Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Louisiana's Racist Justice of the Peace

Keith Bardwell has resigned. Frankly, it's embarrassing to Louisiana that it didn't come sooner. And yet we still don't know what David Vitter's official position is on this situation. What can be said about a man like Vitter, in a position of authority who can demonstrate leadership on this issue, but instead who just sits back and does nothing? A coward too afraid speak out against it and thus complicit in it. That's what Vitter is: a coward and collaborator via silence.

And to be fair, on the subject of marriage equality for gays and lesbians, Obama is no different than Vitter. Obama is cowardly and complicit in perpetuating discrimination, too. I remain extremely disappointed, and in fact growing moreso, at Obama's failure to exercise even nominal leadership on a subject that so many see as a matter of fundamental civil rights.


Eric said...

I know you guys aren't used to being critical of Obama, but you need to keep your criticism consistant: According to liberal cannon, if Obama believes marriage is just between a man and a woman (as he has stated) then he isn't cowardly, he's a bigot. Cowardly would be if he believed in gay marriage but was scared to support it, which is clearly not the case.

Personally, I'm ambivelant on this issue. My first choice would be to get the government out of marriage altogether, gay or hetero, and have them only be responsible for enforcing the property contracts that married couples engage in (which should be made more formal).

As for gay marriage itself, I say keep that decision at the state level. I'm against any kind of Constitutional Amendment either for or against it.

The big question to me, from a federal standpoint, is whether gay married couples should be entitled to social security survivorship benefits, and there I'd be inclined to say no, at least not until gay marriage was recognized by all 50 states without federal compulsion.

Huck said...

Eric - First, I don't think I've ever called someone a bigot exclusively for thinking that marriage is defined as the union between a man and a woman. Hell, my mother, father, and every single one of my siblings and their spouses, thinks as much; and I don't go around calling them bigots. So it's not fair to associate me with that fringe liberal narrative any more than it would be for me to associate you with the fringe conservative narrative that claims that I voted for Obama just because I'm a white-guilt racist. And though I disagree with Obama's parsing of terminology, I recognize that his position is rather one that centers around what to call particular unions, not one that ascribes inferiority and subsequent discrimination against particular unions. Obama supports civil unions for gays that come with all the rights and privileges that married couples have. And even still, Obama essentially doesn't and wouldn't oppose gay marriage should it pass muster in any state electoral process, legislative process, or judicial process. He's just too damn cowardly to admit it publicly.

But let me ask you, Eric, just to get it on the record here: Do you think Obama is bigoted because he says he considers the definition of marriage to be the union of a man and a woman?

Eric said...

Huck, sorry, no I don't think I've ever heard you call somebody a bigot for opposing gay marriage.
I just keep seeing liberals get upset with Obama over this issue when he has been clear about his stance on it from the beginning. I went through some stuff with Bush where he said things that I thougth he was saying just to win votes (Medicare Rx come sto mind) and then was scocked and angered to find out he really meant them.
So I can kind of understand the sentiment among many liberals, but enjoy seeing the shoe on the other foot! And for an awful lot of "marriage equality" proponents, homosexual civil unions is not equal to marriage.

And no, I don't think Obama is bigoted on this issue.

Huck said...

he has been clear about his stance on it from the beginning.

I would disagree a bit with this. He has been clear in terms of what he says out of one side of his mouth, but he muddles it up out of the other side of his mouth. Take the recent California brou-ha-ha over the issue. Obama never backtracked in his definition that marriage is the union between one man and one woman, and yet he said he agreed with the California Supreme Court's decision that the state's gay couples had the right to marriage because civil unions represented an unconstitutional separate-but-equal position. In essense, he has his declared personal belief, but yet he supports the CA Supreme Court position, which is a position that specifically declares to Obama that his supposed personal belief is wrong! So, in truth, he hasn't been all that clear. He sends mixed messages all the time. But he always, in spite of such mixed messages, seems to lean in the direction of gay rights and, thus, one supposes, marriage equality. He's trying to have his cake and eat it, too. And I think this makes him more of a coward on the issue.

And for an awful lot of "marriage equality" proponents, homosexual civil unions is not equal to marriage.

I am one of these proponents. I don't think they are structurally equal. But many, including Obama, spin it as such. I wouldn't call anyone bigoted for doing so.

andrew said...

Just trying to play the party lines?

I'm still bothered over the fact that he does not need congressional approval to end "don't ask, don't tell" yet he doesn't end it.

I will continue to be highly critical of that man till he mans up and does something about this.