Thursday, October 9, 2014

Last Call For The Battle Of Harpers Ferry

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will not continue his defense of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, soon clearing the way for same-sex marriage in West Virginia, according to a press release issued Thursday afternoon. 
It comes in light of this week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that turned away appeals from five states, including Virginia, and rendered bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. 
Huntington’s William Glavaris, one of six plaintiffs who challenged West Virginia’s law in federal court, praised the decision. 
“I'm emotional and speechless,” he said. 
Casie McGee, another Huntington plaintiff, heard the announcement at work. 
“I’m just hearing it,” she said. “I’m still speechless. Amazed, excited, and speechless.” 
The state Department of Health and Human Resources announced its bureaus have amended paper forms and online technology to implement the necessary changes. 
We expect that county clerks across the state will be able to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples by Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at the latest,” said DHHR spokeswoman Allison Adler in a prepared release.
Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, folks.  Oh, and at this point, about 20 or so other states (including Ohio and Kentucky, good job on that guys) get stuck with "Behind even West Virginia on marriage equality", which is pretty failtastic if you ask me.

The War Of The Jokers

Doug Mataconis argues that the GOP same-sex marriage war is over, and that Republicans should be grateful for it.  A lot of them in fact are, as evidenced by their tacit acceptance of this week's various judicial rulings (and non-rulings).

Looking at this issue purely as a matter of electoral politics, this would seem to be the smart move for Republican politicians who want to appeal to voters outside of the party’s socially conservative base. While opposition to same sex marriage may have helped Republicans in the past, such as in the 2004 election, it now seems clear that this is no longer a viable strategy
Polling has now firmly established that a majority of Americans support granting marriage rights to gays and lesbians, for example, and that support is only likely to grow over time. Additionally, the forces opposed to same-sex marriage have not had an electoral victory since North Carolina voted to ban same-sex marriage in April 2012. Since then, three states have voted in referenda to legalize same sex marriage, one state (Minnesota) rejected a referendum that would have banned same-sex marriage, and six states have legalized same-sex marriage through the legislative process. Furthermore, polling has shown that a majority of young Republicans support same-sex marriage notwithstanding their party’s official position on the issue. Were it to continue to oppose same-sex marriage, it would only be a matter of time before the GOP found itself out in the cold alone on an issue that most Americans consider to have already been decided. 
At the very least, that will hurt the party’s efforts to reach out to younger voters, minorities, and other groups outside of the traditional Republican base that it is going to need to win in 2016 and beyond. If the GOP were to modify its position on this issue, there would of course be push back from the right such as what we’ve seen from social conservative groups who are openly campaigning against Republicans who have endorsed marriage equality. In the long run, though, the GOP would be much better off if it didn’t have the millstone of opposition to same-sex marriage around its neck, and in some sense that is what many Republican leaders seem to be recognizing in their silence in response to yesterday’s news.

I'd argue that Mataconis is wrong, for one simple reason: immigration.  A lot of the same arguments that he correctly and logically points out for same-sex marriage can be applied to immigration: states are taking action on it, it's the demographic future of the voting public, there have been a lot of victories on it that favor the left, and support for a national immigration policy is broadly popular.  The main difference is that there's no SCOTUS decision possibly forcing a national immigration plan.

But in that case, the GOP has opposed it at every turn and demonized it at the specific level in order to delay any federal action for as long as possible, and have done so for years.  It's openly costing them the Latino vote, especially in Presidential elections, but the far right of the GOP doesn't particularly care, and in the short term they've been successful on splitting off some Dems from it as a result.

The right will try this on same-sex marriage in 2016.

Discriminating Tastes

The adage that "Since President Obama was elected, white people think discrimination against black people is over" is pretty much exactly the case, as evidenced by new research from Harvard.

Work by Harvard University professor Michael I. Norton, who examined data from a series of polls through the years, found in 2011 that although both blacks and whites believe anti-black racism has diminished through the decades, whites tend to think it has been all but eliminated. 
In many cases, he found, white perceptions of racial disparities diverge far from reality.
For instance, two-thirds of blacks think that African Americans earn make less money than whites, a view in line with official statistics. But just 37 percent of whites believe that blacks make less money than whites, and a narrow majority think black and white’ incomes are about the same. Also, although many objective health measures suggest blacks are in worse overall health than whites, a majority of whites think blacks and whites are equally healthy. 
So it is no surprise that just 16 percent of whites believe that there is “a lot” of discrimination in America today, a view held by 56 percent of blacks. What may be surprising is that the polls found that white perceptions of anti-black bias have diminished to the point where they are more now likely to think anti-white discrimination is a bigger problem than bias against blacks. The chart below is from Norton's work.

In other words, since about 1998 or so, there are more white Americans who believe white people are discriminated against than they believe black people are discriminated against.  The data doesn't come anywhere near to this, but that's where we are today.

You know, people like Chief Justice John Roberts.  "Racism is over" is reality to a lot of white America in 2014.  Judging by the trajectory, we're soon going to arrive at the point where white people believe anti-white discrimination is worse than black people believe anti-black discrimination is.

Hell, if you ask me, we've reached that point now.


Related Posts with Thumbnails