The Kim Davis Circus

(Continuing the discussion from the prior post….)

Legally correct, perhaps, but “jailed for refusing to marry the gays” is like giving anti-gay-marriage Ky. county clerk Kim Davis the religious right martyrdom prize, sure to cause a surge in their fundraising. Apparently, there is no way just to remove Davis from office for failing to carry out her duties.

Walter Olson offers some pertinent observations, including that:

Among Republican White House candidates, Carly Fiorina seems to be among the few willing to draw appropriate public-private distinctions: “when you are a government employee, I think you take on a different role.” Also from a conservative perspective, Dan McLoughlin has a thoughtful what-goes-around-comes-around view on lawlessness and the pervasiveness of double standards.

Huckabee, of course, is a complete embarrassment.

On the other hand, it is also true that if this were a liberal clerk citing her Quaker faith to refuse to sign gun permits, conservatives would be up in arms (not literally, at least in that county) while at least some progressives would defend her right to ignore the law.

More. Kasich on Ky. clerk: ‘She has to comply.’ GOP presidential contender Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) said on Sunday that state marriage clerks should issue same-sex marriage licenses even if they morally oppose the practice. “She’s not running a church,” Kasich said.

There is now a real split between Fiorini, Kasich, Bush, Graham and (with greater equivocation) Trump and (via second-hand reports) even Carson, versus Davis-defenders Huckabee, Cruz, Walker, Jindal, Santorum and Paul.

Some progressive sites play up GOP support for Davis, but the real story is how many of the contenders have come out against her.

Furthermore. Sprung! It’s a good thing — yes, she should be removed from office. But making her a martyr plays into our opponents’ hands.

When the Political Party Goes Unmentioned…

John Corvino makes good points about Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who has been refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on the grounds that doing so would violate her religious beliefs.

However, like most of the mainstream media coverage, the party on whose ticket Davis ran goes unremarked, which should have been a dead give-away. If someone is held in disdain, the mainstream media always lets you know if they’re a Republican. When it’s a guessing game, you can bet it’s otherwise.

More. To clarify, the original NY Times piece did not mention her party, but did so in subsequent, more recent reports.

And then there’s this: From the New York Times:

Correction: September 3, 2015
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated Kim Davis’s political affiliation. She is a Democrat, not a Republican.

And this from the Washington Post (via Instapundit).

Furthermore. Lesson learned? The Washington Post now reports:

Davis narrowly won a three-way Democratic primary in 2014. She cruised to victory in the general election, before same-sex marriage was on the radar, and many supporters of LGBT rights voted for her in November because she was the Democratic candidate.

(continued in next post)

Update: Many weeks into the controversy, Kim Davis switched her political affiliation from Republican to Democrat, following the support she received from GOP social conservatives. Despite the chortling from the peanut gallery, this in no way mitigates the point that when she was a Democrat, the press downplayed her party identification. Now that she’s in the GOP, that won’t be the case.

Homeland Security’s Priority – Closing Down Gay Escort Service

As Reason reports, what a waste of time and money: Homeland Security Raids — DHS “will use its unique authorities to disrupt and dismantle” gay escort sites, says special investigator.

In addition, Scott Shackford shares 6 Thoughts on the Bust from 1 Angry, Gay Libertarian. He explains:

There is absolutely no pretense of pretending there are any “victims” here. Nobody is charged with “trafficking.” There is absolutely nothing in the complaint that even hints at the idea that there is anything nonconsensual happening….

As usual, follow the money. Want to know the real reason why DHS is involved? … The feds are looking to seize $1.4 million from six bank accounts related to the raid. This money, thanks to federal asset forfeiture rules, would likely be split among the agencies involved, including the New York Police Department, who offered up their assistance in the raid even though there was probably no need for both agencies.

Will LGBT Democrats defend (because, you know, it’s Obama so it’s gotta be ok)?

More. Some are speaking out. Good! But not the beltway players.

Some are also wondering why NYC’s famously progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton worked with the federal prosecutors.

Imagine if this happened with a GOP president and mayor. LGBT media would be nothing but ‘Republicans’ war on gay sex!!!!’

Totalitarian Jerks

This is why more people are coming to hate the self-righteous PC left: Charity race for children’s hospice where runners dress in drag is ‘a hate crime.’

That the children’s hospice had to grovel to the transgender activists for forgiveness turned my stomach.

Little Robespierres.

Freedom Means Freedom for Everyone

Out actress Ellen Page has garnered much publicity for her impromptu debate over gay rights with GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz at the Iowa State Fair. But what did she choose to go on the offensive about? No, not Cruz’s support for a constitutional amendment to roll back gay marriage, but his defense of religious freedom for conservative Christian bakers, florists and other service providers.

I’m continually shocked at how tone deaf activists-minded gays and lesbians of the leftish persuasion are on this issue, cavalierly dismissing religious freedom as nothing put an attempt to allow discrimination against gays, period, end of story. If only we can get rid of religious freedom, well, then we’d be set. Progressive government would tell everyone what to do and, you know, that would be keen.

But a majority of Americans don’t believe small, independent business owners should be forced to provide services to same-sex weddings against their religious beliefs (that is, self-employed private business people, not government civil servants. And there is, or once was, a difference here). Many of those supporting religious freedom for those who have religious objections to same-sex weddings are themselves ok with same-sex marriage. They’re not bigots. The intolerance is on the other side.

 More. John Corvino writes in the New York Times Gay Rights and the Race Analogy:

When civil rights laws were passed, discrimination against blacks was pervasive, state-sponsored and socially intractable. Pervasive, meaning that there weren’t scores of other photographers clamoring for their business. State-sponsored, meaning that segregation was not merely permitted but in fact legally enforced, even in basic public accommodations and services. Socially intractable, meaning that without higher-level legal intervention, the situation was unlikely to improve. To treat the lesbian couple’s situation as identical — and thus as obviously deserving of the same legal remedy — is to minimize our racist past and exaggerate L.G.B.T.-rights opponents’ current strength.

John comes down somewhere between my view that no one self-employed in the private sector should be forced to provide services that violate their religious beliefs and the activists who believe they should. He writes:

Currently, the jurisdictions most likely to prohibit sexual-orientation discrimination are those where such laws seem least needed; cities where rainbow banners far outnumber Confederate flags. But what about places where being openly gay is literally unsafe? There it’s much harder to rely on market forces and social pressure for ensuring equality.

How pervasive or intractable does discrimination need to be before we should invoke the long arm of the law to solve it? I don’t have a simple formula for answering that question. I’m wary of those who do.

Francis Disappoints, Again

LGBT Catholics say the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the world’s largest Catholic gathering of families and an event that Pope Francis will attend, is missing an opportunity by offering just one session on LGBT concerns.

I’d say so, given that at that single session:

Ron Belgau, editor of a website called Spiritual Friendship, is to speak, along with his mother, at a session titled “Always Consider the Person: Homosexuality in the Family.” He is gay and celibate.

The mindset of the Roman church is shown by Archibishop of Philadelphia Charles Joseph Chaput, who remarked that “We don’t want to provide a platform at the meeting for people to lobby for positions contrary to the life of our Church.”

The pope’s embrace of redistributive/regulatory economics and climate-change alarmism (or, more accurately, apocalypticalism) has won him applause from certain leftish constituencies. But its all of a piece with the church’s authoritarian and reactionary mindset.

Added: Yes, apocalypticalism. In 2009, ABC News reported, with deep seriousness, predictions that 2015 would see climate-catastrophe-based prices of $12.00 for a gallon of milk and $9.00 for a gallon for gasoline, if gas was available at all. Increase government control over the economy, now!

More. Via the Washington Post, LGBT groups don’t feel the love in Philadelphia:

Catholicism teaches that sexual relationships between unmarried people are immoral, and adds that sex between two people of the same gender is a “grave depravity” because it doesn’t biologically produce children. “Under no circumstances can they be approved,” church teaching says of gay relationships. However gay people are to be treated respectfully and not subject to “unjust discrimination.” Francis has emphasized dialogue and love, though his positions on sexuality and gender appear to remain fully orthodox.

The YouGov-UK Poll

This poll is getting lots of publicity, showing that when “Asked to plot themselves on a ‘sexuality scale’, 23% of British people choose something other than 100% heterosexual – and the figure rises to 49% among 18-24 year olds.”

One conclusion: “With each generation, people see their sexuality as less fixed in stone.”

Britain, like the rest of the Western capitalist world, has come a long way since the persecutions of countless gay men, including most famously Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing, who were just the tip of the “Victim” iceberg.

Then there’s the sad case of former PM Edward Heath.

More. YouGov-US: 31% of Americans under 30 say they are not 100% heterosexual, while 24% of people aged 30 to 44 say that they’re somewhere on the scale of bisexuality, compared to 8% or less of over-45s.

As in the UK findings, young Americans are far more likely to acknowledge same-sex attractions. The fear, paranoia and shame with which older generations treated any manifestation of same-sex desire is receding, more so in the UK but still dramatically noticeably here in the US.

Future generations will be psychologically healthier and happier as a result.

The Stonewall Myth

The upcoming premiere of the movie “Stonewall” (directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Jon Robin Baitz) has provoked calls for a boycott by the predicable crowd, since the central character is a gay white cis male.

As the negative comments to the trailer show, the myth of Stonewall is alive and thriving—that the bar was frequented by people of color and drag queens who started and led the subsequent riots. Alas, actual Stonewall veterans and real historians note that the Stonewall was, in fact, a mostly young white male kind of place. Photos reveal a clientele that, if not quite preppie was certainly more middle-class than lumpenproletariat, although local drag queens joined the riot once it got underway.

Back in 1999 IGF posted Stonewall Revisited by historian Eric Marcus, who noted, “The story of what really happened at Stonewall has yet to be distorted and embellished beyond the point of recognition, but it’s well on its way.” And in 2002, we ran The Myth of the Transsexual Stonewall by Dale Carpenter, who wrote: “It is wrong to characterize the Stonewall Inn as having been a sanctuary for genderqueers (unless that term encompasses non-transgendered gay men).”

Eric Marcus wrote:

The Stonewall Inn attracted an eclectic crowd, from teenage college students like Morty Manford to conservatively dressed young men who stopped in with their dates after the theater or opera. “It was a different mind-set then,” recalled Dawn Hampton. “On weekends, men dressed up. A lot of them were dating and they would dress in coat and tie.” …

The Stonewall Inn was not a generally welcoming place for drag queens, although as Martin Duberman notes, “…a few favored full-time transvestites, like Tiffany, Spanola Jerry, a hairdresser from Sheepshead Bay, and Tammy Novak… were allowed to enter Stonewall in drag…”

These posts sought to put historical fact above politically correct and fashionable narrative, to little success. And thus the calls to boycott the Stonewall movie for failing to show the fabled bar as it was not, but (for many) ought to have been.

When the legend becomes fact, print (or film) the legend?

More. Writing at, Stonewall veteran Mark Segal, now the publisher of Philadelphia Gay New, shares his views (and why he opposed the boycott). He writes:

Once Stonewall was raided and the crowd became angry and it looked as though something might happen, only drag queens, homeless kids, people like me who thought they had no future, and a few activists stuck around.

Who am I to argue with an eye witness? But I’ll just note that then-kids like Segal himself and other Stonewall veterans/instigators, such as Morty Manford and Marty Robinson, may have felt marginalized and that they had nothing to lose, but were in fact from white working- or middle-class families, college-educated if not actually still students. And, in the case of these three, also Jewish. So no, not all street people and drag queens of color.

Glimmers of Change for the GOP

Added. During the GOP presidential debate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich earned applause for, basically, saying same-sex marriage is the law and we should love our gay kids. Reports Business Insider:

The crowd in Cleveland gave Kasich a loud round of applause. The overwhelming cheering was a noticeable contrast from just four years ago during another GOP primary debate…in which a crowd booed a gay soldier.

On the other hand, there’s Rick Santorum. But he’s fading away.


The Washington Blade reports that:

The Republican National Committee has nixed a pair of controversial anti-gay resolutions that were proposed for consideration during its summer meeting ahead of the first GOP 2016 presidential debate. … The first resolution, proposed by Dave Agema, urged schools with gay-inclusive sex education curricula to “also include the harmful physical aspects of the lifestyle.” Another measure, sponsored by Ross Little of Louisiana, sought to defy the U.S. Supreme Court marriage decision by urging Congress to pass legislation stripping federal courts of the ability to hear marriage cases and returning the issue to the states.

The Blade also noted:

Had the measures been adopted at the Cleveland gathering, it would have been the first official act of the Republican Party on marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court decision on gay nuptials and likely invoked consternation among LGBT advocates as the Republican Party seeks a more inclusive image.

Agema, the Blade reports, is:

the same RNC member who has repeatedly landed in hot water for making anti-gay, racist and anti-Muslim posts on Facebook. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Preibus and former Michigan Republican Party Chair Bobby Schostok have called on Agema to step down and the RNC has censured him, but no explicit mechanism exists to expel him from the RNC and he has remained in his post.

During recent presidential elections, the Republican platform has called for amending the U.S. Constitution to deny same-sex couples the right to marry. It remains to be seen if the GOP platform will again, post-Obergefell, call for restricting marriage equality. But the rejection of these resolutions by the RNC seems a good sign.

Boy Scouts and Religious Freedom Exemption: Battle Awaits

As anticipated, and at long last, the Boy Scouts of America have voted to allow openly gay men and lesbians to be adult employees and volunteer leaders. As the AP notes, however:

Several denominations that collectively sponsor close to half of all Scout units—including the Roman Catholic church, the Mormon church and the Southern Baptist Convention—have been apprehensive about ending the ban on gay adults.

The Boy Scouts of America’s top leaders have pledged to defend the right of any church-sponsored units to continue excluding gays as adult volunteers. But that assurance has not satisfied some conservative church leaders.

“It’s hard for me to believe, in the long term, that the Boy Scouts will allow religious groups to have the freedom to choose their own leaders,” said the Rev. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “In recent years I have seen a definite cooling on the part of Baptist churches toward the Scouts,” Moore said. “This will probably bring that cooling to a freeze.”

While conservative religious leaders aren’t happy, LGBT activists aren’t overjoyed, either:

Stuart Upton, a lawyer for the LGBT-rights group Lambda Legal, questioned whether the BSA’s new policy to let church-sponsored units continue to exclude gay adults would be sustainable. “There will be a period of time where they’ll have some legal protection,” Upton said. “But that doesn’t mean the lawsuits won’t keep coming. … They will become increasingly marginalized from the direction society is going.”

Moreover, in a released statement headlined “Local Exemptions Will Allow Discrimination to Continue,” Chad Griffen, president of the Human Rights Campaign, lamented that “including an exemption for troops sponsored by religious organizations undermines and diminishes the historic nature of today’s decision.”

The conventional wisdom goes that if activists on the right and left are both unhappy, then it’s probably an appropriate, centrist solution. And that may be true here. Church-sponsored BSA troops are somewhat unique in that the Boy Scouts are not a self-defined religious organization, but troops are highly identified with, and reflect the characteristics of, their local sponsors.

It’s unclear how future lawsuits will turn out, but the public is unlikely to support LGBT activists on this one (polls show a majority favor religious exemptions from anti-discrimination law, even among those who support marriage equality).

More. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement saying “the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America,” and that “When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined.”

Given that troops sponsored by the Mormon church will have a religious exemption allowing them to exclude gay adults, the response seems excessively churlish and suggests that the Mormons believe all scout troops must abide by Mormon values. That’s as polarizing, and totalistic, as the progressives who believe in no exemptions for religious organizations that sponsor troops.

Furthermore. This AP story reports that the Mormons may be looking for an opportunity to form their own worldwide scouting movement for boys, completely under church control. Similarly, the LDS does not sponsor Girl Scout troops and instead oversees its own Young Women’s program.

That’s a loss for Mormon youth, as one of the great benefits of scouting is the way it brings young people into contact with others from diverse backgrounds.

Also, via the Washington Post, Why Mormons are so devastated by the Boy Scout vote on gay leaders.