hopefully be able to write this letter tomorrow and mail it out no later than Thursday. This is too important for us to just sit back and let equality be undone in NH.

        • 34. Bob  |  January 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm

          right on Richard,, woot woot to you and BZ,,, you go NH

          • 35. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm

            We feel that we have to step up and do the right thing, not only for ourselves and the current generation who are being denied full equality, but also for the children and grandchildren who will follow us down this same road. Everyone deserves not only the right to marry the person they love, but also the right to get married in the location they want to get married in.

  • 36. Melissa  |  January 4, 2011 at 7:07 am

    I gag every single time I read that ridiculous comment about the “fabric of our society.” What does that mean anyway??

    • 37. Evelyn J. Brooks  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

      It means that from their understanding, society is built like a deck of cards. Should anything present itself slightly out of order then society and culture will all instantly crash to its knees. The philosophy bears testimony to the obvious sense of fear that motivates them.

      • 38. nightshayde  |  January 4, 2011 at 11:17 am

        I’m somehow picturing a Jenga tower rather than a house of cards… but same general idea.

    • 39. anonygrl  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:19 am

      The funny thing about fabric is that when you weave together ALL the separate strands, the whole is much stronger than the individual strings that make it up.

      So our society is STRENGTHENED by all of us being involved of it, not torn apart.

      However, the fabric that the bigots see is just the tissue paper that they, themselves, make up, and IS torn to shreds when the rest of us stand up to them. For which I say “Good for us.” The fabric of our society that includes everyone is stronger, longer lasting, MUCH more beautiful and colorful, and a much better option.

    • 41. Kathlene O'Loughlin  |  January 7, 2011 at 3:12 am

  • 42. Ronnie  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:14 am

    It is just interesting (not surprising) how pretty much all of them added a little bit of religion in there….as if it was relevant in a secular society & constitution…….

    On another note…interesting article from an interview w/a former White Supremacist/ Skinhead who is now working to stop anti-gay discrimination….

    “Former skinhead shares his life after hate”
    Written by Will Fellows, Special to WiG, Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:08

    ‎”Today, my outspoken opposition to discrimination against LGBT people is driven as much by that memory as by a zeal for human rights in a broader sense.” ~ Arno Michaels

    When he answers the Question: “What was the status of gays in your hate hierarchy?”…

    Aside from the connection he made to Jewish People, every word & argument he used to describe why he hated Gay people are the exact same words & arguments that are used by anti-gay people & those who oppose Marriage Equality..”sick perversion”, “unnatural”, “procreation” fact his procreation argument could come right out of Maggie Gallagher & Brian Brown’s mouths…….he used these talking points provided by anti-gay people to justify physically & verbally attacking Gay people…hmmm…..very strong interview on how people can break out of their hateful behavior….Maybe Maggie & Brian should reflect on their similarities to the person this man use to be…..<3….Ronnie

    • 43. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:35 am


      “It is just interesting (not surprising) how pretty much all of them added a little bit of religion in there….as if it was relevant in a secular society & constitution…….”


      “Maybe Maggie & Brian should reflect on their similarities to the person this man use to be….”

    • 44. JonT  |  January 4, 2011 at 11:24 am

      WF: How did anti-gay hatred compare to race/ethnicity-based hatred?

      AM: Both types of hatred are rooted in a fear of difference. Skinheads, like other fundamentalists, seek uniformity. Just as we pointed out and belittled African lips, Asian eyes and other racial/ethnic differences, we were always vigilant for differences in sexuality. The slightest bit of femininity displayed by a male was grounds for assault.

      As whites, we didn’t worry about having to prove how not-black we were. But it was always important to keep your distance from homosexuality. Any good white man worth a damn had to either have a steady girlfriend, wife or a steady wake of female conquests to prove how not-gay he was. For those guys who weren’t a hit with the ladies, being called a faggot was always a concern. They would try to establish their heterosexuality by bashing gay men, verbally and physically.

      Sounds familiar. A good read.

  • 45. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 4, 2011 at 8:57 am

    If he loses the chairmanship, I confess I’ll miss Poochie a bit. I’d also pay good money for someone to ask each of the candidates, “How old is the Earth?”

    They were actually asked how many guns they owned. Not any past substantive statements or policies regarding the Second Amendment, just how many guns they own. “Brawndo’s got what plants crave. It’s got electrolytes!”

    Happy New Year, good folks.

    • 46. anonygrl  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:06 am

      Kudos for the Idiocracy reference!

      • 47. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm

        It’s a more frightening movie than The Exorcist.


  • 48. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Off Topic:

    on evidence Military will not tolerate Gay Slurs…does this bode well for removal of DADT?

    • 49. JonT  |  January 4, 2011 at 11:36 am

      It’s good that the Navy is treating this seriously.

      I must admit to being surprised that Honors might lose his command over it though. Not that I object, but… I would guess that losing command of an aircraft carrier has got to be a career ending event.

      • 50. Ann S.  |  January 4, 2011 at 11:50 am

        He’s likely to never get promoted again, and to choose to retire before too much longer.

  • 53. Kathleen  |  January 4, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Order from the 9th Circuit, certifying a question for the CA Supreme Court

  • 54. Ronnie  |  January 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Going to post this here…


    “On New Year’s Day, some history was being made in Massachusetts, the Patriot Ledger reports:

    In a wedding that appears to be the first of its kind in the U.S. – at least in the Episcopal Church – former Plymouth priest the Rev. Mally Lloyd married the Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, dean and president of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, on New Year’s Day. The Rev. Lloyd, a former pastor at Christ Church in Plymouth, is now a ranking official of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

    The Rev. Lloyd and the Rev. Ragsdale were married in a ceremony at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston, with about 400 guests attending. Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, the state’s highest ranking Episcopal official, presided.”

    (me) Congratulations to newly weds, Rev. Mally Lloyd & Rev. Katherine Ragsdale….great way to start of the New Year…..<3…Ronnie

    • 55. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      So that’s why the fabric of society was ripping the other day. Oh wait, no, nothing bad happened, my mistake. ;-D

  • 56. Ronnie  |  January 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Matt Baume’s ( take on RNC Chair, Michael Steele’s NOM interview & “blah blah blah “marriage” blah blah blah I’m not anti-gay blah blah blah”…..<3…Ronnie:

  • 57. Ronnie  |  January 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Miss New York, Claire Buffie, is competing for Miss. America 2010 on a LGBT Equal Rights platform…Interview with the gorgeous Claire Buffie on MSNBC, who is also a member of PFLAG…..<3…Ronnie:

    • 58. Ronnie  |  January 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      Apologies…She is Miss New York 2010…she is competing for Miss American 2011…..<3…Ronnie

      • 59. Ronnie  |  January 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm

        Miss America 2011….I am over-typing tonight…stepping away from the computer to eat dinner before I mistype something else….<3…Ronnie

  • 60. Joining the fight in New Hampshire « Prop 8 Trial Tracker  |  January 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    […] State Rep. Chris Serlin wrote in the comments the other day, there is indeed a possibility that anti-equality legislators and […]


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